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Best of 2017

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on: December 13, 2017, 11:44:09 PM
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 12:13:43 AM by Jeremy Blackman »
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Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 11:49:49 PM
Phantom Thread
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
A Ghost Story
Beach Rats
Good Time
Lady Bird
Blade Runner 2049
The Square
It Happened in L.A.

"Twin Peaks: The Return"
"Nathan For You" - 'Finding Francis'

Ken Burns' The Vietnam War

The Shape of Water
Happy End
The Untamed
Get Out
Logan Lucky
Loving Vincent

Yet to see: The Other Side of Hope, No Stone Unturned, I Love You, Daddy, Winter Brothers, Nocturama

« Last Edit: April 07, 2018, 06:20:24 AM by wilder »


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Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 12:12:52 AM
for now, in order:

phantom thread
twin peaks: the return
the florida project
a quiet passion
faces places
the lost city of z
good time
marjorie prime
i am not your negro

lady bird, song to song, nocturama, columbus, logan lucky, free fire, john wick: chapter 2, baby driver

special nod to the snowman for being the most batshit insane catastrophe of a movie i've seen in a very long time.  thank god for moviepass.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 12:13:58 AM by Jeremy Blackman »


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Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 06:40:55 AM
For now (going to do some major catching up over the holidays)

1. Phantom Thread
2. Lady Bird
3. Personal Shopper
4. A Ghost Story
5. The Florida Project
6. Dunkirk
7. The Meyerowitz Stories: New and Selected
8. Good Time
9. The Beguiled
10. The Death of Louis XIV

Honorable Mention: The Post, Lucky, Trouble No More, Person to Person, Get Out, Spielberg, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, The Reagan Show, Band Aid, Five Came Back, The Vietnam War.

Yet to See:

Golden Exits
Rat Film
Faces, Places
The Ornithologist
A Fantastic Woman
Last Flag Flying
Twin Peaks: The Return
Blade Runner 2049
Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
Patti Cake$
My Friend Dahmer
Logan Lucky
Call Me By Your Name
Fox Trot
Ex Libris
A Quiet Passion
Song To Song
The face in the misty light...


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Reply #4 on: December 22, 2017, 09:04:14 PM
2017 Critics Poll: Best Films and Performances by 200 Critics


“Get Out” (713 points)
“Lady Bird” (673 points)
“Dunkirk” (549 points)
“Phantom Thread” (368 points)
“The Florida Project” (348 points)
“The Shape of Water” (324 points)
“Call Me By Your Name” (312 points)
“Personal Shopper” (296 points)
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (245 points)
“The Post” (140 points)

Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread” (18.3%)
Luca Guadagnino, “”Call Me By Your Name” (11.6%)
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” (10%)
Sean Baker, “The Florida Project” (8.5%)
Jordan Peele, “Get Out” (6%)


Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird” (20%)
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (17%)
Cynthia Nixon, “A Quiet Passion” (11.76%)
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water” (12.4%)
Kristen Stewart, “Personal Shopper” (9%)

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name” (26.43%)
Daniel Day Lewis, “Phantom Thread” (15%)
Robert Pattinson, “Good Time” (12.86%)
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist” (11.4%)
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out” (10.71%)
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” (10.71%)


Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird” (35.1%)
Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip” (16.67%)
Alison Janney, “I, Tonya” (13.4%)
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread” (8%)
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick” (3.62%)
Michelle Pfeiffer, “mother!” (3.62%)

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project” (35.21%)
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (15.49%)
Armie Hammer, “Call Me By Your Name” (13.38%)
Michael Stuhlbarg, “Call Me By Your Name” (12.68%)
Jason Mitchell, “Mudbound” (5.63%)

“Faces Places” (33.86%)
“Dawson City: Frozen Time” (15.75%)
“Ex Libris — The New York Public Library” (8.66%)
“Kedi” (5.51%)
“Jane” (3.94%)
“Rat Film” (3.94%)
“I Called Him Morgan” (2.36%)

“Get Out” (28.36%)
“Lady Bird” (16.42%)
“Phantom Thread” (14.18%)
“Call Me By Your Name” (12%)
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (7.46%)


“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” (14.84%)
“Faces Places” (13.28%)
“The Square” (7.03%)
“Raw” (7.8%)
“Thelma” (6.25%)

“Blade Runner 2049” (35.51%)
“Dunkirk” (15.49%)
“Phantom Thread” (7.04%)
“Call Me By Your Name” (6.34%)
“The Shape of Water” (6.34%)

“Coco” (32.61%)
“The Breadwinner” (23.91%)
“Loving Vincent” (16.3%)
“The Lego Batman” (11.96%)
“My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” (8.7%)
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Reply #6 on: December 29, 2017, 07:05:31 PM
Pedro Almodóvar (“All About My Mother”)

“Phantom Thread” (Paul Thomas Anderson): A real feast. Even though the author confesses his fascination for mysterious love stories, there are no clues to follow this masterpiece by P.T. Anderson. Every sequence is a surprise. This film is the portrait of a genius, of his egocentricity and his contempt for everything that isn’t related to his work, and of the wonderfully ordinary woman who manages to tame him. The three protagonists deliver masterly performances. And Jonny Greenwood proves himself as the best composer of the year. If it is true that Daniel Day Lewis says goodbye to acting with this role, he does so brilliantly. He nails this role.

“A Ghost Story” (David Lowery): This is a film about a disoriented ghost who comes back home to console his wife (obviously, after his death). She cannot see him, which is very sad. The ghost is covered with a sheet from head to toe with two holes as eyes, exactly as we imagined ghosts when we were kids, or at least the way I imagined them. It’s a beautiful film about the loss, the pain and the passing of time. Even if you find the first sequences a bit too long, be patient, the wait is worth the effort.

Ana Lily Amirpour (“The Bad Batch”)

“Phantom Thread”: I can’t fucking rave about this movie enough. The performances, the cinematography, and that music… OOOF. This is euphoric cinema. So emotional and deeply honest about the conflict between romantic love and the megalomania of an artist. I’ve seen it twice and can’t wait to watch it again. And again. PTA for the win.

Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”)

1. “A Ghost Story”

Daniel Kwan (“Swiss Army Man”)

“A Ghost Story”: This tiny film managed to expand my view of time, and my place in it, with the smallest of gestures, the simplest of cuts, and a 9 minute shot of Rooney Mara eating pie. Even though I unabashedly love this movie, I don’t find myself recommending it to others as much as I probably should. Partially because this movie feels like its mine, and selfishly I don’t want anyone else to have it, which is something I probably haven’t felt for a movie since I was in college. I remember leaving the theater and thinking to myself, if I ever watched it again, it’d be by myself in an empty theater because I would need the extra space for my soul to stretch.

Matt Ross (“Captain Fantastic”)

“The Phantom Thread”: Last year I mentioned in passing (when referencing his Radiohead music video, “Daydreaming”) that I think Paul Thomas Anderson is the most exciting American filmmaker working today. This film just re-confirms that. I’m still processing what this film is “about:” the mystery of love, the impossibility of understanding a relationship from the outside (that is – if one is not in it)? Regardless, it’s a sensorial delight, a beguiling story that hums with mystery (the human condition kind, not the narrative kind). It cast a spell that I don’t fully understand and that hasn’t left me for days after seeing it.

“A Ghost Story”: If there was a film this year with more soul – please show it to me. Such a quiet and simple meditation; it’s intimate and expansive, all at once. I’m not sure why exactly, but it also gave me hope in humanity. Exquisite filmmaking by David Lowery.

Justin Simien (“Dear White People”)

“Phantom Thread”: I wait for a P.T. Anderson film the way I imagine people used to wait for a Kubrick film. Whether you’re going to enjoy the film or not, one can be sure it is going to be audacious, challenging, brilliantly crafted and unlike anything else. He’s one of few working filmmakers who consistently keep cinema exciting by daring to experiment while also remaining (to varying degrees, depending on who you ask) accessible. The thought that this (may) be Daniel Day Lewis’ last, and some say best, performance is icing.

Max Winkler (“Flower”)

“Phantom Thread”: He is the master. That is all. I do think more people need to talk about Vicky Krieps though. She goes toe to toe with maybe the greatest and perhaps at times the most intimidating film actor of any generation and she remains calm and fearless and throws everything right back to him with as little as a look.


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Reply #7 on: December 29, 2017, 07:18:05 PM
Matt Ross (“Captain Fantastic”)

“The Phantom Thread”: the impossibility of understanding a relationship from the outside (that is – if one is not in it)


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Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 09:29:49 AM
I saw 87 flicks this year, 75 in theaters (thank you Godly moviepass). My average theatrical outings in the past 10 years is about 20-23 a year, so seeing this many is nuts. Here's what rocked my cradle.

Top 10

Phantom Thread: Reaching as close to perfection as possible, this operatic dark romance will stand the test of time, remaining the towering masterpiece that it is way, way down the line. Luxuriating in obsessive work and sacred routines, Phantom Thread presents a skewed vision of discovering how to live with a significant other when the thought of it seems impossible. Daniel Day-Lewis is as focused as ever, and his two female co-stars are game to match his intensity. A more beautiful film is hard to imagine.

Dunkirk: If anyone can pull off a time-warping WWII survival epic, it’s Christopher Nolan. Doing away with traditional storylines and character development, we’re thrust into an unimaginably horrid situation and experience the intensity of warfare on land, sea, and air. It’s like the “Private Ryan” D-day invasion for two hours minus the graphic imagery.

Detroit: Recreating another historic, albeit much more minor, moment in history is Kathryn Bigelow, showing us the heated racism of 60’s Detroit and a tragic event that unfolded in a dingy motel that led to the loss of three innocent youths by the hands of police. The actual centerpiece, comprising about 40 minutes of the film, is as taut and stomach churning as imaginable. What gives this film its heft is how it leads us through the origin of the riots that allowed the motel tragedy to transpire and the aftermath that allows countless other similar race motivated tragedies to occur. Algee Smith stands out most from the ensemble with a stirring, painful performance.

Logan: I know it’s a comic book movie, but not since “The Dark Knight” has one been this perfect, transcending the usual fantasist tropes and grounding itself in the brutality of real world mire. Violent with a capital V, this final chapter in the Wolverine saga is an emotional stab to the gut that left me stunned as no action film has in many years. Child actress Dafne Keen steals the show.

The Shape of Water:  The second most beautiful romance of the year, love between a mute woman and a Creature from the Black Lagoon like monster, is Guillermo Del Toro’s latest grand scale fairy tale, giving new meaning to Kermit’s “It’s Not Easy Being Green”. A sumptuous story that is so well told, it was easy dismissing the minor flaws in the plot’s mechanism. It’s like an updating of Frankenstein mixed with the best of Hollywood conventions. Much of the imagery stayed with me for a long time, as the filmmaker’s love for the film is so palpable that getting swept up in his affection is effortless.

A Ghost Story: Deep beyond words, “A Ghost Story” was easily the most unsettling film this year, scaring the pants off me through the cogitation of existence and essentially the meaning of life. It’s the type of film that penetrates the soul; staying in thought long after leaving the theatre and forcing us to evaluate the unanswerable questions that nag our mind from time to time, mainly why are we here, and what happens after expiration?  Encompassing everything from grief to attachment, rarely has the inevitability of time passing-by and death occurring felt this powerful. Through the celestial protagonist we are reminded of what it’s like to be a human being.

Blade Runner 2049:  An epic sci-fi detective story that far exceeded my expectations, Denis Villeneuve’s follow up to Ridley Scott’s beloved classic evokes the milieu of its predecessor while taking its premise further than any sequel has ever had the right to. Deliberately paced and filled with more visual wonder than anything I’ve seen this year, this new “Blade Runner” was dismissed by a lot of people as too long and boring, but I would have easily endured a longer cut.

Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri: A steaming kettle of a movie that doesn’t stop boiling until all liquid has evaporated, “Three Billboards” encapsulates the tormenting rage experienced by people struck with unimaginable tragedy. Although tone oscillates from sad to funny in ways that left a lot of folk confused, I couldn’t help being taken into this fictionalized small town setting and the folk living there. Sam Rockwell’s savage beating of Caleb Landry Jones, scored to the haunting track “His Master’s Voice” by indie rock band Monsters of Folk, is one for the books.

mother!: On first view I dismissed Darren Aronofsky’s latest as an indulgent allegorical mess, but something nagged at me to give it another shot because I haven’t seen something this out-there in major release on the big screen in a very  long time. Second viewing still left the indulgent allegory intact, with a strong dismissal of the first dismissal as well as the mess. Not since “The Fountain” has Aronofsky taken such ballsy risks that pay off big time. 

Stronger: One of those life-affirming movies that are usually steeped in sap, “Stronger” stands out by not sugarcoating life’s cruelest adversities, like this year’s “Breathe” kind of did. With incredible performances by Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany, this was a very simple story told in a very humanistic way. One of the last scenes where Jeff Bauman is stopped by a stranger in a ball game who wants to tell him how inspirational his story is feels so real it’s hard not to lose it.

and 17 19 other titles I really liked (kind of in order)

The Post
The Darkest Hour
Wind River
Get Out (need to rewatch, very distracting moviegoing experience with horrible people who did not shut the fuck up, so a blu view is in order)
Good Time
Molly’s Game
One Week and a Day
I Don’t Feel Safe In This World Anymore
Logan Lucky
A Quiet Passion
Personal Shopper
The Beguiled
Atomic Blonde
The Lost City of Z
Baby Driver
and here's some films I need to see that could potentially make the list:

Okja, The Meyerowitz Story, I Am Not Your Negro, Raw, Thelma,, Una, Mayhem, Blackcoat’s Daughter, After the Storm, Elian, Other Side of Hope, Song to Song, The Wall, Megan Leavy, Landline, Faces Places, Lucky, Happy End, Star Wars.

and here's everything I saw on 35mm in 2017 (this is in addition to the 75. damn, I really spent many evenings at the movies)

A Nightmare on Elm Street, Lost Highway, The Crow, Back to the Future II, Videodrome, Tommy, Scarface, Pieces, Taxi Driver, Reservoir Dogs, Suspiria, Don’t Go In the House, Evil Dead, Death Becomes Her, Deep Red, Casino, Goodfellas, Baby Driver, West Side Story (70mm), Ghostbusters (70mm), No Country for Old Men.


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Reply #9 on: March 01, 2018, 01:18:43 PM
I still have a few films I'd like to see, but I'm comfortable with this being my top 5 of the year (apologies to JB)

1. Twin Peaks: The Return
2. A Ghost Story
3. Phantom Thread
4. Coco
5. Get Out
He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.

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Reply #10 on: March 19, 2018, 08:08:51 PM
1. mother!
2. Phantom Thread
3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
4. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
5. Thor: Ragnarok
6. Blade Runner 2049
7. Get Out
8. Lady Bird
9. A Ghost Story
10. Logan

Despite having a PTA picture in the mix, number one was actually easy... mother! is my favorite film of the last several years by a comfortable margin.

I won't apologize for Thor: Ragnarok. It's a masterpiece.

I saw Ragnarok, Star Wars, and Blade Runner in IMAX, which I'm sure hugely affected their rank.

A Ghost Story would be much higher in an average year, but this was kind of a spectacular movie year in my experience.

Lady Bird was a late entry on this list, and I'm so glad I waited. It's one of the most soulful and truthful movies I've seen in a long time.

I originally envisioned Get Out very near the top, but for whatever reason it just didn't have the same impact on rewatch, so I feel like I should be honest about that.

#10 was kind of a tossup between a few different movies, but I went with my heart and chose Logan, despite its flaws.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 09:45:14 PM by Jeremy Blackman »
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