Written by Erin Lobner. Media by Bre Pollitt.
Whether you were working hard at an Interterm class or just chilling last month, some pretty exciting things happened in the entertainment world. January brought us box-office-breaking movies, new or final seasons of our favorite shows, and some promising works of literature. Let’s take a break from worrying about the spring semester, Housing Lottery, and everything else to look back at a few of 2017’s top releases.
The box office was off to a hopping start with the debuts of M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split” and the drama inspired by true events, “Hidden Figures.” Both of these movies topped the charts, bringing in over one million dollars each. As a movie fanatic who watched both films, my honest review is that one of these titles was truly fantastic, and the other was, unfortunately, a disappointment.
“Split” is based around Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), and one man (James McAvoy) who has 23 different personalities. One of his personalities chooses to abduct and imprison three teenage girls, and his psychiatrist is the only one who catches on to his scheme and the even crazier, darker plot twist. What was disappointing about this movie was the way they portrayed DID. As stated by Psych Central Editor Margarita Tartakovsky, “Sensationalism sells. So it’s not surprising that depictions of DID in movies and TV are exaggerated. The more bizarre the portrayal, the more it fascinates and tempts viewers to tune in.” One word I would definitely use to describe this movie is bizarre and the possibility of a sequel is not as thrilling as it was supposed to be.
On the other hand, “Hidden Figures” really is an inspiring story. It follows Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, three black women who worked for NASA in the 1960s, trying to put John Glenn into space. The movie highlights the inequalities that exist for women and people of color and illustrates how these individual’s accomplishments can often be overshadowed. However, other common themes throughout are triumph, perseverance, and acceptance.
Moving on to TV, there were a couple of exciting season premiers. First (as in January 1), “Sherlock” season 4 aired. Before the month ended, the season had also concluded. That didn’t stop its die-hard fans from watching and hoping Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman can make time in their busy schedules for season 5. One of the other popular releases was the Netflix adaptation of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” starring Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf. Based on the children’s books by Lemony Snicket, the show has a somewhat dreary vibe with a dry sense of humor. Just remember: it’s absolutely okay to look away if you need to.
Onto sadder TV news, the FOX show “Bones” is bringing viewers its final season this year. The long-running crime drama first aired in 2005, based off of Kathy Reichs’ book series. The main stars, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, posted their feelings about the news on Twitter for their fans to see. In addition to “Bones,” the drama “Switched at Birth” will air its final season this year. The fifth season started out with a complicated love triangle and ended with a real look at depression and addiction. The plot looks promising so far, with nearly 50% of viewers rating the season’s first episode as “awesome.”
Finally, here’s a brief overview of two acclaimed books published in January. First, from Veronica Roth (the YA author who brought you “Divergent”) comes the sci-fi/fantasy “Carve the Mark.” On a planet ruled by violence and controlled by fate, everyone develops a “currentgift,” a special, beneficial power… Everyone except for Akos and Cyra. If you enjoyed the “Divergent” series, be sure to check out Roth’s newest work! One other popular book is “Caraval” by Stephanie Garber. It fits into a wide variety of categories but is mainly classified as YA fantasy. The book is described as a “tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.” Garber’s first book has put her on the track to success with a 4.24 rating on Goodreads.
Those are just a few of the highlights from January’s entertainment. If you missed any of these last month, it’s not too late to watch or read them!