The Year in Movies – 2017

While 2016 was the year of the sad movie, I’m not so sure there’s one theme for a 2017 slate that was all over the place.  Hollywood executives will tell you the theme is financial disaster, but box office underperformance by no means equates to a lesser quality product (and it’s their own damn fault anyways for betting big on shitty ideas like Medieval Transformers, Pirates 5, and Baywatch: The Movie.  How dumb do they think we are?).  Contrary to their bottom line, I think in between the many blockbuster duds was a really great and interesting year in film, better than most in fact.

There was certainly something for everyone in 2017.  A resurgence of turn-your-brain-off, 90’s style action movies (Atomic Blonde, Baby Driver).  A horror renaissance (Get Out, It, Split, Life).  Coming of age tenderness (Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name, Florida Project).  Scorsese-inspired American biopics (I, Tonya, American Made).  Margin spotlighting crime thrillers (Wind River, Good Time, Three Billboards).  All that was missing was a knock down, drag out comedy, but I guess Ingrid Goes West will have to do (and LEGO BATMAN).

It also wasn’t ALL bad for the blockbusters.  Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is the favorite to win Best Picture.  Disney’s Marvel movies are the best they’ve ever been (Guardians 2, Thor Ragnarok, Spiderman Homecoming).  Other big properties decided to get weird and take chances like Logan, an Eastwood-esque hard R Western disguised as a superhero movie, and the super dark War for the Planet of the Apes, which has much more in common with Apocalypse Now or The Bridge on the River Kwai than it does with other PG-13 CGI-fueled escapes.

The release activity of 2017 makes me think we’re in good shape for 2018.  The largest studios are learning that, Star Wars/Marvel excluded, a title itself won’t automatically yield a profit.  You can no longer start with a movie star, a piece of intellectual property, and a release date and then just work backwards.  Audiences are too smart for that.  The public’s reliance on Rotten Tomatoes means that it can’t just be a cool looking trailer, the finished movie has to actually be good.  Sidenote- There was a lot of debate this year on the presumed influence that RT scores have on the box office returns.  My own personal opinion: Unless it’s Marvel or Star Wars, a “rotten” score will likely spell disaster for a film’s profits (Batman and friends used to be bulletproof as well but that goodwill is rapidly declining).  However, the “fresh” scores have a much lesser correlation and will not lead audiences to the well just because it was critically approved (i.e. Blade Runner).  

Since Disney, Fox, WB, and Universal have been so focused on only hitting big budget home runs recently, a few other competitors have emerged to become major players in producing the best material amongst the smaller to medium scales. Specifically Neon, A24, Blumhouse, Netflix, and Amazon are now also getting meetings with the emerging filmmakers of today, making it that much more competitive within the industry come awards season.  I have to assume more competition can only yield to a better, more eclectic overall slate…….and less outrageously stupid movie investments from the big timers down the road (again this is just an assumption, I’m no economist, I’m just Rated Greg).

Thanks everyone for all the positive AND negative feedback in Year 2 of RG.  This is just a weekend hobby/creative outlet for me but I always enjoy your opinions online and especially in person during random nights out, whether its “We saw Lady Bird too and loved it!” or “Atomic Blonde is an A+?  Really?  What the fuck is wrong with you?”.

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The Superlative Awards and the full 2017 Movie Report Card are below:

Best Lead Actress

  1. Margot Robbie – I, Tonya
  2. Charlize Theron – Atomic Blonde
  3. Emma Stone – Battle of the Sexes
  4. Elizabeth Olsen – Wind River
  5. Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman

Best Lead Actor

  1. Tom Cruise – American Made
  2. Robert Pattinson – Good Time
  3. Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
  4. Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger
  5. Hugh Jackman – Logan

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Bria Vinate – The Florida Project
  2. Holly Hunter – The Big Sick
  3. Elizabeth Olsen – Ingrid Goes West
  4. Allison Janney – I, Tonya
  5. Nicole Kidman – The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project
  2. Ray Romano – The Big Sick
  3. Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards
  4. Steve Zahn – War for the Planet of the Apes
  5. Paul Dano – Okja

Best Kid

  1. Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project
  2. Dafne Keen – Logan
  3. Seo-hyun Ahn – Okja
  4. Finn Wolfhard – It
  5. Jack Dylan Glazer – It

Best Villain

  1. Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) – It
  2. Dennis, etc. (James McAvoy) – Split
  3. The Alien – Life
  4. Poppy (Julianne Moore) – Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  5. Martin (Barry Keoghan) – The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Worst Performance

  1. Jonn Bass – Baywatch
  2. Tyrese Gibson – The Fate of the Furious
  3. Jared Leto – Blade Runner 2049
  4. Ben Affleck – Justice League
  5. Charlize Theron – The Fate of the Furious

Most LOL’s

  1. The Lego Batman Movie
  2. I, Tonya
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy 2
  4. Get Out
  5. It

Scariest

  1. It
  2. Life
  3. Ingrid Goes West*
  4. Get Out
  5. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

*Ingrid is obviously a comedy, but it’s message regarding social media is pretty damn scary.  It’s interesting that two of the funniest movies of the year are horrors and one of the scariest movies is a comedy.  Sacred deer is also very funny in a nervous way.

Most Feels

  1. Okja
  2. Call Me By Your Name
  3. The Florida Project
  4. Lady Bird
  5. Stronger

Best Looking

  1. Blade Runner 2049
  2. The Florida Project
  3. Atomic Blonde
  4. War for the Planet of the Apes
  5. Wind River

Best Action Sequence

  1. The stairwell brawl in Atomic Blonde
  2. The shootout in Wind River
  3. The first car chase in Baby Driver
  4. The nightclub in John Wick 2
  5. The plane scenes in Dunkirk

Best Scene, non-action (I’ll be vague)

  1. The reveal in Wind River
  2. The fatherly advice in CMBYN
  3. “Oh, Hi Mark” in Disaster Artist
  4. The epilogue of Lady Bird
  5. The sewer gutter in It

Best Use of Music

  1. Atomic Blonde – ‘Til Tuesday’s Voices Carry
  2. Lady Bird – Dave Matthews Band’s Crash Into Me
  3. Call Me By Your Name – The Psychedelic Furs’s Love My Way
  4. Thor: Ragnarok – Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song
  5. Ingrid Goes West – K-Ci & JoJo’s All My Life

 

Ten Other Random Scenes That I Love In No Particular Order 

  1. Batman’s solo routine in Lego Batman
  2. The only light scene in War for the Apes
  3. The alien wakes up in Life
  4. Wyatt Russell’s poolside soliloquy in Ingrid Goes West
  5. The morning announcements in Spiderman: Homecoming
  6. Judd Apatow’s cameo in The Disaster Artist
  7. Ray’s drug story in Good Time
  8. Michael Fassbender flirting with himself in Alien: Covenant
  9. The lightsaber chamber battle in The Last Jedi
  10. Rock vs Efron swole-off in Baywatch

 

Revisited 2016 Top Ten

  1. Hell or High Water
  2. Green Room
  3. Everybody Wants Some!!
  4. La La Land
  5. Moonlight
  6. Manchester By The Sea
  7. Patriot’s Day
  8. American Honey
  9. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
  10. Other People

2018’s Most Anticipated

  1. Creed 2
  2. Sicario 2: Soldado
  3. The Predator
  4. Black Panther
  5. Hold The Dark
  6. Mission Impossible 6
  7. First Man
  8. Isle of Dogs
  9. The Irishman
  10. Bohemian Rhapsody

2017 Report Card:

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One comment

  1. Mary roberts · December 31, 2017

    Love reading your reviews!

    Like

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