Best Movies of 2017 So Far + Fall & Winter Movies

Can you believe that we are already at the halfway point of 2017?! I came up with a list of my top five favorite films so far this year. This list includes flicks from the first half of the year so it only features movies that were released prior to July 1st. (Sorry Spiderman!) After that, I thought I’d share some of the films I’m hyped for in the later half of 2017.

5.) Get Out

Get out

The directorial debut of Jordan Peele that became the overnight successful horror movie while also providing social commentary. It’s mega creepy, and the ending is everything.


4.) Wonder Woman


All the DC film universe needed to save itself was one woman.  Gal Gadot under the direction of Patty Jenkins is two and a half hours of kick ass woman powered action.


3.) Kong Skull Island


This is the second installment in Legendary’s MonsterVerse that follows a team of scientists and Vietnam soldiers who travel to an uncharted island, coming face to face with the king of the island named Kong.  I already have a full review and post over the movie on here. In it, I explored how it’s an anti-war film in disguise.


2.) A Cure for Wellness


This German American horror film isn’t for the faint of heart.  It centers around a young banker who is trapped at a Swiss spa. He learns what lurks in the water below the spa while befriending a mysterious young girl who resides there. If you didn’t have a fear of eels before this movie, you will afterwards.


1.) Baby Driver


Edgar Wright’s fast paced crime film with a killer soundtrack and an even better cast. Stars Ansel Elgort as a talented getaway driver who is trying to get out of the game. Baby Driver is currently in theaters, and I’ll link the soundtrack here.

Anticipated films for the later half of the year

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets- July 21, 2017

City of 1000.jpg

Atomic Blonde- July 28, 2017

Atomic Blonde

Kingsman: The Golden Circle- September 22, 2017


My Little Pony: The Movie October 6, 2017


(Don’t Judge!)

Thor: Ragnarok- November 3, 2017


Murder on the Orient Express- November 10, 2017


Justice League- November 17, 2017


The Diaster Artist- December 1, 2017

the disaster artist

Star Wars: The Last Jedi- December 15, 2017

star war

Pitch Perfect 3- December 22, 2017

pitch perfect 3.png


Greatest Showman- December 25, 2017



19 thoughts I had while watching Hot Fuzz for the first time

Hot Fuzz is the second film of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy by director Edgar Wright and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Each film parodies other films within its designated genre. This time around, Hot Fuzz pokes fun at action and buddy cop films. Though the film is categorized as a comedy, I personally believe that the script and cast play it off so seriously, which is why I would consider it an action movie with comedic moments. 

  1. This police station is really nice compared to the ones in the US
  2. As expected, Wright uses a montage to card stack Angle’s qualifications
  3. Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan, Cate Blanchett cameos
  4. Once again Edgar Wright proves he’s the king of visual comedy 
  5. When you arrest your boss’s son
  6. I like how the town’s biggest issues are swans and a street performer 
  7. Pegg and Frost are gold 
  8. Why is it every time I see someone in a black cloak I think of a cult?
  9. The English countryside and the Midwest are more similar than you think
  10. How do you get a naval mine?
  11. Now that’s a movie collection!
  12. No human can actually break a concrete church spire
  13. So I guess the Neighbourhood Watch is a cult now
  14. They killed them because they lost the Village of the Year award
  15. Where did he get a horse?
  16. Wouldn’t it be easier to just call the London police instead of just killing the whole watch himself?
  17. Hot Fuzz is clearly satirizing cops films, but I need more substance than car chases and gunfights
  18. Dead by castle life-size model
  19. I like how they just have that mine laying around for someone to trip over

To be honest, Hot Fuzz is my least favorite of the Cornetto trilogy with Shaun of the Dead being the best. I found some of the jokes fall flat, and after a while, I got tired of seeing the whole police force believing the murders were just accidents. It does pick up about 20 minutes into it after the first two people are killed. After watching this, I’m probably going to rewatch Shaun and At World’s End, but this does get me excited for Wright’s new film Baby Driver.

Thoughts on Yoga Hosers

Have you ever seen a movie so bad that you had to tell everyone about it? For me, that would be Yoga Hosers – the 2016 “attempt” at making a teen action comedy by Kevin Smith. Over the holiday break, I watched this movie for the first time. It must have been VERY late at night, because the only thing I remember about it was that it was terrible. Yoga Hosers is the textbook definition of nepotism, as Smith cast his daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, and her best friend, Lily Rose Depp, as the two leads. This movie is like driving past a car crash because you just can’t look away.

  1. Do you think Kevin Smith wrote all of the songs in this movie?
  2. I don’t think that many people would want to come to a mini-mart within a span of ten minutes.
  3. When will Austin Butler stop being cast as a teenager?
  4. These people’s Canadian accents are almost worse than their acting.
  5. Why would anyone trust a guy named Yogi to teach you yoga?
  6. Don’t you hate it when you have to pause a movie just to read the title cards?
  7. Where did the idea for this movie even come from? Smith says the idea for Tusk and Yoga Hosers came to him during a podcast. I think he has a deep-seeded hatred for Canada.
  8. Harley Quinn and Lily Rose aren’t too bad singers, but they keep making awkward eye contact with the camera.
  9. Wiener dogs aren’t evil.
  10. Movies like this give millennials a bad name.
  11. Much like Yogi Bear, I don’t think Kevin Smith understands how copyrights work.
  12. Ladies and gentlemen, this is why you always bring a weapon.
  13. These special effects are borderline Syfy Channel level of bad.
  15. When one of your villains is a foot tall Nazi sausage, I expect to have more sausage jokes.
  16. Yoga isn’t going to help you here.
  17. Why is the Bratzi’s insides bright orange?
  18. As an American, I have no clue how the Canadian justice system works. This is a complete guess, but I don’t think that they have suspects share the same police interrogation room.
  19. If I had a secret lab, I probably would put it in the bathroom too.
  20. This guy’s accents are very bad – like an annoying theater kid trying to do a British accent level of bad.
  21. After reading some reviews, I’m surprised that no one brought up how Yoga Hosers blatantly ripped off countless other movies.


In many ways, this was just a remake of Smith’s cult classic film Clerks. The only difference was that this time, it was teenage girls in Canada with Nazis. One thing I truly liked about the film was the graphics, but that was about it. Like with most Kevin Smith films, it seemed like the film was just one big inside joke that no one understood. I get that artists should take risks, but most of Smith’s career has been a risk that has had no payoff.

As I start to enter adulthood, I’m starting to realize that these kinds of movies aren’t designed for me. This was made for pre-teen girls, and I know that I probably would have loved it seven years ago. That doesn’t give it a pass though, because the plot was still trash. Leads Harley Quinn Smith and Lily Rose Depp weren’t terrible in their roles and had chemistry, but their acting still felt kind of stiff in front of the camera. Kevin Smith has both directing and writing talent, but he needs to start making content that isn’t just for his small fan base. I think Smith needs to work on projects that he doesn’t have full control on. When someone has too much power, things always fall apart. Currently, Smith has been killing it on the CW. He directed my favorite episode of The Flash, “The Runaway Dinosaur”. Smith is currently working on the final film in the True North Trilogy, with the kind-of-sequel to Tusk and Yoga Hoser called Moose Jaws.

2016 Favorites

HELLO 2017! Even though 2016 wasn’t the best year ever, I still found a lot of things I liked.

Easy on the eyes
Newt Scamander

A fellow Hufflepuff, Newt Scamander joins my long list of fictional characters that tickle my fancy. Though his eye contact skills are poor, I can overlook that.


BagoGames Film Fallout Podcast #39 – Fantastic Beasts at The Edge of Seventeen November 23, 2016 From Flickr Via Creative Commons

Women who slayed
Leslie Jones

From being the number one fan of the Olympics to starring in one of the summer’s most anticipated films, Leslie Jones won 2016. Well, her website was hacked… but that didn’t stop her! It even made it into a couple of her different SNL skits.


Archivo:Leslie jones.jpg From Wiki Commons Via Creative Commons

Biggest Obsession
Starbucks Mugs

Ever since I laid eyes on the You Are Here Mug Collection from Starbucks, I’ve been obsessed. Depicting the highlights of specific cities in an Art Deco style, these mugs are the number one souvenir I look for when I’m out of town.

Best of Binge-watching
Red Oak – Amazon
Though it’s not my typical series I would watch, Red Oak centers around a young man who works as a tennis pro at an exclusive country club during the summer. The talented ensemble cast brings to life the characters in the 80s coming of age comedy series.

Glad you came into my life
Duffer Brothers – Stranger Things

The duo introduced us to the eerie world of Stranger Things, serving as the showrunners of the critically acclaimed series. Centering around the disappearance of a young boy in the 1980s, viewers soon realize that not everything is as it seems when a girl with supernatural powers appears. Make a free Netflix account if you don’t have one; you will thank me later.


Stranger Things logo Wiki Common Via Creative Commons

Best Splurge Item
Instant Camera – Fujifilm Instax 8

Every once and awhile, you have to treat yourself. Instant camera photography is kind of an expensive hobby, but I buy the film on sale or in bulk. This model is great in both low lighting and in direct sunlight. Each picture has the vintage feel that you can’t get with an Instagram filter.

Best Fashion Purchase
Old Navy – Original Mid Rise Jeans

Anyone with thighs knows that chafing is an issue that causes the inside of the jeans to fade and wear down with time. For the past four years, I’ve exclusively worn only Old Navy jeans. After ripping over half of my jeans last winter, I knew it was time to repurchase my beloved pants. I love these jeans because they are high quality, have a slight stretch to them, come in a vast range of sizes and colors, and are cost efficient. The problem I came across when I went to repurchase them was that Old Navy changed the jeans’ styles and sizes again. Following an hour of intense jean trying on, I found a new style of jeans that fit my body even better than before. I wear the Original Mid Rise Jeans in the regular length. I haven’t bought the skinny jean version because the straight cut fits like that on me already.

November Favorites

THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS HERE! (Cue All I Want For Christmas) It’s the time of gift giving, family arguments, and overpriced ugly sweaters. This year couldn’t be over fast enough because a lot of amazing things are happening in 2017. Not to name everything, but I have graduation, my Chicago trip, my sister’s wedding, my moving out, and launching on January 1st. You heard it first; I’m changing up my blog and getting my own domain name. It’s going to be a busy year, but I still have one month left. So let’s get right into my monthly favorites!

What to listen to…
I’m a child of the 00s, so of course I grew up on Disney Channel. Unlike my older sister, I wasn’t in distress when the Jonas Brothers called it quits in 2013. Under recommendation from a Snapchat story, I listened to the whole DNCE album in one sitting. Nothing this year compared to this. Joe Jonas’s R&B vocals mixed with the bubblegum pop and funk indie vibe the band gives off makes it the best album of the year.

What to wear…

UA Blitzing II Stretch Fit- Under Armour Hat

I’m always trying new fashion trends, and one I’ve been loving is the sporty/athleisure look. (It gives me an excuse to wear workout pants at school.) During my trip to Indianapolis this month, I was dragged into an Under Armour store and found the perfect hat. Sure, I look like a 34 year old soccer mom or Luke from Gilmore Girls, but I’ve embraced it.

IMG_5990.JPGWhat to stream…
The Crown

The Crown covers Queen Elizabeth following her marriage to Prince Philip and taking on the throne. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are the perfect castings for the royal couple, and their chemistry is phenomenal. Just a heads up: the first episode has more drama in it than every episode of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars combined.

img_3471What to see in theaters….
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Fantastic Beasts is a different perspective into the world of witches and wizards, taking place in 1920’s New York. We are no longer stuck behind a desk for seven years, as we are apparated straight into the action. I wasn’t old enough to understand the awe and wonder Harry Potter had on its viewers when it was first released. The breathtaking visuals and brilliant screenplay, written by J.K. Rowling, caused me to have this feeling for the first time in many years. 2016 was filled with many rehashes of films we’ve already seen. Even being a reboot/ spin-off of the Potter franchise, Beasts is equally unique and brilliant as its predecessors. Although the Goldstein sisters stole the show for me, Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne is an interesting enough lead to carry the inevitable following sequels.


What to eat…

Pecan Pie

‘Tis the season of eating endless amounts of leftovers from your holiday meal. As always for Thanksgiving, I was in charge of bringing dessert. This year I spiced the typical pies by making them miniature. My favorite of the three types I made was the pecan, hands down. The recipe I used liked to stick to the pan, so I would recommend making this in a normal sized pie crust.


What to buy for the house…

Little Christmas Tree- Target

My favorite place in the world is Target’s Dollar Spot. You never know what junk you might find there. Of course during my weekly trip there, I found this cute little tree for $3. It’s the perfect size for a dining room table or in an office.


Pros and Cons of Doctor Strange 

Marvel’s newest installment in their cinematic universe, Doctor Strange, was released last weekend. Since my showing late Sunday afternoon, I’ve been trying to decide on my final opinion of the flick. Like with most issues in my life, I’ve made a pro and con list to help me come up with an answer.

  • Marvel finally broke ground into the realm of mysticism, helping them to continue their ever growing universe.
  • The film continues to test the waters of other film genres. This time it’s the hospital drama. Marvel’s phase two of the MCU has done this a few times, such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier being a spy thriller and Ant Man as a heist film.
  • Cast easily takes on their comic book counterparts.
  • Oscar worthy visuals.


  • Lacks the relatable charm that most Marvel films have featured. (Unless you’re a 40 something year old egotistical surgeon.)
  • Humor tends to fall flat. (Why would you have a Beyoncé joke, let alone two of them?)
  • The last act is bland, repetitive, and even worse than superhero movies like Green Lantern and Fantastic Four.
  • Film doesn’t spend time exploring the character of Stephen Strange that well, which plays into the relatability factor of the movie.
  • Another one that offs the villains.

Doctor Strange isn’t a misstep for Marvel. Strange is a weird amalgamation of The Matrix, Inception, and Grey’s Anatomy. This mashup works for what they’re going for and what was trying to be set up. It does stray away from the tones set up by previous films. What I’m really interested in is how Strange will tie in with Infinity War, and how he will interact with the other Avengers.

14 thoughts I had while watching The Nightmare before Christmas for the first time

There is only two things I’m certain of about the emo community: their love and compassion towards Hot Topic’s semi-annual sale and Jack Skellington. In preparation for Halloween, I thought I should watch The Nightmare before Christmas for the first time.

  1. Jack might be the pumpkin king, but we all know Tim Burton is the emo king.
  2. Maybe it’s just me, but every stop motion movie I’ve ever watched has creeped me out.
  3. Insert unnecessary music number.
  4. I’m totally lost.
  5. Is this a musical? **Googles** This is going to be a long hour and a half.
  6. Jack is a glorified party planner.
  7. Currently at the 16-minute mark, and I still don’t know what the plot is.
  8. You’ve got a whole year before Halloween rolls around again – chill out, bro.
  9. I know how to explain Christmas to everybody. Another song!
  10. Why do they need to kidnap Santa?
  11. Jack is kind of a dick.
  12. Don’t worry, he’s not dead. He’s the main character.
  13. Is this a Christmas or Halloween movie?
  14. Why is everyone white in Tim Burton movies?

Sorry this week’s post was so short.. Nightmare wasn’t really my cup of tea, although I do respect the time and effort Tim Burton and his team took to make it. Where it lost me was in its plot or even the lack of plot itself. Also, I’m not a huge fan of musicals. (Especially ones that don’t feature Meryl Streep.) Don’t worry, I will make it up to you next week!

Chef Review 

Due to Netflix constantly being updated, finding a new show on it can be hard. Hidden gems are buried between straight-to-DVD releases and Syfy original movies.
Chef was the indie darling that opened South by Southwest film festival in 2014. Last spring, Chef was picked up for distribution by Netflix.

Once an up-and-coming chef, Carl Casper, quits his jobs at a popular Los Angeles restaurant when the owner tells Carl to stick to the classics rather than make innovative dishes. Left to figure out what’s next, he ends up in Miami with his son and ex-wife. There, he is persuaded by his family and friends to launch a food truck, serving classic Cuban cuisine. The trip back to L.A. helps him repair his relationship with his preteen son, rediscovering his love for cooking along the way.
The film parallels the director, Jon Favreau, who wanted to go “back to basics” after directing multiple big budget movies back to back. Also standing in as the writer, Favreau embedded parts of his life into the main character. Both Favreau and the main character struggled between being a father and having a busy career.

Unlike Favreau’s past few films, Iron Man 1 & 2 and Cowboys vs. Aliens, Chef doesn’t rely on spectacle and action to fill in the runtime. The cast is what brings the movie to life.

In the movie, only three main characters are seen throughout the film. It seems like Favreau called a couple of his celebrity friends to fill the supporting cast, such as Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, and Bobby Cannavale. Favreau does another self-insert in this production by playing the main character. Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara is Inez, Casper’s ex-wife. This isn’t your normal over the top Vergara; here she is compelling and doesn’t scream into the camera. Percy, Casper’s son, is played by Emjay Anthony. Percy helps run his father’s social media for the truck and brings his parents back together.

Chef brings life back to the dying genre of the road trip film. The scenes that took place on the movie’s road trip were actually filmed in their designated locations. While in Miami, the crew filmed at the Versailles restaurant, the Fontainebleau Hotel, and the famous Cuban restaurant, Hoy Como Ayer, in Little Havana.

In past years, Indie films have been more accessible to the general audience. Nowadays, creators have the tools to make quality content with almost nothing. All you need for a good movie are well-thought-out characters and a camera.

The run time is 1 hour and 55 minutes and rated R for language. Chef is a feel-good comedy that’s perfect for a night in.

Top Summer Movies

Here we are once again; the summer is over, and school is back in full force. In all honesty, this summer’s movies were kind of lame. There wasn’t a huge standout movie such as 2015’s Jurassic World or 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. We had the same big-budget franchise flicks that normally prove to be a fun couple of hours, but after a while, they all just start to bleed together. For me, the summer movie season runs from the first of May to Labor Day weekend. Looking at the calendar, all the big hits have already come out. Therefore, here are my hits and misses of the summer blockbusters of 2016.

  1. Captain America: Civil War (May 6) – It continued the plot that was already set up in past installments. At the same time, it introduced new characters that will be used or have stand-alone movies in the future. STUCKY FOR LIFE!
  2. Finding Dory (June 17) – This was one of the only successful sequels made years after its initial release, and it didn’t recycle the same story from the first film.
  3. Star Trek Beyond (July 22) – It took Star Trek back to its roots by actually exploring space.
  4. Suicide Squad (Aug. 5) – It was basically a two hour music video with Batman.


  1. Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27) – Hot Topic made more money off of this movie than theaters did.
  2. The Free State of Jones (June 24) – It was basically summer Oscar bait where Matthew McConaughey gave far too many speeches.
  3. Ben-Hur (Aug. 19) – This movie was another unnecessary reboot that will not earn back its budget.
  4. Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24) – Jeff Goldblum might have saved the day, but he failed to save the movie from being a miss.

Ones I didn’t get around to seeing – I’ll rent later

  1. Southside With You (Aug. 19) – Obama : The Movie.
  2. Swiss Army Man (June 17) – Daniel Radcliffe’s corpse is a swiss army knife.
  3. The Nice Guys (May 20) – I don’t think anyone saw it, but I heard Gosling’s and Crowe’s chemistry is fantastic.
  4. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (June 3) – Because I’m trash.


Suicide Squad Review + Spicy Chicken and Waffles Sandwich

Boy, where has the summer gone? School starts back up soon, and there hasn’t been one huge standout movie of the year yet. After Batman v. Superman, Suicide Squad gave DC a second chance to take over the box office, fans, and the critics. Suicide Squad was a paint by the number action flick, but it was chaotic enough to make it work.

From a narrative standpoint, Suicide Squad was a mess. Earlier this year, I witnessed the exact same plot a handful of times. The plot should be at the center, and the characters should drive the plot forward. Suicide Squad did expand upon their characters by giving them quick origin stories via flashbacks. Director, David Ayer, most likely chose this style to give some insight on why they were chosen for the team. Giving minute long introductions effectively set up the squad without wasting a ton of time.

On the other hand, this was the most fun I had at the movies all summer. Its colorful cast of characters all need their own spin-offs. As much as I loved the cast, I felt like it was overcrowded at times and should have had fewer members on the squad. This would’ve given more time with each of the characters, and as a result, we would’ve gotten a chance to get to know them better.

This was the first movie in years where Will Smith hadn’t phoned it in for the paycheck. Of course, queen Margot Robbie was going to be a fan favorite. She’s freaking Harley Quinn! These two bounced back and forth with the “main character” role in Suicide Squad, though they didn’t have equal screen time.  

For the other members of the Suicide Squad, they needed to be featured more or not at all. El Diablo and Katana were the standouts for me and deserved extra screen time. There is so much DC can do with Katana, and they better not waste her. The two members of the squad that really served no purpose were Captain Boomerang and Slipknot. This was Jai Courtney’s best performance since Spartacus. (Flashbacks to Terminator Genisys.) Slipknot had the skills of a boy scout, and Boomerang robbed every bank in Australia. That’s all you need to know about them. Rick Flag didn’t serve a purpose, and you still could have had a movie without his weird Texas accent. Killer Croc looked amazing, but again, he was a wasted character.

Viola Davis can do no wrong, and she always gives an Oscar worthy performance. I wanted her to be the villain of the movie. Instead, we got Delevingne and her eyebrows. Delevingne’s acting has gotten better since I last saw her, but she still needs a lot of practice if she wants big roles like this.

Finally, we have the Joker himself: Jared Leto. From all the interviews and press it seemed like the Joker was going to be in it a lot more than 7 minutes. I really like how they blended every version of the Joker we’ve already seen into one psychopath. I think they nailed the Joker and Harley Quinn’s messed up relationship, and I need more of it. Leto did a fantastic job and complemented Ben Affleck’s Batman.

Sometimes the music was overbearing in scenes. The first act was almost like a music video. This was prominently featured in the squad’s introductions. Also, the music was almost always on the nose, such as when the squad was brought together and Seven Nation Army was playing.  Songs that were written for the film, including Purple Lamborghini, Sucker For Pain, and Heathens, fit in much better.

I’m not going to lie to you; I had a lot of fun with Suicide Squad. The cast had chemistry, and everyone pulled their own weight. My problem is that it had the same note by note action that I’ve already seen. With Wonder Woman and Justice League coming out next year, there is still hope for DC.

Suicide Squad was a hodgepodge of so many different things, and it worked. Brunch is the only time of day when you can have pancakes and salad at the same time without being judged! So why don’t we combine these two ideas into one sandwich?


Spicy Chicken and Waffles Sandwich


  • ½ cup waffle mix
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1/3 cup of shredded cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cooked diced chicken breast (4 oz)
  • 2 teaspoon sriracha


  1. Preheat waffle maker. In a medium bowl, combine waffle mix with water, cheese, garlic, basil, and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup.
  2. Once heated, prime waffle maker with cooking spray and pour in batter.
  3. While this is cooking, add together diced chicken, maple syrup, and sriracha in a small bowl and set to the side.
  4. After the waffle is cooked, remove and place to the side.
  5. Cut the waffle in half and place the chicken on one of the halves. Then top it off with the second half of the waffle.