So we’re finally in June. Give it a few months and we’ll start saying the c-word again (that’s Christmas by the way, not the other c-word!). What a year it has been so far for films. We’ve had some fantastic features come our way, along with some nice surprises and a few head-bangingly awful ones too. So, here are my top films of 2016 so far. Now, as my blog runs alongside working full-time, planning a wedding and fixing up a house, I haven’t seen every film that 2016 has had to offer. I’m sure I’ve missed some absolute gems (I hear such good things about Sing Street and I’m disappointed it passed me by), so this is just a Film Fluff top three that I would heartily recommend everyone sees. I found it difficult to pick my top three and I have missed out one in particular that my fiancée is giving me the silent treatment over, but I will not be swayed!
No.3: The Revenant
This film should put an end to the gimmick that is 3D. I have never felt so immersed in a film and I didn’t need to wear ridiculous 3D glasses and pay a mortgage for a cinema ticket to feel it either! Director Alejandro González Iñárritu managed to make his audience feel like they were amongst the action in this harsh wilderness with his creative use of the camera alone and with the artistry of his visionary Director of Photography, Emmanuel Lubezki, and both thoroughly deserved their Oscar wins for Director and Cinematography. The Revenant is more than just impressive visuals though. The script is simple yet manages to keep you gripped to the edge of your seat for most of its lengthy running time, and the performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Domhnall Gleeson shine from a cast that do not put a foot wrong (even Tom Hardy did well, despite sounding like he had just eaten a Daim bar before every scene and was trying to get the goo from his teeth!). Try and see this on the biggest screen you can find to get the most out of it, but it’s well worth a watch on your portable telly too.
No.2: Captain America: Civil War
This was so agonisingly close to being a 10/10 film for me. If it just shaved a few scenes and cut out one or two altogether it would have been perfect in my opinion. Nonetheless, if you’re making a superhero movie, this should be your template, as the Russo brothers have arguably created the best comic book hero movie of all time. This is up there with The Dark Knight and Spider-man 2, and proves that all those who are saying that superhero films will go the way of the Western and disappear from our screens entirely are generalising a genre unfairly. If this is the calibre that superhero movies can attain then there will always be an audience for them.
Crikey, I’m praising the film without explaining why! Well, the script has a depth to it that took me by surprise. I compared it to Shakespeare in my review and the passage of time has not changed that opinion. Despite it being a Captain America film, Robert Downey Jr is outstanding as Tony Stark/Iron-man and they have rescued Spider-man from the hacks at Sony who threatened to ruin one of the most beloved of comic book characters. Tom Holland promises to be a superb Spider-man and if his feature film is as well written as his brief appearance in this then we are in for a treat. Don’t watch this film expecting it to be like every other Marvel film gone by as the structure of it is a lot different to its predecessors and it is a much better film as a result. I’m not the most ardent of fans of this genre but because of the Russo’s fine work with this and The Winter Soldier I’m now really looking forward to Avengers: Infinity War.
The Aunt-May-doing-a-Benjamin-Button thing is a little distracting though…
Even Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay cannot believe the Aunt May transformation!
Sorry, I digress. For me, Room is yet to be bettered this year. Whilst I don’t agree with some critics reporting that it is heart-warming and uplifting, I cannot wait to see this one again despite a very grim theme that would normally put me off a second viewing. When I was reviewing this film I couldn’t think of a single thing to criticise it. A very rare occurrence indeed! Director Lenny Abrahamson was triumphant in bringing the book to the big screen. No flashy visuals, just story-telling at its finest. Well paced, left the audience wanting to see more when the final credits rolled, and he found a rising star in Jacob Tremblay who played the role of young Jack in the film. He has such astonishing talent for someone so young, and in my opinion, was noticeable by his absence for the Best Actor Oscar category. This film is one of those rarities where I cannot think of a single thing to improve it, which is why it scored top marks from me. It will have to be a very special film indeed to knock this off my number one spot come December.
So there you have it, my top three films of the year so far. I’m afraid it hasn’t all been sunshine and lollipops though as my bottom three of the year so far will be heading their way to you soon..