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The Best Films of 2016

Luke Miksa welcomes 2017 with a look-back at the best cinematic treats of 2016.

I’m back!

Another year full of movies is now behind us. I saw some bad ones, and a whole bunch of mediocre ones. But they will be rightfully ignored, as I focus on the best, the funniest, the most action-packed, and dramatically satisfying films of the year. Let’s focus on the good stuff!

A lot can be said while analysing this list. Three of the top ten spots are owned by Disney (with more just on the outskirts), but I guess that just goes along with Disney’s dominant year at the box office. Another note is that three of my picks (including the top two) would easily pass the Bechdel Test, which is great for the growing diversity in Hollywood.

A lot more made the short-list, but the following class of movies made for a culling not taken lightly (Zootopia was a Disney movie with a Breaking Bad reference, for crying out loud!). Also, let’s collectively pour one out for Rogue One sadly missing the cut — the final 15 minutes were absolute ecstasy for a Star Wars fanatic.

Missed the Cut:

Zootopia, Keanu, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Green Room, Eight Days a Week, Edge of Seventeen, Lights Out

 

popstar-banner-mini

10. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

There weren’t a whole lot of great comedies this year. Only the Key & Peele comedy Keanu came close (very close), but this spot ultimately belongs to the This is Spinal Tap style mockumentary from The Lonely Island, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.

Popstar stars Andy Samberg as Connor4Real, a pop superstar in the vein of Justin Beiber, and follows the dramatic shifts in his professional and personal career. If you’re familiar with musical documentaries, you’ll definitely appreciate the subversive humour, but the stand-out is the catchy and hilarious soundtrack, which was to be expected with The Lonely Island calling the shots behind the scenes.

This was not a popular film — a box office disaster, all things considered — but I have the feeling that Popstar is a movie with real legs, destined to become a cult favourite.

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85th Annual Academy Awards: The Good, The Bad, and The Bin

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Olly Moss

Olly Moss

THE GOOD

  • Bond love

On the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise that started with Dr. No in 1962, I thought it was a real treat to see The Academy acknowledge such an iconic and enduring series. The montage was okay, but Shirley Bassey sauntering on-stage for a belting rendition of Goldfinger was spectacular, as was Adele‘s performance of the Best Original Song winner, Skyfall.

Honestly, the only way this tribute could have been better is if they gathered all six Bonds together to take a bow (but I would assume that would be nigh-on impossible).

Slight negative: They couldn’t get someone with a bit more positive influence on the franchise to introduce the package other than Halle Berry (who showed up dressed like Gozer the Gozerian)?

  • Flight w/ sock puppets and other MacFarlane gems

In possibly the most criticized and scrutinized gig in all of show-business — and coming out with very mixed reactions — I thought Seth MacFarlane did a respectable job as host. It wasn’t all smooth sailing — a lacklustre crowd and casual sexism/racism really didn’t help his cause — but skits such as ‘Flight with Sock Puppets’ and the very Family Guy-esque Sound of Music bit before Christopher Plummer’s introduction were tremendous.

It’s strange that my least favourite moments in Family Guy are whenever it spontaneously breaks out in to song, but I guess the Academy Awards is the perfect stage because I enjoyed every one of his numbers (as long as you tuned out before the closing piece).

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Top 10 Christmas Movies

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 30/12/2010.

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Honourable Mentions
Batman Returns, Trading Places, Bad Santa, Jingle All The Way, It’s A Wonderful Life
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Dishonourable mention
Santa’s Slay (2005)

Santa's Slay

What a terrible movie this is. But really, I don’t think the creators were really chasing an Academy nomination when they decided to cast former WCW Champion Bill Goldberg as a psychotic, murderous Santa Claus (because Santa is an anagram for Satan – get it?). The first scene involves Goldberg humorously killing off a bunch of annoying second string celebrities including Fran Drescher and Chris Kattan (and James Caan – why did he agree to this?). Goldberg tears through the movie killing, maiming and even smashing out some signature wrestling moves and catch phrases (and did I hear his theme music in one scene?).
…actually, this movie is pretty rad – the kind of movie that you laugh at, not with.
…wait; it’s produced by Brett Ratner: ewwwww!

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Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard

Yeah, Die Hard made my Christmas list. The Nakatomi-set action masterpiece is set on Christmas Eve – the Christmas decorations, snow and music are a dead giveaway (unlike Gruber’s minions who just wind up dead). Despite the body count McClane tallies up, Die Hard will always be a festive Christmas treat – as will the lesser-but-still great sequels.

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Top 10 Expendables Expansions

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 04/08/2010.

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The ExpendablesWith the imminent release of Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables mere weeks away, one has to only look at the cast to notice that it is a veritable who’s who of testosterone drippers from yesterday and today (mainly yesterday):

The Expendables
Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eric Roberts, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, and Randy Couture.

Now, that’s a heck of a line-up! Stallone has done well in casting this throwback-epic of 80’s action nostalgia, and although it would be impossible to do so, imagine if the budget was expanded to add additional ammo (i.e. more pecs and biceps). Robert Rodriguez’s similarly themed Danny Trejo vehicle Machete picks up a few leftovers, and in turn creates a cast that is of a calibre to be just as bragadocious:

Machete
Danny Trejo, Robert DeNiro, Don Johnson, Steven Seagal, Jeff Fahey, Tom Savini, and Michelle Rodriguez.

Most impressive, though there are still a few names that spring to mind that I feel are left out. Although a couple of these names were indeed linked to this project at one point or another, here is Sorry I’m Late.com’s Top 10 Expendables Expansions:

Honourable Mentions: Bruce Campbell, Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Stormare, Antonio Banderas

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10
Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes

Bursting on the scene as Willie Mays Hayes in 1989’s Major League, Snipes made a career throughout the 90’s in a string of fairly successful action/action-comedies, which showcased his martial arts skills as well as his on screen insanity and occasional comic turns. In the past decade, the master of intense method-acting has only had the intermittently decent Blade franchise as his only significant line of work. With all his legal trouble and jail time, nobody knows if he can make a big-screen comeback, all I know is that he has the nicest mug-shot ever taken…

Snipes Mug Shot

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The Mid-Year Anticipation List 2010

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 27/06/2010.

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Not only is it the middle of the year, but it is that time of year where the studios are launching their big-guns into theatres around the globe – it’s summer blockbuster season! (Here in Australia it is winter blockbuster season, which makes more sense – nothing better when it’s cold outside then going to a nice warm movie theatre. Summer is beach time, dammit.)

With that I present to you my mid-year anticipation list; with some of these films presented having been promoted since this time last year and sometimes earlier. With such long periods of gestation, any longer and I may have spoiled myself with an anticipati-gasm. Now, on to the list…

5
The Other Guys

The Other Guys

The buddy-cop comedy: Many have come before, many shall come after; many have been average at best, but the best are amazing. Why do I get the feeling that this is shaping up to be the latter?

First of all – despite the opinions of many – I am as of yet not sick of Will Ferrell and I still find his man-child shtick funny. Not to mention I dig all of his outings with director Adam McKay (hanging for another run with Ron Burgundy as well).

We also have Mark Wahlberg in a comedy – an actual excuse to laugh at him, even though I have been laughing at his films for years now. I really dug The Big Hit, so hopefully he can find that kind of comic form once again.

And check out the support cast: Sam Jackson and The Rock as arrogant super-cops? Michael Keaton?! Yep!

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Top 10 Movie Posters of 2009

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com in 2010.

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‘Tis the season everyone.

‘Tis the season for every blog writing degenerate within reach of a keyboard to compile their lists of the best and worst of the year that was. This is my first effort – would you expect any less?

In a year filled with mostly mediocre to disappointing blockbusters and tent-poles, we saw many great films slip under the radar – a few of those even doing some serious box office damage. The same can be said about this year’s range of posters – generally bland and cookie-cutter, with a few tasty morsels spread throughout. Let us begin…

10
Observe and Report

Observe and Report

We begin with these two posters (Yeah two posters, big whoop, wanna fight about it?) for Seth Rogen’s underrated and decidedly not-mainstream Observe & Report. It makes me smile and it’s a clever idea for a set of posters.

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9
The Girlfriend Experience

The Girlfriend Experience

Extremely cool pop-art styled poster and the first appearance of two in this list from Steven Soderburgh. I see it more as a piece of art as opposed to a medium that is designed to get asses into seats. Top marks for the risqué tagline and barcode. The art fiend in me appreciates the design, but the male in me wonders what it would be like to have sex with a pornstar.

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