top10moviesof2016

Top 10 Movies of 2016

As this year draws to a close it’s time to finally post my top 10. I’ve seen 44 of this year’s film and reviewed every single one of them, something I plan to keep doing next year. For those new to my top 10 film lists I go by the original release date rather than just the UK release, fortunately this is another year where nothing I was looking forward to was delayed until the following year over here. Now on to the list…

#10

Doctor Strange

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the MCU, especially when we’re still getting new solo movies that expand on the universe. One of my favourite things about this film is that Doctor Strange himself is a man of science and combines his knowledge of science with the knowledge he gains about magic, no science vs magic here. And yes while many people may be tired of him Benedict Cumberbatch gives a great performance and was the perfect choice to play the Sorcerer Supreme.

#9

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

From one magic user to another. This movie has an advantage over the previous Harry Potter movies with it not being an adaptation there’s no negative comparisons to the books to be made (like the times they kept replacing Dobby with Neville). It really made the wizarding world feel new again and I hope that the sequels they have planned will explore more of the world, maybe get to see what some of these creatures are like in the wild.

#8

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The first of Disney’s new Star Wars films outside of the main series. It’s both similar to and different enough from the original trilogy to have its intended effect. I do wonder if the CG used for two of the characters in this film was a test for a possible appearance from Obi Wan in Episode VIII. I still think Force Awakens is a much better film but this is still a great addition to the franchise. Also the best prequel (and I didn’t even hate the prequels).

#7

Deadpool

This movie proves that Fox can make great movies with the X-Men rights. This is everything a Deadpool movie should be and I’m really glad Ryan Reynolds finally got a chance to play the character properly after the whole Barakapool mess. If you’re a fan of the character you’ve probably already seen it and don’t need me to recommend it.

 

#6

Ghostbusters

This is the kind of reboot I prefer, one that tells a new (but similar) story with new characters in a familiar setting. This is the film that properly introduced me to Kate McKinnon who is hilarious in this and everything else I’ve seen her in since. I know a lot of people hate this movie but I loved it. It’s also important to note that I’ve been frequently reblogging gifsets of this film throughout the year and made several purchases based on it including two t-shirts, a Funko Pop figure of Holtzmann and I pre-ordered the LEGO Dimensions Story Pack (which was a lot of fun by the way) so had to give it extra points for those things.

#5

Captain America: Civil War

While the hype surrounding this film has died down over the last few months I still stand by my thoughts on the film (in fact I’ve moved it up a couple of places since I first wrote this list). It’s thanks to this movie that a Spider-Man movie is one of the films I’m looking forward to the most about next year. I also wish I didn’t have to wait until 2018 for more Black Panther.

#4

Moana

It’s always a treat to see a new Disney animated musical. This film has great music, stunning visuals, likable characters, a talented cast and a fun adventure. After much debate my favourite song in the soundtrack is currently Shiny.

#3

Kubo and the Two Strings

This year has had many animated films with amazing visuals but this is the one with the most impressive ones. Laika continue to prove themselves as masters of stop motion animation and I’m so glad I finally got to see one on the big screen. This film also features the largest stop motion puppet ever made along with several other giant puppets. Any time you see something that towers over the protagonists remember that this is a stop motion film.

#2

Zootopia

Half of this list is made up of Disney movies. I’m really impressed by how well an important message about different forms of prejudice just fits into an animated film about talking animals with a bunch of silly animal puns (including a character played by Alan Tudyk whose name is a reference to his character in Frozen), I don’t know how they did it but they found a way. The silly animal puns are also hilarious.

#1

Your Name

I found out about this movie a couple of days before I went to see it in the cinema and now it’s my #1 film of the year. Much like the other animated films in this list the animation is stunning. In my review I said this is the best body swap movie I’ve ever seen and I stand by that. Even the dub was good, no matter what language you see this in it’s a fantastic film.

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I’m really pleased with how this list turned out. Honorable mentions are Kung Fu Panda 3, Finding Dory, Dirty 30 and Star Trek Beyond. Thank you for reading, look forward to seeing more movie reviews from me next year.

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Trolls – Review

We’re nearing the end of the year now and this will probably be the last new film I’ll watch before the new year. Maybe not the strongest film to end off on but having seen this I have now seen 44 films from this year, 10 more new films than I saw last year which I think is a satisfying end goal to reach.

Honestly the film is alright. Has a fair amount of problems sure but better than I expected, weirdly better than the last 4 films I saw (man people are going to hate the fact I think Trolls is better than The Nice Guys).

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Poppy is an entertaining character who reminds me a bit of Pinkie Pie. Anna Kendrick is perfectly cast here and has a lot more material to work with than she did in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. She also sings Get Back Up Again which is one of the few original songs in the soundtrack and the funniest scene in the movie.

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This unfortunately leads into the things that drag the movie down for me. Most of the songs in the film are covers and while that can work (like The Book of Life) here they feel forced and lazy. I also feel Justin Timberlake is miscast as Branch, this is a character I’ve seen done before many times but by actors who know how to make it work. Timberlake’s performance is mediocre and feels like he was just cast to be a big name or for his singing (even though Branch doesn’t actually sing until the end of the film).

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Trolls has its charm and maybe with more original songs and a more suitable actor playing Branch (Santino Fontana maybe?) I’d be giving it a lot more praise but the film lacks effort and that just makes it disappointing, which is odd because I went in with fairly low expectations.

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Hail, Caesar – Review

I mentioned at the end of my Big Lebowski review that it was the first film I’d seen from the Coen brothers. After posting the review on Facebook I was told I should see more of their films and it just so happens they brought out a film this year.

The film has some really impressive visuals with well put together recreations of how films made in the 50s actually looked and played out and there are some great scenes that showcase this love for film. However the film itself is just ok. Much like Lebowski the film is enjoyable but lacks focus and that can be a problem with a large cast like this. Many characters that the trailers seem to imply will have a huge role are only in a small handful of scenes with character arcs either being rushed or left unresolved.

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A good example of this would be Scarlett Johansson’s character who has about two or three scenes with the majority of her story happening off-screen and being told to us by other characters including the resolution of her role in the film which is honestly completely pointless to the film as a whole. Also when we learn who the main villain is the reveal means nothing because the character only really had one scene that only existed as a nod to 50s films but wasn’t really of any importance and told us nothing about that character.

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Some scenes also dragged on a big too long, especially ones that really didn’t matter in the long run. There’s the “would that it were so simple” scene, which actually takes up an entire trailer, started out funny but then they just kept going. It honestly felt like these scenes were stretched out to justify hiring big name actors like Ralph Fiennes for really minor roles except you also have Jonah Hill who is on the poster I used for the featured image despite only having one scene with barely any lines.

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Maybe this would have been better as a short film or as a TV series that gave its wide cast the attention they needed or maybe I just don’t get the appeal of the Coen brothers. It’s hard to say. I’ll consider watching another film or two from them next year.

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Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates – Review

I decided to watch this mostly because Aubrey Plaza from Parks & Rec is one of the leads, especially after deciding against seeing Passengers. I wasn’t expecting much from this film, I figured some jokes would be funny and others would feel forced and honestly that’s exactly what the film ended up being like.

Much like Office Christmas Party the times the comedy did work can be credited to the actors more than the script. I also feel like the weakest jokes in the film are the ones tied to the plot. It also suffers from the more tiresome romantic comedy tropes such as the liar revealed, the annoying thing was it almost looked like they were going to subvert this one when one of the brothers was ok with the lie but then they gave him a different lie to be bothered by.

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Despite these problems though the actors are genuinely funny and have plenty of funny scenes together. There’s even some surprisingly sweet scenes between Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick’s characters that show their talents outside of comedy. I feel like the same actors playing the same characters deserve to be in a better movie.

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Norm of the North – Review

So while figuring out what films from this year to watch I thought “wasn’t there that polar bear movie that came out early in the year? It would make sense to watch that in December”…

This movie was so boring. The animation looks like a direct to DVD movie trying to cash in on confused parents thinking it’s the newest Disney/Dreamworks movie, except no one else made a movie about a polar bear recently. Even the message doesn’t make sense, according to this movie the biggest concern for the arctic isn’t global warming but rich people building houses there. Also Norm is played by Rob Schneider.

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It even has its own rip-off of the Minions. If you see this movie you’ll never complain about Minions again, at least they work in the context of the movies they’re in. At least the Minions can be funny, I didn’t find a single joke involving the Lemmings to be even slightly funny.

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This movie is bad, the only reason this isn’t the worst film I’ve seen this year is because Batman V Superman actually made me angry. This film is just boring. To borrow a phrase from I Hate Everything it’s a nothing movie.

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The Nice Guys – Review

So as we’re drawing to the end of the year a fair amount of people have been posting their top 10 lists so I’ve been watching them trying to figure out what I should watch. This was on MovieBob’s list and in the video he mentioned that it was set at Christmas so I figured if I ever was going to watch this it might as well be now in December.

Christmas doesn’t come up until the very last scene and it’s only in the form of a few decorations. The film itself was honestly pretty mediocre. It’s well directed, has a great cast and some funny moments but I just couldn’t get invested in the characters or the plot.

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They’re not bad characters and they do have their moments but I feel like they could have been better as supporting characters instead of the leads. Maybe that was the point but either way I’m clearly not the intended audience for this film.

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It’s not bad but still one of the weaker movies I’ve seen from this year. I’m not sure what I’ll think of the rest of Shane Black’s films, I did like Iron Man 3 which is the only other one of his films I’ve seen. This brings the total number of films from this year I’ve seen up to 40 but I’m not done watching them yet.

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Rogue One – Review

This is the last big film I was looking forward to this year and after the widely spread spoilers last year I knew I needed to see it on the release day if I wanted to avoid the trolls.

Another great film. It’s not quite Force Awakens great but it it’s still very good and does exactly what it sets out to do. It captures the look of the old films while also making it feel different from the main series, it’s hard to get that balance right. In a way it feels like a movie for the Star Wars Rebels cartoon (but with different characters).

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Jyn Erso is an interesting lead character. Felicity Jones does a great job playing her, between this and I’m looking forward to seeing more from her having only really seen two more movies with her in (and one I don’t even remember having her in).

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My favourite character however has to be K-2SO played by Disney regular and leaf on the wind Alan Tudyk (this year alone he’s been in Zootopia, Moana, episodes of Star vs. the Forces of Evil and this movie). He has the film’s funniest lines and his voice reminded me a bit of David Mitchell.

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Unfortunately the third lead character Cassian is mediocre. He’s not bad and Diego Luna does a good job playing him but the character isn’t very interesting, especially when compared to Jyn and K-2SO.

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And of course I have to talk about the returning characters. Darth Vader has two very impressive scenes and I like that they used the red eyes from A New Hope but outside of those scenes he’s barely in the movie and as much as I liked the scenes he had the film’s promotion did overhype his presence in the film. There’s also a couple of returning characters included through CGI and while there are some shots where it looks impressive the more time they spent on screen the more they look off which was a bit distracting considering one of these two is a recurring character. It was a neat effect though.

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While the film has its flaws the strengths more than make up for it and it is a welcome addition to the Star Wars franchise. I do hope some of these characters pop up in Rebels at some point because I would like to see more from them (I should probably catch up on Rebels before that though since I haven’t even finished season 2 yet). One more film and I’ll have seen as many 2016 films and 2015 films (this is counting the ones I saw this year). It’s hard to believe the year’s almost over and I’ve seen all the big films I was looking forward to.