Hey guys! So today is something very special, because not only is it Canada Day, and to all my fellow Canadians, happy Canada Day, but today also marks the halfway point of 2017! Since we are halfway through the year now, I figured that I would share my top five favourites of the first half of the year. For a full ranking on the films I’ve seen so far this year, I’ll leave a link at the end of this post. Now, let’s get to it.
#5: Wonder Woman
After the disappointments that were Batman v Superman (which I actually didn’t mind) and Suicide Squad (which was a mess), I was just about ready to give up my hope in DC. But I was willing to give them one more shot with Wonder Woman, and I’m glad I did, because this is easily their best film in five years. Considering the last film that Patty Jenkins directed was Monster with Charlize Theron, she does a really great job directing the action, and Gal Gadot really owns the role, embodying this sense of curiosity about the outside world, excitement and naivety, while also kicking a ton of ass. I’m so glad DC has turned themselves around with this film, because I genuinely did not want to cut them off. Hopefully Justice League and future DC Comics films are as good.
#4: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was both a huge critical and financial success, so naturally, this was my most anticipated comic book film of 2016, and it did not disappoint. While the film does feel a lot longer than the first (and it is), the film as a whole is so much damn fun. The action scenes are insanely well done, the visual effects are some of the best in the entire MCU (and by far the most vibrant), the characters are amazing, especially Yondu, who is given a lot more depth in this film, and the sense of camraderie amongst the characters is rivalled only by the Avengers movies.
#3: Baby Driver
Being such a huge fan of Edgar Wright’s previous work, was there really any doubt that Baby Driver was gonna be awesome? As per usual, Wright directs the shit out of this movie and showcases some of the best car chases ever put to film. It’s also extremely funny, well acted all around and has easily the best soundtrack of 2017. Sorry GotG Vol 2, I love you, but the way they utilize the soundtrack in Baby Driver is so unique and stylish and it really plays its own character in the film. Trust me, go and support this and ensure it does not bomb like Scott Pilgrim vs the World.
#2: Your Name
I know what some of you are thinking; didn’t this come out in 2016? Technically yes, but since it didn’t get a wide release in North America until April of this year, I can count Your Name as a 2017 release. Director Makoto Shinkai has previously proved himself to be one of the most directors in anime, and I think he’s made his masterpiece with Your Name. The concept alone is great, and it’s not every day you see a film tell a romance through body-swapping. The characters are also very likeable, there’s a great deal of humour throughout the film, and the tonal shifts that occur in the second act feel incredibly seemless. If you still haven’t seen Your Name yet, I highly recommend you seek it out if it’s playing near you, or seek out the Blu-ray when it comes out. Seriously, don’t stream/torrent it.
Now, I originally gave this film a 9/10 when I saw it back in March, but I’ve had a lot of time to think about it, and I think this might be not just my favourite movie of 2017 so far, it’s also possibly my favourite X-Men movie. The thing about Logan the most isn’t just the brutality of the action scenes (which is awesome by the way), but the fact that this movie really doesn’t feel like a superhero movie. It feels much more like a dark, somber, character focused drama with some very exciting bursts of action. It decides not to go all out with CGI and focus more on the story and the characters. And I must say, it kind of sucks having to let go of this character that so many people (including myself to an extent) have grown up loving. And if I’m being brutally honest, I don’t even want Wolverine to be recast. Hugh Jackman will forever be linked to that character and no one can ever live up to him. Plus, there’s the ending. No spoilers, but can we just… let him be? If anything, make an X-23 solo film. That’d be pretty badass. So yeah, since my review of this film was published, this movie got a boost from a 9/10 to 10/10. Also, I highly recommend watching the black and white version, Logan Noir. Really adds a lot to the film.
So there it is, my favourite films of the first half of 2017. Now for all those wondering why there aren’t any photos to go along with each film, that’s because I’m currently in the middle of nowhere with a shoddy internet connection and I can’t seem to get a decent resolution picture. As soon as I get home, I’ll remedy this though. I hope you guys enjoyed this list, and as I promised, here is my Letterboxd list of all 21 films I’ve seen so far in 2017 ranked: https://boxd.it/W5f8 As always, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you guys later.