Looking Back at My 2016 Most Anticipated

Over the next few weeks I will be posting my top and bottom movie lists for 2016. I will also rank the animated films and shorts of the year and give a most anticipated of 2017.  I think I will also do a ranking video of all of the Disney movies of 2016 because it was such an epic year (and yes I realized I just posted how I hate ranking but it has to be done!).

Before all of that I  thought it might be fun to look back on my most anticipated of 2016- show where the movie ended up for me in my ranking and my overall thoughts on it. Did they live up to my anticipation? Let’s find out… (Also I will be giving a grade that may not match with my review as my views can change as I think about a film)

20. Secret Life of Pets-secret life of pets2 I really liked the teaser for this movie and I do think that was the strongest part of the film. Illumination sure knows how to market their properties! Who would have thought it would make more than Batman v Superman? This ended up being a pleasant enough innocuous but forgettable animal movie. It’s not great but enjoyable and I liked the styling of NYC.

Overall Grade- B- and ended up at 71/132 in my ranking

19. Assassins Creed

assasins creedJury is still out on this one but the trailers haven’t looked promising. Will update when I do see it.

18. Storks

storksKind of like Pets, Storks turned out to be a pleasant, if forgettable animated fair. It has some good jokes and the babies are adorable. The montage at the end was very special

Overall Grade- B and 67/132 on my ranking

17. Independence Day 2: Resurgence

independence_day_2_poster_1I’m surprised I put this on my anticipated list as I’m not the biggest fan of the original. It’s ok but I don’t love it. I didn’t despise this movie quite as much as others but it was extremely forgettable and dopey. It was mostly boring and generic.

Overall Grade- D+ Ranking 108/132

16. The Little Prince

little princeThis was a big let down for me. I know others love this movie but I thought it was boring and preachy and I didn’t connect with the characters. It looks pretty but it didn’t engage me until the weird dystopian work-world ending that was a little bit fun.

Overall Grade- C- Ranking 93/132

15. Everybody Wants Some

everybody-1Richard Linklater was back with his spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused. This is much more positive than D and C but probably a little less important. I still loved spending time with these guys and getting to know them.  They were a blast. The music was perfect and it was one of the most pleasant experiences at the cinema all year.

Overall Grade- A- Ranking 18/132

14. Untitled 5th Bourne Film

Jason-Bourne-character-poster

A lot of staring at screens mixed with action scenes. It’s a serviceable action movie but not much more. Very bland. Another disappointment for 2016 in the blockbuster department. Also they use the word asset far too much for any film.

Overall Grade- C+  Ranking 82/132

13. Ghostbusters

ghostbusters 2016The movie that broke the internet with such nonsense. I had fun with this one because I liked the 4 ladies and enjoyed their chemistry. It has problems but in my opinion so does the original. They are both dopey fun summer movies

Overall Grade- C+  Overall Ranking 83/132

12. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

fantastic beasts2

This ended up being a fine but disappointing Harry Potter prequel. Rewatching the HP movies was challenging as they didn’t quite live up to my memories. This has problems meshing tones together and I didn’t bond with Newt but some other parts and characters are charming.

Overall Grade- C+  Ranking 77/132

11. Doctor Strange

doctor strangeDoctor Strange ended up exceeding my expectations. Visually it was amazing and I loved Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead. I liked how low they let Dr Strange go, as you got some real vulnerability that softens his character. The story and characters for the most part worked for me. Some of the visuals made me a little motion sick but they were cool.

Overall Grade- A-  Overall Ranking 31/132

10. Zootopia

zootopia posterZootopia ended up actually exceeding my expectations. I wasn’t sold on the Sloth trailer but I went to the film and got a delightful modern-day fable. Sure there are some holes in the allegory but I think that is true for most fables. I loved Nick and Judy and their journey. Also the humor and world building worked.

Overall Grade- A  Ranking 14/132

9. Hail Cesar

hail_caesarThe Coen Brothers really let me down with this one. There were brilliant moments but they didn’t mesh together into a satisfying story. I didn’t care about any of the characters and it didn’t make me laugh.

Overall Grade- C- Ranking 90/132

8. Kubo and the Two Strings

kubo poster2

Aside from a bit of a cop-out ending this film really lived up to the hype. Some of the best stop motion animation I’ve ever seen. I loved Kubo as a character and whenever he smiled it made me happy.

Overall Grade- A, Ranking 16/132

7. Captain America: Civil War

civil war poster

It’s not quite as rewatchable as I thought it would be but I still enjoy it very much. I like seeing Tony and Caps ideological and emotional journey come into conflict. The airport scene was amazing and I loved Spiderman

Overall Grade-A  Overall Ranking 29/132

6. The Jungle Book

jungle book poster2
I wasn’t quite as high on this as some but I still enjoyed it. The visuals are amazing and I liked what they did with Mowgli’s character. I liked how they handled the ending much better but the middle dragged a bit and I didn’t think the songs were that great.

Overall Grade- B+  Ranking 32/132

5. Finding Dory-finding dory posterA sweet entry from Pixar about Dory finding her parents and dealing with her disability. It was funny and pulled at the heart strings just like I expect with Pixar. All the voice casting was perfect and it had some subversive elements that kept it from being too flat.

Overall Grade- A- Ranking 27/132

4. BFG

bfg6Roald Dahl is very tough to translate to big screen. You have to add just the right amount of whimsy to keep it from being mean-spirited. However, here they added too much whimsy. Most of the movie is them talking and watching out for the giants. My mind began to wander. Ruby Barnhill and Mark Rylance were great, special effects were lovely and the ending was a lot of fun. In the end it was just ok

Overall Grade- C  Ranking 84/132

3. Star Wars: Rogue One

rogue one2If you want to go to an action movie it is serviceable and entertaining. However, as a Star Wars movie I found it very underwhelming. The story lacks focus and the characters are underdeveloped. The ending is good and there’s some nice humor but I was bored a lot. It’s not awful but it’s a real missed opportunity to do something fresh and different with Star Wars

Overall Grade C+  Ranking 78/132

2. X-men Apocalypse

xmen apocolypse2My biggest disappointment of the year. A fractured story that can’t decide who the protagonist is. They put out  popular beats of previous films like Quicksilver zipping around or Wolverine getting unleashed for a superfluous cameo. Magneto has some good moments but most of his arc we’ve seen a million times. Most other characters were wasted and Apocalypse reminded me of a Transformers character. He was so boring. Not to mention they have a battle at Auschwitz, which was in poor taste. I could go on. Blah….

Overall Grade D  Ranking 119/131

1. Moana

moana4

I loved this movie! It was everything I wanted it to be and more. It captured the spirit of Polynesia and Moana was such a wonderful character. I loved all of the songs and the various creatures she met along the way. I loved the humor and Maui was a terrific character. It is not only one of the best of the year it is one of my favorite Disney films ever…

Overall Grade A+  Ranking 1/131

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