Wylie Writes’ 2017 Mid-Year Report

We’re halfway through the year, which means it’s time for Wylie Writes’ recap of the best and the worst films of 2017.  Don’t forget to click the coloured titles to read a more detailed write-up about the film!

Addison Wylie

The Best:

Logan (DIR. James Mangold)

Hugh Jackman gives the best performance of the year in Marvel’s superhero swan song.  Logan doesn’t hold anything back – the emotional climaxes nor the graphic violence – and appropriately sets this supernatural story in a tangible reality.  A mainstream rarity!

Now available on: Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and Digital

Honourable Mentions: Dying Laughing, Get Out, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The Worst:

Dark Night (DIR. Tim Sutton)

Dark Night does a poor job at representing Tim Sutton’s filmmaking abilities.  It’s a tasteless cash-in on a loosely-inspired tragedy, an offensive guessing game, and an exercise in pretentious, navel-gazing nonsense.

Dishonourable Mentions: Baywatch, Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie, iBoy

As for Sky Wylie (Wylie Writes’ co-editor), her favourite film of the year (so far) is Ann Marie Fleming’s dramedy Window Horses.  Her pick for the worst is Tim Sutton’s Dark Night.


Shannon Page

The Best:

Hidden Figures (DIR. Theodore Melfi)

This was a feel-good drama that hit all the right notes.  Featuring noteworthy performances from Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe, Hidden Figures offered a refreshing re-examination of history.

Now available on: Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and Digital

The Worst:

Gold (DIR. Steven Gaghan)

Sometimes a paint-by-numbers approach can make for a cathartic viewing experience, but this is not one of those times.  Filled with overused tropes that border on clichés, a persistent lack of originality is the film’s most glaring fatal flaw.

Now available on: Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and Digital


Shahbaz Khayambashi

The Best:

TIE: Kedi (DIR. Ceyda Torun) and Get Out (DIR. Jordan Peele)

I could not even consider breaking the tie here because these are two completely different movies which are both so necessary right now. After the entire world managed to fall apart in 2016, we needed two things: to take our mind off the matter and, at the same time, to speak out and let the world know we wouldn’t go down without a fight. The former is a beautiful movie (with vague hints of politics) that will allow a respite from the damage, while the latter is a brilliant horror film which speaks out about the damage (or, at least, a part of it).  These two probably wouldn’t make a great double feature, but they are both so great!

Get Out is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and Digital

Honourable Mentions: Shadowman, Tokyo Idols, Mommy Dead and Dearest

The Worst: 

Spookers (DIR. Florian Habicht)

This choice was a difficult one because there was another movie vying for this position, but the worst of the year (so far) had to go to this documentary which simply does not understand the basics of filmmaking.  With a thorough editing job, this could have been a good film (maybe even a great short), but the confused, erratic editing style led to very little attention being paid to any storyline.

By the time the audience figures out what these subjects do, director Florian Habicht has already given little snippets of time to several dream sequences, a woman discussing the problematic nature of setting a haunted house in an abandoned asylum (the woman is brought back an hour later to discuss the psychology of fear, because…why not?), a woman’s story of her mother being possessed, and a young man learning he is HIV-positive. None of these stories get enough time to develop, being almost immediately forgotten about, in order to add in another emotional moment which inevitably falls flat.

Dishonourable Mentions: Table 19, In Time to Come


Mark Barber

The Best:

Life (DIR. Daniel Espinosa)

This gloriously executed Alien rip-off about a group of scientists discovering an aggressive, murderous organism in a Martian rock strikes an elegant balance of poetry and brutality.  I’m no fan of Daniel Espinosa’s previous films, but this excellent sci-fi/horror about social Darwinism is vastly underrated and much better film than Alien: Covenant.

Now available on: Digital

Honourable Mentions: A Cure for Wellness, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

The Worst:

Beauty & the Beast (DIR. Bill Condon)

The highest grossing film of the year fails to make a convincing case for the slew of upcoming live-action adaptations of Disney’s animated canon.  Beauty & the Beast too often feels like an awkward stage production, and only Luke Evans manages to make his mark among the actors.

Now available on: Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and Digital

Dishonourable Mentions: The Bye Bye ManKing Arthur: Legend of the Sword


Jessica Goddard

The Best:

Obit (DIR. Vanessa Gould)

Obit is a documentary that I’m still thinking about.  Everything from the brilliant choice of subject matter to the serendipity of how delightful the writers being interviewed turned out to be, this movie is the perfect blend of calculated artistry and spontaneous discovery.  Director Vanessa Gould truly has a gift for chipping her way through tons of information, archives, and stories to highlight some wonderful and fascinating tidbits that might otherwise be lost to history.

Honourable Mentions: Certain Women, Kong: Skull Island

The Worst:

The Space Between Us (DIR. Peter Chelsom)

This is a particularly offensive film for how promising the premise is when compared to the final script and the exhausting execution.  This movie is so rife with clichés that I remember looking around the theatre on more than one occasion hoping to meet someone’s eyes to share in a “what the hell are we watching” moment.  This is a classic paint-by-numbers screenplay that refuses to dignify its audience by even making sense half the time.

Now available on: Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and Digital


Nick Ferwerda

The Best:

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (DIR. James Gunn)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a film that exceeded my expectations greatly. Being a case where the sequel is better than the first, Marvel’s movie was able to build on existing story arcs while also proving to be a compelling standalone film. Strong performances from Dave Bautista and Michael Rooker are among the standouts in the film that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I can’t wait to see how these characters join the Avengers in upcoming Marvel chapters.

Now playing in theatres

Honourable Mentions: Buster’s Mal HeartThe Occupants

The Worst:

Bitter Harvest (DIR. George Mendeluk)

The only good thing about Bitter Harvest was the overall visual aesthetic.  Otherwise, horrible acting, weak writing, and underwhelming direction left this critic/history buff feeling very disappointed.

Now available on: DVD, VOD, and Digital

Dishonourable Mentions: Fifty Shades Darker


Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:

Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie
Shannon Page: @ShannonEvePage
Shahbaz Khayambashi: @Shakhayam
Mark Barber: @WorstCinephile
Jessica Goddard: @TheJGod
Nick Ferwerda: @NickFerwerda

Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.