Blade Runner 2049 is a top contender for Brian Taylor and Peter Howe’s best film of the year. (Warner Bros. Pictures image)

Reel Reviews: The year in reviews

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe recount their highlights and lowlights from 2017 cinema

This year seemed to be a perfectly average experience at the cinemas.

We reviewed a few fantastic films, a few more monstrously miserable movies and then a sea of the same ol’ stuff. Here we present our list of highlights and lowlights. Perhaps you will find something you missed and avoid a turkey. Happy Holidays to all movie lovers.

Episodic cinema continues to dominate movie theatres. Sometimes it must seem like our column is a form letter, due to the same films being made over and over. Here we refer mostly to superhero films, but also any movies that are part of a series. Some are good, some are bad, all are basically action/comedy/drama in an attempt to be all things to all people.

Logan, a beautiful, dark swansong for Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is perhaps the best comic book film ever made. Get the DVD and watch it in black and white. We also felt that Spiderman: Homecoming was a good movie that finally set the right tone for the web slinger. Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Thor: Ragnarok were all good, not great. Justice League was probably the best DC comics movie since the Dark Knight.

The latest Alien film, Covenant was the right mix of sci-fi philosophy and horrifying alien action, but is still at the bottom of the horror or science fiction films we like this year. Get Out, Split and A Cure for Wellness were all psychological thrillers that got inside our minds and bodies, trying to do harm. Get Out is oddly disturbing, Split features a multi-personality performance by James McAvoy and A Cure for Wellness is just weird.

Oddly, the best and worst of the sci fi horror genres were both Stephen King stories. The Dark Tower was hugely disappointing. It might be the best horror film of all time, largely due to the performances of the actors in each of these films and the success or failure to set the right tone.

Although we liked Atomic Blonde and Woody Harrelson’s performance in the latest Planet of the Apes film was equally fine, Harrelson was amazing as an eccentric drunk in The Glass Castle.

The best science fiction film of the year is also probably our pick for best film of the year, Blade Runner 2049. However, giving our best film contest a serious run for its money is Dunkirk. Both films are cinematic masterpieces, but Dunkirk has an intelligence and courage you don’t see often in modern film. Dunkirk belongs up there with Lawrence of Arabia. Blade Runner is perfect, but has no teeth.

Speaking of no teeth we also liked Baby Driver and Passengers, although looking back on these titles they seem more like an example of how editorial decisions can make or break a film. Google “Passengers rearranged” to see what we mean. Baby Driver is just a hyper-stylized caper film that pushes all the right buttons.

We hated and slated the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film, whatever it was called. Underworld was terrible, as was Geostorm and surprisingly Despicable Me 3. However, being terrible is not as great a crime as being the same. At least a reviewer has something to say about that which is terrible.

Last but not least are the Christmas movies that came out. A Bad Mom’s Christmas is nearly as terrible as its 2016 inception. We won’t even touch Daddy’s Home 2 — if you saw it after we had told you not to then that is your own fault. Instead, see The Man Who Invented Christmas, it was surprisingly good.

Our favourite movie to see at Christmas time, our annual cinematic film under the tree has been and will continue to be the latest Star Wars film and The Last Jedi won’t disappoint.

See you at the movies.

— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears every Friday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland approves solar project

Despite community opposition, council voted 4-3 for Cartwright Mountain location

Two positive COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm

The risk of exposure to the general public related to this farm is considered to be low

Oliver Town Hall closed to public as staffer shows COVID-19 symptoms

One staff member at Oliver Town Hall is being tested for coronavirus

Penticton woman struck by mystery bullet

Woman suffers no major injuries; RCMP without any leads, investigation continues

Village of Keremeos looks to dismantle systemic racism

Mayor says the time is right to deconstruct racist institutions

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Police search for suspect in assault on woman in downtown Kelowna

Kelowna police received a report a woman had been assaulted by an unknown man on July 12

‘Trauma equals addiction’ – why some seek solace in illicit substances

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Horoscopes for the week of July 13

Weekly horoscopes by Morgan Fava

Police keep eye on motorbike gang in Kelowna for poker run

The Throttle Lockers Motorcycle Club Poker Run was to have taken place on July 11

Prohibited driver ticketed after rollover on Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Jeep Cherokee hit rock face before rolling multiple times

Most Read