They say the summer movie season starts in May, and by all accounts this year isn’t expected to be a very profitable one, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything in terms of quality, Lost World sucked and still made a fortune. Either way, I just want to have a good time at the movies, so hopefully some of these promising popcorn pictures will be entertaining.
So while I wait for drive-in season to get underway, and all the blockbusters to start filling the multiplexes, I thought I would take a look at my favorite films of the year so far.
Will any of these make it to my year end list when all the Oscar bait hits? We’ll see.
Spoiler warnings from here out.
5. Split – At some point in time, it became fun to rag on M. Night Shyamalan for making movies with twist endings, and then it just became fun to rag on him in general. If we’re being honest, the guy made a couple of excellent movies, a couple of decent movies and a couple of duds. Not the best average, but better than most and still someone to keep an eye out for when he releases a new movie.
It would take an unbelievable run of shit for the rest of the year to keep Split in my top 5 at the end of the year, but for a February release, it was pretty good.
James McAvoy was great. The story kept me engaged the entire time. And overall, I had a good time with this. Give me something of this caliber every week, and I’ll be a happy guy.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 – Kurt Russell is having one hell of a year. Not that anyone should have to be convinced to cast him in any role, but here he pretty much solves the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s main problem…lousy villains.
It also doesn’t hurt that the Guardians series is the colorful, weird, fun and not so damn serious one in the MCU. I don’t mean to pull the film snob card on comic book or blockbuster movies, I just enjoy the fact that these feel different than the other superhero adventures out there.
One of my favorite elements of the Star Wars series is the wide variety of strange creatures on exotic lands. The Guardians of the Galaxy series picks up on that thread well.
3. John Wick Chapter 2 – I love everything about the John Wick series. I love Keanu in this role. I love the world they have made. I love the action in these movies. I love that these movies don’t try to be cute. They aim to make badass movies, and badass movies are what they make.
John Wick Chapter 2 picks up where the original left off, expands on the world it’s created and leaves us poised for an interesting final installment in what could be an all time great trilogy. Seriously, if they don’t drop the ball in chapter 3, this could be a really awesome series.
2. Logan – I remember going to see the first X-Men movie on its opening night 17 years ago at this incredibly dumpy theater that was the last of the little theaters to close when the multiplexes with stadium seating and leather chairs came to town. It was a packed house that night and everyone in the place was operating at maximum geek levels when Wolverine, Magneto, Mystique and Professor X graced the screen. All these years later, as Jackman and Stewart bid these characters farewell, I can’t help but tip my hat at how well they wrapped it up.
The X-Men movies always seemed to be a little bit smarter than your average comic book fare and Logan followed in that tradition well. They weren’t looking to sell kids meals or move cereal boxes here, this was bloody and gritty and an absolutely perfect way to say goodbye.
1. F8 – At 10:40am on the Friday of its release I went and saw Fate of the Furious, the 8th installment of the Fast and Furious series. At 11:30pm the smile that started during the opening sequence in Cuba was still on my face.
I love these movies. They are crazy and fun and more charming than silly action movies should be. I can’t wait to see what they do next.