Five Favorite Films of 2017 (at the Half Year)

For the last few years I’ve done a top 13 of my favorite games, movies, and albums. Since I am posting more here now, I thought I’d do a quick half year recap now that the first six months of 2017 are behind us.

I’ve seen 35 films that have released in 2017. Out of those 35, I’ve given one film a five star rating and one film a one star rating. Everything else floats in the middle. Here are my five favorites.

5. Life

The Alien franchise is one of my all-time favorites. It probably falls right underneath Star Wars and Indiana Jones for me. So, it goes without saying that Alien: Covenant was huge on my hype meter. That film disappointed me dramatically. One that did not though is Life. Life is the best Alien movie to come out this year and its not even an Alien film. Sure, it is derivative of Alien and at points exits the homage train in favor of flat out mimicry but for the most part it works. The alien is truly horrifying and the claustrophobic environment presents an excellent atmosphere to pair with it, creating a film that is at points quite terrifying.

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4. Get Out

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out, isn’t perfect but it does something that many studio horror films fail to do. It tackles something real and that makes for a more horrific uncomfortable experience than most horror films today. I wish it didn’t pull its punch at the end though and really drove its point home. Still, its a fantastic piece of horror cinema that I hope shows studios that original, topical horror is better than pushing another teenage driven nonsense fest on us (I’m looking at you Wish Upon).

3. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman doesn’t do anything new in the superhero genre but for kids that have grown up on Marvel’s snark and DC’s brooding of the last decade or so, it probably seemed like it was mold breaking. What Wonder Woman is, is a return to the uplifting and hopeful era of superheroes. And for as much as I enjoy the brooding of Batman and even the humanization of Superman in the DC Universe, Wonder Woman is the perfect counter to all of it. It is innocent. It is hopeful. It is heroic with no strings attached. And I didn’t realize it, but we’ve needed that in our superhero movies now for a long time.

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2. Sleight

Sleight is a hard film to get an easy description around. One one hand it is a movie about  a young kid trying to make a better life for himself and his sister but getting trapped by some bad decisions. On the other hand it is a sci-fi off-brand comic book movie where the main character is basically a young Tony Stark or Peter Parker. What makes the movie work so well is that everything in it, including the sci-fi goobly gook is believable. Great characters. Great story. An all around great time

1. Logan

I know I praised Wonder Woman for being an innocent film. Logan is not that. The swan song for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier is a brutal movie with zero innocence. It is about life, death, and sacrifice. And love. Love between a father and son. And love between a father and daughter. And a whole lot of gutting people too.

What might you have on your mid-year movie list?

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7 thoughts on “Five Favorite Films of 2017 (at the Half Year)

  1. Oh man, I haven’t even seen your #2!
    My list would include Baby Driver, The Big Sick, Wonder Woman, Okja, and Free Fire (and I might trade Okja for Get Out)…

    1. I haven’t seen The Big Sick or Free Fire yet, although Free Fire is on my Redbox queue so hopefully this weekend I’ll get to it.

  2. I need to check out Sleight as well. I haven’t really put the required thought into it but I think Logan, Life and Wonder Woman would be in my top 5. I would add the Lego Batman movie too!

  3. Contrarian time: I hated Get Out. I thought it was a poorly-conceived bit of “social commentary” that got such ludicrous praise just because people were afraid of what the politically correct crowd would say about them if they didn’t like it.

    Whenever there’s a movie that deals with racial subject matter, the easiest way to see if it is actually intelligent with what it does is to reverse the roles involved and see if it still feels like commentary, or just comes across as the very thing it’s speaking against. If one were to reverse the roles in Get Out, and the main character were white and the evil townspeople were black, it wouldn’t be allowed to be made (and rightfully so). But because its racism works with reverse roles, we’re all supposed to accept it as thought-provoking? Sorry, but it came off as just plain dumb to me. I don’t think Jordan Peele is racist, but I think the movie is so poorly-conceived that it can easily come across as such.

    I loved Wonder Woman and Logan though. Fantastic movies that felt really refreshing for the super hero genre. I also greatly enjoyed Lego Batman, which is especially notable because I’m the one person who didn’t like the original Lego Movie.

    1. That is the thing with film, it is all subjective.

      I went in to Get Out blind and left going, “Damn, that was a cool Twilight Zone/Black Mirror-esque sci-fi/horror tale.”

      I think it has issues though. The “comedic” police station scene is bad sketch comedy that doesn’t fit with the rest of the film’s tone. And I really think the ending pulled its punch by not having the driver in the cop car be the cop from the beginning of the movie and shoot him. But everyone wants a “happy ending.”

      That said, I can see your take on it, even if I don’t fully agree. A lot of what I think Get Out does so well is reversing the polarity of settings and characters that we’re used to in horror films. Is it absurd? For sure. But personally, I think there is just enough truth there to make it actually horrific.

      Anyway, I liked LEGO Batman although I didn’t love it. Which I found weird as I loved The LEGO Movie, in particularly Batman in it, and Batman is my favorite superhero character. But enjoyable regardless. I currently have it at #10 on my 2017 list.

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