We spoke with family, friends, and the UpFront team to figure out the best movie, TV show, song, discovery, and Ottawa-related happening of 2017. Here are our favourite responses.
The Best Movie of 2017
Molly’s Game – Faith M.
The Man Who Invented Christmas – This one comes to mind not because it’s fresh on my brain, but because it was a really unique and wonderful film based on a story we’ve all heard many times before. I’m usually not one for Christmas movies (with the exception of a few comedic classics like the original National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story and some recent holiday comedies like Office Christmas Party and The Night Before). The Man Who Invested Christmas took a totally different view on A Christmas Carol and told you the story of how Charles Dickens came to write about it in the first place…Creating the Ghost of Christmas Present, ultimately inspiring the modern Santa Claus and the spirit of Christmas as we know it today. I was also thrilled to discover that it’s a Canadian production – bonus points for that. – Shaily A.
Dunkirk – who needs CGI anyway – Connor N.
Dunkirk – Very powerful and well done movie. – Mary K.
Beauty and the Beast – same deal as last year, this was the only movie I saw… – Lindsay K.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 – Alexa R.
Logan – Hands down the best Wolverine movie yet. – Stefanie W.
Get Out and Baby Driver – Nowadays, you know a movie’s good when you go out of your way to get a hard copy; this year, Get Out and Baby Driver graced my movie trove. Get Out was chillingly thought-provoking, and introduced me to my answer for best song, so it gets extra brownie points for that. Baby Driver for being spot-on in so many ways; it’s unique storyline, the visuals are cut to the beat of a golden soundtrack – which is sooo cool to realize and re-watch with that in mind. – Kelsey B.
Ghost in the Shell –
As a long-time devoted fan of Masamune Shirow’s manga and the ever-iconic original feature film by Mamoru Oshii, I approached this film apprehensive not because of the nightmarish controversy that wrongly destroyed this film’s reputation and success, but because I respected the source material and always wanted a faithful real-life adaptation.
Ghost in the Shell delivers on every. Single. Level. And then some. ScarJo was never my pick to play Motoko Kusanagi, but it’s critical to put the “whitewashing” complaints aside and focus on her performance, which is as slightly-wooden and contemplative as portrayed in the 1990 anime original. The cinematography was glorious – lots of corporate-gray-smearing-eclectic-resistance meets TRON, if you will – and it proved to be a genius direction to take. The frame-by-frame recreation of iconic moments such as the spider tank scene, the water arrest, and even the entire shelling sequence were masterfully executed and appeared to me not as fan service, but respect to the source material yet again. My only gripe was the completely asinine decision to not use the bone-chilling original opening theme during the shelling sequence, but to instead play it at the very end. – Corey R.
The Best Song of 2017
Luke Bryan – Most People Are Good (listen to it if you’ve never heard it!!!) – Faith M.
Harry Styles – Kiwi – finally someone plays a guitar in popular music – Connor N.
Cardi B – Bodak Yellow – I’m a huge rap fan so this may not be a popular opinion but my all time favourite 2017 song was ‘Bodak Yellow’ by Cardi B. It’s definitely not everyone’s taste but between me and all my friends, it’s everyone’s favourite song hands down. – Mary K.
Adele – When We Were Young – Lindsay K.
Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holding Me Back – Alexa R.
Havana, Despacito, Believer – Derek C.
The Killers – Run For Cover – Amanda M.
Contortionist – Reimagined – Any prog rock fan will know that this whole album was the highlight of 2017. – Stefanie W.
Childish Gambino – Redbone – One guitar riff into the song and I was hooked. The lyrics are odd to mentally navigate – there’s this part that goes ‘my peanut butter chocolate cake with Kool-aid’ – but the sound is just so funky and I can’t get enough of it. – Kelsey B.
Goldfrapp – Systemagic – It’s like listening to synthesized thunderclaps. The crackling and energy of this track never leaves my head. The unique and precise nature of the crunchy, raunchy synthesized brilliance put on display by Will Gregory, combined with Alison Goldfrapp’s honey-dipped vocals tinged with a stab of primal fury, makes for an unforgettable and explosive track. – Corey R.
The Best TV Show of 2017
Mindhunter – Serial Killers are cool – Connor N.
Mindhunter – Super intriguing show that had an interesting concept. Definitely binge-watched the whole thing when it came out! – Mary K.
Godless – Netflix original and exclusive, Godless, is an addictive series that you really need to watch if you haven’t already. I’m really not a fan of westerns, and I cringe at scenes with too much gunfire and explosions, but Godless was a complete exception. Both a dark and heartwarming western with an interesting setting – a town of almost all women who have to defend themselves against ruthless bandits. 10/10 for me. Netflix has done it again! If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead or True Detective (the first season) this is right up your alley. – Shaily A.
Nashville – Faith M.
This Is Us *single tear drop* – Lindsay K.
Friends – Not a new show, but there is no other show on the planet that can continue to make me laugh after watching it for the third or fourth time. – Alexa R.
Big Little Lies and Game of Thrones – Derek C.
Big Little Lies – Realllly hoping they make a second season but unfortunately, as this show so beautifully conveys; all good things must come to an end. – Kelsey B.
Big Little Lies – Amanda M.
Shameless – If you aren’t watching Shameless then you aren’t watching the best TV show! – Stefanie W.
Handmaid’s Tale – Having met and discussed the nature of this book with Margaret Atwood a couple of times, I was spellbound when I watched this incredibly accurate and profound portrayal of her bestselling novel. It’s gruesome, shocking, and impactful in all the ways she wanted it to be. It’s designed to make us think and face the future with newfound knowledge and contemplations. This show achieves precisely the right angle and delivers it with a sucker-punch to the gob. – Corey R.
The Best Thing in Ottawa in 2017
Craft Beer/Local Support – Ottawa has so many “bests” about it, but one that definitely deserves an honourable mention is the recently exploded Local Craft Beer market. With more than 20 craft breweries currently operating throughout Ottawa and the Valley, there’s something to be said about the local support that the people of this region give. Yes, craft beer is delicious, but to have so many open in such a short time, or have such success without distribution through the LCBO – that’s impressive. Local craft beer promotes local agriculture, small business, creates jobs, brings folks together and puts Ottawa on the map! My top 3 local craft brews of 2017 were: Ashton Brewing Company’s Blueberry Wheat, Dominion City’s Sunsplit IPA and Big Rig’s Big Boot (Hefeweizen). – Shaily A.
When the floods stopped – Connor N.
Cheesecake Crepe from Caco 70 – Faith M.
La Machine (Long Ma ‘the dragon’ and Kumo ‘the spider’). Living in the market ,it was awesome seeing both of them right outside my window. Really brought excitement to the city – Mary K.
Going to Tavern on the Hill and taking Instagram photos with a hot dog and beer. – Lindsay K.
Fat Tuesdays – Since Fat Tuesdays opened in Kanata, my friends and I have made this one of our go-to places. The food, atmosphere and live music make this a great night out with friends. – Alexa R.
NHL 100 Classic – Amanda M.
Kontinuum, Mosaicanada, Grey Cup, and Canada 150 – Derek C.
The annual Summer firework competition – Casino Lac-Leamy Sound of Light. For anyone who has never been, I highly recommend. Makes for a perfect date night – Stefanie W.
Pizza – Ottawa has the best pizza culture! It’s hard to say which is better: eating Ottawa pizza, or discussing Ottawa’s pizza scene with Ottawans (it’s my favorite conversation topic with locals). No matter how you prefer your pie, someone will know the best place for you to grab a heavenly slice. – Kelsey B.
Cash for Games Canada – As a retro gaming enthusiast who continually looks to add to their collection and preserve incredible gaming experiences for others to enjoy down the line, I can’t recommend this place enough (though, be careful when buying controllers or systems as they try to be cheap in that regard). When you walk in, it looks like the walls are built of cartridges, cases, and consoles. Fantastic prices too – usually less than what you’d pay on eBay for a near-mint copy. It’s a great place to delve back into an old hobby or discover new experiences! – Corey R.
The Best Thing I Discovered in 2017
Crash Bandicoot – Okay, technically this is a re-discovery…but I’m obsessed with PS4 release of Crash Bandicoot. Originally a Play Station 1 game that my parents had when I was a kid, Crash Bandicoot has made a comeback with improved graphics and the option to use retro controls (directional pad, anyone?) Totally appropriate for kids, but just as frustrating and fun for adults, The PS4 title lineup really needed a solid arcade style game to make an appearance, and I think Crash Bandicoot has filled the void. – Shaily A.
Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer – Connor N.
City of OTTAWA Duffer Doo program for toddlers – Faith M.
Pocket Camp – this is an app created by Animal Crossing is everything I’ve ever wanted and more out of an Animal Crossing game that I can play ANYWHERE. The struggle was real when I needed to get home to my gamecube to harvest those peaches! Also, someone better talk about HQ here, but it won’t be me. – Lindsay K.
HQ Trivia – Amanda M.
Case-Mate Card Holders – Derek C.
Adobe Illustrator CC – Kelsey B.
Nintendo Switch – Okay, I’m biased as someone who was essentially born with a Super Nintendo controller in their hand, but hear me out. The Nintendo Switch re-establishes exactly what gaming is meant to be – not a “toy”, timewaster, or about battles for graphics and frame rates to please established audiences – but fun. Just fun. This why people are flocking to the system – it delivers what they want from an entertainment system, with a hybrid portable/home console nature to boot. Just buy one. See what you’ve been missing out on, because for once this console generation, it’s something truly special. – Corey R.Vrtucar car sharing company – If you live downtown, a Vrtucar membership is a must! – Stefanie W.
Never Take Life for Granted – Let’s get deep and meaningful for a minute. The best thing I discovered in 2017 was to never take life for granted. Life is too short not to take the trip you’ve been dreaming of, or to avoid situations that make you uncomfortable. It’s important to always live life to the fullest and follow your dreams. – Alexa R.