In 2016, I made a note of every film we’d watched throughout the year and shared them in a post at the end of December. It seemed to be fairly well received and it also helped us review a year through a different medium.
So I decided to do it again. Except this time, due to the entire year being quite a gargantuan task, I intended to compile a post quarterly. And then we got to April…then the end of April…and I realised I’d missed my fraction window!
So instead, here’s the FINAL installment of a trilogy – because every good film comes in threes, right?! (Please don’t start giving me examples of when this hasn’t worked – there are far too many!)
However, it’s later than last year’s counterpart (but then I was MIA for a while) and we’re already into the third week of 2018. But it’s the beginning of award season and a good time to finish the line-up and tell you what MY TOP 10 FILMS of 2017 were!
September started strong with a trip to IMAX to view, arguably, one of the most intense moves I’ve ever watched. Whether it was the subject matter, the fact it was historical fact, the sheer noise from the speakers or the constant, ticking background score from Hans Zimmer (all kinds of awesome), Dunkirk was a visual, traumatic masterpiece told via three story lines that marry together and create something that left me feeling both numb, yet immensely proud of the courage of our WW2 veterans. A must-see!
The Big Sick was a beautiful, alternative love story, telling the real-life tale of how comedian Kumail Nanjiani met his wife, writer and producer Emily V Gorden. Being a fan of both celebrities helped (it stars the former, playing himself) but is worth a watch even if you’ve never heard of them. As they often say, true life is stranger than fiction.
We all know by now I’m a huge Marvel fan but Wonder Woman was my first (first makes it sounds like I own multiple…) superhero costume. So I’ve always held a place in my heart for Diana and willed this to be good. I was not disappointed. Although it has not made my top 10 list, it could have done quite easily. Gal Gadot in the title role really held her own and rightly inspired little (and large) girls the world over. It had action, humour, great special effects and characters you liked. Very un-DC, much more Marvel!
The Book of Henry looked gorgeous from the trailer and full of whimsical fantasy, with an ironic, bittersweet twist. Telling the story of child-genius Henry, a boy who discovers he has an incurable brain tumour, it follows him as he sets about leaving instructions for his mother (Naomi Watts) and younger brother (Jacob Tremblay) on how to help his next door neighbour and friend. Although it was enjoyable, it didn’t quite deliver as well as I’d hoped, but was still an interesting concept.
Finally, the month ended with snozzcumbers and bloodbottlers as we journeyed into the magical world of Roald Dahl with the BFG. I believe this had bad reviews when released in 2016 but I loved it. It’s always been one of my favourite Dahl books (fuelled by the fact it was written for his granddaughter, Sophie) and I felt it was a fitting adaptation, which had me sobbing into my hankersniffling!
I don’t know what we were doing in October but it wasn’t watching films! (Mindhunter and Handmaid’s Tale were obviously far more enticing)
However, shortly before the world witnessed Kevin Spacey’s universe fall apart for taking advantage of young men he was in Baby Driver…erm…kind of doing similar: exploiting the skills and wielding his power over getaway driver, Baby (Ansel Elgort), who tries to leave behind the life of crime he’s been coerced into by Doc (Spacey). With a killer soundtrack and obligatory car chases, it’s very Edgar Wright and it’s very, very good! Shame it’s tarnished by the heinous deeds of one of the cast. Don’t feel quite right promoting it in the circumstances…*
Our other offering for October had to have a horror angle as we headed towards Halloween. The Autopsy of Jane Doe starts out as a basic, crime mystery as we try to decipher the cause of death of a young woman, through the eyes of a local mortician. Things swiftly turn sinister as many a twist unveils itself, ticking all of my supernatural boxes and actually being creepy and scary! Seemingly rare in horror these days. Shot almost entirely in a single room, this nicely ramps up the tension to the (albeit slightly predictable) conclusion.
The beginning of November brought two films with weather-related titles: The Mist and Wind River. I was convinced I’d seen the former (it’s been around a while), but then we watched it and it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. However, the black and white cinematography added to the eerie ambience and the ending is…well, watch it and get back to me about how it makes you feel.
Wind River saw Scarlett Witch and Hawkeye (Olsen and Renner) playing FBI agent and expert tracker, trying to solve the murder of a teenager from the Native American community, within a reservation. Cold, bleak and methodical, it was a solid crime drama.
Logan Lucky was a surprising hit – a comedy drama heist, which was far more fun than it should have been. But then with a cast of Daniel Craig, Adam Driver (huge fan) and Channing Tatum, there were some high hopes, that thankfully played out.
We love zombie yarns and have been wanting to see Train to Busan for some time. Yet it’s rare these days that zombie films have anything new to offer, but the element of being trapped on a moving train certainly added to the tension and is definitely recommended if you like the genre.
Finally, the end of November saw me head off to see a literal masterpiece. Loving Vincent told the tragic tale of famous artist, Vincent Van Gogh. Taking place a year after his death, it tries to piece together his final moments and decide whether it was suicide (as is widely believed) or murder.
An interesting story in itself, what made this film unique was the animation. Created from hundreds of full sized oil paintings in the style of Van Gogh, the actors were motion-captured and painted into the backgrounds. Truly beautiful to watch.
Oh Kingsman…I loved you and your wise-cracking rough boy Taron Egerton in the first installment. But Golden Circle just didn’t deliver. Despite an all-star cast, the story line seemed messy and waay over the top, even in the world of fictional secret agents.
War for the Planet of the Apes was a fitting end to the trilogy and once again had me crying at the state of the human race and what we do to animals. An interesting twist for how the virus plays out and Woody ‘I seem to be in everything these days‘ Harrelson slinging his ego around in arrogant perfection is always good to watch.
A re-watch of Force Awakens was slotted in before we headed out to see The Last Jedi. There’s been a lot of criticism of this latest Star Wars offering but I enjoyed it. Not as much as Force Awakens – the back and forth between locations seemed a little clunky and I thought it was a tad too long. To me, it was very much Empire Strikes Back. But then many cite that as the best of the series, so what do I know?! (Except that I reaaally like Adam Driver. Did I mention that?)
Picture the scene: Christmas Eve, all preparations done, cosy blankets, a few mince pies and time to relax with a festive film. So Sam chooses to watch IT…
It wasn’t scary in the slightest, even though I’m not a fan of clowns. In fact, it’s just Stand By Me with a supernatural twist. Okay, but nothing special in my opinion.
Hitman’s Bodyguard was fun, at the very least for being able to hear Samuel L. Jackson say ‘mother&*ck4r’ repeatedly. Nobody sounds quite as good as him when they’re throwing out the expletives! But explosive action and wise-cracks from Ryan Reynolds also carried this along and added to the enjoyment.
And finally, to end the year, Sam picked up a 4K blu-ray in the sales of Unforgiven (he loves cowboy films). We might have this film on every other medium from the last ten years but I’ve never seen it. A slow burner, it ticked all the boxes for a Western / Drama / Eastwood classic.
So that’s it – 56 films in 2017. But which would make my Top Ten?
It was a tough choice and I had to extend it to ten (2016 had a Top 5), as I enjoyed so many this year. So here, in chronological order, my favourites have been:
- Midnight Special
- Sing Street
- Captain Fantastic
- Get Out
- The Big Sick
- The Autopsy of Jane Doe
- Loving Vincent
I’d love to hear your thoughts on any you’ve seen / want to watch and should you have any stellar recommendations for us in 2018, I’m all ears!
Image Credits: imdb.com and bitmoji app
*Assault or harassment of any kind is obviously nothing to be glib about – Don’t ever be afraid to speak out.