Well, here it is, folks. Yet another year-end list to add to your endless list of other year-end lists. To be completely honest, I absolutely despise writing top ten lists, especially when it comes to my favorite movies of the year, because that task usually involves me sitting at my desk for hours upon hours while arguing with myself about which movies should go where on my list. It truly is one of the most difficult things when it comes to producing our year-end coverage. Anyway, chances are, you’ve probably skipped over this paragraph and have already started scrolling through my list, so I’m going to stop writing now and will present my top ten movies of 2017. Here we go:
10. Beach Rats
“I’ve been really fucked up lately.” The follow-up to Eliza Hittman’s debut feature It Felt Like Love is a hypnotic, searingly intimate portrait of an aimless Brooklyn teenager who is slowly, but surely, coming to terms with his sexuality while scouring hookup sites for older men in his free time. It’s Beach Rats‘ ending, though, that truly sticks and helps shine on a light on Internet-related violence in the LGBTQ community. It’s been a fantastic year for queer cinema.
Darren Aronofsky’s audacious psychological horror tale mother! is the work of an absolute madman; it’s disturbing, frightening, and deeply unsettling. However, here we are, nearly four months after the film opened in theaters and created quite a stir, and I still can’t stop thinking about this absurd, deeply personal story about fame, relationships, and, most importantly, mother nature. Never have I ever had such a weirdly complicated love-hate relationship with a film before. Thanks, Mr. Aronofsky, you sick bastard.
8. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
What is perhaps the most controversial Star Wars film to date also happens to be my favorite installment in the long-running intergalactic franchise created by George Lucas in 1977. Rian Johnson’s exhilarating Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a dazzling, gorgeously put-together sci-fi action extravaganza and features an exciting story, obviously handled with much love and care by Johnson in both his writing and direction, led by an outstanding diverse cast of characters.
Thanks to my friend and colleague Sam Mauro for turning me on to Bertrand Bonello’s exhilarating terrorism thriller Nocturama (another film shrouded in controversy, even before its release) earlier this year, otherwise, chances are, I never would’ve even heard of it. Scored to a mesmerizing electronic soundtrack created by Bonello himself, Nocturama takes it time and tests your patience, yet, is somehow still infused with so much energy and excitement over the course of its 130-minute runtime.
Shot on location in Columbus, Indiana, Kogonada’s beautiful, atmospheric directorial feature debut is as compelling as it is relatable. The gorgeous modernist architecture, the undeniable chemistry between the dynamic duo that is Haley Lu Richardson and John Cho, Hammock’s breathtaking ambient score; each aspect of Columbus is so delicate, so exquisite, and so very moving in ways that only the film itself can explain.
5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Martin McDonagh’s darkly comic Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri never fails to entertain with its messy narrative and oddball characters as it follows a mother hellbent on seeking justice for her daughter’s murder case after months go by without any new developments. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell are extraordinary in their respective roles, while Carter Burwell’s folksy score adds a nice layer of authenticity to this peculiar tale of redemption.
4. Get Out
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out came at a time when America (and the rest of the world) needed a film like this the most. Labeled “a documentary” by the writer-director himself after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association nominated the film in their musical/comedy category, Get Out is a speculative thriller as much as it is a social commentary, and it so brilliantly achieves exactly what it set out to do.
3. Good Time
If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably already know that I’ve reaped more than enough praise for Josh and Benny Safdie’s head-spinning, adrenalized fifth feature Good Time starring Robert Pattinson. It’s a hypnotic crime-thriller like no other and will chew you up and spit you back out over the course of its 99-minute runtime as it takes you on a late-night odyssey through the streets of New York City where chaos seems to be waiting around every corner.
2. Lady Bird
A24 was responsible for handling the distribution of some pretty amazing films this year, but, quite frankly, nothing tops Greta Gerwig’s outstanding directorial debut Lady Bird. Saoirse Ronan and her incredible supporting cast, which includes Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, and Beanie Feldstein, all shine in this heartfelt tale chronicling the turbulent bond between a hard-working mother and her teenage daughter in 2002 Sacramento.
1. Call Me by Your Name
Luca Guadagnino’s intoxicating new film about first love Call Me by Your Name is such a pleasure to watch. It’s lush, erotic, riveting and, above all, simply delightful. Sayombhu Mukdeeprom’s stunning 35mm cinematography captures the lives of Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) so beautifully, while the film’s soundtrack accompanies this relaxing, peaceful, spellbinding journey of romance so well. It’s a film that hasn’t left my mind since I first saw it.
Woody Allen just self-released the trailer for ‘A Rainy Day in New York’ on his Facebook page
It was once thought that Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York, the film at the center of the director’s $68 million lawsuit against Amazon, would never see the light of day given the rise of the #MeToo movement and renewed attention towards the sexual abuse accusations made against Allen by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.
However, that no longer seems to be the case as a trailer for A Rainy Day in New York popped up on yesterday Allen’s official Facebook page, revealing our first look at the film starring Timothée Chalamet and Elle Fanning as a young couple who arrive in New York City to spend a weekend together.
It wasn’t up until January of last year, though, that literally almost everybody involved with this project slowly began to distance themselves from it, with many of the film’s stars donating their salaries to charity and Amazon Studios shelving the movie indefinitely.
This, of course, did not bode well with Allen, prompting him to take Amazon to New York federal court, where he’s asking for a $68 million payday in a case that is still pending.
Now, on one hand, I applaud Amazon for taking such great lengths to distance themselves from an accused child molester and all-around creep like Woody Allen. On the other hand, though, I say fuck them for even getting into business with an accused child molester and all-around creep like Woody Allen in the first place.
Amazon could’ve avoided this whole situation had they not signed a multi-million dollar five-picture deal with Allen to begin with, especially after he made that god-awful Crisis in Six Scenes miniseries for them a few years ago.
Case in point: don’t work with Woody Allen under any circumstances, folks.
Anyway, a couple of overseas distributors have said that they’re willing to release Allen’s movie despite his questionable past and the sexual abuse allegations against him, hence this new trailer for A Rainy Day in New York, which you can check out below:
Oh god, the cast of Mel Gibson’s very unnecessary remake of ‘The Wild Bunch’ is actually pretty good
As if I wasn’t already Mad Online™ enough today, Deadline has broken the news that Michael Fassbender, Jamie Foxx, and Peter Dinklage are all in talks to join the cast of Mel Gibson‘s remake of Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 Western classic The Wild Bunch.
Gibson is co-writing the movie along with Bryan Bagby, who has not had a credit on any film since 2000’s L.I.N.X. (whatever the fuck that is), in addition to executive producing. It’s his first directing effort since 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge.
Now, don’t get me wrong—Fassbender, Foxx, and Dinklage are all incredible actors in their own right. The problem here, though, isn’t them. It’s the fact that I don’t think a movie like The Wild Bunch needs to be remade in any capacity whatsoever, especially not by the likes of Mel Gibson.
As we’ve pointed out on this site several times before and will continue to do so every time Gibson’s name comes up, the dude has a troubling history that includes domestic abuse, homophobia, and racist and anti-Semitic tirades. If you need to be reminded of all of the terrible shit he’s said over the years, check out this list compiled by Gawker.
The fact that Gibson is able to just disappear from the spotlight for a few years, come back, and suddenly be able to find all of the work that he’s finding is absolutely astonishing. Warner Bros. really couldn’t get another, less problematic director to helm this project? Like, literally anybody other than Mel Gibson?
Anyway, no word yet on when The Wild Bunch is set to be released, but production on the projection is expected to get underway this fall, so it seems likely we’ll be seeing this thing by sometime next year at the earliest.
Nicolas Cage is going to star in a ‘hardcore cop thriller’ written by the dude who wrote ‘Green Book’
You all remember Nick Vallelonga, the Oscar-winning Green Book screenwriter and producer who deleted his Twitter account last year after old tweets of his resurfaced in which he pushed Donald Trump’s debunked claim that Muslims could be seen cheering in New Jersey on 9/11, right?
Well, in a bit of rather unfortunate news, IndieWire is reporting that Vallelonga is partnering with none other than Nicolas Cage on his next project, 10 Double Zero, which is described as a “hardcore cop thriller that mixes the grittiness of old school Michael Mann with the cutting-edge style of Sicario.” Yeah, let that sink in for a minute.
Per the film’s official synopsis: “Set in the stifling heat of Louisiana, two police officers take on a personal vendetta to hunt down cop killers, but as they get closer to solving the crime, they find themselves targets of a conspiracy in the ranks of the police force as the investigation leads right back to them.”
Heh, a conspiracy, you say? Vallelonga seems to know a thing or two about those.
Anyway, on a serious note, is this the punishment the world gets for sleeping on the hypnotic masterpiece that was Mandy last year, which features what is arguably the best performance we’ve ever seen from Nicolas Cage? Is this what we get for giving a dude who pushes racist bullshit on social media a bunch of Oscars earlier this year?
I mean, come on. Anything other than this shit.