I think at least as far as entertainment is concerned its been a pretty good year. There’s been ups and downs as there is every year, disappointments and resounding successes. So I thought I’d do a look back and therefore have decided to split this into two posts over the next week or so … leading up top my annual Top Ten of the Year on 31 December (please check back for that).
January to June
The year started off rather interestingly, with the absolutely nutty The Greasy Strangler … a movie I had heard a lot about. The eventual experience was a bit ‘wtf?’ and remains probably the oddest, most out-there movie I’ve seen all year, and not in a good way. The biggest let down though of the month (and year) was undeniably Trainspotting 2. I don’t know what I was expecting, but this trapped-in-the-past, albeit entertianing sequel delivered nothing to either repeat the gritty cool of the original or offer anything new. It’s not a terrible movie but it just had very little to warrant it’s existence.
One of my favourite gadgets this year has been my iPad Air 2 which I picked up in January, and use regularly for so many things…other than my phone (which I’ll get to in party two) it’s been my go to gadget of choice. Hell or High-water was a particular highlight and a solid robbers on the lam sort-of western with two great performances from Chris Pine and Ben Foster, even if I thought Jeff Bridges was a little over-hyped.
Deepwater Horizon was a great disaster movie based on real events with a stand out turn from the always enjoyable Mark Wahlberg. February was also when I played the return-to-form latest entry in one of my favourite gaming franchises: Resident Evil 7. One of the few games this year I saw through to the end, but this gripping, at times genuinely frightening and action-packed game truly put the franchise back on track. Around this time I began to deep dive further into music having subscribed to Apple Music and I have discovered some really great artists this past year, which started out with Tegan and Sara as well as Chvrches, PVRIS, Royal Blood and many more (I’ll be covering my music highlights more in part two).
March delivered one of my firm favourite movies of the year, the Korean zombie horror Train to Busan, which was a brilliantly executed thrill-ride with great characterisation and top-notch production values. Look out for it in my end of year Top Ten. March also delivered more highlights in the form of the enjoyable if a tad over-hypoed Doctor Strange, as well as the charming and touching A Street Cat Named Bob. However the good times had to come to an abrupt stop in the surprisingly poor Kong: Skull Island which offered some truly awful characters, only saved slightly by some fun monster smack down action. What Tom Hiddleston was doing in this is anyone’s guess though. Thankfully it was only a short-lived blip as I then got to see another favourite of the year, Logan – with a career defining performance by the often underrated Hugh Jackman. If you haven’t seen this one yet … remedy that immediately – it’s really that good.
The end of March also saw me pick up what has been a really worthwhile purchase this year, the Nintendo Switch! As with any Nintendo console, it was a bit of a risk. Gamecube failed after only a short run, the Wii was a major success but lacked games, and well I didn’t bother with the Wii U. Thankfully with games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Steamworld Dig 2 and Super Mario Odyssey it’s been the games console I’ve played the most in 2017 without a doubt.
April was the month this blog reached it’s 10 year anniversary. Wow…had it really been that long? I’m not popular, what I discuss on here is a crowded field to say the least, and standing out is difficult. However let it be said I still very much enjoy expressing myself on here and appreciate every visitor, every like and every comment when I get them. Thank you to all who stop by!
Despite being one of my favourite actresses, Scarlett Johansson’s much anticipated Ghost in the Shell, whilst entraining didn’t turn out to be all that it could have been despite some great visuals. However Tom Hanks delivered a solid performance as always in the based on true events Sully. I also recently started getting back into the highly-imaginative world of Persona 5 (released in April) which is unique and cleverly done, despite some typical Jap-RPG gameplay trappings. Suppose all that Switch goodness proved a distraction this year and there’s many games I need to also go back to.
In May I saw more highlights of the year, firstly the highly entertaining (if not quite as refreshing) Guardians of the Galaxy 2 boasting some great turns especially from Kurt Russell. Then the Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle Nocturnal Animals was also an interesting take on a relationship drama that struck a cord and proved powerful and clever. Yet the over-hyped and generally rather tiresome La La Land was a huge disappointment with a lack of memorable songs for a musical and bland characterisation despite featuring a great cast.
As June rolled around I finally managed to see the highly acclaimed Hacksaw Ridge and came away humbled and suitably impressed. It was a very different approach for a war movie but director Mel Gibson and star Andrew Garfield nailed it. Following this possibly the best comic book movie of the year was released; Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot was born to play this roll and with a great dirty-dozen meets fish out of water storyline I really had a great time with this one. I also got around to watching bullet fest sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 which although simply more of the same was still pretty damn good and well, who doesn’t enjoy Keanu Reeves obliterating bad-guys?
June also saw the annual videogame convention ‘E3’ arrive which promised a great deal from the three big gaming giants Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo and highlights included the reveal of the Xbox One X, more footage of the highly-anticipated Super Mario Odyssey and Sony’s God of War amongst many more. It was a pretty exciting time to be a gamer and 2017 was only to prove itself as a classic year in gaming history.
Well, that’s it for part one of this look back. Phew, it’s been a pretty packed year when looking back and there’s plenty more to come. Look out for Part Two this time next week!