My review of the year that is 2016 was meant to have started earlier than this, but alas time, work and my own foot dragging has led to it starting now. Currently attempting to build my top 25 of the year, as well as a run down of top moments, scores and many more, but first I wanted to start off with an encapsulation of what I learnt this year. To fully grasp the loss, anger, joy and sheer craziness of this year has been hard but here is a little breakdown that hopefully grasps it:
2016: The year..
- where words no longer meant anything. No matter what racial rhetoric or sexist misogyny they championed, they carried no weight in changing peoples opinions. Case in point:
- where emotion trumped (poor choice of phrase I know) intellect. Despite all the information and knowledge people were given, they still decided to go with their misinformed reactionary feelings.
Case in point:
- that I finally saw my parents as vulnerable, flawed, human beings. They were always just good ole mum and dad, but now I saw the hardships they faced as a couple, as individuals and as regular people. It made me appreciate them even more!
- that we lost some of our finest creative minds. Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Robert Vaughn, Ronnie Corbett, Prince, Terry Wogan, Victoria Wood, Leonard Cohen, Kenny Baker, Peter Vaughan, Andrew Sachs, Ron Glass, Gene Wilder, Caroline Aherne, Anton Yelchin, Muhammad Ali, and so many more. I wasn’t personally connected to all their work, but all of them had vital important places in popular culture. Each touched an individual with their talent, class and grace. They will all be missed.
- I finally started to feel like an actual adult. New job, new responsibilities and a new relaxed outlook on life!
- that TV offered gem after gem. Stranger Things, GoT, Black Mirror, Ash Vs Evil Dead, Westworld, The Night Of, Planet Earth 2…The list goes on. TV has certainly become the new film.
- that The Walking Dead finally fell off the wagon. It has been teasing it for years. Episodes of severe foot dragging, lacklustre storytelling and dull characters. The newest season has drifted aimlessly and featured Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s villain being way too overused. Ratings are now starting to slide. I’m pretty sure after this season I’m out!
- that the Summer movie season suffered a real quality drought. Filled with unnecessary sequels, a limp X-Men film, weak comedies and something called Suicide Squad.
- that Marvel’s world domination became truly complete. Civil War was one of the years best and Dr Strange offered their best (and most popular) origin story since Iron Man.
- that Disney officially became the studio to rule them all. Owning Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar has led them to earning over $5 billion in revenue, and we still have Rogue One to come.
- that Disney were also the one studio to champion creative flow through committee in a wholly effective way. Marvel and SW films are all built through producers, contributors and writers but all in service of true entertainment. Some belittle the constant comic-book films but forget Marvel give way for quality independent filmmakers to see their vision on the big screen, whilst still working within a bigger system.
- that DC and Warner Bros still do not grasp why Marvel are successful. BvS and Suicide Squad reeked of studio interference and compromise. Plus let’s get the levity going on please!!
- that Amy Adams continues to dominate all. Arrival and Nocturnal Animals both were 2016s top films, and featured truly great complicated performances from her.
- where social media became a hot bed of hate, aggression and callous cowards hiding behind their computer screens. The saga around Leslie Jones in Ghostbusters, Trump using Twitter to play into the post-truth society and the sea of illiterate bullies that exist.
- that fake news became more prevalent than regular news. Facebook, Twitter and numerous others are all guilty of priding stories of untruths, crowd baiting and stereotyping over real journalism.
- that Pixar gave way to its bigger brother in the quality stakes. Where the Emeryville nerds gave us an unnecessary and rather flat sequel, Disney taught complex messages of tolerance in Zootopia and inspiring tales of female independence in Moana.
- that trailers became frequently better than the films they advertised. The Girl on the Train, Suicide Squad, BvS, and many more offered effective, well orchestrated teases but delivered dire subpar film experiences.
- that I finally got off my ass, well figuratively, and started this blog to really give an outlet to my film love.
- that I probably saw more films than any year ever!!!
- that I got to see one of my best mates marry his true love, and a wonderful woman, in one of the most beautiful settings. And in the company of some amazing people. Love to you Chris and Cat, if you ever read this!!
- where I made some very poor decisions resulting in some very unfortunate outcomes, those who know me will be aware of what I speak of.
- that my best mate did a hugely brave thing and travelled halfway round the world to be with a terrific woman!! Congrats and love ya Dave!
- that made 2017 look way more exciting than 2016. See trailers for Kong: Skull Island, Dunkirk, F8, Guardians Vol 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming etc.
- where I realised that this was going on too long!!
- that I got to see what true fandom can inspire in people. Star Wars Celebration was rich with affection, passion and energy. It was infectious!!
- that a crass, violent, OTT superhero can become a massive pop culture figure:
- where I seriously neglected my PS4. Honestly Uncharted 4 has sat by my console for like 7 months, unplayed!
- where I fell in love with Lucy Boynton, a beautiful charismatic performer in Sing Street.
- I lost the love for Jennifer Lawrence! She’s just a little bit annoying now.
- that OJ Simpson became a conversation topic again thanks to two terrific TV masterworks.
- where I cried profusely at the London Film Festival thanks to A Monster Calls.
- where Leonardo DiCaprio would probably have had sex with your Nan if it meant he’d win an Oscar, and to the relief of your Nan, won!
- that diversity in cinema began to make some steps forward, seen in Rogue One’s ensemble cast, Marvel finally introducing a black superhero and the success of Luke Cage, but still a long way to go.
- where sexism was still far too ingratiated within Hollywood. Progress is becoming far too slow.
- that despite what the naysayers argue, cinema is still delivering vital, exciting, beautiful, joyful, and terrific experiences. There is such a deep bench of supremely talented actors, directors, writers, composers, cinematographers etc, waiting in the wings to continue evolving and improving the medium we call cinema!
- which taught me that no matter how bad it gets, through all the political turmoil, social strife and abject stupidity of mankind, that there is a place you can go to that absorbs you away into another world. A place of safety, of inclusion, of big ideas and even bigger emotions, a place that offers a warm hug to let you know the world isn’t a scary place, that things can get better, that you are not alone! And its name is cinema!
Let’s raise a glass and an extended middle finger to the madness of 2016, and to the hope that 2017 will be just a little bit better. But if isn’t, just look at this picture and let the warm feels take hold:
So long 2016!!!