2017 Recap

I’m watching the Golden Globes as I write this, so you may get some bonus commentary thrown in. Starting with how great it was that Seth Meyers worked in “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” with Amber and Jenny holding the mics for the minority stars in the room, and how unbelievably giddy I am for Sam Rockwell to win (but there’ll be more on him later). That’s how far we’re into the show so far.

Before I get into things, I wanna talk about something that was a huge part of my movie experience this year. Stardust. What started out as just another platform to push my blog, has become not only an obsession, but an amazing community that I am proud to be a part of. I have no words for how awesome it is to be having these huge film conversations every day with new friends all over the world. It’s been truly amazing, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next year.

Onward. Let’s start with the full list, then we’ll break it down.

Hidden Figures, 20th Century Women,A Monster CallsLive by Night,SplitThe FounderXXX: The Return of Xander Cage ,Gold, Elle, John Wick: Chapter 2, Fifty Shades Darker, The Lego Batman Movie, A Cure for Wellness ,John Wick: Chapter 2, The Great Wall, Get Out, Logan, Before I Fall, Personal Shopper, Kong: Skull IslandBeauty and the BeastThe Belko ExperimentT2 Trainspotting ChipsLife,Power Rangers,Ghost in the Shell The Zookeeper’s Wife Gifted ColossalGoing in StyleThe Fate of the FuriousFree FireThe CircleSleightGuardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2Buster’s Mal HeartThe Dinner King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Snatched Alien: Covenant Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Baywatch Wonder Woman The GodfatherThe Mummy It Comes at Night The Big Sick Wonder WomanCars 3The BeguiledRough NightTransformers: The Last KnightBaby DriverThe HouseDespicable Me 3Spider-man: HomecomingA Ghost StoryWar for the Planet of the ApesThe Little HoursDunkirkBaby DriverValerian and the City of a Thousand PlanetsAtomic BlondeDetroitThe Dark TowerLandlineThe Big Sick,KidnapThe Lion KingGirls TripThe Glass CastleGood TimeThe Hitman’s BodyguardLogan LuckyWind RiverIngrid Goes WestAnnabelle: CreationColumbusItClose Encounters of the Third KindMother!,American AssassinStrongerKingsman: The Golden CircleLego NinjagoBattle of the Sexes, FlatlinersAmerican MadeBlade Runner 2049Brawl in Cell Block 99Happy Death DayMarshallThe Florida ProjectThe ForeignerProfessor Marsten and the Wonder Women, The Snowman Tragedy GirlsVictoria and Abdul,The Killing of a Sacred Deer,Only the BraveJigsaw,SuburbiconThank You for Your Service, Beetlejuice, A Bad Mom’s Christmas, Thor: RagnarokLast Flag Flying, Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Daddy’s Home 2, Murder on the Orient Express, Justice League, Call Me By Your Name, Molly’s Game, Wonder, Roman J Israel Esp, Darkest Hour, Coco, The Disaster Artist, Novitiate, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, The Shape of Water, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I, Tonya, The Disaster Artist, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Greatest Showman, Downsizing, Ferdinand, Pitch Perfect 3,
All the Money in the World.

Hmm, it doesn’t look like much all scrunched up like that, but let’s do that math. The grand total was 134 movies minus 5 specials and minus 6 repeats equals a grand total of 123 distinct new movies in 2017, beating last year’s record by one. I didn’t count how many of them were on Movie Pass, but it was a lot

And now some nerdy stats, mostly to justify me keeping track of it all on a spreadsheet all year.

Looking by star ratings (on a scale of 4) we have
4 – 38 (solid year!!)
3.5 – 27
3 – 24
2.5 – 15
2 – 13
1.5 – 5
1 – 1
Clearly I’m still very generous with my star ratings.

Location stats are
Ace Hotel – 1
AMC Century City – 9
AMC Del Amo – 8
AMC Downtown Disney – 3
AMC Marina Dine In – 2
AMC Marina Marketplace – 17
AMC Rolling Hills – 7
Arclight Beach Cities – 2
Arclight Culver City – 4
Arclight Hollywood – 4
Chinese Theatre – 1
Cinemark Howard Hughes – 10
Cinemark Playa Vista – 14
DGA – 2
El Capitan – 1
Laemelle Santa Monica – 6
Los Feliz Theater – 1
Pacific at the Grove – 13
Regal Promenade – 5
The Landmark – 12
The Nuart – 1
(Totaling 123 at 21 theaters)
AMC Boston Common – 4
Somerville Theater – 1
(Totalling 5 at 2 theaters in Boston)
AMC River East – 2
(Totaling 2 at 1 theater in Chicago)
Alamo Drafthouse – 3
Hollywood Theaters – 1
(Totaling 4 at 2 theaters in Laredo)

One last list, by date
Jan – 8
Feb – 8
Mar – 11
Apr – 8
May – 8
Jun – 11
Jul – 10
Aug – 14
Sep – 11
Oct – 16
Nov – 14
Dec – 15

Oh and two movie premiers! (?!)

Okay okay, thanks for indulging me. Let’s get to the good stuff. The ranks. Starting with the bad stuff. (Remember, links for all of these are above. I’m too lazy to link them all over.) Also a reminder that the year is determined by the date I see the movie, not the date the movie is released.

I’ll begin with a very special Dishonorable Mention. The Emoji Movie. It likely would have been at the top (bottom?) of this list if I had seen it, but I was so turned off by reports that not only was it bad (which I could handle), but it was basically a giant ad, which is not why I go to the movies.

But here’s what I did see that should make me rethink my life. Part of me feels bad about including this list since I get that there’s a lot of work that goes into these films and I want to be respectful of that. But some of the choices on this list felt disrespectful to the audience by clearly putting profits above the audience.

5-The Little Hours – It should have been hilarious, but it never quite jelled. It was awkward and uncomfortable, and a snooze, despite the epic cast.
4-Annabelle: Creation – I’m picky about my horror, and while I know that lots of people dug this, I didn’t. I saw it as all jump scares, and no substance to make it transcende the usual pitfalls of the genre
3-A Ghost Story – Possibly the most divisive film of the year, and possibly a big blow to my street cred in putting it here. I get what it was going for, and I get that as art it was beautiful, but I need more to a movie than just Casey Affleck standing around in a sheet looking at things.
2-Transformers: The Last Night – Was this movie even trying? This is the epitome of something being thrown together just to get something on the screen (and ticket money in pockets), without caring if it made any sense.
1-The Snowman – I’m still seething that this reportedly incomplete movie was released, and we were expected to buy tickets for it. I really should have skipped it on principle.
Dishonorable mentions – Roman J Israel Esq, Suburbicon, The Foreigner

Okay, here’s the good stuff, beginning with a special honorable mention. I decided to disqualify Star Wars: The Last Jedi because I can’t be objective about the Wars. It’s hard to separate the experience from the film itself, and frankly, this was such a strong year, that I wanted to be able to feature more films on this list.

10-Happy Death Day – If this wasn’t the most fun movie of the past year, it was certainly at the very least the most unexpectedly fun movie of the year.
9(tie)-Wonder Woman – I cheated and declared a tie so I could squeeze in one more movie. And these two have a shared theme of girl power. I don’t put a lot of superhero movies on these lists (esp not a DC one), but Wonder Woman was a game changer. I did not know what I was missing in my cinematic life until I felt the emotions rise when the Amazons stormed the beach.
9(tie)-Hidden Figures – Another movie about strong ladies, that I didn’t know I was missing. I don’t think I’ve connected with female characters on an intellectual level before, like I did here. Imagine the world we could live in if all little girls grew up watching this.
8-Logan Lucky – Everything I loved about Ocean’s Eleven, in a whole new setting. Top cast, funny screenplay, and the twists and turns I loved. This might even be more fun than it’s spiritual sister film.
7-The Florida Project – I’m still devastated by this movie when I think about it. I’ve just never seen anything like it before, nor heard these stories before. I have no more words.
6-Wind River – This is how you build out a thriller. The pacing is perfection, and the mystery is so satisfying. And Jeremy Renner’s best performance in years as an added bonus!
5-Stronger – I know, there’s a lot of bias going into this one. Both from having done background work and because it’s a Boston movie. But even without that, this is a solid and inspiring film, led by a never better Jake Gyllenhaal.
4-Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – My favorite screenplay of the year, and my preemptive picks for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor (I was so stoked to see Sam pick up that Globe tonight), but we’ll be talking more about that in a future post. This film is smart and real and perfect.
3-Baby Driver – This movie actually had my top spot for a good chunk of the year before slipping down, then getting beat. But that doesn’t take away from how brilliant this film is. It’s very much my kinda movie, and it’s so perfectly constructed, and fun like nothing else.
2-The Big Sick – Maybe there’s a little bias because this was my first ever movie premiere, but even without that, this movie is so quirky and unique and amazing. I love the humor, I love the real life story, I love the cast. I just feel bad by the time I finally decided that this ranked above Baby, my number one came out a few days later
1-The Disaster Artist – The fact that I was more excited about seeing this for the second time than I was for the first (which was already a considerable level of excitement), tells you that this movie is something special. A lot of the movies I talked about on the list I say are “very me movies” and this is no exception. It’s strange and funny and emotional and smart and simply my favorite this year.
Honorable Mentions: John Wick 2, Detroit, Split, Girls Trip

And that’s a wrap on 2017. Here’s to breaking more records next year!