Josh’s 2017 in Film (v.1)

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Hey, y’all. It’s pretty weird to be back on the ole WordPress considering I’ve only posted here once in 2017. And even then it wasn’t as much a post as it was an ad. I’ve spent most of my time writing over at Rock M Nation (SB Nation’s Mizzou affiliate) and Cinema Faith (of which, I’ve been rather inconsistent these past few months.) But I’m still going to get to my EOTY stuff here.

I’ve tried to play with my format for the lists every year. In the most recent 2-3, I’ve settled for doing a Top 25 albums/songs thing and then settled on doing my top movies closer to Oscar season. I usually don’t get a chance to see all the films I want to see until then, so it feels more fair to wait.

However, I’ve also noticed I don’t get as much run on the late February post as I do in mid-December. So I’m going to do a two-parter here. What you’re reading below is my Top 10 films of the year so far, along with a few superlatives. Then, when Oscar season rolls around, I’ll put out an amended Top 10 along with my Oscar predictions. Seems easy enough.

Thanks for hanging on through the intro. Let’s get to it.

Best Stephen King Adaptation: IT

It felt like the year of Stephen King in theaters this year, and I spent approximately 11 hours of my life watching his adaptations. Despite my best efforts, I still escaped without seeing The Dark Tower.

Stephen King adaptations have been notoriously tricky to get right, especially when he’s involved. The Shining is one of the best movies of all time, and King hated it. Alternatively, The Shining is also a dopey-as-folk TV show and Stephen King loved it. So ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Obviously, though, the biggest one on this year’s list was the remaking of IT, the 1990 made-for-TV movie that apparently scared a bunch of people. I say, “apparently,” because that version is surely one of the corniest, least scary things I’ve ever watched. It’s funny, though, especially during the vaguely homoerotic bike montage in Part 2.

Luckily, this year’s remake was quite unlike anything from 1990. It was funny, whip-smart and very scary. It was in my Top 10 for much of the summer before the fall critical favorites hit. It made a bunch of money, so hopefully the next one can stick in my craw even more than its predecessor.

Best Netflix Original: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

I wrote a full review of this one for Cinema Faith, so I’ll withhold all my thoughts until that drops. Until then, here are 3 musings:

  1. This isn’t actually the best film Netflix dropped this year, but the other one played at festivals and theaters first, so I’m not counting it.
  2. The whole “Dustin Hoffman harasses teenagers” thing dampened this for me post-watch. Don’t have heroes in Hollywood, folks.
  3. Adam Sandler is so damn good. If he has to crank out 3 or 4 duds for every performance like this, it’ll be worth it.

Best Bad Movie That Was Actually Good: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

I also wrote a full review for this at Cinema Faith. Here it is.

Worst Good Movie That Was Actually Bad: mother!

Just because you made Black SwanDarren, doesn’t mean you get to force Jennifer Lawrence to incoherently scream at me for 2 hours about why Javier Bardem is a bad excuse for God or why God is a bad excuse for a homeowner. Or something.

This superlative could have been alternatively titled, “angry, cynical guy gets mad at evangelicals for destroying the earth.”

Most Annoyingly Charming: The Big Sick

I say annoyingly not as an entirely bad thing – I did get annoyed at one point, but only because I was laughing too hard and almost choked on a popcorn kernel. The Big Sick is an excellent movie through and through, and I’d warrant it’s probably the biggest crowd pleaser of the year. Kumail Nanjiani should be given more opportunities to make movies and why haven’t we given Holly Hunter a lifetime achievement award?

Overrated Movies:

The Beguiled; Dunkirk; Lady MacBeth; Life; Wonder Woman

Underrated Movies:

Alien: Covenant; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore; Logan Lucky; Quest

And here’s a list of movies I’m still working to see before February:

Battle of the Sexes; Darkest Hour; The Disaster Artist; Faces Places; The Florida Project; The Greatest Showman; I, Tonya; Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond; The Killing of a Sacred Deer; Loving Vincent; Mudbound; Phantom Thread; The Post; The Square; Stronger


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