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My Top 10 Films of 2015

Howdy people of the internet, the year is pretty much over and I think it’s about time that I give you my top 10 list of my favourite films of 2015. Before I get into this list I have to explain a few things:

  1. As per-usual I DO NOT include 2015 films that got released in 2015 here in the UK, so films like Big Hero 6 and some others that were originally released in 2014 for me they don’t count. I only list films that are new and were released between the start and end of this year.
  2. The following films aren’t the best critically received films, the reason I’ve listed them is because of my personal enjoyment, the quality and the re-watch value.
  3. This list was constantly shifting over the last month and in the end at least the first four films are solid, but other than that everything is sort of up in the air.
  4. Oh and there were some great films that didn’t make the list like the lovely Cinderella, the thrilling Sicario and the fun and imaginative Inside Out.

With all that in mind let’s begin shall we?

10. Ant-Man

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This was the Marvel film of 2015 that I thought I’d end up just liking, however in the end I liked it way more than Avengers: Age of Ultron and I never thought I’d feel that way earlier in the year. But this Peyton Reed-lead film was incredibly funny, action-packed, refreshing and reminded me of why I appreciate the solo adventures in the MCU over the connected stories. Paul Rudd owned in the lead role, and Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Pena were some of the other highlights in the cast. And while the MCU villain issue reminds and the way Hope was handled could have been better, in the end this was another solid entry in this film universe and I can’t wait to see the sequel in a few years time.

9. The Martian

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I thought The Martian would be good, and I hoped it would be good, but damn it was a lot better than I expected it to be. Thankfully Ridley Scott found his way back to greatness with this sci-fi adventure very much focused on this one man’s survival on the planet Mars after being left by his team. This film could have easily been very boring and conventional, but luckily it was very engaging, dramatic and surprisingly funny. The central performance from Matt Damon was awesome and I also appreciated the focus on the characters on Earth as well too.

8. Black Mass

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Black Mass was an intense, dramatic and engaging film about power and how its use had major ramifications for everyone involved. The film dealt with manipulation, influence, corruption, and the moral and ethical issues that could be used for good or bad when it came to law enforcers and the criminals. I liked the non-linear style applied to the story and seeing certain characters recall their interactions with Jimmy and the use of different time periods detailing the rise and fall of Jimmy’s power. This was return to form that I’ve always wanted from Johnny Depp as he was incredible, but on top of that Joel Edgerton was brilliant and I also really liked appearances from Jesse Plemons, Benedict Cumberbatch and Adam Scott too.

7. Mad Max Fury Road

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Now this is where the controversy will probably kick in. For a lot of people, this was one of their favourite film of the year because of its unique style, insanity and use of practical effects. For me the fourth entry in this franchise was really impressive and had so many characters and moments of badassery, and some of those action sequences were just amazing. That being said, the film was overhyped before I saw it and I don’t believe it met the high expectations that many people had thrown out online, plus there were elements from Road Warrior that missed too. But make no mistake I still enjoyed this film a great deal and I thank George Miller for coming back to this series after so long.

6. Amy

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I only saw this film a little while ago, however, it was certainly one of 2015’s most impactful films in my opinion. Just like Senna, director Asif Kapadia crafted a documentary that was incredibly insightful, dramatic, in-depth and heartbreaking. While I’m not the biggest fan of Amy Winehouse or her music, but I did like some of her material and because I was so familiar with her success and talent as a musician it made the rise and fall all the more tragic and painful especially when I saw her creative process and the way she was treated by certain individuals close to her.

5. Straight Outta Compton

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This was not a film I was expecting to like as much as I did, I’ve seen a few music biographies in the past, but only a few of them capture the spirit and drama of the real events, but luckily everyone was on-point and crafted a really compelling and fun film. Now obviously certain elements were left out or dramatised for the film, but at the end of the day the film was effect in display the highs and lows of NWA during the formation, success and disbandment with awesome performances from O’Shea Jackson, Jr., Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell.

4. Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation

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This is the fifth entry in Mission Impossible franchise and most films by this point would have sucked terribly, however Rogue Nation is to some the best entry in the series and for good reason. The stunts and action sequences were of the highest quality and were shot really well, we got to see Ethan Hunt in his most difficult position yet physically and mentally, but we also got more from the returning characters Benji and Brandt, but also got some interesting new characters in the form of the sexy/badass Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin). This new entry definitely improved on a few of the elements from the last entry, but I feel like there’s a sense of fun and style missing from Ghost Protocol, but besides that I really enjoyed this film.

3. Ex Machina

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In a way this may still be my favourite film of the year. Back in January I expected this film to be a good watch, but I had no idea that I’d enjoy Ex Machina as much as I did. I love a good thriller and with the sci-fi elements incorporated it was just so compelling to watch. The themes, tone and style of this film made every scene feel relevant, interesting, tense and not boring at all. I adore the main performances Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac as each of their characters were engaging and different.

2. Kingsman the Secret Service

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I had a lot of hope for this film considering that it was another comic book adapted film from Matthew Vaughn, but it ended up being far better than I had hoped. Kingsman was the most exciting, humourous and violent material I’ve seen in the spy genre for a while. This film felt classically infused with the best codes and conventions of the spy/action genre paying homage and referencing films that have come before. From the snappy dialogue to the crazy violent action sequences, this film has everything, and I loved the performances from Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong and Sofia Boutella.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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It feels like a cheat to have The Force Awakens as my number one considering it’s issues and similarities to A New Hope, but fuck it, no other film has made me feel a sense of delight quite like this new Star Wars film. Of all the films year, none have given me that feeling of joy and magic that this one had. Part of that was the nostalgia factor that this film provides so well with the return of classic characters, music and use of practical effects, but in addition to that J.J. Abrams has brought a new sense energy with the pacing, humour, visual style and cinematography. All of the new characters, Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8 and Kylo Ren had interesting new personalities, motivations and chemistry, and there were also great returns for Han Solo, Leia and few others. The best aspects of the film for me was the new lightsaber duels, the drama between certain characters and the sense of magic and connections to the Original Trilogy.

Conclusion

In the end 2015 was a pretty good year for films, sure there was plenty of disappoints films, but there was also a great deal of surprises and certain films that delivered their promise of awesomeness. With 2016 around the corner we’ve got the likes of Batman V Superman, Captain America: Civil War, Star Wars: Rogue One, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, The Jungle Book and Suicide Squad being some of the heavy hitters, it’ll be fun to see how next year pans out.

So how do you feel about my list and are any of your favourites on here? Also do you feel like some of these entries are wrong? And in general what were you favourite films of 2015? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Films, Media

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2015 Part 3

Howdy people of the interweb and welcome to the third part of my special series of blog posts dedicated to the films that you should be looking out for this year entitled: Films to look out for in 2015! It’s a preview to this year’s selection of films in the cinema and I’m basically going to highlight why I believe they’re worth paying attention to. Before checking this out be sure to read PART 1 and PART 2 first.

Now before we begin I have two main things I need yo point out:

  1. Obviously a lot films come out, so if they’re not only my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care…
  2. 2014 films getting their UK releases this year don’t count! So there.😛

Okay then, let’s start 😀

The Fantastic Four

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Release Date: August 7th (USA), August 6th (UK)

So now we have the Fantastic Four reboot, the film which directed by Josh Trank of Chronicle, written and produced by Simon Kinberg of X-Men Days of Future Past and it stars some of the most talented young actors working today in the form of Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell. So what’s the problem? Well for a lot of fans, the information provided about this film doesn’t sound that intriguing. The origin’s been changed, the actors for the characters are super young, Johnny Storm is White, Dr. Doom is apparently some internet hacker or something. Add on top of that there’s no images or footage of this film to be found and it’s 8 months away! I want to believe in the talent behind the film and want to be entertained, but so far nothing has gotten me excited for this film. I hope to be proven wrong.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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Release Date: August 15th (USA & UK)

So now we have a film I’ve heard a lot of talk about from certain film sites and I know that this is the next big film for Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, but beyond that my knowledge about this film is next to nothing. From what I’ve read this film is based on a 1960’s TV show, it’s a spy comedy and its directed by Guy Ritchie. I like Guy Ritchie’s as a director and cast seem solid. Now again I have no idea of what this film entails, however a lot of film sites say it is one to look out for so I’m keeping my eyes peeled.

Criminal

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Release Date: August 21st (USA)

This is another film which doesn’t have a trailer or any images released for it, however when I saw it listed in the set of 2015 films I thought it my be worth watching. There are a few reasons to check it out like: 1) The premise sounds pretty interesting, “The memories & skills of a deceased CIA agent are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous convict.” 2) Ariel Vromen, the director for this film was also the man behind The Iceman and I really liked that film. And 3) There’s the cast I do love Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds is a good actor, Kevin Costner is cool, Alice Eve is pretty and even Gal Gadot is in this too (which will be interesting to see if she’s improved as an actress since Fast 6).

Hitman: Agent 47

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Release Date: August 28th (USA & UK)

Now from what I understand the first Hitman film back in 2007 wasn’t that well-received. I never saw the film so I can’t comment on whether it was good or not and since I’ve never played the games I can’t compare or say what I would like to see in the sequel. That being said, I have done some research into the game series, learnt a lot of stuff from reviews and my best uni friend and I expect a solid action thriller with suspense, style, stealth and drama, IF the filmmakers can pull it off. The cast seems decent as well with Zachary Quinto, Thomas Kretschmann and Rupert Friend as the main character, let’s hope this film is a good one.

Jane Got a Gun

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Release Date: September 4th (USA), September 25th (UK)

Again we have another film with no trailer or any promotional images, just another one I’m interested in based on word of mouth from film sites and the description of the film. I’m not usually into western films, but if the story and cast are interesting enough then I’ll give it a try. This film sounds interesting, sounds like a good old tale of revenge and murder and I like that regardless of what genre it takes place in. I really like the cast though, I LOVE Ewan McGregor, Joel Edgerton is good actor too, but it is Natalie Portman who interests me the most. I haven’t seen her in a leading role since Black Swan and I know she’s a good actress, but I want to see if she can be tough again. If she can pull off this film then I’ll be happy.

Triple Nine

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Release Date: September 11th (USA & UK)

This is another unknown film that just has an intriguing premise and great cast. Apparently it’s a crime-drama heist film involving corrupt police officers, blackmail and murder, sounds nice. Plus the cast has Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Gal Gadot, Teresa Palmer and Michael Peña. That is a good deal of talent especially when it comes to the Harrelson, Winslet, Ejiofor and Affleck. Plus my boys Paul, Mackie and Reedus are in check.

Black Mass

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Release Date: September 18th (USA)

This is another film I’m interested in from the sound of the story and cast involved. It’s apparently based on a true story (like most films these days), but what excites me is the cast. Johnny Depp’s in the film and since it is a crime drama the man will be in a serious role and I love that, plus my man Benedict Cumberbatch will be in the film as well as Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons and Sienna Miller. I just want to see them interact in one film.

Everest

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Release Date: September 18th (USA), October 2nd (UK)

There’s no trailer for this film but the premise sounds good: “A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.” Sounds like things could get messy and I like films where people battle against the elements and try to survive impossibly tough situations. Add on top of that a good cast involving Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke and a few others and we could be on to a winner.

The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials

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Release Date: September 18th (USA & UK)

A lot of people hated on The Maze Runner when it was released last year, but I really liked it, sure some of the plot was generic, the pay-off at the end wasn’t that good and the sequel bait for the film was far too obvious. Overall I still thought it was fun and interesting. Now we have the sequel and I just want to know what these kids are going to be doing and what kind of trials they’ll have to endure that could be worse than the maze beforehand.

Victor Frankenstein

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Release Date: October 2nd (USA & UK)

With this film, I’ve head a lot of talk about this film since around the summer of 2013. Apparently from what I’ve read it’s like an origin story about the character of Frankenstein from the perspective of Igor, the assistant. I’m not sure what to expect from it, however, it has James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe in it, so that is my main reason for checking out.

Crimson Peak

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Release Date: October 16th (USA & UK)

So now we have Crimson Peak, the next film from Guillermo del Toro. I’ve I do like Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam, but I’m more interested in Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain as they are two of my favourite people in film these days. It is horror, a genre I’m not too interested in, however it is del Toro as the director so I’ll give it a go.

St. James Place

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Release Date: October 16th (USA), October 9th (UK)

This is a film I knew nothing about until I read about it online. My main reasons for watching it are: 1) It’s a spy film. 2) The film’s directed by Steven Spielberg. 3) It has Tom Hanks in the lead role. The film has me on those three aspects alone, I can’t wait.

The Last Witch Hunter

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Release Date: October 23rd (USA), November 6th (UK)

This is a film I’ve been curious about for a while now. It is next big Vin Diesel film (that isn’t part of the Fast & Furious series), and I’m a big fan of his and even when the first few images were released, I was intrigued. I like the premise of the film, plus with other talent like Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood and Michael Caine, this makes me very happy. I hope this film is good, it’s a supernatural action film and that’s right up my street.

Spectre

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Release Date: November 6th (USA), October 23rd (UK)

So now we have the next Bond film… And I want it now. Nuff said. But if I had to elaborate, Skyfall was one of my favourite films of 2012 and the fact that Sam Mendes is back at the helm along with the talented cast and crew just makes me giddy. Since the main announcement about the cast, film title and new car, my mind’s been freaking out just thinking about it. I can’t wait to see what Christoph Waltz, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci add to this new Bond adventure.

The Peanuts Movie

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Release Date: November 6th (USA), December 21st (UK)

Now we have a film I’m eagerly anticipating, it is of course the return of Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the group in The Peanuts Movie. The first teaser hit my nostalgia levels just right and since then I’ve been hyped for this film. Even though I never read the comics or wasn’t alive when the Peanuts were at the hype of their popularity, I’ve seen a lot of the old TV show and specials and I love it. It seems like the people behind this film care a lot about the project and if they can get it right, this will be a very special animated film in 2015.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

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Release Date: November 20th (USA & UK)

Despite what a lot of people said I liked Mockingjay – Part 1 and I am very curious to see how this whole thing ends. While I’m not stupidly hyped for this like I was when the final Harry Potter film was out in 2011, I have become a little invested in these films and I’m curious to see how Katniss ends the crazy journey she started back in the first film.

The Good Dinosaur

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Release Date: November 25th (USA), November 27th (UK)

Now I may have read this wrong, but I believe we are getting TWO Pixar films this year which is unprecedented as far as I know. I guess they’re making up for not releasing anything last year haha. But anyways I’ve been hearing a lot about this film for a while now, I heard the initial footage was good, then the film got pushed back and then the film’s original vision got scrapped and got re-done, so there’s a lot of development that’s been going into this film. I just hope that it is worth it.

The Martian

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Release Date: November 25th (USA), November 27th (UK)

Now we have the next film from Ridley Scott which I am curious about, however, at the same time very I am wary of. Scott hasn’t made a very compelling film that I’ve seen in recent years. All of them have been decent to average to dull, especially his last entry Exodus: Gods and Kings. The premise sounds good and I like the cast, I just hope Scott can produce a good film that’s worth watching this year.

Midnight Special

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Release Date: November 25th (USA)

Another film I found online and have seen has an interesting premise (A father and son go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers) and a cool cast (Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver and Joel Edgerton). I also like the director, Jeff Nichols, so I hope that it’s a good one, plus I hope it gets a UK release this year.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

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Release Date: December 18th (USA & UK)

Okay, now we have pretty much the most important film on this list. It doesn’t matter if you respect the series or not, this is a major cinematic event that some people have been waiting a long time to see. For me, I knew The Force Awakens was going to be worth my time but after that teaser trailer, I went from excited to absurd excitement. This film could either be the best thing ever or could suck badly and have a lot of SW fans ready to take out J.J. Abrams, but I have faith that it’ll be good. I can’t wait to see the old cast back together with all the new members, plus ANDY SERKIS, YAY!

Mission: Impossible 5

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Release Date: December 25th (USA), December 26th (UK)

And we have the fifth entry in the Mission: Impossible series. Now I didn’t think we’d get to this point, but honestly after what Brad Bird did with Ghost Protocol, I wanted more of Tom Cruise and this crazy action stuff. Now I don’t think this next film will be as good as the last because the last film pretty much gave life back to this series and was a mixture of fun and action in ways the previous films had not done before, plus it had Brad Bird’s style all over it. I do hope that this next adventure continues to build on the material that the last film did.

Alrighty then, with part 3 over, that’s my big ol’ 2015 film preview done. Thank you so much for reading especially if you made it through all three parts. Are any of the films listed on your personal list of films to watch? whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and I’ll see you for the final blog post in this series with my TOP 10 MOST ANTICIPATED FILMS OF 2015! Laters 😀

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2015 in Films, Media

 

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