I deserve an award for this creative title.
Let me start this of by saying there have not been a lot of movies I have watched 2017 that really left an impression on me. There is no spoiler in any of these short reviews, so knock yourself out.
‘Justice League’ in December was surprisingly good, but underwhelming when it comes to what I expected. It just cemented more to me that Henry Cavill is THE Superman for me and is just scene-chewing and before you critique the CGI-stache I can’t say it was that obvious or disastrous as people make it out to be. Batman got a bit of the short stick fighting-wise but his words of encouragement to the Flash where everything Batman is in the Justice League and that was fantastic. Solid Wonder Woman, surprisingly good Cyborg (I am not familiar with that character from comics or the cartoon) and Aquaman kind of useless and obviously the character with the most scenes on the cutting floor, but that hunk of a man was still great and fun. Super weak CGI on the main villain and him being under-developed but I believe the ‘Snyder’ scenes where the ones that feel and look the greatest to me and the ‘Whedon’ parts are nice but miss more often than not. I would love to see director’s cut, but there is a slim chance this will ever happen, so yeah… What works is the Danny Elfman score and this is possibly his best work since Batman Returns and ten times better to the uninspired Terminator soundtrack, that sounded great on paper but turned out underwhelming, still I would love to hear what Junkie XL did have planned, maybe if that director’s cut ever happens. To end this on a positive note, the cover of ‘Everybody Knows’ at the beginning of the movie is just glorious!
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ meanwhile was hands down the funniest Marvel movie so far and definitely the best movie in the Thor trilogy and Taika’s style bleeds through every scene, which is refreshing and it just works. Shortly after I enjoyed ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ and laughed my ass off. Super good and hard to place somewhere between Guardians 1 and 2 or tied with them if you want to rate the move. Very metal, very 80’s and very Taika, so there is not much to criticise here.
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ continues the greatness that was The Force Awakens and I do not understand what the hardcore fans have to moan about, but again I am not the biggest Star Wars fan, so I enjoyed it and more than anything the movie made me want to see where all this leads. Somehow, somewhere I read that fans want more explained, like the ‘additional’ Jedi powers and other stuff, gosh, really? Do audiences need everything spoon fed? I find it’s fun and filling some gaps with your own imagination is more fun to me, but maybe I am in the minority here.
‘The Disaster Artist’ possibly my favourite movie of 2017 and possibly one of the best movies I have seen after 2000. I expected a riff on the glorious movie and a comedy that pokes fun at said movie and good laughs, but surprisingly it is soooo much more than that. It’s touching, it’s deeper than I would have expected and it has something my favourite documentary of all time (‘American Movie’) has – a super interesting main character with a big heart that fails in a lot of ways but ultimately succeeds with not 100% they had in mind, but they grow and are the blue collar heroes (not really the case with Tommy, as he has a mysterious amount of a lot of money – haha) that take you on this journey. I can’t stress enough how great this movie is and how it works. If you haven’t seen ‘The Room’, then please do so, before that or at least watch this best of, before diving in.
‘Blade Runner 2049’ is the runner up to my favourite movie of 2017 and possibly the best looking aka most cinematic movie I have seen since 2000. The world-building is grand and Batista shows his acting chops in scene chewing 10 minutes or so. Music is great and I have no idea why this movie failed in cinemas, possibly due to the want-to-be-spoon-fed-crowd mentioned earlier, but it’s so great in so many ways and lives up to everything the original was and will be, which is an accomplishment in and on itself.
‘Bright’ the Netflix produced movie starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton by David Ayer, who shows that he can do better than ‘Suicide Squad’. It’s also the first good movie Will Smith is acting in since ‘Bad Boys 2’ in 2003 (he is okay in ‘Suicide Squad’ and great in the ‘Pursuit Of Happiness’ but let’s not count these for reasons). This movie got horrible reviews but seems to be liked by the audience that actually saw it (read: not critics) and let me tell you, I enjoyed it thoroughly. The world it builds is believable and this is done by showing, not telling mostly and if anything there is a bit much cramped in there and the climax seems rushed and a bit much, but I do want to see more of this universe. It’s unique, fun and great. Haters gonna hate!
‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ is fun and starts with a brilliant action sequence, has some great throwback to the first part and is solid all around. A fun romp with a great villain and superb action scenes that are kinetic, fast, well shot and the choreography is on point, so that one can easily follow. Fantastic work by Matthew Vaughn again how turns into a director that rarely stinks, in fact he is just great at what he does for the last 6 movies or so.
‘Atomic Blonde’ was okay, watched it on a plane and it makes Charlize Theron outshine everyone else in the cast, but ends up being somewhat forgettable.
‘Dunkirk’ (I watched that on the plane with horrible sound and picture quality) was a good movie, sad, great soundtrack, great Tom Hardy and the horrible voice mixing that Christopher Nolan is known for since Bane had to be dubbed over and Matthew went on interstellar trips trough dimensions and now in France all the soldiers are hard to understand. It was okay, so cinephiles throw your stones.
‘The Big Sick’ the third movie I have watched on the plane (it’s a long flight from China to Germany and back) was touching, funny and just all around a solid movie. Well worth a watch.
‘Baby Driver’ is a better concept than a movie, overall more style than substance, a great lead actor, an interesting premise but in the end just an okay movie to me.
‘The Dark Tower’ was an okay movie too, if anything it just crammed a bit too much in a relatively short movie. Some of the scenes are fantastic and both Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey perform at their best, but there is just too big of a story compressed in there and this only had a vague resemblance to one of the books of the series I have read.
‘Braven’ I watched last weekend and it was a super solid action movie that could have came right out of the 90s with Jason Momoa this sexy hunk of a man and some solid performances all around and again it’s nothing more or less than a good action movie.
‘Don’t Breathe’ was on my watch list since it came out and due to Stephen Lang in ‘Braven’ I remembered to watch it and did so right after. My girlfriend says this is loosely based on a real story and it’s a solid horror movie, really some great ideas in there and a good atmosphere. I enjoyed it.
‘The Lobster’ was genius. Definitely the dark horse movie in this article. It’s utterly strange, slow, violent, awkwardly funny and all in all just an experience of a movie. Loved it but this is certainly not for everybody.
Let me close this article with 3 German movies that I would like to recommend, 2 of which I have watched on the plane and one that is, to me, one of the best German movies since Werner Herzog moved to Germany (excluding ‘The Lives Of Others’ and ‘Look Who’s Back’ here as these are superb exceptions).
‘Fack Ju Göhte (1+2)’ are two movies about a small time criminal that somehow finds it’s way to a job in a school and succeeding in ways that one wouldn’t expect. These movies where unexpectedly fun and I came to understand why they are/were so popular. The characters are interesting and well written and the story is funny and has heart. I believe my girlfriend enjoyed these too.
‘Head Full Of Honey’ came as a surprise to me. Germany’s Hollywood export Til Schweiger stars and directs in this movie. I am not a big fan of his movies in general nor of his acting in most movies, but here he does a solid job acting and a great job directing. The film looks great, the casting was well done with getting German comedian Dieter Hallervorden as the grandpa in the story that has Alzheimers and strings the story together. Now I know ‘Diddy’ Hallervorden just as a comedian from when I was little with an odd sense of humour and he carries his role with a chutzpah and depth that I haven’t seen for a while in a German movie. This movie made me laugh, has a back beating heart and it made me cry. It’s great, it definitely has it’s flaws and pretty much no Til Schweiger cliche is left out the movie but it comes together and is s great movie. Watch it!
I think I got them all and that shall be it for today. Thank you for reading.