Anniversary 2016: The Top 5 Movies of the Past Year (For Whatever Reason) – Best Of
My anniversary’s back, bitches.
And, like last year, I’m going to cheat.
Rules were made to be broken. Or ignored when convenient.
When I first started these anniversary Best Of lists, I limited myself only to movies that I’d reviewed here on I Just Hate Everything. But then I got more selective (read: lazier) with my film reviews, and so last year I cheaped out and only put movies on this list that I hadn’t reviewed.
Because I’m selective.
But this year, I’ll go you forty percent better and include two movies I did review. Because I’ve gotta break through my fog of inactivity every now and then.
Oh, and apologies for not including any bad movies on this list (again, like last year). Will I just have to wait for Harmony Korine to make another movie?
One of the two I did review. And I stand by my four star, It’s Not Shit rating.
Yes, Jurassic World isn’t reinventing the wheel. It’s taking the wheel and wearing it down to within millimetres of its breaking point. God help us when the next one stumbles out.
But Jurassic World was a wonderfully successful nostalgia pander. Jurassic Park is one my Sacred Three, and World might have been the CGI-spewing, inbred grandchild of that masterpiece. But it was still a fucking ton of fun, and arguably the most intense entry in the series.
Needs more Judy Greer in the sequel, though.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars came close, but Mad Max: Fury Road edges it out as my favourite movie of the last year. What an absolute vision and masterpiece.
I said back on New Year’s Eve that I chose not to review it because I couldn’t find anything bad to say about it. And I stand by that.
Whether it’s the no-holds-barred fight for life between Max and Furiosa, the operatic final chase back through the canyon, or even a quiet, serene moment of flares popping off high in the sky, Fury Road is worthy of all its praise.
No sequel slaving; no cinematic universe set-ups. Just a bastard of an action movie.
This is the other one I reviewed. And those four stars, and an It’s Not Shit, are awarded without regret.
I often claim to be a horror fan first, but you probably wouldn’t know it by the stream of bad reviews I give to horror movies. But I give those bad reviews because I’m not a fan of bad horror movies. I’m a fan of good horror movies.
But sometimes you can ride the hype wave to deliver an unforgettable experience, and It Follows pulled it off, baby. It is terrifying. It is shocking. And it has a divine soundtrack.
Poor Maika Monroe, though. The Guest was an ambitious failure, but The 5th Wave and Independence Day: Resurgence? My sympathies.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, if you’re fancy.
The only movie in recent memory that I’ve seen twice in cinemas, and it was well earned. The Force Awakens had a lot of work to do: be a sequel; be a reboot; not be the prequels; fellate existing characters and lore; set up new characters and lore; and just be a really fantastic movie. It wanted it all, and it got it all.
I’m not saying Rey’s hyper-competence wasn’t an issue. Or that Han’s death wasn’t exhaustively signposted.
But I am saying that Finn and Rey are the two best movie protagonists we had all year. Max and Furiosa got a lot of mileage out of grunts and battle-forged, grudging respect. But Finn and Rey were genuine, kind people brought together by circumstance, but kept together by sincere friendship.
Or the Force. It was probably the Force.
Thanks to Alicia Malone for the tip on this one.
As a person who strokes their ego on an Internet review blog, I like to believe I have sophisticated, respectable tastes. But you can see from my list that I’m a blockbuster shill, and the only smaller film up there is an endlessly-lauded anomaly.
Sometimes, though, a simple romcom just gets it right. Lake Bell is transformed as a bitter-on-love Brit (that accent! My God) who first dupes, then falls in love with, Simon Pegg. Both characters are realised as authentic human beings, with all the endearments and flaws that come along with that. A rousing race to love at the conclusion, and a brilliant toilet stall breakdown scene (from the male character, for once) prove that the earnest romcom isn’t dead.
No matter how much Katherine Heigl did to kill it.