Social Underground’s Top Movies of 2016
2016 was a long year in terms of so many things going on, but we got a whole bunch of good movies dropped on our laps so we could get our minds off of it all.
There were some movies that were very good and original, and then there were good movies that were made only to win awards. I can’t stand those movies. They’re released in a limited number of locations so not many people see them, then they get all the awards, then get rereleased. It’s annoying, which is why I’m going to stick to good movies this year that more than 15 people saw in the middle of December.
I anticipated this film for months after I witnessed the first trailer. In preparation, I read the short story and wondered how the hell they were going to pull it off. They pulled it off and didn’t turn it into a hokey war of aliens vs. humans. They kept that as a possible outcome, but ended it with a satisfying result of humans working together. More movies need to take the intelligent route instead of the boring explosion route. I hope this movie gets some awards.
Zootopia managed to shine a light on intolerance using animals. It was not only a great movie, but I hope it teaches children through analogy how to treat people who are different from them. Besides that, this movie is a beautiful example of animation with a great story. Every scene is gorgeous and oozes great storytelling. Before I viewed it, I thought it was going to be another bomb of bad ideas. I’m glad I was wrong. I could easily watch this movie over and over again.
This film was an example of why Hollywood makes bad decisions. It took 10 years to get this movie made because Hollywood execs thought no one would want a raunchy R-rated comedy with a superhero no one outside of fandom would no. After the leak of the test footage, everyone got excited. A superhero who breaks the 4th wall is hard to pull off, but if you read any Deadpool comics, you know that it’s possible.
Now studio execs want to recreated this R-rated superhero thing for other films thinking that its success can be duplicated. Why it worked so well was because that is what Deadpool was. Judge Dredd was how Hollywood interpreted a comic book character. Dredd was how a fan interpreted the character. The fan gets it, but the suit spoils it. Deadpool was made by fans.
The Nice Guys
Shane Black is one of the best in the business. He’s the genius behind Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Iron Man 3. When I heard he was doing another buddy-crime film, I was all in. This movie is classic Shane Black. It’s funny, but it also has heart and great acting. When Shane Black creates an original story, gets the best actors, and can do what he wants, you will get a great film you’ll want to tell your friends about.
O.J.: Made In America
Though this is said to be both a long documentary or documentary mini-series, I saw others including this on lists and thought it was good enough here. What this doc does is shows you the entire case of the murder, but also how O.J. Simpson transcended the color barrier of the time to be accepted in white culture (whatever the hell that is).
He was a black football player who married a beautiful white woman. No one but him at that time could really pull that off with out caring. After that, he killed her, got away with it, and it was a huge shock to both black and white people. This doc shows you all of that in detail. Be ready to be surprised at most of the stuff you see in this because most of it was passed over on the news.
Captain America: Civil War
We’re all accustomed to seeing Marvel films a few times a year. They all build upon the other and become less of a film and more like a long episode of television. The Captain America film series has built upon itself with a better movie each time. This film is basically The Avengers 2.5, but it still works. It brings in Spider-Man, has heroes fighting each other over the ethics of being a hero (Ed Note: We all know the UN can’t control The Avengers or anything else), and what it means when friendships are tested.
It was also a fun movie to watch. You can go back to Age of Ultron and roll your eyes. That movie had so much studio input that I started to not like Joss Whedon. This movie seems to have everything down because the filmmakers knew what they had to stick to without the studio coming in and screwing it all up.
A documentary that will fundamentally change your outlook on how laws have been created just to incarcerate black people. The more it goes on, the more you will realize how everything is directly or indirectly created to screw them over.
War on drugs? War on crime? All of it is created to do just that. It’s 2017, but things are getting even worse for not just people of color, but for people of sexual orientation. Watch the film on Netflix ASAP. There’s too much to explain, but it should be your duty to watch this and learn some things.
To be perfectly honest, this film feels more like a Star Wars film than The Force Awakens did. It had everything for the original trilogy: the ships, the look, the feeling of rebellion, the space battles, and the costumes. It did feel more like fan-fiction, but at this point all the spin-offs will probably have that feel. I don’t really care since seeing all the stuff I like put on the big screen is what I want anyway. Rogue One was amazing.
Mel Gibson again proves that he’s a hell of a director. You’d think it would be impossible to make a war film about a hero who doesn’t use a gun, but he manages to do it. This film is up there in one of the best war films ever made. It shows the horror of war, but it also shows the courage it takes to want to save lives instead of take them.
No matter what the cost, a film about a man who will save you whether you’re an enemy of a friend is fantastic. The war scenes in this film are so realistic that you might forget it’s not real. When you remember it’s a film, you will respect the craft.
Though this film was missed by many, it was basically the film that Taken was trying to be. I’ve heard that comparison before, but it’s too perfect to not use. Mel Gibson plays a man who has had a rough past and tries to make good. Then his missing daughter shows up and he has to protect her by being a total badass. It’ll make you remember why Mel Gibson the actor was so likable.
Blood Father was a movie that should’ve banked hundreds of millions, but it was overshadowed by Gibson’s other comeback film: Hacksaw Ridge.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.