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Baumer's best 42 films of 2016 (and 12 worst) and Ruk's breakdown of 2016 films (Finished!)

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5 minutes ago, baumer said:

Thats how much i remember about it. :)


The Infinity Stone was nentioned.

It was, but it had zilch to do with anything Mikkelsen was doing. 


5 minutes ago, Telemachos said:

Hot take: Thanos and the Infinity Stones are the worst thing to happen to the Marvel movies. 

...I don't disagree? Although, I'd say it's more the concept of the Infinity Stones in a wider universe setting than their actual portrayal in the movies that are the problem (minus the occasional poorly-shoved in reference). The Tesseract/Power Orb in GOTG both worked as perfectly serviceable McGuffins in their respective movies.


Thanos, on the other hand, it's clear Marvel has no idea what to do with him while they're waiting for Infinity War. Hopefully, now that they seem to be exploring the boundaries of the Cinematic Universe in Phase 3, we'll get something interesting in GOTG2 or some other movie, but I doubt it.

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I'm in the pro Strange camp. Happy to see some love for the panda trilogy. Light's Out equals my sentiments pretty much. 


Also haven't seen Wilderpeople (keep almost renting it, but I found What we Do in the shadows to be okay at best and I don't want to make myself feel sad about the prospects of Ragnarok if I also find Wilderpeople underwhelming). 

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The Girl on a Train

Directed by Tate Taylor

Starring:  Emily Blunt, Stupendous Tits #3 and Rebecca Ferguson

Box office:  172 million


Good movie, Haley Bennett is smoking hot.  Here's a different narrative of the film taken from my top ten winks of all time in the movies.  Have a read if you don't mind.


This is one of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of winks and it meshes two mediums together….the silver screen and the big screen. This one requires a bit of knowledge of the hit TV show Friends. There’s a scene that takes place on one of the trains where Rachel, played by Emily Blunt, encounters an old friend named Martha played by Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe on Friends. Originally the name of Kudrow’s character was Monica. When they were filming in Grand Central Station, the director shouted over the loud speaker that they were going to “roll on Monica and Rachel”. The crowd then sees Lisa Kudrow appear and people lost their minds, thinking it was a Friends reunion. This promptly caused them to change Kudrow’s name to Martha instead of Monica. But to give a little fan service to all the Friends lovers, when Martha and Rachel meet up on the train and see each for the time in a very long time, Martha, as played by Kudrow, shouts out very exuberantly, “Rachel!! I haven’t seen you in like a million years!”




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1 hour ago, The Stingray said:

I'm in the Doctor Strange sucks camp. Loved Jane Doe, the first two thirds were superb. Ouija 2 was in my opinion a laughable attempt at horror.


Ouija 2 is horrible. 

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Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Starring:  Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forrest Whitaker

Box office:  174 million


Arthur C. Clarke would have loved this film.  It asks a lot of difficult questions and spends much of the movie making you think and feel.  I thought about 'Contact' before I saw this film. This is what a first encounter could really look like, attempting to communicate with beings so far advanced that simply understanding a single word would be a challenging task. Contact felt like it was made by a committee that needed to get all of Earth's issues discussed, at least amongst the humans. Religion, politics, nationalism, etc. because somehow the aliens are supposed to care. I like this film's approach because it shows that while the aliens recognize that this is a divided planet, our borders and petty human issues really don't matter in the scheme of the Universe. Beautifully acted, well-written and poignant on many levels.



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The Shallows

Directed by Juame Collete-Serra

Starring:  Blake Lively, Stephen Seagul

Box office:  119.1 million


 Don't listen to @Telemachos, this is a fine film and the best horror film of the year.  For me, because I am petrified of sharks, it hit every nerve.  Collete-Serra builds the tension and you have no idea when the shark is going to strike.  And then when you see that big magnificent bastard in the giant wave as she is surfing it, MY GOD (JIM ROSS VOICE), that's a massive and scary figure that emerges from the depths.  Beyond the sheer horror of the situation she's in, there's a good story here about the human spirit and never giving up and so on.  Blake Lively is excellent in this and she looks better than she ever has.  I'm not sure who I'm more jealous of....Ryan Reynolds for getting to sleep with her or of her for getting to sleep with Reynolds. :)


This is one of my favourite films of the year.  There are 15 films that are considered better, but none is more fun than this one, from a certain point of view.  


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Directed by Ariel Vromen

Starring:  Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones

Box office:  38.8 million


A premise that has been done before but as someone once said, "there are seven stories that you can tell in Hollywood....it's how you tell them that matters."  This is absolutely one of my favourites of the year and even though I hope Casey wins best actor this year, the true best performance by a male this year is from Costner in Criminal.  It's a side to him I've never seen before.  He just owns the character and the movie.  Also, very fun to see three men from JFK make another film together.  Costner, Jones and Oldman were excellent in JFK and they are in here as well.


Jan Stroop (Michael Pitt) aka the Dutchman wants to make a deal with the CIA and give up the Wormhole (a program that controls all missile weapon systems of the United States) in exchange for money and his freedom. Agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is on his way to the Dutchman to complete the deal when he is killed. The CIA has Pope's memories installed into Jericho (Kevin Costner) a really bad guy, animal-like with no empathy for anyone. Will that operation turn Jericho into a good guy and find the Dutchman? (We can only hope) Let's find out. 

This will have you on your seat most of the time so find a good relaxing couch. The CGI and physical stunts along with the heart- pounding music will keep you awake and alert. The acting all around is excellent. We don't like seeing Jericho do the mean things he does, but we have to get over that and see (and hope) if Pope's memories take hold as Doctor Francis (Tommy Lee Jones) insists they will. The pacing is fast and furious almost like a Jason Bourne movie. What's not to like?


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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Directed by Ang Lee

Starring:  Garret Hedlund, Dominic Toretto,, Bella Swan

Box office:  a few more dollars


This is a film America was not ready for.  There's some critical observations about American culture and if you take it all in, you'll see that not only is this a great indictment of America's obsession with war but a scathing look at some of what ails my neighbours to the south.


 If there's one filmmaker that never ceases to amaze me because of his ability to keep reinventing himself in terms of the technical standpoint and storytelling is none other than Ang Lee. From "Sense And Sensibility" to "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" to "Brokeback Mountain" to now, "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," especially whenever he tackles adaptations like this one, it's as if Lee could see beyond what we audiences would regularly see. We'd read the books and have some kind of idea of how we'd picture them but then Lee brings them to life on the big screen in such a spectacular way that leaves all of us us agreeing that his picture is so much better than what we had in our heads. "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" is the perfect film to honour soldiers who do a thankless job.


Based on Ben Fountain's novel, scripted by Jean-Christophe Castelli, newcomer Joe Alwyn plays 19-year old private Billy Lynn who came home from the war with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad after a gruesome battle that took the life of one of their own. They're assigned to do some kind of victory tour now and part of that schedule is for them to be a part of the Thanksgiving Day football game's halftime show. The story not only features flashbacks that let you in on Billy's experience overseas, and his current struggle with his family, but it also contrasts the harsh realities of the war with America's perception.


Because this story is told from Billy's point of view, Ang Lee and his crew manage to do exactly that for us, which is to allow us to see things from Billy's point of view. Whenever a character talks to Billy, for example, it looks as if they're breaking the fourth wall or talking to the audience, because for that brief moment of conversation we kinda become Billy. It's a clever way to get you to walk in a man's shoes which is a big theme in this film. Much of it is thanks to legendary cinematography John Toll ("Braveheart," "Legends of The Fall"), the editing also seems so seamless, I've seen a lot of war movies in my lifetime, many of them carry similar approach, but none quite as immersive as "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk."

Joe Alwyn is an absolute revelation, Garrett Hedlund is astounding, Steve Martin is superb and Kristen Stewart gives one of this year's most heartbreaking performances. In the '80s, Vietnam vet turned Oscar winning writer/director, Oliver Stone, was bold enough to challenge the war through his films like "Platoon" and "Born On The Fourth Of July." Ang Lee's "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" delivers that same courage, in today's world where there are some of us wondering if this war was even worth it, we tend to forget that our soldiers are human beings too, with family and PTSD, they're not some kind of pawns on some lawmakers' geopolitical chessboard. The lines between family, duty, love, brotherhood and principles get blurred. "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" brilliantly points out that divide or the disconnect between how we, people in the comfort of our homes, view the war and how the soldiers, who actually survived it, view that very same war. I'm bettin' some right wingers would watch this film and think of it as some kind of liberal agenda, they're entitled to their opinion, but you gotta admit, parading our soldiers through sports events and parties just for propaganda in order to recruit more young folks to take up arms, not to mention the way we often treat veterans after they've returned home, "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" brings up all of those hard-hitting issues, it pierces through right to the very heart of our own reflection.


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Rogue One

Directed by Gareth Edwards

Starring Felicity Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Donny Yen

Box office:  Over a billion and counting


Another film that grew on me with a second viewing.  I didn't like that they made changes from the main story.  I didn't like that there was no SW theme and that there was no crawl at the beginning.  And the first time I saw it, that took me right out of the film.  Then I gave it a second chance and it all made sense.  It also helped that I watched ANH the night before I saw it for the second time.  And by doing that I really appreciated how it all tied together.  It's not just the ending, which is almost orgasmic, but how there are so many winks and cameos and nods to the original film.  It's a wonder film and the SW universe is in good hands with Disney and Kathleen Kennedy.


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Directed by Garth Davis

Starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Sunny Pawar

Box office:  16.8 million


Saroo (Sunny Pawar) is a five-year-old child living in a remote Indian village with his mother, brother and sister. Spending his days helping his brother steal coal from trains, Saroo joins his brother for a job one night but finds himself lost and on a train to Calcutta, nearly two-thousand kilometres from his home village.

Surviving many challenges and meeting various faces, Saroo is eventually adopted by an Australian couple, John and Sue Brierley (David Wenham and Nicole Kidman). Twenty-five years later, Saroo (Dev Patel) decides to track his lost family down.


I absolutely loved Lion, a film that deals with such a traumatising true story in such a delicate manner. Garth Davis splits the film into two halves, the first focusing on Saroo as a five-year-old lost in such a densely populated city and the second looking at Saroo as a grown man, so far away from the life he left years before. It is quite tough to watch at times, particularly some scenes of a young Saroo trying to survive on the streets of Calcutta however, Davis' film builds to a truly beautiful conclusion that left me emotionally destroyed.


I think the fact that this is a true story played a massive part in the conclusion having such an impact on me. Davis plays it out brilliantly and the inclusion of real life footage in the end credits, along with startling facts about how many children go missing in India, just added more power to the already powerful film.


Lion doesn't just get its power from the story but from the tremendous performances also. I have always liked Dev Patel as an actor but this is the first time I've watched him give such a powerhouse of a performance as a grown up Saroo struggling to cope with tracking down his lost family. From here, Patel could really go places, starting with awards recognition in the early new year.

Sunny Pawar deserves a special mention for his performance as a young Saroo, lost and alone in such a unfamiliar place. It's always a risk to have such a large portion of the film led by such a young actor but it's ultimately one that pays off greatly in Lion. There's also fine support on offer from Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman ( who I think should win the Oscar this year) and David Wenham, ensuring the quality runs right throughout the film.


Every once in a while, the Weinstein's do something right.  They'll never be forgiven for films like The Reader and the Pet Rock of movies (The Artist) but this is one of their crowning achievements.


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3 hours ago, Telemachos said:

I'm worried I might like your 11-20 more than your top 10.


Well, Passengers hasn't been mentioned yet.  :ohmygod:

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