Hello, Spongey here.
Happy 2017! We’re not dead yet so it’s already the best year ever. Okay, it’s only the first as I write the intro so I have no idea if anything interesting has happened yet. But I’m still here to ring in the new year…with another look back at 2016.
Yeah, sorry but I thought it would be better to do this in January so I can have more time to plan this out. Especially for the best as I had catch up to do. And even then I missed some. 2016 is the year I saw more movies than usual, which of course lead to more general reviews.
I saw 60 plus films. That’s insane, and yes that does count the DCOM’s and Equestria Girls 4. I didn’t’ miss as many as most years, but there’s a few I missed out on, not counting Oscar crap I don’t care about.
Most notably, Arrival. My theater didn’t get so I had to skip it, same with La La Land. It’s also why “Why Him” won’t be on the worst list. Yeah, I’d give a point ot the to for that one but they got The Wild Life which makes me wonder about their priorities.
In spite of that,i saw about everything I wanted to. The ones I haven’t seen like Hardcore Henry or the like I didn’t consider to be must sees anyways. I’m very happy with what I saw and ended up on my best list.
Same with the Worst but we’ll get into that. As a final goodbye to 2016, I’m looking at the best and worst of what I saw in the year. This year was a very mixed bag, but at least the best and worst stick out.
This was a year of surprises, as I’ve said before. The best films were much better than I expected…and the worst were so much worse. Which means both lists will be fun, to be sure.
Enough fooling around, let’s get into it.
This, is The Best and Worst Films of 2016
I want to end on a positive note so let’s start with…these. I managed to avoid a lot in theaters since I had better things to do, so only one that I paid for made it on here. Most of these I saw after they came out DVD, after hearing about how bad they are.
I’m slightly more happy with what I saw for the worst list, as I saw almost everything that I thought had a chance of getting on it. Except the ones that aren’t on DVD yet, of course. (Again, Why Him is lucky…for now)
There are some I haven’t seen, but mostly the ones I feel are just gonna be dull rather than Bottom 5 worthy such as Warcraft. I may watch them at some point but I do know I’ll just waste my time if watch them now just for this list.
Still, I was able to watch plenty of crap. As I mentioned in that previous post, Norm of the North will not be on here. I already went detail on it and it is the worst based on the “effort” put into it.
But even without, there was plenty to work with. Without further ado, let us get into these duds. Oh, and warning, these are all comedies. …It was that kind of year.
5. Ride Along 2
This is at the bottom of the list because it is least offensive and it’s the closest to being an actual movie. Keyword being close. The first Ride Along was just mediocre. It was a very typical and forgettable buddy cop with only real thing that was particularly bad. Everything else was just meh.
I expected the sequel to just be more of the same…but it ended up being so much worse. First off, of course the plot is a total rehash. It’s basically the same stuff you’ve seen in every buddy cop movie, including the first one.
I barely even remember the actual plot because there’s really nothing to it. I guess the story isn’t the focus of a movie like this but in the first they at least tried in some spots, here they don’t because it’s a sequel, only here to make money of of those who remember the first one.
The story being a forgettable rehash is one thing, but then there’s the big problem that makes this so bad. It was the biggest issue with the first one and it’s even worse here…the leads. Now, I like Ice Cube and Kevin Heart, infact they were fine on their own in the first film.
Kevin Heart could have a decent silly line sometimes, and Ice Cube was a decent straight man. The best part of the movie was Ice Cube ragging on how annoying Kevin Heart could be. But much like in RIPD (Same writers, by the way), they have no chemistry, because spend the whole movie just bickering in a way that isn’t fun.
Most of it is Ice Cub ragging on Kevin Heart, which can be amusing but gets mostly tiring. Kevin Heart can only be annoying in return and we keep having to be reminded that Ice Cube doesn’t like him.
In the first film, it wasn’t as bad as RIPD in this regard. However, that one had 4 writers and only two were from RIPD. This one..only has the RIPD writers. And it shows. Kevin Heart is useless in this, and the film won’t let you forget it.
Not only does he keep screwing up, like at the very start, Ice Cube rags on so much that it gets very annoying very quick. Hell, Kevin’s wife only convinces Ice Cube to take Kevin to Miami so he can be out of her hair.
I get that he’s supposed the plucky underdog or whatever but for one, we went through in the first movie. Ice Cube had to learn to accept a partner and Kevin had to prove his worth, which in the context of the story, he did.
This just pushes the rest button, hard. Kevin Heart is very annoying in this a lot, always screwing up and Ice Cube is annoying with how he rags on him. In neither film did I ever believe their “Chemistry” as they don’t gradual grow as a team, especially with how this movie resets their “development”.
This wouldn’t be so bad…if the main draw to a movie like this wasn’t the chemistry between the leads. The first movie at least tried and sometimes they worked. Here, it does not. I don’t blame the actors because they are written and directed to be annoying and not have any charm.
These two become very annoying here with how they bicker and there’s no charm to it. And even after all that, the movie seriously ends with another screw up from Kevin Heart, after Ice Cube supposedly learns to accept him. Way to make the entire movie pointless.
Look, the leads obviously need to banter a bit but I know you make do that while still letting them have chemistry. I know because just this year, The Nice Guys proved it! Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling bicker quite a bit, but they do in a way that is charming and while Ryan Gosling is a bit of a wreck, it’s done in a way so that he’s still likable and both actors get to actually be good in their own.
This has traces of this films problems but balances it by pulling it off and being very competent and enjoyable. Something this film is not. I know I’m ragging on this, but there’s not much else to say.
Ice Cube gets a pointless love interest who is pretty dull, the action is fine but remarkable and the plot is a rehash. Also, Ken Jeong is in it because Norm of the North wasn’t enough. Wait, this came out on the same day?
Normally this kind of movie would just be annoying but the leads are just that annoying in this. After the first 20 minutes, you get that Kevin is a screw up and Ice Cube doesn’t like him and that’s all you really get for the whole thing, and anything else is too forgettable and dull to make you forget about that big thing.
As far as positives, it’s mostly small things like a funny line or two, and a couple decent actions scenes. And as I said, the acting on it’s own is fine I guess, but the writing forces them to be lackluster.
As I said, this is at the bottom because it at least is well made, and is actually a movie. It’s a bad movie but at least I can call it a movie, and that’s more than I can say for the Bottom 3 alone.
But it’s still bad. This made money for some odd reason but let’s hope we never see a Ride Along 3-
4. Dirty Grandpa
If you know me, you expected me to give this a shot due to the one of the stars, and you also expected me to hate it due to what it is. Well, you’re right. I think it’s impressive that Zac Eforn has managed to break out as a movie star and has even been seen as good in thing like Neighbors.
But he had to hit another roadblock eventually, and he took Robot Di Niro down with him. This movie is bad for all the reasons you’d expect it to be bad. It follows the fomrula of a guy who exists to be a butt monkey has to deal with a jackass that you’re somehow supposed to tolerate, to a tee.
Granted, it’s not as stale as 21 & Over or as anger inducing as Miss March but it’s still pretty bad. But I’ll get the positives out of the way, as they do exist. While the two main actors sleepwalking or annoying…everyone else is actually good.
The supporting cast, most notably Zoey Deutch and Aubrey Plaza are actually kind of charming in their roles. Not enough to save the movie but they are kind of amusing. It’s not too shocking for the latter since she just needs to do what she usually does to be the bright spot in something, but still.
I do feel bad for Zoey though. Vampire Academy, This and Why Him? Yikes. She’s honestly charming enough in at least the first two so it’s sad that she’s stuck in these crappy roles. But while those people provide some charm, everything else fails.
Robert Di Niro embarrasses himself as some guy whose wife just died, so he goes up and tries to get laid. Yeah, he gives some lame excuse but in context it just comes across as him being awful. He’s not as bad as certain people but he’s still not funny, and unlikable.
Speaking of being not funny, this movie is not funny. As you expected, the humor is very crude but not in any sort of clever way. For one, it’s written by a kid who just learned swearing for the first time. Seriously, they say “Fuck” every 5 fucking seconds in this. Fuck.
I’m not saying being crude of swearing a lot can’t be funny. Going back to The Nice Guys, they perhaps say Fuck a tiny bit too much but for the most part, it fits the style they are going for, and it’s not a crutch. It mostly feels natural, instead of childish like it does here.
But my biggest problem with the movie is actually the story…or lack thereof. See, besides the basic set up, there’s really no story for most of the film. You can switch on any scene in the 2nd act and not really be lost.
I can give it slight leeway due to being a silly comedy but even comedies need more story than this thing has. It even gets started too quickly. I can barely remember a lot of the film because so much of it just blends together.
And when there is a story, it’s not much. There’s a a lame liar revealed plot with Zoey’s character and Zac’s wife is a controlling bitch or whatever. It’s all pretty stale and if the comedy or characters worked, I would be fine with that.
The characters are mostly dull and the comedy is too crude so it’s a problem. The movie is mostly crude for the sake of, with Robert Di Niro being too annoying to find likable at all. These two bright spots don’t save it that much because of the crap they have to roped into.
It’s just a bad comedy with barely a story, and some pretty weak leads. As I said, it hardly feels like a movie sometimes due the pacing and writing making every scene feel the same, minus the start and the ending.
To be fair, like any movie, it has a certain audience that will enjoy it. But in this case, so many movies do this kind of thing better that it’s not wroth it. There’s raunchy comedies like this that actually have a tight plot with better characters.
Oddly enough, Zac Efron and Aubrey Plaza teamed up again later in the year with Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. I haven’t seen it but based on what I heard, it’s much better than this, and I heard it was nothing special!
This was one annoying and tedious misfire. It didn’t get higher because I’ve raunchy comedies that piss me off more and I can at least name one substantial positive, which is more than I can say for our bottom 3.
Still, I did not care for this one to much. I didn’t find it funny, the plot was thin if it bothered to exist, and it was pretty annoying all the way through. I expect much better from every actor involved, really.
3. Boo! A Madea Halloween
You all saw this coming. I put up a poll on Twitter to which film I saw the week this came out. I could have seen Ouija Origin of Evil which is supposed to be really good….but you all love watching me suffer so I had to see and write a review for this.
Easily my worst theater experience of the year, and I had a projector incident at Norm! I said everything I needed to in my review, so I’ll make this quick. Here’s from quotes from my review;
“Yeah, to the surprise of no one, this was pretty bad. Perhaps not quite as offensive as I expected, but way more aimless. Let’s start with the biggest problem with this movie.
Nothing happens for most it, and it goes on for way too damn long.
There’s one scene in particular that just has Madea and her pals talking, and it goes on FOREVER. I genuinely got anxious in my seat because it was going on for so long.”
“As for the comedy, I guess that wasn’t quite as awful as expected, but it’s still not very funny. The humor relies on stereotypes and people rambling about nothing. I will admit I did chuckle every once in a while, which I suppose puts above some other comedies out there, but it’s not enough.”
“The only real source of laughter is one of Madea’s old people friends, who is genuinely amusing for the most part in how he just doesn’t care”
“Honestly, this whole film feels…cheap. It’s shot like a TV Movie, and there’s no flair to it whatsoever. I have no idea why this is a wide theatrical release.”
“Perhaps this isn’t the worst Madea movie, but it looks one of the laziest. There’s barely anything happening for most of it, the actual story is cliché, the characters are unlikable, or throwaways, and almost every scene drags on for too long. “
Yeah, Past Me summed it up pretty well. This movie is incredibly aimless, with barely a story and almost every “joke” going on too long. Dirty Grandpa is slightly more offensive but I can see it appealing to more people. This is just boring.
That scene I mentioned is just…wow. Needless to say, the Midnight Screenings video (which is almost as long as the movie) was way more fun to watch than this. They hated that parlor scene as much as I did.
Only reason it’s not higher is that it didn’t piss me off AS much as out bottom 2, and I had more positives for this. It actually came close to being worse than the number 2 as I watching it, but by the end it was just barely better.
Let that sink in: A Madea Movie didn’t piss me off enough to escape just being Number 3 on a worst list. Yeah.
Still, Madea was pretty bad and I’m not likely to review another live action Madea movie since I think I said everything I needed to say. Speaking of saying everything, I think I’ve said enough about this stinker.
Madea was tedious and not enjoyable at all. Yet I almost have myself to blame for it making a profit. Ugh.
- (The Brothers) Grimsby
I noticed every notably comedic actor has that movie where either their star starts to fade because people notice cracks in their shtick, or is simply their first real bomb due to various reasons. Or is just really terrible.
For Mike Meyers it was Cat in the Hat, for Adam Sandler it was Jack and Jill,and for Sasha Baron Cohen, it was this. I don’t have as much experience with him as others, as the only live action starring film of his I’ve seen is The Dictator. Yeah, I saw that but not Borat, I don’t know why either.
I actually enjoyed it because it’s the kind of “offensive” comedy that works due to making fun of everyone and not meaning too mean about it, or at least it was mean in a fun way. It also a speech that’s very relevant right now.
I bring that up because he clearly forgot how to do that kind of humor with this stinker. My god, this one was bad, and the only saving grace is that it’s short. That’s bad since it shows how rushed it is, but at least it was over quickly.
Even with the Mid and Post Credits scenes. Just because this was done by the director of The Incredible Hulk doesn’t mean this is a Marvel movie!
I’m not sure where to begin. It fails for a lot of reasons but because I might do a Scene by Scene review of this at some point, I’ll just quickly sum up the big points. One main reason is the humor.
This is one of those movies that tries REALLY hard to shock. Like, really hard. The writers think they are being incredibly edgy and shocking with a lot of the jokes in this…but they aren’t shocking, they’re just disgusting for the sake of it.
You probably remember Sacha taking an “Elephant” Scene to Talk Shows and such and showing their reactions or something like that. That sums it up all up, really. That scene exists, not because they thought it was funny in spite of how shocking it was, but to simply shock the viewer.
It goes on forever too, it’s meant to go on so long that you find it funny but that never happens. It’s just really gross and uncomfortable. Like, if I saw this in a theater, I’d have to step outside to recover for a second because it was tedious, gross and laugh free.
Although I’m sure given I sat there fine when I saw animated food orogy later that year.
Actually, let’s discuss Sausage Party further. That one also some shocking humor that doesn’t always work but that one at least has a concept It’s status as an animated comedy gives it more a reason for the content and there’s actually more to it, with an actually story with a message it wants to send.
That one has problems too but it has way more going on than this.
Then there’s the horrible Mood Whiplashes. Here’s an example of what I mean. We get the brothers “tragic” backstory which is actually meant to be taken seriously and feels like it comes from a different movie…and it’s followed by a joke where their dicks accidentally touch.
Hur Hur Hurr!
It’s always doing things like that. I’m not saying you can’t have attempts at hear in a raunchy comedy but it needs to mix well, and not feel as out and place and tone deaf as it does here. It doesn’t help that the characters and weak and the actors are given nothing to work with.
Besides Sacha Baron Cohen, we have Mark Strong, Isla Fisher, Penolple Cruz (who did another lackluster spy spoof in 2016 with Zoolander 2), Ian McShane among others. And they are all completely waste, either being given dead materiel or almost nothing at all.
Mark Strong is probably the best as sometimes he’s an okay straight man. But it backfires as seeing someone like him doing the stuff he does ends up being more awkward than funny. He does and suggests doing the most insane shit In a straight away even though it makes no sense for the character.
The script just gives the characters nothing to do, and no one is fleshed out. The brothers don’t have much of a bond, and the story is another one I hardly remember because it’s just not interesting.
There’s other problems too, but I’ll save it for a Scene by Scene Review a bit later this year. I originally wasn’t going to do that because this was Number One at one point but once it got dethroned, it meant waiting until later to go into deep detail
Yes, this was Number One at one point because it just that bad. It was nothing but shocking and gross humor for the sake of, with incredibly weak writing that gives otherwise talented actors nothing to work with.
I think even fans of this kind of humor will find it too weak for their tastes. So many movies do this kind of thing better (including those with Sacha Baron Cohen) that it’s not even worth watching. Although it has a 6.2 on IMDB so…i guess someone liked it, and in that case…rock on.
By the way, Sacha was a writer on this so he deserves most of the blame. Is there anything I like about it? Well, from memory, there’s like one or two chuckles, as most bad comedies have at least one funny moments, and sometimes an actor can be…fine.
That and it goes by quickly so it doesn’t drag too much. Outside of that, there’s not much to redeem it. Besides all the poorly done gross humor, the writing is too messy and the chemistry is too non existent for me to recommend it.
The prospect of watching it again to do that humor fills me with fear, but ah well. Overall, Gimsby is just a dud that is not offensive or shocking in any way because it tries so hard and has nothing to offer otherwise.
This is a movie that has a gag where Donald Trump gets AIDS and I didn’t even crack a smile. That says it all.
Mother’s Day: It’s awkward to talk about this one now that the director died but this would still be low on the DM’s as it’s really just the exact same as New Year’s Eve, which I reviewed, and only slightly worse due to having a bigger emphasis on lame comedy. Otherwise, another over stuffed Halmark card disguised as a movie. Yawn.
The Wild Life: It may not be Norm but this is still a cheap direct to video quality feature with lame characters, and no ending. Seriously, that still pisses me off. (And that gag with the villain still weirds me out)
Mr Right: This movie tries so hard to be quirky that it comes across as just annoying and empty. Anna Kendrick is wasted here and she has no chemistry with her co-star. It’s “Quirky: The Movie”,and the lead is arguably a Mary Sue which is hilarious given this comes to us from Max Landis. But sorry Norty, I’ve seen worse.
The Boss: It’s official: Only Paul Fieg can make Melisa McCarthy good in a comedy. I still like her fine but in Tammy, Identity Thief, and this, she’s saddled with an unlikable character and the director (who is her husband in the case of this and Tammy) doesn’t know when to yell cut. While she was more annoying an Identity Thief is objectively worse with how messy the plot and how just flat the comedy is. There’s writing issues up the ass, like how it opens with her backstory which doesn’t at all play into anything and may as well have been cut. The actors do fine despite being wasted (And you do NOT waste Kristen Schaal!), except for Peter Dinklage, he’s just…sad. After this, nothing will get me to watch a Ben Falcone directed Melisa McCarthy comedy. Nothing!
…God Damn It.
Fifty Shades of Black: Another bad parody movie that hardly parodies it’s subject and is mean and not funny. Yawn.
And the worst film of 2016 that doesn’t star a polar bear is…
- Meet the Blacks
Where the hell do I even start with this one? There’s a good chance you haven’t heard of it since it had a somewhat smaller release and barely has anyone you’ve heard of. Then fact that it wasn’t quite as big as some of the other films on here is isn’t only real saving grace, and it’s still big enough to justify it being number one.
It has all the problems I usual complain about but put up to 11, as it is one of the incompetently written films I’ve seen in quite some time.
The premise here is this guy moves his family after having made some deals with bad people, and wants to go away from his hustling lifestyle, but of course those bad people come back to bite him in the ass.
That on it’s own doesn’t seem too bad….but here’s our first huge problem: It’s a parody of The Purge. Really. They tell you up front but to be honest, this did not need to be a parody because it’s an incredibly lame parody.
It goes beyond the typical problems of parody movies. Like most of them, it doesn’t really say anything about it’s target and really just uses it as a plot device. There’s plenty of potintel with tHe Purge even for comedy and hell I hear it’s sequels are pretty much self parodies at times.
Yeah, I haven’t seen any Purge movie but it should still make sense on it’s own as The Purge, as I said, is used as a plot device. It’s an excuse for them to not call the police, that’s it. So as a parody film, it fails as it does nothing with the subject and hardly even needed to be one.
But that’s the least of it’s problems. This movie tries to do so many little things and it fails at all them so hard. As comedy it fails because there’s not many “jokes”, per say. The humor amounts to the characters shouting at each other a lot, and it’s just not funny.
The actual jokes usual fail for the usual reasons, bad timing, too annoying, etc. It also tries too hard to be revaltn, like a scene with the KKK (Ripped straight out of Harold and Kumar 2) where someone says it “looks the Oscars”
HURR HURR YOU’RE SO CLEVER.
The film also tries to be some sort of racial commentary, kind of like The Boondocks only not funny or insightful in any way. It just comes across as clumsy, and I swear almost half the line relate to race in some way.
As far as the plot goes, it’s a mess. Plot points just come and go out nowhere, and there’s cohesion at all. If it wants to tell any kind of story, it fails due to just how messy the script is. For just one example, the teenage daughter has this boyfriend or something who hides out in her room and they make a decent deal out of him but spoilers, at one point he goes full douche-y and dies, then he’s never mentioned again.
It sucks because I will miss the character who ruined an almost okay Mother/Daughter scene with an amazing gag of him fapping to it. Seriously.
Of course, the characters have no depth and or in no way charming or likable. Mike Epps get the most and that’s because he’s an asshole. He’s a jerk to pretty much everyone and any development he has is very rushed.
He says he did this for this family and he claims to learn something, but we hardly see it! Any attempts at heart come across as phony and they don’t let them sink in at all. Then there’s a big issue that makes everything else worse…it’s noisy.
That’s a weird complaint but it’s true. The film is almost nothing but noise from the characters constantly talking, to various noises. There’s almost never a quiet moment, even when it’s trying to be suspenseful or “sweet”, which is why those scenes almost never work.
There’s various other issues like how the pacing and flow is bad. There’s a whole section where we get the exact same scene many times just with a different person breaking in. This section is messy, but only because the film itself is.
It tries to do so much that it becomes a huge mess. The story is a total mess and the characters and heart fail hard so it can’t work as a real movie but it fails as comedy because it barley has any jokes and isn’t sure what it wants to be.
Oh, and the acting is meh because they are just given nothing to work with. I haven’t seen these people in anything else so I can’t say if they are good in general or not. The film is very painfully improvised but instead of picking the best takes like a good movie would, they just threw it all in.
It’s not even a mess that’s worth watching because it’s just so boring and unfunny. While watching it, I struggled on where it would fall, it got tied with Brothers Grimsby, but by the end it became worse.
That had more “piss me off” moments but this movie isn’t competent enough to be offensive. In the very lest, that one knew exactly what it was and I can see some appeal with it’s type of humor.
This just has nothing. Even those who like these kind of comedies, or these actors, will find this one so empty of anything worthwhile. That’s perhaps a bit harsh as there exist positive reviews on IMDB but I just mean compared to everything else on here. Something like this shouldn’t piss me off as much as it does but something about it just got me.
It’s so messy, incoherent and fails so hard at doing everything that it got to me even more then Grimsby or Madea. Ironically, Madea gets a mention in this because the filmmakers needed to be reminded of a much more successful comedy filmmaker.
So yeah, it’s pretty damn bad. I likely won’t do a full review for this as I said everything I needed to here and the film sometimes gets to repetitive for that. I won’t rule it out sometime down the line but for now, nah.
I think I said it all. It tries to do many things but fails at doing any of them, resulting in one of the most incompetent films you’ll ever watch. It has almost nothing going for it, it’s not funny and not good in the slightest.
I will stress that even with how much I dislike this, if you actually do like then it’s fine , because even the most hated films can get their fans, so I want to cover my bases here.
It’s my tastes and my taste make this mess the worst film of 2016. Come to think, might be even worse than Norm…
And those are the worst films of 2016, to me anyway. Before I move on, I should comment on something. While doing these reviews, I’ve learned everyone has their tastes. Everyone has their standards for what the worst or bed is. Some really dislike unexciting or bland action films and people like really dislike annoying comedies.
I personally think bad comedies are the worst because they are the hardest to get through and almost never give you a break while at least an action or drama might have small breaks between the bad parts.
But some feel differently and that’s okay. Seeing people’s worst of each year lists make me realize how diverse our tastes are. As long as you recognize that. Some people act their opinion is totally right and people are wrong for having tastes and that’s just wrong.
This an odd time to be preaching this but as I said, seeing peoples tastes just made me think about this. I’m not always the best at getting this but I like to think I’ve grown, So before you bitch about peoples lists, just remember that everyone has different standards. And this goes to certain list makers who are baffled certain films end up not on certain lists.
Okay that’s my rant, onto some positvity.
Like with the best and worst things I Reviewed in 2016 post, this will be more of a short list without a tight order. Mostly because I had less to say about these. Still, the order is a bit tighter than in that list.
While I am missing a thing, I’m happy enough with what I saw. I’ll be sure to let you know if I see anything from 2016 that would have been on this list, had I seen it at the time. So here we go with my Top 10.
While it starts a tad slow, it it picks up and becomes very enjoyable with a somewhat more serious tone, some likable characters, and awesome final act. The good stuff was more than good enough to barely get on over some over stuff, and honestly I think some people oversell the weak moments.
The leads were totally fine, and the start wasn’t THAT slow. Also, I was one of the few people fooled by CGI Tarkin. Shut up.
The Conjuring 2:
The first film was a refreshing Horror Film with how it built up suspense and how even some heart to it. I was worried the sequel would go the way of Sinister 2 but thankfully I actually liked it just as much as the first one.
The first did a better job of building up the suspense, as this had perhaps too many scares early on, but overall this was a very well done Horror Sequel where the family was more interesting than the one in the first film and the scares were just as solid.
Certainly one of those pleasant surprises given how Horror Sequels tend to be.
The Nice Guys;
I talked about this one already with how it does the bickering partners thing pretty well, but yeah, it’s very solid. Perhaps the development could have been stronger in the 2nd him, but it was still a fun throwback with Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling giving great performances. However, the more refreshing thing is Ryan Gosling’s daughter who is one of the better kid characters I’ve seen in awhile.
Seriously, she manages to have a role in the plot without it being forced and she’s a believable kid while being as resourceful as a kid can be in a movie like this. She was awesome as was most of the film. Too bad it bombed because no one sees the original movies people say don’t exist anymore.
The Little Prince:
Yes, the third act is a bit off but otherwise this is a very charming, well animated film with great moments of heart and a solid message, even if it’s obvious with it. Trust me, without my issues, it would have been at least a few notches higher. Too bad Paramount threw it on Netflix instead of putting it in theaters in the US like it should have gone.
It has some problems on terms of the overly familiar structure but it was easily the funniest film of the year, with Ryan Renolds making a fantastic Deadpool. His crazy humor is almost always very funny and some of the other characters provide some fun laughs too. Definitely a blast.
Of course it doesn’t touch the near perfection of the first, and it’s structure is a bit been there done that, but this was a surprisingly solid sequel where they explore Dory’s character really well by diving into how she deals with her Short Term Memory Lose. The animation is is amazing as ever, as it has a real heart to it with a few near tear jerking scenes. Just goes to show you how Pixar can surprise us sometimes.
10 Cloverfield Lane:
Sequels to Found Footage Movies that aren’t Found Footage are usually terrible, so it’s good that this was very good. Maybe the ending is a tad off but this is otherwise a really solid thiller with fantastic performances by John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, that is really intense all the way through. I hear the next part of this barely connected series is coming in 2017, and thanks to this being good, I’m pumped.
Kung Fu Panda 3:
It’s not as good as the 2nd one and has familiar elements, but it’s still a great end to this trilogy with Po being as likable as ever, with fantastic animation, more of that surprising heart and awesome action with expect from this series and a great ending. Please don’t make another one, this was honestly the perfect ending.
Captain America Civil War:
I have my problems with I bitch about it all I want, but this was still another great Marvel romp with a good two sided conflict where I found myself note sure which side to take, even if Cap is pretty much right. It was a great jumping off point to see the Avengers start to drift apart, leading to good drama and of course some amazing action.
I sadly have not been able to re-watch but hopefully when I’ll do I’ll love it as much as everyone else, instead of just finding it “pretty great”, which is still quite good.
Zootopia/Kubo and the Two Strings:
Yeah, no surprisetS this closes us out. I put this on the Best Things I Reviewed in 2016 list, calling them the best ones I did general reviews on. They grew on me that much. I went into more detail on that post but in short, these animated films showed how strong how both studios can be
Zootopia is the most fun look at prejudice you’ll ever see, and Kubo is a beautiful stop motion delight with plenty of heart. While I’d have to see more and re-watch some, at the moment these are the best films I saw in 2016, as they were the ones I was the most happy with.
I have my issues but they were the easiest to call great on a first watch, so that’s why I put them last. They stand out very among this years pack of films and even with their issues, their bright spots made them very great.
So yeah, I enjoyed them quite a bit.
I usually put Honorable Mentions either before near the end of the list, but I think in this case it fit better at the end, so here they are:
Don’t Breathe: It’s a bit too noisy sometimes, and one character is basically invincble until the plot says so but it’s still a solid thriller with intense moments, a great villain and quite the climax. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about.
Doctor Strange: While it has that worn Marvel Formula, the solid lead and great visuals save it, making it a fun romp with some cool moments.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: It’s no Harry Potter and has some writing issues, but I found it to be fun with likable characters. This one’s slightly underrated so when it hits DVD, give it another shot if you weren’t crazy about it the first time.
Moana: I have my issues with the Disney Cliches but it was still a pretty fun adventure with good leads fun songs, and beautiful animation.
Star Trek Beyond: I haven’t Into Darkness but I can say I enjoyed this more than Star Trek 2009 and I quite like. Taking a smaller approach works pretty well and the cast is likable as ever, with the new additions being solid. Nothing crazy amazing but it was very enjoyable.
There, those are my least favorite and favorite films of 2016. It was quite a wild year, especially for Cinema. We had to sit through some stinkers but they were worth it to get to the winners.
I can’t wait to get to the ones I wasn’t able to catch yet. I also can’t revisit some of these that I haven’t re-watched yet. This is where I’d end on things…but may as well look at my anticipated films of 2017.
We’ll just go by my most anticipated by each month to make things easier. (NOTE: This can and will change as films get shuffled around or changed, especially in the latter half)
January: Uh…Split, M Night’s next movie. Yes, it coming out in January is worrying but I hear The Visit was good, so hopefully this can really bring him back in top. It sounds interesting, at least.
February: 50 Shades Darker…Just kidding, it’s probably The Lego Batman Movie or John Wick Chapter 2. Lego Batman looks fun and I hear Jon Wick was pretty cool so hopefully it’s sequel will follow suit.
March: Logan. Generic title aside, the direction it’s going in sounds very cool, even if I’m tired of Wolverine at this point. I also hope Kong Skull Island is good, and I pray to god Power Rangers isn’t as bad is could be.
April: Slim pickings so I’ll go with Smurfs The Lost Village. Yes. The trailers are actually pretty solid so far, and it seems to be capturing the magic of Smurfs and being the exact opposite of the lackluster live action films.
May: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. The first was a lot of fun and I hope this is just as good, if not better. I also hope Alien Covenant is good.
June: Captain Underpants. No really. The books had a self aware sense of humor and that still that released makes it seem like they’ll style down perfect. Hopefully it’s fun. I’m also really hoping Wonder Woman puts the DCEU on track and I’m the only one looking forward to Cars 3.
July: Spider-Man Homecoming. Spider-Man was done well in Civil War so hopefully his own movie will give him a lot to worth it. Here’s hoping we get out perfect Spiderman movie. Chris Nolam’s Dunkirk sounds interesting too, and War for the planet of the apes should hopefully be as good as the other films.
August: The Emoji Movie…Kidding. Honestly, I don’t know, nothing looks too promising but I could be surprised. It’s cheap to draw a blank….but hopefully Nut Job 2 and Blazing Samurai are good?
September: By Default, The Lego Ninjago Movie. I can this getting moved but if it’s as fun as that short they had before Storks, it should be good.
October: Ponies aside, Kingsman 2 has my vote. Blade Runner 2049 should hopefully be good too. Huh, quite a bit of action for October but the usual generic horror flicks should balance it out. (Oh, and that next Cloverlfield chapter also comes out around here so that should be good)
November: Thor Ragnorrock. After the first two, they have hopefully learned what works and what doesn’t and creates the perfect Thor film. Pixar’s Coco also looks cool, and I really hope Justice League works out. Sony’s also something called The Star which sounds interesting.
December: Star Wars Episode 8. Obvious yes, but after Force Awakens and Rouge One, I’m pretty pumped. I’ll be a bit…sad in places due to recent events but it should still be fun.
This will change as we find out more about the smaller films, but I do hope these are all good. Now as I said before, there will be fewer general reviews at first but hopefully my money situations gets better so I can see more later on. I will at least see all the animated ones at least.
But there’s 2016, finally done for. I don’t have much to say beyond what I said on that other 2016 wrap up post I did. Ether way, let’s make 2017 a great year. These past few days have been fine so far so let’s keep it up.
I’ve on long enough so I’ll take my leave. Not sure if there will be anything on the blog before the first Scene by Scene review of the year next week. January should be somewhat chill after a hectic December. There’s plenty to look forward to this year in the least. Now I’m done.