Top 10 2017 Movie First Watches

10. Summer Wars

This has basically the same setup as Ready Player One with there being a sort of mega facebook that people use to conduct actual business and lifey stuff. Only this time it isn’t just a medium for a hella boring white dude to lick the feet of boring 80s pop culture. And the avatar is a cute furry dude instead of a boring anime dude.

Also, it has a badass grandma. Extremely important.


9. Halloween III: The Season of the Witch

I just love the idea of movies treating Halloween the same way Christmas movies treat Christmas. Like it’s this all-consuming, culturally important thing. I fucking love Halloween.


8. Get Out

Jordan Peele has done a lot of great work in a few different mediums, but he’s never directed a film before, and I just want that to sink in. Because even without that context, this thing is staggeringly ambitious. It’s going for very high bars in comedy, horror, and social commentary, and it clears them with ease. And apparently Peele has several similar ideas that he wants to bring to the screen in the near future, to which I can only say yes please.

By the way: while there were certainly many horrific things depicted in this film, all of them pale in comparison to that girl eating a bowl of dry Fruit Loops with a glass of milk right the fuck next to them, right? Despite having just silently watched several brutal, cathartic scenes of violence, I almost shrieked, “Why would you even???” at the screen.


7. Pariah

I am so fucking glad the film didn’t end with the protagonist and her mother reconciling when it really felt like that’s where it was going. You get used to certain patterns and ways movies ebb and flow, and this movie more or less “tells” you through the way it sets the scene up, “Oh, okay, this is the part where they tearfully reconcile.” Except, nope. And what’s even more important than that (and what shows the amount of thought that went into how this thing is plotted) is that all of the scenes adjacent to this moment show Alike flourishing more than we’ve ever seen her flourish. She’s going to college early, she’s written her most heartbreakingly beautiful poem yet (read to us in voiceover as she begins the next stage of her life). If I had to describe Alike during this period of the film in one word, it would be “triumphant.”


6. Gamera: Guardian of the Universe

If Gamera: Guardian of the Universe had stuck with Mayumi as the human protagonist and trimmed some of the overly large cast of human characters, it would’ve been a perfect movie. As it stands, it’s a staggeringly impressive achievement.


5. Her Story

[Hi! It’s editing Miles. This movie was my favorite movie of all time at the end of 2017 for deeply personal reasons, and it’s still very special to me, but I went ahead and bumped it down to a spot that is more appropriate for how I feel about it now. I still love it, though.]


4. Happy Death Day

I’m really grooving on the whole Scream + Groundhog Day premise, and the protagonist was super likable. I also like that they decided not to be nerrrrrrrrds and overexplain why the whole time loop thing was happening. (I also preemptively love that this will certainly piss off a lot of nerrrrrrrrds.) They could make a bunch of sequels to this with no further justification than “this is fun” and I really wouldn’t mind.

One thing, though: the idea that a university would use “Babies” as its mascot is dramatically creepier than anything else in this movie.


3. The Handmaiden

Get you a girl who destroys your abusive uncle’s porn library with as much savage ferocity as Sookee. (And then throws down suitcases for you to use as stairs when you have trouble stepping over a garden wall.)


2. Mothra (1961)

“According to my calculations this is scientifically impossible.”


1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars is dead. Long live Star Wars.



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