Happy New Years
Last time I went through a list of the movies I watched that were mostly Meh. Today I am listing the one that made me say Wow. These are the best movies I have watched and ones, I will be happy to check out again.
10 Cloverfield Lane
The sequel know one really wanted, turned out to be one of the best thrillers in a really long time. John Goodman deserves an Oscar nomination for his role as the guy you are not sure what his motivations are. The plot is brilliant as it keeps revealing more and more layers . I would be excited to see a sequel to this.
Zootopia aka Zootropolis
An animated feature from Disney that combines elements from Chinatown and Do The Right Thing is really something quite amazing. I really thought going into this latest feature from Disney was going to be all talking animals and that was it I had no idea they were going tackle subjects such as race relations and how the media uses fear to make you feel one way or another about a particular group.
The Love Witch
At first watch, The Love Witch appears to be a loving tribute to both Hammer horror pictures and the films of Russ Myers. It’s central character Elaine(in a star making role by Samantha Robinson) has created a potion that will have men falling in love with her within minutes. The downside is that after they do, they become an emotional wreck. They can’t take all of those feelings and they die from the result. It’s the kind of plot you would see on one of those late night softcore erotic flicks on Cinemax. Yet Director Anna Biller is in a clever way mocking male behavior when it comes to how we act with women. Elaine is the ideal fantasy woman, and she uses that power to take control over men instead of them. The film should be nominated for numerous awards because it looks like a movie that was actually made in the late 60’s/early 70’s. Anna Biller herself designed all the costumes, created the sets, composed the music and edited the film. If this doesn’t get her a bigger budget than I may loose faith in the system
Natalie Portman deserves another Oscar Nomination for her portrayal of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in this tense drama that follows the events right after John Kennedy’s assassination. Director Pablo Larrin wisely avoids any political opinions and or theories surrounding the tragic day. Instead he focuses on a woman who had to be there first hand when it happened and her psychological journey through out it all. I can’t imagine it would be easy for any one to remain strong and composed after loosing someone so violently. This movie shows how one woman managed to do such that. The score from Mica Levi(Under The Skin) is astounding and the music helps mirror the swirling emotions this woman is experiencing.
Finally and Alien invasion movie done right. Director Denis Villeneuve story of a linguistic expert(Amy Addams) called in to help decipher the writings of a new life form was very life affirming, but I can’t tell you why that is until you watch it. It will give away too much of the surprise and I don’t want to do that. I love that any kind of tension that appears never comes from the aliens, but from other humans. Sicario made my list last year, and I’m very confident Blade Runner:2049 will make my list again in 2017.
The Lobster(Click name to read full review)
One of the best dark comedies in several years. The Lobster is dry humor at it’s absolute best. I have heard complaints that the dialogue is all stilled and every one acts like animatronic robots. They don’t understand that’s the satire Director Yorgos Lantimos(I hope I spelled that right) was going for. It’s the kind of movie for people who are single and or married and can laugh at the absurdness of both.
The Neon Demon (Click link to read my review)
One of my favorite horror films of 2016. The Neon Demon is bound to divide many film goers but I loved ever minute of this. I loved the music by Cliff Martinez, the cinematography by Natasha Braier, and the casting of Elle Fanning and Jenna Malone. There are images in this I can’t un see and I don’t want to. There is a lot going on in this movie that watching it once is never justified for me.
The Nice Guys.( Click link to read my review of the novelization)
The nice guys was the best action comedy of the year. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe have such great chemistry together on screen, I’m kind of surprised this didn’t do as good as it should have when it was released. I only got to see this once because it only played in theaters for just one week and it was gone. I like the story of one guy being hired to follow a girl and that same girl hires another to stop him from following and than they both get caught up in another full mystery none of them were suspecting. Shane Black has created a script that is just as good as his earlier feature, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
La La Land (Listen to my review at ScreenTrax)
There is a moment when Emma Stone is auditioning for a movie and singing a song about memories of her aunt in Paris that I felt tears start to form. It wasn’t necessarily a sad story, but when watching it a second time. I felt the same tears start to form. I can’t explain why except for the fact that Miss Stone just slays it and is such a powerhouse performance. There are several other stand out numbers in this, and I love that the story is not just filler to get from one song to the next. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone rank among the best classic Hollywood screen couples. Their chemistry is really good, and the two can both dance and sing quite well. The moment I’m excited to watch with a commentary track is the “Another Day in Sun” opening, because I want to know how that was choreographed to look like it was all done in one shot.
The funniest movie of the year surprisingly had a lot of drama that didn’t feel tacked on to gain some sympathy and was integral to the plot of the movie. This was the movie, my parents even enjoyed, and they normally are not fans of movies that use foul language constantly. Ryan Reynolds was perfectly cast in this movie and all the meta jokes matched the tone of the comic perfectly. I’m a bit upset that the Soska Sisters(Jen and Sylvia) have not been asked to direct the 2nd one but we did get one of the directors of John Wick so there is still hope
The Babymoon (Click name to read full review on Cinema Sentries)
Lilith’s Awakening (Click name to read full review)
Kubo and the Two Strings
The Jungle Book
Captain America: Civil War
Swiss Army Men