Baze Malbus: Good luck! Chirrut Îmwe:I don’t need luck! I have you!
Starring: Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe, Ben Menselsohn as Orson Krennic, Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook, Alan Tudyk as K-2SO and Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso, dir. Gareth Edwards.
Natalie Portman is one of the best actresses working in Hollywood today and this year’s Jackie further solidifies that idea. The Academy Award winner took on the monstrous role of Jackie Kennedy, a respected and highly known public figure, in Pablo Larraín‘s Jackie this year, which earned her a third Oscar nomination. Portman has previously been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for 2005’s Closer and won Best Actress for 2010’s Black Swan.
See her Best Actress acceptance at the 83rd Academy Awards below:
It is no surprise that the ridiculously talented Harvard grad chose such an intimidating role to sink her teeth into. Although Kennedy’s every single movement was documented throughout her public life, Portman managed to master the intricacies of the First Lady to an absolute tee.
Jim Casey uploaded a side-by-side comparison of Jackie Kennedy’s White House Tour in 1962 with Pablo Larrain’s 2016 film, illustrating just how brilliant of a performance Portman gives.
Check Out The Comparison Below:
February 14th 1962: The Day First Lady Kennedy Opened The Doors Of The White House To The Public
One year prior to the assassination of her husband John F. Kennedy, the TV special A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy aired on Valentine’s Day on CBS and NBC. The filmed tour was the first glimpse the American public had of the $2 million restoration of the White House that Kennedy had helped direct in the first year of her husband’s presidency.
Besides the film having an essentially shot-for-shot sequence similar to the original 1962 special, Portman’s ability to exude everything that was the First Lady is nothing short of remarkable. Besides the dialogue similarities, her mannerisms as Kennedy manage to leave the viewer in awe of just how much of an understanding she had for her.
… Not to mention her phenomenal grasp of Jackie Kennedy’s trademark voice.
Portman Reveals Feeling Terrified To Portray Jackie Kennedy
It is easy to look at her performance and think because she is an A-list talent with years of experience under her belt that tackling on this real-life portrayal would be a walk in park. The truth is rather far from it. In an interview with Matt Lauer, Portman discusses the initial hesitations she felt delving into Kennedy’s world and particularly, the difficulty to nail down her logistics. When asked how it felt to portray one of the most iconic women in American history, Portman reveals:
“I was terrified because everyone knows what she looks like, particularly, and what she sounded like.”
She mentions the process of working with a dialect coach, perfecting the voice and reading “as much as [she] could find” on Kennedy.
“I Rather Love This Hall”
When asked about whether there was a specific sentence that helped her with the trademark voice, Portman humorously brings up Kennedy’s line during the White House tour where she stated, “I rather love this hawll.” As she accurately describes it, “rather” sounded pleasantly British and “hall” sounded “super Long Island.”
For their annual Best Performances of the Year issue, W Magazine brings together a number of actors and actresses who gave incredible performances from the year before to take some stunning-looking photographs and divulge some personal insights.
The stunning 2015 issue took inspiration from the great David Hockney & Federico Fellini and included such names as Julianne Moore, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
This year’s issue focuses on the theme of Coming Together and includes the talented Emma Stone, Casey Affleck, Natalie Portman, Ruth Negga and Amy Adams, just to name a few.
Ruth Negga And Natalie Portman
Ruth Negga as Mildred Loving
Ruth Negga starred alongside Joel Edgerton (also included further down this article) in Loving, a film that focused on Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who were the plaintiffs in the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which invalidated state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Loving has received a number of accolades including being nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and Negga winning Best Breakthrough Performance at the New York Film Critics Online Awards.
Negga describes the immense emotion she felt during the premiere at the Cannes Film Festival:
“… A year later, I learned I got the part. At the premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, I walked up the steps of the Palais in full makeup, and I walked down the steps with mascara dripping. It was such an emotional experience. All I could think was that I needed to blow my nose before it dripped all over my frock.”
Natalie Portman as Jackie O
Natalie Portman starred as the real-life First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in Jackie, a film that depicts Jackie O’s life following the assassination of her husband and United States president, John F. Kennedy.
Portman admits that portraying Kennedy was “scary” and details the process that went into becoming the beloved First Lady:
“… I was nervous at first, and I started by doing a lot of research. The biographies on her are all a little bit trashy, but the transcripts of her interviews with the historian Arthur Schlesinger were really helpful. He taped everything, and you can hear Jackie’s voice. Her intellect and her wit and what she’s bitter about are immediately apparent. At the same time, I was going to costume fittings and makeup tests. When I put on the Jackie wig, the physical and emotional sides came together. The hair itself is so iconic that once you have it right, you can start to see Jackie. I don’t really look like her, but I felt like I was in her skin.”
Casey Affleck And Emma Stone
Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler
Casey Affleck starred in the emotional tear-jerker, Manchester By The Sea as Lee Chandler, a brooding man who must look after his teenaged nephew, Patrick (Lucas Hedges), following the death of his brother. The film earned Affleck his first Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama), beating out the likes of Denzel Washington for Fencesand Andrew Garfield forHacksaw Ridge.
The younger Affleck reveals his softer side and discusses the emotional impact The Elephant Man had on him:
“I used to love movies that made me cry, and now all movies seem to make me cry. I don’t like that so much. I have my own things to cry about. I remember being young and sitting on the floor in my father’s apartment watching The Elephant Man on his black and white TV. When the Elephant Man did his speech—‘I am not an animal’—I started sobbing. That’s a tearjerker. That film made a superstrong impression on me. It set a certain standard in my mind of what was possible.”
Emma Stone as Mia
Damien Chazelle‘s La La Land has been taking the awards scene by storm, winning all seven of its nominations at the 74th Golden Globe Awards and officially becoming my favourite film of 2016 when I finally got a chance to watch it recently. Emma Stone’s marvelling portrayal of aspiring actress Mia earned her the Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) Golden Globe and her on-screen counterpart, Ryan Gosling earned a Best Actor Globe!
Breaking News! Did you know Emma Stone’s real name is Emily Stone?! Read about her harrowing experience as a teenager attempting to find the perfect stage name:
“My real name is Emily Stone, but when I started acting, that name was already taken by another actress, so I had to come up with a different one. For a 16-year-old, picking a new name is an interesting prospect, and back then I said, ‘I’m now going to be Riley Stone!’ So, for about six months I was called Riley. I landed a guest spot on Malcolm in the Middle, and one day they were calling, ‘Riley! Riley! Riley! We need you on set, Riley!’ and I had no idea who they were talking to. At that moment, I realized that I just couldn’t be Riley. So I became Emma. But I miss Emily. I would love to get her back.”
Amy Adams And Matthew McConaughey
Amy Adams as Louise Banks (Arrival) and Susan Morrow (Nocturnal Animals)
Amy Adams had an unbelievably spectacular year by starring in two critically successful films with Arrival and Nocturnal Animals. Adams won the Best Lead Actress Award by the National Board of Review for Arrival and her co-star in Nocturnal Animals, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, surprised many by taking home the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
Adams referred to director Tom Ford as her “muse” on Nocturnal Animals and goes on to reveal how she used him in her portrayal of Susan:
“… My character, Susan, was very personal to Tom, and so I based my interpretation on him. Tom would ask on set, ‘Why is Amy using her hands like that?’ And I said, ‘I’m copying you, Tom!’ I used him. I used him up.”
Matthew McConaughey as Kenny Wells
Matthew McConaughey starred as Kenny Wells in Gold this year, a film based on the true story of the 1993 Bre-X mining scandal, when a massive gold deposit was supposedly discovered in the jungles of Indonesia. McConaughey is noticeably heavier in this role and let’s face it: he is certainly familiar with pushing his body to the limits if a film calls for it! He lost over 40 pounds for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, the film that earned him the Oscar for Best Actor in 2014. He gained 45 pounds for his role as Wells and also managed to rock a bad hairdo.
McConaughey credits his father and his adoration for “shady deals” as inspiration to take on the role in Gold:
“I was attracted to Gold because it reminded me of my dad. He loved shady deals. He’d much rather do a shady deal with fun people than a good deal with a bunch of straight-asses. He invested in diamond mines in Ecuador, and there were no fucking diamonds there. It was a scam, but he loved that. That’s the spirit of my character, Kenny Wells. There’s a little poem we have in the movie—‘Bird With No Feet Sleeps in the Wind.’ And that’s it: If Kenny, or my dad, gets the money or not, does it really matter? Would he change? No. Not that guy. These are people who are going to con, finagle, and boot-scoot their way in the side door. They never had the front-door entrance to the American Dream.”
Viggo Mortensen And Adam Driver
Viggo Mortensen as Ben Cash
Viggo Mortensen starred as Ben Cash in the Matt Ross-directed comedy-drama, Captain Fantastic. The film follows a family who must reintegrate into society after living in isolation for a decade and Mortensen has received all the acclaim for his role as Cash. He has been nominated for a Best Actor honor in multiple Awards ceremonies including the Critics’ Choice Awards, the upcoming Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards and winning the honor, alongside Andrew Garfield, by the Satellite Awards.
As if you need another reason to love Viggo Mortensen, he believes that “women often make better actors than men” and explains why:
“… Historically, they have had to act out of self-protection and play roles in a world run by men. The best male actors, like Marlon Brando, are comfortable with their feminine side. It’s what makes them great.”
Adam Driver as Paterson (Paterson) and Francisco Garupe (Silence)
Adam Driver starred in the beautifully simplistic film, Paterson in which he plays a bus driver named Paterson living in the city of Paterson, New Jersey. Driver has been receiving immense acclaim for his portrayal of the aspiring poetic bus driver, winning the Best Actor honor by the Toronto Film Critics Association. In the Martin Scorsese passion project, Silence, Driver starred alongside 2016 favorite, Andrew Garfield as two 17th Century Jesuit priests who travel to Japan to locate their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) while also spreading Catholicism. Silence won the Best Adapted Screenplay honor by the National Board of Review.
Driver reveals losing over 50 pounds to play the devout priest in Silence and also gushes about his love for its iconic director:
“… When Martin Scorsese asked me to come to his house to talk about the movie, I already knew that for 28 years it had been his passion project. We talked about Silence, but when Scorsese starts a sentence, ‘When we were shooting Raging Bull…’ you can’t help but say, ‘Yeah, okay, tell me everything.’ So we talked for a long time, and finally he asked me if I would be willing to lose weight for the role. It made sense: How can you play a 17th-century persecuted priest while eating great meals? So I lost around 51 pounds. The weight loss was only bad in that, you know, I’d try to figure out how to play a scene and I had no ideas, because I was so damn hungry. Then I’d have a scoop of peanut butter and suddenly everything turned on!”
Michelle Williams And Joel Edgerton
Michelle Williams as Randi
Michelle Williams starred alongside Casey Affleck as Randi in Manchester By The Sea. Similarly to her male counterpart, Williams has received immense acclaim for her heartbreaking portrayal as Lee’s ex-wife. She won Best Supporting Actress at the National Society Of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle and has also been nominated numerous times by multiple Awards circuits including the upcoming SAG Awards and the Golden Globes.
If you’re planning on being on Williams’ good side, I’d suggest not popping in an animated movie for the night because as it turns out, she is not a huge of them:
“What are they doing to kids? Why does somebody always have to die in an animated children’s movie? The films are all so depressing. There is plenty of time for that. Me and my daughter—we’re done! From now on, only classic romantic comedies and musicals for us. I don’t want to be sad.”
Joel Edgerton as Richard Loving
Joel Edgerton’s chemistry with Ruth Negga in Loving is heartbreakingly spectacular and Edgerton managed to depict the mannerisms and physicality of the real-life Loving insanely accurately. Both Edgerton and Negga have received a ton of critical praise for their respective portrayals, with Edgerton racking up nineteen acting nominations!
The Loving v. Virginia case is a monumental achievement for the progression of civil rights during a time when racism was incredibly prevalent, yet many people are simply unaware of the impact it had during the Civil Rights era. Edgerton reveals he was surprised that “most Americans [don’t] know about the Loving case” and “how it made interracial marriage legal in this country”:
“… The names Mildred and Richard Loving are not on the civil rights time line that is taught in schools. Somehow, this major victory was not as big as a bomb exploding or someone being shot at a lectern. Instead, it was a quiet revolution that deserves a loud conversation.”
Mahershala Ali And Nicole Kidman
Mahershala Ali as Juan (Moonlight) and Jim Johnson (Hidden Figures)
Mahershala Ali had an incredible 2016 starring in the critically acclaimed, Moonlight and the film that took over first place at the box office from Rogue One, Hidden Figures. The Barry Jenkins-directed Moonlight follows a young man named Chiron through three chapters in his life as he attempts to find himself while struggling with drugs, violence and his own sexuality. Ali portrays Juan, a major figure in Chiron’s life during his adolescence. The film has received immense critical praise with Ali’s performance earning him multiple Best Supporting Actors Awards; namely, the National Society of Film Critics and both New York and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Ali relates the loss of his father when he was 20 years old to his character in Moonlight: *SPOILERS FOR ‘MOONLIGHT’*
“Juan, my character in Moonlight, dies off-camera. The audience never learns how or why. My father died when I was 20. He lived 3,000 miles away, but we were extremely close. I didn’t miss him right away—it took me three years before I went through my mourning. In Moonlight, it’s the same with Juan: His disappearance lingers in your mind.”
Nicole Kidman as Sue Brierley
Nicole Kidman is the adoptive mother to Dev Patel in Lion, a film that follows Patel’s Saroo as he sets out to find the family he lost when he was five years old and living in India. The performances in Lion have received critical praise, particularly that of Patel and Kidman. Kidman has won a number of Best Supporting Actress Awards, notably from the Hollywood Film Awards and Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards.
Kidman reveals an Oscar favourite starring the future Captain Marvel made her cry and her first kiss story is probably my favourite first kiss story I have ever read:
What movie has made you cry?
Last year I saw Room, and I was absolutely devastated by it. I’m raw as I get older. I have to be careful what I let in.
Where was your first kiss?
This is crazy: We were playing hooky from school. I had my first kiss while watching The Shining. Is that not weird? And we did a few things other than kiss too! I didn’t see a lot of the movie.
You know what is guaranteed to get someone in the mood? Jack Nicholson‘s sinister smile in the Kubrick classic:
What Outstanding Performance From 2016 Has Been Your Favourite?
La La Land tells the story of aspiring actress, Mia (Emma Stone) and jazz pianist, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as they experience the various highs and incredible lows the City of Stars may grant you. It also stars John Legend and JK Simmonsand is directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash).
My Thoughts On The Characters And Story
Back in September, I wrote a piece entitled “La La Land Is Gearing Up To Be One Of The Best Movies Of The Year” because of all the immense buzz the film was generating at various film festivals, particularly at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). I didn’t get a chance to watch the film until last night, a few weeks after its initial release. The main reason for the delay being every time we wanted to watch it, the suitable showtime would be all sold out. After finally getting a chance to watch it, I can safely say this is my favourite movie of 2016. I loved every single second of La La Land.
I think a major reason why I enjoyed it as much as I did is because of how huge of a fan I am of those iconic musicals, specifically the classic Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers pairings and Singin’ In The Rain, easily my favourite musical of all time. Those who aren’t generally a fan of musicals can certainly enjoy this film for its beautiful portrayal of the relationship between Mia and Sebastian, however the way the musical aspect is incorporated into it is absolutely brilliant. The incorporation of the music to progress the story along is utilized flawlessly, I would argue perfectly. Using songs to transition between scenes can either be executed beautifully or awkwardly and I am happy to say I believe La La Land falls into the former. Musicals can be seen as jarring because people randomly decide to start singing, however there was never a moment in La La Land where I felt the random burst of song was unwarranted. Each respective song enhanced the sequenced immensely plus the music used to illustrate the state of their relationship is showcased wonderfully.
The depiction of success, failure and how long it may take to reach that level of success one strives (or not!) are themes the film deals with through immaculate cinematography and music. The relationship between Stone and Gosling drives this film and because of how fleshed out they are, you feel for them if they hit rock bottom. You want to see both succeed in this industry that truly stomps on more dreams than grants them. SPOILER/MINOR ISSUE I felt like Keith (Legend) offering Sebastian the role of pianist for The Messengers was a tiny bit contrived, however it ultimately didn’t bother me as much since they already had an established prior relationship and Keith is aware of Sebastian’s skills and talent on the piano. END SPOILER.
There Are More Than Enough Disgustingly Stunning Visuals
From the very beginning with that Cinemascope shot to its final moments, I was genuinely in awe for most of this film because of how beautiful it looked. Chazelle’s impeccable direction manages to showcase as much as he possibly can by involving the rich atmosphere that ultimately becomes a character itself. Sequences that follow that tracking shot motif by focusing the camera on a character and just following them through certain instances is just so enjoyable to watch, damn it! Here is a taste of some of my favourite shots from the trailers that were so incredible to view on the big screen:
Let’s Talk About The Music…
Guys. If anything, listen to the soundtrack of this film because it is easily one of my favourite movie soundtracks. Certain jazz riffs of course reminded me of Chazelle’s 2014 Oscar-winner for Best Supporting Actor, Whiplash and every song is written and performed fantastically. The music composer for Whiplash, Justin Hurwitz composed the music for La La Land and Chazelle has found a keeper because thus far, their collaborations is 2/2 for perfection in music.
Hurwitz’s ‘Epilogue’ Encapsulates All The Glorious Sounds:
I can only hope that more filmmakers follow suit and create new worlds that follow the musical formula because I had such an enjoyable experience with La La Land. Damien Chazelle’s ability to portray individuals struggling through music is remarkable and I simply cannot wait to see what he directs next.
If you’re tired of my gushing and want to see fantastical musical numbers in a beautiful world, not to mention Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling absolutely killing it on the singing front, do a hop and a skip over to your theatre and watch La La Land.
For More Fun, Tap Your Way Over (sorry) To The Following:
Why Him? tells the story of reasonably protective husband and father, Ned (Bryan Cranston) meeting his beloved daughter, Stephanie’s (Zoey Deutch) eccentric and wily boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). It also stars Megan Mullally, Griffin Gluck and Keegan-Michael Key and is directed by John Hamburg (Along Came Polly, I Love You, Man).
My Thoughts On The Characters And Story
The first film I will ever watch in the year 2017 and it turned out to be Why Him?…
Well, I guess there’s no way to go but up from here, right?
So everybody in this movie is essentially a cartoon. James Franco’s character is a weird tech millionaire who is apparently a genius at programming fucking code yet doesn’t realize it’s inappropriate to make out with your girlfriend in front of her parents who you’ve only met fifteen minutes ago. Bryan Cranston has understandable doubts about his daughter dating this strange man yet we’re supposed to be disappointed with him when he wants to learn more about his finances. Megan Mullally actually has a couple humourous moments, particularly when dealing with her libido. Zoey Deutch surprised me because I thought her performance was pretty genuine and there was this younger brother that I could not stand. I enjoyed the dynamic between Cranston, Mullally and Deutch and although Griffin Gluck’s portrayal of the son actually wasn’t that bad, his character was insufferable. Every time a sequence focused on him I wanted to fast forward what was occurring on the screen while I was in the theatre.
Speaking of wanting to fast forward, good god man. There were more than three times where I REALLY wanted to skip forward certain scenes because they lingered on way too long. Certain jokes went on way too long. You have to know when to quit while you’re ahead and the Pink Panther reference and the sequence with Emmy-Award winner Bryan Cranston attempting to wipe his ass on the toilet just wouldn’t end. Keegan-Michael Key’s floundering German(?) accent I kind of could have done without, although the running joke of him attacking Franco’s character was humourous. There was one character named Kevin that is genuinely one of the worst characters I have ever seen in a comedy. He is openly discussing the feelings he has for Deutch’s character while his wife and children are two feet away. His weird adulterous trait was supposed to make me laugh and it just failed big time.
The Other Aspects To ‘Why Him?’
There were a couple obvious audio dubs I noticed and I laughed maybe three or four times throughout Why Him? I really like everybody in the film which is why this ultimately is such a disappointment. I thoroughly love Hamburg’s 2009 comedy, I Love You, Man and I will give it to Why Him?, it is an aesthetically pleasing-looking movie similarly to how I Love You, Man utilizes those sharp pastel colours beautifully. Kudos goes out to Kris Kachikis‘ cinematography work in this film. Unfortunately, the belly laughs the latter gives me does not compare to the occasional air-out-of-my-nose moments Why Him? gave me.
I am happy that it looked as nice as it did and it contained actors I genuinely enjoy watching because virtually every other aspect to it I couldn’t stand. The laughs are cheap, the pacing is terrible and the main conflict is barely a conflict because Laird is such a nice, honest and wealthy guy! The film attempts to make him a more sympathetic character by expanding on his backstory of abandonment however I don’t necessarily think not knowing one’s father would make them drop their pants and gyrate around while their significant other is Skyping their family…
There is also an unforgivable continuity error involving the Christmas classic, Home Alone that I will slap on a SPOILER ALERT: the establishing shot of the “hacking scene” inside Kevin’s house involves his family watching the part in Home Alone where Kevin McAllister finishes his shower and is prepping himself up to go grocery shopping… The end of that scene utilizes Catherine O’Hara‘s “KEVIN!” moment on the plane to illicit humour to end the hacking scene… Her yelling KEVIN on the plane occurred within the first like twenty minutes of Home Alone and the shower scene was like, more than halfway through. Did they rewind back to the KEVIN part just because they liked it so much? Or did they know their dad was going to fuck something up so they just queued it exactly to that part? WHY DID YOU DO THIS, MOVIE? END SPOILER.
If you’re looking for a subpar raunchy comedy and feel the need to say, “why are they doing this? … Oh right that yacht they’re saving up for…” check out Why Him?
There were many additions to the 2016 film roster that were enjoyable, awesome and epic. We were given some of the best comic book films to date, including Captain America: Civil War and, of course, Deadpool. Horror was at an all-time great this year with the spectacularLights Out and Don’t Breathe… Not to mention, La La Land dancing its way into our hearts and wallets. With the great, unfortunately, comes the not-so-great and there have been some doozies this year.
What this list will focus on is not the worst films of the year but the ones that had an immense amount of potential going in to it that ultimately let many viewers down in a fiery storm of disappointment. So if you were looking for the Kevin Spacey classic, Nine Lives where he plays a talking cat, you will probably see it in another list.
1. Jason Bourne
Release Date: July 29th, 2016
The Matt DamonBourne trilogy is regarded as one of the best trilogies of all time, known for its intriguing premise, spectacular characters and insanely phenomenal action sequences featuring everyday products like pens and toasters. When it was announced that a fourth installment was to be released, fans of the trilogy (myself included) could not contain their excitement at seeing Damon back in the role that made him a household name. What we got was an incredibly generic action flick that does not live up to even an ounce of anticipation complete with sequences that were relatively passable. I am convinced Tommy Lee Jones was asleep for a majority of his scenes.
You have Michael Fassbender in the lead role, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons in supporting roles and the director of the 2015 Macbeth adaptation at the helm of this video-game-to-film-adaptation. Assassin’s Creed was slowly being regarded as the video game adaptation that may possibly finally be the great adaptation audiences and gamers have been waiting for! After a lukewarm reception for its initial trailers and its release in mid-December, we will still be waiting for that great adaptation. There are many who believe it was a nice action flick, however for the anticipation it was building and the incredible lore of its game, Assassin’s Creed fell short of paving the way to be the leading video game adaptation. With its convoluted mess of a plot and characters who had the emotions of a refrigerator… Maybe Uncharted stands a chance to be that leading adaptation when it releases never? Or the Alicia VikanderTomb Raider set for 2018? We can hope! If there is one thing we learned from its performance, riding on the coattails of a popular title does not always equal unbelievable success.
Suicide Squad is arguably one of the most divisive films of the year because it certainly divided audience members to those who believe it is one of Warner Bros’ best comic book movies to those who believe it is the worst film of 2016 and all those in between. The anger certain audiences had even garnered a petition called “Don’t listen to film criticism“, which asked for people to sign it and boycott listening to critics because “[you] may enjoy a movie regardless what the critics say about it.” Suicide Squad had an incredible first trailer set to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” which encouraged tons of audience members to be hyped for this latest comic book film… This will put the DCEU on the map since Batman v Superman was not the powerhouse it was expected to be! The final result included massive shifts in tone, ridiculously blatant editing issues and awkward/undeveloped characters. Regardless of the problems it had, the Squad generated $745 million worldwide and we are getting a Gotham City Sirens spinoff with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn which is an enormous plus for its fans.
The premise of Passengers is pretty intriguing. Two people awaken from an induced hibernation to be trapped on a spaceship headed for a planet colony only ninety years away? Sounds awesome! With the casting announcement of fan favourites, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, many expected this film to be a hit with audiences and an awesome addition to the sci-fi genre. Unfortunately, many critics concluded the film is a prime example of “style over substance” and with a current score of 31% on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences ultimately chose to spend their money elsewhere. The combined star power of Lawrence and Pratt could not save this ship from crashing into the proverbial box office meteor as it has earned $45 million thus far on a $110 million budget.
Releasing prior to Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice pitted together two of the biggest heavyweights in the comic universe. It was also going to be the first appearance of a new Batman with Ben Affleck attempting to shed the Daredevil image from everyone’s brains. It was the second installment of the DCEU behind 2013’s Man of Steel, also directed by Zack Snyder, and was supposed to finally kick off the DCEU with a bang! Unfortunately, its release ultimately garnered more of an “eh” instead of that bang Warner Bros. was hoping for. The film made $873 million which is a huge achievement and shouldn’t really be considered a failure, however it did not reach that billion-dollar mark the DC execs were secretly hoping for. Criticism of the film pointed to its overabundance of subplots and the fact that the actual “versus” between Batman and Superman occurred for roughly fifteen minutes. Not to mention the infamous MARTHAsequence that will haunt the dreams of critics forever.
They Won’t Kill Martha If You Just Click This For My Review
6. X-Men: Apocalypse
Release Date: May 9th, 2016
Do you guys remember X-Men: Apocalypse? Me neither. Coming off of Days Of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse featured all the right people including Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, the incredible Oscar Isaac as the titular Apocalypse and Sophie Turner of Game of Thrones fame… So what went wrong?! Expecting it to perform Days Of Future Past numbers is rather unreasonable since it was the second highest X=Men installment (excluding Deadpool), however it did not perform as well as expected. Perhaps this was a case of unrealistic expectations since so many loved DOFP, however the unimpressive CGI sequences combined with actors who seemed as unimpressed as the effects fell on Apocalypse itself.
7. Independence Day: Resurgence
Release Date: June 20th, 2016
I think the worst thing about this sequel to the classic silly blockbuster, Independence Day is the fact that Resurgence manages to pull a complete 180 on what made the original so enjoyable. The 1996 original is not a cinematic masterpiece by any means yet it is fun! With characters you enjoy seeing and want to share a drink with while attempting to outsmart aliens. There are also some incredible feats in visual effects with Independence Day, specifically that iconic White House explosion scene. Twenty years on, including fan favorites Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman cameo could not save it from the bland, boring schlock that is Resurgence. The film attempts to set up future sequels which is mistake #1 so many of these types of films seem to make: STOP SETTING UP FOR MOVIE #2! MAKE US CARE ABOUT THE MOVIE YOU HAVE NOW! Resurgence could have been another fun blockbuster that would be a wonderful back-to-back feature with its original. The final result was taking everything you loved about Independence Day and creating something the complete opposite of it.
8. Hail Caesar!
Release Date: February 5th, 2016
One of the few included in the list that is certified fresh, this Coen Brothers comedy is not terrible by any means. It has occasional moments of humor and a ridiculously talented A-list cast including George Clooney, the future Han Solo in Alden Ehrenreich, Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum as a dancing sailor! Unfortunately, because of how revered the works of the Coen Brothers are, Hail Caesar! simply did not live up to the hype that these names generated. The captivating Coens cinematography is certainly present however the lack of an interesting plot and another overwhelming sense of style over substance all contributed to this film about the Golden Age of Hollywood ultimately falling short of expectations.
9. Zoolander 2
Release Date: February 12th, 2016
I feel for those people who thought seeing the sequel to the Ben Stiller classic, Zoolander would be the perfect Valentine’s date. Zoolander 2 is another addition to the failed comedy sequel (see: Dumb And Dumber To, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues) that some believe came out much too late. Although many of the original cast returned to this sequel, released fifteen years following the original, audience members chose to stay away from this attempt at being really, really good looking. The failed attempts at humor by utilizing references from the first one and an endless array of tiresome cameos were just a few reasons why this sequel did not live up the immensely quotable and incredibly silly original. The truly sad part is the original managed to earn more at the box office than this sequel andit made an insane amount on home video on top of it being considered a box office failure.
Release Date: June 10th, 2016
Prior to the release of Assassin’s Creed, many expected Warcraft to fill the void of the video game adaptation because of how insanely popular the Warcraft series is. Travis Fimmel of Vikings fame and Toby Kebbell, known for his portrayal of the antagonistic Koba in the Planet Of The Apes franchise, all starred in the film along with Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper and the wildly talented Ben Foster! The film did very well overseas, generating over $386 million and allowed Universal to make back its production budget. Domestically, the film earned a measly $47 million, a number that is rather shocking when you think about how much money the “Warcraft” name generates through all of its branches. Critics were also not loving Warcraft, pulling in a 28% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 4.2/10. Fear not, lovers of the Duncan Jones adaptation, there are still talks of it receiving a sequel since it did perform incredibly at the foreign box office!
Release Date: July 15th, 2016
The final example that divided moviegoers was the remake of the beloved 1984 classic, Ghostbusters. Taking away the issue of gender politics, many believed the original Ghostbusters is an untouchable entity whereas others wanted to see a modern, updated version of it. Judging Ghostbusters (2016) on its own merits, the ultimate result features serviceable performances from its main cast that make you chuckle in the moment then forget immediately why you were laughing. Many concluded that there are some interesting sequences utilizing CGI however there are a number of characters many found insufferable because of their lack of development and/or trope-filled behavior. For those interested in the Ghostbusters universe, original director Ivan Reitman revealed that there are going to be more Ghostbusters films, “they’re just in development right now.” Whether that means a direct sequel to the one released this summer or a whole new gang specializing in ghost busting, keep an eye out for more ghosts in the future… Many ghosts who, according to Ghostbusters (2016), apparently have dicks.
That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for this Canadian heartthrob as Ryan Gosling has signed on to star in Damien Chazelle‘s upcoming biopic on the most famous astronaut in the world.
Universal Pictures Presents ‘First Man’
The handsome and talented actor will reteam with his La La Land director for First Man, a Universal Pictures biopic centered on Neil Armstrong, the astronaut who became the first man to set foot on the moon. Apparently Gosling has been interested in the project since late 2015, however a finalized deal was reached in December.
According to studio sources, the film will aim to tell the story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, specifically the years 1961 to 1969. The goal is to explore the sacrifices and the cost — on Armstrong and on the nation — of one of the most dangerous missions in history.
The film will adapt the James Hansen book, First Man: A Life of Neil A. Armstrong and in case you’re feeling any type of initial hesitation, writer Josh Singer is set to pen the script… Singer was the Oscar-winning co-writer of the 2015 Best Picture winner, Spotlight, so I think the script is in good hands.
Chazelle Is A Fan Of Gosling’s Work Ethic
In an interview with the American Film Institute (AFI) for this year’s critical darling, La La Land, Chazelle complimented Gosling on his persistence in learning how to actually play the piano for the role. He revealed how surprised he was that Gosling managed to “[nail] every single piece” in the film despite not knowing how to play at all prior to shooting!
Watch The Chazelle Clip Below:
Chazelle clearly enjoyed working with Gosling on his third ever feature film directing gig, so it will be interesting to see how he tackles Armstrong, space and more Gosling!