Movie Roundup (Winter 2016 Edition)

Let’s talk about some of the theatrical (and Netflix) films that came out this year in no particular order, shall we?

Gonna skip the ones I’ve already given a proper review, but if you missed my thoughts on them, here are the links:

Oh, and this goes without saying, but I have to have actually seen the film and I’m not a major movie buff who sees everything under the sun. As such, I still haven’t seen The Revenant yet, and I haven’t seen Midnight Special either.

Deadpool

I was mostly stone-faced watching this thing. It was every generic superhero origin film ever with the only difference being that Deadpool’s humor sometimes got a smirk out of me without ever really being funny. So basically, just like the Deadpool video game from 2013. The satire amounted to nothing more than pointing out the stupidity of the situation whilst playing them with a more R-rated sensibility (aka an even worse version of Kick-ass) and…there’s no “and” after that. That’s all Deadpool is.

Kung Fu Panda 3

But hey, at least Deadpool had some elevation to its formula. Kung Fu Panda 3 had none whatsoever. It’s not actively bad like Norm of the North (from what I heard, as I couldn’t be assed to pay money to see it) or anything, but there’s nothing original or funny about this film, with a plot that was basically the same structure as the first two Kung Fu Pandas and a villain who couldn’t be more unthreatening if he was voiced by Tituss Burgess. Zzzzzzzzz.

Zootopia

The problem with Disney’s animated films is that they’re animated by Disney. They’ve never really been able to handle being seriously adult and kid-friendly the way Pixar has, and Zootopia is another entry in their catalogue of “good, but not great” animated films. It’s characters are fine and its story is well-presented with a few good jokes, but there’s no getting around the fact that this is just another story about racism, how it’s born from distrust, and since it’s a Disney film, it has to end happily with all the characters working to overcome their differences in order to defeat a villain. Good for what it is, but I’m not the biggest fan of “what it is”.

The Witch

Alright Puritan horror. Had some scares. Had some laughs. The ending was hilarious. Haven’t thought much about it since. Eh.

Victoria

Whilst the idea to do the entire movie in one take is definitely commendable, that can’t carry me for two hours you know. You’ve got to have more to your story than “woman gets caught up in crime after a chance meeting with some guys at a bar”. Not to mention, because it was all done in one take, that means some scenes go on way longer than they should to the point that I don’t think the crime stuff even starts until an hour in. This film isn’t exactly The Assassin when it comes to atmospheric storytelling, now is it?

The Jungle Book

Just plain shit. It’s Jon Favreau directing this thing and he brings in all his talent from those Iron Man movies into this adaptation of The Jungle Book aka no talent at all aside from getting Christopher Walken to sing “I Wanna Be Like You“. The movie consists of Mowgli meeting all the characters from the original animated film – except Kaa is now female for some reason, Mowgli making contraptions in the jungle, and Mowgli running away from Shere Khan. All of this happens without any sort of purpose, tension, or proper closure whatsoever. Add in that the action sucks and what little songs there are are poorly integrated, and you just have another one of Disney’s paint-by-the-numbers live-action films.

Pee Wee’s Big Holiday

Basically Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back except nowhere near as terrible, but still not that funny. To laugh at Pee Wee in general, you have to be into humor where what would normally be gritty is instead played out childishly. Since I never grew up with the guy, my attempts to get into him have always been kinda mixed, but any casual film-goer could tell you with no hesitation that whilst not as bad as the first sequel, it doesn’t measure up to Big Adventure. The movie is basically just another one of Netflix’s nostalgia-bait titles, so if you’re not a Pee Wee fan, this won’t change your mind.

Hardcore Henry

Just like Victoria, the idea is cool, but the appeal wears off fast if your story isn’t cool as well. And Hardcore Henry’s story is about as substantial as your average video game’s, so you can imagine I’m not exactly in awe when I’m experiencing that without user input on my end. I actually fell asleep in the final climax of the film – though that was mostly because it was late at night and I was tired – so I never got to see the final (and quite frankly, pointless) twist regarding the wife being a liar.

10 Cloverfield Lane

Decent film. ‘Nuff said.

Minor Quips

  • Honestly, Midnight Special doesn’t look like my kind of movie.

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