Media Consumption 2017

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books / comics / film / sitting in the dark with strangers

Here’s a list of the media I consumed in 2017, as that’s basically what this blog is for now. First up, Sitting in the Dark With Strangers, the ranked movie list I’ve kept up for about ten years now. Some of the release dates on these are a little hinky, depending on when the movie became available here in Canada.

Angamaly Diaries

1. Angamaly Diaries

Baby Driver

2. Baby Driver

Jagga Jasoos

3. Jagga Jasoos

The Big Sick

4. The Big Sick

War for the Planet of the Apes

5. War for the Planet of the Apes

Good Time

6. Good Time

Free Fire

7. Free Fire

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

8. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Logan Lucky

9. Logan Lucky

Atomic Blonde

10. Atomic Blonde

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

11. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion


12. Rangoon

A Death in the Gunj

13. A Death in the Gunj

The Beguiled

14. The Beguiled


15. HyperNormalisation


16. Trapped

Blade Runner 2049

17. Blade Runner 2049


18. Dunkirk

Tiger Zinda Hai

19. Tiger Zinda Hai


20. Colossal

John Wick: Chapter 2

21. John Wick: Chapter 2

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

22. Star Wars: The Last Jedi


23. Daddy

Murder on the Orient Express

24. Murder on the Orient Express

Get Out

25. Get Out

Lady Macbeth

26. Lady Macbeth

Goon: Last of the Enforcers

27. Goon: Last of the Enforcers

Five Came Back

28. Five Came Back

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

29. xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Thor: Ragnarok

30.Thor: Ragnarok

Lipstick Under My Burkha

31. Lipstick Under My Burkha


32. Logan

The Lego Batman Movie

33. The Lego Batman Movie

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

34. Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

35. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Spider-Man: Homecoming

36. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Kong: Skull Island

37. Kong: Skull Island

Bareilly Ki Barfi

38. Bareilly Ki Barfi

A Cure for Wellness

39. A Cure for Wellness


40. Newton


41. mother!


42. Coco

Wonder Woman

43. Wonder Woman


44. Okja

Toilet - Ek Prem Katha

45. Toilet – Ek Prem Katha


46. Polybius

Badrinath Ki Dulhania

47. Badrinath Ki Dulhania

Commando 2: The Black Money Trail

48. Commando 2: The Black Money Trail


49. Raees

Death Race 2050

50. Death Race 2050


51. Split

The Fate of the Furious

52. The Fate of the Furious

Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special

53. Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special


54. Geostorm

Judwaa 2

55. Judwaa 2


56. Baadshaho

The Babysitter

57. The Babysitter

Another Wolfcop

58. Another Wolfcop

Ok Jaanu

59. Ok Jaanu

Girls Trip

60. Girls Trip

Jab Harry Met Sejal

61. Jab Harry Met Sejal


62. Baywatch


63. Raabta

The Dark Tower

64. The Dark Tower

Olaf's Frozen Adventure

65. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure


Some notes:

• As of press time I’ve not been able to see some critical darlings like Phantom Thread, The Florida Project, The Shape of Water, Call Me By Your Name, I, Tonya, etc. Given my love of Paul Thomas Anderson’s work, Phantom Thread would most likely have ranked very high for me.

• My overall amount of films watched this year might have been an all-time high at 201. Having a podcast about Bollywood films and living with someone who has another film podcast will do that to you. Speaking of Indian films, it is downright criminal the lack of attention paid by the Western critical establishment to Baahubali 2 this year. While it didn’t end up cracking my top ten, it was an achievement that will be talked about for years, even if the tastemakers in Williamsburg, Toronto and Silver Lake aren’t paying attention.

• In addition to the films noted above, I’m still interested in seeing the following, in no particular order:

  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
  • I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
  • The Square
  • Brawl in Cell Block 99
  • Molly’s Game
  • Darkest Hour
  • The Post
  • The Villainess
  • Blade of the Immortal
  • Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
  • The Trip to Spain
  • Secret Superstar
  • Tubelight
  • Hindi Medium
  • Anaarkali of Aarah
  • Haraamkhor

Next, here’s a list of the books I read this year, again in no particular order but minus a few I’d read before, or for work. Stars are for exceptional quality.

  • Universal Harvester, by John Darnielle
  • Flashman in the Great Game, by George MacDonald Fraser
  • *Sudden Death, by Enrique Àlvaro
  • *All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders
  • The Borrowed, by Chan Ho-Kei
  • *Maunder, by Claire Kelly
  • *Flashman and the Dragon, by George MacDonald Fraser
  • The Handover, by Elaine Dewar
  • *In The Woods, by Tana French
  • *Faithful Place, by Tana French
  • October: The Story of the Russian Revolution, by China Mieville
  • Mona Lisa Overdrive, by William Gibson
  • A Small Town in Germany, by John le Carré
  • Don’t Disturb the Dead: The Story of the Ramsay Brothers, by Shamya Dasgupta
  • *The Ghost Box, ed. Patton Oswalt
  • Saturn’s Children, by Charles Stross
  • *Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany, by Norman Ohler
  • *Get In Trouble, by Kelly Link
  • In Search of New Babylon, by Dominique Scali
  • *Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
  • *American Tabloid, by James Ellroy
  • *The Sellout, by Paul Beatty
  • Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff
  • Purity, by Jonathan Franzen
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch

For comics, my purchasing of single issues continued to decline, but I’ve still been enjoying Saga, Lazarus, The Black Monday Murders, and Sex Criminals. I really liked the first trade of Rock Candy Mountain, and I’m looking forward to the next collection. I’ve also really been enjoying the hardback collections of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin even though they’re expensive.

For TV, I kept up with Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Riverdale, Master of None and Stranger Things. I’ve started watching Wormwood, which could either go here or in the movie section, and it’s quite good. I enjoyed The Good Place on Netflix, and would like to catch the second season, as well as Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I’ve not caught up with the new Star Trek yet, but I hope to soon once the season has finished. I also enjoyed what I watched of MST3K: The Return. Who has time for TV when there’s so many movies to watch?

For video games, I played Fallout 4, Mafia III, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Persona 5, Battlefield 1, Crusader Kings II, as well as HomeScapes and some other trash on my phone.

I continued playing more board games this year, with lots of Scythe, Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy, Machi Koro, Abyss, Quartermaster General, Kraftwagen, all kinds of things.

For podcasts, I’ve abandoned quite a few shows done by cultural elites in New York and comedians in L.A. My tastes have become weirder and weirder still, and as the podcast form grows and shifts, the more independent shows are what interest me most. I’ll give a special mention of The History of Rome by Mike Duncan, all 179 episodes of which I mainlined through the summer and fall of this year. It is an astonishing achievement.

  • ’80s All Over
  • The Age of Napoleon
  • Bollywood is For Lovers (natch)
  • Chapo Trap House
  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History and Addendum
  • Defunctland
  • The Dollop
  • Dune Cast
  • Finders Keepers
  • Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff
  • My Brother, My Brother, And Me
  • Revolutions
  • The Secret History of Hollywood
  • Seen and Heard in Edmonton
  • Slow Burn
  • Split Screen Podcast
  • Shut Up and Sit Down
  • Trash, Art and the Movies
  • You Must Remember This

For YouTube channels, I’m mostly keeping up with the following:

  • Bright Sun Films
  • CGP Grey
  • Defunctland
  • Disney Food Blog
  • Distinguished Spirits
  • DSNY Newscast
  • Jim Sterling
  • JusReign
  • kaptainkristian
  • Lindsay Ellis
  • Moviebob
  • The Nerdwriter
  • No Pun Included
  • ProZD
  • Shut Up and Sit Down
  • Super Bunnyhop
  • Trekspertise
  • Tried and Refused Productions
  • Yesterworld Entertainment

This is where the lion’s share of absent-minded watching has gone in our cord-free household.

I continued to mostly buy Hindi music for the podcast and old vinyl, but I enjoyed Thundercat’s Drunk, They Came From Rue Morgue (a synthwave compilation), and Offa Rex’s The Queen of Hearts.

Hopefully 2018 is better than 2017.




The Author

Matt Bowes is a self-proclaimed cultural commentator/arbiter of good taste from Edmonton, Alberta. He enjoys movies and books, and writes about them sometimes at

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