Happy New Year!
2016 may have dimmed a bit as several stars in movies and music steadily winked out (but will never be forgotten by those who cherish their memories). 2016 was also a wonderful year to go to the movies! There were so many movies to look forward to on the screen. So many movies that many may have missed your radar. I present to you a small representation of movies that I have seen that everyone should see. For sharing is caring and these movies are amazing!
THE BEST ZOMBIE MOVIE: Train to Busan (South Korea)
I mentioned this movie before in a previous post but this bears repeating. Train to Busan is the most adrenaline packed zombie movie that will steal your breath away. South Korea took what what was fearsome about zombies and amped it up to 11. The zombies are fast, relentless, and unpredictable. Limit the characters on a commuter train and the horror just intensifies.
It is indeed another zombie-chasing film but what sets this apart is how well the characters are set up then brought to life. The audience goes through a roller coaster of smiles and screams as they watch characters they have become attached to become pulverized. I’m not really spoiling much by saying a lot of people die. It’s the when and the how that will tug at your heart strings.You can watch it on Google Play.
THE ANIMATION UNDERDOG: Kubo And The Two Strings (America)
This movie fell so far under the radar at first that I was really worried no one would hear of it. When I first saw it on the screen, I was floored. The movies that Laika had produced up to this point were gorgeous and amazing but did not reach into my heart like Kubo and the Two Strings did. I was bawling and grinning like a fool at the end. It was a funny, soulful, thrilling, and beautiful story that just left me speechless. It is really hard to describe this movie without spoiling it so I won’t. Just go watch it.
I am so thrilled to see this movie gain even more recognition and love. It is available now on DVD!
THE RETRO COMEDY: The Nice Guys (American)
Before La La Land began to sweep the Golden Globes, Ryan Gosling starred in a retro comedy that had me hurting my gut laughing. Set in the 1970s Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe are a pair of “private investigators.” Really, they are essentially crooks who just take advantage of people’s despair. Until one seemingly impossible case begins to connect with a high profile case involving a missing actress.
The movie has the definite tones of the 70’s minus the gritty ick factor. Gosling surprised me by how hilarious and awkward he could be. This whole movie surprised me by how entertained I was. This is a definite must-see.
THE ANIME: The Boy and The Beast (Japanese)
This movie was actually released in Japan in 2015 but it did not premiere in US theaters until 2016. This movie almost flew under my radar until I realized it by Mamoru Hosoda. Mamoru Hosoda is well known for Summer Wars and also a portion of Digimon:The Movie ( a personal favorite). His trademark seems to be a kind of stretched out and fluid like movement of the characters with a bright color palette. The Boy and The Beast was the most balanced I have seen in the color palette but that was to make way for the sheer volume of amazing.
A young boy, Kyuta, becomes apprenticed to a Bear warrior, Kumatetsu, and is taken to a parallel world of anthropomorphic animals. Kumatetsu and Kyuta both have something to strive for and they need each other to get there. By the end of the movie, there will be trails of tear stains and full hearts. It is really hard to talk about this movie without giving away a spoiler so I won’t, Just watch it.
INDIE MOVIE GOLD: The Tiger Hunter ( American)
What Hidden Figures was to NASA, The Tiger Hunter was to the microwave industry. The Tiger Hunter premiered during the 2016 Los Angeles Asian Film Festival. The movie was not only impressive in execution and story but also notable in the casting. It featured Danny Pudi (Community) as the main lead, Jon Heder (Napolean Dynamite) as the co-lead, with Karen David (Galavant), Rizwan Manji (Wolf of Wall Street), and even more diverse casting. The absolute cherry on top was the movie was directed by female director, Lena Kahn. One day, I will no longer have to distinguish how significant that is but for today it is.
This romantic comedy doubled as a social commentary. Although it is another movie set in the seventies, many of the struggles the characters faced are still relevant now. Many of the characters in the movie are intelligent Indian male engineers who came over to the United States for a chance at a job and be successful. As many of them found that, that success is hard earned and sometimes you just have to help one another out. Just because you’re intelligent does not equate to automatic success. How many of us can relate to that one sentence alone?
It is still in the process of distribution so check the website, http://www.thetigerhunter.com/ for more updates. If you get a chance to see this movie, then do so and support indie movie at the same time!