The 5 Best Movies of 2016

5.) Kubo and the Two Stringskubo-main_0

It’s an animated movie with hutzpah; something that isn’t widely promulgated these days. Featuring beautiful art direction, great music and a narrative containing serious, mature themes that will resonate with child and adult alike, Kubo is a gem in the modern day animated dirt mine.

4.) The Accountantmv5bndc5mzg2ntyxnv5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjq2odawote-_v1_uy1200_cr9006301200_al_

This is on here because the first hour and a half was a remarkably delicate, thoughtful handling of a sensitive subject matter interlaced with guns, powerful flashback sequences and (against all odds) interesting mathematical content. Riveting stuff. Not to mention the second half wasn’t that bad either.

 

 

3.) Hacksaw Ridgeimg

I don’t normally watch WWII period pieces, but when I do I make sure Mel Gibson’s directing ’em.

 

 

 

 

1.) All I See Is You and The Autopsy of Jane Doe

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It’s a tie! While I like All I See Is You just a tad more because it speaks to my experiences in relationships (I know, yikes) and operates on a level entirely above and beyond any other romantic drama I’ve seen, the reality of the matter is that it’s a more flawed movie than The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Jane Doe accomplishes exactly what it sets out to without a single misstep. In any case, they’re both horror masterpieces and my movies of 2016.

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Review of “Fantastic Four” — Just See the Damn Movie. It’s Fantastic.

I’m kicking off this review with an informal letter to director Josh Trank: Come on, man. Don’t go cannibalizing your product by turning around and calling it shit just after everyone else started to. Besides, attacking the studio won’t help save your career. Just own what you made, because it was amazing.

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Here’s the truth of the matter: Fantastic Four takes a long time to get going. It’s only got a single action scene. Very few relationship tropes are achieved over the course of the movie. And for all those reasons, it’s probably the best origin story I’ve seen in ages.

Why do people hate it? Let’s go down the list. For each item, I’ll give a rebuttal of why I think it made the movie great.

1.) “The characters don’t develop.”

Some people are whining that Miles Teller and Kate Mara don’t bang by the end of this movie. Seriously, though? These kids have some brief moments of “will they or won’t they” in the beginning, much like any teens might have when they’re testing the waters. But priorities shift when they crack inter-dimensional travel, acquire super mutations, etc. Those are the sort of events that might stop a campy teen romance from developing, people. Biological anomalies and pressure from the government to be turned into a human weapon, as well as the impending threat of Doom, might impede on a shitty romance subplot. It’s a realistic sacrifice; get over your addiction to cliches.

2.) “Not enough action.”

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There’s no argument that there’s little action. A single fight at the end is all that the movie builds up to. But there are two things worth mentioning here: the final fight is a worthy conclusion to an extremely solid, slow-burn origin story and secondly, rumor has it there were meant to be more fights. Now, I’m not going to regard that last point because it doesn’t matter what was meant to be rather than what’s actually IN the final product, but understand that the rumor mill claims Trank wanted three fights and Fox chopped the third act in some weird ways. Regardless, I honestly loved the single fight aspect. It made the event feel far grander than it actually was, when for the first time in the whole movie, the heroes had an obstacle as great as them to overcome. If they’d managed to fight three different fights by the end of this movie, it wouldn’t really have been an origin on them getting their collective shit together, now would it? A single fight to unite them once and for all, though, was awesome. It capped off a slow sci-fi flick with some comic book elements about five young adults going through some insane shit together.

3.) “The main cast is bad.”

While I will admit I was a little let down by Miles Teller who occasionally gave off the impression that he was just in it for the paycheck, the other five main members of the cast were great. Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell and Reg E. Cathey all brought their A-game, and blended well together. And sure, they might not have been written as the overly common in-sync super team we were expecting, but that’s because they were written as individuals with flaws that needed overcoming. They were written as REAL PEOPLE, and most audience members can’t accept that, it seems.

4.) “Doom sucked.”

Shut up, right now. Doom was honestly the best comic book movie antagonist I’ve ever seen, tying with the Joker (TDK) and Zod (MoS). Some might call that statement blasphemy, but hear me out: *SPOILER ALERT* he does what no Marvel antagonist has had the balls to do thus far, which is actually try to achieve his goals. Douchey government guy standing in his way? Doom just stares at him and BLOWS UP HIS HEAD. Innocent nurse blocking his path? Head blown up. Red was painting the walls by the time Doom started his killing spree, with little chunks bursting and shit. It was gruesome, and for the first time in comic book movie history, I was actually slightly frightened (the primary goal of a comic book villain!!!). The Joker wasn’t scary because we knew Batman would win, with the same caveat applying for Zod, though the latter did tear shit up before the inevitable save-the-day sequence. Doom, though, managed to suspend my disbelief to the point where I genuinely thought he had a chance at winning and ending the movie on a sour cliffhanger. I’ll be surprised if I ever feel that kind of suspense again. Not to mention his origin of being a computer nerd who plays Assassin’s Creed Unity wasn’t unbelievable, far from it. It was a classic tale of a kid with great potential squandering his life away behind a screen. An overall excellent modern adaptation of Doom.

5.) “The movie is too slow.”

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Boo-hoo! I’m sorry this couldn’t be Spider-Man reboot #36 for you, where within the first thirty minutes he’s knocking out subway goons, zapping the Green Goblin’s mouth shut, etc. This movie tried to be Interstellar with a comic book conclusion, which meant that cheap action would have to be exchanged for a slow-burn sci-fi build. And, in my opinion, the gambit paid off. I cared more at the end simply because I hadn’t seen the heroes tested up to that point. It was methodically slow, in the best of ways.

Those are my retorts as a contrarian. I honestly liked this movie just a hair more than Ant-Man, to give you a frame of reference as to how I really feel (and I absolutely loved Ant-Man) about Fantastic Four. The soundtrack is phenomenal, the CGI is effective (and looks slightly more real based solely on how little of it crops up until the finale), the characters are believable and great, and everything is just awesome. Yes, if you want a run-of-the-mill action-churning, light-hearted origin story Fantastic Four will let you down. But if you want something unique, a movie that tried to be more than just a regular shitty comic book flick, give F4 a try. Just like Ant-Man was more heist than it was comic book, this is more sci-fi than superhero. And against all the critics, I for one will say it was a fantastic ride.

The Craziest Civ 5 Loss Ever

This needs sharing, pronto.

So, I’m Russia and the only other opponent in my league (we’re in the endgame, in an online match that somehow survived ’til the very end) is some punk playing as Germany.

I have a capital boasting somewhere in the neighborhood of 230+ hammers of production, easily my best production-per-city record ever. That number is legendary. It was beautiful. Not to mention my science was at 380, not fantastic but nothing to scoff at.

Well, little Germany is piddling its thumbs over on a different continent, swirling lies in the game chat and being nothing more than a petty nuisance. Hell, according to demographics he and I were tied as far as research goes, and obviously my production was beating his exponentially.

Somehow that Bismark-moustached bastard pulled far enough ahead of me in the last thirty turns of the game to research all the rocket parts before I could. And, I mean, I was churning those parts out (after researching them) in two turns flat, WITHOUT a spaceship part factory no less. And even though he took substantially longer to build each part, he still managed to beat me to the last part by ONE TURN.

It was a 267 turn match, when Germany won. I would’ve won on 268. I would’ve done Mother Russia proud. But instead, I get a hideous pseudo-Wolfenstein ending. Dammit.

Top Gaming Oddities of 2012

There were a lot of surprises throughout the gaming season of 2012, and whether they were good or bad is about to be discovered.

Surprisingly Awesome Game of 2012: Max Payne 3Max-Payne-3

Now, everyone but me already had uber-high expectations for Max Payne 3. Me, well, I don’t really care that much for Rockstar games so I wasn’t super interested. Then, a copy of Max Payne somehow found its way to my Xbox… and I was hooked. It had the most gripping story of a game this generation, possibly of all time. The difficulty nearly got me to rage quit, but the story was just too good to leave unfinished.

Surprisingly Disappointing Game of 2012: Transformers Fall of Cybertron

It’s not a bad game. I recognize that. But its not the massive improvement over Transformers: WFC that Highmoon promised us. No co-op, no unique multiplayer updates, no nothing. There were just too many steps into the realm of cliche` for me to be okay with this game.

Best Ending of 2012: Assassin’s Creed IIIAC3_announce_trailer_thumbnail_BIGtcm4140490

I don’t even know why I liked the ending so much, but I did. And this is NOT including all that nonsense with Desmond, I loved this ending because of Connor. If you disregard all the “end of the world Nirvana Dharma Karma Voodoo” nonsense from the modern day story and focus solely on the ending that Connor Kenway got after the American Revolution, you see a really deep ending that has no real winners. Sure, Connor’s accomplished his goals, taken down Charles Lee and saved his village, but it’s only temporary. Connor realizes in the end the Americans will do the same thing to his villages that the British would’ve, and realizes his fight was for nothing. It brings us full circle with our humanity, that we’re all just pawns on a bigger board.

Worst Ending of 2012: Mass Effect 3

Before the DLC endings, Mass Effect 3’s ending sucked. Nothing more to say about it.

Top 5 Movies of 2012

What movies from this year should you be adding to your DVD (’cause DVD’s are the jam) collection? Read on to find out!

Number 5.) The AvengersThe Avengers

In a year jam-packed with superhero flicks, the Avengers was a no-brainer. While it didn’t quite trump some of the other awesome super hero films of the year, it was definitely pretty great. Seeing Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and the gang all in one place at the same time was monumental and easily one of the greatest cinematic moments of the year.

Number 4.) Skyfall

Skyfall was just a really well-rounded movie. The soundtrack? Amazing. The acting? Amazing. The plot? Impressively solid and interesting, as far as Bond movies go. I really can’t help but recognize it as the definitive Bond film.

Number 3.) The Amazing Spider-ManimagesCAEV1WVG

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was dry-eyed at hearing about Toby McGuire’s departure from Spider-Man. He was all right, but honestly, Andrew Garfield takes everything that made him good and multiplies it five times over. He’s the definitive Spidey, and there’s so much more depth to his non-superhero self this time around. And how can we forget about Emma Stone. She’s fantastic. As always.

Number 2.) The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan pretty much reserved a spot on everybody’s top __ movie list this year with TDKR. Not only did it neatly wrap up the best superhero trilogy of all-time, but it felt satisfying, as so few movies do nowadays. It really provided a detailed, lengthy plot, an ounce of superhero magic, the best ending of anything ever, and an overall extremely impressive three hour epic.

Number 1.) Wreck-It Ralph

I know that a lot of you are on the verge of clicking away after seeing the number one spot go to this movie, but wait! Don’t go! I have reasons as to why Wreck-It Ralph is the best of 2012. If seeing all of the best video game characters of the decade on the big screen wasn’t enough, Disney finally managed to muster up something that might possibly be as awesome as Toy Story, which is no small feat. The characters were memorable, the worlds were memorable, and its the best thing to come out of Disney in a while. Not only is it an instant classic, but it provides us gamers with something we’ve always wanted: Sonic, Pac-Man and Dig Dug in a movie. Together.