These are the top ten films I saw last year, some weren’t realised in 2016, but that’s when I saw them.
10: Jupiter Ascending
This was a strange little sci-fi movie, with an odd cast in odd roles, but to be honest was highly entertaining. Maid from a large family Jupiter (Mila Klunis) finds out that she is alien royalty and is then caught up in the politics of a human race that has colonised much of the galaxy, not just one planet. It’s action packed, high concept and looks very good. Flawed in places, it’s just nice seeing a fresh story on the big screen.
9: Transformers: Age of Exinction
On the other side of that, we have the 4th Michael Bay-verse Transformers film. To be honest, after the snore-fest of Dark of the Moon, this was something of a relief. We are without a returning Megatron and the bad guys here aren’t Decepticons, but are in fact the human race, who are interested in creating their own Transformers and sell the Autobots out to get that power. Also gone is Shia LeBouf (I think we can all be glad of that) this time we have a going broke Kade (Mark Whalberg) and his daughter and her secret boyfriend. There’s an attempt at plot, great set pieces, villains who are both relatable and others that are moustache twirlers and dinosaurs. It was a good deactivate your brain movie and I always enjoy them.
The fact this is only got to my #8 tells you how much fun I have had at the cinema this year. Benedict Cumberbatch embodies the arrogant ass that is Dr Stephen Strange, who after a car accident loses everything and travels to the east in search of miracles and last hopes to restore his surgically gifted hands. Instead he becomes an acolyte of the ancient one (Tilda Swinton, once again playing not quite right, but captivating) and learns alongside several other sorcerors. He’s sceptical, but gifted and ends up becoming a decent sorcerer, just in time to face the threat of the Dread Dormammu. Visually stunning, well shot and acted, it follows the marvel movie origin formula and leaves us with a character ready for more adventures. I and my wife (the Mighty Rosie) enjoyed this quite a lot.
7: Star Trek Beyond
Didn’t go to the pictures for this, possibly not a great choice. This was the best of the three Nu Trek films so far in one aspect. It felt like Star Trek. It was character driven, well plotted and just felt like Trek at it’s best. Pine, Quinto and Urban just nail their parts perfectly and the rest of the cast are really enjoyable in their roles. There’s silliness, high octane action, character development and by the end, you want to see another one. Star Trek into Darkness was not good. This however, puts this franchise back on track.
6: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
I wanted to give this a higher position, but I think this is where it needs to be. This was everything we wanted Episode 7 to be. This was Star Wars, but without a lot of the crappy stuff that disney and Lucas have tried to force down everyone’s throat. Rogue one is the story of what happens just before the original Star Wars. The Empire has built the Death Star, this is the response of the nascent Rebel Alliance. We have spaceships, robots, Darth Vader and all the cool stuff that isn’t lightsabers, but for the first time, a sense of actual threat. We don’t know these characters, so we don’t know who will survive, who will betray the others, who will fail. Without the Solos and Skywalkers crowding the screen, we get a well written, exciting story that happens to take place just before the Star Wars trilogy.
5: Suicide Squad (Extended Cut)
Another one where I skipped the cinema for, this was just bags of fun. An all star cast, playing no-star characters. Amanda ‘the Wall’ Waller (played by Viola Davis) and Rick Flagg put together a rag tag group of villains (Deadshot, Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang, Katana and the Enchantress) to combat extra-ordinary threats. Their missions are dangerous, ridiculous and highly entertaining. Everyone nailed the spirit of the characters from the comics, or made them more fun for the movie and Harley Quinn and Killer Croc are particularly entertaining. We also have Batman & the Joker, but they don’t over-power the movie and in the end, we finally get a well made fun DCEU movie.
4: Captain America: Civil War
It starts getting trickier here, 4, 3, and 2 are so close that this ranking doesn’t really matter. This was an Avengers film more than a Captain America one. The main Cap elements are the supporting cast from his films and the connection to Bucky. This film was based loosely on the Civil War comic series from 2006 or so. Loosely is the best way, given the chance I will rant for hours about how I don’t like Mark Millar’s Civil War, the execution is so bad and that takes from the idea. Here the idea is ran with. Rather than paint Iron Man as the villain, this time I see Tony Stark’s point so clearly and it’s reasonable, so is Captain America’s and the dividing line between the team members makes a lot of sense. There’s also a hero v hero battle that makes the price of admission worth it. Everyone does well in this movie and Black Panther and Spider-Man are perfectly portrayed. 5 films that gave is Spider-Man (ish) characters and the real Spider-Man shows up in Captain America. This was tons of fun.
3: Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (Extended Cut)
There are two ways of looking at the recent portrayals of Superman by Henry Cavill. Either Zack Snyder doesn’t get Superman and this is further evidence of fresh ideas needed…OR he’s playing a long game and a more recognisable Superman is coming. The second idea is furthered through this film about a Batman who’s gone off the rails, a Superman who hasn’t really embraced being Superman and a Lex Luthor who founded Facebook trying to get them to kill eachother, because his dad was an asshole. With the addition of extra footage, we get a more even film, with greater characterisation and more indepth plot. The set pieces are just as awesome, Gal Gadot owns the screen as Wonder Woman and I saw Aquaman on the big screen. Overall I enjoyed this film a lot more than the internet told me I should.
2: X-Men Apocalypse
I am not going to say much about this film, except this film is like the 90’s X-Men comics. It’s outlandish and ridiculous, but a hell of a lot of fun. Cyclops is back on the team, we get a likeable (if still prickly)Jean Grey and less Wolverine. Also the ‘Sweet Dreams’ scene is amazingly funny.
There was no doubt what was going to be the film of this year for me.
It was the beginning of a happy ending.
Ryan Reynolds is Wade Wilson. Watch any movie he’s been in, any interview he’s done and that character was made for him. Rather than translate and existing story, the makers of this film got the essense of what makes Deadpool work and made a film around that character. We get the odd easter-egg and familiar notes, but this film felt like Deadpool. It looked like Deadpool and above all, it was balls to the wall fun from beginning to end, with action, humour, 4th wall breaking and a charm that many comic book movies are lacking. I highly recommend this film to anyone, even if you have never heard of Deadpool. It doesn’t matter, my sister in law. (the Unstoppable Hev) loved it also and she couldn’t be further from my neck of the woods.
2016 was a shit year for many in the real world, but we got a ton of great movies as well. Just looking back at this stuff, makes me realise that it isn’t as bad as that, because the real world stuff from my own life wasn’t too bad either.
Ttfn internet people
Next Time: TV, cuddles on the couch with the Mighty Rosie was good for two reasons this year.