January 8, 2018

2017: Top 5 New Releases Not Seen Theatrically

For the bulk of the year, I tried to keep track of the 2017 movie releases that I did not see in a theater, or bypassed theaters altogether. This would include DVD and Blu-ray releases of movies that went through theaters, films that went directly to video and those that were Netflix originals and the like. Granted a lot of these turned out to not really be worth the time, but there are always a few that slip past the guards and actually prove to be good movies. Below are my 5 favorite movies from 2017 that I did not see in a theater:

5. Wheelman. There was not a heck of a lot to this movie, but it was entertaining and I really quite enjoyed it. Frank Grillo (The Purge: Election Year) stars as a hired driver for a bank heist and then then he gets a call from someone who apparently ordered the heist and sends everything sideways, spiralling out of control. It is a cleverly told tale, from inside the car almost the entire time. Don’t expect greatness, but do expect entertainment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
4. Raw. I missed my opportunity to see this one in a theater, I wish I hadn’t missed that opportunity. This is a foreign film that is a coming of age story for a young woman beginning her college studies. The thing of it is that it is hidden inside a cannibal film. It is not the best example of either type of film, but it has this weird magnetic draw to it that you cannot look away.

3. Black Sabbath: The End of The End. Black Sabbath is one of those bands I wished I’d gotten to see live, but now that isn’t going to happen. This film, chronicling their final tour was a dang good one and it was fun watching their interaction and antics as that aging band realizing they can’t do the same things they did when they were younger.

2. Villainess. This movie hails from Korea and is a blast of cinematic adrenaline. It is very much like John Wick, Kill Bill, and La Femme Nikita all mashed up into one. Because of that level of familiarity, the movie is sapped of much of its originality, but what makes it so good is its execution. The performances were excellent and the action was phenomenal. If you like action movies, you owe it to yourself to check this one out.

1. Karate Kill. Here is the one movie that kept coming to mind over and over after I saw it. It is a martial arts revenge thriller that is firmly in the exploitation cinema mold. It has martial arts action, graphic violence, gratuitous nudity, and just takes everything up a notch or two. It really is a kick to the head and definitely worth checking out if you are anything like me. How can you not love a movie that is serious in all of its absurdity?

That about wraps it up. I admit is not as sexy a list as some people will be able to put together, but that does not lessen the enjoyment you may get out of these films. Give them a shot. You may be surprised by what you find.
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