Posted by: ckckred | July 2, 2016

The Best of 2016 (Thus Far)


We’re already halfway through 2016 and it’s already been a surprisingly remarkably solid year for cinema, television, and music to the extent that I can imagine a few of these being top contenders for my “best of” lists.  Here are some of my favorite films, TV seasons, and albums of the past six months:

Best Movies

Green Room

Hail, Caesar!

Knight of Cups

The Lobster


*This is the documentary about Anthony Weiner’s failed candidacy for the New York Mayoral Office, if any of you had the wrong idea.

Best TV Shows

The Americans

Better Call Saul

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

Silicon Valley


Best Albums

Abbath, Abbath

Gojira, Magma

Kvelertak, Nattesferd

Nails, You Will Never Be One of Us**

Vektor, Terminal Redux

**Even though it may be encouraging chest-thumping elitismYou Will Never Be One of Us is a solidly entertaining album and so far one of the best of the year.



  1. I need to go the cinema more this year. I did see Love and Friendship though and it was fantastic.

  2. The Lobster and Hail Caesar were great. I need to see more before I decide on which ones were the best.

  3. Great call on Green Room. I need to catch up on the Americans and Better Call Saul, I loved their first seasons but haven’t gone beyond that so far.

    • Green Room was incredible for sure. I caught it pretty late in its theatrical run and found it stunning. And both The Americans and Better Call Saul get even better in their later seasons.

  4. What merits did you see in Hail Caesar?

    • I found Hail Caesar to be a very compelling look at the 50s studio system, and I felt that the Coens did a fantastic job at both replicating and parodying Hollywood at the time. I think the picture largely underperformed in theaters because of Universal’s marketing, which billed the film as an O Brother-esque escapade comedy rather than a sly yet often serious study of fixers.

      • Man, I wish I saw THAT movie.

  5. We definitely have different tastes but I did appreciate Knight of cups

    • Nice to see another fan of Knight of Cups. I don’t know a lot of people who have actually checked it out yet, and there’s even fewer who really liked the picture as much as I did. Can’t wait for Malick’s IMAX doc later this year.

      • Yeah I think it is an interesting companion to Tree of Life. One showing the good side of human nature and the other showing the puril side.

  6. Your the only person I think who liked Hail Ceasar as much as I did. And thanks for the album list, I’ve gotta get my hands on some of those! I’ve never heard of Nails, I think I’ll check em out. I’ve heards some Vektor on youtube and I’ve loved what I’ve heard

    I’ve also fallen for Knight of Cups, I bought the blu-ray and fell in love with it. Our music and movie tastes line up nicely! I’d consider those four the top four so far as well, tho Lobster came out here last year (but Son of Saul came out last year for you right?) so switch them and we have the same top four 😀

    • Yeah, I really liked Hail, Caesar and was a bit surprised by the chilly reception it received. Way better than all those superhero movies that come out today.

      Nails is an amazing band, even though Todd Jones has a very Anselmo-ish personality on stage. Despite that and the lyrics, You Will Never Be One of Us is a great album and one I’v already listened to several times.

      I’m definitely going to go for the blu-ray of Knight of Cups. Re-watched The New World a couple of days ago and I forgot how beautiful that picture was.

      • I also was very surprised by the critical response Hail Caesar got. I’m with you, the PR campaign was pretty misleading.

        I’ve gotta get that Nails album, that song was awesome. And I don’t really pay attention to metal vocalists in between songs. Its all a show, y’know what I mean? Frank Mullen from Suffocation was a bit like that too, and it just made the live show even better. I recall him advising us to throw anyone who pissed us off into a meat-grinder hahahaha. I was the only one who laughed at that, my sense of humour is warped 😛

        I haven’t seen Malick’s older stuff except fort Badlands. I really should get on that. The KoC BR is brilliant man, I’m very happy with the purchase 😀

      • Yeah, it’s too bad about Hail Caesar. A really solid movie that deserves a second look.

        I love Nails’ music but Todd Jones can be kind of obnoxious on stage. He has an undeniable live presence but still.

        Check out Days of Heaven when you can, a great film for sure. Can’t wait for Malick’s doc Voyage of Time later this year.

      • Didn’t know about that doc, will have to look out for it. I rewatched hail Caesar the other day, cracked me up, and has such cracking dialogue. Loved it, and I saw it twice at the cinemas!

      • I saw it near the end of its theatrical run and I laughed a lot as well, though the few in the audience didn’t seem to enjoy it as much as I did. I can’t believe so many people disliked this movie.

      • Me neither. I was cracking up and no one else seemed to get it. Not even during that great scene with all the priests. Multiple watches bring out more funny stuff that i missed the first two times around. Like at the very beginning, out of everything he has to do in his job, Mannix is confessing about sneaking three cigarettes. I dunno but I found that hilarious

  7. oh, and you didn’t dig the new Melvins or Iggy albums?

    • I haven’t actually listened to either of their albums yet. Admittedly I’ve never listened to much of the Melvins, and I wanted to catch up on their back catalog first. I really don’t have any excuse for missing on Iggy’s new album, I’ll check it out later today.

      • Iggy’s new album is…. different. But I liked it. And man I envy you, I wish I could forget every Melvins song and hear them all again for the first time! If you want an intro to them, you can’t go wrong with ‘Houdini’ man, its from 1993 and they still play a few of the songs from it live. Honey Bucket and Night Goat are particularly great, but the whole thing is just pure awesome.
        “The Kicking Machine” from 2008 is also pretty fucking amazing, they do the two drummers thing and make it WORK! I imagine you would dig them a lot man, let us know if you check out that album I pasted, it even has a great KISS cover song! All their live stuff is worth watching too

      • I listened to Houdini the other day, a great album for sure. Hope to listen to more of their stuff later.

      • Check out Nude With Boots ;D Tis teh awesome 😀 Their new one is great too

  8. I still haven’t seen Green Room or Knight Of Cups… I need to get on both of those soon, although I’ve missed them on the big screen. I liked Hail, Caesar and think warmly of it a lot. I’ll definitely be watching it again. The Lobster was a 2015 release here but it was great fun – glad to see you like that one.

    • Watch them as soon as you can, both are excellent movies. I’m surprised how few people really liked Hail, Caesar; I thought it was a terrific film. I did have some trouble with The Lobster’s second half but I’d be lying to myself if I said it wasn’t a strong film.

      • Yeah I agree on both points. The Lobster suffers because the first half is so good, which is a shame!

  9. I’m anxious to see Hail Caesar! again. It was one of my most anticipated (as a huge Coen fan) but left the theater really disappointed. And I still need to see Green Room. Lots of good things being said about it.

    • I’m amongst the few who really liked Hail Caesar. I think Universal wrongly marketed the picture as a slapstick-esque escapade when it was really a more intrinsic look at the studio system in the 50s.

      Green Room is spectacular and I suspect it will be a candidate for being one of the year’s top films. I can’t wait to watch that movie again.

  10. No love for The Witch??

    • Unfortunately I missed The Witch in its theatrical release. I’ve been meaning to watch it on VOD though, it looks excellent.

  11. I love this list man. Excluding Knight of Cups. We have two of the same picks, The Lobster and Green Room. And I’ve been looking forward to seeing Weiner for quite some time now. It looks quite intriguing.
    I had a blast with Hail, Caesar.
    Interested to see how our final list ends up looking like by the end of the year and how many of these five will retain their places.

    • I have to admit I was a little mixed initially about The Lobster: I loved the first half but was alienated by the second and was considering putting 10 Cloverfield Lane or Keanu instead. But I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t think it was a movie worth seeing and it’s undoubtedly one of the best made films of the year thus far.

      It’ll be interesting to see what the rest of the year brings. I’m most looking forward to Silence and Lala Land.

      • It was something really original, and I actually loved it throughout. 10 Cloverfield is really great as well and I enjoyed Keanu too.

      • Yeah, I was definitely considering putting 10 Cloverfield Lane, Keanu, and Everybody Wants Some on here as well. It’s been a pretty good year so far, though this summer doesn’t have a good slate of movies.

      • Yeah, although looking at the upcoming line-up I cant say there’s alot of stuff that excites me, as compared to the last few years where I was really looking forward to stuff like Birdman, The Revenant or The Hateful Eight

  12. The three great ones I’ve seen this year are The Lobster, The Witch, and Hail Caesar. So as usual, it seems like we’re on the same page. That scene in Hail Caesar with the clergymen is classic Coens.
    Haven’t seen Knight of Cups yet. It never came to a theater nearby, but I can’t wait.

    • I’m surprised how limited of a theatrical release Knight of Cups had; it’s a fantastic movie and another great film by Malick. I too really liked Hail, Caesar! and was surprised by its mixed reception.

      I still haven’t been able to check out The Witch yet, I was very disappointed I missed in theaters.

  13. Was Knight of Cups on par with The Tree of Life for you?

    I think Hail, Caesar! had a lot of subtleties that aren’t noticed/don’t appeal to most people. Though it’s hilarious too.

    I thought The Witch was sooo good.

    • I didn’t quite like it as much as The Tree of Life, but I did think it was better than To The Wonder (though I loved all of those movies).

      I think Hail, Caesar’s failure at the box office really had to do with Universal’s promotion of the film as a madcap slapstick comedy rather than a deep look at the studio system.

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