My Top Ten Films for 2016

My Top Films of 2016

I thought it was a strange year at the movies.  These, in my opinion, are the gems.  I think we managed to go to 40 movies this year.  I love going to the movies with my friends.  I hope the trend continues.  I also hope they forgive me for schlepping them to Jack Reacher “Never Go Back” in IMAX and the awful “Batman vs Superman”.


Here is the list in order.


  1. “Hell or High Water”

A surprisingly good tale of brothers, Texas and the system.

  1. “Dark Horse”

Documentary about a barmaid who had a dream and the people who believed in her.

  1. “Rogue One”

It reminded me how much I loved the original Star Wars.  Hands down a great action movie.

  1. “Where Do We Invade Next”

What can I say?  I love Michael Moore’s take on life.  My only problem was I thought he was going to have a stroke.  “Michael! Put down the cheese”.

  1. “Manchester by the Sea”

A heart wrenching cinematic poem on unresolved grief.

  1. “Deadpool”

This potty-mouth superhero had me in stiches from the opening credits.  I saw the movie twice and bought the dvd.  Of course it makes my list.

  1. “La La Land”

Inventive, fresh and visually stunning.  Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone worked their butts off to make the dancing believable and the characters soulful.  They have wonderful chemistry.

  1. “The Music of Strangers”

Yo Yo Ma’s documentary was captivating, moving and opened my ears to some wonderful music and musicians.

  1. “The Hunt for the Wilderpeople”

This funny and touching Australian film about a foster child captured my heart.  Sam Neil has never been better.

And my favorite film is:

“Sing Street”


This romantic look at teenage angst in the early eighties was amazing.  Set in Ireland, it took me back to that time and recreated it with original music.  Moving and fun.



Two more poems

The two poems are separated by 40 years.  The first one was written in 1972.  I struggled not to rewrite the young Zack’s words, who at the time believed them to be perfect.   The second poem I found hanging around, asking to have the light shined on it.


The Capitalist


My old friend the capitalist

dropped by to visit me

and over a cup of bitter memories

we talked of people we knew

of changing times

of pressure cooker worlds

of tears we both had shed.


When we parted company he said,

“What kind of car are you driving?”


Zack Hoffman 1972





Romeo’s Lament


I am neither

Montague nor Capulet tonight,

just an aging crevasse

on this globe stage.

Waiting with dread

to strut with perkiness

that has left long ago.


Waiting for love

that will not make its way to the balcony.

Love is in San Diego

sleeping with a producer

who wears a much larger codpiece.


Tonight’s Juliet

puffy and self important

barking like a poodle

to all who won’t listen.

Cast members pass the poison early

hoping to spare the second act.


The Buddhist stage manager

lets hands do what legs do.

Lamps flood.

Lightning strikes

burned and excited

all identity is lost

to that bastard Romeo

who walks smoldering into the fog.


Zack Hoffman   2004