The Best and the Worst of 2016 – Motion Picture Maniac

The Best and the Worst of 2016 – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

2016 absolutely sucked, not just because we had, what felt like, twice as many bad films as usual, but more celebrity deaths than one can count and the UK and US trying to out-do each other in the “see who can make the worst political decision ever” competition. But alas, we are here just to talk about the films we had this past year, and usually I would stick to top 10 lists but it seems 2016 was so prolific I had to go for dreaded top 20’s instead of 10’s; not sure if that means the year was extra good, or extra bad.

TOP 20 BEST FILMS OF 2016

I’ve heard wonderful things about Moonlight, Patriot’s Day, Manchester By The Sea and Silence but they are yet to come out in UK just yet, so don’t go thinking they’re not on the list because I didn’t like them or any such nonsense, I just haven’t seen them so I can’t comment. Either way, here are my personal favourite films of 2016, if you don’t like them – tough!

  1. Everybody Wants Some!!
  1. The Girl With All The Gifts
  1. Moana
  1. Café Society
  1. Anthropoid
  1. Hush
  1. The Neon Demon
  1. Brotherhood
  1. Deadpool
  1. Zootopia
  1. 13th
  1. Finding Dory
  1. Hell Or High Water
  1. Arrival
  1. Deepwater Horizon
  1. Captain America: Civil War
  1. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice – Ultimate Edition (I’m not sorry)
  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  1. American Honey
  1. I, Olga Hepnarova

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Conjuring 2

Midnight Special

Sully

Hail Caesar

Doctor Strange

 

DISQUALIFICATIONS

These titles were released in 2016, but IMDB, for whatever reason, decided to count them as 2015 releases, I choose to put them in their own list not to put them down but rather as an excuse to include as many good films as possible, if I included them in the main list I would have to remove some other titles already on there, and even if the disqualifications are better than those films I would have to take off the list to make room, I would still rather do it this way so none are left out, honourable mentions are difficult enough to pick out.

Knight Of Cups

Eye In The Sky

Son Of Saul

Green Room

The Witch

 

BOTTOM 20 WORST FILMS OF 2016

Now for the other list, the 20 movies this year that made me question my existence and hate myself for sitting in front of as they played out, like I said before, this was a bad year for films, I tried to keep it to 10 slots but it couldn’t be done, better luck next year.

  1. Dirty Grandpa
  1. The Boss
  1. Fifty Shades Of Black
  1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
  1. God’s Of Egypt
  1. Allegiant
  1. Pete’s Dragon
  1. The Choice
  1. Alice Through The Looking Glass
  1. Ice Age: Collision Course
  1. Mother’s Day
  1. The Other Side Of The Door
  1. Swallows And Amazons
  1. Equity
  1. Me Before You
  1. Ballerina
  1. Dad’s Army
  1. Nine Lives
  1. Norm Of The North
  1. Miracles From Heaven

NOTE – Miracles From Heaven is the worst film of the year for me because, despite not having production values as horrid as some of the other films on the list, religious propaganda just rubs me the wrong way, especially when it’s as arrogant and pompous as this and not just badly made (which it is).

 

DISHONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Boy

Risen

Now You See Me 2

Keeping Up With The Joneses

The Forest

 

BEST LINES IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

*Everything he says* – Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool

“I need to get her out of me” – Bella Heathcote in The Neon Demon

“Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, director” – James Earl Jones in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

“To commit suicide you need a strong will, my child. Something you certainly don’t have” – Klara Meliskova in I, Olga Hepnarova

“If God is all powerful, he cannot be all good, and if he is all good, he cannot be all powerful” – Jesse Eisenberg in Batman V Superman (again, I’m not sorry)

“I hope he comes all over your car!” – Sasha Lane in American Honey

“You’d think there were ten of me” – Ben Foster in Hell Or High Water

“I am just a dumb bunny but we are good at multiplying” – Ginnifer Goodwin in Zootopia

“Never tell a soldier he does not know the cost of war” – Alan Rickman in Eye In The Sky

“Suck it, bipeds” – Ed O’Neil in Finding Dory

 

TOP SURPRISINGLY GOOD PERFORMANCES

Shia LaBeouf in American Honey

Gal Gadot in Batman V Superman

The Rock in Moana

Jamie Dornan in Anthropoid

Jai Courtney in Suicide Squad

Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Nocturnal Animals

 

MEMORABLE SCENES

Darth Vader rebel massacre – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Church shootout – Anthropoid

Granny’s peach tea – Batman V Superman

Airport royal rumble – Captain America: Civil War

Alone at the morgue – The Neon Demon

Truck murder – I, Olga Hepnarova

Bye-bye baby – The Witch

They arrive – Arrival

Alan Rickman’s final scene – Eye In The Sky

The pit – Son Of Saul

 

FAVOURITE SOUNDTRACKS

Hans Zimmer & Junkie XL – Batman V Superman (notably “Is she with you” & “This is my world”)

Cliff Martinez – The Neon Demon

Johann Johannsson – Arrival

Robin Foster – Anthropoid

Opetaia Foa’i, Mark Mancina & Lin-Manuel Miranda – Moana

Michael Giacchino – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (I know some people aren’t too fussed, but I most certainly was, especially the track “Your Father would be proud”)

Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2016

Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2016

Quick Review Year In Review

So 2016 is almost over and it’s that time a year again where everyone reflects back on their best and worst films of the year.  So we’ve covered our best and our worst films of 2016, so before we look at the films coming up in 2016 here’s my ‘Alternative’ End of Year Awards for 2016…

 

The Most Entertainingly Bad Film Of The Year Award…
Gods Of Egypt

 

The best film to watch on a train as it makes it 100 times less shit Award…
Gods Of Egypt 


Surprise of The Year Award…
Low Budget films rule the roost!


Performance Of The Year Award…
Mark Kermode… for his oddly favourable reviews for his friends movies (see Jason Bourne)


Just Fuck Off and Die Award…

Michael Bay & the Transformers 5 trailer.


Least Deserving Commercial Bomb of The Year Award…
The Nice Guys

 

Come In Your time is Up Award…
Johnny Depp’s career (see Alice Through The Looking Glass & Yoga Hosers)

 

Trailer Of The Year Award…
Suicide Squad
Let Down of The Year Award…
Suicide Squad

 

It’s NOT the fact it has women in it, it’s just the fact it’s actually an average film Award…
Ghostbusters

 

The “Really? It takes some effort to fuck up this much” Award…
DC/Warner Brothers. How hard IS it to fuck up films with THESE characters?

 

Cameo of The Year Award…
Jesus (Ben Hur)

 

The Oscars only like REALLY famous dead people award for missing out other stars who died Award…
The Oscars for leaving out George Gaynes, Vanity, Gunnar Hanson & Rowdy Roddy Piper

 

The Proof That Award Shows Suck Award…
Sly Stallone, Creed, The Martian, Star Wars: The Force Awakens all missing out on awards

 

The Poof That Award Shows DONT Suck Award…
Ex Machina being awarded for Best Visual Effects


All reboots and remakes suck award and here’s the proof Award…
Point Break, Ghostbusters, Ben Hur

 

Okay so not ALL remakes & reboots suck Award…
Westworld. The Jungle Book.
Yup we just made it for the money award (aka The Sequels Suck Award…
Independence Day Resurgence, Jason Bourne, Now You See Me 2, Alice Through The Looking Glass

 

Films That SHOULD have been on my 2015 List’s but I Hadn’t Seen…
The Lady In The Van,  Straight Outta Compton, The Survivalist

 

Next time: Phil’s Look at 2016 and a look back at my 2017 predictions… 

Alice Through The Looking Glass – A Quick Capsule Review

Alice Through The Looking Glass – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
After the massive success of Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, this belated sequel (without Burton at the helm) pretty much ignores the titular book and goes off on it’s own for what  is somewhat of a mix mag overall.  Okay it’s not the mess the critics would have you believe and my daughter has had the film on repeat since we watched it BUT creatively it’s all over the place with the biggest offender once again being Depp whose extended cameo feels somewhat muted.  Visually creative for sure but I can’t help but think this film could have been left in development hell with few people caring…

Best Bit: Sacha Baron Cohen as Time

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Alice In Wonderland, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Matilda

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Alice Through The Looking Glass – Motion Picture Maniac

Alice Through The Looking Glass – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

I wonder, if Alice Through The Looking Glass has any making of special features on its DVD, will they open with the theme from How It’s Made? Because what we have here is a movie that is so painfully bland and generic, so blatantly designed by committee and carelessly slapped together like an oven-ready pizza in all of its money hungry, cash grabbing “glory”, I wouldn’t be surprised if those same making of features presented nothing more than a conveyor belt, mashing it together, drilling it, pounding it and welding it until it’s finished and ready for mass production. This isn’t a film in any sense of the word, it’s a machine, it’s a cold, heartless monster that’s been created by a mad scientist in a lab for the sole purpose of generating a green, strange smelling paper we humans call money, I can think of no other reason as to why this hideous creature of a movie exists other than monetary, the first one, directed by Tim Burton, made an absolute bundle and so that same profit turnout is being sought after with hungry intent.

It was neither a good film or a bad one really, had some good ideas in there from time to time but all that matters is that it made a lot of money, more than enough reason to make a sequel then, who cares if the story doesn’t need one, we need to make some money dammit! Honestly, it’s just like the Star Wars prequels, a generic and fundamentally clichéd, green screen filled mish-mash of ugly CGI, acting as bland as it gets and exits only to generate dough, gold, cash, green, income, MONEY! What we have in terms of story is, since the last film, Mia Wasikowska as the titular Alice, has been traveling the world, seeing the sights, and upon her return, the man she rejected in the first film threatens to take her ship away out of spite. A few other bad things occur before Alice walks through a mirror and ends up back in Wonderland, or Underland, whatever the hell they’re calling it now, and it is here she finds that the Mad Hatter, played once again by Johnny Depp, is slowly dying because reasons, so she goes and steals a device from time himself, played by Borat, so she can go back in time and do something to make something else happen, and this happens, and that happens, reasons over here, reasons over there, people listen to me, it’s all just stuff happening, boring, incomprehensible stuff might I add.

This film is horrible, in fact I think it would be fair to say that it’s hostile, it doesn’t seem to care about anything, not its acting, not its believability and most certainly not its integrity because it virtually has none. The actors who try are all trying way too hard, like Johnny Depp who somehow plays a character who’s supposed to be mad a little too mad (leave it to him I suppose), Helena Bonham Carter screams almost everything she says, and then of course there are the actors who couldn’t give less of a dam if they tried like Mia Wasikowska who is dreadful in this thing. She can be very good, in The Kids Are Alright she was great but in the last Alice In Wonderland and this new one, it’s like she’s auditioning for The Walking Dead because she’s practically a corpse, I mean plank of wood doesn’t even begin to convey how Hayden Christensen-like her performance feels. The odd one out appears to be Sacha Baron Coen, who sounds like he really wishes he could be as over-the-top as everyone else but also looks like he’s really trying not to be, needless to say his performance was very strange indeed.

The acting was all best described as pantomime-y, and the green screen, my word, is it hideous. Not once did the film ever appear convincing or real or like it WASN’T FILMED IN FRONT OF A GREEN SCREEN! Most shots look as though they’ve been set up to accommodate the background effects, the camera will look like its filming the action straight on which is how most film students tend to shoot green screen, not from a slight angle but straight on, and as a result it looks awful. CGI characters are unbearable to look at, the film’s sense of humor is childish beyond belief, it’s writing is concerned only with story telling aspects we have seen in every movie that ever came before it, the costumes are alright I suppose and there were some good ideas from time to time but for the most part, its a boring, greedy and designed by committee monstrosity that looks ugly, sounds absurd and feels just plain wrong, I hate it, I hate it very much.

When it started, I noticed the lights in the screening room had not gone off and the picture wasn’t being projected properly, now being someone who goes to the cinema quite a lot, this sort of thing appears to happen more regularly from my point of view and this time, I wasn’t going to do it, this time I was going to let someone else go and ask a member of staff to please sort it all out – no one did. After a while, the film was really starting to bug me and I thought “hey, if I go and ask someone to sort out the projector and lights, I wonder if that would improve anything”, so I went, I asked, the staff obliged, they turned off the pesky non conforming lights and set the picture to its rightful place and I went back to my seat, did it help? Did it fu-