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Old 01-01-2017, 06:40 AM   #18
Foggy Foggy is offline
Blu-ray Grand Duke
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Dec 2008

Reserved, can't have mine not on the front page.

This is probably my whole job for today.

#1 Green Room
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Writer: Jeremy Saulnier
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart

Synopsis: A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.

Why I love it: For the many terrific films 2016 offered up, Green Room felt like the most complete film of the year. Offering up macabre thrills amongst an extraordinary tight set up yet somehow vividly unpredictable, and more vividly visceral, events. Frank in it's portrayal of violence and complex in exploring it's nature, Green Room reminds the viewer of familiar cult favourites from a by-gone era less through mimicry, but through blending style and substance in such a way that will earn it similar status for years to come.

#2 Moonlight
Director: Barry Jenkins
Writer: Barry Jenkins Based on the Play by: Tarell Alvin McCraney
Starring: Trevante Rhodes, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali

Synopsis: A timeless story of human self-discovery and connection, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Why I love it: The most inspiring thing about the Oscar nominations this year is the fact that all films are about identity in the most varied of forms, allowing for great, complex roles for many performances of any race, and a wide spectrum of voices to be heard. Moonlight is the prime example of this, a mighty force within a minor movie, the film tackles the sexuality of man by looking back at his life in three stages, how his upbringing affected his life in astonishing ways. Barry Jenkins has a great handle on cinematic language poetically drawing upon striking imagery to stir the emotions deep down without cheap manipulation, using performance to scream a thousand words louder than a stage play ever could.

#3 The Lobster
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writers: Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthymis Filippou
Starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux

Synopsis: In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.

Why I love it: Deeply cynical and uncompromising satire from Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos makes for the most painful and bleak comedy in recent time. The definition of a marmite film, the Brechtian detachment of the Orwellian society that the self-conscience and self-persecuted characters of The Lobster inhabits allows for many surreal and disturbing observations that hit far closer to home than many would even be willing to admit. But what's most surprising about The Lobster is how it manages to take something so bold and goes for something bolder, and asks the audience, half of which have already began contemplating the exit, to invest back into romance, that love is feasible in this uninhabitable toxic landscape. Maybe, perhaps this coldhearted prankster might have a sensitive side after all? Perhaps a happy ending will be found?...all I can say is, shame on me.

#4 American Honey
Director: Andrea Arnold
Writer: Andrea Arnold
Starring: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough

Synopsis: A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.

Why I love it: With odes to old American Road movies with an energised renewed look. Andrea Arnold's latest film is probably the worst nightmare to any mid-aged old man who's more bothered about being persecuted by a Buzzfeed article than anything of particular reason, but for the rest of us? American Honey is an infectious, joyous film tackling youthful deviancy and promiscuity, a modern look at a time in everyone's life many had forgotten. The movie is bold and brazen, with a newcomer in the form of Sasha Lane who is able to wield the reigns of the unwieldy near three-hour adventure below the poverty line. People may turn their nose at it now, but trust me, this film is capturing a might storm that is brewing those same people won't see it coming.

#5 The Nice Guys
Director: Shane Black
Writer: Shane Black
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice

Synopsis: In 1970s Los Angeles, a mismatched pair of private eyes investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star.

Why I love it: Shane Black's continuously convoluted and completely comical caper looks wild and subversive on the outside, but boil it all down and it's deceptively simple. Regardless of the barrage twists and conspiracy wrapped around conspiracies, Black entrusts his wacky script to the genius comic teaming up of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. An unlikeliest of buddies in any scenario, Gosling's comedic physicality and timing pitted against Crowe's brazen and impenetrable dead pan deliveries is a pure sight to behold. Wickedly fantastic and wonderful, The Nice Guys is a sure fire comedy classic for the ages.

#6 Jackie
Director: Pablo Larraín
Writer: Noah Oppenheim
Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, John Hurt

Synopsis: Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.

Why I love it: A real biopic quite unlike any other. Jackie takes all the famous imagery revolving around the JFK funeral and hopes to contextualise the grief and panic as the world stopped, and how the woman behind the man made sure the keep the world to continue looking long enough to not realise it had already started moving again. Presenting history as an illusion and continuous construction, events are presented as fragmented, piecing together layers of shattered reality, as time itself begins to warp, spread and alienate everyone within it. Somewhat experimental yet feeling deeply assured, Pablo Larraín's film is a film to be experienced.

#7 Sing Street
Director: John Carney
Writer: John Carney
Starring: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor

Synopsis: A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.

Why I love it: As much as we all love challenging and complex film, comfort food cinema will always reign true, and nothing quite got better in 2016 than John Carney's small town nostalgia romp Sing Street. Joyous in all meanings of the world, Carney makes sure to keep the characters moving and the comedy grounded in his love letter to his upbringing. The result is a deeply earnest and heartfelt film that feels suitable for any occasion.

#8 Hell or High Water
Director: David Mackenzie
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges

Synopsis: A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's ranch in West Texas.

Why I love it: A proper masculine film that proves "manly" films can be soulful and methodical as opposed to elaborately grotesque and disenfranchised. Feeling like a lost film from Sam Peckinpah, Hell or High Water is probably one of the most opaquely timely of the Award nominees, utilising the ravenously desolate backdrop of Texas, plagued by financial woes and bled dry. This Western tinged crime thriller alludes to the nations frustrations at large and the anger found within the current climate, whilst the romanticised history of the Country begins to flourish in often devastating ways.

#9 Toni Erdmann
Director: Maren Ade
Writer: Maren Ade
Starring: Sandra Hüller, Peter Simonischek, Michael Wittenborn

Synopsis: A practical joking father tries to reconnect with his hard working daughter by creating an outrageous alter ego and posing as her CEO's life coach.

Why I love it: The most excruciating three hours of your life...and that's a good thing. Cringe humour isn't something I'm particularly fond of, characters finding themselves in awkward situations doesn't appeal to me. The joy of Toni Erdmann instead derives from the why they find themselves in such situations, the film focuses on the relationship along with the divide in the world the characters find themselves in that makes the endeavour far more rewarding, and hysterical.

#10 Paterson
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley

Synopsis: A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

Why I love it: The most chill film of the year comes from none other than Jim Jarmusch. Adam Driver plays an observant bus driver and wannabe poet as the film follows a rather straight forward week in his life following his day to day routine. Sly, yet sweet, Paterson is a small film with a gracious heart for all people who find the most unique ways to express themselves.

#11 Manchester by the Sea
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Starring: Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams

Synopsis: An uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy's father dies.

Why I love it: Wonderful grandstanding drama dealing with grief amongst a very distant family that manages to pack a lot of mileage and depth into a fairly simplistic set up. Casey Affleck's quiet and withheld janitor is whirled up back into his past after his closest brother passes away. With past pain thawing out and new challenges arising, the most surprising thing the film manages to find is a way to keep the film light footed and paced with constant movement and relatable touches of comedic observations whilst capturing the speechless nature of great loss and longstanding pain.

#12 20th Century Women
Director: Mike Mills
Writer: Mike Mills
Starring: Annette Bening, Lucas Jade Zumann, Greta Gerwig

Synopsis: The story of three women who explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s.

Why I love it:

#13 La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend

Synopsis: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

#14 Swiss Army Man
Directors: Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
Writers: Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Dano, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Synopsis: A hopeless man stranded on a deserted island befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.

Why I love it:

#15 Tickled
Directors: David Farrier & Dylan Reeve
Writers: David Farrier & Dylan Reeve
Starring: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve, David Starr

Synopsis: Journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn't stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.

Why I love it:

#16 Midnight Special
Director: Jeff Nichols
Writer: Jeff Nichols
Starring: Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, Jaeden Lieberher

Synopsis: A father and son go on the run, pursued by the government and a cult drawn to the child's special powers.

Why I love it:

#17 The Neon Demon
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writers: Nicolas Winding Refn, Mary Laws & Polly Stenham
Starring: Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Keanu Reeves

Synopsis: When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality attracts a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.

Why I love it:

#18 High-Rise
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Amy Jump Based on the Novel by: J.G. Ballard
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Sienna Miller

Synopsis: Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

Why I love it:

#19 Captain Fantastic
Director: Matt Ross
Writer: Matt Ross
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler

Synopsis: In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

Why I love it:

#20 The Witch
Director: Robert Eggers
Writer: Robert Eggers
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Black Phillip

Synopsis: A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession.

Why I love it:

#21 Julieta
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar Based on the Novels by: Alice Munro
Starring: Emma Suárez, Adriana Ugarte, Inma Cuesta

Synopsis: After a casual encounter, a brokenhearted woman decides to confront her life and the most important events about her stranded daughter.

Why I love it:

#22 Nocturnal Animals
Director: Tom Ford
Writer: Tom Ford Based on the Novel by: Austin Wright
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Synopsis: A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband's novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.

Why I love it:

#23 Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Director: Taika Waititi
Writer: Taika Waititi Based on the Novel by: Barry Crump
Starring: Julian Dennison, Sam Neill, Rachel House

Synopsis: A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

Why I love it:

#24 Arrival
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Eric Heisserer Based on the Short Story by: Ted Chiang
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Synopsis: When 12 mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

Why I love it:

#25 I, Daniel Blake
Director: Ken Loach
Writer: Paul Laverty
Starring: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Sharon Percy

Synopsis: A middle aged carpenter who requires state welfare after injuring himself, is joined by a single mother in a similar scenario.

Why I love it:

Last edited by Foggy; 03-04-2017 at 02:50 PM.
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