In 2017 we have seen many great movies from all genres. Films from the Fantasy genre are no exception, especially those in the category of superhero fantasy and animated films. Let’s take a look at the best in Fantasy of 2017:
This life action version of Disney’s animated film Beauty and the Beast (1991) was surprisingly entertaining to watch. The film is a musical romantic fantasy which tells the story of Belle and the Beast based on the eighteen-century fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.
The film was well received by critics and the audience. Being able to watch a live-action version of the animated film was very interesting. The creators took the time to make almost everything similar to the animated version and took some elements from the Broadway musical version.
There are new songs in this version which are good but are not able to top the 1991 Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson’s version of Beauty and the Beast. While the movie’s performances, soundtrack, and visuals are good, there is still debate about Belle and the Beast’s relationship. In this version belle is a strong-willed young woman that constantly argues with the Beast.
Some people argue that Belle suffers from Stockholm Syndrome, others disregard this theory since it’s not based on an actual abusive relationship but do acknowledge that Belle and Beast have a dysfunctional relationship that is far from a healthy romantic relationship. Others simply point to the origins of the fairy tale that indicated that it was written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont as some sort of guide to prepare young French girls of the eighteen century for arrange marriages.
It is a little bit unfair to focus the criticism only on this story when other Disney animated classics, including Snow White and the seven dwarfs, Cinderella and the Little Mermaid, have some sort of dark and gruesome underlying to them based on the “Complete Fairy Tales” of the Brothers Grimm.
Overall it is a good recreation of a classic animated film that will leave fans of the animated version happy.
Sequel to Paddington (2014), this live action/CGI animated fantasy comedy follows the life of Paddington living with the Brown family in London’s Windsor Gardens. He is very popular for offering people emotional support and advice. Even the Brown family has changed. Unfortunately, not everything goes well for Paddington when he is accused of committing a crime.
The film received critical acclaim for the great storytelling, adorable visuals, and great performances. It is a heartwarming family film that is entertaining funny and emotional. It has a perfect balance to be enjoyed by both children and adults alike.
Thelma is a Norwegian shy young student with a religious background that moves to Olso. There she meets another girl and falls in love with her. She soon discovers that her feeling for the girl trigger her suppressed subconsciously controlled psychokinetic powers.
This Norwegian supernatural horror psychological thriller mystery drama (a mouthful right?) premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was well received by critics. This film is a combination of different genres and the story is disturbing in some instances. It is not a film for everyone. However, it is beautifully crafted, making it an interesting film to watch.
Imagine the Lord of the Rings characters in present-day facing all the problems humans face while coexisting with the humans. Humans, Orcs, Elves, and Fairies have been coexisting since the beginning of time. They have also fought against each other for many years. In the present day, they live in an uneasy peace with each other. Unfortunately, the four races are not seen as equal having the orcs at the lowest rank and humans somewhere in the middle.
A human cop (played by Will Smith) is forced to work with an Orc (played by Joel Edgerton) to protect a young female elf (played by Lucy Fry) and to find a weapon everyone is ready to kill for. In order to succeed, they must solve their differences and work together as a team. This fantasy action crime film was not well received by critics but the audience was a bit more positive.
To be honest, there are some issues with the storytelling and some of Smith’s scenes are distracting but it is not an unwatchable movie. What saves it is the great performance of Joel Edgerton and the unique concept of the movie makes it worth watching.
What makes this movie important are the underlying themes of the movie which are themes we often avoid. This movie stirs up discussion about the right to life, having respect for other’s way of living and racism. The film is distributed by Netflix so you probably have it on your play list.
5. The Shape of Water
The male protagonist of the film is a creature fish-man in a tank called the Asset and the female lead has an unconventional beauty. Normally stories with creatures (mainly known as monsters movies) portray them as the villain of the story.
This time the creature is the hero. The story takes place in the sixties during the cold war. In a high-security government facility, a lonely mute janitor (played by Sally Hawkins) discovers a secret classified experiment, a mysterious aquatic creature (played by Doug Jones).
The film premiered at the 74th Venue International Film Festival and the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was critically acclaimed. This Fantasy drama was written and directed by Guillermo del Toro and considered one of his best films to date.
The film with a small budget has the quality of visuals and performance of a big budget film. Unfortunately, it had a limited commercial release in theaters. This unconventional story of two unlikely lovers puts the spotlight on compassion, friendship, love, anger, torment, tragedy, abuse of power, empowerment and the basic rights of any living being.
The story and the performances are amazing. It is a controversial movie, not only because of the unconventional love story but also because of the shift in showing the human (white) male as the bad guy instead of the hero of the story. It beautifully portrays how some successful powerful men behave.
Not having a beautiful perfect couple on screen did not sit well with many critics and movie watchers which makes it even more interesting to watch and discover a beautiful story. No good film is without controversy as some have pointed out the similarities in the story with a Sci-Fi short Dutch film “The Space Between Us”. But why should it be a problem? We don’t really know what happens behind the scenes. They probably have an agreement or something. Overall Shape of Water is a very interesting film to watch and if short films are an inspiration for good cinema, so what? Keep making them!
Another Batman Movie? Yes, and it’s totally worth it if you are a Batman fan (if you are not a fan just give it a try). This time a try they make the story of Robin right and focus on the relationship between Batman and the Joker and the fear Bruce has to trust people. There are references to all the Batman versions you know, they did their best to include all Gotham villains.
The story is actually good, the jokes are funny and even though it is a Lego movie they manage to make the fight sequences very interesting to Watch. This 3D computer-animated superhero comedy film received positive reviews from critics and the audience loved it. The animation is well done, the soundtrack is great and the vocal performances are well done will Arnett does a great job voicing Batman.
In my previews post “Looking into Halloween” I was mentioning how the 3 day holiday has been globally commercialized and centralized on one day of celebration “Halloween” when there is also the day of Saints and the day of the Dead to acknowledge. Fortunately, there are countries` like Mexico who continued their own traditions and celebration. The concept of the film is based on the Mexican Holiday of the Day of the Dead.
A 12-year-old boy, Miguel, dreams of becoming a great musician but his family doesn’t allow it. An accident happens and he ends up in the land of the dead. He is set to find his great great grandfather who was a legendary singer and ask him about the family history and how to return back to the land of the living. Coco premiered at the Morelia International Film Festival followed by theatrical releases around the world.
The film was crucially acclaimed and the audience loved it. By now it has received many award nominations including Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song at the 75th Golden Globe Awards. The storyline is very detailed and offers children a way to process death like “Kubo and the two strings” (2016) did. It discusses questions about life, death, family, and culture in a way that children understand. It is an entertaining and emotional story that is definitely worth watching.
Sequel to “Thor: The Dark World” (2013), this time Thor must escape the alien planet Sakaar to save Asgard from Hela. In order to do that he will team up with his brother Loki, the Hulk and Valkerie. The movie has a very good storyline this time around.
The action sequences and the comedy scenes are well done. The style is somewhat different from the previous Thor movies. The change really works in the film’s favor.
The film was well received by critics and the audience loved it. The film is absolutely entertaining, funny and has a few interesting scenes. The performances are better than ever and the cinematography looks amazing. Overall it is a great film I am sure many will enjoy watching.
The film tells the story of Princess Diana, who grows up on the Amazon island of Themyscira. When a pilot crashes and tells them of the war in the outside world. Diana leaves her home in order to end the war. The film has a great storyline and is probably the first proper female superhero film. The film was critically acclaimed and beloved by many movie watchers.
There are so many positives in this movie which makes it difficult to choose. The cinematography is amazing, the dialogues are good, the customs look great, the soundtrack is awesome. And even the design of the final credits looks great. The film is the fourth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).
The film is the first titular movie for Wonder Woman after her debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). And has the first female director of a live-action theatrically released comic book superhero film that was able to implement her version and it paid off.
The movie is charming in many ways but it doesn’t shy of the fact that it is a war movie and shows the consequences of war. The film raises the esteem of women and is an inspiration to become compassionate leaders to a level equal with that of men.
This is our list of best fantasy movies of 2017. Have you seen any of the above mentioned already? Do you have a favorite that is not mentioned on the list? Feel free to leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.