Weekly Recap: Ringing Out 2017
As 2017 comes to an end, I want to thank all of the readers and contributors who have made it such a memorable year. Or at least a tolerable one. Before we ring in the new year, let’s go back and review some of the highlights of 2017.
It may seem like these Sunday morning recaps have been around forever, but in reality I started doing them in January. The first Weekly Recap was published on the first day of 2017 and it mostly covered the last week of the previous year. I started the recaps in response to frequent feedback from readers who said they had missed some of the site’s content. Over the course of the year I have played with the format. Sometimes I use it as a soap box to talk about topics that I don’t have time to devote an entire article to. On good weeks, I can find some kind of theme to tie together the recap. When all else fails, I can usually just talk about what’s going on at the weekend box office.
Longtime readers know that the start of a new year brings bracket games to the site. Ever since 2015, we have used January to look back at the cinematic offerings from twenty and thirty years ago. This year, readers crowned Boogie Nights as their favorite movie from 1997 and Raising Arizona as their top pick for 1987. Tomorrow, the site will kick off a new round of games looking at the movies of 1988 and 1998. Be sure to visit daily to make your voices heard.
We also had a bonus bracket game in February to tie into awards season. Readers voted for Meryl Streep as their favorite Best Actress winner. Daffy Stardust oversaw the site’s Oscar coverage which included a breakdown of all the major categories and a review of 15 winners in the Best Song category. He’s already looking ahead to next year’s award ceremony.
The flip side of the Oscars is the Golden Raspberries. If you have been hanging around the site long enough, you may remember that I spent the better part of a year dissecting the history of the Razzies in weekly articles. The 2016 awards was the first new entry in the series since it originally wrapped up. The big “winners” were Batman v Superman and Hillary’s America.
Last Fall, Daffy started a series of vlogs related to Disney World called “Daffy Does Disney“. As a newly minted annual passholder, Daffy made several trips to Orlando this year which yielded a steady stream of videos. If you just can’t get enough of Daffy or Disney or both, be sure to check out his videos which will continue into next year.
On a personal level, 2017 was the year our family adopted dogs. That’s right, “dogs” plural as in two dogs. How did this happen? I’m still scratching my head trying to figure that out. After our previous pet passed in late 2016, I had no intention of replacing her for a while. But as usual, my vote doesn’t count for much. In early February, the girls called from the shelter with a dog they desperately wanted to adopt. My response was “What are you even doing at the shelter? We’re not supposed to be looking at dogs!” Before I knew it, they came home with a chihuahua they named Thor.
Thor loved Mindy and hated pretty much everyone else. For the first two months, he growled every time he saw me. At the end of our trial period, I wanted to take him back. As far as I was concerned, he was a failed experiment. But as far as Mindy was concerned, he was her baby and he wasn’t going anywhere. So, Thor stayed.
Unfortunately, the biggest dog lover in the house is my oldest daughter Josie. And Thor didn’t like her very much. He especially resented her constant attempts to pick him up when all he really wanted was to snuggle his new mommy. I initially pushed to trade Thor in for a more family-friendly dog but when I realized that wasn’t going to happen, I eventually relented and adopted a second dog. Belle (pictured) is a boxer/lab mix. She’s gotten a lot bigger since that picture was taken, but she still has a lot of that puppy energy.
There were several new entries in the Worst to First series this year. Tying into the January bracket games, I ranked sequels of 1987 and 1997. Then I took stock of the Star Wars series up through Rogue One. That one’s going to need an update to include The Last Jedi. Tying into this year’s big releases, we ranked the Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men, Alien, Spider-Man and Planet of the Apes movies. I think there may be a future Franchise Killer or two in that bunch! For Halloween, I ranked all of the Stephen King adaptations of the 1990’s. And finally we ended the year with lists of all the movies in the Marvel cinematic universe and all the television shows based on DC superheroes.
Speaking of Franchise Killers, that series also saw a few updates with entries on Batman and Robin, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and Alien Resurrection. But at least those franchises got off the ground. The companion series, Movies That Were Supposed To… examines movies that failed to launch franchises. This year’s entries included Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Dracula Untold, Green Lantern, The Punisher and most recently Masters of the Universe.
The Twin Peaks article tied into the much-hyped but little-seen revival of David Lynch’s seminal TV show. The new show alienated a lot of fans who were looking for closure and/or a nostalgia trip. Lynch stubbornly refused to give fans what they wanted, but I feel like what we got was better than we could have hoped for. Still, if you’re looking for a few more answers than the TV show was willing to provide, you might want to check out co-creator Mark Frost’s latest novel, The Final Dossier. It’s a quick read that serves up exactly the kind of content Lynch refused to deliver.
After a seven-month hiatus, Daffy returned to his Movie Poster Puzzle project this summer. This year, he examined the posters for Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Rear Window, Tarzan the Fearless, The Bride of Frankenstein, American Graffiti, The Painted Veil, A Night at the Opera, Vertigo, Dracula and King Kong. Another series that returned after a long absence was What the Hell Happened. This year, we inducted Rachel Leigh Cook, Skeet Ulrich, Andrew McCarthy, and Shelley Long into the WTHH annals. Before anyone asks, yes there will be more WTHH next year. Plus, I plan to revisit, update and clean up existing articles as time allows.
Daffy wasn’t the only one flying off to Orlando. We didn’t get there nearly as often as he did, but my family did spend a rainy week at Universal Orlando this summer. We checked out the resorts newest attractions (Skull Island and Race Through New York), visited their new water park (Volcano Bay), stayed in deluxe accommodations (Loews Royal Pacific) and generally just had a good time.
We passed a milestone this summer when Jestak completed his 365th consecutive celebrity birthday article! To date, no one else has ever posted daily content for an entire year. That’s a record I expect to stand the test of time. I can’t even post 52 weekly recaps in a year much less daily articles. Since we’re on the subject, here’s a look at the celebrity birthdays from the past week:
- December 25: Annie Lennox, Jimmy Buffett, Rachel Keller, Rick Berman, Sissy Spacek, Stefan Ruzowitzky
- December 26 & 27: David Lowery, Eden Sher, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Gerard Depardieu, Hayley Williams, Jared Leto, Kit Harington, Maryam d’Abo, Olivia Cooke, Timothee Chalamet
- December 28: Andre Holland, Beau Garrett, Denzel Washington, Jessie Buckley, John Legend, Noomi Rapace, Ruth Moody, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Ferlito
- December 29: Alison Brie, Charlotte Riley, Danny McBride, Diego Luna, Jane Levy, Jennifer Ehle, Jon Voight, Jude Law, Paris Berelc, Patricia Clarkson
- December 30: Caity Lotz, Eliza Dushku, Jeff Lynne, Michael Nesmith, Noel Paul Stookey, Patti Smith, Sheryl Lee Ralph
- December 31: Anthony Hopkins, Bebe Neuwirth, Ben Kingsley, Chris Terrio, Elaine Cassidy, John Denver, Tim Considine
One of the biggest stories of the year was the allegations of sexual harassment against infamous movie producer Harvey Weinstein. While shocking in and of itself, the event has proven to be a watershed moment in America. Similar allegations have taken down powerful men in entertainment, journalism, business and politics. Without getting too deep into a political topic, it seems like this is a permanent shift in how Americans view sexual harassment. I am sure we will be talking about this topic for years to come. One of my goals for next year is to update the WTHH articles for subjects who were impacted by Weinstein.
Kevthewriter has had a busy year with his Why’d It Bomb? and Why’s It Forgotten? series. He’s spun those off to ask questions like Why’d It Hit? and Why’s It Remembered? Sometimes he tackles multiple questions in the same article as he did this past week with a look at Amazing Spider-Man and Batman Forever. In his spare time, Kev watches Netflix and chills. Jeffthewildman has contributed to just about all of the series on the site this year including WTHH, Why’s It Forgotten?, Cheesetastic Classics and Worst to First. He’s also written reviews for movies like Get Out and Logan.
Wow, looking back the site’s contributors really put out a lot of content this year. Thanks again, guys. If anyone would like to join the fun next year, please email me at email@example.com. We will get you signed up so you can be included in next year’s annual recap!
Next year: More of the stuff you love only better!