Sometimes I wonder why I even do these posts, but then I'm like... uh, I like doing them! It's fun to look back and see what I watched and what I thought at the time. I can't believe this is my twelfth year writing them. I feel old.
Here are my previous years' posts: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005.
I feel like I saw a lot of movies in 2016. Like, way more than I thought. This is probably due to Tightwad Tuesday making a comeback at the theater AND the fact that we have a second run theater now (and I have Netflix) (and maybe that I flew five times this year). Plus, they have $1.50 popcorn (formally $1 popcorn) at the Tightwad Tuesday theater. I'm pretty sure I eat that value in butter alone.
Here is my list for 2016. It was a hard one this year. No five stars, again. SPOILER ALERT!
1. The Finest Hours - Something struck a chord with me in this movie. I think it was the presentation of a moral dilemma about risking your own life for your duty/job and in the off chance that you could save people's lives. Obviously this movie would have been terrible had it not ended somewhat happily. I say somewhat because plenty of people still died. My job doesn't require that I put myself in physically dangerous situations. I'm not married to someone who has to do that. It was just a good real-life example of sacrifice and heroism, and it touched my heart.
2. Captain America: Civil War - I like the Captain America movies. Their plot seems to be a bit more of political commentary than the rest of the Marvel movies and can get borderline preachy, but I have truly enjoyed these movies. I like that they tend to include more of the Avengers, as well. This one was painful to watch sometimes because of the plot, but it was still enjoyable.
3. Doctor Strange - This was a bit of a strange movie. It was nice to see Chiwetel Ejiofor again. I had enjoyed him in Serenity, and I was totally waiting for him to become a debonair bad guy (wish sort of granted) the whole movie. I'm not a huge fan of all of the kaleidoscope special effects. It's like, apparently between Doctor Strange and Ant-man if you get really small or go really far into outer space, it all becomes a kaleidoscope. Sure, the special effects might be easier than making up a non-kaleidoscope scene, and the kaleidoscope can seem to represent infinity, but still. Something different than kaleidoscope view, please. Also, the cape and librarian were funny.
4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - This movie was sort of depressing and tragic. It was emotionally heavy, even for a story in the Harry Potter/Voldemort world. Somehow, though, I enjoyed it. They had enough whimsical characters and situations to prevent me from being overly depressed, but it really was more of an adult movie. Also, I feel like the plural of No-Maj should be No-Majes, not No-majs.
5. Star Trek Beyond - I'm amazed at how well this movie has kept the tone set by the other two of the series. They added Jaylah to the mix, but she was a welcome and funny addition. I hope that she is in some of the future movies. I mean, there was plenty of ridiculousness in the movie, but it still succeeded. It is such a nerdy movie.
6. Zootopia - I thought that this movie was really funny. The premise was enjoyable, as well. They put a lot of funny antics in the movie. None of it was ground-breaking, but it was enjoyable.
7. Finding Dory - I was actually not looking forward to this movie, but I was pleasantly surprised! I thought it would be a complete rehash of Finding Nemo, and it was, but it was also thoughtful, fun, and cute! It was so preposterous at some parts, but I enjoyed it!
8. Arrival - This was a thinker movie, and it was a little boring, slow, and even predictable at parts, but it was also a good movie and with an interesting premise. I am reminded of the game Pac-Man while I watch it for some reason. I am also reminded of the movie The Tree of Life. I will have to see it once again, but I probably won't be interested in watching it more than that. I liked the conclusion and the main character's choice. That was nice.
9. 10 Cloverfield Lane - This movie made me feel so tense. I was freaking out during this movie. John Goodman was so good or maybe bad or whatever! I was completely freaked out and startled at many parts of this movie. It was crazy. Is this going to merge in with the movie Cloverfield at some point? Will there be another movie?
10. The Jungle Book - I almost didn't put this here because it's a remake, and I don't want to put remakes on my list. But then again, I really enjoyed this movie. I think it's great. They did an awesome job. I love the music. I actually really, really liked Scarlett Johansson's version of Trust in Me. Lots of people were raving about Christopher Walken, but I'm more of a fan of the King Louie played by Louis Prima from the 1967 version. I actually like the music better from the 1967 version, except for the new Trust in Me version in the credits of this 2016 one.
I also saw the following movies:
Jason Bourne - This was, you know, a Jason Bourne movie again. At least they killed off Julia Stiles' character this time. Unceremoniously, I might add. So at least she won't be back. I actually did enjoy the movie, though. It was good.
The BFG - This was a great adaptation of the book. I was pleased. My nephew said that he liked the movie's ending better than the book's ending, and I think I might agree. I was glad that they didn't ruin this movie for me. It was cute!
X-Men: Apocalypse - I enjoyed this movie pretty well. The antagonist was a bit of a monster, but I liked it enough.
Moana - This was a cute movie. I wasn't a huge fan of the crab, even though it was Jemaine Clement, but overall I enjoyed the movie. There were some really good and catchy songs, and I don't think I knew that Dwayne Johnson could sing.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - This was a good movie, but I really didn't like the CGI people. I could tolerate it for the brief moment that Princess Leia had in the movie, but they really should have just used an actual human for Tarkin if he was going to have such a big role or not give him so many close ups or something. It's like I was supposed to be amazed by the ingenuity and artistry of the thing, but instead I was creeped out by the hollow-eyed non-human on the screen in a human movie. If you're going to do a mix of actual humans and cartoon, take a page from the Bedknobs and Broomsticks book, not from the Matrix millions of video game Agent Smiths book. K-2SO was funny, and Chirrut Imwe was good. I guess I'm more interested in Jedi and less interested in the Muggles of the Star Wars galaxy.
The Legend of Tarzan - This movie was sort of like Australia or Pearl Harbor. It's like it was supposed to be this epic movie, but something fell flat. It wasn't the cinematography or even the acting. All of those were fine. I think it was the plot or how they put together the movie. At the end I felt like I wasn't very invested in the movie. I'm not sure what could have been fixed, but it's almost like they were shoving the supposed epicness of the movie down my throat, and I didn't swallow it.
Ghostbusters - Overall this movie was kind of meh as far as a strict remake. Like, they didn't really need to redo Ghostbusters at all. However, it was really funny. I saw it with two different people, both of whom were cracking up out loud at parts. That is the sign of a good comedy. It truly was very funny, even though it was totally ridiculous.
Independence Day: Resurgence - Okay, so the first Independence Day was totally preposterous and funny, right? Well, this one was similarly preposterous but somehow not as good as the first one. There is a difference, but most of that difference was slight as far as the plot goes. A big difference is the time period in which they came out and the willingness of the viewers to accept the silliness of the original movie. This second one just wasn't quite as good, but I didn't think it was as bad as most people.
Pete's Dragon - I don't know that I've seen the original Pete's Dragon all at once. I recall bits and pieces of it, but I'm not sure I've seen it all the way through, so I didn't care how it compared to the old one. It was alright. With the actors that were in it, I guess I expected it to be less cheesy or something. It was quite cheesy.
The 5th Wave - I saw this because my friends were watching it when I went to their house. I didn't know what it was and hadn't heard of it. This movie solidified for me the fact that the dystopian teen movies are past their prime. That being said, this movie really wasn't bad per se, it is just victim to over-saturation of the market of that sort of movie.
Collateral Beauty - I can see how this movie was supposed to be a ground-breaking drama, but it was too see-through. I mean, who didn't know that it was Helen Mirren's character in the hospital the minute there was a conversation going on? Also, I felt like they were trying to get people to wonder if the actors were real or not, but that was lame. Just a little bit of tweaking, and this movie could have been better. I didn't like that it was trying to surprise me. My friend with whom I saw the movie was crying through the movie because it really spoke to her. She had a mother who unexpectedly died, so my friend was unable to say good-bye. So I guess if this movie is something that appeals to you and your situation, it works. I just thought it was okay.
Alice Through the Looking Glass - These movies are curious. I felt like this one was clearly made to appeal to the Chinese people. Alice even had a dress that was Chinese. The artistry was cool, like in the first movie, and the story line was different.than most, but it was just okay.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant - I didn't particularly care for this one. I think I'm not interested in the series.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - I actually thought this was alright. I love Batman, but his character was insufferable, which it was supposed to be, so I guess if you're going to have an insufferable Batman, it's okay that it's Ben Affleck. I enjoyed Wonder Woman.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 - This was an unnecessary movie. It felt contrived and was just okay. It was like a reunion show, sort of like they did in the 90s with shows like The Brady Bunch or Gilligan's Island. They were also so unnecessary.
Kung Fu Panda 3 - This movie was not as good as the first two movies. It was cute, though, and it maintained the same tone as the other two, which was good.
Ben-Hur - I can't remember seeing the original one, but I'd like to watch it. I thought it was pretty good. Very violent, though.
Sully - It was good, but of course I knew most of it because I lived in the world when it happened not so long ago.
I also saw from 2014:
The Fault in Our Stars - It was really sad. It's another one of those movies that's probably better for people going through similar experiences.
Earth to Echo - It was basically E.T. and Super 8 combined.
Planes & Planes: Fire & Rescue - They were both good enough. I feel like they're the Cars movies, only planes instead of cars.
The Hundred-Foot Journey - I loved this movie.
The Giver - I don't really care for the book that much, so I felt similarly about the movie as I did the book. It was actually better than I thought it would be.
The Book of Life - I actually really enjoyed this!
Belle - I also enjoyed this movie.
I also saw from 2015:
Tomorrowland - I actually enjoyed this movie.
Creed - It was good enough.
Bridge of Spies - I really, really enjoyed this movie. It was great!
Brooklyn - I enjoyed it.
Once I Was a Beehive - It was alright.
The Good Dinosaur - I thought this was cute.
The Intern - I liked it a lot better than I thought I was going to.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials - I had no idea that this was a zombie movie. It is just okay. I think this series is slightly more interesting than the Divergent Series at this point.
Pitch Perfect 2 - Not as good as the first one but very similar.
Hitman: Agent 47 - Too violent and contrived for me.
Goosebumps - This was my first experience of any Goosebumps thing, and I actually thought it was pretty good for a kids movie. It reminded me a little of Mr. Boogedy.
Movies I still want to see from 2015:
Tangerines (from Georgia)
Woman in Gold
Far from the Madding Crowd
Maybe Age of Adaline
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
A Royal Night Out
Movies I still want to see from 2016:
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Love & Friendship
The Secret Life of Pets
Suicide Squad - maybe
The Magnificent Seven
Miracles from Heaven
Queen of Katwe
La La Land
Kubo and the Two Strings
What did you guys think about movies this year? What are your recommendations to me?