Sunday, January 28, 2018


Last time we brought you a list, we focused on the films from 2017 that disappointed us. This week, we're here with a brand new, much happier list. Today, we want to share with you our TOP 10 BIGGEST MOVIE SURPRISES OF 2017! These are the flicks we thought were going to be awful but massively shattered our expectations. Do you agree or disagree with our picks? What films from 2017 surprised the heck out of you? We'd love to know! Onward with our choices!
10. "Power Rangers" - I was a hardcore Power Rangers fan when I was a little kid. I'm talking Halloween costumes, obsessively watching the TV show after I got home from school, owning every piece of merchandise the show had to offer, the whole nine. The trailer for this newest incarnation of my favorite, most beloved childhood TV show looked awful, so it was a complete and total surprise when BigJ and I both found lots of enjoyment in this reboot. It puts a darker spin on the source material but is still a fun, fan-serviced affair.
9. "Megan Leavey" - We knew very little about this movie going into it. We had never even seen a trailer for it which, if you've been longtime readers of our site, you'll know we see everything, so if we don't see a trailer for something, it's obvious the studio had no faith in it. All signs pointed to "Megan Leavey" being a total a trainwreck. Luckily, what we got was a surprisingly heartfelt and engaging true life story about a soldier and her bomb-sniffing dog that has both intense and genuinely emotional moments that drew us into the film and Leavey as a person.
8. "Ferdinand" - 2017 was a downright terrible year for animated films, with some notable exceptions. "Ferdinand" looked like it would fit right in and be another atrociously made animated picture, but it's actually way better than we expected! It is much funnier than it had any right to be. The voice acting is wonderful, particularly John Cena's. It's a story full of silliness and heart. Plus, the animation is constantly getting better from Blue Sky Studios. Give it a chance.
7. "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie" - We are both 30-something adults, so it's only appropriate that we cringed (really, really hard) when we saw that there was a movie coming out called "Captain Underpants." Shockingly, this is a sweet, self-aware, smart movie full of vibrant animation and little vignettes to keep the audience interested. Thomas Middleditch, Kevin Hart, and Nick Kroll bring the characters to life perfectly. It is actually quite funny, and not just for the youngins! Sure, it's got a lot of potty humor, but it is sure to put a smile on the face of everyone who watches it.
6. "xXx: Return of Xander Cage" - We were not fans of the original "xXx" film and we absolutely loathed the second installment in the series. Going into "xXx: Return of Xander Cage," we expected it to be completely stupid, and in many ways, it is. No matter how ridiculous, over-the-top, and laughable it can be, it doesn't matter because we wound having an absolute blast while watching it. There is not one ounce of sarcasm in our voices. We mean it. We loved it. Fight us.
5. "Wonder Woman" - Diana Prince's cameo was one of the best parts of "Batman vs. Superman" in our opinion. The DCEU hasn't exactly been full of slam dunks, so we feared the worst for this film. Fortunately, "Wonder Woman" was a massive hit both commercially and critically. We really, really enjoyed this movie. Gal Gadot is the perfect balance of fierce, naive, brave, charismatic, and badass. This movie is cohesive, colorful, and full of interesting characters. Patty Jenkins knocked it out of the park with this one!
4. "Girls Trip" - After the mega-flop that was "Rough Night," which came out only a few months before "Girls Trip," we were sure we would feel the same way about this latest female-centered comedy full of debauchery, bonding, and booze. Though it can get a bit dramatic at times, there's no denying this film is one of the best comedies of 2017. It's dirty, raucous, and most importantly, funny as hell. Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Queen Latifah, and breakout star Tiffany Haddish have tremendous chemistry as friends and make the story feel all the more believable. Get ready to laugh your ass off. 
3. "Annabelle: Creation" - If you're a studio head and you've greenlit a sequel to a very successful yet critically panned horror movie but don't know what to do with it, all you need to do to save your floundering film is hire Lulu Wilson! She has been in two horror prequels that are much, much better than their originals. The first was "Ouija: Origin of Evil," and now, "Annabelle: Creation." This movie is legitimately scary and moody as all hell. It truly benefits from an R-rating. It has a super creepy setting, an unsettling soundtrack, and tons of spooky imagery, all of which will certainly have an effect on the audience. What a difference a director makes!
2. "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" - We will admit, we were not huge fans of the original "Jumanji," but even we facepalmed when we heard they were making a sequel to Robin Williams' 1995 fan favorite. Talk about unnecessary. We were absolutely floored when "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" was a huge surprise for us. Banking on the charisma of Dwayne Johnson, his chemistry with Kevin Hart, a fresh and updated premise, and the humor derived from Jack Black playing a 16-year-old girl trapped in an overweight middle-aged man's body, we found a lot of enjoyment in this blockbuster action comedy that seems to be unstoppable. It's not a perfect movie, but damn it, we were very entertained!
1. "Wonder" - Judging by its trailers alone, "Wonder" looked like it would be yet another cheesy, cliche-riddled, disingenuous family film with a message shoehorned in for drama's sake. However, this film never once felt phony. It's a complete sincere tearjerker with fantastic performances from Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Izabela Vidovic. It has splendid makeup work and excellent direction. The characters, situations, and story are supremely relatable. The message is one of the utmost importance for kids and adults alike. We were blown away by this endearing, charming, heartfelt drama, and it is not at all what we expected it to be. We implore you: GO SEE THIS MOVIE!! You might be surprised, too.

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