I make this list every year, for fun and as a reference. As always, it only reflects things seen for the first time. “POLTERGEIST on TV, 14th viewing” doesn’t make the list. Nor do films not viewed in their entirety, for example, Guy Ritchie’s THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E, which got ejected from the Blu-Ray player after 15 minutes. I’d never seen Henry Cavill in anything before but he seems to emit some kind of anti-charisma particle.
I didn’t bother making a numbered best-of list this year. But if I had, LOGAN would be at the top. It’s perfect. Damn you James Mangold, for making me cry at your Wolverine movie.
Some of my other favorite releases of 2017 include THE BEGUILED, COCO, ATOMIC BLONDE, THOR: RAGANOK, and THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES. Of course, DUNKIRK was impressive – but cold, as is Christopher Nolan’s way. MOTHER! is a movie, alright. Darren Aronofsky swings for the fences. And whatever you think of the film, Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Pfieffer were very good. The BLADE RUNNER sequel was amazing, and very nearly great: only Jared Leto’s messianic super-villain seemed out of place, like a character from a different, dumber movie. THE LAST JEDI: wonderful, about 50% of the time. The compelling Rey/Kylo/Luke storyline almost makes up for how they couldn’t find anything interesting for Poe, Finn, or Rose to do. (Yeah I get that the casino plot is a critique of capitalism and arms dealers and yes intellectually that’s interesting for a Star Wars movie but dramatically it was a big bag of nothing and visually it looked cheap & reminded me of the prequels and like this sentence that movie is too long.)
Linked titles take you to my review, or more info on the film.
MOVIES ON THE BIG SCREEN
Manchester by the Sea
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (live from the Old Vic)*
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
Dave Made A Maze
Dawson City: Frozen Time
The Big Sick
Blade Runner 2049
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Coco (saw it January ’18)
MOVIES ON THE SMALL SCREEN
The Jungle Book (2016)
The Nice Guys
Shadow of a Doubt
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
The Trip (Steve Coogan, not Dennis Hopper)
Back To The Future III
Eat Pray Love
The Meyerowitz Stories
The Godfather (pretty good! why didn’t anyone tell me about this flick sooner?)
The Good Place
Game of Thrones
I Love Dick
Odd Mom Out
Star Trek: Discovery
POV: What Tomorrow Brings
Big Little Lies
Abstract: The Art of Design
BOOKS and OTHER READING
Other People’s Trades – Primo Levi
Broken Frontier (graphic novel) – Various
Lightspeed Magazine – Various
A whole bunch of screenplays
*I am calling this a movie. I saw it at a movie theater. Harry Potter guy was in it. It counts.
Sometimes I dream I’m driving in a no-consequences world, one with cartoon physics. Invariably I spin out, or flip my car into a ditch, or off a cliff. Always I emerge unscathed. It’s then a simple matter to grip my vehicle with two hands and place it back on the road, righting it as if it weighed no more than a styrofoam cooler.
Maybe that’s the reason I respond so strongly to The 1K Project II, because it seems to operate in this same no-impact universe. Or maybe it’s just because it’s so fucking cool. I’m not the only one who feels this way: the video racked up millions of views on the gamer site gametrailers.com. Over the past few years I’ve shared links to it on MySpace, later Facebook, and then Twitter. And now, I have a blog. So here it comes again.
“The 1K Project by French machinima creator BlackShark marks a particularly virtuosic display of procedural media’s capacity for replay and repetition. To make the 1K Project II, Blackshark used the driving game TrackMania to capture 1,000 replays of the game, each with subtle variations in trajectory and outcome, which were recorded and then played back layered together to create a frenzy of automotive mayhem.” –credit: criticalcommons.org
Some crackerjack editing plus a perfect choice of music track make the thing sing. The result is a sublime work that by rights should be looping in somebody’s MOMA somewhere. In my opinion, at least. Enjoy.