Monday, 29 January 2018

2017: Best and worst of the new releases

Here's a brief list of the movies that stuck to my ribs in 2017. No rankings, because who cares. You can click the titles to read the full reviews.

"Not only is it a study of overcoming trauma, Brigsby Bear is a tribute to the power of imagination and curiosity to enrich one's life and relationships. It is a love letter to creativity. And it is not the creativity of a single mind, but creativity as a shared, communal experience."

    The best studio comedy of the year.

    "While it is dark, and has some extremely confrontational scenes, it is also very funny and offers an extremely empathetic portrait of its main characters." 

    "This movie is like a knife with no handle - no matter how you hold it, you are going to get cut."

    "Like the photographer from Life magazine who visited them, Nichols and his cast recognise that, in order to truly identify with Lovings, you have to sit with them in their house and watch them live. Only then can you truly recognise them, and the tragedy they (and so many others) were subjected to."

    "With their unified aesthetic and tone, Marvel movies can sometimes smother unique voices, but within Taika Waititi's Cocoon of Inanities, Jeff is allowed to go the full Goldblum." 

    "Tragedy Girls tackles its subject with no holds barred, juggling gore-soaked set pieces with the subtle nuances of two co-dependant teens attempting to find their way into adulthood."

    "So many movies fail to build a world you would want to return to (see The Mummy for a recent example), but Valerian creates such a multi-faceted and idiosyncratic world (and finds multiple ways to explore several different parts of it) that you just want to immerse yourself in it."

    "So many action movies today are so long, and contain so much unnecessary exposition and unnecessary action that they end up feeling bloated. Wheelman feels like a callback in the best possible way - every element of narrative and character is  pared down to exactly what is needed, and nothing more."  

    "Ultimately, Can I Be Me is an extremely empathetic look at a woman who never had a chance to be herself." 

    And in the opposite direction, here is a list of the the movies that sucked my life away:

    The Mummy: Utterly without character, style or purpose, The Mummy is just as dead as its title character.

    Rough Night: The anti-Girls Trip.

    Atomic Blonde: Promises more than it delivers. Minus points for Sofia Boutella's sex-death scene.

    American Assassin: Monotone, cliche and dull as ditchwater.

    Kingsman 2: Big, nasty and empty.

    Flatliners: A glorified TV movie that will leave your brain as you watch it.

    Geostorm: This movie is big, dumb, stars Gerard Butler and is ten times less fun than it should be.

    The Evil Within: If you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to make whatever you wanted with no oversight whatsoever...

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