Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Top 5 Best Movies of 2016


It's that time of year already. The year where I get to count down the best movies I've seen in theaters in 2016 and that includes free movies up at Herkimer College. Unfortunately, since I only saw six movies in theaters this year, this is going to be a Top 5 Best Movies of the year list and this year there were two movies that could compete for both the worst movie of the year and number 5 on my Top 5 best movies of 2016 list.

And since my number five movie had more redeemable qualities than the movie I’ve chosen as my worst movie of the year, my pick for worst movie of the year is the remake of Ghostbusters. And it’s not because they’re all women. It’s more like the fact that this movie and the people behind this movie went out of their way to insult the fan base that grew up with the first two movies and The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series, meaning that if you don’t like the movie, you’re a misogynist and if you did like it, you were paid off by Sony to say that you liked the movie, not to mention the horrible way that men are portrayed in the movie which range from incredibly stupid to (and this is also ironic in real life) antisocial losers who live in their mom’s basement and there is also the infamous scene of them shooting a ghost in the balls.

And initially, I was originally not planning to see this movie especially after finding out that they cast Melissa McCarthy as one of the Ghostbusters because I am obviously not a Melissa McCarthy fan. But then again, the only reason she was in the movie was because the movie was directed by Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy is usually a common denominator in his movies and that is why I don’t see Paul Feig movies. But then the whole backlash happened after the first trailer dropped and it became one of the most disliked trailers in YouTube history and especially after they went after Angry Video Game Nerd James Rolfe for going on YouTube and saying that he wasn’t going to review the movie and called him a misogynist for not wanting to see the movie. And his reasons for not wanting to see the movie were perfectly legitimate. For example, he said that the movie was an obvious cash grab (which it was) and that the effects are horrible (which they were.) Although I am more of a Nostalgia Critic guy, I started watching the Angry Video Game Nerd after that video and I gained a lot of respect for James Rolfe because he’s a guy who actually knows movies and he genuinely loves the Ghostbusters franchise.

But anyway, the movie came out and while it was a hit with mainstream critics, the backlash against the fans by everyone involved with the movie came back to bite them in the ass at the box office. The result was that Sony lost about 70 million dollars as a result of Ghostbusters bombing at the box office and it pretty much destroyed any chance of there being any sequels and they were talking about doing a Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe, but that’s not happening now.

I didn’t go to see it during its theatrical run and I was content with that until September when I found out that Herkimer College was getting it as part of its free movie program for the fall semester so I was like yeah, I get another shot at the movie and I don’t have to give Paul Feig or Sony my money either. So, it’s a fair deal.

So, I did see it and I hated it. Again, not because they’re all women but because it was a genuinely bad movie with bad writing, bad Scooby-Doo-style visual effects for the ghosts, and again their whole horrible depiction of the male characters. It certainly didn’t deserve the 72 percent it got on Rotten Tomatoes.

And on a more personal note, when I very briefly reviewed the movie for my Halloween vlog back in October I said that I would be more content with never seeing the movie again because I would not recommend getting this movie on DVD or even renting it. But then my nephews had to go and buy it and I remember many a sleepless night listening to it. But anyway, I got my older nephew Ghostbusters II on DVD and even Ghostbusters II, imperfect as it is, is still true Ghostbusters. But as far as I go, if I want to see Ghostbusters, I will stick with the first two.

And PS: We didn’t get no Ecto-Cooler in Herkimer, although we did get Crystal Pepsi.

So now that brings me to my top 5 movies of the year and like I said my number five movie is a movie I was genuinely let down by, especially since it was a movie I was looking forward to going into this year but the only reason this movie isn’t the worst movie of the year is because it had redeemable qualities. 


So anyway, my number five movie is Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. And you may recall in my debut podcast that I, along with many others who have been waiting for this movie for decades, was in fact very disappointed in this movie when I saw it in theaters almost ten months ago. 

For one thing, it’s a very slow movie especially for a comic book movie that’s supposed to have a lot of action in it. And some of the points I brought up in my review in the first podcast I’ll just sum up for you here. What I didn’t like about the movie was Superman’s story arc; the first hour or so being nothing more than political bullshit; Jesse Eisenberg’s girly man Lex Luthor; the supporting cast of Man of Steel being virtually useless to the story; and the fact that Zack Snyder shoehorned Doomsday and the whole Death of Superman storyline into an already crowded movie. However, what was good about it was of course Batfleck’s whole arc and how Batman is actually an older and darker character who straight up murders and tortures criminals which doesn’t sit well with Supes. However, when the two finally go at it, it only takes up about ten minutes of screen time and it’s a bit underwhelming, especially for a match-up that’s been in development hell for over two decades. And of course, the other good thing about the movie was Wonder Woman mainly because this movie marks her first-ever live action appearance on the big screen. Up until now the only live-action incarnations of Wonder Woman had only been on television, most notably the Lynda Carter series from the 70’s. And of all the times I’ve been going to movies, I have heard audiences cheer two different times: The first time was when Hulk smashed Loki around like a rag doll in the first Avengers movie in 2012 and the other time was when Wonder Woman appears during the battle with Doomsday.

However, unlike Ghostbusters, the negative reception actually worked for Batman vs. Superman rather than against it. Same rules apply for Suicide Squad even though I still haven’t seen it. Of course, like I said in the review, DC still has a long way to go if they even want to be on the same level as the Marvel movies. Who knows, maybe Wonder Woman will change that when her solo movie finally comes out in June. But if you don’t want to wait until Ben Affleck releases his solo Batman movie (and it has been confirmed that it is happening) there’s The LEGO Batman Movie coming out next month and that looks pretty good, especially since LEGO Batman was the best part of The LEGO Movie. Who knows? Maybe Justice League will be good, but since that’s also being directed by Zack Snyder, I hope you will forgive me if I’m not jumping for joy.


My number four movie of the year is Rogue One. Now I know what you’re thinking: Why is a Star Wars movie number three? Well, granted that Force Awakens was number one last year (mainly because it was the only movie I saw in theaters last year) it would seem biased of me to put it up there solely because it’s a Star Wars movie. But seriously, it’s not that I don’t like the movie. I do. In fact, it’s the one true prequel to the original trilogy. But it’s not without its flaws which unlike the prequels are minor. But probably the deciding factor for me was the fact that I wasn’t really all that invested in the lead actors. But for all its flaws, Rogue One more than makes up for it with a very strong supporting cast, the very long-awaited return of Darth Vader being a badass, the really gorgeous locations, the more realistic tone of the movie and probably the best space battle since Return of the Jedi. I won’t really get into this too much since it’s still in theaters but if you want to hear more, I recommend listening to my podcast review of it. Otherwise, I do recommend seeing this in theaters. Check it out while you can.

Now moving on to number 3 which is Star Trek Beyond and this was actually a good movie. I am a bit bummed out that it didn’t do well, especially since Anton Yelchin who plays Chekov died in a freak accident a month before the movie hit theaters. But like I said, a lot of why this movie didn’t do well was probably because of the ongoing legal battle between CBS and the fan-based Internet productions, most notably Axanar even after both JJ Abrams and Fast and Furious director Justin Lin (who directed this movie) stepped in to settle the dispute. Legal problems aside, this movie actually brought the feel of the original series back to Star Trek, especially after the last one felt like a rip-off of Wrath of Khan and a lot of that is attributed to Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty in these movies and is a die-hard fan of the original series.) Sure, we see the Enterprise destroyed for the umpteenth gagillionith time, but we get to see more character development, most notably between Spock and Bones which was actually a staple of the original series and movies that was missing in the first two reboot films. It was also great that they decided to honor Leonard Nimoy after his death in 2015. And as far as the Chekov thing goes, it was pretty smart of JJ Abrams to say that he is not planning to recast Chekov for future movies which is the way to go. And I do hope they make another one of these movies.

My number 2 is Captain America: Civil War. Like Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes through once again with this action-packed epic battle between Captain America and Iron Man. In short, this movie is Batman vs. Superman done right. In fact, one of the things I said about this movie was “Give Batman and Superman back to Marvel,” mainly because Marvel knows what the hell they’re doing with their characters and their movies. They know how to combine action and humor into their movies not to mention that their characters are fleshed out better. In a way, this felt more like Avengers 3 than Captain America 3 because it has two groups of Avengers fighting each other with some of the newer characters fighting on Team Iron Man including Black Panther and finally introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time, Spider-Man now played by Tom Holland. And he was easily the best character in the movie. Again the Winter Soldier takes center stage just like in the previous film The Winter Soldier which is basically Marvel’s version of The Dark Knight in terms of tone and style. But there’s still enough humor in it to keep it from getting totally dark.

And I am looking forward to more from the Marvel Universe, especially Spider-Man: Homecoming which comes out Fourth of July weekend and also Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which comes out in May. You see, DC. This is how you make a superhero movie franchise.

And now we’re up to the big moment. We know it’s not a Star Wars movie that’s number one and it’s not a Marvel movie (even though it is based on a Marvel character) that’s number one. And I guess you pretty much knew that this was coming that I would announce this as my number one, especially since it’s on a lot of people’s number one lists this year and while there was buzz that it could get major Oscar buzz but unfortunately it was shut out. But all is not lost because it's the best movie on this list. So without further ado, my number one movie is … Deadpool.

What can I say? This is definitely one of the best comic book movie I’ve ever seen and it’s also one of the most well put-together movies I’ve ever seen. This film not only did the character justice after the horrible travesty of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but it also manages to poke fun at not only the X-Men Origins Deadpool, but also pokes fun at Green Lantern which was Ryan Reynolds’ other failed attempt at a superhero movie and even pokes fun at Ryan Reynolds himself. And of course, that’s all in character for this movie because Deadpool is famous for breaking the fourth wall. And the movie had probably the best marketing campaign of any movie I’ve ever seen. It also proved that an R-rated comic book movie can be successful for better or worse. Then again, the R-rating didn’t seem to help the animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke. But then again, I shouldn’t really count that because it was originally supposed to be released to DVD. But we’ll see how Logan does when that gets released with an R-rating in March. 

In fact, there was a campaign going around to get Deadpool an Oscar nomination for Best Picture which means that if it happened it could finally be the first comic book movie to win the award for Best Picture since the Academy expanded their choices from five to ten in 2010 in the wake of The Dark Knight being snubbed for the award in 2009 despite getting a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the late Heath Ledger for his portrayal of the Joker. Unfortunately, like I said Deadpool got shut out nomination-wise. But I still hope Ryan Reynolds goes to the Oscars dressed up as Deadpool. That costume they made for the movie is awesome! I like how they managed to get the mask to emote which I’m guessing helped Marvel out when they were designing their Spider-Man costume for Civil War.

And more Deadpool is on the horizon with Deadpool 2 being directed by the same man who directed John Wick and to that I say “Whoa.” In Keanu Reeves' voice, of course. And just think if that movie is well-received both critically and commercially and it too wins an Oscar for Best Picture it will definitely match the first two Godfather movies. But then again, it’s wishful thinking to even mention Deadpool in the same breath as The Godfather. But either way, Deadpool is here to stay.


And that wraps up my Top 5 Movies of 2016. I guess I better stock up on movie passes because 2017 will be a pretty busy year. We got LEGO Batman. We got Logan. We got The Fate of the Furious (aka Fast and Furious 8.) We got Guardians 2. We got Wonder Woman. We got Power Rangers. We got Spider-Man: Homecoming. We got Thor: Ragnarok. We got Justice League. And the icing on the cake, Star Wars: Episode 8, now officially known as The Last Jedi. And with all those movies, I know one movie I won’t be watching: Fifty Shades Darker!  But at the same time, I will also be showing some things already on DVD. So this should be a good year. And next year, hopefully I will be able to expand this into a Top 10 list.

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