Day 2 of my "Best Of" lists will be my top 5 movies from 2016, and I'll throw in one bad one for good measure. But, I need to address the death of Carrie Fisher very quickly. SCREW YOU 2016. YOU ARE THE WORST. THIS IS A TRAGIC, TRAGIC YEAR AND IT NEEDS TO END NOW. 2016 HAS STUNK.
Okay, let's get back to the countdown.
My number 5 movie of 2016 is "Midnight Special". This movie totally flew under the radar. I heard, nor saw, next to nothing about this movie until it was available for renting from Netflix, and it came up as recommended for me. I saw no trailers, no reviews, nothing. But, I thought the story sounded pretty cool, l liked the cast, which included Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver and Jaeden Lieberher and I saw that Patton Oswalt was talking about it on Twitter, so I rented it. Man am I glad that I did. This movie was super interesting and very unique. It was an indie take on superhero movies, but it was so much more. It touched on moral and ethical issues. There was talk of family and friendship being so important. The story between the dad and the son, who had the super powers, was tremendous. The chase scenes, and any other scene that featured the kid's powers for that matter, were quiet, but incredible. I loved this movie so much, and I find myself thinking about it a lot still, and I watched it a few months ago. I highly recommend people seeing this movie, even if you are not a superhero fan. The movie is more about a father-son relationship than any superhero stuff. "Midnight Special" deserved to be talked about more, and I think it is one of the best 5 movies of the year.
At number 4, I have "Deadpool". This movie got the opposite attention than a movie like "Midnight Special", but that was not only a good thing, it was an incredible thing. All the previews and mini videos that Ryan Reynolds did as Deadpool were so incredibly awesome, funny and very much needed for this movie. Reynolds worked so hard to get this movie made, and I love the fact that he was out there beating the drum so loudly gearing up to its release. Then, the movie came out, and it was an absolute home run. Everything about this movie was new and different. Deadpool breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to the audience the whole time was innovative and hilarious. The way the story was told was much like "Citizen Kane", in the way the story jumped time between past and present. The movie was wildly violent, but that is exactly what I wanted out of a movie that boasted that it was not a superhero movie, but a violent comedy. The opening scene was one of the best things I have seen in movies in quite some time. Starting out as Deadpool, but going back and forth, while wasting bad guys, between his present and his past was awesome. This was the perfect role for Reynolds as well. Any time he can quip, that is what he does best, it usually works well for him, even if the movie isn't that good. Fortunately for Reynolds though, "Deadpool" is awesome. This is one of the best "superhero" movies, but do not watch it with any child under the age of 17. This movie is violent and vulgar to a very high degree. I love "Deadpool".
My number 3 movie of 2016 is "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping". This is another pop culture thing, much like "Atlanta", that I have been beating the drum for since I heard about it. "Popstar" was the newest movie from the Lonely Island, and it was the perfect skewering of the ups and downs of celebrity life in the pop music business. This was probably the funniest movie that I saw all year. Andy Samberg was wonderful in the starring role, Conner 4 Real. He did such a great impression of a dirty version of Justin Bieber/Macklemore. Every step and bit of this movie was perfect. The idea of how selling out has become the norm, great. The fact that you have to be so in touch with your fans in this day and age, but how they can turn on you on a dime if you have one misstep, exceptional. Seeing the downfall of a "one hit wonder" was done so well. Seeing that person trying to make a come back and failing at this task, again, perfect. "Popstar" was everything I wanted it to be, and so much more. Samberg was great, as I said, but so were Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaefer, Chris Redd, Sarah Silverman and Tim Meadows. Meadows was exceptional in fact. He was the second best person in this movie. The unfortunate thing for "Popstar", no one went to see it in the theaters, and that is a shame. This movie is underrated, did not get the credit it deserved, but it will become a "cult classic". I guarantee this.
At number 2, and some may say this is cheap, but I don't care, I have "O.J.: Made in America". People may say it is cheap because it was a 5 part documentary series on ESPN, but for all intents and purposes, this was a 7 plus hour documentary, that was released in a few theaters in its entirety, so I count it as a movie. This is the best, hands down, documentary that I have ever seen. This told a tragic story of a tragic person so, so well. This was a perfectly made movie. We got every bit of detail we could have ever wanted out of the tragic tale that is O.J Simpson's life. From his high school to college to pro to after NFL to acting to everything after that, it was all covered in great detail. I do not know how anyone can watch this movie and not think that he was, at the very least, somehow involved in the horrific death of 2 people. Things got even worse for him after the famous trial, but things were bad for him all the way back to his college days. O.J. was/is a troubled person, and this movie shows us that tenfold. "O.J.: Made in America" is a true classic, and everyone should take the time to watch. It is dark, tragic and great.
My number 1 movie of 2016 is, "Hunt For the Wilderpeople". This movie was phenomenal. Everything about "HFTWP" was done perfectly. The actors, mainly Sam Neill and Julian Dennison, did a tremendous job. Taika Waititi did an awesome job of directing this gem. The writers were awesome. The setting and the shots were beautiful. "HFTWP" was just downright perfect. The story is about a young juvenile delinquent that goes to live with his aunt and uncle, but so much more happens. There's adventure, comedy, thrills, drama, sadness and a great chase scene near the end. This was another movie that did not get its just due until much later in its run in the theaters. This was such a well done, funny and moving movie. I truly believe that both Dennison and Neill deserve Oscar nominations for acting, and Waititi deserves one for directing. I have seen this movie already about a dozen times, and it never gets old. "Hunt For the Wilderpeople" was the cream of the crop when it comes to movies in 2016. This was one of the good things to come from this not so good year. Go see it now, I know you will love it as much as I did.
Now, for my one bad movie, it has to be "Batman V Superman". This movie was dreadful. Ben Affleck was terrible as Batman/Bruce Wayne. The guy who plays Superman, I do not even remember his name, was so god damn boring and terrible as Superman/Clark Kent. Amy Adams was whiny and way too involved in this movie as Lois Lane. Doomsday was too dark and hard to see, and way too CGI for my taste. Gal Gadot was the only good thing about this movie, as Wonder Woman, but she was hardly in this piece of garbage. "Batman V Superman" was so awful. I fast forwarded through most of it, to get to the fight scenes, but even those were terrible. Batman had some of the dumbest lines ever spoken in a movie, and Superman would destroy him in a real fight with one punch, but this guy playing Superman needed to brood a bit too much before he could even fight Batman. Also, screw the ending of this movie. So god damn lazy. Zack Snyder is making terrible movies that should be easy to make, or at the very least, they should be watchable, which "Batman V Superman" was not. This movie was absolute garbage.
That does it for today. Come back tomorrow for my top 5 albums of 2016.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He thought Batman V Superman was about a famous Supreme Court case involving Sigmund Freud and the New Hampshire Parks Department Head of bat sanctuaries. He wishes that he was right. Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.
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