Friday, January 5, 2018

Phil's Top Ten Films of 2017 - January 2, 2018

Hello again everybody and Happy New Year!! I'm gonna predict that 2018 will be another fantastic year for movies, as was 2017! There were an insane amount of movies that I absolutely loved and found myself walking away feeling completely transformed from viewing it. And that is the power of cinema: taking me somewhere new, showing me something I have never seen before, telling me a story I have never heard of and meet characters I can only imagine meeting. So without further adieu, here are my Top Ten Films of 2017!

1) STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI: Rey (Daisy Ridley) develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance, lead by General Lea Organa (Carrie Fisher), prepares to do battle with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. The fact that I have seen the film three times already should indicate you just how much I loved it! But it is also heartbreaking to watch because it was the last film that actress Carrie Fisher appeared in before her untimely passing in December 2016. Writer/director Rian Johnson as deliberately taken the franchise into uncharted territory and I am very excited to see where this will lead.

2) THE DISASTER ARTIST: Based on Greg Sestero best-selling tell-all about the making of Tommy's cult-classic disasterpiece THE ROOM (“The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”), THE DISASTER ARTIST is a hilarious and welcome reminder that there is more than one way to become a legend—and no limit to what you can achieve when you have absolutely no idea what you're doing. James Franco is absolutely amazing in the movie and has become a force to be reckon with within the Hollywood community. His resume is very eclectic and personal, taking on roles and projects that really reflect his diverse interests of subjects. The film just sucks you in and doesn't let go until its beautiful conclusion!

3) SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING: A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, begins to navigate his new found identity as the web-slinging super hero in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

4) TURN IT AROUND: THE STORY OF EAST BAY PUNK: Narrated by Iggy Pop, the documentary spans over 30 years of the California Bay Area’s punk music history with a central focus on the emergence of Berkeley's inspiring 924 Gilman Street music collective. The film is the definitive telling of this vibrant story, drawing from a wide variety of voices, featuring exclusive interviews with and the music of the most famous and infamous rock and punk bands in history, including Green Day, Metallica, Rancid, Dead Kennedys, and over 100 more interviews with artists and musicians from California’s East Bay punk music scene. The film was nostalgic for me because I was there when the events in the film were unfolding. This is one documentary that the whole world needs to see and that punk rockers will watch forever!

5) THOR: RAGNAROK: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Cate Blanchett). But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)! Both Hemsworth and Hiddleston have the best on-screen chemistry within the MCU and I can't get enough of them. I can watch these two all day! Cate Blanchett's Hela is cunning, vicious and deadly and is easily one the greatest villains in the MCU. Easily the best film in the series and is one of the funniest, action packed films within the MCU!!

6) CARS 3: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn't through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing's biggest stage! After the disappointing CARS 2, the third installment shifts its focus back on Lightening McQueen as he struggles with becoming older, losing his mentor Doc Hudson and his place in the ever-changing world of racing. This family film contains themes that adults will relate to with action and humor that kids will have fun watching.

7) WONDER WOMAN: Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when a pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny. Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen and Danny Huston, the movie become one of the biggest blockbusters of 2017! It also become the highest grossing film directed by a woman, the first female superhero to earn $821.9 million worldwide and was the biggest film to come out of the DC Extended Universe!

8) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2: Set to the backdrop of 'Awesome Mixtape #2,' Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their new found family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand. Writer/director James Gunn takes these band of misfits and cranks the adventures up to 11, all the while expanding of the characters themselves as well. What Gunn has done with this film is focus on the theme of family, whether it's blood or friends that are your family. This was a blast to watch!

9) DESPICABLE ME 3: After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother-a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin's despicable footsteps-one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad. Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier return for the sequel but are joined by South Park co-creator Trey Parker, who plays the hilariously former 80's sitcom child star to super villain Balthazar Bratt. With its themes of sibling rivalry, family acceptance and living in the past, the movie contains all the fun, charm and laughs of the previous installments!

10) LOGAN: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces. THIS IS THE WOLVERINE I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR TO SEE SINCE 2000!! Jackman's performance of Old Man Logan is spot on!! His Logan is haggard, weary, laced with regret, remorse and alcohol. He's once again retreated from the world and wants to stay hidden from it. He's still ultra violent when he's backed up against that wall and he cusses like a truck driver. But, he still cares and it comes though, especially towards the end of the film. Needless to say, if he does get an Oscar for his portrayal of Logan, there will be Hell to pay!! An outstanding acting job from Mr. Jackman!!

And there you have it folks! My Top Ten Films of 2017! It looked like the year that comic book based movies and animated family films prevailed. But every year this list gets harder and harder to put together, but these were films that really made an impact on me, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading my picks. So if by chance there are films here that you haven't seen yet, I encourage you to check them out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by them!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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