I hope you all had a great 2016, I certainly have with this blog and I could not have done it without your support! It did help that we have had some of the best films to come out in a long time. It has been tragic for blockbusters and a lot of mainstream films, but it has been more than made up for with a wide range of indie films that have excited and emotionally challenged us, taking cinema in new and different directions many of us could not have possibly imagined!
I won’t do a top ten or twenty of the year, as I wish to do that later on when I am confident enough that the list is correct and I have thought about it for enough time. What I will do right now is recommend a few films that stuck out for me this year and also some films that stuck out for the wrong reasons that I did not like so much and would rather I avoided seeing.
First of all, here are some films I did like that I thought were a bit different from the usual crop of films that come out (no particular order)…
1. The Love Witch
This tribute to 1960s pulp novels and Technicolor melodramas is a marvel to watch and quite a fun treat that manages to be unintentionally feminist. Definitely a surprise as it went under my radar until recently so I am glad I caught it as it is one of my favourites of the year.
2. White Girl
This is a film I did not see until it came on to Netflix and I stumbled onto it and thought I would just give it a watch, not knowing what I was getting into. What it ended up being was a fantastic, topical drama about a hard-living teenager – and it has an amazing soundtrack!
3. Swiss Army Man
Describing this film is difficult, describing why it is as good as it is is even harder. The Daniels’ surreal masterpiece tackles themes of self acceptance, depression and mortality through the power of farts. It has to be seen to be believed, “The first fart will make you laugh and the last fart will make you cry” The Daniels.
4. The Neon Demon
Though this may not be for everyone, Nicolas Winding Refn’s spiritual successor to 2013’s equally controversial Only God Forgives is a visually stunning, excellently written mystery horror character study that can be interpreted both literally and metaphorically. Watching this repeatedly and peeling back the layers made for more than simply an entertaining movie, but something that earned re-watches with its complex levels of mystery and symbolism – plus the score by Cliff Martinez is addictively haunting yet magical.
Now for some of the more regrettable films I chose to see last year. Some of these I should have seen coming, but others I was highly surprised at how they turned out…
1. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
This is straight-up the worst film I have ever seen. The script is a mess having no plot, only subplots that are left dangling. Superman’s moral objections against Batman’s methods are never resolved, instead forgetting about it so they can team up and start the Justice League movies. Luther’s views against Superman and Batman are never resolved either. Nothing is resolved and nothing makes sense, yet it’s pretentiousness is so insulting – also the two main characters are fully CGI for the fight scenes with each other (as you can see in the picture above). *Honourable mention to Suicide Squad for also being a catastrophic mess.
This is a Ghostbusters remake, yet it is more concerned about showing how it hates the original film (they literally fight the ghostbusters logo) and also, they flipped the genders of the characters. Does that make it interesting because they take it into different directions? No, they just copy the original beat for beat whilst also promoting this narcissistic radical feminist angle that ranges from shooting the villain in his private parts to having all the male characters being either stupid, cowardly or horrible.
3. X-Men: Apocalypse
How do you make two of the best actors of our generation give two of the worst performances put to film? Some how X-Men: Apocalypse managed to do just that with Michael Fassbender and Oscar Isaac, with Isaac especially having the most embarrassing performance I have ever seen. With lesser actors, this would have killed their careers and definitely destroyed their credibility! There is not one redeeming quality in this film. Terrible script, terrible direction, performances, effects. Very rarely can I ever say there is nothing good in a movie, but with this I can. Everything is horrifically bad!
*Update* From this year forward, I plan to expand my blog to covering more than just films (while not as frequently) I wish to talk about and review music and TV. I am very passionate about these subjects and now that I have been doing the blog for a few months, I feel confident in being able to review what I want without the possibility of it being crap/ or at least there is less of a possibility of it being rubbish now. The first review will be of my favourite show Black Mirror. I hope you enjoy it and have a great 2017!!