Crystal’s Best of 2016: The Movies

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I think we all can agree that 2016 was a rough one and 2017 hasn’t exactly been a picnic either. Movies continue to be my saving grace during these uncertain times but finding the energy and brainpower to write about them is often times an impossible task. I’ve also struggled to maintain an online presence as social media has evolved from a fun place to take your mind off your problems to a 24/7 modern day town crier of doom. Tumblr is all “everything you love is actually offensive and here’s why you’re a bad person for even liking it in the first place” all the time and I deleted Twitter off my phone in the days following the election and I’m still attempting to find my voice in that site’s new normal.

My annual Top 25 list was fairly locked back in January; I even boasted on Twitter that for the first time in years -maybe ever- I was so in love with my choices that I didn’t feel the need to wait and see what awards season told me were the Important Films to watch. I knew what I liked and I was excited about it; I even made some decent headway on writing about my selections. But as the weeks went on and the world continued to self-destruct, I started feeling more and more foolish for caring about finishing such an inconsequential project and I felt even sillier for asking anyone else to care about something so trivial and self-serving. So I stopped writing. And now here we are, almost at the end of another year.

The world hasn’t improved at all but I guess my morale has because I basically woke up one day and just started writing. Not just my regular film diary (because that had sadly fallen by the wayside as well) but this particular post. I’ve definitely written more in the past weeks than I have in all of 2016 & 2017 combined. I’m not planning on asking anyone to read this (not only does it still feel unimportant and embarrassing but now it’s completely irrelevant) but I wanted to finish this for myself. (Which sounds empowering and special but it’s honestly more like my brain will NOT be able to get over leaving this as a draft.) Some of the rankings have shuffled a bit as I’ve started editing and reevaluating some things (nothing major, I’m talking arbitrary lower rankings) but for the most part, this is basically the same list I would’ve posted at the beginning of the year.

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Crystal’s Best of 2015: The Movies

2016-02-22

I actually completed this year’s Top 25 by mid-January but then I was so hyped about movies that I couldn’t stop watching them long enough to actually write this post. (The struggle is real.) As usual, I didn’t make my goal of publishing this before Oscar season ended and this is all woefully irrelevant now but I’m continuing on. You can call me tardy but never a quitter.

According to my adorably painstaking Letterboxd score-keeping, I went to the theatre 45 times to see 39 different films. Of those 39 films, 29 were new releases; other trips included 5 holdovers from 2014 (Into the Woods, Top Five, Inherent Vice, Selma and American Sniper), special anniversary screenings of Home Alone and the three Back To The Future films and a test screening of the 2016 unintentional comedy masterpiece The 5th Wave. The rest of my trips were encores of Avengers: Age of Ultron (my first IMAX 3D splurge!), Mad Max: Fury Road (two encores, technically), Magic Mike XXL, The Night Before (I saw a test screening and went again when it was released) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Through the magic of modern viewing habits, I obviously saw way more than 29 films from 2015 (a Top 25 would be ridiculous in that case); listed below are my favorites of the year along with a few other categories, just for fun. Spoiler-free unless otherwise marked, because what am I, a monster?

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In Which Crystal’s July 18th Movie Reviews Happen in October

Back in the old days of my Xanga blog, July 18th was the arbitrarily chosen official date for my to post my unofficial reviews of the year’s movies I’d seen so far. I’d been hoping to carry on that tradition on this new blog, but various factors beyond my control (illness, family vacation, inconsiderate landlords who give you less than 24 hours notice when he’ll be doing repairs that require you to leave your home for days, etc) derailed that plan unexpectedly this year.

HOWEVER, the majority of this post was written pre-July 18th and I don’t like change, so for all intents and purposes, we’ll consider the July 18th tradition alive and well. (So obviously all of the following stats & reviews are only up until July 18th. Because otherwise the majority of this would be discussing Scott Pilgrim and honey, that would make this a much longer and much more hysterical post.)
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