The Films of 2016

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
Message
Author
User avatar
DarkImbecile
Ask me about my visible cat breasts
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: The Films of 2016

#51 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:05 pm

Ribs wrote: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.
I was really surprised by how much I liked this as well; it does no single thing so well that I'd put it among the best of the year, but Berg provides a basic level of competence that so few spectacle films of this type seem to have enjoyed recently. The supporting cast does quality work, most notably Kurt Russell as the no-nonsense foreman and John Malkovich hamming up his Cajun-accented villainy just enough to make it work. The film doesn't stretch too hard to give Wahlberg opportunities for heroism, and avoids some of the other obvious pitfalls for this type of disaster film, successfully keeping the eye-rolling to a minimum and the focus on the suspenseful build-up to and eventual consequences of catastrophe.

User avatar
barryconvex
billy..biff..scooter....tommy
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:08 pm
Location: NYC

Re: The Films of 2016

#52 Post by barryconvex » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:36 am

Captain Fantastic (Matt Ross 2016)

Better than i thought it would be. A story of parenting in the modern era with Viggo Mortensen's latter day radical living in the Colorado wilderness with his six children. They spend their days training in hand to hand combat, climbing mountains, reading classic literature and studying texts that would seemingly be advanced for certain PHDs until they decide to trek to Arizona for a family member's funeral. He's always good but Mortensen really nails it here as a flawed man who's basically retreated into the wilderness as much out of hatred for corporate America as out of paranoia and or fear. That he's dragged his wife into it and then foisted this lifestyle upon his kids speaks volumes about the man's nature while abetting that intrinsic laid back weariness Mortensen has about him. This works beautifully for his portrayal of a man being challenged with things he thought he had all the answers for until he realizes there's more that one correct response.

The movie should've spent more time on the family's life in the wilderness than on the road trip that takes up the latter 2/3 of the film and there are some contradictions that are inherent to living a life off the grid that the movie never acknowledges as well as some holes in the third act but the good outweighs the bad. And credit where it's due-i normally cringe at the thought of watching one child actor in a lead role let alone the six that are presented here. But from top to bottom they all do quite nicely especially George MacKay as the eldest son.

User avatar
Lemmy Caution
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

Re: The Films of 2016

#53 Post by Lemmy Caution » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:42 am

The Chinese Activists Fighting for Sexual Abuse Accountability

On the island of Hainan in China, a horrific sex abuse case involving a school principal who allegedly raped six young girls has spurred intense backlash from activists. Police declined to charge the principal, citing a lack of evidence, and a group of Chinese women is taking action. In this excerpt from the documentary Hooligan Sparrow, the filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows Ye Haiyan (who goes by Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues as they protest the case. The women have been marked as enemies of the state and are under constant surveillance.

Hooligan Sparrow has its national broadcast premiere October 17, 2016, at 10 p.m. on the PBS documentary series POV. It will stream online from October 18, 2016, until November 2, 2016.
You can watch a 12 minute clip at The Atlantic, where I swiped that intro from. Here's the full streaming link courtesy of PBS. And a longer review with some spoilersat the end.

In China, you have to be pretty bold (and/or desperate) to protest and take on even relatively low-level gov't officials. Occasionally it's successful, but usually via a combination of official sanctions, undercover police harassment and violent hired thugs you can be pretty certain your life will be threatened or ruined if you persist. These women even make short anti-suicide videos asserting that if anything happens to them it was due to foul play by the state and not of their own doing.
Last edited by Lemmy Caution on Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Films of 2016

#54 Post by knives » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:20 am

It's incredibly frustrating that Amenabar makes films so infrequently since it forces each one to have to be a masterpiece. So when he shits the bed like with his latest, Regression it severely stinks up the place. Admittedly I haven't liked any of these satanist films and Hawke's winning performance plus one great scare scene make this tolerable, but the rest plays out like this terrible and rote television mystery. It is as if nobody involved figured out what type of movie they wanted to be making. In the last twenty minutes the film does being to get really good though it remains too little too late. Being upfront about the nature of all this perversely makes the film much more nerve wracking and strange. Also Emma Watson has the worst American accent I have ever heard. It goes for midwestern but comes out constipated.

User avatar
Kat
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:53 am

Re: The Films of 2016

#55 Post by Kat » Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:13 pm

I was sorry to miss Notes on Blindness (d. P. Middleton and J. Spinney, 2016) on release but glad to see it last week on DVD, I found it a very moving film.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: The Films of 2016

#56 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:38 pm

It's worth jumping in here to mention how much I loved The Handmaiden when I saw it a few weeks ago. Park Chan-wook is a visual master, and in a lot of ways this felt like a lost Tarantino film - the playfulness of the subtitles, the stunning cinemascope, an acid sense of humor, and a constantly bending plot that begins simply enough but evolves into something truly special. Not one stone is left unturned, not one missed exchange or unanswered question is left without being tied up in a neat, tidy, bloody knot. It's a hell of a lot of fun and yet another arrow in this great director's quiver - an epic masterpiece that thankfully knows not to take itself too seriously.

I repeat: 2016 is a hell of a year for movies, and we've got an insanely dense month and a half left.

Still to be released or expanded beyond NY/LA, just to name a few:

Manchester By the Sea
The Edge of Seventeen
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Nocturnal Animals
Lion
Allied
Jackie
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Neruda
A Monster Calls
Silence
Passengers
Julieta
Fences
20th Century Women
Gold
Hidden Figures
Live By Night
Toni Erdmann

That's a heck of a lot of prestige in seven weeks.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: The Films of 2016

#57 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:30 pm

Watched Loach's Daniel Blake during our flight back from Paris (two days after the election). I thought it was excellent (and, of course, utterly depressing).

User avatar
D50
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:00 am
Location: USA

Re: The Films of 2016

#58 Post by D50 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:34 pm

Black Something (2016), David Zellner, Nathan Zellner

I’ve always been a fan of short films playing before features, and as one of the programmers for the Criterion Channel, I was excited to make this format a regular offering on the streaming service...

...

Every Tuesday on the Channel, in our Short + Feature program, we’re going to be matching up classic and contemporary shorts and features, letting the films speak to each other in new ways.

- By Penelope Bartlett

Image

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: The Films of 2016

#59 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:05 am

Saw The Handmaiden -- and didn't particularly like it. Obviously I am not the audience for which PCW writes his films. ;-)

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Films of 2016

#60 Post by knives » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:47 am

In one of my increasingly rare theatrical trip I managed to see two of the most mediocre films of the year both of which are completely worthless outside of the acting department. The new Jack Reacher (haven't seen the first) gives a dull paperback narrative straight out of Jack Clancy. I have no clue why Cruise chose Zwick to direct, but at times it feels like he was never there with this being the laziest he's ever been. This is just flaccid direction. Cruise himself though manages to use the muck to his advantage playing this Lee Marvin character more like Chevy Chase. It really left me with a yearning to see Cruise do a film of nothing but pratfalls since he can make violence play so hilariously. Outside of the action scenes though you get a real sense for the first time that this is an old man. In his many shirtless scenes his body hangs down in a way like Peter O'Toole in Rosebud making him look a million years old and out of place with his young compatriots. I really wonder how much longer Cruise is going to make a play at having love interests?

The other film is the fair bit better The Accountant which gives less to talk about as a result. It's an okay film that could have been a lean Point Blank type thriller in better hands (so much of this screams off brand Soderbergh). There's an entire plotline with two characters that serves exclusively for poorly delivered exposition that frankly should have never gotten to casting let alone be in the film. The script is incredibly bad, but the acting so good that it almost balances out into a half decent thriller. Affleck does his best with a best situation doing the least tick driven autistic performance I've seen even if it asks him to do some unbelievable things in the name of some imagined idea of autism. Jeffrey Tambor and Jean Smart show up to successfully class up the joint and Anna Kendrick continues to be simply adorable. JK Simmons is the lead in that waste of a plot I mentioned at top and really plays it like a lead which I mean as a compliment.
Last edited by knives on Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

The Films of 2016

#61 Post by movielocke » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:07 am

Finally saw zootopia. Very cute, very smart, but two huge gaping plot holes from the beginning that seem like they sort of break the world. the plot from the beginning sort of revolves around them, which is kind of a workaround for these plot hole problems except it still breaks the world in that these things have never before been addressed in this world, seemingly, before this particular story plays out.

The first plot hole is the predator prey relationship and the still unanswered question as to what it is predators have been eating for millennia?

The second plot hole is why the police force has never scaled to any creature that is not a gigantic predator despite the entirety of society being so scaled, such as our early look at the rodent portion of the city, and the later dealings with a mole. Sure it's a utopia that the police have apparently no officers that police the rodent city but uh, that's the sort of problem that ought to have been worked out long ago.

On the other hand, given the movie deals with this directly and in very frank terms about discrimination, prejudice, institutional path dependency, bureaucratic exploitation, authoritarian impulses, glass ceilings and even goes so far as to hint at police misconduct, I'm more than willing to overlook any worldbuilding shortcuts used to tell a story with so many social reverberations and a story that imparts so many positive messages within a relatively complex social structure that maps so well (and deliberately) to our modern society.

Very surprising and effective film.

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: The Films of 2016

#62 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:49 pm

Here's David Ehrlich's run down of the 25 best films of 2016:
link
Last edited by colinr0380 on Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cameron Swift
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:52 pm
Location: Calgary, Alberta

Re: The Films of 2016

#63 Post by Cameron Swift » Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:19 pm

I've noticed a few mentions of Sing Street in the dynamic lists, but no posts on it. The tagline on the poster is both funny and spot on ("Boy meets Girl. Girl Unimpressed. Boy starts band.") and truthfully, I don't think there's anything new here, but this is a warmhearted, sweet and oftentimes very funny take on the teenage romance story. Two characters talk about recruiting a black kid from their school to join the band because it'd be cool to have a black guy in the band - "But what if he can't play any instruments?" "Of course he can. He's black"

Most of all though, the music is fun and the filmmakers do an amazing job creating 80s pastiche songs. Best of all is Riddle of the Model (and it's accompanying video in the link) which is a genuinely good song, and has been in my head all week.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Films of 2016

#64 Post by knives » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:34 pm

The Brand New Testament is the most reinvigorating theatrical experience I've had since Melancholia. It's so great to have van Dormael back in peak form and so depressing that this hasn't seen a renewed interest in the films of one the most influential filmmakers nobody watches the films of anymore. It's also really helpful to see Tykwer's new film immediately after this. It's an okay film wearing the Dormael influence on its sleeve, but isn't as satisfying as the real thing with the satire coming across as less lived in and the flights of fancy (including Hanks crooning Talking Heads) being far less organic to the story and themes. It's also just nice to see one of these classic fantasy directors handle CGI maturely.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Films of 2016

#65 Post by knives » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:44 am

Francofonia is a fair bit more audience friendly than its closest relative of Russian Ark in spite of a narrative that is nearly completely fractured. The diary format allows for enough explanation that the film being stream of conscious, in part, just becomes part of its charm. Sokurov's ideas aren't stuffed into a metaphor in whole which at least for me always has hurt the earlier film. The stuff with skype is perhaps a little too literal in regards for the metaphors present in this movie, but once Sokurov starts recreating history the thing flies in the air and becomes one of the more beautiful tributes to film I've seen. That's a bit surprising, not just because the lead character is a museum more known for its paintings and sculptures but also because I've never really taken Sokurov to be terribly concerned with film. That notion is almost immediately smashed when he talks about the beauty of the French being that they are all cinematographers. The film eventually stands on an essay, reminiscent of Walter Benjamin appropriately enough, of the uniqueness of European art and how in capturing the human body it was allowed to evolve into the cinema. I'm not sure if I like the section on Assyrian art which not only doesn't seem to work within the story, but seems like a detour for the main theme (though given that his Hitler film was named Moloch maybe he just sees a connection I don't). It also feeds into a certain racism I find annoying that is common in a lot of histories to make all of the great nations European even when they are blatantly not.

That minor reservation aside this is probably the sort of things that works best for fans of Sokurov of which I really only scratched the surface. Unfortunately like with most of his works I've seen even as I like this film a lot conceptually I'm not sure if I find it to e a terribly powerful or compelling experience. Still, at least in the moment Sokurov does a great job of gluing me to my seat.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Films of 2016

#66 Post by knives » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:51 am

Scott Tobias as his usually exhaustive list of films to get a sense of the year by list. I am comically behind.

User avatar
barryconvex
billy..biff..scooter....tommy
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:08 pm
Location: NYC

Re: The Films of 2016

#67 Post by barryconvex » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:25 am

Rats (Morgan Spurlock 2016)

I defy anyone to make it through this movie without covering their eyes at least once. I'm not even in any position to grade this movie as i not only had to look away, i indeed fast forwarded through several minutes at a time at least twice. I have no idea who financed this or who thought it was a good idea, or who exactly the target audience is because both rat lovers and those who are terrified of them and bound to be equally nauseated by it. Perhaps people who truly despise rats will take a certain perverse glee in seeing them bashed, mauled by dogs, drowned, skinned and then eaten in a certain vietnamese restaurant (yes, really), euthanized and dissected, the list goes on...I wouldn't recommend this movie to my worst enemy but at the same time i have a certain admiration for the hubris behind it.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Films of 2016

#68 Post by knives » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:59 pm

Are all of Sammo Hung's films as good as The Bodyguard? It really surprised me by sneaking up a real emotional effect in the end despite primarily being a broad action comedy. Hung in particular has a great ability as a physical actor get a whole mix of emotions just by walking around or even standing

User avatar
Cold Bishop
Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 9:45 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: The Films of 2016

#69 Post by Cold Bishop » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:44 am

Yes. Probably. I was underwhelmed by that particular film, but certainly the juggling of tones is an essential part of Hung's directorial work, moreso than even his peers (Jackie Chan, Yuen Woo-Ping). I'd say check out Warriors Two and Pedicab Driver at the least.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Films of 2016

#70 Post by knives » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:06 am

Cool, thanks. My library mostly has the Jackie Chan films like Mr Nice Guy. I'm assuming those are legit?

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Films of 2016

#71 Post by knives » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:29 pm

The Confirmation is a really good film for one that is essentially a single over extended joke. A kid is up for his confirmation and can't think of any sins he committed. He spends the weekend with his father and proceeds to commit every single one of them the priest thought of. Within seconds of Clive Owen's reckless father showing up the exact framing and dialogue of the ending is pretty obvious right down to the smile on the kid. The film's narrative obviousness, and the typical precociousness of the kid, is rendered really wonderful thanks to how Bob Nelson, the writer of Payne's Nebraska, fills the movie in with some nasty truths. The way the film deals with Owen's alcoholism for instance does a lot to inform and make sense of the kid's weirdness and bring it back down to the human level (it doesn't hurt that the climatic scene for this part of the story has Robert Forester giving an amazingly effortless performance).

Another really amazing thing is how well the film communicates the particulars of rural Washington in a way that extends to a lot of other rural towns on the edge of cities. There's a lot of complex details of the people and design, those awful gray skies, that remind me so viscerally of my childhood in Harrisburg, well technically Carlisle, it just is not even funny. The evolving face of the area and the potential racism the older members of the community have against the incoming Sikhs, Egyptians, and what not is a really interesting background detail that helps make this such a lovely film. Not to mention he weird way drug abuse is integrated in which frankly is more realistic than a lot of other films I've seen. Basically nothing in the foreground is particularly amazing aside form the performances, but the background makes this a very memorable film. It's kind of surprising how much this has flown under the radar especially given how similar this sounds like the logline for Manchester By the Sea.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Films of 2016

#72 Post by domino harvey » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:39 pm

Frank & Lola (Matthew Ross) “There must be a reason that Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots signed up for this,” I kept telling myself while watching this, to the point it becoming a mantra. "It can't actually be what it appears to be, a tired and borderline irresponsible portrait of the effects of rape on relationships, executed with phony dramatics and bizarrely unsatisfying splendor by the self-serious film." But it is. The film has nothing to say, nothing to contribute to the dialogue, nothing of value. From the desperate “shocking” first scene, wherein a fully nude Poots instructs Shannon to stop going down on her and instead hold her down while he fucks her, to the shitty, “They aren’t really going to do this” Lady or the Tiger-lite ending, the film is a series of instances of an audience giving so much rope to the film that by the time it’s done with all we’re left with is a huge steaming coil. The film sets us up for a Gone Girl-style noir where a simmering sensitive man gets played by his own “better” instincts, but the con is on us. It’s like a magician reaching into a hat to procure a rabbit and then pulling out nothing at all, because it was just a hat. And the hat as presented is not enough to sustain the crowd that came for a show (or, failing that, at least a better hat). There are surely good movies to be made that explore how rape impacts and changes the dynamic of relationships, but this film only dallies on the surface with the theme before revealing it to be the only concern it had in the first place.

User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: The Films of 2016

#73 Post by swo17 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:57 pm

OK, but I really like hats, so it sounds like I'll like this?

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Films of 2016

#74 Post by domino harvey » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:29 pm

If memory serves, there is not a single non-metaphorical hat in the whole film. So even there only disappointment awaits

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Films of 2016

#75 Post by knives » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:08 pm

I haven't been following Gondry too closely, but Microbe and Gasoline is easily one of his best films applying his sense of the fantastic to a grungy little slice of life childhood tale. The mundane form this takes place in with the leads just largely hanging out really allows his underrated humanism to flourish in a way that not even Eternal Sunshine quite hit perhaps because of the balance of Kaufman's misanthropy. The film has a fair share of true to life darkness to it, but that largely floats in the background with the friendship developing at a small glide. That said the background stuff helps the film maintain its unique identity given how many youth films follow this basic mold. Stuff like Microbe's sexuality, Gasoline's sort of white trash background, and stuff along those lines are never dwelt upon yet seem essential all the same. When the film does give in fully to Gondry's need for the fantastic about an hour in it still works, but there's something disappointing in how that is how Gondry is choosing to deal with all of the balls he was juggling up till then. It makes the film seem a lot weaker than it was at first. Though I suppose it is still quite good overall.

Post Reply