When I first saw an ad for Coco, I felt hopeful. There aren’t very many movies about Mexican people, especially not children and family movies. However, once I watched the trailer, I was massively disappointed. It seems that time and time again, movies that revolve around Mexicans are about either Día de los Muertos or drugs. I get it.
It’s been three months since The New York Times released its bombshell story about Harvey Weinstein. Since then, more and more sexual offenders have been brought to light, and the entertainment industry has been rocked to its core. I can’t even begin to name all the actors, producers and so on who have had allegations come to light against them. It’s become a huge movement, but has sparked some backlash too. So I figured I would put my own voice out there, focusing on one case that hit close to me and my field: John Lasseter.
2017 is over. Another year gone. I’d put more of the typical “new years” style fluff here, but I’ll just jump right into the story. Here’s some of my personal highlights from 2017:
The Lego Batman Movie
Warner Brothers delivered the first major animated release of the year, and they delivered a great film. It’s energetic, thrilling, pull-out-all-the-stops fun that we all really needed at that point, for one reason or another.
If you’ve never seen The Room, let me explain it to you. Most bad movies suffer from a disjointed plot or weak characters. The Room transcends into a different plane. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of how humans act and perceive the world. It’s regarded as one of the worst movies ever… and yet has gained a cult following that’s kept it popular since its release 14 years ago.
With all the hubbub over Star Wars, it’s easy to forget that any other movies came out this past weekend. Alongside the box office juggernaut came Ferdinand, the latest entry from Blue Sky Studios. Ferdinand is based off the 1936 classic children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand. It’s a story of a bull who doesn’t want to fight, but instead wishes to smell flowers. When he’s thrust into the arena, he ignores the provocations of the bullfighters and others.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released Friday to mixed-but-generally-positive review among The Sun’s Arts and Entertainment Staff. Several staff members contributed short reviews, and here are the main points:
The film played along with the established Star Wars plots and themes, but added some originality that was lacking in The Force Awakens. Mark Hamill’s Luke was more impressive than ever. Some of the character development and one of the subplots fell short. The battle scenes, lightsaber fights, and new planets met the necessary standards of excellence.
I’ve wanted to write about Christian media and “Christian” media for a long time. Of course, my strength is in animation, so for the most part I’ve stayed quiet. This past week though, we had the release of The Star, and I figured now was the best time for me to lay these feelings out there. I also want to clarify my background with all of this. I consider myself a fairly devout Catholic.
For the record, that’s not some clever title from me, that’s just the title of the movie. And, to be fair, why wouldn’t it be? That’s what the movie’s about: three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. Maybe it’s because lately I’ve only been seeing superhero movies, which I’ve been harshly informed are “the avatar of the dearth of creativity in American capitalism” (whatever that means), but Three Billboards really surprised me… in that it wasn’t called “Ebbing, Missouri: Age of Billboards” or “Billboard Battle.”
All jokes aside, I liked this movie and I’m surprised that I did because the title is just one of a couple things that make Three Billboards seem a little “Oscar-baity” on first glance. It’s small, it’s gritty and it tackles some extremely adult themes.
It’s been a long year for animation. While we’ve had a couple good hits here and there, there’s been a lack of quality in many titles. So I really needed Coco. The film opened in Mexico last month, unusual since American studios tend to release their films domestically first. Coco ended up becoming the highest grossing movie of all time in Mexico, and rave reviews heralded an upcoming splendor.