2017 has been one hell of a year for numerous reasons, none of which I feel like going into now. This article is about some of the good things that happened in 2017, namely some of the bomb-ass movies that graced both the big and small screens. My top 10 has several omissions, mostly because I haven’t seen every movie that was released this year, so if you don’t like it, oh well.
Everyone remembers the original miniseries of IT from the early 90s. It’s a classic etched into the nightmares of 30 somethings across the globe. I never thought they would be able to top that classic and in some ways, I don’t think they have. But what this movie does do is stand shoulder to shoulder with the original. I love the dialogue between the kids; something about foul-mouthed kids just makes them seem so much more real to me. My only complaint is that I don’t think the new 'Pennywise the clown' is very scary. Tim Curry wasn’t creepy because he looked supernatural, he was scary because seemed like the kind of crazy dude that would randomly stab you in an alleyway. This new guy and his full, luscious, kissable clown-lips and massive spam just didn’t do it for me.
9. The Transfiguration
The Transfiguration is a unique take on the vampire trope. It takes it to uncomfortable places and asks some dark questions of the viewer. The blossoming love affair between the two leads is equally sweet and deeply troubling. The Transfiguration is an instant cult classic.
8. The Babysitter
I can easily see this fourth wall, meta-y horror movie getting on some people’s nerves, not mine though. It was fun, anarchic, irreverent and silly in all the right ways. I love a good horror comedy, so anytime a good one comes along, I praise the movie lords in their eternal bone castle in the sky.
7. Shimmer Lake
This Coen brother style thriller was deliciously satisfying. Small town crooks with small town problems get themselves in way over their heads. What follows is a nihilistic trail of carnage and dark comedy that took me by surprise.
6. Age of Shadows
Kim Jee Woon continues to be one of my favourite directors and his Korean war thriller is another excellent entry into his filmography. Set in the Japanese occupation of Korean in the early 20th century, it blends intense action and brilliant cinematography to create a gorgeous, great cat and mouse thriller. The scene on the train is not just the best scene in this movie, but one of the best scenes of the year. If you slept on this, check it out.
5. Get Out
What is there to say about this movie that hasn’t already been said? Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is a great pulpy horror movie that came along at the right time and right place to latch on to the cultural zeitgeist. What makes Get Out a classic, is that it does the thing that makes the creme de la creme in horror and sci-fi stand out, it perfectly reflects current issues through seemingly outlandish plots and does it with aplomb.
4. The Wheelman
The Wheelman is one of those taut indie thrillers that mostly takes place all in one spot; in this case, the wheelman's car. It is the kind of film that drops you in a time and place and peppers the plot with hints to a way more significant backstory. It’s also a dick swanging crime thriller that boasts a great look, adrenaline-fuelled car chases and lots of suspense. I think Frank Grillo is an awesome and underrated action hero and this movie is definitely worth your time.
3. Atomic Blonde
I don’t know if this is an unpopular opinion but Atomic Blonde completely out-John Wicks, John Wick. Combining a far more complex and original story with some of the coolest fucking action of 2017, Atomic Blonde should have made way bigger a splash than it did. The movie drips with 80’s Berlin cool, anchored by the perpetually amazing Charlize Theron. As a connoisseur of action, I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that this is probably the best action you will see in a movie in 2017. When Atomic Blonde really gets going, it is brutal and spell-binding.
2. Kong Skull Island
Whenever I tell someone how much I enjoyed this movie, they look at me with a wide-eyed stare that says, I think you are crazy. But I loved this movie so much. Hear me out, when did it become so unfashionable to love a B-ass B Movie? B movies give me life, schlock fuels my soul and this was prime, top shelf, hide in your coat as you walk out the newsagent level schlock. Honestly, what is there not to like, cool throwback 70’s period styling, cool action sequences, giant angry monkeys, underground worm demons, samurai swords and giant evil spiders! I suggest you reach inside you, find that kid that loved the Predator, loved The Terminator and loved Jurassic Park and let him breathe it in! BREATHE IT IN!
Finally, the Wolverine movie we deserved. With both Deadpool and Logan, we can officially count the demons of Wolverine Origins, banished to the eternal realm of damned souls
It's not the flashy stuff, the action (which is amazing) that makes this film shine. Logan excels when it concentrates on the small and personal. The father-son between Logan and Professor X is achingly beautiful. The movie is ostensibly a family road trip and through this, it finds it's heart. It's a shame that the finale Hugh Jackman Wolverine movie is by far his greatest as the character but it is also a fitting end. It's that the director was given the freedom to craft a story that assumed those watching it were adults.