The BFG

When the climax of the film you are watching is the Queen of England letting out a fart that lifts a table cloth…you know you may not be the target demo. Don’t get me wrong, a good fart joke is timeless, a form of comedy I dare say none of us are above. And weirdly the BFG earns the laughs in this scene by taking the time to give us two compelling leads that have led us through even the sleepiest of moments.

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The Shape of Water

It feels like ages ago that Director Guillermo Del Toro stole our hearts and made us cover our eyes with his instant classic Pan’s Labyrinth.  In fact, that was only 10-years ago and Del Toro had been working on creature features (Mimic, Hellboy) and writing extensively dating back nearly two decades.  But when Labyrinth was released in 2006 in felt like a moment – a true visionary was being born and we were going to be reaping the cinematic pleasures for years to come.  But while Del Toro has steadily worked and stayed in the public eye he has only made 3-feature films since. 

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Wonder Woman

Let’s get this out of the way first – Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman.  The Israeli-actress is so convincing as the do-gooder Amazon princess that I wanted more.  Her wonderfully earnest performance brings out the best in the rest of the cast while anchoring the film in a stark WWI reality.  It’s a credit to Gadot and Director Patty Jenkins that they accomplished this.  Diana is as much an idealist as Superman but her film employs it with much more candor while Supes has been bogged down by Snyder-smashing masculinity.  Diana is not only the superhero we need in 2017, she’s the superhero we’ve always wanted.

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IT

When Stranger Things debuted in July last summer it was instantly a phenomenon.  Not only was it an impeccably made series but it also paid homage to our intense nostalgia-pangs for the 1980’s.  All 10-episodes were peppered with references to John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg, Goonies and most obviously Stephen King.  King’s 1986-opus IT was a clear inspiration for the brigade of tweens as they hunted for their friend in the upside-down.

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Secret Service was released in 2014 to little fanfare. A relatively unknown spy property with some established talent (Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson) introducing a new leading man (Taron Egerton) from the Director of Kick Ass (Matthew Vaughn) would make most Hollywood studios queasy. But the risk paid off as Vaughn imbued Kingsman with a manic, almost cartoon like energy as Eggsy (Egerton) was recruited to a secret underground agency by Merlin (Mark Strong) and Gallahad (Firth.) It was one of the best blockbuster surprises of that year. So, of course the honest impulse of any good executive is following such a rousing debut is, “let’s franchise this shit!”

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