My Year at the Movies – 2016

Action Scenes of the Year

9) Finale, Sausage Party

8) Atomic breath, Shin Godzilla

7) Bourne vs. the Asset in the sewer, Jason Bourne

6) Mirror Dimension chase, Doctor Strange

5) The proposal, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

4) Batman’s warehouse brawl, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

3) Darth Vader unleashed, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (a horror-action sequence!)

2) Monkey vs. Karasu – duel on the high seas, Kubo and the Two Strings

1) Leipzig airport six-on-six face-off, Captain America: Civil War (the finale is a better dramatic scene but this a superior action scene)

Team Iron Man vs Team Cap

What if action figures were actual characters?

Bait-and-Switches

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: a better Pride and Prejudice adaptation than a zombie movie

Sausage Party: a better sociopolitical satire than a comedy

Best Non-2016 Films Discovered this Year

Visit http://letterboxd.com/paulstanis/list/best-non-2016-films-discovered-in-2016/ for 19 terrific films from prior years I discovered in 2016.

By the Numbers

5 Ben Foster performances (The Finest Hours; The Program; Warcraft; Hell or High Water; Inferno)

5 Michael Shannon appearances (Midnight Special; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Elvis & Nixon; Loving; Nocturnal Animals)

5 Hans Zimmer scores (Kung Fu Panda 3; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; The Little Prince; Inferno; Hidden Figures)

4 Chris Pine appearances (The Finest Hours; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Star Trek Beyond; Hell or High Water)

4 Henry Jackman scores (The 5th Wave; Captain America: Civil War; Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; The Birth of a Nation)

4 Idris Elba performances (Zootopia; The Jungle Book; Finding Dory; Star Trek Beyond)

4 J.K. Simmons performances (Kung Fu Panda 3; Zootopia; The Accountant; La La Land – 5 if you count the English dub of April and the Extraordinary World)

4 Jeremy Irons performances (Race; The Man Who Knew Infinity; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; High-Rise)

4 Jesse Eisenberg performances (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Louder than Bombs; Now You See Me 2; Café Society)

4 Michael Giacchino scores (Zootopia; Star Trek Beyond; Doctor Strange; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)

4 Michael Stuhlbarg performances (Miles Ahead; Arrival; Doctor Strange; Miss Sloane)

3 films climaxing with architectural reconstruction (X-Men: Apocalypse; Doctor Strange; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them)

3 films tackling the morality of drone warfare (London Has Fallen; Eye in the Sky; Snowden)

3 uses of “Spirit in the Sky” (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows; Suicide Squad; I am Not a Serial Killer)

2 Disney films starring intrepid seafaring women (Alice through the Looking Glass; Moana)

2 Disney-distributed films with black panthers (The Jungle Book; Captain America: Civil War)

2 films featuring Auschwitz (X-Men: Apocalypse; Denial)

2 films featuring “divine” elephants (The Jungle Book; The Legend of Tarzan)

2 films using the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as a plot point (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; X-Men: Apocalypse)

2 films with the subtitle “Resurgence” (Independence Day: Resurgence; Shin Godzilla/Godzilla: Resurgence)

2 Jane Austen adaptations (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Love & Friendship)

2 Jazz films (Miles Ahead; La La Land)

2 Olympic films (Race; Eddie the Eagle)

2 science fiction films inspired by Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Midnight Special; Arrival)

Favorite () Yet

Captain America: Civil War, my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film yet

Jason Bourne, my favorite Bourne movie yet

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, my favorite Star Wars prequel yet

Feelgood Movies of the Year

Hidden Figures; Eddie the Eagle; Moana; Queen of Katwe; Sing Street

Heroes or Antiheroes, Best of the Year

10) Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Hidden Figures

9) Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

8) Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Doctor Strange

7) Nadine Franklin (Hailee Steinfeld), The Edge of Seventeen

6) Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), Hunt for the Wilderpeople

5) Michéle Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert), Elle

4) Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Captain America: Civil War

3) Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), Moana

2) Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

cassian-andor

Does he have the eyes of a killer, or a friend?

1) Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), Miss Sloane

miss-sloane

Heroes or Antiheroes, Worst of the Year

3) Mowgli (Neel Sethi), The Jungle Book

2) Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), London Has Fallen

1) Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

sam_r4_v11c3_151002_17mj_g_r709f.362886.tif

“…”

Ranking Disney-Distributed Movies

12) The Finest Hours

11) Alice through the Looking Glass

10) The BFG

9) Finding Dory

8) Zootopia

7) Pete’s Dragon

6) The Jungle Book

5) Doctor Strange

4) Queen of Katwe

3) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

2) Captain America: Civil War

1) Moana

moana

Sequel Improvement

Alice through the Looking Glass > Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Captain America: Civil War > Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Jason Bourne > The Bourne Legacy

Star Trek Beyond > Star Trek Into Darkness

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows > Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles\

Stray Observations

– 2016 is the only year besides 2002 in which both Star Trek and Star Wars movies were released. 14 years ago, the curtain closed on the Next Generation era of Trek films with the spectacular box office disappointment Star Trek: Nemesis, while Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones improved on The Phantom Menace while making all-new mistakes. While Nemesis has its flaws, Trek won that round. In 2016, both franchises enter the ring with excellent entries that balance nostalgia with new textures, but Star Wars ultimately carries the day over the wonderfully character-driven Star Trek Beyond with the emotional and explosive Rogue One.

– Line of the year: Anton Yelchin’s “It’s funny. You were so scary at night” in Green Room. It’s an astonishingly timely line, as the story encapsulates the threatening but ultimately pathetic nature of neo-Nazis.

– The most overrated film of the year is A Monster Calls, but I don’t begrudge anyone profoundly moved by it.

Most Underrated Films of the Year

9) Hardcore Henry

8) Swiss Army Man

7) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

6) Ben-Hur

5) Snowden

4) The Girl on the Train

3) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

2) Miss Sloane

1) Gods of Egypt (which also gets a complementary “Pardon one turkey” award)

Villains, Best of the Year

10) Time (Sacha Baron Cohen), Alice through the Looking Glass

9) Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang), Don’t Breathe

8) The Sisters (Rooney Mara), Kubo and the Two Strings

7) Darcy Banker (Patrick Stewart), Green Room

6) Messala (Toby Kebbell), Ben-hur

5) Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

4) Crowley (Christopher Lloyd), I am Not a Serial Killer

3) Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl), Captain America: Civil War

2) Paula (Rachel House), Hunt for the Wilderpeople

1) Shere Khan (Idris Elba), The Jungle Book (as a bonus, the other two villains – King Louis and Kaa – are great too)

Shere Khan

Villains, Worst of the Year

4) The Douche (Nick Kroll), Sausage Party

3) Psylocke (Olivia Munn), X-Men: Apocalypse

2) Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), The Magnificent Seven

1) All DC villains (Enchantress, Incubus, Joker, Doomsday, Lex Luthor), Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

dc-villains

Marvel may have a few bland villains, but this is something else entirely!

Biggest WTF Moments of the Year

6) The Little Prince: Climax of the framing story. Is this The Little Prince or Planes: Fire and Rescue?

5) Fathers and Daughters: Constant clichés.

4) Standoff: Hilariously over-the-top insults. (Sample: “Fuck leverage! Do the math, dipshit!”)

3) Don’t Breathe: The turkey baster. You know the one.

2) Now You See Me 2: Why are there twin Woody Harrelsons???

1) The 5th Wave: 15 minutes shot in almost complete blackness…?

blackness

WTF?

(Rough) Final Ranking of All 2016 Films Viewed (Best to Worst)

Moana; Captain America: Civil War; Miss Sloane; Swiss Army Man; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Arrival; Eye in the Sky; Snowden; La La Land; Sing Street; Star Trek Beyond; Green Room; Hunt for the Wilderpeople; The Nice Guys; Ghostbusters; Kubo and the Two Strings; Everybody Wants Some!!; Captain Fantastic; Hail, Caesar!; Hell or High Water; The Edge of Seventeen; Nocturnal Animals; 10 Cloverfield Lane; Queen of Katwe; Moonlight; Doctor Strange; The Jungle Book; Hidden Figures; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Midnight Special; Manchester by the Sea; Sausage Party; Pete’s Dragon; The Dressmaker; The Girl on the Train; Zootopia; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them; Hardcore Henry; Louder than Bombs; Elle; The Lobster; Jason Bourne; Kung Fu Panda 3; Eddie the Eagle; High-Rise; Finding Dory; The BFG; Money Monster; Denial; Lion; The Love Witch; Love & Friendship; Hacksaw Ridge; Deadpool; X-Men: Apocalypse; Fences; Ben-Hur; Gods of Egypt; Ip Man 3; The Light Between Oceans; Loving; Don’t Breathe; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny; Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows; Café Society; Blood Father; Shin Godzilla; Race; Miles Ahead; I am Not a Serial Killer; A Monster Calls; Tale of Tales; April and the Extraordinary World; Inferno; Sully; The Birth of a Nation; The Little Prince; Allied; The Program; The Accountant; The Trust; The Magnificent Seven; Standoff; Warcraft; Elvis & Nixon; The Man Who Knew Infinity; The Huntsman: Winter’s War; The Legend of Tarzan; Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Independence Day: Resurgence; Jane Got a Gun; Creative Control; Triple 9; Alice through the Looking Glass; I Saw the Light; Now You See Me 2; Suicide Squad; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; The 5th Wave; Fathers and Daughters; London Has Fallen; Moonwalkers; Misconduct; The Finest Hours

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: