Brad’s Top Ten Films of 2017
If you have to pick one superhero flick from 2017 to see, make it this one. Spider-Man: Homecoming was a long time coming for a lot of Spider-Man fans, and therefore named appropriately. In my opinion, there hadn’t been a truly great Spidey film since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 in 2004. After a third film in Raimi’s trilogy and a red light on a third installment to The Amazing Spider-Man reboot, our web-slinger’s fate was left in limbo for Sony Pictures – that is, until Disney and their mastermind behind the MCU, Kevin Feige, came in to save the character with a vision of their own. With this deal, our friendly neighborhood web-slinger got a revamp with an appearance in last year’s Captain America: Civil War and his own feature length film with this year’s Homecoming and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Tom Holland and Michael Keaton square off as Parker/Spidey and Toomes/Vulture respectively, and every scene shared between the two was bone chilling. The dialogue shared between them in a pivotal scene nearing the third act was remarkable and I still get chills thinking about it. Everything about this movie worked, making it one of my favorites of the year and easily my favorite Spider-Man film of the bunch. (Review)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Frances McDormand is at her absolute best with the Martin McDonagh penned script for Three Billboards. After nine months of no results following the death of her teenage daughter, Mildred Hayes (McDormand) has lost her faith in the police department in Ebbing, Missouri and decided to light a fire under them by calling out Sheriff Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) publicly by renting out three billboards outside the town demanding justice. In doing so, Mildred becomes shunned by the town because Sheriff Willoughby is well liked and is suffering from pancreatic cancer, therefore her attempts to fuel the investigation seem cold-hearted and cause quite a stir with the community. The dialogue and character development alone are enough to make this movie great, but the additional fuel from the performances of McDormand, Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell especially make this film one of the best in 2017.
I remember seeing a trailer for Get Out for the first time and thinking it looked incredibly intriguing. Being the directorial debut of Jordan Peele, whom I’ve only known as half of the comedy duo Key & Peele, I didn’t quite know what to expect as he looked to be tackling a Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner like film with a horror/thriller overlay. What surprised me though, was being on the edge of my seat for the entirety of the one hour and forty-four minute run time. Peele does a fantastic job delivering just enough information to the viewer to keep them guessing and fully engaged in the story as it’s taking place. Led by fantastic performances all around (most notably from Daniel Kaluuya and Bradley Whitford) – Get Out was an unexpected, yet masterful debut by Jordan Peele and I’m looking forward to what he has up his sleeve in the future.
I’ve stated before that it’s fitting the hit song (and likely future Oscar nominee) from Coco is titled “Remember Me,” because the film itself is unforgettable. Disney/Pixar is at their absolute best with the story of Miguel, traversing the Land of the Dead trying to connect with his departed family to follow his dreams of becoming a musician. With vibrant colors showcased throughout the incredible animation, as well as incredibly catchy and memorable music (I’ve been jamming to the soundtrack off and on since my initial viewing), Coco is without a doubt the best animated film of the year. It would also be of no surprise to me if it became one of the rare animated films (fourth ever) to also transcend into a Best Picture nomination, as well. It’s a longshot considering the competition this year, but Coco couldn’t be more deserving. (Review)
Every year there’s that one movie that just sticks with you, and in 2017 that movie for me is Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. From the moment “Bellbottoms” begins playing in the opening scene, you’re not quite sure what you’re in for – that is until Baby (Ansel Egort) pops into gear that shiny Subaru he’s performing his own personal concert in and makes a heart-stopping getaway from the scene of the crime. I was so enamored by the first six minutes of this movie that I knew instantly I was in for a thrill ride that just keeps giving. Following is a stylized one-take sequence that Wright has choreographed masterfully with the music playing and made me realize that simply picking up coffee has never looked so cool. The music, the choreography, the high speed chases – everything about this movie worked and made it unforgettable.The success of the film must have been a surprise to Sony Pictures as well, as it appears we’re getting closer and closer to a confirmed sequel. Does it warrant one? Not really, and truthfully I’m not too thrilled about it. But I have faith in Edgar Wright and I’ll be sure to be first in line to see it because Baby Driver has been and remains my favorite movie of 2017. (Review)