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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel


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As is the annual tradition, my favourite films, TV, music, and games from 2017. Last year I did away with picking a favourite, and I'll do the same again this year. Also a format change, I'll just list my favourites, and what I liked about them. I'll try not to waffle too much about each individual entry, but chances are I won't as I don't have the patience.

Films = 2017 was a pretty good year for films. I also started my cinema subscription in April, so I've seen a much larger number of current year films than before, and a wider range of films full stop, which is nice. In roughly chronological order my favourites of the year are:
Life. Aliens in space, but a quite genuinely freaky story that is more horror than science fiction.
Ghost in the Shell. The much feared live action remake. It made some mistakes, but overall I felt it was a solid effort. Still not as good as the original animé though.
Logan. A great, dark superhero film.
Cure for Wellness. Light on story, but heavy on acting and atmosphere, and an unusual story to boot.
Valerian. I think I've already described it somewhere as a beautiful mess. It feels like a spiritual successor to The Fifth Element, albeit it doesn't have anywhere near the same panache or coherence.
Wind River. Dark depressing drama, but very solid.
Happy Death Day. Probably aimed at the intelligent teen demographic, but I had a lot of time for it.
Jungle. Another film that was a little light on story, but still a solid bit of drama, in an unusual environment.
Molly's Game. More in the way of solid drama, helped by being a true story.
Dunkirk. Inevitably depressing, but a supremely good depiction of three stories at Dunkirk. Amazing and unusual soundtrack.
Star Wars 8. Only surprises were some odd humour and the bum-numbing length, but on a second viewing I feel it's a solid entry in the canon.

Blade Runner 2049 was the big disappointment. As much as I would have loved a great Blade Runner sequel, it did finally confirm for me that Blade Runner shouldn't have sequels. For me it just paled into comparison with the original, and in places was downright rubbish. Probably an OK film overall, but I just can't decouple it from the original.

TV = An equally good year for TV.
The Tick. Amazon's take on the comic, which I felt was pretty good.
American Gods. OK, I'm not sure offhand if this was actually 2017, but I watched it this year. A really solid unusual supernatural story, chock full of characters and plot.
Parks & Recreation. This definitely wasn't 2017, but I managed to make it through 5, or was that 6, seasons. A bit samey, but the flipside being consistency, and very funny in places.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Same as Parks & Rec really, samey, but a reliable fun watch, with some hilarious moments. This was just the latest season, which was 2017.
Red Dwarf. At risk of repeating myself again, another solid effort from the boys from the Dwarf.
Electric Dreams. One of the two standout series this year, with Philip K Dick's short stories finally getting the treatment they deserve. Sadly not 100% faithful to the books, but the end result is still excellent. Second half of the season showing early next year.
Black Mirror. Season 4 just released, and the second standout of the year. Some dark but superb writing, and so consistent.

Music = I'm trying to remember if I listened to any actual 2017 music... to iTunes! Ah yes, of course I did.
Will Cookson's About Love EP. I have a feeling that Will Cookson was a new discovery in 2017, recommended by Tom Rosenthal. He has a folk-y feel to his music, but it also feels quite original. Melancholy though.
Tom Rosenthal's Fenn. Tom's latest album, named after his youngest daughter. It includes a song about his love for pasta, what more can I say?!
Jamiroquai's Automaton. A surprisingly great effort from Mr. Acid Jazz. A number of tracks have been on repeat across the year.
Amber Run's For A Moment, I Was Lost. I discovered Amber Run while awake at 5am, and searching for tracks with "5am" in the title. I love the serendipity of that. This is their second album, which I love. Plus I got to see them live for the first time, and they were excellent. Just a shame that standing gigs are so tedious.

Games = Not a big year for gaming, for me that is, but I did have a chance to play a few, so I won't leave it off this year. It helps that my eldest loves computer games, and I have a bit more time for myself.
Space Marshalls. Android/iOS game that borrows from those isometric realtime isometric shooters on the Atari ST and Amiga. Really fun, plus there's a sequel.
Slime Rancher. An unusual game where you get paid to sell the poo from farming slime creatures. It all started to get a bit complex, so I gave in after 10 hours play, but it was a fun 10 hours. Amélie loves it.

(Past faves from 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.)
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