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”.


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!


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?).

My Top 5 Ronnie Barker Sketches

17 06 2012

Yesterday I confused myself using my own scientific methods to decide which is the funniest Ronnie Barker sketch. Well today I am going to choose the old-fashioned way, Enjoy.

HEALTH WARNING: Once again the following Sketches are Incredibly Funny and should only be viewed by those who can suppress their laughter without needing specialist attention.

5. News Without Film: News without film is a sketch you may not have seen, I only saw it a few weeks ago but it is cleverly done. Basically due to a problem with the machine Ronnie Barker playing a news reader has to act out the news from what it says on the paper. The sketch begins with the video problem, but Barker just keeps reading. After the first piece of news he begins on the second when he receives a telephone call. In that silent way of not knowing what is being said on the other side of the phone Barker replies in a way that makes it look funny because it could mean something else. It is not until he acts like the Queen that the audience realises what the person on the other end of the phone has asked Barker what to do. The hilarity continues in several ways from this point as he continues to illustrate the news. Some of the ways he does this is through different accents, a bowl of water, money, a pack of matches and even stealing a woman’s tights.  The sketch ends with him refusing to do a certain action and then resigning in a hilarious fashion.

4 Open University: The Open University Sketch is one of those times that you see Barker going mad and a little bit Crazy. It seems that the majority of his sketches were one where he was standing as a serious person and did not really flip out, most of these were fantastic sketches but it is a shame he did not flip out more because he is funny when he does. One of the sketches key components is how he says it as it is. When he reports on the Giant Porcupine incident he is saying that because it is, instead of the maps actually getting re-drawn, they were actually eaten. Another case of this is when he finds the earing and actually believes that it is an earring and completely misunderstands the idea of a Red Herring. The conclusion is particularly brilliant when it reveals he is no longer on medication which explains why he is like this.

3 Minister of Cuts: The Minister of Cuts sketch is a simple sketch of Ronnie Barker playing someone from the Government and using pictures. The sketch itself uses props to make the jokes funny. It also has several plays on words to make the thing that he has said funny including a Narrow Harrow and a Half-Eaten Sandwich.  The sketch itself is short and sweet with the props being used to deliver the punch line.

2 May The Force Be With You: This one made me laugh so much that I could not stop. When I first found this sketch I was in the Library at University taking a study break. I had headphones on and when there was joke I had to suppress my laughter because I was in a quiet area (suppressed laughter hurts and is also scary because you can’t stop) and this carried on and on, even after the sketch had ended and on the way home, I just could not stop. Ronnie Barker is dressed as a policeman and much like the minister of cuts sketch he is presenting how the police work in a senior manner. Once again the punch line is aided by some props but it is the things he says which are the best parts. Particular things to notice is what to do when Martial Arts don’t work, Marijuana and Cement Sniffers, you won’t be able to stop laughing.

1 Round of Drinks: Every time I think of the Two Ronnie’s there are sketches which I remember better than others, this is one of them. The Drinks Sketch involves Barker ordering Drinks for some people he has just met. The only way of remembering is to explain to the barman what they look like. Initially this works out alright until he has his first Gin and Tonic. From here on he keeps messing up the drinks order and the appearance of the people and has to continually go back and forth to them to remember, this is not helped in any way by the Gin and Tonic’s he keeps ordering. It is a brilliant sketch that you will keep coming back for time and time again.


Funniest Ronnie Barker Sketch

16 06 2012

I had this plan to have a post with my top 5 favourite Ronnie Barker sketches. Well at the time I could not decide, so I decided to use science. I decided to use a score system to see how funny the sketches were and took 17 Ronnie Barker sketches to have a range to see how each one compares (it would have been 18 if I could find that Hovis one). I also decided to show my findings in line graphs to show a kind of frequency.

HEALTH WARNING: The following Sketches are Incredibly Funny and should only be viewed by those who can suppress their laughter without needing specialist attention.

Well the score system is as follows:

  • 1 for a Smile
  • 2 for a Snigger/Giggle
  • 3 for Actually Laughing
  • 4 for being Unable To Stop Laughing
  • 5 for Laughing So Much You May Need Medical Help
  • 10 for Dying While Laughing

Basically when I do any of the above I mark it down and then add up the total of all the points and then put both the total and the sequence in Excel. Well if we were to look at the initial sequence/frequency Graph of all the data gathered it would look like this (if you squint you should be able to read what it says).

However this is very confusing so let’s simplify it by looking at the top 10.

Still quite confusing but if we look at the top 5 it is easier to understand.

But still this does not really show which is funniest, ok, looking at the results we get an idea of what might be but we need to look at the overall totals to find out in full.

Apologies for the bad image qualities, Basically the 5 funniest sketches are: Doctor, Minister of Cuts, Drinks, News at Ton and Open University. Here are the scores in full, unfortunately I cannot upload the frequency table bbecause it is too big, Apologies.

So from this we can fully see what are (according to this scientific method) the funniest Ronnie Barker Sketches. But this is only one method and as a whole it may be easier to choose which is the funniest based on personal opinion. Well, click on the links below to see them for yourself so you can come to your own conclusions – Which do you think is funniest? Please let me know.

Open University, Drinks, Policeman, Minister of Cuts, News at Ton, Mispronunciation, Doctor, Pismonuncers, Communications, Hieroglyphics, News Without Film, Symbols, Concert Hall, Consumers Corner, An Appeal for Women, McFarlane Lang, Tomorrow’s Kitchen,

Come back tomorrow to find out which are My Top 5 Ronnie Barker Sketches


June 2012 Post A Day

1 06 2012

A couple of months ago I decide to challenge myself to a little blog challenge. That challenge was to do a blog post every day in June. June is a special time of year for me, it was the Month I was born in, but not only that many interesting things are happening in June this year, there is E3 (which happens every year) which is the biggest event on the Gaming Calendar and Black Sabbath reunite on Stage for the first time in 6/7 years. Last Year on my Blog we had a very special month of Monster film reviews (one of which is the most viewed post in the history of my blog) and so I would keep it a special blog month to me with this post a day challenge.

There are many things to look out for this month, we have the King of the Monsters Tournament which is the Main Event of the year for a Monster Combat thing I have just started. there is my 200th Post, several small posts on interesting things (possibly interesting), Top 5 Ronnie Barker Sketches, Top 5 Black Sabbath Songs, Answering Questions given to me by friends from camp and a friend of a friend (if they get their questions to me in time), an unforseen Paradox in an episode of Doctor Who and a post on how to build a Tardis.

Don’t forget this month’s film review or should I say reviews. Last year there was 5 reviews, this year there is only 4. That may look not as good but don’t dismiss it immediately, the films being reviewed are Atragon, Mothra vs Godzilla and Seven Samurai (yes, Seven Samurai). That is only three films, the fourth one is up to you. I have chosen 3 Godzilla film’s, the one with the most votes gets reviewed. They are; Invasion of the Astro-Monster – one of three Godzilla films I have not seen, Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla – a bizarre film where Godzilla fights a space version of himself and Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla – One my top favourites from the series. A wide, diverse selection of Godzilla films, one from each film series (Shōwa, Heisei, Millenium). You have until the 10th of June to vote (I have also made the poll to hide the results from you, so you may not know until the review itself to see if your choice won).

So come back every day in June for a New Blog Post everyday and don’t forget to leave your comments and feedback on the subjects talked about (please rate as well, because I like it when people do, The green stars at the bottom of the posts). It is going to be an interesting month.

GENEPOOL (do you like my title picture?)

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