I would like to share with you my top ten favorite movies of 2016. These are movies that had to be released in theaters in 2016.
The Legend of Tarzan was a huge surprise for me. I didn’t go into it expecting anything special and it delivered on an epic scale. Alexander Skarsgård gave an awesome performance as Tarzan. Margot Robbie performed extremely well as Jane. Prior to this film, I had hardly seen anything with them in it. Samuel L. Jackson was hilarious and as always sometimes ended up stealing the scene. Christoph Waltz played the main villain and has cemented his title in my mind as one of the best villainous actors. Djimon Hounsou played an additional antagonist that had some history with Tarzan. The action scenes are top notch, the visuals of the jungle are great, and overall I had a fantastic experience with the film.
There is something about seeing Donnie Yen beat the shit out of people that I will never get tired of. He doesn’t want to beat the shit of them, but they make him do it. Master Ip is for the most part peaceful. I have watched most of the Ip Man films and although this one isn’t the best, it is still a solid entry. If you love martial arts films then you have probably already watched this, if not then go do it now! After watching the earlier Ip Man films of course. This film also deals with the struggle of Master Ip’s wife being ill. Another rival opens up a school and tries to challenge Master Ip during this time. Master Ip decides to spend time with his ailing wife instead. In the end, there is an epic rematch with the rival. Mike Tyson makes an appearance in this film as well and has a cool battle with Donnie Yen.
This was a great entry in the home invasion genre. It tells the story mainly from the point of view of the invaders. They break into the house of a blind man in order to rob him. They forget to take into account the blind man has lived in the house for years and knows it better than them. The intensity of this film is hard to describe, I found myself holding my own breath during parts of it. There is a reveal that shows that the blind man may not be as innocent as he seems.
Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence? I’m there! Chris Pratt shined in Guardians of the Galaxy and Jennifer Lawrence shines in pretty much everything she touches so I was stoked for this film. It did not disappoint, me. I read some other reviews where people felt betrayed by one of the big reveals in the movie because of the conflict that it caused but I thought that made it a better film. It depicts how the characters grow from that conflict and overcome what at first seemed like an insurmountable issue. For most of the movie there are only about 2-4 characters. It was awesome to see a movie deliver so well with so few characters.
Okay. Let’s start with what we can agree on. That Batman scene where he takes down the criminals when saving Martha is badass! I felt that most of the movie was badass. There were parts of the film where it did feel like they were trying to cram as much into it as possible. There was the whole Martha thing and the fact that Lois couldn’t have heard them in order to explain it (I have not seen the extended version so maybe it was a victim of editing). The birth of Doomsday was kind of weird. Everything with Lex Luthor Jr. was kind of weird, he was not a very well thought out antagonist. The battle scenes between Batman and Superman were well done. Hopefully the extended version has more of Wonder Woman in the final fight scene. Contrary to the thoughts of many, I really enjoyed the nightmare scene. If you have read the comics, then it makes much more sense where they were headed with that aspect of the story.
This is horror as it should be. The events that unfold and the pacing of the film are perfect. The depictions of the forces of evil and their intensity are done amazingly well. A policeman is investigating a case of various murders tied to an underlying disease that results in the infected eventually dying after murdering those around them. The disease appears around the same time as a strange man in the area. The policeman’s daughter is eventually infected and he does everything that he can to try to cure her of the disease.
The main thing I remember about the first Cloverfield movie is the damn shaky camera. Luckily 10 Cloverfield Lane did not suffer from shaky-cam-syndrome. This is another film with few characters and few locations that tells a hell of a story. I would say that 95% of the movie takes place in an underground bunker. The main character is in an accident and wakes up in the bunker where supposedly an attack has happened that has made it unsafe outside. The host of the bunker is seemingly nice but suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and potentially another or multiple mental disorders. There is another guest in the bunker as well who hits it off with the main character. This movie made up for the shaky camera in the first film and was a surprise hit for me. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did.
Mads Mikkelsen and Benedict Cumberbatch? I’m there! They are two of my favorite actors. The fact that this is a Marvel movie and part of the overarching Marvel Universe of films is icing on the cake. The special effects in this movie are stunning. I love the M.C. Escher style. Doctor Strange bending time and space might be the closest we get to Benedict Cumberbatch playing THE Doctor. I guess at least he is still a Doctor in this. Mads Mikkelsen plays the main antagonist and does a damn good job. Ultimately in the end it suffered from the wipe the villain slate clean effect that Marvel is good at but at least Mads Mikkelsen made his villain memorable even if the big bad was someone else. I didn’t feel as cheated by their depiction of the big bad as I did when Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer gave us a damn cloud as Galactus. The post-credits scene was hilarious. Also, the real star of the movie is the cloak!
This movie earns its spot just for the badass Darth Vader scene! If you have seen it, then you know the one I am talking about. This is also the second Mads Mikkelsen and Donnie Yen movie on the list. I love those two actors and although their roles aren’t the largest in this film, they are still very important. In addition to the aforementioned Darth Vader scene the rest of the movie is enjoyable as well. We finally get the full details of the rebels gaining the intel of how to destroy the Death Star. My favorite characters were K-250, Chirrut Îmwe, and Baze Malbus.
I’ve been a fan of Godzilla ever since my childhood. I grew up mainly knowing the late Showa era movies that depicted Godzilla as an ally against other monsters. Shin Godzilla is not like those at all. It walks the path that Godzilla 1954 and 1984 walked before it. Godzilla is more of a God incarnate, a God of destruction that has appeared as a monster to collect on the sins of mankind. The sin of trying to play God themselves by messing with the laws of nature. The movie overall has an anti-nuclear/anti-war message but that is basically what Godzilla has always been. Radiation is after all how Godzilla is created. Godzilla has forever cemented his status in pop culture as a cautionary tale against the horror of mankind using nuclear weapons and their effect on everyone and everything around it. Politics play out as close as I can imagine them playing out if the situation in the movie happened. The risk assessment and possibility of having to drop a third bomb on Japan is handled with the criticism that you would imagine.
“Man is more frightening than Godzilla.” – Hiromi Ogashira
Here are a couple of interesting Godzilla related links that I stumbled upon while doing some research: