Movies & TV 2016

This is going to be an incomplete list since I wasn’t keeping track last year, but let’s see what I can remember. The ones with * were my favorites for the year.


Movies

Hunt for the Wilderpeople
A New Zealand film that just made me smile. Great story bridging different generations.

Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made
This may have been my favorite movie of the year. It’s a documentary recounting the story of why these two kids remade Indiana Jones and the struggle to make that final airplane scene as adults. It was watching real people fight for their dreams in adulthood. I cried.

Swiss Army Man
Just as weird as you think it would be. Music was a nice touch.

Passengers
Aladdin in space. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawerence are fun and have pretty faces.

Rogue One 
Good story, but I’m still waiting to see some of those scenes from the earlier trailers.

Risen
Decent Biblical epic with a parallel story following next to the crucifixion and resurrection story.

Ben-Hur
Dear Hollywood trying to buy the Christian market’s money, just stop. This movie never should have been remade. It wasn’t as awful as I was expecting, but the original is a classic for a reason.

Lion
Yes, I loved this movie. Adoption, human trafficking and family story lines. I have a soft place for real people’s stories and experiences. The child actor that they found and cast did an amazing job. I’d like to see Dev Patel cast in more things (hint, hint, Star Wars franchise.)

Zootopia
Cute rabbit sermonizing to me too much. Still a solid tale from Disney’s revamped animation team.

Finding Dory
Octopus driving a truck filled with sea animals crashing into the ocean to return home. It was almost too over the top, but I still love you Pixar. She found her mom and dad in a way that only Pixar could do.

Arrival
I was annoyed at the relationship twist at the end. It was beautiful though. Aliens and the language were really clever.

Magnificent Seven
Another remake that probably shouldn’t have been happened, but it was a really strong cast and director. I wanted to get to know more of the characters, but there wasn’t enough time.

Captain America: Civil War
Ok maybe I was just in a bad mood when I watched this, because I do love Marvel, but I didn’t love this one. I was bored at the beginning during the fight sequence. The 2 superheroes points of view are really zeitgeisty. I’m curious how the writers will resolve those arguments in other movies. A really big bad, I suppose. And really does it always have to be mommy issues for the character’s motivations. They just kept pummeling each other at the end, and I just shook my head. I liked it better than the other civil war movie though: see next.

Batman v. Superman
Again, Mommy issues, but really bad mommy issues. It feels like we’ve seen this problem with Batman way too many times. The dialogue at the climax was just bad. Superman’s my favorite character and he felt lost in the midst of rebooting Batman.

Suicide Squad
Not great, but it was fun. It reminded me of an early 90s superhero movie where they hadn’t quite figured out the genre.

* 10 Cloverfield Lane
Literally on the edge of my seat the entire time. It was ride from start to finish. I’m looking forward to see what J.J. Abrams has up his sleeve for the next one. Another surprise release perhaps?

* Doctor Strange
Not gonna lie, I love Benedict Cumberbatch. He did a nice job with that American accent. My real interest in this movie was the choice for Scott Derrickson to direct. He taught at the program that I was apart of in LA the year before I got there. He has an interesting take on faith and the supernatural that doesn’t come up much in Christian circles or the mainstream. Looking forward to seeing where else Derrickson goes in this series and his other films.

* The Jungle Book
Beautiful bit of special effects work and some wonderful story decisions with the elephants. I really enjoyed watching this in the theater. Loved what Favreau created. I listened to a podcast about filmmaking process. So smart.

Pete’s Dragon
This almost made my favorites. This was another bit of fancy special effects work from a young director. The young actor could have benefitted from a more experienced director like Favreau though. It was another beautiful, smart family story for the year that doesn’t seem to happen often enough. Disney is making some interesting decisions with their remakes.

The Nice Guys
I’m not sure why this one existed. I remember the caper being of fun, but I can’t remember what it was and as far as “buddies” go, I wasn’t crazy about Crowe and Gosling together. I am probably not the target audience though.

Sing Street
I really wanted to like this one. The music was decent, but not as catchy as Begin Again. The relationship of the main character left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The couple wasn’t that likable. I’ve heard more people talk about it recently, so I may need to give it another watch.

Ghostbusters
I didn’t love it or hate it, but I was entertained.

X-Men Apocalypse
This was a rental and I did like it better than I expected too, but boy they stuck a lot in that movie in a short amount of time. Hoping to see of my favorite 90s versions of the X-Men if they do another movie.

Star Trek Beyond
Star Trek has been a bit overshadowed with all the Star Wars talk recently, but this was a good solid Star Trek film. I’ve only seen a few Simon Pegg films, but his style is very distinctive and I could sense him all over it.


TV

* Stranger Things – Netflix
I love scifi. I don’t know enough of the 80s references, but I was hooked from start to finish. When’s season 2?

* Fixer Upper – HGTV
Never would I think I’d say I love a reality show about home redesign, but Chip and Jo, you guys are the most interesting couple on TV. I watch for those two.

Fuller House Seasons – Netflix
They were bad and cringeworthy but kinda sweet. I keep watching to see what ridiculous situations they’re going to put the characters in.

Gilmore Girls Revival – Netflix
ehh… I don’t know if I want to see how Rory does in Lorelai’s shoes. Are we really all doomed to repeat the choices of our parents, because that’s what I was left thinking. But then again there is something in that that makes you want to keep watching. And Team Jess.

DC TV Shows – CW
Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow – I watch it for Flash and watch the others to know what’s going on in the crossover episodes. Crossover was disappointing and they need to get Barry’s character out of the guilt zone and move on with life.

This is Us – NBC
It is just as good as people are saying it is.

* Gortimer Gibbons and Life on Normal Street – Amazon
There was something weirdly special about this realistic fantasy kids TV show. Well shot, well scripted, well acted interesting piece of kids TV.

* Lethal Weapon – Fox
I wanted to hate it, but there’s something special about Clayne Crawford who’s playing Riggs.

Marvel Shows on Netflix – Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage
I haven’t been able to finish a full season. I want to, but there’s just something too dark that keeps me from finishing.