Based on Mary Stewart’s classic children’s book “The Little Broomstick,” we meet frizzy haired Mary, a young girl sent to live with her great aunt Charlotte by her parents as they prepare to move. Overcome by boredom, she ventures out in to the wilderness and follows a mysterious black cat in to the nearby forest. There she finds an old broomstick embedded in an old tree, as well as a mysterious glowing flower called the “Fly-by-Night.” The influences of Studio Ghibli are all over the place in Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s animated adventure “Mary and the Witch’s Flower.” From “Whisper of the Heart,” “Spirited Away,” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” there are so many nods and winks to the aforementioned properties that it becomes kind of a treat to see it all unfold.
2017 had so many good films that just one list or even two were not enough. This list is all about fun. Movies that are fun to watch and have something to offer that may not be the top top best of the year but damn close. These are films you want to watch with friends, even one for the kids. Watch these at home in PJs or with a drink (hot cocoa is the drink of choice for one of those films of course).
2017 is was a crazy year for films with so many good titles that picking only 10 was difficult and took much too long. That being said, here are my top 10 independent and foreign films which was gathered with much thinking and trying to figure out which films to keep, which not too. The list could easily have been a top 25 and it has been evolving everything it’s being worked on. The order is constantly changing, the titles that keep coming back are the ones found below.
2017 was a great year for movies, especially if you were a horror buff. While the media downplayed it immensely, horror movies kicked major ass in theaters and streaming services, and a few of the highest grossing an most acclaimed films were horror, including a new adaptation of a Stephen King novel, which broke all records. While America wondered if there would be nuclear war tomorrow, Hollywood kept us entertained and laughing, with great superhero cinema, and of course some cathartic genre films of the horror, fantasy, and science fiction variety.
Without further ado: my top 10 of 2017.
Written by Yann Brion and Frédéric Schoendoerffer and directed by the latter, Fast Convoy is a road movie and a drug movie while it also kinda feels like a heist movie in that these guys, in multiple cars, are basically trying to make it to a destination with illicit merchandize. The film is rather character-based with each character traveling with a co-pilot and taking orders from an unseen man. The story builds around them as they drive. While the title is a bit misleading, the film does have a few car-chase-ish scenes which have occasional nods to different car films and may or may not be influenced by the Luc Besson way of shooting cars on the road (low to the ground, front car pov). The car stuff is really one of the main appeals to this film and the scenes are well done and shot.
Dalida tells the story of the Italian-Egyptian singer who made her life in France and was, and still is, hugely popular in French-speaking countries and other parts of the world. She was and still is a musical icon who became almost mythological after her suicide in 1987. For the unfamiliar, Dalida was and probably still is as big of an icon to some as Cher and Madonna are in the US.
This follow up to the acclaimed Paul Naschy Collection from earlier in the year, comes with a five Blu-Ray collection, and a twenty four page booklet with an essay on each film included. Folks seeking to further explore Paul Naschy will find a great delight in this follow up box set, as it has almost everything you’d want to continue your education in the Spanish horror star.
Paul Naschy has always been something of a large figure among horror fans and cult cinema enthusiasts everywhere, and Shout Factory is up to the task in reward their devotion with a collection that will peak interests. Still making an argument for why it’s one of the best horror movie distributors out there, Scream Factory unleashes a five disc collection that compiles some of Naschy’s most notable films, complete and uncut. There’s even an optional English dub for the films, or their truer Spanish language tracks with the subtitles.