With all of the lists for 2016 done, it is time to look forward and see what 2017 has in store for us.
On TV, there is the upcoming Inhumans on ABC. You would think that we would have some casting news soon.
But there is nothing on TV that I am looking forward to more than Showtime’s Twin Peaks. Since the day where Killer Bob stared back at Agent Cooper in the bathroom mirror, I wanted to know what was going to happen. Now, we will know.
As for movies….
Here is my top ten most anticipated films of 2017.
#10. Leg Batman Movie. This looks so fun.
#9. Justice League. Always wonder about a DC movie.
#8. War for the Planet of the Apes. The trailer looks fabulous.
#7. Logan. The trailer is genius. I am still a little scared of this. If the movie lives up to the trailer, then I am excited.
#6. Wonder Woman. I hope DC can get this one right. It looks good so far.
#5. Star Wars Episode VIII. Luke Skywalker & Renn.
#4. Kong: Skull Island. Kong looks massive!
#3. Thor: Ragnarok. Thor and Hulk in a buddy movie? I’m in!
#2. Spider-man: Homecoming. What looks like it could be the best Spider-man movie yet. Spidey in high school and Tom Holland in the role could be spectacular.
#1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Baby Groot. Mantis. Ego the Living Planet. More fun from Marvel cosmic!
Here we go!
The best movies of 2016 in the humble opinion of EYG. Of course, you are welcome to disagree. Film is subjective and that is one of the best things about it. Two people may not have the same ideas about the exact same film. That is okay. It is awesome really.
So you are aware, just like in the Top 30 Worst Films, the weekly star ratings really mean nothing in my calculations for this list. There are 5 star movies that are behind films with a lower rating. If you can’t handle that… well, I guess you’ll just have to deal with it.
There were quite a few honorable mentions as this was the harder list to do. I had to drop several that I would have liked to see make the list. This was a great year for cinema overall, even if the blockbusters let us down.
Honorable Mentions: Resurrection of Jake the Snake, Miss Sloane, Allied, Nice Guys, Pee Wee’s Big Holiday, Kevin Hart: What Now?, The Little Prince, Finding Dory, Conjuring 2, Kung Fu Panda 3, Kubo and the Two Strings, I Am Not a Serial Killer, Weiner, The 13th
#30. Don’t Think Twice. Keegan-Michael Key and his love letter to improv and improv groups. This was very enjoyable and funnier than most regular comedies.
#29. Manchester By the Sea. A lot of people have this much higher and, while I appreciated it, this film is a bit of a downer for me. Great (perhaps Oscar winning) performances, though.
#28. Sully. Great work from Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks telling the story about the “miracle on the Hudson.” Most interesting was the behind the scenes stuff that I didn’t know happened with Sully’s decision being called into question. Good stuff.
#27. Zootopia. The animated film with just as much for adults as there is for children. The themes of this film are very adult, including racism and drug use. Entertaining as well.
#26. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Not many people saw this, but it was really funny and had great music. Andy Samberg was really in his element here.
#25. Ouija: Origin of Evil. Still blows mu mind to see a Ouija movie on my Top 30 list. I would have laughed at anyone who would’ve told me that a Ouija sequel would be on this list. And yet, there it is. And it was good.
#24. Star Trek Beyond. A very solid film with the new Star Trek cast feeling like they are really coming into their own with these classic characters. Sad knowing that we will no longer have Chekov (Anton Yelchin) after this film.
#23. Lights Out. Another horror movie in the year of horror that was surprisingly good. There may have been some plot holes in Lights Out, but the rest of the movie kept you on the edge of your seat.
#22. Edge of Seventeen. Great coming of age movie starring a future star in Hailee Steinfeld. As a teacher, I really related to Woody Harrelson’s character. That was the thing about Edge of Seventeen. No matter who you were, you could relate to something.
#21. Hush. I watched this on Netflix because of a recommendation by Chris Stuckmann and I was really grateful because this is the type of film that I might not have seen otherwise. Hush was tense and suspenseful and I loved it.
#20. Batman: The Return of the Caped Crusader. This was a one-night in the theater show and I made sure I was there for it because I was excited about hearing Adam West and Burt Ward back as their iconic versions of Batman and Robin. And I laughed the whole night.
#19. Don’t Breathe. The best horror movie of the year saw a great performance by Stephen Lang, successfully making what seemed like a noble character that you would want to root for into a horrible man who you want to see get his comeuppance.
#18. Deepwater Horizon. This was a very big surprise to me. I did not like the trailer for this, but the film itself was full of action and suspense. One of the best disaster films in recent memory.
#17. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. What was a risky proposition seems to have paid off royally. This is the war story they always wanted to make. They put the wars in Star Wars. There could have been more character development, but, seeing the end, I understand why they didn’t.
#16. Hell or High Water. A modern day western with great characters and a tightly written story. Great performances from Ben Foster, Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges. This could have been a top 10 movie which shows you how strong the films are.
#15. La La Land. Again, this one is much higher on other people’s lists, but for me, it falls at #15. Greta music, performances and an ending that makes this feel real. One of the best musicals in recent memory.
#14. Moana. The top animated film of the year, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Beautiful animation, great music, and a simple but classic story helped Moana to be another huge hit for Disney.
#13. 10 Cloverfield Lane. Another film that was, for awhile, in the top 10, slipping to number 13. The surprise sequel set a brilliant tone of uneasiness and that was spurred on by an eerie performance by John Goodman. You never knew for sure what was going on with this guy until the very end.
#12. Eye in the Sky. More tension in this one than I expected. I am glad that this is Alan Rickman’s final performance (not counting Alice) because this film is worthy of him. A film that asks some challenging moral questions as well.
#11. Hacksaw Ridge. I tried to get this into the top ten, but I just couldn’t. This is a movie that I loved, but I will never watch again because of the rawness of that second half. I compared the feelings I had coming out of this film to the feelings I had coming out of 12 Years a Slave. Very emotionally powerful. Greta work from Mel Gibson.
#10. Elvis & Nixon. One of the great surprises of 2016, tells the true story about when Elvis Presley met Richard Nixon, trying to get Nixon to make him an under cover DEA agent to help save the country’s youth. Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon were just amazing as the two title characters and I was engulfed at the story.
#9. Arrival. The sci-fi film that makes you think. Arrival is a fantastic movie, but it is not your typical alien invasion film. Amy Adams is Oscar-worthy as our main character and Jeremy Renner is solid as her partner. The twist at the end is wonderful and catches you off guard although feels like it makes sense.
#8. Doctor Strange. This was one of those risky attempts by Marvel Studios, and they drove it home once again. The special effects of Dr. Strange is off the charts and make the world of multiverse available for the MCU. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfectly cast as Stephen Strange and the rest of the cast is wonderful as well. Another huge hit for Marvel.
#7. The Jungle Book. This was amazing when you consider that this was shot completely on a stage set. There was no real jungles or animals. You couldn’t tell. The CGI was spectacular. Plus, the story was great. The young actor as Mowgli was amazing especially since he did not have anything to act off of. The Jungle Book made a ton of money and it deserved it.
#6. Tickled. This documentary was mind blowing. I did not expect anything from it, but it was just completely compelling as it went from a silly story to something that was downright villainous. And it was real. Just great.
#5. Nocturnal Animals. About half way through Nocturnal Animals I was thinking that this could compete for the number one slot. The ending kind of dropped off at the time, but if I could revisit the film, I think I might like the ending more than I thought. Either way, this was a great film that was another one of the films that require you to think. That is great.
#4. Swiss Army Man. Probably the most original film of the year. It was also life-affirming. It was funny. It was charming. There were two amazing performances from the lead actors, especially from Daniel Radcliffe. I know this one was divisive as many people hated this film. Not for me. I loved it.
#3. Sing Street. Not enough people have seen Sing Street. It is on Netflix right now. Finish my list and go watch it. This is a great coming of age movie with a simple story of a boy trying to get a girl and starting a band. The film was about relationships, especially brothers and brothers or boyfriend-girlfriend or parents-children. Plus, there was some of the most catchy songs in any movie you will ever see.
#2. Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds fought for years to get this movie done and to do it right. Deadpool as a character was ruined in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and to do him right, was what Reynolds wanted. The promotion for this movie was perhaps the best ever. And then the movie was awesome.
#1. Captain America: Civil War
Marvel had been building to this for years. They had 13 movies to base this film on. And you could tell. This was a near perfect comic book movie. The Russo Brothers were able to mix in the huge cast of characters without losing the feel that this is a Captain America movie. Robert Downey Jr. made this special and Civil War would not have worked without him. We also got our first Black Panther and we brought Spider-man into the MCU. The airport scene is the best battle scene in any comic book movie and could be considered (arguably) the best fight scene in any movie. The film had devastating stakes without anyone dying. The film was immensely personal and was, actually, very small. The end with Cap vs. Iron Man was full of emotion and really put an exclamation point on this. Civil War is my favorite Marvel movie and is the #1 film of 2016.
Well, here it is. The Top 30 worst movies I saw in 2016.
Sometimes a bad movie can be fun. The RiffTrax guys have proven that to us. However, these 30 films have not yet received that RiffTrax treatment (although I could see some of them getting it sooner rather than later.
Before we dive into the list, I should specify a couple of things. One, the star ratings go out the window when compiling a list like this. I keep the star rating as a reference, but just because a film had a higher star rating in my weekly reviews does not preclude it from being higher on the list. In fact, there are a few here that received a reasonable score but wound up here. Lots of reasons… just the way it happens.
Two, this is my list and, because film is subjective, this is what I think about these films. As with anything, you should not be offended by anything I put down here. If you like “Movie 43”, please do not be bothered if I say it was the worst film ever.
And of course, these are only movies that I have seen. Norm of the North and Mother’s Day surely would be here had I seen them, but I avoided them so they cannot be among the list.
Before I list my dishonorable mentions, I need to give a ruling. I went to The Choice earlier this year and it was a terrible movie and certainly could have a spot on this list. However, I left that film early (honestly, the only reason I went in the first place was to kill time until Deadpool started) and since I did not see the ending, I am disqualifying it from this list. I did the same last year for Magic Mike XXL so precedent is on my side.
With that done, here are my dishonorable mentions: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Neon Demon, The Disappointments Room, Angry Birds, Divergent Series: Allegiant, Morgan, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
#30. The Huntsmen: Winter’s War. Who wanted this sequel? That question might be asked again on this list. Great cast. Horrid film.
#29. Collateral Beauty. This felt like everyone (sans Will Smith) was phoning it their performances. The story was downright mean-spirited and stupid. Will Smith was memorable, but nothing else was.
#28. Keeping Up With the Joneses. This is the first film from Zach Galifianakis on this list, but it will not be the last. This is another film that showed all the funny in the trailer.
#27. Ride Along 2. This one benefited from being released in January because it slipped from my mind. Sequel #2 on this list.
#26. The Light Between Oceans. Yawn. Fassbender and Vikander should have been more interesting than this.
#25. Max Steel. I’m one of about five people who saw this super hero film. There was a good reason for that.
#24. Billy Lynne’s Long Halftime Walk. Ang Lee directed this steaming pile. Just a stupid film with a ridiculous, almost laughable, moments of war heroes attending a football game. Makes me want to watch Ang Lee’s Hulk again.
#23. Criminal. Kevin Costner in the old mind swap type story. The only thing criminal here was that I had to pay to see this.
#22. Bad Santa 2. I did not see Bad Santa 1 so I had no background, but this was a terrible movie with a few minimal laughs. This has never been my type of film so when I did not like Bad Santa 2, no one was surprised. Sequel #3
#21. When the Bough Breaks. Every year these same actors appear in a film like this, a basic rip off of Fatal Attraction. Every year it sucks. These actors deserve better.
#20. Masterminds. Here is Zach Galifianakis again. This movie had been delayed once before. Too bad it didn’t get delayed again. Painfully unfunny.
#19. The Purge: Election Year. Another sequel (#4) on the list. I really think this Purge nonsense has run its course because I am afraid that we will be living the Purge in real life soon with Trump as Prez.
#18. Mechanic: Resurrection. Who wanted this to be resurrected? Sequel #5.
#17. Incarnate. A terrible horror movie starring the Bruce Wayne kid from Gotham. This is actually not his last appearance on this list. Aaron Eckhart tried his best here, but there was only so much he could do.
#16. The 5th Wave. The wave of young adult novels being made into movies hit yet another snag this year with the terrible alien invasion movie, The 5th Wave. When will we realize these YA novels do not translate to the screen?
#15. Neighbors 2. Neighbors 1 was not horrible. But I hated just about everything in Neighbors 2. Sequel #6.
#14. Ben Hur. Why? What reason could anyone have for remaking a classic film such as Ben Hur? And why include Morgan Freeman?
#13. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. This one I hated so much, but I have never seen the Absolutely Fabulous TV show from England. I am guessing if you were a fan of that show, you might have liked this movie. I had no interest.
#12. Independence Day: Resurgence. One of the biggest failures of the year. This film (sequel #7, btw) gave us new characters that were completely forgettable and old characters that were either wasted or ruined. This sequel should have been done years ago. The best part was how director Roland Emmerich then came out and bad mouthed super hero films. Huh? Glass houses-stones Roland.
#11. The Darkness. Here is young Bruce Wayne again, playing basically the same character he played in Incarnate. What makes this worse is that this crap pile somehow included Kevin Bacon.
TOP TEN WORST…
#10. Dirty Grandpa. How far the mighty have fallen. I considered strongly giving Robert DeNiro a “Batman and Robin” Award for Worst Actor for this film (it wound up going to Gerard Butler instead). Is this the same guy who was in Ragin’ Bull and Taxi Driver and Godfather II? Zac Efron is on this list several times as well.
#9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. I did not like the first TMNT film from this series and this only got worse. Plus it wasted Casey Jones. WWE superstar Sheamus was in this though. Sequel #8
#8. The Other Side of the Door. Dumb dumb dumb. There are so many horror tropes and cliches on display here that you understand why some people hate horror movies.
#7. Assassin’s Creed. The video game movie genre will never catch a break. Even with a great actor as Michael Fassbender (although he is on this list several times), the film cannot escape the black hole of video game nonsense. This one should have been so much better.
#6. Shut In. The worst horror movie of the year falls in at #6 on this list. Ridiculous performances and laughable storylines, Shut In was terrible. What were people thinking?
#5. Gods of Egypt. What a craptacular film. Horrid acting, horrid CGI, horrid story telling. The fact that there are four films worse than this speaks poorly of 2016. Gerard Butler and the series of white actors tried their best (????) but this Egyptian myth mash-up fell so flat.
#4. Zoolander 2. Our final sequel on the list this year is the worst sequel of this year. Why did we need Zoolander 2? It wasn’t funny. It did not break new ground. For some people, it spoiled the original movie. They crammed a ton of cameos into the film because they knew they needed that extra boost. The story and film wouldn’t provide that boost.
#3. Nine Lives. Hey, you know what would be a good idea? Let’s get Kevin Spacey and have him turn into a cat. You know… like The Shaggy Dog, but with a cat. How could that go wrong? Gee, let me count the ways. This was another film that not many people saw but those who did were united in their hatred.
#2. The Brothers Grimsby. I so hated this movie. I hated just about everything about it. I am not sure that I laughed at anything. The stupid story was predictable and dull. Sacha Baron Cohen was way over the top and was almost impossible to root for. Cohen has been trying to recapture the success of Borat, but this is nowhere near that. This would have been the worst film of 2016 had it not been for….
The worst film of the year...
#1. 50 Shades of Black. What has happened to the spoof film genre? Where did films that were actually funny such as Airplane and Naked Gun go? Now, all we get are these unfunny films from Marlon Wayans and his siblings that are worse than the original. I would rather watch 50 Shades of Grey any day over this travesty. This one came out early in 2016, but it held strong for this position. I beg of Hollywood to find someone with a comedic voice that can do spoof movies that we can deserve. Please?
So there they are. The 30 worst movies of 2016 according to EYG. Do you disagree? Did I leave off something or is there something on this list that you loved?
In the end, I had way more good movies than bad in 2016, so that is a good thing. Hopefully that trend will continue into 2017.
The counterpart to the Strangelove in the world of EYG is The Liz, named after the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor, and it is presented to the best actress of the year.
Again, before we start, here are the Honorable Mentions: Ruth Negga (Loving), Vera Farmiga (Conjuring 2), Melissa McCarthy & Kristin Wiig (Ghostbusters), Renee Zellweger (Bridget Jones’s Baby), Emily Blunt (Girl on a Train).
Top Actresses of 2016
#5. Felicity Jones (Rogue One). Felicity Jones did a great job leading the first non-trilogy Star Wars flick. Rogue One was the first stand alone Star Wars movie and, because of that, it took quite a risk. Still, Felicity Jones took on the character of Jyn and made it a character that people wanted to see.
#4. Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen). Hailee Steinfeld was really good in True Grit, but here she has to carry the whole film. And she succeeds tremendously. She is funny, dramatic and very teenage in this wonderful coming of age story. This was one of the most real performances of the year.
#3. Amy Adams (Arrival & Nocturnal Animals). Amy Adams had a great year. She was the lead actress in two great movies and she brought something different to both of these roles. In Arrival, Adams brought the intelligence. She had to do the thinking. In Nocturnal Animals, the film was made through her POV, so what we saw was how she saw it. Amy Adams has really taken a step to being one of our finest actresses working today.
#2. Emma Stone (La La Land). Emma Stone is just transcendent in La La Land. She sings. She dances. She is the heart of the film. You hope for the best for her character and you feel for her when things do not go her way. She has amazing chemistry with her co-star Ryan Gosling and her smile can light up the screen. She does some magic here.
and our winner of The Liz for 2016 is….
#1. Viola Davis (Fences). In the Golden Globes and the Oscars, they submitted her under the supporting actress category, but that is a crime. Viola Davis is a lead actress in fences and delivers one of the rawest, most powerful performances of the year. Yes, I found the film itself to have several flaws, but the performances of Davis and her co-star Denzel Washington were awe-inspiring. Viola Davis has shown herself to be about as big of a powerhouse actress as you are going to find.
We will now be awarding the “Strangelove.” This is the award given here at EYG to the Best Actor in a Movie. It is, of course, in honor of the EYG Hall of Famer Peter Sellers and his tour de force performance in Dr. Strangelove.
First: Honorable Mention: Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Chris Evans (Captain America: Civil War), Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Michael Shannon (Elvis & Nixon), Ben Foster (Hell or High Water)
#5. Paul Dano (Swiss Army Man). Dano had to be able to hold everything together or else this whole movie would fail. How many farting corpse movies have you ever seen? But Dano brought the humanity to the role and sold us his desperation to find his way home using whatever means necessary. He had a great report with Daniel Radcliffe and they made a great film.
#4. Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge). Garfield has come a long way since Amazing Spider-man 2. He shows the full gamut of emotion here and showed us what a real life hero was like. The second half of this movie is very difficult to watch, but it is incredibly inspiring and a big part of that comes from Andrew Garfield.
#3. Casey Affleck (Manchester By the Sea). Casey Affleck’s best performance ever? Certainly. Affleck is understated and kept his pain from the horrible circumstances of his life close to his breast. You wondered through the film why he couldn’t just move back to Manchester to raise his nephew. You found out. And it was heart breaking.
#2. Ryan Gosling (La La Land). Gosling is another one of those actors who has shown us that he can do anything. His turn as a jazz musician hoping to own his own club and help save jazz is amazing, and his chemistry with Emma Stone is off the charts. Gosling sings, dances, plays the piano and just knocks our socks off.
and winner of this year’s Strangelove Award is….
#1. Denzel Washington (Fences). I was not a huge fan of the movie Fences. I had certain problems with the plot, the set up, how it felt like a play. But there was no denying that Denzel Washington was brilliant as Troy, the ex-Negro league baseball player who may not be as good of a guy as he seemed. The dialogue in this film was electric and Denzel delivered it with as much gusto as you could ever imagine.
#10. Kevin Spacey (Elvis & Nixon)
#9. Aaron Eckhart (Sully)
#8. Jack Renner (Sing Street)
#7. Stephen Lang (Don’t Breathe)
#6. John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane)
#5. Alan Rickman (Eye in the Sky)
#4. Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
#3. Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
#2. Daniel Radcliffe (Swiss Army Man)
#1. Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)
#10. Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad)
#9. Nicole Kidman
#8. Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters)
#7. Leslie Jones (Ghostbusters)
#6. Naomi Harris (Moonlight)
#5. Lupita Nyong’o (Queen of Katwe)
#4. Morena Baccarin (Deadpool)
#3. Helen Mirren (Eye in the Sky)
#2. Michelle Williams (Manchester By the Sea)
#1. Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange)
Our Top Ten Directors for 2016.
#10. Clint Eastwood (Sully)
#9. Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
#8. Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book)
#7. Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (Swiss Army Man)
#6. Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By the Sea)
#5. The Russo Brothers (Captain America: Civil War)
#4. Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
#3. Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
#2. Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals)
Chazelle seems obvious to me. What a brilliant job directing this film, with so many great numbers and dance routines. He has now two consecutive huge winners in La La Land and Whiplash. Obviously he loves music, jazz in particular. Tom Ford wove those two (or three) stories together seamlessly in Nocturnal Animals and nearly took that top spot. Mel Gibson does great battleground scenes and Hacksaw Ridge was a tough second half to watch. Just ahead of Gibson was Denis Villeneuve whose Arrival was the thinking man’s sci-fi hit of the year. The Russo Brothers deserve the credit for taking a cast as large as Civil War and still making that film feel like a Captain America movie.
A new category this year to commemorate a skill that is used quite frequently. A great animated or CGI character requires a great voice performance and the actors many times do no have other actors to play off of.
Giving out the first “I Am Groot” Voice Acting award is going to be great, but before we do, I am going to give out an honorary “I Am Groot” Award for one of the greatest voice acting performance of all time. The Honorary “I Am Groot” goes to Robin Williams for Aladdin. Easily one of the greatest performances ever. I almost named the award after EYG Hall of Famer Robin Williams, but I chose instead the great one line wonder from Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel.
Honorary winner of I Am Groot Award: Robin Williams as the Genie.
Anyway, back to 2016.
#10. Kevin Conroy (Batman: Killing Joke). Another EYG Hall of Famer, it was great to have Kevin Conroy back for the Killing Joke. Unfortunately, the film was not as good as it could have been. The part with Conroy and Mark Hamill was epic.
#9. Ginnifer Goodwin (Zootopia). One of the reasons that Zootopia works is because of the great voice work by Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps. Goodwin, who plays Snow White on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, brought that female rabbit to life in one of Disney’s big hits of the year.
#8. Bill Murray (The Jungle Book). Voice acting is not always animated. Some times it is in a live action film, with a CGI character. Murray’s casting as Baloo the Bear was perfect and his singing of “Bear Necessities” was a highlight of that film.
#7. Jason Bateman (Zootopia). Zootopia would not have worked without the great chemistry between Judy Hopps and Bateman’s character Nick Wilde. Bateman had the perfect delivery for the sneaky fox.
#6. Mark Hamill (Batman: Killing Joke). I don’t know how anyone expects to do a voice for an animated Joker because there is only one. Mark Hamill is clearly the best Joker voice ever, and his work in the Killing joke proves that.
#5. Ellen DeGeneres (Finding Dory). Ellen was able to take Dory, a potentially one-note character, and make her fit a full length film. Some times those secondary characters cannot carry their own film (looking at you, Minions) but Dory was a huge success. And a big part of that is Ellen’s great voice work.
#4. Adam West/Burt Ward (Batman: The Return of the Caped Crusaders). This brought every last bit of nostalgia from the old Batman series back to the big screen and I loved it. Having EYG Hall of Famer Adam West and Burt Ward able to be around to do the voices was extra special.
#3. Dwayne Johnson (Moana). The Rock as a Polynesian demi-god? Is that considered type casting? The Rock does a greta job in my favorite animated movie of the year. He even sings, the Lin-Manuel Miranda song “You’re Welcome.” What can’t the Rock do? The character of Maui certainly took a great deal from The Rock.
#2. Alan Tudyk (Rogue One). One of the standout stars of the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, was K2SO and that former Imperial Droid was voiced by Firefly actor Alan Tudyk. Tudyk was also Heihei in Moana, Duke Weaselton in Zootopia, and had roles in Frozen and Big Hero 6. Clearly, if you want a successful animated film, you need to get Alan Tudyk to voice something. As for K2SO, he was considered by many to be one of the many highlights of Rogue One and I know I was upset when he met his fate.
#1. Auli’i Cravalho (Moana). Moana herself was a huge hit. Her voice was just beautiful and she was amazing with her singing. This is all the more amazing when you consider that she began her career with Moana. She wasn’t even going to audition for the role since there were so many amazing entries. Goes to show you that you should always believe in yourself and give it your best effort.
Well, there is the list for the first ever “I Am Groot” Voice Acting Award. I wonder if Groot will win his own award in 2017 when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 comes out?
There was some great music in the movies this year. The following will be the Best Movie Songs, plus the movies with the best use of music. We also will be looking at television music as well.
#10. Rules Don’t Apply (Rules Don’t Apply)
#9. No Dames (Hail Caeser)
#8. Finest Girl (Bin Laden) (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping)
#7. The Riddle of the Model (Sing Street)
#6. How Far I’ll Go (Moana)
#5. Another Day of Sun (La La Land)
#4. Up (Sing Street)
#3. Heathens (Suicide Squad)
#2. You’re Welcome (Moana)
#1. Drive It Like You Stole It (Sing Street)
#2 Sing Street
#1. La La Land
#6. “Release Me” by Corrina Repp (Orange is the New Black)
#5. “Ain’t It A Sin” by Charles Bradley (Luke Cage)
#4. “Sour Times” by Portishead (American Crime Story: People vs. OJ)
#3. “Heroes” by Peter Gabriel (Stranger Things)
#2. “Bulletproof Love” By Method Man (Luke Cage)
#1. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” -sung by the character Angela (Mr. Robot)
Worst Movie: You have to wait for this one until the Top 30 Worst Movie list.
Worst Actor: Gerard Butler (Gods of Egypt)
Worst Actress: Naomi Watts (Shut In)
Worst SPX: Gods of Egypt
Worst Sequel: Zoolander 2
Worst Movie I Haven’t Seen: Norm of the North
Worst Super Hero Movie: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Worst Trailer for Awesome Movie: Ouija: Origin of Evil
Best Trailer for Terrible Film: Masterminds
Best Performance in a bad movie: Will Smith (Collateral Beauty)
Most Overrated: The Secret Life of Pets
Least Favorite Certified Fresh film at Rotten Tomatoes: Love and Friendship (98%)
Favorite Movie that is “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes: The Legend of Tarzan (35%)
The Star of the Year.
What performer has had the biggest year? This could be a movie actor, a musician, a tv star, or even a company.
Previous winners: JJ Abrams, Marvel Studios, Jennifer Lawrence
This year’s EYG Star of the Year:
Lin wrote and starred in the Broadway sensation Hamilton. He won a Tony Award for his performance in the musical, which also won the Tony for Best Musical (and 10 other awards) as well as a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He also wrote several of the songs for the Disney animated movie, Moana. Miranda has been a huge pop cultural icon for 2016 and is only heading for bigger things.
Runners-up: Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, The Stranger Things kids, “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Gosling, Kate McKinnon, Emma Stone.
Here are the top ten best “moments” of pop culture and beyond. Those moments that might be considered “Geek Moments”
#10. Glenn, Abraham are killed by Negan on the Walking Dead. The Walking Dead cliffhanger had made many people upset, but it did place eyes on the season 7 premiere. Many wondered if the show would kill off Glenn in the same manner as the comic series did…at the end of Lucille. So when Abraham tasted the barbed wire, Glenn fans everywhere took a sigh of relief. But it was not over. As a punishment for Daryl, Negan chose a second victim, and this time, Glenn was killed. Shock filled the internet. Many would say that the Walking Dead has not been as solid as it used to be, but they certainly provided quite the season premiere.
#9. Captain America- Agent of Hydra? The new series, Steve Rogers: Captain America saw Cap return from old man state back into healthy super soldier state. However, the end of the first issue sent shockwaves through the comic community after Cap said those two fateful words, “Hail Hydra.” Anger consumed the comic book fans as people swore to never read another Captain America book. It was revealed soon that the memories of Cap as Hydra agent as a child were false memories implanted by the living cosmic cube Kobik. I must admit, I am really ready to have this story end. Seeing Cap as the villain is just wrong.
#8. DC Rebirth. In 2016, DC Comic did another relaunch of its super hero continuity. Going from the end of the New 52, DC intended to return to its old DC Universe while keeping some continuity from the New 52 books. No matter what argument you can make about how DC does relaunches way too often, success cannot be debated. Rebirth has been an extremely successful relaunch for DC Comics as they have seen their books’ sales reach high levels, even surpassing Marvel’s. Whether or not this can be sustained is another question, but there is no denying that DC hit a homer with this.
#7. Pokemon Go. This was a short lived phenomenon that swept the nation, causing people to search for these Pokemon characters using their cell phones. It was such a wild time that the Pokemon app was crashing, unable to contain the number of participants “Having to find them all.”
#6. Hamilton. Broadway got a huge hit this year. Hamilton is a rap show about Alexander Hamilton and if you thought that was a strange combination, then you are not the only ones. However, with the great music by Lin-Manuel Miranda and word of mouth that was out of this world, Hamilton became the ticket to find.
#5. Big Budget Summer Films Bomb. Though there were some really great movies during 2016, many of the big summer blockbusters that we were looking forward to really underwhelmed us. Independence Day: Resurgence, Jason Bourne, Ghostbusters, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Warcraft, The BFG, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Neighbors 2, Huntsman, X-Men: Apocalypse, Zoolander 2. These are all movies that under-performed and trended toward failures. The small, independent movies still had quite a successful year, and there were some great summer movies (Captain America: Civil War for example) but the blockbuster certainly took its beating in 2016.
#4. Disney makes all the Money $$$. Meanwhile, Disney continued to rule the world. With its studios like Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilms, Disney set a record for highest domestic total at $2.7 billion. It has also passed $7 billion worldwide. Both of these are records. Disney has (currently) the top four grossing movies worldwide of the year with Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory, Zootopia, and The Jungle Book. Rogue One is still climbing and, as of this post, has garnered $635.8 million for 11th place. Add to this Dr. Strange (656.5 million) and Moana (342.8 million), the studio’s success is clear.
#3. Too Many Deaths- #2016MustGo. At some point, things have gotten too ridiculous. At first, blaming the year was kind of a joke. A way to have something to blame when we lost another huge star. Then, it piled up. Prince, Alan Rickman, Ali, Carrie Fisher, Leonard Cohen, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Wilder, George Micheal, David Bowie, Anton Yelchin are just a few of the A-list celebs that we lost in 2016. As of this writing, we have about 2 1/2 days left… let’s hope that the blood sucking year 2016 has taken enough from us.
#2. The Chicago Cubs win the World Series. Something happened this year that some people have literally waited their entire lives for. The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series. The last time the Cubs appeared in the World Series was 1945. And they hadn’t won the World Series since 1908. That was 108 years. I am not a Cub fan, but I have to say that I am happy for those long suffering fans who never seemed to catch a break. Whether it was billy goats or Steve Bartman, the Cubs always found a way to end up on the outside looking in. But this season was different. They had a great series with fellow long time losers Cleveland Indians, and the Cubs had to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the championship.
#1. Donald Trump, President-elect. In any other year, the Cubbies winning the World Series would be far and away the number one geek moment. However, 2016 was not a typical year. 2016 became the year when we elected our first reality star as president as Donald J. Trump was elected to be President of the USA. This happened despite him losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes. This happened despite his constant Twitter rants that were many times inappropriate and most of the times childish. This happened despite the release of tape from Access Hollywood where Trump spoke about “grabbing women by the p*ssy” and getting away with it because he was a celebrity. He insulted women, Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, other celebrities. He said he would “lock up” Hillary. He encouraged Russia to keep hacking into Hillary’s e-mails. And yet, despite all of these potentially disqualifying events, Donald Trump won the election. Who knows what is coming next?
Memes have become part of our online social media culture, and they can be a way we cope with the horrible things that happen in our world. Humor is always a way to deal with pain, and many of these memes do just that.
I have picked my favorite six memes from 2016…
Presenting our first “FRAME” Award for best animated film of 2016. We have given the best animated film in the past including such films as Inside Out, Flashpoint, Big Hero 6, but now we have the official EYG FRAME Award to present.
Animation this year was okay. We have had better years in the past. I am only placing eight on the list of animation this year, with four making the bad list. There were several that I did not see. So when Ice Age’s new film is not on the bad list (or Norm of the North btw), I did not see it.
Two films that fall int he middle between the lists are Secret Life of Pets and Batman: Killing Joke. Killing Joke could have been so good, but yet had to tack on a first half of the movie that had nothing to do with the story. Pets was pretty average to below average, but was passable enough to avoid the bad list.
#8. Kung Fu Panda 3. This was really a good movie but honestly, I forgot all about it until I went back over the other movies I reviewed this year. I did not have to do that for the other movies on this list and thus, Kung Fu Panda 3 gets the #7 slot. Still a greta film though.
#7. The Little Prince. This was on Netflix and was an adaptation of the beloved children’s story and this was done so well. I had tears in my eyes watching The Little Prince. This was an example of adding material to a film that actually fit into the story (hint hint Killing Joke) and made the movie better.
#6. Sing. Saw this one late in the year and really enjoyed it. The story was simple. I liked the characters. And the music was engaging and entertaining. That was about all that Sing was about.
#5. Finding Dory. I enjoyed this movie. It would have been a better film if it hadn’t been constantly compared to Finding Nemo, which was a significantly better film. Still enjoyed the story and the voice work from Ellen DeGeneres was top notch.
#4. Kubo and the Two Strings. A beautiful story with epic animation from the people at Laika. Great characters on an epic adventure. I did not love it as much as most people did, but this was really great, no doubt.
#3. Zootopia. Disney continued to be making all the money this year as Zootopia was one of the year’s biggest hits. It also had a very subversive story with plenty of metaphoric moments that adults would understand while kids would laugh at. Beautifully blended the viewing pleasure for the whole family.
#2. Batman: The Return of the Caped Crusaders. A personal favorite of mine because it brought back Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin. Building off the success from the comics of Batman ’66, The Return of the Caped Crusaders was so full of nostalgia and fun that I had a smile on my face the whole time. The animation did not measure up to the rest of this list, but I did not care. It took me back to my childhood when I could watch these episodes and wonder how Batman and Robin were going to get out of this trap. Loved this.
And our first official winner of the EYG FRAME Award goes to…
#1. Moana. So many great things here that, even with what was a very simple story, when put together, something special is created. It had great music, a great female protagonist and The Rock. What more do you need? It also showed the Polynesian culture, something that we had not seen before. Moana was my favorite animated experience of the year.
Again, I skipped out of quite a few animated films this year that looked to be awful. I did not see the new Ice Age movie, Ratchet and Clank, Norm of the North, The Wild Life, Nut Job 2. These are the four that made my list.
#4. Sausage Party. This was as disappointing as anything else. I expected a lot of rauchy humor, and, though I got raunch, I did not get much humor.
#3. Trolls. Way too saccharine sweet for my taste buds. It had some good moments, but it really was too much of a good thing. Plus, it was predictable as heck.
#2. Storks. Did not like this one either. There were so many stupid moments and the predictability of the film was so obvious.
#1. Angry Birds. Man this was horrible. I hated this movie. Nothing but a cash grab. Another example of the video game movie failing. Dumb and boring.