​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN


THE FOURTH ANNUAL BEST AND WORST MOVIES SEEN BY JW PLUS ALL 200 MOVIES SEEN - 2016!



We did it. 200 movies in a calendar year. Not 137. Not 168. 200. Two hundred. CC (200 in Roman numerals). Somehow this got done in 2016 despite missing three film festivals usually attended in past years. And perhaps you are gazing at this and wondering - WHY?


Me too!


I’m not sure how 200 became the threshold. A couple of years ago, my friend Tommy Owen decided to count his movies for the year I saw that and thought, hmm, how many movies DO I watch in a given year? I had no clue. So I started counting in 2014. And I haven’t stopped. Nor have I stopped throwing in my two cents worth of opinion for every flick seen. And this thing has become a lot of fun, not just for me but for a lot of you guys. It’s even led to a weekly podcast spotlighting my movie countdown and now we have our very own website (It’s SO hard to go back and look at stuff on Facebook) where we can archive reviews since we started in 2013. Thank you all for your support for this stuff!


Those that see movies for a living probably see more like 400 (or more) films in a year. But they have to see everything. Me not so much.


Anyway, next is the best and the worst of 2016. Remember, it’s what I see in a calendar year so there will be those that sneak in from other years.


BEST FILMS SEEN IN 2016
I am torn between two films, both set in Texas. They are equally marvelous so how about we have a tie! Hell or High Water takes turns being a heist film, a modern-day western and heartbreaking. Chris Pine and Ben Foster are excellent as two brothers robbing banks in Texas, as is Jeff Bridges as an aging Texas Ranger who wants to solve their case. But it’s so much more complex than that simple description This film is perfectly cast right down to the extras. This has gravity, a great script and is well directed by David McKenzie. My other Texas-based film is a documentary, Tower, that broke a lot of rules and amazed me in its ability to tell the story of the 1966 University of Texas tower sniper in Austin that ended in 16 deaths. This combination of rotoscope animation, archival footage & audio, the real victims and survivors of the shootings and actors who play them shouldn’t have worked. But it does, astonishingly well! Tower is sad and uplifting, a film I will never forget, a film that left an audience of critics and media quite emotional. especially me.


Others seen in 2016 that I considered among the best are (in no particular order) La La Land (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are SO good together and oh, that ending!), The Nice Guys (Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are SO good together), Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (smart, funny satire from Lonely Island), Sully, Deadpool (speaking of rulebreakers), the heartbreaking Eye in the Sky, the darkly comic and unique The Accountant, Don’t Think Twice and Manchester by the Sea (Casey Affleck’s performance is award-worthy). Oh and Korea’s Train to Busan might be one of the best zombie films ever made! Plus these great films from 2015 that I had to play catch-up on: Brooklyn (Saoirsen Ronan was wonderful), Room, Steve Jobs and The Martian.


Special mention of the surprise movie of the year - a film I had downloaded to kill time on an airplane but found myself forgetting I was on an airplane - John Wick! And the buried treasure of 2016 - Sitting Target, a 1972 Oliver Reed film with Mr. Reed at his nastiest!


WORST FILMS SEEN IN 2016
The worst film of the year became a no-brainer in mid-December when the baffling Collateral Beauty opened. Baffling as to how such a horrible script idea became a horrible script and became a horrible film and became a horrible major holiday release. Almost as offensive as the horrible plot twist in Passengers that makes Chris Pratt’ character -- well, I won’t spoil it here. That writing lands an otherwise OK film on this side of the ledger. In the horrible sequel department, there’s Independence Day: Resurgence, which made you think maybe the aliens should have won 20 years earlier, and Shin Godzilla, which is THE movie to see if you want to watch 45 minutes of Japanese officials having meetings (zzzz). Andron is the sci-fi pic no one should see under any circumstances despite Alec Baldwin’s presence - watch Match Game instead. Cell takes a pretty decent Stephen King novel and makes it undecent and idiotic. The Neon Demon. Booed at Cannes. Booed by me. High Rise was a low-rent basement apartment with a cockroach problem kind of film. The Boss was the unfunniest movie of the entire year. Unless we start counting dramas. Even then it doesn’t rise many places. Frank & Lola is the worst Michael Shannon film I’ve ever seen. And a shake of the head to 2015’s Self/Less, a sci-fi body swap tale that hopefully was seen less. Luckily Ryan Reynolds had another pic in the hopper for ‘16.


SO BAD THEY’RE GOOD: get these for your next Bad Movie Night: the jaw-dropping 1978 The Bees, where John Saxon, Angel Tompkins and John Carradine are all that stands between killer bees and the end of the world. SO much funnier than The Boss!! And then there’s 1973’s Wicked, Wicked, the first (and possibly the last) to be shot in Duo-Vision! TWO shots on every screen. TWICE the laughter any purported slasher movie could ever generate!!


And that, my friends is 2016 is a rather large nutshell. And how about that TLA sitting through at least 175 of these films? As long as I keep her in imported Italian roast coffee, she’ll play along. I think. Here’s TLA’s top ten, followed by the entire 2016 list in order.


TLA’S TOP TEN FILMS SEEN IN 2016 (aka Alice Weber)
Best film seen in 2016: La La Land
The rest in no particular order: Brooklyn, The Martian, Carol, Deadpool, The Conjuring 2, Hardcore Henry, Train to Busan, Room, Patriots Day

MOVIES SEEN IN 2016
1 Brooklyn 2015
2 Joy 2015
3 Tumbledown 2014
4 Self/Less 2015
5 The Death of Superman Lives 2015
6 The Kidnapping of the President 1980
7 Sicario 2015
8 The Forest 2016
9 Burnt 2015
10 No Escape 2015
11 Scouts Guide to the Apocalypse 2015
12 Knock Knock 2015
13 The Boy 2016
14 The Martian 2015
15 The Voices 2014
16 Room 2015
17 Fantastic Four 2015
18 How to Be Single 2016
19 Deadpool 2016
20 Hail Caesar! 2016
21 The Revenant 2015
22 John Wick 2015
23 Black Mass 2015
24 7500 2014
25 Carol 2015
26 Containment 2015
27 The 5th Wave 2016
28 Experimenter 2015
29 The Bronze 2015
30 The Meddler 2015
31 The Bees 1978
32 The Train Killer 1983
33 Silent Rage 1982
34 London is Falling 2016
35 10 Cloverfield Lane 2016
36 The Dunwich Horror 1970
37 Uncanny 2015
38 Shelter 2015
39 Synanon 1965
40 Hardcore Henry 2016
41 Batman v. Superman 2016
42 Hello My Name is Doris 2016
43 The Family Fang 2013
44 The Finest Hours 2016
45 Midnight Special 2016
46 The Day After Tomorrow 2004
47 Justice League vs. Teen Titans 2016
48 I’m Going to Be Famous! 1983
49 Figures in a Landscape 1970
50 Elvis & Nixon 2016
51 Murders in the Rue Morgue 1971
52 Shadows in an Empty Room 1976
53 Cross Shot 1976
54 Air 2015
55 Steve Jobs 2015
56 The Man Who Knew Infinity 2016
57 The Counselor 2013
58 Equals 2015
59 Maggie’s Plan 2015
60 Paul 2011
61 Captain America: Civil War 2016
62 Re-Animator 1985
63 Eliminators 1986
64 From Beyond 1986
65 Dolls 1987
66 The Nice Guys 2016
67 American Ultra 2015
68 Freeheld 2015
69 Le Soleil des Voyous 1967
(aka Action Man)
70 X-Men: Apocalypse 2016
71 The Host 2006
72 Now You See Me 2013
73 The Gambler 2014
74 Keanu 2016
75 High Rise 2016
76 Me Before You 2016
77 Andron 2016
78 Rollercoaster 1977
79 Now You See Me 2 2016
80 Les Cowboys 2015
81 The Last Five Years 2014
82 The Neon Demon 2016
83 Central Intelligence 2016
84 SSSSS 1973
85 Free State of Jones 2016
86 Cell 2016
87 Concorde Affair ’79 1979
88 The Day the World Ended 2001
89 Death of a President 2016
90 Independence Day: Resurgence 2016
91 The Conjuring 2 2016
92 Captain Fantastic 2016
93 Two Minute Warning 1976
94 The Shallows 2016
95 Marauders 2016
96 Revolver 1973
97 Lights Out 2016
98 Equity 2016
99 Tower 2016
100 Star Trek Beyond 2016
101 Bad Moms 2016
102 Suspiria 1977
103 Eyeball 1975
104 The Black Cat 1981
105 Baron Blood 1972
106 Torso 1973
107 Suicide Squad 2016
108 Black Dalia 2006
109 Portnoy’s Complaint 1972
110 The Boss 2016
111 Three Days of the Condor 1975
112 Batman: The Killing Joke 2016
113 Money Monster 2016
114 Violent City 1970
115 World War III 1982
116 Z-Channel: A Magnificent Obsession 2004
117 A New Leaf 1971
118 The Thaw 2009
119 Syndicate Sadists 1975
120 Hell or High Water 2016
121 Bank Shot 1974
122 Sandcastles 1972
123 Into the Forest 2016
124 Asylum 1972
125 Gangster Squad 2013
126 The Visit 2015
127 Bastille Day 2016
128 The Lobster 2016
129 Something For a Lonely Man 1968
130 Masterminds 2016
131 Deepwater Horizon 2016
132 Flock of Dudes 2016
133 Jason Bourne 2016
134 The 33 2015
135 The Calling 2014
136 The Detective 1968
137 Girl on the Train 2016
138 The Accountant 2016
139 Sully 2016
140 Zombie Killers: Elephants Graveyard 2015
141 Zombie Dawn of the Dead aka Zombi 1979
142 Motel Hell 1980
143 Child’s Play 1988
144 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 2016
145 Private Property 1960
146 Rocky Horror Picture Show 2016
147 Timecrimes 2007
148 Westworld 1973
149 Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping 2016
150 The Boogens 1981
151 Wicked, Wicked 1973
152 Night of the Lepus 1972
153 Fantastic Beasts and Where to
Find Them 2016
154 Doctor Strange 2016
155 Arrival 2016
156 Earthquake 1974
157 The Carrier 2015
158 Cooties 2014
159 Prime Time 1977
160 The Rocky Horror Picture Show 1975
161 Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders 2016
162 Rabid 1977
163 For the Love of Spock 2016
164 Ouija Summoning 2015
165 The Walk 2015
166 Dead Pigeon on Beethoven St 1977
167 The Edge of Seventeen 2016
168 Unfriended 2014
169 Train to Busan 2016
170 The Happening 2008
171 Poseidon 2006
172 The 50 Best Horror Films
You’ve Never Seen 2014
173 The Children 1980
174 Eye in the Sky 2016
175 Collateral Beauty 2016
176 Patriots’ Day 2016
177 Morgan 2016
178 Don’t Breathe 2016
179 The Hollars 2016
180 Inferno 2016
181 Green Room 2016
182 Nocturnal Animals 2016
183 Sitting Target 1972
184 Shin Godzilla 2016
185 Manchester by the Sea 2016
186 La La Land 2016
187 Five 1951
188 Passengers 2016
189 The Car 1977
190 Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land 1983
191 After 2012
192 Pulp 1972
193 Miles Ahead 2015
194 The Connection 2014
195 Delirious 1991
196 Term Life 2016
197 Rogue One 2016
198 The Autopsy of Jane Doe 2016
199 Don’t Think Twice 2016
200 Frank & Lola 2016


BEST AND WORST OF 2016

THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?