Tag: Best of 2017

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 2) 4

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 2)

As this tumultuous year winds down, it’s time once again to revisit the films that moved the industry forward. Yesterday, CGMagazine’s Phil Brown explored the best movies of 2017 in terms of Fantasy, Horror, and Comic Book adaptations (you can catch up here). Pop a bottle of bubbly and celebrate the new year with part two of CGMagazines Best Genre Films of 2017.

Best Blockbuster: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 2)
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) – CGMagazine’s Best Blockbuster of 2017.

Already divisive amongst the passionate Star Wars fanbase, Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi truly is the Empire Strikes Back of our times. People tend to forget that Empire was the least financially and critically successful film of the initial trilogy. Why? Because as the second act of a larger narrative, the sequel made us question what came before, upset the established order, complicated heroes so they were no longer obviously heroic, and ended on a down note to set up future triumphs. Johnson’s ambitious feature does all of that for a new generation, gleefully ripping apart hallowed movie lore and forcing audiences to ask tough questions about beloved characters before leaving everyone in a dark place. It’s not a nostalgia-fueled crowd pleasure like The Force Awakens. It’s better, deeper, and more challenging than that. Johnson has finally given the next chapter in Star Wars history its own unique direction. It won’t be until we finally get the question-answering finale that everyone finally comes to recognize that. For now, The Last Jedi will be a divisive Star Wars movie and that’s as it should be. Great movies require time to sneak in, even when they take place in a familiar galaxy from far, far away.

Best Action Flick: John Wick: Chapter 2

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 2) 1
Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) – CGMagazine’s Best Action Flick of 2017.

For viewers out there who love nothing more in cinema than watching a bad guy get punched in the face in the most creative way possible, the John Wick franchise was been a welcome addition to action movie lore. The Keanu Reeves headlined franchise has grown into an entire tongue-in-cheek universe of super assassins who spend half their time killing each other and the other half living in lavish secret hotels. It’s ridiculous, but everyone involved knows exactly what they are doing and have created a perfect delivery system for some of the finest physical action scenes of this or any age. John Wick officially grew from a surprising action movie underdog into a genuine genre icon this year. Bring on Chapter 3 as soon as possible; Keanu isn’t getting any younger and the genre isn’t quite as fun anywhere else.

Best War Movie: Dunkirk

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 2) 2
Cillian Murphy in Dunkirk (2017) – CGMagazine’s Best War Movie of 2017.

Christopher Nolan’s IMAX blockbuster is somehow both a straight-ahead visceral action flick and a radically structured art film that doesn’t abide by cozy storytelling conventions. It shoves viewers into the middle of Second World War combat with a subjective intensity comparable only to the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan and somehow manages to do so for the entire running time. There was no moviegoing experience in 2017 as thrillingly cinematic as watching Dunkirk unfold on IMAX using all of the format’s specific tricks to create a war movie unlike any other. It says so much with so little and grabs viewers by the throat for a ride that doesn’t let up for a second (along with a handful of the director’s typical structural headgames). This movie will grow in reputation over time, even though watching it in any format other than IMAX ensures that viewers won’t get the full effect of Nolan’s remarkable accomplishment.

Best Biopic: The Disaster Artist

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 2) 3
James Franco in The Disaster Artist (2017) – CGMagazine’s Best Biopic of 2017.

Finally, we come to a great movie about the making of—arguably—the worst movie ever made. When The Disaster Artist was announced, everyone who knew The Room could guess all of the hilarious backstage stories about Tommy Wisseau’s wild production that James Franco planned on sharing. What was impossible to predict was that Franco also had a unique take on the material and planned to use Wisseau as a stand in for all misunderstood outsider artists. That the flick is hilarious is no surprise. That director/star Franco also found a way to transform a walking punchline into an admirably tragic figure was one of the most pleasant movie-going surprises of the year. Oscar bait biopics are usually pandering nonsense. The Disaster Artist is a special and oddball effort destined for cult status that will stand alongside the so-bad-its-good camp/cult classic at its centre. That accomplishment ain’t easy and is worth celebrating.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Phil’s take on Blade Runner 2049, Happy Death Day, and It! He also had a chance to sit down with Guillermo Del Toro. Check out his interview here!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 1) 3

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 1)

Like it or not, 2017 has finally stumbled to a close—I jest of course, obviously you’re thrilled that 2017 is over. This was a brutal year. A reality TV star with a bad tan and a worse brain somehow became president. Beloved filmmakers like Jonathan Demme, George A. Romero, and Tobe Hooper passed away. Other men in the film industry may as well have died after the fall of the house of Weinstein revealed so many talents to be perverted monsters behind closed doors. Every one seemed angry in 2017 and justifiably so.

Things aren’t right. The broken nature of the world is increasingly difficult to ignore. The only bright side? Turbulent times tend to lead to great art. Sure, there was obviously no way that the any of the filmmakers who produced the following movies could be aware of how troubled the world around their films would be. But ya know…great artists tend to be in touch with the world around them and pick up on things others don’t notice. Well, that’s how things should work in an ideal world anyways.

So with that in mind, here are CGMagazine’s picks for the best genre movies of the year. Rather than doing the usual top ten routine, this is broken down by specific genre to show how those responsible took an established form and transcended it. The choices are all highly subjective and our own. But that said, if you disagree with any of these choices, you’re obviously wrong. We know what we’re talking about.

Or at least we like to pretend that we do.

Best Fantasy Film: The Shape Of Water

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 1)
Doug Jones in The Shape of Water (2017) – CGMagazine’s Best Fantasy Film of 2017.

For years Guillermo Del Toro has been fusing horror and fairy tales to create modern myths. This year, he found one that spoke so deeply to our times that it would be scary if it wasn’t so moving and inspiring. The Shape of Water is a fable about a mute woman (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with a merman (Doug Jones). It’s also a touching parable for what it feels like to be oppressed and cast out by society as well as the beauty and happiness to be found in the love shared between those who find others as strange as themselves. It’s a strange and deeply moving piece filled with wonderful performances on top of being a thrilling slice of Cold War paranoia and a ripping monster yarn. There’s so much going on beneath all of the beautiful surface pleasures that Del Toro pulled together and it feels like a film that will be remembered and analyzed for many a moon. Right now, it’s the call for compassion and understanding that we desperately need (as well as an ideal vehicle for Michael Shannon’s personal brand of human monster-making, which given his symbolic place in the story as the white male establishment oppressor, is also something we need right now).

Best Horror Film: Get Out

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 1) 1
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out (2017) – CGMagazine’s Best Horror Film of 2017.

Speaking of genre flicks that spoke to this cultural moment, how about Jordan Peele’s instantly iconic Get Out? The comedian’s directorial debut might be laced with satirical bite, but nothing could have prepared audiences for how far Peele would stray from the comedic work he’d done before. Get Out is a socially conscious horror movie the likes of which are rarely made anymore. It cut deep into contemporary notions of racism, forcing unfamiliar audiences to confront ideas and fears that POC know all too well and have been trying to share for years. Peele found a way to communicate a master’s thesis worth of contemporary race theory into a riveting horror story that already feels like a pop culture milestone. For years, we’ve been able to use the term “Stepford Wives” as a shorthand for a particular brand of quiet misogyny. Now, Get Out will be a similar cultural touchstone. In addition to all the insights, the flick is also just a damn good genre yarn worth study for those who enjoy horror stories. It’s a movie with a little something for everyone and a new cinematic classic that will be remembered and quoted for years to come.

Best Comic Book Movie: Logan

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 1) 2
Hugh Jackman in Logan (2017) – CGMagazine’s Best Comic Book Movie of 2017.

Sure, Wonder Woman was the bigger hit that struck a cultural chord and Thor Ragnarok was far more fun. Yet, when looking back on the superhero flicks to flutter across screens in 2017, there’s no denying that James Mangold’s pained and thoughtful Logan is the most fascinating. For Hugh Jackman’s final stint as the iconic X-Man he created almost ten years ago, Mangold crafted a thoroughly demystifying look at hero worship. Much was made of all the R-rated snikt-snikting at the time and indeed that was a side of Wolverine long overdue for big screen consumption. However, the film sticks with audiences for how it tears apart conventional notions of heroism, presents a dystopic future painfully easy to believe, and finally explored Wolverine as the tragic and pained loner he always was. This is the adult superhero movie that we’ve all been waiting for since The Dark Knight knocked open the gate. Watchmen felt performatively deep without actually understanding the purpose of Alan Moore’s comic book masterpiece and Deadpool was gloriously immature despite the adult-only rating. Logan actually dared to deconstruct a superhero icon in areas that not even his comic books have been willing to tread. It will be remembered for quite some time and hopefully more mature Marvel movies like this can still be made now that they are all under the Disney banner.

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow to find out which movies made the cut for Best Blockbuster, Best Action Flick, Best War Movie, and Best Biopic! Let us know your predictions in the comments below!


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Phil’s take on Blade Runner 2049, Happy Death Day, and It! He also had a chance to sit down with Guillermo Del Toro. Check out his interview here!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!