2017 - A Year In Review
It would be easy to write up a review of the year looking at the big stories of the year but it would make for depressing reading now and no amount of "Now Wolverine can team up with the Avengers" can make up for that.
Instead this will be a bit of a statistical analysis of my year of cinema going along with my picks for the best (and worst) films of the year along with movie moments and performances.
When compiling my list of what I had watched this year, it became apparent that I will need to move with the times in 2018 as I only had kept track of films that I had seen at the cinema and not at home via Netflix, such as Gerald's Game and The Circle.
From 1st January, that will change as there are more and more original films being released via online platforms, including Duncan Jones's upcoming Mute (which will hopefully also receive a small theatrical release).
Films watched at the cinema - 142
New releases watched in 2017 - 115
Repeat viewings of new releases - 9
Classic re-issues watched on the big screen - 18
Worst Films of 2017
- Transformers 5: The Last Knight
- Song To Song
- The Snowman
- The House
Movie Moments Of The Year
- Luke & Leia (The Last Jedi) - Don't want to go into spoilers but safe to say that when Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are reunited on screen, it is a scene that would turn even the most hardened Sith back from the Dark Side.
- Joi, K and Mariette (Blade Runner 2049) - The A.I. Joi melds with a replicant prostitute in order to become physical with Gosling's K and the CGI used in this scene is the most stunning that I have ever seen and blew my tiny human mind as it struggled to comprehend what it was seeing.
- Epilogue (La La Land) - A beautiful "What If" recap of this stunning, joyous musical which simultaneously becomes the most bittersweet ending to a romance since Casablanca.
- Spitfire vs the Bomber (Dunkirk) - The airborne dogfight cinematography is the highlight of Nolan's film but the acting and emotion cannot be overlooked during the scene where Hardy's pilot silently decides whether to fly home to safety or turn around to take on a German bomber to save more soldiers, knowing it will leave him out of fuel and probably sending him to his death.
- The Knock On The Door (Wind River) - When Elizabeth Olsen knocks on the door of a cabin, what happened next completely threw me for a loop.
- Post-credit Sting (Split) - One comes to expect a twist from an M. Night Shalamyan film and this was no different but when the film revealed where the story would go in the future I properly "marked out" and was astounded and delighted we would see more from the world of *redacted*
- Bellbottoms (Baby Driver) - The opening bank robbery and resulting car chase is a tour de force of action directing and editing, with all the action set out meticulously to the soundtrack of Bellbottoms by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and sets the tone for Edgar Wright's bold, brash and brilliant Baby Driver.
- Anything with Korg (Thor Ragnarok) - Taika Waititi's hilarious rock monster Korg was the breakout character of Thor Ragnarok. Always there to undercut the tension with a joke or two, I certainly hope to see more of Korg and Miek in the MCU.
- Michael Stuhlbarg's monologue (Call Me By Your Name) - Stuhlbarg steals the film out from under the feet of Chalamet and Hammer right at the end with a tender, beautiful speech to his son that earns him the title of best movie parent since Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson in Easy A.
- "Oh hai Mark" (The Disaster Artist) - Yes it was featured in the trailer but the filming of this scene in The Room is fantastic (as is the spot on recreations of scenes from the film played side by side during the end credits).
Best Performances Of The Year
- Emily Beecham (Daphne)
- Tom Hardy (Dunkirk)
- James Franco (The Disaster Artist)
- Harrison Ford (Blade Runner 2049)
- Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane & Molly's Game)
- Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name)
- Rafe Spall (The Ritual)
- Mark Hamill (The Last Jedi)
- Hugh Grant (Paddington 2)
- Jack Black (Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle)
Most Enjoyable Cinematic Viewing Experiences
- The Room
- Edinburgh International Film Festival Q&As - This year I was lucky enough to host a couple of Q&As at EIFF including Daphne with a breakout performance from Emily Beecham and a packed house in Filmhouse 1 for The Beautiful Fantastic with Jeremy Irvine.
- Raiders Of The Lost Ark with live score at Usher Hall - One of the greatest films of all-time with one of the greatest film themes of all-time played live by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. What's not to love?
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi Midnight Screening
- Dunkirk on 70mm & IMAX - Flawless projection from the team at Filmhouse for the gorgeous 70mm print. Sadly there were projection issues at Glasgow IMAX but I did notice the reactions of audience members around me with one girl utterly engrossed with the dogfight scenes so much that whenever Tom Hardy appeared on screen, she moved forward to the edge of her seat. At the end when he opens the cockpit to parachute to safety she started to cheer, only to look around at other people in shock when he closed it to safely land the plane on the beach and burn it so the Germans couldn't use it. It reminded me of the power that cinema can have over people.
Top 17 Films of 2017
- Blade Runner 2049
- Wind River
- Get Out
- The Last Jedi
- La La Land
- A Ghost Story
- Baby Driver
- The Disaster Artist
- T2 Trainspotting
- Call Me By Your Name
- Paddington 2
- It Comes At Night
Honorable Mention: War Of The Planet Of The Apes - Who can honestly say that in 2011, when a prequel/reboot to a Sixties sci-fi film that spawned a number of terrible sequels and remakes would produce one of the greatest film trilogies of ALL-TIME, anchored by an incredible central performance from Andy Serkis as Caesar.