Top Ten Favorite Films of 2017
Without further ado, here are the films which captured my imagination with no small dose of heart in 2017.
1. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2. Consider me a movie addict when it comes to action films. This happens to be a colossus -- not only for this year -- but for all time. Includes some Oscar worthy editing from Evan Schiff.
2. IT. Bill Skarsgård casts a mesmerising spell as Pennywise the Clown. So do the young actors who stand against him. Professionally crafted from root to tree top. Contains my favourite score of the year by Benjamin Wallfisch.
3. WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. Further evidence that character based visual effects remains one of the greatest magic tricks. Also, Andy Serkis deserves all the awards going for advancing the art of acting.
4. CAKE: A LOVE STORY. My desert island pick. Superb acting from Debra Lord Cooke and Richard Vernon. A testament to the artistry, passion and creativity of filmmaker Misha Zubarev.
5. VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS. Had to see it twice at the cinema. An unsung production sure to gain a strong cult following.
6. LIFE. This year’s Alien (more so than Ridley Scott’s retread Alien: Covenant). Tense, alert entertainment with a nod to The Twilight Zone.
7. GEOSTORM. The year’s most accomplished disaster flick makes a worthy companion to Volcano, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 and San Andreas. Astonishing visual effects and quite seminal too.
8. THE GREAT WALL. A jaw-dropping experience, impeccably assembled and highly captivating. In my view, this signalled the true arrival of composer Ramin Djawadi. Simply put, his work inspired me.
9. CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE. A completely original superhero born from the imaginings of two friends. Promotes the value of laughter and camaraderie.
10. BABY DRIVER. A second helping allowed me to appreciate Edgar Wright’s heist/getaway track list. Confidently edited on the beat by Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos.
(Listen to more of Richard Jack Smith's 2017 picks, including Worst/Best Scores and Worst Movies on YouTube, by clicking on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pk9TG-uohQ)