I have some things I want to say.
So this is an experimental word-vomit article about many, many, many things I have observed this year. Most of these observations have irritated me or worse.
In retrospect, this article may not even be worth reading, but I’m going to write it anyway, because there’s things I’d love to call out.
Take these thoughts as you will. Lots of them will be very, very controversial, but I would argue that none of them are wrong.
There’s a lot in here, guys. I’ve put pictures to represent each topic, so if you see a picture and read the first two sentences, and decide you’re not interested, then just skip to the next one.
I’ll start by saying this: I hate the term “all film criticism is subjective.”
I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate that phrase. It is extraordinarily untrue, and most people use it so that they don’t have to defend their indefensible film critiques. Now that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong if you “like” or “dislike” a movie. I mean shoot, there’s people who like The Emoji Movie. But that doesn’t say anything about whether or not it’s a good movie.
Let me ask you this: would you accept the following phrases?
“The cinematography and soundtrack of Moonlight was awful.”
“The Emoji Movie is a good movie because emojis are mainstream in our culture.”
“There is nothing good about the films mother! or La La Land.”
Now you can say these things (and in fact I’ve seen some people make statements like this verbatim), but all of these statements are objectively false.
Now for the dense people reading this article who require me to explain this further: yes these statements are objectively false:
- As a person who thought Moonlight was overrated, I cannot objectively deny that the soundtrack was unique and beautiful, and that the cinematography was smooth and eye-catching.
- Whether or not emojis are mainstream to our culture has nothing to do with the quality of The Emoji Movie, objectively.
- And whether you liked or disliked mother! and La La Land, you cannot say that they failed in every aspect because both movies have some great accomplishments.
So yes, there is at least some objectivity to film critique. Obviously, not all film critique is objective. I’m not saying that at all…
…But my rule of thumb is “If you say something about a movie, you better be prepared to objectively defend that statement.”
So if someone says something ridiculous like “I thought the characters in the Pete’s Dragon remake were really fleshed out.” I will ask you “How?” Or “Why?”
If you cannot defend your film observations then people should rightfully deduce that you’re a hack.
I have looked over my best and worst articles of last year extensively, and while I would still hold fast to my lineup for the worst article, I would probably change around my top five of 2016. It would likely go something like this:
5.Swiss Army Man
4.Kubo and the Two String
2.Hell or High Water
1.La La Land
Yes, La La Land is still number one, and the people who say this movie is overrated are still dumb.
The reason for this change is that overtime, I’ve grown a deeper appreciation for Hell or Highwater and Arrival, and I’ve grown less of an appreciation for Swiss Army Man and Kubo and the Two String. I still really enjoy all of these movies, but there are some that I think are better than others now.
There’s a weird sub-section of The Last Jedi fandom that think the fanboys are the ones who hate the film. I have heard a lot of arguments that went something like “I’m sick of all these Star Wars fanboys and how much they hate The Last Jedi.”
No. That’s not how that works.
If that were the case, then I would be a fanboy of The Force Awakens when I was within the small handful of people that had criticisms for it when it first came out (before hating The Force Awakens became cool).
This, of course, branches out from the hatred of “fanboys”. Nobody wants to be a fanboy anymore because the term is now synonymous with blind allegiance and a refusal to see criticisms of their favorite media.
…Which describes The Last Jedi defenders… not so much The Last Jedi critics.
Yet the defenders somehow grabbed ahold of the term and have beaten people over the head, punishing those who didn’t like the film. A lot of Twitter idiots and a lot of nerd-culture celebrities have been utilizing it the most.
It’s very entertaining seeing them use this term. I wonder if they’ll ever gain any sort of self awareness.
2017 has convinced me that Meryl Streep is a garbage human being. Before then, I just thought she was just an overrated actress who was pompous, out-of-touch, and full of herself.
Now, after this Harvey Weinstein stuff, I actually hate her. Aside from maybe Ben Affleck, Streep’s responses to Weinstein are the most disingenuous I’ve seen (referring to his actions as “disrespect”. Bullocks. She’d have stronger words for Harvey Weinstein if he was a Republican Senator instead of being a former Hollywood heavyweight. Later, she was asked about her silence on these sexual assaults. Her obvious and predictable diversion was to point at Trump and basically say “What about their silence?”)
And Considering that bitch still defends Roman Polanski, a man who pled guilty to raping a child, I find it hard to believe that she now believes Weinstein is a bad guy, and I don’t believe her when she said she didn’t know.
I’m not a mind reader, so she could very well have a change of heart about Weinstein, but I think that’s out of character for her. I think her actions prove otherwise.
I have heard A LOT of talk about trying to get Wonder Woman nominated for Oscars. It is absolutely absurd.
There are no major acting, writing, directing, or cinematography-ing accomplishments that Wonder Woman can boast. It can boast about its box office numbers. And it can boast about having a good female lead with a good female director. But being a good director, male or female, doesn’t qualify for awards.
What was even more absurd was one movie twitter guy actually wrote an article arguing for why we should get WW nominated for an Oscar.
I read it because I wanted to see if it would make any good points; I’ve read other stuff from this particular author, so I had a feeling it would be a garbage article, but boy oh boy, was that ever the understatement.
His arguments for a Wonder Woman Oscar nomination were
- To stand up for women everywhere.
- As a symbolic middle finger to Trump and Weinstein.
If the reasons for why these arguments are abhorrent is not self-evident to you, allow me to explain:
Giving a golden statue to a movie about a woman superhero isn’t some grand statement about how we as a society love women. I honestly don’t understand the connection. Additionally, Trump and Weinstein have never addressed any comprehensible disdain for the movie, and Wonder Woman doesn’t take any pot shots at Trump or Weinstein, or any character that resembles either.
The author just wanted to feel special in his ability to virtue signal. That’s why he didn’t actually make any compelling case for the movie itself. And it’s also why, when I critiqued his article in a way that I KNEW he would see it, he didn’t make any rebuttal.
Here’s a reminder to everyone who boycotted A Dog’s Purpose this year because they found TMZ to be an unquestionable source of reporting: you are all morons, and your boycott was for nothing.
Kate McKinnon is the worst thing in the entire world. Last year, she was the worst thing about Ghostbusters, and this year she was the worst thing about Leap!.
I’d honestly go in and say she was also the worst thing about Masterminds, but quite honestly every single element of Masterminds was indeed the worst.
Like honestly, for those of you who love Kate McKinnon, link me to something you’ve seen that you think she’s hilarious in. I’ve seen her in all three aforementioned films, I’ve seen her in quite a few SNL skits. She is cancerously unfunny in everything I’ve seen her in. Somebody please explain to me why people find this person comedically talented.
I know I said I disliked Despicable Me 3, and I still do, but I think it probably has the most relatable villain of year (for me). Yes, he’s really only defined by his obsession with a specific time period (something that Kingsman decided to repeat), but as soon as I realized he wanted to destroy all of Hollywood, all of a sudden, he became a very sympathetic character. Balthazar Bratt is a bit of a hero to me. I’m sad he didn’t get what he wanted.
While we’re at it, this year has been miserable for Hollywood. So many actors, directors, and producers being knocked down a peg with hundreds of allegations of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct.
(No jail time just yet, and no signs of legitimate change, but hey. A lot of actresses wore black, so we’re making progress. They even shamed a woman who didn’t wear black. Stunning and brave.)
I say good. First and foremost, I hope that legitimate change does happen, and that this begins to create an environment where powerful people can stop taking advantage of women, men and children, but I also hope this will destroy this laughable respect people seem to have for the Hollywood elite. A great swath of them are pompous, elitist, and condescending.
It would be nice if this is the beginning of the end of their social power.
Movies that people argued with me about after reading my review:
—Fifty Shades Darker, a movie that I didn’t even see but instead trolled people with my fake review of it. (read here if you’d like) All of the women who got angry at me were relatives of mine, too. It was odd…
—Cars 3, a review that caused a woman that I used to work with to go nuts with rage when she realized I gave it a 2 out of 10. She never made any good points that proved me wrong. She just became incessantly argumentative until I stopped responding to her. She has since deleted her comments to me and blocked me. Good riddance.
—My Little Pony: The Movie, a review that caused about four or five different bronies to get really mean-angry at me because of what I said about it. One of them kept insulting me, and then blocked me once I got snarky back at him. But not before letting me know that “Your mother raped you.”
Yet another one simply blocked me for saying “My Little Pony is for little girls”, even though it objectively is.
It wasn’t all bad. There were some heated arguments that ended up turning to respectful discussions. Aside from that, there’s a large handful of Bronies that’ll get whiny and/or vile if you attack their precious cartoon.
There’s this weird trend I’ve seen where people are hating on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. <Spoilers incoming>
The biggest reasons I’ve seen is that a lot of people think that their portrayal of racism is, as they say, “problematic”. Most of them also have a problem with Sam Rockwell and believe that the movie gives him a pass from being a racist cop and shitty human being because he did a couple of nice things.
Whoever thinks these things either did not understand the movie, purposefully saw it through a lens that could allow them to virtue signal, or at the very least aren’t able to articulate these complaints in a way that makes sense to me.
Honestly, anyone who holds these views are doing me a favor as they have helped me realize that their opinions on movies are not worth listening to.
I remember at one point in the year where people were acting as if casting one white person in Aladdin was a big deal.
A friend of mine said that it was because the casting of one single white person in an originally non-white movie stunk of “white imperialism”.
I wanted to ask him “Okay, so by that logic, was the new Beauty and the Beast movie an example of black imperialism? Because that movie made a LOT of black roles for a movie that originally had none.”
Of course, I know how those conversations usually turn out, so I decided to say nothing.
By the way, the correct answer, unless you wanted to be a disingenuous hack, is “Neither casting decision was wrong.” Because they’re works of fiction.
You could also say “Both casting decisions were wrong.” I wouldn’t agree with you, but at least you were being intellectually honest.
But then again, many of these people were the same people who got angry about the casting of Jasmine because the actress wasn’t the CORRECT shade of brown.
You cannot satisfy these people.
At one point, I thought it would be fun to follow 100 different celebrities on twitter and then write an article about my experience.
It was not fun. Not at all.
Well, I got Chris Hardwick to block me, and that was fun.
But here’s a few things I learned:
–Most celebrities either use their twitter to rant endlessly about politics or to promote their new movies (sometimes both).
— Cher is out of her ever-loving mind.
— Anna Kendrick is an absolute delight, and she’s one of the only accounts I haven’t mass-unfollowed.
— Nick Offerman is not nearly as intelligent or well-spoken as I thought he would be.
— John Leguizamo is a vile, vicious, hateful cretin.
— Hugh Jackman may very well be the nicest person in the world.
—George Takei doesn’t tweet about anything except for how much he hates Trump (guess how quickly that got old?) (also I guess now he also tweets about how he didn’t sexually harass or grope anyone… his comments were just… locker room talk)
Look, I’m sorry I keep talking about The Last Jedi, but the fans of this film are some of the most infuriating cretins in the entire world.
It’s not because they liked the film (that just means they have bad opinions, and everybody has at least a few bad opinions). It’s because their arguments against “haters” are some of the worst and irritating arguments in the world.
The biggest reason I hate The Last Jedi defenders is because, in order to defend their precious film, they decided that nuance doesn’t matter anymore.
So they take some ambiguous scene from the original trilogy that vaguely relates to a TLJ scene that people criticize, and they use it to ridicule the criticism. Most of the time, these arguments are absolute shit. It has become a massive point of contention for me whenever I’m on Twitter.
I am trying so hard not to pick fights with these people (because arguing over an overrated Space Opera series is not worth the time), but sometimes I end up doing it anyway because I hate shitty arguments.
There’s a guy I follow who doesn’t normally get on my nerves, but after a month of gushing about the “genius” of The Last Jedi, and retweeting shitty arguments against TLJ critics, I had to mute him. It was either that or start tearing him a new one.
I decided not to see Call Me by Your Name this year.
Now I was originally excited for this movie because I heard that it was a sincere gay love story, and while that doesn’t really appeal to me, I wanted to give it a chance because every gay love movie I’ve seen was primarily driven by sexual tension instead of personal chemistry (insert random mention of “Battle of the Sexes” and “Moonlight” here).
And then I found out that the characters in the romance were a 24 year old man and a 17 year old boy.
Now I knew right off the bat why they decided to make him 17-years-old: it was young enough to be taboo, but not so young enough for the mass public to be outraged.
Now when I tweeted about this, a guy whose opinions I like said that the romance was treated tenderly and not grossly. He also told me that it was the 17-year-old was the one pursuing the older man.
Okay, let me put it into perspective for you guys. I’m 26 and still in college. Let’s say I’m not married. Let’s say I started having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl (still in high school, mind you). Nobody would make a movie out of that. Nobody should make a movie out of it. It’s creepy as hell, and those two specific age groups are significantly different in regards to maturity.
Now, would it make any difference to you if I said that the 17-year-old pursued me? It shouldn’t, because that doesn’t take away my responsibility as an adult.
You may say, “she’s at the age of consent, so it should be fine”. Hell no it isn’t. Again, any intellectually honest person will tell you that there is a drastic difference in maturity between ages 24-26 and 17. There’s obviously exceptions, but they’re called exceptions for a reason.
Holy shit, the fact that I have to explain this baffles me and enrages me.
Now no, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make a film that portrays something bad. My favorite film of the year has some extremely terrible people doing bad things. What I’m saying is that I’m not going to go to a movie that glorifies such things. If Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri showed Sam Rockwell’s racism and portrayed it as a good thing (something that a lot of idiots are arguing it does), then I would have a problem with the movie.
So with all due respect, I’ll pass on watching the glorification of a 24-year-old fucking a 17-year-old. Of any gender or sexuality.
Speaking of which, I have yet to see a gay-love movie that doesn’t also try to do something gross.
Battle of the Sexes basically glorifies infidelity, and essentially assumes that the most important thing in life (aside from not being sexist) is to “be yourself”, no matter who it’s at the expense of. What’s worse is that the love story between the two is less about how amazing their chemistry is and is more about how wet they make each other.
I might get a lot of flack for this, but Moonlight basically sexualizes children, and they definitely sexualize teenagers.
I haven’t seen Brokeback Mountain, but I know it’s basically like Battle of the Sexes.
I wonder why lots of LGBT films are like this? In all honesty, if someone has a great gay film that is not also trying to do something like this, let me know. I’m genuinely interested.
Hey, does anybody remember after Stranger Things 2, when there were articles coming out trying to sexualize Millie Bobby Brown, the 13-year-old who plays Eleven?
Like honestly, at this point, it takes a lot to shock and disgust me, but I wasn’t prepared to read those headlines. She’s thirteen years old, holy shit. Not one of the hundreds of Film Twitter accounts I follow picked up on this either.
Maybe they just weren’t paying attention.
Below are more screenshots that I found basically sexualizing a 13-year-old kid.
If you’ve read my Worst of the Year list, you might possibly be wondering why I didn’t mention The Book of Henry, a movie so poorly received that Disney “let go” of Colin Trevorrow from directing Star Wars Episode IX (allegedly, of course, wink wink).
The biggest reason was because despite how awful the movie was, the two child actors, Jaeden Lieberher and Jacob Tremblay, somehow pull off a lot of the awful dialogue they were handed.
The second reason was because the premise, while horribly executed, was one that I thought was great.
Thirdly, because people hated this movie, but they loved Beauty and the Beast, so I felt it more important to remind people of why the latter sucked.
Want to hear something scary? There are actually people in this world that think the line “We won’t win this war by killing the things we hate, but by saving the things we love.” is the best line in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”.
Good God, how?
I have had MANY an argument with diehard The Last Jedi fans, and nearly all of them have conceded that this line is stupid.
Like, honestly… I just can’t fathom people who think this line was not only good but “the best”. I have no other words.
You know what? Despite how incessantly irritated I get when people fawn over Wonder Woman, I would rather have that than what we had last year.
Last year, both DCEU movies made my Worst of 2016 list.
This year, neither DCEU movie came even close to being in my Worst or 2017 list.
That’s progress to me, and I’ll take it.
(Yes I know many of you think Justice League sucks. Yes, many of your arguments are valid. No, despite the laughably bad CGI, I don’t think it failed as a movie enough to merit coming close to my worst list. I would rather have a story that’s cohesive enough to work than have amazing CGI… which is why I hated The Last Jedi but didn’t hate Justice League).
Speaking of which, it wasn’t until I saw Justice League that I finally found out why I’m growing tired of Marvel: there is no emotional weight to anything. There was some glimmers of it during the Captain America: Winter Soldier, but ever since the domination of Guardians of the Galaxy, they somehow decided to have every movie emulate that and have every protagonist be a watered down version of Peter Quill / Tony Stark.
Justice League, while very flawed, did have some sort of emotional weight to things. Now obviously, it’s not like JL did this flawlessly, but at least they had some semblance of it.
The best move Valerian could’ve done would have been to call themselves
“Star Wars: The City of a Thousand Planets”.
Then, it would’ve immediately had a built-in fan base to defend it.
The staunchest defenses I’ve seen of The Last Jedi are “It’s the most unique Star Wars movies I’ve ever seen.”
I agree. But comparing its uniqueness to other Star Wars films does not inherently make it a good film.
I firmly believe without any shadow of a doubt, that if The Last Jedi was some sort of random space movie like Valerian, then it would only have a handful of passionate people defending it, and they wouldn’t be taken very seriously, just like how Valerian and its fanbase is being treated now.
Ah well. Time has always been an enemy of Star Wars movies (unless you’re Empire Strikes Back, then it’s your best friend).
That’s why almost no one rightfully called the Prequels bad until years later.
Time has already been unkind to The Force Awakens and Rogue One. I believe it’ll be unkind to The Last Jedi as well. If there was any justice, then time will ravage it.
The vast majority of conversations I’ve had from The Last Jedi fans have shown that almost all of its support is emotionally-based and/or off of some sort of notion that The Last Jedi broke new ground “as a Star Wars film”.
There’s very few compliments about The Last Jedi as a film though. There’s some people who go on about Adam Driver’s performance, the great CGI, and apparently it had “amazing cinematography” (people will have to explain that one to me). But no one ever mentions the story unless they want to gush about how different it is from other Star Wars films.
The number of people defending The Last Jedi two years from now will be cut in half. Mark my words.