2016: A Year in Review Movie review

This took me time to do.  Sorry about that folks.  Haven’t had much free time in the last few weeks.  2016 was a good year, all told.  As long as you weren’t a known personality or celebrity fifty years or older.  Since I didn’t know any of those people personally, their deaths didn’t really affect me a great deal.  Sad?  Certainly, but they weren’t my parents, siblings, or any other relative of mine.  Or even friends.  I had no stake in their lives outside of perhaps being a fan of their work.  But enough of that.  Let’s kick this off with the easy honors.  SPOILERS AHEAD!  YOU’RE BEEN WARNED!!!  EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!


I don’t like most modern music.  Bruno Mars is probably the only pop artist of the current generation that seems to strike gold whenever he drops some bars.  So, I went to the ol’ reliable well of Ninja Sex Party.  “Wish You Were Here is not only the best song release in 2016, it’s probably in my top 10 songs of all time.  And it’s better than the original by Pink Floyd (honestly, never been a big fan of that band anyway.)  The style is one Danny Sexbang has not done a lot of:  The slow, acoustic jam.  He did some of this with both The Northern Lights and Skyhill (at least the slow part as Skyhill’s musical accompaniment was mostly electronic in nature.)  Hard to talk about this further without talking about the next honor, so let’s just get right to it.


“Under the Covers” by Ninja Sex Party gives me nearly everything I could ask for.  Radio-friendly Danny Sexbang vocals to show to people who don’t like dirty lyrics, great covers of classic songs, and the amazing backing accompaniment of Tupper Ware Remix Party.  Everything NSP and TWRP do together is golden.  (The four TWRP songs that NSP has been featured on are the four best TWRP songs without a doubt.)  Danny Sexbang is an amazing singer.  Personally, up there with the greats.  With another cover album coming in 2017 (and maybe another original comedic song album,) I should be a happy camper as far as music is concerned going forward.


The last of the no-brainer honors goes to “6969” by Ninja Sex Party.  Not only the longest song NSP has ever done, it is the best produced and most expensive video they’re ever made.  They used cranes (or at least a pulley system) at one point.  The song that is essentially “2112” by Rush but with boning gets a near perfect music video while still having that NSP music video style I do love so much.  Let’s keep things in the realm of music as things get harder…


As you will all soon discover in my next article, 2016 was an absurdly good year for movies.  In almost every category.  Except for straight comedy.  (Hybrid comedy genres like action comedy, on the other hand, did very well.)  Movie music was so good this year that I’m doing three categories for it.  This category came down to two:  Moana and La La Land.  From the bolding, you can tell I eventually picked the latter.  The soundtrack for Moana was amazing.  But the La La Land one got my feet a tap tappin’ a lot more.  As I mentioned in my last article, La La Land is easily one of the most fun movies that came out last year.  The music was a massive part of that.  My favorite song is probably the one that opened it, “Another Day of Sun.”  See the movie, then buy the soundtrack.  You will not be disappointed…  Unless you’re dead inside.


While the movie had its problems (and I still really enjoyed myself,) the soundtrack for Suicide Squad was really good.  In fact, of all the songs on the album, “Fortunate Son” is the only one I already had in my collection.  It’s a very good collection of mostly rap and pop hits from the last 20-30 years or so.  With that one random classic rock song thrown in for some reason.  I realized as I was writing this honor that at least four songs on the soundtrack were original, so I had to hastily rewrite the category name.  Because I couldn’t not honor both this soundtrack and the next one…


Sing Street had an amazing soundtrack.  Except for “Maneater” by Hall & Oates, I did not already own any of the classic ‘80s songs from this album.  And the original songs are fantastic.  The movie itself, which few cared about when it was released in theaters, is already on Netflix.  Which is the avenue through which I saw it.  It’s a great film, and I’ll definitely be talking about it in a future article.  I have a feeling most of the non-original songs on this album, while not from obscure bands, were chosen because they were cheaper than the bigger hits from those same bands.  But I don’t mind it.  “Rio” by Duran Duran is easily the best borrowed song.  So good.  The best original song is clearly “Drive It Like You Stole It” by the titular Sing Street.  Although they did hire a singer I’ve never heard of to also do a version of that song…  For some reason.


As if there were any doubt, Pokémon Sun and Moon won this in a walk.  I personally prefer Moon to Sun, but that’s based on the exclusive Pokémon.  They have very few differences outside of the cosmetic beyond that.  As a massive OG Pokémon fan, this generation added a lot of new elements and got rid of some of the more annoying elements that had been a part of every game prior.  I would have done a full review of these games, but I’ve been spending most of my free time playing them (usually while watching something else) that I just don’t see the point.  I usually cannot wax philosophical about video games I enjoy, especially if they’re a part of a series like The Legend of Zelda or Pokémon.  Pick up Sun or Moon if you were a fan of Pokémon but stopped playing the games.  Reawaken that love.


Marvel’s Luke Cage, which I wrote a review for, was the only new show that is worth talking about.  The rest of the new programs were fine, but outside of Netflix, I can’t think of a show that premiered in 2016 that I care about.  Stranger Things was great, but I need to see where it’s going in season two.  We all know where the MCU Netflix shows are heading.  Since I already covered my thoughts on this last year, let’s move on.


While the fight scene on the highway in Deadpool was certainly amazing, the airport fight scene in Captain America: Civil War wins this one.  It’s one of the best superhero action scenes ever.  Definitely the best one in the MCU.  Seriously, it’s just concentrated awesome.


It is now time for the dishonors.  Worst Movie of the Year will be covered at the end of my top movies of the year list (just like I did for the movies of 2015.)  There are, in fact, not that many dishonors.  Just some bad things I wanted to point out.


I really wanted to like this movie, but Nate Turner’s The Birth of a Nation was boring and slow.  And the payoff that everybody was expecting was shunted mostly into a quick montage.  What makes this especially poignant is that the Academy didn’t give two shits about this film.  They didn’t take the bait!


There were a lot of sequels this year.  And, oddly, a lot of first sequels (as I mentioned in my June theater review.)  The most pointless of all of them that I actually saw goes to Now You See Me 2.  To the horrible twist that Morgan Freeman’s character was working with the real magicians the entire time (somehow) to the random nonsense of “that’s real magic, but that’s practical, now it’s magic again, more practical effects, I guess?”  It was just a confusing morass.  Of the ones I didn’t see, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 would obviously fit the bill.  Because no one cared.  At all.


The top dishonor for this article goes to that movie scene that just turned my stomach the most.  There were a few candidates this year.  The food orgy scene from Sausage Party that just kept going and going like the Energizer bunny was certainly something.  The scene in Don’t Breathe where we find out why Papa Dragon is one of the worst people ever kind of killed my soul a bit.  I cannot type what he did to somebody without wanting to use one of those chemistry classroom eye wash things, so I won’t.  But the one that wins is the scene that added absolutely nothing to the movie it appeared in.  The opening title credits of Nocturnal Animals.  I really liked this movie, but that opening scene is so pointless.  I’m sure the director was making a point about shock value in modern art where the shock is everything and there’s no actual artistic merit.  But why a bunch of 400 pound naked ladies bouncing and dancing with a Fourth of July motif?  Did the concept of film need that?  No, no it did not.


My next article will count down my picks for the 20th to the 11th best film of 2016.  The top 10 will obviously follow.  Duh.

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