Topic: 2016 in review

Pretty self-explanatory—a place to rank the films you saw, talk about the year in general, etc. What did you hate? What did you love? What were you surprised/disappointed by?

This has been a dire year for tentpole movies but a pretty wonderful one for the indie circuit. A24 definitely conquered, what with The Witch, Moonlight, The Lobster and Green Room all hitting in the same year. 2016's art has definitely carried along the general vibe of hopelessness that's dogged us during the last twelve months; my top ten movies, with a handful of exceptions, are pretty universally bummers or at the very least harrowing experiences, compared to the sheer fucking blast that was last year what with Inherent Vice, Fury Road, Carol, and new Star Wars.

My ranked list, then:

THE GREAT
1. The Witch
2. Jackie
3. Moonlight
4. 13th
5. Lemonade
6. Manchester by the Sea
7. Kubo and the Two Strings
8. Green Room
9. 10 Cloverfield Lane
THE VERY GOOD
10. The Lobster
11. Fences
12. La La Land
13. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
14. Arrival
15. The Revenant
16. Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience
THE GOOD
17. Don't Breathe
18. Hail, Caesar!
19. The Invitation
20. Last Days in the Desert
21. The Neon Demon
22. Zootopia
23. Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping
24. Star Trek Beyond
THE MIXED
25. Audrie & Daisy
26. Knight of Cups
27. Secrets of Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey
THE GODAWFUL
28. Deadpool
29. Blair Witch
30. Risen
31. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Last edited by DarthPraxus (2016-12-29 05:11:53)

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Re: 2016 in review

Ooooh, fun idea for a thread.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: 2016 in review

Man you've been a busy movie watcher in 2016, DarthPraxus. Out of the few movies I seen this year...

I'd bump Deadpool up to The Good category. I thought it was fun—awfully self-aware but fun.

Glad to see 10 Cloverfield Lane up there witht The Greats of 2016. John Goodman... nuff said. Discovering the Cloverfeels podcast and the ARG made it that little bit richer—though a bit silly. Any speculation that God Particle is the next Cloverfield movie in the anthology series has just been put to bed with it being removed from the release calender and a new Cloverfield movie has been scheduled for the back end of next year. Definitely looking forward to it.

Inferno. I'd lump with THE GODAWFUL. Just a rehash of the same format as the previous two movies. Not fun.

NOTEABLE MENTIONS... Snowden was good. Sully was good.

Last edited by Regan (2016-12-29 20:16:07)

Hurroo

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Re: 2016 in review

Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford) - wasn't bad. Didn't mind Arrival and the self-referencing Deadpool.

Hated Independence Day: Resurgence.

Favorite movie of the year (some place it in 2015): The Revenant for its cinematography. Saw it 3X on the big screen.

And just like that...

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Re: 2016 in review

avatar wrote:

Hated Independence Day: Resurgence.

I totally forgotten about Independence Day: Resurgence... shows how much I cared about that movie.

Last edited by Regan (2016-12-29 19:01:23)

Hurroo

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Re: 2016 in review

Regan wrote:

I'd bump Deadpool up to The Good category. I thought it was fun—awfully self-aware but fun.

The thing I hate about it, besides the fact that only a third of its jokes even land because it's shotgunning them so wildly, is that it tricks the audience into thinking it's subversive when it's not. It follows the Marvel formula to the letter, but everyone thinks it was so "edgy" and "different" because it mocked itself while doing so. Instead it just entrenches mediocrity even deeper.

avatar wrote:

Favorite movie of the year (some place it in 2015): The Revenant for its cinematography. Saw it 3X on the big screen.

There's no way in hell Innaritu deserved to beat George Miller for Best Director, and the non sequitur of an ending is eye-roll inducing, but you can't argue with Emmanuel Lubezki. Definitely one of the handsomest movies I saw this year; the Oscar for cinematography was well-deserved.

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Re: 2016 in review

Really Liked
Deadpool (personal favorite woo)
Captain America: Civil War - I'm a nerd

Liked
Moana - it looks so warmmmmm
Rogue One - main 2 characters are a bit dull, otherwise I had fun. If I didn't know those actors weren't themselves, I wouldn't have known they weren't real. It took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to figure it out. Also that one scene was really fun.
Zootopia - Surprised me
Finding Dory
Dr Strange
10 Cloverfield Lane

Meh/Okay
Suicide Squad - boo Joker bad boooo. Harley was fun tho.
Star Trek: Beyond - Started watching TNG. I like that so far.
X-Men Apocalypse
Kung Fu Panda 3
The Jungle Book - not my kind of movie
Fantastic Beasts
The Nice Guys - also not my kind of movie
Popstar

Didn't like
Assassin's Creed - I wanted it to be gooood :(
Batman v Superman - what the hell happened here?
Independence Day Resurgence


I'm boring :p Personally, this was a really, really bad year for me. I tried to see anything that seemed silly and fun at the movies to make up for it. Hopefully next year is better.

Protection and power are overrated. I think you are very wise to choose happiness and love. -Uncle Iroh

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Re: 2016 in review

I forgot to mention CAPTAIN FANTASTIC - slays a lot of sacred cows. Check it out. It goes in some unexpected directions...

https://www.cineworld.co.uk/xmedia-cw/repo/feats/posters/HO00003779.jpg

And just like that...

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Re: 2016 in review

Okay, I'll play.   There are gaps in my movie-viewing for 2016 but here's what I got. 

I make no claims that these opinions should make sense to anyone else, they're just my own.


Tentpoles (The Ones I Saw)

Star Trek Something
and
X-Men Something
I saw both of these and if you put a gun to my head and demand I tell you what happened in either one, go ahead and pull the trigger because I got nothin'.

Avengers Something
Don't shoot!  Ant Man can also get big! I remember that!  That was fun!
But that's literally all I remember other than everybody fights a lot and I was bored.

Doctor Strange
Enjoyed it because I knew nothing about Doctor Strange going in.  Wacky fun.

Deadpool
Ditto.  Hilarious, and another character I knew nothing about.  So, a win/win.

Batman v Superman
Mostly enjoyed it, certainly more so than Man of Steel.  The complaint I usually see is that "Batman/Superman aren't supposed to be like that" which is of course what I liked about it.  Would have liked it even more if it had ended literally five seconds sooner.

Ghostbusters
Is it safe now to say I didn't love this one?  Not because of the cast - they were the best part.  It was the clunky fan service - has there ever been a less memorable Bill Murray cameo?  And the not-quite-solid grasp of what tone to shoot for.  That may be a case of too many cooks because wow, I cannot recall a movie where the reshoots were more blatantly obvious.  With Feig's track record I assumed there'd at least be a solid script, but I guess there were too many hoops that needed jumping through.
But - the way women young and old have embraced this flick has been wonderful to observe and so who gives a shit what I think of it?  It wasn't made for me and that's fine.

Finding Dory
I admired the effort more than I actually enjoyed it.  Perfectly okay but on the Pixar scale a bit meh.

Arrival
Overall I liked it, and when ______ happened it worked for me and I was impressed that they had pulled it off.  Basically it's a low-impact Contact, but any movie about smart people being smart gets a lot of brownie points.

Zootopia
I unabashedly loved it.  If you forced me to name my favorite movie of 2016, this might be it.

Smaller Movies I Liked Very Much

Edge Of Seventeen
Hail, Caesar!
20th Century Women

Special Mention: Don't Think Twice - About the dynamics of an improv troupe.  I lived this movie at the Groundlings when Lovitz and then Hartman got tapped to be on SNL - Don't Think Twice is exactly what that was like.

Smaller Movies That Entertained Me To An Acceptable Level

Hidden Figures
The Girl On The Train
Jackie
Fences
Manchester By The Sea
Captain Fantastic
Hell Or High Water
The Nice Guys

Well-made Discovery Channel Documentary With An Unnecessary Movie Attached

Sully


Critical Darlings That I Did Not Enjoy At All

A Monster Calls
Nice VFX but a struggle to get through

Nocturnal Animals
My worst of the year.  A grindhouse movie that went to art school and seems to be missing the last reel.  I hated it and I hate that it exists and I can't wait to break that screener DVD in half and bury the pieces at a crossroads at midnight.  I hope I've made myself clear.

The Movie I Hated And Loved At The Same Time

La La Land
This is a tough one.  I loved the setting, the story, the cast, the cinematography, the choreography, the art direction, everything.  All of which meant nothing every time one of those godawful plonking unmemorable "songs" started.  The incredible opening scene was as if Bob Fosse came back from the dead to stage one more amazing musical number - but for his sins he had to use a song that was either a rejected Up With People track or maybe a deleted scene from that episode where the Brady kids form a musical group.
And the damn movie just kept doing that.  One beautifully staged plodding, grating, earsplitter after another.  If John Legend hadn't shown up briefly to remind me there was still good in the world, I might not have made it to the end of the most un-musical musical since Frozen.  Oh, if only I was deaf so I could love La La Land.  It should win every award - except score or song because if it wins either of those then the terrorists have won.

That's what I got for 2016.   (Rogue One not listed because I haven't seen it yet.)

Re: 2016 in review

Re: the songs in LA LA LAND, "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" has grown on me a ton but otherwise I completely agree. The crowd numbers are painfully bland (and plastic to boot, you can hear the studio editing in the vocals), and "City of Stars" has a non-melody that isn't helped by the fact that Gosling, for all his charisma, can't sing to save his life. Props to Emma Stone though.

I also have a problem with the way Chazelle villainizes modern art forms, because his jazz-fusion strawman is totally right. Besides, Miles Davis was already beyond traditional jazz in the 60s and 70s, this ain't a new thing.

Last edited by DarthPraxus (2016-12-31 04:58:47)

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Re: 2016 in review

Pretty much all I saw this year were a handful of tentpoles, most of which didn't particularly move me one way or the other.  Just the few that I have any particular thoughts/opinions about include:

Civil War 
I have absolutely no idea why, since I've never really had anything invested in the character, it wasn't a book that I read much of as a kid, I don't feel very strongly about the other movies, etc., but for some reason it brought me a great deal of joy to see Spiderman done in a way that felt exactly right. 

Star Trek Beyond
At the time I really hated it, for the same reason I really hated the other new Trek films, but I think I've finally just gotten to the acceptance stage of the grief cycle.  (ST:ID is still idiotic though.)

Fantastic Beasts
This was very weird.  My kids loved it of course and my not-really-into-HP/superheroes wife also really liked it, but I left the theater feeling spectacularly, cosmically indifferent.  It wasn't a sense of corporate cash-grab hollowness, or too-many-cooks incoherence or anything like that.  It was like there was just this epic blandness at the center of it.  For a movie about fantastic beasts I didn't find it remotely fantastic, or magical, or wondrous, and I didn't feel like the leads had any charisma or chemistry. But at the same time I didn't dislike it, which is what I would have normally expected to happen in that situation.   

And of course Batman vs. Superman I said more about here.

Trey wrote:

La La Land
This is a tough one.  I loved the setting, the story, the cast, the cinematography, the choreography, the art direction, everything.  All of which meant nothing every time one of those godawful plonking unmemorable "songs" started.

Ah, hell.  I am really sorry to hear this.  This isn't quite out in the UK I don't think, and I was vaguely looking forward to it.  (And because my wife really wants to see it we'll probably actually get off our asses and go.)  But nothing, and I mean nothing, sets my teeth on edge more than bland, mediocre movie musical songs.  Well, forewarned is forearmed....

For the next hour, everything in this post is strictly based on the available facts.

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Re: 2016 in review

Yeah, my opinion of La La Land is pretty complicated — plus which, I think it's being sincere and even fairly uncynical, which makes being frustrated with it harder. It's like a puppy.

(And me not particularly liking this particular movie doesn't prevent me from wanting way more movies like it.)

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: 2016 in review

Just looked through the top 300 for 2016 on Box Office Mojo, these are all the movies I've seen. (In the order in which they appear in the box office listing, incidentally.)

Finding Dory

I thought things got to be a bit much with the truck (highlight to read), but otherwise this was a lovely way to bleed a sequel out of that stone. Not as successful, for me, as Monster University — that one seemed a bit more cohesive — but still very solid and full of merit. I think I saw this one twice, actually.


The Secret Life of Pets

Don't remember much about it, but I enjoyed it. I recall enjoying the animation in particular in a few places and thinking Kevin Hart was funny.


The Jungle Book

Don't remember much about this one, either, but also that I liked it. I recall thinking they somehow managed to get to "The Bear Necessities" and have that make sense in context, so, go team.


Deadpool

Amusing.


Zootopia

At first I about went insane trying to figure out the goddamned metaphor, then I just let go of all that and tried to pretend it wasn't a confused metaphor and was simply the telling of a story. Awesome characters.


Moana

Loved it. Super-loved it. I for one welcome the new president of musicals.


Sully

I mean, yeah, everything that doesn't take place in a plane is a little latter-day-Clint-Eastwood-y, but the plane stuff is gold, and Tom Hanks somehow manages to look like someone he doesn't look like.


Deepwater Horizon

Tense as hell, interesting, worth watching. That said, between this and Sully and the trailer I saw for Berg's Boston Marathon movie, I think we might risk getting a bit "three years ago"d out.


Kubo and the Two Strings

This movie is a work of art and the animators are amazing. Also, I finally gave up and rage-quit the thing about forty minutes in. Fuck this movie.


The Nice Guys

This was my favorite movie of 2016 until January 1st 2017, when I saw "Lion," and then it became a tie. Seriously, if you haven't seen The Nice Guys (especially if you like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), get on that shit now. I'm not sure when Ryan Gosling became completely fantastic, but he's on another level in this movie. Russel Crowe too.


La La Land

As mentioned, I liked this movie in the theater a lot less than I like it on paper. Less than the sum of its parts for me.


Hell or High Water

Saw this two days ago, already can't remember anything about it.


Fences

I saw this one (as I saw most of these) without knowing anything about it, and my experience with it changed as context was added after. At first I thought it was an interesting and refreshingly restrained bauble of a character study, and that even though Denzel got carried away a few times and the director probably should have reeled him in more, overall the movie was a solid piece of work. But then I found out it was originally a play, so all of the credit I was giving it for being restrained goes out the window, and then I found out Denzel directed it, so all of the "oh well" I was aiming at the director's lack of control over the lead actor multiplied. After recalculating, I'll go with it's a pretty good movie. Denzel does very good sometimes and way too much other times; everyone else gets an A. (A few weird VFX moments jumped out at me, too, but that's neither here nor there.)


Lion

Dumb name, excellent movie.


Hidden Figures

Dumb name, delightful movie.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: 2016 in review

You sig worked in that format a bit too well.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: 2016 in review

Ha!

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: 2016 in review

Boter wrote:

You sig worked in that format a bit too well.

Yeah, I was wondering when the Teague movie had come out.

I didn't get a chance to see to many films so I'll just post my quick list:

Star Trek Beyond
This was a fun film, and thoroughly enjoyable as far as lots of nod to Star Trek, and some decent character moments. Made me laugh, almost made me cry, and was generally an OK story. The characters were fun and interesting, and Jaylah is definitely a good addition.

Captain America: Civil War
This film left me mixed. It opened great but then it just cascaded in to a very weak story and motivation that honestly left me more confused by the end than anything. I would call it a bad film, except it didn't really end in a way that made any sense as a film. So, I guess "meh" but I don't know. It confused me to no end.

God loves you!

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Re: 2016 in review

I didn't watch many movies from 2016, so I could probably just list all of them and what I thought of them:

1) The Witch - finely crafted flick that starts out hitting lots of home runs for me and then ends up wiffing a few toward the end. Really good overall, tho. I mostly admire the balls it took to stick to the period dialogue and the really slow pacing through most of it.

2) Deadpool - I loved it completely. It physically hurts me to know that Rob Liefeld is probably making serious bank off the royalties.

3) Zootopia - Also loved it.

4) Triple 9 - Hated. The best scene in the movie is a ten minute long raid that contributes nothing at all to the film until the last ten seconds. You could cut it out entirely and not lose anything except an exciting scene. The rest of the movie is similar. You could probably cut it down to 20 minutes and get every plot and character beat in there.

5) Criminal - Pretty decent until the third act. I liked Costner's character. He's a complete bastard for most of the movie and is not likable at all. The film uses him to its advantage for the first half, having him do one horrible thing after another. But then he kinda starts to flip and he becomes a better person. It's a halfway decent arc. But then the plot has to end and the movie goes completely off the rails, including a third act where the movie flat-out tells you how it's going to end ten minutes before it ends. No joke.

6) Green Room - This is possibly my favorite film of the year. Absolutely bleak and depressing and violent. The really great writing. The film doesn't give a shit about the way you feel about its characters, and will coldly kill whoever it feels like whenever it feels like, usually in very undignified and horrifying ways. Does a lot of really smart things early on to get you to like all the characters and make them feel real. Great flick.

7) Jungle Book - Better than I thought it was going to be. Reasonably watchable family-friendly entertainment.

8) ID4: Resurgence - Boring and stupid. They made the wrong movie. Most people said that Judd Hirsch's plotline with the kids on the bus should have been cut out, but I think they should have just made that the whole fuckin movie. It's the only moments of the film that feel kinda real. The scene where the fighter-pilot guy watched his mom die feels bullshit. The scene where Hirsch asks about their parents and no one says anything and then the older one kinda starts crying... Those sequences were so much fucking better than the rest of the flick.

9) Legend of Tarzan - half art-film, half tentpole CGI action movie with cartoon animals. There are a few really good moments in the movie. None of them involve Tarzan.

10) Kubo & The Two Strings - much dislike. One good thing I can say about it is that it didn't bother to explain some of the shit that it didn't need to. A lot of movies would have had all kinds of exposition for backstory on how the kid came to be able to animate the paper with his little Japan-banjo (I forget the name of the instrument...), and magic and folklore, and they didn't bother to explain all kinds of japanese shit except for the lanterns. A lot of movies do that stuff. It's annoying. That's all the credit I'm willing to give this movie, tho. It's pretty, too.

11) Uh... That's it...

I saw ten of the movies that came out in 2016. And that's what I thought of them.

This year will be different. I'm going to see as many movies as I can.

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Re: 2016 in review

Go get 'em. Hell, post about all of them, make a thing of it.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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