So with 2017 over its time for the annual raking over the delightful and the detritus that was released over the past year, a year that has been dominated by the Harvey Weinstein scandal which has dragged in many other famous faces and is decimating careers at a bewildering rate and shows no sign on letting up anytime soon.
Inevitably this years films have provoked much argument and mud slinging in the office (at least we hope it was mud) followed by drink fuelled fisticuffs or in the Editor’s case, woeful windmilling. Anyway as usual we’re all friends and looking forward to what 2018 holds.
So here’s our favourite films of 2017 followed by the worst. If you don’t agree let us know…….
Blade Runner 2049
After Sicario & Arrival both of which were our favourite films of their respective years director Dennis Villeneuve has made it a trilogy of top films with Blade Runner 2049 and has quickly established himself as one of our favourite film makers. Rumours abound that he might make the next Bond film though we think it’s more likely his next will be the reboot of Dune. Whatever it is we can’t wait.
Brawl in Cell Block 99
Vince Vaughn has a long line of increasingly poor comedies in his back catalogue and after his turn in Hacksaw Ridge which saw him in a different light he’s gone on to undergo a major career overhaul appearing as the lead in probably the most violent film that was out this year. Written and directed by S Craig Zahler who had made Bone Tomahawk about cannibal native American Indians it was no surprise that ‘Brawl in Cell Block 99’ turned out like it did and despite its 2 hour 12 minute running time it just swept you along in its fists of fury. So good is it that we’ve decided to let you win a copy on our competitions page….
Kills on Wheels
A foreign language film about disabled hitmen in wheelchairs played by genuinely real life disabled actors. Kills on Wheels could easily have turned out to be tasteless yet turned out to be hugely entertaining and like nothing you would expect.
After two standalone Wolverine films that had left us feeling ‘meh’ the film makers emboldened by the success of Deadpool went all out to show that those talons inflicted bloody and fatal results with a superhero weighed down by years responsibility and a body battered and increasingly incapable of dealing with its injuries sustained by fighting. Logan was a superhero spin on the classic western giving Wolverine a brilliant sendoff with probably the best trailer of the year too.
Gloriously, gloriously stupid and wonderfully daft. Mindhorn is eccentric , surreal, superb.
My Life as a courgette
Pixar is the company that gets all the plaudits for combining humour and pathos but 2017 saw it easily bested by the story of a boy who causes the accidental death of his alcoholic mother and is sent to an orphanage where he forges friendships with other children all struggling with equally tragic back stories. Running at only 70 minutes ‘My Life as a Courgette‘ is the shortest film on our list but is undoubtedly the most moving yet also uplifting film we saw. Endearing stop motion animation it could be viewed either in its original French with subtitles or in dubbed English. Either version was an honour to watch.
Bit of an unexpected one this we know but we threw it in purely because the story of the Boston cops and FBI tracking down the terrorists responsible for the Boston marathon bombing was compelling viewing and had some really great scenes.
The Disaster Artist
We love films about the making of films (and our Deputy Editor has written untold number of hugely entertaining & published articles along those lines) but if you’ve ever endured the truly awful ‘The Room’ in fact even if you haven’t seen ‘The Room’ then this is still a must. The Disaster Artist is one of the best comedies of the year with a barn storming performance by James Franco who also directs.
Possibly a little over long but nonetheless New Zealand comedy genius Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople) made Thor Ragnarok one of the best superhero blockbusters of the year and with the film having made $846m to date more than its two predecessors it seems audiences agree.
Undoubtedly our favourite film of the year, writer/director Christopher Nolan surpasses himself with the story of the evacuation of Dunkirk brilliantly told across three separate strands (air, sea & land) and all driven by Hans Zimmer’s superb score as seen on a huge IMAX screen. A film maker at the top of his game. Doesn’t get any better than this…..Now let’s see it rewarded with Oscars.
6 Below was the story of a mountain rescue wasn’t bad just boring featuring all the standard tropes you might expect to see in such a film.
These film adaptations of iconic TV series continue but Baywatch was woefully misjudged. Weak jokes, dull action. A rare misfire for Dwayne Johnsson.
A film about the genocidal campaign by Stalin against the Ukraine, Bitter Harvest was laughably awful featuring a cast of wavering accents and instantly disposed of characters. Released early in 2017 it made only $557,241.
King Arthur : Legend of the Sword
Guy Ritchie’s long delayed story about all those cockney geezers that King Arthur led…..yes that was news to us too. Some flashes of Ritchie’s usual distinctive style but this was too long and in places just too daft. Legend of the Sword? Legend of the Bored more like. Cost a huge $175m and didn’t even earn that back at the world wide box office.
Transformers : The Last knight
Michael Bay continues in typically bombastic style how he can take $217m and turn it into rubbish.
Opening early in the year CHiPs was an contender for the title worst film of the year and despite some tough competition it clung on as being utterly, utterly terrible. We sat watching this in a packed screening room with the other critics and no one, NO ONE, laughed once. Bad, bad BAD!!! The Californian Highway Patrol acronym would be better served as film title if the police department were called Californian Response Armed Patrol.