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Best of 2016 – Movies

Remember how I told each guest poster they could pick ONE book or ONE album for the best of? Remember how NONE of them could pick just ONE? Well, Max Power is no different. He’s more CLEVER about it, telling a winding tale and inserting movies hither and yon with a list of excuses on why it has to be this way…

I know nothing of movies. Nothing. I haven’t watched a movie in years. That makes it impossible for me to stop the cheating ways wily ways of Max Power. So here it is in all it’s glory! If you need a movie to watch this weekend, you are all set. If you can figure out which one is the best…

“Max Power – Your assignment is to pick your favorite movie of 2016 and review it for me.”

This posed some peculiar challenges for me having been out of commission for most of the year, and generally having had a low opinion of the overall “crop” – the pickings were slim.

There was one I might suggest from 2016, but it seems likely to have a fairly limited appeal.

Deadpool (Google Play – Deadpool)

Yes, it’s one of those Marvel comic book character movies.

Long ago, I used to follow X-Men closely and really didn’t care for much of the Marvel menagerie. I’d stopped paying attention to Marvel long before Deadpool hit the scene so I had little idea what to expect going in except what I’d seen in the movie trailers and other movie promotional media. He seemed like a bit of a cross between Spider-Man’s smart mouth and Wolverine’s sensitive, brooding nature. I was prepared to hate it, but went anyhow since it was going to be the only movie I expected to be able to see last year.

Much to my surprise, I quite liked it. Told largely in flash-back, the movie begins with an intense and (IMO) inspired action sequence. The action here and throughout is a bit gruesome, though injected with a lot of humor. The humor is also a bit crude – so many won’t like it. If it does, however, strike the right chords with you – it’s a nonstop roller coaster ride which quickly segues into an origin story for Deadpool and spends much of the rest of the movie “catching up to the present” for a finale that pays off immensely.

Overall, I’d say that it’s my favorite of the Marvel films to date – with Guardians of the Galaxy running a close second.

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Recognizing the potentially limited appeal of Deadpool, I’ve got another movie to suggest. Though it came out in 2015, I didn’t actually see it until 2016 so that counts. Right?

Mortdecai (Google Play – Mortdecai)

I wish the studio had done a better job of promoting this prior to the release. I’d seen a couple of trailers for it in the theaters, but there just wasn’t much “buzz” generated for it, which is a shame. It might have done much better than it did.

Johnny Depp stars as the title character, something of a bumbling British aristocrat type on the verge of insolvency. He is prevailed upon to help recover a stolen painting due to his connections with the “seedy side of the art collecting world”. There is a *lot* of humor as Mordecai travels the globe in search of the missing painting – much of it at the expense of his faithful man-servant Jock, who really made the movie work for me.

Cast against type is Gwyneth Paltrow as Mortdecai’s wife and the real brains of the operation. Her reaction to Mortdecai’s new mustache is priceless and forms one of the key running gags that gives the film a lot of its heart.

I highly recommend it – it’ll make you laugh

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Finally, an all-time favorite. So hard to choose between the likes of Up (which made me cry), A Clockwork Orange, All the Jazz, 1984, Raising Arizona (This one is only 5 dollars right now!), Toy Story 3 (the 3 movie set is $18 right now!), The Big Chill ($10 dollars right now), V for Vendetta (DVD can be had for $5!!), Speed Racer (Also an Amazon Choice and is $5 dollars on DVD right now) – (seriously – watch it soon if you haven’t already), and so many others.

So very much depends on my mood at the time but I’d have no problem nominating Big Fish (Google Play Big Fish – Rental is only $2.99)

Albert Finney (I always enjoyed his work) is the father who’s alienated himself from his son by the outlandish tales he’s continually told his son about his life. So unbelievable that the son feels that he’s never really “known” his father at all.

Throughout the movie, we re-live the father’s stories as the small family gathers to make end of life preparations for the father.

I’m not sure that I can say much more without getting deep into spoilers – just make sure you’ve got a box of Kleenex on hand at the end. You might need them.

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This is Max Power, signing off.