Films 2017

The Year in Movies – Review 2017

I saw 27 movies in the Cinema this year. A few were officially released in 2016, but these I viewed in 2017.

Here they are in the order I saw them…. (with a quick review)

Moana
Singing, dancing adventure in the pacific. Everyone (including me) enjoyed this one

Hunt for the Wilderpeople
After all the hype, I found this rather ordinary

Independence Day: Resurgence
Forgotten already

Hidden Figures
Great story of women serving in NASA

La La Land
What was all the adoration about ?

The Great Wall
Matt Damon helps China defeat CGI monsters

Kong: Skull Island
Tom Hiddleston & Samuel L Jackson take on the great Ape

Lego Batman
Not as good as the first one

Ghost in the Shell
Style over substance

Fast & Furious 8
Dwayne Johnson dominates

Denial
‘Worthy’ story of a Holocaust denier

Alien: Covenant
Massively hyped, but will not be the classic the first two are

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Guy Ritchie’s story of the King in a dull grey.

Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot reigns supreme

Despicable Me 3
Loved the 1980’s references

War for the Planet of the Apes
Concludes the series

Dunkirk
Loud, long and mainly on a beach

Baby Driver
Music, driving, music, driving, violence (repeat)

Atomic Blonde
Charlize Theron takes back the 1980’s thriller genre.

Valerian
Massive CGI, pity about the story

Blade Runner 2
Long, Long, Long

Geostorm
Gerard Butler defies physics.

Thor Ragnarok
NZ Director makes the best super-hero movie

Murder on the Orient Express
Kenneth Brannagh and his mustache solve a crime

Star Wars – The Last Jedi
Just what we were waiting for

Paddington 2
A good hard stare will solve anything.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Dwayne (The Smoldering Rock) Johnson, Jack (I’m a girl) Black, Karen (Dr Who) Gillian and Kevin (Complaining) Hart all get to strut their stuff.


And the winners are…………..

I have grouped the films by my ratings..

First, in the ‘well that was a waste of time’ group.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
La La Land

Second, the ‘Very Average’ group…
Blade Runner 2
Dunkirk
Fast & Furious 8
Ghost in the Shell
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Independence Day: Resurgence
Lego Batman
The Great Wall 

Third, it’s ‘Well Done, but here are a few problems’ group…
Alien: Covenant
Atomic Blonde
Denial
Geostorm
Hidden Figures
Kong: Skull Island
Murder on the Orient Express
Valerian
War for the Planet of the Apes
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

And finally, in the ‘Don’t change a thing’ group.

<drum roll>

Baby Driver
Despicable Me 3
Moana
Paddington 2
Star Wars – The Last Jedi
Thor Ragnarok
Wonder Woman

 

Jumanji 2

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

is a 2017 American action adventure comedy film directed by Jake Kasdan and written by Kasdan, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Scott Rosenberg, and Jeff Pinkner, from a story by McKenna.
It serves as a standalone sequel to Jumanji (1995), the film stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, and Bobby Cannavale. Set twenty-one years after the first film, the film follows four teenagers who are transported into the video game world of Jumanji, and playing as the characters they chose, must beat the game in order to return home. The film is also a tribute to Robin Williams, star of the original.


This gets extra points for featuring Kiwi actor Rhys Darby as Nigel Billingsley, a guide in the game.

The trailer sums up what you get… an action adventure movie with humour from the avatar bodies. It does have a feel of being episodic (games levels?) with rather long sections of character interaction for the purpose of humour, then action and repeat. It does ramp up to a good ending where the gang achieves the objectives of the game.

It ends with an appropriate ending back in the read world. (4/5)

 

Armed Princess

King’s Bounty: Armored Princess is from 2009 and is the sequel to King’s Bounty – The Legend.

After playing the first game I went immediately to the next, but playing a different character. After installing the game I discovered that Steam had kept the saved games from the previous play. I finished the game on 11 Jan 2015 (almost 3 years ago !)

I was able to reload the last save and get the stats screens from the end of the game……….


Paddington 2

Paddington 2 is a 2017 live-action/CGI animated comedy film directed by Paul King and written by King and Simon Farnaby. Based on the stories of the character Paddington Bear created by Michael Bond, it is the sequel to the 2014 film Paddington and is produced by Heyday Films and StudioCanal.

Cast


Perfectly pitched sequel that hits all the right notes of comedy, drama, action and adventure. One of the best films of the year.

 

King’s Legend

King’s Bounty: The Legend (2008)

 

Blending elements of the original game with a modernized interface and gameplay elements, the game places the player in the role of “Royal Treasure Hunter”, undertaking quests for King Mark the Wise.

Originally purchased in 2014, I enjoyed this game so much I replayed it. Instead of playing a Paladin, this time I went with Mage. It’s still fun and entertaining. Although listed as an RPG, it has a lot of depth in terms of text to read and quests to fulfill.

 

Thick 3.7

The Thick of it 3.7

DoSAC are attempting to launch a new Healthy Living campaign, while Malcolm is absent, supposedly on holiday – but everyone knows that Malcolm does not take holidays.


It looks like Malcolm has gone down and is out, but one more episode to go in the series, so maybe not.

 

Apocalypse Machine

Apocalypse Machine
by Jeremy Robinson (2016)

A chain of sub-glacial volcanoes erupt in Iceland. The melting ice floods the countryside. Poisonous gas descends on Scotland. A tsunami devastates the Norwegian coastline. An ash cloud rises into the atmosphere, blotting out the sun across Europe, ushering in a new Ice Age. Dozens of nuclear power plants, flooded by ocean water, experience meltdowns. Millions perish. Many more are displaced. All on the first day.

Jeremy Robinson returns to the Kaiju Thriller, but this time it’s different. The first half of the book feels like a lot of his previous books. The narrative switched between first person (Abraham Wright) and third person to describe world-wide events.

Then, half-way through the story everything jumps forward 15 years. I wasn’t expecting that and it takes a few chapters before the story builds up steam again. Then character re-appear and the battle is on to save the world. Eventually things come together for a suitable exciting ending.

This is more science- fiction than thriller, but yet again a great read.

 

Morning After

No Morning After
by Arthur C. Clarke (1954)

First published in Time to Come, ed. August Derleth, 1954

 

Also published in the June 1954 issue of Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

 

Another short and silly story about what happens when a alien civilization reaches out to humanity. Unfortunately the only person they can reach won’t take them seriously.

 

Babylon

I Remember Babylon
by Arthur C. Clarke (1960)

This first appeared in the May 1960 issue of Playboy.

It appears to be a first person account of an encounter between Clarke and a person involved in launching the first communications satellite. In it, the story predicts the distribution of TV via satellite and how anything can be broadcast as it will be outside the jurisdiction of nation states. While that isn’t accurate, it does depict the tendency towards sex and violence in modern media.

 

 

 

Thick 3.6

The Thick of It 3.6

Whilst the PM is away on a world tour, the media begin to consider Nicola as a potential challenger to party leadership, forcing Malcolm to put aside his duties and intervene.