Joel’s top 10 Movies for 2017 (in no particular order)

What films am I looking forward to in 2017? Call me grumpy but i don’t think I can come up with 10. With all of the sequels and prequels and reboots and remakes, the movie forecast is pretty bleak. That being said, somehow most of the movies on this list are one of the things I just complained about in one way or another. Anyway, here’s 9 movies I am looking forward to seeing this year.

T2 Trainspotting:


Of all the movies I have seen, Trainspotting holds the most personal significance. If it weren’t for The Searchers, no other movie would even come close to being my favorite (I don’t know what my third favorite is, but it’s not half the movie that those two are). T1 has withstood a number of re-watches that no movie should be asked to hold up under. It gets better every time, I understand a new fold of the story, come up with a new interpretation, notice another little detail. It never gets old.

My love for T1 is the root of my worry about T2. The same creative team is working on it, so I shouldn’t worry, if they did it once they can do it twice. But still… What if they are washed up? What if they are broke and have to ruin their artistic credibility to eat? What if Disney secretly killed them and are using their bodys in yet another hackish money grab? I just drown these thoughts out with images from the original film, and believe.

The Founder:

I like bio-pics, maybe this is a weakness, maybe its just the old man in me slowly coming out. At any rate, my bio-pic this year is The Founder. An American icon, money, Nick Offerman, and hamburgers; how bad can it be?


silence-00721I swore off Martin Scorsese after I tried to watch Raging Bull, I don’t care to watch professional boxers beat their wives, even if it is supposed to be an examination of the violent American psyche or something. The premise of this story sold me, its something that I don’t think has been done before. As a history buff I am interested both in Jesuits and Japanese history because I don’t know anything at all about them. This is also a chance to see something different in film, missionary movies have been out of style for at least 60 years, if they were ever in style. I think a story examining the life of a missionary outside of the adoration of Christian cinema would make for a very interesting movie.


I enjoy Wolverine movies and Iron Man movies despite myself.

Blade Runner 2049:

blade-runner-2049-images-700x300The Blade Runner concept is ripe with potential as an examination of what it means to be human. I don’t think the first Blade Runner exhausted all of that potential of that concept, there is still room for exploration. The trailer makes this film look like it was shot by a master, but trailers lie, so that may not end up being the case. Neither the director (Denis Villeneuve) or the writer (Michael Green) have produced a classic on the level of the original blade runner, this may be their chance. 


The Coens worked on the script, great. Matt Damon is staring in it, good. George Cloony is directing, kinda sketchy. His past movies have been mediocre at best. I will see this if the reviews are good and I don’t have anything else going that weekend.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:

valarianI want to see this movie almost as badly as I want to see T2. Why? because this movie is taking a risk. Sure, it is a sci-fi movie based on a graphic novel which is a little run of the mill now; but how many people have heard of this awkwardly named thing? It’s not like they are running out of good graphic novels to make into movies. The risk lies in the fact that there is not already a fan base for this story, there isn’t even a lot of name recognition. Batman is a sure bet, as long as you don’t really screw the pooch profits are a sure bet. This movie has balls, and I will respect that with my hard earned dollars.

Another reason to believe in this movie is that it is made by a competent director. Luc Besson has shown that he can make a classic with Leon: The Professional, and that he can make a very watchable movie out of an at least questionable script with The Fifth Element.

Lego Batman:

Another sequel, I can already hear you calling “hypocrite!” Well, yes, but look what I have to work with. But who cares when it is Lego? The last Lego movie was so good, they’ve got enough gas to get me to at least two sequels. So much for integrity, they already have my money.

Last Flag Flying:

461469972This is Richard Linklater’s film for 2017. Linklater is one of my favorite directors because of his classic – Dazed and Confused. Bad News Bears is one of my favorite movies to kick back and relax with. He made one of the few films I enjoyed last year: Everybody Wants Some. I’m a fan. Naturally I’m going to see Last Flag Flying, which is based off of a book by the same name. Having not read the novel, I am a little sketchy on the details, but apparently it is supposed to be a comedic drama (whatever that means). Long story short, if Linklater will make ’em, I’ll watch ’em.

The tenth film:

The film that I am really looking forward to this year actually isn’t in this list. I haven’t heard of it yet. It is the symbolic tenth film on the list I guess (I swear I didn’t plan it this way). It’s the film that I will walk into knowing next to nothing about, with no expectations, the one that will really surprise me that I am excited to see this year. Of course all of the films we know about now are more or less taking advantage of the sure thing,  made by people we already know. Those are the only films that can afford to set a weekend, and advertise a year out, we know they won’t be horrible and so does the money in Hollywood. All of that is fine, but it’s not what I love about the movies. Art is partly about searching for something, and like life, if whatever we were searching for was where we expected it to be, it wouldn’t be worth finding. Somebody, somewhere is slaving over something that is truly wonderful, and that is the movie I want to see this year.


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