And The Award Goes To...
|Photo by Peter Lewicki on Unsplash|
So here it goes!
The Short List
Here's the (long) short list of what I saw this year, things I saw as Unlimited Screenings are in italics:
A Monster Calls | Assassin's Creed | Sing | LEGO Batman | Hidden Figures | Logan | Fist Fight | Kong: Skull Island | Beauty And The Beast | Life | Table 19 | Boss Baby | Going In Style | Fate Of The Furious | Smurfs: The Lost Village | Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2 | A Dog's Purpose | Ghost In The Shell | Sleepless | Alien Covenant | King Arthur Legend Of The Sword | Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge | Baywatch | Wonder Woman | The Mummy | Baby Driver | Transformers: The Last Knight | Despicable Me 3 | The House | Spider-man: Homecoming | War Of The Planet Of The Apes | Cars 3 | Dunkirk | The Big Sick | Girl's Trip | The Emoji Movie | Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets | Detroit | Atomic Blonde | The Hitman's Bodyguard | The Dark Tower | The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature | American Made | Everything, Everything | Rough Night | Logan Lucky | The Limehouse Golem | American Assassin | Kingsman: The Golden Circle | Home Again | Flatliners | Blade Runner 2049 | The LEGO Ninjago Movie | The Death Of Stalin | The Mountain Between Us | Geostorm | Earth: One Amazing Day | The Snowman | Happy Death Day | Thor: Ragnarok | Marshall | Bad Mom's Christmas | Murder One The Orient Express | Suburbicon | Only The Brave | Daddy's Home 2 | Justice League | Battle Of The Sexes | The Disaster Artist | Molly's Game | The Man Who Invented Christmas | Stronger | Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle | It's A Wonderful Life | Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Star Wars: The Last Jedi | Pitch Perfect 3 | The Greatest Showman
Based On A Book
There has never been an adaptation in my mind that has really done the original justice, but of course my coverage of these is limited being that I will (quite frankly) watch anything. Sometimes the books have made me cry and yet somehow the film has made me laugh. There's just no knowing how the words will be interpreted. Occasionally you'll be left wondering if they actually read the book at all when they wrote the script.
As a true book fan, like many of you, I of course would like the entire book performed verbatim. I'd sit watching an eight hour film of my favourites if it meant I wasn't going to weep at the bits they'd missed out... wouldn't you?
Best Film Based On A Book: Everything, Everything - A beautiful story, heartbreaking and enlightening.
Worst Film Based On A Book: The Snowman - Slow and slightly lacking, I can only imagine it was more gripping on the page.
Films In A Franchise
I love a sequel, or a prequel, or any kind of "quel" really... apart from the one I didn't. Seeing something that you've already got that comfortable feeling about makes for happy watching. You know the characters, you know the format, you don't really need to overly engage your brain to understand the film. Franchise films should be as enjoyable for you, as a good home cooked meal.
Best Film In A Franchise: I want to scream "DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE!" But I'm the one that decided to make these choices! I've had to pick three things, and each for different reasons...
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (and The Force Awakens) - This restored my faith in the whole universe, both gripping and humorous I would watch it again in a heartbeat.
Blade Runner 2049 - At a massive three hours long (give or take for the adverts as well) I thought I was going to have a tough time sitting through this one, but it was done so well that I was not inclined to fidget or check my phone until the film had almost ended. That is a great achievement.
War Of The Planet Of The Apes - The effects in this were stunning, it's been a long time since I've seen anything that was so convincing that I honestly forgot I wasn't watching the real thing.
Worst Film In A Franchise: Alien Covenant - There was no contest in this one... I nearly fell asleep in this one, the guy next to me DID fall asleep in it. I honestly considered leaving because it felt like nothing happened through most of the middle of the film.
I missed a lot of Unlimited Screenings in 2017, mainly because at the beginning I didn't really know what they were. But I've got the hang of things now! Almost all of the things I saw would have been on my list to watch when they came out, but you've got to love a sneaky preview.
Best Unlimited Screening: Battle Of The Sexes - Sport films are one of my (not so) guilty pleasures, and with two actors nailing roles that I wouldn't have even associated with their acting style it was a smash.
Worst Unlimited Screening: Again this one has more than one "winner" but you'll see why...
Suburbicon - This one tops the list because it had so much potential that I think went to waste. The more I've thought about this film the more I feel like it was a few ideas smooshed into one.
The Disaster Artist - Did I enjoy this film? Not really. Should I therefore have chosen it for the coveted top spot? Definitely not. While I didn't like this film, I knew I wasn't going to enjoy it, so in all fairness it wasn't anywhere near as disappointing as Suburbicon was.
I'm never sure what constitutes a "blockbuster" these days, so I'm going for the ones that had the biggest hype. When it comes down to it, I'm a bit of a blockbuster whore... I love 'em. They get the budgets and the actors, they have the best start in life that a movie can have...
Best Blockbuster: Here we go again, never ask me to make a decision...
Wonder Woman - It pleases me that after so much DC disappointment they got the most important one (?) right. Thank you for not cocking it up.
Thor: Ragnarok - Thor and Hulk as a comedy duo... I could happily watch this on repeat. While I love Marvel in general, I'm really glad that they took a swing more towards Guardians Of The Galaxy with the humour with this one.
Worst Blockbuster: Beauty And The Beast - I'm fairly certain I said this in my movie round-up, but Disney Princesses need the "goosebump" singing voices, and Emma Watson, as much as I love her just doesn't hit that spot.
I am no musical expert, I have no qualifications or knowledge to back up any technical information. What I will say on a whole is that for me movies aren't always about the music, and because I'm not musically based I don't notice something unless it sounds wrong... so this year's viewings really had their shit together. I didn't sit through a film and cringe at anything that was out of place, mainly I sat and felt the suspense that was created by the cast and crew working together, so bravo to everyone involved.
Best Music: Yeah I'm doing it again...
The Greatest Showman - Toe tapping, goosebump inducing... yeah, the music in this one really impressed.
Earth: One Amazing Day - The comedy, the horror, the beauty. The team on this one managed to catch everything perfectly.
Worst Music: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 - This one doesn't get the worst spot for the score itself, that, as I said above was effective. It gets on the worst music list because of the mix tape selection. The first five minutes or so are probably up in my favourites of the year, but while the rest are nice songs I just came out a little bit disappointed...
I think what I've taken out of this category is that really, all in all, there wasn't much bad music about.
And Now For The Rest
There are always some movies that just stand out of the crowd for one reason or another, so I've summed them up below.
Best Film Based On A True Story: This year was honestly great for true stories. Really I think it's a win for the whole genre, but the highlights for me were Hidden Figures, Marshall, Battle Of The Sexes and The Big Sick.
Best Surprise Film: A large amount of the films this year were completely out of the blue, I hadn't seen anything about them until they came up on the listings. My favourite one in this category had to be Happy Death Day, amusing horror is always fun.
The Biggest Whaaaaaaat?!: Have you ever come out of a film and just felt slightly perplexed about something? Well here are my three moments of confusion for the year... CGI villain in Justice League, Dunkirk's jumping timeline and Poirot's moustache in Murder On The Orient Express... you know they all perplexed you too!
The "Why Would You Do That To Me Award?": This category for me could have had several films in it but Only The Brave broke out on top for that ending. I can't... I just... I might cry again.
The One That Deserve An Honourable Mention: For me Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle was a little piece of joy. A great twist on a classic, and Jack Black acting like a teenage girl had me in stitches.
Congratulations to all my winners, here is your prize, the new and soon to be highly sought after Emma Award.
Here's to another year of magical film making.