Technically 2017 hasn't ended yet, and technically I could see another movie this year (I tried to see Coco today, but the theatre was sold out), but I doubt I'll be seeing a movie in cinemas before the year's out. Thus, the top and bottom ten movies of the year. Last year I did a top/bottom twenty list, but this year...wasn't as good as last year. I'll put it that way.
Criteria for inclusion is that the movie has to be released in 2017. Movies released towards the end of 2016 can be included if you saw them in 2017. Also, if a movie is released in 2016 in some country, but wasn't released until 2017 in your own country, then it can be included. And as always, discussion is encouraged. These aren't going to be particular long reviews, just blurbs:
Before I begin, I'll give honourable mentions to the following films (not in any particular order):
A United Kingdom
So as for the top ten:
This isn't a story you haven't heard before, but it's a story that's still told in an interesting way, focusing not just on the protagonist whose face is...not up to par, shall we say, but also on those around him. Heartwarming, but not too sickly sweet about it. In today's age, a film that encourages kindness is one I can get behind.
9) The Man Who Invented Christmas
Likewise a film that aims for the feels, and likewise a film I quite enjoyed. Very likely takes liberties with history, but ones I can overlook. Great performances all round.
While I can enjoy heartwarming stuff, I can also enjoy movies that...aren't. If I was to describe Silence in one word, it would be "harrowing." It goes on a bit longer than it needs to (should have ended when Garfield's character apostosizes IMO), but up until that point, this film is a marvel, in terms of both direction and emotional intensity. Garfield carries the film, but it's a general tour de force. It's also a film I'm glad exists. Plenty of stories exist that show us the horrors of religious fanaticism. This film shows that that anti-religious fanaticism can be just as horrific.
7) Ali's Wedding
I'm kind of guilty that this is here, because it's similar to another film I saw titled The Big Sick However, to be honest, I do prefer this one. The Big Sick is a lot more 'real,' so to speak, in regards to how authentic character interactions are presented, but I can't deny that I laughed my arse off here. Good mix of comedy and drama. Funny when it needs to be, heartwarming when it needs to be, and it's a nice roast of Muslim society in Australia, and all the good and bad that entails. Again, Big Sick is arguably the superior film, but this, to me, was the more enjoyable film.
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not the biggest superhero fan in the world, but god damn it, this movie was stellar. Course, it's arguably more of a Western than traditional superhero fare, but that's not a bad thing in my mind. I mean, as this list shows, I enjoyed Spider-Man, but this film...wow. If the XCU has to disappear so the X-Men can join the MCU, I'm glad that it got to go out on a note this strong. Jackman does a tour de force, and the girl who plays Laura...wow. She seriously needs her own movie, MCU or otherwise.
I've seen Logan be praised for its political commentary, and while it's kind of there, I don't think it's the main focus. Rather, it's primarily a character piece - Jackman's at the end of playing Wolverine, Logan is at the end of his life, the X-Men are gone, and few mutants are left. That, in a world that's a bit of a shithole. Yet even in all that, there's still some good to be found in the world. And before you ask, yes, I got the feels at the end, with the X-sign at Logan's grave. Man Comes around indeed.
5) Hidden Figures
Before this came out, I saw the usual morons claim that this was "blackwashing" American history by virtue of...um...black women being the protagonists?
Anyway, this was a good film, but not quite for the reasons you might think. Because on one hand, it does go into the unpleasantness that was segregation during the Jim Crow era, even if it takes liberties to do so (NASA wasn't actually segregated at the time). Still, to me, the main focus of the film isn't the racial angle. I mean, it's an important angle, but the film is less about segregation and race, and more about the brilliant individuals that existed that allowed America to win the space race. It focuses on three specific individuals, true, but the term "Hidden Figures" could be said to apply to everyone at NASA as a whole, even those as unpleasant as Jim Pearson's character (though I'm sure Sheldon Cooper would have liked him). It's kind of what Fan4stic tried to do in its first act, but, y'know, competently. Well written, well executed, very intelligent film.
4) Patriots Day
I'm kind of surprised that this is as high as it is. I mean, it's arguably more a thriller than anything else, focusing on the Boston Bombing and its aftermath. It doesn't have any great insight into human nature, or terrorism, or the War on Terror, or anything like that. Still, what sells this film for me is its performances and pacing. There's no slow points, everything keeps moving forward, and Walburg does a great job of selling the humanity of its lead. It's telling that when the bombs go off, he and the rest of the police jump straight into action, and it's only when he gets home after the first day that he finally breaks down in tears. Also, the street gunfight - I looked it up. Hundreds of rounds of ammunition were indeed exchanged with the first suspect. It's got action, but far more down to earth action than a traditional action film.
So, very good film. Not the deepest or most insightful, but still one of the best.
3) Alien: Covenant
Oh boy, this is going to turn some heads. I know a lot of people hate this film, and I can understand why...sort of. I mean, in fairness, this does divulge wildly from Prometheus, and does give revelations as to the origin of the xenomorphs when people might feel that their origins didn't need explaining, but for me...well, first of all, I have little love for Prometheus, and the xenomorph revelations don't bother me. This is a film that's part of the Alien series, but it's very much a film that uses the Alien mythos as a launching off point for its own movie...kind of.
Still, in my mind, this is a very solid film - #3 film for me this year, and #3 film in the Alien series. Everything flows well. Characters are ones I can be invested in. Fassbender is excellent as both David and Walter, showing how the same actor can give different feels to the same character (in terms of appearance). Has some nice allusions to the themes of Paradise Lost. In terms of the Alien series, this is arguably an "Alien 1.5" in regards to how it compares to both Alien and Aliens, combining elements of both. Honestly, the film does what it does well so well, that where it stumbles (which is rarely, to me), I can't say I mind.
I don't know how the Alien series will continue under Disney, not to mention that Covenant didn't do well in the box office, but hey, at least it gave us a work as solid as this one.
2) Viceroy's House
Here we reach the first of two excellent films. Every film up to this point has been "good," but these last two are the cream of the crop.
So, Viceroy's House. A film that some people reacted negatively to, claiming that it was attempting to absolve Britain of the partition of India into India and Pakistan. Watching the trailer, there is a line that could make you see that, but this film doesn't pull its punches. Not for the British, not for the Hindus, or the Muslims, or anyone. The film tells the story of the partition of India, and it does so in a heartbreaking way (yes, I did cry at the end, thanks for asking). While there's some elements that are cliche (Hindu boy loves Muslim girl, love triangle occurs, etc.), they never feel that they're overwhelming the greater film at the whole. That the whole partition exercise was a mess. We have Britain, who wants to get the hell out of dodge, and in the power vacuum that occurs, we see religious fanaticism rear its ugly head.
Ultimately, Viceroy's House is a film that exists to show the best and worst of humanity over a given period of time, showing how people can be both kind and cruel in given circumstances. It's also a film that left me asking what's changed? Half a century on, and the kind of refugee scenes depicted in this film can still be found in the world, if not in India itself. Not to mention the religious fanaticism that can turn intelligent people into murderers. Don't know if that'll ever change, but at the least, this film is absolutely stellar, in what it wants to show, and how it shows it.
1) Blade Runner 2049
This film is excellent.
That's not to say it's perfect mind you. It doesn't quite reach the heights of its predecessor, and it does have a few quirks. Though honestly, at this point, I can't really recite them. The film has everything - great characters, spectacular visuals, relevant themes, and a haunting vision of the future that feels both fantastical, but all too possible. And since the universe hates us, none of that apparently accounted for anything since this film apparently bombed financially. Still, I can live without a sequel. The film doesn't need a sequel. It builds on the themes and world of the original, but it's still its own thing. And what this film is...is a masterpiece.
Anyway, that's all for now. I'll have a bottom ten up soon.
Of all the entries on this list, this is the film that I don't really have any issue with. Every film after this has at least one significant drawback, but this film is...meh.
I've seen it postulated that the film is meant to be a deconstruction of Winston Churchill and his role in WWII. And, yeah, fair enough, it's fair to say that we put men like Churchill on pedestals. Except if that's the case, it's not really a deconstruction. It shows Churchill as being grumpy, ineffective, impotent, etc. Not that I mind that in of itself, but by the end of it, I'm kind of left wondering what the point is. It didn't really give me any insight into Churchill, or the Allies in 1944, it just...happens. So, not a bad film, but one that didn't really leave any impression on me.
9) Ghost in the Shell
I wonder if Ghost in the Shell had been released in a year that didn't include Blade Runner 2049, whether it would have received a better reception from myself and/or the general public. Because I have seen at least one review comparing it unfavorably. And...yeah. Ghost in the Shell doesn't stack up well. Blade Runner 2049 is an exploration of issues such as technology, the environment, memories, identity, etc. Ghost in the Shell sort of touches on these things, but doesn't really explore them per se. It's an action movie first and foremost. And that's fine in theory, but even as an action movie I found it to be a bit lacklustre. Unmemorable villain, bland characters, bland setting (the city feels lifeless a lot of the time), and kind of crippled in worldbuilding. There's allusions to the state of the world in this movie (e.g. an African Union), but it's only in the broadest of strokes.
So, not a bad film, but very much a "bleh" one.
8) Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Technically speaking this should be far lower. Because this film isn't good. It's arguably bad. Still, I can't deny I enjoyed it. It's kind of in guilty pleasure territory for me. I've always been more charitable to the Resident Evil film series than others, and while the series has had some true stinkers (see Retribution), and the sixth installment marks a series rife with retcons and inconsistancies, I...kinda liked it. Maybe it's because I get to see Ian Glenn hamming it up. But, yeah. Enjoyble. Stupid, but enjoyable. Still deserves a spot on this list.
This is probably going to turn some heads, but...sorry. I dislike this film. I really dislike it. It's not a bad film, and arguably it's lower than it should be, and I know I'm in a minority here, but I really, really dislike this film. I'll get the good stuff out of the way first, that if one considers sound design and directing (especially the fighter dogfights), then this film is well crafted. But that's about it. It's well "crafted." As a film, it has no humanity. None. Zilch. All its characters are ciphers. None of them learns anything or develops. None of them even seem to care when others die, not even a schoolboy. I've seen people claim that this is intentional, that it's meant to reflect the anomymous nature of war. But even if this is the case, why should I give it a free pass for that? Plenty of war media has succeeded in depicting the horrors of war, while also giving us characters to invest in. Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, even recently with Hacksaw Ridge. All these works have shown war for the horrible thing it is, but did so in a way that empathizes with the people who suffered through it. Dunkirk is only interested in showing war. It has no interest in showing the human cost of it, except in a disinterested, detached way. There's more emotion in 5-10 minutes of a Foyle's War episode that deals with Dunkirk than this entire film. And if it's trying to be edutainment, sorry, I already knew plenty about Dunkirk. I'd have thought lots of people did. It's not exactly an obscure piece of WWII history.
I will say in its defence that Dunkirk isn't a spectacle film, and I can entertain the idea that its ideas and manner of execution are intentional, but I can't say that they succeed. If you want a 2017 film that deals with Dunkirk, watch Their Finest. Yes, it's a far more conventional movie, but at least it works.
6) Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Here we reach the first film in this list that I actually consider bad. Every film up to this point in this list has been average, but here, we get into bad films. And this film...well, crap. I wanted to like it. I wanted it to succeed. I could appreciate that it was a passion project, and hey, I enjoyed The Fifth Element. But not only did it flop, but this film...just isn't good. If anything, it reminded me of The Phantom Menace, or at least what people complain Phantom is being. Too much CGI, too many detours, bland characters, etc. For instance, take Rhianna's dancing scene. Yes, it's a visual spectacle, but the film basically just grinds to a halt for it to occur. The A plot is actually quite simple when you get down to it, but the film takes one detour after another before completing it. One could say that this is doing worldbuilding, but worldbuilding should never take precedence over plot or storytelling. And that's kind of this film in a nutshell. Luc Benson wanted to bring Alpha to life, but unfortunately, didn't craft a particuarly compelling plot for it.
Which kinda sucks. :(
5) A Quiet Passion
Like Dunkirk, I really dislike this film. Unlike Dunkirk, I do consider it to be a bad film. If this list was based solely on likes, these entries would be a bit different, but taking the film as it is...it isn't that good. And it isn't good for a number of reasons, chief among them is how unpleasent the protagonist is. Maybe it's true to Emily Dickonson's actually personality, maybe it isn't, but good God, I couldn't stand how she was in this film. She embodies the "poor suffering artist" trope to a T, and makes everyone around her know that she is a "poor suffering artist," complaining about how ugly she is, about how her work isn't appreciated, about everything. Putting a character through hurdles can be compelling. Having a character do nothing but whine about those hurdles isn't.
Even that aside, the film is in love with itself. Its language is far too eloquent. That might seem odd to say, but while I can get behind flower language in some fictional works (Shakespeare's plays are an example), the style of dialogue just doesn't work for scenes when the characters are meant to be angry. When you're angry, your patterns of speech change from how they are normally, but this film either doesn't know or doesn't care. Oh, and by being in love with itself...well, there's a good two minutes of a tertiary character climbing the stairs in Emily's dream and...that's it. That's all that happens. It doesn't tell us anything about the characters, it doesn't have any thematic significance, and it reinforces how horrible she is to this character that she refuses to talk to him face to face, being the "poor suffering artist" and all that, but also wallowing in self-pity. There's a difference between a character with flaws, and a character whose basis of characterization is flaws.
On the plus side, the film does have some 'rawness' to its acting, such as when Emily's mother dies and when she herself dies, but these aren't enough to save the film for me.
4) Power Rangers
I wanted to like this film. I wanted it to succeed. I wanted my childhood as a 90s kid to be rekindled, to live the good ol Mighty Morphin Power Rangers days. Unfortunately, none of these things happened.
Power Rangers...just isn't good. I can't say that I even enjoyed it. This film is riddled with plotholes, and they stack up. For instance, it's explained that the zords look like "the most powerful animals at the time" or something, except sabres and mammoths didn't live at the same time as T-Rexes and Triceratops, so what gives? Or when Billy wrecks his mum's car, and this is never brought up again. Or when the ranger suits designed by aliens only work if their users are open to each other or...what? Sounds like an impractical system. Power Rangers has always been silly, but this film goes to show that a bad explanation can be worse than no explanation.
Secondly, the 'dark and gritty' aspect. This is fine, in theory - Power Rangers has been at its best for me when it's had darker elements (e.g. RPM), but it just doesn't work in this film. Rita fluctuates between over the top space witch, and serial killer who murders people in grueosome ways. There's tonal whiplash that does weigh on the viewer. And for a Power Rangers film, there isn't enough action, and it all comes at the end. We have one fight against puddies (which lasts a few minutes), then a zord fight, and...that's it. Not that a film needs action to be good, but not only does one kind of expect it from Power Rangers, the non-action, character-based stuff isn't particuarly compelling. This film seems to have an identity crisis, and it stumbles as a result.
So, no. It isn't morphin time. :(
Similar to A Quiet Passion, this has the same issues...sort of. Thing is, the film sounds interesting, focusing on Jacqueline Kennedy after her husband was assassinated. The majority of the film is spent on her being miserable, but at least I can understand why she's miserable. I think it's an interesting angle to explore. Except this film doesn't work for me, and to be honest, I'm not sure why. It's just...bland. The above films had at least some elements to reccomend themselves, but this film just doesn't leave any impression on me. It sidesteps the political dealings at the time, but it doesn't really do enough to make me emotionally invested in the characters. I just...don't have anything to say. This isn't the worst film I've seen this year, but it's easily the most bland.
On the other hand, Natalie Portman can do a great accent so...yay?
2) Assassin's Creed
This is technically a 2016 film, but I saw it in 2017, so screw it, it counts. I...I don't...I can't...
Oh Ubisoft, what happened? You produced the best videogame adaptation movie with Prince of Persia, but with this, you've made one of the worst. The film looks terrible. The writing is lacklustre, and is deluded into thinking it's more important than it actually is. It thinks that Assassin's Creed fans are more invested in the modern day era than the Animus escapades (not really a fan myself, but I can at least understand this mindset). You have the gall to end it on the assumption that you're going to get a sequel. The film doesn't make much sense in the context of its own universe (seriously, what's with the Animus design - did it regress?) This film...it's bad, okay? Everything's bad. It's kind of astounding how bad it is, considering how enjoyable Prince of Persia was. Not that PoP was an outright good film, but it was bloody Shakespeare compared to this. It...it's bad, okay?! Gah!
1) Final Portrait
Almost every issue I had with A Quiet Passion can be applied to this film. Alberto Giacometti is even more insufferable than Dickinson. The film lacks any sense of structure. It...exists, okay? It just exists. I also can't help but wonder what it's meant to be celebrating, considering that the portrait is unfinished at the end. I mean, I'm sure Giacometti was an excellent sculptor, but lots of people do portraits, and they don't have spaces in art museums dedicated to them. It's the "poor suffering artist" trope again, only worse. Much worse. I can at least appreciate the intent behind this film. I can at least appreciate that real-world events don't conform to traditional story structure. But this film just doesn't work. Other films in this list have had far more glaring flaws, but the film just doesn't work in terms of structure, and doesn't really have any entertainment or informative value.
But that's just me.
Ok, let's this. Not going to rank the movies I saw, since I'm not a fan of that. So, in no particular order:
Logan - Deadpool gave us pretty standard superhero fare, but injected a refreshing dose of R-rated comedy. But Logan I feel is something else. No saving the world, but a smaller character piece with a bit of western (notably Unforgiven), road movie and drama. Great performances from Jackman, Stewart and Dafne Keen. And it's a good movie. You could remove all the mutant stuff and it'd still be a good movie. And yeah, the ending. The feels, they killed me.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - In one word: scatterbrained. A visually bonkers spectacle that has a bunch of fun ideas and depicts a world that could be compelling, but also only has about 20-30 mins of plot. The rest of the runtime is filled with stuff that doesn't really add anything, often goes nowhere and feels like it was made up on the spot. "And then they go fishing for a psychic jelly fish with Bob the Pirate. And then Valerian goes to a strip club to watch a burlesque dance. And then they get captured by an alien tribe of cannibals. And then ..."
Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Wonder Woman - I'm lumping these together because my thoughts on them are pretty much the same. More of the superhero stuff that has become the standard.
IT - a solid, but predictable horror movie. Some good performances from the child actors. Pennywise, however, gets less and less scary over time. He wasn't very scary to begin with, outside of jump scares. But it's not a good sign when your horror movie has scenes that are supposed to be scary that instead provoke a burst of laughter from the audience. I know Pennywise is a clown, but still. In fact, I thought Beverly's dad was the scarier character. Put it on the 'meh' pile.
Baby Driver - Edgar Wright tried his hand at making a Tarantino movie, but doesn't have his talent for characters or dialogue. It's a well-made movie to be sure. Very stylish. A little too much, if you ask me. Almost every time it seems like there is going to be some Tarantino or Peckinpah style violence, it steps on the brakes. Or Baby's preternatural driving skills relying on some frankly unbelievable coincidences. As if the movie is so concerned with being liked that it eschews any sort of edge or real stakes in favor of its cool factor.
Blade Runner 2049 - I feared for this one, but it turned out alright. Thoughtful and introspective sci-fi. Slow and quiet, with only occasional jolts of intensity. A movie that's more about its concepts and ideas than its story or characters. Oh, and it looks and sounds amazing. Is it a good as the original? No. For one, nothing comes even remotely close to Rutger Hauer's 'Tear in Rain' monologue. Still some dang good cinema tho.
Going to watch Star Wars Episode VIII tonight.
Hm... with so many movies to watch, I don't usually watch that many movies the same year they come out. The only 2017 movies I've seen this year were Logan, Alien Covenant, Baby Driver, Get Out, The Founder, Jackie and American Honey, and... I think that's it. And speaking of It, I wanted to see it in theathers but horror movies are usually a horrible experience with so many people around you.
So... top 7 2017 movies I guess?
7. American Honey. Like watching 160 minutes of someone's handheld family videos. The "realism" of it didn't interest me because I've lived in shitty places my entire life, so I can just go for a walk around the block if I want to see trashy people, it won't take anywhere near that long. The main actress is great though, and sometimes the movie looks very pretty, like you're looking through someone's instagram photos.
6. Jackie. It's boring.
5. The Founder. Meh, it's ok, I like to watch these movies set in a different era just because of that, I think it's cool to see how an old McDonald's looked on the inside. The story itself, I don't know how accurate it is and it wasn't that interesting anyway. I don't think the Fast Food Cinematic Universe will take off.
4. Baby Driver. I'm sorry, this movie is stylish and all, but the music gimmick wasn't that impressive. It's impressive in the sense that I think it's probably pretty difficult to do, but the execution left me thinking... oh, is that it? The pub scene in Shaun of the Dead when they're kicking zombie ass and Queen is playing is so much better. Also they blew their load too soon, because the opening sequence is the best part of the movie.
3. Alien Covenant. It's alright. I don't really care about continuity in these movies, specially in an Alien movie where every movie feels very samey anyway, but the xenomorphs themselves weren't scary or added any tension to the movie. I don't know what else to say.
2. Get Out. It's amazing.
1. Logan. It's probably one of my favorite movies I've seen this year, 2017 or not. And this says a lot because I DON'T like superhero movies, and thankfully the whole "superpowers!" thing is kept to a minimum here. That final shot too, should win an oscar or something.
Logan - Far be it from to call it a bad movie, but it's so steeped in misery that it kind of spills over. The attempt to make it a road movie/thriller also results in our main heroes getting a bunch of innocent people brutally murdered. Maybe don't accept a dinner invitation when you're on the run from ruthless, killer cyborgs. The relationship between Logan and Xavier was great though. Logan and X-23... not so much.
Baby Driver - Really, really boring. I'd blame it on the lack of Simon Pegg doing the script, but then Scott Pilgrim -- while not great -- wasn't either, and it was at least entertaining from a visual standpoint. Baby Driver was just a whole lot of nothing.
IT - Pretty good. Surprisingly so I'd even say. It's worth watching just for the kids, they're great. Pennywise is... aight, I guess. He functions well enough as a proper monster, but as the enbodiment of fear he falls short quite a bit. There are a few good creepy moments though. The standout being the blood drenched bathroom -- It made for a hellish atmosphere, reminding me of the bathroom scene from Silent Hill 3.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - Fleshed out some of the characters and the relationships they have we one another, which was great to watch, but other than that it was just more of the same.
What We Do in the Shadows - Technically not a '17 movie, but I only saw it recently and it was amazingly funny.
Your Name - (again not a '17 movie) Not bad, definitely has its charm, and worth watching just for the eye candy, which thankfully isn't as overblown as I had expected of Makoto Shinkai. It has a twist which pushed my suspension of disbelieve nearly to the breaking point though.
1. Blade Runner 2049 - Someone called it, the best sequel no one wanted, and he was right. This had no right to turn out that good. A beautiful, haunting film. Succeeds in bringing the atmosphere of Dick's novels, maybe even more than its predecessor. Overall well acted, and gorgeously shot. Negatives? Sure, the pacing, in one moment or two, slows down too much, even for a contemplative movie like this. I didn't like Leto that much, and Zimmer's soundtrack is barely alright. But it didn't deter from experiencing, what might be, the best sci-fi movie i've seen this decade.
2. Logan - Anti-western of superhero movies. Great, emotional conclusion to Hugh Jackman's Wolverine character. Glad that of all comic book movies hitting cinemas, i've picked this one.
3. Dunkirk - Nolan's take on biggest evacuation of military personel during WWII. Tense, momentarily reminiscent more of a survival horror, than a war movie. The signature Nolan timeskip shenanigans are there, but don't detract from the simple story(or maybe because of that). Overall, a great spectacle, but, as much as i genuinely like Nolan's attachment to practical effects, i wished somes scenes could be "brushed up" with CG a bit more, just to give this entire thing a better sense of scale.
4. Silence - very long, and tiring movie, not unlike the horror main hero had to went through. Wished for it to have more of those dialogues between Garfield's character and Shogun's right hand, felt like those conversation were the most interesting part of this movie.
If you're down for 3 long hours of beautiful vistas and gratituous violence, go watch it. Depeding on whether you're a religious person or a non-believer, you can take very different conclusions from this movie, none of them particularly optimistic, though.
5. John Wick Chapter 2: Wick Harder - Not as good as the first one. Still entertaining. The story reveals more about the assassin under(?)ground, which doesn't have to be a good thing. Otherwise, if you liked the first one, go watch it.
6. Atomic Blonde - Charlize Theron was great in every scene that features her. And that's about it, everything else, barring fight choreography(movie was directed by half of the John Wick duo), is mediocre overall. Bit of a shame.
7. Ghost in the Shell - One of those two movies i haven't watched on a big screen. While it might've affect the impact of visuals, it did nothing to the rest of the movie, which was *sigh* a Shell without a Ghost. This predictive joke fits like a glove, though. Unless you're a big ScarJo fan, or yearn for anything "cyberpunky", you can safely miss out on this.
???. The Last Jedi- What a weird mess. Still not sure, if it falls more on the "good" or "bad" side of spectrum. That being said, i want to see the conclusion to this story, so... mission accomplished?
I saw eight new films this year. From worst to best:
8. It Comes at Night - This is a good suspense thriller, but it's seriously hampered by some script problems, especially the over reliance on dream sequences and teasing that goes nowhere.
7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - It's not as funny as the first one and the last act kind of drags, but there's still plenty of fun to be had here if you enjoyed the first one.
6. Detroit - There's not much to it, but it's got enough tension to compensate. The final courtroom scenes are a necessary part of the story, but I think they could have been implemented better.
5. Get Out - Yeah, it's hugely derivative, but it's well made and smartly written enough that I didn't really mind. The horror and satire are very well married, although I could have done without as many goofy comedic asides from the main character's friend.
4. Baby Driver - It's my least favourite Edgar Wright film and is much better in all the parts where the characters aren't talking, but the good bits are seriously good.
3. The Limehouse Golem - A wonderful bit of throwback gothic mystery. It's cleverly plotted and looks fantastic, and Olivia Cooke is brilliant as Lizzie. Bill Nighy is also surprisingly good as the Kildare.
2. The Death of Stalin - Armando Ianucci maintains an excellent balance between farce and horror in this political satire about the aftermath of Stalin's death. It's not laugh out loud funny, but it is very clever. There's a lot of good performances, but Simon Russell Beale as the loathsome Beria steals the show.
1. Wind River - Taylor Sheridan's directorial debut shares a lot of thematic beats with his earlier work, but it's still thoroughly engaging. Jeremy Renner doesn't get nearly enough leading roles, which is a shame, because he's superb in this grim neo-western.
Favorite films of 2017
1. Baby Driver
3. Blade Runner 2049
4. Get Out
5. War for the Planet of the Apes
6. John Wick Chapter 2
8. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
9. It Comes At Night (probably controversial choice since a lot are split on this)
10. Your Name
Worst of 2017
1. The Mummy
2. Batman and Harley Quinn
3. Alien: Covenant (sorry, but I really did not like this at all)
4. The Snowman
5. Transformers: The Last Knight
6. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
7. Power Rangers
8. Beauty and the Beast
9. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
10. Netflix's Death Note
I didn't watch many movies this year. My best of list would consist of only It and Get Out. I most hated King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and The Dark Tower. I thought it was kind of funny that a Stephen King adaptation was best and worst of this year. Then again there were a lot of movies I would normally follow... that I didn't go to based upon review or word of mouth. I didn't see Ghost in a Shell, I just rewatched the original that night and didn't feel I needed to see it. Nearly the same with The Mummy. I watched Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man that weekend, and by then word was out it was awful. And a lot of the movies that would normally hit tops on my list because of a franchise... I just found to be fine. Good, but not good enough to be considered 'best.' I liked the Thor, Guardians, and Spiderman movies... I liked The Last Jedi... but they weren't great. I need to see Wonder Woman still. The Snyderverse DCEU has 3 strikes from me, meaning I won't pay to see a movie in that franchise... but I'll watch WW free the first chance I get. With Netflix and Disney looking to distance themselves further maybe WB will throw some properties at NF.
Yeah, the only films this year I left theaters thinking "Wow" was It and Get Out. And sadly, I didn't think It was as good as the original miniseries. Or at least not as frightening as the miniseries. So basically no movie I saw this year was better than a made-for-TV miniseries from 1990.
Logan: Pretty good, for a superhero movie. It's no Batman v Superman but at least it tries to do something with the genre and it mostly pays off. Then the third act comes along and it takes a nosedive but it was entertaining as long as it lasted and the actual ending was really well executed.
John Wick 2: The first one was good and the second one is more of the same with a bigger budget. Wouldn't really make my top 10 if I had one but it was a good time.
The Fate of the Furious: I like those movies, sue me. No, it wasn't objectively good by any means but if you like what Fast and Furious has turned into... you've probably already seen this one.
Justice League: A travesty compared to its fantastic predecessor. Joss Whedon is an awful, awful writer and an even worse director. Letting him lay hands on Zack Snyder's work, flawed as it is, is an insult.
Logan Lucky: Not bad at all. There's a certain limit to how much I can relate to a movie set in the american south but this was really funny and heartfelt and I can't dislike it for it. A really well done flick, I recommend it.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer: Yorgos Lanthimos is one of the most interesting and unique directors working today. Is he one of the best? Who's to say, Sacred Deer was a fantastic and fantastically uncomfortable movie, though. Didn't like it as much as the The Lobster but that's fine, it's still one of the better things I've seen this year.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The best the Star Wars franchise has been since the late 70s. Flawed, sure, but closer to the best of the series than to the worst. Mind you, I don't think any Star Wars movie other than New Hope was great but Last Jedi had, if nothing else, moments of greatness.
Loving Vincent: Animated movie about the death of Vincent Van Gogh, done in the style of his paintings. Narratively, there's not much in there that you wouldn't also get from reading van Gogh's Wikipedia page but artistically it's quite an accomplishment. The first animated movie ever to be painted in oil and my god, does it look good. It left me pretty impressed.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets: Enjoyable enough pulp sci-fi, starts of really strong and then falls to just above mediocre. Suffers from a grotesquely miscast Dane DeHaan in the leading role. That role would have demanded someone with the swashbuckling action hero bravado of a young Tom Cruise, most of the time DeHaan looked like he was wondering why he was even in the movie. So did I.
A Ghost Story: Sad, heartfelt and a bit dull. got its point across and got it across in a way that was quite emotionally reasonant, I'd hesitate to say that that point was particulary interesting, though.
Death Note: It sucked, but it sucked in such a unique and special way that there's something endearing about it. It's that weird, shambling Frankenstein Monster of a movie that seems to be made of different parts of much better movies, none of which fit together. I'm not familiar with the manga it's based on but surely it can't be that bad.
Baby Driver: It was decent. It's no Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, in fact, it's not even a Hot Fuzz but it's an entertaining enough action movie with an effective use of music. The plot kept me wondering where it was going, mostly because it was stupid, but that's fine, I had a decent time.
Blade Runner 2049: The one movie I saw this year that I'd call genuinely great. Having watched both Blade Runner movies side by side recently I'm even tempted to say it's better than the first one, overall. Smart, good looking and able to touch you on an emotional level, Blade Runner 2049 is like that hot girl you cried yourself to sleep thinking about when you were 16. Now, there's a quote for the DVD cover.
Haven't seen but plan to see: Wind River, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, Atomic Blonde.
Best I saw this year:
Criminal: An amazing movie, very creative and great fun. You should all watch this masterpiece.
Twin Peaks: Firewalk with Me: Even more fun and surreal than the television show.
Lego Batman: Not quite as good as the first, but still a very funny and creative movie that actually feels like the comics, unlike Wonder Woman or Logan.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Really expatiates the first movie, turning a great movie into an almost perfect one. It has all the color, humor, imagination and fun of a classic comic.
Spiderman: Homecoming: Another great creative comic book movie.
Doctor Strange: Not as good as the last two, but still very fun.
X-Men: Apocalypse: This was the best comic book movie I saw this year. It was incredibly fun, creative, used a variety of characters well and captured the feel of my favorite comic book series very well. There were some plot holes, but I had so much fun that I did not care.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle: Another great comic book movie, probably between Spiderman homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in terms of creativity and fun.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman beyond: Return of the Joker: Excellent movies that felt like extended episodes of the animated series. I did not see the endings coming but I was satisfied by them.
Following: Unrelated to the boring television show, a good Christopher Nolan movie. Unusually creative for him, unlike his Batman movies and Inception, which while entertaining showed no imagination.
John Wick 2: A fun action movie.
Kubo and the Two Strings: Made by the same studio as Coraline and Paranorman and just as surreal and fun.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Hilarious comedy.
Hairspray remake: A good comedy, but not an idealized vision of the past, as it also shows the darker side of 1950s culture
Mary Poppins and the parody Simpsonscalifragilisticexpialidohcious: Classic movie, almost as fun now as when I was young. Its combination of live-action and cartoons was very creative and must have been an amazing technical feat back in 1964. Its parody is my favorite Simpsons episode and a spot-on take on the movie.
Worst I saw this year:
Batman versus Superman 2: Logan: Basically Manos the Hand of Fate with a few unsatisfying fights. It not only has no fun, color, imagination, point or story, but it actively insults the viewer because he enjoys the comics and using his imagination while reading them. I did enjoy the senile Professor X--if this movie was even slightly watchable, he would probably have saved it.
Batman versus Superman 3: Wonder Woman: Almost as creative and fun as Logan, but at least it does not insult its own viewers for being fun and imaginative. I did enjoy Ludendorff--if this was Ludendorff instead of Wonder Woman, it would probably have been great.
A 2017 TV movie version of The Saint: All I can remember about this movie is that nothing about it was interesting or fun or memorable. It was a perfect example of a mediocre movie.
Rogue One: It does for Star Wars what Batman versus Superman did for DC Comics.
Get out: I wanted to like this one because I love Key and Peele, but I found it kind of boring. It tried to be both horror and comedy and failed at both. I understand Key and Peele's pain, but they fail to convey it in the movie.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice: Basically a horribly written movie where you occasionally have to solve the same puzzle or fight a few minor enemies to unpause it.
Frozen: I stopped watching after about 20 minutes because of the horrible characters, jokes and songs.
Favorite films of 2017:
1)King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
9)Blade Runner 2049