Stuff that didn’t necessarily come out in 2017, but was definitely new to me and the highlight of MY 2017.
An anime film I hadn’t seen yet with beautiful animation, a fun cyberspace premise, and charming family dynamics – and although I briefly got cheesed off about the sexism in it the female family members subsequently became much more useful once someone actually told them what was going on and I was like “this makes up for it I am pleased”. YMMV on that part tho.
Pure unadulterated fun. Thor is meant to be fun! And funny! Taika Waititi needs to direct more Marvel stuff, he has a strong sense of humour and an ability to make a lean, meaningful film with a large cast. Also Korg’s a muffin.
The Shape of Water
I’m a sucker for human/monster love stories AND a sucker for Guillermo del Toro movies so I knew this one was gonna be important before I’d even seen it. The movie was visually stunning, and sweet, and Sally Hawkins gives an incredible performance – all of which I was expecting. What did surprise me was just how damn extra the movie was. Elaborate fantasy sequences, physics-defying romance, and that del Toro gore might be a bit much for some people, but I am here for it.
New Japan Pro Wrestling
2017 was the year that I got super into NJPW, and also the year that I first watched the entirety of the G1 Climax Tournament. NJPW is what wrestling should be – it has a strong sense of the ridiculous, brief but effective character work, and consistently fun and interesting matches. If I were to try and summarize all my favourite NJPW wrestlers for you it would take all day, so just have the silliest one that’s gif’d above: Hiromu Takahashi the “Ticking Time Bomb”, accompanied by his son/bff/stuffed support animal Daryl Takahashi.
Ru Paul’s Drag Race
Because I like seeing live drag shows, my dude suggested we try Ru Paul’s Drag Race Season 8 when it appeared on Netflix, and now I’m hooked. Drag is a fascinating art form, and the show (in later seasons anyway) seems to have an intensely celebratory feeling about it at all times, even when two queens are ready to claw each others eyes out.
Tonari No Seki Kun
A gag show running short at 12ish minutes, Tonari No Seki Kun is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Seki-kun’s elaborate schemes for wasting time in class, and Yokoi’s complete obsession with them, stay fresh, surprising, and delightful.
Blade Runner 2049
I wasn’t even planning on seeing this at all, I was so convinced that a Blade Runner sequel was a Certified Bad Idea, but some people I trusted gave this the thumbs up so I headed out in theaters and boy am I glad I did. It’s beautiful, and it feels like it’s a sequel that actually needed to exist because it builds on the philosophical questions of the original in a way that I (frankly) find more interesting.
Guardians of the Galaxy
If you told me that the raccoon movie was going to articulate a lot of feelings I have about what family is, and the complicated process of loving imperfect people that have hurt you but have also tried and loved you, and the even more complicated process of loving and allowing yourself to be loved when you’ve hurt people you care about, I’d have said “shit I thought this was one of the only movies I could skip the tissues for”. DO NOT SKIP BRINGING THE TISSUES.