It’s that time of year again when, bloated with too much turkey, stuffing, chocolates and alcohol, we find it impossible to do anything more physically demanding than lifting a remote control and changing the channel. No wonder then that it is also the time of year when we sit back and reflect on the 12 months that have come since the last time we ate, drunk and merried ourselves with so little self control.
And what a year it has been. 2017 began with a man famous for his cameo in Home Alone 2 becoming President of the United States, La La Land not winning best picture at the Oscars despite Warren Beatty’s insistence that it had, IT becoming the most successful Horror film of all time and making Stephen King famous (again), Harvey Weinstein’s secret – that most in Hollywood seemed to know about – becoming headline news and inspiring the Time Person of the Year; and ended with Christopher Plummer becoming the new Kevin Spacey and The Last Jedi becoming either one of the greatest Star Wars films ever made or one of the worst.
It was the year we lost William Peter Blatty, Miguel Ferrer, John Hurt, Bill Paxton, Don Rickles, Johnathan Demme, Adam West, Martin Landau, George A. Romero, Sam Shepherd, Jerry Lewis, Tobe Hooper, Richard Anderson, X Atencio, Frank Vincent, Harry Dean Stanton and too many more people associated with the film and media that we love.
There was also one other event which occurred quietly in August and has gone from strength to strength – the birth of Film89.co.uk. This is a site created by lovers of film, TV and Video Games who want nothing more than to share our love with other, like-minded people. A passionate group of individuals from all around the world, the Film ’89 staff like nothing more than discovering new films, celebrating older ones, standing up for their favourites and indulging in the odd bit of geekery every so often.
So, in the spirit of the holiday season, here are the Film ’89 writer’s personal picks of 2017:
3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
A film which has really got everyone talking and many disagreeing, I thought The Last Jedi was the perfect Star Wars movie. I laughed, cheered and was moved by the exploits of Rey, Finn, Luke and, of course, our favourite princess, Leia. Can’t wait for Episode IX.
Not many people talked about this little gem of a movie which was released on Netflix in May. The story of a young girl’s love for a giant pig, Okja is brilliantly funny and hard-hitting.
Released in the US in 2016, we in the UK had to wait until 2017 to watch this magnificent exploration of faith set in 17th Century Japan directed by Martin Scorsese. I’ve seen it 3 times now and each time it grows richer and more powerful.
Honourable Mentions: Being dragged to see a Marvel film by my six year old is not my preferred idea for a Saturday afternoon but Thor: Ragnarok was great fun. It was also great to rewatch some classics on the big screen, including Goodfellas, Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D & Silence of the Lambs. Finally a shout-out to Eureka Video for their stunning Masters of Cinema Buster Keaton Collection.
Amazon’s brilliant crime series starring Titus Welliver. Hard boiled, traditional but never dull.
2. Narcos Season 3
Who would have thought that, after losing Pablo Escobar, this series could maintain the power of seasons 1 & 2. It does.
1. Stranger Things Season 2
I enjoyed this even more than the first series – the characters were richer and more developed and this time we got Sean Astin!
Honourable Mentions: 2017 was the year I finally started watching Game of Thrones and have managed to watch Seasons 1 to 6 since August. A bit uneven but there have been some brilliant highlights and this latest series has been consistently good. Roll on series 7 in the New Year (yes, I know I’m a season behind but I’ve been watching it on Blu Ray. In addition, I’ve got to mention the excellent Mind Hunter and The Expanse, based on one of my favourite series of books.
Onwards to 2018…
There’s a lot to look forward to in 2018, especially during the first few months with awards season. The first big movie to look forward to is The Shape of Water because as I love Guillermo del Toro. I also can’t wait to see Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and Steven Spielberg’s The Post. Later in the year I’m really curious to see what Shane Black does with The Predator but the biggest film of 2018 for me will be released on Netflix – Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman!