Top ten films of 2016

Best films from 2016 ranked according to quality

1. The Witch /a stone cold instant classic, far and away the best film of the year, this film is easily in the top 5 greatest horror films ever made (1. The Exorcist 2. Alien 3. The Witch 4. The Shining 5. Sinister), no movie has ever oozed atmosphere like this. But it’s real terror lies in the human heart and how easily physical comforts can turn it to stone.

2. Rogue One /the best Star Wars film ever made, if the Witch hadn’t come out this year R1 would easily be my #1. We know how the movie will end before those beautiful blue fairy tale words appear and yet the fate of the rebellion never seemed in more peril. Force Awakens was pretty great but R1 makes it look like Bantha Poodoo!(goodbye Princess Carrie. CGI could never replace you. May the force be with her…always)

3. Hell or High Water /bottles up the emotions of our times, extremely well acted, and just top notch filmmaking from top to bottom!

4. Zootopia /Disneyfied LA Confidential, need I say more? This film is pure joy!

5. Captain America: CIvil War /Greatest Super Hero film ever made? No…but it’s close. This film outdoes both Avengers flicks by a mile while speaking deeply to the biggest problem western society has always faced: freedom vs responsibility vs law. This film is like Lincoln’s Lyceum Speech meets The Manchurian Candidate…with superheroes!

6. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition /I loved the theatrical cut but after watching the Ultimate Edition the flaws became clear to me. The Ultimate Edition is a tour de force of spandex clad opera. It fills in the gaps that audiences saw in the theaters. Batfleck is easily the best Batman of all time. He looks like Frank Miller and Greg Capullo had a graphite love child that magically became a real boy. Martha? The haters are morons. That line is up there with Rosebud! Epic stuff.

7. 10 Cloverfield Lane /just an all around awesome movie, thrilling and intriguing from beginning to end.

8. The Nice Guys /Shane Black being Shane Black. You like Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, or Iron Man 3? This film is for you! Do you like to laugh and be entertained? This film is for you! Merry Christmas you filthy animals. 

9. Finding Dory /Besides the crap saga that is Cars Pixar is the goose that lays golden eggs. Gerald! Cuddle party! Through the whole film I was either laughing or crying, but there’s no bad moments here. Another home run.

10. Batman: The Return of the Caped Crusaders /one of the best bat flicks ever. Until Lego Batman comes out this is the funniest Batman has ever been. Thanks to Christopher Nolan Batman can be whatever he wants to be again. He can be funny or tragic. We’re allowed to laugh, cry, or cheer for the dark knight again. Thank you Nolans (and Goyer)! We’ve got the Dark Knight Trilogy and we’ve got Adam West back again! From Batman: the Brave and the Bold to Snyder and Capullo’s Batman run to the Arkham video games we Batman fans are completely spoiled in the 21st century! And there’s so much more to come!

Most overrated film: Deadpool
IMDb 8.1/10, Rotten tomatoes 84%, Metacritic 65/100

Criticism: okay so I loved Deadpool…the first 2 times I saw it. I saw it in theaters. I bought it on Blu Ray immediately. The film is hilarious. It’s also incredibly shallow and predictable. It’s a Western with a potty mouth and super heros. It literally is a western! The love interest is a whore with a heart of gold who needs to be rescued and the Hero is a codependent wise cracking gun slinger out for revenge. I love westerns, revenge stories just work really well as entertainment. But there simply isn’t much here. 

Worse than that the film is both misogynistic and misandrist. It keeps the horribly false and evil idea alive that sex = love. And that means it hates both men and women, because at the end of the day the woman is a vagina and the man is a penis. SJWs probably think this film is Feminist (which is no complement, feminism is pure idioctic evil) but it portrays women as idiots…and men as idiots. So I guess you could say that makes it egalitarian…? But the crown jewel is the pegging scene. International women’s day is celebrated by Vanessa acting like a man sexually. That is pure misogyny and misandry and the clearest expression of the feminist movement’s values. It says women need to become men to be valuable and men need to be sodomized for their genetic luckiness. That’s feminism: hatred of what a woman really is. 

Here’s the thing though this movie is dumb fun. It isn’t making these statements intentionally, these values are implied due to the worldview behind the film. In some ways that makes it worse because it’s harder to see the evil when it’s in the foundations.

Reynolds is Deadpool. That’s the best part of the film. But it really doesn’t hold up well after the first few viewings because Deadpool isn’t a character he’s a Stand up comedian. They gave him a solid emotional arc but it’s an arc we’ve seen a million times in RomComs, guy is ashamed because he’s codependent so he tries to hide his shame makes things worse and eventually after having learned nothing just goes back to his addictive relationship. Terrible.

Don’t get me wrong I really do like this movie. It’s fearless and has lots of panache. It’s better than most of the other X-Men films. But it’s clearly overrated. Overrated doesn’t mean awful it means not as good as people say it is.

Corrected ratings: IMDb 7/10, Rotten tomatoes 65%, Metacritic 35/100

Most underrated: Batman: The Killing Joke

IMDb 6.6/10, Rotten Tomatoes 52%

Defense: Feminists and SJWs are idiots. One rape scene is considered pro feminist while another is misogyny. Feminists spend almost 90% of their lives defending the idea that we should be able to murder unborn minority baby girls with Down’s syndrome. It’s hard to take someone who believes something that ridiculously evil seriously when they start preaching their progressive fundamentalism about whatever constitutes misogyny this week. It’s like trying to take a Nazi seriously. And that’s not hyperbole. There are disturbing parallels between Nazism and feminism. For one they are both marked by a tendency to make up “facts” & statistics. They both fabricate historical victim/persecutor narratives that are easily disproven yet are vigorously defended with emotional rhetoric. Both believe that power and governmental backing are fundamental to freedom not virtue and personal responsibility. Both have killed millions of humans in the name of progress and freedom. Hell planned parenthood was a eugenics program. In any case feminism is a moral nightmare.

The main criticisms of this film were of the feminist variety. Feminism is for morons. That doesn’t mean they can’t or don’t make valid points sometimes but in this case I just think they were wrong. For whatever reason Bruce Tim seems to think the idea of Batman and Batgirl having to deal with sexual tension is interesting…and I think he’s more right than wrong. From my perspective it actually makes a lot of sense, in a very bad way. If you haven’t figured it out yet I love Batman. But his character is capable of great evils, more so than most superheroes. I don’t want to see him do those sorts of things but it would be dishonest to never deal with the negative side of his character. This film brings back the cost of doing what Batman does. It’s not just dangerous because of the billets, it’s emotionally dangerous.

So there’s this thing called authority rape. It’s when a person (man or woman) engages in sexual activity with a subordinate. It’s really easy to see why this would naturally come up when telling stories about Batman and Batgirl. I don’t think this is really what Bruce Tim is thinking of but this must be one of the things that drives the dynamic. The truth is Batgirl is on unequal footing with Batman, and that means it’s primarily his responsibility to maintain sexual boundaries between them. Barbara is responsible for her actions as well but ultimately she was authority raped (if you haven’t seen the film or heard yet Batman and Batgirl have sex). These characters put themselves into a very dangerous emotional world and in this story Batman really screws up. Characters and stories are not where we derive morality or value. Batgirl is not a great moral role model in this story. She is immature and Batman takes advantage of her. Stories should not be expected to be empowering for “minorities.” They should be good stories, which means satisfying, interesting, tragic, or moving. And the negative dynamics between them have just as much to do with Batman’s neurosis as Batgirl’s immaturity. He needs to be in constant control and she’s isolated herself from others and formed a fantasy relationship in order to cope. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Progressives don’t like this because it contradicts their view of society, that gender isn’t real and we all just need to get over it. But men and women working together brings complications. The so called rape culture on university campuses (which is essentially a myth) wouldn’t exist if colleges didn’t need to be co ed. These are complicated issues that aren’t discussed openly or with anything approaching wisdom because it’s easy to be branded with misogyny for suggesting anything that contradicts progressive values. 

But the main reason this film is underrated is that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamil set the roof on fire with their brilliance.

I am not a big Alan Moore fan. I think Watchmen is amazing and V for Vendetta is quite crappy (the film version is amazing because it edits out all of Moore’s pretentious fluff and just tells a better story with better characters). To me he’s a very mixed bag as a writer. And I’ve always kinda hated The Killing joke. For one it’s not a Batman story it’s a joker story. But more importantly than that the graphic novel contains some of the worst Batman lines ever. He literally wants to have a DTR (define the relationship) with the joker at the beginning of the story. Also when Gordon goes missing he is totally useless. The scooby do gang would have found the clown prince in a minute but the world’s greatest detective never thinks to check the abandoned fair ground on the outskirts of town? Then when he finally fights the joker its pretty lame. Joker bashes him with a plank and Batman says “ooof” and looks like he needs to sit down.

But the best/worst part is the end. The ambiguity of whether or not he kills the joker is both stupid and delightfully frustrating. The most important question to answer there is whether or not Batman Killing the joker means that the joker actually won. If the joker won by essentially bringing Batman down to his level that is interesting but I still hate it. But at the same time it almost feels wrong if Batman doesn’t kill the joker. If he was ever going to this would be the time. It’s deeply unsatisfying…which is the point. This complex ending and the Joker’s origin are easily the best parts of the graphic novel. But it’s just not much of a Batman book.

But this is why I think the film version of the Killing Joke is actually one of the best bat films: Conroy and Hamil make this story fully realized and deeply affecting. In fact this is some of their best work. I will admit that the new prologue is a bit strange at first but I think it adds a lot to Barbara (something the original book was criticized for). What it adds is both positive and negative. She embraces her disability as opportunity and seems to have learned from her horrible experiences. It gives the joker’s awful actions more weight and context as well, taking something deeply tragic and making it even more emotionally disturbing. The truth is that the Killing Joke doesn’t have enough for a feature, so without the prologue they probably would’ve tinkered more with the actual story and that would’ve pissed off fans as well. This was sort of a no win scenario for the creators. Which means that maybe they shouldn’t have made the film at all. But they went for and I think they did the best job any one could do. This film works very well and the criticisms seem to have more to do with irrelevant morals or nostalgic purity.

The most offensive thing is probably Batgirl’s super fem gay friend. While I’m not pro LGBTabcdxyz I think it’s insane to constantly depict homosexuals as girly clowns. Homosexuals are people, if it’s going to be made clear that a character is gay I don’t understand why its become obligatory to make them effeminate or clearly a horny mimbo. It’s just tired and clumsy.

I don’t think the film is perfect, I think it’s underrated. Over time I think it’ll become a classic bat flick, and over take the graphic novel as the definitive version of the story. It already has for me. As great as the DKR animated films were the graphic novel is still the definitive version because of Miller’s VO writing and amazing art. Bolland’s art especially when he re inked the whole book is exceptional but I just think this version is ultimately more satisfying.

Corrected ratings:

IMDb 8/10, Rotten tomatoes 75%

Worst: Independence Day Resurgence /do not watch. I almost put this as my most overrated film because it has 33% on rotten tomatoes. It should have 0%. There are no words in existence for how bad this movie is so I’m going to invent one right now: scrumtrucrapulent. I have always loved ID4 but it used to feel like a b-movie. Compared to this trash ID4 is both Godfathers wrapped up with Star Wars. IDR is quite possibly the worst film I’ve ever seen. Jaws 3 D is at least funny. Ed wood movies are entertaining. Drive Angry…is supposed to be crap, that’s why it’s awesome. Birth of a Nation was racist…honestly racism is pretty fascinating and interesting, at least it’s not IDR. IDR is scrumtrucrapulence through and through. Do not watch! Your time would be better spent staring at rocks. Your time would be better spent arguing on the internet for how the 2016 presidential election was engineered by Russia and that it had nothing to do with the fact that the first woman to run for POTUS was probably the single dumbest most unelectable laziest campaigner since Charles Foster Kane. As awful as Hillary is I think defending her is a better use of your time than watching this toilet bowl of a movie flush. Hell your time would be better spent reading Slate. Well…maybe not Slate. Maybe the Huffington Post. Goddamn this movie.

Movie I should have watched opening weekend but probably won’t see till 2017: Hacksaw Ridge. Mel Gibson is one of my top 5 favorite film makers/actors. Looking forward to seeing this one.

Conclusion: I thought this was a pretty good year. For me the only way it could have been better is if Nolan released a movie. I’ve got it bad for that guy.

Happy New Year

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