Lists

Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2016

In the words of Geralt of Rivia, f**k. I thought when it came to doing 2015’s list that it was getting easier to whittle these yearly lists down to 10 but my preliminary list for 2016 is currently 19 movies, and I really don’t want to cross out any of these, let alone 9 of them! 2016, you were clearly an incredible year for movies.

The end of 2016 was when I set up Often Off Topic so I had a quick glance at my original Top 10 of 2016 list in the hopes it would help but it looks like it was hard enough to write at the time, let alone now.

Well, here goes nothing. If you haven’t seen my other Top 100 Movies of the Decade lists you can find them here.

2016 Movies Watched: 93
Movies that just missed out: Rogue One, Moana, Bridget Jones’ Baby, Lion, Hacksaw Ridge, Colossal, Midnight Special, Tallulah, Swiss Army Man

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#10 Hidden Figures

Most of us know the story about the race to the moon between the US and Russia, but not many know the story of the 3 female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in that race. I knew I wanted to see Hidden Figures, but I never expected it to be such an entertaining watch.

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#9 Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange might just be my favourite Marvel character, you know. Maybe it’s because of Benedict Cumberbatch, but it’s probably more to do with the fact that Doctor Strange’s origin story felt so different to the other Avengers. I love how he’s still likeable, even though he’s a bit of a jerk, and only Iron Man gets away with that most of the time.

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#8 Nocturnal Animals

There may come a day that I stop mentioning the jump scare in Nocturnal Animals, but today is not that day. Damn it, movie! Anyway, Nocturnal Animals is terribly dark and gritty, but it has such a good story, and an ending that will really get you talking. It has one hell of a cast, too!

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#7 Kubo and the Two Strings

I love animated movies, and stop motion movies in particular. 2016 was the year I realised Laika Studios are brilliant, and that I’d happily watch anything they produced. It’s just incredible, the amount of work that gets put into every second of footage. Kubo and the Two Strings is a delightful story full of twists and turns, and it was surprisingly emotional, too.

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#6 I, Daniel Blake

Oh man, just thinking about this movie is making me upset. I wrote it off as another copy-cat piece highlighting how people in the UK on benefits exploit the system for more money, but it’s the complete opposite. It’s probably not a widely known movie but its so worth a watch!

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#5 Deadpool

How long were we waiting for the Deadpool movie in the end? The marketing behind this movie was legendary and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one terrified the movie would be awful after all the work that went into getting it made. Safe to say, it was hilarious, and everything it should have been.

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#4 Arrival

Arrival is one of those movies I want to erase from my memory so that I can watch it again for the very first time. Nothing beats that moment towards the end where your mind is fitting all the pieces together. What a year for Amy Adams, eh?

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#3 The Nice Guys

Making this list reminded me that quite a few bloggers told me to watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang after I raved about how much I loved The Nice Guys. I guess that makes it 4 years that it’s been sat on my watchlist, then. Whoops. Maybe 2020 will be my year for tackling the ever-growing watchlist?

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#2 La La Land

We’re surely due another Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling movie by now, right? Honestly, the pair of them have so much chemistry on screen it’s unreal. Add them to a beautiful movie set in LA with a glorious soundtrack and an ending that will rip your heart out and well. What more can I say?

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#1 Hunt for the Wilderpeople

I’m so glad Jojo Rabbit is doing so well right now, with critics and casual movie fans alike. Hopefully, it makes director Taiki Waititi more of a household name, and more people end up watching Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which is just fantastic in every sense. It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s serious, it’ll make you cry!

Going Off Topic

Going Off Topic (#16) What Up, Dingdongs?

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I’m giving myself a pat on the back for posting regularly throughout the whole of January, but I’ve had a bit of a dry weekend and so in the hope on continuing my regular posts throughout February, today is the perfect time for an Off Topic ramble!

I finally watched Green Book (2018) last week and was actually pleasantly surprised. Perhaps it was my low expectations after reading a lot of reviews but I really enjoyed it. It had that perfect mix of seriousness and entertainment that I felt when I watched Hidden Figures (2016). I’ll have my review up soon but I snatched it up for the LAMB Devours the Oscars feature so it’ll be posted there first.

On the Netflix front, I’ve actually been watching some TV! I started with The Good Place. Oh my God – I haven’t loved a show like this since Parks & Recreation. It grabbed me in the very first episode and I’ve already started rewatching it whilst blogging on an evening. Probably another reason as to why I haven’t watched many movies. I also binged You in 2 days whilst I was sick. It wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be but it was so entertaining. Can’t wait for Season 4!

Over the weekend I tried to get into Sex Education as it’s all everyone seems to be raving about. I’m struggling with it to be honest. It feels way too predictable and the novelty of the rudeness grew old pretty quickly. I’m tempted to stick with it for Gillian Anderson alone though – lady knows how to made a married woman question her sexuality!

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I also watched Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) at the first chance I got, like the diligent Jake Gyllenhaal fan I am. It was good – but I was kind of hoping for a bit more, some kind of dark twist or open ending…I don’t know. Well worth a watch though!

Sleep is not my friend lately. My little 1 year old seems to either have a cold or be teething constantly and I’m averaging at about 5 hours sleep a night broken up into pieces. Ugh. It’s a good job she’s cute. To be honest she’s actually pretty hilarious now she’s starting to pick up words. Her favourite right now is banana, but she can’t just say it quietly. It’s like “Daisy, would you like some banana?” “Buh……NA NAAAAAAA!” Like alright kiddo, way to make the strangers think we never feed you.

It’s the BAFTAs this Sunday! I am so excited! I’ll get some predictions put together very soon just for fun. Joanna Lumley is hosting again like last year, although I missed last year’s ceremony so I didn’t get to see if she was actually any good. No one can replace Stephen Fry, but I have faith that Lumley is a good substitute otherwise she wouldn’t have been invited back.

Tonight I think I’m out to see How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019), and I’ll probably try and catch Alita: Battle Angel (2019) later this week. What are you guys hoping to see this week?

Movie Reviews

Oscars Special: Lion (2017), Hacksaw Ridge (2017) & Hidden Figures (2017)

I’ve done it, guys. More than 2 weeks to go until Oscars night and I’ve seen all of the Best Picture nominees. Mostly thanks to advanced screenings at my local cinemas considering the fact some of these movies aren’t on a wide release yet. Help us out, Academy! The UK loves movies too. This is a super positive Oscars Special post today, because I absolutely adored all three of these movies.

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I’m still thinking that La La Land will take the win, but after watching each of these movies I’ve changed my mind on what my personal favourite is. My other Oscars Special featured Moonlight, Loving and Hell or High Water. I’m yet to write down my thoughts on Manchester by the Sea, because I still don’t know how I actually feel about it.

Also – this Sunday is the BAFTAs! The only award show I get to watch at a decent time of day. I’ll pop together a predictions/wishes post for that later this week, and I suppose I should watch I, Daniel Blake, after all the love it’s been given. Has anyone even watched it?

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I wanted my last Best Picture movie to be something I was really looking forward to seeing so that it didn’t feel like a chore, but part of me wishes I’d seen Lion first now. It’s the story of a young boy named Saroo (Sunny Pawar) who gets separated from his brother and ends up on a train to Calcutta, thousands of miles away from his home. Saroo faces many devastating hardships before he is adopted by a loving Australian couple, and when he grows up, he uses his memories of home and Google Earth to find his family again.

Firstly, little Sunny Pawar is absolutely incredible, and could have handled this entire movie if needed. Equally, this was the best I’ve seen Dev Patel. The story of Saroo is heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure, and the only negatives I can give are some pacing issues around the mid-way point, and the fact I didn’t like Rooney Mara’s character at all. It’s sometimes hard to imagine this is a true story, and when I finally learnt why the movie is called Lion, I ugly-cried everywhere.

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One of the few Oscar movies I could convince my husband to see with me, and maybe the only one I wasn’t looking forward to much. Only because I just don’t do war movies. I can tolerate one for Andrew Garfield though, especially in our local cinema’s special screen with enhanced sound. Hacksaw Ridge is the story of WWII Army Medic Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, who serves during the Battle of Okinawa without brandishing a weapon.

This is the movie to change my mind about the genre. It was amazing. Gripping from start to finish despite it’s lengthy run-time, and scared the absolute crap out of me in several parts. If you want to know why I don’t watch horror, it’s because I lost my sh*t during the nightmare sequence and the green flare. Our row was laughing at me. Speaking of laughter, how nice was it to see Vince Vaughn giving his funniest performance since the early 00’s? He killed that role!

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It took far too long for me to see a trailer for Hidden Figures. I’d read reviews from other bloggers and that was enough to get me excited, but I didn’t realise it would be such an entertaining movie! Hidden Figures is another true story, this time about three incredibly talented African-American female mathematicians working for NASA during the race to put a man in space, and their struggles with racism. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle MonĂ¡e play the lead roles, and they are fantastic.

As I said, on the back of a serious and shocking story of racism in the workplace, Hidden Figures is a highly entertaining movie. From the opening scene, these three ladies are so likeable, you just want them succeed, no matter what. Watching the rest of the workforce’s attitudes change is a delight. Although the plot is entirely predictable, it’s forgiven for being so darn fun.