Though I don't watch shows or movies (or plays) as much as I used to, every once in a while I get hooked on a show and I just can't stop watching. Here's a list of the films and shows that I'm enjoying right now:

CURRENTLY WATCHING


2017 TV/Film Listing

  1. Your Lie in April (TV): I'm not sure how to talk about this anime coherently. It might be my favorite show of all time. It might be one of the most profound pieces of art that I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. And it just might have changed my life forever. For good. Seize the day, my friends. Live every moment as if it were your last, and learn to love the beauty of this small span of years we have on this Earth, and how it points to the beauty of the One who defines the concept of beauty in the first place.
  2. La La Land (Movie): This was the best film of 2016, hands down. It is arguably a perfect movie, with the plotting and execution of that plot so masterfully crafted that each moment is a masterpiece of cinema. I could go on for hours about this film, but suffice it to say that you are missing out on virtual perfection if you don't give it a chance.
  3. The Man in the High Castle (TV): This show is utterly fascinating. An alternate history set in 1960's America if the Axis Powers had won World War II, The Man in the High Castle gives us a dark and enrapturing look at a past that never was.
  4. Orange (TV): This show is what Thirteen Reasons Why should have been. It is so good, so poignant, and speaks to depression and suicide in such powerful, truthful ways. Watch this anime.
  5. Your Name (Movie): This movie was absolutely gorgeous, in every way. The animation, the music, and every little attention to detail made this movie such eyecandy. But that's not even the best part of this movie; not only are the characters endearing and relatable, but the plot is SO solid and filled with great twists and turns that had me guessing right until the very end. GO SEE THIS MOVIE.
  6. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Movie): Watched the new Spider-Man for my birthday. Came out with renewed vigor for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There is life here, everyone. This movie proves it. It was possibly Marvel's best solo hero film to date (possibly excluding the first Iron Man), and comes very close to parring with the ensemble films. This is an example of what a superhero movie can be--fun and silly without undermining itself with cliche villains or forced humor. GO SEE THIS MOVIE.
  7. War for the Planet of the Apes (Movie): This movie was not what I thought it would be. It was so much more. This was not a movie that was just a war between apocalypse-torn humans and advanced sentient apes. It was a story about revenge, loss, friendship, and sacrifices that brought together a wonderful trilogy in such a powerful way. Fantastic characters, wonderful humor, and heart-wrenching storytelling.
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Movie): This was an absolutely excellent film. The characters were fun and well-developed, and it was great to be able to hang out with these characters again. The plot was fast-paced, well-foreshadowed, and just plain fun. The music was really well done and added to the movie well, and the special effects were gorgeous. More than all of that, the humor was simply "laugh-so-hard-you-cry" all the way through, and that was what I came for. Super recommended.
  9. Arrival (Movie): This movie was a little mind-blowing. It was such solid science fiction, with crazy twists and turns and a great mystery thread all the way through the story. And better yet, it was first contact science fiction without the cliche "Independence Day the aliens are going to kill us immediately" plot hook. The film was about humanity, time, language, and communication in a strong, poignant emotional story that took my breath away with its simplicity and complexity. Highly recommended.
  10. The Expanse (TV): One of the coolest sci-fi shows I've ever had the pleasure of watching, The Expanse is hard science-fiction at its best, portraying a fascinating future where Earth and the human colony of Mars are on the brink of war, with the Belters (the mining colonies in the Asteroid Belt) caught in the middle. The cultural differences and the political machinations of this show are wonderful to watch and enjoy.
  11. The Theory of Everything (Movie): I finally got around to watching this wonderful film, and it was beautiful, depressing, and moving in all the right ways. Atheistic optimism tends to be depressing for me, and this movie played it up so well, as well as the heart-wrenching love story between the two main characters (Stephen and Jane Hawking). The acting was phenomenal on every level, from every minor character to the two leads, whose dedication and enthusiasm for their parts was astounding and moving. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones were a wonder to behold.
  12. Fuuka (TV): One of the many anime I've enjoyed this year, Fuuka is a cute, deep, and fun story about a group of high schoolers who start a band. There's romance, drama, comedy, and plenty of awesome music, which I'm still listening to even now. There's a little bit of inappropriate content, as anime tends to have, but it's still a great show that I enjoyed immensely.
  13. ReLIFE (TV): A fun, quirky, and intensely enjoyable anime with interesting characters and cute yet deep relationship drama. 
  14. Noragami (TV): This anime is a bit different than the others I've been watching, in that it's not a high school romance story (haha I'm a sucker for those), but instead a dark, deep story about a minor god in the Japanese pantheon who goes around Japan righting wrongs in classic Percy Jackson-esque style. It's a great show with a good mix of humor and drama, and I've really enjoyed it so far. The worldbuilding is interesting, and the music is epic.
  15. Serenity (Movie): It has been a long time in coming to finally sit down and watch this movie. And it was worth the wait. A fantastic film with all the right stuff--great worldbuilding, great characters, great plot, great humor, and a great ending for the world of Firefly and the characters we've come to know and love. Thank you, Joss Whedon, for the 'verse, and goodbye, Serenity.
  16. Thor: Ragnarok (Movie): This was a good movie. I like.
  17. The Greatest Showman (Movie): I really, really liked this movie. It was a fantastic musical, and it resonated deeply with me, as a creative person who dreams big dreams. Watch this movie.
  18. Baby Driver (Movie): This movie was a blast. Every moment was dynamic and interesting, and the characters were iconic, well-fleshed out, but had easy-to-follow motivations. The soundtrack was masterfully done, and the driving stunts were phenomenal. Though not my favorite film of the year, it was still a fantastic movie. Content Warning: Lots of swearing.
  19. Mad Max: Fury Road (Movie):  This film blew me away in its intensity and utter chaotic glory. It's been a while since I've been on the edge of my seat, desperately clinging to the hope that any of the people in the movie would make it through alive. The action was phenomenal, and the lack of reliance on CGI really shines through, making this movie the glorious homage to good ol' classic real-life stunts and explosions that it is. Also, there's a guy with a freaking flaming guitar. What more could you want?
  20. Clannad (TV)
  21. Kanon (TV)
  22. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Movie): I really did enjoy this film. It had its problems, but it was much better than Force Awakens, and it subverted my "Empire Strikes Back"-shaped expectations wonderfully. Oh, and I really like Poe.
  23. Edge of Tomorrow (Movie): I was entranced by this film and its mastery of foreshadowing, technique, concepts, and dedication to making a darn good story. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt at their finest, with great characterization, breakneck pacing, and a fascinating setting.
  24. Wonder Woman (Movie): The film was phenomenal. Great acting, writing, music, and cinematography. The middle was literally perfect, and though the beginning was a little clumsy, and the ending had a few thematic issues, it was a great, great movie.
  25. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Movie): This film is fantastic. Interesting moral questions, great action, deep characters (ones we know and love and ones we grow to), and epic plotting. 
  26. Me Before You (Movie): This movie gave me anger. That does not in any way make this movie a bad movie. But I doubt it was the emotion that the creators of the movie wanted me to feel at the end, and that is a bit of a failure on their part. This movie is adorable, and touching, and wonderfully plotted. Its characters are fantastic, and the love story blossoming between our two leads was heartwarming. But this movie is about assisted suicide, and it paints it in a good light, and I cannot forgive it for that. It had me screaming at the television, hoping that someone would actually GET how horrible the situation happening before their eyes was. Someone was taking their own life, and that can never be allowed to happen. And so this movie made me angry. But it was a good movie that gave me deep thoughts about a troubling topic. And at the end of the day, what more can you ask for?
  27. X-Men: Apocalypse (Movie): This movie was wonderful. I've heard mixed reviews of the movie, but I was blown away by how intense and willing to raise stakes this movie was. The themes were all great, and tied it back very nicely to what makes X-Men X-Men. Definitely recommended, and heartbreaking and hopeful in all the right ways.
  28. Beauty and the Beast (Movie): This was a gorgeous movie, inside and out. The music, the visuals, the characters, and the setting were a wonder to behold. My main problems with the movie was the pacing, which was a little off--too fast in some parts, and too awkward in others. There were a few sub-plot sorts of things that were largely irrelevant and added nothing to the story. Overall, though, I enjoyed the film tremendously and the acting was phenomenal.
  29. Teen Titans (TV): Started rewatching the series with my brother Chase and though the show starts rough, it quickly became endearing and heartwrenching as the show progressed. It's a great, fun show with interesting characters and great, if simple, storytelling.
  30. Moon (Movie): This movie was definitely a mind-trip. I originally watched it because one of my favorite composers, Clint Mansell, did the score, and I fell in love with it, this movie was definitely worth watching on its own account. The movie is about a man on a station on the moon, whose own companion is himself and an AI named GERTY. It's trippy, intense, heartbreaking, and great. Though, there is definitely a content warning on this: lots of language. There is virtually nothing else wrong with the movie except for some strong language, and it's a shame they had to throw that in, it probably cut off general access to a fantastic movie from a lot of people.
  31. The Grey (Movie): I enjoyed this film immensely. It's a simple, beautiful film with a simple, beautiful ending. And that's all it ever needed to be. But also...there's an incredible amount of language in it. Not recommended if you don't have a tolerance for that sort of thing.
  32. Fruits Basket (TV): This was such an adorable little anime series. The story of a young girl and her constant optimism slowly healing the hearts of some troubled people, Fruits Basket has a special place in my heart, and though the show is undoubtedly very strange and not for everyone, I'll always remember the boundless love and hope of Tohru Honda and her quest to learn more about the Sohma family.
  33. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Movie): I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I laughed a lot, I liked the characters, the plot was fun, and the action scenes were clever. The first "beginning" of the movie could have been completely ripped out, since it was just bad exposition, but the ending was solid. There were a few thematic problems throughout the movie, but all in all it was a fun romp. Basically what you'd expect from a Pirates movie, and infinitely better than whatever Pirates 4 was. That being said, the excellence of the first three Pirates movies was unfortunately just not there. It was good...but not great. Still worth watching, though.
  34. Masamune-kun's Revenge (TV): A fun, quirky show with a really interesting premise. A young boy who had been scorned as a child by a beautiful girl, dedicating his life to getting revenge by making her fall in love with him and then dumping her in the most brutal way possible. Despite the sort of depressing premise, it's definitely a comedy in execution, and though there is a little bit of weird inappropriateness here and there (as anime tends to have), it is a fun, cute, and interesting show that I can't wait for the continuation of.
  35. X-Men: Days of Future Past (Movie): I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. Interesting themes all around, and a very fun take on time travel (which I tend to have a big problem with in most fiction) that had me thinking all the way through the film. The characters were good, despite a rather large cast, all things considered, and were all well-acted. I really loved the build-up and the plotting of the movie, as well, and it was definitely one of those "surprising and inevitable" situations that are so satisfying in fiction.
  36. The LEGO Batman Movie (Movie): I was pleasantly and wonderfully surprised by how solid of a movie this was. A great beginning, middle, and end, and though there were a few parts that were a little weird and probably could have been executed better, the film as a whole was very well done, and cinematically gorgeous, which is real fun considering that it's a LEGO movie.
  37. The Truman Show (Movie): This was a fantastic movie. The premise was phenomenal, and the execution of those concepts was both deeply disturbing and incredibly poignant. I've wanted to see the movie for a while now, once I realized that it was a popular movie that apparently everyone besides me has seen, but now I know why it was so well received.
  38. Oblivion (Movie): This was an intensely interesting film. I loved the way that the mystery of the movie was so layered, and when I was immediately disappointed early on in the movie when I thought the entire mystery had been revealed, it turned out there was sooo much more to discover. The philosophical questions that are asked are interesting, the characters are fun and interesting, especially our leads, and the plot is fast-paced and suspenseful. The setting is sleek and gorgeous, and I loved being in this world. Great movie.
  39. Ant-Man (Movie): Ant-Man was a fun, quirky movie that had me caring about the characters and interested in the plot. Not the best movie in the world, by a long-shot, but definitely worth seeing and enjoying.
  40. The Martian (Movie): I very much enjoyed this movie. Matt Damon is a great actor, as usual, and I loved his character in this movie. The visuals were stunning, the plot was intense, and the dialogue was smart. I was just a tad disappointed in the ending (it didn't feel like there was really much tension right at the end of the film, and there wasn't any sort of twist), but I enjoyed the experience overall for sure.
  41. Dunkirk (Movie): The main problem with this movie is that it wasn't about Dunkirk. Nolan sacrificed his story by forcing the beautiful narrative that exists somewhere within the confusion of the film into the events surrounding the evacuation of Dunkirk, and leaves us wondering why the movie was framed as a historical piece when it ultimately had nothing to do with history. It also sacrificed true character development and instead tried to make the film ride on the war movie cliches of being loud, confusing, and "look, soldiers are scared" in order to distract us from the fact that these characters had no actual depth to them. They were simply sacks of narrative that existed primarily to give us some sort of thematic plot point about the heroism of people in war and the courage we need to have to fight those wars.

    Dunkirk could have been a fantastic movie, and that was what I expected from it. I may have to watch it again to truly pick it apart, and when I do, I might do another review, but as it stands, I was very disappointed with it and with Nolan, of whom I've come to expect nothing but excellence. In the end, historical inaccuracy and weird attempts to stretch the story out to include the events on the beach of Dunkirk when in reality the film has nothing to do with that beach, ruined the film for me and made me feel little to nothing at any point during my viewing experience. Where I would have expected to be sobbing, I felt nothing but boredom. I give the movie three stars because there were great moments, and because I can see what this movie could have been, but ultimately, Dunkirk is a movie I will quickly forget about.

  42. Sons of Winter (TV): A show I recently started watching with my dad portraying the life of a family of hunters/trappers in the Canadian wilderness. More specifically, it details the exodus and isolation of two brothers of the family, in an attempt to live out on their own in the wilderness. It's a fun show with lots of interesting wilderness survival tips and tricks, and it doesn't suffer from the seeming falseness of many reality shows of its type.
  43. The Notebook (Movie): Contrary to what I expected, this wasn't a bad film. It had a solid plot, interesting and relatable characters, and well-rounded themes. Though I didn't agree with many of the choices our protagonists made, the frame story that we get to see throughout the movie made it all work. A romantic drama using every tool at its disposal to make you care about flawed people, and mostly succeeding. That being said, it does suffer from classic romance movie cheesiness and cliches, and that didn't quite get it off the ground into a better rating for me, personally. Also, I just hope that somewhere out there, a poor war widow named Martha finds love. That is all I want.
  44. Passengers (Movie): Passengers is a movie that I will have to think on for a while. I'm not entirely sure if I really liked it or not. It was a well-crafted movie, I think, with good characters, good humor, and a super interesting setting, but I still have questions on if the plot was any good. Problem is, I'm not entirely sure of the theme of the movie and whether or not the climactic moment of the movie really WORKED or not. It was a blast to watch, and I really did enjoy it, but not as much as I hoped to. Definitely worth a watch, though, lots of emotion, action, mystery, and suspense.
  45. Foul Play (Movie): The seventies. Such a strange, interesting time filled with odd cultural norms and even odder rating systems. This movie was a product of that time, and it shows. Not only in its incredible strangeness, but in its parodied reversal of the strange tropes that films like Alfred Hitchcock's held dear in the era of early film. This was a comedy movie with just a twinge of horror, and a classic farce through and through. There are definitely some moments that were a bit inappropriate, but it was the seventies, and the seventies were a strange time. If you are strange, you'll probably like this film.
  46. Logan (Movie): I was extremely disappointed by this movie. My quick review would be this: the people at Marvel Studios played The Last of Us and decided that they should make a movie that is that except with Wolverine--in the process forgetting everything about what makes a superhero movie good. It was so brutal, so vulgar, that it was incredibly difficult to sit through. I would not recommend it to anyone in good conscience.
  47. Transformers (TV): I started rewatching the original Generation 1 Transformers cartoon, made in 1984. It's cheesy and silly in every way, but also very endearing and a good return to my childhood.
  48. The Secret Life of Pets (Movie): This movie had its funny moments, but it had no real plot. Things happening is not plot. I did not enjoy this movie. And it is not recommended for children. Seriously, who marketed this as a kid's movie? Just watch Zootopia instead.
  49. 400 Days (Movie): This was a really bad movie. There was ultimately no point to anything that happened, and we were given no satisfactory answer to the mystery. All around utterly disappointing.
  50. Transformers: The Last Knight (Movie):  I thought my expectations were low enough...they were not. I felt no emotions from this movie. Just exhaustion. When I watch a Transformers movie, I expect there to be no plot, no character development, but at least to have cool robot fight scenes. Transformers 5 took that to such a far degree that it was laughable. The entire movie was one giant action scene, and not even a very clever one. The writers not only mistake humor for character development, but they mistake vulgarity for humor. I think there was one moment in the movie that reminded me of actual storytelling *sigh* Please, Michael Bay, just stop.