The Hits and Sh*ts of: 2017

The movie industry has been pretty chill in 2017, hasn’t it?

Sure, let’s skim past the fact Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty balls’d up the entire Academy Awards, and literally made Jimmy Kimmel soil his suit. We’ll also have to forget that pretty much every actor you’ve ever admired – from Kevin Spacey to Dustin Hoffman – has been embroiled in a sexual assault scandal. Try to brush over the whitewashing in Ghost in the Shell, after they cast Scarlett Johansson, a very not-Japanese lady, to play a Japanese lady. And do NOT even get me started on the – quote – “gay scene” in Disney’s live action remake of Beauty and the Beast…

See what I mean? Absolutely nothing happened this year, did it?

Controversies aside, 2017 has given birth to some fucking incredible movies – true life dramas about love and loss; iconic action thrillers that have redefined women roles in the movie industry; epic heist pictures set to an incredible, funky soundtrack…

And then there’s shit about an emoji playing Candy Crush.

These are, in my opinion, the very best, and – by god – the very, very worst movies of the year.

The Hits

Baby Driver

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I watched this film again after the Kevin Spacey allegations were made, and yet I still absolutely fucking love this film. That’s just how good it is. And if you hate Kev that much, he gets run over, repeatedly, so enjoy destroying that rewind button.

From the opening number where Ansel Elgort’s Baby struts around town, dodging past graffiti which spells out the soundtracks lyrics, Baby Driver becomes one of the most stylistic movies of recent times, but it’s not just the looks. Despite the incredible noir photography on a psychotic Jon Hamm in the final third, it’s also a very funny, very thrilling story with an almighty cast.

And to think, it was all inspired by a music video starring Noel Fielding. Yeah, I’m sure he’s not bitter to have not been asked to come back and reprise his role in a soon-to-be Oscar nominated movie. Sure.

The Big Sick

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I’m not one for a romcom. Except for Top Five, Her, 500 Days of Summer, Beginners, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, Silver Linings Playbook and about a gazillion more.

But when I read about The Big Sick’s boy-meets-girl-boy-loses-girl-boy-gets-girl synopsis, I had my suspicions. Sweet Jesus Christ – or, in this case, sweet Allah – I couldn’t have been more wrong. Based on Kumail’s actual life*, The Big Sick is incredibly charming and incredibly funny picture that flicks between genres; is it a caricature on religion? Is it a romcom? Is it a dramedy set in a hospital? It’s all of those things, and it just works.

*It’s based on Kumail’s actual life. If you don’t cry, you’re an outright monster. You’d be worse than Nazis.

Dunkirk

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I’m just going to throw this out there – war has never been a barrel of laughs. Who knew?

Christopher Nolan proves he is an absolute master of creating tension in this epic; just as you think the heroes are about to make it back home safely, another issue arises. (I should probably stress that gunfire from the enemy is more than an “issue”, but that’s the term I’m going for.) Dunkirk sucks you in from the get-go with several separate stories – one following the skittish soldier, played by Cillian Murphy, rescued by Mark Rylance; one following yet-another masked Tom Hardy (I’m starting to think Nolan loathes Hardy’s exceptional good looks); and one following Fionn Whitehead and Harry Styles on the shore.

And who knew Harry Styles could act, and that he’s not just a bloke who can wear suits that make me really jealous? (Haz, if you’re reading this – and I’m 99.9% sure you are – hook me up.)

Logan

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If I have to tidy my room for at least twenty minutes, I’ll have four breaks to check out Family Guy clips on YouTube; two toilet breaks (both are sit-downers, even if it’s a number one) and a Doritos session… Dip’s only included if it’s been a rough day.

What I’m trying to get to is that Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have been playing Wolverine and Professor X on-screen for roughly 20 years, and they’ve only just retired their roles. They’re now deemed as iconic characters in movie. So it took serious balls to – spoiler – kill both of them off.

Logan is not only a lot more brutal and dark than it’s former X-Men films, but it’s also a lot more thoughtful, stepping away from the current trend of light, comedic superhero movies. If you’d have told me after X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I’d cry at a Logan film, I’d have stabbed you in the skull with my retractable bone claws.

Wonder Woman

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Gal Gadot played Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman. Luckily for us, this is not that movie. Seriously, we are lucky.

Much like Logan, this is a superhero movie with a difference. Gal is exceptionally charming as Diana / Wonder Woman, even throughout an albeit clichéd finale, and creates a likeable character that should help ease the most butt-hurt-iest of men who are angered that a woman is allowed to be heard, and not just seen. Wonder Woman is fun from the beginning, and absolutely stunning to look at, with incredible visuals and battles.

Finally, DC are doing something right, and… Eh. The released Justice League, didn’t they?

The Sh*ts

Baywatch

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Am I an arsehole? (Wait for the next sentence before you answer that…) I opened last year’s worst movies with a Zac Efron picture. And now this.

As you can see from the picture I used to show off Baywatch, it stars Dwayne Johnson and Zac, but they’re not the only cast members. There’s also women with jiggly boobs and a chubby bloke who makes penis-jokes. I refer to them as that, because that’s how Baywatch does. That’s all they are to the plot. Tits and dicks.

As for the story, it’s like 21 Jump Street, but with water… And less funny bits, if truth be told. But… THERE’S A COCK JOKE EVERY FIVE MINUTES, SO LOOOOOL 2k17 AMIRigHT?! YOLO.

The Emoji Movie

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❌🙅💩🍆👎🏻🤢

Oh, and the lead, TJ Miller, is a sex offender too? Well… 🖕🏻

The House

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Will Ferrell is a comedy icon. Amy Poehler is one of the funniest people around. And I actually really enjoyed the premise. So what could possibly go wrong?

The House. The House is exactly what could go wrong. It seems like everyone went full steam ahead with improvising lines at the beginning of the film, but by the second half, they were just phoning it in, like “Meh. Why did the chicken cross the road, Will?”

“‘Cause he, erm, fuck off. Right? That’s funny, surely”. It’s like a Saturday Night Live skit, that’s had 18 Red Bulls. And as a Type 1 diabetic, I hate anything that’s allowed one Red Bull, let alone multiple.

The Mummy

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Producer 1: “Okay, so people surprisingly LOVED the 1999 Brendan Fraser cheesy comedy-horror, The Mummy. Shall we do another sequel?”

Producer 2: “No. Let’s do something different. Let’s get Tom Cruise to play a generic dick that grunts and shouts his way through more CGI than Avatar, all-the-while having to rescue a woman, because women can’t do things. I saw Wonder Woman and that was clearly a work of fiction. None of this will work, but it will 100% set up Universal’s Dark Universe. Let’s even get poor ol’ Russell Crowe have to outright say “I’m Dr Jekyll”. That won’t be forced or awkward to watch. Let alone say.”

Producer 2: “Shall we also kill of everyone character apart from Cruise, Crowe and the women who plays a helpless, feeble woman?”

Producer 1: slowly nods and watches more Mrs Brown’s Boys.

Transformers: The Last Knight

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If you were thinking of taking cocaine today, save it. Why? Because the plot of the gazillionth unnecessary Transformers movie is messed up enough.

Stanley Tucci plays a drunken Merlin who controls a three-headed dragon Transformer that fights for King Arthur, as if Michael Bay got drunk during an episode of Game of Thrones, and then decided to have Transformers fight Nazis, because people hate those. THESE ARE ALL THINGS THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

Everything about The Last Knight is angry. Mark Wahlberg shouts at the woman he falls for; trees explode because Michael Bay is still a thing; and the angriest thing of all? Every. Single. Person as their heart breaks watching Anthony Hopkins in this failure of amovie.

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