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So it’s officially award season, and as I do every year, today I’m gonna talk about
some of the Oscar-y movies that I finally got to see since 2016 ended.
A couple things to note up front, 1, while I am talking about a lot of more serious,
Oscar nominated films, I will also be talking about some movies that are definitely not
nominated for any awards, but are just movies that I saw since the year ended that I kind
of wanted to talk about.
2, there are times of the movies in the description so you can skip around as you please.
3, I’ve already talked about Hacksaw Ridge in my top 10 movies of 2016 video, so check
that out if you wanna hear my thoughts.
Long story short, amazing movie, 10/10, it was my number 1 of the year in that video.
And 4, while I have made a big effort to see as many 2016 movies as I can, there are still
some that I have missed, because maybe a 15 year old kid who has a ton of school work
and a limited amount of money can’t see everything.
Also, quite a few of these just did not come out where I live or won’t come out until
like April, so movies that are nominated for some Oscars that I have yet to see:
Fences, Moonlight, Patriots Day, Jackie, The Lobster, Silence, The Founder, and Nocturnal
Animals.
Alright, with all that said, let’s get into this kind of extra 2016 movie wrap up starting
off with Arrival.
Arrival is a movie that I’m really not gonna talk a lot about, and in fact throughout this
whole segment I’m only gonna use pictures.
Because I went into this movie knowing basically nothing and I think that is definitely the
best way to watch this movie.
I want people to experience this movie the same way I did, so without going into any
plot details, let me just say, this film is phenomenal.
Everything in it comes together perfectly, all the performances are outstanding, the
movie’s pacing and editing is fantastic, the technical side of the film, like the sound
design and the cinematography is superb.
I alsos thought this had one of the best and most memorable scores of 2016, which is why
I personally was really surprised that it didn’t get any Oscar nomination for it.
I haven’t seen Passengers, but I’m willing to bet a lot of money that the music in this
movie is better than in that.
The movie’s very much a slow burn which absolutely works, the twists along the way
are intriguing, it’s a very unique, tense, and original film.
And the ending is great.
It really leaves you thinking after the film is done, and it totally messes with your head,
I absolutely loved it.
Arrival is amazing, if you haven’t seen it, check it out, I’ll give it a 10/10.
Ok, now let’s take a tad bit of a break from all the serious stuff and talk about
a movie that I was interested in seeing since it came out despite not so great reviews,
Hardcore Henry.
In case you don’t know what this is, this is the first person shot, r rated action movie
about an android (?) called Henry who is on a mission for revenge.
And ultimately….I kind of enjoyed this.
It is far, far from perfect, but I think it was a very unique kind of movie and I can
appreciate how much effort must have gone into this.
Firstly, what I liked, by far the best thing about this movie is Sharlto Copley.
I don’t wanna spoil his role in this, but it is very, let’s just say versatile.
And Copley nails it, had me laughing consistently throughout.
The action like I said is also very impressive, there are some incredible stunts that left
me genuinely wondering how they were pulled off.
Some of the action is great, some of it is not, like the climax for example which I found
to be a bit disappointing.
And I guess this is where we talk about the bad stuff.
This is a movie that I would definitely describe as exhausting.
It never really lets up, and plus the first person perspective (especially in some of
the action) did start giving me a bit of a headache.
I cannot imagine how people could’ve watched this whole thing on the big screen.
This movie is also very very violent.
Like, it takes a lot these days in terms of movie violence to have me saying, ahhhh this
is actually quite off putting.
But the violence got so extreme sometimes where I was like, this is just a bit upsetting.
So just know that going in.
Ultimately, there’s not a ton to say about this movie.
This has a super video game feel to it, from the way it’s shot down to the story (of
which there isn’t all that much) and the villain (who’s super over the top).
I think this movie will be loved by a very specific type of viewer, and will be hated
by a lot of other people.
As someone who I guess kind of falls in the middle of those, I thought this was alright.
Check this out if it seems like something you’d like, it certainly lives up to its
name, I’ll say that much.
I’ll give Hardcore Henry a 6.9/10.
Next there’s Disney’s latest princess movie, Moana.
I had been hearing great things about this movie for weeks following its release.
And now that I’ve finally seen it, I can say that it’s….pretty great.
I don’t think it’s a new Disney classic, I don’t even think it’s better than Zootopia
actually.
But I had a lot of fun with this film.
The voice acting all around is great, especially from the main two leads.
Dwayne Johnson continues to be the modern day movie star, and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho
is just as good.
The two of them are really funny together, I was chuckling consistently throughout.
The animation is also stellar here, as is to be expected from Disney these days.
Especially the water animation, I mean just look at that.
The music is also pretty good, personally my favorite song is You’re Welcome, but
I can see that Moana’s main number also seems to be pretty popular.
Really, all I can say about this movie is that it’s a really fun, enjoyable romp.
My problems with this movie really lie in the story.
It’s a bit of a just generic Disney story.
It felt a lot like a mix of The Emperor’s New Groove meets Hercules….on water, which
is a fun mix, but I could tell where it was going for about 95% of it.
But all in all, I left the movie with a smile on my face.
While quite predictable and nothing really special in the story department, the rest
of the movie is a ton of fun for both adults and children.
And even though most of it felt a bit cookie-cutter, there were a few segments that I thought were
actually really creative.
I just don’t really have a ton to say about this.
I’ll give Moana an 8.5/10.
Next up is a little movie called Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
Look, I’d just say, watch the trailer for this movie and if it looks like something
you’d like, then you’ll like it.
This is a really quirky New Zealand comedy by Taika Waititi, who has done other really
quirky comedies but is also doing the next Thor movie, which is one of the main reasons
why I checked this out.
And I had such a fun time with this.
If you wanna take a break from the insane and often not very pleasant world we’re
living in right now, watch this movie, because it’s such a nice fun break from reality.
It’s so ridiculous and funny and heartfelt, it’s filled with likeable and hilarious
characters, it’s well written, well shot, and really well edited, it’s just a well
made super fun movie.
Sam Neill gives one of the best performances of his career, the kid who plays Ricky is
also great, the woman who plays the Child Protective Services woman is amazing.
Again, if you just wanna laugh and go on an adventure with characters that you really
like, watch the Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
The movie goes from amazing to good towards the end as a lot of movies seem to, but most
of it is still excellent, and even the ending made me smile, it’s just a movie that makes
you smile.
I’ll give it an 8.7/10.
Now there’s a little movie called Manchester by the Sea that came out, aaaaaaand yeah,
it’s pretty depressing.
That’s kind of been the joke around this movie, how depressing it is, but yeah, it’s
a pretty sad movie, not gonna lie.
But with that, it is also an extremely well made film.
This has not only some of the best performances I’ve seen all year but I would say the most
real performances I’ve seen in a movie in a few years.
Cuz even in movies with great performances, I guess I just didn’t feel like I was watching
completely real people like I did in this movie.
Casey Affleck gives maybe the best performance of the entire year, Lucas Hedges is fantastic
as well, Michelle Williams is great, there’s not a single person in the movie that I thought
was just ok, everyone’s great.
The movie’s well shot and really well edited, similarly to Arrival not getting nominated
for best music it surprised me this didn’t get nominated for best editing.
A shot will often stay on a thing more than you’re expecting it to and this really helps
you feel like you’re not watching a movie and that you’re actually there with the
characters.
The movie’s extremely well written, again, it feels very real, and really, the best way
I can sum up this movie is that it’s 2 hours and 17 minutes of compelling nothingness.
A lot of this runtime is just nothing that’s pushing the story forward happening, but it’s
all interesting because it’s making the characters feel more and more real.
The movie is very slow, not a lot happens, just know that going in.
But it is still really really interesting and compelling because of these characters,
performances, and writing.
Somehow I was never bored once while watching this.
Something that also helps is that in addition to feeling very real, the characters are also
quite relatable.
I’m assuming there are a lot of people who can relate to Casey Affleck’s character
(although hopefully there are very few people who can relate to his character in some certain
ways), and other people who can relate to the kid in the movie (some of the things he
did I found myself latching onto.
I was like, yeah, I know that, I can empathize with this guy more than I could’ve otherwise.
Although again, thankfully, there were quite a few elements to his character that I can
have the pleasure of saying I don’t know anything about . Overall, this is a very interesting,
and honestly quite unique movie.
It features incredible performances that really carry something that under the wrong vision
could’ve become a completely boring story.
The movie is also incredibly depressing, like, life just generally sucks for this guy.
Although I saw this movie with my dad and when we walked out of this and i said “well
that was pretty depressing” my dad was like “really?
I thought it was kind of uplifting towards the end.”
So while I personally didn’t really see that until maybe the very very end, sure,
maybe you’ll see some uplift in this movie, who knows.
Most of it though, yeah it’s pretty sad.
I’ll give Manchester by the Sea a 9.5/10.
Next let’s talk about Hidden Figures, finally something less dark.
This is the big “true story” type movie this year, and surprise surprise as these
things usually are, it’s pretty good.
This movie is basically carried by the three main performances, all of which are great.
While all of them great though, I personally would’ve given an Oscar nomination Taraji
P. Henson over Octavia Spencer.
Again, both solid, I just Henson carried more of the movie and gave a deeper performance.
Besides the main three, the supporting cast is superb.
Kevin Costner is great as a supporting actor as usual, I’m not a Big Bang Theory fan
but Jim Parsons was really good in this, Kirsten Dunst was really good, and so was Mahershala
Ali, who is gradually becoming one of my favorites.
Going back to the main three, seeing these characters working with this stuff that they’re
so good at it is really cool, but also seeing their personal lives and their personalities
developed over the course of the film was really interesting to me.
The movie also deals with this story and time period in a respectful way, and watching it
I’m just happy this movie got made, because this is an important story that people should
know about.
I’ll often walk out of these based on a true story movies and be like, how did I not
know about that stuff?
Those some really important and amazing people!
But while it does tell a story set in a not-so-ideal time period for these women, the movie is
still very fun, uplifting, and is definitely what I’d call a feel-good movie.
It’s just a really enjoyable watch from beginning all the way to the credits.
As far as what I didn’t really like, the movie is a bit predictable.
Like everything you expect to happen in this kind of movie happens.
And it also does that based on a true story movie thing, especially towards the end, where
it gets just a little bit too cheesy.
Also I feel like a little bit of this was exaggerated and/or altered in some way to
make this a more entertaining movie, but it did entertain me, so I don’t really know
if I can count that as a negative.
In the end, Hidden Figures is a very fun, feel-good movie.
It’s got great performances, it’s something I think pretty much the whole family can enjoy,
it’s just a pleasant experience.
I’ll give Hidden Figures an 8.3/10.
Now let’s talk about a movie that I feel like no one has seen, Captain Fantastic.
And that is a shame, because Captain Fantastic is just as good as the title implies.
Kind of like the Hunt for the Wilderpeople, this is another very weird, offbeat comedy,
except way darker than Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
While that movie was pretty much just a comedy, this is a pretty serious very well made film
with a lot of funny moments.
Also, another difference between the two is that this one is not for children, as in there
is blood, cursing, and brief full frontal male nudity.
Just warning you.
And you know what, this movie is excellent.
Looking at the Oscar nominations for best actor this year you might think Viggo Mortensen
seems like a little bit of an odd one out, but once you see this movie, he deserves to
be up there with everyone else.
He gives maybe the best performance of his career here, maybe, I don’t know, I love
Aragorn, but he is so good in ths.
Also, not only is he a great actor, but he’s also another mainstream Danish actor, so hell
yeah!
This dude drove trucks in Esbjerg and sold flowers in Copenhagen, I’m gonna have a
little bias for him even if he was a terrible actor.
Luckily, he’s phenomenal, so the Danish thing is just a bonus.
Everyone else is really good in this, there are some surprise appearances from actors
I didn’t really expect to see here, and also, pretty much all of the child performances
are spot on, which is rare in a movie.
Really, everything this movie shoots for, it hits.
All the comedic parts hit really well, but the dramatic
parts, and there are a few of them, hit just as well.
There are some things in this movie, especially towards the end, that if handled by another
director would’ve been really weird and unpleasant and cringey, but with this filmmaking
team behind it, this movie actually pulls off some stuff that….let’s just say is
out of the box.
Ultimately, if you haven't seen this which odds are you haven’t, go watch it now.
It is worth your time.
I’ll give Captain Fantastic a 9.4/10.
And finally, let’s get to the big one, La La Land.
Now look, I don’t know if I really wanna say this, because a) I could and probably
will change my mind and b) I know people will call me out for just making this decision
in the heat of the moment, but this might actually be my favorite movie.
Of all time.
I know, it’s a drastic claim, so you know what, let’s maybe not stick to them, I don’t
know, point is, it’s kind of an incredible movie that I love.
This film, and I can imagine this is a way that I lot of people will feel, is one of
those movies that embodies why I love movies.
If anyone ever says to me, hey, why do you never shut up about movies?
I will hand them one of the 5 blu ray copies of La La Land that I’ll probably own in
the near future.
This is also another one of those movies that I’ve been talking more and more about where
it’s a great film on its own, but it also has a personal aspect of it for me.
So let’s start off with what this movie does that I think almost everyone can appreciate.
Firstly, as is to be expected, all the performances are amazing here.
Ryan Gosling is of course great, but I think the best performance in the film is actually
Emma Stone.
I’ve been hearing people saying, oh she’s so unlikeable in this movie….I don’t understand
that at all, I thought her character was extremely likeable and funny but also felt pretty real.
Her chemistry with Ryan Gosling, there wasn’t a second where I didn't believe it.
That’s another thing, this movie is super relatable, for aspiring actors or musicians,
or for just anyone who's ever had a dream about doing something.
And if you know me at all, you know I love an inspirational uplifting movie, movies about
achieving your dreams and pushing on in spite of the odds.
If a movie can make me feel hope and compassion for something that I love doing or that I
wanna do, then that movie instantly bumps up a few points in my book.
It’s kind of like what Emma Stone said in her Golden Globes speech *clip* yeah, I just
absolutely love that stuff.
One of the big things about this movie, with it being a musical, is of course the music.
And I love every single song in this soundtrack, the music is phenomenal.
I have listened to this soundtrack a ridiculous number of times since I saw this film.
I walk into school almost every day listening to Another Day of Sun and it gets me excited
for the day, even though where I live right now it’s usually dark and/or raining when
I walk into school.
I honestly could not pick a “favorite song” on this soundtrack, I love it all.
And the actual musical numbers in the movie are incredible as well.
This movie is so ambitious, and it goes for so much, and it actually gets everything it’s
going for.
A lot of these scenes are completely one take, which is just an achievement on its own.
You can just tell that everyone put so much work into this, there wasn’t a single person
who was just kind of half assing it, everyone put 100% into this and it works so well.
And not only are some of these one take, but some of these with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
are perfectly pulled off despite the fact that neither of these two are necessarily
professional singers and dancers.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone do some classic like Gene Kelly tap dancing in this film,
and it’s amazing.
Everything in this movie is just so much fun to watch.
The movie is just a joy.
If a movie can make me tear up multiple times from sheer happiness, just with the biggest
smile on my face, then that movie is doing something right.
Also, I do have a weird nostalgia for 1950s classic musicals like Singin in the Rain cuz
I saw a lot of them as a kid, and this movie is clearly paying homage to those and that
alone just made me so happy, it’s just such an enjoyable film on every level.
The movie is also just a celebration of cinema and filmmaking, although it’s not scared
to show the less fun side of all that.
It’s beautifully shot, Damien Chazelle once again masterfully directs this movie, every
shot is perfect, it’s just a beautifully made film.
The movie is also very funny, but also very emotional.
The ending of this movie is extremely powerful and I cried a lot when I got out of this.
But it’s also a very interesting ending because it’ll leave you thinking and your
whole perception of it can change over time the more you think about it or if something
happens to you personally, and the entire tone of that segment can change.
I’m keeping it vague so as not to spoil it, but it is such a beautiful, powerful,
and extremely interesting ending.
It’s very hard to pull something like that off, but it worked flawlessly.
And I would now view that ending in a totally different way and a much more positive way
than I did initially coming out, just after sitting on it and thinking about it for so
long.
Look, I do wanna say, there is one thing.
ONE THING.
That slightly annoyed me in the movie.
And it’s not anything I’m gonna take away points for, it’s just a tiny nitpick that
is so small that I do not understand why movies keep doing it.
There’s a brief shot in this movie where a YouTube video is being shown, and the video
is playing, but the play button looks like this.
I keep seeing this in movies and it’s such a small thing that bugs me every time.
It’s not that hard to understand, the YouTube button looks like this while a video is playing.
Alright, rant over.
Now as far as the personal aspect of this film, for me, this movie really hit at an
interesting time in my life.
And look, I know a lot of people splatter their personal lives all over in the Internet
and I really have no interest in doing that, so I’m gonna keep this vague.
But basically around the time I saw this movie I went through a pretty unpleasant thing in
real life that just really really sucked that kind of….relates….to some stuff that happens
in this movie, you might be able to put together what that is, except it was not as romanticized
as it was in La La Land.
And this movie, especially that beautiful and in the end uplifting ending, really helped
me through that.
Helping me realize that it’s all gonna be fine, and now, about a month and a half later,
I’m happier than I’ve been in months.
So again, while it’s a great film, I also look at it in a special light because it’s
one of the many aspects that helped me through….let’s just call it quite a low point in my life.
In conclusion, I love La La Land so much.
It’s such a special movie that doesn’t come around that often.
It’s another one of those movies that I talk about that I could love regardless because
it’s an amazingly made film but I do also have a personal connection to it.
Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of hate for the movie, I don’t wanna be one of those
people that says, oh there’s a conspiracy around this movie to hate it, no one can actually
really hate it.
Because that kind of stuff just annoys me, so if you disliked this movie, that’s fine.
I’m just sorry that you didn’t get to experience the same beautiful, fun, inspiring,
and emotional 2 hours and 8 minutes that I did.
La La Land without a doubt gets a 10/10.
So, while I still have some films to get to, now that I’ve seen more movies, my updated
top 10 movies of 2016 list would look something like this:
10) Deadpool 9) The Jungle Book
8)10 Cloverfield Lane 7) Captain Fantastic
6) Captain America: Civil War 5) Manchester by the Sea
4) The Nice Guys 3) Arrival
2) Hacksaw Ridge 1) La La Land
So those were my thoughts on some of the more serious movies of 2016.
What did you think of these?
Let me know all of your thoughts down below in the comments.
While you’re at it be sure to like this video, check out my Instagram and Twitter
@bhl_hudson, and subscribe for more videos like the one you just watched.
Thanks for watching and I’ll see ya next time.
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