Happy new year’s everyone!
As is the case of general election years, 2016 is marked by a lot of uncertainty and fear as well as hope and excitement for the future. Some are relieved the year is over and others wonder if more tragedies await them in 2017. I personally fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. 2016 marked one of my worst movie-going experiences I can recall but there were certainly many highlights for me, particularly in sports and music. Let’s break down how I felt about 2016.
January 20th, 2016
I was accepted to a competitive South-Asian fusion group on campus, Dhamakapella! I hadn’t auditioned in years so I was quite nervous and ended up singing a mash-up of my own, featuring Josiah Lemming’s To Run which he sang for his American Idol audition. I love that song to death and it was an honor for me to sing that song for my many talented friends in Dhamakapella.
February 7th, 2016
I remember I felt conflicted when Peyton Manning faced off against the Chicago Bears, my home-town football team, in the 2006 Superbowl. Not only do I believe Manning is a class act on and off the field, but I feel his revolutionary accomplishments have been largely diminished by his early postseason exits and sub-par playoff performances. In the 50th annual Super Bowl, perhaps the biggest celebration in American sports, Peyton Manning finally did what he needed to do to be the first starting quarterback to hoist the Lombardi trophy with two different teams.
February 12th, 2016
Love is just around the corner and what better way to spend it than with the fourth-wall breaking, wise-cracking, superhero-denying, head-chopping maniac who calls himself Deadpool. After turning in some abysmal superhero performances as Green Lantern and a non-comic book inspired rendition of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds is finally the lead star in what has to be considered one of the most refreshing superhero movies in years.
February 17th, 2016
I turned 22! I guess it’s not particularly special since I didn’t get any new legal privileges or do anything particular exciting but I do remember getting a solo for Case in Point, another a cappella group on campus, around this time. I ended up singing a duet with Emily Rasmussen on Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are for multiple on-campus venues and at the final spring concert of my undergraduate career.
February 26th, 2016
Work from Home was released from the talented singers of Fifth Harmony. It was especially noteworthy for me since I had followed them vaguely through their journey on X Factor. It’s rare to find real singing talent in the pop industry these days and I think their style of music will have a Pitch Perfect effect on all female a cappella groups.
March 4th, 2016
What may go down as the top Rotten Tomatoes rated film of 2016 comes from a Disney Animation Studios production I wasn’t even expecting much from. Zootopia is a thought-provoking police mystery that came at the right time for All Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, and Blue Lives Matter.
March 20th, 2016
Batman v Superman was a piece of garbage. I’m glad it tanked.
March 25th, 2016
Whereas flies land on Hillary Clinton’s face during debates, a bird flaps its way on to Bernie Sander’s podium at a rally in Portland, Oregon.
May 6th, 2016
Justin Timberlake released one of my favorite jams of the summer, Can’t Stop The Feeling. I was always happy to hear it on the radio and groove to it every once in a while. This is also when Captain America: Civil War came out. To foreshadow a reoccurring theme, I left the theater underwhelmed.
May 15th, 2016
I graduated Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio with a bachelor of science in physics. This has been a long dream of mine. It was a difficult major to pursue, but I have no regrets putting in the time, money, and effort. Have to thank my friends and family for supporting me all the way through!
May 20th, 2016
On my sister’s birthday, a new album of my favorite pop-artist today, Ariana Grande, came out. Dangerous Woman was met with success and I personally enjoyed the album, even though I didn’t think it was her best album yet. I’m sure there are many other albums that are deserving recognition, but this was the only album I listened in full this year.
June 10th, 2016
YouTube sensation and semi-finalist of The Voice, Christina Grimmie, passes away in a hospital from gunshot wounds after a concert in Orlando, Florida. Fellow blogger Dan Stalcup from EarnThis wrote an appropriate post regarding the death of someone who will be greatly missed.
June 20th, 2016
LeBron James finally wins a championship for Cleveland. What made it more special was that I got to watch game 7 at the Quicken stadium. The actual game was played in California but the stadium erupted and the streets flooded after the game. Quite the memorable experience, even for someone who isn’t the biggest LeBron James fan.
June 23rd, 2016
England leaves the European Union. Not only is it a refutation of the liberal elites in the media who prove themselves to be out of touch from the public, but it’s a growing sign that terrorist attacks in Europe are successfully making people fear open immigration policies.
July 10th, 2016
Portugal brings home the UEFA Euro cup without their beloved star in Cristiano Ronaldo who suffered an injury early in the game. The young French team played the better and more tenacious game but Portugal constructed a barrier on defense and delivered a fatal goal in overtime.
July 17th, 2016
An utter disappointment for me in the summer’s most anticipated release, Pixar’s latest sequel in Finding Dory. Not only do I love the character of Dory in one of my favorite films, Finding Nemo, but I always get excited for any film Pixar Animation Studios releases. And it was inexplicably bad. On another note, Bad Moms and Suicide Squad were also bad. However, I didn’t have as high of expectations going in.
July 18th, 2016
The glass ceiling cracks as Hillary Clinton becomes the first female presidential candidate nominated by a major political party at the 2016 DNC held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
August 9th, 2016
Michael Phelps adds to his decorated Olympic career in Rio, Brazil by securing another Gold medal in butterfly (200 meters).
August 12th, 2016
The only summer film I liked in theaters was Sausage Party. Yep, I’m dead serious. My second favorite animation of the year. We’ll get to Moana shortly.
September 9th, 2016
Say You Won’t Let Go is a wonderful piece of songwriting, and James Arthur expertly imbues his performance with sincerity and sorrow.
September 14th, 2016
My favorite contestant (comedian) of America’s Got Talent in 2016, known as Tape Face, lost to ukulele-playing songwriter/singer Grace Vanderwaal.
October 11th, 2016
It hasn’t been since This Love that a Maroon 5 song like Don’t Wanna Know has been playing in my head on repeat. There’s a hilarious music video to accompany the song, along with some awesome YouTube covers that has only made me love it just that much more.
October 20th, 2016
Doctor Strange, a well-deserving film for the Oscar’s Best Visual Effects award. A thoroughly fun superhero experience led by a strong performance from Benedict Cumberbatch.
October 30th, 2016
The Chicago Cubs come back from a 1-3 deficit to beat the Cleveland Indians in the MLB World Series! I have to admit, in either outcome I would have been happy, but I was back at home in Chicago with my parents cheering for the Cubs when they finally broke their 108 year drought.
November 10th, 2016
In historical fashion, outsider-reality-TV-star-businessman Donald Trump wins the 2016 electoral college for U.S. president over politician Hillary Clinton. The election featured not only the most unpopular presidential candidates recorded in modern polling, but also pitted a liberal Republican against a conservative Democrat whom were demonized and smeared as evil criminals by the other party. Trump’s previous support for the democratic party and hijacking of the republican party may have been Trump’s decisive advantage, as he did better with minority groups than Mitt Romney in 2012 and sold a compelling message about “draining the swamp.” American politics personify economic crises around the world fed up with progressive leadership. Clinton concedes defeat over a private phone call and Trump reassures Americans by delivering a composed and gracious acceptance speech without seeing much of its intended effect.
November 23rd, 2016
Disney finally loses their streak of producing quality films since Wreck-It Ralph in 2008 with one of their worst princess movies yet. An insubstantial and insensitive Hawaiian tale that is lucky to have a few good songs in its soundtrack.
December 16th, 2016
The next entry in the Star Wars saga is a great one. A glorious return for one of my favorite cinematic villains and a poignant flashback to a young Carrie Fisher before passing away shortly afterwards.
December 25th, 2016
The Tae family resumes our Christmas tradition by watching a movie marathon! This time we collected Blu-Ray copies of all the X-Men movies out so far. X-Men Apocalypse which came out this year did not impress.
December 30th, 2016
The one year long return of once UFC sensation Rhonda Rousey ends terribly, getting knocked out by defending champion Amanda Nunes in 48 seconds. Along with Mariah Carey’s disastrous performance in New York on New Year’s Eve, the year 2016 ends on a sour and unforgettable note for many.
Movies I haven’t gotten the chance to see:
La La Land, The Jungle Book, Arrival, The Secret Life of Pets, Kubo and the Two Strings, The Edge of Seventeen, Sing, Swiss Army Man