Best and Worst of January 2017

Year of the Movie 3?

I claimed that 2015 was going to be an awesome year for movies. Turns out I was more right than wrong. (Many huge box-office hits that year).  For 2016, I was hopeful, but less sure of what would come. There weren’t that many exciting things for me to look forward to. Turns out that 2016 was lackluster with a few exceptions.

Here we are in 2017, the movie landscape is littered with garbage once more. From endless remakes, reboots, and sequels, to the same tired story told over and over with no interesting characters to make it worthwhile. I want movies that make me love movies again. Those types of films are a dying breed.   Like any year, we will get wretched films, but we will also receive some good ones (maybe even a couple great ones).

One thing I won’t be doing is holding back my opinion. If I hate the concept of a movie. I’m going to rail on it.  (To be fair, I will watch many of them, but likely not right away.)

 

January 2017

We know what January is, the dumping ground for movies that studios have no faith in. (With few exceptions).  The December movies of the previous year are often the only things to catch.

Is there anything in this entire month worth watching in theaters?  Let’s have a look

January 6th

Silence (2016)

Genre: Drama, History

Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield

IMDb: 7.8 of 1,800+ ratings

Martin Scorsese is one of the finest and most respected directors out there. Every time he releases a movie, you should take notice.  This film is about priests in eleventh century Japan who face persecution for pushing their beliefs onto the people. A mentor has gone missing and they set out to discover what happened.  From what I’ve gathered, this is Scorsese’s Apocalypse Now (1979). A well-made film about searching for someone who may or may not want to be found. With dire consequences.  With the talent of Driver, Neeson, and Garfield led by Scorsese at the helm, this film is bound to be among the finest films leftover from 2017 and may even get an Oscar nod or two (especially if it is depressing).

Hidden Figures (2016)

Genre: Drama

Starring: Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Kirsten Dunst,

IMDb: 6.9 of 583 ratings

The story of three black women who were pivotal in the success of NASA’s early space program and the missions featuring John Glenn (May he forever RIP). This film dissects the talent of these women and how they assisted NASA greatly, but also goes into their struggle to be accepted. It was a time where people of any minority were still very much beneath the white population.  These women wanted to be treated as equals and use their skills to better the state of the United States Space Program by any means necessary. These women are heroes and their seldom heard story is one that should be remembered.

 

Underworld: Blood Wars (2016) – They somehow made another one of these films. I love vampires and werewolves, and I thought the original film was pretty sweet for its time.  The sequent films, much less so.  I can hope that this is better than some of the sequels, but I’m very doubtful. It would be nice to see Kate Beckinsale break away from this series once and for all. She is trapped in what seems an endless Hell.

 

A Monster Calls (2016)

Genre: Drama, Fantasy

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson

IMDb:7.7 of 5,000 ratings

Another film from 2016 that is getting a wide screen release in America in early 2017. Probably because the earlier months were too jammed with movies and January is a safe dumping ground for movies worth something.  This movie was described as powerful and heart wrenching. It has Liam Neeson which is often something worth your time. This is my must watch film of January 2017.

 

January 13th

Live by Night (2016)

Genre: Crime, Drama

Director: Ben Affleck

Starring: Ben Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Anthony Michael Hall, Brendan Gleeson, Scott Eastwood, Sienna Miller, Elle Fanning

IMDb: 7.6 of 589 ratings

A story about a group of people who during prohibition became involved with the growing organized crime ring supplying alcohol to speakeasies.

Ben Affleck is a talented director and he brings with him a star-studded cast to feature in this crime drama.  I may not be a fan of this style of movie (must deal with enough crime in present day), but looks to be a solid Oscar contender filled with Oscar talent. (Not that you need an Oscar to be talented, but it doesn’t hurt.)  If you enjoy a solid crime flick, this film is for you.

Monster Trucks– Kids need movies too. Need to find a way to occupy some time? Send them to this “gem”. It looks as ridiculous as it sounds.

The Bye Bye Man – Sigh, just watch Sinister (2012) or the hundred other versions of this. Save your money!

XXX: Return of Xander Cage– That’s right, they actually did it. They brought back Vin Diesel for another XXX movie.  The first one was ridiculous and quite bad (it was fun though, be honest). This one just looks like barely watchable nonsense. XXX should never have had a sequel let alone another.

Split– M. Night Shyamalan keeps finding money to make films and I’m not sure why.  His last film was The Visit (2015) and I will admit while not great, it wasn’t his worst movie. From the looks of this film, it is probably a bit better than recent installments Shymally (just going with random nicknames now) has made.  James McAvoy is a very talented actor and he could save this movie.  We all know it will have a twist at the end.  (It was all a dream!) I’m not going to rip it to shreds, but be cautious going to this film. (Unless you love Shyamalan.)

The Founder (2016)- McDonalds needs more advertising I guess. I am not a fan of biopics and even less so of McDonalds.  The movie does have Michael Keaton and Nick Offerman, therefore I’m going to guess aspects of the film such as the acting won’t be terrible.  Still, I have no interest in the story and not even two actors I like are going to drag me to this film. I’d sooner eat at one those “restaurants”.

The Red Turtle– An Animated French film lacking dialog of any kind. If you enjoy that artistic style, then by all means enjoy. Animation is moving art and I often appreciate that.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter–  Talk about a franchise that won’t die! They make terrible movie one after the other, but if they have Milla Jovovich. Sure, why not? Stop making these films! Have any actually been good? If so, I haven’t seen that one. Trash like this is why the movie business really struggles at times. Who wants to really see another one of these besides a niche market. (For those in that niche market, don’t listen to me. Go and enjoy this movie for all its “glory” and don’t apologize.  For the rest of us, let’s go watch something worthwhile, obvious not a new release in January.)

A Dog’s Purpose– A very cute idea, but from a creative standpoint it would be a far better short film than feature length movie. It will pull at the heart strings to the point of inducing nausea.

January 27th

Bastards

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Owen Wilson, J.K. Simmons, Ed Helms, Glen Close, Harry Shearer, Katt Williams, Terry Bradshaw, Retta (Parks and Rec!), Ving Rhames.

The last week of January is the best chance to get a decent film. This may be the first watchable comedy of the year. The trailer looks decent (I always like when a comedic trailer can make me laugh some.) The cast is also filled with talented and interesting people. Chances are that this movie isn’t going to be the funniest film of 2016, but it could be something worth watching and given the dire state of comedy these days, I’ll take it.

Gold (2016)

Genre: Drama, Adventure, Thriller

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, Corey Stoll, Bryce Dallas Harper

6.9 of 106 Ratings

Since Tropic Thunder (2008), it seems the McConausance has been quite strong.  He has picked good scripts and made a lot of great movies. Having McConaughey in your film now instantly gets it noticed and possibly amps the possibility of Oscar talk. His last movie was Free State of Jones (2016) which received mixed reviews though most agreed that he was the best aspect of the film. (The man has become a good actor.) Gold is about two people going on an adventure to find gold in Indonesia and actually finding it. Turns out that finding the gold and becoming extremely wealthy overnight was the easy part as now things have gone haywire in many unpredictable ways.

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About Andrew the Movie Guy 14

Andrew was born and raised in New England. Fell in love with movies at an early age thanks to Disney's Golden Age in the 1990's. Developed a respect for older films thanks to his grandfather. Now has viewed well over a 1,000 films from the very first films all the way to the present day. Andrew's favorite movies are numerous, but he counts The Princess Bride, Jaws, Arsenic and Old Lace, 12 Angry Men, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Lion King among his regular top five of all time.
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