Like a lot of things in life, movies are open to personal opinion. What you may enjoy in a film is something that someone else may hate. That’s part of what makes movies so great. We all have different perspectives and from those perspectives movies will have different meanings to different people. To celebrate that diversity, we asked our contributors to tell us which movie moments over the past year stuck with them the most.
What were your favorite movie moments of 2016? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!
Audio in Arrival – A movie can look great. It can tell a great story. It can have a great cast. Arrival blew me away because of the way it sounds. Sound is a technical component of film that I feel gets overlooked way too easily. It can be just as important as any of the other aspects I mentioned. What makes Arrival’s soundscape so impressive is how it works well with all of the other aspects of the film. To me, that’s a sign that someone put a lot of thought into what they were doing and really had a clear vision of how to create an entire world for the audience to be part of, not just observe. Great film is something that invites the audience to participate in. Arrival makes it easy for this to happen with excellent sound and music.
The final scene in Neon Demon – Refn told us to expect a high-fashion horror film, and I don’t really feel like it met that expectation until the very end. Regardless of the films’s shortfalls, that final scene is something that is so impactful that I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. It’s a scene of remarkable contrasts, shocking yet beautiful at the same time. It’s a fashion shoot that goes wrong in a way you’ve never seen before, and it is filmed in a bright, bubbly, colorful way. Refn makes his characters look like plastic toys, and takes them to a very dark place. It turns an otherwise harrowing tale into something campy, for better or for worse. It is the type of turn that I have never seen quite like that before, and certainly did not expect. In my opinion, this inexplicable scene makes the movie a must watch all by itself, if only to judge your own reaction, and is probably my favorite of 2016 just because it is so ridiculous.
The Cloverfield Sequel Surprise – Ask anyone around here, and they can tell you, the only thing I’ve harped about more than Star Wars (and Scott Pilgrim) is Cloverfield. The first film enthralled me as a college film student, striking a chord with me for it’s style and my long time love of monster flicks. The lack of any firm sequel has always kinda bugged me, as there’s so much room for a bigger story to be told. After a while, and many denials about a sequel ever happening, I resigned myself to the fact more Cloverfield wasn’t coming.
Then, earlier this year…a miracle. Not only were we getting another Cloverfield movie, it’d already been made in secret! January revealed the first trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane, promising a return to the franchise in a slightly different form. Better yet, the film was incredible. Sitting down to watch the press screening felt surreal and the final product didn’t disappoint. Even on watching it a number of times now, it retains all that makes it great.
Being Haunted In Cloverfield – Honestly I wanted to write about this before I read Jordan’s reaction, but I still couldn’t think of a bigger moment. 10 Cloverfield Lane released early this year, and it’s still a movie that is stuck in my head. The reasoning for me is a tiny bit different. The first film also hit me when I was a film student, but I’ve gone on to focus more on the writing, and that is where 10 Cloverfield Lane excels. The film does a tremendous job of keep absolutely everything a secret and as a viewer I honestly questioned the actions of every single character. I also follow the entire viral marketing campaign via Reddit leading up to release so I even had a ton of background information on them all, which only added more layers. This movie absolutely had the best acting I’ve seen all year, but the writing is phenomenal. The best part about it is that this was a script picked up off a website I submit to a lot.
Batman Finally Battles Superman – People like to bash on DC a lot, and there were a lot of haters for this movie, but I was in absolute heaven. Besides Cloverfield, I’ve watched this movie a bunch of times and I’m not typically a person that returns to movies often. I loved every easter egg they put in, I loved all the hints to future events, and I loved the DC Universe opening up. It’s a lot to take in as a casual fan, but as a comic book reader it was glorious. Plus Ben Affleck may be the best Batman we’ve ever had. I’ve been waiting for this film for year, and I’m a person that got excited simply because a fake ad for it appeared in I Am Legend. I could watch this film every day and still get excited during key moments. Do yourself a favor and watch the extended R rated cut, it’s so much better than the theater release.
Spiderman in Captain America: Civil War – Let me say that I enjoyed the performances from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as the wall crawler. However there are two things that standout with the new version of Spidey.
1. He’s rebooted the way Marvel wants him to be. As we know there was a deal cut between Marvel and Sony where the latter company allows Marvel to use the character in their movies and also allows Marvel to have some input on the use character for the solo films. This input is due to the fact that Sony will be able to use characters from the established MCU. So in this instance they won’t be able to fudge with the movie history of Iron Man, or any other character, to fit their story line.
2. This IS truly Spiderman, not just the agility, webs, wall crawling, and Spidey sense. Holland has brought one thing that I felt the other actors lacked and that was the banter. Maguire and Garfield had some quips during battles, you got a chuckle from them & it was decent. Holland just rambles on, he doesn’t stop. He’s annoying, you want him to shut the heck up, but he doesn’t. This annoying babble also has to be one of Spideys most underestimated abilities. Villains will usually strike from anger allowing Spidey to get the upper hand on them. This is seen when Falcon and The Winter Soldier got so annoyed with him they began making stupid mistakes & got in each other’s way just to “shut that darn kid up”.