My Top Ten Movies Of 2016

Here’s my last post of this unbelievably insane & cruel year. Goodbye & good riddance, 2016! You’ve robbed us of far too many kind & talented people and left us under the care of far too many people full of pure evil & hate. I’d like to think that mankind deserves better than this. But do we?

Well, let’s lighten the mood slightly as I started this movie blog for one reason only: to discuss movies. Because I love them. In this fucked up world, we can turn to them and find a beauty that so often seems to be lacking in the “real world” (especially in 2016). I find it interesting that, as the world is getting worse & worse these past several years, we’ve also had some truly beautiful films that have displayed human kindness in a way that is so hard to capture onscreen without becoming overly sappy & sentimental. So, there must be some good people left? To be able to create art as powerful as in things such as the top two films on my list, there must be some good left in the world. Right?? All I know right now is that I wish Arrival was a true story. We need some aliens to visit us & give humanity a much needed kick up the ass!

A quick note that, as always, I go by the UK release dates for these end-of-year lists. Too damn confusing otherwise! I’m aware that my number 1 is a 2015 film in the U.S. (Which will still be pointed out by those who don’t read these intros). πŸ˜‰

Here we go! My Top Ten Movies Released In The UK In 2016 (that I’ve managed to see – you can see my entire, ranked list of all 38 HERE). Counting down to my favorite & with links to my full reviews, these are ranked on my own personal taste as opposed to “worthiness”. But in my opinion, the top two are damn near masterpieces in a league of their own.

Honorable Mentions:

15. Kubo And The Two Strings
14. Everybody Wants Some!!
13. Captain America: Civil War
12. Deadpool
11. Midnight Special

Top Ten:

10. Moana

9. The Edge Of Seventeen

8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

7. Nocturnal Animals

6. The Purge: Election Year

5. The Girl With All The Gifts

4. Your Name

3. Sing Street

2. Arrival

1. Room

My Other End-Of-Year Lists:

My Top Ten Books Read In 2016
My 2016 Blind Spot Movies: Ranked
My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2016 (not released in 2016)

I’m now taking a much needed break from posting anything for a while & instead catching up on reading other blogs and all of your end-of-year lists. So, for now, I wish you all a Happy New Year! See you sometime in 2017. πŸ™‚

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving (or just a nice weekend if you’re not American). πŸ™‚ As my blogiversary is so close to the end of the year, I always do a little recap of my year so far. This is post number 1,251 for me. Over all four years, I mean – that would be an insane amount for just one year. Still, I can’t believe I’ve put that many posts together! I should put as much effort into cleaning the house or something instead. (Ha! Won’t happen).

Okay – here’s my blog recap of 2016 (so far)…..

2016 POSTS

My Most Popular Post: It’s actually a page: My list of every movie I’ve watched in 2016 (ranked & rated, because I’m a loser). My top post is my double review of Turbo Kid & Space Station 76. That makes me happy! I loved the originality of both & SS76 is an underrated film that’s become a firm favorite of everything I’ve watched this year. The IPC’s Eric & I also had a chat on Twitter with a guy involved in the making of the film. I love when that happens! (This year, I also got comments on my blog from an actor in the great indie film Circle & an actress in David Cronenberg’s Shivers. Gotta love the Internet! What a crazy world.)

My Favorite Post: I really enjoy writing about films that make me think. I love when I’m still thinking about a movie days after seeing it & there were quite a few like that for me this year. So I loved reviewing Predestination, Circle, Nocturnal Animals & Arrival. I also loved reviewing Adrienne Shelly’s fantastic film Waitress, which deserves more recognition. She was a great talent & I wish we could’ve seen much more of her work.

2016 MOVIES WATCHED

Number watched: 109. Wow! How did that happen??

Watched In Cinema (My Top Five Favorites):
1. Room – 9/10
2. Arrival – 9/10
3. Sing Street – 8/10
4. The Girl With All The Gifts – 8/10
5. The Purge: Election Year – 7.5/10

Watched At Home (My Top Five Favorites):
1. In Your Eyes – 8/10
2. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly – 8/10
3. Natural Born Killers – 8/10
4. Space Station 76 – 7.5/10
5. Predestination – 7.5/10

TOP TEN LISTS

My Most Popular Top Ten List: Looks like it’s a tie between My Top Ten Diane Lane Movies & My Top Ten Keanu Reeves Movies. (FYI – I’ve now finally watched John Wick. Not sure if it would quite make the list…)

My Favorite Top Ten List: My favorite this year was probably when I grossed everyone out with My Top Ten Period Dramas. I also enjoyed making a list of My Top Ten Wooden Actors.

SEARCH TERMS

My Top Search Term: Odd Thomas. I’m actually bored with this being my top search term, all because that cute girl up there wears a pair of panties that leave very little to the imagination. Of course, I posted an image of the panties scene so I guess I only have myself to blame…. πŸ˜‰

My Favorite Search Term: Not sure – maybe the searches for Forever Ambergris, my post about a Tales From The Crypt episode starring Steve Buscemi & Roger Daltrey. It’s one of my favorite posts I’ve ever done. Possibly because it’s one of a very small handful that I actually put some effort into. Ha!

Here are my top search terms for the year so far:

2016 BOOKS READ

Number read: 12

My Top Five Favorites

1. The Colour Of Magic by Terry Pratchett
2. 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
3. The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
4. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
5. TIE: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel & The End Of The World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker

Book I’m Currently Reading: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Tiny November Recap

Movies Watched:

1. Arrival – 9/10
2. Your Name – 8/10
3. Nocturnal Animals – 8/10
4. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them – 6/10
5. Monster Hunter – 6/10
6. Sisters – 5/10

BLOG PLANS FOR DECEMBER

Upcoming December Movies:

First let’s have a look at some of the movies coming out in December that I’m hoping to see…

Hell Yes, I’m going to these:
Rogue One (tickets already booked) πŸ™‚
Passengers
Moana
May go to if I have time:
The Edge Of Seventeen
Sully
Snowden
Will wait for Netflix:
I Am Not A Serial Killer
Monster Trucks
Collateral Beauty
Bleed For This
Ballerina

As for blog plans, December is obviously a very busy month for a lot of people and I can’t see having much time for blogging. I have two movies left to watch for my 2016 Blind Spot Series & I’ll kick myself if I don’t manage to do those after doing 10 of the 12 so far. So, I think watching those two is my main priority. I’ll review Rogue One, Passengers & Moana. And I’ll of course also do the usual end-of-the-year-lists in the final week of December since list-making is near the top of my list of favorite things to do! If there’s time, I hope to do a few more reviews of my favorite books this year since I’m behind on those.

Thanks To All Of You

I do apologize for the blogging thing having to take a backseat to the busy real-life stuff I have going on at the moment (Which I know is the way it should be anyway & I hope it’s the same for the rest of you). But I do miss you guys & reading your blogs! Even though I’m not around here as much, I still think about you and hope you’re all happy & watching fantastic movies. Thank you to those who still pop by sometimes & comment on my hastily-written meandering reviews despite my absence & my taking so long to reply to comments lately. But you know I always reply to every comment, even if I’m a little slow about it lately. I love chatting about movies with fellow film nerds. You guys are the best!

By the way – I highly recommend Arrival, Nocturnal Animals & Your Name, all of which I saw in the past couple of weeks. What a month for movies! I sometimes watch movies I don’t really care about just because I think they’ll be “bloggable” (especially horrors for October). I need to stop that. Powerful movies such as the above three help remind me why I started this blog in the first place. Quality over quantity from now on! I’m going to scale things way back in 2017 but I plan to still be here next year for a 5th blogiversary. Where else can I go to rave & bitch about films with like-minded people? πŸ™‚

Oh yeah… Guess I better end with a music clip like I usually do on these recaps. Here’s a clip of one of the songs from this year’s Sing Street. I absolutely adored this film! Highly recommend it to all lovers of music from the Eighties. We need more feel-good movies like this to be made.

My Blog’s May 2016 Recap

When did it become June?! My life is going by so fast!!!! Ugh. I mean… Happy June, everyone! Here’s a lazy recap of the crap I posted in May. πŸ™‚

I posted quite a few movie reviews in May, including finally knocking out some of my own IMDB Top 250 reviews! Such as… Sunset Boulevard, For A Few Dollars More, A Fistful Of Dollars, Paths Of Glory, A Separation and On The Waterfront. Yeah, I won’t be repeating that anytime soon.

My May Blind Spot movie was Play Misty For Me, which was one of several Eastwood reviews I did for my blog’s Clint Eastwood Week. I ended that week with a post of My Top Ten Clint Eastwood Movies.

POSTS

My Most Popular Post: My double review of Turbo Kid & Space Station 76! Which was actually posted in April but, thanks to Eric of The IPC watching Space Station 76 after my review & loving it, we got to talking on Twitter about it with some people who helped make the film. My views on that post kind of shot through the roof after that. I like to think that more people have checked these two movies out now. πŸ™‚

My most popular post actually posted in May was my list of My Top Ten Songs That Are Actually About Sex. This was very hard (haha… hard) to put together since, well, 99% of songs are about sex.

My Favorite Post: I’m not sure… I think it’s between my list of My Top Ten Roller Coaster Scenes In Movies & my review of the movie Sing Street as I thoroughly enjoyed that film (it’s my favorite 2016 release so far).

MOVIES REVIEWED

My Most Popular Movie Review: Well, as I said, it ended up being my double review of Turbo Kid & Space Station 76 due to a freak of nature. My next most popular review was for the mediocre Bad Neighbours 2 (aka Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising).

All Movies Reviewed (ranked best to worst):
Sing Street
Sunset Boulevard
Play Misty For Me
For A Few Dollars More
A Fistful Of Dollars
Captain America: Civil War
Everybody Wants Some!!
Paths Of Glory
A Separation
On The Waterfront
The Jungle Book (2016)
Bad Neighbours 2 (aka Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising)

MOVIES WATCHED

In Cinema (ranked best to worst):
Sing Street
Captain America: Civil War
Everybody Wants Some!!
Bad Neighbours 2 (aka Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising)

At Home (ranked best to worst):
The Dead Pool
Animalympics
Wizards
The DUFF
Goosebumps
Heavy Metal Parking Lot
Hush
Annabelle

TOP TEN LISTS

Top Ten Movies With Colors In The Title
Top Ten Songs That Are Actually About Sex
Top Ten Roller Coaster Scenes In Movies
Top Ten Helena Bonham Carter Movies

SEARCH TERMS

My Top Search Term: “the warriors.1979.wallpaper” – Interesting! I don’t think I mentioned “wallpaper” but you can see my review of The Warriors HERE. Which is, by the way, quite possibly my very favorite movie I’ve watched for the first time since starting this blog. Hmm. That or NausicaΓ€ Of The Valley Of The Wind!

My Favorite Search Term: Possibly “natalie portman leak” mostly because I read it as “leek” so I totally had an image in my mind of Natalie Portman holding the vegetable in her hands. Seriously. Also, I’m sorry to whoever came searching but I know nothing about Truman Capote’s parrot or Maureen McGovern’s boobs (who the hell is Maureen McGovern???).

Here are my top search terms for the month:

BOOKS

Book Reviewed:
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Book I’ve Just Finished: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins (ugh!)

Book I’m Currently Reading: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (almost done!)

BLOG PLANS FOR THE COMING MONTH

As little as possible, to be honest! I’m badly needing a break. I might do some short, random posts for the next couple of weeks like I do when I’m too busy for movie reviews. If I go out to a new movie, though, I’ll try to review it. People only care about new releases anyway! 😦 (I prefer reviewing older movies) πŸ˜‰

I’ve been planning on doing an Adrienne Shelly Week for a while now so I was thinking of doing that the week of June 20th as her birthday would’ve been on the 24th. I don’t have any posts prepared yet & have one movie of hers left to watch but I’ll do my best to finally dedicate a week to her work as I absolutely loved her film Waitress. What a tragic loss.

Upcoming Movies:

I believe the Independence Day & The Conjuring sequels are out this month? I’m sure they’ll be nothing special but I’ll likely go to them anyway. I’m kind of interested in checking out The Nice Guys. I’m also rather intrigued by the HUGE difference between the IMDB user rating (8/10) & metascore of critics’ reviews (31/100) for Warcraft. Wow! Talk about wildly varying opinions. I can’t say I have any actual interest in seeing that other than to maybe see another film from David Bowie’s son. But it looks nothing like Moon, dammit. Oh! Melissa McCarthy has yet another dumb looking comedy out in June! Yeah, no thanks.

At home, I need to watch whatever July’s Blind Spot movie will be (maybe Battle Royale). This month I’ll be reviewing THX 1138 for that. The Adrienne Shelly movie I still plan to watch is Factotum. Beyond that, I have an interest in watching more animated films such as Wizards & more non-Ghibli anime. And (confession time) maybe I’ll finally watch Watership Down for the first time ever this month (no spoilers, please – I get the impression the death rate in that may be as high as a Game Of Thrones episode).

Happy June! Let’s end this post with some Judas Priest in honor of the thoroughly entertaining short 1986 documentary I watched last week: Heavy Metal Parking Lot

Sing Street (2016) Review

Sing Street (2016)

Directed & Written by John Carney

Starring: Lucy Boynton, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Aidan Gillen, Jack Reynor, Kelly Thornton, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.

My Opinion:

I really enjoyed this movie! It’s nice to watch a feel-good, fun movie like this one. It was also nice to get a break from superheroes… I could’ve gone to X-Men: Apocalypse but just didn’t have the energy. I’m very glad that I saw Sing Street instead. I’d rank it very high on my list HERE of the 2016 movies I’ve seen.

I’ve not seen any other John Carney films. I’ve not seen Begin Again mainly because I really don’t like Keira Knightley plus Adam Levine is in it, right?? Ugh. If I see that stupid video where Maroon 5 are playing at various weddings ONE more time, I’m gonna puke! And I do want to see Once but I’ve been putting it off for years because it looks so indie & soooo singer-songwritery. I really need to be in the mood for that sort of thing before I watch it as it has the potential to annoy me. I already know, however, that Sing Street is the one for me.

Teenagers in 1985! With loads of my favorite 80’s music! Joe Jackson! Duran Duran! Hall & Oates! The Cure!!! This is MY era! I’m very happy that this movie had a mixture of well known 80’s songs as well as new songs written by the band in the film as I was afraid it would all be music that I didn’t know. But, hell – the songs by the band in the movie were really good anyway! Maybe a little too good to be fully believable from a group of 15-year-old boys… But who cares? This is one of those movies I enjoyed so much that I can ignore a few small imperfections. Yeah, the story is basic and a bit clichΓ© & predictable. That really doesn’t bother me as long as a film is good, which this one is. I don’t want to pick it apart. I hate when people overanalyze a movie that’s just meant to be fun. I had a lot of fun watching Sing Street – there were more laughs than I was expecting, I cared about the characters & what would happen to them, there was just the right amount of drama without it being melodramatic, and the music was great. What more can we ask for from a movie?? πŸ™‚

This movie is full of unknowns as far as I’m aware (I’ve not looked them all up). Well, except for the dad being played by Littlefinger. That was weird – seeing Game Of Thrones actors in other things is always a little distracting. Everyone did a good job & I really liked not knowing them all already. Our main character (the band’s singer) & the girl he falls for are adorable – I would imagine we’ll be seeing them in many more films after this one. The movie gets a decent balance between the different aspects of the boy’s life (his relationships with his family, the girl, the band, and other students & teachers in his new school). However, my favorite relationship was probably that with his older brother, played by Jack Reynor. Loved him! He’s the best thing about the movie. I’ve never seen him in anything before but apparently he was one of the possibilities for playing Han Solo? I hope to see him in more after this – he was a real highlight in this film.

Summary:

There’s not much more that I can say about Sing Street. I clearly thoroughly enjoyed it but I know that it’s very much my type of thing. I always like movies about bands but especially love them when they involve teenagers in the 1980s since I’ll always be able to relate to that (even when the movie is set in Dublin instead of small town America). It reminded me a lot of We Are The Best!, a Swedish movie from a few years ago about three girls in 1982 Stockholm who decide to form a punk band. Sing Street has the same sort of spirit as that film and I loved them both & can totally relate to the characters in both films despite them being set in different countries from the one where I grew up. What can I say? The language of music is universal. I highly recommend Sing Street to music lovers and to Eighties lovers.

My Rating: 8/10

**Don’t watch this clip if you like knowing nothing about a movie beforehand but there aren’t any spoilers in it or anything. This is the first song that the band in the movie writes (The Riddle Of The Model) & this clip shows them making a “video” for it. If you’re curious, it’ll give you a good idea of the vibe of the film. And it’s a catchy tune! πŸ™‚