2016 Retrospective

This goal for this retrospective is to reflect on all the entries from this past year on this blog. I won't go beyond that to the beginning of the year because there are more movies than I would care to count that I have seen (except for my Top 10 Movies of 2016). In my reflection on each entry, I will give it the stars I didn't give it before as well as mentioned the things I liked/didn't like about it (basically my pros and cons for it). These pros and cons may not always overlap with what I have mentioned in my reviews since there are things I left out of those review for everyone else to judge on their own. This will go in chronological order.
  • Kubo and The Two Strings: Kubo and the Two Strings joins the best stop motion movies with an emotionally effective story, wonderful animation, great characters, and intense sword fighting action in ancient Japan. ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ 🍿
    • Pros: The main actors chemistry with each other. Monkey almost steals every scene she's in. The humor throughout the movie. Awesome sword fighting action. The intense scares that come through the designs of the villains. Excellent voice acting. Amazing visuals via stop-motion. Beautiful simple story with a great ending. The ancient Japan environment.
    • Cons: N/A
  • Don't Breathe: While not a big scary spectacle other horror wannabes, Don't Breathe succeeds through its intense situation portrayed well through its simple limited environment, performances from the main cast, and suspense of sound. ⭑⭑⭑⭑ 🍿
    • Pros: Stephen Lang as the blind old man. The basement scene where the lights are off. The intensity of trying not to be caught of the old man. The interesting twist involved. 
    • Cons: Could have been a little more scary.
  • Hell or High Water: Hell or High Water expertly builds up the parallels of brotherly bonds that the main characters share as they get closer to an emotional climax when they eventually cross paths. ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ 🍿
    • Pros: The performances of the four main leads. The chemistry between Chris Pine and Ben Foster as well as Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham. The action in the climax. The cinematography. 
    • Cons: N/A
  • Florence Foster Jenkins: Florence Foster Jenkins tells a true story with great cast of characters while balancing the comedy and drama of the situation at hand. ⭑⭑⭑⭑
    • Pros: The performances of Meryl Streep and Simon Helberg. Simon stealing every scene he's in. The balance of comedy and drama. The 1940s environment. Florence's singing.
    • Cons: Hugh Grant's character could have been a little more development. 
  • The Magnificent Seven: The Magnificent Seven helps the Western genre gain more momentum through an entertaining action movie that knows what it wants to do with its gritty action, great casting, and simple but predictable story. ⭑⭑⭑⭑
    • Pros: The climatic showdown. The performances of the main actors. Gunslinging action. Creepy villain. Every main characters awesome standout moment. Chris Pratt humor. The actors chemistry. Creepy villain. 
    • Cons: Not enough screen time for all of the main characters to make them compelling.
  • Storks: Storks provides a funny entertaining family movie with goofy slapstick comedy, great voice casting, simple story, and sharp quick humor. ⭑⭑⭑1/2 🍿
    • Pros: The fast paced slapstick action. Anything involving the wolves (aka Key and Peele voice acting). A nice feel good family movie. Kelsey Grammer, Andy Samberg. Funny jokes. 
    • Cons: N/A
  • The Accountant: The Accountant brings in an action movie that challenges you to keep up with what's going on while also bringing enjoyment through its great action, Ben Afflecks performance, and portrayal of autism. ⭑⭑⭑⭑
    • Pros: The performances of Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick. Excellent portrayal of autism spectrum. Affleck's character being smart and awesome with action. 
    • Cons: The number of subplots in the movie. 
  • Doctor Strange: Doctor Strange adds a new flavor to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with this world of sorcery through the unique visuals and likable main characters. ⭑⭑⭑⭑
    • Pros: The performances of the main cast. Amazing visuals. Great action. The newest member to the Avengers: The cloak of levitation! "You don't know how to use that do you?" "Dormammu! I've come to bargain!" The Eye of Agamotto. The car crash scene. Both of the end credits scenes. The new Marvel logo!
    • Cons: Lackluster villains. A copycat of Iron Man formula (again). 
  • Trolls: While not bringing anything new or game changing to animated family movies, Trolls carries itself with a bright colorful adventure and funny characters. ⭑⭑⭑1/2
    • Pros: The performances of the main cast, especially the two leads and Christine Baranski. The visuals of the environment and use of hair. Nice use of songs. It's the Smurfs we never got.
    • Cons: Predictable story. Poop jokes.
  • Hacksaw Ridge: Hacksaw Ridge is a war movie that impacts the audience through great development of the main character, his courage, and the gritty scary realism of war. ⭑⭑⭑⭑1/2 🍿
    • Pros: The performances of Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn. The scary action in the second half. The gritty realism of the battle and survival. The romantic chemistry between Desmond Doss and Dorothy Schutte. Doss's endeavors and acts of courage.
    • Cons: N/A
  • Arrival: Arrival challenges the audience to figure out a puzzle of mystery presented throughout the movie supported by Amy Adams powerful acting chops. ⭑⭑⭑⭑1/2
    • Pros: Amy Adams' performance. The size of the alien spacecraft. The reactions of the world leaders to the appearance of the alien spacecrafts appearing. A smart science fiction movie that makes you think. 
    • Cons: Deus ex Jeremy Renner.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: While not living up to the powerhouse of the main Harry Potter movies, Fantastic Beasts stands out with its own tone and environment change from the previous films. ⭑⭑⭑1/2
    • Pros: Eddie Redmayne, Don Fogler, and Ezra Miller's performances. Hunting for the animals. A nice departure from the school environment to an adult setting outside of school. Harry Potter Easter Eggs.
    • Cons: The term "nomaj". Does get boring when going to certain scenes such as the politics or dealing with the abusive mother story part. Weird pacing issues.
  • Moana: Moana makes the most of its environment, likeable characters supported by the main actors great performances, and gorgeous animation. ⭑⭑⭑⭑
    • Pros: The main actors performances and chemistry. The nice catchy songs (especially "We Know the Way", "How Far I'll Go", and "You're Welcome"). The chicken animal buddy. The end credits scene. The odd scene with the crab. The beautiful tropic environment and ocean. No love interest!! Great animation.
    • Cons: Maui could have been developed more (especially with him coming back to help appearing out of no where). Kind of pointless having the pig in the movie since they had him in the advertisement and very little in the movie. Anti-climatic ending.
  • The Edge of Seventeen: The Edge of Seventeen takes the coming of age foundation from old John Hughes movies and modernizes it with a talented main cast portraying relatable characters while forming realistic insecurities for the main protagonist to overcome. ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ 🍿
    • Pros: The performances of the main cast, especially Hailee Steinfeld. Great balance of humor and emotion. Relatable characters. Every scene interaction between Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson.
    • Cons: N/A
  • Manchester by The Sea: The realism throughout Manchester by the Sea shouldn't be underestimated and is an emotional experience with the sympathetic nature surrounding it's main characters as its empowered even more by the performances of the main cast. ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ 🍿
    • Pros: The performances of the main cast. The chemistry of the two main leads. Great relatable story. Great reactions to the reality of grieving. 
    • Cons: N/A
  • La La Land: La La Land brings the musical film genre to a powerful level in its simple story with its main actors providing their wonderful charm and relatable struggles of the characters in their journey to achieve their dreams while the songs amplify it to an emotional payoff. ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
    • Pros: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Amazing songs and set pieces. Beautiful simple story. A little bit of J.K. Simmons.
    • Cons: N/A
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Despite Rogue One's predictable events, it's honored with a dark and gritty action adventure as the performance of the cast inject their characters humanizing traits as they fight to bring hope to the galaxy. ⭑⭑⭑⭑1/2 🍿
    • Pros: Felicity Jones' performance. K-2SO, Chirrut (the blind guy), and defector pilot. Everything that's involved with the third act. Best space battle ever! Darth Vader end scene. "I'm one with the Force. The Force is with me" "Are you kidding me? I'm blind!"
    • Cons: The tentacle creature that didn't really seem to do anything to the defector pilot guy. Saw Gerrerra's weird accent. The intro being too long with jumping from planet to planet. Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor could have been developed more.
  • Sing: Sing presents a predictable story with characters given limited growth in an environment with goofy shenanigans spread throughout the story in a cheerful manner. ⭑⭑1/2
    • Pros: Seth MacFarlane performance. The last 30 minutes. 
    • Cons: The trailer gives everything away. Predictable story. Underdeveloped characters. Not as funny as was advertised. 
  • Assassin's Creed: Despite issues with character development, Assassin's Creed brings a good (but not great) example of adapting a video game into an entertaining movie as the main cast performs well with great action and visuals the franchise is known for. ⭑⭑⭑1/2
    • Pros: Great action and parkour. Michael Fassbender killing people. The events taking place once inside of the Animus. Faithful use of the source material.
    • Cons: Lack of character development. Needed more stealth. Convoluted plot in the present.
Top 10 Movies of 2016
  1. La La Land
  2. The Edge of Seventeen
  3. Hell or High Water
  4. Manchester by the Sea
  5. Arrival
  6. Kubo and the Two Strings
  7. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  8. Captain America: Civil War
  9. Deadpool
  10. Moana
Honorable Mentions: Zootopia, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Sausage Party, Star Trek: Beyond, Finding Dory.

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