Best Of The Best 2017: Kurland On Films 10 Best Films

These "Best Of", "Worst Of", and "Hidden Gems" lists are hard for me to write for number of reasons. I can never seem to determine whether I should release them during the last three days of the year or take the retrospective approach and wait till the first three days of January. Last year I released them all in December. The year before, I released them in January.

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“Lady Bird:” Does It Live Up To All The Hype?

I don’t know how many of you, dear readers, follow rottentomatoes.com; a site created for the people by the critics. If not, something amazing happened. A perfect 100% rating is a difficult thing to achieve but somehow, two of this years films "Get out" and “Lady Bird,” managed it. For at least three weeks, "Lady Bird" basked in the glow of that 100% until, finally, one critic gave it a negative review bringing it down to 99%.

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“The Disaster Artist” A Film So Good It’s 'Tearing Me Apart!’

    This may come as a shock to you, but I do enjoy the occasional bad film. I know... *gasp*- but it’s true. I, a film critic, have a habit of watching and, sometimes, loving bad films. One in particular is the 2003 Tommy Wiseau directed film “The Room.” Not to be confused with the Oscar winning drama “ROOM” with Brie Larson, "The Room” is widely considered to be the worst film ever made. Ironically, it's also a cult classic.

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“The Shape of Water” Is del Toro’s Marvelous Tribute To Old Hollywood

There are some directors whose love and admiration for cinema pushes the medium into previously unexplored territory. Sometimes journeys such as these are met with disaster (Ed Wood springs to mind), while others breath life into new genres. Tarantino infused his love for Grindhouse cinema into award-winning films. Edgar Wright fills his audience's eyes and ears with references to American and British pop culture. As for Guillermo del Toro, his films are a dark, luscious fairy tales where monsters of every shape and size dwell.

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Is “The Justice League” Good? Or Just A Mediocre Toy Commercial?

  Do you remember those late 80’s - early 90’s toy commercials for action figures from major motion pictures? Do you also remember how those toys had nothing to do with the movie, they were simply a means to get butts in seats? If you don’t, I’ll explain. “Jurassic Park” made action figures which looked nothing like the actual characters from the film. One figure had a jet-pack, the other had a rocket launcher. This happened a lot.

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“Murder On The Orient Express”: A Movie A Grandma Can Love

Let me begin by saying this about Kenneth Branagh...Grandmas love him! Perhaps it’s because he’s been the bad boy of Shakespeare for almost thirty five years. He's adapted, directed, and starred in countless productions both on stage, television, and film. His resume includes appearances in terrible films like “Wild Wild West,” Woody Allen’s critically panned “Celebrity” and Robert Altman’s “The Gingerbread Man.”

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The Man From The Shadows Delivers With “Thor: Ragnorak”

Damn Marvel, you're so good at what you do. I truly mean it. Just when I think I have you figured out, you always surprise me in the best possible way. You pick the most random directors and yet they quickly prove to be the best ones for the job. When I heard Taika Waititi was directing this week’s film “Thor: Ragnorak” I was baffled. I’ve known about him for years because of his small budget films from New Zealand; films like: “Boy” “Eagle vs. Shark,” and “Hunt For The Wilder People.”

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The Magical Filmmaking That Is “The Florida Project” And Sean Baker

There is one certainty in Hollywood... film-making is an extremely difficult  business for everyone involved. Regardless of whether the film is good, bad, or truly terrible (like anything made by Happy Madison), all directors experience some kind of challenge during the process. Some are able to overcome, while others hit a wall and are left with nowhere to go. In fact, there’s at least four movies Sandler wanted to make that were so bad his company simply refused to make them.

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EDITORIAL: “IT” The Biggest R Rated Horror Film; Or How I Stopped Trying To Scare The Audience And Learn To Love The Clown!

  I didn’t get to review “IT.” I wanted to. Initially I began writing my review opening night up until my computer died and I lost everything. Thanks HP!! However, I got to see something special happen during the four weeks my computer was out of commission…I saw “IT” three times (yeah, it’s that good). I also saw this movie break all sorts of records. I mean, it made half a BILLION DOLLARS. Trust me, that’s a lot paper boats. In truth, I've always been terrified of clowns (a fear which is credited to watching the miniseries as a four year old boy).

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“Blade Runner 2049” Reminds Us That Storytelling & Sci-Fi Are Still Alive!!!

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

” – Roy Batty “Blade Runner” (1982)

                Rutger Hauer’s improvised monologue from “Blade Runner” is one of the most iconic lines of dialog in nerd culture. I find myself saying it all the time….minus the time to die part. It's a monologue that is existential, depressing, and cool. Everything about the original “Blade Runner” is cool. The idea of taking science fiction and blending it with both Japanese and film noir culture was a stroke of genius on Ridley Scott's part.

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“Wind River” The Surprise Gem Of 2017

If you were to ask me who has emerged as the greatest screenwriter in the last five years, I’d have to say Taylor Sheridan. Sheridan appeared on the radar in 2015 with his script for “Sicario,” then last year his script for “Hell Or High Water” proved to be one of the best written films of 2016. Now Sheridan steps into the directors chair with his third film “Wind River.” Sheridan claims “Wind River” is the third film in the “Frontier Trilogy” which began two years ago with “Sicario.”

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“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” The Big Summer Closer! But How?

 I miss 90s action comedies. Actually, I miss action movies from the 90s in general. Back then you didn’t really need a plot, all you needed were two big name stars and explosions. Films today have so much CGI that practical effects and comedic banter have been pushed aside. I mean we’re talking about a time period where Nic Cage and John Travolta were Kings!!! Kings I tell ya! Kings! Oh how times have changed.

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