I’ll finish these last two days with movie lists. Tomorrow I’ll post My Top Ten Movies Of 2016 (movies I saw that were released this year in the UK). That list is always the most popular as the majority of people like reading about very current films. However, I always enjoy making this “Movies Watched At Home” list slightly more. It’s more varied and quite often contains better films overall as they’re from a variety of years plus I try to (force myself to) watch some classics each year. However, I have to say that this year has been a good year for new films & a lot of the 2016 films would make an amalgamated Top Ten List of absolutely every movie I watched this year. I love the word “amalgamated”…
But it’s easier to do two separate lists! So here are My Top Ten Movies Watched In 2016 (but not released in 2016). And, as I saw so many good ones this year, I’ll count down from 20. And, if that’s not enough for you, I’ve ranked & rated ALL 79 of them HERE. Ha! I’m sad. 😉
(Oh, I should also add that these are FIRST TIME watches only. I don’t count re-watches so things like the fantastic Freaks, which I re-watched & reviewed for the recent At The Circus Blogathon, aren’t included)
**Yep – I have quite a few classics here but my number one is a modern romance movie written by Joss Whedon. As you can tell from the rest, I’m not exactly a “girly” girl but I did love In Your Eyes. A romantic movie that worked & didn’t make me want to puke! And I was totally in love with the guy. How adorable is he in that picture? His character was such a sweetheart.
Also, I’m glad I managed to review most of my favorites this year (links above). I’m planning to do themed weeks (or months) in 2017 with those I’ve not yet reviewed. I’ll have a Studio Ghibli Week, an Akira Kurosawa Week, and possibly a month of animated films when I’ll review things like Wizards. Am looking forward to focusing on more non-Disney, non-Pixar animations in 2017.
See you tomorrow for my final post of 2016: My Top Ten Movies Released In 2016 (That I’ve managed to see, obviously. I can’t watch everything!). 🙂
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving (or just a nice weekend if you’re not American). 🙂 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)…..
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.
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…. 😉
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!
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) 🙂
Moana May go to if I have time:
The Edge Of Seventeen
Snowden Will wait for Netflix:
I Am Not A Serial Killer
Bleed For This
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? 🙂
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 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. 🙂
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).
My Top Search Term: “the warriors.1979.wallpaper” – Interesting! I don’t think I mentioned “wallpaper” but you can see my review of The WarriorsHERE. 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 Nausicaä 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???).
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) 😉
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.
I believe the Independence Day & The Conjuringsequels 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…
Happy Bank Holiday Monday, UK people! Well, it’s finally May. Not that you’d know that from the weather here lately… Brr! Well, here’s a quick recap of what happened on my blog in April. 🙂
I started out the month with Coppola Week, in which I reviewed movies directed by Francis Ford & Sofia Coppola. I managed quite a few movie reviews in the month, including one IMDB Top 250 film (Warrior) & my April Blind Spot choice (True Romance). But I took it easy on my weekly Top Tens, just listing my favorite movies from various actors. I’ll try to put a bit more effort into the Top Tens in May.
My Most Popular Post: My Top Ten Patricia Arquette Movies – This was surprising but, for some reason, this post was pretty far ahead of everything else when it came to number of views. I guess there are a lot of Patricia Arquette fans! (For the record, her movie that topped my list was A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors)
My Favorite Post: Probably my double review of Turbo Kid & Space Station 76. I really appreciated what both these movies did in trying to capture a specific era of film and think that Space Station 76 did an especially good job (although most people will probably prefer Turbo Kid). I even talked some people into checking these movies out! I love when that happens. 🙂 Both were fun & I’d love to see more movies like these get made.
I also really liked the sci-fi time travel film Predestination so I enjoyed writing that review & having a chat with some people about its mindfuckiness.
My Most Popular Movie Review: Midnight Special – This one wasn’t surprising as reviews of current movies always get the most views. It’s a solid sci-fi film from the director of Take Shelter & Mud and I’m certainly interested in seeing what he does next. I don’t think it will be at the very top of my 2016 list by the end of the year but I expect it will stay pretty high.
(for the record, A Fistful Of Dollars is obviously a million times better than Pixels)
TOP TEN LISTS
I needed a break so took the easy option of listing favorite movies from specific actors/directors in April. They’re quick posts to put together but still end up getting a lot of conversations going, which is the whole point of this blogging thing. Who would’ve guessed that Patricia Arquette would be the most popular of these?
My Top Search Term: “the great outdoors pool stick between legs” – Yeah, my review of The Great Outdoors gets a lot of hits from people searching for Lucy Deakins. You have to admire how specific they got with the above search, though. I should never have included a gif of the above image in that post… Pervs.
Book I’m Currently Reading:
The Colour Of Magic by Terry Pratchett
And according to my book poll results, it looks like I’ll be reading Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box next. I’ve been looking forward to that one!
BLOG PLANS FOR THE COMING MONTH
Clint Eastwood Week! I have Ennio Morricone playing in my head now… Well, it’s Mr Eastwood’s 86th birthday on the 31st of May so I’ve decided I’ll devote that whole week to him the same way I did Coppola Week this month. One of my alternate Blind Spot picks was his movie Play Misty For Me, which was the first one I watched back in January, so I guess I’ll make that my May Blind Spot review. I’ve also now watched A Fistful Of Dollars & plan to watch For A Few Dollars More so both can be ticked off my IMDB Top 250 Project list once I’ve reviewed them (plus, I figured I should finish the Dollars Trilogy after enjoying The Good, The Bad And The Ugly). So I just need one more Eastwood film to review for Eastwood Week: I’m thinking either Million Dollar Baby or The Dead Pool simply because I have access to both of those. Which should I watch?
As for movies being released in May, I’m still desperate to see Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! (finally out here on May 13th). And Captain America: Civil War came out on April 29th so I hope to have seen that by the time this posts on Monday. Green Room looks interesting (mainly because I love Patrick Stewart) and I know I’ll go to X-Men: Apocalypse but I’m not all that excited about it.
At home, I need to catch up on watching films on my Blind Spot list so Battle Royale is maybe the one I’ll watch this month. I also need to watch two more Eastwood movies for Eastwood Week. In between, I’ll watch whatever takes my fancy. Any recommendations? Oh, and I tend to watch one horror movie a month in preparation for October. Crazy, huh? This blog thing does change my viewing habits! Anyone have any UK Netflix horror recommendations? I’m especially interested in “killer doll” movies…
Happy May, everyone! 🙂 I usually end these with a song clip so, as I already posted a bunch of Todd Rundgren clips in my review of Space Station 76, I’ll post something from my April Blind Spot movie’s soundtrack (True Romance). Here’s Billy Idol’s White Wedding. For a thorough analysis of this classic 80’s exploding toaster video, check out my Music Video Friday post with Brian of Hard Ticket To Home Video HERE.
I figured I’d review these two movies together as they’re both (spoofs of? homages to?) a couple of very specific genres that I love. And I really enjoyed them both! But neither manages to quite capture the spirit of the films they’re emulating, although I appreciate their effort. Let’s discuss… 🙂
Turbo Kid (2015)
Directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell & Yoann-Karl Whissell
Starring: Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Edwin Wright, Aaron Jeffery, Romano Orzari
Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia) The film follows the adventures of The Kid, a teenage boy turned superhero in the “Wastelands”, an alternate 1997 Earth where water is scarce. He teams up with a mysterious girl, Apple, to stop the tyrannical leader Zeus.
An 80’s-style post-apocalyptic film set in an alternate sci-fi 1997?! And starring Michael Ironside, my favorite low-budget Jack Nicholson?!! Holy shit – sign me the hell up! I actually knew nothing about this movie until reading Digital Shortbread Tom’s great review (HERE). So, when it finally appeared on UK Netflix a couple of weeks ago, I watched it immediately. It’s a lot of fun! It’s flawed but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was hoping to love it but I appreciate the effort they put into the film.
There’s Michael Ironside hamming it up perfectly as the main baddie! And check out this other baddie, who looks like some fucked-up mash-up of Jason Voorhees & a Quiet Riot album cover.
This was out ages ago in America but if you’re in the UK & don’t know anything about it, be warned that it’s mega violent. Funny, very fake violence. Lots of people exploding & blood splattering everywhere. The type of OTT fake gore that I can actually handle – I’m a wuss about realistic violence in movies but it’s played for laughs in this one. In fact, I have to give the writers credit on some extremely inventive kills here, such as one involving a bike & a rather lovely one involving an umbrella. They’re almost up there with the marionette death in A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (but not quite – nothing beats that one).
As every review of this states, this movie is Mad Max on bikes instead of in cars. That alone was enough to sell it to me. Seeing all the images from the film helped as well and I think they did a decent job making things look good on (what appears to be but maybe it’s meant to appear to be??) a very low budget. The gory special effects had the great fake 80’s look they were going for but, more than anything, I just really liked the design of the characters and their crazy mix of 80’s-post-apocalyptic-inspired costumes. And look how cool our two main heroes look! I’d dress like Apple if I was a teenager & into cosplay instead of a boring old woman working in an office. Mainly, I just BADLY want my own gnome stick!
Speaking of Apple, I was afraid she’d be waaaay too annoying at first but I have to say they managed to turn that around & I ended up liking her by the end. So bear with her if you watch this – she’s meant to be annoying but she ends up rather endearing. And I thought that Munro Chambers, who plays Turbo Kid, was really good! I wonder if this role will get him noticed – it looks like he hasn’t been in much besides TV stuff like Degrassi: The Next Generation. Ha! I remember when they made us watch Degrassi Junior High early on in high school because it dealt with issues such as pregnancy & the teachers didn’t want us to get knocked up, I guess. Or to have to teach a class instead of sticking us in front of a TV…
This will be one of those reviews where I say loads of great things then confuse people by giving it an average rating. I can’t quite put my finger on it but, overall, this film doesn’t quite work. It maybe tries a little bit too hard? Like I said to the hubby, it often feels like current movies like these are being made by people who love 80’s films but are too young to have actually lived through that whole decade (I can’t find info on the directors’ ages). I have to say that Space Station 76 actually got things more “right” in terms of re-creating a mood from a specific era although Turbo Kid is the more entertaining film of the two. I do respect what they’ve done with this movie, though, as it feels like a movie where those making it have really put their heart into the project. I’d certainly be interested in watching anything else this group of people will hopefully make in the future. Turbo Kid 2? I’d definitely check that out if it happened. I mean, don’t a lot of people prefer the second Mad Max film to the first one? Maybe Turbo Kid 2 would be perfect.
My Rating: 7/10
Space Station 76 (2014)
Directed by Jack Plotnick
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Matt Bomer, Marisa Coughlan, Kylie Rogers, Kali Rocha, Jerry O’Connell, Keir Dullea
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB) A 1970s version of the future, where personalities and asteroids collide.
A dark comedy in the style of a 1970’s sci-fi film?! Plus Keir Dullea, Todd Rundgren, and a hot guy (Matt Bomer)?!? Sign me the hell up! I’m obsessed with 80’s movies & with post-apocalyptic movies just like the makers of Turbo Kid clearly are but nothing beats good ‘ol 70’s sci-fi for me and I absolutely loved the way they captured the look of those films for this. However, I’m going to put this disclaimer in right now: I am not recommending this movie to anyone. Watch it at your own risk & don’t come moaning to me if you hate it. Got it? Because most of you would hate this movie. I almost steered clear when I saw its IMDB score of 4.9/10. Yikes! That’s the kind of rating for the movies Eric watches! But I’m glad I decided to watch it anyway & make my own mind up. Because I really liked it.
I’d say that labelling this a “comedy”, dark or not, was maybe a bit of a mistake as a lot of people were probably expecting something very different. This movie is quite depressing at times, as each character is suffering from a different kind of lonliness and a longing to be loved or, at the very least, accepted. I read that the director thought of the space station in the film as a suburb, which perfectly describes how the movie feels. A groovy 70’s suburb! Far out, man. The closest I can come to describing this movie is to say it’s Dynasty in space. But more Seventies than Eighties… (Hubby disagrees with me & says it’s “Space: 1999, the Richard Linklater edition” but I never saw Space: 1999 so can’t make that comparison)
We don’t know what year this movie is set in (and don’t need to) but it’s meant to look & feel like the 1970s in the same way so many sci-fi films made during that decade still looked totally Seventies because of the clothing & the decor despite being set in the future & in space . What I really liked were all the movie’s subtle little touches & anachronisms. They’re on a fancy space station complete with cool gadgets such as therapy robots yet they use videotapes labelled with those awesome label maker labels. Remember those?! You’re all too young. We had one like the one below. I want one again! I also want a therapy robot…
The characters are also stuck in the past: the men are male chauvinists, especially the male captain (Patrick Wilson) who is a closet homosexual & treats his new female co-captain (Liv Tyler) horribly as he feels threatened by her. The women are self-absorbed & catty and, of course, everyone smokes constantly. But it works well as everyone is a sympathetic character in their own way. Well, except for the mother of the young girl – I wanted to punch that woman… The characters played by Liv Tyler, Matt Bomer, and the young girl playing Bomer’s daughter (Kylie Rogers) make up for the less likeable characters, though. I have to say that I’ve never noticed Bomer before & that I only knew him from that shitty Magic Mike movie but he’s absolutely adorable in this. It helps that he’s the only male character who isn’t a pig (although he does like to listen to Todd Rundgren while fantasizing about a naked Playboy model played by Anna Sophia Berglund. There – I’ve named her so that should get me some pervy Google views. But I won’t post the full frontal nude images from the movie. Sorry, boys!).
This movie is hard to describe & I can understand the low ratings but those will mainly be due to it being watched by the wrong people. I hate when people say “you just don’t understand it” when talking about a movie as I think that sounds snobby as hell but, well… I think that’s the case with this movie. If you don’t love the Seventies and/or sci-fi films from that decade, I really can’t see you appreciating this one at all.
I have to say that, although Turbo Kid is fun and the one that I’d recommend, I actually think Space Station 76 did a better job of portraying a specific era & genre and I actually have more respect for this one. If I’m honest, I preferred it to Turbo Kid. It’s surprisingly sad at times & I found the stories involving Liv Tyler & the young girl especially heartbreaking. I’m not sure I was happy with the way the movie ended as we don’t get much of a resolution. However, I’ve never seen anything quite like this film and I like that. It’s different. They took a gamble with this movie and it certainly won’t work for everyone but I found it very unique and have thought about it a lot since seeing it. I’m glad I ignored the IMDB rating.
My Rating: 7.5/10
**Not gonna lie – I’m old & uncool so I loved the use of all the Todd Rundgren songs Space Station 76. I’m sure it was easy to get the rights with the Liv Tyler connection as he was her step-dad… Anyway, at least Daft Punk agree with me that Rundgren is cool! International Feel is used in this film and, as I said in my review of Daft Punk’s Electroma, they also prominently featured the song so I’m going to share that clip from Electroma (in Space Station 76, it plays while Bomer fantasizes about the naked Playboy model):
And, of course, they use Hello It’s Me – one of Rundgren’s most well-known songs: