Dec 282016
 

I love and loathe end of year list making in equal measure. I love it because there are SO MANY great films and I get to spend many hours reminiscing about all the fantastic art I have seen on-screen over the last 12 months. I loathe it because there are SO MANY great films, and its painful to narrow my favourites down to an arbitrary number. Anyone who says it has been a bad year for film, or the even worse “film is dead”, is just not really trying. This year I went for 20 films with 15 honourable mentions. These 20 stuck above the rest for various reasons – they amused, delighted, shocked, challenged, and wowed me.

My favourite 20: 1 of the films is the only film I saw twice at the cinema this year; 6 are directed by women; 2 are directed by the same director; 2 are animated; 1 is a documentary; Adam Driver, Jeff Bridges, Michael Shannon, Samuel L Jackson, and Joel Edgerton all appear in 2 of the films each; and 7 of the films I saw for the first time at the 2016 Sydney film festival.

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Dec 242016
 

After another year of 200+ new releases, one of the pleasures I take is reflecting on everything that I watched and creating a list of essentials. These feelings are subjective and ever-changing, so if I were to revisit this list in five years, having re-experienced some of these films and caught up with others I missed, it might look completely different.

Much was said a few months back about this year’s dire blockbusters, and documentary filmmaking hasn’t been as potent in 2016, but it has been a terrific year in other areas. Take animated films and horror films for example. Not only in terms of box office success, but the depth of inventive and high-quality releases. When you explore the list below you will notice there are several representatives from those genres. A few other obscure facts about the list: ten films screened at the Sydney Film Festival, five are written and directed by female filmmakers, four are divided into chaptered sections and three had first-run availability on Netflix.

The rules: simply, everything knew I saw in 2016 that had a release date somewhere in the world in the vicinity of 2016. Some of these films had a late 2015 U.S release, others have screened only at international film festivals. All were accessible (via an Australian theatrical release, film festival, SVOD service or TVOD service) to me in 2016 in one way or another.

Of course, I didn’t quite get through my watchlist. Some films I missed or didn’t get the chance to see include Tower, Camerperson, Things to Come, Neruda, Sunset Song, The Love Witch, One More Time With Feeling, My Golden Days and Evolution. There are also some films releasing in Australian cinemas in January and February that are amongst the awards discussion that I have not yet seen. These include Moonlight, Lion, Manchester By the Sea, Fences, Silence, Hidden Figures and Patriots Day. 

I apologise for the erratic lengths of the commentary. Some of these films I had written about already – so my thoughts, in often quite lengthy detail, had already been published. Others I was wracking my brain to find the words to describe how they made me feel. After the jump, check out my list of honourable mentions and 25 Favourite Films of 2016.

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Dec 192016
 

 
There are so many unwritten rules about making a Best Of/favourites list. Some of these were released in some place in 2015, and some aren’t necessarily feature-length films. The films on this list were released in Australia in 2016 in some format, or played here at a festival. They are the 25 films that I learned something from in some way or another. They each in some way challenge either sexism, racism, and classism; and they reinforce the importance that stories have in allowing us to challenge injustices in our world.

If there’s any that don’t make sense, hit me up or ask away. I’d love to talk about any thoughts you have on any of the films listed after the jump.

As always, I hope you dig – Chris.
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May 012016
 

CI

What constitutes a sexy movie? Is it something explicit like the shooting a Cadbury Cream Egg ejaculate into one’s mouth like Short Bus? No. Is it a movie that features ONE blindingly good sexy scene a la Neve Campbell and Denise Richards’ pool party in your pants in Wild Things? No. A sexy movie is about tension or sexual energy between the characters. A sexy movie immerses you into a filmmaker’s voyeuristic gaze; appraising beauty and passion of the characters. A sexy movie is about being tempted with what’s forbidden and occasionally giving in and having a taste. With that in mind, here’s my Top 10 Sexiest Films of All Time. In no particular order…

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Jan 012016
 

Victoria1

We (Sam and Andy) have together reminisced on the year that has just passed, and have honoured the films, actors, directors, writers and various technical professionals whose work we believe define the best of what 2015 bestowed upon us.

These are not the films we expect to win the Oscars, but these are our personal highlights of another fantastic year for film. They are the An Online Universe Oscars, selected with love and appreciation. We hope you enjoy them, and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Continue reading »

Dec 302015
 

Victoria3

Why is making an end of year list so agonising? While some years are certainly stronger than others, by the time I start putting my list together, it’s always tough. This year I’ve gone for a top 25, but it could have easily been 40.

There are less foreign films than usual – I am not sure if it’s because I’ve seen less of them, or they just haven’t been as memorable. There are also more blockbuster/wide appeal films, which is awesome. While it’s not on my list, I had a heap of fun with The Force Awakens.

My list is composed of new films I saw for the first time in 2015. There are a mix of 2016 & 2015 titles, as well as some festival only films. Some popular 2015 titles I saw in 2014, check out my 2014 list to see which.

As always there are titles you miss. Some of the films I didn’t round to seeing this year include: Southpaw, Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem, Black Mass, Son of Saul, Theeb, Junun, Holding the Man, The Hateful Eight, Grandma, Sherpa, Horse Money, Timbuktu, By the Sea, The Look of Silence, and The Good Dinosaur.

While these didn’t make my 25, they’re all great and deserve a shout out. Honourable mentions go to: A Most Violent Year, The Big Short, Knight of Cups, The Lobster, Lost River, Necktie Youth, and Tehran Taxi.

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 Posted by at 08:09
Dec 282015
 

Creed Movie Film Trailers Reviews Movieholic Hub

So ends another year of film. A year of ups-and-downs, but the comforts of the cinema have remained frequent. To note this year: there have been less 4.5 and 5 star films for me – truly great ones – but a consistent stream of very good films. I can’t remember a year of such incredible depth. International films were certainly weaker this year. Perhaps it was the fact that not so many were available to me, but many of my favourite films last year (Two Days, One Night, Force Majeure and Ida for example) were international films. But, American cinema has been stronger than usual year, with some terrific mid-budget productions. Selecting this 25 (a number I have liked using for some years now) was a challenge that took many hours of deliberation and jostling, so I hope you appreciate the consideration and respect the high esteem of quality I place in these films.

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Dec 232015
 

45 Years Still

This was a year of so many wonderfully inclusive, sweet, exciting, different, heartbreaking and magical films. And if you were to think for a second that statement is an exaggeration – I believe that the top six films on this list are better than any film I saw last year. It was the year of smart, fun, thoughtful and strong women as protagonists in films. It could always be better, there’s always room for improvement, but I hope that the films on this list in some way represent the amazing women in film this year and my feelings regarding that.

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