Monday, 2 January 2017

Marisa's Top 5 of 2016

Looks like another year is over (and thank god, seriously I’ve never been happier to see a year go) and looking back, although we were served a few stinkers (several of which I had the unfortunate pleasure to actually pay to see) the amount of standouts this year were definitely worthy of a list. Now I know that this list is gonna omit some of last years biggest hits (films like Hacksaw Ridge and The Witch for example) but that’s really because these films are going to be getting a whole heap of recognition during awards season anyway. Instead, my top 5 are less about the films that critics raved about and more about the underdogs of 2016. These are the films I felt were worth the money I payed to see them, surprised me in some way and that I honestly enjoyed as an everyday screengoer, rather than someone who spends half her life drooling over shot compositions. So without further ado, here are my top 5 films of 2016.

1. Zootopia

What a surprise hit this one was, and for a good reason. Many people going into this film were expecting a cute movie that could entertain the kids for a while, which the film did provide. However, the way that the film cleverly added elements of social commentary and managed to discuss the world today in a way that a) made it interesting and b) easy for children to understand really impressed me. I think its important that films are able to talk about relevant topics in ways that are not always gritty true to life epics about the world ending, so Zootopia is definitely one that I highly recommend.

2. Deadpool

Where do I even begin to explain my love for this movie? Being one of the first movies I saw this year, it was great to kick off the cinema season on such a high note. This film really impressed me as it brought to life one of my favourite anti-heroes in a way that I felt really honoured the character: the fourth wall breaks, the r-rated jokes and the realisation that although he’s kind of a dick, Deadpool has heart. I think this film made me happiest above all else because it was obvious that the creators, producers and actors were all really passionate about this film and clearly wanted it to pay tribute to the all the fans who love this character, something that often gets lost in the money grabbing blockbuster machine that Hollywood often is. Was it perfect? No. Was it still a great time? Absolutely.

3. The Conjuring 2

So maybe its because I’m a big horror fan. Maybe it’s because I really enjoyed a refreshing take on ‘real life’ horror that didn’t involve the word ‘paranormal’ or ‘activity’ (cough). But when your best friend (who hates horror movies) says she enjoyed the movie, you know its worth something. The truth of the matter is that the cleverness of the storytelling and editing really impressed me. Of course, you have to suspend your disbelief in parts, but that nun gave me nightmares and pretty sure it scared the living daylights out of most other people who went to see this movie. Nuff said.

4. Suicide Squad

What? How? A film that was served all shitty reviews and was basically seen to be a flop? On a top five list? Yeah I know it’s a little unorthodox, but to be honest I thought that people were a bit harsh on the Squad (see my original review for more details). I really enjoyed this film because it proved to me that the DC universe does know how to have fun, even if it took an unbelievable amount of effort to get them there, and it still wasn’t exactly stellar. The good news is that DC is learning, and as a person who grew up with Batman and the gang as her first superheros, this film really holds a special place in my heart.

5. Now You See Me 2

You know that old saying that the sequel is never as good as the original? I was lucky enough to find out that it doesn’t apply to every sequel twice this year, first with The Conjuring 2 and second with this film. Now You See Me 2 reminded me that films are first and foremost about enjoyment, something that can often get lost in the dark and gruelling films that are always hits at the box office. This film handled the exit of Isla Fisher well, and brought forward a fun and exciting cast as well as a plot that kept viewers on their toes. I had missed the days of viewing films with wonder rather than with critique, so this film held a nice reminder that being excited by films is what its all about.

Well, that’s it! Another year of great films over. Here’s hoping that this year’s cinema selection is just as exciting as the last.

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