2016 may not have been anyone's idea of of a perfect year for movies, in fact it was hardly considered "good", but there were still plenty of unforgettable moments from the most popular outings of Hollywood (but mostly Disney) this year. Here are a few highlights that completely stood out among the swarm of disappointments and perfunctoriness that movie fans had to endure.
Bear in mind, the list is very personal, and is on a one-moment-per-movie basis, so don't be too surprised to find yourself in disagreement. Yell it out in the comments.
Oh by the way, SPOILERS for all following movies.
No.10 I Wanna Be Like You - The Jungle Book
It's Christopher Walken playing a gigantopithecus singing Oobee Doo, dancing with a physique as humongous as his personality. Easily the highlight of a spectacular movie.
Plus, King Louie has a bigger purpose in the story, mostly because the live-action remake has something the original had not. Well, a plot.
No. 9 Kubo's daily routine - Kubo and the Two Strings
That this movie could flop is one of the most depressing and worrisome facts of 2016, but for those who did go to see it, Kubo and the Two Strings is simply beautiful. And most of its brilliance can be found in the first few minutes.
After a stunning opening scene, we cut to several years later and follows Kubo, a one-eyed young boy living in a cave neighboring a Japanese village, on one day of his endless routine. From taking care of his ill mother only to see her mind drift further away to using magical origami to earn their livelihoods, Kubo's day is as fascinating as it is heartwrenching. This brilliant sequence perfectly introduced us to the main character, with whom we will embark on a Zelda-ish adventure.
No. 8 Old Photo - Star Trek Beyond
Being the first Star Trek movie since the passing of Leonard Nimoy, there never was any doubt that some form of tribute will be featured in Beyond, but little did we expect that it would be in such a loving and tasteful manner, and actually has bearing to the plot.
The death of Spock Prime prompted young Spock to go through a series of self-questioning throughout the movie regarding his place in the universe and his relationship with Uhura, so when he found a photo of the original crew circa Star Trek V among Prime's possessions, it was bittersweet and more emotional than many of us were prepared for.
7. Arriving In the City - Zootopia
Disney's stellar animation had so many funny or powerful moments that it's difficult to pick just one, but for me, the cementing scene where Judy Hopps arrived by train, and we had the first glance of the titular metropolis, all the while listening to Shakira, takes the cake.
The magnitude and richness of Zootopia is jaw-dropping to say the least, and I, for one, instantly felt the urge to buy some toys. You win this time, Mickey Mouse.
6. Reunion - Finding Dory
Let's face it, this beloved sequel is like B-material considering Pixar's impossible standard, but it still got to you, didn't it? When Dory was finally reunited to her long-lost parents, who have been laying down miles of shells for years, just on the off chance that their forgetful baby girl could find her way home, everybody's heart melted a little bit.
5. Wait! Whaaaat? - Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Dafaq? Did Colin Farrell just turn into Johnny Depp? Woah!
This is probably the most divisive one on this list, and I would totally understand if you hated this twist, but I was all for it. Some of the thrill certainly came from initial shock, because Depp's casting as Grindelwald was only announced about 10 days before this movie came out, therefore naturally it was assumed that he would be featured in the sequels, and certainly not this one already!
But more importantly, the fact that Grindelwald himself is so obsessed with capturing an Obscurus is a fascinating idea, especially considering that at this point it is pretty much confirmed that Ariana Dumbledore, Albus' deceased younger sister, was an Obscurial herself. Was that obsession partially involved in her outburst, death and their friend/lover-to-foe drama? Guess we'll find out in the four more sequels.
4. "Arkham" Mode On - Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Say what you will about the movie and its flock of flaws, Batfleck was legit! Despite the questionable writing on his character, Batman is still universally considered to be the best thing in the movie. And that statement is never truer when Batman takes down a whole warehouse of armed mercenaries in order to...what else... save Martha.
He enters the room through the floor, and rains down hell on his surprised enemies. Fans of the Arkham series of video games are familiar with this side of the caped crusader, but it's still a sensation to see him lash out punches in live action. Sure he may have murdered another 30 people in the process, but details...details...
3. Opening Credits Scene - Deadpool
Has anyone in cinematic history ever been so entertained by a movie's sheer opening credits? The freakin' opening credits?? I don't think so.
Deadpool is another example of a movie filled with great moments, but I'm going with the opening scene because it is that special. Cranking out hilarious remarks such as "directed by an overpaid tool" and starring "a British villain", the few minutes perfectly captures Deadpool's trademark meta humor and gave us a reassuring sign that "this is not the mouth-sealed abomination last time, this time we got it right". Consider that promise well delivered.
2. Airport Battle - Captain America: Civil War
Can you believe that we were worried about this battle before the movie was released? There were concerns that the airport doesn't look very interesting, that it seemed rather small-scaled and more like civil bickering or squabble than warfare. We were so wrong!
The 16-minute long six-on-six battle is one of the most exhilarating action scenes EVER put on screen. It is every fanboy's wet dream come true and then some! Russo Brothers achieved the impossible by balancing out 12 characters with unique personalities, abilities and influence on the story, and still gave each one their moment to shine. I could make a top 10 moments list solely based on this scene.
But it ain't no.1 yet.
1. Vader - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
This is it! The definitive Vader scene. Sure he is one of the greatest characters in movie history, he was the focal point of the initial 6-part saga, therefore has more scenes than can be humanly counted. But from now on, the one-minute scene near the end of Rogue One will be remembered as THE Vader scene.
It begun when we thought it was already over. The Death Star has effectively eradicated both our main heroes and villains, all there was left to do was deliver the plans somehow to Leia. Then the corridor goes dark, and in the far end of pitch blackness, we hear the familiar yet still dreadful breather. There activates a red lightsaber, illuminating the Sith Lord wielding it, who then goes straight up slasher mode and splices, dices, stabs, force-chokes the whole room of rebels in spectacular fashion.
This is the Vader we have heard about but never really seen, because surprisingly, we have not seen Vader brutally kill hostile enemies since he shot down Biggs in A New Hope, since then we only saw him choke down roughly a hundred Imperial officers, and toy with Luke, whom he never planned to kill.
Vader was in the movie for maybe 5 minutes, but it was glorious in every single second.
With Justice League, Guardians Vol 2, Dunkirk, Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Star Wars Episode VIII and so, so much more ready to launch, 2017 is set to be a very promising year that will more than wash away any possible depression left over by 2016. Happy new year and let's put a smile on that face.
Scribbling Geek from Singapore on January 01, 2017:
Thumbs up for putting Lord Vader right on top. Yeah! That's the big screen moment of 2016.