OK so look I’m not good at making these lists. I find this perhaps the one area of my life that I find incredibly difficult to make some decisions on things and run with them; cause as I reminisce on the movies of the year I start thinking about things I like, or even re-watch things as was the case the other day when I watched Atomic Blonde again and was like “Hey! This is way better than I remembered!” and it jumped back into my list.
So here we go, I’m committing to my 17 Best Movies of 2017 as that way I can have more slots to tell you about the movies I loved in 2017 and I also love a good number gimmick. My criteria: I had to have seen in it cinema and I had to have been really moved when I left the cinema – be that by whatever emotion the movie was hoping to draw from me.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
I’m a new fan to the Kingsman universe after checking out Kingsman: The Secret Service before I headed along to The Golden Circle NZ Premiere earlier this year; know I’m a big fan bruv and I love the world that Matthew Vaughan has created. Believe me, if you’re interested in film production to any level, then the special features on both of the Kingsman DVD/Blu Ray’s are a wealth of knowledge to enjoy and you most certainly need to check them out.
John Wick 2
Keanu Reeves fan girl from the way back here, so I’m always interested in what Keanu is up to and like to check in on his projects. John Wick 2 is the perfect follow up to the surprise revenge-gangster cult hit that comes before this chapter; directed by Chad Stahelski. John Wick 2 in a word stream of consciousness is suits, blue staffy, explosions, car chases, fights scenes, elaborate locations, incredible sets and crazy plot. Stylish, violent and cool, I was satisfied with this installment and can’t wait for John Wick 3.
War For The Planet of The Apes
This was the extremely satisfying closing off of the magnificent reboot / reimagining (whatever…) of the Planet of the Apes franchise. I was SO pleased with how everything rounded out in this exciting, post-apocalyptic, emotional action sci-fi. Andy Serkis and Weta Digital are as always, ridiculous in their skill demonstrated and I bawled my eyes out thank you very much, on more than one occasion while I was watching Caesar fulfill his destiny. Woody Harrelson also gives excellent crazy dictator in this so I also love that aspect too. Apes Together Strong.
Woooooo. Ooosssh. This is the kind of noises you make watching Colossal. A low budget indie drama with a pinch of scifi that so excellently draws you into it’s characters and subject matter that by the time you’re quite a way through it you realize that it’s a dangerous scenario…exactly like the theme or allegory that the movie plot is suggesting – domestic violence and abusive relationships. Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis are doing so much heavy lifting in this piece and they. nail. it. Very moving stuff.
The Big Sick
Whomever you are reading this, there is one universal truth you need to know. Some time in your life you will want, nay NEED to watch a romantic comedy and you can’t get better than the truth drenched heart-warmer The Big Sick. Ponied along by Judd Apatow (and you’ve trusted him before right…40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up) and fronted by the dry n witty Kumail Nanjiani; The Big Sick very much makes me wish that it will break the drought and allow a comedy to win Best Picture at the 2018 Academy Awards! (For those keeping score: Birdman is probably the last comedy to win Best Picture in 2014, before The Artist in 2011).
The Greatest Showman
I’m pretty impressionable so having seen The Greatest Showman so close to the end of the year it has catapulted into my best movies of 2017 list. However I love me a good musical and the songs in The Greatest Showman are so catchy, meaningful and cool; and Hugh Jackman so absolutely slays this all singing, all dancing, all leading man role that it’s just so hard to say no to it’s charms; so maybe it’s not just that I’m impressionable it’s that it’s really good too. I didn’t dance dramatically by myself to This Is Me on Spotify after seeing it…you did.
Disney Pixar Coco
Disney Pixar Coco is NOT a movie for kids! Coco is most certainly a movie for everyone. It’s filled with all the best things in life: food, celebrations, laughter, family, love and music! Coco is absolutely breath-taking animation, perfect, cheeky twist-at-the-end styled Disney plot and just mega delightfulness from start to finish. I can’t wait to visit Disneyland again one day and see all the Coco theming that is bound to be there after this gorgeous movie has paved the way for it. Beware! Coco IS very moving and the predominant theme is about Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead festival and the loss of family so if your kids or kid buddies watching might be sensitive about that, you’ve been given the heads up.
Yes I just re-watched it this afternoon and so it’s jumped back into my Top 10 list but ya know what, I don’t know why Charlize and all the butt she kicks in Atomic Blonde wasn’t in the top spots all along. Kitschy 80s fashion, historical backdrop to the action, music, cars – all of it is so lovingly brought to life here by David Leitch (watch out for his work on Deadpool 2 this year!) and Charlize slaaaays. Plus the fact that a woman character dominates this much on screen and in such commanding a fashion, is really astonishing and I’d have loved to have taken this back in time and shown it to Sarah Connor fans after the release of T2 and say, get excited because there’s bone crushing women like this in your future.
I’m not even really going to say much about Thor Ragnarok. It’s awesome, it’s funny, I know I’ll be watching it again and again for the rest of my life, I’ll be owning it on Blu Ray just as soon as I possibly can and um, yeah…Go Taika Waititi. OK Seriously I could go on but why, did you see it? Then you know what I’m talking about. Haven’t seen it yet? You’re soo lucky! You get to see Thor Ragnarok for the first time!
You know I love my weird shizz and mother! is THE weirdest shizz you’ll ever see in 2017…possibly ever. It’s like a bad dream but in the best possible way. It’s a deadline fever nightmare wrapped in a climate change allegory inter-meshed with commentary on the way women are seen in the world, their home, their beds and in their own heads. Faark. Heavy stuff but incredibly beautifully created and acted by some solid talent such as Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem; you really should just check it out. If you love avant garde auteur movies then this Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) instant classic will be just what you’re after; and if you just wanna watch something totally bizarre and trip out, then mother! is perfect for that too.
I’m a legitimate hopeless Christopher Nolan fan girl so I actually am required by law to include any of his works released in a year, in my Top movie lists. It’s a fact. Asides to that I was incredibly moved by Dunkirk, a rich, enthralling depiction of potentially the most heroic moment in WWII history. Stacked with talent, sublime shots and cinematography, seamless effects live for camera and digitally added and a real heart and explanation to the ‘Dunkirk Spirit‘ that my Granddad had always told me about.
Blade Runner 2049
Goooood! So good, I was grateful to see Blade Runner 2049 in IMAX and it was exactly the immersive experience I was after. I loved where the story went post Ridley Scott‘s innovative original; and I loved the super human effort that Ryan Gosling put in on this. Plus if you were wanting more from Harrison Ford from his role as Han Solo in recent Star Wars movies; then I think this return of Deckard will give you what you were looking for, as Ford has plenty of meaty screen-time here. Blade Runner 2049 is earnest and mind-blowingly visual in all aspects from art direction to costume to these head scratching sets that the characters interact on. I can’t wait to see this one again ASAP.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Was there ever any doubt? Stormtrooping into my Top 5 of 2017, this is the Star War chapter I’m looking for: The Last Jedi was E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I couldn’t stop talking about it for days and have thoughtfully considered what other fans and viewers have complained about and naaah, just naaah. It’s all doove doove, Schvrmmmmmmm!Schvrmmmmmmm! of clashing alliances and light sabres so I’m all. about. it. I’m excited about where the story arcs have progressed to and I can see the new generation is going to take the baton and create more for us in the Star Wars universe we love, for years to come.
Ahh yes, I also loved Alien:Covenant…are you still here? Universally panned as well, I was and am all aboard Alien:Covenant. I think I’ve watched it four times this year alone and it’s a great addition to the Alien canon of films which I already love very, very dearly. Katherine Waterson is electric, oossh that scene where she’s harnessed to the outside of the craft…fark! Michael Fassbender continues to be my very best creepy crush as he tackles portraying both droids’ Devious David and Wonderful Walter, impeccably. Here too I loved where the Alien universe has been taken due to the plot events in Alien:Covenant and really feel like we could see a lot more stories from this exciting world. So if Neill Blomkamp gets a crack at it, I’m all about it.
Get Out is the first of three films on my list which may as well be all first equal as to the level of emotion, motivation and how filled up with the special feeling that the “magic of the movies gives you” I was, after seeing these next three films. Get Out is the horror movie with a big slashing of comedy that every single person on earth needs to see. It’s not gory, not in a oozing blood way and while it’s very menacing it’s not some unknown supernatural entity. It’s the absurdity and horrifying things that humans do (specifically white ones) that make this such an effective spine-tingler that keeps you chatting, guessing and cooking up theories long after you’ve come up from The Sunken Place. Watch it; and then never look at anyone you’re casually dating the same, ever, again.
I’m not sugar-coating this. You are going to cry. You are going to wince. You are going to be moved big time. Logan is an incredible Marvel movie; a serious action film that is confronting with moments of road-trip fun but for the most part it’s sobering and sad and just so beautiful. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have said (then sort of retracted) that this is the last time they’ll both be playing their X-Men characters; and it’s well worth a watch for their performances alone. The gritty futuristic world that this beat-down authentic Logan roams around is frightening and coarse and should suit him but he’s still that man apart that we all love.
I am 100% under Baby Driver‘s spell. People that have been with me for a long time know that I get like this about certain movies. It used to be Drive (2011) then it was The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and then a slew of other movies that I adopt and squeeze to my heart and never let go and talk about constantly and then listen to the soundtrack of it, 24/7 for a month. Baby Driver was 2017’s ‘movie like that‘; where I revisited my love for all things Edgar Wright directs, fell in love with Ansel Elgort and Lily James and the soundtrack…oh the soundtrack. Baby Driver got under my skin and I adored it so very much and when I’m asked at all those summer BBQs and get togethers: “So Kate, what was your top movie for 2017?” I’ll definitely be saying Baby Driver.
So that’s mine, tell me yours in the comments: what was your favourite movie this year?