Wednesday 27 December 2017

Cinema Year in Review: 2017

This year I saw 13 films in the cinema, a slight drop from 17 last year. Raising a toddler makes it hard to get to the theatre; but on a positive note, we took the little one to his very first film in the cinema this summer. It was Cars 3, and a good time was had by all.

Top 5 Movies

This year had an embarrassment of good movies. Four excellent superhero films (Logan, Lego Batman, Wonder Woman, Thor: Ragnarok) might have made the top five in some other year, but not this time. My top five are:

  1. Dunkirk. Another mighty achievement from Christopher Nolan.
  2. Blade Runner 2049. A worthy sequel to the original.
  3. T2: Trainspotting. Another long-delayed sequel which was worth the wait. The characters from the last film reassemble, filled with middle-aged regret and ready to settle some old scores.
  4. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Terrific fun, and surprisingly thoughtful. My review here.
  5. Paddington 2. Absolutely lovely; funny, charming and heartwarming from start to finish.
It's only after I finished this list that I realised four of the five titles are sequels. Is it a sign Hollywood is running low on fresh ideas? Some would say so; but I think there's still a healthy supply of original material, and this just happened to be a very good year for sequels.

Honourable mention

Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Seen in its 25th anniversary re-release. The 3D conversion didn't really add much, but it's still a tremendous film which occupies an important place in my heart. Some more of my thoughts on the Terminator films here.

Guilty pleasure

The critics hated it. There are some gigantic plot holes; it doesn't fully grapple with the monstrous and possibly unforgivable act committed by its protagonist; and it ends with pretty much a literal deus ex machina. But I still enjoyed Passengers very much. (My review here, with major spoilers.)

Wooden spoon

Ghost in the Shell. Not exactly a bad film, just terribly disappointing. The legendary source material and a promising set-up devolve into yet another punch-up aimed at adolescent males. Its approach to sensitive issues of race and colonisation is clumsy and oblivious at best. A few worthy moments which could have been made into something better, but it was not to be. (My review here.)

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