By Andrew Jenck
This wasn’t the best season for blockbusters. Most of the heavy hitters were bombs and looked so uninteresting that I skipped most of them. However, there were still plenty of good films that came out this season, just with smaller budgets and less attention. Here are some of my favorites, no particular order.
This may be an unpopular opinion as it was widely received as a film that wasted its premise of The Beatles not existing to tell a generic coming-to-terms story. However, while I won’t say anyone is wrong for having said mindset, I don’t feel that was entirely the point. The Beatles were known for having such romantic, passionate songs, so to have a guy perform the music well but lack the soul makes for a good conflict in our main lead and an impact on his personal life. The cast is fun, the music is well integrated, and there is one surprise revelation that I will not spoil.
A musical about such a bombastic performer like Elton John would need to be bombastic itself, and Rocketman delivers on that front. Normally, I’m not a fan of jukebox musicals, but the songs are used well to demonstrate John’s energy and where some of the biggest character moments are at, “Saturday Nights” and “Crocodile Rock” being some highlights. Embracing Elton’s past mistakes, his insecurities, and sexuality, we see him as who he was. Sure it takes some historic liberties here and there, but the heart and essence is still intact. The final scene is among my favorite of the year so far, able to merge its depiction with history resulting in a satisfying experience.
There are few films this year that stayed lodged in my brain than this horror film. A tale about depression, the film is shot almost entirely in daylight, adding to the uneasy feeling throughout. The way it portrays the cult is unsettling and suspicious but also whimsical and welcoming in a sense. The soundtrack and cinematography are used to their fullest, keeping the audience on edge for its near two and half hour runtime. It is returning to theaters for a short time and I encourage you to see it if you have the chance. It will take you out of your comfort zone, but I’d say it’s good for even a casual moviegoer to be challenged every once in a while. Even if you don’t like, you won’t stop thinking about it.
FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBES & SHAW
I’ll be going into more detail with this one as well the rest of the franchise at a later date. For now, however, I’ll say that Hobbes & Shaw continues to deliver the high-octane, stupid fun of the franchise. I also love how absurd they’ve allowed the world to become with Idris Elba as a cyborg. With this year being more pretty lacking in blockbusters, this one was thoroughly enjoyable.