We have come to that time of year again, so here is my end of year wrap up of all the films that blew me away and all the films that made me cover my face in despair! 2016 has been a strong year for cinema with lots of big titles released. I have really enjoyed predicting how these would turn out and talking among friends about their views on certain blockbusters. This year was also a fine year for hidden gems. So many films almost slipped under my radar and many of them were truly memorable.
I hope you all enjoy this post and as always feel free to list some of your own best and worst of 2016!
Disney upped themselves so many levels with this film! Zootopia was a an absolute joy from start to finish, a visual treat for the eyes and requires a second and maybe even a third watch just to take in all the subtle details that have been crammed in. Zootopia had the usual Disney charm but what stood out for me was just how grown up and relevant to today's society this film was in parts. Not only does it deliver an important message about breaking moulds and pushing for change in a difficult environment, but it also tackles subjects such as discrimination, prejudice and crime.
I laughed, I (almost) cried and a I laughed some more. Zootopia is a shining example of storytelling, heart and animation and sets the bar for Disney movies in the coming years.
The Conjuring 2
Now this is how you make a horror sequel! The Conjuring 2 builds on the first film in every way, The Warrens are fleshed out a lot more and the relationship they have is touching to watch. One of the best on screen couples all year. The sequel takes place in England and although I may be biased towards this, it helped ground the story in reality and made it eerily relateble.
The tension is built up beautifully and there are genuinely unsettling scares to be had here!
A black american comedy that is actually funny? Surely not you cry, well this one is and its a little gem!
Keanu is a film with a simple premise but one that is executed really well. 2 men pretend to be legendary gangster in order to infiltrate a gang and reclaim their stolen kitten. Key and Peele nailed their roles and deliver a laugh a minute in this action packed comedy. Although the film was featured a lot of cursing and action scenes what surprised me the most was just how much heart the film had. A great surprise in a often crowded genre.
The Witch is an expertly crafted, slow burn New England folk tale. Taking inspiration from real life documents found from that era it tells a tale of family, superstition and the fear of god. This a film that doesn't spoon feed you key plot points, it relies on your own interpretation and viewers are challenged to solve the plot's mysteries as they develop. A haunting soundtrack, stunning cinematography and just the impending sense of dread make this a memorable watch indeed.
Easily one of the best horror films of the year, Don't Breathe centres around 3 thieves who break into a blind war veterans house and soon discover is isn't as defenceless as he seems. Jane Levy delivers another fantastic performance which further proves she is fast becoming a horror icon. This film is nail bitingly tense, carefully paced and delivers one of the best horror twists in years!
Filmed in one unbroken continuous shot, Victoria is a tale of a young Spanish girl who meets 3 Berliners on a night out and gets caught up in a heist. This film was beautiful from start to finish. The characters were very human and all completely relatable, the camera work was like nothing I had every experiencing in any other film. The sheer planning and work that must have gone in to create this spectacle is mind boggling, yet the film has a very personal and even claustrophobic feel at times. Victoria was a film that made me fall in love with cinema all over again and I regard it not only at the film of the year, but maybe even the last 5. A flawless masterpiece that deserves to be viewed by all.
The Jungle Book
Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Bullshit
Zack Snyder directs yet another pathetic attempt at a superhero film with all the grace and poise of a child smashing 2 action figures together.
I genuinely hated BVS, I hated it. The plot is ridiculous and the the running time is overly long but the main problems lie in the characters, or what is left of them.
Our first look at Batman is a scene of him firing a minigun, Batman fires a minigun. At people. Superman is given about 14 lines in the entire 2 hr 30mins and is portrayed as a wimpy teary eyed pansy. Wonder Woman is played by some scrawny hack and has 'feminist agenda' written all over her! This is meant to be your role model girls, so take notes! There are a bunch of other characters from both universes but aren't worth mentioning because they are all as a shallow as a puddle.
Ultimately the reason this film failed is because it betrays decades of comic lore for the sake of looking edgy. This film is not made out of love for the craft of film making, this film feels like it was made to a check list. It is a film the director thinks we want not the film he wanted to make. Avoid this disgusting garbage like the plague.
How can you go wrong with Natalie Dormer and Japanese ghosts? As it turns out, extremely easily.
The director had a great opportunity to deliver a solid film here but it was squandered at every turn. Riddled with cliques from creepy school girls, right the way through to a 'saw it coming a mile off' twist. The Forest featured zero scares, little to no character development and a cop out ending. Oh what could have been...
The Good Dinosaur
I always feel bad for slating animated features and especially ones that aren't my age demographic, but this deserves it!
The plot revolves around a dinosaur called Alro (Alro, really?) who is pretty much useless at everything, his farther tragically dies and so he must find a way to help his family's struggling farm.
He then continues to be useless at everything and basically cons, lies and sympathy begs lots of other more capable prehistoric creatures to do things for him then gets all the credit at the end.
another pet hate of mine was the fact that any time a creature was supposedly portrayed as cute the designers made them act like a puppy. Even a human infant sits on it's bum with its tongue hanging out, that is just infantile and lazy film production! Could this be the start of Pixar's fall from grace?