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Film/TV bestworst

Published on December 21st, 2017 | by voxx

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The Top 10 Best and Worst Films of 2017

The curtains of 2017 are coming to a close pretty soon and it’s fair to say that this year was a corker in the movie industry, from ‘Logan’ and ‘Dunkirk’, through ‘Blade Runner 2049′ and ‘Thor: Ragnarok’. And there was even a surprise turn in the DCEU with ‘Wonder Woman’. It’s fair to say this year has been filled with smiling faces from both audiences and critics alike, safely securing a lot of high hopes for 2018. So as 2017 draws to a close here are some of our favourite films of the year.

THE GOOD

10. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2

The MCU’s first instalment this year had us returning to space to continue the hilarious antics of Star Lord and his crew of misfits, this time coming together to destroy a common enemy: the power of friendship and, well, Kurt Russell’s villain, clearly. Writer-director James Gunn continues his fun family-friendly writing style with a good story and hilarious jokes after the film’s predecessor, which was a surprise hit for 2014. Here he makes it bigger, bolder and ruder as it maintains the traditional antics. It’s clear that this series will maintain a high place in the MCU.

9. Wonder Woman

Early in the filming process for DCEU’s ‘Wonder Woman’ there was worry for a lot of people who thought that it was going down the same route as 2016’s ‘Suicide Squad’ or perhaps ‘BVS: Dawn of Justice’ months before it. However, upon release fans were smiling, applauding and cheering after leaving the cinema. We were in awe as director Patty Jenkins produced one of the best superhero films of all time. It’s funny, beautiful, with a cool war story and stunning characterisation, featuring a stellar performance by lead woman Gal Gadot. Fans that waited years for a good female superhero to enter our screens were pleasantly surprised, and really, who can blame them?

8. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Yes, you guessed it. ‘Star Wars’ is back in our theatres yet again, producing queues of fans and slicing through the Christmas box-office. This time it’s a continuation from 2015’s ‘The Force Awakens’ and it is absolutely stunning. Of course, the special effects are spectacular and some of the best that have ever been put to screen, and story-wise it’s fantastic too as Rey starts her training with Luke. It’s clear that writer-director Rian Johnson knows what he’s doing with the saga, creating a well-written story, a brilliant character ark and Porgs…everywhere. It’s truly one of the best ‘Star Wars’ films of all time and one that securely places with the original trilogy.

7. Spider-Man: Homecoming

The second MCU entry on this list is a keen, well-received return to the now five ‘Spider-man’ films. After 2016’s ‘Captain America: Civil War’saw the newer, younger web-head kicking butt and spectacular reception from fans, his solo film is one that opened to equally wide-eyes and open arms, and why not? The newest entry of ‘Spider-man’ is brilliant, easily our favourite Spidey entry since ‘Spider-man 2′, and hopefully he’s just as good in April’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. This newer, younger hero is a cool entry in the MCU’s Phase 3.

6. Get Out

Jordan Peele’s highly-received directorial debut earned a place as one of the best reviewed films of all time, earning a score of 99% from more than 290 critics, and it’s easy to see why this horror-comedy was so well rated. The story is well-written, mixing hilarious social commentary and fabulous horror tropes as Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya) sees that his girlfriend’s parents are stuck in the past. He boldly gives a modern look at the lifestyle of modern America, proving that the abolishment of racism is just a facade, and he does it so well. The film has even been nominated for two Golden Globes, with light at the end of the tunnel this coming Oscar season.

5. IT

Of course this had to have a place here. Director Andy Muschietti’s creepy take on Stephen King’s 1138 page magnum opus is one of the best horror films of all time, featuring a cast of brilliant youngsters, including ‘Stranger Things’’ Finn Wolfhard, defeating a terrifying demon clown (a fantastic Bill Skarsgård). As King fans flocked to the cinema the film didn’t disappoint with audiences, critics or the box-office as it has become the most successful horror films and also the highest grossing R-rated film of 2017, dethroning ‘Logan’ with $697 million in the global box-office. And it certainly delivered.

4. Thor: Ragnarok

New Zealand director Taika Waititi’s Antipodean take on the ‘Thor’ series is something that was certainly unexpected for fans, but it was welcomed with open arms and this third and possible final entry in the ‘Thor ‘series is possibly one of the best Marvel films to date. The ‘Thor’ series was seen as Marvel’s dark horse (or possibly dark lightning) as it wasn’t as good as fans hoped for, but with this new entry many have found a new favourite. It certainly delivered in spades, even on multiple watches.

3. Logan

After 20th Century Fox’s first take on an R-rated superhero film with ‘Deadpool’ produced a lot of smiling faces with Ryan Reynolds’ fantastic Golden Globe nominated performance, their second try is with the last entry for Hugh Jackman’s clawed mutant Wolverine, which happily earns its way into the top three because it is more than just a superhero film; it’s a relationship between father and daughter, a battle with his inner demons, and a chance to see himself out with a better conscience. Whatever ‘Logan’ may be, director James Mangold delivered on all the aspects with painted gold, into what was possibly the most emotional superhero entry ever. And it certainly comes highly recommended.

2. Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan’s take on this true tale on the evacuation of Dunkirk may have been one of Nolan’s shortest films (at only 107 minutes) but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deliver. Nolan yet again messes with time, setting the story around one day, one hour and one week during the evacuation of the beaches of Dunkirk in France. And he did it all without gore or even any sight of blood because here, Nolan focuses instead on the pain, the fear and the torment of war, and with a 12A rating he didn’t stay away from the detail. It’s well worth the watch.

1. Blade Runner 2049

We’ve come all this way, gone through thick and thin, through claws, hammers and guns, demon clowns and racist America but this film tops it. French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’ was certainly worth the wait, from older and newer fans alike. The special effects here are spectacular thanks to eyegasmic cinematography by Roger Deakins. The film also features the best performance by Harrison Ford in years, stunning action scenes and a magnificent score. ’2049′is literally the best of the best. It is a bit long at 2 hours and 43 minutes, but in every moment the film is a flawless sequel and one that doesn’t bring shame to the original.

OTHER HONOURABLE MENTIONS: John Wick: Chapter 2, War for the Planet of the Apes, Wind River

And now for the worst… Every year, whenever movies tend to have a good streak, an absolute stinker sneaks in.

THE BAD

10. The Shack

This adaptation of a self-published religious novella certainly had some good ideas going in and a hell of a cast, featuring Oscar-winning supporting actress Octavia Spencer as the film’s Godly figure. But along the way the film hit so many barriers, wobbly scripting and worse acting by the male lead, and horrible direction. Plus, there was barely an audience to support it. However how bad it was isn’t simply the rub-off from all these barriers, it’s the lack of dedication from the actors that secured its fate.

9. Man Down

A PTSD inspired war-flick featuring Shia LeBeouf isn’t exactly a film that hits the audience with excitement, however how this tale approached the feeling of the subject that least sparked a little impact for the audience, hoping that it would succeed in the dystopian telling. Yet upon viewing the reception didn’t live up to expectation, producing reviews that called it “a shallow PTSD drama with little intent on its subject matter” or that thought it was “confusing”. As much as LeBeouf put in a keen performance throughout, he needed the success of the story in order to spark.

8. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

The final instalment of the 15 year long franchise certainly gained the audience, better scores and had promising structure to end the story for Mila Jovovich’s Alice, but that doesn’t mean that director Paul W.S. Anderson’s fourth instalment of the series was any good… in fact it was quite the opposite. This hexquel is still drawn-out, still sloppy and still awfully constructed; it would’ve made sense to end the series 15 years ago.

7. Underworld: Blood Wars

Yet another finale of a long running series that should’ve ended its run many years ago, this one features an even drier Kate Beckinsale, reprising her role as Selene the undead werewolf killer. She’s in a never-ending fight with the Lycans, who this time have threatened her existence in her coven. Yep, as you guessed it’s the same film as previous times around, except this one is possibly the worst yet. Featuring same old action, boring screenplay, wobbly direction, and even worse acting it’s no wonder this earned just 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it’s no wonder the studio are worried to make another (let’s hope they don’t).

6. Fist Fight

A sophomoric comedy featuring the brutal attitude of Ice Cube and the squeaky tones of Charlie Day sounds like something that will probably tickle your funny bone, but it’s probably best you stay away from this one, as it simply features pretty much the same joke repeated throughout the 90 minute run time. Granted, there is a fair stand-off between the two leads but there’s an awful 80 minute lead up to this moment and unfortunately, after the long build up, the film can’t be saved.

5. The Dark Tower

Before the release of Stephen King’s R-rated box office smasher, ‘IT’, another King adaptation hit theatres based on his seven novel series, ‘The Dark Tower’. It featured a good cast including Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, with a stellar performance from the youngster on set, but this didn’t save the film…in fact it didn’t come close. The fact is director Nikolaj Arcel stuffed too much into the 90 minute runtime and instead of producing something as closely faithful to the material as possible he just made an action movie. It fails due to the plodding script and the dark aesthetic, which often makes it too hard to see what’s going on. It also passes Oscar winner McConaughey off as a pantomime villain. It’s fair to say that ‘IT’ is the better King adaptation this year.   

4. Justice League

The long wait for the DCEU fans had finally ended with November’s entry of Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’, and sure the film boasts a lot of stuff such as the addition of extra cast members lead by Ben Affleck, a polished return for Wonder Woman and a stunning show-off of Aquaman. Yet all this didn’t stop it from falling due to Snyder’s impact on the earlier instalments. Frankly, the film is boring, and its two hours feels like four. The CG villain is one of the film’s falling grounds and there’s not enough build up to the heroes helming the story. On the bright side, it has gained success in the box-office and has audience score of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, though that doesn’t mean it’s not still awful.

3. Fifty Shades Darker

The second instalment of E.L. James’ erotic novella did succeed, that much we can say for sure. The trailer gained tens of millions of views and the film earned a total of $380 million worldwide, mostly from keen eyed fans. But from critics it was voted as one of the worst films of 2017 by its release in February, earning a total of 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. In total, the drama is pretty much gone, the talented actors didn’t try, the screenplay is probably worse than ever and the chemistry between the leads is like a needle going through a balloon. The film genuinely didn’t live up to any kind of fluid drama that could’ve happened, and a boring chemistry mixed with up to 19 minutes of sex scenes equals one boring film.

2. Baywatch

This re-invention of a 1980’s TV series didn’t live up to the name. Granted, it has a sterling cast including Zac Efron and the always charismatic Dwayne Johnson, who helped lift the film a little more, but there is still an overabundance of awful jokes mixed with bikini-clad women running in slow motion and plain, boring action scenes. Not exactly the comedy ride we expected. Anything you’d expect a Baywatch film to do it does in spades here, but the spades are delivered like Sunday night television, wishing it would quickly end and hoping you don’t have to go through the torture again.

1. The Emoji Movie

What is the worst film of 2017? What film is so bad that it places at number one in our worst film list? Of course, it has to be ‘The Emoji Movie’ , a film so bad that it shouldn’t be a film. It is about the Meh Emoji, played by T.J. Miller, and his mission to get to Dropbox and hopefully maintain his place in the mobile world of Textopolis (that’s enough). Going back to the basics, the voice actors sound bored, even Sir Patrick Stewart as the Poop. It’s not funny and it tries so hard to be like every other animated feature, but it’s basically an 87 minute long advert. It’s certainly understandable why the film earned just 9% on Rotten Tomatoes, but in all honesty it should be even lower than that.

OTHER DISHONOURABLE MENTIONS: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Rock Dog, The Great Wall

- By Corey Denford


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