What a great year in film 2017 was. Genre-bending romps like Get Out carved their own way through the box office while industry juggernauts like Marvel continued to mine the fruits of over a decade of careful planning. Instead of crowning one film as king this year we have decided to open it up to the writers on our movie team. Each team member has picked the film that took the top spot for them in 2017. Let’s dive in.
Jake Green – Editor in Chief
Blade Runner 2049
Upon hearing that there was to be a 2017 sequel to one of my favourite movies of all time, Blade Runner, it is safe to say I was a little more than sceptical. These delayed revisits to iconic franchises rarely work out, especially when dealing with source material as complex and beloved as this. Denis Villeneuve was announced as the director and instantly my expectations were piqued. Having just released the excellent and cerebral alien invasion movie Arrival, Denis was the perfect choice to handle a Bladerunner sequel, something which the visual style shown off in the trailer proved immensely. Blade Runner 2049 was both subtle and grandiose. It showed nothing but respect for its predecessor and brought with it career defining performances from Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford and Jared Leto. The film oozes retro sci-fi style and raises some compelling questions regarding humanity and its relationship to technology. Iconic characters returned, new ones were given plenty of time to shine and the soundtrack, well, that soundtrack. Villeneuve’s vision of a sequel to one of the most iconic films in the history of film really is in a league of its own. In a world of joyless, money-grabbing reboots and sequels churned out for all the wrong reasons, Bladerunner 2049 goes to show that classic cinematography and an expert knowledge of the art of film making can still breed stunning results.
Julius Warburton – Contributor
There were too many movies to choose from this year. From the awesome-sauce of Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy, to the unfairly maligned Justice League and Star Wars. I loved all of them. I’m picking Thor as movie of the year because it didn’t stop being fun from the Zeppelin-soundtracked badassery that kicks off the movie, to Korg’s closing lines. Every actor, every punchline, and every ridiculous use of Thor’s hammer had absolutely flawless comic timing; and none of that comedy took away from the gravitas of the situation. Obviously Hemsworth and Hiddleston were amazing (not to mention Hemsworth and Damon) as Thor and Loki, but Taika Waititi deserves big props here; not just for making the movie, but for totally stealing the show as Korg. That dude was a total boss.
Dawson Roberts – Staff Writer
Edgar Wright has never made a film that hasn’t blown me away. The Cornetto trilogy is one of Britain’s funniest and well-made set of films ever, Scott Pilgrim is a masterpiece in editing and now Baby Driver is a mind-blowing representation of sound in cinema. Baby Driver is a musical without any singing, instead of every cut, movement and beat in its story perfectly matches the beat in the music. It’s mesmerising to watch and it baffles me how it was created. It’s partnered with a wonderful cast that all have electric chemistry between them and a script that is as witty as it is engaging. The film is stocked full of Standout moments that leave a lasting impression like the wonderful opening chase sequence and the single best use of the tequila song ever witnessed on screen. Edgar Wright is a director whose attention to detail is so minuscule it rivals that of Stanley Kubrick, whether it be the evolving colour scheme, visual references or clever song choices you find something new to marvel upon every single time you watch it. My expectations for Baby Driver were incredibly high and I’m incredibly glad that upon watching it they were exceeded in every possible way.
Lucy Cale – Film and TV Editor
Characteristically, Thor has been an Avenger who gets little effort put into his story, with many a story overlooking the God of Thunder in favour of a generous amount of Loki fan service. Enter indie-darling, Taika Waititi. This year saw Marvel release one of its most delicately balanced films to hit screens in the form of Thor: Ragnarok, which brought the Asgardian prince to his rightful place on the hero roster. Witty, sharp and action-packed, Waititi managed to shape Chris Hemsworth’s hero in a new and exciting way, which allowed the actor to flex his comedic muscles while he flexed his actual ones, as we followed Thor through a series of unfortunate events that changed every aspect of him. Reuniting with his fellow Avenger, special praise must go to the inclusion of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, in the first of his three-part adventure, woven through Marvel’s upcoming features, where the green goliath shines in a part that explores Hulk as an independent character, and one more closely aligned to the movie’s main character. And whilst Marvel is no stranger to landing A-Listers, they don’t come bigger than Ragnarok’s cast, which sees Cate Blanchett take on the role of one of Marvel’s better villains, who a) isn’t so easily defeated as her predecessors, b) is emotionally entwined with the characters, and c) doesn’t have a plan which ends with a dangerous sky beam. Waititi’s take on Thor brings new life to the franchise – while actually remembering that the God of Thunder has more to offer than a hammer.
So there we have it, the Film of the Year picks from team Machinima SBOC, let us know what your favourite movie of the year was in the comments below.