Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Entertainment

My Not-So Subjective Film List

Here’s a list of movies from the first six months of 2024 that are a combination of my favorite hits, and popular hits.

Illustration by Sophia Song
Credit: llustration/Sophia Song

Within the first six months of 2024, we’ve experienced a lot of pop culture phenomena. There are too many to list, but you get the gist—one of these phenomena is films. Whether it be streaming, or a blockbuster hit, these first six months have given us some tear-jerking, eye-brow-raising, heartwarming, and comedic films that will guarantee us all of those great fuzzy feels for a lifetime. However, one may ask, what makes these films so great? Why should these be on a top 10 film list?

Subjectivity, it’s all relative. Or however, the phrase goes. When we watch a film, we tend to wait for others to give us their opinion; whether that be reviews from film critics, our friends, and family, or our favorite Reddit board, we tend to rely on what other people think. That’s how our opinions form; but, have we stopped to ask ourselves, what do we think? Why do we like a film?

I can’t answer that question, but I can debunk a myth. I’ve compiled a list of six films that have come out within the first six months of 2024- some of them highly rated and some of them not. We have to look deeper into why we like a film. Is it themes that we can relate to? A certain scene that resonates with us? Colors that stood out? It may be several reasons, but here’s my not-so-subtle, and very subjective film list.

JANUARY

MEAN GIRLS

Eating lunch in the stall? Yikes! Credit: Youtube/Paramount Pictures

Based on the 2004 film starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried, and later Broadway musical, Mean Girls makes its remake return- but in musical form!

Cady Herron (Angourie Rice), a recent transfer student from Africa makes her debut at Northshore High and adjusts to high school after being home-schooled all of her life. In this attempt to adjust and fit in, she meets The Plastics, the high school mean-girl clique, led by Regina George (Renee Rapp), and her minions, Gretchen Weiners (Bebe Wood) and Karen Shetty (Avantika), originally Karen Smith. Cady eventually finds herself more plastic than ever and abandons her orginal friends Janis Sarkisian (Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian Hubbard (Jaquel Spivey) who loved her pre-plastic in their time of need; and to impress her crush, Aaron Samuels (Chris Briney). She soon realizes that being plastic is overrated, and it’s better to be a star when you’re authentically you.

Sweet, sweet revenge comes back in song. Credit: Youtube/Paramount Pictures

Themes: Identity, Power, Women, and Feminity, Society and Class

Favorite Songs: “Revenge Party”, “Rather Be Me”, “World Burn”, “Stupid with Love”, “Someone Gets Hurt”

Rotten Tomatoes Scoring: 69%

Audience Score: 62%

Review Corner: I come from a musical theatre background, and I was disappointed with the lack of Broadway casting for the main roles. Despite this, I enjoyed Renee Rapp’s performance as Regina George, especially since I had seen her previous Broadway performance of the role on social media. I also appreciated Auli’i Cravalho and Jaquel Spivey’s performances. However, I was disappointed that the story did not stay true to the musical format. On the positive side, I enjoyed the ode to Y2K fashion, the color scheme and theory presented in the film, and how the film focused on teenagers. Overall, it’s a beautiful coming-of-age story, relevant to the times of social media.

Personal rating: 3/5

FEBRUARY

BOB MARLEY: ONE LOVE

Bob Marley and family gathered around a bonfire. Credit: Youtube/Paramount Pictures

Based on the actual life events of reggae singer, Bob Marley (Kingsley Ben-Adir), One Love depicts Marley’s rise to fame until his early death in 1981.

While a big chunk of One Love’s events center around Marley’s concert, Smile for Jamaica, to promote peace amongst warring factions during that time, a lot of it centers around his childhood, recording for his album, Exodus, life with his wife Rita (Lashana Lynch), who was also a back-up singer in his band and moments from his childhood.

One Love Trailer. Credit: Youtube/Paramount Pictures

Themes: Peace, Love and Redemption

Favorite Songs: “I Shot the Sheriff”, “Jamming”, “Three Little Birds”, “One Love”, “Exodus”, and “War”

Rotten Tomatoes: 44%

Audience Score: 92%

Review Corner: What draws me to One Love is the biographical elements of the story. I love biopics because they give us insight not only to the figure and their sentiments but to the world outside of the figure. The cohesive parallels between what’s happening in Marley’s inner world and his outer world also make for great storytelling and cohesive storytelling from beginning to end. There are many relatable events that we can still relate to in a 2024 context, and I enjoy seeing stories about revolution. The colors give context from the gritty environment to ones that evoke hope and change. Overall, this film is one that will be remembered for generations to come.

Personal Rating: 3.5/5

MARCH

KUNG-FU PANDA 4

Po meditating under a cherry blossom tree. Credit: Youtube/Universal Pictures

In this fourth installment of the Kung-Fu Panda franchise, Po (Jack Black), must find and train a new successor as the Dragon Warrior. Through this journey, he teams up with Zhen(Awkwafina) to defeat the evil sorceress, The Chameleon (Viola Davis) to thwart her attempts to steal all of the kung-fu abilities of kung-fu masters in China. Throughout the film, we see Po beginning to see the world for what it is, letting go of things outside of his control and finding his inner peace.

Kung-Fu Panda Trailer. Credit: Youtube/Universal Pictures

Themes: Identity and Self-Discovery

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%

Audience Rating: 86%

Review Corner: I’ve watched every Kung Fu Panda since the first one in 2008. While I enjoy the cartoon humor and Po defeating a new villain now and then, this is one of my favorite movies in the Kung-Fu Panda franchise. This new movie puts Po in a leadership position. We see Po take the lead, but he’s taking someone under his lead, which is new for him. He’s taken on a similar role to Master Shifu, so it’s funny to see Po get a taste of his own medicine, so to speak with Zhen. We also see Po’s inner peace, so to speak, being challenged.

Po’s gotten comfortable, and his inner peace being challenged resembled a level of discomfort that I’ve never seen before. We see Po changing, growing, and discovering new things about himself before our very eyes. I also like the sub-plot with Zhen and her acceptance to trust and open up to others. Zhen and Po helped each other grow, it’s beautiful to see their growth.

Change is scary, something that we’ve all experienced in over lives, but Po’s journey reaffirms that while change is scary, the outcome is always beautiful.

Personal rating: 4.5/5

APRIL

CHALLENGERS

Tashi Duncan, tennis star. Credit: Youtube/IGN Movie Trailers

Tashi Duncan (Zendaya) plays a tennis star in this poignant film about playing the game of tennis and what it symbolizes. At a match, she meets tennis newcomer Patrick Zweig (Josh O’Connor) and Art Donaldson (Mike Faist) who instantly become attracted to her and vie for her attention. The boys’ relationship suffers, and they must circle back to the importance of the game.

Challengers Trailer. Credit: YouTube/Amazon MGM Studios

Themes: Passion

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

Audience Rating: 73%

Review Corner: Four Words: I love this movie! There was a lot of confusion about the plot and the hidden meanings of the film, but everything was so poignant, so beautifully written and acted to me. Biased, I know, but I enjoy and appreciate films that have a nuanced black character, especially if that main character is a black woman. I felt every loss, grief and passion that Tashi felt the entirety of this film and while some may call her ice queen, her coldness was deserved, especially since she lost everything that she worked so hard for. To have a complex character like Tashi and have male characters like Patrick and Art felt completely justified; there was a certain anger that I felt when I witnessed Patrick and Art’s nonchalant behavior towards the game of tennis. It wasn’t just a game. It was art. From beginning to end, I enjoyed every scene. The color was rich, vibrant, and discolored enough at the right moments to show the grit, passion, and loss. The cinematography, is also a serve.

Overall, I would see this film many more times!

Personal Rating: 5/5

MAY

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

King Kong in action. Credit: YouTube/Warner Bros. Pictures

In this film, Kong discovers his own species in Hollow Earth and must team up with Godzilla in an effort to challenge an invavise enemy from threatning his own kind and human kind. On Earth, Jia (Kaylee Hottle), the last surviving member of the Iwi tribe, her adoptive mother, Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), conspiracy podcaster, Bernie Hayes(Brian Tyree Henry), and veternarian, Trapper (Dan Stevens) travel to Hollow Earth after Jia senses that Kong is in danger. Danger ensues.

Trailer for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Rotten Tomatoes: 54%

Themes: Protecting and Co-existing with Nature

Audience Rating: 91%

Review Corner: Action, action, and more action! One of my more honest moments about the film is that the action of the film felt very overplayed. Nothing bad about it, but it felt like every other action film. It doesn’t make it any less spectacular, but I thought there could’ve been more plot in those moments. One of the moments that did impress me were the themes of colonialism and working to exist with nature, which was demonstrated with Jia and the Iwi tribe. When we work together to protect nature, we do a lot more good than harm.

Personal Rating: 3/5

JUNE

INSIDE OUT 2

Riley’s entered the teen years. Credit: YouTube/Pixar

In the sequel to the much-anticipated animation of the year, Riley Anderson, now a teenager, faces a whole new slew of raw emotions that no one, not even her original emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust can anticipate. Riley and her emotions have to learn when to let go and when to embrace the unexpected and uncertainty. For our lifetimes, we’re always navigating our emotions, but isn’t always so pretty in the beginning.

Trailer for Inside Out 2. Credit: Youtube/Pixar

Themes: Puberty, Anxiety, Emotions make us who we are, Friendships and Peer Pressure

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

Audience: 96%

Review Corner: I loved the first Inside Out, and now I love this one! The first movie came out when I was fifteen years old, and being only 3-4 years older than Riley was in the first movie, there was a familiarity that I almost didn’t want to revisit, but I immediately felt comforted by. Now, in my twenties, I don’t look at certain events or emotions with dread; partly, because I’m a year away from my pre-frontal cortex developing and I’ve experienced a lot to know that events don’t make you, you; it’s how we take away from those situations. The teen years are something that I look at with nostalgia and dread; the dread comes from having to deal with all those emotions and not knowing how to express them, or being ashamed that I even have them, like Riley. However, as I’ve grown older, I realize that it’s okay to feel all those things because not feeling your emotions means much worse. Inside Out 2 is a poignant film that makes me grateful for how much I’ve grown, but grateful for my experiences, even if I’m only now appreciative of them.

Personal Rating: 5/5

CONCLUSION

I know that I said that I found each film to be a star film for each month, but there’s never truly a perfect film; you’ll always find some flaws, some films that you like more than others, etc. Isn’t that what subjectivity is?

I did find some truths and things that I learned from each film. There’s beauty in film, even if you, yourself don’t see it. So, all of my ratings weren’t five out of five, and that brought some angst in writing this, but that’s okay. Subjectivity is relative, or however, the phrase goes.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement

You May Also Like

Politics

The UK's Conservatives experienced a disastrous performance at July's general election, with polls indicating a near-total abandonment by Gen Z voters.

Travel

Choosing what excursions to do in Sicily, Italy while not overspending doesn't have to be a struggle.

TV & Film

A year ago, Barbenheimer injected new life into the film industry. Twelve months later, is the cinema world still going strong?

Entertainment

A love letter to all the 2000's kids with good taste.

Copyright © 2024 Trill Mag