30 June 2016

Meet Me Halfway - The Best Movies Seen in 2016 So Far

I like this idea of tracking and judging the movies I've seen in 2016, which is not necessarily a bunch of films that came out in 2016. Of course, contemporary films have an advantage since they're usually accompanied by a lot of anticipation and investment, while older films are typically more like catching up on things everyone else has seen already (or stuff that no one has seen, which is often my case). Never in the history of Norwegian Morning Wood have I done a mid-year end-of-June check-up, because I think it's really stupid and click-bait-y, but I am curious about saving myself some time come December. So, you can find the list of every single movie and television show down to the episode right here. We'll go through that in January 2017 with a needless in-depth analysis like we did last year, but our basic stats:

Movies watched: 114 - well on my goal of 200 for the year
Movies watched for the First Time: 62

Obviously, we need to boil this into a Top Ten. I will generally consider this a list of films that really stuck with me; that I'm still thinking about a few months down the line. These movies had some impact, whether it was a unique story, a unique way of telling the story, great acting, writing, cinematography, or whatever. So using that as a jumping off point for my criteria, I boiled down this list, in order that I saw it and how:

The Duke of Burgundy (2015) - Netflix Streaming
Deadpool (2016) - Theater
Rope (1948) - Netflix DVD
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) - Theater
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) - Netflix Streaming
Do the Right Thing (1989) - DVD
Melancholia (2011) - Netflix Streaming
The Lost Weekend (1945) - Netflix DVD
The Witch (2016) - Netflix DVD
Inside Out (2015) - Netflix DVD

This is such a weird mix. I think just because of recency I might go with The Witch as my #1 Overall right now and Do the Right Thing as my #10 (everything else in between - play around with that), but that kind of ranking is ultimately so arbitrary. Also in this case, ridiculously individualized. Of course, what I'm curious about now is come December 31st which films get tossed and which hold their ground.

I also really want to talk about the worst films I've seen, which is pretty fun and remarkably easy:

Self/less (2015) - Netflix DVD
The Last Witch Hunter (2015) - Netflix DVD
Escape from L.A. (1996) - Netflix Streaming
Zoolander No. 2 (2016) - Netflix DVD
The Do-Over (2016) - Netflix Streaming

Self/less is somehow a worse movie than The Do-Over and without question gets my nod for worst film seen in 2016 so far. I Netflix DVD'd that motherfucker!

What's tough is that there were a ton more films that were pretty good but just not quite there to make the list. I really enjoyed The End of the Tour (2015) and Late Phases (2014) but were they better than Rope? Even throwing over to gems from the underseen (Cooties [2014]), surprisingly underrated (Puss in Boots [2011]), and gloriously campy (Turbo Kid [2015]), these films deserve some recognition but for whatever reason are held back, because "pinastri" and "Gimme a Rye!" still echo in my head. It's a tough racket, and the important thing is that you can't watch Melancholia every day. You'll feel like the world is ending. Some days you really need Hell and Back (2015) in your life (which I wanted to mention only to say that it's obviously the best movie that Nick Swardson has ever done. It still kind of sucks).

Part of this point is that this actually isn't helping me out in December at all, because come December I may be way more into Sicario (2015) than I am into 10 Cloverfield Lane right now. And that's a big reason why I revise my year-end lists constantly. That's another January thing to do. January 2017 is going to rule.

So that's where we are at the year's midpoint. Ahead we certainly have a ton of great new releases to look forward to, as well as many more DVDs to catch up on. Stay tuned, true believers!

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