I missed some pretty big movies this year. Just like the previous year. And the year before that. And the year before the year before that. And the year before the year before… Oh, this could go on forever. By “pretty big”, I mean movies like Blade Runner 2049 and Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Or the last Star Wars movie. I also haven’t seen Okja and Get Out yet, smaller movies that definitely deserve no less. But I’ve seen a few films, both big and small.
Among the best reviewed films, I thought Baby Driver and Logan were overrated. So was Wonder Woman. I liked Baby Driver but there’s something lacking. I’m not really sure Logan was better than X-2 or Days of Future Past and I liked Deadpool better for sure. Wonder Woman, I liked for having the right balance between humor and pathos, which most Marvel movies lack, but the third act was just disappointing. Speaking of disappointments, Kong: Skull Island was simply the most disappointing movie I’ve seen this year, mainly for wasting the scenic locations in Vietnam for a generic thrill-less CGI mayhem. Comic book/superhero movies reached a new high in 2017. Of the three movies from Marvel, Spider-Man: Homecoming was OK and that’s the problem, it’s a merely OK movie. I’ve seen three movies featuring Vin Diesel this year and I thought two of them (xXx: Return of Xander Cage and Fate of the Furious) were a total waste of time.
Listed below, in no particular order, are the ones that made into my “best of” list.
Happy Death Day (Horror, Comedy, 2017)
The Big Sick (Romance, Comedy, 2017)
Tale of Tales (Fantasy, 2015)
Take Me (Comedy, 2017)
Kita Kita (Romance, Comedy, 2017)
Headshot (Martial Arts, Action, 2016)
Westworld (Science Fiction, 1973)
The Mermaid (Fantasy, Romance, Comedy, 2016)
Free Fire (Action, Comedy, 2016)
Logan (Superhero, 2017)
Baby Driver (Action, Crime, 2017)
And my favorites are below with added explanation, extra toppings, or one line review:
Wonder Woman Mainly for that jaw-dropping sequence in No Man’s Land. That and Clio’s twelve volumes of ancient texts on girl-on-girl erotica.
Thor: Ragnarok This is easily Marvel’s funniest with Hulk vs. Thor at the center and that fight sequence that burns Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” for fuel.
Bliss Jerrold Tarog’s pycho-sexual thriller featuring Iza Calzado is the most elaborate tease of the year.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 James Gunn’s we’re a happy family of A-holes strikes back in Marvel’s most spacey and outlandish adventure yet.
Blade of the Immortal Forget about Logan, this is the (fast-healing) superhero film of the year. Takashi Miike’s 100th film about the titular hundred killer is a killer.
Birdshot Easily the most beautiful film I’ve seen this year. Part-Brothers Grimm, part-Miyazaki, Birdshot is a coming of age tale awash in blood, violence and corruption, a haunting political parable told through visual poetry.
Now, 2017 is quite a huge year in music. So huge I’ve only managed to discover five new songs to add to my playlist.
Ely Buendia and Co. goes the soul/Rn’B/funky route with Apartel. “Guijo St. (Makes You Wonder)” is something Michael Jackson would have written after listening to “With A Smile” on repeat. “Better Off” has this Al Green vibe to it but starts off like that song by this Native American band to which Star-Lord danced to in the opening sequence of Guardians of the Galaxy.
I liked Sharlene San Pedro‘s “Stars & Caramel Bars” the first time I saw it on MYX. Sharlene San Pedro covers one from Mayonnaise and one from a band I never heard of. The former child star from “Going Bulilit” isn’t writing her own material (yet) but at least she knows what she likes and I like what she likes.
I’m not really into funk or soul. Yet somehow I find myself liking IV of Spades’ “Hey Barbara”. And Barbara is cute.
The unreleased studio version of “Lift” (a.k.a. the greatest unreleased Radiohead song), finally surfaced with OKNOTOK. And it did not disappoint, unlike the new version of “True Love Waits”.
Here are my top ten songs for 2017:
Apartel – Better Off / Guijo St.
Radiohead – Lift / Man of War
IV of Spades – Hey Barbara
UDD – Unti-Unti
Sharlene San Pedro – Stars & Caramel Bars / Paraan
Temple of the Dog – Hunger Strike
Soundgarden – The Day I Tried To Live