MY FAVOURITE FILMS OF 2016

In the past 14 months if ticket stubs and memory is to be believed I saw 50 films in a cinema. 7 of them were released in 2015 for that year’s Oscar race even if I came to see them in Australia cinemas in early 2016; they were Youth, Steve Jobs, Spotlight, The Force Awakens, The Big Short, The Hateful Eight and Brooklyn. There were a handful films I saw more than once and they were mostly blockbusters Batman Vs. Superman, Rogue One and with far more enthusiasm Deadpool and after seeing The Force Awakens twice in December 2015 I went back for third, fourth and fifth helpings. There’s only one other film I’ve seen five times at the movies and back then I had a lot more diverse social circle. Whatever the flaws of Star War 7 and Deadpool there was real love and affection that drove me back to them to watch rather than waiting months for release on some other platform.

I didn’t see the well-received Australian made Hacksaw Ridge directed by Mel Gibson whose personal faults have never pushed me away from his work – I look forward to seeing his latest effort but weekend after weekend I shook my head and made a different choice or stayed at home. Hell or High Water is a different story, I wanted to see it but by the time I suspected it must have hit our shores I found out I had missed the boat by a couple of months when I was very busy with work. My best friend has the best tastes in popular culture and has led me to many a great film I would have ignored. He’s pointed out Your Name is one to see and fellow bloggers have also praised it. I hope to find out for myself soon. I am interested too in the collaboration of Isabelle Huppert and Paul Verhoeven with the film Elle. I’ve barely seen any foreign films and certainly none of the well regarded ones this year. Like Room from last year I’m interested in Manchester by the Sea but just don’t feel like seeing a movie that will make me more depressed at the moment.

So it seems silly to really sit here and write a list of my Favourite Films for the year. Yet I found it kind of interesting to see I’d written a review on my site of every film I’d seen in the cinema and two that were original content for Netflix. Films I hadn’t seen at the movies but were 2016 releases like Triple 9, Zootopia and The Secret Lives of Pets didn’t encroach on a hypothetical top 10 so why not rank them.

One final disclaimer, these are not the 10 best but my favourite films from the year. Yes I am trying to grade them on artistic merit but films that made me feel more are going to see their stocks rise and how I feel about them is going to link back to what appeals to me personally I’m afraid. In a way it’s easier to pick a Top 5 than a Top 10 because of this.

The 43 films were as follows and I’ll even belatedly throw in a star rating based off Ebert’s 4 Star system.

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The Founder January 18th 18 Likes 393 Views ***

 

Hunt for the Wilderpeople Published August 11th 24 Likes 99 Views ****

Eye in the Sky Published March 29th 8 Likes 96 Views ****

Bad Moms Published October 11th 14 Likes 66 Views ***

Deadpool Published March 17th 6 Likes 61 Views ****

Star Trek: Beyond Published August 20th 14 Likes 56 Views **1/2

Batman vs. Superman Published April 1st 7 Likes 56 Views ***

Sully Published September 27th 13 Likes 55 Views ***1/2

Suicide Squad Published August 26th 15 Likes 53 Views **1/2

 

Arrival Published February 8th 15 Likes 49 Views ***1/2

The Girl on the Train Published February 3rd 13 Likes 47 Views ***

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Published September 6th 12 Likes 47 Views ***

Jackie Published February 10th 12 Likes 46 Views ***1/2

Finding Dory Published August 20th 10 Likes 44 Views ***

Moonlight Published February 12th 15 Likes 42 Views ***1/2

La La Land Published February 2nd 13 Likes 42 Views ***1/2

Love and Friendship Published August 29th 14 Likes 41 Views ***

Ghostbusters (2016) Published August 20th 10 Likes 41 Views **

 

Fences Published February 18th 17 Likes 39 Views ***1/2

The Siege at Jadotville Published February 13th 14 Likes 39 Views ***

The Nice Guys Published August 10th 11 Likes 39 Views ***1/2

Eddie the Eagle Published April 23rd 7 Likes 39 Views ***

Hail, Caesar! Published April 20th 11 Likes 35 Views ***1/2

Office Christmas Party Published February 17th 10 Likes 34 Views **

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Published September 30th 14 Likes 34 Views ***

Jason Bourne Published August 25th 9 Likes 33 Views **1/2

Central Intelligence Published August 14th 14 Likes 32 Views **1/2

Captain America: Civil War Published May 27th 7 Likes 30 Views ***1/2

 

The Accountant Published February 9th 17 Likes 28 Views ***

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Published January 18th 13 Likes 25 Views **1/2

Alice Through the Looking Glass Published August 10th 12 Likes 24 Views **1/2

Zoolander No. 2 Published March 29th 2 Likes 24 Views **

Blair Witch Published January 18th 9 Likes 22 Views ***

X-Men Apocalypse Published September 29th 11 Likes 21 Views ***

The Boss Published April 22nd 4 Likes 21 Views **1/2

The Huntsman: Winter’s War April 21st 7 Likes 21 Views ***

Doctor Strange Published January 18th 11 Likes 20 Views ***

Sausage Party September 30th 9 Likes 20 Views **1/2

 

Rogue One Published January 13th 11 Likes 18 Views ***

Bridget Jones’s Baby Published January 18th 11 Likes 17 Views **1/2

Kung-Fu Panda 3 Published February 17th 7 Likes 13 Views **1/2

 

Hidden Figures ***1/2 Published at http://scenestr.com.au/news/movies-and-tv/hidden-figures-review-20170223

 

Out of them I’ll go into a bit more details about some that deserve an Honourable Mention and those that are my 10 favourite films of 2016 – for now.

 

Honourable Mentions

 

Image result for bad moms gifsBad Moms Published October 11th 14 Likes – 66 Views ***

The best popular mainstream gross out comedy of the year and centred around motherhood no less. After years of watching guys do it, it’s nice to see the girls proving they can be as irresponsible, self-centred and crazy as the boys. “Kunis, Bell and Hahn share a nice chemistry in this film with Kunis holding it all together as the lead, Bell doing some inspired physical comedy and Hahn stealing the show by doing whatever the hell she wants. A late scene where she explains motherhood to Kunis gives the film heart and a message. All the best gross out comedies have these two qualities. There’s been a few comedies released this year, none of them had the audience laughing as much as Bad Moms. Do yourself a favour.

 

Image result for siege at jadotvilleThe Siege at Jadotville Published February 13th 14 Likes – 39 Views ***

A company of Irish soldiers faced an onslaught of a far superior force in war torn Congo in 1961. Their heroics have been made into a film sparing no expense from Netflix. Knowing this really happened and what they received upon their return gives this movie depth and heart. “The Siege at Jadotville is a real throwback to old war movies that your Dad loved to watch on a Sunday. Modern production values are there and a dry Irish sense of humour bleeds through every now and again but the cast are mostly types not people, the soldier with glasses, the sniper (Sam Keeley as Billy Ready), the gruff old Sergeant (Jason O’Mara as Company Sergeant Jack Prendergast). Their emotive faces tell enough and Jamie Dornan acquits himself well as Commandant Pat Quinlan who as a person gets the most rounded out beside the exasperating political figures.

 

Eddie the Eagle Published April 23rd 7 Likes – 39 Views ***

Eddie the Eagle is cookie cutting filmmaking about sports and underdogs and yet it charms the hell out of you just like its hero. Eddie the Eagle was a very special underdog indeed and Taron Egerton gives a wonderful performance while Hugh Jackman charms as a gruff coach who didn’t exist in real life. “Eddie the Eagle implausibly showed up at the 1988 Winter Olympics as Britain’s sole Ski Jump competitor. His performance was so significantly behind the second last place getter that a new rule was instituted making it more difficult to place in the sport for the Olympics. There are those to this day who were embarrassed that he was there and confounded by his popularity. That’s because they don’t know what it’s like on that factory floor or in that office cubicle. Eddie had dreamed the impossible dream and we like dreamers. We need them, when they achieve something they keep our dreams alive. They make anything possible, thank you Eddie.

 

Batman vs. Superman Published April 1st 7 Likes – 56 Views ***

Both this blockbuster and Rogue One were flawed beyond belief but neither was boring and in light of the growing conveyor belt sameness of Marvel’s work and other disappointing blockbusters for the year I can’t help but reflect that the good stuff in these films should be recognised. Zack Snyder has created a dark downbeat nonsensical universe in his DC films which has completely missed the point of Superman as a hero. However Batman and Alfred Pennyworth yet again star on the big screen and play a new variation of their characters and relationship with humour, charm and action. The best fight scene with Batman ever put on screen is in this movie, it just doesn’t feature Superman. The hypocrisy of the ‘heroes’ actions and the comical motivations deflate the film but this is still a vision that is unique and oddly compelling. “Yet when he [Christopher Reeve as Superman] said “I never lie.” you not only believed it but you believed in the possibility and rightness of such a thing. He felt pain being belted into a building and outright desperation whenever Lois was threatened. Yet he was inherently good and awesome as a symbol too. Cavill strutting into the Senate hearing halfway through this film could’ve been an opportunity for Superman to say something but alas…

 

Related imageRogue One Published January 13th 11 Likes – 18 Views ***

Rogue One has a lot of good ideas that shed new light on the Rebel Alliance and the Empire from the original Star Wars. The ideas for all the characters are interesting too but barring the comic relief of Alan Tudyk as K-2SO they never become too emotionally involving. The technical proficiency of the action and special effects though shine throughout and the third act purely on a spectacle level maybe the most epic and satisfying of the year. “We are told who they are rather than shown half the time and when we are, we just don’t care. The plot is always moving from planet to planet and set piece to set piece that the characters themselves barely get a chance to interact and grow relationships. We know they are inherently good people and we do want them to succeed but we are not scared for their safety and that is a huge misgiving for this type of film.

 

Image result for the girl on the trainThe Girl on the Train Published February 3rd 13 Likes – 47 Views ***

A sexy thriller (seriously there’s like at least 4 or 5 sex scenes and they’re all sexy), that flirts with gender politics and has a mandatory neat twist. Elevated by the cast, none shines better than Emily Blunt who is on fine form here. “The film works strongest when dealing with perspective and prejudice, why do the other women stare at Megan in yoga class. Are they threatened by her beauty or do they know something about her character? Is she highly sexual or do others like to imagine so? Is she a victim, a manipulator or something more sinister?  The answer is of course the same it has always been, the same it has been for most men and women since time immemorial. She is not one thing or the other.

 

wtf tina fey whiskey tango foxtrot kim barker robert carlockWhiskey Tango Foxtrot Published September 6th 12 Likes – 47 Views ***

I sent an application to the United Nations once saying I wanted to go work in Afghanistan. I never got a reply. Watching Whiskey Tango Foxtrot reminded me of a time and place I wished I’d found myself a part of even if I should have done a lot more than wish if that’s what I really wanted. When the call came for journalist Kim Barker she answered it and the resulting film about Kim Baker delights as a workplace war comedy starring the talented Tina Fey and allowing Margot Robbie and Christopher Abbott to shine in supporting roles. “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot tells another story from the War on Terror, it invites us to laugh and then maybe to think but mostly the coda for the film is to live your life to the full, embrace the challenges, get through them and then move on and live your life the best you can now. Like in war. Operation Enduring Freedom ended on the 31st December 2014. US Troops remaining in Afghanistan serve as part of the ongoing Operation Sentinel’s Freedom.

 

Image result for jackie movieJackie Published February 10th 12 Likes – 46 Views ***1/2

Natalie Portman’s performance is on key throughout this challenging film which breaks down how a lot of the Kennedy myth was put together but may only truly be enjoyed by those who believe in the power of it for better or worse. A haunting moody piece about grief and how we react to it, the film is also slow paced at times but can’t be faulted for demanding full attention from its audience. “Grief stricken at the loss of a husband who cheated on her, cool and collected at times and at others almost hysterical certain facts long known but never pondered come forward. She held her husbands blasted apart head in her lap all the way to the hospital. What the hell does that do to someone? Less than a week later she marched through Washington with world leaders despite all kinds of security concerns that an assassin could target them again. She took her kids to the coffin and she trained her son to salute it with the whole world watching. Why was ensuring President Kennedy’s legacy so important in helping her grief for an imperfect man that she loved?

 

Related imageMoonlight Published February 12th 15 Likes – 42 Views ***1/2

Split into three distinct moments in one young man’s life, Moonlight shows clearly what legacy the action of loved ones can have on a child’s development. Despite the cost of bullying and betrayal that Chiron endures there is hope at the end of this story. Hope for his life is just beginning. “Left to fend for himself, a drug dealer named Juan notices him one day and befriends him. Why he feels compelled to do this is only hinted at but he is played by Mahershala  Ali whose performance looms over the rest of the film. He is the only positive male figure the boy nicknamed Little will ever have teaching him how to swim in one beautiful scene of the boy being cradled in his arms amongst the waves. This is a hard man who shows this boy nothing but gentleness, the most obvious answer to why is he immediately recognised something in Little of himself and wants to protect the innocence he has lost but this man is a criminal and there are limits to what he can do. Perhaps we’re all protective of children and their fragility, there is a scene where Chiron asks what a certain word his mother called him means and it kind of breaks your heart.

 

Image result for lala landLa La Land Published February 2nd 13 Likes – 42 Views ***1/2

Arguably the best looking film of the year, I wonder how much came from digital enhancement. With two winning lead performances from Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone who share fantastic chemistry the film delights with big musical numbers that make the best use of modern technology. Ambitiously adding subterfuge to his own movie writer/director Damien Chazelle also offers up a film about artistic ambition and the struggles that come with daring to dream. The ending was not expected but is powerful and heartbreaking. Suckers for perfect happy endings beware but hopefully at the very least this encourages Hollywood to make more musicals and one with the modern possibilities engaged here. “The film opens up on the disused freeway ramp where parts of Speed were shot with an impromptu dance number by many stuck in LA traffic with a one take tracking shot over several vehicles and choreographed dancers. It’s kinda awesome but has little to do with what the rest of the film will be about.

 

THE TEN

 

10. Captain America: Civil War Published May 27th 7 Likes – 30 Views ***1/2

When you’re the big dog, people like to kick you if they smell opportunity and Marvel have become so successful it’s tempting to take for granted what they do except nobody else seems to be doing it nearly as well. There are missed opportunities, there’s no distinct visual style here and we suspect a little too easily that everything is going to be alright no matter what the stakes. Yet these guys always bring it back to the characters and never more so than here. Everything Captain America does here is for a childhood friend who he served together with in war and thought was long dead. Tony Stark well you’ll have to see the film but this plays off eight years of world building throughout the franchise and nobody else is doing that with their franchises. They lack the patience and they lack the heart. Plus that airport scene.”Which is fine because the film is not really about the Sokovia Accords, it is about Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and what lengths Steve Rogers will go to protect his friend and fellow veteran while at the same time Tony Stark is trying to protect the Avengers as best he can. Stark and Rogers have always been at odds with their contrasting personalities and world view points. There is an extra layer there in the sense that Rogers is partially a creation of Howard Stark’s and a friend of Tony’s Dad. He’s perversely both father figure and rival son for Stark Senior’s approval. The ground work for this had been laid previously and in this film finally gets paid off.

aliens scifi spaceship arrival9. Arrival Published February 8th 15 Likes – 49 Views ***1/2

Arrival is a thoughtful blockbuster about the need for us to communicate better with each other and with the outside world. A film that plays with the concepts of time as it tells a simple universal story of hope, fear, love and loss. Oh yeah there’s aliens in it too. “It feels right and real that contacts with aliens would be set up in a tent city with dimly lit rooms and the lime green shading of a hospital full of tired middle aged bureaucrats questioning each other’s ideas on a regular basis. The aliens themselves are always seen with a sense of wonder (their design is original and interesting too), how to get to them starts off in a simple fashion but is suitably otherworldly and unnerving.

Image result for fences movie8. Fences Published February 18th 17 Likes – 39 Views ***1/2

This is a hard movie to watch at times but it always feels real even if set bound like the stage play it originally was. There are rich themes about mortality, legacy, fathers and sons, husbands and wives, infidelity and the history of race in America. The central character is hard to watch at times, hard to understand, hard to forgive and we share in that challenge as audience members with the characters around him who are part of his life. This is writing and performing of the highest level and Denzel is so good as Troy Maxson but it is Viola Davis in one powerful moment articulating the limits and trials and hopes and dreams of 1950s housewives everywhere that is devastatingly beautiful and painful that makes this film such a must see. “As the film goes on Maxson inhabits scenes he‘s not even in, after watching him with his family throughout we grow to feel some of their emotions. As he winds up for another lecture we shake our heads at the repetition and the lack of self-awareness and yet when he’s gone we feel the lack of his presence as keenly as the family does. We understand perhaps that for better or worse we are who are fathers made us and whether they did us proud or said they loved us we want to make them proud and we do love them.

7. Hail, Caesar! Published April 20th 11 Likes – 35 Views ***1/2

A movie for people who love the movies made by people who love movies too. Set in 1950s America there are parallels to today’s world, call-backs to the type of films old Hollywood produced and that wonderful intelligent witty dialogue that we’ve come to expect from the Coen brothers. Plus look out for Alden Ehrenreich who steals the show and whose star is on the rise. As a film buff I loved it. ” Yet this is not a film that exclusively looks back with rose tinted glasses, the Red menace of the Cold War evokes the same fear that ISIS does now, there is a Latino starlet Carlotta Valdez (Veronica Osorio) hoping for the same opportunities afforded her white co-stars, this is the era of McCarthy which may remind us a little that we now tear ourselves apart with political tribalism and humming in the background when Hollywood is in the final bloom of its Golden Age is the advent of stars demanding more and television only a few years away threatening the revenue streams that were taken for granted.

6. The Nice Guys Published August 10th 11 Likes – 39 Views ***1/2

What a year for Ryan Gosling, in La La Land he sang and danced and proved Emma Stone and him should make another five films together. Nominated for an Academy Award for La La Land, his best performance this year gone is as a washed up Private Investigator, flawed father and comic relief to tough guy Russell Crowe. He is fearless in this film at being funny and get the word out because we need more movies like this. A tough fun throwback to the period it is set in of 1970s film noir by writer/director Shane Black. “Crowe with his impish smile and easy charm points to possibilities, the film’s best scene maybe in a park late at night with Healy talking to the younger Ms. March. She tells him you’re not a bad person and the look on Crowe’s face says he wants her to believe it.

5. Sully Published September 27th 13 Likes – 55 Views ***1/2

Sully has a lean runtime as it is but in search of drama they beefed up the PTSD angle of the flight crew and positioned the crash investigative team as antagonists. It might have been more interesting to go into more detail of his wife’s story or that of the flight attendants relayed in Sullenberger’s memoir but no matter. Whatever its flaws, Clint Eastwood has directed the best action set pieces of 2015 – yeah you fucking heard me. I wept not one tear for Jyn Erso or Batman but when that ferry arrived at the wing I felt my face crack. As someone who has read a lot about the story, the things that he got right honour so many who lived through this on that fateful day. It’s an extraordinary story rendered justice and pathos on the big screen by two of America’s icons. Eastwood and Tom Hanks. “Sully is an American hero. We should cherish that simple reassuring fact until the end of time that such things can be true and real in this day and age. Yet Chelsey Sullenberger is also a man, a quiet professional of considerable skill and talent but a human being with flaws and doubts like the rest of us. Clint Eastwood’s film accepts both these truths can co-exist but has something to say about how each responded to the events of January 15, 2009.

4. Hidden Figures Published February 24 at Scenestr ***1/2

Hidden Figures is a Hollywood rendering of an important story of bright African American women who broke down career barriers and overcame racial prejudice in a volatile time for America socially. With a rocking soundtrack from producer Pharrell Williams, great humour and pathos there are scenes that may not have played out like this in real life but they’re satisfying and emotionally moving. “Whether it is Costner smashing down a segregated toilet sign, Parsons comically reeling at Henson’s insight or a several female calculators led by Spencer marching into the new computer room to run it. Contrived though it may be, it is uplifting storytelling and aspiring for young girls out there interested in science and maths that have been wrongly told that’s not their strong suit.

3. Hunt for the Wilderpeople Published August 11th 24 Likes – 99 Views ****

Every year there’s always a film that surprises you and comes out of nowhere to become one of your favourites. A story of one boy camping out in the New Zealand wilderness with his ‘uncle’ the film boasts a great sense of humour, wild characters, an involving family unit in flux and the best car chase ever put to film in New Zealand. “His name is Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), he’s a big kid who’s had it a bit rough, he’ll tell you he doesn’t care about anything, ready to argue with anybody who puts him down and he’s constantly using words from pop culture to describe himself as a bad-ass street kid. Aunt Bella sees right through him in 10 seconds flat. A home maybe the most important thing you can give a child and by that I don’t mean a nice house to live in. Bella (Rima Te Wiata) lives with Hec (Sam Neil) who was a wanderer who used to live in the woods before he met her. Kids are not the only ones who need a good place to call home.

2. Deadpool Published March 17th 6 Likes – 61 Views ****

We don’t get great blockbusters as much as we like to think; the superhero genre has been with us for a while now and needed a shake-up. A film like Deadpool made against the odds cannot be celebrated and praised enough no matter how much money it makes. This was hands down the most fun I had at the movies last year, witty and meta in a way I could only have dreamed about in the past with well-made action sequences and characters who had well defined and believable relationships. A gem. “T.J. Miller as Wilson’s best friend Weasel has his moments which are a bit like his comedy. His acceptance speech at the Critic’s Choice Awards last year was awesome but the guy just doesn’t always do it for me and that’s true here too. I suppose since this is a review I should probably be more articulate in my opinion of Miller but  I really would rather write about how amazingly hot Jennifer Garner is. I mean seriously those cheekbones, that smile. By the way Jenny there was absolutely nothing wrong with the black one.

Image result for eye in the sky

1. Eye in the Sky Published March 29th 8 Likes – 96 Views ****

It turns out the first great film of 2016 was for me the greatest film of 2016. Released so long ago it never had a shot at the Oscar race the fact remains this is a near perfect film dealing with current discussion points about drone warfare, counter terrorism and the intertwining of the battlefield with politics. It boasts the late great Alan Rickman’s final performance but the film belongs to Helen Mirren as military commander ordering a strike and Aisha Takow playing a little girl selling bread on a street corner in Kenya. “Missiles hovering high in the sky waiting for civilians at trade deals to come and answer their phones. Boys selling cheap plastic buckets to act as a cover story for an agent while he operates multi-million dollar miniature drones to fly inside a safe house. Bread in a wood fired oven potentially being a death sentence. Gavin Hood’s film powerfully conveys a brave new world with the same old truths of human nature. We want to raise our children in peace, go to work, come home and see them playing in our yards. But war has always existed and people die in wars.

Well as always thank you for reading and I encourage you to mention in the comments your favourite films of the year and why. As Oscar nears it’s interesting to note how many of the Ten are not in contention at that ceremony. Of those that are, I found this video about them from Screen Junkies very amusing.

-Lloyd Marken

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48 comments on “MY FAVOURITE FILMS OF 2016

  1. johnrieber says:

    Great list – thanks for sharing!

    • Lloyd Marken says:

      Thanks John, I hope it champions Eye in the Sky that may have been missed by a few. Coincidentally this turns out to be my 100th post and probably longest. 🙂 Thankfully they’re not all this long. This has been in prep for over a week.

      • johnrieber says:

        I have posted over 1,200 stories – some long, some short…I love the in depth nature of this piece, although i completely understand how long they take to do! Great job

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        Well that is very kind of you to say and I thank you very much. I’m new to your blog but occasionally I follow links to previous posts so I must say I enjoy them and it’s good to know that you’re prolific.

  2. le0pard13 says:

    Fine list, Lloyd, and the Honest Trailer folk always deliver.

    • Lloyd Marken says:

      Thanks mate. I do enjoy the work of Screen Junkies and in particular enjoy watching Dan Murrell on their shows. Any favourites from the year for you?

      • le0pard13 says:

        Well, besides that splendid image of Jennifer Garner, I’d say you have a good many listed. Deadpool, Sully, Arrival, Hell or High Water, Moonlight, The Nice Guys. Still trying to catch up to Hidden Figures before the Oscars, and surprised that I got such a kick out of Bad Moms and Star Trek Beyond (Into Darkness still leaves a bad taste in my mouth).

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        Hidden Figures is a crowdpleaser but very good at being one. I was moved. I have got to Hell or High Water. I wasn’t blown away by Star Trek: Beyond but I’m the only one so maybe I need to take another gander. There’s certainly an argument to be made that it is a better constructed film than say Batman vs. Superman. The wonderful Jennifer Garner image is from my Deadpool review where I broke the fourth wall I guess. I’ve put it in retrospectives before and when I stumped for which image to put at the top of this review without giving away my number 1 pick I thought what a way to retire her in style. Truth be told she might never go away. Jennifer has been my pin-up since 2002 and barring extreme plastic surgery I’ll never abandon her. I’m loyal like that. 😉 Just ask my wife?!

  3. beetleypete says:

    It shows me how few films I watch these days. Out of every film on your lists, the only one that I have also seen is ‘Arrival’. There are many that I wouldn’t watch anyway (comic book franchises, etc) but more that I would like to watch. I don’t have satellite TV or Netflix, and my local cinema rarely shows anything worth watching. So I have to rely on DVD mostly, then get time to watch them.
    I wonder why I bother to still write about films at all, to be hones, when all I can effectively do is to reminisce. Thanks for the recap of your year, Lloyd.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Lloyd Marken says:

      Our local video store closed down in January last year. I’m a regular cinemagoer but it has caused problems with seeing films once you miss that envelope. When I upgraded my internet recently I got to trail 3 streaming services and decided to keep two. Still they have a limited library of classic films so I understand your plight only too well. I guess I’ll head down to my local public library to see what I can find. I haven’t seen any good foreign films either and I know you like them. As always I think Eye in the Sky and Wilderpeople are good. Anything else it just might depend. Whatever films you wish to review, old or new, I always enjoy them and hopefully they’ll stocked at my library. 🙂

      • beetleypete says:

        We haven’t had DVD rental shops for some years now. The library has a reasonable selection, but I tend to buy used copies from Amazon.

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        Very interesting list mate. Eye in the Sky was on of my favourites too. I didn’t realise you’d written all these reviews elsewhere! Your writing is top quality mate, really. I wish I could get in the loop like you are. Being in SA certainly doesn’t help.

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        Every single review is on my blog except Hidden Figures. That was wild, last week I got the thumbs up and it went on their site. Check them out, they’ve got an office in Adelaide I think and you’re into music and they’re a music magazine. Good luck.

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        Oh wow! Heh, that’s some coincidence, that was the first link I clicked, and its the only one not on your blog. I’m not sure how I missed so many of your reviews, but I’ll most probably go back thru a lot of them as I really like your style of writing.
        It is professional, you seem to pick up things that I totally miss, and in hindsight think, ‘Jesus I missed something totally obvious there!!’. I strive to get my writing more like that, as I am hyper-aware and sensitive to the fact that my writing is… not like that. Its gotten better since I started, but still too biased

        And wow, thanks man, I’ll have to contact that ‘zine. I had never heard of it before, if they do movies and music then I need to get all over that! Because I play/write music I think I’d have a much easier time at writing about it, which would be cool.

        Cheers bud!

        PS – sorry for the super-long replies

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        Well thank you Jordan that is very kind. Sometimes I read other reviews first to centre my thoughts and maybe some of that bleeds through. Other times maybe it is something I see but my degree was in this mindset and while I was a terrible student again maybe I was able to glean something from that influence. Scene write about the arts and entertainment with a local focus but music is their primary thing so I think its a good fit. I read a review on their site as a guide for word length and took it from there. I really feel very fortunate and hopefully I can give them something suitable again down the road.

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        You’re welcome mate, and I’m not blowing smoke up your arse either. I love reading stuff like this. So did you study film then? I have always wanted to do that but there is nothing available down here. Not that I have been able to find anyway, if I found any sort of course related to film I’d be doing it in a heartbeat.

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        I did Arts and Creative Writing. Plus I watch some stuff like The Gruen Transfer of stuff online. I don’t know all the terms but there’s patterns you pick up.

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        Top 10 is weird because as soon as you look it, you’re like really you put that film above that one? But hey it is what it is. I figured I’d have a go. I’m glad you liked Eye in the Sky, not a lot of people seem to have seen it but I think its really well constructed and thought out, has something to say but is also emotionally involving. My writing is a work in progress like anybody and I’m enjoying reading your story. When’s the next chapter coming?

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        I love top tens. Totally subjective and its cool to see how not only how folks’ tastes differ, but how your feelings about a movie can change over time. And its a bit of fun too, its always fun chatting with fellow movie-nerds 😀

        Totally agree about Eye in The Sky. It JUST missed my top ten. Mirren was mesmerising.

        All our writing is a work in progress I think. IMO the right attitude should be that there is no ceiling.

        As for my story, its taking me so long to actually work through it all I’m still stuck halfway through the next chapter. All I need to do is transcribe it from handwritten stuff, but while doing that I’ll be rephrasing stuff and adding/removing stuff etc. Plus it was all a traumatic experience, which puts this weird hold over me. I find it really hard to just open it up and start. Once I start I’m fine. I don’t know how it works, but a sincere THANK YOU mate, as you’ve given me a little kick up the backside, which is what I needed. I now have it open and am going to try and finish this chapter this week. Your interest in my story is very much appreciated my friend 🙂

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        Writing can be difficult at the best of times let alone something to brings you back to a painful experience. Take your time but just want to let you know I’m enjoying it.

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        Thanks mate. Again, just knowing that there are small, small amount of people out here that are interested and want to read what happens next makes a huge difference.

        And your first point is something I don’t think I allow myself to believe. I’m too hard on myself if I haven’t written anything in a few days for example. I need to acknowledge that, yeah, this can be a pretty hard, and lonely hobby at times.

        Thanks again mate. I’ve gotten started and now I can’t stop. Hopefully, hopefully, I’ll have it up tonight, or tomorrow at the latest. I’m setting myself a deadline – let’s see if I can meet it!

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        What was your Top Ten for the year? Before writing this post I’ve sometimes had Top 5s in my head. That seemed easier. You know like 2004 it was Passion of the Christ, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Sideways, Garden State and Million Dollar Baby but that leaves out Collateral and Team America and….etc.

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        Yeah, its so easy to leave out films when there has been so much good stuff around. I’ve spent too much time just changing the bloody order around! I’m gonna post my top ten in a few hours 🙂 I also narrowed down my top five before doing the ten.

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        My ten will go live in an hour. Would love to hear what ya think! 🙂 I think you will be pleasantly surprised by one choice

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        No worries, I enjoy your super long replies. Feel free anytime.

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        Heh, cool man 🙂 cheers

    • Lloyd Marken says:

      Nobody’s asking about Jennifer, they’re just like this is relevant to the films of 2016? Seems legit. 🙂

      • beetleypete says:

        I have never seen Alias. I had to Google the image to find out who it was!

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        That is from an episode that doubled the average U.S. audience for the show in Season 2. You’ve got to see the scene itself. AC/DC playing ‘Back in Black’, dolly down a long corridor to a door that bangs open and viola Ms Jennifer Garner. I don’t think I’ve ever recovered. Then she made Daredevil where admiring her was the best part of it. I decided I’d share my love of that get-up in my Deadpool review and have used it in retrospectives since. Not wanting to give away my No. 1 choice at the top of this post I decided what better way to finally retire the image on my blog and for a change put a picture of Deadpool next to his recap. Don’t want Jennifer to feature more than my beloved wife. Probably. 🙂 As for the show itself, it would sometimes have great episodes and sometimes not. Like the James Bond books, the story grew richer from partaking more than one in the series. However it’s not a great show and there’s much better television out there now. Plus it was made by J.J. Abrahms who notoriously moves on from projects before they’re finished. The guy did Lost as well so even if you do enjoy it you won’t forever. My recommendation would be to just admire one of the compelling images from the show. You can check out Jennifer Garner doing good stuff in Juno.

      • beetleypete says:

        Vinnieh adores Alias and has reviewed every single episode on his blog!
        https://vinnieh.wordpress.com/

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        Yeah I saw that a while back, I’ll try to go through them in the next couple of days. I read his Season 5 review so it seems he hug it to the end. I think it wrapped up the story well enough but the earlier seasons were more entertaining for me and even having said that it took a while for season 1 to take off. They did a ‘Die Hard’ episode in that starring Quentin Tarantino and all of a sudden it was compulsory viewing for me.

  4. Jay says:

    Awesome list. Kind of crazy. Laying it all out like that – gosh. I couldn’t bear to do mine. Also I have a terrible memory for it.

    • Lloyd Marken says:

      Thank you Jay, it took over a week all up but you can refer to the stats. Mine was I surprised when I found the ticket stubs for Office Christmas Party and Kung Fu Panda 3 and realised I needed to get cracking on those. 🙂 I have to say while I enjoy looking at stats I think this will be the last retrospective post for a while. Maybe until the end of the year. We’ll see. I imagine your list of films seen would be much longer but I’d be interested to hear what your favourite movies for the year were. Perhaps a Top 5 or 10?

  5. vinnieh says:

    I loved the image of Jennifer Garner.

  6. reocochran says:

    I liked Hidden Figures, Deadpool, The Nice Guys, Dr. Strange, Lion, Hell or High Water, La La Land, Moonlight, Sing and Bad Mom’s. Brooklyn was in awards this year? If so, I liked that one very much. A genuine “gem!” Smiles, Robin

  7. dbmoviesblog says:

    Such a great list. I love to see Fences and Hidden Figures in your top 10. Epic films.

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