Monday, July 31, 2017

2017 so far - March

So March is the biggest month of 2017 for me as of right now. I saw a lot of good stuff, including my favorite movie of the year so far. For blockbusters, this year has not been skimpy. In fact there have been so many, that March almost kind of felt like the beginning of the "summer season" for movies. Gonna start out with a lesser known though...

Trash Fire

This one almost slipped past my radar, which would have been a shame. Trash Fire is the latest from Richard Bates Jr., the writer/director of Excision and Suburban Gothic. His movies are always fantastic. They are well written, mix a bit of humor into the proceedings, and then totally punch you in the gut at the end. Trash Fire follows Owen, who inadvertently caused a fire that left his parents dead, and his sister deformed. He is currently living with his girlfriend in a not so healthy relationship. When she becomes pregnant, she urges him to reconnect with his estranged family, his grandmother Violet who is a horrible woman prone to strange behavior, and his sister Pearl. He reluctantly agrees, and what was to be a short visit soon turns into a nightmare. I don't want to say any more than that, but holy shit was this a good movie. I caught it on Netflix, and highly recommend it.

Get Out

By now, everybody knows what Get Out is, so there's no need to get into plot details. What I will say is that I ended up enjoying this one more than I thought I would. Unfortunately, based on what I'd seen in the trailers and tv spots, I did sort of think it was predictable, but that didn't necessarily ruin the movie for me. If you really want to hear what I thought about it, we covered it on Werewolves. Check this one out if you haven't.


Again, everyone knows what Logan is. The R-rated supposed finale to Hugh Jackman's run as the Wolverine ends up being one of the best comic books films of all time. I had a couple of issues with it, I felt like the cursing was a bit much and there was some pacing problems with the plot, but overall this is a fantastic movie. The home version came with "Logan Noir" which was the film in black and white, and I quite enjoyed that as well. For the full review, hit that episode of Werewolves linked above. This one sits at the #3 spot as far as comic book movies go this year for me, but with so many others coming later, we'll see if it holds.

Kong Skull Island

For as much as I enjoyed Kong the first time I watched it, I can honestly say I've only grown fonder of it with each viewing. This is the kind of kaiju that hits almost every single note, and I couldn't love it more. It's fun, it's got a big monster beating up other big monsters, there's a laugh or two, the action sequences are amazing, the effects look great, it's simply everything I want from a movie like this. There isn't an unnecessarily complex plot, you know what you're going to get going in. Man shows up unwelcomed, starts dropping bombs, pisses off the locals, and fighting ensues. Only in this case, the locals are huge monsters. This one is easily my favorite Kong movie of all time, and a top five on the year. I can't recommend it enough. Say through the credits!

The Founder

I wouldn't have thought that a movie about Michael Keaton stealing Big Macs from Ron Swanson would be so damn entertaining, but holy shit was The Founder good. The story of Ray Kroc, a traveling milkshake machine salesman who discovers Dick and Mac McDonald's innovative "fast food" eatery, and turns their idea into a billion dollar franchise, screwing the brothers over in the process. While it's a fairly interesting story, what's so great about The Founder is the performances. Keaton is absolutely brilliant as Ray Kroc. You go from feeling sympathy for the guy, rooting for him as he's struggling to get by selling milkshake machines, to being honestly surprised at how ruthless he gets when it comes to what he does to the McDonald brothers. Nick Offerman stands right in there with Keaton, as Dick McDonald, and turns in the performance of his career as well. Highly recommended.

The Devil's Candy

My favorite movie of the year. From start to finish, I sat almost slack jawed at The Devil's Candy. It's superbly shot, well acted, well written, and one of those movies that when I started watching it, I knew I was going to love it. Jesse (Ethan Embry) is a struggling artist who ends up moving with his wife and daughter into their dream home in rural Texas. The property is large, and due to it's history, comes at an affordable price. Jesse turns the barn into a paint studio, but his work suddenly takes a much darker tone, almost as if he's being influenced by strange forces beyond his control. Things get even stranger when the son of the former owners shows up on the porch one night holding a red guitar. Seriously, watch this movie. It really hit home for me in a lot of ways. Jesse is artistic, a metal head, has a young daughter and they have a wonderful relationship, and I just couldn't help but root for the guy. That's probably the thing that The Devil's Candy does best, it makes you care about this family, and want them to be ok. For a movie like this, that is an extremely important detail. Thankfully the character development and performances from the cast are both top notch. This one doesn't have a big body count, there's not a lot of blood, but what it lacks in those departments, it more thank makes up for in atmosphere and dread. If you want to hear me rave about The Devil's Candy further, we covered it on this episode of Werewolves.

That wraps up my favorites from March. Honorable mention nods go out to Fist Fight, which was fucking hilarious, and The Girl With all the Gifts, which you can hear about here. Next up is another big month of goodness in April. Stay tuned.

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