MikeyB's Monthly Movie Roundup: December (2017)

 Its a new year, but I still have one last "Monthly Movie Roundup" to wrap up 2017. I saw a surprising number of the new movies released in December and most all of them I really enjoyed. So without further delay lets seal the book on 2017, get this Roundup underway, and dive right in!

Released: December 8 2017
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon

 Plot: A lonely mute janitor at a top secret military facility in the 1950's forms a special relationship with an inhuman aquatic test subject.

 Opinion: This latest offering from master storyteller del Toro is absolutely gorgeous and features some of the best performances of 2017 but, due to weak characterization of the "monster", is also one of the most disappointing for me. 

Released: December 8 2017
Director: James Franco
Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco, Ari Graynor

 Plot: The insane true story of the men and the friendship behind the making of the infamous "best worst movie" The Room.

 Opinion: This one made my list of "Top 5 Films" of the year. James Franco's performance as the eccentric Tommy Wiseau is the most remarkable and extraordinary of the year and he had me tearing up not only from laughter but from the shear emotion and pathos he brings to the role. His brother Dave is equally fantastic in his role as Greg Sestoro, Tommy's partner in film making and best, possibly only, friend. What I love about this movie most of all though is that it doesn't treat the story as some cheap comedy about the hilarity and madness behind "The Room", but is a celebration of two men's friendship, passion for film, and their willingness to follow a dream that seems impossible and crazy.  The end result of this all is one of the most joyous and heartfelt experiences I have had watching a movie this year.

Released: December 15 2017
Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamil, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher

 Plot: Luke Skywalker is forced back into conflict with "The New Order" after the very existence"The Rebellion" is threatened. Meanwhile Rey is strengthening in the ways of the force and develops and unusual bond with Kylo Ren.

 Opinion: While many people have problems with The Last Jedi, I absolutely loved it. The interactions between Rey and Kylo Ren are mesmerizing, it features my favorite lightsaber battle of the series, Fisher gets a send off befitting a true princess, and I found Luke's character arc to make absolute sense. Can't wait for episode 9.

Released: December 22 2017
Director: Jake Kasdan
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillian, Kevin Hart, Jack Black

 Plot: Twenty two years after the original game of Jumanji was played the game has evolved and transformed itself into a video game. Four teens are sucked into the game and must complete it before they can escape.

 Opinion: After many positive reviews and becoming a surprise hit at the box office, I decided I needed to check out this 22 year late sequel and while I found it moderately entertaining, I just don't understand the love for this one, and found it extremely mediocre with all of the best parts being revealed in the trailers.

Released: December 22 2017
Director: Michael Gracey
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron

 Plot: A musical telling of the life story of P.T. Barnum, his family, and his time spent in show business.

 Opinion: Okay. So yes "The Greatest Showman" is insanely revisionist in it’s telling of P.T. Barnum’s life and yes it paints him in a lot more friendly of a light then is deserved. The thing is though, it’s one of the best musicals I’ve seen in years. Every single song is great, Jackman and Effron are a match made in musical heaven with the former clearly having the time of his life, and the choreography and set pieces are beautiful. The messages of acceptance, love, joy, and happiness throughout the film are just what the world needs right now, and that is why "The Greatest Showman" has made it onto my "Top 5 Films" of the year.

 Well that concludes my "Roundup" of the new releases I saw this past December. Did you see anything I didn't? Differing opinion then me? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below, and as always thank you for reading and I'll see you next time!

P.s: I will be on vacation the week of February 8th so expect business as usual to resume on the 16th.