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Best Films Of 2017 By Robert Chandler

Continuing our end of the year series, writer and producer Robert Chandler picks his favourite films of 2017 for Screenwords.


It won me over. I was cautious. A somewhat sequel to The Last Detail, one of the great American films of the early 1970s, a film that dealt with life and the inevitability of death, through the journey of three young soldiers: two of them, Jack Nicholson and Otis Young, escorting the third, Randy Quaid, across country to a military prison. Last Flag Flying is a “somewhat” sequel because it features the same three men in essence, thirty-five years later (they have the same character traits, but their names are slightly different). Both films are based on novels by Darryl Ponicsan.

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Film Review: Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle

Reviewed by Freda Cooper

The word Jumanji immediately conjures up misty eyed memories of the 1995 family comedy starring Robin Williams and a young Kirsten Dunst. With a magical board game at its heart, it boasted some special effects that weren’t just impressive for their day, they also stand up surprisingly well now. 22 years later, we have an updated version for today’s generation, in theory a standalone, but who knows?

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Best Films Of 2017 By Lee Hill

1-Twin Peaks: The Return (David Lynch)
More than just a revival of a cult TV show, this was an 18-hour feature as mysterious, surreal and heartbreaking as Mulholland Drive and perhaps the closest a filmmaker has come to the novelistic reach of Gravity’s Rainbow or John Updike’s Rabbit books since RW Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz.

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Film Review: Brigsby Bear

Reviewed By Freda Cooper

If you ever obsessed over a TV series as a kid, then you’ll have more than a little sympathy for James (Kyle Mooney) in Brigsby Bear.

He’s grown up with Brigsby Bear Adventures, a weekly show about a loveable teddy in outer space, part fun, part education. He knows every plot line down to the minutest detail, can recite chunks of dialogue and his bedroom is full of Brigsby memorabilia. Yet it’s hard to work out why he’s so fascinated. The show is so primitive, it looks home made. That’s because it is. And James is 27.

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Film Review: The Dinner

Reviewed By Rachael Kaines

The Dinner is a drama set, unsurprising, around a dinner. Written and directed by Oren Moverman, the film follows Paul Lohman (Steve Coogan) and his wife Claire (Laura Linney) as they have dinner with Paul’s brother Stan (Richard Gere) a U.S. Senator and his wife Katelyn (Rebecca Hall). The couples discuss what to do about their children, who have put themselves in a bad situation.

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Film Review: The Disaster Artist

Reviewed by Rachael Kaines

James Franco, (much like Tommy Wiseau the man he plays), directs, produces, and stars in The Disaster Artist, easily his finest film to date. Based on a book by Greg Sestero about the nightmare experience of making a horrendous movie called The Room, and the extremely strange experience of being friends with the writer, director, producer, and star, Tommy Wiseau.

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Film Review: The Man Who Invented Christmas

Reviewed By Linda Marric

It’s fair to say that despite his popularity amongst TV viewers on both sides of the Atlantic, Dan Stevens has found it hard to make a full transition from his high profile TV role in Downton Abbey into the film world. However, with his latest roles in the brilliantly understated Marshall and now playing a young Charles Dickens in the charming yet flawed The Man Who Invented Christmas, one would hope that it won’t be long before he becomes a permanent fixture on our big screens and that is no less than his versatile acting talents deserve.

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Interview: Screenwords Meets John Panton (AKA Meat Bingo)

Words By Linda Marric

From getting comedy writer and ex NME journalist David Quantick to voice-over his first project, to enlisting a whole host of household names such as Rebecca Front and Nigel Planer to star in his short films, director John Panton is by his own admission someone who has never shied away from asking for help. With an already impressive back catalogue under his belt, including a music video he made for the band Elbow, the director known to most as the man behind production company “Meat Bingo”, is more than ready to take the next step into the world of the feature film, and judging by what we’ve seen from him up until now, is likely to be as successful as he has already been so far.  

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Film Review: Lu Over The Wall

Reviewed By Rachael Kaines

Lu Over The Wall is a strange and enchanting new anime film from Masaaki Yuasa. Prepare to be swept away by this enchanting animation, into a world where songs, dance, and biting merpeople overcome prejudice in a rural Japanese fishing town.

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