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Procrastination Nation: Start your year off right!

By Ariel Harmon, Editor-In-Chief

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As the year comes to a close, it’s time to look back at a few of the films that stood out in 2017. The following are my top five movies from last year. If you have not had a chance to watch these films, try to start your year off right by catching up on the steller movies that hit the big screen last year.

 

Starting off with two runner-ups that were good, some may even say great, but did not make it into my top five films of the year.

“The Greatest Showman”

The best part of this film for me was the soundtrack and the musical elements. The music captivated the audience and drew them in with each new song. The plot is loosely based on the story of P.T. Barnum, the founder of the most famous circus in the United States. The story itself is one of an underdog who rises up though the social ranks and lets the fame go to his head. P.T. Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman, goes around New York looking for “freaks” to star in his show. One of the best messages of this film is that everyone has a place somewhere, and that everyone deserves to be accepted. I think that it would have been better to feature a fictional circus instead of using the real Barnum and his circus which have been surrounded by controversy for his treatment of the performers and animals. Nevertheless, the soundtrack and the actors in the film were fantastic.

 

“Baby Driver”

This action-packed film was filled with bank robberies, heist planning and most important, car chases. This was an attention-getting film because it had the classic elements of an action movie, but it was so much more than just a heist or a chase film. The film had a stylish theme and was combined with a killer soundtrack that would play whenever the main character would drive. The chase scenes were filmed to match the music that was already chosen. This connected the music to the scene, and with the chase scenes set to music, the film never had a dull moment.

 

Now onto the top five in no particular order…

 

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

This movie received both positive and negative reviews. The negative reviews mostly came from people not getting what they expected from the film. A lot of people just wanted to see Luke Skywalker return and kick all kinds of bad guy butt. In past Star Wars films, there has been the Dark Side vs the Light Side. This film shows the gray area between these two sides like no Star Wars movie ever has before. “Last Jedi” seemed to have more comedic parts than the other Star Wars films have had, from the green milk, to the Porgs, this film was filled with little surprises. Some of the best action and suspension scenes of all Star Wars films came from this movie. The scene that had everyone on the edge of their seats was when Rey and Kylo-Ren finally met Snoke in person. This film took a lot of turns that were completely unexpected, and that is not something that is common in a blockbuster movie. Usually fans can tell where a film is going, however “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” had fans struggling to keep up. This film also showed us a glimpse into the past of Luke Skywalker and Ben Solo (Kylo-Ren). The past of these character when explained really made people question who was good and who was bad. Unlike the previous Star Wars films this movie made the line between the light and the dark merge and even those who are known to be good have a hidden evil. This grey area is something that viewers connected to because in life no one is ever completely good or completely bad. There is some part of both positive and negative aspects in people. Despite not giving us everything we wanted, it was still a fantastic movie and an amazing addition to the Star Wars universe.

 

“Spider-Man: Homecoming”

Spider-Man, Spider-Man/ Does whatever a spider can/ Spins a web, any size/ Catches thieves just like flies/ Look Out!/ Here comes the Spider-Man.

Spider-Man has returned! This time with the help of Marvel, we can assume that the new Spider-Man franchise will last longer than the last failed attempts at this beloved character. The classic character of Peter Parker is brought once again to the big screen. For once, the teenage characters in a movie were actual teenagers, which helped ground the film in reality.  Peter felt like a real kid and it was fun to hang out with him and his friends. The viewers got to have a look into Peter Parker problems, with his friends, love life, family, and trying to live up to what he thinks is his responsibility. Yet for a Marvel action movie this film felt more like “Sixteen Candles” than “The Avengers,” more teenage comedy than superhero flick. I liked how this film came off, and how it focused more on Spider-Man’s problems with dealing with Peter Parker’s inner battles around his new responsibility and power, instead of just having a giant battle scene. Although the fight scenes were killer, the journey that Peter Parker took to come to terms with what he can do and what is impossible for him, is what I enjoyed most about this film.  “Homecoming” gave viewers a sneak peak into the future possibilities of Peter Parker and fans are eagerly awaiting the sequel to the story of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Fans will see Spider-Man once again on the bug scene during “Avengers: Infinity War”.

 

“Lady Bird”

This film showcases the true essence of teenagehood and growing up. This is not your normal teen drama; this film truthfully showcases the problems that are faced by teenagers who are wanting to distance themselves from their family, but still need their family’s support. For high schoolers who are thinking about college, popularity, a romantic partner or friendship, this film is for you. “Lady Bird” merges humor and pain, and shows, in my opinion, for the first time what dealing with high school, family, friends and college can really be like for a kid. Unlike other films that depict high school and high school friendships, none of them really came as close to the truth as “Lady Bird.” From arguments with your mom, to bonds with your father and to fights with your friends over popularity, “Lady Bird” tells it like it is. This film also did not just focus on the teenagers’ point of view but showed parents’ troubles of raising a teenager and understanding them and connecting to them. Overall “Lady Bird” was one of the best films this year and should be seen by both high schoolers and their parents. Maybe it will help both understand each other’s views.

 

“Coco”

This film has become one of my favorite Pixar films. The music, imagery and story of this movie are all mindblowing. Because the film revolves around Dia De Los Muertos, a holiday that originated in Mexico, the director made sure that it was as accurate as possible, bringing on cultural consultants to make sure that the film would not take any liberties, such as making assumptions on how the day was celebrated or guessing the significance of the celebration. This film captivated its audience in many different ways. The way that stood out to me the most was the scene settings; the illustrations of the film were breathtaking. It is hard to describe how the energy made me feel, but it was both a calming image and one that ignites your need to explore. The land of the dead that the film depicted was one that seemed, even for an afterlife, to be beautiful. Yet this film also showed that even in the afterlife some people are better sustained. They have more wealth and are healthier. However it wasn’t because they were rich, but it was because they had more offerings from the living world. Overall this film is one that pulls on your heart strings and shows the depth of family bonds. There is so much about this film that really hit deep from family to chasing your dreams. I don’t care if you think that you are too old for a Pixar movie (no one is too old for a Pixar movie), suck up your pride and go see this movie.

 

“Wonder Woman”

Just WOW. Not only did this movie break the stigma that only male directors can make a successful big budget action film, it also broke many box office records. It has been 76 years since Wonder Woman was released to the world in print. It took 76 years for this superhero to get her own movie. However the wait for female superhero movies is over, with film companies realizing that everyone wants to see a woman kicking butt on the big screen. Shockingly people will pay to go see a movie that shows a woman who does not need to be saved, but will instead save the day herself. One memorable part of this film is when Wonder Woman is told not to try to save this town on the other side of what is called “No-Man’s Land.” It was called that because no man could cross onto the enemy lines. However Wonder Woman could not stand by and not help this town, and she says that she is no man, so she can cross the area. This scene was powerful because it made a point that just because it seems impossible if you just try, you will be able to complete these tasks. When men fail sometimes, all that it takes to succeed is to have a woman do it insead. How many times do you get to see a powerful woman taking charge in a battle, and not needing to be saved? Not very often. Besides Wonder Woman herself, this film featured a powerful message about humanity. This plot revolves around Wonder Woman, or Diana Prince, hunting down the god, Ares who she believes is the sole being responsible for all of the terrible actions of man. As viewers, we can tell how idealistic and naive her idea of the world is, but it is a hopefulness that we should all want to have. Unlike the Superman and Batman movies of recent years, “Wonder Woman” is an actual fun superhero flick.  Imagine that, we actually like our heroes to not be such depressing whiners.

 

WIth breathtaking films such as these and so many more hitting the big screen over the past year, the new films to come out in 2018 have to step up their act and really bring their A game to viewers.

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About the Writer
Ariel Harmon, Assistant Social Media Editor

Position within Newspaper: Assistant Social Media Editor and Page Editor

Graduation year: 2018

Favorite thing to do: Sleep

Favorite book: The...

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Procrastination Nation: Start your year off right!