The Best & Worst Of 2017 – Motion Picture Maniac

The Best & Worst Of 2017 – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac Year In Review

Remember when the disappointment that was 2016 ended and we all toasted to 2017 hopefully proving to be better? Didn’t exactly meet expectations did it? Last year many of our favourite celebrities passed away, this year many of those left have turned out to be sex offenders – go team. But anyway, just like last year I’ve had to stretch my film lists out from top 10’s to top 20’s, which could be seen as a good thing, an indication that there were enough good films to warrant a longer list but then, you remember, the same goes for the bad list.

What can I say; this year was long and depressing, the year before it was long and depressing and, realistically, the next year will probably be long and depressing also; happy days! So here we go, the best films of the year and… the other list, along with some other fun considerations because why not? Of course there were some well-regarded films I was unable to see like Call Me By Your Name and Brigsby Bear and I do hate that I missed them but hey, what can I do?

 

Best Films Of 2017

  1. Dunkirk – (Film of the year, a perfectly shot single feature length action sequence rife with lethal intensity, brutal sound design and gargantuan production value; all of which transpire to do justice to real life heroes)
  2. Blade Runner 2049
  3. Wind River
  4. A Ghost Story
  5. Wonder Woman
  6. Loving Vincent
  7. Thor: Ragnarok
  8. Song To Song
  9. War For The Planet Of The Apes
  10. Mother
  11. American Made
  12. It Comes At Night
  13. Lego Batman
  14. John Wick Chapter 2
  15. Logan
  16. Battle Of The Sexes
  17. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  18. It
  19. The Disaster Artist
  20. Atomic Blonde

 

Honourable Mentions

The Beguiled

The Killing of a sacred deer

Detroit

Double date

Only the brave

T2 Trainspotting

Okja

Get Out

Baby driver

Spiderman homecoming

 

Special Sympathy Mention:

Justice League

 

Worst Films Of 2017

  1. The Shack – (Worst film of the year, one of the most morally bankrupt, self satisfied, arrogant and offensive pieces of propaganda garbage I have ever seen in my life, it’s not just bad, it’s hurtful and dangerous)
  2. The Bye-Bye Man
  3. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
  4. Unforgettable
  5. Everything, Everything
  6. Girl’s Trip
  7. The Snowman
  8. Flatliners
  9. The Zookeeper’s Wife
  10. The Sense Of An Ending
  11. Hampstead
  12. Unlocked
  13. The Emoji Movie
  14. The House
  15. Daddy’s Home 2
  16. CHiPS
  17. Bitter Harvest
  18. Overdrive
  19. Transformers: The Last Knight
  20. Fifty Shades Darker

 

Dis-Honourable Mentions

Geostorm

The Star

A Bad Mom’s Christmas

The Space Between Us

Wish Upon

Fist Fight

Table 19

The Book Of Henry

Snatched

Rings

 

 

15 Favourite Action Sequences

Pretty much everything in “The Air” – Dunkirk

Silo Hostage Rescue And Subsequent Battle – Justice League

No Man’s Land – Wonder Woman

Bifrost Bridge Battle – Thor: Ragnarok

Stairwell Fight – Atomic Blonde

Helicopter Swatting – Kong: Skull Island

Hocus Pocus – Baby Driver

The Battle Of Crate – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Drill Sight Massacre – Wind River

Art Gallery Shootout – John Wick Chapter 2

Aero Baby Rescue – Fate Of The Furious

Throne Room Slaughter – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Steppenwolf In Themyscira – Justice League

K VS Luv – Blade Runner 2049

Opening Sequence – John Wick Chapter 2

 

 

Favourite Villainous Performances

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Ciaran Hinds as Steppenwolf – Justice League

Jamie Foxx as Bats – Baby Driver

Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster – Thor: Ragnarok

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise The Dancing Clown – It

Sylvia Hoeks as Luv – Blade Runner 2049

Will Poulter as Krauss – Detroit

Woody Harrelson as The Colonel – War For The Planet Of The Apes

Ruby Rose as Ares – John Wick Chapter 2

Robert Carlyle as Francis Begbie – T2 Trainspotting

 

 

Best On-Screen Couples (Romantic, Bromantic Or Otherwise)

David and Walter – Alien: Covenant

Thor and… his Hammer – Thor: Ragnarok

K and Joi – Blade Runner 2049

Hobbs and Deckard – Fate Of The Furious

Billie-Jean and Marilyn – Battle Of The Sexes

Greg and Tommy – The Disaster Artist

Rocket and Baby Groot – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Wolverine and X23 – Logan

Batman and Superman – Justice League

Bryce and Kincaid – The Hitman’s Bodyguard

 

 

Special Awards

Best Opening Credit Sequence: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Best Use Of Music In Correlation To The Visuals: Blade Runner 2049 – “Sea Wall”

Pottymouth Of The Year: Robert Carlyle – T2 Trainspotting

Most Interesting Style: TIE – Loving Vincent/A Ghost Story

Best SFX: War For The Planet Of The Apes

Most Immersive Camera Movements: Justice League

Funniest Line (Intentional): “I’m gonna knock your teeth so far down your throat you’re gonna stick a toothbrush right up your ass to brush em” – Fate Of The Furious

Funniest Line (Unintentional): “Blow into the hole gently, I’ll do the fingering” – Alien: Covenant

Captain Obvious Award: Josh Duhamel, Transformers: The Last Knight – “Look, it’s a big alien ship”

Guilty Pleasure Of The Year: TIE – xXx: Return Of Xander Cage/Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Notable Face-Palm Of The Year: Fakest Sneeze Of All Time – The Bye-Bye Man

Done and dusted, recalling and sifting through the stuff I liked about the year was great fun, doing the same for what I didn’t like bloody hurt. Oh I wonder what the next year will hold, not just regarding the movies but the politics, the sociology, the very backbone of public opinion… who am I kidding, it’s gonna suck, it’ll all suck and we should probably all just save time by taking turns gleefully leaping into a giant deadly shit hole to boil and desolve to death.

 

Happy New Year.

Motion Picture Maniac 

Grosse Pointe Geek’s Round Up of 2017

Grosse Pointe Geek’s Round Up of 2017

A Blog Grosse Point Geek
Another year goes by and like very much like 2016 its been a mighty disappointing one for us film geeks.

The blockbuster season (which started in about April) was without doubt the worst i have ever known – littered with remakes, sequels and reboots that proved there is a total lack of any new ideas flowing through Hollywood at the moment. Time and again it seemed that millions of dollars had been simply thrown away on the likes of utter rubbish such The Dark Tower, Valerian, King Arthur and that awful Transformers sequel, with nary a single  passing thought to investing in creating proper stories, decent scripts or even a hint at actual risk taking.  Instead, for the most part  we got nothing more than good looking dross aimed at the 12A moron crowd who wouldn’t know a proper film if it came up and bit them on the arse.

What  is painfully obvious is that the film industry as a whole needs to completely take stock, cease trying to create the next expanded universe or indulging talentless idiots like Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay and (whisper it) Luc Besson and start delivering edgy, daring material that at least has a go at being original, thought provoking and dare i say it  – not solely aimed at the average 12 year old boy, then maybe we would have a chance of far more satisfying years at the cinema than this one turned out to be.

I will concede that it wasn’t all bad as there were a few shining lights. Logan proved to be the best X-Men film since X2, Dunkirk solidified Christopher Nolan as one of the greatest directors working in Hollywood today, Thor Ragnarok was utterly insane and turned out to be the funniest and most enjoyable standalone film of the MCU universe, Fast 8 was great fun and Star Wars The Last Jedi was fantastic, in addition some smaller more independent films also managed to impress  – the likes of Wind River, Manchester By The Sea, Molly’s Game, Lion and A Monster Calls were all top notch. Plus there were some great performances  –  Chris Evans, Andy Serkis, Adam Driver, Jessica Chastain, Mark Rylance  and many others all did very well in challenging and memorable roles that impressed critics and audiences alike.

However, despite this i still have to say that over all this year was sadly a massive let down and one can only hope that 2018 is a significant improvement……we live in hope.

So without further ado please see below my personal list of the good, bad and in many cases very ugly films of 2017.

Top Ten Best

  1. Dunkirk
  2. Thor Ragnarok
  3. Star Wars The Last Jedi
  4. A Monster Calls
  5. Manchester By The Sea
  6. Lion
  7. Spiderman Homecoming
  8. Blade Runner 2049
  9. Logan
  10. War For The Planet of The Apes

Top Ten Honorary Mentions  

  1. Wind River
  2. Molly’s Game
  3. Gifted
  4. Wheelman (catch it on Netflix  – its great)
  5. Fast 8
  6. Hacksaw Ridge
  7. John Wick Chapter 2
  8. Wonder Woman
  9. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2
  10. The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Top Fifteen Worst:

  1. Transformers:The Last Knight (the cinematic equivalent of being disemboweled with a blunt spoon then slowly and choked to death with ones own entrails – I HATED this film)
  2. Underworld 5 (god-awful rubbish)
  3. XXX3: The Return of Xander Cage (at least 15 years out of date, bereft of entertainment value and utterly juvenile to boot)
  4. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (horribly crass, overlong and an insult to the brilliant original)
  5. The Discovery (torpor inducing nonsense)
  6. The Snowman (considering the talent in front and behind the camera it beggared belief as to how rotten this film was)
  7. Ghost In The Shell (boring and bland in the extreme)
  8. Free Fire (crap)
  9. Unlocked (mega crap)
  10. King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (a misfire and a complete mess of gargantuan proportions)
  11. Silence (Scorsese’s $40 million dollar vanity project that was, without a shadow of a doubt THE most boring cinematic experience I have ever had in my entire life)
  12. The Bye Bye Man (just bad bad bad)
  13. The Dark Tower (a catastrophic waste of time and money  – how this version of Stephen King’s classic novels managed to get the green light from the studio I will never know)
  14. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (Johnny was good value as always but this moribund franchise needs to end with immediate effect)
  15. Assassins Creed (good looking film but could have been so much better)

Top Fifteen Favorite Performances:

  1. Chris Evans  – Gifted
  2. Mckenna Grace  – Gifted
  3. Hugh Jackman  – Logan
  4. Mark Rylance  – Dunkirk
  5. Ryan Reynolds  – The Hitman’s Bodyguard
  6. Frank Grillo – Wheelman
  7. Jessica Chastain  –  Molly’s Game
  8. Adam Driver  – Star Wars The Last Jedi
  9. Mark Hamill – Star Wars The Last Jedi
  10. Chris Hemsworth – Thor Ragnarok
  11. Jeff Goldblum – Thor Ragnarok
  12. Dwayne Johnson  – Fast 8
  13. Chris Pine – Wonder Woman
  14. Andy Serkis – War For The Planet Of The Apes
  15. Tom Holland – Spiderman Homecoming

Top Ten Best Action Scenes:

1.Star Wars The Last Jedi: The final battle – Chewie and Rey arrive in the Falcon in the nick of time

2.Thor Ragnarok – That god almighty scrap on the Bifrost Bridge – all brilliantly played out to Led Zepellin’s classic Immigrant Song

3.Star Wars The Last Jedi – The Throne Room Lightsabre duel

4.Dunkirk: Tom Hardy’s RAF spitfire pilot desperately tries to bring down a German Bomber before it kills scores of soldiers who are stranded the water plus pleasure boat captain Mr Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his son Peter -total edge of the seat, nail biting stuff –  all together now “Come on Farrier!”

5. Fast 8  – Jason Statham (plus very cute baby) vs an entire plane load of baddies

6. Fast 8 – Dwayne Johnson vs speeding torpedo

7. Wonder Woman – The No Man’s Land dash

8. Spiderman Homecoming  – The Washington Monument rescue sequence

9. Justice League – The League’s first proper battle with Steppenwolf and the Para Demons

10. Thor Ragnarok  – Thor vs The Hulk


Best One liners:

  1. “Im gonna shove your teeth so far down your throat that your gonna have to shove a toothbrush up your ass to clean ’em!”  – Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) – Fast 8
  2. “Im gonna beat you like a Cherokee drum!” Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson – again) – Fast 8
  3. “By the beard of Odin you will not cut my hair!”  Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – Thor Ragnarok
  4. “Please kind sir do not cut my hair!”  – Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – Thor Ragnarok
  5. “I have legendarily huge turds”  – Drax (Dave Bautista) – Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2
  6. “What the F….!!!!!” Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) Spiderman: Homecoming

Right, there we have it – my work here is done for another year  – as ever i would like to thank my dear friend Phil Hobden for letting me contribute to this fantastic website  (despite the fact that he is still remains to be utterly wrong about Paul WS Anderson and The Hobbit Trilogy!) and finally my heartfelt thanks go out to all our loyal readers  (whoever the hell you are)

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

My name is Will Strong and i’ve been Grosse Pointe Geek.

The Snowman – Motion Picture Maniac

The Snowman – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

I am at a complete loss for words, Michael Fassbender is a terrific actor, in fact the entire cast of The Snowman is rather impressive, Tomas Alfredson is a perfectly capable director and I hear the source material is rather good. So why then, after the credits to this absolute disaster of a film begin rolling, am I left with a confused headache like I’ve just been forced to eat snow to the point of brain freeze and listen to Val Kilmer’s horrendously dubbed voice on a continuous loop… in Siberia… with the flu… and covered in decomposing puke?

Ok enough with the nonsense.

The Snowman is an incoherent and embarrassing crime mystery film about… well, the story itself is what constitutes the mystery bit I think. Michael Fassbender plays a supposedly brilliant but alcoholic detective name Hairy Hole, er I mean Harry Hole (we know he’s brilliant because a character, at one time, mentions that he’s a legend and that’s about the extent of that) and he’s looking for a serial killer; or is he??? The trailer would have you believe such rubbish, that this is a se7en-in-the-snow type manhunt crime thriller but it really isn’t, it’s just a boring and plodding mish-mash of nothingness that doesn’t make any sense.

The murders are in there and there’s a reminder every now and again that someone really aught to get on them some time soon but, for the most part, it’s about Mr Hole’s troubled family life, J. K. Simmons as a sexually corrupted high ranking member of society who wants some event to happen where he wants it to happen and flashbacks involving Val Kilmer sporting the worst audio dubbed voice I’ve ever heard since the last Kung-Fu flick. Even the director himself has said that important story points and scenes are indeed missing because the schedule to shoot the damn thing was way too short and I believe it entirely.

That seems to be the root of all the problems here, why the action scenes are dull, why the camera appears to have always been just sat there and pointed at the actors, why it really does look like most of the story has been kidnapped by a lunatic and the actors often seem aimless and without any real direction to follow; it’s all just incomprehensible mindlessness. The film even opens with obvious audio dubbing, a child looks out of a window and spouts something that feels detached from the same plain of existence as him and the film never does anything to improve, just add more crap onto the pile before setting it ablaze.

It’s the kind of incoherence that makes me wonder how underrated movies like Sucker Punch were ever criticised for such a thing, I want to say “what, you thought that was incoherent? You don’t know what incoherence is, here, watch The Snowman and then get back to me”. A character gets his head shot off and the CGI works about as well as a jellyfish in an orgy, cast members like Chloe Sevigny are so badly wasted it makes you wonder why they even bothered, the dialogue and character motivations feel pulled straight out of the big book-o-crime thriller clichés and I already mentioned how the whole damn thing makes no sense right? Well I’m going to say it again: IT’S ALL A BIG WASTE OF TIME AND MAKES NO BLOODY SENSE.

You think paying attention will get you somewhere? Oh dear me, I tried paying attention to this, I really wanted to know how all this nonsense with J. K. Simmons and Val Kilmer would all piece together but investing such effort will only end in frustration fuelled migraines. I like the film just gives up and leaves everything hanging in the air, which I know to be true because the director said they didn’t even shoot everything they needed to shoot to make the story make sense!!! I give this film two stars instead of one because the cast really did their best with the material at hand (sometimes being little more than an instruction for Charlotte Gainsbourg to hump and grind Michael Fassbender for some reason) and there are some ok pretty looking scenery establishing shots I can’t deny look very nice but everything else just fell flat on its face.

This film is a mystery all right, it’s a mystery how it was approved, why the shooting schedule was so unreasonably tight to the point where not everything could even be filmed and what the story even is, I mean seriously, what is it??? It’s… It’s… It’s just all over the place, it’s a puzzle with at least half the pieces missing, a Frankenstein monster without lungs, liver or beating heart and therefore – without soul.

 

Motion Picture Maniac 

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #075 – The Snowman, The LEGO Ninjago Movie

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #075 – The Snowman, The LEGO Ninjago Movie

The Podcasts The Smoking Lamb Podcast

It’s The Smoking Lamb Movie Podcast. A weekly, no-holds-baa-aa-arred, and R-rated look at the world of movies.

On this episode: With everyone else away, it is up for the Co-Runners to take charge as Mike and Josh handle this on their own. We have two very different films to review this week in The Snowman and The LEGO Ninjago Movie. Plus, a Top 5 on Movie Weapons!!!!

Check it out and BLEAT THE WORLD and don’t forget to follow up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

#TheSmokingLamb #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts #FilmPodcast