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2017, Part I. (Movies, my escapism.)

December 20, 2017

I blinked.


This year has gone by fast. I feel like I started this year off strong, and regardless of my circumstances, I am finishing strong. One of the greatest things I learned this year was not to let my circumstances define me. I am continuing to endure difficult circumstances, poverty and uncertainty. I refuse to let such things bog me down or dictate the course in which I am to live. Defiance is not how I live, yet, in this instance, I think it is okay. Who needs to let negativity and toxic feelings overrun one’s life?

I want to say that this year was good, and that it was full of successful and prosperous moments, but I would be lying. In fact, this year was full of difficult choices, difficult moments, heartache, grief, and loneliness. In contrast, there were many good moments, too. I had many occasion to find time to give thanks, and to praise God for his goodness and provision. I can also say, this year was full of escapism, as well.

In December of last year, I saw what was one of my now favorite movies, Rogue One (A Star Wars Story). I will likely talk about this in a future entry, and I just want to mention that it set the cadence for the number of impressive movies I would see in 2017. I love movies. I have always loved going to the movies, (not for the noisy people who bring their noisy children or plastic crinkling, wrapper opening, popcorn breath smelling annoyances,) but for move my love of cinematography. It is hard to find a quiet theater anymore, near where I live. However, this is not what I want to talk about. The following are the movies that I saw over the course of 2017, and briefly my thoughts on the excitement each movie provided for me.

I do not remember seeing anything before March of this year, unless it just was not memorable, in that case I won’t worry about a mention. In March, I saw Logan (aka Old Man Logan, aka Wolverine in Marvel Comics). This movie was simply awesome. It was a nice contrast to the portrayal of how Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) was depicted in other X-Men related films. This film portrayed an older Wolverine, and a weaker healing factor, and a surprise daughter, taken from a sample of his DNA. In the comics Laura is known as X-23.  As I write this, I feel like I just want to keep this simple, so I will not be going all “Fanboy” sharing my thoughts about these movies. The film basically takes place in the future of Logan’s life, after many of the familiar X-Men related mutants have died or been destroyed. We are left with an ailing Professor X, Logan, Laura, and a handful of other remaining mutants. I felt positive about this movie’s portrayal of Logan’s journey and endgame.

After seeing Logan, I was eagerly awaiting Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, which opened in theaters in April. I loved seeing this movie. It was a great second story for the characters I had come to enjoy reading in Comics. I especially loved the opening sequence with a young Groot dancing while the rest of the Guardians: Starlord, Drax, Gamora, and Rocket were fighting a nemesis. The movie was comical, as it was entertaining and exciting the whole way through. I loved seeing Zoe Saldana as Gamora ( I have loved seeing her as Uhura in Star Trek, and only recently learned that she also played a dancer in the movie Drumline (also a really good film)). If you have not gotten to see Guardians of the Galaxy (either film), I highly recommend these films.

In May, I don’t remember seeing any movies. A shocker, I know. There were several really good films I wanted to see this year and I missed them. I am so thankful for Blu-ray Discs. One of the things I discovered this year is, my local library has a ROGO (Rent One/Get One free) for check out. When new videos arrive, they are $2 for a seven day rental. On Fridays, this is bonus because of the ROGO, and I have been able to watch many movies I missed and have gotten caught up this way. I think that this is a great service at the *library, and I will revisit this thought in a potential future entry on the “Importance of library service in a pop culture driven world.”[Working title].

My life is not all that exciting. Movies, as I have mentioned are my escapism. And, I feel it is important to emphasize that I am passionate about going to the movies.

In June, it was DC versus Marvel versus Hasbro. June marked an exciting month of more heroic movies.  I had missed Pirates of the Caribbean V, in May and had been short on money, so I just promised to see it on Blu-ray, and I did. It was a good movie. But the movie I liked most, in spite of Transformers: The Last Knight being an enjoyable film, it fell short for me. I did not like the way Optimus Prime was portrayed in the film, and there was not enough meat to the story, even though I liked the medieval twist. Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot ( I think I love her now,) portrayed a heroine for a new era of comic book  readers, geeks, nerds, feminists, and movie goers. I love hearing Gal Gadot’s Israeli accent, as much as appreciating her beauty and strength in the movie. Wonder Woman is supposed to represent strength, justice, beauty and virtue, something I think that is sorely lacking in our world today where we take those things for granted. To tell the truth, I have loved Wonder Woman since I was a boy when Lynda Carter portrayed Wonder Woman ( I do not know so much about the Cathy Lee Crosby version).  DC sometimes falls short in their Heroic movies, and does more superbly in their animated features. However, with Wonder Woman, all I can say is “Dy no mite” (after Jimmy Walker, comedian). If you have not seen Wonder Woman, I highly recommend this film, and I do not think you will be disappointed. It was a great movie, full of excitement, and it sets things up a little for The Justice League movie.

I will continue more about the movies that made my year in part II. However, I want to close this entry with Spider-Man: Homecoming, which I saw at the end of June. I enjoyed seeing Spider-Man: Homecoming. It was a fresh portrayal of a younger Peter Parker aka Spider-Man. It reminded me of a cross between the Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel’s classic Two-In-Ones. This movie was exciting, and Michael Keaton did a great job as the Vulture, the film’s villain. Sometimes I wonder if Disney is tainting Marvel’s creativity as far as films are concerned. And,I sometimes think that they care more about making money more than being true to the characters and stories. (I am not hating on you Disney, I am just a bit conflicted by the way you do things with characters and stories- more on this when I talk about The Last Jedi.) With regard to Spider-Man: Homecoming, it was an exciting movie full of great sequences, humor, and conflict. It was a movie devoid of Peter’s uncle Ben, and replaced with Tony Stark aka Iron Man. In previous incarnations, Uncle Ben taught Peter that, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I think this film still portrayed this but with the father figure, and mentoring by Tony Stark. Some would say this is Retcon-ish, and is not widely accepted.  I just enjoyed the film. Sometimes it is important to reinvent characters in order to free writers up with new ways to tell their stories and usher characters in for a new generation of readers and viewers.

Coming Soon: 2017,  part II (Movies, my escapism continued).

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