Another year has passed, and since I remember people being interested last time, I have put together a fresh list running down my top 10 films of 2016. Enjoy, and look out for my top 10 most anticipated films of 2017 list @starwarsnonsense (which is my Star Wars blog)!
Honourable mentions: Rogue One, Kubo and the Two Strings, When Marnie Was There and Love and Friendship.
One line review: An exquisitely understated and sweet portrait of the poetry of the mundane, elevated to the level of transcendence by a marvellously genuine and appealing performance from Adam Driver.
2. Nocturnal Animals
One line review: Not style over substance as some have claimed (though every frame is gorgeous), Nocturnal Animals is a deeply unsettling portrait of a seemingly immaculate life fractured by festering regrets.
One line review: My favourite of all the CG Disney animated movies, Moana is a wonderfully refreshing adventure that has relationships between women at its core.
One line review: A beautiful piece of cinematic sci-fi that is ultimately a celebration of linguistics and love - this underlines that 2016 is truly the year of Amy Adams.
5. Your Name
One line review: A Ghibli-shaped hole in my heart was filled by this movie, which features wondrously detailed animation and some of the most ingenious and rewarding plotting I’ve ever seen.
6. Midnight Special
One line review: I bought a ticket for Adam Driver but loved Midnight Special for Michael Shannon, who delivers a powerhouse performance as a father willing to go to any lengths to protect his terrifyingly powerful child.
One line review: A perky and remarkably imaginative animated movie with a central message that promotes tolerance and compassion without resorting to preachiness.
8. Tale of Tales
One line review: The year’s best looking movie (sorry, Nocturnal Animals!) and one of the best and most authentic presentations of fairy tales I’ve ever seen on the big screen.
9. The Witch
One line review: The year’s most unusual horror movie relies on historical authenticity and the gradual build of a creepy atmosphere as opposed to cheap thrills, and is a remarkable evocation of the paranoia and superstition of the earliest European settlers of America.
10. The Girl With All The Gifts
One line review: This movie basically means Hollywood shouldn’t bother with a film of The Last of Us, since there’s nothing left to accomplish - the killer premise of child zombies is exploited to the fullest extent here, and the weird, faintly surreal ending truly lingers.
Alex Goddamn Paknadel instructed us all to seek out your take on Rogue One and I have no idea where to look. Help.
It was in my newsletter (tinyurl.com/kierongillen) last year, and it’s not one that’s in the archive. Do sign up if you like this kind of thing.
I started Sunday Morning with the 11am showing of Rogue One at South London cultural institution that is the Peckham Plex. It was the last showing. It was one of the last showings in London. It’s the first time I’ve seen a film twice in the cinema since Fury Road.
I like it a lot. My one-line tweet review ROGUE 10/10 captures my basic feelings, but second time through, things are always going to change. You can’t cross that river twice. You change. The world changes. In the last month, more than most.
But I found it as effecting as first time, on average. Some bits more, some bits less, over-all similarly wet eyed. But it’s lingered in a different way. First time, I came out in a giggly fanboy rush. Second time, I’m pretty much crushed.
Being a working writer, I’m unpacking and trying to reversely analyse choices, and doing my own rewrites to make what I think the effect it’s looking for more efficiently. It’s just something I do, and have done for the vast majority of my life. It’s certainly true towards the end the tangle of game-logic makes it top heavy, and (as always happens when you explain so much) leads to even more questions . You can question the integration of all those fighter pilots into the final act, leaning into the “not a star wars film unless there’s a dogfight at the end” (I felt them weakest bits of Force Awakens, but landed better here for reasons I’ll go into…)
But underneath all that, I can’t question it too much, as I see its point and the reasons for doing so. That’s why we talk about choices, as it’s really about what you choose to prioritise. It’s all done to make the movie turn into a relay race, a chain of buckets. If any one individual doesn’t do their small thing, it fails, and the future for a galaxy far, far away is the Empire’s jackboot, forever.
This rebellion isn’t about one kid getting a lucky shot . This rebellion is about all those individual choices and moments of heroism enabling the kid to get to a place to take that shot. It is many Bothans, writ large. None of the people who died knew that what they did made a difference. Some knew if they hadn’t done it, it’d have failed… but none knew for sure. They went to their graves ignorant. It could have all been for nothing.
To that end, the ballooning of viewpoint characters becomes the point, those pilots as real as anyone else, the actors commitment to those fragments of time meaningful. And as we pull away from our cast, we come to the final scenes, with those nameless Rebellion troops being cut down by Vader, one by one. Look at the details as Vader looms out the dark. The half-lowering of the guns as each consider just not doing this.. and then raising as they decide they have no choice.
Any of them didn’t slow down Vader for a half second, the Death Star survives. Any of them.
Which leaves me aware that’s all we can do when facing fascism in the dark. We have no idea if what we do make a difference. But it may. You have to believe it may.
Imagine Sisyphus watches the boulder tumble back, time and time over. Imagine the centuries, millennia of frustration. Imagine taking a breath, stepping up to its familiar form, and rolling that boulder again.
You wonder why he does so.
He knows that, against all his history, one day maybe the boulder won’t tumble back.
Hope is all we have, but hope - whether new or old – can be cruel.
OK, this might be very sudden but if you've heard the song 'Perfect' by Ed Sheeran, there's this part where it goes "When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath. You heard me. Darling, you look perfect tonight." I kind of feel like it would be something that you would do to Jaehee. XD I have no idea why I thought of that... ~Leo
heck, sorry this is late, leo
that is very much something I would do to Jaehee~ it’s something i would do to lots of people~ but like…Especially Jaehee~~
Eeek. I’m guilty of not leaving reviews especially in the earlier days of reading fanfic. ��For those of us who are not writers, it can be hard to think of something to say. Also very intimidating when a story already has lots of great, insightful reviews. Would a one line review be better than nothing? What are your tips for writing reviews?
Absolutely! You can just say that you liked it, loved this one scene or line, thought that this interaction or development was cool or exciting, make a prediction, ask a question. If you spot a typo or something that doesn’t fit, say so! So often we read it over so many times it’s very easy to miss an error. Trust me, any comments are appreciated!
that dan "review" isn't hardly a review..... it's just giving lyrics lmao
I mean Dan is hardly a professional music critic, and I’m not even convinced he writes all of his own columns, but there’s basically a one line review of each of the seven new songs paired with lyrics which showcase Niall’s songwriting. Plus an overall endorsement that it is a top quality, laidback but mature album with broad appeal. There’s more in it than a lot of tabloid reviews. But I’m happy that fans are reading it with a critical eye. Dan has an agenda just as much as Rolling Stone and Billboard have an agenda, and it’s good to keep that in mind!
i’m about to start legend by marie lu and let me tell you, folks of tumblr, i am reading this on YOUR recommendation, and only your recommendation, because there is NO FREAKING SUMMARY on this book, just a bunch of one-line reviews, and i am MUCH too lazy to google it. So it better be good.
The back-cover of best selling novels always include quotes of praise from top critics. If you were a world-famous literary critic, what would be your one-line review of An Imperial Affliction? Submit your one-line reviews via Twitter and include #AnImperialAffliction in the tweet.
One line review: While it is obvious that you are watching a Tarantino film, from the quick zoom shots to the song selection, the plot is very character driven with Waltz’s speech being very articulate and mesmerizing, Foxx transforming into a bad ass overnight, Jackson overacting the comic relief like a Tyler Perry movie, and DiCaprio brilliantly stealing the show.
Revamping. [ Carmina Burana plays in the background ]. It can be a pretty daunting thought, you’ve been roleplaying for a little while and for some reason it just didn’t work out. Whether you were open for five days or five months, it’s now time to freshen things up and you’re stuck thinking ‘uh oh’ and trying to work out what you want to do. I figure that the best way to do this guide is to make it a somewhat step-by-step of revamping. So come one, come all and don’t worry~