After last August’s Suicide Squad, the next installment on DC’s road to Justice League is the Wonder Woman solo film. The third trailer for the film is the best yet, focusing on Diana’s origin and her her first journey to the world of men during World War I. I have had issues with some of the dialogue in past scripts, but this seemed much better, focuses, and this film has looked gorgeous since it was unveiled at Comic Con. It’s got a tough spot on the summer schedule surrounded by Pirates 5 and Transformers 5, but if things keep looking this good and franchise fatigue finally sets in on either the bots or Jack Sparrow, WW could carve out the beginnings of a franchise of its own. Starring Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Chris Pine, and David Thewlis as Ares, Wonder Woman is scheduled to open June 2, 2017.
Amazing as it was, it’s nice to finally put 2016 to bed and to get on to the business of a new year of movies. I apologize for being a big behind on reviews, but I should have that caught up by the weekend. The summer is traditionally where the movie industry showcases their biggest, loudest, splodiest, franchisiest entries, but-let’s face it=summer began last week with Logan. Summer, now-apparently-runs from March to August, but we’re going to be all crazy traditional and limit this year’s Most Anticipated Summer Film to May – August (we’re wacky like that). Continue reading Poll: What’s Your Most Anticipated Summer 2017 Film?→
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→