2016 was a good, but not great, year for films. I saw more "meh" films than I have seen in quite some time, When the year began, I was hopeful. We started out with Deadpool and then it went downhill from there.
Out of the Shadows should have been the best Turtles film. This should have been the one to dethrone the 1990 film from being the best Turtles film ever made. How could it not? We have the focus shifted to the Turtles, we have Baxter Stockman, we have Bebop and Rocksteady, Kraang is in this thing too. These are just some of the things that should have made the film good. The fact that they messed this up should be a crime, but mess it up they did. The Shredder is hardly in the film and when he is, he is given nothing to do. The plot is thin and story line go nowhere. Bebop and Rocksteady are reduced to making dick and fart jokes throughout the film. Damn it, Baxter Stockman doesn't even turn into his mutated version. This film could have had it all, but it cherry picked from all over the place and added in a bunch of things that weren't needed. TMNT: OotS is a wasted opportunity and hopefully this marks the end of the Platinum Dunes Turtles films. Give the rights to someone else who doesn't think in ever moving camera angles and explosions.
The comic that this film is based on is an overrated mess. I didn't really know this until after seeing this film. I went back to the comic and realized that everyone out there is looking back on the comic with those rose tinted glasses that everyone is talking about. But we are not here to talk about the comic. The film is a fairly faithful adaptation of the comic, but the source material is short and wouldn't cover a 75 minute feature. The filmmakers saw this and decided to add a prologue to the film that cheapens the Batgirl character, resulting in her shooting later on in the film becoming less tragic. This first 28 minutes is boring and dull, but it is the "Batgirl fucking Batman" that truly makes the fans turn their head in disbelief. I have talked to people who like this opening, but then again they didn't get the "woman is nothing but a trophy" bullshit that happened in Pixels. Cut out the first 28 minutes of this film and you have a watered down version of the comic. It does make the film better, but at what a price.
Rob Zombie needs a producer that can reign him in when need be. 31 is just the type of example of what happens when Zombie has no one helping him. Zombie is a good director. Look at House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects for proof. 31, however, is a film that should have been good. It is Zombie doing his thing and we have not seen that in a while. The problem lies in the fact that the film is not very good. It is The Running Man by way of Duck Dynasty. The film is a shallow piece of something that Zombie thought was good. Just listen to Doomhead's rantings. It sounds like he is saying something of importance, but when you listen closely you will hear the sounds of somebody who likes to hear the sound of his own voice. This film should have been better. Hopefully the next one will be.
Over the last few years, Netflix has been releasing some really great documentaries. 13th, What Happen, Miss Simone?, and Making of a Murderer are all fantastic docs that dig deep into the featured subject. I thought that Amanda Knox would be one that could be added to that list, but sadly it is not. Everything is here to make for a great doc: interviews from the persons involved, recreations of the crime, visits to the locations now, and footage from the time when the crime happened. This film takes all of that and makes it really dull and boring. We are taken through everything that Knox went through, but I was finding myself not caring more and more as the film went on. Even though this story is filled with all of the things that make a story like this good, I don't think that they add up to anything interesting enough for a documentary feature. Maybe a Dateline special, but not something like this.
Disney had a great 2016. They released very few flops and their major releases have taken up four of the top five slots of the top grossing films of the year. I think that this is the first time that has happened. Anyway, everybody found their 2016 slate to be amazing, but I found myself not really liking most of the films that they released. Zootopia has to be the most disappointing though. Disney has a film that feels more like a Pixar film than a Disney film and there is a lot of social commentary found here, but they forgot to make the film funny. I don't think that I laughed once during the whole film. Sure, the look at race was refreshing, but the film was a slog to sit through. I really wanted to like this film, but it just doesn't do anything for me.
So there are my Most Disappointing Films of 2016. I am working very hard on my Best Of list, but there are a few more films that I need to see before I am comfortable releasing the list. In the meantime, there will be a few more Best Ofs to come.