Part 1 of the Captain’s take on what films he most enjoyed in 2016.
BEST FILMS OF 2016
There was this guy, name not remembered, who went on amazon studio’s forum to brag about his book on the top 100 films. And automatically got a bunch of people popping up, including me, who questioned why anyone would be interested in reading a top 100 list from a guy no one has ever heard of. He wasn’t famous, he wasn’t a reviewer, from what I knew, he was just some random guy who decided to write a book about his top films. Who the fuck would be interested in that?! Having said that, here is my top 10 list of the best and the worst films of 2016!
2016, let’s face it, was pretty shitty. Shitty films kind of outnumbered the good ones this year. Not to mention all the celebs who keep dying, some just recently. The only saving grace I think was TV. Thanks to HBO, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, for giving us shows like Westworld, Man in the High Castle, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, and 11.22.63. They really saved our asses by making some incredible entertainment.
But since this is a best and worst list of the films that came out in 2016 and not television shows, here is my list of a few films that really made my year. And as you’ll see some that were so bad they might have ruined it.
Before we start, I’d like to give a shout out to some honorable mentions… in no particular order.
Midnight Special – I really wish this made the list. I really loved this film, even if it made zero fucking sense. How was he born on this side of reality if he belonged on the other side… it doesn’t make much sense if you stop and think about it, but still a strong, well-acted film, really worth checking out.
10 Cloverfield Lane – Fantastic film, another one I wish could have made the list. John Goodman is creepy as hell. And that ending, you don’t get many out of left field endings like that anymore. The ending is either why you love it or hate it. Me, I really got a kick out of it.
Independence Day: Resurgence – A masterpiece this isn’t. But I had fun while watching it. Out of all the sequels that came out this year, this is by far the best. It’s a film that falls under the category, “it was what it was”. Like the Fast and Furious films. They are what they are, it really helps that a film series knows what it is. And it doesn’t try to be anything else. I think ID2 is very aware at what kind of film it is, making watching it pretty damn enjoyable.
The Greasy Strangler – Are you ready to get greasy with me? No? Why not? Bullshit artist! Creative, insane, Napoleon Dynamite for sickos. That’s the best way to describe this film. I liked it so much I struggled if it should make the top 10 list. But in the end I just couldn’t get greasy.
Hardcore Henry – Very imaginative, one hell of a thrill ride, which surprisingly has a few twists and turns in it with the plot. And that ending… holyshit that ending is just insanity.
The Nice Guys – Fucking hilarious film filled with action and 70’s goodness . Not to mention amazing writing. The plot kind of gets muddled, I mean, a porno protest film? What? But the chemistry Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling share in this is fantastic, so much so you’d wish this had several sequels in the works. But sadly, people just don’t like these types of films anymore.
Fences – Incredible powerful acting, no doubt in my mind Viola Davis is going to win an Oscar for this. I’d put money on it. But powerful acting isn’t enough to make my list. The film isn’t perfect. I think it goes on a bit too long and the handicap brother scenes were so bad… it might have played well on stage, but for a film those parts were bad. And that ending with him trying to play the horn… still a great film, just not one that is going to make my list.
Too Late – This film had to grow on me. The story structure is scattered all over the place, the fact it’s kind of broken up like a stage play helps with the fractured timeline, also helping is the fact each “chapter” is played out in real time. It was really the story that got me. A young woman calls a detective to come help her, in real time we see him leave his office and quickly drive to her. While this is happening she’s murdered. He was too late. After that it’s just him finding out who did it and why. But since the story structure is deliberately scattered, it becomes less about who and why someone killed her, and more about what his relationship with the woman was really about. And it gets pretty tragic when you find out. If you get the chance, check it out. As off right now, it is on Netflix.
Nocturnal Animals – This one got knocked off my top 10 list because of my number three pick. As much as I liked this film, I still had some issues with it, mainly the ending. Even though I get why it ended the way it did, I also really love it sometimes when a film ends and it’s a little ambiguous. I loved the rape revenge plot going on here, even if it’s kind of generic for one of these types of films. Straw Dogs comes to mind. Michael Shannon as this sick and dying police detective wanting to put some finality to this case was great. His buggy eyes and cold demeanor was enough to get him an Oscar nom. I guess the other half of the story going on I felt was less interesting. And that’s kind of the only reason it didn’t make the cut.
Okay, now it is time to get down to it.
10. Hunt for the Wilderpeople – I knew right away I was going to love this movie. After checking out his IMDB page, I realized he had a film I hadn’t seen yet. Boy. So I immediately watched it. This director has a very unique style and it will be interesting to see how that carries over with the new Thor film he’s directing.
9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – People seem pretty split on this one. But I just have my experience to go on, and no other film I saw this year got me as excited.
8. Green Room – After watching Blue Ruin, I really couldn’t wait to see this one. It’s one of those stories that makes you groan for not thinking of it. Punk band gets a gig at a skin head bar, they witness someone getting killed and trap themselves in the green room. It also features the late Anton Yelchin, who gets most of his hand chopped off and for most of the film is just walking around with duct tape keeping it attached. Patrick Stewart also shows up as the head Nazi skin head who will terrify you with his calmness. It also features Imogen Poots and I love me some Poots.
7. I Am Not a Serial Killer – Great little horror film and as of now is playing on Netflix, so check it out. I won’t get into too many spoilers here, but it’s about a teen who has been diagnosed with psychopathy. He is obsessed with serial killers, mainly because he might grow up to be one. Meanwhile, killings have started to plague this small town. And he suspects his elderly next door neighbor. Let’s just say it’s a bit more complicated than that. The kid begins this dangerous cat and mouse game with him… seriously, check this film out, it’s really great.
6. Spaghettiman – Hell yeah! Time for some spaghets! Best superhero film of the year! Sure, I loved Doctor Strange but did Doctor Strange shoot spaghetti out of his hands? I don’t think so. A slacker gets the ability to shoot spaghetti. He also pees it and bleeds it. Though through most of the film he only eats soup. Anyway, he decides to use these powers to help people… for a price. He becomes a hero for hire. Eventually, the gangs get tired of him and band together to try and take him out, but never underestimate the power of spaghets!
5. Storks – Hands down my favorite animated film this year. If you love Brooklyn Nine-Nine, this has the same type of humor. The animation was beautiful, the jokes where hilarious, the voice acting is so damn good. I found the whole film pretty damn clever. The best example being when the baby is sleeping, being taken by penguins. The good guys show up to rescue the baby and a fight ensues. But it’s done so that they’re also trying to not make any noise. It’s a fantastic scene.
4. Swiss Army Man – Yeah, yeah, farting corpse. But this film is so much more than that. Originality is the name of the game. This being the most original film of the year. What starts out as a film about survival becomes a film about friendship and obsession. It’s romantic, sad and funny as hell. Really make sure you see this one. And have an open mind. Sure the corpse farts to help him in situations and gets radar boners, but this film has so much heart.
3. Hacksaw Ridge – Like I said with my Blood Father review, Mel is back! Rightfully so, this film is amazing. Brutal as fuck but still amazing. I’m not religious at all and you really don’t have to be to be inspired by this guy’s bravery. Hell, Mel said he had to leave shit out because he thought no one would ever believe it. I’m really hoping for an Oscar win with this one. Unfortunately a self fellating film like La La Land will most likely take home most of the awards. Don’t let Hacksaw Ridge go unwatched. See this film if you can. Besides being this intense action war film, it’s also a love story.
2. Deadpool – Speaking of love story! The most romantic film of the year is of course Deadpool. It’s crude, hilarious, and masterful in its simplicity. Everyone has talked about this film, hell, just read my review of it. So instead I’ll talk a little about the bluray. The bluray is packed full of goodness. Even featuring a 90 minute behind the scenes making of. Not to mention the shitload of deleted scenes, some I wish actually stayed in the film. I discovered all this on new years when I was a little bit buzzed on punch spiked with absinth. Thanks to the bluray it even had me noticing they used a downed SHEILD airship as the stage for the final battle. Actually, after seeing the Logan trailers, I kind of feel like watching Deadpool again. But before that, my number one pick is…
1. Hell or High Water – What can I say? This film is fantastic. I’m sure I’m just repeating myself at this point trying to come up with different ways to say how great a film is, but if fantastic is the perfect word to use to describe it, than fantastic is the word I’m going to use. I loved the modern day western feel to this. Set in Texas where every asshole has a gun probably isn’t the best place to rob a bank, but these two have a plan. They aren’t just robbing banks for the money. No, there is so much more to this. I love the plot here and that ending, such a great way to end it. Okay, this might get a little spoilery, so hold on to your 10 gallon hat. Two brothers are robbing banks, they rob them during opening hours when no one is around and not a whole lot of cash is available, so what’s the point? Well, the point is they need to save their mom’s land. When she died she left it to the eldest but the bank is going to take it, so he comes up with the idea of robbing a little from the banks and having his criminal brother gamble it to try and make it more, then basically cleaning the money through the casino. Now here is the catch, this land they have is filled with oil. Oil the oil companies would pay a fortune for to set up a few of their wells. So the brothers stole a little so they could pay off the banks so they could rake in millions from the oil in the ground. Genius. But here is the extra kicker. The eldest did it not for himself, but for his family. He doesn’t get a dime. I didn’t even get into the other stuff involving Jeff Bridges as the marshal who has been dogging them this whole time. Love this film, loved the writing, loved the acting and the characters… I love the fact you don’t really know who to root for. On one hand you got the brothers, sure what they’re doing is for a good cause, but they’re also killing people. And you got the cops who are after them, you want them to get them, but you also kind of hope they get away with it. It’s very conflicting. But one hell of a film.
And that is my top 10 list for the best films of 2016. There were so many more that I didn’t get a chance to talk about, but I’m sure they made just about everyone else’s lists. Mainly Arrival, Silence, Manchester by the Sea, Lion, Live by Night… so many to mention.
Now I must sadden you with the worst films of the year. Maybe I’ll wait a bit before I list them, to give you time to really prepare yourselves.
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