Whaddayaknow… it’s the last day of 2016. It’s been a tumultuous year to say the least… definitely a hectic one for obituary writers. I know many people have said that 2016 is cursed because so many famous people died. Well I certainly don’t believe that. Yes, many of those celebs passed away too soon, and some might think it’s the most death we’ve had in the year, but no, I don’t think any particular year is ever cursed. Still, I am saddened by the death of those who’ve made an impact on me… the likes of Alan Rickman, Prince, Charmian Carr, Alan Thicke, Carrie Fisher, and George Michael 😦
I guess I’m an optimist as I’d rather not dwell on the negatives and try to see the good side of things. There are things I’m thankful for, some I’ve mentioned here… I don’t know how much longer I’d keep on blogging but as of right now, I’m still thankful for being a part of the film blogging community and the fun & privileges it’s afforded me.
Speaking of which, it’s as good a time as any to thank my fellow bloggers who’ve commented on my blog for their support…
Jordan, Cindy, Margaret, Mark, Michael, Steven, Courtney, Keith, Brittani, Getter, Allie, Nostra, Tom, Chris E., Esther, Eddie, Dan, Wendell, Vinnie, Jay/Sean and Katy.
I usually post my top 10 list of the year later in January, but I did make a top 10 list of favorites from the first half of 2016… out of that list, Love & Friendship and Captain Fantastic will likely be on my final top 10 BEST list. As for worst, well, I’ve been fortunate to avoid a bunch of stinkers this year, so right now I can only think of two abominables that deserve to be on my WORST list… London Has Fallen and Passengers.
Just for fun, I thought I’d do a top 10 random favorites from the past year, like I did for my 2014 Farewell post:
Favorite leading female performance: Amy Adams (Arrival)
Favorite supporting female performance: Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Favorite leading male performance: tied – Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) & Ralph Fiennes (A Bigger Splash)
Favorite supporting male performance: Mahersala Ali (Moonlight)
Favorite 2016 TV series: Westworld
Favorite performance by kid actors (under 15): tied – the kids in Stranger Things & Julian Dennison (Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
Favorite film posters: La La Land
Favorite filmmaker discovery: Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Favorite talent(s) discovery: Ruth Negga (Loving) & Dominic Rains (Burn Country, Funeral Day)
Favorite director/writer duo: Remy Auberjonois and Kate Nowlin for Blood Stripe
Favorite film setting: New Zealand in Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Favorite film/tv soundtrack: Sing Street and Westworld
Favorite cinematic crush: Sam Riley (natch!)
Can’t wait to see BBC’s SS-GB and Free Fire next year!!
Now, I thought it’d be fun if this year I ask my blog contributors to do a brief recap of some of their favorites. I can’t thank them enough for being a part of my wee blog, so check out what they have to say…
I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to write for this blog. It’s been fun having an excuse to write (outside of my mostly-neglected personal blog), I’ve gotten to see movies I might not have chosen to go to otherwise, and it’s provided multiple cheap date nights. It’s also given me a few of my favorite movies for the year, from major blockbusters to indie films from up-and-coming talent.
- Ouija 2: Origin of Evil. As a lot of my readers know, I love horror, and while I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one at all (because the first one was super boring), I was so pleasantly surprised when it turned out to actually be really good. It was legitimately scary, which hasn’t been the case with a lot of horror movies released over the past few years, and it was well-done overall, from the acting to the cinematography. Its score on Rotten Tomatoes was incredible, especially for a horror movie sequel, and it was well-earned.
- The Eyes of My Mother. Keeping with the horror theme, this Twin Cities Film Fest submission was excellent. It was stylistic and unnerving and I could not believe that this was writer/director Nicolas Pesce’s first film, especially at the ridiculously young age of twenty-six. After such a strong beginning, I can’t wait to see more in what will hopefully be a long, illustrious career.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Yes, I had issues with this movie. The writing could have been much better, especially from such a normally talented individual. But as a die-hard Harry Potter fan, I was still so happy to hear the first few notes of Hedwig’s Theme played over the WB logo, and getting to see all of these incredible creatures I’d been imagining since childhood so beautifully rendered on the big screen was so satisfying.
As for my favorite discovery, it’s definitely Nicolas Pesce, the writer/director of Eyes of my Mother. I was amazed that this was his debut as a filmmaker and especially blown away by how young he was to have such an incredible first movie. Considering how much I loved Eyes of My Mother, I can only imagine what else he’ll come up with as his (hopefully illustrious) career progresses.
Vince shared his top 5 films he saw in 2016:
- Cleo from 5-7 (1962): I’m still mourning the absence of the Criterion Collection from HULU. This was one of the last I saw from Criterion that made me ask myself, “Why hadn’t I seen this before?” More engaging than the usual French new wave and a lot less pretentious in my opinion. A great intro to the work of Agnes Varda.
- Arrival (2016): I was very impressed with this low-key gem. As a devout fan of Amy Adams (minus her forgettable Lois Lane roles) this did not disappoint. Already looking forward to Villeneuve’s Bladerunner sequel.
- Kubo and the Two Strings (2016): I wrote a review of this earlier this year for Flixchatter and it gave me some hope for the state of animation for the coming year. Good story, some creative risk-taking and beautiful design are standards to live up to.
- Storm in a Teacup (1937): One of the few classics remaining in HULU, this one stars Vivien Leigh (who is gorgeous as usual) and a young Rex Harrison in an everyman role as an idealistic journalist meddling in small town politics. No Henry Higgins here but this light comedy has some things to offer in film world full of melodrama and skepticism.
- Sing (2016): I screened this with my two young boys (courtesy of Flixchatter) and even though it is full of the usual song and dance populating most average animated films these days, they managed to do it right this time without the annoying shadow of American Idol or the Voice. Not too heavy but quite entertaining. My boys loved it. (Full review to follow)
2016 was kind of a disappointing year for me when it comes to entertainment. I love seeing big summer blockbuster films at the cinemas but for the first time in many years, I’ve skipped quite a few of them this past summer. With the exceptions of Captain America: Civil War, Jason Bourne and Star Trek: Beyond, I didn’t bother with other big summer releases. Thankfully those three big summer films were very entertaining to me. I hope next summer; Hollywood will release quality summer blockbusters instead of just lame sequels. I’m glad I saw a couple of smaller films at the theater that were quite good, Hell or High Water and Don’t Breathe came out of nowhere and were very successful with both critics and audiences.
While the summer season was forgettable to me, the fall/winter movies were much better. I really enjoyed Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Sully and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I have yet to see my most anticipated movie of the year, Martin Scorsese’s Silence, I hope it won’t be a disappointment like this year has been so far.
Television shows have been quite good the last few years and with the popularity of Netflix original shows, I thought both DareDevil and Luke Cage were some of the best shows on TV this year. Another show on Netflix that I can’t get enough of is House of Cards, season 4 was an improvement because I was very disappointed with how season 3 turned out.
Blog Plans for 2017:
Well, I made a pledge to watch 52 FILMS By Women, part of WomenInFilm.org but I’m about 10 films short, and that includes rewatches of films by women, i.e. Belle, Bride & Prejudice and You’ve Got Mail. So I definitely plan to watch more films written and/or directed by women in the new year and beyond!
I don’t know if I’ll participate in Blind Spot series again this year, but I might take part in Wandering Through The Shelves’ Thursday Movie Picks more often to give me a break from reviewing films. I also want to do more Music Break posts next year.
Well that’s FlixChatter’s year-end recap folks! Here’s to a more joyful, blessed & prosperous NEW YEAR… cinematically and otherwise.
41 thoughts on “Bye bye 2016! End of year recap & musings on favorite things we saw this year”
Hello Ruth, already another year about to be over! 🙂 I really wish more of Prince’s music would be available online, I’d love to catch up on his amazing talent. I think the first part of 2017 for me is to catch up on stuff I missed in 2016 like Arrival and Moonlight. Happy new year!
Hi Eddie! Yeah hopefully they’ll open up Prince’s vault so we could hear some of the unreleased music, same w/ George Michael. Hope you get to see Arrival and Moonlight soon.
Wonderful to named (and linked) with all these talented people, especially the generous like yourself, Ruth. Happiest of New Year’s. 😀
Thank YOU for your support Michael, esp on Twitter. Blessings to you and your kin in 2017 and beyond!
Like you I don’t know how much longer I’ll keep on blogging. Whatever the future holds, best wishes for 2017 to you and everyone who contributes to Flix Chatter!
Hi Paul, hope you enjoyed Fabulous Baker Boys 😉 Best wishes to 2017 for you as well!
Great year rap up, Ruth. Thanks for the mention. Almost made it today to see La La Land, but my visiting Mom took ill. Will hopefully be able to post and comment more, soon. God bless!
Prayers for your mom Cindy. Hope she’s okay.
Thank you, Keith. She will be okay! Going back today via plane.
Hi ya Cindy! Hope you had a great new year and hope your mom is doing well. Hope we connect more next year, on the blog or otherwise 🙂
Me, too. I was flattered you sent me an Xmas card! I saved your address. 😉
My pleasure! Well you’re on my GOOD list 😉
I’m glad. 🙂
Here’s a Happy New Year too. Let’s hope we make 2017 good.
Yes, lets 🙂
Happy New Year, I was thrilled to get a shout out.
Pleasure Vin! Thanks for all your comments, I appreciate you.
I love your style and the way you blog Ruth, you deserve every success.
Why thanks Vin, hope to see ya around more in 2017 😉
I promise to be around more.
Happy New Year, Ruth and co.!!!
Love those awards! Those posters for La La Land have such a whimsical, old-school feel. I love them. Can’t wait to see the movie.
Looking forward to another great year of posting from you guys in 2017.
Happy New Year Dell! Ahah it was just some random faves but I guess you could call ’em awards 😉 Hope you like La La Land, I think it’s good but not spectacular. Thanks & happy blogging in 2017 and beyond!
Happy New Year Ruth! It’s a pleasure that I was able to post all of my ramblings about movies and movie business here on your blog! LOL!
I too would look only for the positives for the new year, too many negatives out there these days.
Hi Ted! THANK YOU for your constant support via posts and comments. I’ll be posting your new article later this week. Yeah we gotta focus on the positive of life for our own sakes 🙂
Appreciate the link Ruth. So happy to support you for two simple reasons: 1. It’s simply great content. You and your contributors have such great voices. I love reading. 2. You were one of the first in the greater blogging community I connected with years ago. I so appreciate YOUR support over the years.
So many good mentions in your year-end favorites, many of which made it into my Top 20. This has been an odd year. So many blockbusters let us down, but in the last three months I kept finding movies I really liked. Hoping 2017 is even better.
Happy New Year!
Hi Keith! Awww thanks so much for the kind words, esp coming from such a terrific blogger like you. I gotta check out your top 10 er, top 20. I’ve been blogging sporadically this weekend, and haven’t even begun to do my own top 10. Thanks again and God bless!
Oh, I agree. I just saw Passengers yesterday. As bad as everyone has been saying.
Yeah it’s too bad really as it’s got such an intriguing concept.
Happy New Year Ruth! I can’t wait to read your posts throughout 2017 🙂
Love your own take on a favourites list too!
I was hoping Sam Riley would turn up here somewhere too 🙂
Happy New Year Allie! I kinda dropped the ball about Sam but I so look forward to a couple of his projects in 2017 so I’ll definitely still blog about him 😉
Good recap here Ruth. So much to think about. I can’t believe another year has come and gone! Thanks so much for the link!
Hi Tom, happy New Year! Yeah 2016 seems to have been gone in a flash, but it’s been a rather morose year that I so look forward to 2017!
Happy New Year guys! Ruth, you have a really great group of contributors on your site now whose picks, alongside yours, are all excellent.
Happy New Year Mark! May 2017 be a better year for movies for all our sakes 🙂
And a better year beyond the movies too!
Indeed Mark! Best wishes on your future triathlon endeavors & trips. Wish me luck on my script reading event on Jan 15 🙂
Good luck with that! Let me know how you get on 🙂
Hey Mark, the lady who’ll read the female protagonist is actually from London. She grew up about an hour from Chichester UK, which is where my story is set in. What are the odds of that! So yeah I’m excited for it 😀
Thank you for thank you 🙂 I so wanna see Arrival it’s killing me I haven’t yet. Maybe if I did there would actually be one Oscar season movie I cared about because so far there are none.
Pleasure! You’re one of my fave bloggers as you already know 🙂
I hope you like Arrival. It’s so unlike any sci-fi films out there, it plays more like a drama that’s very emotional. Yeah, aside from Moonlight which I feel strongly about, the rest of the Oscar contenders are just so-so. You haven’t seen La La Land have you? My review of it will be up tomorrow, I do think the hype is way off the charts!