Top Ten Films of 2016

Mid-May isn’t too late to do a top ten of the year is it? I don’t think so, at least not when you’ve spent the previous year traveling the world! That’s my excuse anyways, for this super-late post on my favorite films of 2016.

2016 was not the strongest year for film. Due to traveling I didn’t see a lot; I was selective and only saw the good stuff, but even the best films I had issues with, they were the best because their strengths were so strong I was willing to overlook their weaknesses, but not because they were strong all around. I actually feel this way about a number of films every year, but usually I find enough great films that the “good but I had issues with it” films only make the bottom two or three in my top ten. This year, however, they made it all the way into my top three!

That being said, I still enjoyed a lot of what I saw from 2016, and regardless of quality, I had a great time seeing them all (have you ever gone to the movies in a foreign country, it is super-fun!).

I would like to note here that six out of the ten films below are the respective director’s first or second feature. And two more were a third feature. I did not set out for this, but I think it is a reflection of where the industry is, with established filmmakers moving to television or being relegated to franchise fare. It seems that you have to seek out new, fresh voiced filmmakers, ones who are still young and hungry, to find exciting filmmaking right now.

I should also note that there are still a couple popular/critically praised films I still haven’t seen from last year, like Hidden Figures, Elle, The Salesman, Moana, and probably some others that could make it onto this list once I see them. But I believe I’ve seen enough to put this out as it is.

Alright, no more preamble. Here’s my list:

10. American Honey

I’ve seen all Andrea Arnold’s films, including her shorts, and I have no idea how she does what she does. Her style is incredible, her films so raw and unique; as far as I’m aware, no one makes films like she does. As for this one, it is set amongst the young middle American door-to-door magazine subscription scene, a subculture filled with characters I’ve never seen on the big screen. But Arnold nails it, and this despite her being British; she’s a Brit but she understands America better than most Americans.

My only qualm with this film: it is two hours and forty-five minutes! It definitely overstays its welcome, being about forty-five minutes longer than it should be. I still recommend it though, just like I recommend all of Arnold’s work. She’s one of the most exciting filmmakers working today!

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2016 Oscar Predictions: Part Two

My 2016 Oscar predictions, continuing from part one, onto the technical categories!

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2016 Oscar Predictions

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Again, I have big shoes to fill. Last year, I predicted all of the big six and 14 out of 21 overall (not as good as two years ago but still pretty good). This year the frontrunners are not as clear so this’ll be harder, but here goes!

Best Picture

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

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Top Ten Films: 2015

waynesworldtopten

Here it is, my annual top ten films of the year!

2015 was the year of the blockbuster, with tons of franchise fare hits (The Avengers, Jurassic World, Star Wars VII, Furious 7, Minions, The Hunger Games, etc). With it, the year had a correspondingly lack of original/indie/art films, but I still saw a lot that I liked and have made what I think is a pretty solid top ten. And there’s even a franchise blockbuster in here, read below to check out which one it is!

Final note: I still have not seen Carol, Brooklyn, Creed, Bridge of Spies, Son of Saul, and probably some others that might make it onto this list once I do see them.

Without further ado, my top ten films of 2015:

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Blind Spots: 2016

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I only saw three films on my Blind Spots list this year, two less than last year. However, I did see a lot of television shows that would have been on my blind spots TV list, had it existed (it does now!). That counts for something, right?

Blind Spots:

  • Ace in the Hole (Wilder, 1951) Peeping Tom (Powell, 1960) A Man Escaped (Bresson, 1956)
  • Predator (McTiernan, 1987) Dancer in the Dark (von Trier, 2000) Imitation of Life (Sirk, 1959) The Host (Bong, 2006) If… (Anderson, 1968)
  • The Big Parade (Vidor, 1925)
  • Straw Dogs (Peckinpah, 1971) The Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski, 1991) No End (Kieslowski, 1985) Vanhalla Rising (Refn, 2009)
  • Solaris (Tarkovskiy, 1972) Stalker (Tarkovskiy, 1979) The Mirror (Tarkovskiy, 1975) A Bridge Too Far (Attenborough, 1977)
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hooper, 1974) Pandora’s Box (Pabst, 1929)
  • Fitzcarraldo (Herzog, 1982) The Frighteners (Jackson, 1996)
  • Mildred Pierce (Curtiz, 1945) Pierrot le Fou (Godard, 1965)
  • Battle Royale (Fukasaku, 2000) Underground (Kusturica, 1995) The Tenant (Polanski, 1976)
  • Friday the 13th (Cunningham, 1980) The Jerk (Reiner, 1979) Point Break (Bigelow, 1991) Working Girl (Nichols, 1988)
  • The Last Temptation of Christ (Scorcese, 1988)
  • Rocco and his Brothers (Visconti, 1960)

Blind Spots TV:

  • The Sopranos (1999-2007)
  • Fargo (2014-present)
  • Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)
  • The World At War (1973)
  • Roots (1977)

Top 10 On Crack

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I’m not a huge fan of lists and don’t do many on this site, but the other night I had an urge to do some and then I went crazy! All the top tens I could think of, some serious, some fun, all conveniently placed in this post for your reading pleasure. There’s a lot here, so browse around and learn about my tastes, or have even more fun and read them all!

A note before we begin: all my entries are in chronological order, although I did star the #1 entries. The rest in each category, numbers two through ten, are equal (there are too many nuances, not to mention my own changing tastes, to rank them).

Lastly, I obviously am only including movies I’ve seen. So if you’re upset about a film that is missing, I might not have seen it (recommend it to me in the comments!). These lists are current as of November 30th, 2015.

And now, without further ado: My Top 10:

FILMS

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My Thoughts On Television (and some reviews too!)

The Walking Dead Season 2 One Sheet Television Poster game of thrones bloodline Parks_and_Recreation_Season_6_Box_Art unbreakable kimmy schmidt lost Big_bang_theory_poster11 orange is the new black breaking bad wire true detective mad men poster

There’s lots of movie stuff on this blog, but what about television? We’re in the Second Golden Age of Television after all, and TV has never been better. Television is so good that it’s actually stealing lots of talent from film (we have 24 to blame for that, the first case I know of where a film actor switched to TV and saw his profile rise) and pretty much all the good writers (minus writer/directors and half of Aaron Sorkin) are writing for television these days. Knowing this, why don’t I write more about TV?

The truth is, while I love film, I’m not much of TV person. Yes, television and film both tell stories with pictures that move (and sound), but the stories they tell are very different. Movies are dynamic, they are about the most important event in a person’s life, the event that causes them to change forever. Television, however, is about the character’s life before or after that event; the characters are static, they don’t change. They are the same week after week, which makes it comfortable to spend time with them, and enjoyable too since they are “likeable”.

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