Happy Oscars Day!
FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t actually watch the Academy Awards. I watched once when David Letterman hosted the show, and that’s about all I could muster. Beyond the fact that this year’s ceremony will be incredibly politically charged, I’ll be looking toward something far more escapist…. So probably The Walking Dead and pro wrestling.
So if I don’t watch the Academy Awards then why am I posting about it? Ehh, I’m mainly taking this opportunity to plug my favorite movies from 2016, a couple that actually are nominated for those shiny little dudes!
Without further adieu here’s my list of favorite mainstream crap, arthouse underdogs, and prestige dramas.
10. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Comedy sequels are tough. Sometimes you strike gold and get a Wayne’s World 2 or Naked Gun 2 1/2, other times you end up with Anchorman 2 or Zoolander 2 (still haven’t seen that one for obvious reasons).
Luckily Neighbors 2 didn’t fall into the latter category, delivering a great followup that built off the original while having something new to say. I’m not ashamed to say that Zac Efron has come a long way from his High School Musical days and I love every second of it.
9. Popstar: Never Stop Stopping
The mockumentary format can lead itself to some great comedy, and The Lonely Island’s latest big screen send up of popstars and modern celebrity definitely delivered the goods. It could be this generations Spinal Tap, if this generation knew what Spinal Tap was.
8. The Nice Guys
Shane Black loves making Shane Black movies, and make no mistake about it– The Nice Guys is most definitely a Shane Black movie. All the tropes are there, but when you have gruff Russell Crowe (best I’ve seen out of him since State of Play) and new BAE Ryan Gosling bouncing off each other in pitch-perfect buddy cop fashion smack dab in the middle of 1970s Los Angeles? You can’t go wrong.
7. Don’t Think Twice
I wrote about this sucka here. Do yourself a favor and find this when it inevitably ends up Netflix in a few months.
FULL DISCLOSURE PART DEUX: I was never an awkward seventeen year old girl growing up in the 00’s who had to navigate the murky waters of the teenage wasteland. Despite this shocking fact, I immediately was able to relate to the plight of Nadine as she dealt with the minutia of shitty high school life filled with awkward friendships, romance, and family. Plus you can never go wrong with the ageless Woody Harrelson.
5. 10 Cloverfield Lane
Why it’s called Cloverfield I’ll never know (PS I know, it’s called branding and corporate synergy), but as long as you put the incredibly captivating Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman together in a post apocalyptic fallout shelter after some kind of unknown ‘incident’, I’m sold.
Third act aside (which was still pretty cool all things considered), this movie was tops.
I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I love Chris Evans as Captain Steve Rogers. People that complain about superhero movies or the cookie cutter format of the MCU are just not paying attention. The arc Captain America has taken since his debut appearance in The First Avenger has been thrilling, and things are only going to get better as the Russo Brothers build towards the climactic Infinity War. PS the Captain America trilogy really could be the perfect MCU trilogy when it’s all said and done.
3. American Honey
Please refer to my love letter to this movie here and seek it out ASAP.
I’ve been wavering between #2 and #1 all week, which is why it’s taken me so long to post this list. I saw La La Land right at the end of 2016, and while I will adamantly deny that I like musicals I might finally have to start admitting that I frigging love musicals. Perhaps I like musicals with a genre twist (South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, Doctor Horrible, Buffy’s ‘Once More With Feeling’), but god dammit I loved everything about La La Land. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling (BAE) continue to have amazing chemistry with one another in everything they do together, the music is catchy and addictive, and the ending– Damn THAT ending kills me every time (FULL DICLOSURE III: I’ve seen this movie three times).
What. A. Film.
When I stepped into the theater to watch this movie I had no idea what to expect. With most science fiction movies featuring aliens at the center of its plot, you’re expecting something dumb like Independence Day or Signs. They don’t make original movies like this anymore, and frankly this movie is something utterly unique directed by Denis Villeneuve and adapted by Eric Heisserer from the 1998 short story and novella “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang. From the opening moment Amy Adams carries the whole god damn thing on her back, and she’s perfect.
While I did call the supposed ‘twist’, I still didn’t expect the finale to hit me as hard as it did. The only regret I had seeing this movie was that I’d never be able to experience again as the first time.
That’s all I got for now.
I just heard Suicide Squad won a fucking Oscar, so now I know the world is definitely coming to an end (not political I swear!)