Oh damn, this is the big one.
And so we rear our ugly heads ’round to the best films section of Stuff And That’s Best Thangs of 2016, and, boy, were there some gooduns. While no one can deny that 2016 housed some major disappointments, it also played to host to some quality flicks which we’ll be honouring today. As is the case with Volumes One & Two, it ain’t just me, as chabois Reuben, Cam and Emmanuel will be making a study appearance here, each taking their own approach to this ting, each with varying degrees of seriousness. As per, there were plenty of films I missed this year but, namely;
Kubo And The Two Strings
Hunt For The Wilderpeople
The Magnificent Seven
Alright, suckas, let’s do this.
Yo, this be Reuben. I mean, Milo said most things already again, but yeah, have fun reading our crap about the best films of 2016, and here are the ones I’ve regrettably missed:
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
The Magnificent Seven
Kung Fu Panda 3
Best Old Movie We Saw This Year.
As the lot of us are still younguns, we’ve still got a lot of catching up to do movie-wise, so these are the best old films that we missed on release, but got round to checkin’ out this year past.
My nominees are:
Black Swan (2010) – An unnerving experience throughout, with a literally jaw-dropping finale.
The Big Lebowski (1998) – How it took me so long to watch this I’ll never know, but I’m happy I did, duuuude.
Locke (2014) – Another extremely powerful, tour-de-force of acting and character.
Being John Malkovich (2000) – Just really strange. I mean, good strange, but strange nonetheless.
This film is the balls, metaphorical and literal. I could list off plenty of reasons of why this is an almost perfect film, but I’m a bit stretched for time, so I’ll just name a few. Firstly, we’ve got a kick-ass original soundtrack, I said it in my review and I’ve said it again, full to the brim with brutal death metal that goes hand-in-hand with the buckets of gore being spilled throughout the runtime. As well as packing in an asstonne of action, this is film is genuinely hilarious, and it knows its audience well. In short, while I wouldn’t recommend this film to anyone, and it definitely isn’t high art, it’s an absolute blast.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
This spot was a tough choice, it must be said, but I would’ve been lying to myself if I didn’t choose this legend of a comedy. I mean, it’s a hive of quality quotes, spine-tingling gore and Cornettos, and an overall great-watchin’ action comedy with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg’s gag-filled script and perfectly tongue and cheek performances, which can fall back on a really strong supporting cast. Also, it’s local innit!
Gremlins (1984) – My review sums this one up.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) – My first Coen brothers movie and I can definitely see why they are loved so much.
Akira (1988) – Exceptionally cool and smart, but had some pretty amazing competition for this spot.
Song of the Sea (2014) – Better than most of Disney’s films and up there with the best of Ghibli, as animated films go.
Moon (2009) – Extraordinary sci-fi and well on terms with The Martian.
Turbo Kid (2015) – See my review.
What We Do In the Shadows (2014) – See my review of this, too!
Deathgasm (2015) – A hilarious ode to all those demon-summoning metalheads out there. (Milo’s review)
Sin City (2005)
EXPLOSIONS AND PUNCHING are the names of the game in the action department, this’ll cover the biggest bastard movies.
My nominees are:
Deadpool – This film did action-comedy so, so right (but we’ll get to that later), with plenty of violence to go around.
Star Trek Beyond – SPACE FIGHTS! AAAAARRHGHGGHHHGHRGHGHGHGHGHG!!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Space fights, yes.
Hardcore Henry – It delivered on everything an action film should, in spades.
Captain America: Civil War
Oh damn, you know that bit. Oh yeah, you know that bit, yeah. The airport bit. That bit, among others, is why Civil War made Best Action. At this point, I think we can all expect some bombastic action from a Marvel blockbuster, yeah? So, why was I so in awe at the level of destruction taking place here? I don’t know. But something I do know is that this film kicked so much ass that I couldn’t not talk about it here. Along with that bit, we also had some dope choreographed set-pieces, an indescribable car chase and explosions galore. Sounds like a winning formula to this dingus.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
For me, this year wasn’t an amazing one for action, but a couple did deliver, and Rogue One didn’t disappoint. It’s grand, explosive and with that magical element of the force, with a couple of awesome moments and that classic Star Wars feel with blasters in abundance. It felt like Star Wars: Battlefront – the movie.
Kubo and the Two Strings – The action was nearly as spectacular as everything else in this film.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Spell-brindingly cool action.
These are the films that have made us laugh the most and lightened our vacant hearts.
My nominees are:
David Brent: Life On The Road – As a longtime The Office fan (the good one (the UK one)), though a bit disappointing, the film had me crying in places.
Kung Fu Panda 3 – It doesn’t always have to be dick jokes and naughty words, as this film manages a good few chuckles throughout.
The Nice Guys – Sometimes a dick joke here and there does help though, both leads were absolute comic gold in this film, as well as just some odd situations to boot.
Deadpool is my new favourite superhero film, let’s get that straight. And that’s okay, I’m not one of those toolbags who watched it and suddenly became a Deadpool fan, I have been wanting this movie for a long time and I got it and it was beautiful. However, while I was expecting it to be funny, I wasn’t expecting it to be as funny as it was. I mean, no superhero film has the right to be this funny. I could easily include this in my top ten comedy films, with hilarious one-liners comin’ left right and centre.
The Nice Guys
I was gonna put David Brent here, but I preferred The Nice Guys to it in every department, including comedy. It might not be quite as awkwardly hilarious in some places as David Brent is, but it’s the more unique of the two, as it hasn’t had a TV show do it in its place before it. There’s a smart and nonsense-filled obscenity to be enjoyed in this, the first Shane Black film I’ve seen, which provoked a lot of laughs and a few quotable moments.
David Brent: Life on the Road – Although kinda sub-par in comparison to The Office, it’s still side-splitting in places.
Eddie the Eagle – If you’re patient with Hugh Jackman, this can be very funny.
Music has sneaked it’s way into this one as well, but it can add a lot to a movie, so why the flip not?
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – A newly John Williams-less score that manages to be capture the magic of Star Wars just as well.
The Nice Guys – Just gimme some 70s disco funk any day of the week. PLUS, Earth, Wind & Fire, baybeee.
Deadpool – X GON GIVE TO YA BOM BOM BUHBUHBUHBUH!!
Star Trek Beyond – This had no right to be as cool as it was.
David Brent: Life On The Road
Who’d a thunk the soundtrack to David Brent’s spin-off film would be the best of the year? No, neither did I, but it turns out that, littered in between the cringy brand of humour Gervais has perfected over the years, there would be a plethora of great, if questionable, comedy tracks? Original songs like Lady Gypsy take their place among old greats like Freelove Freeway, resulting in the ultimate album for Office fans. However, my favourite song on the soundtrack is undoubtedly Brent’s love letter to his hometown, Slough, with lyrical gems like “More convienient than a Tesco Express/Close to Windsor but the property’s less“. Quality.
Yeah, Reuben’s not gonna argue with that pick. Nor can he think of a suitable alternative choice. Well, Rogue One, Nice Guys, Kubo and Arrival were quality, admittedly.
Who the hell listens to the soundtracks?
Best Looking Film.
These are the flicks that have made our jaws drop with their supreme prettiness.
My nominees are:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Looks just as spectacular as The Force Awakens with an extra filter of grittiness.
Kung Fu Panda 3 – Bright, colourful, pristine animation from Dreamworks.
Eddie The Eagle – A subtly gorgeous look at a time passed.
The Jungle Book – I wasn’t expecting to find this film so endearing, and it’s stunning visuals are a huge part of that.
Holy dang. Marvel films usually have a slightly generic, polished, safe, look about them. That’s by no means a criticism, they aren’t high art, just extremely fun blockbusters. However, when Doctor Strange rolled ’round in October, I was, in no way, expecting such incredible special effects. Anyone who knows anything about The Sorcerer Supreme would be expecting some mystical bits n’ pieces here n’ there, as I was, but I was not prepared for the level of plain trippy visuals that this film laids out. Scenes like the one above, which looks like Inception on acid, and many others make me think that these are some of the best special effects I’ve ever seen in a film. I know.
Kubo and the Two Strings
No other word can describe this but majestic. Well, maybe incredible. Mind-blowing? Look, who cares what word I’m using, Kubo and the Two Strings, visually, is all three, and whatever hyperbole you can think of. The oriental aesthetic is unique and endearing, and the animation along with its grandeur is unfathomable. This is possibly the nicest looking film I’ve ever seen – up there with the likes of Akira at the very least.
The Jungle Book – Spectacular CGI and a sense of grandeur not too dissimilar to Kubo.
Arrival – Mysterious and brooding sci-fi visuals to die for.
The BFG – Similar-ish situation to The Jungle Book.
Finding Dory – Fantastic animation and art-direction as to be expected from Pixar, although not their best.
The Nice Guys – Sexy, slightly surreal and funky 70’s shtick done right.
These are the characters that have stood out to us as notable for whatever reason, I dunno.
My nominees are:
Chirrut Imwe – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – He added martial arts to Star Wars, what’s not to like? And he had that one funny line which did make me chuckle.
David Brent – Life On The Road – It was good to see Brent back on the screen in 2016, bringing along the same comedy we all loved him for 15 years ago.
Rocky Balboa – Creed – Speaking of old friends coming back, Rocky’s back and he’s old. I’m just happy Rocky’s back, to be honest.
Baloo – The Jungle Book – Bill Murray makes everything better.
Deadpool – Deadpool
Let’s get something out of the way for future reference, any year where Deadpool is active, he’s winning Best Character. Okay. Deadpool has been my favourite comic character for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I just thought he looked cool. However, the more I read the more I released how unique and groundbreaking he is as a character, so when they brought him to the big screen, you know I was first in line. While Ryan Reynold’s passion for the project and zest he brought to the character is undeniable, the material set him up so perfectly already.
Holland March – The Nice Guys
Right after I watched The Nice Guys, Ryan Gosling instantly became one of my favourite actors. I mean, if he can be this Holland guy so awesomely, what can’t he do? This “guy” is only the most laid-back, dudelike and douchebaggy of dudes in Dudetown. He’s a massive idiot but somehow we route for him. We need Nice Guys 2 so this guy can return to our big screens.
Newt Scamander – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Incredibly close to my pick. A fantastic and quirky protagonist for this new Harry Potter series.
Kubo – Kubo and the Two Strings – Passionate, pretty cool and pretty skillful too.
David Brent – David Brent: Life on the Road – Classic king of awkward comedy.
Jyn Erso – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – A strong lead for the almost-as-strong core cast.
Bodhi Rook – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Unsung hero.
Batman – Batman v Superman – He’s Batman, dammit!
Michelle – 10 Cloverfield Lane – Another strong female lead.
Mr. Krabs (Spongebob Squarepants)
This is the crap box.
My nominees are:
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice – So mind-numbingly mediocre and boring, so close to my pick.
Goosebumps – It was alright, I don’t why it’s here. It was pretty crap, I guess.
Independence Day: Resurgence
My god, this film was just tits. Considering that I saw this film on my birthday was just added insult to injury as this film is by far the worst one of the year and one of the biggest goddamn aaahahhahaahahh…. Sorry, I just choked on my words as I was writing them. Where was I? Oh yes, this film was a filthy, dirty, money-grabbing, unholy amalgamation of poor acting, generic special effects, ear-bleedingly loud noises and action that would make Michael Bay say “Woah, mate, that’s a bit tasteless.” No one had a clue what they were doing and were just shambling about like Bill Pullman’s president, once a fictional figurehead for victory and patriotism, who is now a braindead apocalyptic doomsayer who can’t go anywhere unsupervised. If Jeff Goldblum can’t save your movie, it’s time to f*cking kill it.
JUST DIE ALREADY!!! *Ahem* Sorry, I was busy pounding Independence Day 2oolander into the cold, cold ground. Honestly, that was my first pick for the turd award, but 2oolander is pretty much as mind-numbingly awful and is another unnessecary and horrific mistake of a sequel. Zoolander was never that good in the first place, but please can we leave it to that? 200lander isn’t funny; it’s overblown, badly written, badly acted and feels like a reluctant attempt to make something they didn’t need to.
Independence Day: Resurgence – No. Just no.
The Secret Life of Pets – Eh, it’s not that crap, but it’s pretty uninventive and very average, at the end of the day.
This is the best director, these are pretty self-explanatory, aren’t they?
My nominees are:
Tim Miller – Deadpool – Like the film’s star, this is someone who obviously had a lot of respect for the source material and it really shows in the filmmaking.
Jon Favreau – The Jungle Book – Anyone who can achieve shots so stunning and mesmerising deserves a place here.
Shane Black – The Nice Guys – Coming back for his regularly scheduled buddy cop movie, Black smashed it right out of the park again with this one.
Dan Trachtenberg – 10 Cloverfield Lane – While I thought the movie was only in the top end of “alright”, I can’t deny that there is a great use of suspense and atmosphere running throughout this badboy.
Gareth Edwards – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
We all knew Star Wars was gonna be a big deal, okay, not as big a deal as last year, but still a big deal. However, with a new director at the helm attempting to tie up all those loose ends (or beginnings) from A New Hope is a bit worrying. It’s a high task. Thankfully, chaboi Gareth Edwards stepped up to the plate, smacked it out of George Lucas’ fat hand and said, “I’m gonna wreck this shizzle up”. Those last two parts may not have been true. That being said, he really did. Edwards managed to maintain the feel of the original trilogy, while making it fresh and new for younger audiences, while keeping the essence of spectacle to the franchise, while giving it a more alternative feel. He had plenty of things to balance and he did it and it was beautiful and thank you.
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
Ville-something something directed Sicario and Prisoners among others, but this was the first film I’d managed to see by him, although those two are on my watch list fer sure. I’ll call him Denis, K? Denis managed to make a spectacular sci-fi with style, mystery and substance; Arrival has an unmistakable style, claustrophobic atmosphere and a selection of great performances. Well done, Denis.
Gareth Edwards – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – What Milo said.
Travis Knight – Kubo and the Two Strings – Spectacular in pretty much every department, Knight must have done a great job.
Dexter Fletcher – Eddie the Eagle – Feel-good, funny and oh-so British.
David Yates – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Brought his tried and tested formula to a new film and it worked wonders for a really entertaining flick.
Shane Black – The Nice Guys – My first taste of Black’s unique sense of comedy couldn’t have been much better.
Dan Trachtenberg – 10 Cloverfield Lane – A fantastic sense of suspense makes for a fantastic thriller and a nail-biter.
Ben Stiller – 2o0lander
We can’t be assed to SEGREGATE by gender so we’ll clump ’em all together.
My nominees are:
Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool – He slipped into Deadpool like an absolute glove.
Ricky Gervais – David Brent: Life On The Road – Reviving a comedy legend can often lead to disaster, good thing he nailed it.
Felicity Jones – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Jones has joined the long lineage of strong female space ass-kickers with this performance, and she fits the part extremely well.
Michael B Jordan – Creed – Woah, this ain’t the same douchebag I saw in Fant4stic 4.
Idris Elba – The Jungle Book – Ooh, this guy’s a sinister minister.
Ryan Gosling – The Nice Guys
2016 was a good year for Ryans everywhere. We had Ryan Reynolds, kicking ass in Deadpool, uhh, Ryan Lochte won gold at the ‘Lympics, but then got stripped for being a toolbox. Aw, I thought I’d have a nice segway into telling how good Ryan Gosling was in The Nice Guys. I could’ve told how he surprised me with his extremely comedic and entertaining performances, as well as his commitment to the role. Or I could’ve mentioned how he had spectacular chemistry with co-star Russell Crowe, who also landed a nomination himself, and how he played the 70s brilliantly well. Oh well, I guess I can’t now.
Felicity Jones – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
One of the stronger lead performances I’ve seen in a long time, as Jones, in my opinion, betters Daisy Ridley (Rey, The Force Awakens) and Mark Hamill (obviously – sorry mate), and comes out top in the Star Wars universe. Can’t really write much more about acting, sorry.
Ryan Gosling – The Nice Guys – Could’ve easily won if Milo didn’t choose him. Ledge.
Amy Adams – Arrival – Gripping performance.
Eddie Redmayne – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Better than Daniel Radcliffe ever was.
Neel Sethi – The Jungle Book – Kids aren’t always bad actors.
Taron Egerton – Eddie the Eagle – Pretty much the guy himself.
Rickie Gervais – David Brent: Life on the Road – Great as ever.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead – 10 Cloverfield Lane – Better than she was in Scott Pilgrim, and that ain’t easy.
Owen Wilson – 2ool4nderrrr
This is the big one, the biggest one, the bestest one, aww yeah.
My nominees are:
Captain America: Civil War (1 Nomination – Winner of Best Action) – Easily the most explosive film of the year and up there with the cream of Marvel’s crop.
Doctor Strange (1 Nomination – Winner of Best Looking Film) – A visually stunning 2 hours of mystical mayhem.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (6 Nominations – Winner of Best Director) – It’s Star Wars, mate.
The Nice Guys (4 Nominations – Winner of Best Performance) – Extremely close to my pick, this thang, as Reuben said in his review, has got it all.
Creed (2 Nominations) – Black Rocky made a storm as the first film I saw this year and stayed in my top ten for the rest of it.
Deadpool (6 Nominations – Winner of Best Character and Comedy)
To be honest, as soon as this film was announced, I secretly knew it was gonna end up as my favourite film of the year, naming it joint numero uno in my Top Ten Anticipated Movies of 2016, and I wasn’t disappointed. What we have here is a result of passionate filmmaking, with everyone involved getting what the character of Deadpool is about and executing it perfectly, and a studio knowing it’s audience. Ryan Reynolds was absolutely spectacular in the lead role, cracking off hilarious one-liners every two minutes, as well as dishing out a fair few ass-whippings along the way. We also had some brilliant direction from Tim Miller, who brought everything together beautifully. In short, Deadpool was everything I was hoping it to be, everything I want in my superhero blockbusters and easily this year’s best film.
1. Kubo and the Two Strings (5 Nominations – Winner of Best Looking Film)
This masterclass of stop-motion animation and comic drama is Laika’s best film yet and easily the best film of 2016. Kubo manages to best some pretty beastly opposition with its awesome action, world design and score, grounded by an easy-to-follow story and a unique sense of oriental character, all made all the more awesome with potent direction and emotional scenes. Kubo and the Two Strings is a roller-coaster ride and goosebump provoker that I won’t forget anytime soon, and is a film I would consider up there with the best of this decade. Time will tell, however, if it remains re-watchable and a true great.
2. The Nice Guys (6 Nominations – Winner of Best Comedy and Character)
This was supposed to be number 3, but, I had to put it higher.
Boobs, blood and comedy, this thang’s got it all. It may not be quite as “expertly crafted” or incredibly delivered as the ones above it, but this particular buddy comedy is just so goofy, fun and funny that it can be mentioned in the same breath as Arrival or Kubo, especially considering Ryan Gosling’s fantastic performance and the stupid obscenities on show. It’s just so much fun. Hopefully, it isn’t forgotten, but it might well be.
3. Arrival (4 Nominations – Winner of Best Director)
Time will tell too if Arrival will be an all-time sci-fi great. Certainly, on first watch it seems perfectly capable among the ranks of classics ranging from Close Encounters to Star Wars: A New Hope, as it houses an awe-inspiring score, atmosphere, and mind-bending story. This expertly crafted sci-fi is perhaps only hindered by my teenage desire for action, but makes up totally for that and a slightly over slow pace with the aforementioned factors and an Oscar-worthy (well, maybe) lead performance from Amy Adams.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (5 Nominations – Winner of Best Performance and Best Action) – Very close to the top three with it’s brilliant characters, performances and action, not too far off The Force Awakens either.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (4 Nominations) – Another awesome sequel/spin-off and a worthy return for the Harry Potter franchise.
10 Cloverfield Lane (3 Nominations) – A dark, brilliant thriller.
Eddie the Eagle (3 Nominations) – Brilliantly British and just a really fun and upbeat film.
The Jungle Book (2 Nominations) – A great popcorn flick, and a nice lookin’ one at that.
Well, that’s that for Stuff And That’s Best Thangs of 2016. Film, music and game have all been covered now, so back to regular reviews and top tens and other crap like that. Bai!
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations
Bringing redundant opinions to scrollers everywhere,