Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s theatrical cut is a mess. It doesn’t even make coherent sense. The R-Rated cut does make sense, and improves the film, but doesn’t fix the underlying problem that Warner Brothers put too much into a film that only needed Batman and Superman. They begin it beautifully. They pull an absolute masterstroke by taking one of the biggest criticisms of Man of Steel (the mass collateral damage during the film’s climactic battle between Superman and Zod), and placing Bruce Wayne right in the middle of it. He watches as the fight between the Kryptonians claims the Metropolis branch of Wayne Enterprises and holds a new orphan in his arms as he balefully glares up at what caused all of it. THAT WAS ALL THEY NEEDED. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2015) “Bruce in the Battle of Metropolis”→
Amy Adams has unfortunately inherited the mantle Kate Winslet had to drag around for a decade: “Best Actress Without An Oscar”. Nominated five times (it should be six if someone can make sense of how Arrival can get 8 nominations and not one for its star?), she’s 0 for 5. Adams has put together an amazing body of work since she broke out in 2005’s Junebug and earned her first Oscar nod. Whether in supporting roles as in Doubt, Charlie Wilson’s War, or Her; or as a lead in American Hustle, Big Eyes, or Enchanted, Adams always delivers strong performances. I think her best performance was American Hustle, but her best movie was 2016’s science fiction masterpiece Arrival. In the age of the comic book movie, most stars have been snapped up by DC or Marvel. Adams has played Lois Lane in the DCEU in Man of Steel (which was good) and Batman vs. Superman (which was really not but not Adams’ fault). It’s an unfortunate reality that quality actresses have a harder time finding quality roles as they age. Adams is defying this trend, and eventually the Academy will recognize her as one of the strongest actresses of the last 30 years.
It’s good that it was a great year for movies because we certainly needed the escapism in 2016. I cannot recall a year with more quality films, both inside franchises and standalone films. Exemplifying that most was Disney, which had the single greatest year of any studio in Hollywood history, grossing way over $7 billion, and doing it with quality. It’s no accident that The House of the Mouse will end up with the top 5 grossing movies of the year. Whether it be through their own animated and live action films, Pixar, Marvel, or Star Wars, Disney put quality product after quality product out in 2016 and people responded in droves. It may be overly optimistic, but let’s hope that studios take note that the films that made the bucks were the films that were good.
And there’s so many films yet to see! I have to qualify this as a preliminary list. I’ve seen 64 movies in 2016 (normally I average 90 when all is said and done). With Oscar films releasing wide in January, this list may very well change, which is why my ultimate say on the year in film is our annual Renaissance Film Awards which will take place Oscar week. But as this year ends, it’s fitting and right that I single out the my top 10 (the quality is so deep, I may do a top 25 list later in February alongside the Rennys). My top two films have not changed since May and they are such a dead heat in my mind that they just swapped again last night. No surprise, both are Disney films. I gave out three perfect 10’s (thus far) for 2016 films, but more 9’s than any year I’ve been a reviewer. Yes, there were films we were counting on that fizzled (Batman vs. Superman, Jason Bourne, Assassin’s Creed, etc.), but many more films stood up and surpassed our wildest expectations. So, caveats in place here is my simple Top 10 as the year ends followed by a great 2016 Year in Film video put together by the talented people at We Got This Covered. May you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve, and I’ll catch you killing time in 2017. Continue reading Killing Time’s Top 10 Movies of 2016→
A great trailer is like a mini-film. The best of them tell you just enough to want to kill to see the movie it’s advertising without giving away the whole plot, use iconic imagery and music to capture the soul of the film, and live on even after the film’s release as a pleasure to watch. A great trailer can even be for a movie that ended up being a huge disappointment. Most of the films on this list are universally critically acclaimed, but Suicide Squad sharply divided fans. Does that make that amazing “I Started a Joke” trailer released any less a masterpiece? Nope. Half of what was in the Rogue One trailers never made the final cut of the film. Will that stop me from watching them for decades to come? Not a chance.
A few words about the process of selection. One, all that mattered for consideration was that the FILM came out in 2016 (even in limited release). Some of these trailers first dropped in 2015, just as we’re getting trailers for 2017 films in 2016. Two, there are two films on the list with red-band trailers, so content warning, but they’re the trailers that made me want to see those films. If you have any picks for trailers you think should’ve made the list, comment away, if WP will let you, paste the trailer’s link. A great set of trailers sets up a great movie watching experience, and if you go to as many films as I do you tend to see the same ones over and over. I never tired of these. Continue reading Top 10: Trailers of 2016!!!!→
After August’s Suicide Squad, the next installment on DC’s road to Justice League is the Wonder Woman solo film. The first trailer for the film was unveiled at Comic Con. The second full trailer is out now, along with three gorgeous posters. “Gorgeous” is really the best word to describe WW so far. It looks stunning. However, every time I hear dialogue, I wince. Geoff Johns didn’t get hired to start righting the disastrous rollout of the DCEU until after Wonder Woman was done, so his influence isn’t going to be felt until Justice League. Question is: by the time we get there, is anyone going to care when Marvel is throwing no-hitter after no-hitter? Starring Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Chris Pine, and David Thewlis, Wonder Woman is scheduled to open June 2, 2017.