Rocket Surgery #1.5 – Movies To Watch When Franchise Fatigued

By: Antawn Salinas

Twitter: @OwlfeedAntawn


Getting tired of big blockbusters? Don’t want to see giant robots saving the world or even stick around to see the Avengers team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy? Tired of Star Wars, even though we are getting a new Star Wars movie coming out every year now? Well, you’ve got Franchise Fatigue.

A way to cure this? Well, sometimes you gotta watch something new and different to find some new inspiration. This is a list of smaller and more original movies. Some of them are based on other things, but they’ve never turned into franchises.

Nothing is wrong about watching big blockbusters (unless you are watching Pixels), but sometimes you need some variety. These movies aren’t in any specific order, it’s just a group of movies that I like and think more people should check out from the past ten years.

Looper (R): Starting off is the futuristic time travel flick starting Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis and is directed by Rian Johnson. Joseph Gordon Levitt is a looper, a man who’s a part of the future mob and kills people who were sent 30 years from the future. When someone familiar(Bruce Willis) is sent, Levitt discovers his worst enemy is himself.

While time travel is usually hard to do, this is another one of those examples that shows that it can always be done well. Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt work great as old and young versions of their character Joe. Also, Jeff Daniels is in this, and it’s always awesome to have him in something.

Other movies director Rian Johnson has done: Writer and director of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi and a few episodes of Breaking Bad.


Snowpiercer (R): This is what the Hunger Games movie(which isn’t a bad movie) should have been like. In the future(again), the last surviving people on Earth live on giant train that travels across the planet and never stops after the world is unbearable to live on. Meanwhile on the train, the rich and powerful live in the front of the train while the poor lives in the ghetto that is the back of the train. So, Chris Evans(which this is another movie with him that’s based off a comic book) leads a revolution to fight to the front of the train, with each car of the train more deadly than the last.

It’s intense, it’s brutal, and it is a great piece of science fiction. Chris Evans gives off the best performance I’ve even seen him give. Also, the way Joon-ho Bong directs this movie is different, but not pretentious different. He just helps create this world which is perfect stand alone film, and hopefully T.V. series(yeah, it’s happening).

Other movies director Joon-ho Bong has done: Okja on Netflix


SPScott Pilgrim vs. The World (PG-13): Pixels can go suck it! This is how you do a movie that relates to video games. Scott Pilgrim is based off of a comic series created by Bryan Lee O’Malley of the same name, directed by Edgar Wright, and stars Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim, a slacker, bass player from Canada. Life for him is kind of going nowhere, that is till he meets the girl of his(literal) dreams, Ramona Flowers, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. All seems good, except one thing, or seven things. Scott has to fight Ramona’s seven evil exes. What follows is tons of laughs, kung fu fights, romance, betrayal, rock songs, hipsters, video game references, and coins. Tons. of. coins.

The rewatchability on this is high. You are going to need to watch it more than a few times. While it didn’t do well in the box office, this film has built up a massive cult following since its release. After you watch this(and the other films on this list), there’s also the comics, which are also great.

Other Films By Edgar Wright: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, and Baby Driver.


10 Cloverfield Lane (PG-13): For this movie(and the next one) I’m not going to really say what it’s about. It’s a part of an anthology series of the Cloverfield name(which the regular Cloverfield is also worth checking out). This stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead(yeah, her again), John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.  That’s all you need to know. It’s better to go into it without knowing much.

Other movies director Dan Trachtenberg has done: An episode of Black Mirror(Playtest), and Portal: No Escape


Cabin in the Woods (R): This might seem like a standard horror movie from the trailers, but it is not. I won’t say anything about the plot, but once you start watching it, you will never know where it is heading. It’s a love letter to horror films, and is an absolute thrill to watch, even if you aren’t much of a fan of horror films. With a script done by Joss Whedon(The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly).

Other movies director Drew Goddard has done: Writer for The Martian, Cloverfield, and World War Z.


Fantastic Mr.Fox (PG): Has there ever been a legitimately bad stop motion animated film, because of films like this, It’s hard to believe if there will be one. Fantastic Mr.Fox is a stopped motion animated film based off of a book by Roald Dahl, who also wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the BFG, and the film is directed by Wes Anderson. George Clooney plays Mr.Fox who used to be a thief who stole from farmers. After doing it one more time, he ends up putting him, as well as his friends and family, in danger.

This film has charm, comedy, suspense, tons of color, style, and it’s a ton of fun to watch. Also, it has a massive cast of A-list actors. George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman all are great. Also, the animation is trippy, colorful, and stylistic.

Other movies director Wes Anderson has done: Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Royal Tenenbaums


Hardcore Henry (R): I have no clue what is going on in the story, but I’m okay with that. Sure you could say this movie is just a ton of mindless violence, sex, and swearing, but it’s a ton of fun and is done really well. The whole film is done in first person using Go-Pros, and it being the first movie to be filmed with Go-Pros, It set the bar high. There’s not a slow or boring moment in this film. Also, It uses “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen to great effect. Also also, Sharlto Copley is really good.


Limitless (PG-13): I don’t really like that movie Lucy. Why? Because this one does it better. It’s basically the same concept, except this isn’t an action film. It introduces the concept of using 100 percent of your brain like how The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror would do it. In the film, Bradley Cooper takes a pill that unleashes that 100 percent, but while that sounds great, and it even starts off great for the main protagonist, it eventually leads to some great suspense.


Whiplash (R): J.K. Simmons is one of my favorite actors, but after this movie, I wouldn’t want to be in the same room as him when he’s in a bad mood. That’s how good he is in this movie. He plays an intense college music teacher in this film, and you never know when he will lash out on someone. The last 15 minutes is the most intense scene in a film. He is amazing!! Oh yeah, Miles Teller is good, too.

Seriously, this is a great movie. It was one of my favorites of that year it came out, and it was nominated for a few Oscars, including best-picture. It’s a really great film about music(specifically jazz and drumming) and the struggle for greatness.

Other movies director Damien Chazelle has done: He directed and wrote La La Land, and he was the writer for 10 Cloverfield Lane(hey, callback).


Kubo and the Two Strings(PG): Another stop motion animated film, but this one is done by the animation company Laika(Coraline, Boxtrolls, Paranorman). It’s probably the best Zelda movie that was never made. It’s stylized like the other Laika films, but in a more Japanese action way than horror like the others. Matthew Mcconaughey is in this, and his voice is unrecognizable. Also, this film means a lot to me because I knew someone who absolutely loves it and I would joke around and say,”It could have been better”, even though I do really like the film.

Dope(R): When they are done well, “coming of age” movies can be really entertaining. Dope is one of those movies. It’s about a nerdy teen played by Shameik Moore who through a number of different circumstances, accidentally gets in a bad situation that involves drug dealers and the police. Luckily, he has his friends on his side as they figure out how to survive this situation and make sure that he can graduate high school at the top of his class.

This is just a fun film. I was entertained from beginning to end. The message of the film is also handled really well and gives the film a great ending. I love films with this type of energy.

After watching these films, and if you enjoy them, side effects may include: smiling, laughing, cheering, gushing, fear, horror(in a good way), contemplative thoughts, sudden gain of creativity, sudden gain/loss of tears, and ten different movies for you to choose from.