Friday, December 29, 2017

Flick Hit's Top 10 Movies of 2017

J-Dawg

1. Logan
A great film including story, actors, and all-around entertainment. A stupendous film send-off for Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine. Definitely my number one.


2. Only The Brave
This story of everyday heroes battling fires as a living was something else. The ending had me in tears and I appreciate those that do something so dangerous. Very emotional movie.

3. Coco
Disney and Pixar never seem to falter in their animation and this story hit me at home because of the culture they shared with us. It was eye opening and I learned a lot. It was very beautiful. 

4. Spiderman: Homecoming
I have enjoyed all the Spiderman movies to date and am finally glad that he has made his appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland's performance as Spiderman finding his way into being a hero was astounding. 

5. Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman and she brought back DC films from the brink of death. The rest of DC will have to follow what this film did to make a comeback. Truly a film DC needed and a director and leading actress that made it happen. 

6. Baby Driver
This movie flowed like a river with it's music and how they did it so great, I have no idea. It was very entertaining and had a real soul all the way through, and man can "baby" drive when the tunes hit.

7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
One of the most controversial Star Wars movies. Sure some things are new, but different is always a great thing. I was glad it didn't follow the original trilogy path because that would of been real dumb and no one likes a copy cat. Can't wait to see how Episode IX turns out! 

8. John Wick 2
The adrenaline flowed with this movie. Keanu Reeves is such a bad ass and the logic behind guns only lasting what the clip really holds and are not always unlimited like any other movie, made this even more realistic. I am always entertained watching this film and its story of secret assasins. 

9. IT
Not really a total horror flick because sometimes it made me chuckle. Bill Skarsgärd as Pennywise was thrilling and exciting in a weird way. The kids themselves made this movie even more exciting than Pennywise. Stephen King is surely happy how this turned out. 

10. Beauty and the Beast
One of a select few of my favorite disney films as a kid was Beauty and the Beast. Seeing it brought to life was awesome. Emma Watson as Belle was really just magical and Beast was horrifyingly great. Disney's live-action films haven't faltered and I want more! 

Honorable Mentions:
  • Split
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Get Out
  • Wind River

D-Sidd

1. Logan

A stunning, haunting film all the way around. Hugh Jackman had the perfect exit as the Wolverine and the supporting cast was fantastic as well. I loved the direction they took with the Mutant Universe. Logan didn’t pull any punches and set a new standard for “superhero” films.

2. Coco
After a couple of misses, Pixar knocked this one out of the park. A beautiful blend of story, song, and animation, Coco isn’t just one of my top movies for 2017, it’s one of my favorite Pixar movies of all-time. 

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Not going to rant at all the haters here. Yes, there were some clunky scenes and a few lines that fell flat. Even so, The Last Jedi took the Star Wars saga in a bold new direction. I’m glad that JJ Abrams is taking the reins to finish off this trilogy but will still look forward to Rian Johnson’s standalone trilogy. #PorgNation

4. Logan Lucky
A clever heist film with a stellar, all-star cast. In a culture of action films and sequels, Logan Lucky was a breath of fresh air that didn’t get enough love. The twists and turns and deadpan humor came together in a wonderful film. Before you knock Adam Driver because of Kylo Ren, check him out in Logan Lucky.

5. Thor: Ragnarok
I would have never guessed Thor Ragnarok would have made my Top 10 at the start of the year. Before this, the Thor films were my least favorite in the Marvel Universe. But Ragnarok was a fun ride with snappy humor and a solid storyline.  Another great example of cast chemistry and my favorite superhero flick of the year.

6. Beauty and the Beast
The tale as old as time is Disney’s best live-action film to date, in my opinion. The cast was fantastic (Josh Gad, Luke Evans and Emma Watson in particular) and the music as good as the original.

7. Wonder Woman
By far the best DC film since The Dark Knight Rises, Wonder Woman sets the bar high for female-led superhero films. Gal Gadot was phenomenal and the overall storyline was a better war movie than the original Captain America. The romance between Diana and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) was just right. In fact, the only miss in this movie was keeping David Thewlis’ body as Ares in the big reveal at the end.

8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Yes, there were more over-the-top stunts than ever before in Pirates. But if you look past that (also talking to you Last Jedi haters) it was a solid film and a fitting end (?) to Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. How can the farewell of such an iconic film character not make my top ten? I appreciated the loose ends tied up but not sure what I think about a potential return of Davy Jones.

9. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
2017 took itself WAY too seriously which is perhaps why so many lightweight, fun movies made it into my top ten. I love anything King Arthur and this Guy Ritchie adaptation was no different. There was plenty of action (the slow-mo style from Sherlock Holmes was well done), an awesome musical score refreshing twists to the legend of King Arthur. I would love a sequel.

10. Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle
Speaking of sequels, Kingsman 2 rounds out my top ten. It was just as funny and gruesome as the first but I appreciated the serious undertones that made the film more than a bloody laugh. I had a few issues with the way the story played out but can’t wait for a third.

Honorable mentions

  • John Wick 2
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Kong: Skull Island

Tommy B

1. Coco
The perfect blend of humor, heart, and family, Coco had it all. The animation was unique and captivating and the characters were well-developed and interesting. This is one of my favorite animated films. It's on par with Moana.

2. Logan
Admittedly I'm not a super-hero junkie, but Logan was not your typical superhero flick. It was a dark and gritty portrayal of a complex character and had just the right amount of action mixed with humor and drama. Hugh Jackman's performance was tremendous.   

3. Get Out 
This flick was funny, scary, and had plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. The movie was far more than just an action/horror flick. It was controversial at times because it made a lot of not-so-subtle statements and race and social status. 

4. The Zookeeper's Wife
This was an under-the-radar flick that shouldn't be missed. It is a powerful story of a man and wife struggling to survive and help others in worn-torn Europe that will move your emotions. 

5. Lady Bird
A funny and quirky coming-of-age story about a young rebellious teen in California. This a flick that many young people will be able to relate to, and it doesn't follow the typical Hollywood formula.  

6. Wind River
This was an intense flick that tackled a real-life subject I knew little about: brutal crimes on Indian reservations. The cinematography, acting, and plot were all excellent.  

7. Wonder Woman
Again, I'm not the biggest superhero fan, but I did appreciate many aspects of this film, including the story, special effects, and acting abilities of Gal Gadot. She was the perfect choice for a strong female lead, and it was refreshing to see. Sure, it was a bit cheesy at times, but I was willing to overlook that (hey, it's only at #7 anyway). 

8. The Big Sick
I'm always relieved when Hollywood comes us with something fresh and new, and while this flick wasn't great, I appreciated its originality. It offered a unique spin on the romantic comedy genre and provided some interesting insights into what it's like dating outside of your culture.  

9. Baby Driver
This was a fun action flick with a great soundtrack and some interesting characters. The car chase scenes were well-done, and I found myself rooting for the main character along the way. 

10. Split
The acting talents of James McAvoy were on full display. This was a creepy, unsettling flick that will leave you with more questions than answers, but it will keep you engaged the entire way. 

Honorable mentions

  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • IT
_________________________________________________________________________

Flick Hit's Top 10 Movies of 2017

(Based on an average of the above rankings)


1. Logan
2. Coco
3. Wonder Woman
4. The Last Jedi
5. Only the Brave
6. Get Out

(4-way tie)
7. Spiderman Homecoming
7. Baby Driver
7. Thor: Ragnarok
7. Logan Lucky
7. The Zookeeper's Wife

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Greatest Showman Review: The greatest show this holiday season

The Hit:

Who misses Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine? I know he hung up the claws earlier this year but he doesn't fail to impress even in a different genre. This man can sing and keep you entertained. 

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Keala Settle, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Austyn Johnson, Cameron Seely, Sam Humphrey, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. 

Pros: Hugh Jackman was stupendous as P.T. Barnum. I have never really been fond of musicals and to be honest I never saw Les Miserábles. I may now go back and watch it. Jackman's acting didn't falter and the storyline flowed smoothly between his (Characters) life and those in his entertainment troupe. The Greatest Showman's music was very catchy, emotional and each song had significance. Michelle Williams plays Barnum's wife. Her character is a driving force for The Greatest Showman and helps P.T. Barnum through the troubling times. Side characters really fueled the show business especially Keala Settle. The choreography was on point and everything in the background was very catchy. The movie also goes through old life problems of back in the day and they handled it well. Zac Efron and Zendaya, I loved their chemistry and Zac keeps surprising me with his performances.

Cons: None

Again, I have to say that I am not fond of musicals but may now change my mind, because although the story could perhaps have gone without the singing it made it more magical and it sucked me right in. The Greatest Showman is a really great family movie that you should definitely catch during this holiday break, it's not one to miss. 

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Review - Cast chemistry brings the game to life again

The Hit:
Who plays board games nowadays? As we all know, Jumanji is one you would want to avoid. Now, it has evolved to tangle those in its grip in the form of a game console.

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Ser'Darious Blain, Madison Iseman, Morgan Turner, and Bobby Cannavale. 

Pros: First thing that got me hooked was the chemistry between the actors. The roles they were playing were spot on. The person that really nailed their part of a teenage "popular" girl was Jack Black, he was hilarious. I liked the new version of the game, it took the basic concepts of what a video game is supposed to be and all the rules involved, which includes things like abilities and how many lives you have which was a real factor in their journey to get out. There is a nod to the previous Jumanji film within the game that I noticed. I could tell in the theatre that most missed it but I hope you notice it as well, so keep a lookout. Dwayne Johnson is a marvelous actor and although he is in a lot of movies he is gold in whatever role he is playing, including this film. Very fun adventure from start to finish.

Cons: I think Jumanji was two hours. It went by too fast and could have of been longer. With that in mind, the very end needed a little more depth to see how their lives went on after the game. Nick Jonas was a very meh character but his role in the game was important to bring them all together I guess.

Jumanji was very entertaining and I wouldn't mind seeing it again for the laughs and adventures, especially Jack Black playing as Bethany. The action was well done and also the music, especially those classic Jumanjii drums in the background. You'll leave with a smile on your face that's for sure. 

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it)

Friday, December 15, 2017

Star Wars The Last Jedi Review: Boldly follows its own path

The Hit:

Star Wars Episode (VIII) 8 was one story that really was something we haven't seen in any Star Wars movie to date, which is why you will want to see it twice to fully enjoy it. 

Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Gwendoline Christie, and Benicio Del Toro.

Pros: Mark Hamill did amazing playing Luke and was refreshing getting to experience that character again. His reprisal of Skywalker came close to an Oscar-worthy performance. Poe Dameron had some sick skills when shooting down TIE Fighters but in The Last Jedi, you get to see more of those skills which sets him apart from all the others, truly a genius in the air and space. Kylo Ren and Rey both struggling in finding their place in the galaxy provided a fresh perspective on the Force and how it balances. Leadership skills are not to be taken granted, Poe learned a hard truth in that. Action scenes were beautiful, either with a lightsaber or not. New creatures in this galaxy from far far away initially bugged me but in the end were okay to have around. A lot of exploration into the "Force" and I loved that. 

Cons: Story was good but not great. There was a chunk of a storyline which I won't spoil that could have been totally left out of the movie. Wish we got more of a backstory or action from Captain Phasma. The Last Jedi revolved in three certain areas and some scenes out of two of the three didn't make much sense. Some humor was forced and you could tell it was Disneyfied but some was great when it needed to be. 

To really enjoy and appreciate The Last Jedi you might have to see it twice and that is something I've never had to deal with. The first time, a lot of the storyline bothered me but I grew to appreciate it more after another viewing. All the pieces fell into place. The Last Jedi is not even close to being the best Star Wars movie but it sure is one that was different from the rest. 

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it^2)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Coco Review: Beautiful animation and strong themes celebrate Mexican culture

The Hit:

Disney's Pixar has yet again made a movie invoking great emotions. Coco's message is one we can all relate to: always remember family and know where your roots come from throughout your family history. 

Cast: Anthony Gonzales, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Victor, Jaime Camil, Lombardo Boyar, Sofia Espinosa.

Pros: The animation was incredible: the characters, the background, everything from the floor to the sky was astounding. Coco really grabbed the essence of what Mexico looks like and how the Day of the Dead is celebrated. The spirit world was very colorful and had me admiring every scene. The story was also well done. I learned more about my own culture, especially the Day of the Dead and the importance of it. Following Miguel as he discovered himself and his family was very touching. The music was a beautiful mix of English and Spanish so everyone could understand.

Cons: The only con is my own fault. Even with my Mexican descent, I do not know very much about what the Day of the Dead truly is and how you celebrate. Coco was very eye-opening and I felt a little embarrassed by my lack of knowledge.

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it)

I walked in knowing very little about the Day of the Dead and left wanting to know more. Coco took a lot of time and effort to know the exact details of the Mexican culture and they got it all exactly right. Besides the Day of the Dead which I don't know much about, everything else seemed so familiar and well done. The theme was about family, currently living and those that have passed on. It left me teary-eyed and smiling. For a good family movie no matter your heritage, don't miss Coco.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Justice League Review: DC continues to improve

The Hit:

Another DC film in the books with another shot at either it being good or bad. Did Justice League meet the hype or was it another letdown?

Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons, Ciarán Hinds, Joe Morton, and Amber Heard.

Pros: I love DC as much as Marvel (as you all must know by now) and lately DC has been struggling in their movies since The awesome Dark Knight Trilogy. Wonder Woman was a surprising hit and with that, a standard for all other DC films to follow. I loved the chemistry between all the heroes in Justice League and somehow I felt Wonder Woman was the glue that kept everyone together along with Bruce. The Flash had some funny scenes and made the tone of the movie lighter and enjoyable by his awkwardness. During troubling times and in hardship, coming together as a team is what made me love Justice League as a kid and seeing it on screen was magical. There are glimpses of another soon to be Justice League member that had me squeal like a kid which I won't spoil. 

Cons: Some of the CGI was too much and the villain, Steppenwolf, had a lot to do with it. I think I'd have preferred someone physically playing the role instead of CGI. Other CGI scenes were a little too much but not enough for me to hate the whole film. Justice League's story was better and not dragged or too fast like Batman v. Superman or Suicide Squad. I would have liked it to be a little longer to get more of a back story to the new super heroes introduced. But having their own movies coming out (The Flash, Aquaman) will be nice to flesh out the world and characters. Humor during the beginning wasn't really funny but got more enjoyable toward the end.  

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it)

I really enjoyed Justice League and to me it was indeed better than Batman v Superman and almost as good as Wonder Woman. I would suggest you see this and give it your own opinion. The Rotten Tomatoes score has it low but honestly it should at least be Fresh. I do not understand where all the hate is coming from. If you are a DC fan and have been disappointed in the last couple DC films (except Wonder Woman) you will be surprised how good this is. Don't forget to sit through the credits (mid and end).

Friday, November 3, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok Review: By far the best in the Thor franchise

The Hit:

I'm not one to ever put superhero movies on the negative side, but out of all the three "Thor" movies, Thor Ragnarok was by far the best. 

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, Taika Waititi, and Benedict Cumberbatch. 

Pros: The humor is one of the key things that made Thor Ragnarok so much fun: Thor telling old stories, Thor and Hulk's bickering -- it was great. Action, Action, Action, I loved the gladiator fight between Thor and Hulk. The Hulk is my favorite "Marvel superhero" so seeing him back on screen was a welcome sight. Thor and Loki's relationship continued to grow and develop. Although a normal sibling doesn't try to actually kill you, you feel the love/hate relationship between both. Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie was kick ass, she is now on the list of bad ass women superheroes, and I would love to see more of her, maybe even as an Avenger. The story in Thor Ragnarok was really so much better than the first two movies and we actually got a Marvel villain in Hela that maybe be as good as DC's for once.

Cons: One of the after credit scenes was just dumb, but the other was a nice setup for Avengers: Infinity War, which is shaping up to be the biggest movie next year. All of Thor's past allies from Asgard were shown so quickly in scenes that it bothered me that they completely forgot about them and didn't have a big part of the film. There's a scene with guns that had the classic problem of too much ammo but it didn't take away too much.

The Verdict:
GREEN LIGHT (Go See it)