My Fave Movie Moments in 2016

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Due to family circumstances I missed many of this year’s best films.

So, in lieu of a 2016 top ten movies list, here are my ten favorite movie moments I enjoyed this year!

  1. The Nice Guys—Ryan Gosling on a public toilet when the stall door opens. His attempt to control his gun, manage his cigarette, fold up his newspaper and pull up his pants is a nice piece of physical comedy in an underappreciated movie.
  2. Deadpool—The opening credits. Best ever.
  3. Doctor Strange—His shoutout to the song Feels So Good by Chuck Mangione. (Prompted me to Google Chuck and learn that he’s still alive!)
  4. The Jungle Book—Bill Murray’s voice work as Baloo. (Honorable mention to Christopher Walken voicing King Louie.)
  5. Captain America: Civil War—The epic intramural fight scene. Also, Iron Man’s nickname for Spiderman. He calls the young webslinger “Underoos.”
  6. The Boss—The street fight between two groups of women is hilariously funny, although the rest of the movie disappoints.
  7. Zootopia—The sloth at the DMV scene was tipped in trailers but still is clever and memorable.
  8. Hail, Caesar!—The Gene Kelly-like dance scene anchored by Channing Tatum. Beautifully staged and shot. And funny.
  9. Sully—The scene depicting the Hudson River landing looks real. Great work by Clint Eastwood’s effects team.
  10. Finding Dory—All the screen time given Hank the shape-shifting octopus. Yo, Pixar, Hank needs his own movie!
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The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys is not a direct descendant of the Lethal Weapon movies but it might be a first cousin. And it’s a casual acquaintance of Boogie Nights.

Some of my favorite movies are L.A. detective stories, including a few bad ones. The Nice Guys is a good one. Set in 1977 with a cool 70’s soundtrack, the film features title characters who are not quite as hardened as most other L.A. movie detectives.

Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is a bumbling, hard-drinking single father. His precocious and cute 13-year-old daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) is the brains of the family (and the better driver).

Jackson Healy (a pudgier-than-usual Russell Crowe) is an enforcer who comes calling to damage Holland but goes on to partner with him as they work to solve a caper.

The film opens with a young boy checking out a babe named Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio) in a girlie mag when a car slams through his house. He sees the real life version of the foldout babe, tossed from the car and partially unclothed. She dies, setting the plot in motion.

Another babe, Amelia (Margaret Qualley) is trying to escape from a number of people who would silence her quest to end smog in L.A. One of those people is her mother Judith (Kim Basinger), a federal agent supposedly trying to bust the auto industry for violating EPA regs.

(The 62-year-old Basinger won an Oscar for her work with Crowe in another period piece film set in the same town, 1997’s L.A. Confidential. Her latest performance doesn’t make nearly as strong an impression.)

The Nice Guys’ plot is clever but the main reason to see the film is the newly-hatched partnership between Holland and Healy. There’s verbal and physical humor. My favorite bit involves Holland in a bathroom stall trying to manage his newspaper, his gun, his cigarette, the stall’s door and his pants at the same time. It’s a classic piece of business. A couple of the large scale tumbles Holland takes end with lucky landings.

Shane Black wrote and directed The Nice Guys. He wrote the first Lethal Weapon movie and is credited with creating those characters. He also wrote and directed Iron Man 3.

Gosling and Crowe are two of our most charismatic actors. Their onscreen chemistry is not quite a home run, but there’s enough going on here to suggest those two characters might be worth another go-around. It’s not a “must see” movie, but it’s a lot of fun! (With a healthy dose of violence, car crashes, explosions and all that other action film stuff.)