M.L. Miller aka the @$$hole formerly known as Ambush Bug here! Sprouting from the success of the Best of the Best in Horror Countdown that ran all last month, I thought we would Countdown the Best of the Best in Sci Fi in 2017. Since my area of expertise is horror, I have enlisted my buddy Matt Adler to come up with the Top Ten Sci Fi films of 2017. Along with Matt’s picks for the top ten, I will be adding a pick of my own that is worth noting. Many of these films are available On Demand, digital download, or on DVD/BluRay and when I can, I’ll try to link to them at the top of the reviews.
As far as how the list was compiled? Well, Matt will explain in each of the review why he thinks this film is worthy of the countdown and why it is where it is in the list. For me, I am simply going to offer lesser known suggestions that may not be blockbusters, but they pack a big sci fi punch despite all of that. Any film released after November 1st, 2016 is game for the list. Look for new countdown entries every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through November.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the article and let us know what you think of the films, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong we are, and most importantly, come up with your own list…let’s go!
#2 STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE #2
STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (2016)
Directed by Gareth Edwards
Written by Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy, John Knoll, Gary Whitta, based on characters created by George Lucas
Starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Henry, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Jimmy Smits, Alistair Petrie, Genevieve O’Reilly, Ben Daniels, Paul Kasey, Stephen Stanton, Ian McElhinney, Fares Fares, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Spencer Wilding, Daniel Naprous, James Earl Jones, Ingvild Deila, Anthony Daniels, Valene Kane, Beau Gadsdon, Dolly Gadsdon, Duncan Pow, Jordan Stephens, Babou Ceesay, Aidan Cook, Daniel Mays, Andy de la Tour, Tony Pitts, Martin Gordon, Tim Beckmann, Geraldine James, Ariyon Bakare, Simon Farnaby, Drewe Henley, Angus MacInnes, Gabby Wong, Richard Glover, Toby Hefferman, Richard Cunningham, Jack Roth, Michael Gould, Rufus Wright, Michael Shaeffer, Geoff Bell, James Harkness, Derek Arnold, Matt Rippy, Nick Kellington, Michael Smiley, Warwick Davis, Dee Tails, Angus Wright
Find out more about this film here, @StarWars, and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Matt Adler
If you didn’t like ROGUE ONE, I honestly don’t know what you want in a Star Wars movie. Seriously, this one has it all; scoundrels gunning down other scoundrels in hives of scum and villainy, clandestine missions to save the galaxy, kick-ass heroines, reclusive mentors, amusing droids, heroes who know the ways of the Force– oh yeah, and a Death Star.
And yet despite all those classic Star Wars elements, it manages to avoid the trap THE FORCE AWAKENS fell into; it is in no way a rehash. ROGUE ONE carves its own niche in the Star Wars mythos, telling the story of a group of misfits who play a pivotal role in the events leading up to EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE.
It is also truly a thrill to see the return of classic characters including Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Princess Leia. The latter two are achieved through scarily realistic digital effects laid over new actors. There has been much debate on the ethics of this, but I think Princess Leia’s appearance in particular turned out to be a wonderful tribute to the late Carrie Fisher, who passed away just weeks after the film’s release.
The film’s ending was also somewhat controversial, but I applaud director Gareth Edwards and the folks at Lucasfilm for having the courage to make this choice. It would have been a weaker movie if they’d gone for a more conventional tone, and I’m glad they made the call they did. If Disney and Lucasfilm can maintain this level of quality in the spinoff films, fans will continue to pony up at the box office.
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#10 – GHOST IN THE SHELL
#9 – VALERIAN & THE CITY OF ONE THOUSAND PLANETS
#8 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol.2
#6 ALIEN: COVENANT
#5 KONG: SKULL ISLAND
#4 WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
#2 STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE
Matt Adler is a writer/journalist, currently writing for AICN among other outlets. He’s been reading comics for more than 25 years, writing about them for more than 10, and spends way, way, too much time thinking about them, which means he really has no choice but to figure out how to make a living out of this stuff. He welcomes all feedback.
M.L. Miller goes by many names—Ambush Bug, Mark L. Miller, hey you jerk over there! He’s an original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
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