Friday, December 30, 2016

Flick Hit's Top 10 Movies of 2016


1. Captain America: Civil War
Captain America was not just action throughout, but a civil war between friends. It was hard to watch because of that, and you could take either Cap's or Iron Man’s side. 

2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Going back to the Harry Potter world was great, and the story was better than some of the Harry Potter films themselves.

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One stood on its own and with everyone meeting their end to get the plans it was a gutsy move by Disney, but it paid off.

4. Deadpool
Breaking the fourth wall countless times and people fearing its R rating was supposed to hurt it in the Box Office, but Deadpool proved all those people wrong. The rating didn’t hurt it at all and can we get a sequel already?

5. The Accountant
Ben Affleck played a guy with autism who became an accountant/secret agent of sorts and could handle himself with ease. Although it was a serious movie, the dry humor was great. 

6. Deepwater Horizon
Deep Water Horizon tugged at my heartstrings, especially because it was based on the real-life events of an oil rig in the ocean that malfunctioned because of big wig mistakes. It was good seeing Mark Wahlberg play the part saving all the people he could. 

7. Don’t Breathe 
This was a movie that I didn’t expect to keep me on the edge of my seat. One of the greatest horror movies of 2016.

8. Zootopia
Disney does it again in a movie about animals in a world if humans didn’t exist. Zootopia was fun throughout and a great adventure. My favorite animated film of this year.

9. Magnificent 7
Chris Pratt plus Denzel Washington and five other brave souls take on the enemy of a town. Magnificent 7 surprised me that it wasn’t a happy ending for all the heroes. 

10. Eddie the Eagle 
We follow a kid who has a dream to go the winter Olympics, and even though his country does not believe in him, he doesn’t give up. A fun and inspirational movie about always getting back up.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Star Trek Beyond: Star Trek has always been a close second behind Star Wars for me and this movie brought the action and sci-fi that I love.
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane: The whole time I was thinking this guy was keeping this girl and another dude in his bunker for no reason, but the ending solidified the whole story. It was a mystery thriller from beginning to end. 


1. Hacksaw Ridge
A refreshing war movie that wasn't just about the horror of battle, but family and faith as well. Not a bad performance from a single cast member. Vince Vaughn should be up for supporting actor in this one.

2. Eddie the Eagle
Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman had amazing chemistry. Much more than your run-of-the-mill inspirational sports film.

3. Hail Caesar!
One of the boldest, most unique films of the year and a refreshing break from action flicks. We need more movies like this.

4. The Accountant
It would have been a shame if I'd skipped this like I planned to. It's an excellent thriller, yes, but also features some fantastic depth and dry humor from Ben Affleck, who should get a nomination at the very least for his performance.

5. Magnificent 7
My most anticipated film of 2016. The fact it's in the middle of this list shows you how many movies caught me off guard. It's high time for a western renaissance and Mag 7 is the gold standard.

6. Captain America: Civil War
This movie reinvigorated the Marvel Universe for me. Portraying neither side as "right" was a powerful device that many other super hero films lack.

7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Spin-off movies are tricky, but Fantastic Beasts stands on its on two feet with a perfect blend of effects, memorable characters and comedic relief. It'd be higher on my list if the plot had been stronger. 

8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
I originally had this at #10, but after seeing it a second time, I bumped it up. In the world of spin-offs, it fits nicely below Fantastic Beasts: the plot had a few misses and the dialogue hurt some of the acting. Even so, I applaud Gareth Edwards and co. for this brazen, stark and gritty movie that both paid homage to the saga and established its own place in Star Wars lore.

9. Jungle Book
One of my favorite childhood movies. Disney continues to hit these live adaptations out of the park. The effects were phenomenal and I appreciated the slightly darker take that was truer to the books.

10. Tarzan
I may catch some flack for this one but hear me out. Tarzan deserves a spot on this list because A. It wasn't another run-of-the-mill origin story ( I loved the setting and plot) and B. I legitimately thought it was a Disney film until I got home and looked it up. Well done, Warner Bros.


1. Hell or High Water
Americana and rough and tumble brotherly love meets bank robbing goodness and love for where we come from. God bless this broken country of ours.

2. Arrival
Amy Adams as Louise Banks is, in my opinion, the lead of the year. Backed by excellent effects, writing and stunning cinematography she leads Arrival to my silver medal slot.

3. The Lobster
So rarely these days does Hollywood give us anything new, preferring instead to regurgitate the same old drivel. Not so with this film, a fresh and strange look at dating and finding love in the places we least expect.

4. Green Room
Maybe it’s the Star Trek nerd in me, but seeing Patrick Stewart and the late Anton Yelchin at odds in this thriller-gone-right was just what the doctor ordered. Oh, and I hate Nazis!

5. Hail Caesar!
Josh Brolin gets my nod for best actor in this period look at classic Hollywood. An all-star supporting cast and an excellent story with just enough twists and turns makes this one a must-see.

6. Zootopia
One of Disney’s main offerings outside the Marvel/Star Wars universes was delightful. This tribute to positive thinking, hard work and forgiving people was warm and funny.

7. Star Trek Beyond
Did I mention I am a huge Star Trek fanboy? Combine my favorite crew in all the galaxy with break-neck action. Mix in a little relatability in the form of heroes who just feel stuck in a rut, then top it all off with some Beastie Boys. Yum!

8. Hacksaw Ridge
Wow. Talk about emotional weight. This film made me feel five years older after watching it. Not in a “this movie was a little long” way, but in a “those were some tough, amazing men” kind of way.

9. Magnificent Seven

While it wasn’t Denzel’s best film of the year, the action western had just enough humor and smoking guns to take us back to a time when honor and grit made the man.

10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The Latest addition to the Harry Potter cinematic universe left little to be desired. Redmane was sufficiently likable and the supporting cast shined. The lore and very American feel of the film made me feel like the magic had finally come home.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Deadpool
  • Moana
  • The Nice Guys

Flick Hit's Top 10 Movies of 2016

(based on an average of the above placements)

#1 Captain America: Civil War
#2 (Tie) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
#2 (Tie) Hacksaw Ridge
#2 (Tie) Hail Caesar
#3 The Accountant
#4 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
#5 (Tie) Magnificent 7
#5 (Tie) Eddie the Eagle
#6 Zootopia
#7 Deadpool
Honorable Mention: Star Trek Beyond

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Why Him? Review: Good For a Few Laughs, Offers Nothing New

The Hit:

Again, just like the movie Office Christmas Party, this film was yet another raunchy comedy. But unlike Office Christmas Party, this film wasn't completely over-the-top with crazy and deadly stunts. Let's meet the cast: Stephanie Fleming (Zoey Deutch), Laird Mayhew (James Franco), Ned Fleming (Bryan Cranston), Barb Fleming (Megan Mullally), Scotty Fleming (Griffin Gluck), and Gustav (Keegan-Michael Key). 

Stephanie and Laird are the main couple, but Stephanie has not mentioned Laird to her family because of the kind of person he is. For example, his favorite word is the "F" word and it is not easy for him to break that habit. Stephanie worries that his first impression might scare off her family and send a red light to them, especially to her father, Ned. This is exactly what starts to happen. Ned does not like Laird at all and thinks his daughter can do so much better. Even though Laird is a millionaire, Ned still doesn't approve.

Laird also has to win over the members of Stephanie's family, but Ned is his biggest challenge. Along the way we meet some funny and interesting characters including Barb and Gustav who play their parts marvelously. 

I think this movie is worth seeing even though it is the same type of movie we've seen before. You'll get a few laughs, but I wouldn't blame you if you decided not to see it in theaters. You might want to wait and watch it on DVD. 

The Verdict:
YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed with Caution)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Assassin's Creed Review: Action and effects carry a weak story

The Hit:

I should start by saying that I have never played any of the video games in the Assassin's Creed franchise, which are what this film is based on. A friend of mine who saw the movie with me has played the games and said the movie was totally different, but that is all I have to go on. 

I liked the action and there was plenty of it. For some scenes, we follow Cal Lynch/ Aguilar (Michael Fassbender) through ancient memories of his ancestor recreated by a strange machine. He is one of the last living descendants of a brotherhood of assassins tasked with protecting an ancient artifact from a group called the Templars that want to use it to destroy free will. At first, Cal is hesitant, but after he experiences many moments through the machine, he acquires the abilities of an assassin and becomes the greatest parkour athlete in existence. He soon realizes that protecting the artifact from the Templars is a top priority, and also discovers he isn't the only assassin left. 

The person who created the technology to revisit memories in the past is Sofia (Marion Cortillard) and she is a very hard worker who has achieved many goals. Unlike her father Rikkin (Jeremy Irons) she has a heart and likes to do things with a caring attitude. Her father, on the other hand, wants to push Cal to his limits without regard for his health. But when you push someone too hard it can unleash a beast that is not meant to be unleashed. 

This flick was full of action but the story had me confused. I left with a big question going through my mind: how does the artifact actually get rid of free will? It just made no sense to me. No disrespect to the gamers who might end up loving this one, but all I left liking were the action and visual effects. The story was confusing, but maybe I just need to see it again or play the games. 

The Verdict:

YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed with Caution)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Passengers Review: Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence Shine, but Film Drags

The Hit:

Passengers was, like its name suggests, a story about two passengers on a space ship headed toward a new planet to start anew. There is nothing wrong with the Earth, but these two passengers along with thousands of others are given the chance to colonize a new planet that is 120 years away from Earth. All the passengers have made a very big sacrifice to leave their family and friends behind for this journey.  

The story focuses on two passengers who wake up from their respective hibernation pods 90 years too soon because of a malfunction on the ship. The two have to figure out what happened and what to do with their lives from here on out. Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is a mechanical engineer, and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) is a famous writer and the two form connections throughout and have great chemistry. It is a mystery of what caused them to wake up early, and it soon becomes clear that one of them is hiding a secret. 

I am giving this film a yellow light because it seemed to drag out to me and might get boring for those who are not into this type of genre. I was, however, fascinated by the technology, visual effects, and the drama portrayed. Both Chris and Jennifer were indeed a spectacular couple and they played their parts marvelously. 

I would have given this a green light except that it dragged out too long and then the ending seemed rushed after an important event happens. The very end before the credits left some questions that I thought could have been explained better throughout the movie. But if you like the two actors like I do, I would definitely recommend to go see this. Also, those who enjoy this genre will come out enjoying it as well. 

The Verdict:

YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed with Caution)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review: Worthy of the Star Wars Name

The Hit:

Alright everyone. This movie was not what I expected, but I left really enjoying it. It was something different because we see the story from a different point of view and the film doesn't follow the same format as other Star Wars "episodes." We see the events that happen before "Episode 4," and the film is about how the death star plans were retrieved. 

In this story we follow Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), a girl who was raised by the empire at a young age but later raised by the rebel Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker). She is the daughter of Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen). He had a big role in creating the death star, but he has a conscience. Galen saw what he was doing and realized the terrifying destruction the death star could cause. So, he created a small weakness in the death star so that it could be destroyed, and the adventure to retrieve the plans with that weakness begins. 

Jyn is accompanied by Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk), Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang), and Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed). Together they are on a mission to save the galaxy from the emperor and Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones). Their mission is driven by "hope," and they all have their own personal reasons for fighting back as part of the rebel alliance.

We get to see a story blossom to an action-packed ending. It is not easy for them to get the plans to destroy the death star, but as we see if you trust in the force, anything is possible.

There is not much I can say negatively about his film. I wish we got a more lengthy background on some of the other characters in Jyn's group. I also love lightsaber battles personally. Although there were not many lightsaber battles in this film, Darth Vader does not disappoint at the end. One of the final scenes where he uses his lightsaber on the rebels was pretty great. This story is about a group of rebels who risk their lives for the greater good, and their story is heartfelt all the way through. It is definitely a movie worthy of having the Star Wars name. 

The Verdict:

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Office Christmas Party Review: Just Another Raunchy Comedy

The Hit:

This flick was a comedy with the same type of raunchy humor that we have seen in the past. The only difference was that it was in an office setting.There are a lot of well-known actors in this movie including: Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Olivia Munn, and many more. You will also recognize some cast members from Saturday Night Live.

In the film,T.J Miller's character has inherited a business from his late father, but his sister, played by Jennifer Aniston, has been waiting to shut down his branch for a long time. She visits the branch with the intention of shutting it down. Everyone at the office knows that she is not there for a friendly visit. 

Later in the film she lets the office employees know that she will shut the branch down if they don't land a big contract in the next couple of days. So, T.J. Miller's character throws a Christmas party to reel in a big-wig and get him to sign a contract so that the employees' jobs are kept intact. This is when everything gets crazy and, like I mentioned, we see a lot of crazy and funny things, but it the same stuff we have seen before in typical movies like this. 

I had a few laughs and the story was decent, but I went in with low expectations and left the same way. If you just want some laughs or have been really excited for this then go watch it yourself, because your experience may be different. But for me, this was a movie that was just mediocre. 

The Verdict:
YELLOW LIGHT (Proceed with Caution)