Pretty late posting this list, but I felt it was time. Star Wars: The Last Jedi tops my list for 2017. It’s one of my favorite Star Wars movies, and I’ve really enjoyed the storyline of this new trilogy of films. I’m really excited for the final act of this trilogy, which J.J. Abrams is going to be filming in about four months. I have to say, I’m very surprised by the backlash this movie has had. Everything about the movie makes sense to me. I’ve not seen a question that I can’t answer or explain. There are examples of similar plot points throughout the entire Star Wars film saga. Anyhow, here’s my list!
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi – This was my most anticipated movie of 2017, and it did not disappoint. With great character development, humor sprinkled throughout in the right places, and what are sure to be iconic moments in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi has taken us to a place that we’ve not been in the Star Wars universe since The Force Awakens. We have no idea what is going to happen next. Going in to The Force Awakens, we didn’t know the new characters, storyline, or direction. With The Last Jedi, we knew it would pick up where the last film ended, but without much knowledge of where it would go. Now that we’ve seen it move forward from that, we don’t have any idea what’s next. Will Episode IX pick up immediately? Will it pick up a few years later? How will they handle the loss of actress Carrie Fisher? We know they’ll start filming this summer for the December 2019 release of Episode IX. These questions and more make that my most anticipated film of 2019 already. As for The Last Jedi, we FINALLY got to see Leia use the Force. I was so excited that she did, and that it was such a powerful way to use it. There were so many things about it that made be clap, laugh, and be very happy. I am totally invested in the new characters, and was gutted when Rey looked over and saw Finn comforting Rose. I was on the side of Rey and Finn getting together by the end of this trilogy. I guess nothing is completely in stone yet, but I did see a look from Poe to Rey that was subtle and perhaps telling of a direction that their story can go.If you haven’t seen it yet, get out and see it. It’s an excellent film.
- Split – M. Night Shyamalan is back. Too bad this one got spoiled for me. I would have LOVED to have seen this movie without knowing the twist. Surprising, shattering, a performance from James McAvoy that should have been nominated for an Academy Award.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Of the major comic book movies that were released that I saw in 2017, this was my favorite one. It hit the right emotional beats, and I really liked one of the characters that I didn’t really like from the first film.
- Justice League – Excited to finally see DC’s team movie hit the big screen. With all of the problems the movie had getting to the big screen, I was surprised I liked it more than Thor: Ragnarok. But I did. I was a big fan of Man of Steel, and feel like this film should have been an end to the storyline begun there. The one downside was that it seemed they removed the music from that film. It’s a shame. The Man of Steel score was superior to the John Williams score, to me. Plus, it had a particular leading lady that continues to rock. Which leads me to…
- Wonder Woman – About time they made a Wonder Woman movie that can be the essential film for her character. We’ve had great Superman and Batman films for many years, and now we finally have one for her. It’s really good, though a bit run of the mill in some spots. Plus, I couldn’t tell the difference between her mother and her trainer in Themyscira. That said, great job DC.
- Thor: Ragnarok – Too much comedy for a Thor movie. Expected to see a Thor movie, not a Guardians of the Galaxy sort of movie. It was funny, but I wanted more from this one.
- My Little Pony: The Movie – This was a fun extension of the series. Might have been released a bit too far along in the life-span of the Friendship is Magic series to do as well as it could have, but we had a good time with this one.
- Coco – Finally watched this one, and it’s very heartfelt and another excellent film from Pixar. Didn’t like some of it, but overall it was another winner from their team.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming – Some of this was weird, but it was at least a very unique new direction for Spider-Man. I still wish we could have finished the Andrew Garfield arc, but like the Toby Maguire version before, it was never meant to be finished. This time seems to be different.
- Cars 3 – If this is the final Cars film, they went out with a smaller story that became more personal. Would have liked to see Radiator Springs hopping again by this one, thanks to McQueen making it his base of operations (and perhaps the Lightning McQueen museum being put there would have been better, but wouldn’t have likely worked like I would have wanted it to). Glad to see a return to the heart of the story, what made the first Cars work well.
Here’s what I haven’t watched yet or haven’t watched without my attention divided*:
- Look to the Sky – Was in very limited release, now available on digital.
- Dunkirk – Got this for free on digital thanks to Warner Bros.
- Smurfs: The Lost Village* – Love the atmosphere and color scheme of this movie. Plus, it’s finally a Smurf movie that isn’t a mixed live-action/CG film.
- A Dog’s Purpose – Looked interesting, and my wife loves dogs, so.
- The Dark Tower – Not as interested as I was before now. May not watch this one.
- Power Rangers* – Was relatively… boring… so it didn’t hold my attention, and even when it should have had moments that explained things, it seemed to skip those explanations.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales* – Not the final Pirates movie, by any stretch of the imagination. And not the most fun one either.
- The Lego Batman Movie* – Hilarious… not on the same level as The LEGO Movie, but very fun.
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle* – From what I’ve been able to see, it was really funny… surprisingly so.
- Disneynature’s Born in China – Love these movies, mostly.
- Transformers: The Last Knight* – Made me happy that both Bay and Hasbro seem to have moved on from this version of the Transformers. Bumblebee will likely be the final film in this universe, and the series will be rebooted.
- Score* – Really great look at composers.
Here’s what hasn’t been released that were on my anticipated list:
- A Voice that Carries – was pushed back
- Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters – still in editing
Here’s what I did see but didn’t like or hated:
- Beauty and the Beast – How could they mess this up that badly? I’m asking. The trailer looked perfect. The music sounded fantastic in the trailer. This was missing SO much of what made the animated one work, even with the plot-holes that you don’t even notice when watching it. Seriously though, what happened? They should have brought Kenneth Branaugh on to direct this, after he was able to made a live-action Cinderella that completely destroys the original animated version in every way. Beauty and the Beast felt too much like they wanted to modernize it, remove some of the stuff that made the original work so well, and were trying to hard to avoid certain criticisms that were leveled at the original over time. This ruined it. It’s too bad it did so well at the box office. Disney should re-do it with a real director, and a Belle that has a full voice like the original animated version.
- Logan – Meh. I know what they were trying to do, but I want the PG-13 version. I’m not a fan of the R-rated superhero stuff that is being released now. I’ve skipped Deadpool, and will be skipping Deadpool 2. I didn’t like this movie at all. It was so lifeless and painful to watch.