Top 7 Films of 2016

So why a top 7 and not a top 10, or even a top 5? Simply because I’ve only seen 7 new films this past year that I’d consider good, or better in most cases, so I may as well include them all.

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I’m sure this comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me, and though I do think it suffers from a lack of pace at times in the first half, the second half more than males up for that with some of the greatest battle scenes ever witnessed in a galaxy far far away. Absolutely has to be seen more than once as there are far too many references and nods to the other films to take in the first time. Plus there’s K-2SO, a fantastically sarcastic addition to the droids we love group within the Star Wars universe.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

2. Batman vs. Superman

All I heard between the cinema and Blu-ray releases were how bad this film was, and I’m not sure if the extended Blu-ray version was just that much better or the lack of expectation on my part made for a nice surprise, but either way I really liked Batman vs. Superman. It was gratifyingly dark, something I’d like to have seen in the massively underwhelming Captain America: Civil War.

3. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

I had this at number 2 until 5 minutes ago, but honestly I think only because of love and loyalty to the Harry Potter universe. In reality this was a really good film with some interesting characters and more interesting beasts, but it lacked the heart and charm of the Harry Potter stories. This needs a second viewing, and this time I can approach it with the knowledge that it’s from the Harry Potter universe but very much not a Harry Potter film. Something I knew, but still watched in hope.

4. Deadpool

Funny, violent, funny and violent. It’s everything you could want from Deadpool, in by far the best Marvel film of the year, of those that I’ve seen. Of course this one doesn’t sit within the Disney created Marvel Cinematic Universe, which in this case no doubt helped it. Thanks to it’s success both critically and financially, there are sequels and team ups being discussed and planned – Good Deadpool.

5. Star Trek Beyond

Whilst I’m not sure it reached the heights of the first two, this resurrection and reboot of a franchise that I had very little time of in it’s previous forms, offered up a greatly entertaining and beautifully shot third film. The threat was serious and I didn’t guess the twist – not much more you can ask for with Star Trek.

6. X-Men Apocalypse

The second film in a row in this list where it’s 2 franchise predecessors were better. It was still good though, and especially in showing us more of the backstory of Eric/Magneto’s character. Likewise we get introduced to Scott Summers/Cyclops as the foundation of the modern day X-Men is formed. Much like Days of Future Past the threat is a very serious one, almost insurmountable at times, but that only adds depth to the lengths they have to go to defeat it.

7. Zootopia/Zootropolis

A much hyped film that I saw on DVD and found charming, funny and somewhat original, but didn’t live up to the hype surrounding it. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, as I did, but just not to the extent I thought I might. I think that’s the problem with being an active member of the Disney community – there’s always going to be a high level of rose tinted praise, probably not too dissimilar to my appreciation of Star Wars. My son loved it, and especially the character of Nick Wilde whose story is the most interesting throughout.

Before I sign off I must mention Suicide Squad, which even more than Civil War was my biggest letdown of 2016. Being such a fan of the Civil War comic book event I knew it couldn’t live up to that, and it didn’t. Not even close. However, Suicide Squad had more of chance, but it failed miserably. They took the names of the characters from the comics and that’s about it. Aside from Harley Quinn they stripped away the essence of what made them the interesting characters they are, and gave us a film that plodded and bored for large parts – something I’d never associate with Suicide Squad.

There are many films from 2016 that I’m yet to see that could break into this list, and if it lives up to the hype more than Zootropolis, then Moana could be the most likely to do that. I also need to see Dr Strange, Arrival, the new Ghostbusters reboot, The BFG and probably many more. In 2017 Star Wars Episode 8 is the one that I’ll be most eagerly anticipating, but with new Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man, Kong, Guardians of the Galaxy, Justice League and Cars films, to name but a few, there is much to look forward to.

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