Best Movies & TV Shows of 2017
The Harold & Maudecast's annual Best of the Year List: 2017
Starting with 15...
Photo Credit imdb.com Netflix's Mindhunter is a fascinating drama series based on John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker’s true crime book, Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit and follows the careers of agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany). With the aid of a psychologist (Wendy Carr), Ford and Tench delve into the minds of America’s most dangerous killers to look for thought patterns to solve ongoing cases and to create what is now the modern method of profiling for serial killers. While the show is certainly a slow burn, the payoff is worth it. David Fincher returns to the serial killer genre with a series that doesn’t bombard you with gruesome imagery while still managing to create a suspenseful, chilling, and intriguing story.
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A must-see for Game of Thrones fans, Gunpowder, is a three-part HBO miniseries starring, co-created, and co-produced by the King of the North, Jon Snow himself, Kit Harington. The miniseries shows us a glimpse of the life of Harington’s real life ancestor Robert Catesby (Harington). The story follows Catesby's vengeful search for justice on the days leading up to the fifth of November, 1605, known infamously as the failed attempt to overthrow King James I. The super-tight script features a great cast, including Liv Tyler (LOTR films, The Leftovers), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), and Tom Cullen (Knightfall), and is packed to the brim with wrath and violence. Whether you are a history buff, an action fan, or just a Thrones junkie looking to get your Kit Harington fix, this is what you should be bingeing on a cold winter’s afternoon.
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We would be simply remiss in not including this Christopher Nolan epic on our list. Arguably the most cinematically stunning film of the year (without the use of CGI, no less!), Nolan gives us his version of the 1940 battle and evacuation of DUNKIRK through three different lenses: by air, by land, and by sea. The all star British cast includes Tom Hardy (swoon), Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, fresh-faced Fionn Whitehead, and even a weird-but-somehow-works appearance by Harry Styles. While this is without a doubt a war movie, Nolan swaps blood and gore for the heroic story of the civilians who brought their own boats to the beach of DUNKIRK to bring their soldiers to safety as the highlight of this film.
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Hugh Jackman's swan song as Wolverine in LOGAN does not disappoint, starting with its R rating. Fans of the X-Men franchise have longed for the claws to be unleashed in all their bloody destructive glory. Following the success of DEADPOOL studios seem more willing to take a chance on the R, and in this case it really pays off LOGAN delivers the brutal action fans have longed for and much more. The film is black and white, which enhances the bleak, dark mood of the story. LOGAN chronicles a bleak, dark future for mutants where most of the X-Men are gone save Dr. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart ) . Logan (Jackman) has deteriorated in powers and strength but is given one last chance at salvation when a mysterious little girl appears in his life needing his help. Or does she... Make no mistake, this movie is a bit of a downer in terms of happy endings but Jackman's (possibly) career best performance combined with some truly beautiful filmmaking make it well worth the watch. It is without a doubt the best of the X-Men franchise films and a fantastic film in its own right.
Listen to our Review of LOGAN
11. Disney Buys Fox
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Yes, you read that right, in 2017 Disney announced plans to acquire 20th Century Fox for 52.4 billion dollars which includes the 20th Century Fox movie and television studio, all of Fox’s regional sports channels, the cable channels FX and National geographic, and all of their relations and contacts internationally. This deal may have been due in large part to 86 year old Rupert Murdoch’s uncertainty for the future of Fox and his subsequent desire to secure Fox's future success. What better way then sure bet Disney?! Ugh. The purchase holds dangerous potential for reshaping Hollywood, and marks the end of an era for one of the behemith's of Hollywood. The upside is there could be some interesting additions to the Marvel cinema universe...X-Men and Deadpool. Fears of Deadpool becoming Disney-fied have littered social media in the wake of the announcement. Rest assured fans! Disney CEO, Robert Iger said this in a recent interview, “It [Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool,”
Promise Bob!? We shall see!
10. Warner Bros. Studio's Horror Made Here - Halloween Event
Photo Credit Sarah Mason
While the reboot of the 1990 clown classic didn’t quite make our list for best of 2017 (though we still gave it Justice, listen to IT Review) we do have to tip our hats to the incredible job that Warner Brothers Studios did in including the recreated Neibolt house in Horror Made Here, a Halloween haunt extravaganza on the Warner Bros Studio backlot in Burbank, California that ran over Halloween weekend 2017. This event was a smaller scale operation in comparison to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. There were less haunts but that meant less people and less time waiting in line!!! Haunts also included The Conjuring house and A Nightmare on Elm Street including a Virtual Reality experience. There were were a smattering of great food and beer trucks, a make-up demonstration from contestants of SyFy's Face-Off series, and a tour of Warner Bros. backlot which was awesome! Warner Bros. really stepped up, did it smaller but WAY better. The Harold & Maudecast had so much fun (see attached evidence of green screen escapades) which is why it is #10 on the Best of 2017 list. Don’t forget your yellow raincoat and step right in - you’ll float too!
9. The LEGO Batman Movie
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This. Movie. Was. INCREDIBLE. Definitely the best animated film of the year, this was a super fun, well-written, and with a superb cast. Dive into a new, adventure for Bruce Wayne that was kid-friendly in the way the Nolan films weren’t without giving up an adult-appreciated biting humor. The star-studded cast featured Will Arnett as the Caped Crusader himself, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, Zach Galifianakis as the Joker, and a whole slew of others including Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera, Jenny Slate, Channing Tatum, MARIAH CAREY (!!!), Jonah Hill, Zoe Kravitz, Conan O’Brien, Ellie Kemper, Adam DeVine… need I go on? As a follow-up to the original LEGO Movie, skip LEGO Ninjago, see this.
Listen to our REVIEW OF LEGO BATMAN
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Thrones fans seeking to fill a void may have found their way over to the FX original series, Taboo, a provocative look at the dark, dingy streets of London in the early 1800s. Tom Hardy stars as James Keziah Delaney, a presumed-dead prodigal son returning home after his father's death seeking to rebuild the family shipping empire. Created by Ridley Scott, Tom Hardy and his father, Chips Hardy, this bloody drama confronts betrayal, conspiracy, and even the supernatural. Check it out, and while you’re at it, check out HMC’s podcasts on Taboo in the archives - we love this show!
7. John Wick 2
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We cannot even begin to tell you how excited we were to see Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne reunite on the big screen after fifteen years for another super-stunt filled film! We loved the first John Wick, and the second installment lived up to its hype. The writing is great - surprisingly hilarious at times, actually, but one of the best parts of the entire film is seeing Reeves’ physicality and expertise in stunt performing burst through the screen. This dude does not do anything half-ass. He trains hard and performs his own stunts. His performance as a former assassin brought out of retirement reminds us of Reeves’ himself: the former Matrix star brought back after years into another intense action role, and it is clear that, like his character, Reeves’ physical capabilities have not faded with age. The world-building former stuntman turned direct Chad Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad do is phenomenal. We can't wait for John Wick 3!
Listen to our REVIEW OF JOHN WICK 2