Ard's Dozen Of Musings About 2016

Associate Editor, Features; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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Unlike my articles of 2014 and 2015, this year I actually had seen enough films to do a top-10 proper. So what happened? I flubbed it by mismanaging my time, and even missed the deadline for last week's splendid group effort moderated by Ben Umstead. Grrrr...

Thankfully, there is always this: my bail-out option of looking back at the past year by mentioning twelve noticeable things in it. How will I remember 2016? I refuse to give all the celebrity deaths any more than this brief mention. I'd rather focus on films I saw, stuff I bought, and changes I noticed.
And yes, I'll definitely sneak my favourite films in there too. Heh...

So browse through them (they're in no particular order...), and feel free to discuss!

No less than THREE great zombie films got released?

Seriously... when I wrote about Sato Shinsuke's great I Am A Hero (seen above) earlier this year, I marvelled at the fact that people could still manage to make fun or otherwise interesting films with zombies. I mean, THAT record had been thoroughly played until it had turned grey and noisy, right? I never expected that my favourite film of 2016 would be a zombie one...

Little did I know the year would see two other great films being added to the sub-genre: Yeon Sang-ho's Train to Busan and Colm McCarthy's The Girl With All the Gifts. Will it never end? Well, with output this good, we may never want it to.

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More about I Am A Hero

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More about The Wailing

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More about Arrival

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More about The Nice Guys

God of JoyJanuary 6, 2017 11:01 AM

Love your posts Ard, and of course respect your opinion. For me Warcraft was so crippling it actually made me never want to go to a movie theater again. I managed to get over that just in time to catch X-man Apocalypse, which again, soured any desire to sit in a theater. Tough year. Really looking forward to catching up with Denis Villeneuve myself. I am one of the few people that has not caught Arrival yet, but definitely on my "must see list".

KurtJanuary 6, 2017 11:50 AM

Not just Studio Ghibli, it was a GREAT year for animation in general.

ZetobeltJanuary 6, 2017 2:57 PM

Wow, THAT's what I call a list! :-)

cjohnstonJanuary 6, 2017 5:39 PM

..and BOY did Denis "arrive"... .. .(I'm already sitting at the dinner table; with knife *make that, two knives..* .fork, and napkin tidily tucked in --- tapping my foot and peering at my watch wondering, when the H.ECK will Deckard and Co. come to this Blasted TABLE...? .!!?.! lol)
~
a Good to Great zombie flick...................
....now THERE's something that's Hard to come by..
---
saw Train to Busan.. ...as GodofJoy rightfully points out, ..by Golly - I respect your (and your borthers and sisters) opinion(s) around here.. .Even if I DO disagree...
..Busan was O.K. - but it didn't flip me over in any way.
--
far as zombie flicks (cover your ears.... ..list coming..); here is a hodge-podge hastily constructed list of my own personal favorites over the past several years... .....and Hopefully this doesn't digress into a Halloween discussion..
Maggie
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Open Grave
The Revenant
- along with this years,
The Girl With All the Gifts ..

Ard VijnJanuary 6, 2017 6:32 PM

Well, I do know I had a hard time convincing people I AM A HERO is as great as it is. In a Facebook thread among friends I even said this: "Let me say it like it is: it beats SHAUN OF THE DEAD by a mile. And I love SHAUN OF THE DEAD."

I can hardly believe that myself, but I said that one day after having seen I AM A HERO. I'm aching for a rewatch to see if I still love it as much as I did then.

cjohnstonJanuary 6, 2017 8:59 PM

Different film, but it was on this very site that I was conversing with another about I Saw the Devil; a film which (much like I Am a Hero) I have yet to see..
~ ~ ~
I NEED to get over my unfair and quite frankly unfounded "phobia" for and reluctancy towards foreign cinema.. ~ ~ ~ *won't bother to mention those foreign titles that I Have seen and Love, either.. .Figure You might have them Memorized by now... lol

cjohnstonJanuary 6, 2017 9:12 PM

ok,okok..ok.
~
Just watched a trailer for that.
- I'm sold. -
~ ~
(and, ~ I'm surprised you haven't BLOCKED me 4 how often I do this, but) - watching that brought back to mind Another zombie romp that I Really Liked...
--- (the) boy scouts guide to the zombie apocalypse --

ZetobeltJanuary 7, 2017 8:47 AM

I AM A HERO, like many japanese films, is wildly original. In a genre that's far from original.

ZetobeltJanuary 7, 2017 8:50 AM

That's the problem with "foreigh" cinema. They require you to open your mind, relax, and be ready to expand your horizons.
Just remember that US cinema.... is foreigh for over 95% of the world population. ;-)

Ard VijnJanuary 9, 2017 7:33 AM

I used to hate the Rotterdam film festival because it would replace all the "fun" films with "boring depressive three-hour-long Hungarian black-and-white films where people drink themselves to death".

It was years later until I discovered that the festivals also offered FUN foreign films, which had been crowdpleasers in their own country but never traveled into the Western mainstream. Fun footnote: my favorite film from 2015 happens to be Hungarian (LIZA, THE FOX FAIRY).

Ard VijnJanuary 9, 2017 7:33 AM

I didn't dare leave off YOUR NAME. ;-)

ZetobeltJanuary 9, 2017 10:33 AM

No, you didn't. ;-)

cjohnstonJanuary 9, 2017 10:48 PM

It's Funny, Deceptive, ...just a slight bit maddening, ..Confounding, Puzzling, ..Odd, Curious, maybe a tiny bit exasperating at times... ............etc. etc. ~ Just-How subjective film(s); along with film festivals as well.. - can be.
---
Two films I've had chance to see this year - had, above sentiment in "high-def" disappointment.. ...While not Horrible or Repulsive per se --- I was more than just a bit disappointed with this years Hacksaw Ridge as well as with A Monster Calls..
*Confounding Gorgeous and Hypnotic visuals with Monster (reminded me of The Congress in that regard); but, - I was a bit disappointed with some of the "decisions" made with Conor's GrandMaMa. As well as with his estranged father...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Liza the Fox Fairy is one of those persistent little voices (along with The Lure); still sitting stubbornly on my shoulder whispering sweet nothings in my ear.... lol -_- lol
~ ~ ~
Truth be told though - Oddly enough too..... ..Over the past week or so I've gotten to catch up on quite the number of "to-see" titles that have turned out to be DANDIES.
*imo*
- - - -
-- Lion, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Frank & Lola, Too Late, American Honey, My King (Mon roi).. .......ALL have been; ..near Transcendental in their own unique (and quite different) ways..