The fashion! The hair! The cars! The music! Ah, the 1980s. Many others, myself included, have a tinge of nostalgia linked to that era even though I was born over a decade after. But somehow a fondness has developed. Or perhaps, an obsession? Particularly in the film and television industry, a slew of productions has been hitting our screens all inspired or based in the 1980s. From original stories like Stranger Things and Ready Player One, or reboots like Mad Max: Fury Road and Blade Runner 2049, these remakes, rehashes, and re-dos have a keen finger for tickling the nostalgia gland and squeezing out that potential viewership to increase the revenue gross. And the latest ‘victim’ of the ’80s deluge is the Transformers franchise, which is in dire need of a nostalgia remedy.
Bumblebee, as the title suggests, is a solo picture revolving around everyone’s favourite yellow and black transforming Camaro but, and in true ’80s fashion I implore, has had a makeover into an adorable yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Also starring Hailee Steinfeld, whilst isn’t an ’80s icon, recently portrayed a troubled teen in The Edge of Seventeen which is eerily reminiscent of coming-of-age classics of John Hughes. As stated before, the Transformers franchise is desperately due for rejuvenation as the financial and critical performances have decreased as they continue to release films.
It’s been a great year for movies. From the blockbusters that broke box office records (‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’) to the new-found classics with a real social impact (‘Get Out’, ‘Call Me by Your Name’), many films released this year will doubtlessly be well-remembered for decades to come. There’s been controversial releases from much-loved directors (‘mother!’, ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’), some fantastic sequels, remakes and franchise continuations (‘Logan’, ‘Blade Runner 2049’, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’) and even a new Rotten Tomatoes record for critical acclaim (‘Lady Bird’). Of course, as per usual, some movies haven’t quite hit the mark, but best not to mention those. Instead, we’ll talk about the movies that we truly loved in 2017, the very best of the best, in a year that’s been very important for film. Without further ado, our top 15 of the year:
15. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Martin McDonagh’s latest is a dark comedy about the ongoing anger in our world and what happens as it explodes into something far worse. But for as much as past mistakes may have driven one’s own soul to where they are headed to in the present, Martin McDonagh’s newest black comedy isn’t so much what would have been expected. What I first entered thinking it would be another vulgar comedy in the veins of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths wasn’t only that, but to my own surprise it was also a rather stunning portrait of grief – in order to balance the satire present with the way the American morale is perceived by many. In this world that Martin McDonagh has created, there are no heroes, there’s only anger and it explodes into more anger, we laugh along but quickly enough it bites back since we know that in this world we know that there is no greater authority that wants to control the anger. It only feels more fitting in this day and age when you come to consider that America’s driving force is anger. In the most unexpected ways, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is actually rather hopeful amidst the darker surface and it’s also Martin McDonagh’s most optimistic film – driven by a powerhouse performance by Frances McDormand. Right next to her own role in the Coen brothers’ Fargo, it seems like the most fitting counterpart because of their antonymous morals, but it’s that anger it drives from one’s own mind that leaves ourselves to reflect upon what we have in store for the future.