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MY MOVIE JOURNAL: THE BEST MOVIES OF 2017

 

Welcome again, to another end of the year.

Setiap tahunnya, di mana film adalah juga sebuah penanda era, pola tahun ini agaknya belum beranjak dari tema-tema gender equality dan women’s empowerment dari Hollywood ke negara lain. Fokus ke segmen-segmen yang dipandang sebagai minoritas juga masih menyita banyak perhatian kritikus dan ajang-ajang penghargaan, termasuk pengenalan yang lebih lagi pada pergerakan sineas-sineas wanita.

Namun mungkin satu hal yang bisa jadi luput dari perhatian banyak orang adalah pergeseran cara tutur dari film-film non major studios atau lebih lekat dengan istilah independen. Meski masih punya tema-tema serupa, kontender awards tahun ini semakin menunjukkan sensibilitas berbeda dalam gaya tutur tanpa harus kehilangan kekuatan narasinya. Call Me by Your Name, Three Billboards, I, Tonya, Lady Bird, The Big Sick dan Wind River adalah contoh dari film-film dengan kekuatan itu, juga drama keluarga Her Love Boils Bathwater dari sinema Jepang yang bisa menghindar dari melodrama eksploitatif berlatar penyakit.

Sementara, walau masih berkutat di pola-pola tipikal jualan komersilnya, film-film blockbuster juga masih terlihat mencari inovasi-inovasi baru yang sejalan dengan perkembangan teknologi sinema. Tetap mengutamakan excitements, ada sejumlah improvisasi formula yang masih diwarnai ‘hit and miss’ dalam resiko resepsi kritikus maupun publik sebagai pangsa terbesar dalam penentuan box office-nya.

Lagi-lagi, list ini tak semata berdasar personal likes atau dislikes walaupun pasti diwarnai subjektivitas pilihan, tapi lebih ke film-film dengan inovasi dalam konsep, konten serta cinematic experience yang mereka hadirkan. The 30 + packed list, kurang lebih sama dengan total list di tahun sebelumnya memang disengaja. I think it’s fair not to put only 10 like most year-end list patterns, karena list ini tidak hanya berisi film Amerika/Eropa tapi juga industri sinema luar negara kita yang tetap masih atau tengah menjadi sorotan dengan kemajuan dan konsistensi masing-masing, seperti Bollywood, Korea, Jepang dan untuk tahun ini – Kamboja lewat film produksi Netflix yang disutradarai Angelina Jolie; First They Killed My Father yang sayangnya gagal memasuki tahapan seleksi selanjutnya di Academy Awards. Catatan singkat untuk tiap film dikutip dari capsule review akun twitter @danieldokter atau review di kolom Dan at the Movies. So here they are. Happy New Year, and enjoy!

 

  1. THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

Totally a musical grandeur in every aspects, #GreatestShowman is a celebration of love, dreams and humanity. And above all, family. This year’s greatest cinematic attraction.

 

  1. WIND RIVER

A moody murder thriller w/lots of subtexts, #WindRiver flows cold n calm but knows when to hit with a bang. Big one. Sheridan’s best to date.

 

  1. COCO

Not just inventive and imaginative beyond amazing music – visuals, #Coco is a wonderful tale of remembrance. A reminder of love, family and fond memories.

 

  1. HIDDEN FIGURES

Set up a math of heroes beyond heroes, unheard efforts that change the history of mankind, #HiddenFigures is an ultimate shoot for the moon.

 

  1. CHASING THE DRAGON

Over marvelous set pieces-camera work,Wong Jing & DoP Jason Kwan crafted #ChasingTheDragon like Scorsese’s larger than life-cinematic bravura. Yet above all, it’s Andy Lau & Donnie Yen’s standout chemistry that lits-up new fusion of Lee Rock & To Be Number One in #ChasingTheDragon.

 

  1. WONDER

“When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind”. #Wonder took us to an extraordinary journey shaped by a powerful message this world needs just now. All hearts. A true wonder.

 

  1. SECRET SUPERSTAR

From an old-fashioned family melodrama to another great ode to dreams, motherhood and women’s empowerment, #SecretSuperstar is a WONDER!

 

  1. A TAXI DRIVER

Resonate The Gwangju Uprising to #TheKillingFields-like story of friendship – unsung heroes, feat Song Kang-ho & Thomas Kretschmann, #ATaxiDriver is simply a masterpiece. The most powerful Korean movie this year.

 

  1. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

It’s actually surprising what Rian Johnson could do to expand #StarWars universe from #TheForceAwakens to #TheLastJedi .Keep the original soul, glorious glimpse and stay true to The Force, too, indeed, the finest installment since the first trilogy. A huge, total blast.

 

  1. I, TONYA

An unconventional biopic, at times a horrifying true tale of obsession told like a retro-mockumentary that shaped a solid anti-heroine dark comedy, #ITonya really feels like Scorsese’s. Goodfellas meets Ice Castles. Margot Robbie and Alison Janney are stunning.

 

  1. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

#ThreeBillboardsOutsideEbbingMissouri is a deeply, thoughtfully moving and elegant thriller. Might has similarities with #WindRiver – both are the finest this year.

 

  1. LION

Some of life’s greatest journey is the journey home. At its fullest of hearts, #Lion embarks you on the ultimate one.

 

  1. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Handsomely written and perfectly acted, #CallMeByYourName collaborate Luca Guadagnino’s soft eroticism as in Melissa P with James Ivory’s sensitivity. Beautiful score and soundtracks feat Sufjan Stevens, Ryuichi Sakamoto to Flashdance’s Moroder-Esposito Lady, Lady, Lady.

 

  1. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Brought the magic comes alive, more ways than you could ever imagine, #BeautyAndTheBeast is a tale as old as time-now lives on for evermore! It just took me back to the same awe, as enchanting as seeing the animated version in 1991. Perfectly reinventing the magic.

 

  1. MARROWBONE

Richly constructed as a horror fantasy yet deeply layered by psychological explorations of love, home and family bonds, #Marrowbone is both nerve-shredding and heartbreaking. Another home run for Spanish entry in the genre. One of this year’s best!

 

  1. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

Captured almost 80 yrs of Batman history & the widest range of pop culture ever in a movie, #TheLEGOBatmanMovie is the Batman of all Batman!

 

  1. WONDER WOMAN

For justice. For mankind. For love. Has all the core elements of traditional superhero movies once ruined by trends, #WonderWoman took a fresh turn never before seen in DCEU. The purest of soul among all DCEU installments.

 

  1. WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

#WarForThePlanet has a great balance of hearts,excitements & visual aesthetics. A really great script by Bomback-Reeves to wrap the trilogy. W/ closest nods ever to the original franchise, more complexities & homage to many war classics from Apocalypse Now to The Great Escape, #WarForThePlanet is the best entry of the series, and this summer’s winner!

 

  1. THE BATTLESHIP ISLAND

Easily one of the best working K-blockbuster directors now, from Arahan,Berlin File to Veteran, Ryoo Seung-wan shaped #TheBattleshipIsland as one massive historical war epic with taut and gripping emotions that never let go!

 

  1. THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD

EuroTrip w/lotsa bullets, erratic comedy, high octane action and reference play, #TheHitmansBodyguard holds your tension ‘til it goes no holds barred like loose cannons in its last half. Hilarious!

 

  1. HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER

Full of spirit yet still heart-wrenching, #HerLoveBoilsBathwater had a distinct sensitivity to avoid itself from sappy disease porns.

 

  1. KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD

Feels so Guy Ritchie, #KingArthurLegendOfTheSword took the tale to a dark-monstrous myth w/ stunning actions and visuals presentation. Aside of visuals, action and acts, Daniel Pemberton’s score is one of the best things in it, and like reading pop-up books, the 3D gimmicks is the best this year. Whoa!

 

  1. OKJA

Bong Joon-ho at every trace, #Okja smartly put the idea of food chain-industry into an adorable creature-feature with Ahn Seo-hyun’s bravura act and the action that indeed, puts real motion in motion pictures.

 

  1. THOR: RAGNAROK

Like #FlashGordon on dope, #Thor Ragnarok took MCU to a never-before-seen level of adventure-madness, races in high-gear. Hilarious!

 

  1. BABY DRIVER

Soundtrack driven True Romance meets Iron Eagle on wheels, #BabyDriver is one hell of extreme kinetic caper-romance. A+ level of geekiness!

 

  1. TOILET: EK PREM KATHA

Funny, satirical, often hyperbolic yet never once left off its ground, #ToiletEkPremKatha is one relevant and thought-provoking eye-opener.

 

  1. RADIANCE (HIKARI)

An unusually moving and subtle romance of sensory impairment, Naomi Kawase’s #Radiance is an ultimate exploration of feelings with great chemistry and Ibrahim Maalouf’s piano score.

 

  1. LADY BIRD

Another coming-of-age winner this year, #LadyBird shaped by Greta Gerwig’s distinct sensibility in its wonderful script and directing. Great performance too from Ronan, Metcalf and Letts.

 

  1. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2

Uphold the series as the genre’s most charming gem with two times the excitement over its code-of-honor core, #JohnWick2 is a KILLER sequel!

 

  1. MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

Lead one of the most exciting star-studded shows these days, Branagh fills in what we might never expect in any earlier versions of Agatha Christie’s #MurderOnTheOrientExpress – more than just a whodunit thriller. Hearts. Big, big, BIG HEARTS.

 

  1. THE BIG SICK

Didn’t find #TheBigSick funny but the warmth beyond the culture clash – down to earth love story was impossible not to love. I’m touched.

 

  1. FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER

A true story of innocence lost and humanity found, #FirstTheyKilledMyFather is both moving and devastating. The last 20 mins is so powerful. (dan)

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