GregHorrorShow: The Films Of 2017

Paddington 2

2017 has been a strange year for film. With the threat of streaming services continuing to grow, the industry seems stuck in a catatonic state at a time that it needs to rise up, embrace streaming and meet the challenges it faces. In addition to that, the industry itself was rocked by the ongoing sexual assault/abuse revelations that will hopefully, in time, mean that the film industry (and other areas of media) are a safer, more fair place to work.

With the latter in mind I would like to make an honourable mention for Baby Driver as one of the most enjoyable films I watched this year. It has now become tainted by association through the uncovering of years of Kevin Spacey’s predatory behaviour and co-star Jon Bernthal has recently said that Spacey was a bully on the set of Baby Driver. However, a lot more people than Kevin Spacey put a huge amount of time and effort into a film that I thought was excellent so while I’m uncomfortable praising something featuring Spacey, this shout out goes to Edgar Wright, the rest of the cast and the crew who made a really great movie.

BabyDriver

I also enjoyed T2: Trainspotting, which was an interesting trip down memory lane as someone who was a teenager when the first film dropped. Nostalgia was a big factor in the film and I can completely see why some people might not have liked the movie, especially if they didn’t have that attachment to the characters. Certainly, it has some moments that I thought were really weak and the main players became almost caricatures of their initial roles but I came out of the film more positive than negative. I loved The Big Sick, which came out of nowhere for me. Telling the real life story of Kumail Nanjiani and the early part of his relationship with Emily Gardner, it was a touching, interesting look at how cultural differences can impact a relationship.

2017 was a year that I didn’t actually make it to the cinema much sadly, most of the trips I did take were with the family and there were a couple of stand out kids films for me. Despicable Me 3 was, as expected, a fun film that continued the adventures of Gru and his adopted daughters. The introduction of his lost long brother was a nice touch and meant the film focused a lot on that relationship but it also led to a feeling that the third instalment didn’t quite hit the high points of the previous two. Paddington 2 was phenomenal, one of the greatest kids films I’ve ever seen and Hugh Grant was the best I’ve seen him as villain Phoenix Buchanan. Much recommended.

As part of the BFI’s Stephen King retrospective, I saw Maximum Overdrive for the first time. This was King’s one and only directorial role and it wasn’t hard to see why! It was certainly an enjoyable b-movie but it’s not one for the history books. Although big props to AC/DC for a great soundtrack.

MaximumOverdrive

And a final call out for little known Christmas film Hitched For The Holidays. I’m not one for Hallmark-esque TV movies but my wife loves them at this time of year. However, I was pleasingly surprised by this one which stars 12 Monkeys’ Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire) alongside early 90’s heartthrob Joey Lawrence. It’s cheesy as hell but this tale of two people who agree to be each other’s fake partner over the holiday season has just the right amount of warmth and heart for the festive season.

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FILM OF THE YEAR

BigSick

It was close, I nearly gave this to Paddington 2 but in the end The Big Sick takes it. It’s a wonderful, funny, heart-wrenching film with some outstanding performances. Of course Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan as the two main characters are brilliant but Ray Ramano and the always amazing Holly Hunter really deliver as Emily’s parents. A truly life affirming firm.

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