The X-Men Movies Ranked from Best to Last

So Logan came out this weekend and it was fantastic, oh spoiler alert for the list. But it had me thinking, one of the big issues with the X-Men films is how scattershot they are in terms of their quality, from fantastic to utter trash and everywhere in between. So I thought I would work out for me at least, where I place all the films on that spectrum, and why I put them there.

Now for me personally I’ll always be comparing the X-Men films to the X-Men Animated Series, because for me we didn’t get the comics where I lived so this was my first and best experience with the franchise, also it has the best theme of the series. Which led to it becoming my yard post to compare anything X-Men related to. So this, and the fact that personal preference is subjective means that I might have a different order than you, but that is the good thing about reviews because this is where discussion lies. Now there may be some spoilers for you in the list below, but then most of these have been out for a while, so it should not be much of a problem.

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My Top 10 Films of 2016

So here we are at the end of the year, the sound of fireworks still ringing in our ears, the excess of Christmas just a faint memory, and the realisation just dawning that you probably won’t get your money’s worth out of that gym membership you bought for your New Year’s resolution. However, it is also a time of reflection, a look into the past and the hope for the future, and while 2016 has been referred to as a dumpster-fire year, there were some great moments in film, and this is what we are celebrating today.

So far in our end of year countdown we’ve looked at the Most Disappointing Films of 2016 (Click here to see), and we’ve looked at the Highly Commended films of 2016 (Click here to see), but now it’s time for the grand finale with our Top 10 Films of 2016.


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My Highly Commended Films of 2016

In the afterglow of the turning of a new year we look back at what came and to the future at what will be, but any more than that then you get a three ghost situation and that’s Christmas’s thing, and it doesn’t like people encroaching on it. So we continue the end of year listing of thing which we started yesterday with the list of our Most Disappointing/Worse films of 2016 which you can see by clicking HERE. However, today what we are looking at are those films that were good, or interesting, but that were just held back from getting into the coveted Top 10 List. These are all interesting films but they are also are all slightly flawed films and that is generally why they missed out. Now just a warning I will be discussing these films, and some of them are still in cinemas, so be careful because spoilers are incoming.

Kung Fu Panda 3 2

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My Bottom 10 Films of 2016

It’s the end of one year and the start of another and among the fireworks, booze and celebrations there is one tradition that transcends all and that is the tradition of end of year lists and who would I be to buck this trend. So over the next three days, we will be seeing the best and worst that 2016 had to offer with regards to movies (so we can have at least some positive things to say about 2016). Tomorrow we will have the movies I class in the ‘highly commended’ category and the day after we will have the all-important ‘best films of 2016’. However today we start with the opposite, with the worse or most disappointing films of 2016.

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My Top 30 TV Shows (15-11)

15) Game of Thrones – Ok let’s get this out of the way right from the start, is it as good as the book, no, but that’s ok, because for the most part it is a faithful adaption, for the most part. So I won’t go harping about Daenerys in season 2 because we got ‘And Now His Watch is Ended’, nor Jon Snow because we got ‘Hardhome’, though please come on get Dorne right in season 6 I implore you, please. There are so many moments that stand Game of Thrones apart from just about any TV series currently on the air, and a lot of that comes from the source material by George RR Martin, but a lot of it also comes from the adaption and from some seriously good casting (most of the time). No other show on TV currently has the power to create the cultural ripples like Game of Thrones, from the Red Wedding, to the Purple Wedding, to the death of a key player right at the start, it continues to show that it is not your standard fantasy work. It is a fantasy world but it is also an incredibly realized one and you can thank the production side of the show, which is for a TV show, is simply phenomenal, from the costumes, to the locations (now up to six different countries), to the sets, it is amazing quality given the budget, and the fact that they are able to actually create amazing battles is a testament to their work. Also it might be that they have the representations of every theory on international relations from Realism to Liberalism to Constructivism to Feminism all displayed warts and all. Is it a perfect adaptation no, but for the most part it is a faithful one, and trust me that is quite rare in this world, yes I am looking at you  Dragonball Evolution and The Last Airbender.

14) Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Look there are a lot of things I could talk about here, the fact that it has one of the most diverse casts on TV at the moment, the fact that it has strong sympathetic characters, or the fact that it has some really interesting stories, but the key thing is that it is really funny. From Andre Braugher’s wonderful take on Raymond Holt the gay black captain that plays the straight man to Andy Samberg’s childish yet not annoying (mostly) Jake Peralta. Terry Crews is delightful to watch as Sargent Terry Jeffords, the mother hen to all the other detectives and the list goes on. Part of the charm of the show is obviously in the cast, but also, you can see the work of the creators throughout the show, and given their previous work was Parks and Recreation, they have a strong background in truly amazing comedy. There are so many great moments, from the turf wars with the fire department, to the wonderful interactions between Holt and Wuntch, to the Jimmy Jab Games, to a paintball episode that was actually fun to watch for a change.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine shows people are more than happy to watch a diverse cast, if you have a strong cast, with strong writing, people will come on board. It has been so fun to watch so far, and I look forward to seeing where it will go in the future.

13) Daria –
Literally the only good thing to ever come out of MTV, Daria was both a product of its time but also something quite timeless, well at least so far. It is the story of surviving high school, working out who you are, the pressures of parents, your identity, what it means to be black in a white world, life as an outcast, class, your future which depends on your parent’s income, love, loss and everything in-between. This is all told through the character of Daria Morgendorffer as she and her family move to the new town of Lawndale. While her sister Quinn is bubbly and immediately situates herself with the in crowd (to the point that she refers to Daria as her ‘cousin or something’), Daria is considered an outcast because she won’t play the social games like everyone else. With her best friend Jane she juggles jaded teachers, her overworked mother, the focus on the material and vapid, and everything the sick sad world of high school can through at her. She spoke for a part of society that did not really have a voice, and for that she is still relevant today. To finish let me leave you with one of the last line spoken in the show during the graduation – “However, given the unalterable fact that high school sucks, I’d like to add that if you’re lucky enough to have a good friend and a family that cares it doesn’t have to suck quite as much. Otherwise my advice is; Stand firm for what you believe in, until and unless experience proves you wrong. Remember, when the emperor looks naked, the emperor *is* naked. The truth and a lie are not sort of the same thing. And there is no aspect, no facet, no moment of life that can’t be improved with pizza. Thank you.”

12) Iron Chef (料理の鉄人) – If memory serves me right, I first came across Iron Chef late one night as I was channel surfing, hidden away on the public broadcaster SBS. It was a wonder to discover and a show that I would always try to catch, and probably was the instigator for my want to visit and experience Japan. The premise of the show is that Chairman Kaga, wanted to taste the best food in the world so he created his Kitchen Stadium “to encounter new original cuisines which could be called true artistic creations”. So he has his Iron Chefs (Chinese, Japanese, French & Italian) battle challengers from across Japan and the world, they cook for one hour, the food gets judged by a new panel each week (bar the late Asako Kishi who seemed to be always there), and who gets the most points wins. There is always a debate as to whether you should watch the dubs or just watch the subtitles the show in its most ‘pure’ form. Honestly for me I can take it either way, but if you don’t watch the dubbed version you are missing out on a truly amazing collision of Japanese culture and high class camp. So sure, once you watch a lot of the show, you can see that there is a lot of framing and staging in the show, but who cares, the food is amazing, or at least interesting, the commentary is top class, and you will not regret watching this show, well maybe the 1000 year egg battle, maybe. So here’s a yellow capsicum to you Chairman Kaga, it was a great ride, and the future will always be brighter thanks to the show, now if only you would get around to releasing them on DVD/Blu-ray/Netflix at some point, please and thank-you.

11) Grand Designs – Grand Designs is a very simple premise, I’m about to build (or renovate/rebuild/restore) a house, ok let’s watch you build that house, see really simple but boy is it so much more. It is people’s dreams, their ideas, some of which they have been planning all their lives. Because of this you become invested in their stories, you follow their highs and lows, when the glazing is inevitable wrong, when the groundworks always cost more than quoted, or when someone falls through the roof live on camera. It is because you empathize with people building the houses (mostly), which given these are usually multi-million dollar builds is quite the achievement, you want to see them succeed, and you feel form them when things go wrong. Of course it helps that they have a “something has just gone wrong” music, and when that plays early in the episode you know this is going to be a roller-coaster of emotion. Grand Designs more than anything on this list is all about the presenter, and in the original UK version that would be Kevin McCloud. McCloud is in many ways a pompous ass, self-righteous in his own beliefs, and will outright state, ‘this building will not work’. At this moment you would think McCloud is a bit of a dick, but he’s not, he is someone with a lot of passion and heart, and has a clear idea about what will and will not work, and inevitably he will be wrong, and he will own it. Every house is different, every house is a masterpiece and I can wait to see what is next.

My Top 30 TV Shows (20-16)

20) Good Game – In today’s age there are very few shows that have the ability get me to watch each week, but Good Game is one of them. It is a simple premise, review the new game releases and give it a score, but it is more than that. Part of it is that it is clear that everyone who works on the show has a clear passion for what they do and you can tell, part of it is the repour between the hosts, and part of it is that joy you get to see some really good Australian TV, a rarity these days. While the tone of the shoe can be very light, they are also not afraid to deal with more serious issues, the standout for me being the recent special on war and games. It has also been good to see it expand into the digital space, which has given the show a little bit more flexibility than it has had before.  It is an enjoyable part of my week, and as saved me from wasting my money on several occasions, so thanks for that

19) Chuck – Another of the little shows that could, to the point that there was a campaign to keep it going for three straight years, and it was worth it because Chuck is a little gem of a show. Chuck played by the excellent Zachary Levi, was a member of the nerd heard until he got The Intersect, a government super computer downloaded into his brain. This sounds like a really cheesy concept, and it is, but through some excellent casting and real care, it moves away from being cheesy to being endearing. Chuck is desperate to keep his spy life and his work life separate, but of course they keep colliding, and one by one his friends and family become a part of his spy gang. The show was great because it was a nerdy show that actually understood the references it was talking about, it had a great supporting cast, and a compelling narrative. In the end I have to thank Subway because people convinced them to sponsor the show, and there is no way it would have survived so long without it. This is a fun little romp and also one of those shows that gets mentioned every time someone Kickstarts something or Netflix brings a show back from the dead, so who knows one day we may get to see more of it, I surely hope so.

18) Doctor Who – Look at this point I don’t think I need to explain what Doctor Who is, – Time Lord, Companion, Flying Police Box, Time Travel, Fez, Running, Wibbily Wobbly Timey Wimey, Exterminate – , I think more so at this point I may have to explain why it is only 18th on my list. The reason it is so far down my list is not because I have not loved it, in fact if I didn’t it wouldn’t be here if I didn’t, it is so far down the list because I think I have stopped watching it. I will always have fond memories of Doctor Who, that time they were running, and that other time they were running, oh and that time that they were running. Ok seriously, The moment the 10th lost Rose into another dimension, and when 11 lost Rory and Amy, every time 10 said “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”,  The sound of the drums, “I’m still not a Ginger”, Bad Wolf, “Don’t Blink”, Devils run when a good man goes to war, and “I don’t want to go”. Doctor Who will always have a special place in my heart, and indeed I may even come back to it someday, but for the moment I think it is time to see new people, it’s not you it’s me … well maybe if I am being perfectly honest it might be you.

17) Sherlock – Sherlock is here not just because it is one of the best adaptations of a literary work I have ever seen, but also because it is one of the best example of updating an old literary text to the modern era I have seen since 10 things I Hate About You. This is a show that takes the time to get the little details right, to the point that it is littered with little references to the original novels. As well as this, it has the ability to make you go wow when you find out the answer and realise the clues were there from the start if you were paying attention. Of course the core of this show is the character and Sherlock got its casting right, from the titular character itself, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, to Martin Freeman’s John Watson, Andrew Watson’s Moriarty and Amanda Abbington’s Mary Morstan. It is a lot of fun, but also has a very serious tone, and there is a constant undercurrent that Sherlock is on the tipping point of going over the edge. It also has a really interesting design, it was the show that finally got how to display a text message without having to cut to a mobile phone screen for a painfully long time. I am really interested to see where it will go next and if it will continue to keep its high standard but for now I can’t wait.

16) Fringe – Here we are again, a little show that could (I said this would be a running theme), the show that blended crazy science experiments, law and order, alternative universes, an episodic procedural, a wide serial story, and of course whatever the hell John Nobel was doing.  Fringe told the story of Agent Olivia Dunham played by Anna Torv who starts a FBI task force to investigate scientific experiments that are leaping faster than the government can regulate bringing along the mentally unstable Dr Walter Bishop played by John Nobel and his son Peter played by Joshua Jackson, that they are kind of blackmailing to be there. It starts off with a very simple monster-of-the-week style procedural but then you start to notice things, wait is that the same bald guy in the suit in every episode, wait Peter’s and Walter’s stories are not lining up there, who is this Walter Bell?, and then it culminated in one of the best shock reveals that has ever happened in TV. From this point onwards it morphs from this episodic format to a really interesting serial, expanding across time and space. This is also another show that took care with the small details, the titles would change depending of what time the episode was set, whenever they visited a new location the name would be emblazoned in these big block letters that would also reflect the environment, the hidden cameos and the glyphs before an add break. Fringe was another of those shows that you never knew if this season would be the last, and it was great that they were able to tie the series up even if it was a truncated final series.