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Best and Worst of Entertainment 2017: Episode VI Return of the Lists


Clappy
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- Unrelated to your list but I'm so glad you didn't put Justice League on honorable mentions or on the list because even though the movie came out as a big cliched and predictable mess, I still enjoyed most of the entire movie lol. That being said I'm so worried for future DC movies, except for Aquaman (James Wan, alright!) and Teen Titans Go, because the most logical thing DCEU should have done is to take their time to develop a small amount of biggest DC characters like Flash, Batman and Green Lantern (not including Cyborg because I don't think he can carry his own movies since his comics are mostly negative and people would rather see him in Teen Titans), instead of giving most of supporting Batman and Suicide Suqad characters their own movies. THREE FUTURE MOVIES WITH HARLEY QUINN IN IT? Why? Or do a fucking Flashpoint movie to reset DC universe, which is a big cop out. Just fix your problems with setting up your universe, instead of going lazy and delete everything. As much as I loved Days of Future Past, that movie fucked X-Men timeline. Now Flash is fucking the timelines in the big screen. Plus this adaptation is done to death. We already have a Flashpoint animated movie and it was great and there was Flash TV show's Flashpoint, which was so godawful. Just cancel most of these future developments and start off from DC's biggest heroes.

- Holy fuck, I knew The Mummy was badly recieved but I didn't know it'd inject every single blockbuster cliche ever. What an uninspiring storytelling.

- I was surprised by #1 choice for sure, even though many people had this on their lists. I didn't see the movie thankfully but the posters I saw them and they looked gorgeous. There's a thing called "don't judge a book by its cover". Guess that's what I means. And the fucking presise, that sounds so unique but It saddens me to hear they screwed up this bad.

- I was considering to see The Snowman and The Greatest Showman (lol at similar names) before I heard about people trashed it. Man, Michael Fassbender need to pick better movies, same with Hugh Jackman.

- The Emoji Movie, yeah...that sounds like a big pile of nothingness. It's hilarious to think that people already hated this movie before the release. This had no chance to being close to good at all and everyone who worked on it knew. This is shameful.

This was a good worst list, Claps. Now it's time for best movies of 2017 lists, which I still need to see more movies to actually finish this :Laugh: 

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I told myself after writing my worst list that there had to be something redeemable.  Something to make this year worth writing home about.  And after thinking about it long and hard, there was definitely plenty to like.  If I could rank the 2010s for film, it would go something like this:

1. 2012

2. 2016

3. 2010

4. 2013

5. 2015

6. 2014

7. 2017

8. 2011

Yeah I can definitely say that with complete conviction that I wouldn’t even consider this the worst year for films this decade.  That’s a net positive, right?  Yeah I think I’ll reflect on this year some more and realize to myself that it can always be worse.  Yeah I think the stuff that sucked really sucked a big fat one, but let’s talk about the positives.  Because there was nothing on my best list that I don’t regret.  All these choices below were legitimately good movies that could contend with even some of my best list choices from last year.  But first, let's get those honorable mentions out of the way.

Spoiler

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Power Rangers

Okay let me backtrack a bit from what I opened with.  Because this would probably be wiped all over the floor by a lot of my choice from years past, but as a childhood fan of the Power Rangers, I can say with complete certainty that they finally adapted these guys to the big screen righteously.  These kids are all interesting detailed characters that are each memorable in their own specific ways.  They are teenagers with actual attitude, which already makes these misfits more true to the brand than the actual Power Rangers television series.  And Elizabeth Banks is a menacing presence as Rita Repulsa and I thought with that casting that would never be the case.  If I had any problems, it was with the long build up to them actually getting to be in the suits and yeah the Krispy Kreme being that integral to the main plot will go down as one of the most shameless product placements I’ve ever seen.  It’s cringe worthy levels of bad.  But you know what?  At the end of the day, this was a big surprise and I love it the more I look back on it.

Call Me By Your Name

So out of all the best picture nominees on this best list, I think this will be the one that ages the best.  It probably won’t win any major awards, but if I honestly revisit this list years from now, I think this will be one of the more impactful ones from this year.  I remember reading a review for this in Variety calling it the most “modern gay classic movie” we’ve gotten in years.  I honestly can’t top that, it’s right on the money.  We’ve gotten multiple prestige flicks similar to this over the past ten years especially, but it’s been awhile since I’ve felt genuine raw emotion from them and I got that in abundance here.  The one thing keeping this off the list is that I feel Timothee Chalamett is trying much harder than Armie Hammer is.  Still a damn good movie though.

Logan

I’ve said some pretty damning things in the past about the direction of the X-Men franchise, but in 2017, they finally made a great Wolverine movie.  I’ve softened on it a bit as the year went on due to sitting back and reflecting on it some more.  But I think this really was the best way for Hugh Jackman to go out and with him admitting that he wants to see the role recasted for the MCU, this felt like closure on this seventeen year journey.  What a proper way to end a legacy.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Kevin Feige actually had a real challenge with this one.  Because Spider-Man 2 has and will always be the best Spider-Man movie unless we get an absolutely amazing entry.  So Feige had to settle for knowing that the MCU won’t have the best entry for their hero’s film cannon.  And for what we got, I got to admit I was freaking impressed.  And a lot of that has to do with taking a John Hughes-esque approach to Spider-Man.  Something I’ve never seen done before to this character.  Not to mention that Tom Holland is proving to be on the path to being my favorite actor to portray the titular role as he is now 2 for 2.  A little predictable and corny at times, but Homecoming is the best Spider-Man movie we’ve gotten in thirteen years.  Can’t wait to see where things go from here.

The LEGO Batman Movie

It will be interesting to look back at this year and see if it was really the beginning of the end for the LEGO cinematic universe after we got bombarded by two LEGO films.  And while I will stick up for Ninjago for being an entertaining movie, let’s be honest, this was miles better.  Don’t know why it got snubbed so hard by the Academy, especially in favor for the far inferior Boss Baby, which in hindsight, add that to the dishonorable mentions list.  All this movie needed to be for me was a clever parody of the many Batman movies and I got that in loads.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Yeah this caught me completely off guard by how good this was.  I go to the movies for escapism and in terms of turn off your brain and have a good time, this was definitely one of the best experiences of the year.  I loved seeing so many big names go completely against type for one movie.  Especially The Rock and Jack Black, who were without a doubt, the highlights of this movie.  If I had any minor complaints, it was Kevin Hart was pretty much the only actor who was still himself, but even then, he made me laugh here more than he has the past few years.  Sony is apparently going to fast track a sequel to come out next year because of how much money this movie has and will continue to earn.  It will be tough for lightning to strike twice, but this was far better than it had any right to be.  Good time.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

For the record, I actually did end up liking this more than The Force Awakens.  Not enough to make my best list because I still have my fair share of problems with this too.  As much as I like the concept of Finn, the execution of his character has by far been the least interesting of the main three new characters.  Especially when you give him a side quest that derails the movie every time they bring the movie back to what him and Rose are doing.  I also feel like Snoke and Phasma are absolutely wasted characters.  But even then, this did more than enough good, hell even great to please my inner fanboy.  Amazing movie…while frustrating at times.

Detroit

Earlier this year I thought this was a surefire entry for my best list.  But as the months went on, I honestly forgot about it when I rented this on Redbox.  That runtime certainly didn’t help matters at two hours and thirty minutes because it dragged a lot while re-watching.  Still a damn good movie with standout performances from John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, and especially Will Poulter.  Kathryn Bigelow does it again.

The Big Sick

Was dangerously close to making my list.  Honestly, this might go down as one of the best romantic comedies I’ve ever seen when it’s all said and done.  But I think the third act is a bit of a letdown.  It feels like they are consistently teasing that something big is going to happen for characters to overcome but they consistently cop out.  I appreciate the fact that this movie doesn’t always go for the romantic comedy clichés, but I would have liked to seen at least one thing to help raise the stakes a bit because the third act does indeed drag because of a lack of it.


Are you guys ready?  Sit back and enjoy the show!

 

CLAPPY'S TOP TEN BEST MOVIES OF 2017

 

Spoiler

I think most of my negativity about movies as a whole this year was primarily due to how tired I grew of the summer popcorn flicks.  There was just too many sequels and reboots more so than ever before.  Any of which that didn’t win me over enough to brag home about outside of the superhero fare.  Not saying that there is anything wrong with revisiting the past when the idea well runs dry.  But it’s always refreshing to see something new and original come out of nowhere and become a smash hit.

 

10. Baby Driver

 

At first glance, you would think this is a Jason Statham movie for the teen/YA crowd.  But there is a huge reason that this avoids falling into that category.  It’s directed by Edgar Wright.  Edgar Wright is one of the few unique directors we have left in Hollywood that could make the most generic of ideas into something special.  And what Wright does here is right up his wheelhouse.  This is a slick fast paced film, that doesn’t overreach it’s limitations, and has one of the best soundtracks to a film right up there with the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

Shoot I give Wright tons of credit for getting the best out of such an awesome cast.  This is, without a doubt, the best performance I’ve ever seen from Ansel Elgort.  Someone who I’ve been told is great, but I haven’t seen a single good performance out of him up until this point.  Jamie Foxx is hilarious as always when he gets into these sort of action comedy roles.  Jon Bernthal continues to be one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets.  Lily James is a great love interest.  Hell, despite how much I despise him as a person now, I enjoyed Kevin Spacey here.

This was such a cleverly entertaining popcorn flick as Edgar Wright continues to prove why he is one of my favorite directors.

 

Spoiler

At one point, this was the best reviewed movie ever.  Does it deserve such a proclamation?  It’s debatable.  What I will say though is that it’s one of the better coming of age stories I’ve seen in years.

 

9. Lady Bird

 

I know that some people who’ve seen this will think that I’m ranking this too low.  Well let me explain why I don’t have this any higher.  Let’s go back a year to my best list of 2016.  I had The Edge of Seventeen on my best list and it tackles basically the same subject matter about a young woman coming of age.  And I’ll be completely honest with you guys, I liked that one just a tad more.  Maybe it’s because I can relate to that movie so much, but also I didn’t feel like it was as pretentious as Lady Bird can be at times.  And I’m not throwing that out as an insult, but Lady Bird was definitely a bit up its own ass at times in that quirky indie drama sense.  You guys know what I mean, if not examples include: Juno, Boyhood, to name a few.

But that complaint can be null and voided if it didn’t have any sort of credibility towards it.  And this is quite honestly one of the best acted performances in a coming of age story I’ve seen in quite some time.  Saoirse Ronan is admittedly getting a bit too old to keep playing high school roles, but this is easily the best role she has ever done.  Even more so than the ones that got her nominated for Academy Awards.

For as much as I didn't like the narrative at times, this was a well done movie that I can't deny being one of the best movies I've seen this year.

 

Spoiler

I’m not going to knock Pixar for making so many sequels in the 2010s after nearly a decade of audiences begging for them.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too here.  And it took until the 2010s for people to realize why they fell in love with Pixar in the first place and now begging for more original material.  Look, I’m indifferent either way.  I’ll be first in line for The Incredibles 2 just like the rest of you guys, while hoping that we stop getting Cars movies.  But at the same time, I want more original stories from Pixar because they are just so damn good at them.

 

8. Coco

 

 

Yeah I know this was not the first animated project to tackle the Day of the Dead celebration, but let’s be honest here, they are two separate movies that have nothing to do with each other.  Both are very good movies, but I prefer Coco just a smidge more because it deals with far more subject matter than just that.  Where The Book of Life was very much about the mythology behind the holiday, Coco uses the holiday as a plot device to tell the story about a kid confronting his family history.

And that’s what makes Coco so special.  It’s refreshing sense of identity.  It feels like a love letter to Mexico’s lasting contributions towards popular culture and that it’s so genuine in doing so.  There were elements from Mexican culture that I never expected in this movie (let’s just say certain cameos to icons in Mexican pop culture for those of you who still haven’t seen this yet).  And of course, I cried once again during a Pixar movie.  I would start calling these moments “emotionally manipulative” for Pixar, but they never end up feeling like that because Pixar movies have such great storytellers involved with these projects that make you attached to these characters.

We are getting to the point that comparing new Pixar films to previous ones is just getting redundant, but I will say this is once again god-tier Pixar at its finest.  I will also say that it’s great to know that we can have original animated movies where we can’t pinpoint which one of these characters will be the next merchandise mover (ala Minions).

2017 may have not been the best year for animated films, but I would sit through them all again just to get one more Coco.

 

Spoiler

I feel like I talk about superhero movie fatigue every year and it will be interesting to see if and when it will kick in.  But here’s something I thought I would never ever say.  The best superhero movie of the year to me is a Thor movie.

 

7. Thor: Ragnarok

 

I could have put that Logan movie on my best list if I wanted to talk about character studies.  I could have put Homecoming on here if I wanted to talk about doing one of my all time favorite heroes right.  Hell I could have placed Wonder Woman on this post period if I wanted the most realistic interpretation of someone being a superhero.  Look we could sit here and talk about reasons for putting certain movies above others, but when it comes down to it, I like to be entertained.  And this movie entertained the hell out of me.

I never expected Ragnarok to be this damn good.  Not even from the absolutely bizarre, yet highly entertaining trailers.  Look Kevin Feige is a damn great producer who has set the bar for franchise cinematic universes and blah blah blah, but this movie’s greatness is because of one man, director Taika Waititi.  Don’t know how many of you knew of him before this, but I’ve seen Eagle vs Shark and Hunt for the Wilderpeople long before watching Waititi movies became cool.  I knew he was a talented director who would be an intriguing addition to the MCU director club.  But lord did I not expect him to make a Thor movie actually interesting.

That has been my problem with most of the Thor movies.  They’ve been fine movies, but they are both part of the bottom entries the MCU has provided us.  They are just too self-serious, grim, and at times…kind of boring.  You know your superhero trilogy isn’t the best when the villain is the fan favorite character of the series.  But Waititi makes this one feels like a feature-length attempt to course-correct from the main problems with the Thor franchise and figuring out how to turn fixing those issues into a storyline.  It’s like Waititi knows that Thor isn’t interesting enough by himself and that nobody cares about the future of Asgard because Asgard is such an uninteresting civilization.

Yet despite saying that, I think this movie worked in every way possible.  The comedy is actually on point.  This is funnier than your intentionally comedic outerspace comedy series.  Thor actually comes out of this movie far more interesting than he ever was in the previous movies.  And can I just point out that Cate Blanchett kills it in Marvel’s first female supervillain role?  She fucking nails every second out of the park and even provides an interesting sidestory into the Thor lore that makes me hope we keep getting Thor movies to explore this.

At the end of days (smirk), I just have to say this is damn great fun.

 

Spoiler

Do you all want to know the greatest love story of this year was?  Hint.  It’s a tale as old as time.  Beauty and the Beast

…in Disney's mind.  Now what about if that beast was a mutated fish man...

 

6. The Shape of Water

 

When it comes to underrated directors in my mind, I don’t think Guillermo Del Toro gets his due recognition for being one of the best visually stunning directors working today.  We all know how good Pan’s Labyrinth is, as it’s still one of the most artistically pleasing films of the 2000s.  But more often than not as of late, Del Toro has been focusing on his movies being “eye pleasing” rather than competent ones.  And that’s coming from someone who really liked Pacific Rim and thought Crimson Peak was okay, but definitely a big mess.

While The Shape of Water is no Pan’s Labyrinth, this is without a doubt the second best movie he’s ever done.  This has Guillermo Del Toro right in his wheelhouse of taking something entirely basic sounding and slathering them with his aesthetics and turning it into a work of art.  This concept is basically one giant “B movie” of a woman falling in love with a mutated creature from parts unknown, but under Del Toro’s direction, it presents itself as something beautifully haunting and heartbreaking.

And let’s talk about that creature.  His design is astoundingly complex.  Yeah he’s scary to look at (at first) and they don’t minimize that fact, but he’s compelling as a romantic lead through his actions and movements.  But let’s talk about the best performance of the year for me, Sally Hawkins as the leading lady, Elisa.  She kills it without having to say a single word.  Her character is mute and only speaks in sign language.  She is mesmerizing to watch in every scene, from her interactions with the humans and even more so with the amphibian man creature.  She gets my vote for the Oscar for Best Actress…IF I HAD ONE.  And even the supporting roles are highly entertaining especially from Octavia Spencer as Elisa’s co-worker/interpreter (please someone give her a starring role in something already, she has deserved it for years even with the many supporting roles she’s been nominated for) and Michael Shannon as the over the top villain colonel who wants to use the creature as a weapon because Cold War/1960s.

This was one hell of a movie and it really speaks to Del Toro’s directorial caliber of what he can do when he wants to make movies that are the right amount of visually stunning and well written.  It’s easily one of the most interesting and unique movies to come out this year and in some time.  Even with the thirteen nominations for the big ceremony, this deserves more praise than it's getting.

 

Spoiler

As previously mentioned on the worst list, 2017 was a banner year for Stephen King adaptations.  Yeah sure I shat on The Dark Tower for being uninspiring bullshit, but you all know by now how much the public adored IT.  And as hinted before, I really loved Gerald’s Game.  We just don’t get that many great psychological horror films anymore.  Shoot, even Stephen King himself called this movie hypnotic, horrifying, and terrific.

Yeah you can add this to the honorable mentions list too.  Because I’m placing IT on the actual list.

 

5. IT

 

Like I said on the worst list, 2017 was another great year for the horror genre and I think it’s safe to assume (*knocks on wood*) that horror films might be going through a positive swing in quality for the forseeable future.  And if you want to point your finger at which one will be remembered as the defining horror movie of the 2010s, it will be hard-pressed to top IT not just financially, but critically.

Now I won’t go out on a limb to say that this is flawless because it does have its fair amount of problems.  I wish we got to know more about Stanley and especially Mike, since his character plays a crucial role in the next part of the series.  But most of the problems are masked so well as everyone is giving over a hundred percent in this movie.  The horror sequences feel so realistic playing off natural fear.  These characters are developed so well from most of The Loser Club and the bullies.  Bill Skarsgard does a damn good job as Pennywise and brings a more fearsome element to him that makes him his own against Tim Curry’s version from the 90s miniseries.

I had very high expectations going into it as a fan of the novel as well as the aforementioned miniseries.  But this exceeded even my loftiest of expectations as this is just good filmmaking.  I’m not sure if the sequel will be able to top this because the other half of the book is not as strong, but in terms of splitting this in half and just making it a “kids vs monster” movie, this was fucking excellent.  Now excuse me while I watch the endless amounts of Pennywise dancing memes.

03d.gif

 

Spoiler

As I’m posting this, the Academy has already announced their nominees and every year we talk about what got nominated and what got snubbed.  And if you’ve all seen what I had to say in that topic, you know what’s going to be on this list.

 

4. The Disaster Artist

 

Look, even if you haven’t watched The Room, you know everything that you need to know about the cult classic.  What you probably didn’t know before this came out was that Mark himself, Greg Sestero wrote a book about how he met the charismatic enigma that is Tommy Wiseau and how they got The Room made.  When I first saw The Room back in 2009, I was floored to the point that I wanted to know every single detail behind how Tommy Wiseau even got this movie funded.  After reading the book back in 2013, I can assure you that it was well worth the read.

Naturally, every story gets adapted into a movie these days and I’ll admit, I was incredibly skeptical if this was going to be any good when I saw who all was behind this.  This movie deserved to be more than just watching James Franco doing an hour and a half long impersonation of Tommy Wiseau.  And it is so much more than that.  This movie is about the importance of friendship, even when trying to make in the film industry.

As you all know my opinion by now, James Franco gives one of my personal favorite performances of the year as Tommy Wiseau.  I’m not sure how valid his sexual misconduct allegations are, but to separate the art from the artist, he just does damn great and makes me feel his portrayal in every scene.  His chemistry with his brother, Dave Franco, as Wiseau’s best friend and co-star Greg Sestero….it all just feels so real and so natural.  Natural organic chemistry goes a long way into making be believe everything about their friendship.  This is just an all-around great movie from beginning to especially the end as we see Wiseau have his moment in front of an audience chanting his name.  It -okay you all know where this is going, so I’ll just say it- IT TEARS ME APART LISA!

 

Spoiler
Quote

I love this movie, expect me to talk about this much more in depth around the end of 2017

 

3. Get Out

 

…well, what else do you want me to say about this?  It’s a genuinely terrific film.

In a year where I was longing for original material, we got this modern day masterpiece that is still one of the most talked about films of the year.  Get Out, in the hands of potentially anyone else, could have ended up as a novelty item.  But under Jordan Peele’s direction, it works as a serious thriller with hints of comedy.  It’s bold, it’s confident, it’s well constructed and it just doesn’t feel possible that this movie is coming from a first time director.  Like I said a year ago, this is one of the best first time directorial projects I’ve ever seen.

This isn’t the first time Hollywood has made movies about racism, past or present, and it won’t certainly be the last.  But what Peele and company decide to do with tackling race in this movie I would have never expected going in with what I saw from the trailers.  Because while this does take some pages from the playbook of The Stepford Wives, Peele uses this as a venue to explore his feelings through the horror genre itself.  And with the reveal of what is actually going on, good lord, this movie picks up even more so and just takes off.

That’s what makes me love this movie even more.  The fact that this could have gone wrong, but it just never does.  It takes smart direction and clever writing and this movie has that in abundance.  Get Out takes off like a shot and somehow becomes just as good at being a straightforward survival horror flick.  How well it handles its topical suspense is just added icing to the cake.  An instant classic.

 

Spoiler

One of the more interesting debates I’ve noticed around film sites is the hype surrounding Christopher Nolan and if it’s warranted?  And I have to say OF COURSE IT IS YOU NAYSAYERS.  Look it’s easy to understand why some people may find Nolan overrated because of directing the best Batman trilogy we’ll ever get.  But he was an established filmmaker before Batman and is one of the best working today.  And as much as I love The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, I’m glad he’s back to directing what he wants to direct.  Because this is my favorite original movie he’s ever done.

 

2. Dunkirk

 

 

In hindsight, I should have expected this to be excellent.  It’s one of my favorite directors working today tackling on one of my favorite periods of history to study.  I could summarize this by just saying “it’s a non-fictional war movie tailor made for Clappy” and call it a day, but let me actually go further in depth as to why I love this.

The storytelling.  I was just as confused as you all probably were with the structure, but once it all comes together, it makes so much more sense.  We just get straight to the chase.  It’s not an overlong story about how this all got started. It just throws you, the viewer, right into the war itself.  And that is a bold choice that works out incredibly well.  As we get to know our characters all the more over courses of a week, a day, and a hour.  And for a film with barely any dialogue, the motions these characters are going through tell a much deeper, more enthralling story.  These actors are giving this movie over a thousand percent as I couldn’t peg a single mediocre performance from the bunch.

Christopher Nolan’s technical filmmaking skills are second to none.  Every moment really really works.  This is a movie that needs to be watched on the biggest, most high definition screen possible to get the full effect.  What else can I say but add this to the list of World War II movie masterpieces.

 

Spoiler

How often is it that my most anticipated movie of 2017 is my best movie of the year?  Very rare.  And if you haven’t followed my thoughts on this year from January of 2017, you should all know by now what was going to top this list if it was as good as I anticipated it to be.

 

1. Blade Runner 2049

 

 

I expected the long awaited sequel to the 1980s sci-fi classic to be really good, but I did not expect it to be this good.  This is a gorgeous movie to look at.  I can sit on my couch and just pause this movie for minutes upon end and even then, I still won’t feel like I soaked in all the scenery.

Everything about this movie is simply terrific.  This is one of those movies where it’s not going to give you babysteps about the original so you can better soak in the sequel.  It’s been awhile since I can say I’ve sat through a sequel that is a love letter to those who have seen and adore the original.  It’s a movie that reminds me why I am so passionate about the film industry.

You know what the best part is?  This isn’t a movie made for endless amounts of sequels, spin-offs, reboots, etc.  It’s the purest sequel I’ve seen in a long time.  I expected Dennis Villenueve to faithfully recreate what made the original so special, but he gives this sequel enough of an identity that it can stand on its own too.  I’m invested in all the new characters and the main plot.  Ryan Gosling does an excellent job as K, and if there is ever an actor who I believe can do no wrong now, it’s Gosling.

Look I can sit here and praise this movie all day, but I’m just going to put this plain and simple.  It’s movies like these that remind me why I love movies in the first place.  And if we can get movies this strong topping my best list in a year that I wasn’t all that fond of, then maybe 2017 wasn’t so bad a year after all.

 

And that was my retrospective journey on 2017 as a whole for the year's entertainment.  Thank you guys for reading as always.  Let's see how 2018 treats us.  See you all at the end of 2018 as The Lists Awaken. (smirk) 

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I still need to see a few more movies to actually start off this list but lemme enjoy my break a little. :funny:

I promise I'll finish before March starts.

Also 2014 > 2015. Sorry, I just fucking adore so many 2014 movies.

I knew what #1 was gonna be but I can't disagree with the placement. Such a masterful work that I'll talk more in my list. I loved your list and have a great year to you and everyone else.

 

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Hello everyone. 2017 may be over but I'll always remember the enjoyment these movies gave me. Sadly I wish I could watch more movies from 2017 in my mind to fully finish this list like most of Oscar nominated ones to see If they are great or not but due to personal struggles and my screw ups in real life, I had to finish this list sooner. So I can focus on my life more. Before I talk about my list, here are...

Spoiler

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Spider-Man: Homecoming: First Raimi movies are still better for me and I love Tobey's Peter Parker but Tom Holland is the best combination of Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He gets being an awkward nerdy teenager, while being a wisecrack superhero. I liked his performance in Civil War but he was much better in his own movie. It's not one of my favorite MCU films but I appreciated that it was more of a slice of life film with teenage issues rather than our heroes facing world/city threats. Peter didn't need another "his uncle died" storyline to make him compelling. I understood what he was going through and his progression to become a more street level hero was interesting. The supporting characters were all entertaining, The Vulture was sympathetic and his deal with Peter felt more personal, I enjoyed seeing Tony Stark being Peter's dad/uncle figure. I can't say this movie is impressive but as a Spider-Man movie, it did its job well.

The Lego Batman Movie: Definitely not as impactful as The Lego Movie but it managed to be a fun spoof of Batman, as well as respecting the character and his world. The story is kid friendly but it's about Bruce facing off his loneliness, which was discussed maybe even more than Nolan's Dark Knight. That aspect of the movie pleased me and I really enjoyed Bruce and Dick's father/son relationship. Will Arnett is the perfect comedic Batman and he rocked at every scene he was in. If you are a Batman fan, please see this. It's such a delightful movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2: Tired of seeing superhero movies back to back? Sorry but superhero movies rocked in 2017. I can see why this movie felt like a disappointment to a lot of people and I have some complaints as well. The story is not as well structured as the first movie, Peter Quill's arc here is same as the first movie and the movie's comedic timing felt off at times but what I loved about this movie more than the first movie was that it made me care about some of other characters like Gamora, Nebula and Yondu, Ego was such a terrific villain and the emotional core felt even stronger. It may not be as good as the first movie but it still does what a sequel should be. Expanding its universe and developing its characters, while keeping itself awesome. Also Baby Groot is the best.

mother!: People either love or hate this ovie. I'm one of those that kind of loved it but I can see its criticism. It was so on the nose with its themes and it came off as preachy and too artsy but I enjoyed how insane and over the top it was. It gave me claustrophobia in a good way and the story was interesting to talk about. I can't say you'll love this movie but it's definitely worth checking out to be talked about.

Gerald's Game: I don't ofen follow a certain director's work (although I should be doing it more) but Mike Flanagan's work is worth checking out. He understands how to create suspense and thriller and his movies have been so good. This movie has to be his best work since Oculus. Such a good adaptation of Stephen King's novel of same name. Warnings tho. It's more of a drama thriller than horror, so don't expect to see scares. 70% of the movie takes place in one location, so be aware of that. And it has some messed up flashbacks that will make you uncomfortable. So if you can't handle any of that, I suggest his other works but this movie is still great with good character study and good suspense.

The Shape of Water: The most Oscar nominated movie of the year. Why is it not on the list? I liked the movie but I didn't have strong feelings to it. It was a classic tale of a woman falling in love with a monster and yeah, it was meant to be that way but I wish there was more to it than that. Idk, the movie felt predictable at times. Still I can see the praise mainly because it captures classic 70s/80s movies (that takes place in 60s.) perfectly and the romance between the woman and the creature is pretty sweet. The performances were solid, the characters felt like real people, even the main villain was somewhat interesting and the cinematography was so beautiful. I don't think it deserves to win the best picture but it's a sweet classic tale that I can see why people adore it so much.

John Wick: Chapter 2: The first John Wick movie was a decent revenge action thriller but this sequel, like a good sequel should be, is a great addition to this new franchise. I wouldn't even mind if they didn't make this movie but thank god this movie was made. It carried consequences of John Wick's actions in the first movie and it expanded John's universe so well. The first movie was about the revenge, the second movie was about John facing off his past life and man, this movie was exciting. There was even more action than the first movie and it kept me on edge of my seat. Not the mention it was good to see reunite of Lawrence Fishburne and Keanu Reeves, please more of them in the third movie. I can already see this becoming a solid trilogy if they keep up expanding the universe and its characters, while providing mindblowing action scenes.

War for the Planet of the Apes: Speaking of trilogies, this was such a bittersweet conclusion to this reboot trilogy. One complaint I have with this movie is that this movie wasn't about war and it was a big disappointment because I wanted to see more of apes finally battling against humans but what made this movie great was Ceaser's character arc having a great conclusion, as well as tying this up with the original Planet of the Apes movie well. Not gonna lie, I kind of teared up at the end because it was a darn good end to this lovely trilogy. Thanking everyone who worked on this project. It made me an ape fan for sure.

Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie: Yeah yeah, it's a TV movie and I feel like I shouldn't even include this movie to honorable mentions because I didn't include Regular Show: The movie to my honorable mentions in 2015, reminder that that movie was pretty awesome but I won't make that mistake again. This movie wasn't perfect but it wrapped up the loose ends of the tv show with a tearjerking and adventurous movie. This made me happy as a Hey Arnold fan and I highly recommend to any fans of the show who hasn't seen this great work.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Kind of a controversial movie to add in the honorable mentions but I don't care. I loved this movie so much. I didn't read much criticism of this movie but after watching this, I can see some because this movie changed mythos of this franchise and making Luke Skywalker not kind of a hero people thought he was but I loved all of those aspects. Making this universe morally grey and flawed was a great way to make it feel different than rest of Star Wars movies and I thought it did a great job with that. One complaint I can totally agree is that Finn's storyline here was weak and it disappointed me as a fan of him in the first movie, also not enough Finn and Poe interactions, GRRRRR. Rest of the movie was so epic and intriguing enough that I can kind of let it slide. I loved more of the conflict between Rey and Kylo Ren, Poe and the whole resistence being reckless was interesting to see, Mark Hamill played such a terrific grumpy Luke Skywalker and one fan service that really made me smile. I enjoyed this movie so much more than The Force Awakens and I can't wait to see how this trilogy is gonna be wrapped up.

 

Now we can start off this list.

DR. WHOBOB'S TOP 10 BEST MOVIES OF 2017

 

Spoiler

 

#10 Thor Ragnarok:

 

I can't say this is the best MCU movie yet, nor the funniest one but it's the most entertaining one for sure. The main complaint of MCU focusing too much on the comedy is understandable and I got sick of it too but this movie has great comedic timing, not the mention it's so colorful and lighthearted, something Thor movies desperately needed. Okay, first two movie had comedy but the movies felt so bland and lifeless at times with spending too much tine on Earth and adding nothing else to it. This movie not only had a great entertainment value, it broke the trope of a typical third act of a big action blockbuster. The changes they made became permanent and I can't praise it enough. Thor wasn't as interesting as him in the first movie but he was pretty interesting with him losing his powers and him trying to use his smarts to get out of the situation. I enjoyed additions of Korg, Valkyeie and Grandmaster. Hulk was awesome and Loki was always great. Hela wasn't the most interesting villain but she was fun enough that I can let it slide. MCU has been rocking in its third phase and please keep it up that way.

 

 

Spoiler

 

#9 Wonder Woman

 

Holy crap, a DC movie that is actually compelling with great character study, sweet romance, balance of humor and seriousness and mature themes like sexism, human nature and how war effects people? Even the big CGI third act felt so thrilling and personal. On the top of that, finally an awesome female superhero movie. Gal Gadot is the perfect Wonder Woman and her character arc here was intruging and important. Steve Trevor, a love interest that had his own issues to work out but still having a great company to our hero? Just yes. A threatening main villain that has opposite views of our main hero? Couldn't have been better. I watched this movie with my cousin and we had the time of our lives because of watching this on the big screen. Don't get me wrong, it does play some of the tropes we've seen in other superhero movies but it adds something new that it doesn't feel like a rehash. I want DC to make more standalone superheroes like this one, instead of forced set ups to other movies or characters that doesn't really deserve having their own movies like 3 movies with Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Black Adam, Joker etc. It's good to see a DC movie that has something to say.

 

 

Spoiler

 

#8 Baby Driver

 

This was the best Summer movie of 2017 for a reason. It was a simple heist movie with the main lead trying to get out of the situation but what made it so unique was that it was a visual storytelling with mix of music. It was basically a musical action movie that wasn't a musical. Every action scene mixed with the rhythm of the music and it was such a joy to sit through. The main lead Baby was such a relatable character for me. Him being a criminal, yet having conscience made him so compelling and sympathetic. If there was one issue I had, it was that the love interest didn't really question him. I understood that she's in love with him and he did show some good manners but still someone would feel off about what he was doing. Other than that, this movie kept going and going as a kick*ss action thriller with great music.

 

 

Spoiler

 

#7 Get Out

 

We seriously need more original movies like this. It's a brilliant horror comedy thriller that has a different point of view in racism than most other movies/tv shows I've seen. Jordan Peele brought up a crazy original concept and he made it both fun and educational for me. I didn't get scared by this but it was definitely suspenseful and over the top that the horror fan in me loved it. I know Daniel Kaluuya from one episode of Black Mirror and he acted near perfectly in that episode (also quite possibly the best episode from that show) but this movie made me realize he can definitely carry his own movie and he should be getting more projects. It's a must see movie is more than just making scares and having a good humor.

 

 

Spoiler

 

#6 Blade Runner 2049

 

SNUBBED SNUBBED SNUBBED!!! This isn't even my favorite movie of the year but how dare they didn't nominate such a masterpiece as the best picture! This might be even a better movie than the first one. Everything about it; the visuals, the music, the acting, the storytelling, the characterizations. They were all near perfect. This movie carries the themes of the original but it takes in a different direction. I can't even spoil what is but it surprised the heck out of me. I was really predicting how this movie would turn out but it was so unexpected and I was plesantly surprised by it. This movie was more about Ryan Gosling's character, "K", than Deckard, so some fans of the original could be disappointed by it but Ryan Gosling carried this movie. His character was so three dimensional and unique and I hate that he was snubbed by Oscars too because he could have been nominated for the best male actor. Thank god at least the movie was nominated for other things because it deserved the praise it got. Another wonderful movie from Denis Villeneuve.

 


 

Spoiler

 

#5 Logan

 

Ah, my favorite superhero movie of the year, as well as one of my all-time favorite superhero movies ever. Logan will always be my favorite character of the entire X-Men movie universe because he got the most depth and the stellar acting from Hugh Jackman made me love him even more. He couldn't have had a better high note than this. It was a western that has people with powers but it made me cry like a baby at the end. Logan's dynamic with Charles one last time was so bittersweet, as well as him becoming a father figure to Laura known as X-23. The movie was brutal with gory action scenes and high stakes that didn't even play out like a typical superhero third act. I want more superhero movies like this. A type that can make me cry, as well as have great storytelling and character study. 2017 was a fantastic year for a Marvel fan like me (excluding Inhumans tv show cuz I haven't seen it lmao). Thank you Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart for giving me joy and sadness.

 


 

Spoiler

 

#4 Coco

 

Say what you want about Oscars usually picking a Disney or a Pixar movie. They are great at it and this movie definitely deserves to win the best animated movie of the year award. Pixar is known to make people cry and this movie did it just that. The plot is similar to The Book of Life, another animated movie about Day of the Dead and a musican that can't be a musican but I loved this one more because I was connected to the main lead more and the twist and turns were so unexpected and brilliant. It was so colorful and full of a life (ironically). It took a certain plot point so seriously and I was surprised it got away with it but it's Pixar anyway, they always got away with those stuff. The ending made me so happy and I was crying so much to that. And of course, "Remember Me" is a godly song. Pixar continues to deliver some of the finest animated movies ever and I highly recommend this movie, so you can remember it forever heh.

 


 

Spoiler

 

#3 Lady Bird

 

Can people stop making relatable movies? Because they break me so much. This movie wasn't my favorite of the year but it was definitely the most real one I've seen in a while. I loved that this movie played out like a real life. In one moment you see Christine, aka "Lady Bird", so happy and you jump into the next moment and you see her sad and broken. That's how life works and how it was portrayed was sad, yet really beautiful. At first I was concerned how her arc would go because she started out as a big jerk, later I sympathized with her struggles and her letting down people she cares about. Even though she's successful at certain things, it's still hard for her to gain happiness. I love having fun at movies but I always welcome quality realistic movies like this one.

 


 

Spoiler

 

#2 Call Me By Your Name

 

WHY CAN'T I GET NICE THINGS?

Man, this movie has to be the acceptable LGBT story I've ever seen. I don't mean like it's the best LGBT story but man, nobody in this movie ever shames the main male character for having a romance with an older male. Although age difference between them is 7 years, it was such a wonderful story of a 17 year old discovering his sexuality and man, why couldn't I have the things he had? Unfair life! Still this movie quite made me hopeful about people accepting who I am and me actually having a connection with another male, yet it made me realize some things can not last forever, so that was an imporant life lesson to be learned. It was a really bittersweet movie that is more than just a LGBT story. It was a coming of age story with great cinematorgraphy, fantastic acting and full of emotions.

 

Finally, we are at #1 which is


 

Spoiler

 

#1 Dunkirk

 

No movie in 2017 gave me the feels as this one did. What happens If you were dragged into a huge war? Watch this movie and find out. The movie was about many people in war, rather than a certain character's story arc. It was told in 3 plots and they were all slowly connected at the end but in the end, all of them were about people trying to survive. You don't even need to know characters' names because to me, all of us would have been just nameless soldiers and this movie tells us that anyone in this situation would feel terrified and helpless. I forgot all of the characters' names but I felt sorry for them because I would feel just as bad as them. War changes people and this movie told that story so perfectly that I actually hope this movie wins the best picture. It gave me glimpse of helplessness but at the same time, it gave me hope If we are dragged into a war one day, hopefully never because war is horrible. Nolan brings another masterpiece that anyone should see this. It was the most important movie of 2017 imo.

 

Thank you all for reading this list. 2017 was a solid year for movies and hopefully people will bring us more delightful movies to love and respect.

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@Dr. WhoBruh

In response to wishing The Shape of Water is more than just a woman falling in love with a monster, you’re missing the point and there is definitely more to it than that.  

It’s about human connection and how we all crave it.  Elisa was alone and did the same thing every day on a timer from eating by herself to pleasuring herself in a bathtub.  All those classic movies she watched with Giles only further revealed how lonely both of them were since she is mute and considers herself a “human minus one” and Giles being a closeted gay man in a time period where being gay was discriminated against.  Hence why he kept going back to the pie shop to talk to that waiter because he thought he wasn’t alone.  

When she met the monster, she didn’t view him as inhuman.  She developed a connection with him due to his humanoid appearance.  She thought he was also a “human minus one” because he can stand upright and communicate through sign language as well.  Honestly, their relationship is pretty much a testament to the power of human connection.

Hell even the big bad villain Strickland is a testament to the point of what it’s like overlooking how meaningful human connection is.   He views everything, including living beings, as objects to be manipulated for his own purposes. He reduces the creature to an object of scientific study, whose only purpose is to be dissected. He calls Elisa and Zelda “the help.” and even threatens to rape Elisa because of her looks despite not being able to talk.  The list goes on about how hollow his life really was despite having what many would consider to be the perfect life for a man of his time.

This movie was way more than just some love story and it’s what makes it all the more real and human.

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6 hours ago, Clappy said:

@Dr. WhoBruh

In response to wishing The Shape of Water is more than just a woman falling in love with a monster, you’re missing the point and there is definitely more to it than that.  

It’s about human connection and how we all crave it.  Elisa was alone and did the same thing every day on a timer from eating by herself to pleasuring herself in a bathtub.  All those classic movies she watched with Giles only further revealed how lonely both of them were since she is mute and considers herself a “human minus one” and Giles being a closeted gay man in a time period where being gay was discriminated against.  Hence why he kept going back to the pie shop to talk to that waiter because he thought he wasn’t alone.  

When she met the monster, she didn’t view him as inhuman.  She developed a connection with him due to his humanoid appearance.  She thought he was also a “human minus one” because he can stand upright and communicate through sign language as well.  Honestly, their relationship is pretty much a testament to the power of human connection.

Hell even the big bad villain Strickland is a testament to the point of what it’s like overlooking how meaningful human connection is.   He views everything, including living beings, as objects to be manipulated for his own purposes. He reduces the creature to an object of scientific study, whose only purpose is to be dissected. He calls Elisa and Zelda “the help.” and even threatens to rape Elisa because of her looks despite not being able to talk.  The list goes on about how hollow his life really was despite having what many would consider to be the perfect life for a man of his time.

This movie was way more than just some love story and it’s what makes it all the more real and human.

I got the whole storyline of Giles being closest gay, It was actually my favorite aspect of the movie but yeah, I didn't fully get the whole message of the movie was telling me, so thanks. I would still rank the movie below because I enjoyed others on my list more but I agree that the movie was pretty good.

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"This topic is quite old. You may reply to this topic, but only if your post is meaningful."

Because my list for 2017 in animation has taken too long, I better make it clear that these type of lists are going to take a lot of time from me to finalize. I will get my list for last year done by this month, but because of circumstances beyond my control, I won't get my list for 2018 out at the earliest convenience. Summer-Fall of 2019 will be my current guarantee of when I'll get that out.

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So 2017 in animation, most of you are thinking that I was supposed to write a top 10 list on it ages ago. I’ve had tens of thousands of statuses claiming that I’ll be able to get it done at some later point…which would be now – and just a few months away from this year’s list season. Thankfully, I won’t have to make you all wait any longer.

In terms of mainstream animation, 2017 could be seen as a step back from the quality that had been retained by the past few recent years. In fact, 2017 in animation was best known for its plethora of YouTube videos venting towards the content and business practices of Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Sony Pictures Animation, and as well as videos frothing against…you know what. As for 2017 in animation as a whole, I speak in behalf of it by saying that it wasn’t that bad or dull of a year. It’s actually quite a good year for animation if not on the same level as the past three years. I could vent my frustrations towards the cartoon community that I had to indulge in during that year, but this is not a list where I make haste. This is all about spreading my love for the best that 2017 in animation had to offer (and besides, I already kinda did that numerous times prior to making this list).

Before I unveil the animated films and shows that ranked below my top 10 proper, allow me to lay down some ground rules. One, this list is based on limited options. In other words, I needed to have access to a particular work before writing this list near the end of this month. For example, there were a good chunk of animated short films from 2017 that piqued my interests, but didn’t have easy access to. So, in my own eyes, I wouldn’t consider this list as final, but still, I can agree with most of the choices that are on my top 10.

Two, in the case of animated television shows, I needed to have seen a vast number of episodes of a show from the very year that it aired. If I’m not caught up with a particular show, don’t expect it show up anywhere on my honorable mentions or on my list proper. Adventure Time, Regular Show, South Park, these are a few shows that I’m referring to. There are an additional three animated shows that I’m more familiar with, airing that year but missed my cut, however. Bojack Horseman, because I’m currently and only at Season 2 as of this writing (once I form my list for 2018, I assure that I will be able to talk about Bojack then), and Milo Murphy’s Law, a Disney XD show that I fell behind with in due to DXD being yanked on a chain in 2018 and turning into a wasteland channel like Boomerang and Nicktoons, and The Loud House, which I also fell behind with.

Three, once again in the case of animated television shows, quality and quantity are in balance when it comes to these lists. Five is the limit of episodes/segments that would need to have aired and/or I need to have enjoyed during the respective year before making it a top 10 contender. With all’s said and done, let’s talk about the eleven missed cuts for that year…

(Also, be warned that my list contains spoilers for those who aren't familiar with or aren't caught up with a particular show or film.)

Spoiler

 

Steven Universe
Best episodes: Storm in the Room, Adventures in Light Distortion, That Will Be All, Back to Kindergarten

I bet most of you feel surprised to see that this is the lowest CN show on my honorable mentions list. The writing and the story has been consistently good to me, but one major issue I had with its catalogue of episodes that aired over the course of 2017 is in which I felt like they barely accomplished much towards the growth of its storyline. Quite so often, the episodes had made me feel like asking…”what now?” Steven convinces two members of the Diamond Authority that he is the Rose Quartz who allegedly shattered Pink Diamond. What now? Steven has escaped from Yellow and Blue, leaving the possibility of another gem war in their hands. What now? Lars decides to stay on Homeworld, putting his life in Beach City on hold. What now? Lapis leaves Earth with the barn on the moon. What now?

And before you tell me otherwise that these questions aren’t left unanswered, yes, I have seen almost all of the episodes that have aired this year. Most of the episodes that aired in 2017 feel to me like they were mostly there to stretch the story’s length. Additionally, that year was mostly spent on the feeling of hopelessness and/or hopefulness from the Crystal Gems, especially from Steven when it comes to his guilt complex. In fact, one episode, “Back to Kindergarten,” centers on on the theme of holding on to hope. Also, 2017 was the year that gave us “Rocknaldo.” I’ll leave it at that. Steven Universe was still a good show in 2017, but a chunk of its episodes for Season 4 had its visible flaws to prevent me from ranking it any higher up compared to my past two lists.

 

Mike Tyson Mysteries
Best episodes: Broken Wings, The Beginning, A Mine Is a Terrible Thing to Waste, Foxcraft Academy for Boys

This one of few of Adult Swim’s shows that I’ve grown accustomed to after I decided to get invested in it during 2017. It’s most definitely not one of the first adult animated shows to be based on the old school style of Hanna-Barbara, on top of being a more mature take on the style that it’s a send-off to. In this show’s case, it combines elements of Scooby-Doo and the Funky Phantom and past animated shows with celebrity inserts. The result is an 11-minute adult animated series that’s amusing to watch from time to time. The interactions between the four main characters are the main highlight of Mike Tyson Mysteries in general, and they make it stand out as a little more than just its main aesthetic. However, it’s not good enough to make it past the other entries on here, including…

 

The Amazing World of Gumball
Best episodes: The Copycats, The Line, The Console, The Stars, The Don't Hug Me I’m Scared Episode The Puppets

This was one particular series from CN that I definitely overlooked for so long before I decided in 2017 that it had colored me interested. Simple as I should say it, Gumball has some genuinely good heart and wit put into its episodes. Needless to say, it does suffers from overexposure on CN’s schedule during 2017 that compares to its competitor Teen Titans Go, because I still found this show enjoyable regardless of whatever amounts of exposure it got that year.

 

Teen Titans Go!: The Night Begins to Shine

..And speaking of Teen Titans Go, here’s a four-part special from the series that earned a spot on my honorable mentions list. This special is living proof that the writers for TTG can put effort into their work when they feel compelled to create an episode with its plot as its main focus. While I’m still not so much of an open book on TTG to recommend any other episodes that aired in 2017, I would still recommend watching this.

 

Dear Basketball

Alright, now we’re taking a bit of a break from animated TV into talking about an animated short film that missed my top 10. This short won the Oscar for Best Animated Short this year and I can see why. It’s a retrospective love letter from retired NBA player Kobe Bryant, and it’s coupled with some impressive rotoscope animation, courtesy of Glen Keane. The music was even composed by John Williams, so you can’t do wrong with giving this short film the Oscar, right?

Well, there were those who protested the short film winning the award because of Kobe Bryant’s case of sexual misconduct, as to which I can understand the backlash for. In fact, a few months after winning the Oscar, Bryant was rejected any further entry from the Academy. Considering that we’re all in the midst of the #MeToo movement, I’m glad Bryant was met with consequences despite his win. However, should Bryant’s scandal prevent me from including this on my honorable mentions list? All the ill that Bryant has done in the past doesn’t stop me from enjoying or appreciating this animated short film, because that’s not what was being presented in it. Besides, my praise for Dear Basketball usually goes out to Glen Keane, so much more than towards Bryant.

 

Castlevania
Best episodes: Witchbottle, Monument, Labyrinth, Necropolis

Remember back in 2016 when a good portion of films based on video games were coming out? They were all met with some hopes of being good, but they all ended up getting generally dismissed by critics (well, except The Angry Birds Movie, which had mixed reviews), which is normal when it comes to video game adaptations in general. Funny thing I should say, 2017 managed to accomplish something that 2016 never did accomplish: it gave us a rare, genuinely good video game adaptation. Netflix’s Castlevania is adapted from the franchise’s third installment, Dracula’s Curse, and I applaud it for having a very good understanding of the source material that it’s based on when it comes to its story and characters. In addition, it’s got just about anything you could ever ask for in an adaptation of Castlevania: action, blood and gore, horror, and an interesting story to name.

That’s not the most impressive feature about Netflix’s Castlevania, however. Most of my merits go out to the 2D animation handled by Powerhouse. If there’s one issue that prevents me from putting this series any higher is because Season 1 is only four episodes long. Those four episode titles above are all the episodes that have aired in 2017. I can at least understand the slow start, given the animation techniques that are being used, to serve as a simple introduction to us to how its story is being set up, and to show us what the people working on it are capable of. The first four episodes are filled with promises that their slightly longer second season will be just as good once it comes out next month. I have great expectations for this series, so I’m hoping they don’t backfire for Season 2.

 

We Bare Bears
Best episodes: The Perfect Tree, Dance Lessons, Summer Love, Ranger Games, The Nom Nom Show

It’s kinda discerning to think that I might be the only person here who still cares about this show after SBC had that short WBB phase back in 2015. In fact, I’ve barely caught any cartoon YouTubers talking about this show over the course of 2017. The writing and humor has been consistently good, making it another one of CN’s greats during its “dark age.” It hasn’t given me so much else to say, so it’s caught in the middle of my honorable mentions list.

 

Star Vs. the Forces of Evil                                   
Best episodes: Starcrushed, Just Friends, Moon the Undaunted, Running with Scissors, Princess Turdina

In contrast to Steven Universe’s lagging storyline in 2017, Star Vs. focused more on building its story that year after the first half of Season 2 had most of its focus set on its character dynamics. In other words, compared to Steven Universe’s story-driven plot in 2017, I felt more invested in how Star Vs. was establishing one of its own, which centers on the damaged relationship between Mewmans and monsters, as well as divulging some details of the Butterfly family’s hidden truths. One fatal flaw that I’ve had from this series that prevents me from putting it any higher, however, stemmed from an episode titled “Toffee.”

To elaborate my thoughts on that particular episode, the Season 2 finale “Starcrushed” built up quite a lot of suspense in the wake of Toffee’s resurrection by taking over Ludo’s mind. How Toffee’s character arc ended with his demise just felt so…unsatisfying. All that build-up for the The Battle for Mewni event and it lead up to Toffee getting vanquished by a Deus ex Machina a la Star’s Mewberty form. I wouldn’t mind it if some certain plot elements were explained thoroughly, but “Toffee” doesn’t do just that, and it kept me wondering how exactly Star got to use that power, what the inside of a broken wand was supposed to represent, and what Toffee’s main intent was behind his goal of destroying the wand and the book of spells. Perhaps these will be explained, but still I’ve pondered about these plot elements.

Despite some minor flaws I’ve had with some portions of its story, Star Vs. the Forces of Evil still managed to get closer to my top 10 this year for its heart and for its thrills.

 

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Best episodes: The Perfect Pear, It Isn’t the Mane Thing About You, Discordant Harmony, A Royal Problem, Once Upon a Zeppelin

Once again, one of the most consistently appealing animated shows earns a spot on the honorable mentions list. However, like in my 2016 list, it’s still so close and yet so far from the list proper. Nothing much about the show’s quality has really changed at this point. The characters are still being established very nicely, new and exciting lore is still being developed towards the show’s universe to keep its viewers hooked, it’s still providing us with good and serviceable morals (outside of a couple minor misfires in “Fluttershy Leans In” and “Fame and Misfortune”), and it’s still got its brand of charm.

 

O.K. K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes
Best episodes: T.K.O., You Get Me, Know Your Mom, No More Pow Cards, Legends of Mr. Gar

Can I just say that I never believed that Cartoon Network had entered a dark age in 2017? At the very least, O.K. K.O. has garnered a good amount of attention, but at times, it gets overshadowed by the distinction of TTG taking up a lot of space for CN’s schedule. And if you want to know my idea of a dark age for a network, look no further than one of Warner Bros. past blunders, which was Kids’ WB in the Fall of 2006. Trust me: you don’t want to go back to those times where Xiaolin Showdown and The Batman could easily be seen as its only saving graces.

Enough of that though, allow me to talk about why this show had such a good start. For one reason, it accomplishes something that some of CN’s reviled cartoons failed to do, but not only delivering with its own brand of comedy, but also presenting quite a lot of charm. Second of all, having aired a grand total of 42 episodes in a single calendar year, O.K. K.O. accomplishes quite a lot in establishing its characters and universe as well. The 40th episode, “Let’s Take a Moment,” even gives a full disclosure on the so-called sandwich incident that had been teased during a select few episodes.

Some other highlights include are not limited to series creator Ian Jones-Quartey writing an ending for his old webcomic in “A Hero’s Fate,” a crossover with Captain Planet in “The Power Is Yours,” and the referential humor in “Know Your Mom,” featuring a character voiced by none other than Jonathan Davis of Korn. Overall, O.K. K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes excels in being a love letter to old school children’s comedy/action cartoons and anime.

 

Cradle

Here’s the second animated short film that just narrowly missed my list, and it’s my #11. If you guys are familiar with this one, you can see this as a pretty easy choice to put on my top 10. The plot for Cradle deals with an army veteran returning home but with both of his arms amputated. The short would then deal with the soldier’s struggles with phantom pains from his missing limbs. It’s only so close to my list proper because the top ten choices just managed to knock it out of the park.


 

And now, here’s the moment that you’ve all been waiting all these months for…


Steel’s Top 10 Animations of 2017

Spoiler

 

 

 

If there was anything from mainstream animation during 2017 that received the most attention in general, it was the reboots. That’s because a massive chunk of them were either not good or was met with some heavy backlash before they could be fully realized. These days, I try not to treat reboots as such a big deal, because I’ve known the environment of reboots pretty well to believe that most reboots have the tendency to disappoint while just a small portion of reboots as a whole are worth watching. So, let’s talk about one of the ‘rares.’ There was one in particular that managed to surprise us not only because it was good, but also because it might arguably be better than the original product…

10. DuckTales (2017)
Best episodes: Woo-oo!, The Beagle Birthday Massacre!, The House of the Lucky Gander!, Daytrip of Doom!

 

Whether or not it’s better than 1987’s DuckTales is something that I can’t really dispute with because I never really grew up with that cartoon outside of having seen several tidbits of it on Toon Disney, but from what I’ve seen from its first eight episodes, I’ve had the feeling that I would enjoy this more than the original. Claps already said his piece on why this reboot of DuckTales overwhelms. In my own words, Ducktales (2017) succeeds in being more interesting by providing an overarching storyline with a mystery centering on the whereabouts of Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s missing mother. In addition, the newer series improves some things that the original DuckTales could’ve improved with.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie are no longer established around the archetype in which they are the same because they are siblings. The three characters now have distinct, separate personalities. Webby Vanderquack now has a more likeable personality, as well as giving her more of a role in the reboot. Mrs. Beakley is given more of a backbone and becomes one of the best characters of the reboot in the process. Launchpad McQuack, whether or not his character is an improvement is debatable, but it’s always nice to have him around. Donald’s character is also pretty good too…even though I’ve found it hard to understand him, a minor nitpick I’ve had with him.

This series is only this high up on my list since it was a slow start, but it did quite a lot to impress me and to ensure that not all animated reboots are destined to suck.

 

Spoiler

 

If you know me so well, I’ve expressed adoration towards this particular animated short. I even expressed disappointment in the fact that it got snubbed from a nomination by the Oscars. I wouldn’t even consider this as the best animated short from 2017, but it’s still very deserving of a spot on my top 10. I think you guys might know what exactly I’m referring to…

9. In a Heartbeat

 

The main gist that I feel most people seem to get from In a Heartbeat is that it tries so much to feel progressive with its narrative on a character having a crush on someone of the same sex. It would be an understatement to call it progressive. In fact, the two animators that headed this project originally pitched this short to be about a boy and a girl, but twisted it around to make it feel more personal. The way I saw this animated short, though, the main foundation of it wasn’t that one of the characters, Sherwin, fell in love with someone of the same sex. To me, it was more of a simple construct on a youth’s innocent feelings of having a crush towards someone of the same gender. Meanwhile, the central theme of this short film was love, I felt and appreciated that it doesn’t go too in-depth to illustrate to us that it’s about a relationship between two people of the same sex. It’s not displayed in an intimate type of fashion. It’s pure, unadulterated love.

 

Spoiler

 

8. Loving Vincent

 

Now I’m moving on towards a full-length animated film that received an Oscar nomination. My main merit towards this film is because of how impressive it looks. The animation frame in this film has the gimmick of being comprised of mostly oil paintings, while some scenes are depicted by pencil sketches, and there’s nothing else more beyond that. Considering that the film details a biographical retrospective on the life and work of Vincent van Gogh, it’s no wonder that his art style is the only, primary influence towards the art. It’s so easy to see that were was a lot of talent, heart, and effort put into this film, but I couldn’t bring it any more higher because it doesn’t grab my attention so much outside of the animation and art. In other words, it’s an impressive work of animated art, but the slow-paced story doesn’t always make me come back to it.

 

 

Spoiler

 

So, what could possibly top an animated, biographical film about a famous historical figure? How about an animated short film that was a tribute to another famous historical figure, while also starring him in some sort of sense?

7. The Tesla World Light

 

While Loving Vincent made me feel easily impressed by its art and animation, but didn’t keep me very attentive when it came to its story, The Tesla World Light impressed me and kept me entertained throughout. The dissection of Tesla and the experimental techniques used towards the narrative in this short film blew me out of the water. The short film was mainly an exploration on the mind of Nikola Tesla, drawing influences from his life, work, and from his prospects of the future, generating its own story of Tesla in the process. The unique light animation technique was also pretty stellar, and considering the kind of person that Nikola Tesla was, it suited the tone very well. Finally, if there was one prominent highlight from the short film, it’s the very final scene between Tesla and the electric pigeon. I’m not going to go into full detail on that. This is an animated short film that needs to be seen to be believed for its extraordinary experimentation.

 

Spoiler

 

6. The Lego Batman Movie

 

Hopefully it shouldn’t be a crime to rank this higher than the previous two. I don’t know what the Academy doesn’t see in the first two Lego movies besides that they’re based on a popular product line, because The Lego Batman Movie is easily one of the best animated films of 2017. In fact, between this film and the first, I feel like I might be lingering more towards the sequel as my biggest favorite. Like its predecessor, The Lego Batman Movie was hilarious and so much fun to watch, with Batman, Robin, and the Joker providing its most humorous moments. I also thought that the central theme on family was handled pretty well here. It’s clever, it’s charming, and it’s entertaining, that just about sums up my thoughts on the film.

 

Spoiler

 

5. Rick and Morty

 

Best episodes: The Ricklantis Mixup, The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy, The Rickshank Redemption, Pickle Rick, Rest and Ricklaxation

Now that I can finally get to talk about Rick and Morty, here’s where I talk about why it’s one of the best animated shows of 2017. For one reason, Season 3 provided us with some stronger character development and darker themes. Morty becomes less and less enthused in Rick’s adventures and becomes more annoyed by his antics. Summer decides to live more dangerously. Character focus for Jerry is reduced to establish more on Beth’s character, as both of these characters temporarily spend time apart from each other. Then there’s Rick, who’s just the same old Rick we’ve known and come to enjoy. In addition, the fact that Rick experiences the least amount development towards his character is a factor that makes up the writing for S3. Besides the character dynamics, S3 still has its thrills and its clever wit to keep me amused. Despite what anyone might say about the show having some trash fans (and I mean some fans, not the entire fandom itself, know the difference, people), Rick and Morty is still a mindless fun adult animated series.

 

Spoiler

 

4. Samurai Jack

 

Best episodes: XCVII, XCVIII, XCII, C, XCIII

Once again, Adult Swim earns a high spot on my list. What makes this revival of Samurai Jack very special is that not only does it finally give us a proper ending to the series, but it’s one of the few revivals that prove that good can be done to a resurrected Warner Bros. property as long as the people who worked on it have a very good understanding of it. Then again, this final season was headed by none other than the ever-present series creator, Genndy Tartakovsky, so it should come off as no surprise to me that the writing was so good.

I haven’t watched every episode of Samurai Jack S1-S4 prior to skimming through S5. I thought that would be a mistake on my part, but I’ve managed to have a very good understand of the plot for S5. I loved how most of the series’ characters were written, including the ones that debuted in the final season. Of the newer characters that I’ve had a big preference towards, there was Ashi, who was raised and ordered to kill Jack until her experience with him allows for her to see the truth about Aku and defy the High Priestess afterwards. As for the general cast, there was Jack, who I felt his guilt complex was handled very well in contrast to Steven’s in S4 of Steven Universe, as his depression stemmed from Aku’s manipulations, as well as from Mad Jack consuming on his emotions. Speaking of Aku, he always serves a very good presence as the main villain.

Then there’s the ending. It’s not perfect, but I didn’t mind it too much. I didn’t have a problem with the bittersweet end, but I wished that Aku’s defeat felt less anti-climax. It dodges the top three of my list because, like I’ve said that I’ve haven’t every other episode of the series that I’ve needed to, I wasn’t as attached to this finale compared to another particular animated series that was long dormant…but that will be explained after I talk about my #3…

 

Spoiler

 

AMPAS, I swear to god, why couldn’t you get it right this year?

3. Here’s the Plan

 

Like the other two animated short films on my top ten, this got snubbed of a nomination for Best Animated Short Film by the Oscars in 2018. I have not seen Revolting Rhymes, Garden Party, or Negative Space to say if any of those other Oscar nominated short films are good enough for my top ten or deserving of the nominations. However, that is not to say that Here’s the Plan was the most rewarding animated short film in 2017. What really compelled me to put this particular short film on such a pedestal was through its narrative. On the surface, it’s a simple enough love story between a dog and a cat who seek to pursue their goal of opening their own bakery. The animated short establishes quite a lot towards its premise, which was what kept me invested in it.

The main footing of the narrative for Here’s the Plan is that it cycles through the relationship between the two characters, Kat and Doug. As part of the title suggests, Kat and Doug form new plans to try and turn around the pitfalls that get in the way of their goal, such as their oven breaking, buying an oven that is too big for their small kitchen, and being too busy to focus on their passion as bakers due to their promotions for their respective jobs. Of course, as the plot keeps moving forward, tensions would then raise, which would temporarily affect Kat and Doug’s marriage before one of the characters would form a new plan by taking a literal sledgehammer to the wall of their apartment to restore their love for each other and their passion.

The main reason as to why it’s the best animated short film of 2017 to me is based on how incredibly authentic the interactions between the two characters feel, as well as how real that the situations faced by the two characters feel. This would be generally due to the fact that Kat and Doug are voiced by an actual married couple. Outside of the remarkable CG, the outline and the emotional intensity of the story helped make this animated short film feel so very well fleshed out, making it stand out as a solid top entry on my top three.

 

 

Spoiler

 

In terms of animated television shows in 2017, Samurai Jack remained supreme. However, when it came to television as a whole, a made-for television special ended up being the real winner, and what else from that year could manage to take the penultimate spot than the proper ending for a Nickelodeon series that lay dormant for just as long as Samurai Jack?

2. Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie

 

Because Hey Arnold! had been around for most of my childhood, it’s fitting that I would rank this TV special higher than the long-awaited final season of Samurai Jack. There isn’t too much for me say of how perfect of an ending it was for the series besides that it finally tied up those loose ends about Arnold’s missing parents that had been left unexplained for so long, the characters are all still on-point, the humor is still on par with the show’s humor during its old days, Arnold and Helga finally become a couple by the end, and the enhanced 2D animation looks so good.

Outside of those main highlights, there were also some of the little things that I really liked about the TV special, like Helga sacrificing her heart-shaped locket to restore Arnold’s parents from their comatose state after Lasombra dies with the Corazon in his hands, Helga returning her kindness to Brainy, who had recovered her locket after she had lost it at one point, and finally, the Patakis showing full support for Helga after receiving an SOS message, prompting them to fly over to San Lorenzo to find her.

For a television special with a lot of strength, however, it is not without a few minor flaws, like Lasombra predictably double-crossing most of the characters, and the justification made for the disappearance of Arnold’s parents, which was due to them falling under a ‘sleeping sickness,’ but let’s face it though, Hey Arnold! isn’t particularly a complex show, so flaws such as these were easy for me to pass up. So, what could possibly top this? It’s quite a surprise…

 

Spoiler

 

 …Actually, it’s not too surprising of a choice. It’s Coco.

1. Coco

 

Here’s to the third time in a row that a Disney property makes the top of my list. It’s such a breath of fresh air to continue to see how well Pixar creates its original stories, let alone a type of story that you wouldn’t normally familiarize the company with (outside of Brave). Simple as I should say it, Pixar crafted their story and their universe for Coco very nicely. I really appreciated the way that the studio has portrayed Mexican culture and themes, especially once you consider the fact that studio had to look into the heritage and culture of Mexico very carefully, on top of receiving some consulting from people who are a part of it. This isn’t certainly the first animated film to use the concept of Dia de los Muertos and to take influences of Mexican folk art, as it gets easy comparisons to The Book of Life, but still, Pixar overwhelmed with their acquired knowledge of Mexico, its culture, and its themes.

There was so much else for me to love about Coco as well. As always, the animation and the scenery were stellar. It’s got a colorful cast of characters, some of which go through some solid development. The depths for both Eduardo and Hector both left me feeling surprised. With music being one of the film’s chief themes alongside family, its music was well composed and it was very well on-point with the style of music from Mexico made to be represented. And most of all, it had its genuinely heart-wrenching moments, something that is never out of place for a Pixar film.

Overall, Coco was a heartfelt and well-written animated masterpiece celebrating Mexico’s heritage and culture, which is why it is my absolute favorite work of animation from 2017.

 

 That should completely wrap up my list. Since it took me this long to finalize my top 10 and write up my commentary towards it, expect my list for 2018 to take quite as long. To make up for the expectedly long wait, stay tuned as I will get my long overdue list for 2014 in animation published on my blog sometime this December, the month where list season normally takes place.

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