Monday, February 20, 2017

2016 Movie Roundup

Happy Oscars Week! Some quick thoughts on the movies I saw last year:

Would Not Recommend

22. Southside With You
About as awkward as you’d expect from fanfiction about the Obamas.

21. Finding Dory

20. Ghostbusters
This was dumb, but it occasionally made me laugh.

19. The Jungle Book
I made the mistake of seeing this without having any knowledge of the book or original film. I was underwhelmed. The re-orchestrated main theme is awesome, though.

18. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

17. Sully
Not bad, but unnecessary. I thought the news coverage of this was more exciting.


16. Doctor Strange
Pretty standard superhero stuff, but the visual effects were stunning.

15. The Lobster
Like a Wes Anderson story gone horribly wrong. I enjoyed the world-building and creativity.

14. Deadpool
Crass, but genuinely funny. Welcome back, RyReyn.

13. Bridget Jones’s Baby
My one gripe about this movie is its ending; apparently they filmed 2 options, but the story seemed to build toward the one they didn’t use. Overall, though, this was delightful, and you could really hear Emma Thompson’s wit sprinkled throughout.

12. Moana
The beginning and end of this movie are superb, and “How Far I’ll Go” is my favorite of this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Original Song. But the middle with the cross-eyed chicken and singing crab and murderous pirate coconuts…

11. Captain America: Civil War
Me: Not as good as Winter Soldier, but I could watch an entire movie with just Black Panther and Spider-Man.
Marvel: We’re 2 steps ahead of you.

10. Hidden Figures
Just a hair too cheesy for my taste, but a wonderful, inspiring story nevertheless.

Must See

9. Hacksaw Ridge 
A brutal film, powered by Andrew Garfield’s sensitivity.

8. Loving
An understated, nuanced portrait of marriage. Totally underrated this awards season.

7. Zootopia
This was released last March, ostensibly for children, but I didn’t see anything else that was more intellectually stimulating. Plus those DMV sloths were iconic.

6. Rogue One
I LOVE this diverse cast---Mexican, Chinese, Black, and British-Pakistani actors play the eponymous crew of unsung heroes. It’s a stark contrast to the protagonists of the original films, and it works perfectly for this People’s History-esque chapter of Star Wars.

5. Manchester by the Sea
All-around A+ acting, in that I forgot anyone was acting at all.

4. La La Land
Dazzling, and (mostly) deserving of the hype. I can’t wait to see what Damien Chazelle comes up with next.

3. Moonlight 
Such a pure form of art---deeply personal, classically beautiful, and refreshingly original.

2. Lion
This story was both epic and intimate, and I really connected with the (sometimes conflicting) themes of belonging and finding home. Also, we need to talk about Dev Patel...

1. Arrival
In my totally subjective opinion, Arrival was the most moving, profound story of the year. The revelation in the final act still gives me chills. I’ll leave you to weep with this Max Richter piece.

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