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.
- Obviously ZOOTOPIA is allegory for race/crime issues that are very top-of-mind in America right now.
- Gutsy to take on this theme in a “kids’ movie.” If this film is even that.
- I squirmed during the confrontation after Judy’s speech; Nick (the fox) leaning in: “are you afraid of me?”
- If you haven’t seen it, here’s the scene. It’s kind of amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbbdW4wVo6o
- So yeah, prejudice… But, using animals to tell the story puts a whole ‘nother layer on ZOOTOPIA, doesn’t it?
- Just kind of astonishing seeing a Disney movie using talking animals to take on nature red in tooth and claw.
- Here’s a global media empire built largely on drawing cute animals that act like people. Imagery so commonplace in our culture we hardly think about it.
- And now they make a movie that says, “think about it.”
- “Think how we sentimentalize animals, and how that insulates us from the natural world.”
- “Also: think about what they eat. And what you eat.”
- Apparently everyone in ZOOTOPIA lives on berries, ice cream, and donuts. There must be a lot of hungry, malnourished lions and bears there.
- ZOOTOPIA doesn’t address the topic of vegetarianism overtly. in fact, they carefully avoid the issue. But it’s there.