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January 8, 2018

My Top 5 Movies of 2017

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Written by: Byron D. Zero
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2017 was definitely… a year, to sum it up in the most inoffensive way possible. But for all its somber moments, there was no shortage of pop culture to distract us as the world casually deteriorates beneath us. So I offer to you some of the pieces of cinema that reminded me just how important art is, when enduring utter hopelessness. These are my Top Five films of 2017.

 

(5) John Wick Chapter 2

After a phenomenal fusion action and gravitas, effortlessly blended into a revenge tale smoothie for what could have easily been a stand-alone movie, what do you do for an encore? Raise every stake that is available at the table!

Where most sequels tend to play it safe by copying their predecessor’s exact formula with only a handful of slight adjustment, John Wick Chapter 2 does the impossible by surpassing it in storytelling, action, and suspense.

Expository moments from part one are justified, Wick is portrayed less as an ubermensch with the introduction of Cassian played by Common as an equally awesome foe, even side characters are amazing. If you haven’t seen it or its previous entry, fix that!

 

(4) Thor: Ragnarok

Marvel finally got this one right! Up until this entry I have met the Thor franchise with MEH feelings! The first movie reeked of Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespearean pretension, and the less I say about Thor: The Dark World the better. But it seems that all Thor needed was the right director to show just how much fun his world could be. Taika Waititi is a comedic genius, the soundtrack and visuals were fantastic, and Hela is yet another memorable MCU villain for 2017 in addition to Ego, and The Vulture! Just when I was close to superhero movie fatigue, Ragnarok restored my faith (see what I did there?) and is my second favorite comic book movie of 2017.

 

(3) Logan

For those wondering what my favorite comic book movie of 2017 was… now y’know! Logan was one of those movies that hit two particular sweet spots for me: genre defining, it showed exactly the level of powerful storytelling that comic book readers had been used to for decades; and genre defying, showcasing a level of gravitas that no other comic book film had accomplished without watering down the most fundamental aspects of its story, making it accessible to everyone. It’s one of the few superhero films to receive nods for Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Actress. It was lighthearted when it needed to be, and serious in other times, but it never forgot what it was, and I would go so far as to say it is the gold standard of comic book movies.

 

(2) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards is one of those stories that really hits home at the end of the day, so much that a first glance I assumed that it was based on a true story, which honestly left me a bit dismissive. I could not have been more wrong.

Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell all give career-defining performances.

The narrative overall is the strongest part of Three Billboards, as it surprises you at every turn; no one character is the focus of it and the culmination of the various arcs are magnificent. Best of all without spoiling too much, I can tell you that the ending is satisfying, it’s a “life goes on” type of ending and in the hands of a competent writer (which is a gross understatement of director Martin McDonagh’s talent) it is spectacular.

This movie cleaned up at the Golden Globes this past weekend and is a clear Oscar contender. It hits all the right switches, especially considering how the director wore multiple hats for this project.

 

(1) Get Out

Who knew that Jordan Peele had the makings of a directorial legend? This movie was on everyone’s radar in 2017, and rightfully so!

I’m just glad I am only glossing over this film in my list, because I would be so afraid of spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. But it is top-notch visually, uses its sound to full effect and is well acted.

But I will say this much about the narrative, it is the best depiction of cultural appropriation that I have ever seen in cinema, and that speaks volumes about Peele’s own experiences as a person of color.

From what I hear Peele plans on doing similar films that will give viewer a taste of the struggles of other marginalized people, and if it is as powerful as Get Out I’m all in!

 

That’s my Top Five films for 2017. I had a hard time as I saw many films I enjoyed, and sadly couldn’t make time to see every flick I wanted to. But if anything on my list sparked your interest, don’t hesitate to check them out, and I’ll see you on my next review.



About the Author

Byron D. Zero





 
 

 
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