Movies 2016: Worst to Best

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.

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Number 19: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice 6/10

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Number 18: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them 6/10

Number 17: Before You 6/10

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Number 16: The Choice 6.5/10

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Number 15: How to be single 6.5/10

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Number 14: The 5th Wave 7/10

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Number 13: SUICIDE SQUAD 7/10

Number 12: Rogue One: 7/10

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Number 11: The Huntsman: Winter’s War 7/10

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Number 10: Legend of Tarzan 7.5/10

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Number 9: Finding Dory 7.5/10

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Number 8: Captain America: Civil War: 7.5/10

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Number 7: Zootopia 8/10

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Number 6: The Jungle Book 8/10

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Number 5: 10 Cloverfield lane 8/10

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Number 4: Dr. Strange 8/10

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Number 3: Deadpool (8/10)

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Number 2: Bridget Jones’ Baby: 8.5/10

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Number 1: Pride and Prejudice vs. Zombies 8.5/10

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July 2016: Watched, Read, Loved

Gosh I’m glad it’s August! I am over the cold in Johannesburg. For reals man. July was a pretty decent month. I got to see my bestie, and even though the circumstances weren’t that great, I am grateful that I at least got to spend some quality time with her.

Personally I think my eyes finally cleared with a few people in my life – there is a certain level of selfishness I can’t tolerate, and this person finally reached it. I should have cut ties ages ago, but when I bond to someone, you really have to nuke me out of it. Well, I’ve been nuked.

Hmm, what else? I’ve had a couple of hectic weekends and it reflected on my scarcity on my blog, which always happens and always frustrates me. I’m going to do my very best to post more often, as it makes me super happy.

And here’s a rundown of what I’ve been watching and reading. Enjoy, and tell me below what you’ve been up to 🙂

Watched:

At home:

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The Proposal

I saw this film before I opened this blog, and I have always thought that it was an okay film. I actually really enjoyed this so much when I watched it again. Queen Sandra Bullock and a very young and adorable Ryan Reynolds certainly make an interesting couple onscreen, and I thought the dialogue and hysteria was spot on and funny in the film.

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The Wedding Planner

Oh, Maththew McConaughey has a few gems under his belt before he started being all badass in things like True Detective and that other horsey movie that everyone liked. This is a boogy, definitely, and it was silly enough that I got quite annoyed. There were a few pros, which I will mention when I review the film soon, but let it be noted that Jennifer Lopez is a fantastic singer (for her genre) but acting should never be part of her repertoire.

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Valentine’s Day

VD worked well, and it is surprising because the film is packed with actors and actresses, and that rarely works. Mostly it is just a situational feel good film, but there is nothing wrong with that!

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Runaway Bride

I’m on such a Gary Marshall/Julia Roberts run, it is not even funny. They do seem to be a dream team, because when they get together there always seems to be some romantic comedy as a result that is actually enjoyable to watch. Between this and Pretty Woman I enjoyed Pretty Woman much more, but I definitely liked this.

Skyfall

I already reviewed here, and if you haven’t read it yet, rest assured that I really liked this Bond film. It’s my second favorite after Casino Royale, and I must say, I am really surprised how much I’ve enjoyed all these films.

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The Ugly Truth

It’s really ugly, and it’s really bad. The awful dialogue results in awful acting, I’m not really blaming our leads here at all, it’s just a shit film with crap writing and is as believable as anything Donald Trump says.

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27 Dresses

JAMES MARSDEN. You have no idea the amount of hilarity this man causes in my family. I really like him, but his dress sense in this film was absolutely awful. Like, AWFUL. It is also a depressing movie – I will shoot myself before I’m a bridesmaid 27 times, it’s just not right or fair. I love our girl Katherine Heigl in here, and thought there were pretty good moments between the rapid romances and problems being solved easily.

In Cinema:

The Legend of Tarzan:

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I reviewed this one here. It’s man candy season in this film. I’m not gonna lie. However, it isn’t nearly as bad as the trolls want you to believe, and I am still calling it the most pleasant surprise of 2016.

Series:

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Vampire Diaries Season 4

I finally switched it back on! It was a time issue, not because I’m struggling to watch it. It is still quite a solid show, but there are a few dips, something that probably can’t be helped when you travel this far into a show. I’ll post all the reviews once I’m done watching, then I can do them consecutively across a couple of weeks : )

Books read:

The Obsession – LOVED this!

Honest Illusions – It was okay – review here

Currently reading:

I’m actually in the middle of way too many books! I am reading Twilight again (the shame, I know) and I am definitely enjoying it more than Blood Bound (Rachel Vincent). I can promise you, when I get through this book, the review will be up here in no time and it will be a bad one – this book is so stupid. It is taking me ages to get through it, a damn shame because it is supposed to be a quick read.

So there it is – I am way behind on everything in life at the moment, but at least I got to do see and read some great material! What have you been up to?

Movie Review: The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

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Plot: Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.

Rating: 7.5/10

I realize that this is against popular opinion to have really enjoyed this, but who cares about popular opinion anyway? I really enjoyed this, and found it the biggest surprise of 2016. If you can deal with the fact that this is somewhat like Jungle Book but with bulging muscles, more humans and some steamy kisses, you are sorted to have a lot of fun.

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You’ve heard by now that Samuel L. Jackson is tasked with bringing the comedic relief and pulls it off, because that’s what great actors do. He’s totally great, also not a big surprise, a warrior that has seen too many obliteration of freedom and can’t really deal with it anymore.

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Christopher Waltz is good as but perhaps expectantly the soft-spoken villain, something he is excellent at but is limiting his genius when it comes to his work – no great actor deserves to be typecast that way. His one and only aim is to make the King of Denmark really rich and successful, and he seems void of true cause. Djimon Hounsou is a tribal leader that wants Tarzan dead, and the reason is heartbreaking. That, explored, could have been excellent material, but it was thrown down the ravine as soon as they could move Tarzan on further. I loved the look of Hounsou’s tribe, which is in actual fact a real look for some African tribes.

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Alexander Skarsgard is the titular Tarzan, and if you don’t explore the nagging questions like how he adapted to England when he had very little contact with humans in his formative years or how he remained so built, and how he’s even speaking any language, you can enjoy the quiet intensity he obviously worked hard at. Margot Robbie is Jane, and although she had the sassiest comebacks and one escape attempt, she just waited mostly for Tarzan to fetch his Jane, and I couldn’t help but be a little pissed off at her.

There were some truly beautiful scenery of wild and tribal life. I appreciated that while Tarzan had a connection to all the animals, they didn’t go so far and have him speak with them – that would have sent this film into the abyss. There were some moral eyebrow lifting to the slave trade. It seems inconceivable that people really justified barging into a continent and ripping control from the natives, and yet history proved itself over and over again that people really did have that audacity.

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Like I said, the film was thoroughly enjoyable. It was easy to root for the good guys. No one had grey areas and the villain, for better or worse, was pretty straightforward. I thought Skarsgard impressive, imposing, and very drool worthy. I wish they had given some form of a backstory – the flashbacks were far and few in between, and this would have been a better sequel than a first film. He seemed intense and socially shy, and that worked out fine. Skarsgard was even WITH a shirt most of the time, dramatically decreasing the cheese feast I thought it would turn out to be.

Overall, I’m keeping my opinion that this was a 2016 goodie. It’s not perfect, and certainly lacks backstory, but the fight to keep the Congolese people free from slavery is heartbreaking and emotional, especially if you consider the constant state of current political turmoil in that beautiful piece of the world today.

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Movie Review: Django Unchained (2012)

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Plot: With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Rating: 8/10

I really like myself and my heritage on a regular basis. I’m not one of those white people perpetually steeped in guilt of what my ancestors did. However, there are a few things that makes me ashamed of the things the White Man has done – surely the most pompous and perplexing breed of human ever to roam the earth. Django Unchained definitely made me feel disgusted with American settlers. I firstly want to say it is incredibly rich of Americans to bitch so endlessly about Apartheid – just look at how they went on. Anyway. Let’s actually talk about the movie, shall we?

Django Unchained is now the third Tarantino film that I’ve seen. I saw Pulp Fiction as part of a Blindspot 2015 film, and watched Inglorious Basterds in the same week I watched this one. Django certainly has the same feel of Tarantino films – that crazy flamboyance. I love that he has such a distinct style – you only need to watch one sequence to know who you are dealing with.

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It is not an easy story to watch. It gets very rough in places and I felt a bit sick a few times. It is not that the violence is particularly often, it is the dehumanizing type of violence that is so terrible. Once again Christopher Waltz manages to steal the show as the infinitely sweet Doctor King. He was the one white man in the movie that showed he had a soul and was had kindness in him. His courteous treatment of Django and his gentle education makes him a character that I won’t soon forget (and how vastly different is he from his role in Inglorious Basterds?!)

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I’ve never really paid much attention to Jamie Foxx’s work, but I was really impressed with him. He manages to be severe yet humorous, a difficult feat, and has intense character development. The first scene with him in where he throws off his cloak it is obvious that Django is not a man that was born to be oppressed.

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I love Leonardo DiCaprio, well, on the level that everyone loves Leonardo DiCaprio. I was truly revolted by him in this film, which showcases his talent and abilities. But still, just NO.

DU is a bit long – I think the end went on slightly longer than it should have. It is really good though, and definitely worth a watch.

Movie Review: Inglorious Basterds (2009)

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Plot:In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same.

Rating: 9.5/10

So, I’m saying this at the start so I can get this off my chest: Is there anything more rewarding to a movie lover than an excellent film? I don’t think so, for very obvious reasons. I’m going to try and write out something for this but if you get halfway and decide that I sound like a lunatic, know that I loved this really really really.

Anyway, I can’t believe it took me so incredibly long to get to this. My sister, who really hates violence in movies, told me about the horrendous scalpings and I steered quite clear. I knew I should give it a try when my Bestie said that she thought I would like it a lot (and threatened to scalp ME if I didn’t educate myself in the Tarantino-business).

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It is madly intense. The first opening scene is a nail biter and Christoph Waltz is utterly charming and utterly terrifying. He seems so calm and pleased about being called the “Jew Hunter” that you can’t help but wonder if he is truly insane, whether he is very cruel or incredibly ambitious. Honestly, I think the character is all three.

Then there is Mr. Waltz himself, who speaks English with the clear precision that people who aren’t speaking their first language use. Hearing his voice is so lovely. I can also sit and listen to him for days speaking in his native German. Gosh.

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Then there is Mr. Bawnjourno Brad Pitt. It is so obvious that he is having the time of his life on set – he is so cocky, that ridiculous accent, the exaggerated mustache and the BAWNJOURNO. I’m still laughing my ass off at it every time I remember.

I also really cheered for the strong female characters, most notable Shoshanna Dreyfus. Melanie Laurent did an absolutely fantastic job with her portrayal as our Jewish heroine. She manages to portray that innate classiness of French woman while accurately expressing her dislike in anything Nazi.

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I’ve discovered the following thing that I love about Tarantino: He is able to address heavy subject matter in a way that still has a few laughs but it never takes away that he is acutely aware of the atrocities he is addressing. He never shies away from a taboo subject and he never lends sympathy to the oppressors. Inglorious Basterds is such a film – I can’t even say the Nazis were terrible because that is too tame a word. IB does nothing to diminish that fact and shows through a little bit of humor and a whole lot of crazy what the Nazis were and how wonderful it would have been if the war had ended in such a way.

So, I hope you take it that I loved the film – if you haven’t seen it yet, put it on your Blindspot list and get it done!

#bawnjourno