Shmee’s Top Five Movies Of 2016!

It is that time of year when things are slow, so people just start reposting stuff, but in list form, and who am I to break with tradition?  Here are the top five films I watched in theaters this year in reverse order!

5: Captain America: Civil War

The main line Marvel movies are starting to get a little crowded, but there were some unforgettable moments in Captain America: Civil War.  Spider-Man, the airport brawl, and the final Cap v Iron Man fight.  Well actual those are the only three things that I can remember, but they were pretty rad.

4: Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange borrowed pretty heavily from Iron Man, but luckily for us Iron Man is pretty great movie, so Iron Man starring Benedict Cumberbatch is still more than worth watching.  Plus it has one of the best endings ever for a superhero movie, and the world of magic opens all sorts of exciting possibilities for future Marvel films.

3: Star Trek Beyond

I am not sure anyone knew what to think when the Fast and Furious guy, Justin Lin, took over Star Trek from J.J. Abrams, but it turns out that he is a life long Trekkie who knew just what the series needed: Make a movie about the unknown, and then let the talented cast play off of one another.  It was great.  It is a shame that audiences didn’t show up to support this film, so the fourth NuTrek movie is in doubt.  I would love to see what Pegg and Lin have in store for us for their next outing.

2: Deadpool

So Fox went and finally did it, they brought the Merc with the Mouth to the big screen, and he did not disappoint.  He was crude, loud and funny, and he showed that Disney isn’t the only company that can make a proper superhero flick.  Ryan Reynolds I am sorry I doubted you.  Mostly.

1: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Another year, another great Star Wars movie.  I could get used to this.  Rogue One wasn’t as slick or as well plotted as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it pulled the Star Wars Universe together in ways that other films never had.  It gave Star Wars its grit back, and it did it all without one Jedi.  If I were Disney I would skip the Han Solo movie and do more movies with new characters like Rogue One.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them deserves an honorable mention for showing us that there is more to the Wizarding World than The Boy Who Lived, but the next movie will need to focus more on the story at hand.

2016’s movies did not end up as good as 2015’s, but they were still consistently enjoyable.  I wish one of DC’s movies could have ended up on this list, but they still have a ways to go in the quality department.  Maybe with Wonder Woman coming out next year that will change.  I hope so.  What were you top movies from 2016?

2016 Is The Year That Expanded Universes Came In To Their Own!

Ever since Marvel showed that audiences will buy in to Expanded Universes, movie studios have been rushing to cash in, and in 2016 we finally saw it happen.

We got not one, but two DC movies in the same universe (Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad), and while they were critical failures, they still brought in a combined $1.5 Billion.  Warner Brothers was also able to kick start the Harry Potter Universe films by successfully opening Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  It may not have been as big as they were hoping for, but it will bring in north of $750 Million off of a $180 Million budget, and that is a return on investment studio heads will make every day of the week.

Meanwhile we are in the middle of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s run, and it has already cashed in almost $400 Million, so it should get to about $1 Billion.  Not bad for a movie that isn’t about a Skywalker.  Sure there is one in it, but this is not Darth Vader’s story.  Between the Marvel Universe and the Star Wars Universe, Disney may not be the House of Mouse anymore, but the Universe of Movie Universes.

After 2016 I am pretty sure every blockbuster being made will somehow link to another movie in some way.  The links may be small like Fantastic Beasts, the fictional writer of one of Harry’s text books, or more substantial like Rogue One, the events leading directly in to A New Hope, but they will be there.  I can’t wait for the Jurassic World Raptor Team solo film.  I am sure it will be filled with intrigue.  In all seriousness though I hope the Expanded Universe films they are making are at least in a universe worth exploring.  The Hasbro Expanded Universe they are working on sounds like nightmare fuel, but hey at least we are getting that M.A.S.K movie! (said no one ever)

Shmee Travels Beyond With Star Trek!


I think fans of Star Trek can start to breath a little easier, Star Trek Beyond is very much a Star Trek movie, and a good one at that.  It has its problems, but it feels like the people at Paramount and the producing team at Bad Robot took fans complaints to heart.  Without the action that was injected in to this movie it could have been an episode of the titular series.

Things have gotten a little slow for Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew.  They have been in deep space three years and the routine is starting to get to them.  They are starting to wonder if life aboard a ship is right for them.  In the middle of these personal quandaries they will come up against one of the toughest fights they have ever had to deal with in Krall (Idris Elba) a Federation hating alien bent on its destruction.

While Idris plays Krall menacingly enough, Krall is the worst part of this picture.  You never really understand why he wants to destroy the Federation that much.  They kind of explain it, and they have some ideological differences, but mostly he is just a threat that Kirk and Co have to deal with, and he does pose quite the threat.

The cast, as always, is the best part of this film.  They work so well in there respective roles, and I like that Star Trek Beyond split them in to smaller groups to let them play off of each other a little more.  The Star Trek series was known for this, so it was nice of Star Trek Beyond to return to that.  After three movies it is good to get a little character building.

Star Trek Beyond is not perfect, but it was a good course correction after Star Trek Into Darkness.  The nods and throwbacks in this movie were fun and well used instead of unearned and movie breaking.  In other words Star Trek Beyond is the kind of movie that fans have been wanting, and I hope that future movies follow its lead.

Shmee Perused The Autobiography of James T. Kirk!


I said to myself the other day, “Self why haven’t you done any book reviews lately?”  I answered myself, “Well because no one reads them so why bother.”  So I had to reassure myself, “It isn’t all about the hits, plus authors enjoy it when you promote their books, and you wouldn’t want people to think you have stopped reading!”  So here we go!  The book du jour is The Autobiography of James T. Kirk by David A. Goodman.

As you can probably guess by the title the book follows the life and times of James T Kirk.  It does its best to try and fill in the gaps about everyone’s favorite Starfleet Captain.  That way it makes sense when a crazy guy in his crew frames him for murder, or when his son shows up in the Wrath of Khan.  That being said it mostly works on those gaps, so if you haven’t seen Star Trek: The Original Series or the original cast Star Trek movies it will not work as well.  Though if you haven’t seen The Original Series or the Star Trek movies why are you reading an autobiography of a fictional person that was featured in those works?

If you have done the required viewing this book is a lot of fun.  It makes Kirk feel more like a real person.  It also makes me wish that Star Trek would have been more serialized.  That way we could have seen all the characters more fleshed out while watching what happened week to week.  Who knows maybe the new series will be.

If you are a Star Trek superfan this book is a must read.  Then again you have probably already read it, but if you are more of a casual Star Trek fan like me, I still think it is worth a look.  It is a well written and fun look at an amazing fictional person that influenced a lot of lives.  I hope that David A. Goodman does Spock next.