The year 2016 will be known for a number of things – an inordinate amount of celebrity deaths and an equally inordinate amount of lackluster movies. Are these two correlated? I’m not convinced its’ not. Anyway, here is my list of movies I watched this year that was released in 2016. It’s not been a good one.
Plot: The man-cub Mowgli flees the jungle after a threat from the tiger Shere Khan. Guided by Bagheera the panther and the bear Baloo, Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, though he also meets creatures who don’t have his best interests at heart.
This is firstly the most reluctant 8/10 I’ve ever given. I wanted to go watch Captain America, but that really couldn’t happen as my mom just isn’t a superhero kind of girl and the whole point of the outing was treating her. So I sulked a little bit about not seeing the Cap – I also have the worst flu in existence and that is definitely contributing, but it all worked out well in the end. – and as you all know I’ve since seen Captain America: Civil War and reviewed it here.
2016 had a slow start to movies, but it is making progress in becoming a good here. The Jungle Book is another favourable entrance, and Jon Favreau truly did a phenomenal job. The Jungle Book looks so good – the forest is beautiful, the descriptions and storytelling is enthralling. It is obviously a great job by Disney – their new releases of old stories are gorgeous so far. It must have been a risky undertaking having a novice child as your only human presence on screen, but it paid off in the end. Despite having a few scenes where the child isn’t all that convincing, he did a great job and he certainly looks like Mowgli.
I can’t say too much about the film – the plot is no secret and remains close to the original material. As was done with the less impressive Cinderella last year, The Jungle Book is the exact same as its animation. In this case it works very well. The CGI is mind blowing, the voice casting is great (Scarlett Johannson is perhaps the best as Kaa) and the songs are as addictive as when they first came out. The Jungle Book is a feast on the eyes and is worth the ticket – and definitely the 3D!
Plot: (IMDb) When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
I had SO much win last weekend when I accidentally stumbled upon this movie and watched it while having a break between studying stints.
Iron Man 3 was good this time around but I confess that my initial impression was influenced by seeing it on the big screen. Marvel’s current movies are all about big effects and graphics and not always necessarily about the storyline. They are flashy and mesmerising, and I definitely get caught up in the sparkle of it.
Tony Stark goes through character development in this instalment, but that is something that has been cracking from Iron Man 1. He has gone through his stages that started with a playboy billionaire into a slightly more responsible adult to where he finally accepted he needed a balanced life if he wanted Pepper in it. Tony in the third instalment is dealing with the trauma of witnessing Aliens invade space, carrying the weight of protecting New York and carrying a nuclear missile into space and falling back. That certainly does sound like a lot to deal with, and it is immediately apparent that although he is still his flippant and sarcastic self, he is worried and the only way to lessen his stress is to build an army of Iron Man suits.
Then there is the Mandarin, an evil terrorist who keeps bombing the shit out of places. The world wants Tony to intervene, but Tony is actually too busy trying to live his life and hide his obsession from Pepper. But then Happy is hurt, and Tony’s best friend is suddenly in critical danger because of the Mandarin. Tony promises retaliation and goads the Mandarin by giving out his address on live television. Tony’s mansion is destroyed in an attack and Tony barely escapes alive, but manages to get a message to Pepper that he is still breathing. He lands in some godforsaken town where there are obviously things amiss and meets a kid with whom he bonds immediately. But Tony is soon tracked down by scary mutating humans who just won’t friggin die, and he is forced to leave and find the Mandarin. The Mandarin is nothing like Tony expected and he needs to readjust his plan of attack because the President of the USA is in danger.
I have to say of the three villains that the franchise has hosted, the Mandarin bored me the most but should have been the most intense. Jeff Bridges’ Obadiah Stane was a villain because he was greedy in the first movie, Mickey Rourke’s Ivan Vanko was excellent but Vanko wasn’t necessarily Tony’s enemy, which hate stemmed from what his father felt towards Tony’s father. Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian and Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin was the direct result of Tony’s careless behaviour towards other people earlier on in his life, so these characters should have been full of antagonism towards our main man. The Mandarin managed to disappoint me on so many levels – it was a stupid plot twist and ruined the entire pace the movie had successfully maintained through the movie. I was so bleak about that terrifying Mandarin being a damn puppet! Pearce did okay as Killian but I felt his hatred was rather disconnected and he was trying too hard to be a muhahhaa type of villain.
The graphics are still amazing but it is Marvel and that is kinda their modus operandi. I loved all the Iron Man suits and how they lighted up in the scene where they are all heading for that shipper boat thing (I obviously don’t know the name of it).
Thus, Iron Man 3 is okay, but the franchise seems to be exhausting Robert Downey Junior’s previously inexhaustible wit, so I do think that they should focus more on the other superheroes (I personally think that a good Hulk movie with Mark Ruffalo can work exceptionally well)
PS: This list is finally actually PROPERLY updated, so go have a look and let me know if you are interested in doing a movie.