Best of the Year 2016 – Garth’s picks
After the guest Best of the Year picks earlier this month (see here), time for the first Best Of from our own blog crew, and first out the gates this year is our resident movie fiend, Garth Cremona, who, appropriately enough, gives us am all-film Best Of selection from the last twelve months:
It’s that time of year where we look back on the films that we’ve seen, you all will do it in your own way, I’m going to do it here, because I love you, and you feel it. This is the top ten in no particular order of films that I’ve reviewed for this wonderful site. There has never been a more Geek Friendly year for cinema. The standard of films targeted at comic lovers and horror lovers has risen and we should be thankful and supportive for that. If there are films here that you have not seen or even heard of yet, then I urge you to find a legal way to pay for the films, some of these films had a small budget, and also it’s the right thing to do. Going to stop preaching now and let you in on my top ten.
Zootropolis (or Zootopia)
Disney brought us a complete world where a plucky young Rabbit moved to the big city and overcame her size and species to be a police officer. It’s not just a great story or superb animation, it’s the little details in the background which you have to watch this film time and time again to appreciate. The lives of the animals in Zootropolis no matter where they are in the story are complete and fully fleshed out. (reviewed here)
There are times when you are going to the wonderful IFI Cinema in Dublin where you can see a movie, get drunk, and stuff your face full of food, and you don’t know what you are going to see. I’ve mentioned that I don’t watch more than one trailer, none if I can manage it, and don’t do research on films before they are shown to me. This is why. This is a horror movie with a twist that would impress the best thriller writers and directors in the business. Twin boys start to wonder if their mother is the real mother. What ever you do, if you are a fan of horror films, then you should check this one out.
Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner star in this imaginative and clever Science Fiction film which does not play on the high profile special effects just damn good storytelling. When a group of spaceships come to earth each country has to try find the purpose of their arrival. First though they have to learn how to communicate with the beings. Incredible performances are needed here to bring the story to life and thankfully Adams and the rest of the cast do so with ease. (reviewed here)
10 Cloverfield Lane
What they called a spiritual sequel to Cloverfield is just an amazing science fiction film where most of the science fiction pieces are not shown. John Goodman deserves an Oscar for the role of the over cautious doomsday prepper who has brought his handyman and a female accident victim to his bunker when an attack hits America. For some reason this didn’t dominate the year and I think it’s because of the original Cloverfield, which I sort of have a soft spot for, and people thought it was going to be a run of the mill sci fi tale. It’s anything but that.
My love of John Carpenter brought the next two films onto this list, without John Carpenter having anything to do with the production of either film. First Green Room. A young punk rock band are playing in a club for Neo Nazi’s and witness a murder, they are then locked into the Green Room while the Nazi group decide what they are going to do. The feeling of Assault on Precinct 13 here is overwhelming and the performances of Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart are great. Patrick Stewart gave me chills and it ruined The Next Generation and X-Men for me with his stillness and evil.
I am not a Serial Killer
The second John Carpenter style film that for me gave that feeling of Halloween and The Thing mixed with a feeling of the John Hughes 80’s films. An unpopular teen who lives and works in the local mortuary has a fascination with death and believes that he is a serial killer in the making. When a serial killer is stalking his city it brings to the surface his feelings. The killer is revealed and it’s not what you are expecting. Those of you that know The Thing will already guess where it’s going and the young performer Max Records has a great future and a great name. (reviewed here)
A Monster Calls
Technically this is not out until January 1st but I got to see it in December and here we are. The film is about a boy who is being sadistically bullied in school while going through a home life that sees him dealing with the possible loss of his mother through cancer. The easiest way to tell you about this wonderful mix of fantasy and heartbreak is that there was not one dry eye in the house after the screening, mine included. Wonderfully acted with a great fantasy element there is little left to say other than this is perfection! (reviewed here)
Kubo and the Two Strings
This stop motion animation brought a tale that was dark, funny, honest, and marvelous. The time that this company took to bring us this magic was worth every second. Mixing the best of stop motion and fluid, but minimal, computer animation this just made me smile for the entire running time while also giving a few chills when Kubo’s family turns up to claim him. (reviewed here)
Deadpool is for me the Superhero movie of the year, and some of you will complain that he’s not a Superhero, but you know what I mean. Ryan Reynolds brings the totally insane and indestructible character to the big screen. We had sort of seen Wade Wilson before on screen but, for a lot of fans, we have never really seen Deadpool. The reason I’ve got to include it on this list is that it brings an almost perfect adaptation from page to screen and the characterisation is nailed. (reviewed here)
Just what the Marvel Cinematic Universe needed. I’m sure you’re all going to say what about Civil War? Well Civil War got the heart racing and gave us drama no doubt, but for me the big Marvel movies are getting a little bit more of the same. When we get a film that is like Doctor Strange or Ant Man we get something different to the Avenger led movies. Doctor Strange was a psychedelic wild ride bringing the magic into the Marvel Universe. This changes so much for the upcoming movies that it’s going to be a more interesting ride. (reviewed here)
So that’s it for another year. I’ll have two weeks off reviewing before starting the list for 2017. Hopefully next year my much loved DC Comics will have a few movies on this list, I live in hope for that. Every year it’s the films I don’t know anything about that bring the most satisfaction to my cinema going experience, films like Goodnight Mommy or I am not a Serial Killer. If I was not doing this job for this wonderful company I would miss these films. So take a chance yourselves over the next twelve months and support smaller films. Until the next time. No matter what way you spend this time of year, be safe, be kind, be entertained and support the things and people you love!