We have been surprised this year with many great movies. In the previous post we started with the first half of the best of 2017 in Sci-Fi.
Now let’s take a look at the second half or the top six if you would like to call it otherwise:
Based on the Sci-Fi comics “Valerian and Laureline” written by Pierre Christine that was one of the sources of inspiration for George Lucas’ Star Wars movies. The film was written and directed by Luc Besson who is very well known in the sci-fi community for his work on the film “ The Fifth Element”. Besson independently crowd-sourced and personally funded most of the film.
Special operatives Valerian and Laureline are assigned a mission to locate a powerful object. As you can imagine the operation doesn’t go as planned. Nonetheless, they manage to obtain it and are en route to the city of thousand planets. Alpha, a space station that first started with all countries (with their representatives) boarding the space station shaking hands. As years go by more nations join the space stations. Then came the aliens, as they arrive human representatives shake their hands as a sign that they are greeted as equals.
At one point Alpha becomes too large and must be released from earth’s orbit for it to continue to grow as an example of unity and camaraderie. The visual of the planet and all these life forms is breathtakingly beautiful. To give you an idea, the visual effects have some similarities to Avatar. The storyline is very similar if not identical to the story in the comics. It’s not a very occurring thing to find a story that stays true to the source material.
The film received mixed reviews but the majority were on the negative side from critics. The audience on the other end liked it a bit more. It was not perfect, it had some strong competition at the box office. Many don’t recognize the impact of this film on filmmaking. Projects like this often have a higher budget that this one has, yet Besson manages to create an amazing world based on its own efforts.
If you know Besson’s work this film has his signature style. It also covers many themes that tackle many issues that are happening or happened in the world like refugees, genocide and illegal immigrants helping the government it criticizes ethnic cleansing, colonialism, and militarism. It also shows the superiority complex of humans as they are in charge of Alpha and the remaining alien races are all categorized with a different task and each colony is separated from each other. By now, one would think they would be working together side by side. Most importantly it covers having respect for other life forms and having the right to be free.
The movie is not perfect. It has some issues with the storyline like the romance going on. I’d rather they build their relationship on trust than later romance. I would rather have more stories on the alien races. Despite that, it is not the unwatchable thing that many are saying it is. It is surely entertaining and the visuals compensate many flaws.
I don’t think this film needs an introduction but let me say that this time it is a story of a teenage version of Spiderman. We were introduced to the character in Capital America Civil War (2016). This film shows his struggle as he grows into his role as the friendly vigilante with a little help from Tony Stark. The film was well received and was a success (not surprising at all).
What works for the movie this time is the casting of Spiderman as a teenager. Indeed most of the comic book stories are about him as a teenager. The role of villain this time was well written and well performed you could understand his rage and where he is coming from. It is definitely one of the best Spiderman movies till date.
The guardians are having new adventures and meeting new characters. The film is a sequel to the first installment which was based on the Marvel comics superhero team Guardians of the galaxy. No doubt it has the comedy that has become a brand for the guardians, but this time it has a bit more character development.
The film was well received by critics and it was pointed out that even though it is good it is not as fresh as the first one. Probably because this time the focus is a little bit more one the group interactions between the characters and their growth. Not everything has to be a joke. The visual effects and the soundtrack are great as well as the performances.
Sequel to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011) it continues the story of Caesar, played by Andy Cirkus, as the leader of the apes. This time developments have made war unavoidable and it’s up to Caesar and his closest soldiers, Luca, Rocket, and Maurice (Caesar’s longtime friend and advisor) to lead his clan to safely. Along the way, Maurice discovers a little girl who is not able to speak. Maurice befriends and adopts the girl. Caesar is not so happy about that.
The film received universal praise from critics and was well received globally. The visual effects were just amazing having a mix of motion capture and CGI keyframe animation. There are so many themes in this movie that will stir the emotions in you. From the war casualties that fell from female apes, young and baby apes, to the human race that is dying, how much energy was put into something that did not help. Focusing on eliminating all apes, the humans became the monsters, instead of focusing on finding cures or a technology that could help the human race instead.
Between all the tragedy, a beautiful moment happened between the little girl and Luca. What happened after is just heartbreaking. There were some people that expected more battle scenes of war and were disappointed. For me, I’m glad they didn’t make it a full action flick. Don’t get me wrong there are some epic battle scenes but for me, the movie was about showing the consequences of war and, all the emotional struggles that come with it. In these times it is something that we should reflect about as a society since global leaders appear to be easily influenced or manipulated by going to war.
This is the third and final Wolverine solo movie based on the Marvel’s Old Man Logan comics starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. The story follows an old Wolverine, a very ill professor X and a young girl called Laura as they run from the villains who want to kidnap Laura. The film was well received by critics and the audience.
This time the creators took a different turn from the traditional X men film and changed to the tone of the film making it more realistic and darker. If you ever wondered how an attack from Wolverine will look like in real time you will definitely see it.
Next, to the fight sequences, there are also many emotional moments that will make you smile or cry. Adding to it that this is apparently the last performance of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, may make it even more emotional for some fans of the characters when they watch the movie.
Sequel to the Force Awakens (2015) the film follows Rey as she receives Jedi, training from Luke Skywalker, hoping to be able to help the resistance against Kylo Ren and the first order. The film received critical acclaim. There are some movie watchers who did not like the film. There are apparently two groups. One group simple didn’t like it as a film; the second group (hard core Star Wars fans) didn’t like it because of Star Wars Canon and continuity which is understandable.
Watching the movie objectively having as background information the first trilogy and the Force Awakens you will probably enjoy this movie. The storyline will keep you on the edge of your seat, the action sequences are great and the performances are outstanding. It is a matter of choice but judging it as a standalone film the movie is great. The main theme of the movie is fighting for survival the right way (against the dark force). If only we could follow that sentiment in real life.
Here we go, this is the second part and last part of the best of Sci-Fi in 2017. Note that this time we cover only Sci-Fi but we also well cover the Fantasy genre including some amazing superhero and animated films. What do you think of this list? Feel free to leave your comments in the comment section below.