I used to write these New Year’s Speeches every year, and I really enjoyed doing so. I sort of stopped doing it last year, but I’ve tried to find a way to comment on all of the things that happened this year. I came up with this post, in which I want to talk about the entire year briefly. Film, television, and politics. Good and bad. Hope and dread. So if you don’t want anything political with your movie news, speculation, or discussion, then this isn’t the post for you.
Still here? Good. I want to start somewhere else though. Just a couple of days ago, Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds passed away. Two Hollywood Icons that a lot of people loved, who will never be forgotten because of their work in film. That was a tough couple of days for me as the original Star Wars trilogy are some of my favorite films of all-time (The Empire Strikes Back, for example, is my favorite movie of all-time), and Carrie Fisher thus meant a lot to me.
Debbie Reynolds also starred in one of the most wonderful films of all-time – another one of my favorite films – Singin’ in the Rain, the best musical of all-time. Losing your heroes is really tough, and some people think it’s pretty silly to worship celebrities to the extent that you become a blubbering mess when they pass away. But I always thought it was understandable to become emotional.
You have to remember that – with Star Wars and Carrie Fisher as an example – I’ve watched the original trilogy more than twenty times since I was a kid. You start to grow up with these characters, actors, and actresses. The characters begin to influence your interests and may even influence what you end up working with or enjoying. Like, I doubt that I’d ever want to review movies if I hadn’t started loving characters like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and, yes, Princess Leia.
And 2016 was one of the toughest years for people that love some celebrities. We’ve lost people like Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Kenny Baker, George Michael, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, Anton Yelchin, Doris Roberts, and so many more like those beloved celebrities. May they rest in peace and love.
2016 was the year that I got my Bachelor’s degree, so that was really nice. The year went by pretty fast, but that actually still feels like it happened a long time ago. The big water cooler subject this year was the U.S. Presidential Election and, uhh, that certainly didn’t go as planned, huh?
If you would’ve told me in early 2015 that Donald Trump would be the next President of the United States of America then I would’ve probably said that you were insane for suggesting that. But Trump certainly did take out his Republican opponents in their debates, and while I don’t think he argues very well, he did manage to defeat Hillary Clinton in the Presidential Election somehow.
It still doesn’t seem real, I still don’t believe that that was what happened, and I’m still upset by the fact that people would rather have President Trump than President Hillary Clinton. But that was never for me to decide. I’m not from America, I’m just telling you how I saw it and how I still see it. The Brexit result also shocked and disappointed me, so, yeah, this was a pretty disappointing year in politics for me.
Another thing that was pretty disappointing this year was the summer movie season. The only blockbuster movies that really impressed me this summer were Captain America: Civil War and Star Trek Beyond. Everything else was pretty disappointing or underwhelming. In my opinion, though, that doesn’t mean that this was a bad year for movies.
I still need to watch films like Moonlight, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, and Silence (they aren’t released in Denmark until January and February), but I do think that there were plenty of films that I really enjoyed, they just weren’t summer blockbuster movies. Sure, I hated Independence Day: Resurgence and disliked Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but I loved films like Sing Street, Hell or High Water, Hacksaw Ridge, Captain Fantastic, Arrival, and The Nice Guys. And those are just some of the great movies this year, and I didn’t even mention the great documentaries.
There were a lot of great films to watch this year, even if the summer blockbuster movie season was disappointing. Don’t forget, Deadpool was released before the summer, and Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story were all released after summer. They were all either good or great blockbuster movies.
And 2016 was another great year for television as well. Remember how much people were talking about Stranger Things and Westworld this year? They were in their first season, and we’re going to get more of those shows. Game of Thrones also had a great year, and that show isn’t over either.
And that’s 2016. Not great – maybe not even good – but it did have some bright spots. It was a year with a few ups and very, many downs. A tumultuous ride, to say the least. But I’m not done with 2016 just yet. In the first quarter of 2017, I’ll announce the final nominations and the winners of the 2016 IJR Awards, as well as my top ten films of 2016 list. And if you’re looking for a list right now, then look no further than my Top Ten TV-Shows of 2016 list.
2017 is at our doorsteps. A new year that is going to be scary for a lot of people that fear the role the next U.S. President will play in their lives. 2017 is also a year wherein we’ll get to see the new Twin Peaks TV-Show and continuations for the Blade Runner and Alien stories. As you go out to celebrate the end of 2016, please stay safe. After all, tomorrow is another day.
– Jeffrey Rex