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The Best Films of 2017

Fashionably late! Luke Miksa presents his top ten movies of 2017.
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Reliably late as always (Sorry I’m Late is the name), it’s that time of the year to once again compile the best movies released in 2017.

I don’t want to spend much time on caveats, but it should go without saying that I clearly didn’t have a chance to see everything, but holy heck I tried my darndest!

It’s also worth mentioning the odd release schedules for Australian cinemas. Down under, we often get the big blockbusters the same time as the US market (sometimes even a day or two earlier due to weird time zone stuff), but the smaller releases are all over the place. For example, La La Land was technically a 2016 release in the US, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t hit our shores until 2017 (and I delayed viewing it until February 2018, and I don’t kid you when I say that if I had seen it in either 2016 or 2017 that it may have topped either list. I love La La Land so much).

But anyway, this is my house and these are my rules. Let’s begin.

Missed the Cut:

Hidden Figures, Kong: Skull Island, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Lego Batman Movie, Dunkirk, Okja, Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton

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10. John Wick: Chapter 2

John Wick has a special place in my heart (it did make my list of 2014, after all), so word of a sequel had me plenty excited. More badass Keanu Reeves! More headshots! More close-quarter skirmishes! This is a burgeoning franchise I can totally get behind.

Little did I know of the immense universe building to happen in John Wick: Chapter 2. Not content with simply providing a unique, adrenaline filled world of gun-play and martial arts, returning director and former stuntman Chad Stahelski builds upon a community of secret assassins with a distinct moral code. Combine the returning cast with a strong ensemble of new players, and John Wick: Chapter 2 is about as much fun as you can have with an action movie.

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9. Baby Driver

Edgar Wright is one of the best filmmakers in the world. His Cornetto Trilogy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are iconic, and Scott Pilgrim vs the World is totally underrated and a personal favourite.

Baby Driver is a kinetic caper, starring Ansel Elgort as Baby, a supremely skilled driver under the payroll of crime kingpin Doc (creepo Kevin Spacey), who uses his talents behind the wheel to ferry a rotating crew of robbers (including Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm). Baby suffers from tinnitus, thus is always listening to music through an iPod. And here lies the genius of Wright, as Baby’s playlists are the soundtrack of the film, and the film’s stunt-driving and action scenes are all set in time to the music. It’s a musical with stunts instead of dancing! Baby Driver is so much fun and adds another winner to Edgar Wright’s impressive resume.

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Review: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) — It’s the End of the World as we Know It, and I Feel… Fine?

Bryan Singer is back to direct his fourth X-Men film; X-Men: Apocalypse. Luke Miksa checks to see whether it stacks up.

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The year is 1983, ten years after the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Upon awakening after thousands of dormant years, the first mutant, the immortal En Sabah Nur, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), embarks on a plan to destroy humanity and remake it under his will. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and the X-Men must band together to face the cataclysmic force that is Apocalypse and his disciples of doom, the Four Horsemen: Storm, Psylocke, Angel, and Magneto — mutants lured by the charismatic allure of Apocalypse.

X-Men: Apocalypse is the sixth X-Men movie — ninth if you count spin-off films from Wolverine and Deadpool — and the fourth run at the helm from director Bryan Singer. Having practically pioneered the modern run of superhero films with 2000’s X-Men, Singer certainly has experience in films of this nature, but this really is his weakest effort with this franchise to date. Not to say that this film is bad, it honestly isn’t, but it just feels like a stale retread as opposed to advancing the X-Men films to the next level.

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As with most X-Men films, Apocalypse features many characters, probably too many by normal standards, but these films have always been about the large ensemble. Most major characters are actually well formed despite the sheer number of them. Their motivations are juggled reasonably well: senior characters like ‘Beast’ Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), ‘Professor X’ Charles Xavier, and ‘Mystique’ Raven Darkholme (Jennifer Lawrence) get to continue on the paths set from prior films, with the ongoing tragedy of ‘Magneto’ Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) a highlight thanks again to some solid output from Fassbender. But it’s also the fresh faces, the younger cast of ‘Cyclops’ Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), ‘NightCrawler’ Kurt Wagner (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and ‘Storm’ Ororo Munroe (Alexandra Shipp) showing promise for the direction of these younger versions of characters we know and love.

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This Week in Trailers: The Wolverine, White House Down, Pain and Gain, World War Z, Riddick, Kick-Ass 2, More

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The Wolverine – Domestic and International Trailers

Promotion for James Mangold‘s The Wolverine was modestly quiet for a long time. But this week we have seen a range of promotional materials trickle out including stills, posters, and the obnoxious ‘tweasers’: the micro teasers for the trailers. Then in one fell swoop Fox has released the US domestic trailer as well the considerably different international trailer. Lucky us!

This is the sixth big screen appearance of Hugh Jackman‘s popular X-Man, and by the looks of these trailers we will be getting more of a personal journey in this outing: the film is based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller‘s popular story-arc from the 1980’s which sees our hero in Japan and is the basis of a lot of the characteristics that made old Logan such a popular superhero.

Besides an appearance from Famke Janssen‘s Jean Grey, keep expectations low for surprise appearances by another other X-characters.

The film also stars Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Svetlana Khodchenkova, and Will Yun Lee as the freaking Silver Samurai!

Will The Wolverine hack its way to box office supremacy on the film’s global release on July 25? Despite the final quality of the film, and taking in to account the lack of competition on that date, the answer is probably.

via iTunes and The Wolverine UK

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White House Down – Trailer

Deep Impact versus Armageddon. Dante’s Peak versus Volcano. Here we have the 2013 equivalent: the battle of Olympus Has Fallen versus White House Down — both action films dealing with a takeover of the White House and the peril of the US President.

With Olympus Has Fallen only a week away, there will be a few months breathing space between films: White House Down is being released locally September 5.

Which movie will win the battle of the White House? Personally, I’ll take White House Down‘s director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) and stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx over Olympus Has Fallen‘s director Antoine Fuqua and stars Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, and Aaron Eckhart.

Olympus Has Fallen will probably already be available on home video by the time White House Down hits Australian theatres. Will the gamble of leaving such a large gap pay off, or will people be weary of the similar premise by then?

via MovieFone

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