2017: Halftime Report

movie

Every year, the first half is more difficult to find great movies in (since studios put their best in theaters in the last months of the year). As always, I am not able to see all the films (or avoid all of them), but I managed to make a top five of the year that are so far worth remembering the most six months from now.

However, let us first look at the five movies that I are worth forgetting (at least till I make the worst of the year list in six months).

The Worst

 

5.  Split

I am sorry, but the script was not something I could believe, no matter how great James McCovoy.

 

4. Get Out

Ok, I will get a lot of feedback on this, but I still am trying to find out how this movie is so well rated on rottentomatoes. I admit the movie was funny, but scary? Hardly.

 

3.  Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Javier Bardem makes an good villian, but he entered this tired franchise far too late. It has officially sunk.

 

2. Transformers: The Last Knight

Yeah, no real surprise here. Does this franchise still have fans?

 

1. Life

 

Predictible. Unoriginal. Don’t get me started on the ending.

 

 

Ok, now the best of the year so far…

 

5. Okja

Streaming now on Netflix, this story of a little girl on a quest to save her giant pet pig is no kiddie flick. It is strange and weird, but also beautifully original.

 

4. The Lego Batman Movie

Lego strikes again with originality and humor. Stretching even further into the Lego universe, it is got plenty of entertainment for any age.

 

3. Wonder Woman

DC has not had as many solid hits as Marvel, but this was definetly a big one for the company. Gal Gadot gives a solid performance in a movie that will have both genders rooting.

 

2. Baby Driver

With the exception of Mad Max: Fury Road, no movie in the last few years has had as much road raging action and octane. Not to mention the acting and comedy.

 

1. Logan

Hugh Jackman gives a bittersweet performance in his swan song film of the character he brought to life over a decade ago. Add in a tight script with fine supporting acting, and you have a comic book movie for people who don’t like comic book movies.

 

Here is to the second half of the year…

The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

the-lego-batman-movie

Batman (Will Arnett) with Robin (Michael Cera), Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), and Alfred (Ralph Fiennes).

Even before we saw the wonder (yet somehow no Oscar nomination for Best Animated feature) of The Lego Movie (2014), Lego has give us countless laughs with Lego video game versions of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Marvel, and The Lord of the Rings (to name a few). There second movie is now The Lego Batman Movie (who also had a good video game), and it is as fun and entertaining for kids as it will be for adults much like its predecessor.

Returning is Will Arnett as Batman, who ranks up there with some of the best to play the caped crusader. His voice is (literally) pitch perfect, and (as the comedian has shown us before) he has uncanny comedic timing. He basks in how great he really is. All that changes when commissioner Gordon plans to retire and have his daughter Barbara (Rosario Dawson) take over. During this time, Batman/Bruce Wayne unknowingly agrees to adopt a young orphan Richard Grayson/Robin (Michael Cera), who is as optimistic as they come.

Even those who like the character Superman (who does have a brief moment in the film), more will agree that no one has better villains in the comics than Batman does, and we get a glimpse of all of them (even the dreaded condiment man). Batman inadvertently hurts the feelings of the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) when he states the Joker is not his greatest enemy. This leads the clown prince of crime to try to unleash villians from everywhere. These in include 80s monsters (aka Gremlins), Lord Voldemort, Lord Sauron, and “british robots” (aka Daleks from Doctor Who).

Parents, for the most part, the film is ok for kids (there is one joke that is a bit edgy when Batman first meets Robin), but that aside, the movie is ok for kids (I would say 7-8 and up).

Like The Lego Movie, this film has a lot of jokes adults will get that the kids won’t (my favorite is when we see Batman’s ultimate secret movie library). I have not even words to describe the stellar animation (which will give Disney animators goosebumps). It is also full of easter eggs that will require a second or third viewing.

Which I would gladly pay for.

Overall: Four Stars ****