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”)

Mother’s Day – Motion Picture Maniac

Mother’s Day – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

Why don’t you just stick dynamite caked in cat crap through my letterbox and giggle as in explodes all over my hall, I mean why don’t you just do that, may as well, I mean if you’re going to make films as disgusting as crap covered dynamite then why not do it for real then eh?

Mother’s Day is the latest ensemble comedy in which various tangentially connected characters run around and get themselves into situations and shenanigans all the while trying to prepare for an important day of the year, first we had Valentines Day, then we had New Year’s Eve and now we have Mother’s Day, a day that isn’t anywhere near as colossal as, for example, Christmas, but you’d better believe the characters are going to treat it that way. Now I appreciate my mother, in fact I have her standing next to me as I write this because when I say Mother’s Day isn’t as important as Christmas, I sound like a male jackass, so I want her here next to me to approve of my choice of words because she agrees – Mother’s Day is not as important as Christmas, so why are the characters in this movie talking about it like its the day the troops come home? If you won’t take it from me, take it from an actual mother.

There’s no reason to beat about it any longer, this film is unspeakably awful, I found it legitimately painful to sit through and was embarrassed to be looking in its direction as it played. I feel inclined to say that realizing, at the end of principle photography, that the cap had been on the camera lens the whole time would have been less of an error in judgment and more of a blessing in disguise, it’s disturbingly bad, not because it’s so bad I am disturbed but rather because ensemble films about interconnected characters are never destined to be bad, there’s always some small amount of potential to work with but people like Garry Marshall can never seem to get them right, and the fact he keeps trying and failing every time is rather troubling.

The multiple stories this film juggles are horrifically pieced together, there’s no grace, no structure, no sense of clean segmentation, the stories all feel like they’ve been chopped up and thrown together randomly by a blind person, the problem isn’t that it jumps around too much, the problem is that it jumps around schizophrenically, it all feels sloppy and random and the results are suffocating. I lost count of the amount of times I checked my watch and prayed that I would gain the power to control time if I stared at it long enough, the majority of the film consists of characters basically doing stuff, talking about stuff, talking about doing stuff, things just happen as though the script is still being written while we’re watching it without any reason or thematic consistency.

The music is the worst offender when it comes to the film’s unbearably sappy and schmaltzy tone, it tries so hard to be “feel good”, happy, uplifting and cheerful that it already would have come across as nausea inducing the music really is the cherry on the top, it’s just a relentless drone of happiness that wants invigorate positive feelings but instead made me want to vomit. In fact I even tried covering my ears at a point when I couldn’t take or listen to it anymore, it worked for a minute before I realized how stupid I probably looked, the music was bad, unbelievably bad. The cinematography is worthy only of television, the individual stories are clichéd and unoriginal, the script, as a whole, talks down to its audience at every opportunity as random extras in the background literally tells you how to feel – “ooh that person is funny”, “aww that’s really cute”, “ooh that’s interesting” etc.

The cast is an interesting topic, members like Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, Sarah Chalke and a few other people are clearly trying to make it work, they obviously care enough to try but the material is so unforgivably hideous that no one, not even the greatest actor in the world, could make this sound believable. As for the actors who couldn’t give a rat’s arse, holy hell, talk about painful to watch, Jack Whitehall is atrocious, he’s really difficult to behold and his line delivery is awful, the parents of these two sisters are walking stereotypes who annoyed me with every word out of their mouths, I wouldn’t complain if I wasn’t in pain. And speaking of the two sisters, we have about 5 stories going here, and of course it makes sense for some to be better than others, the one with the sisters being the most tolerable in my opinion.

The story with Jack Whitehall and his girlfriend absolutely sucks, we see comedy shows in which the audience laughs at moments that clearly aren’t the punch line (the result of bad editing), the story with Julia Roberts is utterly pointless, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis’ story is bland and unoriginal but it’s the tale of the two sisters that had some potential to be funny, or at least interesting. Kate Hudson and Sarah Chalke play sisters, one married to an Indian Dr, the other married to a woman, and their incredibly racist, homophobic and plain old fashioned offensive parents are on their way to surprise them, that sounds like it could be funny, there’s potential there, two sisters, one married to an Indian man, the other a lesbian, about to be surprised by their redneck parents, that should be a goldmine, but the whole things is just bogged into the ground by horrible writing, hideous music, monotonous story telling and a pace so boring it would kill a snail.

I hate this movie, it plays things safe, has no reason to exist, has moments of literal agony and worst of all, you can’t even see it just to find out exactly how bad it is, just like Fifty Shades Of Black, it’s all bad and no fun, it’s not like Plan 9 From Outer Space or The Room where they’re so terrible you can watch them and be entertained, it’s just boring and rubbish. You know that scene in Hostel 2 in which Heather Matarazzo is hung from her ankles and slashed to death, yeah, that was me while watching this thing, run for dear life friends, as fast as you can.