2016 has had its share of ups and downs. Less downs and more ups than 2015. This is hardly an all-inclusive listing. We’re focusing more on the bigger genre films of 2016. Lets break it down.
The Jungle Book
10 Cloverfield Lane
Deadpool stands out for me because it was totally unexpected. Ryan Reynolds managed to be annoyingly self-indulgent in the best of ways. His performance and the studio’s confidence in going with an ‘R’ rating really saved it from being what could’ve been a disaster. After Green Lantern, Reynolds deserved a hit in the superhero arena. Doctor Strange was serviceable and entertaining. While not as impressed with the overall story, Benedict Cumberbatch brings magic to every thing he’s in. 10 Cloverfield Lane dragged a bit in the beginning but built up nicely once things started rolling. The Jungle Book was an amazing visual spectacle. Some honorable mentions I’d place here too would be Kung Fu Panda 3 and Zootopia. Great year for animation too…
Gods of Egypt
Star Trek Beyond
I don’t think I wanted anything more than for the Ghostbusters reboot to be a success. I was a bit turned off by them not casting the original actors in their original roles. There was also an ugly misogynistic outcry against the film that made me want to like this even more. Unfortunately, not even my liberal passions could save the hot mess of a film it was. The cameo’s by the original cast members were thoughtful and fun, but Ghostbusters is by far the biggest disappointment on the list for me. Gods of Egypt lost me with its Euro-centric casting (in this day and age?) and flimsy portrayal of Exodus. Either go all in with fantasy and make up your own version like Cecil B. DeMille, or go the Mel Gibson route with a gritty humanistic portrayal of supernatural events. That film managed to piss off church goers and atheist alike. Star Trek Beyond reminded me of how much better Trek was on TV. I love the effort, but I think it’s time to get Trek back to form. Here’s looking at you CBS…
Fuck you DC. What I mean is, I love you but I’m finding it hard to keep justifying your film existence to friends who aren’t diehard fans. Or maybe I should just be saying fuck you Warner Bros.? I spent this year making more excuses to people about Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad than anything else. I even convinced myself of how much better the extended BvsS was compared to the theatrical release. It was, but didn’t exactly make it the 10 it should’ve been. I don’t even have the same complaints of a lot of fanboys. It was awesome seeing Batman kill and I’m fond of Henry Cavill’s Superman. In fact I thought everyone’s role was fine. Lex Luthor was probably the weakest, but the extended edition really fleshed out his plot… I promise. I enjoyed Suicide Squad initially. I found it insanely fun until I realized how stupid it actually was. When I sit and think about it, I don’t know when I’ve ever seen something so horribly edited in my life. It’s really unfortunate given the talent involved in brining the characters to life. I really hope Wonder Woman works for so many different reasons.
Captain America Civil War
Civil War was a great movie experience. While very entertaining, I don’t think the film had much of a plot. However, I still managed to have fun with it. Black Panther and Spider Man were standouts. It’s sad that Captain doesn’t get to stand on his own two feet, but I can’t fault Marvel for giving us the supporting cast. If it were my vote/choice alone, this would go in ‘The Good’ category. Sci-Fience swears by this film, but I can’t fault him for it. Rogue One was amazing. I reviewed it a few times. It gave me the feeling of an old style western in a way. At the same time it was bittersweet because I know it’s not the heart of what Star Wars is. I’m hoping the sequel to The Force Awakens measures up to what Rogue One left us. Arrival was a different kind of film. Was it worthy of being considered a classic? I don’t know quite yet. It had a simple breathy approach to heavy subject matter but left its audience with hope and things to ponder. A bit of a contrast given real world circumstances, but an effective piece of film-making nonetheless. Arrival is my top pick for the year.
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