Mark’s Best Movies of 2017 Featuring Coco, Blade Runner 2049 & More!

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Well it’s that time of year again, the great and powerful 2017 Movies Year in Review.  What a weird year but were some great films  And even more half good ones with something interesting to offer (even though they were badly in need of a rewrite)   As usual, we’re going to treat this as an Awards show.  I’ll come up with categories and nominations, you guess which film should win and I’ll tell you my answers at the end.  A quick note for those of you guessing, this will contain mild spoilers.  You’ve had all year to see these, there’s no excuse. 

The Nominees:

Best Horror
Let’s start with Best Horror.  2017 took a couple stabs at horror but as a genre, there really wasn’t much to see this year.  The following are really the best attempts at horror 2017 had to offer. Which was scariest?

IT – for its freaky clown and unapologetic bloodshed
Annabelle Creation – for its super creepy doll and inescapable haunted house
Life – for its frowny-faced alien and horrific death scenes
Alien: Covenant – for its faceless abominations, alien spores and crazy androids

Best Animated
Looking back on this list, I realized I didn’t review that many animated films.  Either that means there weren’t many put out (seems unlikely) or there were just other films I wanted to see that were coming out the same time.  Anyway, here are the contenders for Best Animated Film.  To win in this category you need two things:  good character design and amazing colour.

Despicable Me 3 – for the hilarious Steve Carell, Gru and all the whacky inventions
Cars 3 – for the amazing script, great voice acting and extremely human cars  
Coco – for the crazy Mexican Underworld and well written plot
The Lego Batman Movie – for Will Arnett and the frenetic world of LEGO

Most Obvious Cash Grab
There weren’t many Horror or Animated movies but wow, were there ever a lot of completely obvious cash grabs.  There were so many I didn’t nominate simply because I didn’t have room.  To be an obvious cash grab, you have to find a gimmick (usually something that made money before) and do it again, preferably with less effort and smaller writing budget.   It’s a highly competitive category, so to win we’re looking for the film that most obviously only existed to make money.

The Emoji Movie – for its clear attempt to turn the social phenomenon of Emojis  into box office cash
Transformers:  The Last Knight – for answering the question “does the Transformers franchise have money in it?”
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – for its latest whack at the cash piñata that is the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise
Flatliners – for its naked attempt to sell this to people who loved the original and its genre change half way through

Best Visuals
Film is a visual medium.  To be made today, a film must be a least half-way competently shot and composed.  This category is a bit unfair, it doesn’t take into account all the films that were amazingly shot but went for utility instead of sheer jaw-dropping beauty.  This category is for how luscious this was to watch – not just colour scheme and composition but the variety of different things there are to see.

Beauty and the Beast – for its faithful recreation of the Disney movie and that magnificent castle.
Coco – for the unbelievably beautiful Mexican afterlife and the incredible design of the Spirit Animals
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – for its gorgeous shots and sheer diversity of design for all the aliens and strange worlds
Ghost in the Shell – for its stunning translation of the original anime and its portrayal of this futuristic world

Most Handsome
Thank god for fan service, is all I have to say.  No matter how bad a movie is, a good shirtless chest makes it just a little better.  And no matter how good a movie is, a good shirtless chest STILL makes it a bit better.  It helps justify the price of admission and I freely admit it affects my rating system.  But who which movie did best?  For this category, it’s both quality and total screen time of bare-chested male sex appeal.

Thor: Ragnarok – for Chris Hemsworth being shirtless in a the same room as a naked Hulk
Justice League – for Jason Momoa and Henry Cavill both spending WAY more time than they had to without putting on a shirt
Wonder Woman – for Chris Pine’s unnecessarily long wait between getting out of the bath and actually getting dressed
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol II – for Chris Pratt’s lovely and prolonged shirt changing scene

Movie of the Year
Our last category is Movie of the Year.  There were a lot of truly great films in 2017 and these four nominees were among the best.  Which was the very best overall?  To win this, all aspects of filmmaking must be taken into consideration:  visuals, writing, acting, originality and sex appeal.

Blade Runner 2049 – for its continuation of the original Blade Runner and the expansion of that world
Ghost in the Shell – for its spectacular live action recreation of Masamune Shirow’s futuristic world
Coco – for its well-written plot,  well-designed characters and strange settings
Mother! – for its bizarre and compelling story and its exploration into whatever it was actually about.

And the Winners Are:

Best Horror  

IT – The way that clown moved was terrifying.  The way it didn’t shy away from blood and actual violence? Equally terrifying.  Hands down the best horror of this year. Annabelle: Creation comes in second, that doll still haunts my dreams.

Best Animated


Coco – this film is wonderful.  If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend you check it out.  It’s good in all ways.  Close second is Cars 3, proof positive that good writing and great character design can save even the weakest premise. 

Most Obvious Cash Grab 

Flatliners – This was a hard one to judge because all of these were pretty much equally half-assed attempts at generating the most amount of money from the least amount of work.  But by god, Flatliners, you did it.  You stood above those other puny cash grabs with your creative crediting and less creative casting.  Well done.  Second place goes to the Emoji Movie, a demonstration that you can throw money at pretty near anything and get it made.

Best Visuals 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – I loved this film so hard I saw it three times in theater.  There was just so much to see.  It was a non-stop bombardment of staggering imagery, impossible to see all in one go.   Ghost in the Shell comes in at a very close second, also something I saw more than once because it was so beautiful.

Most Handsome

Justice League – just so you know, ALL nominees in this category are winners.  There simply cannot be enough fan service.  But a winner must be chosen and it is Justice League.  I’m as shocked as anyone to be seeing Justice League win an award in this article, but let me tell you, it deserved it.  Very close second is Thor: Ragnarok, with it’s Rule 34 inducing bedroom scene. Keep up the good work, boys!

Movie of the Year

Blade Runner 2049  – I cannot get over how much I loved this film.  It had everything, great writing, great acting, great design and Ryan Gosling is sex in leather.  Coming in at second place is Coco because it really is that good.

Well thanks for reading, it’s been a treat.  Stay tuned for my most anticipated movies of 2018.  It’s going to be another good year.