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Top Films Of 2017

It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone, and with it, some new films to add to our favourites list. Sure there were some duds (did Transformers really need another film?), but there were plenty of good ones as well.  In no particular order, here are our favourite films of 2017.

Call Me By Your Name – This love story will be front and centre come awards season. It’s all ready appeared on several best-of lists for 2017, and even won a few awards. It takes place in 1983, and stars Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer as two men who unexpectedly fall in love in Italy.

Baby Driver – Director Edgar Wright knows a thing or two about making a sleeper hit, and this film about a heist gone wrong definitely fits the bill of a cult classic. It’s funny, has action and has an incredible cast. If you missed it earlier this year, you should go back and check it out.

Blade Runner 2049 – This sequel to the 1982 film may not have done so well at the box office, but it’s a visual feast that you don’t want to miss. If you remember Blade Runner didn’t do so well in 1982 either, but grew into a classic over time. If you haven’t seen it, give it a chance, and if you have, watch it again, it’s worth the time.

Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan may very well earn his first Oscar for this WW2 epic. It’s avoids the pratfall so many WW2 films fall into, in that it’s not too long. It’s a visual stunning film, with great acting and amazing storytelling. Everything the Academy looks for in a film.

Get Out – And the best horror film of the year isn’t It, even though It was the box office champ in the genre. Get Out shocked audiences early this year, and easily was the most terrifying film on the screen. The most shocking thing?  It came from the mind of Jordan Peele who is well known for his comedy skills, not horror.

The Post – Haven’t seen it yet? Well join the crowd, as the film won’t make its wide release until the new year. Still, thanks to a limited run it is eligible for next year’s awards. Steven Spielberg’s latest tells the true story of Kay Graham, who exposed a cover-up running through four presidential terms.

I, Tonya – Think you know disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding’s story? Think again. Margot Robbie shows off her range in this biopic that might very well earn her an Oscar.

The Disaster Artist – Whoever decided to make a movie about the making of the worst movie in history is a genius. The Franco brothers (James and Dave) steal the show in this film that will have people rushing out to see the film The Room that they are talking about. And then wishing they had just stuck to watching this one. 

The Shape of Water – Director Guillermo del Toro has been making amazing movies for awhile now, and it’s about time he starts getting more recognition for it. The Shape of Water, a movie about a mute janitor who forms a unique bond with an aquatic creature, may be just the film to make him a household name.

Lady Bird – Saoirse Ronan may be great in this film, but it is Laurie Metcalf who is getting all the attention. It’s a coming of age story that looks at a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, with high ambitions. Actress Greta Gerwig takes her first swing at directing, and does an amazing job of it.

 

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Rosamund Pike Set To Star In The Long Delayed The Wheel Of Time TV Adaptation

Robert Jordan’s lengthy fantasy series, The Wheel of Time, has been in production since 2000, but it never seemed to make it to series. A pilot episode was even filmed back in 2014,  airing in February of 2015, but there was no publicity surrounding it, and many people didn’t even know it was on due to it airing at 1:30 in the morning. Now however it seems like the wheel is moving again, as Gone Girl star Rosamund Pike has been cast as one of the leads for an Amazon Studios / Sony Pictures Television series.

Pike will play Moiraine, one of the all-female organization called the Aes Sedai. In the novels magic can only be accessed and used by some women, Moiraine being one of them. The series tells her story, as she take a journey around the world with five young men and women. One of her companions is prophesied to be the Dragon Reborn, who is said to either save humanity, or destroy it, and Moiraine attempts to sway fate into the more appealing direction. Of course the problem is, she isn’t sure which of her companions is the person of destiny.

Pike will also serve as a producer for the series. Executive producer/showrunner Rafe Judkins adapted the series for television. 

There is no word as to when we can expect the series to air, or to even be made as of yet, but Pike’s signing is a significant step forward. 

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Hunger Games Prequel Novel And Movie On The Way

The Hunger Games were a huge success. The novels sold millions of copies, and the films made millions of dollars. So it’s not too surprising that everyone involved with the franchise would want more. Scholastic announced yesterday that author Suzanne Collins is currently working on a prequel novel to the hit series, and Lionsgate is trying to work out a deal to make a film of it.

The untitled novel is set to hit shelves next year, on May 19th. The story will take place in the world of Panem 64 years before the events of the original trilogy, which of course means that it will focus on all new characters. In a statement Collins said “With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival. The reconstruction period ten years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days—as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet—provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.”

Of course Scholastic is happy with the decision for a new novel as well, considering the first trilogy spent more than 260 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, with more than 100 million copies sold. Ellie Berger, President of Scholastic Trade said “We are absolutely thrilled—as both readers and publishers—to introduce the devoted fans of the series and a new audience to an entirely new perspective on this modern classic.”

Lionsgate Chairman Joe Drak said “As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published. We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.” The four films combined made close to $3 billion worldwide, and it one of Lionsgate’s top producing series. 

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Bombing Sequels Are Nothing New For Hollywood

This summer a lot of emphasis is being put on how many sequels and remakes are bombing at the box office, but really it’s nothing new. Films typically play their course, and so many sequels are made that eventually people start losing interest in them. It’s even more apparent when it’s a franchise that had a gimmick that was unique at first, but really wasn’t all that popular, that studios continually try to push out. The latest of which is the new Men in Black film that was well below expectations this past weekend. The first Men in Black film, from 1997, was unique, but long forgotten and is far from being the top movie on anyone’s list of favourite films. So why continue making them? What could possible be added to the franchise that would make people want to see a new film? Regardless if Chris Hemsworth stars in it or not.

Let’s face it, there are only so many explosions and great special effects you can stomach before you start saying you want more. Case in point, the latest installment of the X-Men franchise, Dark Phoenix. The series has become so convoluted that it makes very little sense, even for comic book fans. The series, which began in 2000, has so many plot holes that you can’t even keep track of all of them. People seem to forget that the 2016 X-Men film Apocalypse bombed as well, and with all the rewrites and reshoots, not to mention delays, of Dark Phoenix, it’s not surprising people aren’t turning out to see it. Over all, people seem to be getting sick of the superhero film anyway, especially if it’s a remake. Just take a look at how poorly the Hellboy reboot did earlier this year, and you will clearly see the lack interest. Even the latest installment of Godzilla has failed to find an audience, and that’s because after decades of watching a giant lizard destroy cities and fight other big monsters, how much more do we need to see of the same thing? 

The biggest common factor among all the failing sequels is easy to find if you look for it. Quality. Most of them have terrible reviews, and it’s always because they were poorly written. Gone are the days where studios can depend on a film doing well simply because it’s got a particular name attached to it, be it a star, a director or a franchise. Studios also can’t depend on great special effects being enough to get people to come out to the theater either. Back in 1996 a film like Independence Day could do well because effects like the White House blowing up hadn’t been seen before, but nowadays you can see home-made videos made by students showing similar, if not better things. That’s at least part of the reason why the 2016 sequel Resurgence did so poorly, it had nothing new to offer.  Hollywood simply put needs to catch up with the times. Show us something we haven’t seen before. Tell us a good story. Don’t just pump films out and hope people will line up to see it just because it once did well. That’s doesn’t work anymore, not with the internet and social media telling us immediately if something is worth our money or not. People are smarter these days, more in touch, and definitely more attached to their money. Give us something to watch, and we will watch it. Continue making garbage, and it will end up where it belongs, in the garbage bin.

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