2016 was for the year that Warren Beatty was given the wrong envelope at the Oscars, it happened in Feb 2017, and read off La La Land as the winner of Best Picture, instead of Moonlight which actually won. La La Land and Moonlight were the two runaway favorites to compete for Best Picture with La La Land expected to win, over the whole ‘Hollywood loves movies about itself’ trope. Neither are my pick of the best of that year, although both are in the top ten. I prefer La La Land over Moonlight. La La Land’s tone is movie consistent throughout the movie; whereas Moonlight’s builds from the first chapter to the last chapter, and what a last chapter it was! Terrific! I was wowed by it and the acting in the diner scene is phenomenal!
Moonlight tends to glorify drug dealers or drug dealing. Mahershela Ali’s character Juan is the ‘good’ drug dealer who takes Chiron under his wing after he, Juan, got her hooked on drugs. No matter how many close up shots of Ali you have staring into the distance his character is still evil and the movie’s bad guy.
La La Land is a great movie and left me happy when I left the theater.
2016 is also known for the year that Brie Larsen didn’t clap for Casey Affleck when he won the Best Actor Oscar. An empty and meaningless gesture but became part of Larsen’s virtue signaling repertoire.
My top ten list:
La La Land
I do have an issue with calling this a musical. I look at it more like a movie with musical numbers. At some point the musical part of the movie stopped. Still a great movie. And the epilogue is worth watching by itself.
Cillian Murphy is great as usual. Armie Hammer is good. Sharlto Copley is good as usual too. Brie Larsen proves why she gets recognized as a great actress. The dialogue is good. And for a movie that is set in one place it doesn’t seem boxed in or small. Director Ben Wheatley ably spreads out the competing factions while at the same time showing the audience where all players are in relation to each other.
I can’t understand the Tomato Meter score, 69%, nor the Tomato Audience score, 52%. 2016 went a long way to show why people should go to the movies and Free Fire is great entertainment.
Not really sure why John Goodman’s image is larger than Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s in the above poster. As good as Goodman is Winstead is the star and a total badass. This movie had me going ‘Wow! That was awesome’ as I walked out of the theater. Tense, thrilling, suspenseful (are tense and suspenseful the same thing), well acted by Winstead, Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr. And the two mystery’s of the movie (who is the girl and what happened to her, and what is really happening outside) are played out until finally being revealed at the end.
Winstead plays the heroin role to perfection and her reaction to discovering that Goodman, though a psychocpathic woman kidnapper and killer, is right about the alien invasion, is gold.
10 Cloverfield Lane was completed when JJ Abrams bought it and renamed it in an attempt to connect it to Cloverfield, as a sort of way to build a universe and get bigger buzz. Thankfully his involvement didn’t involve his creative input.
Everybody Wants Some
Just a fun movie. As good a time to watch as the characters are having on screen. Great music, baseball, great characters and great performances, likable leads (Blake Jenner and Zoey Deutch). No fake or contrived conflicts used to artificially propel the plot. No ‘will they or won’t they’ between the Jenner and Deutch characters. Just like hanging out with your friends and having a good time.
I suppose this could be looked at as a sequel or continuation of sorts to ‘Dazed and Confused,’ the 1993 Richard Linklater movie that romanticized his childhood in Texas while giving Matthew McConaughy his start. I was eleven in 1980, the year of this movie’s setting, and seven in the year Dazed and Confused is set, but nostalgia is strong in me. Those were great years to be a kid.
I was legitimately shocked and surprised by how good this movie is and how much I liked it. I wasn’t expecting much. I only saw it due to Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis being in it and had low expectations as it is a low budget B-movie that didn’t get a wide release. Hathaway is terrific, another Oscar snub, and Sudeikis is really good in a role that is not his typical goofball comedy routine.
An inventive story that is told slowly as to be a surprise not never boring. It starts as the typical ‘person returns to their hometown after years in the city’ trope with Hathaway’s character trying to adjust to small town life and reconnecting with old friends. This part is fine on its own. All actors sell their roles really well. Then the main plot of the movie kicks in, the tone changes, the action begins and then you are in a totally different movie.
Train to Busan
One of the better zombie movies you’ll ever see.
These are other movies from 2016 that I gave four out of five stars to.