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Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 In Review - The Movies

Before I go ahead with today's entry, I wanted to add something to yesterday's entry.  I had a photo of Glen Campbell in my collage, but forgot to talk about him in the blog entry for 2017 in music!  So, I wanted to mention that like Gord Downie, Glen Campbell released a final album simply entitled "Adios" as a farewell to his fans before his death from Alzheimer's. 

Okay, now that I have cleared that up, let's move ahead to Part 3 of this 2017 retrospective!

Today, we're going to be taking a look at the box office hits as well as the Golden Raspberries of 2017.  The movie industry certainly had a lot of hits and misses this year, and we'll talk about the movies that made 2017 a standout in a moment.  But first, we need to address something.  It was one of the most used hashtags on social media this year and it was not only linked to the movie industry, but helped completely change it.


Those two simple words held so much meaning this year.   And while the ball started rolling with the exposing of Harvey Weinstein, there were instances before Harvey and after Harvey.  By the close of 2017, many men were outed as sexual predators within the confines of Hollywood.  Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Mario Batali, Matt Lauer, Louis C.K., Charlie Rose, Jeffrey Tambor, and so many others were exposed for their inappropriate behaviour towards women, and many have since lost their jobs because of it.  The #MeToo movement gave women who had been frightened to speak out a voice, and as a result, the movie industry is slowly being cleaned up.  There is still a lot of work to be done, I'm sure...and by the time 2018 rolls around, I'm sure that more will be exposed.

Now, let's talk about the movies that dominated the box office.  Here's the list of the top 10 movies of 2017 by box office gross as of December 30, 2017.

1.  Beauty and the Beast - $1,263,521,126
2.  The Fate of the Furious - $1,235,761,498
3.  Despicable Me 3 - $1,033,508,147
4.  Star Wars: The Last Jedi - $953,362,228
5.  Spider-Man: Homecoming - $880,166,924
6.  Wolf Warrior 2 - $870,325,439
7.  Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 - $863,565,527
8.  Thor: Ragnarok - $847,321,310
9.  Wonder Woman - $821,847,012
10.  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - $791,861,794

So, no surprise here that most of these are sequels to original films - or if they aren't sequels they are remakes.  Originality, 2017 you ain't.

That being said, I completely agree with the placement of most of these films (though I will state right now that I will NEVER understand how the Fast and the Furious series ever got to be so popular).  I mean, the #1 film, "Beauty and the Beast" was a visual spectacle that pleased both the eyes and the ears.  Emma Watson made a fantastic Belle, and she played off the other cast members beautifully.  In comparison to the 1991 animated film, the original only made $347 million at the box office.  But, I suppose part of that could be that it was a heck of a lot cheaper to go to the movies twenty-six years ago.

Of course, superhero movies were once again all the rage in 2017, with Thor, Spider-Man, and Wonder Woman all boasting huge opening weekends.  Perhaps in 2017, Wonder Woman could be the symbol of the #MeToo movement.  Strong and confident women speaking out against injustice and inequality.  I don't think Gal Gadot would mind that comparison at all.

Those minions are back at it again with "Despicable Me 3", and while I personally didn't find it as charming as the first two, it was still a hilarious view from start to finish.

As well, we had the ninth installment of the "Star Wars" series, which featured Carrie Fisher playing the role of Leia for the last time.  Her death in December 2016 still shocks many fans today, but I think that the film did her justice and gave her a beautiful send-off.  I don't THINK I'm spoiling too much with that remark.  If I am, I am sorry. 

Oh, and don't forget about the interesting case of "Wolf Warrior 2".  It happens to be a rarity in the box office records, as it is the only non-Hollywood film to be listed within the 100 Top Worldwide Box Office Of All-Time!

Okay...we've talked a bit about the Top 10 Films of 2017.  Now let's see what films were honoured at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony.  Granted, these films were all released in 2016, but hey...the ceremony was in 2017, so we're talking about it anyway.

The winners are...

BEST PICTURE:  La La Land Moonlight
BEST DIRECTOR:  Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
BEST ACTOR:  Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)
BEST ACTRESS:  Emma Stone (La La Land)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:  Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
BEST DOCUMENTARY:  O.J.: Made in America
BEST ORIGINAL SONG:  "City of Stars" (La La Land)

Yeah, you saw what I did there, eh?  With the whole Best Picture thing?  Yeah, that was a nod to when they accidentally announced "La La Land" as Best Picture when in actuality it was supposed to be "Moonlight".  How absolutely awkward!  But don't feel too bad for La La Land, because as you can see, they won enough awards.  Not a bad film, might I add.

Again, I am thrilled to see "Zootopia" win best animated feature, as it was a cute movie - though I was torn as I also loved "Moana" as well.  And Viola Davis absolutely deserved the award as her role in "Fences" was superb.  Of course, anything Viola Davis has done has been great.  For the first time in a long time, I've actually heard of most of these films, so that's a plus in my eyes!

I wonder what films we'll see nominated this year.  I'm seeing good reviews for "I, Tonya", and I have to say that Margot Robbie portrays the fallen figure skating star flawlessly.  Whether you are pro-Tonya or pro-Nancy, you can't argue that Robbie was great.

Also, I can see "All The Money in the World" being an Oscar contender.  I mean, Christopher Plummer has already bagged a Golden Globe nomination for his role - which was originally Kevin Spacey's, but since the sex scandal broke out, he was edited out and replaced with Plummer which only took a few days of reshooting.  I don't care what anyone says - that takes talent.

I kind of wish that the film "Get Out" was at least nominated for an award, because it was a thrilling, haunting tale that showcased racism in a chilling light - seemingly appropriate considering what's happened in the news lately.

Of course, not every film of 2017 was stellar.  Take it from the 37th Annual Golden Raspberry Awards!  The winners...or I guess the losers are...

WORST PICTURE:  Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
WORST DIRECTOR:  Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America)
WORST ACTOR:  Dinest D'Souza (Hillary's America)
WORST ACTRESS:  Rebekah Turner (Hillary's America)
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR:  Jesse Eisenberg (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice)
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:  Kristen Wiig (Zoolander 2) surprise that in a Trump America, a film about Hillary Clinton would score so many Razzies.  Actually, if the film were about Donald Trump, he'd probably score the same amount.  Really, any political documentary needs to be on this list as a courtesy call.  Again, not surprised by these awards.

Now, I think I'm going to tempt fate and end this here, as I've already had to rewrite this article four times because of computer problems and power outages.  But tune in on New Year's Eve, where we will have a good old chat about television in 2017!  Ta ta for now!

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