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.


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


The Conjuring 2

Midnight Special


Hail Caesar

Doctor Strange



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



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).



The Boy


Now You See Me 2

Keeping Up With The Joneses

The Forest



*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



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



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



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”)

Fifty Shades Of Black – Motion Picture Maniac

Fifty Shades Of Black – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

We as living creatures are all destined to inevitably experience moments in which sheer mountains of beautiful potential are hammered down into the ground and powdered into unappealing dust, how sad it is that even the cinema, a place of comfort that’s supposed to provide an escape from reality, can also be a provider of such heart breaking fractures in time. What I’m saying here is that a spoof of 50 Shades Of Grey has every reason in the world and then some to be the best *thing* that ever existed, but like a log of dog feces smothered in chocolate, there is nothing but rage and disgust upon further inspection.

Now I never, for a second, thought that 50 Shades Of Grey was good by any means, but it was hardly the worst film I’d ever seen, in fact I do feel inclined to say that there were indeed some good ideas lying about the place that might have actually been well realized had the studio chosen to stick with Kelly Marcel’s original script rather than the butchered version E. L. James was insistent upon. But the film we got was the film we got, an awkward, badly acted (although I don’t want to blame the actors too much), bland and surprisingly tame Twilight rip-off that was just begging for a spoof of some kind whether it was the worst film ever or not.

How lucky we are then to have Fifty Shades Of Black, the latest spoof comedy from Marlon Wayans of Scary Movie 1 & 2 and also some other spoof movies that aren’t worth mentioning, quick word of warning now – if you could see my face as I type this, you would notice right away just how relentlessly unforgivable this film is, as I sit here a tired, broken and drained of all hope lifeless mush of whatever I used to be. It’s as bad as they’re saying it is folks, this is a savage and hideous monstrosity that makes the film it thinks it’s spoofing look like Lord of the Rings, I say “thinks” it’s spoofing because it feels more like a rip-off than a satire, as its narrative is nothing but a scene-for scene recreation of the original film with attempts at humor randomly sprinkled about, none of which work by the way.

This film is to 50 Shades Of Grey what Gus Van Sant’s remake of psycho was to the original classic, and 50 Shades Of Grey wasn’t even that good so what does that tell you about this hellish pile of offensive grey matter? But why, why is viewing this film the cinematic equivalent of being mugged on your way home from a mugging? Because it isn’t funny, and that’s that. I’ve often said that when it comes to comedy, the jokes always take center stage, whether or not it’s funny is really all that matters, comedy films don’t necessarily need to be technically well made in order to do their job, all they need to do is make you laugh and they don’t require well composed shots or the best special effects to do that, which is what sets the genre apart from others like horror or action, which do have to be well made in order to work properly.

But 50 Shades Of Black is not funny, I didn’t laugh one single time, and I’m not exaggerating, if I laughed at all I would most certainly let you know, but not once did a laugh echo through the room, not from me and not from the rest of the audience, although I imagine a certain Mr. Wayans was probably laughing. Now there was potential like I talked about, this film had potential and some of the jokes might have worked had the film allowed me to be in a better mood, but no, not one laugh from beginning to end. This thing is just plain dull, it has not been edited well; the jokes are meaningless and have neither build up or punch line and… well, really that’s it, what else is there to talk about? It’s supposedly a comedy so all that’s really been brought to the table are the jokes and we’ve already established that they absolutely sucked garden hoses so what else is there? No sense talking about cinematography, acting or story because this just isn’t that kind of film, so honest question – what else is there?

I don’t think I want to talk about it any further, I was bored out of my skull, looking on at the screen as it plays before you makes eye surgery look like a holiday in cuddle land and I hated it, it’s not even the kind of bad you can go and see for a laugh like the Room or Plan 9 From Outer Space, it’s just boring and dull and I couldn’t leave the screening room fast enough, were there jokes playing over the end credits? No idea, left as soon as I saw that the credits even started and didn’t look back, who even cares? Gets two stars for potential, loses the others for wasting it so badly.