I watched a lot of movies in 2017. Some were great, and some were awful, but many were somewhere in the middle. They had the potential to be decent films but like Bobby Hill, something just wasn’t right. These movies are fun to watch but ultimately forgettable. A lot of them suffer from uninteresting or poorly developed characters, or have great characters but suffer from an identity crisis.
Here’s a list of a few mediocre movies released in 2017 (in no particular order):
Alien: Covenant stars Katherine Waterston as a colony ship scientist named Daniels, and Michael Fassbender, who plays dual roles as two androids named David and Walter, in a sci-fi horror film and the latest installment in the Alien franchise. It was directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Logan and Dante Harper. John Logan is an accomplished screen writer, but this was Dante Harper’s first screenplay. Michael Green (of Sex and the City and Green Lantern) and Jack Paglen are credited with writing the story. So many different writers is probably why Alien: Covenant felt like so many different films. [Read more…]
Wind River. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker and an FBI agent team up to solve a double homicide on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. Wind River is writer-director Taylor Sheridan’s latest offering. Sheridan is known for writing Hell or High Water (2016) and Sicario (2015) and acting in a number of TV dramas. Wind River takes place in Wyoming in early spring and has a very Western feel, despite its snow-swept mountains. Stunning cinematography was not enough to make up for extremely slow pacing and lack of compelling story. Wind River is labeled a “murder mystery thriller film,” but isn’t either of those things. [Read more…]
Suburbicon. A disgruntled middle manager’s insurance scheme unravels in an idyllic 1950s suburb in Suburbicon. Gardner Lodge is a middle-aged man with a disabled wife, Rose, and a young son, Nicky. Their world is shattered when two thugs seemingly break into their home and murder Rose with an overdose of chloroform. Suburbicon was written by the Coen brothers and directed by George Clooney (who revised the screenplay). Joel and Ethan Coen originally wrote the script in 1986. Their effort at finding whatever was laying around for their next film payed off by finishing 9th at the box office on its opening weekend. Suburbicon isn’t bad, necessarily, it’s just uninteresting. [Read more…]
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Based on the French sci-fi comic book Valérian and Laureline by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets follows two interstellar agents on a quest to uncover the cause of a mysterious radiation bubble in Alpha, a massive space station home to over a thousand species from across the galaxy. Valerian is largely a victim of poor timing. Valérian and Laureline came out in 1967 and though not well known in the U.S., had a huge influence on sci-fi films, including The Fifth Element (for which artist Jean-Claude Mézières created concept art). Unfortunately, by 2017 the movie feels like a copy of all the things its source material inspired. [Read more…]
Logan Lucky is a black comedy heist film written by Rebecca Blunt and directed by Steven Soderbergh of Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Traffic (2000), and Erin Brockovich (2000) fame. “Rebecca Blunt” is an unknown British screenwriter, which has led some to speculate the name is a pseudonym. Whatever the case, it’s a fun movie with the same fast-paced and clever film making as the Ocean’s series. Logan Lucky is a well-made and entertaining film that’s fun to watch and keeps the audience on its toes. It plays on Southern stereotypes but not in a condescending or demeaning way and is a welcome departure from the other lazy, poorly written and acted comedies released this year. [Read more…]