I saw a lot of movies this year, just like I do every year. There were an awful lot of horrible movies that I sat through so that you didn’t have to, my dear readers. But, as Robert De Niro says in Heat, “there is a flipside to that coin.” There were quite a few good and great movies that came out this year, and many were fairly small, innocuous films that most might have missed. I’m here to quickly discuss some of my favorites and one film which I would watch again if you put a gun to my head, but I really wouldn’t like it. My Deep Tracks column is being put on hold, but because I like writing that one so much, I’ll dust it off and continue at some point next semester.
First, I want to talk about my favorite movie of 2017, Get Out. This movie was a pretty big deal when it came out, and rightfully so, because it is fantastic. But I think that the attention has died down nine months after its release. Get Out is funny and scary at the same time, and it is also a biting satire of a subversive kind of racism of which I, as someone who has never been persecuted for the color of my skin, was entirely unaware.
All of the actors turn in an incredible performance throughout, the story is tight and engaging, and the dialogue is compelling, witty, and thought-provoking in one fell swoop. I keep an alternate list of movies that I think everyone should see, and although it’s in no order, Get Out is a movie I genuinely think everyone should watch, even if they don’t particularly like movies. The film has already been nominated for and won multiple awards, and although I’m unsure if it will make it to the Golden Globes or Academy Awards, I think it should win. There is even more good news for Get Out: It has been added to HBO. At this point, Game of Thrones has become popular enough that everyone who doesn’t have an HBO account has a friend with one. This holiday season, treat yourself to an incredible movie.
Now, one of my least favorite movies of 2017. In July, I saw The Emoji Movie in theaters. I had high hopes for this film, trusting the strong and eclectic voice cast and the high bar set by a similarly cast animated movie, The LEGO Movie. But I was sorely disappointed. The Emoji Movie was atrocious. The story was trite and predictable, the characters were poorly motivated and voiced, and I can guarantee that I did not laugh one time in the 91 minutes of this commercial with a “story.” There were blatant ads for Dance Dance Revolution, Candy Crush, and Dropbox (a favorite app among preteen children, as everyone knows). The Emoji Movie went so far as to try to create a new summer “dance-song” combination, the “Emoji-Bop.” Apparently there is some benevolent deity watching over us with a stoic scowl on its face, because this song-and-dance did not catch on. Trolls, as bad as it was, at least had a pretty good pop song as the main soundtrack, “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” The “Emoji-Bop” is not that, and we should all be thankful.
There is one more film-like creation that was released this year that deserves everyone’s special attention. It was not released in theaters, or on DVD. No, it was performed 138 times at the prestigious Lyceum Theatre from September 2016 to January 2017, where it was filmed and then released on Netflix on June 13, 2017. Oh, Hello on Broadway is the lovechild of comedy legends Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. The production is a two-hour version of the “Oh, Hello” bit on The Kroll Show. Mulaney and Kroll play George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon respectively, two geriatric New Yorkers. The special is filled with weird and hilarious bits, recurring jokes, and isms of both the Mulaney and Kroll variety. There are countless, fairly intelligent references to obscure and well-known theatre productions like Hamilton and The Pillowman, shoutouts to acclaimed New York actor Alan Alda (“double-A beep beep get off my property!”) and Steely Dan, and of course there are such amazing quotable moments as “Oh, Hello!”, “Alright!”, and “That’s too much tuna.”
There are a lot of other must-watch and must-avoid movies from this year, but these three are the most pressing for each category. Other than that, have a great break and I’ll see you in the new year, with another 30 movies to talk about.
Featured Image by Netflix