While I saw a bunch of movies this year, I didn’t get to see everything. So, here’s a list of my ten favorite films from 2016 from the films that I was able to see (list is in alphabetical order). Happy New Year and hope to see you at the movies in 2017!
I watched the debut on Turner Classic Movies of the sci-fi adventure film Fantastic Voyage (20th Century Fox, 1966) this month. While it’s definitely a period piece and a bit kitschy, I was impressed with the film’s visual effects and its unique story.
Set in the heart of the Cold War between the U.S. and Russia, the film tells the story of five scientists who, along with a fancy customized submarine, are miniaturized and placed within the body of an injured man who possesses valuable and timely military secrets. The scientists have only 60 minutes to remove a blood clot in the man’s brain before they return back to normal size.
What follows is an adventure against time within the human body. As the miniaturized submarine travels through the blood stream and human organs, the filmmakers have a bold interpretation of what the inside of the human body would look like from the perspective of a teeny tiny person. And there are many challenges and intrigues along the way to keep the plot mostly interesting and moving along.Directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, Donald Pleasance, and Edmond O’Brien, Fantastic Voyage is an enjoyable 1960s-style sci-fi adventure.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Here’s the original trailer courtesy of the 20th Century Fox YouTube channel.
November’s entry in the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Big Screen Classics series was Paramount Pictures’ 1961 dramedy Breakfast at Tiffany’s.Socialite Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) and aspiring writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard) live in the same apartment building in New York City. Both are also involved in other relationships that are ones of convenience and/or survival–and definitely not love. Sparks (and confusion) start to fly as the two get to know each other better and begin to look realistically at who and what they really are and what they want out of life. And while the film is primarily focused on Holly G. (and those incredible Givenchy-designed clothes), both Holly and Paul have interesting character arcs and have interesting decisions to make.
Directed by Blake Edwards, the film also has an iconic score by Henry Mancini. The classic song “Moon River” makes its debut in the film (and Audrey sings it in a lovely way, too).
Seeing this classic film on the big screen was a total treat. Audrey Hepburn is luminous, as always. I learned from Tiffany Vazquez’s outstanding introduction that Truman Capote, the author of the source material, wanted Marilyn Monroe to play the role. Still, it’s difficult to picture anyone other than Hepburn as Holly Golightly. As advertised, TCM screened the beautiful digital print in its original aspect ratio. It was a happy ending for the film’s characters and for the film goers, too.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Thanks again for the Big Screen Classics series, TCM! Keeping my fingers crossed that it will return in 2017.