Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Derek's Top 15 Films of 2017

So, yeah… I’m extraordinary late in posting this. We usually try to get these out the week leading up to the Oscars. Why so late? Our excuse is found in the title of the website.

Blockbuster and blockbuster-ish genre cinema made a strong impression on me in 2017. We witnessed exciting additions to existing franchises and moving conclusions for well-established characters. That isn’t to say the “prestige” films didn’t do it for me, too. They did. They just didn’t hit the same marks or get me as excited.

As always, many of my descriptions are spoiler filled. Beware!

Alex's Top 15 Films of 2017

I was going to start this introduction with the paragraph below, but as I started writing it, I realized how similar it was to so many of our/my intros each year. Initially, I almost deleted it because I wanted something “fresh” and after reading the first handful of sentences, realized it was not that. But in that moment I also realized that these entries have become something of an annual snapshot into each of our lives. I’m unsure if other writers will follow similar suit this year, but looking back, often we start our posts by recapping what the year held for us and how it related to the movies we watched. And as we’re now only submitting this one post each year, I think I’m now looking at them as something of a scrapbook. Yes, you’re probably not going to get a ton of originality out of these intros, but I think not only is it interesting to see how life events influenced film preference each year, but as longtime friends it’s just fun to look back over the years and see how each of us has changed. It’s a pretty neat time capture. 

So that all being said, here’s my annual check-in: 

It’s funny how getting engaged, moving with your family to another state, building and moving into a new house, both you and your partner starting new jobs, the kids starting new schools, and getting a new puppy all tend to interrupt your movie-watching schedule. Who woulda thunk it? I can say with near certainty that I watched fewer movies in 2017 than I have in any calendar year of my adult life. It just didn’t happen this year. But honestly, I’m not too upset about it. Aside from the obvious trade-off of experiencing all of these momentous life events with my family instead of watching a few extra movies, I again just struggled to get into many of the mainstream offerings. While plenty still did, there were a great many titles that just didn’t interest me. I really don’t think anymore that there is a lesser quantity of quality films being made – truly, there are so many more – it’s more of a narrowing of my interests and a realization that there are many more important things in life than watching every movie that comes out. And maybe that’s all a given, but it’s just so interesting to feel that transition through the years. 

On the other side of that, however, I’m still writing a post about movies and am excited to be sharing my end-of-the-year list (albeit later than usual). While I did not get around to seeing as many titles as I have in the past, I still saw a good number and was entertained by many of them. There’s so much I love about the movies, and it’s really a joy of mine to compile this list; I constantly look forward to writing it each year. I’ll forever love going to the theater, and seeing a grand spectacle film (even if it’s ultimately forgettable and trite) will always be something I look forward to. I know I don’t have the stamina to hang with the truly dedicated movie fans anymore, but hopefully there’s a base out there that still loves movies as much as I do, but has also let other, often more important, aspects of life fill in the gaps. Maybe for those people, this list can serve as a quick recap of the year, focusing on the handful of films that they might actually want to get to. 

So without further ado, my favorite movies of 2017: