Keeping it Reel : Almost half way through

So we’re now close on the end of the first six months of 2017 and it’s getting to that point where I am starting to rank the films I’ve seen at the cinema during the year, but this year I am having a bit of difficulty. Whilst I normally review lesser-known films, I always rank all of the films I saw at the cinema during the year, but unlike last year, I am struggling this year.

Let me come right out and say it, the film line up for this year sucks. By this same time last year, I had already seen over 70 films, but at the time of writing, I have only seen 54 (I’m currently waiting to go into my 55th as I type this). For me, 2017 has been a year where I’ve heard about so many laudable films but failed to see why they were so highly praised when I went to view them.

By this time last year, I already had a solid top ten, and that’s without including a lot of films that I liked whereas this year I am struggling. Out of those 54 films, I personally feel that only five have been worthy of a top ten place, and if I were to do that list right now, it would have so much filler that it wouldn’t be a fair reflection of the quality of the films that actually deserve to be in there.

There are so many films that I ranked outside of the top ten in 2016 that would comfortably be in it this year. For example, “The Witch” and “Arrival” just failed to make my top ten last year, but both would probably be in my top five if they had been released this year. Infact, looking at my 20-11 ranking list last year, the majority would outrank most films I have seen this year, and I’d go as far as saying that some from my 30-21 list would also do the same.. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of good films this year, ones that I would give a solid 7 or 8/10 to, but can I honestly say that they’re top ten worthy? No.

One such example is “Silence”, Martin Scorsese’s film about Jesuit priests going to Japan. I actually liked this film, but wouldn’t currently include it in my top ten because whilst it is a film that you will need to watch twice to catch everything (it is a very long film), you wouldn’t really want to. That’s a big thing for me, and whether I would willingly watch a film again is a bit factor in whether a good film would make my top ten.

The one thing that keeps me going is the hope that things improve. I’ve been doing this site for three years now, and each of my previous lists have been topped by films released in the final few months of the year. 2014’s “Nightcrawler” came out in November (I think), whereas 2015’s “No Escape” and 2016’s “Captain Fantastic” were both September releases. Looking ahead to the films in the second half of the year, there are a few that interest me and have a chance of making my top ten, but we’ll see.

To be fair, on the flip side there haven’t been that many awful films, and there are only five again that I have seen that I would consider bad enough to go into a list like that. Granted, there are a few others which I currently don’t have on that list that I will happily include if I don’t see more awful films.

Without revealing what the specific films are, here are a few notable aspects about the top and bottom tens if I were to compile them right now.

  • I would have an actor in two films in the top ten for the first time.
  • One actress would appear in both my top and bottom ten, also for the first time.
  • And also for the first time, one actor would be in my bottom ten twice (Zac Efron very narrowly missed out on that last year)
  • One comic-book movie would make my top ten, but it is not one of those that I consider worthy.
  • Out of the 54 films I’ve seen to date, the least represented mainstream genre that would feature in the top half of the list would be horror.
  • On the flip side, two of my definite bottom five so far would fall into the horror genre.

That’s all I’m going to give you for now. Let’s hope the quality of films gets better soon.

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