Films of 2016

1. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
The first film in a planned series of five, with gorgeous production design (1920s NYC!), a fantastic cast, and a wonderful script by J.K. Rowling herself. Full review here.

2. The Nice Guys
Shane Black's hilarious black comedy. I loved it, and bought all the extra crap I could find (novelization, vinyl soundtrack, from script to screen deluxe book, et cetera). An undeserved flop.

3. Hail, Caesar!
Funny Coen Brothers farce, with lots of winks and nods to the inner workings of Hollywood. Josh Brolin is ace, as always. Alden Ehrenreich is hysterical, and Ralph Fiennes kills it with the instant-classic line 'Would that it were so simple'.

4. The Rolling Stones: Havana Moon
'One night only' theatrical presentation of a Cuban live performance by the legendary rockers. Neat.

5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
The first movie was better than could be reasonably expected, and this sequel improves on that one. Still not a fan of the Turtles' redesign, but overall a pleasant surprise. Yay for Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady!

6. Finding Dory
Yet another mediocre sequel by Pixar. Not bad, but underwhelming. So far, only Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 have been overachieving follow-ups.

7. The Neon Demon
Drive is thrilling, and I can certainly defend parts of Only God Forgives, but The Neon Demon is trashy garbage (or garbagey trash). It looks phenomenal, the soundtrack is superb, but the movie is nasty, unpleasant and left a foul taste in my mouth. You can do better, Nicolas Winding Refn. Excellent performance by Keanu Reeves, though.

8. Ratchet & Clank
Beyond awful. Video game cut scenes pasted together in an effort to sell movie tickets. Pure putrid nonsense. Full review here.

Honourable mentions

Beauty and the Beast
Reprise of Disney's 1991 masterpiece, back on the silver screen for a one-off engagement. Lovely. Full (dated, in questionable English) review here.

Julian De Backer, 13 July 2018