Thursday, December 29, 2016

Year in Movies

Since I feel confident I won't see another movie this year, here is my end-of-year movies post.

I'm splitting the list between In-Theater and On-Demand-on-TV.

Seen in the theater:

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens...An excellent return to the Star Wars universe, washing away the horrible taste of the "Clone Wars" trilogy. Rey is a wonderful character. A bittersweet ending, made more bittersweet in light of Carrie Fisher's recent death.
  2. Hail Caesar... Not much story here, but a fun rolic, with excellent musical numbers and a wonderful cast, about a studio fixer in old Hollywood.
  3. Room... I loved the book and the movie did justice to this story about a kidnapped young woman who gives birth to a child while in captivity and plots her escape with her son. Jacob Tremblay is amazing as the young boy, and Brie Larson is excellent as his mother.
  4. Spotlight... Based on the true story about the reporters who doggedly pursued the story of child abuse in the Catholic Church in Boston. Understated and moving, an all-around excellent job.
  5. Deadpool.... Marvel's "Merc with a Mouth" come to life. Ryan Reynolds was born to play the foul-mouthed superhero. Not for everyone, but I loved it.
  6. Captain America: Civil War... Marvel's Captain America movies are among their best. This one pits Iron Man against Captain America, with the Winter Soldier caught in the middle. I loved it.
  7. Star Trek Beyond.... Once again, the Enterprise is destroyed, but they get that out of the way early so they can focus on the story, and it was thrilling and fun and ties into the past. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  8. Doctor Strange... A movie that's best seen on the big screen due to the amazing effects. Not my favorite Marvel movie, but an enjoyable one.
  9. Arrival... Science fiction at its most thoughtful, as a team of researchers attempts to communicate with aliens who have shown up on Earth in the not-too-distant future. Excellent.
  10. Rogue One... A standalone Star Wars story that tells how the Alliance got the plans for the Death Star just prior to Star Wars: A New Hope. I started the year with Star Wars and ended it with Star Wars. Most fitting.

Seen at Home, On TV, On Demand:

  1. Carol... A moving story about a young woman mid-20th century coming to terms with her gayness.
  2. Ricki and the Flash... Not as good as I'd hoped, but a watchable movie about an aging rock singer and the family from which she's estranged.
  3. Big Eyes... An entertaining look at the woman behind the paintings of the big-eyed people that were once enormously popular.
  4. Anomalisa... An unusual animated film.
  5. Concussion... Will Smith gives a fine, understated performance as the medical practitioner who uncovers the dangers of concussions in football players.
  6. Suffragette... The fight for women's rights in England makes for a good and timely historical movie.
  7. Brooklyn... I'm not a big romance fan, but this story about an immigrant in the previous century who has to choose between her new life in Brooklyn and her old one in Ireland is a good one.
  8. The Danish Girl... Eddie Redmayne is amazing as probably the first transgender man to undergo surgery to become a woman. A lovely movie.
  9. Captain Fantastic... A moving story well performed about an unorthodox family living outside civilization and forced back to it after the mother dies.
  10. The Big Short... Any movie that can make questionable financial practices so entertaining is a good movie.
  11. Paddington... Utterly charming. I'm happy there will be a sequel.