Here are the movies that came in at #110 – #101 on my complete movie list for 2016. Expect to see movies about cat, a nerdy computer game and more.
110. Nine Lives
My love for cats is what has this movie this high. Overall, this movie isn’t as bad I expected but it’s still dumb. The jokes are uncomfortably corny, the plot is horrible and the special effects used are hilariously bad BUT the cat humor made some parts enjoyable. The movie even started off on a good foot with some funny online cat videos. If a different animal was the focal point then I probably would have hated it. Also, I still don’t understand why the movie’s solid cast joined in on this bumpy ride.
This will definitely go down as a weak link on the chain of the Coen Brothers. It started out funny, especially the ‘Merrilyn We Dance’ scene with Ralph Fiennes and (young Han Solo himself) Alden Ehrenreich. But things start to severely wane and then you get an unnecessary sing/dance number from Channing Tatum. Luckily the movie does a good job poking fun at the movie industry.
108. The Huntsman: Winters War
This was a disappointing movie only in terms of its use of such a great cast. Charlize Theron surprisingly wasn’t in it that much and Jessica Chastain was given an accent that she couldn’t handle and that just made her look bad. Other than that, I didn’t expect much from this sequel/prequel/spinoff because, to me, it wasn’t needed, wanted or asked for. Plus, I dozed off a couple times but this movie was so predictable, I was able to follow everything that was going on even when I was asleep. I also want to point out that I don’t like how there are plenty of Snow White references (and at one point they show her but just not her face). I know it’s kind of a sequel to her movie but if y’all aren’t going to get Kristen Stewart back for the role or get anybody for that matter, don’t bring her up so much and don’t even show her at all.
107. Meet the Blacks
I’m usually down for these spoof movies when Marlon Wayans does them but this isn’t his so I was a little more worried it was going to just be dumb and not dumb and funny. Well it started out dumb and funny but then when the purging happened (because if you didn’t know, it’s a ‘The Purge’ spoof) it just got really dumb. The special effects were so bad, they were homemade like, the acting became terrible and the cameos were awful, except DeRay Davis’. Shockingly Mike Tyson’s cameo was the worst and was painful to watch.
The movie has some bad timing. It came out too close to ‘Deadpool’ to only have Ryan Reynolds in like the first five minutes of the movie. I mean if Reynolds was coming off ‘Green Lantern’ then it would have been cool but he wasn’t, so hence the bad timing. The movie could have probably benefited from lying and promoting it with Reynolds as its lead but I guess we’ll never know. What we do know is that this is a forgettable action thriller that has Kevin Costner putting on a good performance when his Jerrico character was acting like a complete psycho. But let me get back to Reynolds. This movie reminded me of Reynolds’ ‘Self/Less’ so maybe it was good that he wasn’t the lead in a similar forgettable flick.
This movie was no ‘42’. But seriously, this story of Jesse Owens was underwhelming and didn’t do his story as a whole justice. The whole history backdrop his story took place in didn’t feel balanced correctly with Owens’ own personal success story. Sometimes it felt like a story about Owens and other times it felt like a story about what was going on in the world at the time but not both working together. Besides a flawed story, the cast was solid. Jason Sudeikis brought his usual appealing personality to his role while Stephan James wasn’t memorable as Owens but he still did a suitable job trying to fill his shoes. Chadwick Boseman should have played him though since he’s been tasked to play other iconic African Americans recently (and killed each performance too) even though he doesn’t resemble Owens. None of that matters. I’m just saying….
104. Why Him?
I’m a James Franco fan but his track record lately is iffy. You can add this movie to the list of reasons for all the iffyness. ‘Why Him?’ just isn’t really funny. I enjoy the cast a lot but the jokes that were given to them were flat and uninspired. I’m not even going to look for who wrote the script and point the finger at them because that would be mean…but whoever they are, they did a pretty bad job. Back to my fondness of the cast, I found myself enjoying their characters and wanting good to come to them because I just strictly liked the people on screen. You know what, I’m in the mood to give some awards out to the cast. Funniest Performance in a Not So Funny Movie goes to Keegan-Michael Key! And the award for Most Underused Actor of the Cast a.k.a. The Why Were They Even Here award goes to Cedric the Entertainer! Now let’s transition right back to the script. Not only did it contain bad jokes but it contained a plot that was basic and contained a detail that was brought in at the beginning that you thought would play a big part in the movie but didn’t. Ned’s (Bryan Cranston) big secret about his business being broke was basically pushed to the side when it was finally revealed to his family so what was the point in even spending as much time on it as we did? To end this off, I’ll just say I’ll probably forget about this movie in a month or two.
103. The Infiltrator
Oooo back-to-back Bryan Cranston movies. Shouldn’t he feel special…NOT! This wasn’t his best year but it’s all good. We all slip up from time-to-time; especially myself. Anyways, this movie here was like a roller coaster in terms of how I felt my viewing pleasure was. It started out slow and hard to follow in terms of what the plot exactly was (that might be because I’m stupid and I was probably dosing off a little bit). Then, as things start to get set into motion, I begin to feel like I’m about to watch an interesting drug movie. THEEEENNNN…it dips right back down to a low quality place it was hovering around before. I don’t know if that roller coaster comparison makes the most sense but whatever, I’m sticking with it. Back to the movie. Everything led up to an ending that was less cinematic than I hoped. I was hoping the ending was going to save the day but I was wrong. At least the lead actors, Cranston and John Leguizamo, did solid jobs. Another thing I was disappointed in, though, was with the handling of Pablo Escobar. He hovered over the whole movie but was barely in it. With ‘Narcos’ being a popular show, it would have been nice to see him involved in the plot more, even if that’s not how things were with the true story. Yes, I’m saying this should have turned into more of a fictional tale that was “loosely inspired” by actual events just for viewing pleasure. And no, I will not just go watch ‘Narcos’ if I want to see a Pablo Escobar story. That would be taking the easy way out.
This movie tried to center its story around something boring like the stock market (even though I want to learn how to get into the stock market so I can possibly become filthy rich by doing nothing) and make it an interesting thriller but that didn’t really work. Plus, it didn’t make the stock market any more understandable which is problematic since that plays into my level of understanding of the plot. Unfortunately, the movie had other flaws it had to deal with such as an expected twist regarding the bomb in the movie. I mean seriously, why would it be believable that a broke man would be able to get his hands on a bomb. Oops, spoiler! Then the movie expects us to believe that after threats, the police would actually let a man walk a hostage down the streets of New York City with a bomb strapped to his chest. Yeah, no matter the threats, I KNOW the police wouldn’t let that happen. They’d figure something out before they let the bomb get near other citizens. The movie also failed to make us have an emotional connection with George Clooney and Julia Roberts’ characters but they sure did try. The emotional connection between the characters felt so forced that it just felt like a useless side plot element. But with all that said, Clooney and Roberts were able to put on some solid performances to show why they’re still active in this thing we call the movie industry.
Since I’m not a big freakin’ nerd, I never played ‘World of Warcraft’ so I don’t know if this movie did the game justice but I do know that the movie isn’t really for me. I just think that these type of fantasy movies aren’t up my alley unless they are done really really really well. This movie clearly didn’t meet that exception. The graphics weren’t even all that great but the production team tried to make us think differently during the movies shoot with the way they were boasting. Next, the cast was a little wishy washy. Those who were apart of the motion capture performances did a good job but those playing the humans were just OK. That’s mainly because the “should have been” best parts of the cast, like Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga, were so poorly used to the point that at times I forgot that they were in the movie. And then you have Paula Patton, who played Garona in the film. I don’t know if it’s just me but Patton isn’t that good of an actress and it definitely showed up here. I hope Robin Thicke doesn’t take this as a reason to make another wack album dedicated to her to defend her honor. Moving on to the movies action; It was brutal, cool and gave the movie some type of entertaining quality but it was nothing I would say “Ooooooo” over a.k.a. it was nothing special. And then you have the ending. The movie didn’t end on any big resolution or tie the major issues up in any sort of way. Clearly director Duncan Jones and company went into the making of this movie with the notion that it was going to have multiple entries. That’s typical in today’s Hollywood but for your movie to have the type of ending that ‘Warcraft’ had, you have to have an already successful jumping off point where you now have the freedom for one of the next movies in the series to leave a lot of open issues to be resolved because you’re almost sure you’re going to have more movies where you can show the issues being resolved. A ‘Warcraft’ sequel isn’t definite (as I’m writing this). Yes, it’s killed it overseas but domestically and critically it’s stunk it up. But we’ll see.
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(Photo Credit: Odie Henderson – http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/race-2016; http://www.ign.com/videos/2015/10/09/hail-caesar-official-trailer-1; Sony / TriStar)