What I'm Watching:

End-of-the-year-best-of-extravaganza-2017

It's officially 2018! Yayyyy bust out the banjos, we made it another year around the sun. It also means that 2017 is no more and everyone is just jonesing at the bit for End of the Year Top 10 lists. Well, I never want to disappoint so I figured I'd try my hand and really go all out this year. So here are some of my favorite things from 2017 in...


And while favorites are nice and all, I wanted to start things off with a couple goals I had. I gave myself two tasks at the beginning of the year: watch 100 movies I've never seen before and read 12 books. I accomplished one, but not the other, so I'll take it as a partway success.

Here are the movies I watched in 2017, separated by films that came out this year and those that came out prior that I just hadn't seen yet (or I had forgotten I'd seen).

Movies


  1. Take the 10
  2. XXX: Return of Xander Cage
  3. Mindhorn
  4. Split
  5. Get Out
  6. Logan
  7. Lego Batman Movie
  8. Beauty and the Beast
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  10. Power Rangers
  11. The Belko Experiment
  12. Wonder Woman
  13. Kong: Skull Island
  14. John Wick: Chapter 2
  15. Spider-man: Homecoming
  16. Bleed For This
  17. Baby Driver
  18. It
  19. Alien Covenant
  20. Icarus
  21. Cult of Chucky
  22. The Babysitter
  23. Gerald’s Game
  24. Annabelle: Creation
  25. Don’t Kill It
  26. War For The Planet Of The Apes
  27. Daddy’s Home 2
  28. The Big Sick
  29. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  1. Clown
  2. Don't Breathe
  3. Blair Witch
  4. La La Land
  5. Doctor Strange
  6. Now You See Me 2
  7. Sisters
  8. The Brothers Grimsby
  9. Unfriended
  10. Mama
  11. Poltergeist
  12. The Green Inferno
  13. Victor Frankenstein
  14. Central Intelligence
  15. Cop Car
  16. Lolita
  17. Inside Llewelyn Davis
  18. The Bronze
  19. The Good Dinosaur
  20. The Lobster
  21. Hardcore Henry
  22. The To Do List
  23. Riddick
  24. The Visit
  25. The Martian
  26. Tomorrowland
  27. Cooties
  28. The Purge
  29. Purge: Anarchy
  30. Purge: Election Year
  31. Kill Your Friends
  32. Lords of Salem
  33. Ouija: Origin of Evil
  34. Assassins Creed
  35. Piranha 3DD
  36. Don't Think Twice
  37. Willow Creek
  38. Wait Until Dark
  39. The Forest
  40. Swiss Army Man
  41. What If
  42. Sleeping With Other People
  43. Search Party
  44. Café Society
  45. Dirty Grandpa
  46. Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
  47. Demolition
  48. Almost Famous
  49. Man Up
  50. Secret Life of Pets
  51. Hacksaw Ridge
  52. Hesher
  53. Nerdland
  54. Other People
  55. Unfinished Business
  56. Big Hero 6
  57. Mud
  58. Pop star: Never Stop Stopping
  59. Chopping Block
  60. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
  61. Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
  62. Torso
  63. Ghost Team
  64. War On Everyone
  65. Man Vs
  66. Backcountry
  67. Wreck It Ralph
  68. Infestation
  69. Jack Frost
  70. Stagefright
  71. Alice, Sweet Alice
  72. Prom Night 2 Hello Mary Lou
  73. Blood Rage
  74. Halloweed
  75. Dreamworks’ Scary Stories
  76. Why Him?
  77. Boy
  78. My Man Godfrey

Damn that's a lot of movies. Still, I slowed down considerably halfway through the year and then picked up again around Halloween time. I was on pace to blow my goal out of the water and only ended up surpassing it by a little bit so that's disappointing. Just means I need to try a little harder next year.

Books

Unfortunately, I didn't quite make it with my 12 book goal. Oh well. Here they are.
  1. A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning
  2. Shock Value
  3. Allstar Superman
  4. Stephen King's IT
  5. Modern Romance
  6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  7. Bossypants
  8. Crazy is My Superpower
  9. Dracula
  10. Alice in Wonderland

Favorites

It's been a pretty good year for a movies and a lot of films have surprised me. As with most years, I've seen mostly the big movies, with a few indies sprinkled in here and there. However, I've noticed in past years that I tend to catch up on all the smaller movies the following year as they come onto Netflix/Amazon Prime. So my list is pretty vanilla in terms of big releases.

I'd say this was one of the strongest Top 5's of any year in recent memory.

ADDENDUM: I saw a film right after I made this list that I felt needed to be added, so here it is, just an extra, with the original list entirely intact.

1.  The Shape of Water

I can't stop thinking about this movie. Who could have pulled off a modern Creature From The Black Lagoon retelling but GDT? He somehow was able to create a love story between a mute girl and a sea creature and it fucking works! Not only that, audiences are actually seeing it and loving it. This isn't just some random weird movie that few appreciate, this has been a tour de force. If it's playing near you, please seek it out and treat yourself to one of the finest films this century.

1. It

I fucking loved this movie. That should be apparent with the rest of these films but this one especially. I saw it twice during the opening week which is something I hadn't done since probably The Dark Knight. Skarsgaard's Pennywise is incredible and seemingly reached the pop culture pantheon. Now to see if he really has staying power.

2. War For The Planet Of The Apes

The new Apes trilogy may be the best modern trilogy since Lord of the Rings. Not only do I think that Andy Serkis needs to be nominated for an Oscar, I think he should win. I don't think there's been any other performance that's as impressive as the one he gives here.


3. Spider-man: Homecoming

Tom Holland is the perfect Spider-man AND Peter Parker. Michael Keaton gave us the most layered comic book villain we've seen in an MCU film. Honestly, I think this film just got me even more hyped about the future of the series and all the awesome places they can take it.

4. Kong: Skull Island

John C Reilly stole the show. Hell all of the side characters stole the show. This is probably the most well layered blockbuster (especially for a series that's not really established) we've gotten in terms of character.

5. Baby Driver

This is Edgar Wright's baby and it really shows that off in the editing. As an editor that loves cutting to the beat, this was an absolute treat. This is going to be one of those movies that I show people for years to come since so many failed to give it a chance upon release (seriously, everyone I spoke to had no clue what this movie was even about and would just scoff at the title).

6. Split

M Night Shamalyan sure made one helluva comeback. And the fact that James McAvoy didn't get more praise for his performance is a damn shame.

7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I loved so much with this movie but I think the reason it stood out to me is the story between Quill and Egon. It's a complicated Father/Son relationship that just gets even better once Yondu really comes into the picture again.

8. Star Wars Episode VII: The Last Jedi

What a Star Wars movie. This is definitely one of the more shocking films in the series and, in general, did a good job. Was I a little disappointed? Sure but it's hard not to be when a movie takes a different turn than what I was expecting. While I really appreciated those changes, this uneasiness still remained with me. Here's hoping that a second viewing helps to iron out any of the minor issues I had (mostly with how slow the film felt). Why am I venting so much about this movie? I really liked it. I swear.

9. Get Out

There was a twist that was obvious and one that wasn't. I don't consider that a bad thing yet this film has been knocked for being "too obvious" and I'm not sure I get that.

10. Bleed For This

I love a good boxing movie. I don't have much more to say about it than that but dammit, this movie deserves a watch while knowing as little about it as possible. Thank me later.

Honorable Mentions: Logan, Wonder Woman, Power Rangers

Films I still haven't seen: Blade Runner 2049, Thor: Ragnorak

I've said this before and I'll say it again: I don't see many of the years Indie films until the following year, so my list is mostly mainstream stuff I was able to catch.

I won't go too far into what I hated this year but definitely avoid Alien Covenant like the plague. Actually it's worst than the plague because at least that kills you. You're just stuck to let the memories of Alien Covenant stew and fester in your brain hole. Ergh.

Television

I don't watch enough of a variety of TV in order to properly create a list, so here are some shows I've watched that I really enjoyed this year. Note: There aren't many dramas as I kind of stayed away from those this year as comedies just seemed better suited to my mood. I'll be catching up on shows like Legion, Fargo, and Better Call Saul at a later date.

GLOW

I love wrestling, I love acting, and I love Marc Maron so really, what's not to love about this show?

Games of Thrones

I almost didn't even post this because I feel like it should be obvious but just in case it isn't... god damn this season was amazing.

Lovesick

Originally titled, "Scrotal Recall" this may be the best comedy that Netflix has produced and no one has seen it or knows about it. I can't sing this shows praises enough. It is both hilarious and so heartwarming that you can hardly believe it comes from a show based around a guy informing his past conquests that he has the clap, and they may too. The lead girl is on that "The Good Doctor" show so I'm not sure about the shows future but at least we got three perfect seasons.

Stranger Things 2

I loved season one but this season just took things to a whole...nutha... level. They were able to take the original concept and expand it in such a way that it still follows along the path of nostalgia while still providing more than enough original and satisfying story progression. And hell, I'm even a fan of the Eleven standalone episode which seemed to be universally disliked.

Superstore

This show is so much better than it has any right to be. I should state that I have a soft spot for fun single-camera comedies so this one really hits the right stop. Outside of a few faces, the cast is mostly unknowns and they really nail it.

Life in Pieces

I'd put this in a similar category as Superstore but maybe a tier above in terms of pure quality. This is almost a more complex version of Modern Family.

American Vandal

I never watched Making a Murderer and even then I found this parody to be absolutely hysterical. While it may have gone maybe one or two episodes too long, I love how much it shows how absurd most crime documentaries are, in that they're trying to push a dramatic narrative.

Games

Games are one of my primary stress relievers these days and 2017 was a decent year for them. I'm not going to include any annual sports entries because... well they're pretty much the same every year anyway and there weren't any that I played that really stood out.

I pretty much just play Xbone these days so that's where all of these happened to have been played. I have a gaming PC but I really just haven't bothered with it much this year. If I'm on the computer, I'm usually writing. I like making the distinct different in my head between work and play. And Microsoft has really been killing it with their Backwards Compatible/Remaster model making damn near everything I want to play all on one console. So here are some of my favorites from this year.

1.  Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Goddamn what a unique game. And so fucking badass. You are literally killing nazis. And there are so many twists and turns that there was at least half a dozen times where I was left with my jaw dropped and repeating "No way did that just happen." Few games provide that level entertainment and dammit if this didn't blow everything else out of the water.

2.  Assassin's Creed Origins

Sure, it's an AC game so it certainly has its fair share of repetitiveness but the game is what you make it. Not liking having to do "Hunt down and kill so and so" missions over and over again? Build your character up by hunting. Or go discover some tombs. Or just explore. There's more than enough to do to always make the game feel somewhat fresh.

It's likely the best AC game ever and part of me doubts they'll ever outdo it as the franchise has the tendency to add unnecessary elements after a good outing.

3.  South Park: The Fractured But Whole

There's no other game in the history of video games that properly make you feel like you're in your favorite TV show quite like these South Park games. They have broken the code for how to make an incredible game and I'll be very sad if we aren't treated to another one before they decide to hang it up. They teased a sequel at the end but I'm not sure if that was just a dig at Superhero movies or an actual tease for a new game. Let's hope it's both.

4.  Mass Effect: Andromeda

If this hadn't been such a good year for video games then this would have easily been game of the year but you wouldn't know that by the response. This game has gotten more hate than I even knew was possible for such a well made game. But who cares about them, this is my opinion dammit! I loved it. Love, love, loved it. The story was great, as well as providing the best combat the series has ever seen. So I'm one happy Mass Effect fan.

5.  Cuphead

Maybe the theme of this video game season is something familiar yet unique because while this is a standard side scroller in terms of gameplay, it's fucking HAND DRAWN! And it's presented in that 1930's

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