I've not watched a whole lot of films in 2017, even for the sake of this hobby-blog, alas, but for my fair share of "mass" commercial flicks and exceptionally very little Asian cinema, much less any "art house"-fare, or even "local" cinema. And while it is easier to say; "I've had a more focused-year...", I'd hardly think it to be "productive" enough to gauge the landscape in the reel world, so that's what I am NOT going to do, but instead celebrate and give credit to what I have watched :)
Also in full(ish) transparency; a bulk of the films watched had been "online" (especially the older films), while I did too enjoyed the comforts of darkened cinema halls for some choice watches, alas sans popcorn and soda these days (on account of my diabetes, ironically as this blog is dedicated to my love of "popcorn" :p), but yes, that's my burden to carry ... :p
And while we are nearing the end of February, I'd admittedly had planned to totally forgo this post and listing (even though I had prepared this sometime earlier this year), actually ... and it was not until the recent Chinese New Year weekend - while I'd have the chance to partaketh of a litany of films on the movie channels screened on the telly, opened to all beyond subscription requirements (YAY!), and realising how I'd enjoyed certain movies, which in turn reflected my impressions of them upon first-time-viewing - and that happenstance as well somewhat altered my "list" of Top Ten films too, at the very least the first film I'd listed here anyways LOL
And sort of reminded me to finish what I'd started (Just one of the many resolutions in 2018, made during Lunar New Year actually :p), so...
... PRESENTING my personal fav TOP TEN FILM WATCHED in 2017! This year I have decided not to "rate" them, but instead showcase ten films I have watched and enjoyed, in whatever shape or form, in the entire year of 2017 (older films or current), and are chosen based on my own personal tastes and impressions, thanks!
Scroll down to find out what my picks are, and as well I've included for clips of the films (*SPOILERS ABOUND*)! AGREE or DISAGREE,I certainly hoped you had a good year of films in 2017, yourselves!
Saban's *POWER RANGERS* was not on this list when I first typed this up in January (Far, far from it), but for having rewatched it again this CNY-weekend on the telly, with my defenses down, and I found myself utterly enjoying it (*swoon-at-Pink-Ranger*)!
Seeing the attempt in which the filmmakers had tried to recapture an aspect of folks' childhood memories, while trying to update it to the NOW, is by no means a uphill climb. And while arguably there had been tons of fails, there were as well plenty of triumphs - not least in casting and the veiled campiness of it all (I'm loving you Rita!), it has been a FUN Zord-ride, methinks!
I really liked it that the teenagers HAD the power/enhanced-strength even before they morphed too haha.
Maybe it all helped that I was never a "hardcore fan" of "Power Rangers" tv in the first place, so it certainly entertained me! I would've been interested to see sequel(s) to this though, which I reckon might've seen them morph into different suits (all for making new "toys", of course) ... or even a "prequel" starring adult/grown-up Rangers...?
Marvel Studio's *THOR: RAGNAROK* was much more FUN than I'd expected it to be, and an interesting departure from the "House of Ideas" AKA Marvel's "house-style" films before, buffered by the allure of "Guardians of the Galaxy", both sci-fi and mythical-alien-beings<>(That's what Asgardians are, aren't they?) - combined for a splendid "fresh" mashup that shouted "CAMP" with a spirited-side of "Bill & Ted", "Wayne's World" and all the goodness which the Odinson had not been in the previous two films. The humour was intoxicating (without being too sickly, except for Goldblum -.-"), and sillyness appreciated.
Felt as it he got hit on the head too often recently in films (Avengers, Thor films etc), and he came out a bit wonky, AND I LIKE IT! LOL
Much has been said about the "grittiness" of *LOGAN*, for which I am utterly agreeable on all fronts. Right from the opening scene (featured above) this turned out to be THE WOLVERINE I was waiting for, especially after all these years of flaccid "X-Men" films (Hey, I loved them, okay? But compared to Logan? They be flat as flat-Earth ... :p), with the comicbook issue(s) connection behind the most heartfelt homage to everything that had come on before, IMHO. THIS was how you do "real world grittiness", folks!
In truth, I had never been a huge convert of "Wolverine", every struggling with my comicbook perception of him, and the reel world embiggened berserker with horrid hair... but this is a good look on him. This worked magic to dull my apprehension, and comforted me of my own thoughts of "comicbook-to-film" notions all these years.
While director M. Night Shyamalan's *SPLIT* was a 2016 film, I'd only watched it in 2017 (after much hesitation too, especially when a film gets tons of acclaim, I'd trying my best to avoid it, to not fall for the hype :p), and I was utterly glad I did eventually watched it. Taut, tempered and tantalising, it had been an exercise in controlled extreme, and I cannot wait to see what happens next!
Warner Bros' *WONDER WOMAN* stood out like a refreshing breeze, out from the stench of DCEU films - which I did/do still enjoy (I'm a glutton for punishment, what can I say? :p), but hardly noteworthy in the larger scheme of superhero-film-things - which I'd felt pandered to another spectrum of film-goers, a niche group of folks who loved toxic relationships (Harley Quinn x Joker), and "fusion-food" (gawds I have been trying to enjoy "Justice League" but am struggling not to choke).
I adored this particular scene, where it answers a question asked since "superheroes goes silver screen" - "What would superheroes do in the case of "War"?" - a question that had always been conveniently glossed over or excused (except for Marvel's "Captain America").
What Wonder Woman did was create a mythos and strength of character behind "Diana Prince", which propelled her to the popularity in this age of filmgoers... something which Superman had failed to do, and something Captain America had succeeded (but is somehow short-lived due to story-dynamics, IMHO). If Batman was to Iron Man, then Wonder Woman was to Captain America. ... If ever Steve Rogers and Diana were to ever meet tho ...
*BAD GENIUS* had been the only Thai movie I'd caught in 2017 (I was so looking forward to watching "Suddenly 20" too though), and had been caught up in he story's and characters' shenanigans, could with splendid casting and a moral-story-twist, makes for a refreshing watch, the production quality of which can rival Western films of similar genres, IMHO. One of my more recommended watches of 2017.
*WAR OF THE PLANET OF THE APES* is the final film of the prequel trilogy, before the advent of the classic "Planet of the Apes" of the 70s, and is one of the more emotive pieces I've watched this year. Amidst all the Hollywood bang-bang-boom-kabooms, the emotions and feeling of hopelessness and desperation shone through.
The cinematography and visuals more than made up for its lack in (convoluted) story and languid pace. I've yet to vocalise("blogalise") my impressions for this film, since seeing it, burdened with heightened expectations, to be subsequently disappointed in its lack of substantiality, only to be bolstered by the "in-world"-shorts - which had been more fulfilling than the actual movie itself.
Visually impeccable, stylistically invigorating, a very designed film, and well appreciated. And while the "original" BLADE RUNNER had asked "What does it take to be human?", its 3-decades later sequel asks instead "Do You Like Our Owl?". Hey, I can deal with that, I still have the OG film on DVD, so I am good.
I started this blogpost by stating I've not watched any "art film" this year ... I think I was 'wrong', as I'd attribute *BLADE RUNNER 2049* to be a "Art Film" - at the very least my personal attempt to reconcile with it, than to abhor it outright.
Admittedly I "struggled" a bit with *JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2*. having thoroughly enjoyed "John Wick", and it's premise of a Man Murdering Murderers of his Dog, the "freshness" of the concept of the World of Assassins grew exponentially with this sequel, and introduced more sharply dressed killers for hire, reminding me of "Cannonball Run" (yes, I am that old :p), with different racers with different styles and vehicles, likened also to Hanna Barbera's "Wacky Races" - which admittedly all of whom I enjoy, so it is less of a "complaint" here, and more of wishing there was something "fresh" on offer.
John Wick's life has since gotten more "complicated", and I am not too sure if I'd like to see that. But the fights are still fun, if not too Hollywood-dized now.
Besides the "action", the allure still lies in the film's "art direction" and "styling", and those are trappings I appreciate as much.
PLUS-points to reuniting Reeves with Fishburne too, since "The Matrix" LOL
If "freshness" was something I had been looking for, then *ATOMIC BLONDE* fit the bill, ironically by setting it back to the glorious 80s (something I personally am enamoured with anyways :p) with the sounds curated so perfectly, and action that befits the NOW, as built up for the various filmmakers through recent years.
Most importantly, I was sold by the soundtrack. Call me "retro-shallow", I don't care, but anyone who can aptly out Til Tuesday's Voices Carry in the film? Two Thumbs Up from me LOL
It would indeed be a sight to see "John Wick" going up against "Lorraine Broughton", won't it? (Fist versus Fist, I do not care for Spy versus Spy, if that's your argument :p) ... I wonder who'll walk out alive? But then again, knowing "Hollywood", they'll both fight each other, than eventually team up together against the "big bad", innit? LOL