As we look back at 2016. we take stock on what a shitty year it was in oh so many ways. The last few days of a year also means that you’ll be seeing lists of the best movies of the year all over the web, and I’m no exception.
Overall I thought 2016 was a pretty good year for movies. In some ways it was actually a better year than 2015, even though we still got a mountain of sequels and other franchise installments. And the few original films we did get, didn’t really click with general audiences.
Anyways, some of my top 10 choices may surprise you, and what’s not on the list may surprise you too. For instance, I only saw one animated movie this year, so no “Finding Dory” or “Sing” on this list. Before I get to my top 10 movies of 2016, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1. I ranked the movies after watching them at least twice. Meaning my earlier reviews may not always apply.
2. There are some movies I haven’t seen, so don’t be shocked if “Assassin’s Creed,” “Passengers,” “La La Land,” and other big movies are missing.
I think that about covers it all. So now, without further ado, here are my top 10 movies of 2016:
10. Eddie The Eagle
Sadly, “Eddie the Eagle” came and went without making much of an impact at the box office. That’s a shame, because Eddie was the feel-good movie of the year, with wonderful performances from Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton.
“Eddie the Eagle” takes a lot of liberties with the real story of Eddie Edwards. But this does not diminish how fun this movie is. Heck, even my mother in law liked this movie, and she hates sports.
“Arrival” is one of, if not the smartest sci-fi movie in years. It features a unique first encounter story, compelling performances by Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker.
The story can be a bit confusing, my mother in law still doesn’t get it. But if you pay attention you won’t be lost, and there are a few clues sprinkled throughout to tell you what the heck is really going on in the film.
8. The Jungle Book
After months of avoiding this movie, I finally decided to watch it this week. I didn’t expect to like “The Jungle Book” because how could it possibly live up to the hype?
But I didn’t just enjoy “The Jungle Book,” I actually loved it. How is it possible that the live action film is better than the animated original? Even Bill Murray was funny, and I’ve never been a Bill Murray fan.
The one thing in the movie that could have used a little work was Christopher Walken’s singing, ’cause eek, it was bad.
7. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
If you haven’t seen Dawn of Justice, skip the theatrical version and go straight to the extended cut of the movie. Yeah, it’s a bit long at 3 hours, but every subplot will make sense, and even some other scenes will fit in better with the overall story.
The extended cut is a far superior cut to the mess that Warner Bros. released last March. But regardless of the version you choose, the fact remains that the best parts of this movie are Battfleck and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
I’ll keep this one short: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is the best prequel in the Star Wars series, and one of the best films in the series period.
5. Captain America: Civil War
Despite Civil War having very little in common to the comic book series, I loved this movie. With this one film. Marvel repositioned their entire movie universe for the next phase.
And even if you’re not a Marvel fan, the introduction of a new Spider-Man and and Black Panther, as well the airport battle sequence are worth the price of admission.
I’m still a little freaked out about the Vision wearing sweaters and cooking, but that’s a whole different story.
4. Doctor Strange
It’s not secret that Marvel has a formula to its movies. So for a newbie to come out of nowhere and shake things up is very exciting.
This was an origin story but it didn’t feel weighed down by that. This movie was funny, exciting, and even heartbreaking at times. “Doctor Strange” is one of the best movies Marvel had done, right up there with the first Iron Man and the Winter Soldier.
3. Suicide Squad
Could “Suicide Squad” have been better? Absolutely.
The script could have been sharper, the Joker should have been the only villain, and the plot needed some major editing before shooting began.
However, there was plenty of good stuff in “Suicide Squad too. For one thing Will Smith finally made me care about Deadshot, and Battfleck played a bigger role in the movie than I thought he would.
But the best part of this movie? My girl Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.
Come on, did you really think this movie wasn’t going to make the list?
This box-office-record-breaking film proves that cursing, an R rating, and breaking the fourth wall can successfully capture audiences. And it can also revive ailing careers.
1. The Legend of Tarzan
Surprised? Yeah me too. But I’ve seen “The Legend of Tarzan” four times now, and every time I see it, I like it even more and more. This is the best live-action Tarzan movie I’ve seen, and I’ve seen plenty of them.
I also enjoyed the fact that Jane was a badass too, not just a damsel in distress. But I suppose it helped that Margot Robbie played Jane in “The Legend of Tarzan.” It should be clear by now that I’m willing to pay any amount to simply watch her walk across the screen.
As of yesterday morning, Denzel Washington’s “The Magnificent Seven” was in my top 10 list. Then yesterday I decided to watch “The Jungle Book,” and loved it. But I wanted to make sure before I bumped something off the list, so last night I watched it again, and it was clear “The Jungle Book deserved a top 10 spot.
So with all due respect to Denzel and the rest of the Magnificent Seven, you simply couldn’t compete with an entire movie of CGI animals that proved once and for all tat Scarlett Johansson is sexy in any way shape or form.
It was a quiet weekend at the box office, with little to to competition for DC’s trinity of heroes. Now, everyone and their mother knew “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was going drop in week two. The question was: how bad would the fall be?
With an estimated $52.3 million weekend, the film dropped 68.4% in its sophomore week. This is the fifth largest drop of all-time for a film opening over $100 million. Or to put it another way: Batman V Superman’s second weekend drop is on par with last year’s “Fantastic Four,” which dropped 68.2% in its second weekend. But unlike Fant4stic, Dawn of Justice has actually made money.
Internationally, Batman v Superman added an estimated $85 million this weekend as its worldwide total now climbs to $682.8 million. The film has already surpassed the entire global returns of its predecessor “Man of Steel” ($668m). So things aren’t all bad for the cowl and the boy scout.
In the aftermath of Superman and General Zod’s battle over Metropolis in “Man of Steel,” sister cities Metropolis and Gotham are still picking up the pieces almost two years later. Now, goverment leaders try to make sense of this new world where aliens with strange powers live among them.
Despite playing a key role in the destruction of Metropolis, some people see Superman (Henry Cavill) as a super-powered savior who intervenes whenever innocent life is in danger. Others however, view him as an unchecked alien menace who is not accountable to anyone and as a possible threat to humanity.
One of Superman’s biggest critics is Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), who is convinced the Man of Steel is both a magnet for otherworldly threats as well as a liability, should the Kryptonian ever turn on the people of Earth. As show in the opening moments of the film, Bruce suffered a personal loss in the battle for Metropolis, and ever since, his Batman has turned even more ruthless than ever before.
After seeing Batman’s brutality on display, Superman determines that Batman’s choice to operate outside of the law does more harm than good, and vows to put an end to Gotham’s vigilante. However, as Batman and Superman prepare for a showdown, a major new threat is rising.
“Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” is a very grimm film that spends a lot of time establishing this DC world. For the first big chunk of the movie we get to see how Superman’s arrival has affected everyone from regular people, to politicians, to vigilantes, to sociopathic tech moguls. So for those hoping that a significant portion of the film’s is dedicated to the Bats vs supes fight, you might be dissapointed.
But to be fair, director Zack Snyder didn’t have an easy task: introduce the world to new versions of three iconic characters (Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lex Luthor), explore their ideological differences and similarities, and set the table for all future DC film installments.
Although I had problems with the film’s pacing at times, I thought Zack Snyder did a pretty damn good job all things considered. Dawn of Justice delivers on the action and the emotional stuff. I get why Batman is so pissed at Superman. I also get why Superman is conflicted about his role in the world. And I understand why the goverment is apprehensive about trusting Superman.
As far as the acting goes, Henry Cavill delivers another solid performance as Superman, but at times it did feel like he was playing a third wheel to Batman and Wonder Woman. Cavill was just not given enough to do, and sometimes he seemed even more depressed than Bruce Wayne. But his more low key scenes with his mom and Lois were pretty damn good.
And what of Ben Affleck’s aged Dark Knight? Well, belive it or not, he could be the best and most exciting Batman ever. He’s brutal, intimidating, and scary. My only problem with this Dark Knight was the fact that he’s basically a serial killer. But, its hinted that he’s been through hell and back, so maybe that’s why he’s a bit crazy at times.
Regardless of that, I want a Batman solo movie now, not two or three years from now. I want to see what led this Batman down this path, i want to see more of his world. Oh yeah, and Jeremy Irons as Alfred? Perfect casting.
I’m gonna skip talking about Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor because I still don’t know what to make of him. But if you like Eisenberg’s acting, I guess you’ll be happy?
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) on the other hand, steaks the movie– both as Diana Prince and as a fully-armored amazonian warrior. She got the loudest cheer from the audience, and its easy to tell she’ll be a fan favorite when her movie arrives next year.
Do I wish Wonder Woman been in BvS more? Sure I do as do many others., But I understand why they limited her screen time. Plus it makes me excited to see her solo movie, so basically, the tease worked.
2013’s “Man of Steel” was an incredibly divisive film. It was one fo those movies that you either loved or hated. I for one, enjoyed a different take on Superman, and even named “Man of Steel” one of my favorite movies that year.
Anyways, its clear that “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” is even more controversial than its predecessor. Critics hate the movie, but that’s not really surprising. And even fans who didn’t like the movie, went to see it.
Did I have some issues with the movie? Yes I did. BvS could have been shorter, and the script could have used a polish. The pace could have been a little smoother too. But at the end of the day, Dawn of Justice did a good job of introducing new versions of favorite charcters, and it made me excited to see what is coming next.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” final score: 8
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” gave a big middle finger to movie critics everywhere this weekend, bringing home an estimated $424.1 million worldwide.
The record-breaking performance saw the super-hero film set a new domestic March opening weekend record and it also became the largest domestic opening for Warner Bros. ever.
Despite negative reviews and a 29% rating on RottenTomatoes, Dawn on Justitce opened with an estimated $170.1 million, easily topping the March opening weekend record previously held by the first Hunger Games movie ($152.5 million).
Assuming these estimates hold, and there’s no reason to think they won’t, BvS will also top the $169.1 million “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” opened with in 2011, making it the largest domestic opening for the studio.
As if that wasn’t enough, this is also the largest Easter opening of all time, topping the $147.1 million brought in by “Furious 7” just last year. And there’s more! Dawn of Justice now owns the largest opening for a film based on a DC Comics property, a record previously held by 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises” at $160.8 million.
As far as the audience perspective goes, Batman v Superman received a “B” CinemaScore with a “B-” coming from men, which made up 62% of the audience, and “B” from women. And for what its worth: audience members under the age of 18, however, scored it an “A-“.
The film brought in an estimated $254 million internationally this weekend, giving it the fifth largest international opening weekend of all-time. The global opening of $424.1 million is the fourth largest of all-time. Setting all sorts of records is one thing, how the film holds up from here is another.
Coming in third place with an estimated $18.1 million, Universal’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” finished just as manuy expected, pulling in a solid $5,784 per theater average from 3,133 theaters. The film scored an “A-” CinemaScore, which will likely help it over the next few weeks.
I doubt the sequel will be as popular as the original film. But chances are the new movie didn’t cost a ton of money to produce, so it should make a profit for the studio.
Holey moley, this is it people!
Can you bleeping believe it? After nearly three years of waiting, the blockbuster movie we’ve all been waiting for is finally here:
Well, that one too I guess…
With “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” getting closer and closer, last week I told you about 5 underrated Batman stories, now it’s the big blue boy scout’s turn.
A list of 5 underrated Superman storis was a little bit tougher to come up with, since Superman hasn’t always been one of my favorites. I’ve read his book for a few months here and there, But after a while I’d turn my attention to something else. In fact, the last time I read the Superman line on a regular basis was way back during the “Our Worlds at War” mega event. Which was fifteen or so years ago now I believe.
Anywho, just like the Batman post, my underrated Superman story list features a few stories you probably missed when they first came out. But remember: Just like the previous list, these comic stories are by no means necessary to enjoy “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” in theaters.
They’re just good comic stories you might enjoy before or after seeing the movie. And away we go:
Red Glass! (1991)
Adventures of Superman #479 and Action Comics #666
“Red Glass!” was written by James D. Hudnall, with art by Ed Hannigan and Willie Blyberg. In this three issue arc, Superman suddenly finds himself in a world where all his arch villains have been slain…by him. And the public at large lives in fear of what he may do next. Can the Man of Steel solve this mystery and find out what is happening before it’s too late?
I chose “Red Glass!” as one of the 5 underrated stories because this was the firs Superman solo story I ever read. It was the summer of 1991, and I was spending a few weeks on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (Nags Head to be exact).
Not far from the house my family rented, there was a gas station with a 7-11 attached to it. Right by the front door, there was a comic rack, so every morning I’d make the walk to the store for some comics. As luck would have it, on one of these trips I found all three parts to “Red Glass!” and scooped them up.
I read and re-read those three comics for the next two weeks. I took them to bed, I took them to the beach, when we’d go to a restaurant. You name it. I liked the story beacuse it was confussing, mysterious, and creepy. But mainly because you didn’t know what was going on until the very end. Now the payoff may not be a great one by today’s standards, but the memories “Red Glass!” gave me will never fade.
Superman: Speeding Bullets (1993)
One of the best Elseworlds tales of the 1990s came courtesy of writer J.M. DeMatteis and artist Eduardo Barreto. The creative team asked and incredible question: What if Kal-El had landed in Gotham City and was found by the Waynes?
In Speeding Bullets, Thomas and Martha Wayne raise Kal-El as Bruce Wayne, until Joe Chill takes their life one fateful evening in Crime Alley. Except this time, the murder of the Waynes is what sparks the appearance of Kal-El’s powers, incinerating Chill accidentally with his heat vision.
What really grabbed me about thes book was the cover featuring a flying Batman. But make no mistake, this is a Superman story about how even in different circumstances, the Man of Steel will find his way.
Superman For All Season #1-4 (1998)
Fresh off their Batman masterpiece “The Long Halloween,” writer/artist team Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale reconnected for a tale about Superman’s early years and gave the character a refreshing sense of grandeur and plety of old school Americana.
The 4 issue mini-series is structured around the four seasons and narrated by four key characters in Clark’s life – Pa Kent, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, and Lana Lang. “Superman: For All Seasons” is basically a coming-of-age tale; it’s more the story of Clark Kent growing up and maturing and ultimately accepting his place in the world, both as Superman and as Clark.
But All Seasons is not an origin story of a superhero as it is the origin story of a man that happens to be a superhero. And for what its worth, I think the “Smallville,” tv show a took many inspirations from this mini-series.
The Man of Steel #3 (1986)
“One Night in Gotham City…”
Coming just a few months after “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” John Byrne’s “The Man of Steel” 6 issue series updated the saga of Superman for modern audiences, changing certain aspects of the character in the process.
The entire mini-series is worth checking out, but my favorite issue is the #3 which finds Superman in Gotham City and at odds with the brutal vigilante, Batman.
I bought this issue at a flea market for a dime. but little did I know how that dime would change my comic book life. For one thing, Man of Steel #3 introduced me to John Byrne, and whatever you think of the man now, dude can draw a kick-ass Batman. Also, I just loved seeing Batman out-think Superman.
And finally, even though Bats and Supes were best buds pre-Crisis, I felt like I got to witness the beginnings of a new friendship between DC’s biggest stars. A dime well spent I think…
Superman #68 (1992)
“Sins of the Father!” part 1
Written and drawn by Dan Jurgens, with inks by Brett Breeding. This issue of Superman guest-stars Deathstroke The Terminator (Slade Wilson), who is a wanted man all over the world. Metropolis P.D. tries to bring him down at the airport, but Lucy Lane is wounded in the shootout, and now the Man of Steel sets out to bring down one of the most dangerous men alive!
This was the first time I’d ever heard of Deathstroke. This one little issue sent me out to New England Comic to track down his battles with the Titans, and the the early issues of his monthly book. Of course the battle with Superman all over Metropolis helped fuel my Deathstroke addiction too!