This 2016 list wasn’t supposed to take anywhere this long but unfortunately, look where we find ourselves. Its inching closer to the end of 2017 now so I shouldn’t finish it but I’m almost done so why not. Anywho, to switch things up, I’m going to write some of my recaps for each movie in bullet point form.
Now, here are the movies that came in at #40 – #31 on my complete movie list for 2016. Expect to see a glorified stand-up special, 2016’s knockoff ‘Gone Girl’ and more.
40. The Jungle Book
Visually, Jon Favreau created a superb movie. But that’s probably the main thing I’ll take away from this movie down-the-line. I mean I will remember when Idris Elba’s Shere Khan calmy walked up to the rock and tossed that one wolf off the cliff because that looked hilarious. But again, even though the voice performances were good and Neel Sethi’s performance was good especially for a child where you’re just working with props on a CGI set most of the time (and this was his first acting performance in a movie), I’ll mainly just remember the visuals. It’s probably because I never really been a big fan of the ‘Jungle Book’ Story previously. I also didn’t like how the few songs were incorporated into the movie. The movie had a sort-of dark tone so when they would come in, they felt out of place to me. Now Back to Elba, I want to just highlight his voice performance because I felt like it was the best of the bunch but I felt the movie would have benefited from giving Khan more screen time.
- To me, the opening storyline didn’t explain what our title “character” needed the money for but it was still funny
- I actually saw this comedy tour live so I was mad the video and sound effects that were used at the performance in the movie weren’t at the one I was at…hmmm….
- The show was funny when I first saw it and was still funny seeing it again at the movies
- To sum it up: Even though I watched it live, the stand-up was still funny from start to finish but the also funny set up story added more laughs and freshness to it all. To nitpick, I wanted a more meaningful story though
38. Hell or High Water
- More of a dramady than just a drama because it was pretty funny throughout
- It took a small approach to bank robbing, unlike a lot of other heist movies, but it fit the vibe of the movie so it worked
- Based on the way things were going up until the end, things got real extreme during the last robbery. I liked it but it felt a little weird because the way the movie was moving up until that point didn’t seemed to lead to that
- To sum it up: Great film that moved at a slow pace but it wasn’t too much of a problem because you enjoyed watching the characters on the screen
37. The Accountant
- Parts of the story were hard to follow even when Ray (J.K. Simmons) explains pieces of it for you
- I thought Ben Affleck did a great job as our physically unstoppable autistic “hero” or anti-hero
- Once again with Jon Bernthal, he’s great on screen but needed more screen time
- The action scenes were entertaining
- Affleck surprisingly keeps making it look like he was made to do action movies
- There were some funny moments like the abrupt kill at the end
- Christian’s (Affleck) condition made for plenty of laughs too. I say that with no disrespect even though I can be pretty heartless sometimes
- To sum it up: Good movie that would have been even better if the storytelling aspect was retooled
36. The Girl on the Train
- Lisa Kudrow was funny in her quick first second on screen (as a ‘Friends’ buff I have to point that out)
- The quick blackout montage scenes looked a little too goofy for what it was intended to be
- The mystery/ twist was predictable and not somewhat shocking like it was supposed to be
- I did like how the reveal of Tom (Justin Theroux) actually being the crazy one was done
- Luke Evans’ role wasn’t as big as I expected it to be, especially down the stretch of the movie
- Emily blunt put on a great emotional wreck performance and Haley Bennett made her presences known too
- Theroux was good as the actual villain
- The end played out a little weird
- It reinforced that the case part of the story wasn’t really as big as it should have been especially for a missing/dead person
- To sum it up: It wanted to be ‘Gone Girl’ for 2016 but couldn’t deliver the thrilling mysterious ride it was aiming for. I still liked it though clearly
35. The Purge: Election Year
- The candy bar girl, who became a pest in the movie, was super annoying and just dumb
- With that said (referring to the above bullet), I did like how ridiculous some of the purge participants were and their reasoning for taking part in the crazy event
- This should have been Frank Grillo’s franchise from the start because he’s been good as the action tough guy the past 2 outings
- For a movie that’s around 18 years in the future from ‘The Purge: Anarchy’, there was seemingly no technology that made it seem that way.
- This is the type of movie that could have really played around with that idea well with the kills
- This installment is easily the funniest of the series because of all the laughs that come out of watching the ridiculous purgers.
- Uses its interesting plot and makes another fun, sick, entertaining ride
- To sum it up: ‘The Purge’ was a disappointment. Two installments later, the amount of fun that can be had is starting to reach its potential
- Zach Galifianakis led the way with the funny but definitely had some help
- There were moments of it being too dumb but that’s comedies for you. It didn’t take away much from the movie though
- It’s good to see a Jared Hess movie again
- To sum it up: Funny movie throughout. It’s what ‘Tammy’ failed at being…a good white trash comedy
33. Hardcore Henry
I thought I was going to watch this movie and leave midway through because of motion sickness since this movie is shot like you’re playing a first person-shooter video game. When I play those type of games, I usually have to cut them off pretty early because my stomach starts doing front flips and back flips so I thought the same feeling was going to occur while watching the movie. Lucky for me and shockingly, none of that happened and I was fine all the way through. I say lucky for me because otherwise I would have missed out on a surprisingly better than anticipated movie. This movie should sort of be the blueprint when video games are adapted into movies. I say sort of because this movie isn’t based on a video game and it has its own flaws so it shouldn’t be looked at like the bible per se but it should definitely be inspirational for future video game movies. Yeah that sounds better. But just watching it felt like I was watching a video game play out on the big screen. It had fake action, a poor story and just just had the vibe of a video game. The movie even started out with a sweet opening credit sequence that was super violent, cool and funny all at the same time. My reaction to it is kind of sick when you see it but hey, it looked dope. It got the movie off to an entertaining start that would keep up all the way until the end of the movie because after those opening credits, all you got was none-stop action. Like I said earlier, the story was poor and was developed poorly and there was an expected twist at the end but the movie did give us a great performance by Sharlto Coopley. Him playing Jimmy plus all his droids kept humor in the movie but also let him play around with all these different personalities in this adrenaline-filled environment. He was great at it and it was just very fun to watch.
I was expecting to like this movie as much as I did. Obviously you can see that it isn’t at the top of my list or anything but it’s still a great movie nonetheless. Sally Field put on a great and funny performance as the sweet, weird old hoarder. My boy Schmidt (or Max Greenfield to you none ‘New Girl’ fans) also was good just for the simple fact that it’s hard for me to imagine him playing another role besides Schmidt because he does that role so well and that characters personality has become ingrained in him (to me at least). But in this movie he just showed me he’s able to play another type of role and not have you think about the Schmidt character that much while you watch. I will say I was embarrassed watching the scene where Doris (Fields) reveals her true feelings to John (Greenfield). I don’t know why but I just found it very hard to watch. Very cringe worthy.
31. Dirty Grandpa
Boooooy was this movie childish. I can see why people despise this movie and completely dismiss it but it caters to a very immature side of me. The immature side of me that dies laughing at movies like this. Now I didn’t die laughing but I did find it to be hilarious. The jokes were crass, lazy, dumb and over-the-top but they still made me laugh. My boy Zac Efron was enjoyable but so was Robert De Niro. He really must have wanted to just do a movie that allows him to be as ridiculous as possible and have some fun with it because I can’t find another reason why he did this. Aubrey Plaza also brought plenty of laughs. Finding enjoyment out of the humor and the cast itself are the only things you can find positives from because almost everything else has its problems. The plot is weak with so many inconsistencies, it’s very predictable, focuses on story elements that aren’t a big deal as the movie rolls on and the relationship between Shadia (Zoey Deutch) and Jason (Efron) seemed so forced. Nothing about their connection, as it was shown in the movie, says they should try to be together. It’s like the movie didn’t want it to seem natural or realistic. They just wanted it to play out the way it did only because them having a romantic relationship is what the script said. All in all, I found the movie to be very entertaining because my childish side was very amused by all the childish shenanigans. I do bet, though, that my view of this movie will probably take a tumble once I see it again…(a couple viewings later)….and yep, it did but I’m not moving its place on this list because what’s done is done.
(Photo Credit: Davin Arul – http://www.star2.com/entertainment/movies/movie-reviews/2016/07/16/review-the-purge-election-year/; UNIVERSAL PICTURES; Glenn Erickson – https://trailersfromhell.com/hello-my-name-is-doris/)