Part 1 – Films I missed out on this year
I’m kind of miffed with the amount of films I missed this year. When I tallied the 2016 films I’d seen vs missed, it came to 42 vs 48. Damn.
I was incredibly dissapointed to take a whole year to not see big 2016 Oscar contenders that I really wanted to see like Room, A Bigger Splash, Son of Saul, and Anomalisa. I have no excuses I know.
I think that photo aptly expressess my emotions at not having seen Anomalisa.
I somehow managed to see all the live action DC releases from this year but somehow managed to not see Batman: The Killing Joke and Captain America: Civil War, to be fair that Captain America: Civil War hype is really going down. It’s almost as if it was a pretty good movie that critics and fans latched onto in the middle of a summer of lacklustre summer blockbuster releases. Oh wait…
There were a whole pleathora of indie/indie spirited films I was so excited for that I know I would have just loved that I miss out on seeing and I may never forgive myself. These films include King Jack, Sing Street, Embrace of the Serpent, and Men & Chicken. Sing Street in particular. As well as this, there are a few such films coming out this Oscar season or in Oscar talks that embody what seems lost; lower/midbudget films, that aren’t horror films, that do actually OK. Such as; Swiss Army Man, American Honey, Hell or High Water, Captain Fantastic and the new Pedro Almodovar film Julietta.
Two films I was particularly cheezed off at missing, that look like I would have absolutely loved above most others on this list are Jane Austen adaptation Love & Friendship which just looks beautiful; and adult fairytale compilation Tale of Tales which looks like Pan’s Labyrinth for a new generation.
Four really interesting, unusual films that I’ve missed out on catching towards the end of the year, films that maybe you might not have seen that I’d be really intersted in giving voice to as I’ve tried to with films like I Am Not A Serial Killer, are; strippers vs zombies horror festival breakout Peelers that I wasn’t able to catch at the LIFF but have been in touch with the films PR people and they’re lovely. The film hasn’t gotten picked up for distribtion, home or cinema as far as I know and it’s shame because I really don’t know how I’m going to see it and I’m desperate to; Japanese gender-bending anime box office sensation Your Name, which it’s dissapointingly hard to see in UK although I nearly did before selling my ticket to a good friend of mine who forgot to actually buy a fucking ticket, because that’s how good a friend I am; I missed Raw at the LIFF as well because I was going home that weekend, which is a shame because any film that people pass out watching I want to see; also, coming of age comedy Edge of Seventeen which looks like Perks of Being A Wallflower for a new generation.
Other films I missed this year that I wanted to see include; Boulevard, I Am Belfast, Eye in the Sky, When Marnie Was There, Where To Invade Next, The Conjouring 2, The BFG, Nerve, The Shallows, Weiner-Dog, Lights Out, War Dogs, Morgan, Ouija: Origin of Evil, The Accountant, and A Streetcat Named Bob, because who doesn’t love a good bit of schmaltzy schmaltz.
Part 2 – Top 12 List
Yeah I’m doing a top 12 suck it it’s my blog, LET’S COUNT IT DOWN
12. 10 Cloverfield Lane
It doesn’t quite crack the top 10, and maybe although it doesn’t seem to herald the great blockbuster revolution we all hoped, this is still a taut and tense thriller/horror filled with great performances.
11. Hail, Ceasar!
I seemed to be the only person laughing at the new Coen Brothers comedy, maybe because as a fan of theirs I’m in tune with their off beat rhytms. It’s also incredibly well shot, filled with wonderful musical numbers, and is put together with a love for the film itself, and film itself. It upsets the ‘George Clooney Is An Idiot’ trilogy they’d all been working on together, but if Douglas Adams can do it why can’t the Coen Brothers? I ask you…
10. Nocturnal Animals
This cerebral psycho-sexual noir western thriller is an incredible feat of narrative story telling and practical filmmaking, it’s well acted if for the most part a detactched, cold experience. You will think for a good few days after seeing this movie
9. Star Trek Beyond
I talked in my Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency review, (here), about my experience seeing this with my mother. If you ever think I’m somehow anti-blockbuster, somehow pretnetious, somehow anti-just-having-fun-in-a-cinema then just looked at how many full buckets of fun I had with this space adventure. It’s better than Rogue One!
8. Get Better: A Film About Frank Turner
I didn’t write a review of this film, mainly because with uni work I just left it too long to still be fresh, but this film is a love letter to Frank Turner’s music and also an investigation of Frank Turner as a person, and an investigation of what it means to consider yourself a punk musician. It’s also a great investigation into the writing process, it has a great sequences of building the song Josephine up from the vocals up and it really works in a cinematic way as well as a musical way. It’s, in a word, a joy. It’s gotten some really sniffy reviews but in a way Frank Turner is a supringly easy target because of just how much he puts himself out there and puts himself into the music he makes. A superior rock-doc, I actually left on the verge of tears.
7. The Nice Guys
Shane Black’s back with another neo noir comedy. Instead of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which was very much a noir pastiche, this is very much a more mature, comedic thriller with a cereer best comedic performance from Ryan Gosling. A staunchly entertaining fiev star comedy that captures the period detail supremely.
Yeah bet your didn’t expect to see an animated family flick on this list did you! However, this funny, poignant, subversive, and colourful film has substance and humour for audience members of all ages.
Ok so this is my favourite non horror film of the year, I don’t know what it is or why or how but the top four are all, in one roundabout way or another, either horror films or in the vein of or inspired by them. However this is a great film, it made me cry, which seems to be simultaneously really easy and really hard for a movie, but this thriller sets Villeneuve up perfectly for Blade Runner 2049, even if the aspects that do that maybe aren’t perfect for this film, it still works really well.
4. The Neon Demon
Haters will be haters, this is a great fucking movie. It’s a trippy psychadelic horror thriller giallo surrealist head spinner that just gets better upon rewatches. I reviewed this right after Performance, another film that aims for a similarly surrealist acid trip with some kind of substantial point, and The Neon Demon just does it so much better.
3. Don’t Breathe
I know I put this above I Am Not A Serial Killer in the end of the month list, but on reflection I think IANASK is better. That doesn’t mean though that Don’t Breathe isn’t absolutely fucking incredible because it is. It should have had more people singing it’s praises, if anything just from a filmmaking perspective because it is really deserved. This top 3 was incredibly, incredibly close.
2. I Am Not A Serial Killer
This film starts of looking somewhat generic but it turns very quickly into somethig much more badass. It’s, really, really incredible; really powerful. I don’t want to spoil anything about it but it’s great, and it has the best performance from Christopher Lloyd maybe of his whole career.
1. The Witch
In my review I voiced concerns with the ending but on consideration I take it all back, I need to watch it a few more times for it to certify itself but this might be a perfect film, something I bestow very, very rarely to a film. If it is, it’ll go right to my 3rd favourite film ever which would be some feat. Wish it luck!