The Films of 2016

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
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AlexFar
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Re: The Films of 2016

#26 Post by AlexFar » Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:41 pm

i wanted to share the board's enthusiasm for the shallows, but it lacked the risks to really thrill me. her arc too tired, the survival beats too predictable. the day after catching this, i spent the morning, of all things, spear fishing; it could have been a mistake, but the movie's shark was so sentient and vindictive, it seemed to satirize fear rather than exploit it; i was oddly emboldened in the depths, and i'm sure collet-serra, craftsman, would be not pleased to hear that.
Last edited by AlexFar on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: The Films of 2016

#27 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:59 pm

Image

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Films of 2016

#28 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:14 pm

I can see some executive thinking "Hey, so Batman will always be a sure thing!" (ignoring Batman & Robin's grosses)

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movielocke
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Re: The Films of 2016

#29 Post by movielocke » Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:36 am

the BFG features probably the best digital/hybrid-digital performance yet performed in mark rylance's work. He's truly remarkable throughout, and there is a stunning moment, a little aside of a story really, in the films final part that sums up the themes of the film in a beautiful way that all of a sudden brings the whole thing into more than a sum of its parts.

It isn't a masterpiece, although it is solid with a truly lovely ending and old fashioned pace. Given the director, some will inevitably rage and stomp and shriek and moan, as they always do when he makes films. the film is more of an effervescent bubble of Dahls blabberflasted take on the child's gaze. As a book all I remember from childhood is a sense of warm amusement at the whizzpopping and wordplay, I truly remember nothing of it except the whizzpopping, faithfully rendered here as well, and I feel like the film did capture the quirky sense of warm gentleness I remember of the book's tone.

I think that may be what people like the least about the film, that it is so relaxed at letting a story slowly blossom out of a tiny kernel, that they will complain about the pace. It isn't very western.

What it is, is Miyazaki-like, really. Yes. It is about what you would get if Miyazaki adapted Dahl. Warm, rich, languid, a little bit of danger, a little bit of wonder.

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: The Films of 2016

#30 Post by The Narrator Returns » Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:01 am

Adam Wingard's newest film, formerly The Woods, has been revealed as a sequel to The Blair Witch Project.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Films of 2016

#31 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:40 pm

The original Bourne trilogy served as some of the best action films of the 2000s, and as a fan of those films (and especially Greengrass' entries) I was both concerned and intrigued by the existence of this latest iteration featuring both Greengrass and Damon. Those preliminary feelings turned out to be pretty predictive of where I ended up on Jason Bourne: elements of it (the Berlin and Athens sequences in particular) stand up well against the original films, but the twin drivers of the plot were seriously flawed, and in one case undermined not only this film but one of the key thematic components of the series as a whole:
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First, the social network mining that is the new devious CIA mechanism for violating rights in the name of security fails to be compelling or dig into the issue on more than a surface level, leaving this entire section of the plot feeling insubstantial and without a unique angle on the topic. The main proponent of this plot - Tommy Lee Jones' version of the series' recurring antagonistic CIA bureaucrat - is far too openly dastardly without the pragmatic, cold calculation that defined his archetypal predecessors (Brian Cox, David Strathairn, etc.).

More aggravatingly, the revelation that Bourne's entry into the Treadstone program was precipitated and manipulated by the staged murder of his father, who conveniently also originated the concept of the program in the first place. One of the more salient parts of the American foreign policy allegory established in the first films is that while Bourne is later horrified by what he's done as a CIA assassin, he willingly chose to join the program, much as many Americans later woke up to the nature of the travesties they directly or indirectly supported in response to 9/11. Undermining Bourne's culpability in his situation retroactively weakens the dramatic resonance of the original films, especially Ultimatum, and exemplifies how Jason Bourne leans into the too-simple conspiratorial plotting that the earlier films skated past more successfully (especially in having his main super-agent opponent in this film, played ably by Vincent Cassel, also conveniently be the murderer of his father).

I'm assuming that Tony Gilroy's lack of involvement (apparently payback for his attempt to continue the franchise without Bourne and Greengrass) contributed to this major misstep, as well as more minor but still distractingly poor choices. For example, why would Cassel's character - who has repeatedly established his ability to evade attention and elude the authorities - choose to make his climactic escape attempt in, of all things, an enormous SWAT team APC except to set up the over-the-top destruction derby that follows?

Overall, the latest Bourne film isn't unforgivably terrible in the way so many of the summer's major studio films have been, but is certainly enough of a disappointment as a standalone film and as part of the larger franchise that it should indicate to all involved that this franchise is finally done.

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Brian C
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Re: The Films of 2016

#32 Post by Brian C » Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:10 pm

I liked it in the exact same way I liked Mann's Blackhat; the narrative is worthless and a letdown compared to earlier works, but I still really enjoyed it as an extreme example of the filmmaker's visual style.

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Drucker
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Re: The Films of 2016

#33 Post by Drucker » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Don't believe the hype when it comes to Don't Breathe. While it has a few redeemable scenes, a few redeemable twists, and a decent premise, the film rarely rises above the sort of stuff that goes straight to VOD in the horror section of your cable box.

The film centers upon a trio of kids from run-down, modern day Detroit, that use one of their father's employment in a security agency to break into rich people's homes. The chance at the perfect score comes up, so they could quit having to do this. While the person whose father has the connection is hesitant at first, his crush on the female lead gets the better of him, and he agrees.
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Ultimately, the problem with the film is that it tries to do too much, and that often comes about by trying to give characters motivations that either don't pay off or are unnecessary. The allusions to the crush one of the characters has on our female lead, while she's dating the "bad boy" doesn't add to our understanding of the characters--it kind of just makes one of them a putz. In another example, the person having his home invaded is given another twist. In addition to being a blind veteran that can nonetheless fight off three home invaders, he has to be a kidnapper and 'rapist' as well. These additional twists were a few too many, and for a film that would have worked best as a simple, scary, home invasion film, too many twists end up being distracting and confusing.
I'm not a horror film fan by any stretch of the imagination, but even my wife who is didn't care for the film, and found many of the same things stupid that I did.

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Altair
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Re: The Films of 2016

#34 Post by Altair » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:46 pm

I recently saw War Dogs and was exactly what you expect it to be: crude, funny at times, patchy. There are some interesting asides on the relationship between arms dealers and the US government, but Todd Philips wants us to like his protagonists too much for it to be seriously biting. Miles Teller is given a disposable girlfriend (and later daughter) - he's only doing it for his family you see - while there's a scene between Jonah Hill and Teller where they both stress how much they're against Bush and the Iraq War, but hey they're only making money from what others are doing already. It lets them off the hook too easily: it shouts at the audience they maybe gunrunners but they're not Republicans!

The scenes in Jordan and Iraq are funny and probably the best part, but the final act as things head south never has the sense of retribution and justice which Philips aims for (Scorsese does this so much better):
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Hill is ultimately punished in the movie's moral playbook not for being an amoral fraudster, but because he betrays his friend. Teller on the other hand, is okay so only gets placed under house arrest to play with his baby. So much for catharsis.
The music cues are predictably and Philips' stealing of freeze frames, voice over, flashbacks and kinetic style from Casino et al feels lazy. Hill is the saving grace, lighting up his scenes and delivering some genuine laughs, even if the film is far too light: the story deserved better.

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Lemmy Caution
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War Puppies

#35 Post by Lemmy Caution » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:01 am

Here's the Rolling Stone article from 2011, about the young weapons dealers that the film War Dogs is based on.

cinéaste25
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Re: The Films of 2016

#36 Post by cinéaste25 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:47 pm

I'm new to the forum, but I've noticed that many 2016 releases don't have dedicated threads of their own. Instead, they are openly discussed in this thread, 'The Films of 2016.' Is this common practice here?

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domino harvey
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Re: The Films of 2016

#37 Post by domino harvey » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:40 pm

Yes. The idea is to not clutter up the forum with excessive threads for movies that may not garner discussion. If a film does generate enough discussion in this thread (usually three posts minimum), it gets split off into a dedicated thread. Exceptions are made for films with a reasonable expectation of future discussion (movies by well-regarded directors or hot properties, &c) or first posts of exceptional quality and depth (see Colin's thread for High-Rise, which would ordinarily get moved to this thread but is so well-considered in its construction that it merits a dedicated thread). Generally speaking, the rule of thumb for every member is: avoid creating new threads if possible

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mfunk9786
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Re: The Films of 2016

#38 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:18 pm

I really don't like to be lectured. Kate Plays Christine, a largely successful meta documentary about the making of a nonexistent Christine Chubbuck film (unlike the one actually coming to theaters next month), ends on such a sour note that I have a difficult time recommending it. It's rare to be scolded about your morality after two hours of a film making a very persuasive case to you about just how much emotion you should feel toward its subject. A tragic figure like Chubbuck deserves your empathy, and the film has you feeling raw and sad and prepared for the frightening and hopeless reality of her carefully crafted epitaph, and then decides to wag its finger in a way that is insulting to the small audience this film is going to have to begin with. Just don't show us anything. No one is making you. Your film could have been so much better if you hadn't, that's for sure.

2016 is shaping up to be Mel Gibson's comeback year, and watching a tight grindhouse picture like Blood Father, I realize how much he's been missed. Yes, he's a questionable human being, but something like this cuts so close to the bone that you can't possibly tell me it is without merit. Just about every character actor you want to see is here, and Erin Moriarty saves what could've been a really exploitative part with a steely, convincing performance that matches Gibson's. This is well worth your time and is one of the best films of the year thusfar - that next-level thriller that I wanted Green Room to be.

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sir_luke
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Re: The Films of 2016

#39 Post by sir_luke » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:07 am

Uncle Kent II is one of the best surprises of this year. As the trailer proudly proclaims, "you don't have to see the first one," Joe Swanberg's mumblecore piece about cartoonist Kent Osborne's lackadaisical romantic pursuit, to enjoy this film. Uncle Kent II begins in Swanberg's makeshift deadpan style as Osborne attempts to convince Swanberg to make a sequel to the first Uncle Kent film, an idea in which Swanberg is thoroughly disinterested. Given full reigns to the sequel by the man himself, Osborne begins obsessing over possibilities for the film.

As soon as the opening credits begin, with Osborne shaking up a salad and then gleefully jiggling his chest for the camera, it's obvious this is not going to be a straight-line sequel to the first film. Things get progressively weirder from that point, as he experiences unsettling dreams (coupled with a persistent nagging soundtrack) that have an apocalyptic flavor to them. He encounters old friends and new enemies after arriving at Comic-Con to promote his work. I don't want to give too much away for the two people who might give this a try after reading my post, but suffice it to say the film veers off in several wonderfully weird directions and culminates in a brilliant and unsettling final act in which reality itself is called into question. Also, if you've ever wanted to see a film in which
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Weird Al is present for (but not participatory in) part of an extended masturbation sequence,
this is the film for you!

I'm sure lots of prefixes (pseudo, meta, etc.) could probably be tossed derisively at this film, and perhaps rightly so, but I know I had a hell of a time. FWIW, it is currently available to stream via Fandor.

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aox
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Re: The Films of 2016

#40 Post by aox » Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:33 pm

Free State of Jones

This is incredibly bad. So many cliched archetypes and lazy writing. IMO, it starts pretty strong with a solid first 20 minutes before it falls completely apart.

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CSM126
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Re: The Films of 2016

#41 Post by CSM126 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:36 pm

Mr. Church: Driving Miss Daisy with a younger cast and none of the charm or wit. Eddie Murphy tries his hand at drama and I suppose he's not terrible, but the script sure is. I'm not sure what anyone involved saw in this other than a quick paycheck. This is so bland it makes Miss Daisy look intense by comparison.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: The Films of 2016

#42 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:55 pm

Maybe it's the residual effect of watching her in Under The Dome, but I'm not seeing Britt Robertson becoming anything beyond the "it girl" some articles have propped her up to be. I'd give the benefit of the doubt by speculating she hasn't been given the right material yet, but I've not been bowled over by her work.

I hope Murphy gives stand-up another shot like has been indicated lately, or maybe gets back into television. His talent is not a fluke and I find it hard there isn't any more of that old spark underneath.

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CSM126
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Re: The Films of 2016

#43 Post by CSM126 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:41 pm

I thought Britt Robertson was quite good in Ask Me Anything, but that film is so obscure it may as well not exist.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Films of 2016

#44 Post by domino harvey » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:45 pm

I liked her interplay with Clooney in Tomorrowland

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knives
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Re: The Films of 2016

#45 Post by knives » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:13 am

The new Ken Burns flick, Defying the Nazis, is probably his best since The Dust Bowl. It is pretty much a hagiography, but there's a lot of deeper themes going on that render that irrelevant to the enjoyment of the film. Burns doesn't make explicit how this story connects to present day realities, but it couldn't be more clear with the language used and the emphasis on ridiculous legal maneuvering in order to get refugees from one country to another. He also deals rather nicely with ideas of obligation against desires which are really interesting in the context of the story and in the larger tapestry of Americana he has built.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: The Films of 2016

#46 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:06 am

I enjoyed The Magnificent Seven. It hit all the beats it needed to, there's nothing particularly new about the genre it revealed but it nonetheless was a good time at the theater.

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Big Ben
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Re: The Films of 2016

#47 Post by Big Ben » Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:54 pm

I did NOT enjoy The Magnificent Seven. I felt it was a stripped down version even compared to the remake. No spoilers but I felt it removed the essence of what brought Seven Samurai and the original remake together.

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Ribs
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Re: The Films of 2016

#48 Post by Ribs » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:30 pm

Deepwater Horizon is low-key one of the best films of the year. Despite the absolutely insufferable proliferation of the ad (I'd estimate I've probably seen it before 10+ movies this summer, a number I think has only been rivaled by the proliferation of the ad for this film's precursor, Lone Survivor), it's a worthy addition to a surprisingly robust new catalog of big-budget disaster films. Even though I was a big fan of Sully a few weeks ago, I think this takes a more traditional approach to its benefit - the disaster is frankly spectacular and nailbiting, and unlike Sully at least seems to have some clear motivation driving its telling. It starts and ends poorly (there are three different scenes in the first ten minutes of the characters getting gas for their cars/helicopters/etc, which is so on-the-nose I kind of don't see how it still got put in the movie), but it takes its time to build to the event itself and it feels really earned as everything quickly turns into a mess. Mark Wahlberg turns in a fantastically understated, not preachy appearance as our everyman hero for the first time in years that I didn't actively dislike his contribution to something.

I still expect this Christmas' Patriot's Day won't be very good, though. This seems like a real gem of a fluke, though.

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copen
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Re: The Films of 2016

#49 Post by copen » Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:22 am

"Complete Unknown" is the 3rd good movie in a row for Rachel Weisz, behind Youth and The Lobster. She plays a character who's kind of like Ferdinand Demara 'The Great Impostor'. Michael Shannon's only job is to be confused throughout the story.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: The Films of 2016

#50 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:21 pm

https://vimeo.com/187257744" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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