The good, the bad and the ugly: Looking back at five years of hits (and misses!) at Box Office Buzz

luke-skywalker-han-solo-chewbacca-star-wars-a-new-hopeSince I started blogging, I’ve had some posts that I’m really proud of…and some stuff that, looking back, makes me cringe. 😉 Since I’m celebrating five years of movie/entertainment blogging this month, I thought it might be fun to reflect on some of my favorite moments and also some of the entries that make me wonder what I was thinking.

Top five favorites

5. More than just mindless entertainment

This post from December 2013 is sort of my blogging manifesto and was inspired by a comment I heard while working as a reporter, in response to a question about the Academy Awards: “With all the problems we have in our world, who cares about movies or awards?” I do think that yes, sometimes society does go overboard in idolizing celebrities, and we focus on entertainment at the price of ignoring important issues. However, I think fans of movies and TV shows should never be ashamed of their hobby. Sometimes, it’s refreshing to just sit in a darkened theater or living room, relax, and go on an adventure. Film and television also provide a medium to explore important cultural issues, getting people to view the world from a new point of view.

4. Maybe it’s just me… Favorite rotten films and favorite flops

I’ve always had a soft spot for flawed but entertaining films and hidden gems that didn’t make a splash at the box office. I wrote about some of my favorite movies that weren’t well received by fans or critics (I had to express my undying love for “Armageddon”) in July 2013 and previously wrote about some of my favorite box office flops, like “Stardust,” in July 2012. Since there’s always more where that came from, I also revisited the topic earlier this fall and wrote about more of my favorite critically panned movies (and yes, I had to talk about “Armageddon” again).

3. Movie bucket list

I didn’t really get serious about my love for film until college, which means there were some pretty embarrassing gaps in my film repertoire. In September 2014, I decided to do something about that and created a “movie bucket list.” I watched and blogged about several classic films I hadn’t yet seen, including my first Tarantino film and “The Godfather.” There are still quite a few films on that bucket list, so I might have to revisit this topic in the future.

2. Marvel blog-a-thon

At this point, I don’t think anyone doubts my love for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 😉 I’ve really enjoyed watching this franchise develop and last fall I decided to re-watch all the MCU films. Although “Iron Man” remained my favorite Marvel movie, every time I re-watch “Guardians of the Galaxy” it gets closer to taking over the No. 1 spot.

1. Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm and the release of The Force Awakens

The announcement that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm — and that we’d be getting new Star Wars movies — took me completely by surprise in 2012. I never really believed we’d get anymore Star Wars films after the prequels, so I definitely didn’t see this news bomb coming. Of course, I was both excited and nervous. Although some were a little skeptical about J.J. Abrams taking the helm, he’s one of my favorite directors and his involvement made me feel more confident about the movie. Fast-forward to December 2015 (it felt like we had to wait forever for the new movie, didn’t it?), and “The Force Awakens” finally hit theaters. It was a triumphant return to the Star Wars tradition we knew and loved, and this Star Wars fan was extremely happy.

Top five biggest misses

5. Will Divergent be the next Hunger Games?

In March 2014, I reviewed the young adult dystopian film “Divergent,” which was aiming for the same demographic (and level of success) as “The Hunger Games.” Critics gave it mediocre reviews, but at the time I said the film was still worth checking out and I’d like to see another film featuring that world. I think maybe I was a little too optimistic because by the time the sequel came out the next year I found I wasn’t excited enough to see it in theaters, or even rent it on DVD. Apparently the film franchise fizzled out before it even ended, and I’ve heard the series’ conclusion is actually going to be a made-for-TV movie.

4. Godzilla not a monster-sized hit

Man, I really wanted to love the 2014 Godzilla reboot movie. The trailer for this movie was so amazing: soldiers parachuting into a dark, foggy cityscape with tense music playing in the background. When I featured this movie in my annual summer movie preview, I remember being really excited. However, the final product just wasn’t as exciting or gritty as those trailers, and I haven’t seen it again since I saw it once in theaters. I still want that “Godzilla”/”Pacific Rim” crossover, though!

3. Skepticism about Guardians of the Galaxy

In May 2013, I speculated on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I called “Guardians of the Galaxy” Marvel’s “only real risk” in its Phase 2 lineup and a true test of Marvel’s brand power. In retrospect, the movie was a big risk but the payoff was great. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is now one of my favorite (if not top favorite) Marvel movies. I’m glad my skepticism was unfounded!

2. Age of Ultron vs. Ant-Man

The first trailer for Marvel’s “Age of Ultron” was amazing (like the “Godzilla” trailer, actually): dark, gritty, and exciting. Was this a new direction for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? I was really excited for “Age of Ultron,” and I was actually more skeptical about “Ant-Man,” and I feared it might feel like a bit of a letdown after Ultron. Ironically, “Age of Ultron” ended up being the letdown for me, and “Ant-Man” made my best of the year list, while “Age of Ultron” did not.

1. Suicide Squad

I was so excited for “Suicide Squad.” I felt it was poised to be the breakout hit of the summer, and I really thought it would be as fun and dark and crazy as the trailers made it appear. Sadly, the final movie didn’t live up to the hype, and unfortunately those trailers were better edited than the final film. While I did give the movie a bit of a break in my review back in August, giving it some points for a good cast, my opinion of it has actually gone down in the months since then. 😦 It’s hard not to mourn what could have been!


4 thoughts on “The good, the bad and the ugly: Looking back at five years of hits (and misses!) at Box Office Buzz

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