What’s up everyone. Patch here. As you all know, my counterpart at Feelin’ Film is big on lists. I, on the other hand, not so much. It’s not that I don’t like lists. I really do. Most of them just consist of groceries and other “to dos” in my life. Anyway.
Feelin’ Film has given me a lot of opportunities to watch a LOT of stuff this year, particularly movies (duh!). So I wanted to share with you guys my favorite movie experiences from this past year. These aren’t necessarily my favorite movies (though most are) or are necessarily from 2016 (one isn’t). They are just movies that, when I watched them for the first time this year, made an impact in some way, shape or form. So here we go:
10: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Yep. This made my top 10. Deal with it. It didn’t get a lot of love at the box office, or really by most fans. But I fully embraced all of the throwbacks, nostalgia and fun story that made up this sequel to my beloved franchise. It solidified that while these weren’t my turtles growing up, they became new favorites for me. Cowabunga!
One of our “second chance” picks earlier in the year, this one caught me off guard, in a good way. Brad Bird plays with some really great ideas about limitless creativity and a safe place to make those dreams a reality. I had a blast discussing this one and it was a great first time experience, especially since I shied away from it when it first released.
08: 10 Cloverfield Lane
Man oh MAN. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.. Three actors, three incredible performances. This psychological thriller turned crazy sci-fi had me gripping my chair (and then shaking my head). A movie experience that deserves the word Cloverfield in the title.
07: Magnificent Seven
Ahh, the first movie that Aaron and I disagreed on, but one of the best discussions I remember having about film. I don’t regret for one minute abstaining from watching the “original” Steve McQueen led western. This movie represents a great example of being able to tell a complete enjoyable story with characters that can be cared about, cheered for, hated and scared of all at the same time. Ensemble casts can be made or broken by chemistry and this one certainly was made by that.
My brain hurt after seeing this one. Sci Fi has the ability to make us think about so much within the confines of “what if” scenarios. It was a beautiful movie to watch, to listen to. to experience. Amy Adams was outstanding and I loved hearing the conversations that came about after watching it. When a movie can get people talking and reflecting, it’s successful to me.
05: Hacksaw Ridge
Brutal. Brutal. Brutal. I was pretty torn up after this one. I didn’t know much about Desmond Doss, but after seeing this movie, I wanted to know more. To find out that 90 percent of the depictions in the movie were accurate just further increased my wow-ness of this guy. Andrew Garfield, who I only knew from The Amazing Spider-Man and The Social Network, just impressed me to no end with his performance. Mel Gibson as a director holds nothing back in his depiction of violence, but what I respect is that he does it with purpose, not with gratuitousness in mind. Hard to watch, but purposeful.
04: The Shallows
One good performance deserves another. Just like with Garfield, I had no idea the level of acting chops that existed in Blake Lively until I saw this one. She is elegant and talented, and her performance in this movie solidified her as one I would see in pretty much anything. I have to believe it’s not easy to carry a movie on your own with no one to act against except a CGI shark. I was so glad I saw this in the theater. That made it that much better for me.
When a movie is on your mind days after you see it, something must be going on. After talking about it after the fact with my bride and then following up with Aaron, there was so much that I enjoyed beyond just the chemistry of Pratt and Lawrence. Subtle messages about purpose and how life is valued, thinking about moral decisions and what ifs, all the stuff that should come with good sci fi. I wanted to go back the next day and watch it again, not just to try to get more answers, but to experience the visuals, the music, the awe that comes with a possible future.
More sci fi please. From local favorite Jeff Nichols comes his latest (before Loving) story with his favorite actor Michael Shannon. What I dug about this was this sense of classic Spielberg storytelling in the same veins as movies like E.T. but underneath seeing a story about a father and his relationship with his son, learning to let go and trust that the life that his son is meant to live is greater than himself. As a dad, I know that day will come, when I have to trust that my son will go his own way and no matter what, I will love him through it all. All the feels on this one.
01: Sing Street
It’s not often that a film comes along that does so much to me in such a short amount of time. John Carney let me into his world with Begin Again which I thought couldn’t be topped. Then this little jewel came around. OH. MY. GOSH. Everything about this movie hit it’s mark, from the cast, to the script to the story to the music. Man oh man the music. After watching it, talking about it on the show, I watched it again the next day. I have practically force fed it into the lives of anyone I can, hoping that they connect with it the same way I do. But even if they don’t it doesn’t matter. It will probably go down as one of my favorite films of all time. At least until Carney comes up with his next masterpiece :).