Drew’s Movie Reviews Turns 4! Anniversary Celebration: My Fave Five New Movies I Watched in Year 4

Hello, friends!

I’m happy to see you could make it to my blogiversary celebration! Four years ago today, I took the plunge and started this little blog of mine. To celebrate this milestone, I have reviewed all three of the Brendan Frasier Mummy films.  If you missed any of them, here they are:

The Mummy
The Mummy Returns
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

I have seen some great, and not so great, films over the past 365 days.  Per tradition, here are my five favorite films I watched during my fourth year of blogging.

Wonder Woman movie poster5) Wonder Woman

I had a hard time deciding what movie was going to fill this fifth spot. This slot also could have gone to Spider-Man: Homecoming or Atomic Blonde. Instead, I chose Wonder Woman for several reasons. First of which, Gal Gadot makes for the perfect Wonder Woman. Also, it gives girls a female superhero they can look up to. But finally, DC finally made a good superhero movie as part of their Extended Universe (DCEU). The final act left a lot to be desired and turned into your hero vs villain slug fest. However, I think the first two-thirds made up for it easily.

John Wick: Chapter 2 movie poster4) John Wick: Chapter 2

John Wick made my top films of Year 2 and I rated Chapter 2 higher so it should come as no surprise this made the list again this year. Chapter 2 does everything that a good sequel should do: ups the stakes for the the main character, develop the main character more, and build the world around them. John Wick definitely had a lot more to deal with but we also learned a lot more about his past. My favorite thing about these movies is the assassin underworld it created. In the first film, only the surface was explored. Like Wick’s past, we learn much more about this assassin world.  Going into the film, I wasn’t sure that I wanted a second John Wick movie but now I can’t wait for the third.

Moana movie poster3) Moana

Disney has been on an awesome trend lately of making great films and Moana keeps the trend going. Auli’i Cravalho, a first-time actress, does wonderfully as the titular character. Dwayne Johnson has quickly become one of my favorite actors at the moment and Maui was the role he was born to play.  I could honestly go on and on about how much I love this film but you can just read my review for all that. 😛

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie poster2) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I honestly wasn’t a big fan of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens. As a result, I was a little more weary going into Rogue One than I would have expected. This movie seems to be one of the more polarizing films among Star Wars fans but I greatly enjoyed it. Several characters did not get the development the deserved, mostly the movie saw them as expendable. However, this is one of the most action-heavy chapters of the Star Wars saga. The final third of the film was one giant action scene that eclipses the last third of The Return of the Jedi. It also gave fans one of the most badass Darth Vader scenes. What more could you ask for?

Your Name movie poster1) Your Name

Not to sound like an insensitive jerk, but I have never been so happy for someone to have gotten sick than when my buddy’s wife got sick, leaving him with an extra ticket to the limited theatrical release of Your Name. Because had she been healthy, I would have missed this wonderful film. The best word to describe this film is gorgeous. And the story is equally as beautiful and engaging. It’s funny to see interviews with the director saying he doesn’t feel this film should be getting all the praise it has because I think it deserves all that praise and then some. Your Name isn’t only one of the best films I have seen in the last year, it is one of the best films I have seen ever.


And that’s it! I have finished another year at DMR. I can’t thank all of you enough. Every like and comment remind me why I’m still blogging. Your love and support means the world to me and I would not be here without you. Thank you all so much! Let’s make year five even more memorable. 😀

Until next time, cheers!

Drew’s Movie Reviews Turns 3! Anniversary Week 3 Conclusion: My Fave Five New Movies I Watched in Year 3

Hey there, dear readers!

Welcome to my blog’s third birthday! That’s right, 36 months ago to the day I posted my first posts.  And in that time it has blossomed into the cute little place you see today.  In what has become customary here, I reviewed two trilogies throughout the week.  This year, I looked at two series that I haven’t seen before: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. If you missed any of my reviews for them, here are the links:

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 Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

One of the biggest changes I made this blogging year was changing my scoring system.  From the start up through December 2015, I used a number rating from 0.5 to 5. Beginning with my review of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens, I transitioned into a more loose rating of BAD, OK, GOOD, GREAT.  This wasn’t exactly a huge change but it allowed me to feel less confined in my scorings. A more vague approach allowed me to make my reviews more in line with how I would speak about the film to you as if we were face-to-face, which is more the goal of this blog.  You guys seemed to handle the change pretty well and were very supportive of it.

Many great bloggers nominated me for awards this year but I dropped the ball on them.  I like doing write-ups for award nominations, it is a great way to interact with my fellow bloggers, but I never got around to many this year.  Much of my time and focus went into my reviews, features, playing Splatoon (seriously, I’m addicted to that game), or many of the other things I do outside of blogging.  So I would just like to take this time and thank those of you who gave me an award that I never responded to.  I didn’t forget about you (well I did but I also didn’t) and I appreciate the nominations.  Thank you.

Every blogiversary, I like to look back at all the movies I have watched in the last twelve months and give the top ones I have watched that were new to me, whether I watched them on home video or in the theater. Last year, my list was comprised of entirely movies seen in theaters but this year it is mixed, which is exciting. So here are my fave five films I watched during my third year of blogging.

Rocky Balboa movie poster5) Rocky Balboa

Late in 2015, I went through the Rocky series for the first time.  Out of all six, Rocky Balboa was my favorite.  Rocky V was a very disappointing end to the series, so I’m really glad that a sixth Rocky was released because it gave the character an ending he deservedThe entire series is composed of feel-good moments but Rocky Balboa was the most emotional of them all.  Most of the time is spent outside the boxing ring, and with a Rocky coming to terms with his old age, it offers one of the best character studies of the series.  I know many people consider Rocky the best of the series but I think that honor belongs to Rocky Balboa.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King movie poster4) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

After the slow start in The Fellowship of the Ring and large set-up in The Two Towers, The Return of the King brings all of the plot threads together.  The run time is absurdly long but it packs a lot in.  The action is top-notch and all the characters get satisfying endings to their stories.  The use of practical effects most of the time and using CGI only when necessary adds so much to the film that got lost in the Hobbit series, something that plagues many films today.  I know I got around to watch this series late, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Zootopia movie poster3) Zootopia

Every Disney movie tries to have some sort of lesson.  Zootopia has the standard “don’t give up on your dreams” that is common in many Disney movies.  But on top of that, it tries to handle the sensitive topic of racism and stereotypes.  Although the topic is brought up often, it doesn’t feel heavy handed.  It comes across strongly but never overwhelming.  What really solidified this as a favorite for me was the buddy cop aspect.  Nick Wilde (Jasaon Bateman) and Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) try to solve a mystery of savage residents in Zootopia.  Like the best buddy cop movies, they are very different and become reluctant partners.  Disney has had a resurgence lately and Zootopia is keeping that train going strong.

Some Like it Hot movie poster2) Some Like It Hot

I’ve seen Some Like It Hot on several “best of” comedy movie lists.  Comedy is one of my favorite genres so the “Try it, you’ll like it” blogathon hosted by Movies Silently and Sister celluloid gave me the perfect chance to check it out.  Whenever I look at “definitive” or “best of” lists like that, I always read them with some hesitation because I have been let down before.  However, Some Like It Hot every bit deserves to be on those lists.  Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are absolutely hilarious together.  Every scene is side splitting.  If you have never seen this, you owe it to yourself to check it out. You won’t be disappointed. As they say, they don’t make them like this anymore.

Deadpool movie poster1) Deadpool

It was tough to decide which movie got the top spot on this list but Deadpool inched out over Some Like It Hot.  Deadpool had been in development hell for years and audiences were not sure if it was even going to happen.  After a disappointing appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Fox had to nail the character of Deadpool this time or completely lose the support of fans.  Luckily, they completely nailed him.  Ryan Reynolds was perfect in his first outing as Wade Wilson and is even better the second time.  It is easy to tell he and the entire cast was having a great time.  As a huge fan of the character myself, I could not ask for a better movie version of the character.

And with that, I close out year three and move into year four!  From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all of you for reading this blog.  I know people say this all the time but it does not make it any less true: I wouldn’t be here without any of you (heh, I rhymed). Your constant likes and comments tell me all the time spent writing reviews, finding quotes, gathering trailers and collaborating with many of you is all worth while.  Thank you everyone for all your support!

I’m excited to see what the next twelve months have in store and hope you will stick around to help me see it, too. 🙂

Until next time. Cheers!

Christmas in July Blogathon 2016 Wrap Up + Anniversary Week 3 Kick Off

Hello! And welcome to the closing ceremony of this years Christmas in July Blogathon. In case you missed any of the entries, here they are:

Tom’s Top Christmas Specials and Movies (Tom)
Bad Santa Review (Keith)
Star Wars Christmas Special Review (Allie)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol Review (Bex)
A Midnight Clear and Elf Reviews (Rob)
Gremlins Review (Kim)
A Christmas Story Review

Now let’s have a look at who is coming to our party:

Priyanka ChopraNatalie Dormer
Kate McKinnonEmma StoneTom Hiddleston
Jared LetoScott Eastwood
Oscar Isaacs

That is one helluva guest list! A big thanks goes out to all of the participants for joining in the blogathon this year.  It is always a blast to see what you guys and gals choose for your submissions, especially since I don’t have many rules for what can and can’t be submitted outside of the Christmas theme.  I hope you had just as much fun as I did. 🙂

Aaaaand with that, the blogathon has officially concluded!  But don’t worry, you haven’t gotten rid of me just yet.  The next big thing happening around here is the celebration of this blog turning three! Every year to celebrate this blog’s anniversary, I review two trilogies, with one movie review posted every day during the week of my blogiversary.  This year, I am reviewing trilogies I have never seen before: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. That starts soon with my review of The Fellowship of the Ring.  Check back again later today for that.

Until then, cheers!

Christmas in July Blogathon 2015 Wrap Up + Anniversary Week Kick Off

Hey, my dear readers!

Welcome to the closing ceremony of the Christmas in July 2015 Blogathon!  If you missed any of the entries, here’s the list:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) Review
Twelve Days of Blu-Rays Riddle
Hey, Arnold Holiday Special
Allie’s Christmas Film List
Gremlins Review
Kim’s Favorite Characters in Christmas Movies
A Christmas Carol (1951) Review
Four Christmases Review

If you want to take a crack at Tim’s Twelve Days of Blu-Rays riddle, check it out before you finish reading because I will post the answers at the end of this article.

Next, Let’s take a look at the guest list of our Christmas Party:

Monica BellucciPaigeCLIFFHANGER, Janine Turner, 1993, (c)TriStar PicturesAlex-MorganLindseyStirlingAllie-Christmas-In-July-2015_3drew van acker pic

There is one good looking party and one where I would want to be!

And with that, this years festivities have come to a close.  I would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s Christmas in July Blogathon: Steve, Tim, SG, Allie, Darren, Kim, and Rob.  I had a ton of fun reading your submissions and putting these together and I hope you had just as much writing them.

 

Once again, I have fallen behind on posting reviews (thank goodness for guest reviews to make it look like I’m actually doing something!).  BUT, there is a very good reason for it.  You see, next week my lowly corner in the blogesphere will be turning two! *Sniffle* They grow up so fast, don’t they? *Sniffle* So to celebrate, I have been watching and reviewing six movies to post this week. If you read my list of my fave five films from my childhood, then you will know that Ocean’s Eleven and Toy Story are two of my absolute favorite films, even to this day.  Starting tomorrow, I will review the Ocean’s trilogy.  Following that, I will review the Toy Story Trilogy.

Hold up, are you saying that’s not good enough for you? Ok, fine. If you’re going to twist my arm, I’ll do more.  As it just so happens, when I started Drew’s Movie Reviews, I started with six reviews. So along with the new reviews, I will also be reposting my original six reviews (and updating them to my current format), that way we can all point and laugh see how much I’ve grown over the last two years.  I’m really looking forward to it and I hope you are, too. 😀

Cheers!

 

Twelve Days of Blu-Rays answers (highlight to reveal):

12 guys debating 12 Angry Men (1957)
11 robbers scheming Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
10 plagues destroying The Ten Commandments (1956)
9 prints for Satan The Ninth Gate (1999)
8 legs attacking Eight Legged Freaks (2002)
7 swords defending Seven Samurai (1954)
6 teammates fighting Big Hero 6 (2014)
5 speeding bros Fast Five (2011)
4 mutant team Fantastic Four (2005)
3 dumb friends Three Stooges (2012) or 3 Idiots (2009) or Three Amigos (1986)
2 columned forts The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
1 killer sent to Hades The One (2001)

Anniversary Week: Conclusion

That’s all he wrote.  I debated writing some of what’s in this post on Wednesday, the day of my blogiversary, or at the conclusion of the celebration itself.  In the end, I decided in the middle of the festivities wouldn’t be the best place.  Let’s sum up this week: all six Star Wars films reviewed (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith), three new weekly features (Monday Movie Fun Fact, Movie Whose Line, and Movie Quote of the Week), one new semi-frequent feature (My Fave Five), and the very first review I wrote (Walking Tall).  And to top it off, my personal movie collection reached 300 with the purchase of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (which I reviewed back in November).  That’s one hell of a week!

When I started this blog last year, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.  I could write the crap out of a research paper, but my writing skills for any other format aren’t anything to write home about, so I was uncertain about how the reviews themselves would turn out.  Before actually creating the blog, I wanted to have a decent number of reviews written.  Last summer was an unusually theater-going time for me.  I watched something like six movies in eight weeks (nine in twelve weeks if you count Iron Man 3 and We’re the Millers).  Knowing that this would be my chance to get several reviews quickly written, I made sure to take notes after the movie and write something in the following couple days.  And thus the Original Six appeared: Now You See Me, Man of Steel, World War Z, The Heat, Pacific Rim, and The Wolverine.  And with that, Drew’s Movie Reviews was born.

I’m not great with speeches so I’ll just end with this: Thank you.  Thank you to you, my readers and followers.  With all the movie review sites on the web, I wasn’t even sure if mine would be noticed.  But when the likes and comments slowly began to trickle in, I knew I had made a good choice.  If blogging is all about making connections and meeting new people, then I have greatly succeeded.  Over the last twelve months, I have made many new friends, whose articles I look forward to reading every day.  Thank you for the likes, comments, and support over the last year!

*raises glass* Here’s to a fun and fantastic Year 2!

Wait, It’s Been a Year Already?

Not quite, but more on that in a moment.  First, I would like to thank Rob and Natalie for sending in reviews for my Christmas in July Blogathon.  Rob reviewed It’s a Wonderful Life and Natalie reviewed National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  You can read their reviews, as well as my review of The Santa Clause, by clicking on the movie posters below.  I really appreciate your participation.  Thanks, guys.

It's a Wonderful Life movie posterNational Lampoon's Christmas Vacation movie posterThe Santa Clause movie poster

Second, I have some explaining to do.  As you may have noticed (or not, depending on how closely you follow this blog), I have not been very active the last several weeks.  The thing is I have been busy, just behind the scenes.  You see, next week is very important for this blog because it’s ANNIVERSARY WEEK!  Wednesday (7/30) will be the 366th day since I started this site and posting movie reviews and trailers.  I thought to myself, “What would be the best way to celebrate?”  Then it hit me, how about I review my favorite movie series ever: the Star Wars saga.  BOOM! Perfect.  So starting Monday, I will post a Star Wars review every day.

And if you act now, we’ll double the offer! Wait, oops, wrong plug-in.

On top of the one Star Wars post, I will also have a second post each day.  Most will be features I hope to start doing regularly or semi-regularly, others are going to be just random funness (it’s a word in the Drewtionary) to celebrate the occasion.  I hope my explosion of posts next week makes up for my lack of posts in the last few weeks.  I can’t wait for next week!  It’s going to be exciting and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 😀

Before I go, I’ll leave you with this: the first episode of Space Janitors.  It’s a webseries about what it’s like living and working on a large battle station, like the Death Star, but from the janitors’ point-of-view.  This is my favorite webseries I have seen.  There are so many references towards Star Wars, and science-fiction tropes in general (but mainly Star Wars), that it will be hard not to discover something you will find entertaining.  I highly recommend you check out both seasons (a third is currently in production).

Enjoy!