By Jack Dignan
For every Phantom Thread that’s released each year, there’s also a Baywatch. 2017 had a lot of Baywatch’s. In fact, the rating I gave out the most in 2017 was 2 ½ stars, which makes that the second year in a row (maybe those internet theories about me hating movies is true). Now, on the cusp of February, I take a look back at the trauma I’ve experienced this past year, bringing all those hours of pain and misery back into a list that celebrates the incompetence of these ten movies that hurt me the most. Film criticism can be a tough job sometimes, and even then, there’s plenty of crap I just choose not to see.
Now, with all that said and done, let’s get this list out of the way…
DISHONOURABLE MENTIONS: Wonder Wheel, Fist Fight, A Dog’s Purpose, Geostorm and… yep, Baywatch.
Flatliners… ouch. I wasn’t expecting to like this film, the trailers barely doing the film justice, but at least they made it look as though this film had the slightest potential to work. And yeah, it’s not as bad it looks. It’s worse. From choppy editing to an idiotic plot to lifeless scares, there are very few redeeming qualities about this absolute cluster-fuck of a horror movie. The only element that successfully gave me nightmares was the screenplay’s incompetence. MY REVIEW.
I’ll admit, I’ve fallen behind on Australian cinema as of late. It’s a sad statement I wish to redeem myself from, hopefully I can check out Sweet Country some time soon, but one of the few Aussie flicks I did manage to check out this year was A Few Less Men, the sequel nobody asked for to a movie nobody really remembers. Australians have a weird sense of humour, there’s no denying that, but was it always so… how do I put this... fucking terrible? MY REVIEW.
The lead actor in this Tupac biopic, Demetrius Shipp Jr., is getting credit for looking exactly like a young Tupac, to the point where it’s almost uncanny. And yeah, sure, whatever, I guess he does, but that’s about all the positive elements this film has to offer. All Eyez On Me is bad. And not only is it bad, it’s an inconsequential, poorly stringed series of unrelated sequences that should barely be considered an actual movie. I’m still not convinced I actually sat through 139 minutes of this piece of shit. MY REVIEW.
These movies have never been good. Nine year old me may have thought so, back when he first saw the original trilogy, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter ends the franchise with a bang. And, obviously, by bang I mean total disaster. It’s both the final chapter and the worst one, edited so quickly and so choppy that it’s enough to make your eyes bleed. Best of all? A planned reboot is set to be released in a few years time. Surprise! MY REVIEW.
We’re just one week away from the release of the final installment in the Fifty Shades trilogy, and I honestly never thought that we’d ever get here. Whether or not you prefer the first Fifty Shades movie or the second doesn’t matter. They’re both just as bad as each other. For me personally, I look at the first film with stronger distain and anger because that’s a film that actually tried, making its failure all the more frustrating. Fifty Shades Darker doesn’t give a single fuck. It knows you’re going to hate it and it totally goes along with it. Still, it’s such a shame we never got a moment nearly as memorable as that iconic toast scene. MY REVIEW.
I just… I can’t… I don’t want to… I don’t even need to explain myself here. You know it’s bad. I know it’s bad. Let’s just move on with our lives. MY REVIEW.
Ah, yes. Rings. The long delayed horror sequel to a film I actually really enjoy finally got released at the start of this year and wow… it needs to be seen to be believed. How the filmmakers managed to take a concept so original, frightening and genius in execution and make a sequel so fucking terrible is beyond me. They make the rules up as they go along, completely forgetting whatever was said in the previous scene, all before Vincent D’Onofrio shows up for some reason, and you’ll be shocked to hear that this isn’t even the worst film he starred in this year. MY REVIEW.
CHiPS is a disgrace to all that is good in the world. While I initially gave it one star, that, in retrospect, feels way too generous. The screenplay is trash. The performances are trash. The humour is trash. As an adaptation of a somewhat beloved TV show, it fails miserably, but even as a film standing in its own right, it fails even worse. These are all talented actors. They’ve proven themselves in other films. But when put together in CHiPS… I don’t even know what happened. MY REVIEW.
A little part of me may have died while watching each of the previous films on this list, but a lot of me died when having to sit through whatever the hell Transformers 5 was. Jesus Christ, these films are still going. You’d think after making billions upon billions of dollars at the global box office they’d start getting good, but, sadly for us, they’re doing quite the opposite. It’s as if Satan conjured this movie in hell and sent it to our world as punishment for all our sins. MY REVIEW.
Back in January last year, never would I have guessed that a Michael Fassbender-led crime thriller from the director of Tinker Tailor Solider Spy would end up as my worst film of the year, but here we are. Holy crap, this movie. I don’t even know where to begin. It’s the film that sparked a thousand memes, and that’s perhaps the only good thing about it. Not only were they forced to cut an hour off of the runtime (a massive relief from the perspective of the audience), but they only had the time and budget to film about 70% of the script, and it shows. The Snowman is an abomination of a movie. Michael Fassbender has had a run of lackluster movies as of late, but this… wow. This is by far the worst thing he’s ever been involved with. MY REVIEW.
Chris Campo's 10 Worst Films of 2017
1. The Book of Henry
2. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
3. 47 Meters Down
5. The Space Between Us
6. The Snowman
7. Justice League
8. The Babysitter
9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
10. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
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By Jack Dignan
One of the things I’ve noticed about nearly all the films on my list today is that they’ve really stuck with me. Long after the credits finished rolling, weeks if not months later, these films were still bouncing around in my head, even resonating with me on a stronger level than they did initially. Because of that, the order of these films may not perfectly reflect the rating I gave them in my review. Still, each of these films affected me deeply, and while the year may not have started on the strongest footing, it came around in the long run. And wow, what tremendous films they were!
Also, I’m sure you’ve noticed, but we’re just two days away from February, so this list is coming out a little late. As I’m Australian, we get a great deal of 2017 releases in the early months of 2018. Last year saw the exclusions of Moonlight and Manchester By The Sea, amongst others, two films that definitely would’ve made my list had I seen them earlier. I held off on this list as long as I could, knowing that I was bound to love some films I hadn’t yet seen, so while I still haven’t seen everything, I saw as much as I could.
Before we begin, I also want to point out that there’s been, like every year, so many fantastic movies that I really wanted to put on this list. They all came close, and I can’t go without mentioning them. My HONOURABLE MENTIONS are The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Paddington 2, Molly's Game, Mudbound and War for the Planet of the Apes.
Thanks for reading DCM throughout 2017 and beyond! It’s been a great year and I thank each and every one of you for your support. Now, let’s get this list started.
The Big Sick is such a wonderful, unexpected hit. It’s sweet, tender, heartfelt and relevant, able to make you laugh just as easily as it makes you cry. Kumail Nanjiani is an absolute treasure, armed with pitch-perfect comedic timing thanks to a truly spectacular Oscar nominated screenplay co-written by himself and real-life wife Emily V. Gordon. It’s the rom-com to beat in 2017. MY REVIEW.
Guillermo del Toro has always gone up and beyond to bring his love of monsters to the big screen. His latest, The Shape of Water, is one of this best, using his affection in the literal sense and creating an absolutely spellbinding display of untamed love and universal acceptance. Sally Hawkins is tremendous. Plus, del Toro finally made movie monsters sexy. This is the film we’ve all been waiting for! MY REVIEW.
Okja was my absolute favourite movie from this year’s Sydney Film Festival (mainly because I wasn’t fortunate enough to catch this list’s #9 film until later in the year), and it’s stuck with me to this very day. The story of a super pig gone wild and the little girl who tries to save her will have you laughing, crying, cheering and sitting on the edge of your seat from start to finish. And heck, if it happens to make you vegan in the process, that’s fine too. MY REVIEW.
Stephen King’s monster of a book (both thematically and in terms of page length) finally gets the film treatment it deserves. Or at least, it gets the first half of it. IT: Chapter One isn’t necessarily the scariest film of 2017, nor is it even the highest rated horror film on this list, but it’s a wonderfully entertaining 80s high school movie throwback featuring a bunch of social misfits who just so happen to be fighting a demonic killer clown. And it’s fucking awesome. MY REVIEW.
It’s no secret that I love Pixar. One might even go so far as to say I live and breathe Pixar. They’re the best; there’s no competition, and their latest, Coco, is exactly what you’d expect from the studio famous for making you cry. It’s a deep and affectionate Mexican story that deals with very important themes relating to death and the memory of our ancestors. There’s a little something for everyone, but it’s the older audiences who may end up getting the most out of this brilliant little film. MY REVIEW.
There are no definitive answers as to what really happened between Tonya Harding, her husband Jeff Gillooly and fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Google tells you one thing, reporters say another, and then each of the members involved all have a completely contradicting story. And that’s what makes I, Tonya so special. The truth doesn’t matter. I, Tonya isn’t out to set the facts straight, it’s out to tell a powerful and darkly comedic story of abuse while recounting one of sport’s most infamous moments. MY REVIEW.
“I have loved you for the last time. Is it a video? Is it a video?” Call Me By Your Name fills your heart with love and joy before completely ripping it out of your chest and tearing it into pieces before your very eyes. Timothêe Chalamet and Armie Hammer are both sensational as hidden lovers slowly starting to embrace their bisexuality in the gorgeous Italian summer, but it’s Michael Stuhlbarg who brings the whole thing home with a powerful and unforgettable speech during the finale. Also, there be peaches. Yeah… MY REVIEW.
Get Out is all sorts of brilliant. It’s genius in its execution, delivering a haunting, genre-defying movie that deals with racism in a way never before seen. It’s as terrifying as it is important, able to transcend expectations and take you down a rabbit hole that’ll leave you shaking, shocked and wanting more. Repeat viewings only further display the genius at work here, allowing you to pull back new lawyers every time. Jordan Peele, you are a madman and a genius. We love you. CHRIS CAMPO’S REVIEW.
Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of comic book hero Wolverine has been a massive part of my life. He’s been around since I was very young, and I’ve been following his adventures ever since. I still remember the first time I watched most of the X-Men movies, eagerly waiting for the next one to come out. And now, Jackman’s time is up. Logan is his swansong, a triumphant goodbye to his most beloved character, and one that tells a dark, violent and human tale of a hero at the end of his days. I couldn’t think of a better way to send this character off. MY REVIEW.
Tommy Wiseau’s ambitious masterpiece The Room pretty much changed my life. If you haven’t yet seen it, you’re only doing yourself a disservice, but even then, The Disaster Artist should still be an absolute must-see. If Birdman was Michael Keaton’s modern self-reflective masterpiece, The Disaster Artist is Franco’s, whose performance here is so, so, so very good. An Oscar snub of the highest degree. MY REVIEW.
Even months after having seen it for the first time, Baby Driver remains the single coolest movie of the year. It’s slick, stylish and choreographed to perfection, every scene timed flawlessly to the music blaring from central protagonist Baby’s headphones. Baby Driver is big, loud and exciting, featuring Edgar Wright at his most Edgar Wright. If you like film, you’re going to love Baby Driver. MY REVIEW.
A Star Wars film from Rian Johnson, the writer-director of Looper, is essentially what heaven looks like. It’s a film with a few minor quibbles throughout, most of which have been drastically exaggerated by upset and very loud “fans” on the internet, but what it does best is take these characters and challenge them in ways we haven’t seen before. It goes in a lot of unexpected directions, subverting all expectations and delivering a sequel that puts character first. It’ll challenge you as an audience member in more ways than one, while leaving you impatient for 2019’s concluding chapter. MY REVIEW.
The original Blade Runner is one of my all-time favourite films. Heck, I think it’s one of everyone’s all-time favourite films. And yet a sequel to such a perfect standalone story is an idea that nobody thought could’ve worked, but here we are with Blade Runner 2049, an immaculate, gorgeous display of master class filmmaking with just as many profound and thought provoking ideas as the original. It expands the established world while working perfectly in its own right, and repeat viewings only help me love it more. I gave this 4.5 stars originally. I have no idea what I was thinking. That was way too low. This film is a masterpiece. MY REVIEW.
Well… I guess this is a bit of a spoiler for my review later this week, but I. LOVED. LADY. BIRD. It’s a fantastically earnest, emotional and hilarious depiction of life in Sacramento, 2002, accessible for anyone who’s ever been a teenager. Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut has set a high bar for all films she has to follow this up with, matched by all-round incredible performances, most notably from the mother-daughter duo of Saorise Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. Coming of age dramadies don’t get much better than this.
And here we are at my number one film of 2017, Phantom Thread, finally releasing Australia-wide in just two days time! GO SEE IT EVERYBODY! It’s an absolutely chilling foray into unhealthy relationships that sees Paul Thomas Anderson subtly, unofficially and unexpectedly returning to the comedy genre. Every frame feels like a painting. Every performance is without flaw. Every line and character beat is perfectly calculated. I’ve seen this film twice now and I’m yet to find something I don’t like. I’m sure there’s something, no film is perfect, but I highly doubt anyone’s going to find it any time soon, especially not me. It’s too perfect. MY REVIEW.
Chris Campo's Top 15 Films of 2017:
1. Get Out
2. The Shape of Water
3. The Disaster Artist
4. Baby Driver
5. Blade Runner 2049
6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming
8. I, Tonya
9. Ingrid Goes West
11. Lady Bird
12. The Big Sick
13. John Wick Chapter 2
14. Star Wars The Last Jedi
15. Lazer Team 2
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