Top 5 Films of 2016 (It’s Been A Funny Year)

11 01 2017

godzilla-resurgence (Toho Co., Ltd. - 2016)

Since a very young age, I have been a fan of the Two Ronnies. It’s a comedy love that I still carry to this day and continue to enjoy looking back on every now and then. But despite this love for two comedy greats, I have always struggled with Ronnie Barker’s sitcoms. I have seen numerous episodes of Porridge and Open All Hours, but in all honesty have never found them to be all that funny. I have watched plenty of episodes; maybe an odd wisp of laughter here and there, but on the whole, just did not get them. If anything, the only thing that would get a faint pant of air from my lungs would be the spring-loaded till in Open All Hours. Despite this lack of understanding on my part, one thing though that has shined on to me in a way is how sometimes on occasion, I cannot help but at the end of the day say; “It’s been a funny day”. Well, looking back on the movies of 2016, I now cannot help but say “It’s been a funny year”.

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A Funny year is indeed how I feel this year has gone by in terms of movie releases. There have been several high-profile and low profile releases that have caught the eyes of myself and many other movie goers. We have seen live action remakes of animated classics, rebirths of classic comedy, and revolutionary new ideas in already popular genres as well as the usual treasure trove of sequels and heart-warmers. For me personally it’s been a weird one, with a lot of films that I wanted to see being released in the first half of the year, with the second half being a collection of films that I was wavering watching or not. Quite a few of these films were pretty fun and are included in this list, but there have been one or two disappointments. Firstly I did not get to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows or Kung Fu Panda 3 (not forgetting the new Japanese Godzilla film which nobody considers releasing for people living in the UK!), but the big disappointment for me had to be Dad’s Army. It was funny in places; but everything else was just boring by comparison with an acting pool not living up to their own acclaim and a story that was not worth bothering with!

GR1

There have been some high’s thankfully, some of which are unable to be featured in this list and just want to give a quick shout out to (in no particular order): Allegiant, X-Men: Apocalypse, Eddie The Eagle, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But now the main event; as per usual: films will be rated in ascending order with Number 1 being my favourite and 5 being not as much my favourite but still a good film, and as always, the list applies to films that were released and shown on the big screen between the traditional 12 month period of January to December. So without dragging this on any further, here are my Top Five Favourite Films of the year (yes, this year it is actually 5).

ethel-and-ernest (Cloth Cat Animation - 2016)

5. Ethel & Ernest – Based on the Raymond Briggs graphic novel of the same name, Ethel and Ernest is about the life of Briggs’s own parents as they meet, date, marry and live their lives through the changing face of Great Britain. Originally meant to be shown on TV during Christmas 2016, special big screen showings were done in places around the country including at The Dukes in Lancaster. Before seeing this film I had no idea what it was about, thinking it was When The Wind Blows by mistake (having forgotten what that was called), then my Mam told me differently; a little unsure but still interested I decided to go see it, and really enjoyed it. I liked how it was less a film, more an animated slide show of the lives of an incredible couple living through the hardships of London life during WWII, to raising a son, to a new way of life compared to their own upbringing. I especially enjoyed the shots of WWII city life as most documentaries I have seen have mostly focused on evacuations and the front line, but this instead showed what life was like in a major city. Overall I enjoyed this film a great deal, from its unique form of storytelling to its charming and colourful animation style.

10-cloverfield-lane (Bad Robot Productions - 2016)

4. 10 Cloverfield Lane – If you are like me, then over the last few years you will have been calling out for a Cloverfield sequel since Cloverfield’s original released in 2008. For years I have kept tabs on it to see if such a film was going to happen or not, and so far no official sequel has appeared; a spiritual successor has though. 10 Cloverfield Lane is a very different film to the original Cloverfield. Whilst the first film was a found footage drama about a group of people trying to survive a monster attack on New York City; 10 Cloverfield Lane is about a young lady (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who finds herself in a bomb shelter with two other people, and begins to get cold feet surrounding the older of the two (John Goodman). The film in essence is both a psychological and science fiction horror as for the first good half you get the feeling that something is going on above ground as the characters get used to a new life underground, until the main character finds evidence that suggests that everything underground isn’t groovy either, eventually leading to a tense situation that culminates in a giant twist that makes you rethink everything you have just seen. 10 Cloverfield Lane is a one-of-a-kind film that makes you want to feel out for your Teddy Bear and grip it tight.

Independence Day: Resurgence (20th Century Fox - 2016)

3. Independence Day: Resurgence – Much like number four on this list, if you are like me and absolutely love the Roland Emmerich science fiction film Independence Day, you will have also been hoping that maybe one day there might be a sequel to it; well (two decades later), one has indeed been released. Twenty years after the events of the first film, humanity has used the technology scrounged from the remains of the alien fleet to upgrade their own technology and bolster up defences of planet Earth. This however has not turned out to be all that fruitful however, as the once defeated alien empire has decided to enact a counter attack by sending in a much bigger force than the last one. The first film’s core cast (minus an obvious one) have returned to fight alongside a new cast of characters including (but not limited to); Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher and Maika Monroe. The film itself was once again packed with a jaw dropping cavalcade of special effects that once again bring the awe and fascination that the first film did so well, but does not content itself by making a simple remake, but a strong sequel that does things a little bit differently and contains several other genres, not just the basic few. Overall I was mightily pleased with the end result.

your-name (Toho Co., Ltd. - 2016)

2. Your Name. – If you look through the prolific catalogue of films produced by Studio Ghibli, there are many highlighted classics. Having recently become a major fan of the studio’s works, I am always on the lookout for new films to watch to add to my growing collection. Some of the films on show though that do not necessarily grab my attention however are the convoy of teen based romantic dramas. In most cases I actually try to avoid them as they don’t really appeal to me. Well this year, I saw a film which was along those lines (not released by Studio Ghibli) while also entwined with a Science Fiction enhanced story that within an instant became one of my favourite films this year. Your Name. is a Japanese Anime film directed by (Makoto Shinkai), which tells the tales of a boy and girl who have never met and live in completely opposite locations miles apart from each other, but for some reason get connected, as when they sleep, they dream the lives of the other, not realizing at first, that in reality they have in fact changed bodies. It is a strange film to begin with that leads to some really funny situations, but things take a sudden turn which causes one character to search out the other and come across a grim reality that makes them attempt to change the course of history. I must say I actually really enjoyed it. I was put off at first by its romantic idea, but upon finishing wanted to give it a standing ovation. It was so different, yet so unique that I was left gobsmacked for one that I enjoyed such a film that I would have normally tried so hard to put off. By failing to look round that I did not properly foresee the science fiction elements that I just so love and the two together created a potent mix that made me leave the cinema with a smile across my face. I absolutely enjoyed this film to its absolute core and it has made me rethink my earlier stance on romantic teen anime films.

deadpool (20th Century Fox - 2016)

1. Deadpool – Just bear with me for a moment as I get my head in the right frame of mind for this one…

With all the super hero related movies that are getting released these days, I think it’s good that we have at least one film that we as an audience can actually connect with. Saving the world is good and all, but what about when you return home and find out that some maniac has kidnapped your girlfriend, I think we can all agree that that is probably far more important! Deadpool is the next major spin-off in the X-Men Film Series and stars everyone’s loud mouthed mercenary as he sets out not to save the world, but rescue his girlfriend and hope he can receive some good plastic surgery in the process. Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds in the lead role, backed up with the talents of Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller and Morena Baccarin in what has to be one of the strangest films of all time. Deadpool is not your run of the mill superhero movie, as Deadpool isn’t really a superhero, more just someone rather deadly you don’t want to offend. Deadpool comes wrapped in a neat pile of action, guns, violence, comedy, sexual antics and fourth wall breaking moments to create a truly incredible experience that will have other superhero movies (and super heroes) taking notice. Altogether this film creates a matchless form of cinematic awesomeness becoming not just the most standout film of this year, but also my absolute favourite film of 2016.

GENEPOOL (what was your favourite film of 2016?).





Top 5 Films Of 2013

15 01 2014

Film Reel 2013

2013 has passed, and what a year it was for great films. We have seen visions of the Future, Conspiracies, Super Heroes, Monsters and Amazing Adventures and with the passing of the year, it is time to take a look back at the films that impressed us, the audience the most. So here are my Top 5 films of 2013.

The Wolverine (20th Century Fox - 2013)

5. The Wolverine – Upon first hearing about The Wolverine I was a bit worried that it was going to be nothing more than a bad sequel to a bad film. It wasn’t. Based on the comics of Wolverine (not just the comics), The Steel Clawed hero ventures to Japan to visit a man who owes him a debt. However, the feral hero soon finds himself in the middle of something more than just a mafia turf war. Hugh Jackman returned as the title hero that helped make him the actor he is today, in a film that became one of the best comic book films to date. easily better than any Avengers film and the best Marvel film since X-Men: First Class. Alongside a great cast of characters and other lesser known X-Men characters mixed with the sights and sounds of a brilliant country and action to back the film up, The Wolverine is The Comic Book film of 2013.

Welcome to the Punch (Momentum Pictures - 2013)

4. Welcome To The Punch – In between all the big action blockbusters of 2013 is what could be considered by some as a small film. A film that nobody could see coming, and they didn’t, even I didn’t……….until I saw the trailer. While I initially forgot the name of the film, it looked brilliant and the mention of Ridley Scott as the Executive Producer sparked enough to get me interested, and thanks to the film’s lead actor appearing on Top Gear, reminded me of the film’s name. Welcome To The Punch is a proper British Action Cop film. Starring James McAvoy and Mark Strong it follows a London Detective as he is trying to pursue a man he was unable to catch several years previously, it is not until he finally confronts the man that he discovers a major conspiracy within the ranks. While it maybe an independent British Film, Welcome To The Punch is a film that shouldn’t be ignored. One of the film’s major points is that of actress Andrea Riseborough who gives an amazing performance as James McAvoy’s aide. With great action scenes and a plot that you will find gripping and intense backed up by a great cast including David Morrissey, Welcome to The Punch deserves its spot as one of the best films of 2013.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (StudioCanal - 2013)

3. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa – Easily the funniest film of the year. instead of just being a cheap comedy film made only for the sake of making money, Alan Partridge is a piece of clever comedy with truly laugh out loud moments, I think the last time I saw a film at the cinema that made me laugh out loud was Tropic Thunder. Steve Coogan resurrects his fine comedy creation brilliantly as the former TV Presenter is forced to go enter a hostage situation being run by one of his colleagues. With jokes every minute and moments that make you want to call for a break just to calm down and with a great supporting cast including Simon Greenall, Colm Meaney and Anna Maxwell Martin, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is a proper comedy film and the best one in years.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate - 2013)

2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – The Sequel to the Best Film of 2012. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire brought me back into a world that had impressed me since the first instalment, but this time I had read the book before hand. While the first film (as the book) shows more of a perspective of what is going on in the current moment with the characters, Catching Fire goes on to say what happens next as well as explore the world of The Hunger Games. All the regular cast from before return to amaze the audience again. Of course the lead in this film no doubt is Jennifer Lawrence, but all the others give a great performance that cannot be forgotten including Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth and the legendary Donald Sutherland. With Great moments of both the humankind nature and action that is easily on par with the more action orientated films, backed up with a great story from one of the best book series to date, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a truly Great Film that will have you pining for more, Guaranteed.

Pacific Rim (Legendary Pictures - 2013)

1. Pacific Rim – In my opinion, Pacific Rim is pretty much the Perfect film if it wasn’t missing one key ingredient. Pacific Rim tells the story of humanities struggle in dealing with a race of Giant Monsters called Kaiju, they do this by building Giant Robots called Jaegers to fight the monster threat. In what could be considered in many ways as a tribute to the Japanese Kaiju genre that both inspired and created the idea of it, Pacific Rim is a Monster Movie taking those influences and adding its own spin to it and creating moments that will not be forgotten. Splendidly directed by Guillermo Del Toro and starring Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi and Idris Elba with a brilliant soundtrack provided by Ramin Djawadi and visuals that rival Jurassic Park in terms of both Beauty and Scale, Pacific Rim is a titan of a film and possibly the fore-seer of Monster films to come. The Best Film of 2013.

GENEPOOL








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