Movies of 2016: A Year In Review

Most Fridays Margaret and I go to a real movie theater to see recently released movies; does that constitute a hobby as suggested recently by a friend?  If so, that’s fine.  But we don’t go just to go, we’re particular about what we see (although every once in a while we’ll see something on the ‘light’ side, but it has to have entertainment value).  Horror and slasher c363cd7aac439443f0b4304fb868ae33films are definitely not our thing; sci-fi and fantasy suit me but not Margaret; animated films are good for Margaret but I can’t get around the fact that it’s a cartoon, no matter how well done.  We do like drama’s, comedy’s, dramady’s, foreign films and documentaries…give us a good story, good acting, a message that can teach us something we didn’t know and we’re good.

We’ve even found a way to offset the inflated cost of seeing feature films on the big screen; annually we make a fairly sizable monetary donation to a local charity (a very good cause) and in exchange they provide a card with your photo that entitles two people entry to most movie theaters in metro Atlanta free of charge (we need to see a lot of movies to offset the amount of the donation).  Makes us feel good and a good way to fund our hobby.

film-strip-with-icon_23-2147503484Of the movies we screened in 2016 I’m going to list my top ten favorites in no particular order.  Following that I’ll list ‘the rest’…good movies we’ve seen but not top ten worthy.  Remember, these are the movies I like….everyone has different taste.  Here goes;

  • Manchester By The Sea (heavy, disturbing story with an outstanding cast)
  • Hell Or High Water (well acted modern western with three actors at their finest)
  • La La Land (pure, unabashed entertainment….a musical you can hum along to)
  • Moonlight (raw, real, disturbing…great script, directing and acting)
  • Arrival (cerebral sci-fi….Contact for the 21st century)
  • Sing Street (from the director of ONCE…music inspired coming of age tale)
  • The Innocents (true story that proves truth is stranger than fiction…heavy, disturbing)
  • A Bigger Splash (again, great acting in a modern tale of sex, love and rock ‘n’ roll)
  • Jackie (if you were around in the early 60’s this film will bring back memories…Natalie Portman is outstanding in the lead role)
  • Hunt For The Wilderpeople (fun tale of a wayward boy and, come to think of it, a wayward adult….takes place in New Zealand so great scenery)

Following are the ‘other’ movies I feel were very good and worth the time to watch (again, movie-film_23-2147498233they are in no particular order);  Weiner, The Nice Guys, Eye In The Sky, Edge Of Seventeen, Fences, The Beatles: Eight Days A Week…The Touring Years, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Queen Of Katwe, Our Little Sister, Sully, Deepwater Horizon, Florence Foster Jenkins, Everybody Wants Some, A Man Called Ove, Deadpool, Nocturnal Animals, Sausage Party, Hidden Figures, Lion…


And here are movies that premiered in 2016 that we couldn’t fit into our schedule (or never screened in ATL) but we’re anxious to see; Twentieth Century Women, Loving, Elle, Hacksaw Ridge, Certain Women, Eat That Question: Zappa In His Own Words, Don’t Breathe, I Daniel Blake, Gleason, Green Room, The Handmaiden, Paterson, OJ: Made In America, Little Men, Don’t Think Twice, Silence, American Honey…and many many more.

So, what was your favorite(s)?  Let us know with a comment below….and here’s to a great crop of films for 2017!


Summer Mini-Movie Reviews by MM

It has been a busy summer and my blog posts have suffered.  So here are some of Margaret’s Mini-Movie reviews to help you wade through the choices at your local Mega-Movie-Plex! Scroll to the bottom for a list of other movies we’ve seen this summer including my short review/impression….

Mini Movie Review: Ghostbusters – Pretty much what you’d expect. Retread w/women. Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon are standouts. How can a movie with 4 very talented “funny ladies” be so…..not funny? Melissa McCarthy tries too hard to make us laugh (I DO like her!). If you want to see a true comedy, see my other recent review: Finding Dory. Yes, I know I’ll get pushback for my comments on this movie. We all have our likes/dislikes when it comes to entertainment.   Grade = C    Peter Says: Totally agree…kind of a yawn…

Mini Movie Review: Finding Dory – No plot description needed. This is one of the most entertaining and funny movies I have seen in ages. Yes, it’s animated, but by golly, you get so caught up in the fun, laughs and sweetness, that doesn’t factor into it at all. You do NOT need to take a kid with you – just go and be thoroughly entertained. I did and as you can tell…..I loved it. Kudos to Ellen Degeneres and Ed O’Neil – two standouts in the cast of hundreds.  Grade = A    Peter didn’t see this one

There is a sweet little short (movie) before the feature – “Piper” – it “looks” real but is Pixar. How do they do that?? It also gets a Grade A.

For those of you who know how much I LOVE movies and see many… was a milestone. Saw THE WORST MOVIE I’VE EVER SEEN!!!!!! The Lobster. It was beyond awful.
Inane, gross, bizarre, violent, disturbing, bleak,cringe inducing….. No, it’s not a horror movie – it’s just…..I don’t know how to explain. Do not put this on your list to see. This movie fits what I call “critics’ pretension”. In that critics want you to think they are smarter than most of us and know something we don’t, so they give it good reviews. OK, maybe I missed something deep in it. So, go ahead, see it – waste your time and money! ; )  Peter says: could not wait for the torture to end!

The Others

Captain Fantastic with Viggo Mortensen and some excellent kid/teenage actors….I liked this movie a lot as did Margaret.  Not all is totally believable which doesn’t diminish from the strong message.  (Note; lots of strong language).  Grade B+

Hunt For The Wilderpeople is a quirky movie from New Zealand.  Excellent cast including Sam Neill.  A coming of age story with wonderful scenery. Grade B

The Innocents.  Polish film based on a true story that took place in Poland near the end of WWII.  Very heavy subject matter that pulls no punches.  Not a ‘feel good’ movie but a movie that will stay with you.  Grade A

Love & Friendship.  A period film based on a story by Jane Austen.  Critics really liked this movie but I was a disappointed. Good acting but a so-so script.  Maybe worth viewing when it comes to cable if you don’t have to pay for it.  Grade C

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.  Wow!!!  A documentary about Yo-Yo Ma and an international cast of musicians using music as therapy for the many atrocities these people have experienced. Excellent…see it!  Grade A

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