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Concordian 2017 Movie Round Up

By Kelson Howerton
On November 30, 2017

The summer brought a handful of explosive superhero action.
Photo By The Rolling Stones

Superhero fans rejoice, as 2017 was yet another year full of incredible comic book movies, barring “Justice League” (sorry not sorry). The year of the superhero kicked off with “The LEGO Batman Movie,” a family-friendly take on the caped crusader.

    The summer brought a handful of explosive superhero action, starting with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the sequel to 2014’s summer sci-fi hit following the titular ragtag antiheroes. The release of “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot, rejuvenated the D.C. cinematic universe with a much better superhero flick than the others fans have had to endure. This summer also saw the first standalone film for Tom Holland’s spider-boy, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” a fun take on the web-slinging high schooler. Lastly, this November delivered “Thor: Ragnarok,” a marvel movie directed by acclaimed Kiwi comedy director, writer, and actor Taika Waititi, resulting in the funniest Marvel movie yet, even giving “Guardians of the Galaxy” a run for its money.

    “Logan” delighted fans of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine with its sufficiently R-rated take on the grizzled mutant. Serving as the end to this Wolverine’s tale, “Logan” is an emotionally grueling journey as Logan and Sir Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier come to the end of their roads, passing the torch to a new generation of mutants.

    For those looking for the heart-racing action of these superhero movies but in a more grounded reality, this year was also home to several standout action flicks. February brought Keanu Reeves back with the action-thriller “John Wick: Chapter 2,” delivering some of the most expertly-choreographed action sequences to be featured in a film to date. Similarly, Edgar Wright’s summer crime-action hit “Baby Driver” delivered highly stylized and choreographed action scenes, but with a twist – almost every moment of action was synchronized with its equally stylish soundtrack, making for an almost action-musical and one of the most unique movies of the year.

    The summer ended with three action dramas that took the genre to much darker territory. Director Matt Reeves’s “War for the Planet of the Apes” drew on elements of other war movies before it, including the renowned “Apocalypse Now,” to bring us the beautifully tragic conclusion to the story of Andy Serkis’s ape-leader Caesar. Set in an actual war, Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” enveloped fans in the horrors of World War II, depicting the excruciatingly tense evacuation of the British soldiers trapped in the French harbor of Dunkirk. In another dramatization of a moment in our history, Kathryn Bigelow’s crime-thriller “Detroit” depicted the deadly and tragic events at the Algiers Motel during the 1967 Detroit Riot, shocking viewers with a thought-provoking look at the racial violence of civil rights era America.    

    October brought the thriller genre to a sci-fi setting with the release of “Blade Runner 2049,” a cyberpunk film noir set 30 years after 1982’s “Blade Runner,” this time following Ryan Gosling’s officer K as he unravels a mystery that leads him straight to the retired blade runner, Deckard, played once again by Harrison Ford. Much like the original film, “2049” is a breath-taking audiovisual experience with a phenomenal narrative to boot, resulting in my personal favorite film of the year.

    For those looking to ease back from the nail-biting suspense of these dramas, 2017 also brought us more than one comedy worthy of recognition. “Silicon Valley” star Kumail Nanjiani starred in “The Big Sick,” a hilarious and personal dramatization of the first year of his relationship with his wife Emily V. Gordon, who co-wrote the film with Nanjiani. Director Steven Soderbergh returned to the scene with his comedy crime drama “Logan Lucky,” following the hijinks of Channing Tatum and Adam Driver’s Logan brothers as they attempt a heist on the Charlotte Motor Speedway during one of NASCAR’s biggest races.    

    If you are looking for a scare, 2017 saw the release of Jordan Peele’s debut film “Get Out,” which turns an interracial couple’s seemingly normal visit to the girl’s white family into an incredibly unique horror experience that fans of the genre will be thinking about for years. Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan also made his return to the horror/thriller genre with “Split,” centered around three girls kidnapped by James McAvoy’s psychotic character with multiple personalities. Lastly, Stephen King’s famous clown-filled horror “IT” has returned with the first of two film adaptations of King’s novel, this one focusing on the “Losers’ Club’s” encounters with the horrifying Pennywise as children.

    No matter what kind of movie you are looking for, 2017 has delivered an endless amount of viewing pleasures for you to choose from to stuff your stockings for the holidays.

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