EDUARDO PADRINO | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST
As 2017 comes to a close and we get ready for the upcoming holidays, let’s look at the best and worst that the entertainment industry offered us this year.
The Best and Worst in Film and Music
Psychological Thrillers / Action: Early this year, the psychological thriller “Split” was released. This movie features impressive acting from James McAvoy, along with a slightly disturbing, fictional story regarding dissociative identity disorder. Another highlight from this year would be the sequel to the 1982 classic, “Blade Runner 2049.” Whether you are a fan of the original film or not, “Blade Runner 2049” is awesome enough to appeal to pretty much everybody.
Horror: The horror film genre also saw great input this year from films like “Get Out” and “It” being two of the highest-grossing scary movies from 2017.
Netflix: As one of the most popular entertainment phenomena, Netflix received wide acclaim for their production “Okja.” This Palme d’Or nominee was directed by South Korean director Bong-Joon ho, and has been praised for its powerful story-telling and creative cinematography.
Marvel and DC: This year has also been an intense competition between Marvel and DC. 2017 saw the release of Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and my personal favorite, “Logan.” On the other hand, DC released “Wonder Woman,” and “Justice League” to relative critical acclaim and massive box office success. Even though DC’s input has exponentially improved since the release of “Suicide Squad” and “Batman Vs. Superman,” it is fair to say that Marvel gets the prize for making better films in general (sorry DC fans).
The Worst in Film: On the other side of things, there were movies that ranged from bad to straight up awful. Some of these movies are: “Transformers: The Last Knight,” “50 Shades Darker,” “Baywatch,” and finally “The Emoji Movie.”
Other 2017 films to watch: “Baby Driver,” “Dunkirk,” “War for the Planet of the Apes,” “Mudbound,” “Coco.”
Hip-hop: Kendrick Lamar saw the release of his successful fourth studio album, “DAMN.” After a long period of success for the Compton rapper, “DAMN.” delivers great performances, production and conceptual lyrics, making this album one of the most remarkable releases of this year. Another standing-out release in the hip-hop realm was Logic’s “Everybody,” which debuted at #1 in the US Billboard 200 and was certified Gold (over 100,000 sales) in the US.
Rock albums: 2017 was also the 20th anniversary of Radiohead’s classic record “OK Computer.” As tribute to this milestone in their career, the band released a remastered reissue of “OK Computer” with 3 new songs and 8 demos from the time the album was recorded. Other worth-noting releases from this year were Foo Fighters’ “Concrete and Gold,” and Alt-J’s “Relaxer.” All three of these albums, although quite different from one another, were big releases in the rock genre.
Jazz: Bassist Thundercat released his third studio album, “Drunk.” Thundercat has had a long-time collaboration with American saxophonist Kamasi Washington, and both released individual projects this year. “Drunk” features artists like Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams and Wiz Khalifa, while the instrumentalists experiment with funk-jazz and R’n’B rhythms. Kamasi Washington’s release was a short EP titled “Harmony of Difference,” in which he further explored the grooves from his 2015 album, “The Epic.”
The Worst in Music: Topping the list would be Future’s “Hndrxx” with its mediocre vocal performances and very unemotional lyrics. Next, unfortunately, would be a release by one of my favorite bands, Arcade Fire. Attempting to change their sound, the Canada-based band arrived at a dance sound that lacks energy and passion with their latest release, “Everything Now.”
Other 2017 albums to check out: “Melodrama” by Lorde, “4:44” by Jay-Z, “Utopia” by Björk.
Wait… 2017 is not over…
There are more upcoming film and music to be hyped for:
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Greatest Showman
“Songs of Experience” | U2
“Versatile” | Van Morrison
“The Visitor” | Neil Young & Promise of the Real
“The Beautiful & The Damned” | G-Eazy