2016 has only recently taken the wheel from 2015, and you know what that means!
That’s right! It’s time for my list of Top Ten 2016 Movies That Will Inevitably Disappoint Me!
2016 has only recently taken the wheel from 2015, and you know what that means!
That’s right! It’s time for my list of Top Ten 2016 Movies That Will Inevitably Disappoint Me!
Honestly, I actually had stuff I wanted to post before reviewing Star Wars. I had a WTF for X-Men: Apocalypse on the docket. I had a review of Spotlight in development. Hell, I may have gotten around to finishing the last two entries in that DeathMatch that I’ve procrastinated on for around a year now. But once The Force Awakens took over the world, there was no way I was getting anything done before seeing the most anticipated movie on Planet Earth (I’m not exactly the outlier in this case. It was my most anticipated movie of 2015).
Before getting into the review, I should clarify that this is meant to be a SPOILER-FREE space. If anybody in the comments spoils the movie for those who have yet to see the movie, no matter if they meant any harm or not, their comment is getting removed, no exception. If you feel like spoiling the movie anyways, because you take pleasure in that sort of thing, then I feel the need to point out that you are literally festering human garbage. I shouldn’t have to do this, because I have a fairly limited reader base (and those who usually comment are pretty awesome), but there you go. On with the review.
“As you wish.”
-Boba Fett, The Empire Strikes back
So, it’s that time of the year again. The time when we groggily emerge from our holiday hangovers and start getting back to the drudgery that constitutes our everyday lives, be it through working at a dead-end job, slaving away at school, or being a parent. The fact that, with January now here to stay for a bit, we don’t have much movies to escape to, doesn’t help either.
But, tumultuous first months of the year aside, there are still a lot of movies to look forward to in 2015. The following are the ones that I’m looking forward to the most (And, by extension, the ones you should be looking forward to the most). Just a heads-up, any movie that did not have some form of North American release in 2014 is not included on this list. With that out of the way…
Neill Blomkamp is one of the more promising sci-fi directors working today, having released the great apartheid commentary that was District 9, which ended up overcoming its August release date and sci-fi label en route to a Best Picture nomination, and Elysium, which… Was a comedown, for sure, but it wasn’t bad, despite Jodie Foster’s best efforts.
Chappie definitely looks to be a touch more… Spielbergian than his other movies, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as it means that the movie ends up feeling more like E.T. and less like A.I. The movie is based on a short film directed by Blomkamp named Tetra Vaal, is written by Blomkamp and his wife, Terri Tatchell, and boasts an impressive, eclectic cast, comprising Wolverine, Ripley, Slumdog Millionaire, two members of the South African rave group Die Antwood, and frequent Blomkamp collaborator Sharlto Copley as the eponymous robot. It seems to have everything going for it so far. Here’s hoping District 9 wasn’t just a fluke. I, for one, have hope.
9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2
A lot of people didn’t like the first Mockingjay movie. I am not one of them, although I did feel like it suffered from being split in half. Hopefully, all the tense build-up in the first movie leads up to something, because if it doesn’t, man is that ever going to make a lot of the pacing problems in the first movie less forgivable.
It’s probably gonna be better than Divergent 2 or whatever. At least we can all agree on that.
8. Jurassic World
Fun fact: The first James Bond movie I ever watched was Quantum of Solace. Yeah. Even then I knew that shit sucked. But then I watched Skyfall and Goldfinger, so I think that cancels it out, at least mostly.
So, why am I excited for this movie, despite not being a huge James Bond fan? Well, Christoph Waltz, mostly, but also Cristoph Waltz. However, one must not forget about Christoph Waltz, Christoph Waltz and Christoph Waltz. And don’t even get me started on Christoph Waltz.
6. The Peanuts Movie
Huh. Two Pixar movies coming out this year, and the animated movie I’m most looking forward to is a movie from Blue Sky Studios.
I grew up with the comic strip and the old cartoons, so I really hope that this movie can do justice to Charles Schulz’s legacy, and the trailers were pretty awesome, contemporary pop song notwithstanding. Then again, the only good movie that Blue Sky Studios has ever made is Ice Age way the hell back in 2002, so forgive me if I’m still a little nervous.
No Edgar Wright? No problem!
Okay, in all seriousness, the problems behind the production of Ant-Man are a little worrying, and the trailer wasn’t as mind-blowing as… Another one, but at this point, I think that Marvel’s earned the benefit of the doubt.
4. The Revenant
For my money, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman was the best movie of this past year. The same director with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy doing his bidding? I’m getting manic just thinking about it, and we’re only at number four.
3. The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino is my favourite director and screenwriter, so if I was manic for The Revenant, you can bet your ass that I’m balls-to-the-wall insane with application for this movie.
2. Avengers: Age of Ultron
You may have heard of it.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Wow. It’s 2015, and we’re going to get a new Star Wars movie. Who’da thunk it?
With my luck, it’s going to end up even worse than the Phantom Menace.
I haven’t posted anything in a while, mainly because I’ve been extremely busy with both studying for my final exams and dealing with crippling writers’ block. In the meantime, here’s a quick explanation of the scale I use to review movies. Not exactly riveting, I suppose, but I find that forcing myself to write some mindless filer is a fine way to round myself back into mediocre form.
Hey, I said I had writer’s block, didn’t I?
Anyways, let’s start from the top, shall we?
10/10 (My Highest Possible Recommendation)
There is no such thing as a perfect movie, but these movies are the closest possible things to perfection. Not only should every moviegoer see these films, regardless of whether it’s their preferred genre or not, but they should also be shown in elementary school, so kids learn what can be the result when one strives for excellence.
9/10, 9.5/10 (Classic)
Sure, these movies may not be quite as good as those in the aforementioned category, as they may suffer from minor problems such as small plot holes, slip-ups in tone and dialogue, or children…
…But these problems can be easily overlooked, and overall, these movies could still be considered some of the best in their genre.
8/10, 8.5/10 (Pretty Damn Great)
While an 8/10 movie is still an A-list title and does much more good than bad, its flaws are much more pronounced than in the superior categories (It could be a combination of minor flaws or one big honking eyesore of a flaw), and it may only interest fans of the genre. Most people will enjoy it though, and any filmmaker would be proud to be involved in a movie like this.
7/10, 7.5/10 (Solid)
This rating is officially when some aspects of the movie start to negatively impact my enjoyment of it. It’s still a good movie, and most people would be entertained with it, but it still has a couple of major flaws that may drive other people away. However, it could also be a movie that aims low, but hits surprisingly high (A la RED).
6, 6.5/10 (Meh)
Maybe this movie has something interesting to offer, but the finished product is just mediocre. It likely does have several positive elements, but they’re more or less cancelled out by elements that are mediocre or just plain bad. Fanboys might be fine with it, and the Academy has been known to give nominations to “Meh” movies, but the rest of us probably won’t be too wild about it.
5, 5.5/10 (Your Movie Sucks)
These are some of the most forgettable movies around, as they are pretty much unspecial in every sense of the word. While a “meh” movie might have more positive than negatives (Albeit barely) maybe throwing around some good ideas, performances and whatnot, a sucky movie, while you can’t knock it for being terrible, makes it really hard for the audience to say anything good about it.
4, 4.5/10 (Deficient)
There are very, very little good things going for these movies. Maybe there might be some minor positives in the way of performances or action scenes, but it’s pretty fucking stupid overall. You can still watch it if you’re interested, but I wouldn’t recommend it, and you should all think really hard about your priorities in life before paying money to watch it.
3, 3.5/10 (Turd Sandwich)
Maybe there’s a small group of masochists somewhere out there that may enjoy watching them, but they are few and far between, and I wouldn’t recommend hanging out with them for fear of getting any stupid on you.
Just kidding. Obviously, it’s a matter of opinion, and I’d rather see one of these movies than, say, Amanda Bynes within the limits of my high school, but it’s close.
0-2.5 (Pretty much the worst thing ever)
If, at any point, you find yourself enjoying one of these movies, it’s time to start considering moving to a psych ward, because at this point, it stops becoming a matter of opinion and starts being a matter of mental health. Forget fighting off Amanda Bynes, I’d rather have nails driven into my kneecaps as that fucking Rebecca Black song plays in the background then watch this movie again.
The original Star Wars cast was comprised mostly of unknown actors. That is, actors that, while they may have had bit parts in other films or TV shows, were far from recognizable and would’ve faded away into obscurity if they hadn’t got their big break.
Mark Hamill was just another aspiring actor making his way in Hollywood with small gigs here and there when his friend, fellow actor Robert Englund, suggested that he try out for a part in Star Wars. Hamill, who was already fighting for a role in Apocalypse Now, ended up heeding his terrifying friend’s advice and nailed the audition, landing him the role of the most recognizable hero in movie history. Just one of the many things we have Freddy Krueger to thank for.
Harrison Ford was getting semi-steady work in TV movies, but he was mostly working as a carpenter and was initially hired by George Lucas to read lines for the actors who were actually auditioning for parts. Lucas was so impressed by his reading of the lines that he offered him, the part of Han Solo. Carrie Fisher’s grip on “unknown” status is a little bit more tenuous, as she was born into a celebrity family, but her only role before Star Wars was a small part in a romantic comedy that no one remembers, so I’ll give it to her.
I was pleased to see that the new movies are going by more or less the same route as the original trilogy. The actors chosen to play (What I assume to be) the roles of leading actor, leading lady and lead villain all have ages in the 20-30 year range who haven’t had a very large body of work. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
(All biographical and filmographical info can be found on their respective Wikipedia pages.)
Born: 17 March 1992 in Peckham, London, England
Nationality: English (Nigerian parents)
Notable role: Moses in Attack the Block.
After appearing in several plays, John Boyega first broke out in the British 2011 sci-fi comedy Attack the Block, in which he plays a street tough named Moses who must lead his gang of young, drug-dealing hoodlums in the fight against an invasive species of aliens that take over his neighborhood in Brixton (Which is to London what Harlem is to New York City, from what I’ve heard from British movies and Clash songs.
While the movie was pretty great as a whole, I found that Boyega’s performance was one of, if not the best part of the movie. Indeed, he was widely acclaimed for the film, which netted him a Black Reel Award for Best Actor (The Black Reel Awards are awards dedicated to celebrating the best black filmmakers. Kind of like the BET Awards, except not a total joke). He kind of struck the balance between being a total hardass and thug…
… who can slice up a motherfucker, and being a sympathetic character. Which makes me excited about his role in the upcoming Star Wars movie, in which I’m guessing he’s going to be the lead actor. See, I really don’t want to see a movie centered around the Skywalkers and Han Solo, or their stupid children. I want to see a story about an unlikely, relatable hero saving the day, and John Boyega seems like the type of actor who could deliver in that regard. He has real potential to make a very good first impression, as he’s a better actor than Mark Hamill was in the first Star Wars movie (Call it Episode IV, I dare you) and miles better than whoever the fuck the protagonist was supposed to be in The Phantom Menace.
Catch him next in: Half of a Yellow Sun
Notable role: ….
Man, does anybody know anything about Daisy Ridley? She is pretty much the textbook definition of an unknown actress. The most I know is that she’s had a few minuscule roles in BBC shows and a small upcoming role in a British comedy film named The Inbetweeners 2. Speaking of which, has anyone actually watched the original British Inbetweeners show? I’ve heard it’s good.
Anyways, I’m guessing that Ridley is going to have the leading female role in the movie, although they’re not done casting female roles, apparently. I guess it speaks volumes that she apparently beat out 12 Years a Slave star and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.
Also, she’s insanely hot. Just saying.
Catch her next in: The Inbetweeners 2
Born: November 19, 1983 in San Diego, California
Notable role: Adam Sackler in Girls
Now that I think about it, Adam Driver might not be able to be considered an unknown anymore, since he’s won a damn Emmy for his supporting role in the HBO comedy Girls, and he’s had some supporting roles in movies. Matbe I should have gone with Domhnall Gleeson- ah, screw it.
Driver is widely rumoured to be playing the villain in the new Star Wars and, well, offhand, I can’t think of a reason why he shouldn’t play the part. I’d need to check out Girls though (The TV show, not.. Okay, well that too, I guess). Maybe after I finish this new Game of Thrones season.
Oh fuck! I’ve still gotta finish that Game of Thrones series! Shit!
Catch him next in: Girls, or the upcoming 2015 sci-fi movie, Midnight Special.
To be continued…
Well, I can’t very well pretend this shit didn’t happen, can I?
First, a little backstory: Shortly after filming the wildly successful 60’s period piece/coming of age movie, 1973’s American Grafitti, young writer and director George Lucas started filming his next project, an epic science fiction adventure movie known only as Star Wars, starring up-and-comers Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Lucas’s carpenter, Harrison Ford.
Filming the movie was a total goddamn mess. The actors, especially Ford and veteran supporting actor Alec Guinness, thought the film was a total joke,with Carrie Fisher being the only one with any faith in it. The whole cast didn’t really get along, and George Lucas was extremely frustrated, sinking into depression, with the cast teasing him about it and his relatively limited directing ability. Anthony Daniels, who played a robot, suffered a nasty leg injury when he wore the suit for the first time, and even Mother Nature didn’t cooperate, blessing the set with a heavy rainstorm… In Tunisia.
But the movie, which went $3 million over budget and was thought by the actors and studio executives to be a surefire bomb, was released on May 25, 1977 and instantly became not only the third highest-grossing movie of all time, but also a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. As it turned out, the constant on-set adversity helped Lucas and his peons churn out a damn near perfect adventure movie. The success of the film prompted two sequels (Both written, but not directed by Lucas), 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back (Which is wildly considered to be one of the greatest movie of all time along with it’s predecessor) and 1983’s Return of the Jedi (Which could’ve done without the Ewoks, but is still pretty great). which ended up inspiring potential directors, actors and writers the world over. Even today the impact of the trilogy can still be felt. And the movies still hold up as well. I was born thirteen years after Jedi came out, and all three of these movies are among my top 20 favourites, with Star Wars and Empire easily ranking in the top 5.
However. things started to fall apart after that.
After finishing off the wonderful Indiana Jones franchise, Lucas started penning the infamous script to what was to be the first in a prequel trilogy to the story of Star Wars. Titled The Phantom Menace, Lucas, forsaking his original strategy of casting whichever actor, unknown or famous, that gave the best performance, immediately started casting big-name actors that would guarantee big box office draws. Liam Neeson! Samuel L. Jackson! Ewan MacGregor!
Long story short, apart from a few visual effect, Natalie Portman’s glorious midriff and Mr. Plinkett’s best reviews, the prequels are more or less universally regarded as some of the biggest missed opportunities in cinematic history. Sure, they made George Lucas a shitload of money, but millions of fans around the world felt betrayed that such a beloved series could be do mercilessly tarnished.
And then, Disney happened.
In 2012, Disney bought Lucasfilm, which meant two things: Kingdom Heart’s roster is going to be increased tenfold and b) another Star Wars trilogy was going to be made, stat.
After a director was announced (Disney wisely went with the popular choice of “Not George Lucas”) we didn’t hear anything about the casting except that Hamill, Fisher, Ford, Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker were set to reprise their roles from the original movies. Then, on April 29th, the cast was revealed. And boy, is it ever a doozy.
Now, if you want a list of the cast, I’m sure you can find one at a Reputable News Source. However, over the next week or so, I’m going to take time out of my busy schedule of listening to Blink-182 and weeping to offer a profile on each of the actors and my opinions on their casting. Since I’m not doing a fucking 5000 review post. I split the actors into four categories:
So stay tuned, dear readers. I’m putting on my Nerd hat and doing a thorough analysis of each of these thespians.
Or typing a few paragraphs until I see a shiny object. Whichever.