Ever since I could remember, films have been the basis of how I live my life. Yeah, it’s a bizarre statement to make. Does it detach me from reality? Probably. You got a problem with it? Don’t care. I love them! And with that, I have a hard time not talking about movies at every possible opportunity that I get.
I haven’t reviewed a film in a very long time but I do store them all in the ol’ noggin. And because of that, I am choosing to just review the films that I love! There’s enough negative things being thrown around these days and I frankly don’t care to contribute to them. So here are my favourite films of 2017 so far…
“Get Out” – Directed by Jordan Peele
8.5 / 10
There’s something so satisfying about seeing a directorial debut that is just an undeniable slam-dunk. Jordan Peele’s horror flick filled with witty humour, fantastic social commentary, and some truly terrifying sequences deserves its rank as one of the most original film to hit the screens in the last several years. For those of us who love horror, this is a step back in right direction. It’s too often that people give horror movies slack when reviewing them by saying, “Yeah, but it’s just a horror movie.” The high school horror craze of the mid to late 90’s, that turned the Hitchcockian/Polanski genre into a hollow shell of film, is now taking a back seat to original storytellers that can truly haunt our dreams without sacrificing story for the sake of a jump scare. And with a plot that has something seriously important to say, this movie is not just a slam dunk, it’s a touchdown-homerun-top shelf-slam-dunkaroonie.
“Baby Driver” – Directed by Edgar Wright
I’ve been an Edgar Wright fan since Shaun of the Dead, and then eventually going all the way back to Spaced. He is one of the most exciting filmmakers to watch, not only because of his intensely innovative style, but because as each movie is released he is continuously honing his intensely complex style. This guy thinks of everything in the most detailed of terms and it shows. There is a reason people loved this action packed dark comedy, because it flows with so much excitement and fun. And you can tell – Edgar Wright had fun making this film. What an experience.
“Brigsby Bear” – Directed by Dave McCary
This film surprised the hell out of me. It’s hilarious, original, and MOST surprising – it’s intensely dark and depressing. I won’t ruin any of the twists and turns as the trailer does a fantastic job hiding it from the audience (which is one of my biggest pet peeves with trailers – giving away the ending before I’ve even seen the title). The story of a man who only wants to know how the TV shows he grew up watching ends. It’s Be Kind Rewind meets Room. Kyle Mooney has jumped onto the radar and I hope he doesn’t leave any time soon. Plus he is on SNL so… respect.
“Kong: Skull Island” – Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts
It’s rare to see a director’s tone and style to squeak its way through a Hollywood blockbuster (just ask Phil Lord & Christopher Miller who recently left the Han Solo film – or Edgar Wright who left Ant-Man before he even got a chance to make it happen). But this film was one of a kind fun. I saw it twice in theatres and you better believe I bought it when it came out. It’s fun, action packed, hilarious, and most importantly for a story about an ape the size of a tower – it's self aware. Too often films are released that are telling a story that’s almost so large and extravagant that it’s just comedic. That’s what King Kong is… a hilarious character, and no one understood that more than Vogt-Roberts. With this being his sophomore effort after Kings of Summer (a fantastic indie coming of age story), he is proving his worth on all ends of the spectrum.
“Dunkirk” – Directed by Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan is constantly (in my opinion) being held to standards that no other feature film director today is held to. Why? Because he is that f&%king good. He is constantly changing the name of the game, trying things that other filmmakers don’t dare to try. This film is a perfect example of that. It’s not about the back-story of these characters – it’s about survival. It’s about being on that beach, and he makes sure that the audience feels that. What a trip.
“A Ghost Story” – Directed by David Lowery
This movie is more than likely my favourite film so far this year. Off the top, quite honestly, I was physically angry. It introduces itself with a beautiful set of calming shots that really let themselves breathe – and by that I mean – they REALLY breathe. Shots that last several minutes where you wonder, where is this going? And then you get dropped into this tragic story transcending space and time that ultimately juxtaposes the initial long shots set in modern day life. But in death, all we could hope for are those quiet drawn out moments again. What a statement. What a stunner. I got chills even thinking of it again. Lowery is a cinematic powerhouse of a filmmaker.
“Detroit” – Directed by Katherine Bigelow
Wow. This filmmaker crushes it. Just crushes it. It seems that with every film she makes, she gets better and better. I rarely raise my hand to my mouth in shock, and I counted three times during this film. It drops you into the film right at the pinnacle point of this tragic part of our history, and you stay with them through this frightening tale of humanity at its worst in the uniforms of America’s “finest”. Go see this film.