Here are the movies that came in at #100 – #91 on my complete movie list for 2016. Expect to see a couple scary movies, a franchise killing movie and more.
100. War Dogs
This movie started out with way too much Miles Teller and no Jonah Hill so things were off to a bad start. I’m not a Teller fan but he didn’t do anything in this movie to worsen or lessen that opinion so I’m not trying to completely dog him. I’m just saying Hill is the much better actor and that was clear here (thanks to some help from his entertaining laugh). His character was given the most substance and Hill was able to handle it well like he typically does. Hill wasn’t the only great actor in the movie though. Bradley Cooper was also in the flick but after the movie went off I almost forgot that was the case because he wasn’t noticeable. Every time he would pop back up on the screen, I would say to myself, “Oh yeah, I forgot he was in this.” I don’t know if that was Cooper’s fault or the characters fault. Either way, it was disappointing like the overall quality of the movie. The story is interesting but I believe it would have played out better as a written article or something. The facts in this “true story” should have been more exaggerated to make the movie more interesting because take away Hill and this movie basically has nothing going for it. Before I move on, I want to ask a couple questions. How did David (Teller) keep getting his massage job back? And with all those charges that were placed upon Efraim (Hill) and David, how did Efraim only get four years of prison time and David seven months of house arrest?
I wasn’t a fan of the ‘Bourne’ series before and I still ain’t (excuse my language). This is one of those smart action movies that isn’t for me because when it isn’t hitting you with some action, it hits you with a complicated, boring story-line that takes up much of the movie. The best part of this flick came at the end when a brutal chase scene ended in a brutal fight scene that was good but I didn’t like the way it was shot. The quick camera movements made things hard to see and that wasn’t helped by the fact that the environment was pretty dark too. Up until that point, the movie was mostly slow and not fun to watch (which is odd because Alicia Vikander was on the screen but I didn’t like the way she was used here). This movie reminded me that I’m not really a fan of director Paul Greengrass.
98. The Other Side of the Door
The first 2/3rds of the movie would have had it lower on this list if it just stopped there but thanks to the ending, it sits where it sits now. Typically, when it comes to horror movies, it’s usually the other way around. The 3rd act didn’t include anything surprising but things finally got going during this time. I also like how the last scene touched on a mistake made earlier in movie by the mom and how the whole thing could start right back up because people don’t listen. What I don’t like is how the story got going though. So basically, the mom loses one child and is so distraught by that, that she starts trippin’ and completely forgets about her other (alive) child. Then starts doing what she can to make contact with the dead child to the point that she doesn’t follow simple directions from the person who actually tried to help her make contact with said dead child. Yes, that all sounds very broad but if you see or seen the movie then you know what I’m talking about. Moral of the story here, just follow directions…or you’ll die.
97. How to Be Single
The now queen of Valentine’s Day, Dakota Johnson, is back around the same stupid love holiday to bring us another less than stellar movie. This romantic comedy deserves props for avoiding a typical romantic movie cliché like “this person is going to end up with such and such.” But that doesn’t mean that the end isn’t still stupid because it ends in a way that makes you wonder what was the point in what I just watched. It’s kind of like you wasted your time with these characters…a very long time…or at least it felt like it. This movie was way too long compared to how long it should have been. It just felt like it kept going and going and going. That probably had something to do with the pacing being very weird. The story would move ahead without warning to the point that you think that it only moved ahead a day or two but the way the characters were acting, things actually moved ahead a week or more. When it comes to the cast, things could have been better. Johnson was her typical awkward self but she might have been the best part of the movie. Rebel Wilson contributed to the average amount of humor in the movie while Leslie Mann and Alison Brie were used too sparingly for my liking. Lastly, Damon Waynes’ Jr. was used as a quick love interest but for some reason, his character was given way too many details. It’s like he was supposed to be one of the main characters until his screen time got chopped up in the editing room.
96. Batman: The Killing Joke
Unfortunately, I never read the ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ comic so I didn’t know exactly what I was going to see in the movie even though I knew the major points of what happened in the comic. So my expectations were kind of high because I’m a fan of the Batman comics I have read and for the fact that this animated retelling was going to be rated R. I should have kept my expectations on the ground floor because this movie was disappointing. The way the movie was basically split into two parts didn’t work for me because the first half didn’t fit with the second even if the first was meant to set up some emotional backbone for when Barbara Gordon gets paralyzed in the second. The way the first half was going, you would think they were setting up the Jokers origin then but that didn’t happen until the second half. Speaking of the Jokers origin, more should have been added for the movies sake because that part of the story is too short to then be translated into a short movie. Also, I must say that the Batgirl and Batman sex scene and it’s after effects was so weird and uncomfortable. You can’t shake that feeling while watching the rest of the movie.
95. The Boy
For a “scary” movie that dropped in January, it actually wasn’t that bad. What I thought was going to be some dumb possessed doll movie actually hit me with a twist and became something else that wasn’t hinted in the trailer so kudos to that. Now, it didn’t maximize its potential once the twist was revealed but it kept things interesting and weird until the end, so once again, kudos to that.
94. Almost Christmas
This is no ‘This Christmas’, I’m just sayin’. It isn’t a bad movie but I wouldn’t call it a good movie. There was some enjoyable moments but it just wasn’t funny enough or as funny as it was trying to be. One my favorite moments was the timeline scene that started the movie off and the funniest part of the movie was the Christmas dinner/Grandma Cheryl scene. Mo’Nique and J.B. Smoove were clearly the funniest members of cast and it showed when they were the focus of all the bloopers. What hurt the movie, besides not being funny enough, was the different stories that made up the plot; They just weren’t that interesting. Romany Malco’s was especially boring. It was meant to be all emotional and whatnot but every time it spun back to it I got annoyed and let out a big yawn. Then you got Jessie T. Usher and his side story that culminated in an accident at the end that was dumb because it was just thrown in to have that one dramatic moment that puts a scare in everyone and then brings them altogether. It seemed forced and didn’t have a major effect on his character.
93. Ride Along 2
For some reason, the good on-paper duo of Kevin Hart and Ice Cube doesn’t make for a hilarious movie. Two movies in, it just makes for a funny OK movie. I mean, this sequel started off better than its predecessor but as soon as the second half rolls around, the quality drops right off as it makes it way to a weak third act with a lazy climatic scene and some cheap looking special effects. The addition of Ken Jeong was a good one because he was funny but not in his usual over-the-top manner. I guess there wasn’t enough room for Jeong and Hart to be acting the same. The addition of Olivia Munn was poor because, even though she has plenty of screen time, she really isn’t given much. We just know that her character is tough and that’s it. It’s like she was just asked to come in, be a pretty face and a weird love interest for James (Cube).
What a big mistake it was to split the last book into two movies. Not all book series adapted into movies can use that method. The ‘Divergent Series’ really should have avoided it because what we got in this installment was something that could have easily been smashed at the beginning of one movie and no one would have complained. Spots where this movie got really dull could have been scrapped if there were only going to be three movies instead of four but that all mighty dollar is so enticing. I’m actually a fan of the first two movies in this series (I’m probably a part of a very small group) and was looking forward to this one but now I’m like I could care less if they even decide to make the fourth movie. I don’t really care anymore how things turn out for Tris (Shailene Woodley) and company because of this movie. And it’s not like I hated this movie because I didn’t. It had its moments but all-in-all, it’s just a big disappointment compared to what I was expecting all because the big wigs decided they wanted to try to squeeze as much money as they could out of a brand that wasn’t all that strong to begin with. Oh yeah, and the special effect were pretty weak. Please step your green screen game up for ‘Ascendant’…oh wait…
91. Office Christmas Party
What a lazy movie. Excellent cast but they underperformed as a whole because of the weak material they were given smh. There was no creativity used when creating the plot. The reason the Christmas party is thrown is very forced (even for a comedy), the generic “love interest/best friend get mad a the lead character” moment is performed very…dumbly, why some of the characters have to go look for Clay (T.J. Miller) is so trash, the bloopers weren’t funny and I could go on but I won’t. With all the funny people that came together for this, it still wasn’t able to live up to its comedic potential but thank you to Miller, Jillian Bell and Rob Corddry for trying the hardest of the cast to bring as many laughs as possible to the table.
(Photo Credit: Matt Donato – http://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/the-boy-review/; Jacob Stolworthy – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/super-bowl-50-matt-damon-returns-as-jason-bourne-in-new-trailer-a6860336.html; Lionsgate)