Here are the movies that came in at #90 – #81 on my complete movie list for 2016. Expect to see a long awaited sequel, three unwanted sequels and more.
90. The BFG
I remember reading ‘The BFG’ as a kid so I was interested in seeing the movie even though I didn’t really remember what the book was about. Even though, my knowledge of the source materials details is in a forgetful state, I was still disappointed in the movie right down to the way too easy giants capture scene at the end. It’s a solid family friendly flick but its overly long run time and lack of thrilling excitement killed it potential. I mean seriously, I can’t picture kids keeping up their attention for this movie when its hovering around 2 hours and isn’t all that exciting. Visually it’s exciting, though, with nice dashes of color here and there and the giants looked great. Kind of makes you think that actual giants were found hiding somewhere and used for the movie. Mark Rylance is great as well as the BFG. The visuals, Rylance’s performance and his interactions with Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and some of the other humans in the second half of the movie try to be this movies’ saving grace.
This sequel didn’t look good from jump. The trailers didn’t look that appealing and there’s no Will Smith so yeah I didn’t expect much from this. After watching it, what I saw was a movie I was basically right about. First off, the action was bland and didn’t make pilot fighting any more entertaining than it already barely is on its surface. What didn’t help the action was the CGI. The director, Roland Emmerich, has been doing these type of CGI heavy destruction movies for a while so you would think that he would have a grasp on how to make his CGI heavy scenes look as best as possible but I guess that isn’t the case. I don’t really know how to explain the look of it but, to me, it looked like some of the scenes look like the fall right in line with how things looked with its 1996 predecessor. Next, the characters weren’t anything special. Jessie T. Usher was brought in to kind of fill Smith’s shoes but he just doesn’t have the screen presence that Smith has to even come close. It doesn’t help though that the movie constantly reiterates that Usher’s Hiller is the son of Smith’s Hiller in the beginning of the movie but when it comes time for Usher’s Hiller to make big moves to save the day, the movie decides to just allow all of our hero’s to stand at the forefront and let Hiller blend in with the crowd. In regards to the characters, they weren’t being played by actors who decided to give the best performances. Liam Hemsworth was the best of the bunch but even his performance wasn’t great or anything. It was just the most noticeable. Moving on to the humor; Smith’s absences definitely shows within this element of the movie. He would have been able to make the weak, not funny jokes in this movie chuckle worthy. Lastly, the story; I know this is a popcorn, summer blockbuster movie but a lot of things kept happening where it seemed like it was just the most perfect of timing for the “good guys” in the movie. Almost to the point that logic and everything else was being thrown out the window but hey that’s movies for you. The severity of the situation was also not expressed well. Our characters didn’t seem too panicky when bad things were happening like a ginormous ship landing on Earth, destroying and killing anything in its path. When family members or loved ones were even being put in harm’s way or about to die, the characters just didn’t show that much emotion. Maybe they’re desensitized to it all since this has all kind of happened to them before but it’s not believable. It could happen to me every day of my life and I would still be freaking out or balling my little eyes out. Before I move on, dang did they have to do Vivica A. Fox like that. She comes back, from doing nothing with her career, to be in this movie and she gets like two scenes before she’s quickly killed and then forgotten about.
88. The Legend of Tarzan
Read my quick review here!
87. Angry Birds
This movie should be called ‘Angry Bird’ and not ‘Angry Birds’ because Red (Jason Sudeikis) is the only one that is “angry”. But anyways, I was hoping this movie would be better than it was but I was let down. The first half started out on the right side because it was funny but that second half forgot how to be funny. The plot also played into my disappointment because no thought was put into the it. The movie is just a movie version of the game and not a movie that takes elements of the game and expanded on it. I mean seriously, no backstory for why the pigs want the eggs besides wanting to eat them? Please give me a reason why they’ll do anything to get their hands on these delicious eggs. And don’t get me started on how poorly the slingshot was forced into the movie. But things weren’t all bad. The voice acting was great and was led by Sudeikis. Also Chuck (Josh Gad) was the standout character but I really liked how the movie used his speed. It might just be me but one of his scenes reminded me of Quicksliver’s infamous scene in ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’. I’m not saying it was exactly alike, I’m just saying it reminded me of it. Lastly, I just want to point something out. Was it just me or was there lesbian birds in the movie?
86. Ouija: Origin of Evil
I don’t think this movie had a middle. It felt like it went from the first act right into the third act. Everything started out pretty good because there were funny moments and the family was tolerable but when some of the scary movie stuff started to go down, it felt like the movie was at the end. Speaking of the end, I wish this movie had a different one because things get really dumb when the movie gets climactic. Things get generically demonic and mouths get sown together to save the day…ugh… I did like the dark nature that was apart of the end, especially for a PG-13 movie but, again, all the dumbness really ruined things. Lulu Wilson was entertaining as the young, possessed Doris but, AGAIN, when things got weird, her performance was hindered a bit. All in all, this sequel is much better than its crappy predecessor, ‘Ouija’, but it couldn’t maximize on the solid start it had going for it.
85. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Although I will say this one is better than its predecessor, it still had its flaws that held it back. Rocksteady, Bebop and Krang just don’t translate well on to the live action screen or at least they didn’t with this interpretation. Krang looked dumb but the other two just make for two silly of characters even for something regarding ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’. In this film, how Rocksteady (Sheamus) and Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) become their animal selves is just dumb. The serum they take awakens our inner animal? Nah. Speaking of villains, Shredder (Brian Tee) was replaced with a different actor this time around only to be poorly used. The movie built up his dominance and terrifying presence throughout that you thought it would be building up to him having a big showdown with the turtles but that didn’t happen. Actually, the whole 3rd act “should have been battle scene” was nowhere to be found. Seriously though, where was the action? The other parts had some decent action but not the end where I would’ve liked to have seen it most. The motion capture performances were good so you have to take advantage of that with some good action as much as you can but the ball was clearly dropped when the end came. Also, I’d like to point out that yet again Tyler Perry was better in this movie than he is in any of his own stuff. No, he wasn’t memorable or nothing but he wasn’t annoying either. So that’s a plus for him. And I know this movie wasn’t shot yesterday but the New York Knicks roster that was on display at the beginning of the movie felt so dated. I instantly thought the movie was 2 years older than it actually was as soon as it started just because of that one element.
Justin Timberlake and all his greatness couldn’t lead this movie to the promised land. The plot was typical for a kids movie but I was hoping to be entertained by everything much more than I was. There was some funny moments here and there but just not enough. The talented cast that was collected to voice this shindig were held back because of the material they were given. No bias but JT was the best part of the movie. Anyways, I also had a problem with the music in this movie. The songs made for the movie were fine but the actual songs used felt out of place in this world; I don’t know why but they just did to me. All-in all, I got some giggles out of it but left disappointed.
83. Mechanic: Resurrection
Jason Statham‘s Bishop dove into water wearing shark repellent and it indeed prevented a shark from attacking him hahaha. I don’t know why I found that to be so funny but I did. Moving on…this was a typical Statham movie you can expect nowadays. There were some cool action moments and it kept my attention but it’s very forgettable. Of course Bishop does the impossible and doesn’t die (that fake stuff is only applauded when the movie is amazing, i.e. the latter movies in the ‘Fast and Furious’ series) and the dumbness surrounding the action brings everything down around it. I do have two questions though. First, why did Tommy Lee Jones do this movie? His role wasn’t big so someone else could have easily filled in for this C- action flick. He must have owed the director or producer a favor. And second, why did Jessica Alba do this movie? For someone who is freaking rich from stuff outside of movies and doesn’t do many movies anymore, why decide on this type of movie where your character is playing a typical damsel in distress? She must have need a quick and easy check.
Read my quick review here!
81. Keeping Up With the Joneses
I like the cast for this one but booooy was it a big letdown for the first half. It just wasn’t funny and I was getting that tired feeling that comes up when your’re bored. Then we get into the second half and that’s where things start to finally pick up. When we finally get to see the Joneses in action, more opportunities for humor are provided and thus the laughs finally come. There’s a car chase that starts the successful attempts at humor that is hilarious thanks to the dialogue from Karen (Isla Fisher), Jeff (Zach Galifianakis) and Tim (Jon Hamm). Speaking of Fisher and Hamm, they were the clear best parts of this hour and 45 minutes of disappointment. I wasn’t expecting nothing major from this movie but what I saw during the first half was just sad. The second half tried to redeem some of the miscues but too much time was wasted at the beginning leaving a lot of damage done.
(Photo Credit: DIRK LIBBEY – http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1579730/the-change-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-may-make-before-doing-ninja-turtles-3; Claudette Barius; KRISTEN SANTER – http://movies.mxdwn.com/reviews/movie-review-swiss-army-man/)