Goals for 2018

Books to Read

  • The Ender Quartet (Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind)
  • The First Formic War Trilogy (Earth Unaware, Earth Afire, Earth Awakens)
  • As many of the Discworld books as I can, particularly Raising Steam and The Shepherd’s Crown

TV Seasons to Watch

Haven’t seen before:

  • Cheers (seasons 1 – 11)
  • The Flintstones (seasons 2 – 6)
  • Inhumans (season 1)
  • The Punisher (season 1)
  • The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (season 1)

Have seen before, but haven’t yet watched my BDs/DVDs:

  • Justice League: Unlimited (seasons 1 – 2)
  • Mad About You (seasons 6 – 7)
  • NYPD Blue (seasons 5 – 6)

Have seen before:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (seasons 1 – 7)
  • Dollhouse (seasons 1 – 2)
  • Justice League (season 2)
  • NYPD Blue (seasons 1 – 4, 7 – 12)
  • Pinky and the Brain (volumes 1 – 3)

Currently airing/will air this year:

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season 5)
  • The Big Bang Theory (the rest of season 11)
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (season 5)
  • Daredevil (season 3)
  • Homeland (season 7)
  • Jessica Jones (season 2)
  • Major Crimes (season 6)
  • Star Trek Discovery (season 1)
  • Unbreakble Kimmy Schmidt (season 4)

Movies to Watch

From last year:

  • Coco

From previous years, already seen or not:

  • Cars
  • Cars 2
  • Doctor Strange
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • The Incredibles
  • Mission: Impossible
  • Mission: Impossible III
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars: Rogue One
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  • Thor
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Thor: Ragnarok

New this year:

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Aquaman
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • Deadpool 2
  • The Incredibles 2
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Mission: Impossible 6
  • The New Mutants
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
  • Tomb Raider
  • Venom
  • Wreck-It Ralph 2
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix

BDs/DVDs I [try to] watch at least once a year:

  • The Avengers
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Batman Begins
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • The Bourne Identity
  • The Bourne Supremacy
  • The Bourne Ultimatum
  • Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  • Firefly
  • Serenity
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • The Matrix
  • The Matrix Reloaded
  • The Matrix Revolutions
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
  • Spider-Man
  • Spider-Man 2
  • Spider-Man 3
  • Superman Returns
  • The Truman Show

BDs/DVDs I [try to] watch at least once every other year:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Ant-Man
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Captain America: The Winter Solder
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Home Alone
  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Iron Man
  • Iron Man 2
  • Iron Man 3
  • Love Actually
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Star Trek
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Star Trek Beyond

BDs/DVDs I haven’t watched since 2014 or before:

  • About a Boy
  • The Aristocats
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire
  • Bandits
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Bolt
  • 007: The Living Daylights
  • 007: License to Kill
  • 007: Goldeneye
  • 007: Tomorrow Never Dies
  • 007: The World Is Not Enough
  • 007: Die Another Day
  • Brother Bear
  • Chain Reaction
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love.
  • Dinosaur
  • Easy A
  • Elektra
  • Ernest Goes to Camp
  • Ernest Goes to Jail
  • Ernest in the Army
  • Ernest Riders Again
  • Ernest Scared Stupid
  • 50 First Dates
  • Flight of the Navigator
  • Follow That Bird
  • The Fox and the Hound
  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • Fun and Fancy Free
  • Gone in 60 Seconds
  • The Great Muppet Caper
  • Hercules
  • Home on the Range
  • Horton Hears a Who!
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • I Am Legend
  • Inception
  • The Island
  • The Italian Job
  • Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kermit’s Swamp Years
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Knight and Day
  • The LEGO Movie
  • Liar Liar
  • Lilo & Stitch
  • The Lion King
  • Live Free or Die Hard
  • The Lorax
  • The Majestic
  • Mary Poppins
  • Meet the Robinsons
  • Les Miserables
  • The Muppet Movie
  • The Muppets
  • Muppets Most Wanted
  • Muppet Treasure Island
  • National Treasure
  • National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets
  • Oliver & Company
  • Peter Pan
  • Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension
  • Piglet’s Big Movie
  • Pom Poko
  • Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin
  • Pooh’s Heffalump Movie
  • The Princess Bride
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  • Salt
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  • Speed Racer
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  • Stranger Than Fiction
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Tarzan
  • The Three Musketeers
  • Toy Story
  • Toy Story 2
  • Toy Story 3
  • The Transformers: The Movie
  • Treasure Planet
  • UHF
  • The Wind Rises
  • Wreck-It Ralph

Video Games to Play

First-time Plays:

  • Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Super Mario Odyssey

Replays:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Other

  • More poetism commentaries
  • More “Greatest Talks, Etc.” entries

Stuff not from my 2017 goals

Not included here are movies found in my 2017 favorites list.

TV

Hadn’t seen before:

  • Breaking Bad (seasons 1 – 5)
  • The Office (UK) (series 1 – 2)
  • Sherlock (series 1 – 4)
  • Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later (season 1)

Had seen before:

  • Batman: The Animated Series (all of it)
  • Superman: The Animated Series (all of it)

One night at the beginning of August, I decided try a new show.  Vaguely remembering having heard good things, I first watched the pilot of Sons of Anarchy.  It did not engage me, so I then watched the pilot of Breaking Bad.  It did, and I watched two more episodes that night.  Then I watched the rest of the series during the remainder of the month, with a short break for The Defenders.  It was a fantastic show, though quite dark and not for everyone.  Walter White’s slow descent and then abrupt transformation into almost pure evil was something to see.  One of the things that stood out to me the most was watching Raymod Cruz play the terrifyingly crazy Tuco Salmanca, after having seen him play one of my favorite good characters for about 10 years on The Closer and Major Crimes.

Before Breaking Bad, I decided to finally become cool and watch Sherlock, which I greatly enjoyed.  Because Martin Freeman is so fantastic, I followed that with the original UK version of The Office, of which he was by far (by far) my favorite part.

Wet Hot American Summer came right after Breaking Bad, I having seen the original film and Netflix series in 2015.  It was as funny as its predecessors.

I got Justice League Unlimted on Blu-ray for Christmas two years ago, and it’s been sitting, still shrink-wrapped, awaiting me to watch it.  I wanted to finally get to it (I haven’t yet, but soon), and I used it as an excuse to rewatch Batman: TAS and Superman: TAS, the former being amazing and the latter being pretty great itself.  I then watched the first season of Justice League (the good, but weaker, of the two), and am eagerly awaiting the last episodes of season 2, because I love them.

Movies

Hadn’t seen before:

  • The Big Short
  • Burn After Reading
  • The D Train
  • The Fundamentals of Caring
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • The House
  • Justice League Dark
  • Mean Girls
  • Teen Titans: The Judas Contract
  • Underworld

Had seen before:

  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
  • Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub Zero
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Get Smart
  • Frozen
  • Hook
  • Mulan
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Superbad
  • Tropic Thunder

I remember when Mean Girls came out, and I had no interest in watching it.  Then a few years later, I learned that it had been written by Tina Fey, who is completely awesome, and I wanted to watch it, but never got around to it.  I finally watched it on Netflix a few months ago, and it was great.

The last time I saw Blazing Saddles was probably when my wife and I were dating, or first married.  It’s hard to put into words just how much of a comedic genius Mel Brooks is.

I’d seen both Dawn and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but didn’t really remember anything about them other than that I had enjoyed them, and so I rewatched them before War for the Planet of the Apes.  Both were really good.  One thing that stuck out to me, especially in Dawn, was how in a couple of shots I could see hints of Gollum in Caesar’s face.  It makes sense, since they’re both played by Andy Serkis, but it really stuck out to me because they were both motion capture performances.  My wife noticed it, too, but couldn’t put her finger on why Caeasar looked familiar, because she didn’t know Andy Serkis played him.

It had been probably since close to Superbad came out that I had seen it, and it was another one that I rewatched on Netflix in the late summer–as I recall, it was a few days before it was scheduled to leave Netflix so I made it a point to watch it while I had the chance.  (It went to Amazon Prime right afterward, which I also subscribe to, but I digress.)  I am an unapologetic fan of Michael Cera, Emma Stone is also one of my favorites, and Jonah Hill isn’t too bad, either.  It was crazy funny, and it made me a little nostalgic for the high school days, though my high school days were nothing like those depicted in the movie.

It had also been probably since Tropic Thunder came out that I had seen it, so I also rewatched it on Netflix.  So funny.  Robert Downey, Jr. just kills it.

I watched Underworld because my wife likes the film series.  I made it through the first one, and they are not my thing.

I was not a fan of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  For some reason, I decided to give it another shot, in the form of its Ultimate Edition, before re-watching Wonder Woman when it came out on Blu-ray.  I still am not fan, but for some different reasons.

  • The first time, the portrayal of Lex Luthor bugged me.  The second time, not so much.
  • I liked that Jimmy Olsen was named in the Ultimate Edition.  I didn’t like that he was unceremoniously killed off.
  • The setup for the framing of Superman in the beginning was much clearer, so that’s a plus.
  • Bruce’s nightmare was even longer and still felt out of place.
  • I disliked Batman more this time around, which makes me sad.  I get that we’re seeing a version of him that has been through a lot, but just… ugh.
  • Some of the extensions portrayed Superman a little better, like when he was shown helping victims after the explosion at the senate hearing.
  • On the flip side, how dumb are you, Superman?  What prevents you from explaining to Bruce, right off the bat, that Lex has kidnapped Martha Kent?  Just fly up a bit, or something, so he can’t reach you.  I really hated the stupid forced fight that could have been 110% avoided.
  • “Save Martha” is still completely, unfathomably awful.  Batman is not a whiny baby who freaks out when his mother’s name is mentioned.  And guess what?  It would have been completely unnecessary, had Superman just said, “Hold up for 10 seconds, Bruce, let me explain what’s going on with Lex here.”

2017 Goals Update

How accomplished am I, regarding 2017 goals?  I’m going to say, meh.  The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is partially to blame, and I’m not sorry for that.

Books to Read

I failed only slightly less than miserably.  I read one whole Discworld book, The Color of Magic.  I then started The Light Fantastic, and got around 60 pages in.  This is the year, though, guys.  This is the the year…

TV Seasons to Watch

Haven’t seen before:

We’ll go 4/6.  I finished all of Star Trek, plus Luke CageThe Flintstones continues not to be watched.  Maybe it can be a thing, it continually taunting me.

Have seen before, but haven’t yet watched my BDs/DVDs:

Though the math is unbalanced and doesn’t add up, I’m going with 0.75/2.  My wife and I watched the first 5 seasons of Mad About You, but I have yet to arrive at Justice League Unlimited after 2 years of owning it on Blu-ray.  I’m really close though.  Seriously, see the next section.

Have seen before:

Again, despite inadequate math, I will say 0.5/4.  I watched the first season of Justice League, preceded by the entirety of Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series.  I’ll get to the remaining season of Justice League soon, so that I can finally get to Unlimited.  I may go through Batman Beyond again as well this year.

I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I wanted to rewatch it since it’s (now) been almost 5 years, but I kept not getting to it.  Then I discovered it was the 20th anniversary of the show in 2017, and so I told myself I’d watch the top 20 episodes, whatever they are, and then I kept not getting to that.  So this year I’m going to try again for Buffy, and Dollhouse with it.  And Pinky and the Brain.  That’s the problem with quality shows–you find too many and can’t find the time for everything.

Currently airing/will air this year:

These, I actually got all of.

Movies to Watch

From last year [2016]:

Watched them all.

From previous years, already seen or not:

11/23.  This has not been a good year for me and keeping up on my movies.  By my reckoning, it’s the worst ratio since 2011 or 2012.  Who am I, that I let books slide for years, TV creeps in, and now movies, too?

New this year:

Watched them all, with the exception of How to Train Your Dragon 3, which apparently is not being released until 2019.

BDs/DVDs I [try to] watch at least once a year:

This is the first year since 2012 that I have missed any from this category, those being The Matrix and its two sequels.

BDs/DVDs I [try to] watch at least once every other year:

6/8, or 75% for math that is accurate.  I didn’t watch Home Alone or Home Alone 2, though I’m pretty sure my kids did, and I’m actually wondering why and when they were added to this category.  It looks like I had a 4 year streak of watching Home Alone, and decided not to fully commit to that schedule.

BDs/DVDs I haven’t watched since 2013 or before:

Last year I said that maybe this year I would hit 100%.  Well, I almost did, if you count 36/76–less than 50%–as almost 100%.  One of these years.

Video Games to Play

First time plays:

2ish/3, though maybe it should count higher since I played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in its entirety 3 times during the year.  It’s in the running for my favorite game of ever, despite its flaws.  I played though it on Wii U, and since I got a Switch for Christmas, of course I’ll have to play it again this year.  I wouldn’t want my Special Edition to just sit there in the box, unplayed and unloved.

I also played through the main story of LEGO Avengers, and some of the post-story content.  I generally 100% the LEGO games I play, so maybe I’ll get back to it this year.

I didn’t get to The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, and I’m going to try that one this year, just because it’s Zelda, and available on the Wii U virtual console.

Other

I don’t think there was even a token poetism commentary entry this past year, and only one “Greatest Talks, Etc.” entry. I think I should get try harder in the upcoming months. It would certainly be difficult to be less productive.

That last paragraph was copy-pasted from last year, and it made me realize that it’s obviously not that difficult to be less productive, because there was no “Greatest Talks, Etc.” entry this time around.

Media Update July – December 2017

July

Books

  • The Color of Magic

Movies

  • Despicable Me
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Despicable Me 3
  • The Incredibles
  • The Man Who Knew Too Little
  • Mean Girls
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
  • The Secret World of Arrietty
  • Spider-Man
  • Spider-Man 2
  • Spider-Man 3
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Superbad
  • Throw Momma from the Train
  • What About Bob?

TV

  • Batman: The Animated Series – 9 episodes
  • Looney Tunes Platinum Collection – 25 shorts
  • Mad About You – 15 episodes
  • The Office (UK) – 14 episodes
  • Sherlock – 12 episodes

August

Movies

  • The Fugitive
  • Get Smart
  • Guardians of the Galaxy

TV

  • Breaking Bad – 62 episodes
  • The Defenders – 8 episodes
  • Mad About You – 2 episodes
  • Sons of Anarchy – 1 episode
  • Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later – 8 episodes

September

Movies

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Bad Moms
  • Batman and Harley Quinn
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Billy Madison
  • The Fifth Element
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Hook
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Superman vs. The Elite
  • Wonder Woman

TV

  • Batman: The Animated Series – 63 episodes
  • Mad About You – 13 episodes

Video Games

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

October

Movies

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • The Avengers
  • Mulan
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Thor

TV

  • Batman: The Animated Series – 31 episodes
  • Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub Zero
  • The Big Bang Theory – 20 episodes
  • Cheers – 13 episodes
  • Mad About You – 13 episodes
  • Superman: The Animated Series – 48 episodes

November

Movies

  • Almost Heroes
  • Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
  • Baby Driver
  • The Black Cauldron
  • Clear and Present Danger
  • The Emperor’s New Groove
  • Enchanted
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • The Hobbit
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • The House
  • Justice League
  • Kronk’s New Groove
  • LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • Monsters University
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
  • The Sword in the Stone
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • The Tigger Movie
  • The Transporter
  • Transporter 2
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • The Wizard of Oz

TV

  • Batman: The Animated Series – 6 episodes
  • Justice League – 15 episodes
  • Mad About You – 22 episodes
  • Superman: The Animated Series – 6 episodes

Video Games

  • Final Fantasy X

December

Movies

  • Atomic Blonde
  • Batman Begins
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • The Bourne Identity
  • The Bourne Supremacy
  • The Bourne Ultimatum
  • Jason Bourne
  • Cars 3
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  • Elf
  • Ernest Saves Christmas
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Serenity
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  • Superman Returns
  • The Truman Show

TV

  • The Big Bang Theory – 10 episodes
  • Firefly – 14 episodes
  • Justice League – 11 episodes
  • Mad About You – 6 episodes

My favorite (and not) movies of 2017

Here follows a list of my favorite movies of 2017 (and 2016, where I just got to seeing them in 2017).  The order is as arbitrary as an arbitrary thing.

– My Favorites –

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

In 2014, I said of the first Guardians of the Galaxy:

I was really, really surprised by how much I liked this movie. I wasn’t expecting much, but man was it just great.

Based on how much I liked the first, I had high hopes for the second installment.  I took my sons and we all had a great time.  They’ve gotten into collecting themed soda cups from the theater, and this year we got some for Guardians, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Star Wars.

As for the movie itself, the only thing I didn’t like was some of Drax’s jokes dragging on a bit much.  I liked that the story was more personal for Peter (while of course presenting some larger universal threat, but that wasn’t the focus).  The opening sequence was a blast to watch.  And along with Thor: Ragnarok, my youngest son has found some Marvel movies he doesn’t actually “hate.”

The LEGO Batman Movie

Our family went to see this on my birthday.  It’s definitely a silly take on Batman, but I just loved it so much.

Logan

I was skeptical about Logan.  I’ve more or less enjoyed all the X-Men films to date–even the less-than-stellar ones like The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  I love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (and just in general, really).  The same goes for Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier (and Jean-Luc Picard, and also just in general, really).  The worry I had going in was the R rating.  Since all of the franchise entries to date (not counting Deadpool) have been PG-13, I was leery of the movie being more violent and cussy for the sake of being violent and cussy.  It was a bit much for me in a few scenes, but I really liked it overall, and it’s one of my favorite X-Men films along with the original, X2, and Days of Future Past.  It’s also one of the few R-rated movies that I could justify to myself as owning on DVD/Blu-ray (because I’m weird about that).

Spider-Man: Homecoming

After the kind of lame (but still Spider-Man, so I am more forgiving) The Amazing Spider-Man 2, this was a welcome Spider-Man movie.  My biggest gripe with it was that Tony Stark was in it too much, and he wasn’t really in it that much.  Tom Holland made for a good Peter/Spidey, Michael Keaton was an enjoyable villain, and it was kind of nice to not really have an MJ or Harry or Gwen Stacy, but not really miss that they were missing, you know?

Thor: Ragnarok

The last two Thor movies have both been labeled as “Other movies I enjoyed,” and Ragnarok is the first to be in my favorites.  The comedic moments sometimes undercut the seriousness of a scene too much for my taste, but I really have no other complaints.  Well, I was kind of bummed Sif didn’t make an an appearance, too.  The Thor/insert character dynamics were all great: Thor/Hulk, Thor/Loki, Thor/Banner, Thor/Valkyrie.  Just a lot of fun.

Wonder Woman

Last year, I said:

Wonder Woman looks good though. Please be good, Wonder Woman!

AND IT WAS.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

This is the last movie of 2017 that I expect to see, which is why I’m posting this in December, rather than January as per usual.  (Also, I’m pretending like I’m not a slacker for once.)  (Also, watch me have to update this in January anyway, even if it’s to say Ha! I didn’t update this in January.)

Going in, I thought the only things I knew about The Last Jedi were what I had seen in the trailer.  Afterward, I watched the trailer, didn’t recognize it, and realized that I think I had actually only seen the teaser trailer.  I had heard it was getting positive reviews, but I didn’t read any till after I saw it.  I really wanted to go in as blind as possible.  I’m glad I did, and I really liked it overall.  I have also since read that it’s quite divisive among audiences–I expect especially among fans–and I can see why.  I’ve read a few lists of why people didn’t like it.  I agree with some of their reasoning.  I still really liked it overall.  There were several times I was surprised at the narrative, and that is just awesome.  A few things were a bit off for me, and not that anyone will read this and have it matter, but (minor?) spoilers follow for the rest of this bit:

  • Space Leia was weird
  • The pacing felt off to me somehow, and I don’t usually notice that sort of thing
  • The whole casino subplot was kind of boring
  • I didn’t find the island caretakers funny at all
  • Finn didn’t die

That last thing was the biggest problem for me.  I like when characters sacrifice for the greater good, and though what Rose said about “saving what we love” is sweet, I still would have preferred Finn’s death.  Perhaps after Episode IX I’ll feel differently.  I thought everything else was good to great.  Somehow reading about The Last Jedi afterward also led me to discovering the Jar Jar is a Force User/Sith/Something theory, which (aside from the The Force Awakens bits that obviously turned out untrue) I must admit I now find very plausible, and a bit sad that, if true, any follow-through plans were apparently abandoned.  In my mind I still think that, given the events of The Last Jedi, Snoke could be Jar Jar.

– Other movies I enjoyed –

Baby Driver

I’ve liked all of the other films I’ve seen that Edgar Wright has directed–especially Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which is one of my top five favorite movies–and I heard good things about Baby Driver.  It was pretty good, but it did get a bit dark for my taste toward the end.

Bad Moms

From 2016.  I think I watched this because my wife wanted to see it (and I do generally like the female cast members).  It wound up being really funny, although I’m pretty meh on actually seeing the sequel.

Cars 3

Originally: Somewhat sadly (since the Cars movies are my least favorite of all of Pixar’s output), this actually might be the movie that gets me to update this post in January.  I bought the Blu-ray on Thanksgiving and may get around to watching the trilogy with my kids over Christmas break.

Now: I did watch this shortly before Christmas, and it wasn’t too bad.  The Cars movies are still my least favorte of all of Pixar’s output.  And it’s still December.

Despicable Me 3

I think our family has seen all but the original Despicable Me theatrically, and this one was the same day as Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Though they aren’t my favorite movies, I laugh at them and don’t mind when my son wants to watch them over and over.

Justice League

I am so glad that I was able to put this above the “Meh” category.  It was not perfect by any means, but it was so much better than Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that it doesn’t even matter.  I left the theater not actively disappointed, willing to watch the movie again, and maybe even buying it on Blu-ray if it’s cheap next Black Friday.  Superman was finally Superman; Batman, while a bit too fanboyish of Superman for me, was not terrible (and so much better than in Batman v Superman); Flash reminded me a lot of the Wally West Flash from the Justice League cartoons, which is great; Wonder Woman continues to be awesome, and I wasn’t bothered by either Aquaman or Cyborg.

Moana

From 2016.  Disney is still on a roll.

War for the Planet of the Apes

I liked the first two entries in the new Apes trilogy well enough, and heard that War was also good.  It was.  Andy Serkis is still awesome.  I rewatched Rise and Dawn before War, and one thing that stuck out to me was how in certain shots in Rise I could see hints of Gollum in Caesar’s face.

– Movies that made me say, “meh” –

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

My daughter loves the Pirates of the Caribbean films.  I like the first one the most, 2 and 3 are pretty good, 4 was fine I guess, but Dead Men Tell No Tales was just not my thing.

– Movies that made me say, “Why on earth did I watch this?” –

Batman and Harley Quinn

It makes me sad that a Batman movie is in this category.  For the most part, I’ve liked DC’s animated movies from the last 10 years or so.  Some are obviously far better than others (e.g. Superman vs. The Elite, Justice League: The New Frontier, Under the Red Hood, Wonder Woman), some have been kinda meh (the Green Lantern entries, some of the New 52 stuff, The Killing Joke), but this is the first one that I actively did not like.  I had heard it was bad, but come on, it couldn’t be that bad, right?  It was.

– 2016 movies I haven’t seen yet that I hope are good, or at least not terrible –

Coco

I’ve heard Coco is fantastic, but it’ll have to wait till Blu-ray for me.