Posted December 31, 2017 by Yuri Mangahas in Movies/TV

The Best of 2017 in Movies, Animation & TV!

G.P. Manalo (Writer, Movies, TV, and Animation, IG: @geepeemanalo)

Best Film: Arrival
Very rarely do I appreciate the film that has a lot to say yet weaves its themes in the overarching narrative effectively. Arrival is one of those films that made me truly value the importance of analyzing a film due its ideas, themes, and questions raised all throughout. Denis Villanueve is masterful in conveying emotions and displaying the human experience by putting us in the shoes of its characters.

In Arrival, it begs the question of “how would we as human beings in different walks of life would react to a conflict like this?” Any movie that involves aliens landing on earth would have people drawing their guns and ships for a big fight but this one draws language as its weapon in a conflict (quite literally as they ended up drawing the Heptapod’s language later on). Not only do we see how Amy Adams’ Louise and Jeremy Renner’s Ian react to making contact with the aliens but also how the soldiers and society have this sense of urgency for answers that leads to their fear of the unknown.Throughout the film we the audience were able to unravel the mysteries this film through our two leads. But then it plays with our emotions and perception of how a story works with the film’s end twist. I could go on by appreciating other concepts they’ve introduced and how relevant they are but my editor told me to keep it short and at this point I’m above my limit. In the end, Arrival is a profound, unique, and sophisticated film that everyone should not only watch but also digest.

Best TV Show: Master of None Season 2
I feel as if Aziz Ansari’s Master of None is a response to most of TV Shows these days that tackle societal issues. What makes others shows be flawed in delivering such weighty messages like mental health, racism, sexism, and the like is that they rely too much on centering that certain topic head-on rather than just circling around it and let the story speak for itself. These are stories we’ve seen numerous times like “parents being unsupportive towards change”, “man pining for a girl he’ll never have in his life”, “how a person wants to have a much deeper understanding towards another” and even something small “man’s item integral to his survival being stolen”.

Season 1 gave some solid footing on what this show is about but Season 2 moves forward by being even more complex. It takes these stories that we’ve seen so many times be brought to a new life with a new meaning by being brutally honest and relatable within the context of a reality eerily similar to ours. It didn’t need to have a celebrity look in front of the camera and tell us about these disadvantages and prejudices, but instead trusts that we as the audience knows these and helps us understand throughout the episode’s story. If you haven’t and you happen to have a Netflix account, binge this show immediately.

Best Local Film: Respeto
This movie was widely released on the week Kingsman 2 came out, and I remember most of the people getting out of Kingsman 2 went on record saying “it’s a movie every Filipino should see” just for the 10 minute message about the war on drugs. But I watched this a few months later telling myself “Nah, this should’ve been the movie (that week) every Filipino should see”. It’s this mix of hip-hop musical and a coming of age story that is sandwiched between a weighty social commentary. Like poetry, their histories in society are reflected upon the culture of violence we have in our society these two characters Abra’s Hendrix and Dido Dela Paz as a damaged old man have experienced in their own lifetime (Drix being the present administration, while Loonie living through the Marcos era). Respeto is ultimately a raw and brutally honest film with bayagbag (watch the movie and you’ll get it) and I look forward to what Treb Monteras II will come up with in the future.

Best Animated Project: Boku No Hero Academia Season 2
I know it’s pretty much on the mainstream but hear me out: I went into this show not knowing with the perception of “this is gonna be super Naruto” but after a couple episodes in season one I actually found myself enjoying so much of this Anime. Okay sure, we still have this wide-eyed kid who has big dreams of being the best of the best, and be in a school where kids are almost equally powered (i said almost because there’s always a kid or two who are OP), and have this power and optimism within him to overcome such obstacles, yadda yadda yadda. But the great part about it was that it puts something fresh on its cliches. Again I have a limit here so I can’t fully list them down but I do enjoy this show very much and how this world works, especially on its second season. Seeing its ideas expanded more in its second season is even more interesting as we fully get an idea of how the world and super powers works, how people see supers, and flesh out new and old characters – what’s their motivation? What are their strengths and weaknesses? And how they perceive the world around them?

Yuri Mangahas

Yuri is magnanimously juggling between two managerial jobs: A technical manager position for an advertising/copy-writing company, and an associate editorial position for a fashion and lifestyle magazine. Nevertheless, he still finds time taking photos and seeking for geek nirvana.