We're a few weeks past halfway, but I feel I need to catch myself up for my own sake. Plus, best lists are awesome.
It's been a strange year for me, movie-wise. I endured the most stressful year of my career, then I got off for summer and sort of checked out. Writing a lot has been hard, since, well, I've been increasingly busy (especially by Summer standards) and tired and all the political craziness started really hazing my brain...to the point where I had to either quit Facebook for good or commit myself to the crazy house. (I chose the former.)
Also, I quit using tobacco (praise me!!) after wasting half my life (and way too much money) as a slave to nicotine. It has been a quite draining challenge, but I'm there and not turing back.
So, some of my busy-ness was for good. I have filled the nicotine void with regular trips to the lake and have a really good tan as a result. I went on two separate week-long vacations (Denver, CO, and St. Augustine, FL). I played bar trivia a few times in lieu of blogging. (And don't regret it.) And I actually watched way more movies than I've had the time (or desire really) to write about. That's changing. I'm really feeling it right now.
I'll start with my biggest regrets. Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon and Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups came and went too fast for me to get to them. I also haven't bothered to see a single superhero movie this Summer. The only one I regret is Captain America: Civil War. I'll see all of these soon enough.
Here we go:
The Best (and Worst) Movies of 2016 (so far)
The Worst of the Worst
dir. Dan Mazer
A Minor Spielberg
dir. Steven Spielberg
dir. Joel and Ethan Coen
Swiss Army Man
dir. The Daniels (Dan Kwan and Daniel Sheinert)
dir. Jeremy Saulnier
10 Cloverfield Lane
dir. Dan Trachtenberg
Homage, tribute, sequel? How about all of those things? This movie lives in a movie world, nodding to clasic thrillers like Hitchcock's Psycho and taking its title (among other things) from a secretive found footage movie from a few years back, while simultaneously becoming its own unique tale of suspense. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is one of the great final girls, and John Goodman delivers his best performance in years.
Everybody Wants Some!!
dir. Richard Linklater
The Nice Guys
dir. Shane Black
The Power of Humanity
dir. Jeff Nichols
It'll take another watch for me to fully decide how I feel about the ending, but the power of Jeff Nichols as a storyteller has never been more evident than in this one. The story of a boy with a special gift and the father, played by Michael Shannon, who will stop at nothing to protect him plays like a two-hour Spielberg chase, coming to an end that is as befuddling as it is fascinating. This movie should've stayed in theaters longer. What is wrong with you people!
dir. Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush
The Best of the Best
dir. Robert Eggers
dir. Yorgos Lanthimos