So, here we are at the mid-way point in 2016. It’s been a quite exciting year so far and I wanted to reflect a bit on some of the films I’ve been watched before we move onto the second half of the year. Which is why this month I wanted to do a ‘Top and Bottom 5 of 2016 So Far’ list. This is basically the films I personally would place in my top 5, and the ones I place in my bottom 5, with a quick summary of why I did or didn’t enjoy it. And before I start this, there is a load of films that I haven’t been able to see before writing this, both on the good and bad side.

Secondly, I’m basing this list on UK Cinematic Releases, some of these films saw Wide Cinema Release in other countries, or entry in festivals prior to 2016, but I wasn’t able to see them until now so, deal with it.  And again, I want you to understand this is my personal feelings on the films, they are not meant to as an insult to anyone that worked on them or anyone that enjoyed them. If you disagree then let me know. We can discuss! So, here we go:

The Big Short still

Top 5: The Big Short

This film really blew me away in so many ways. The performances from every cast member are top form and the film puts director Adam McKay is an entirely different league to what he was in before. I didn’t understand half of what was going on in the film but I was completely engaged from start to finish. It’s funny, smart, tall, dark and handsome. Watch it if you haven’t

Bottom 5: Alice Through The Looking Glass

I wasn’t a fan of Tim Burton’s last Alice film, and while I’m aware he didn’t direct this one the do as much as they can to emulate him. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made James Bobin dress up like him on set just to make sure it felt right. But really, this film just felt so ‘ugh’ to me. No one seemed like they wanted to be there and with the calibre of talent you have on and off the screen here (Bobin helped write and direct Da Ali G Show) I feel like something really good could have happened.

Top 4: Captain America: Civil War

I’m a huge comic book fan. And while I understand some people are getting sick of comic-book movies I’m not one of them. And Civil War is these films at their best. It’s pure fun from start to finish and doesn’t try to be anything more. Sure there are some emotional scenes and such but they are crafted so well and they still work, even if the person crying is in a bright red CGI suit. I’ve watched it several times and will probably watch it several more, and still laugh, cry and cheer with joy every time.

Jane got a gun

Bottom 4: Jane Got A Gun

Alright, I didn’t have a lot of hope for this film, but it was way worse than I ever thought. The plot makes no sense and the ending just really did me in. I got nothing positive out of it and actually had to rewatch the blasted thing twice because I fell asleep. There’s a scene where Jane shows how good she is with a rifle and then proceeds to never pick one up again. I mean. It’s your God Damned Title. This is what happens when you don’t second draught a script and drop all the pages on the floor and then don;t have the BALLS to end is properly.

Top 3: Midnight Special

I saw this film in a cinema completely on my own. And I had such a magnificent experience I couldn’t stop talking about it for a week. This film may even make it to my number 1 spot after a few more viewings once it comes out on Home Media. This film is essentially about a Father and Son and how much the father will do for said son and it hits so many emotional beats you barely have time to breath, and it’s a real film geeks films. It messes with film grammar so masterfully I was truly taken aback in some scenes. Watch this film, it’s up there with Moon as Sci-Fi films you don’t know about but really need to see.

Bottom 3: Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

I talked about BvS when it came out. I have yet to watch the Ultimate Edition. If you want to know what I think about this Joyless, Senseless Dull Turd Machine then go read my musings. Otherwise, accept the fact that this did everything wrong that Civil War got right and accept it.

zoo

Top 2: Zootropolis/Zootopia

Same film, different names. For some reason. But who cares when the film is THIS good. Zootopia masterfully crafts and really the adult message in a really adult way into a really childish film. If I showed this film to a misogynist they might actually understand what they are doing wrong, and that is important. This film goes right up next to Wall-E as one of the best Animated films to come out of Disney since the 90s, maybe even before then. It’s truly amazing, and a must watch for this year.

Bottom 2: Zoolander 2

This is a horrible film. It’s actually disgusting. It’s offensive, unfunny and desperate for you to remember a time you liked Ben Stiller. It’s so bad I’ve actually gone off the first a little. I’m actually struggling to remember funny bits from the first one because most of those moments are now tainted with references from this film. The real joke is you thought you wanted this. Shame. Shame. Shame.

Top 1: Creed

I’m not a fan of the Rocky franchise. I thought this film was going to be a huge flop. What I saw was a film I got utterly engrossed in and believed in. It’s masterfully crafted and performed, the story had me rooting for Creed from the get-go, something I never do unless they are giant robot trucks, and the climax had me off my seat ready to jump at the screen. This film is pure art and emotion and it only comes around once or twice a decade, especially at this quality. I can’t put into words how much I loved this film, the fact it came out so early has made it very hard for every other film for this year. Also, the fact this wasn’t nominated for an Oscar is an absolute crime and a travesty.

5th

Bottom 1: The 5th Wave

Y’know when you have no food left at you just chuck everything into a pot and hope for good but instead you got a mix of porridge, eggs, curdled milk and mouldy cheese? (Don’t judge my diet) That is this film. It’s a giant mess of all the tropes and cliches from the Young Adult films we have gotten used to with Twilight and Hunger Games making so much money. There isn;t an original thought anywhere near this film and it was the first one this year to really make me truly angry. I was bored to tears by the ‘Love Triangle’ I wasn’t shocked or saddened when her parents died and I got so bored when I realised they were walking around a forest for the whole film I went to Twitter, just for something to actually happen and the film to end while I was distracted! It doesn’t earn its tension or story, it’s just putting in what it thinks it should do with nothing more than a shrug because it’s what you’ve come to expect so it doesn’t think you’ll question it. This film thinks YOU are stupid and lazy and will just accept what it tells you. Don’t fall for it. Stand up. Take change. I’m as mad as hell! These Maniacs! Other Sci-Fi Quote! Mostly! And they dragged poor Hit-Girl down with them!

So. That’s it. The end of my Top/Bottom Five. As I said at the start there are a lot of films I haven’t had a chance to see yet that could make the cut by the end of the year, but I do want to give a shout-out to Jungle Book, Ten Cloverfield Lane, Deadpool, The Witch and The Revenant which rounds out my Top 10. Anything you think I need to watch from the first half of this year? I’m off to see Ghostbusters in two hours and can’t wait! What are you looking forward too for the rest of the year?

Signing off. Leigh.

Leigh Jones

Leigh Jones

Video Editor and film buff. Looking to preserve the world of cinema for future generations
Leigh Jones

@whee_leigh

Eladrin Alchemist for @WastedCriticals - Writer and video dude for @BlazingMinds - Father of Two and Constant Nerd