Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Charles Cassady's Best of 2016 Movies List

This year I had planned to give our faithful Cleveland Movie Blog readers as complete, comprehensive and well-thought-out Top Ten Films of the Year list as I had ever done. Beginning last year at this time, I made every effort to see all new releases, not only in mainstream theaters but also on the art-house and festival circuit. I tracked down every title, from Hollywood blockbusters to foreign and independent titles, and even opened up my viewing habits to encompass the exciting new-media world of streaming  and on-demand internet viewing.

By this time I had mind a Top Ten Movies list that would shine as a beacon of good taste and solid judgment at the end of 2016. Ten cinematic jewels, with my perfectly worded reasonings that each and every one of the awardees deserved my highest annual honors.

But then…then came the election results of November 8.

Yes, that fateful presidential election day – that also, by a twist of fate, fell on my birthday for the first time that I could ever remember.

That date of infamy! That black date of darkness, on which the only sensible, qualified and true candidate for Commander in Chief of the United States of America, our venerated Democratic Party mainstay Hillary Rodham Clinton, was cruelly usurped by the Fascist Insect Republican dilettante known as Donald Trump. 

I have heard the so-called arguments vis-à-vis our outdated and insane “electoral college” representative-ballot system – one put into place by our shameful slaveholding white patriarchy of Founding Fathers. Bah! I know better. I know that American really, TRULY wants President Hillary Clinton to carry on the Democratic Party torch ignited by the great Barack Hussein Obama.

And THEREFORE, when in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another! And to assume among the powers of the Earth, the right to withhold one’s duty as in an act of non-violent social protest against intolerable conditions as imposed disgracefully upon the innocent electorate by such criminal, reactionary scoundrels such as TRUMP!

Thus, in a heroic act of liberalism, I am doing the following: I am withholding my Top Ten Movies of 2016 list from publication until the so-called election results are erased from the ledgers and Hillary Clinton elevated to her rightful position in the Oval Office.

This has not been an easy decision, especially in light of all the intense labor I invested in my Top Ten List. But as the cast of Hamilton have so eloquently proven, it is the duty of we media-elites and successful artists to rise up in brave protest when faced with as dastardly a villain as Trump…oh, screw it.

You got me. I didn’t have any Top Ten List. Never did.

I haven’t kept up with fresh films at all, if I could help it.

Not being interested all that much in comic-book or video-game adaptations, bad sequels/remakes/reboots, or CGI f/x, I don’t think I missed much by skipping the wretched refuse that passes for 21st-century cinema. Kinda called 2016 a dead issue after ZOOLANDER 2, in fact, and I got dragged to ROGUE ONE only as part of a family Christmas get-together. A cheap bargain matinee at that.

Really, Dinesh DeSouza’s right-wing docu-manifesto HILLARY’S AMERICA was the only movie I paid full price to go to. It was good for a laugh or two, and I hope Mr. DeSouza is happy now that his boy won the race.

To tell the truth, election night 2016 really was pretty cool, watching those smug trust-fund liberals on TV stared with stupefied disbelief as the power-base slipped from their grasps. Reminded me of the expressions on the faces of the Soviet Hockey team when the US beat the USSR that time in 1980, remember?

And all those showbiz types and college-campus pseudointellectuals, outraged by Trump, who swore to leave the country if the reality-TV ringmaster won the campaign for the GOP? Well, if they do go, Donald Trump will have earned his face on Mount Rushmore in my book (he’ll probably rename it Mount Trumpmore, but, hey, collateral damage).

I don’t much care at all for that talk of the Trump-hating elites of the arts exiling themselves to Canada, though. Really, the place for them is Cuba. Lots of sunny shores and palm trees, like the high-income beach property to which they are accustomed, not to mention an endless supply of Hispanic domestic servants to abuse (and/or cheat on their spouses with), and access to significant South American illegal-narcotics trade routes. Yes, normalizing relations with Cuba really was Obama’s most noteworthy achievement, I think. Hope President Trump doesn’t slam the door shut on that one. At least not until all our liberals are down there.
But all this gets away from my basic admission, that I just don’t have much patience for what passes for movies these days, and there were more a lot more important things in life for me than to spend time, effort and, most of all, money, to see the nasty things.

And I rather hope the same goes for a lot of you.

So, no Top Ten List from me.

One thing, though. You know that epic display of gingerbread houses every year in University Circle, at the Cleveland Botanical Garden? Police ended up raiding one of the gingerbread houses. Turns out that inside were three long-missing gingerbread women who had been held as gingerbread sex slaves for ten years. 

Yes, I reprint that joke every year at this time. I am still hoping it becomes a “meme.”


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