My 10 Favorite Films of 2016 (Part Two)

Welcome back! This is the second part of ‘My 10 Favorite Films of 2016’ list. The first part of it is available here. Go ahead and give it a read! I’ll wait.

Welcome back! Let’s make this short and sweet. Ready? Here we go!

5. Manchester by the Sea

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“Oscar bait!” You scream, surrounded by empty bottles of Mountain Dew and Doritos crumbs. Well… You’re not wrong. Thankfully, Kenneth Lonergan’s drama avoids a lot of those Oscar bait sins. This drama feels real. No one is screaming to the heavens. Casey Affleck brings a nuanced and quiet demeanor to the film, which is impressive considering the subject matter.

4. La La Land

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Headline for today’s paper: ‘LOGAN IS ENCHANTED: SEND HELP!!!’ ‘La La Land’ floats. The music is beautiful, the performances are fun, and the film goes exactly where I didn’t expect it to. Aided by cinematography by Linus Sandgren, ‘La La Land’ is a moving swirl of celluloid sorbet. ‘La La Land’ is fun. Which, among its fellow Oscar hopefuls, makes it a rare treat.

3. Nocturnal Animals

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‘Nocturnal Animals’ will make you squirm. It’s somehow both sterile and filthy all at once. It’s narrative is tricky and filled with splendid double meanings. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon steal the show. Prepare to be uncomfortable. And, just for once, revel in it.

2. Arrival

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Aliens have never been more peaceful. Movies about aliens haven’t been this thrilling in decades. ‘Arrival’ is a jaw-droppingly genius Sci-Fi film that doesn’t treat its audience like dummies (for once). This is the smartest film of 2016 and worth EVERY second of your time.

Drumroll please…..

1. Green Room

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No films affected me as much as ‘Green Room’. It’s a devastating genre masterpiece. Patrick Stewart has never been more terrifying. This is the most suspenseful and brutal film of the year. Here it is, in print: ‘Green Room’ is my favorite film of 2016. Man. Nazis sure do suck.

That’s right! That wraps up ‘My Favorite Films of 2016’ list. What do you think? Any films that you think should have made the cut? Did I praise any of these films too much? Comment below! Until next time…

 

My 10 Favorite Films of 2016 (Part One)

The quality of films in 2016 was, in more ways than one, highly uneven. I think this is the worst year for superhero films in a long time. Big directors and big name actors had a mixed year as well. 2017 was saved by indies and new ideas. This list below outlines the first half of my 10 Favorite Films of 2016. Not the Best films, but my favorites. There is too much content to include for one article. First half now, second half later!  Ready? Let’s dive in!!!!

10. Blair Witch

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‘Blair Witch’ is a horror film that commits to its mythology and while it can be silly, I admire it for it’s ability to bring some truly creative set pieces to a genre (Found footage) that has run it’s course.

9. The Witch

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The second film on my list also includes a witch. That being said, you’re not going to find two films with less in common than my #9 and #10. ‘The Witch’ focuses on a family in the 1800’s forced to move into the wilderness of New England from the safety of their village. The family is devoured by dark forces, and, in one of the best slow burn experiences of the year, succumbs to everything it is that they fear. ‘The Witch’ is tense and memorable and a fine addition to my list.

8. 10 Cloverfield Lane

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’10 Cloverfield Lane’, up until it’s release date, was a mystery. My wife and I went to see it mostly blind to it’s actual premise. Set in some kind of shared universe with 2008’s ‘Cloverfield’, this film focuses on a young woman thrust into a dangerous kidnapping situation and forced to find the truth, no matter how strange it actually is. With an incredible cast and a terrifying turn by acting legend John Goodman, ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ should not be missed.

7. Moana

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‘Moana’ is the newest entry into Disney’s animation empire and, like so many others, ‘Moana’ is a masterpiece. It has some of the most gorgeous animation I’ve seen in years, coupled with a heart warming story and toe tapping musical numbers. Oh! And Dwayne Johnson can LITERALLY do anything.

6. Passengers

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Coming in at #6 is ‘Passengers’, a new sci-fi film featuring Hollywood superstars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. I was initially dismissive of ‘Passengers’. It seemed to me that it was just a cash grab, built to drain every cent from a dumb public. Thankfully, ‘Passengers’ isn’t that. It’s a deftly written sci-fi/adventure/romance that shifts it’s focus and tone constantly as the thrilling plot plays out. Pratt and Lawrence wield every inch of their considerable charisma to make every choice and set piece really COUNT for something.

That’s Number 10 through 6! Next week I’ll come back and give you my top 5! Do you take any issue with these picks? If so, comment below! Until then, I’ll see you next time…

Next Article: Monday the 30th.

 

 

Writing Goals for 2017

Hello everyone and welcome to the New Year! 2016, for the most part, was a great year for me professionally. I wrote some great material and had some major successes for publishing. But, like anything in life, there is always room for improvement. Today I wanted to outline a few goals I have for the upcoming year. A few things I can strive for to reach the level in my writing career that I want. Sound good? Okay. First things first…

 

1. Finish a Novel

I think this is kind of a big one. I’ve had false starts too numerous to name and I’m honestly a bit sick of it. My newest project, a Gothic Horror novel, is coming along nicely. I’ve been doing heavy plotting to avoid getting derailed. 2017 will be the year that I finish one up.

2. Publish 5 Stories

You might be thinking to yourself, “Logan, 5 seems like a kind of arbitrary number.” Well, dearest reader, in both 2014 and 2015 I published 4 short stories, which is an even more arbitrary number. My big mission for this year is just Career Improvement. Pushing myself to write more and aggressively submit is the next logical step.

3. Read 50 Books

Another number with ‘5’ in it. Most professional writers would tell you that one key to becoming a better writer is to read a lot. And this is the way it starts. I’m four books in already. Must… keep…. reading….

4. Network

Not social network, though that may be a factor. No, I want to get talking with some other writers! Make some connections! I know there are other writers, just like me, looking for input and support. We all want to improve. Sometimes having a like-minded friend is a good step.

Okay! That’s four goals. Finish a novel, publish more, read more, and network. I hope 2017 will be awesome. As always, please follow me on Twitter @logan_noble and follow this blog! Do you have any writing goals (or any goals for that matter) for the year of our Lord 2017? Comment below!

Until next time…

Next Article: Wednesday the 25th.

New Story Alert!: ‘They Come Crawling’

You read right! As of November 2016, my story ‘They Come Crawling’ has been released into the wild, courtesy of Alban Lake Publishing!

It’s featured in a incredible book of short stories focused on H.P. Lovecraft’s infamous institution of higher learning, Miskatonic University! As soon as my contributor copy came in the mail I DEVOURED this thing. If you’re feeling some good horror, please go pick it up here or here! You can also check out all of Alban Lake Publishing other books on their website!

Happy reading!

Writing & WordPress: An Introduction To Me

I like having a blog. Quite a bit actually. I also run The Fiction and Film Emporium, which is a blog that focuses on film, fiction and Magic: The Gathering content.

This is going to be a bit different.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a small child. I wrote a fantasy novel (not much of one) in a series of $1 notebooks. It was entitled ‘The Three Crystals’, and it featured a young prince named Con on a mission of vengeance. It also stole characters from the gaming series ‘Fire Emblem’ and had a island filled with sentient cows. Yeah. It was a mess.

But it was fun to write. Which is why I write. It’s why I started The Fiction and Film Emporium. It’s why I started this site. That’s a lot of whys. Sorry.

Take a look around this site. My short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies from some great publishers and websites. Click over to my Bibliography to hunt them down. Also, feel free to click on the little Twitter bird to follow me there!

Come back around for most posts here. I can’t wait to see you again.