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

Movie Review: Suicide Squad (2016)

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Plot: A secret government agency recruits a group of imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency, which inevitably leads to chaos.

Rating: 7/10

Suicide Squad has been the target of critics since it came out. I still decided to go watch it, because I’d been looking forward to and hoping for something a little different in the comic world. I ended up really enjoying it, so here’s my case below.

Things I liked:

The look: The neon colors inexplicably worked. I wouldn’t usually recommend it for a film, but it increased the super villainous feel of the film. I hear Die Antwoord feels that director David Ayer copied their style (I really fight against the notion that Die Antwoord are South-African, it’s too horrible to comprehend). Has anyone ever seen anything from them? Do you agree or disagree with them?

The soundtrack. OMFG frickin bananas. This soundtrack is EVERYTHING. I can’t tell you how much the music makes the film work, I really can’t. No one in their right mind would think that these songs could be combined and produce such a successful result, and yet it does. It is a combination of every good song that was made in the last few years, and I am so getting the CD when it comes out!

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Will Smith as Deadshot. I saw a really deep query somewhere questioning whether Will Smith was the character or if the character was Will Smith? I don’t know, but I can tell you that Will Smith was obviously prepared to pick this movie up and carry it himself if it was necessary. His acting is incredible in here, he left his awkward son at home this time and we’re all super grateful about it. The costume looks great, Smith injects humanity into a serial killer which should be impossible, and shines as the unofficial leader of the Suicide Squad. His role didn’t actually contain humorous content, but the way he stood up for himself and his team had some really funny moments in it.

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Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Robbie and Smith has been on the receiving end of all the positive feedback about this film, and it’s easy to see why on both accounts. Margot Robbie was impressive in the Wolf of Wallstreet, and her role in The Legend of Tarzan was a bit plain, but boy did she bring it to the table regardless of the material. Harley Quinn was the character that has been waiting for Margot Robbie to come along – she’s absolutely brilliant. She’s deranged, it is the only word accurate for Harley, and Robbie does an amazing job with her. It must have been tricky – she’s worth all the laughs and is the only female supervillian on the Squad – not an easy job to pull of both. She uses a baby voice, which is surprisingly not as grating as I thought it would be. As Smith does with Deadshot, Robbie manages to incite sympathy for her character – a woman who fell in love with a really really bad man.

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Which brings me to the bad man – The Joker, as played by Jared Leto. It’s an iconic role, and unlike Batman portrayals, The Joker has had consistently impressive portrayals. Does Leto stack up? For me? YES. I found him as deranged as his girlfriend (perhaps even more so). I think Leto did a good job. People are also angry that he wasn’t in the film as much as they wanted to see him, but I didn’t feel deprived. He is always lurking behind the scenes, his presence is there, and when he’s on screen he brings it like a complete professional lunatic. I’d actually really like a movie with more Joker and Quinn time, but ladies, PLEASE STOP SAYING YOU WANT A LOVE LIKE THIS, IT’S DERANGED AND ABUSIVE. SHEESH.

I can go on and on about the characters, because I liked them all except two (which I will mention below). I thought Jai Courtney was good as Boomerang. Can people give this poor man a break? You’d swear he’s the worst actor ever, which he certainly isn’t. He was really hilarious as Boomerang, and he looked scruffy and shady, and it was so funny. I also really liked Diablo – he was the only character who showed true remorse. Jay Hernandez looked scary and great and brought some great acting to the screen.

Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag. I was so disappointed in “The Good Guys”. Everyone was a bit of a douchebag, some significantly more than others. Rick was such a good man in a bad situation, and he was making things work for him as best he could. He wasn’t exactly nice to the Squad, but he didn’t make a job to abuse them just for the fun of it.

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Cara Delevingne had a double role as The Enchantress and Dr. June Moore, the poor archaeologist who was possessed because she ripped an ancient statue’s head off. A few things went wrong with the villainy of this particular role, but their was nothing wrong with the acting or the casting – Ms. Eyebrows did a super job.

What I didn’t like:

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On the characters, the only two I really didn’t like was Killer Croc – could anyone even hear what the guy was busy saying? I certainly couldn’t. The other was Katana – Talk about the most stereotyped character to ever reach the screen in 2016.

The harshness of Amanda Waller – I get that this woman is anything but stable, but let’s be real here – no one could sympathize with this loon. Viola Davis did an excellent job, but the character was too unsavory to even feel sorry for.

The Enchantress as the villain. As I’ve said, it has nothing to do with the casting. However, the implementation of the villain was weak, and I spent a good portion wondering why the hell there were petrol monsters to begin with.

The introduction of the characters. At its’ core, Suicide Squad is suffering because DC just doesn’t want to spend any time implementing their characters properly. I’ve refrained comparing DC to Marvel’s success in this post up till now, but I will only mention by the time Marvel launched the Avengers, they’d spent time developing characters. Is Aquaman and Wonder Woman dropping before Justice League? I would hope so – there needs to be memory for the audiences as to why the characters are doing what they are doing, not some random ten minute sequence into the characters when the movie starts.

Well, there you have it. I thought that there went a lot right with this film, and the negative hype is typical of critics. Are there flaws? Yes. Can this franchise continue? HELL YES.

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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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Trailers worth Discussion: Round 1

Happy Friday!

So, I’m titling this little series as Trailers worth Discussion. Basically I am going to put up the latest trailers and say what I think of them, my excitement levels and if I think it will be a success or not. Yep, my highly patented opinion. Let me know YOUR opinion on these below!

Trailer 1: Me Before You, starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke

What I think: So I’ve ordered the book – this trailer seems like someone is going to die. I just want to know before I head into the cinema. I can handle a death, I just need to know. Terrible, hey? I am also really interested to see Emilia Clarke as something other than the mother of dragons, because that particular show will not see my patronage anytime soon.

Excitement levels: 4/5

Will it be a success? I do think so. Strong romantic dramas tend to do quite well for dates, and really hope both Claflin and Clarke get a chance to break out of the roles they are now very well known for.

Trailer 2: Suicide Squad Trailer #2

What I think: After the colossal (okay, not quite that bad) failure of Batman vs. Superman, DC must really work it to convince me to be interested. This trailer looks interesting, but I’m not all that sure I can invest in going to the movies for this.

Excitement levels: 2/5

Will it be a success? Likely, since the world isn’t tired of superheroes. yet.

Trailer 3: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

What I think: I’m reading the entire Harry Potter series again. I wish the magic could live on forever. I am not convinced that it can. It is sad, but I think continuing this series is a terrible idea. What is perfect should remain perfect.

Excitement levels: 1.5/5

Will it be a success? Yes, because the pseudo Potter fans weren’t raised on the books and don’t get the original magic quite that well. But I might still be impressed. I just don’t get why they must take it to America. Stupid.

Trailer 4: Doctor Strange

What I think: It seems like this is a role for which Benedict Cumberbatch was born for.

Excitement levels: 4/5

Will it be a success? I don’t know if the movie will work, I have no knowledge of the material. I do think it will be a success, because, Marvel.

Let me know what you think about these upcoming movies!!

5 Things Friday: Trailer time

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY

IT’S FRIDAAAY!

I’m not nearly as excited as I was last week Friday, because THEN I drove down to see my bestie. It was AWESOME.

Anyway,

This was only a four day week for South-Africa because we, true to our fondness for public holidays, had one to celebrate Women’s Day this past August – my only question is why the men got off as well, but I guess I will never get the answer to that.

To celebrate this short week that went quicker than most, because DUH, one day less of work, let’s look at some new (and some not so new) trailers that has me excited to see their full movies.

Batman vs. Superman

Release date: March 23, 2016

Pros:

I think this can work well if it is properly done

Cons:

Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor?? I can’t see that happening. What is with the hair?

This isn’t really a con, it is just apprehension. Batfleck. I don’t know. Ben Affleck is a good actor and all but I can’t see how he will top Bale.

 

Suicide Squad:

Release date: August 5, 2016

Pros:

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. I think that is going to be amazing.

The whole feel of the trailer – WOW DC, it is looks eery and gritty and sexy.

Cons:

Jaret Leto as the Joker. We will see, but I wasn’t all that impressed by him.

I’m not even sure what Will Smith is doing in here?

The Revenant:

Release date: December 25, 2015,

Pros:

I get to see Zoë dancing around in happiness because DiCaprio is on screen.

Hallo, Tom Hardy

Hallo, Leo

Tom and Leo together? Bring me that popcorn

Cons:

The plot isn’t that obvious in the trailer. Maybe it is a good thing.

 

Mockingjay Part II

Release date: November 20, 2015

Pros:

The second part of that book is much more exciting than the first part, and that is what everyone was complaining about in their reviews of Part one – it was a little bit boring.

The Cons:

That trailer, if you look properly at it, really doesn’t happen what will go down in the final part of the movie.

 

Spectre

Release date: November 6, 2015

Pros:

Daniel Craig as Bond

Cons:

Can’t really think of any right now

Whoop!! What are you excited to go see?

Wolf of Wallstreet (2013)

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My name is Jordan Belfort. I’m a former member of the middle class raised by two accountants in a tiny apartment in Bayside, Queens. The year I turned 26, as the head of my own brokerage firm, I made $49 million, which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week

Plot:

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. (via IMDb)

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Her father is the brother of my mom. Like, we grew up together, and she grew up hot, you know, she fucking grew up hot. And all my friends are trying to fuck her, you know, and I’m not gonna let one of these assholes fuck my cousin. So I used the cousin thing, as like, an in with her. I’m not like, gonna let someone else fuck my cousin, you know? If anyone’s gonna fuck my cousin, it’s gonna be me. Out of respect.

Rating: 8.5/10

I was called a heretic by a certain friend of mine for claiming I would watch this film in two segments, divided neatly in half. I couldn’t do it. Not only was I afraid that I would be burnt as a witch did I dare commit such a horrific crime, the Wolf of Wall Street was too damn good to just turn off and do something as mundane as sleep.

Leonardo DiCaprio scores the home winning run in his portrayal of Jordan Belfort. How he didn’t win an Oscar is now really beyond me. DiCaprio is threatening to become the most undeservedly under celebrated actors of our lifetime and I just can’t see why. Did he annoy someone at the Academy Awards? Is he not a good enough person? Didn’t he just donate a gazillion dollars to saving the earth from angry killer people? I thought the small part of Matthew McConaughey (WHAT is up with these weird surnames?! I have to friggin spell-check that shit every five seconds) showed what a great actor Matt is – not like in Ghosts of Girlfriend’s Past. However, nothing could reach the brilliant charm of DiCaprio.

There seems to be only good things floating around the internet about this – save one or two jackasses who wants to incur the anger of my bestie – but I had been warned that the movie was somewhat offensive and shocking. I would just like to ask that the whole world grow a pair because it was not that bad. Really, there is a lot of boob, drugs and swearing but compared to other material it is merely on the same level – not breaking any new records. If you have lived through the Game of Thrones series then you can stomach The Wolf of Walf Street.

It naturally took me fifty thousand years to get around to watching this – you know I never get into the hype of things lies. (I was actually just a bit scared of the time I would have to sit through watching this – who has three hours of uninterrupted time?) The movie is a whopper in terms of time, hence my initial plan to watch it in segments. Except for one or two scenes I thought went on a bit too much, the movie moves effortlessly from scene to scene with the required attention to detail, never once dragging to an extent where it felt like three hours – a nearly impossible feat.

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The most offensive part of the movie was the constant reminder that this all went down and that Jordan Belfort is a real man that did these things. Seeing him only as a character in a movie is one thing but fitting the drugs and greed into one live human being seems unbelievable. I simply cannot fathom what madness could possess a person to become like that.

So, everyone on the planet bitches about this teensy tiny fact, but how the fuck is Leonardo DiCaprio WITHOUT AN FRIGGIN OSCAR?! He is brilliant. He is good. He always gives good performance and never does anything remotely shitty. He is entertaining as Jordan Belfort and endlessly so. HE just gives such authenticity to the character and makes you see the corrupt soul of the man he portrays.

Another gobsmacking performance came courtesy of none other than Jonah Hill. He is not quite on the low Adam Sandler has reached, but he has some movies that makes me wonder how he did not burn the second he set his feet in Hollywood. He was weird and very freaky in this movie, married to his cousin and prone to violence in the WoWS.

Both wives of Belfort were beautifully portrayed by the Margot Robbie and Cristin Milioti. His second wife was much more up to handling his debauchery, merely because she had already had some experience in the weird world Belfort was a resident of. I liked her – I think her main attraction was the money but she was beautiful and intelligent enough and I think that equipped her with enough power to know that she could tell him where to get off and didn’t mind yelling at him. I didn’t think he deserved either wife.

The Wolf of Wallstreet is a truly rare movie in the sense that there isn’t a bad moment. My only complaint is some of the scenes really felt dragged.

Looking under the “shocking” cover of the Wolf of Wall Street you will discover an excellent movie exploring what greed does to a person.

Recommendation: Just do it. Belfort certainly did.