Here's the films of 2017 I've seen that I found to be just ok or good in a solid way.
After so much trouble the DC Cinematic Universe has caused, an ok reaction for its big teamup movie is probably refreshing. But still, I wish I saw one director's vision instead of two because the clashing makes the end result feel m'eh. Regardless of this, I would've preferred if Cyborg, Aquaman & The Flash got their own introductory movies before this, because their presence feels rushed & empty, resulting in scenarios where I'm half-invested half-just sitting there. I was easily expecting the worst with Justice League, but why did I not feel angry watching this film? I'll never know, but I didn't hate this film despite not loving it at the same time.
When Netflix invested their money on a comedy/horror hybrid, they might've ripped off The Omen. Oh well, I surprisingly enjoyed what I saw with this film. There was a genuinely curious mystery surrounding the child (played brilliantly without dialogue) & it kept me going despite its many flaws. The resolution of the mystery is an eye-rolling cop out & the humour is dreadful. None of the gags made me laugh & they all consisted of many pet peeves I have with the comedy genres these days. Oh well, I'm still glad I didn't hate this movie, despite its prominent turnoffs.
Agatha Christie's most famous whodunnit returns to the big screen in a film that probably didn't need to exist. It tells the same story with all the familiar beats you'd expect, the side-characters are all forgettable (apart from who's playing them) & there are some off-putting action pieces. But, I still got the feeling that the filmmakers made this film out of respect & Kenneth Branagh is a very trustworthy guy in terms of making his films look pretty. We probably didn't need it, but this version of Murder On The Orient Express is worth at least one viewing.
The Smurfs are animated for their latest theatrical adventure & while it's not perfect, I'll stomach this over the live-action monstrosities any day. For a Sony Pictures Animation film, the animation immersed me into a beautiful forest filled with magical wishy washy eye candy & the four Smurfs taking centre stage were likeable enough despite some unfunny gags. But there are some things that prevent this film from being great. The third act where the female Smurf tribe show up stumbles a little bit & Rainn Wilson is a terrible Gargamel. If you're not a Smurfs fan, I'll let you skip this. If you're a Smurfs fan, I'll let you watch it. For me at least, I'm just glad that Sony fished up a bearable packet of crisps in their iffy animation studio.
The Circle is a film that had a lot of great ideas & it explores them well. It showcases the impact of technology in a scary light that needs to be heard. As a result, its pretty effective viewing. But the one thing that prevents this film from being a masterpiece are the characters. Despite the fact that they're played brilliantly by an A-list cast (including Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Ellar Coltrane, Karen Gillan & Bill Paxton in one of his last roles), but they're just not that interesting & I couldn't look past the celebrities playing them. If you want to watch this film, go ahead. I'm not going to stop you.
Josh Gad provides voiceovers for a reincarnating dog...sure, why not. This film relishes in its sentimentality & the film does suffer from predictability & flat human characters. But the film isn't too bad. The writers manage to capture the playful yet curious mindset of its furry lead & while some of the drama felt out of place in a family friendly film, I understand their inclusion. It may not be the best timeless family film out there, but A Dog's Purpose is a passable attempt.
2017 was jam packed with Stephen King adaptations & Pennywise The Dancing Clown managed to win millions of people over at the box office. I personally thought the film was OK. It manages to be a competent horror by not relying on shaky-cam & found footage, but the scares were hit & miss. There were times where the suspense was real, but most of the scares were tired jump scares (the cinematic equivalent of going BOO in front of a little baby). But the film manages to save itself by having a group of child protagonists who have an iffy start, but manage to become routable & likeable enough to care for them. It may not be the best horror of 2017, but it's overwhelming success is well-deserved.
Before you hate me for including THIS film on THIS list, let me explain. I was skeptical when this film was upcoming & when I saw it, I thought it was good. The title character proved herself to be a worthy & routable badass & for a film set in the DC Cinematic Universe, its well-lit & very pretty to look at. But there were some problems that I could not ignore. The plot felt like it was ticking off some check-boxes, the constantly built-up plot twist is predictable & the special effects..........yuck. But even if it's a fluke, Wonder Woman is a solid comic book piece that's leagues better than Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad & Justice League.
The inseperable duo of Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman return to expand on their homage to gentlemen spies & the end result is like Ghostbusters 2. There is a setback in the form of the plot. Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing the protagonists again, even if Agent Galahad was needlessly spoiled in the trailers. But I can't defend the villain's evil plan. Julianne Moore may have given her all in her performance, but her plan doesn't make a lot of sense to me. But I did not regret seeing this film because I was laughing my ass off throughout the movie. It may not be as good as its predecessor, but The Golden Circle is another fun ride that's worth checking out.
I'm probably gonna get a lot of hate for this, but I don't think Dunkirk is as great as what the media overhype suggested. I don't know if it's just me, but I prefer gripping drama with characters worth routing for & this film didn't deliver on that aspect. None of these characters are memorable & the filmmakers didn't even try to flesh them out. But maybe there's a good reason for this because this film is an experience that's worth seeing in theatres. The action scenes are filled with tension & the suspense is so gripping, it makes Dunkirk one of Christopher Nolan's best films in my opinion. If you like Christopher Nolan, you're probably going to love this. While I was satisfied with what I got, some fleshed out characters would've been nice.
After three needlessly convoluted sequels, Captain Jack Sparrow sails the franchise back to its more simplistic direction & I couldn't be happier. The plot does have its weak elements like a pointless sorceress & a revelation that didn't need to be there, which does honestly prevent this film from being great. But it was a lot of fun to watch. The action scenes & special effects continues the franchise's phenomenal set pieces, the new side characters are great additions, the plot is engaging & easy to follow & this film is surprisingly funny. I'm not joking, every joke this film pulled off got me laughing like a drunk sailor. If you like all instalments of this franchise (including the weak ones), then this voyage is completely worth it.
Warner Bros & Legendary Pictures properly kick off their Monsterverse by giving one of cinema's most famous monsters an original adventure. When this film starts, we're introduced to a group of humans who are one-dimensional, not interesting & can only be saved by great performances (which does happen by the way). But the motivations for some of them (like Samuel L Jackson) do get better & gripping at times. But the biggest selling point, the monsters, is the genuine highlight. The CGI which brings these creatures to life is practically flawless & I believed that the monsters were in the movie. Also, the big monster V monster fights were a lot of fun. In fact, I bet I had a similar experience to those enthusiastic for sports. So yeah, I recommend this film to people. It's some good popcorn entertainment.
When it comes to biopics contending for the big awards, this one is a solid competitor. It tells a more dialogue-driven story about the rising conflicts started by a newspaper scandal & it's executed decently. The actors are great & Steven Spielberg directs this film with a lot of warmth & charm. Just don't expect this film to make a huge impact because it's just likeable fluff. The Post is pretty much as satisfying as a cookie.
& the number 1 decent film of 2017 is:
This is a film I appreciate more than love. Since so many HollyWood blockbusters rely on flashy idiocy, a sci-fi that makes you think whilst watching is highly refreshing. Because of this, the film feels like a worthy followup to its predecessor. The plot points may be interesting, but they're so deep. It's both a blessing & a curse. The convoluted side may be enough to make me watch it again, but I won't be able to explain everything to those who don't know what's happening. If there's something else I want to bring up, the visuals are fantastic. The futuristic world is highly immersive & the special effects are so fascinating & flawless to look at. If you love the final cut of Blade Runner, I highly recommend this film. If not, you can skip it. For me at least, I respect what I see, even if I didn't get the highest reaction from it.