Blade Runner 2049 was an amazing movie, continuing, extending, and sometimes subverting the conversations from the original movie. For details, please take a look at the review I wrote for Skiffy and Fanty. I think my own best sentence from 2017 is the conclusion of that review:
You can keep refining the tests and moving the goalposts for who gets to matter or make decisions or be seen as one of you, but only at the risk of losing your own humanity.However, as breathtaking as it was, it's at the bottom of my Hugo voting list. It was brilliantly executed, but it's not original. You can see it without knowing the first movie (let alone Philip K. Dick's book), but the movie would lose a lot of its resonance. All the other movies were amazing on their own.
The Shape of Water was a lovely movie, and I spent at least half an hour afterward discussing it with my friends in the lobby. And then I discussed it again on a Skiffy and Fanty podcast. I was really impressed by it, yet I don't feel much of an urge to see it again. I know other people who'll enjoy re-seeing it and reanalyzing it, but I feel like I pretty much got what I wanted to out of it. So it's fifth on the list for me.
The Last Jedi adds some original storylines to the Star Wars saga, and there were quite a few moments I really adored, and I'll happily watch it again when it comes my way. However, there were some eye-rolling moments too, and it really didn't hang together too well for me. I understand some of the meta reasoning and character development behind the "side quest," and I think those were good choices, but the movie just didn't quite cohere for me. So it's just fourth.
I'm having a really time with my third and second rankings. I've already gone back and changed my ballot once, and I may do so again. But for the moment...
Thor: Ragnarok is another movie that doesn't really stand on its own. Anyone who hasn't seen a significant number of Thor and Avengers movies already is going to miss a lot of callbacks and punchlines. But for someone like me who has seen them, it is SO SO good! I was laughing really hard through a whole lot of this movie, from the arena reunion to the classic "Get help!" maneuver. And yet, this movie also has great action, moving moments, and layers upon layers, literally, as Thor and Loki find out the covered-up truth about previously heroic-seeming Asgard's colonialist, conquering past. I'll definitely be watching it again when I get the chance. Ranked third, currently, for me.
Wonder Woman forever crushed the myth that an action movie starring a woman can't succeed. It broke the box-office ceiling in a major way, and it deserved all its accolades. It wasn't a perfect movie, but it got so much right, and moved me so much. I saw it twice, wrote a pretty glowing review for Skiffy and Fanty, and also discussed it in a podcast.
There was never any question about my first choice for the Hugo. Get Out absolutely blew me away, and it astounded a whole lot of other people, too. It proved that writer-director Jordan Peele is a master at drama and horror in addition to the comedy for which I first knew him. It very much deserved the Oscar it won for best original screenplay, and I'd have been happy to see it win Best Picture. I think it's a perfect movie, and I wouldn't change a frame. Here's a Skiffy and Fanty podcast where three crewmates, including me, and two guests all talk about the many reasons we all love this movie. Winner!