From: moviePig <pwallace@moviepig.com>
Subject: Re: My Top Ten Films of 2017
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Subject: Re: My Top Ten Films of 2017
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On 1/2/2018 3:57 PM, Bill Anderson wrote:
> On 1/2/2018 1:49 PM, moviePig wrote:
>> On 1/2/2018 2:05 PM, Bill Anderson wrote:
>>> On 1/2/2018 11:08 AM, Mark Leeper wrote:
>>>>                       My Top Ten Films of 2017
>>>>                 (film comments by Mark R. Leeper)
>>>>
>>>> Once again it is time to pick out what I consider the best of the
>>>> best films I saw this year and I have to bemoan the fact that I am
>>>> just not in a position to see all the films that deserve
>>>> recommendations.  I should not call these the top ten films of
>>>> 2017, but the top ten I have managed to see.  It also is not a good
>>>> idea putting a bunch of these films together and rank ordering
>>>> them.  Last year there were four or five good documentaries wholly
>>>> or in part about police brutality, race relations, and riots.  This
>>>> year there is at least that many.  It was a topic that was very
>>>> much in the news in 2017.  If they were seen separately and months
>>>> apart they would probably get high ratings.  But it is hard to see
>>>> three in a week and not down-rate them for being so similar and not
>>>> have that affect my opinion.
>>>>
>>>> Films are rated on a -4 to +4 scale.
>>>>
>>>> MOLLY'S GAME
>>>> This film is based on a true story.  Molly Bloom wanted to be an
>>>> Olympic skier and came very close to making it.  Then in an instant
>>>> she had an accident, was washed out, and had to give up her Olympic
>>>> dreams.  By chance she ended up inheriting the job of organizing the
>>>> most exclusive weekly poker game in the world.  This task brought
>>>> her some small fame and some major fortune in (honest) tips.
>>>> MOLLY'S GAME is written and directed by Aaron Sorkin who wrote THE
>>>> SOCIAL NETWORK, STEVE JOBS, MONEYBALL, and A FEW GOOD MEN.  He also
>>>> did much of the writing for "The West Wing".  I will be honest that
>>>> sports films are not my thing, and poker films are not my thing
>>>> either.  I started this film thinking it was not for me.  It took
>>>> five minutes before I became fascinated by this film and by Molly.
>>>> Jessica Chastain is captivating as Molly Bloom and Idris Elba is
>>>> her lawyer.  When the two talk they are really convincing as being
>>>> very, very smart.  Much of the film revolves around the fact that
>>>> Molly has very high scruples.  The FBI did not believe that, but I
>>>> do.  This film was a lot of enjoyment and it may well be the most
>>>> fun I will have at the movies this year.  This is a major role for
>>>> Chastain and I suspect that from now on she will be thought of as a
>>>> glamorous actress.  Rating: +3
>>>>
>>>> THE POST
>>>> Set in 1971, the owner of the Washington Post is faced with a
>>>> Constitutional issue of whether to publish the contents of the
>>>> Pentagon papers or to allow the government to gag her newspaper.
>>>> Meanwhile as the first woman ever to own a newspaper she gets
>>>> little respect from her own staff.  Steven Spielberg directs a good
>>>> cast led by Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.  Hanks's character,
>>>> Streep's editor-in-chief, is pushing for the newspaper to exercise
>>>> the First Amendment right of the newspaper.  But that way leads to
>>>> a lot of trouble.  Rating: +3
>>>>
>>>> JANE
>>>> This biography of Jane Goodall shows us how by studying chimpanzees
>>>> she has changed our definition of what is and is not human.  We
>>>> see her in-depth (and continuing) study of chimpanzee behavior.  The
>>>> film is a feast for the eye with its beautiful animal photography.
>>>> Just how these images became part of the film is actually part of
>>>> the story.  This is certainly one of the year's best documentaries.
>>>> Rating: +3
>>>>
>>>> FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER
>>>> This is an epic yet personal story, a memoir of one very young
>>>> girl.  Loung Ung, survived in Cambodia when the violently militant
>>>> Khmer Rouge controlled much of the populace.  The narrative is just
>>>> as vicious and painful as the title suggests it to be.  Angelina
>>>> Jolie directs from a script by she co-authored with the real Loung
>>>> Ung.  Rating: +3
>>>>
>>>> DUNKIRK
>>>> With an unusual stylistic approach, Christopher Nolan writes and
>>>> directs his re-creation of one of the most heroic retreats in
>>>> history.  400,000 British soldiers had been fighting in Europe and
>>>> now were surrounded by Germans, stranded on the beaches of near the
>>>> French town of Dunkirk where they were vulnerable to attack from
>>>> the land, sea, and air.  At the same time as he is telling the
>>>> story, Nolan does some strange experiments with cinematic time that
>>>> the inattentive viewer (like me perhaps) might easily miss.  Rating:
>>>> +3
>>>>
>>>> HAROLD AND LILLIAN: A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY
>>>> This is the story of the lives of a Hollywood couple, Lillian and
>>>> Harold Michelson, who were the barely-sung heroes of the Hollywood
>>>> film industry for six decades.  Harold had an instinct for how films
>>>> should look and created pitch-perfect storyboards, often
>>>> transforming the director's whole vision of the film being shot.
>>>> Lillian had a huge and astutely collected research library to find
>>>> authentic visions from around the world, from all of history, and
>>>> into the future.  The story of their private lives is a love story
>>>> of a perfect marriage.  Their visual style and knowledge shaped the
>>>> look and feel of surprisingly many classic films.  This film was
>>>> written, produced, and directed by Daniel Raim.  Rating: low +3
>>>>
>>>> BREATHE
>>>> This is based on a true story.  Stricken with polio and a prognosis
>>>> of only three months to live, Robin Cavendish must first overcome
>>>> his death wish.  He then attacks his problem that he must live in
>>>> hospital with an immovable respirator.  With the help of friends he
>>>> engineers a way to live at home and then to actually move around.
>>>> His engineering solutions improved the lives of thousands of polio
>>>> victims.  Andy Serkis's directorial debut is a moving paean to the
>>>> human spirit and the possibilities of engineering.  Rating: high +2
>>>>
>>>> BLADE RUNNER 2049
>>>> After thirty-five years the classic science fiction film BLADE
>>>> RUNNER gets a sequel directed by Denis Villeneuve and based on a
>>>> screenplay by Hampton Fancher among others.  The story concerns a
>>>> search for the author of the false memories implanted in replicants.
>>>> The film is a long 163 minutes starting at a contemplative (not to
>>>> say "snail's") pace, yet is a little overstuffed with action later
>>>> in the second half.  It is richer in ideas than is the original
>>>> film, though it lacks the iconic visuals that that first film did
>>>> so well.  Rating: high +2
>>>>
>>>> THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM
>>>> A police detective stalks a serial killer in Victorian London and
>>>> tries to connect it to a recent killing.  The film feels as if it
>>>> was dipped in "Victorian atmosphere concentrate." The movie takes
>>>> itself very serious indeed, but the viewer can look between the
>>>> lines to see it as something of a romp.  Peter Ackroyd's 1994 novel
>>>> DAN LENO AND THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM is the basis of this dourly fun
>>>> mystery with a popular London music hall as a background.  Juan
>>>> Carlos Medina directs a screen adaptation by Jane Goldman.  The film
>>>> features the never-fail actor Bill Nighy and Olivia Cooke.  The
>>>> mystery is perhaps not enough mysterious, but the acting and the
>>>> look and feel are worth the trip.  Incidentally, one disappointment
>>>> is that the plot has virtually nothing to do with golems.  Rating:
>>>> high +2
>>>>
>>>> TICKLING GIANTS
>>>> Dr. Bassem Youssef was a heart surgeon in Cairo who was fascinated
>>>> by "The Daily Show" and its host Jon Stewart.  He quit medicine and
>>>> started his own satirical daily show, patterning himself after
>>>> Stewart, but in a country where extremists can be deadly.  This
>>>> documentary, heavily laced with humor and satire, tells the story
>>>> of Youssef and his send-up show(s) under three dangerous and
>>>> autocratic presidents of Egypt.  Rating: high +2
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>                     Mark R. Leeper
>>>>                     Copyright 2018 Mark R. Leeper
>>>
>>> This year I am looking for A GHOST STORY to appear on the year-end 
>>> best 10 lists.  I think those not including it are flawed.
>>
>> Came out in July.  Unpropitious...
> 
> And yet this guy at USA Today ranked it #1 for the year:
> 
>
https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2017/12/26/our-critic-bri... 
> 
> https://goo.gl/C84HWD

A ghost of a chance, then...


> I also just noticed Leeper didn't include THREE BILLBOARDS either, so I 
> suppose it's best to understand his list as "the best 10 movies I saw in 
> 2017" rather than "the best 10 of 2017."  Actually I really appreciate 
> his list.  There are some movies on it that I really must make an effort 
> to see.

Imo, that's the main value of lists, (respectable) nominees, etc. 
Rarely do you get a film that's transparent junk.  So, even if you don't 
like it, you can engage with why someone else did.

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