| Flicks

FLICKS: The Top Ten List& reflections

Posted on 04 January 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


In the waning hours of 2017, Star Wars: The Last Jedi nudged out Beauty and the Beast to become the box office champion for the year. This marks the third year in a row that a Star Wars movie has become the reigning monarch of the box office. While overall box office revenue was down for the motion picture industry, Disney showed a consistent return on investment with their Marvel Comics Universe and animated fare like Coco. Now with the acquisition of 20th Century Productions, only Warner Brothers will provide competition against Disney Studios for the Box Office Crown.

In this year’s Top Ten List, one will see many films from Disney, Warner Brothers Studios and 20th Century Fox. There were also some good stories from some independently-produced motion pictures. These films provide a good story, intriguing characters and technical achievements that enhance, but do not detract from the entertainment value of the product. So in no particular order, except in reverse alphabetical order, is my top ten list of films:

Wind River

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World

Megan Leavey

The Man Who Invented Christmas

Lost in Paris


Kong: Skull Island



Honorable Mentions:

War for the Planet of the Apes


Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

The Shape of Water

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Logan Lucky

Lady Bird

The Last Word



Baby Driver

Annabelle: Creation

While Summer Blockbuster season was a disappointment both critically and at the box office, the colder months featured consistent box office revenue and more critical love. According to the movie review website Rotten Tomatoes, there was a great disparity of opinion between paid criticism (the Tomatometer) and the audience score. Star Wars: The Last Jedi was loved by mainstream critics, but rated low on the audience score. Overall, I’ve enjoyed more films in 2017 than I have in recent years, though I find my favorites lean towards a strong audience score with strong box office performance.

Given the sexual harassment scandals involving so many Hollywood icons, one would expect a more subdued awards season. Yet, given the tenure of the late night talk shows featuring Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, expect more President Trump bashing nonetheless.

Good movies should be the focus of these ceremonies.

Each award ceremony on television will feature a montage of people who have passed away in 2017. I hope I see a glimpse of my late friend Kenny Miller, who passed away last May 8. With the exception of a Florida-made independent film, Kenny Miller has not made a full length motion picture on the big screen since 1976. However, he worked steady in Florida nightclubs and earned a semi-regular role on Burt Reynolds’ detective series BL Stryker, which was filmed in West Palm Beach. A consummate professional and a heck of a nice guy, Kenny was one of the first interviews that I conducted for the Observer. Kenny worked in Hollywood classics featuring Hollywood legends like Orson Wells, James Dean, Anthony Quinn and Janet Leigh. He had many great stories to tell. He is missed.

The 2017 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) was a consistently good community event from its opening to the closing evening three weeks later. The variety of stories were intriguing and special guests — Burt Reynolds, Blanche Baker and Karen Allen — provided a fine balance of movie stardom combined with artistic integrity. Both the Miami International Film Festival in March and FLIFF have a combined 67 years of local history.

As for the future, expect to see many television commercials during the Superbowl 18 (If you are not boycotting it) and Winter Olympics 2018 featuring films produced by Disney and Warner Brothers, the only studios that can afford the multi-million dollar tab for a 30 second spot. If these flicks are interesting — Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom — then this swashbuckling journalist & information scientist will be there. A writer is only as good as the story he tells.

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