One More Thing Before 2017

2016 has been an interesting year.

For cinema it’s been a mixed bag; I saw some decent pieces including Civil War and Star Trek Beyond and some real gems like 10 Cloverfield Lane and Anomalisa. I of course saw some slightly mediocre films like Dr Strange and Rogue One and a few terrible pieces such as Batman V Superman and Ghostbusters.

Politically it’s been depressing; Brexit and the US election has caused so much division and confusion. While I was against Brexit and Trump I hope the damages are minimal and that things get better.

intro

Creatively it’s been fantastic; I’ve been running this blog for over a year, I joined MoviePilot, I got back into drawing and made some good YouTube videos (Mupple Film 3 and Guilt – Counsellor 6 are my personal favorites).

Anyone who’s read my blog since the beginning will know that I never mention my personal life. Talking about Uni is probably the most personal I ever get on here but now I’m going to make an exception.

I had a bit of an existential crisis in 2016; I started to question why I write, draw, act, edit etc. I wasn’t sure if I enjoyed creating, this impacted the frequency of my output. I never had a schedule but I tended to get something out at least every two weeks or so. Towards the end of the year however entire months went by where I hadn’t posted anything. Even though in the last month or so I have released some content I’m still unsure about my position on creating. Sometimes I get a lot of joy and satisfaction out of it while other times it can be a chore.

I don’t know what 2017 will be like for me creatively so for those who are interested I suggest you follow my Facebook Page and Twitter as I do post on those platforms regularly.

I thank you all for your patience when I don’t put something up and your enthusiasm when I do put something up. It is very much appreciated.

At the moment I see nothing but possibilities in 2017.

For cinema it looks like it’s going to be exciting with some pretty good-looking films like Kong: Skull Island, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Alien: Covenant and Star Wars Episode VIII. There’re some films I’m not looking forward to like Justice League, Wonder Woman and the Beauty and the Beast remake but for me there’re more films to anticipate than dread so I’m happy.

Creatively it looks good; I’ve got some ideas for videos I want to make, I’m hoping to crank out some more articles for Moviepilot and I’d like to do some more drawing.

I thank you all for staying with me on this blog and I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take part in a personal New Year’s Eve tradition of mine. I’m going to watch Adaptation. It’s got nothing to do with New Year’s Eve but it’s a beautiful little film written by Charlie Kaufman that’s always left me with a feeling of replenishment and hope.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone.

Advertisements

The Best and Worst of 2016

best-and-worst-2016-pic

Since 2017 is only a few days away I thought it would be appropriate to list the best and worst films I’ve seen in 2016. I’ll be listing three films that I thought were great and really stood out and another three that I thought were weak and very underwhelming.

Let’s start with the three best films of 2016.

  1. Deadpool

deadpool-gallery-03-gallery-image

It’s not Citizen Kane but I can’t deny that Deadpool is one of the wittiest films to come out in a while.

The film’s sassy satire of superhero tropes and clichés is hard not to like. Its pop culture references may damage its posterity but Deadpool isn’t supposed to be a timeless classic, it’s a cinematic piss-take for today’s generation.

For me Deadpool is one of the best films of 2016 because of its humour and its courageous originality.

  1. 10 Cloverfield Lane

10_cloverfield_lane_paramount_winstead-0-0

The setting may be limited but with understandable, empathetic characters and a plot that doesn’t stop twisting, 10 Cloverfield Lane is incredible. The film had me engaged in a way that all the big-budget, Sci-Fi, Superhero, Fantasy epics couldn’t.

Despite the far-fetched climax 10 Cloverfield Lane produced an intense experience with minimal characters and a single setting and for that it’s my second best film of the year.

  1. Anomalisa

nyv_film_20151230_anomalisa_paramount_pictures

This film is unlike anything I’ve seen, that’s the primary reason Anomalisa is the best film of 2016 for me (it technically came out in 2015 but it didn’t get to the UK until 2016).

It tells a strange and disturbing story about a man with a depressing view of the people around him. With beautiful stop-motion animation the film shows his psychological condition, how it changes and how he struggles against it as it grows stronger.

Out of all the films in 2016 Anomalisa stuck out the most hence it was my immediate choice for best of the year.

Now let’s get onto the three worst films of 2016.

  1. Suicide Squad

suicide-squad-movie-characters-calendar

I thought this film was a mess. It had too many characters and subplots, some of which I liked to be fair such as Deadshot and Harley Quinn’s backstory.

I think Suicide Squad lacked focus; there was no protagonist or any principle characters. Everyone, even the most minor characters, gets a scene or two.

The overabundance of characters and backstories was so great it was impossible for me to get invested in the story. It’s cluttered and boring, which is why it’s my third worst film of the year.

  1. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

review-zack-snyders-batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-starring-ben-affleck-henry-cavill-jesse-eisenberg-amy-adams-more

2016 hasn’t been a good year for the DC Extended Universe.

Batman V Superman basically has the same problems as Suicide Squad but worse. Suicide Squad at least had a clear, defined ending. The whole film was leading to the squad defeating the enchantress.

Batman V Superman has a lot more unnecessary subplots, many of which don’t need to be in the film. Wonder Woman, Doomsday and even Lex Luthor could’ve been cut out.

The film felt more cluttered and more boring than Suicide Squad hence it’s my second worst film of 2016.

  1. Ghostbusters

ghostbusters-full-new-img

If this was more of a paranormal, Sci-Fi film with more action and less comedy I don’t think I would’ve disliked it as much. However, since Ghostbusters is a full-blown comedy I was a little appalled by it.

The plot is slow and forgettable and the comedy consists of pop culture references and ad-libbed banter. On top of that, there are some depressing cameos from the cast of the original.

It’s one of the worst comedies I’ve ever seen and when reflecting on all the films I saw in 2016 Ghostbusters seemed the perfect candidate for the number one worst film of the year.

 

So those are my picks of the best and worst films of 2016. As the New Year draws closer there doesn’t seem to be anything else to do apart from sit back, relax and await the cinematic marvels and atrocities of 2017.

Reference Overdose! Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Review

After seeing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story my initial reaction was positive; I enjoyed it. However, as I reflected on the experience I discovered many significant flaws. In terms of world building the film is brilliant, but I thought the story and characters (the most vital elements of any piece) could’ve been a lot stronger.

Rogue One is essentially a prequel to A New Hope; it tells the story of Jyn Erso, a young woman who joins a group of resistance fighters to steal the Death Star plans for the Rebel Alliance.

It was obvious to me that the Original Trilogy was just a single story out of thousands in a shared world. Even though we only see the Galactic Civil War from the perspective of several characters, it’s clear that the Empire is ruling and oppressing hundreds of other worlds.

rogue-one-pic
Tastes like raw chicken…..

Rogue One shows us some of those worlds such as Jedha. This desert world is shown in the trailers so I’m not spoiling anything by examining it.

With a Star Destroyer always hovering over the capital city and Stormtroopers constantly stopping and searching civilians, the film visualises the fascist regime the Empire has established more clearly than the previous films. Throughout the sequence in the Jedha city there’re always little visuals reminding you of the Empire’s presence, even something as minor as Stormtroopers in the background.

The characters are quite weak, we don’t get to know their desires or backstories. They’re pretty vague hence difficult to empathize with.

Jyn Erso’s character however has the most development. Parts of her history are a bit unclear but we know that her father, who she hasn’t seen since she was a child, is a lead engineer on the Death Star. Jyn wants to track him down both for the weapon’s weakness and a reunion with her parent.

This plotline could’ve been stronger but Rogue One deserves credit for implementing such an emotionally engaging subplot in a story with an action-orientated premise.

The referencing is very gratuitous. Some of it is appropriate such as the appearances of Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin, however there are many references that feel forced. They are very distracting and makes Rouge One feel artificial.

In conclusion, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story presents an amazing view of the Star Wars universe but with weak characterizations its certainly not one of the best entries in the series.

I give Rogue One: A Star Wars Story a decent 6 out of 10.

UPDATE: Sorry for the lack of content recently, Uni and life are to blame but I haven’t got nothing, I have put some new stuff out there for you guys.

I’ve got a new article up on MoviePilot about ‘Enemy Mine’, one of my favorite films so go ahead and check that out. Also look on my Facebook Page for some illustrations I’ve posted, let me know what you think. Should I get a Deviantart account?

Unfortunately I haven’t had the time do any stuff for YouTube this Christmas but feel free to check out the little special I did last year.

Anyways, there should be more to come in this last week or so, so keep a look out. Hope you’re all having a Merry Christmas!

Thanks,

Luke