2017 Film & TV
I started making a list of all the films and TV shows that I’ve watched this year that I could talk about but it started getting to be too long. These posts this week are meant to be fun listicles that might highlight some things you’ve not checked out yet or just want my opinion on so I’ve cut the list right down to ten particular things. It by no means should be taken as my favourite movies or shows of the year, though there might be some cross over with some things. I also cut things I’ve written more about since starting the blog, you can go back through to find out my thoughts on some of those things.
Thats enough preamble, on with the list!
The Big Sick. I loved this film, it had such a great heart and was really funny. Kumail Nanjiani is really funny in everything but this story is so personal that he is particularly amazing in it. I generally believe that true stories don’t apply when it comes to spoilers but just on the off chance you don’t know the details of the film I’m not going to spoil it, just tell you to go and watch it blind. Even knowing the details though the film is really amazing and I hope that it kicks ass for best original screenplay at the Oscars.
Legion. This is technically a TV adaption of an X-Men character, but if you didn’t know that going in you wouldn’t coming out the other end. What a cool, weird, trippy show that is absolutely dripping with style. Noah Hawley did a great job of taking Fargo and adapting it for TV and I’m glad that FX have just let him run wild and do what he wants to do with this show too. It is unlike anything else on TV. The cast is amazing from top to bottom and the almost 60’s aesthetic to the whole thing adds a lot to it. I hope that more people give this a chance before season two comes out. If you’re expecting a straight up superhero show you’ll be disappointed but if you watch it with an open mind you should enjoy it.
T2: Trainspotting. I really hated the title of this until just now, I still think its kind of stupid and think that Trainspotting 2 would have been fine but if the allusion to Terminator 2 is intentional then it might be because Bigby is as much of an unstoppable force of nature as an T-800. I am so happy that this sequel was good, it could have been terrible but reconnecting with these characters after twenty years was so cool and felt like Richard Linklater’s Before series. I wouldn’t mind if Danny Boyle and co came back in another ten or twenty years to see what Renton, Sick Boy and Spud are up to. Some friends you can drift away from but will always come back. Even if you don’t want them to.
Rick & Morty. This year I finally jumped on the bandwagon for Rick & Morty. I knew I would love the show whenever it was mentioned but for whatever reason I just missed it. The first two seasons showed up on Netflix at the start of the year and I have since watched them at least three or four times. It is probably the smartest comedy on TV. Season three was great and I hope Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland take as long as they need for the next one. Like the next thing on the list there is a slightly sour taste in my mouth when it comes to this though as I really think that a huge portion of the fanbase for this show are awful. The whole debacle with the sauce and McDonalds is the most cringe inducing thing ever… but at least no one got molested.
Baby Driver. I feel so bad for Edgar Wright, he finally has a commercially successful hit film and within a couple of months all the shit about Spacey being a fucknut comes out and now people will be put off of talking about/watching/appreciating how good this film is and quite frankly how good he is in it. This film, like all of Wright’s projects, has the best integration of music and picture of anything this year. The plot is basic, the characters are mostly archetypes we’ve seen before with some surprising twists here and there but the action is superb and the film feels not just rehearsed and blocked but choreographed as if it is a music video.
12 Monkeys. One of the most underrated genre shows on TV. We went into this season believing it to be the last and were guessing at how plots were going to tie together and wrap up and were shocked when we got through the finale and were left hanging, turns out we were working off bad intel and next season is actually the last so there is plenty of time for you to catch up. The first season is a loose adaption of the movie but from there it goes in a completely different direction and is really interesting. If you like time travel gritty action dramas then check it out.
War for the Planet of the Apes. Did they get the naming of all three movies in this trilogy wrong? Yeah, undoubtedly. Did they get anything else wrong? I don’t think so, I really enjoyed them all! I really enjoyed this final chapter of and how it called back to previous two movies and forward to the original. It is a testament to all involved that you care so much about these performance captured apes and know each of them as individual characters as we have followed at least a few from the first film on. Andy Serkis deserves an acting nomination but the other actors were just as great.
Master of None. I really enjoyed season one of Aziz Ansari’s Netflix show but a lot of it felt like a dramatised version of his book, Modern Romance. Season two takes a much bolder approach and tells some amazing stories. Everyone under the sun has raved about this show by this point and if you haven’t watched it I don’t know what else I can say to make you. The thanksgiving episode and the New York stories episode are two of the best episodes of any TV show this year.
Snowden/Citizen Four. Okay, I’m cheating with these last two by doing some double features. First, movies, Snowden is the movie adaption of the Edward Snowden story, from his time in the US military through to his stealing of NSA data and exile. It is directed by Oliver Stone and has his views stamped all over it. I enjoyed it as a highly suspenseful drama based on true events and it gave me a better idea of who the guy was and what he was doing. It also inspired me to watch Citizen Four. A documentary from a few years ago by Laura Poitras who was one of the journalists contacted by Snowden when he was fleeing with the stolen data. Most of the documentary is footage she shot in the hotel room he was holed up in. It covers the few days when the initial reports were being published in The Guardian. It gives a much more unbiased view of the events and shows just how god damn important what he did is for world security and human rights to privacy. Hey whats up NSA guys, I hope you’re having a nice xmas and are enjoying my listicles this week.
American Crime Story/Made In America. Dante’s Peak & Volcano, Deep Impact & Armageddon, White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen. It’s not just crappy movies that get paired up at weirdly similar times, early this year we had a prestige drama on FX and an epic length documentary on ESPN both covering the (mis)trail of OJ Simpson. I really enjoyed them both! American Crime Story focused on the court case and the media circus that surrounded it and was really well acted all around. There were a couple of cheese ball scenes that felt very TV like Johnnie Cochran coming up with the “…glove don’t fit…” line in the mirror but overall it was entertaining. The 30 For 30 eight hour special Made In America however is one of the best documentaries in years. It goes way back and covers not just OJ’s entire history but the political history and civil rights movements relating to the case, the whole case and trial itself and then what happened with OJ in the years after. It is a fully fleshed out documentary that while staying neutral in its opinions paints a very clear picture of ‘The Juice’ and it should be pretty obvious for anyone watching to come up with a conclusion. Personally, I believe he absolutely murdered them both but that he is completely messed up in the head in the same way Chris Benoit was and many former football players are. Those concussions and head injuries are no joke!
This is what happens when the neighbours cat hasn't been round in a few days and decides I'm not allowed to move.
Thats my round up of 2017 film and television. I hope I’ve inspired you to go check out anything on that list you might not have seen yet and if you’ve got any hidden gem recommendations for me I’d love to hear them. Enjoy the rest of your day, I’ll see you tomorrow!