From: Mark Leeper <mleeper@optonline.net>
Subject: Re: My Top Ten Films of 2017
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Subject: Re: My Top Ten Films of 2017
From: Mark Leeper <mleeper@optonline.net>
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On Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 3:58:11 PM UTC-5, 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
> 
> 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.
> 
> -- 
> Bill Anderson
> 
> I am the Mighty Favog

THREE BILLBOARDS would have been on a Top 15 list.  Very well acted film.  Rockwell was very good. 
I think some people did not like the ending (or lack thereof).