List: Five fun 2016 movies you can watch right now
December is, historically, not the time of year for fun to descend upon local movie theaters. Somber dramas make their push into the hearts of Oscar voters while actors remind you why they make millions of dollars as you squeeze into crowded theaters at crowded malls, wondering why you left the house in the first place.
So if a little bit of Hollywood fun is more up your alley at this time of year, the movie you’re looking for is already available to you for quite a bit cheaper. I’ve got a pretty diverse list (I think) of movies below, in no particular order, that should satisfy your thirst for fun in a season that, given the weather, should really embrace more of it. You know, without settling for Christmas-time-slapstick — I’m looking at you, “Christmas with the Kranks.”
All of these films were released in 2016, because what’s the point of adding films to your collection at this time of year if they’re not going to help you fill out your year-in-review list, right? I’m sort of kidding.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more fun film released this year than the Paul Feig-helmed reboot. Kate McKinnon is an absolute joy, as is the rest of the cast, and gosh darnit I’d much rather watch this version than the 1980s classic any day — come and get me, nerds. There’s humor, there are ghosts and yeah, all the people in power are feckless idiots. If that’s not Ghostbusters, I don’t know what is.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Remember Sam Neill? Yeah, that’s Alan Grant from “Jurassic Park” with a big ole beard and a bad attitude you’re seeing. He and his wife take in a foster child in New Zealand. This kid is unwanted by just about everyone and just as he finds his way into the couple’s heart, the wife dies. The boy runs away and Neill goes after him with the authorities, thinking Neill kidnapped him, close behind in the wilderness of New Zealand. Hijinks ensue.
Speaking of actors from giant franchises that have since disappeared: Viggo Mortensen, playing a dad who insists upon celebrating Noam Chomsky’s birthday and not Christmas, raises his children in the Pacific Northwest wilderness with his wife, who is sick in the hospital. Her death, and her father’s insistence on doing things traditionally, drags the family into normal society. It’s not as somber as it sounds — and if you can get past the obvious weirdness, you’re going to enjoy this a lot.
There’s a lot to unpack in this year’s Coen Brothers film. If you take it just as a surface-level comedy, you’re going to enjoy it. The performances are phenomenal and you’ll get your first look at young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich as Hobie Doyle). If you want to dig deeper into the true meaning of the film it becomes less fun, but much more meaningful. Come for the Channing Tatum dance number (yes) stay for the discussion of capitalism.
We jump across the pond to find a high school who starts a band in order to woo a woman who hangs out across the street from his miserable English high school. It’s actually very fun, even in the very dreary United Kingdom. The music is cool and the entire cast manages to be likable in a way you wouldn’t expect in this sort of trope-filled story. I entered skeptical and left a fan.
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