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Most Enjoyable & Most
Disappointing of 2016
are my lists of the most enjoyable and least enjoyable/most
disappointing/most overrated films I saw during 2016. The negative
category includes some films that, while not the worst, were
disappointing or overrated, or, while enjoyable, had huge flaws. The
positive category is just how much I enjoyed them, not rated as I would
rate an Oscar®-winner. The "Most Disappointing" are listed by rank of
how much I loathed them with #1 the most loathsome. Both lists are
shorter than normal because it was a relatively bland year except that
my most enjoyable list contains lots of films that would stand out in
La La Land:
Not only the best of this year; maybe the best of the decade.
Eye in the Sky:
“Command Decision” updated for the 21st Century with
Helen Mirren playing Clark Gable’s role, a tense tale of modern
Our Kind of Traitor:
Ambler-type thriller of an ordinary man caught in international
intrigue highlighted by a boffo performance by Stellan Skarsgärd.
The Beatles: Eight
Days A Week: The Touring Years:
Full of beautiful music and tales of The Beatles touring days with
archival interviews with each of the Fab Four.
Harry Benson: Shoot
Fascinating documentary about a celebrity photographer known for his
shots of The Beatles, but also many more, told by Harry himself and
a myriad of others with anecdote after anecdote and unforgettable
recreation of the Boston Marathon bombing. You may think you know
what happened, but I was surprised.
Joan Rivers: Exit
Joan and others tell her story, and it’s a rollicking one. I can’t
give it more than a 10, but if I could, I would!
One of the better
Woody Allen keeps getting better with age.
Isabelle Huppert gives a tour de force in this “amoral” movie with a
different view of an old subject.
A film that no baseball fan should miss, including film clips of
people like Walter Johnson I had never seen before.
The script for
this modern tale is witty and the acting very good.
if your mind is open and you haven’t already prejudged Snowden, it’s
a very good film written and directed by Oliver Stone.
13 Hours: The Secret
Soldiers of Benghazi:
all the gun fighting and the bombs, and the uncertainty of the fight
because it was all done in the dark of night without really knowing
what was going on and where the fighting was coming from. Worse, our
guys kept expecting help that never came from the Obama
Highlighted by a
terrific performance by Timothy Spall, this is a good courtroom
drama that happens to be true.
Diary of a
They keep remaking this and this one is as good as the others, if
The Girl on the Train:
Not as good as the book, but still very good, indeed, although it
would have been a lot better had Jason Bateman played one of the key
A Bigger Splash:
for everyone, I liked this stylish atmospheric tale of a rock singer
and her extended family recuperating on the Italian volcanic island
Septembers of Shiraz:
film that captures the terror and unfairness of life in Iran shortly
after the Islamic extremists took over in 1979 by concentrating on
one Jewish family.
eye-opener with a great performance by John Malkovich (no surprise
there) and some astounding special effects.
Rules Don’t Apply:
Neighbors 2: Sorority
Rising: One of the most disgusting, crude pieces of
drivel ever committed to the silver screen. But if anyone could do
it, Seth Rogen is the man.
“…directed, written, produced, and financed by the women of
Wall Street.” I won’t be investing in any of their IPOs.
Apparently meant as
‘70s TV PI James Rockford as a superhero, obviously aimed at the
intellect of a 13 year old boy, but contains egregiously
violent torture scenes that are gratuitously offensive and
bothersome, and should be unacceptable for viewing by a 13 year old
What Now?: Hopefully, nothing.
Susan Sarandon hits rock bottom and takes J.K. Simmons with her.
Maybe she really is this annoying.
With fans like
director/star Don Cheadle, Miles Davis didn’t need any enemies.
Ride Along 2:
As bad as the first one, which one would have thought impossible.
This remake of The Dirty Dozen for the 21st
Century doesn’t say much for the 21st Century.
So bad even the laugh shills didn’t laugh.
A personal note to
Melissa McCarthy. Forget writing, directing, and producing. Let
those be done by people with those talents. Stick with acting. That
worked for Cary Grant and Irene Dunne and the other comedians of
Hollywood past. It will work for you, too.
The Magnificent Seven:
pull at Superman’s cape.