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Movies I didn't expect to like, but loved

1. GOTG/GOTG2 (2014/2017)
I really wasn't sure how these were going to go. They have their flaws, don't get me wrong, but I was very pleasantly surprised by these movies. I was even more surprised by the second one, which I fully expected to suck, because all the trailers I saw (and I was trying to avoid trailers!) were about Adorable Baby Groot and I reeeeeally didn't want it to turn into some kind of "five aliens and a baby" movie. Fortunately that wasn't it. In some ways I think GOTG2 was better than the first, actually.

2. Jumanji (2017)
Never saw the first one so no notions going in. Surprisingly good and fun despite stereotype characters (the Shallow Blonde, the Wisecracking Black Guy, etc). Nice nods to how it would actually be to "live" in a video game (those darn NPCs!).

3. Robocop (1987)
I just saw this last year for the first time. Toly had always said it was ultraviolent, and also darkly funny. So I never watched it because it sounded like it was just a shoot-em-up.
Last year I decided to watch it, and I thought it was actually a great movie. Yes, violent. Probably more so for its time than it is nowadays. But also surprisingly thoughtful, and the main female character isn't a love interest nor is she all sexified for the screen. She's competent and it appears to be a purely platonic relationship between her and Robocop, and I can't tell you how refreshing that is.
And (spoiler alert, sorta) while I suspect the scene where Robocop saves a woman from sexual assault and then advises her about access to a rape/crisis center might have been originally played for laughs (I just get that feel off the scene), watching it now gives a sense of "wow, someone programmed him with actual useful info besides just how to shoot things. That woman could probably use that information right now."

4. Soldiers of the Damned (2015)
After the disappointment of Iron Sky, Hulu or Netflix or whoever (I forget which) recommended this one. I was verrrry nervous about this one because 1) horror film 2) the other movie was so bad. But this one was actually very cool. More suspense than gore. Mysterious Things happen in an apparently haunted forest during WW2.
Characters are all German Wehrmacht except for the SS (who are kinda over the top) and it's made obvious the Wehrmacht can't stand the SS and vice versa, and spoiler alert, not the happiest ending ever. I saw a criticism that the characters all have English accents, but you know what? It was English actors and I'd rather have them speak like that than go the Sgt. Schulz/Colonel Klink route.
Anyway - would recommend. Also these people had a significant budget for props and uniforms! It shows!
(oh, and warning for long-shot non-graphic rape scenes in wartime)

5. Gnomeo and Juliet (2011)
I dreaded this one on the name alone, but it's a surprisingly good remake of Romeo & Juliet using garden gnomes. Yes, it works. Lots of Elton John songs in it. And, of course, happier ending. I'm OK with that too. I have the usual "sequel fear" about the new one coming out (Sherlock Gnomes) but I'll give it a try since this one was good.

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