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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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SIMPLE REVIEW: Ex Machina (SPOILER FREE)

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a fresh film review and today I’ll be talking about Ex Machina. This is a film I only found out about around a month ago because of the posters showing at my local cinema, but it was after I saw the trailer and heard Oscar Issac was in the film when my interest got raised. Recently there’s been a lot of praise about this film, is it warranted? Well read on and find out in this condensed review!

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The story for this film can be described as the following:

“A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.”

This is a thriller mixed in with science fiction and it is a wonderfully done in a story that is familiar, yet unique, intriguing and unsettling. What I loved was the fact that from the beginning  there was something in the air that felt off. There was a creepy atmosphere with great deal of tension and suspense. The film gets you to look at every detail and consider the possibility from the perspective of each of the characters and then it becomes a game to find out who is telling the truth and who is full of shit. As the film progresses and certain aspects come to light things get very dark, disturbing and different very quickly, and while I suspected some of the story elements that came to pass, there were certainly unexpected aspects that I did not see coming which was great. For all its dark elements they are moments of humour and there is one sequence which was one of the best things I have experienced in any film in a while.

When it comes to the cast they are all incredible. Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb is awesome as this young man who comes into interaction with Nathan and Ava and has a life-changing experience getting to know them. Caleb is bright and intelligent, but is also fascinated by Ava and questions what Nathan’s intentions are. Gleeson is an actor I’ve grown to like since his days in Harry Potter and here is so calm, cool and dramatic. Oscar Isaac as Nathan what a great performance. Nathan is a man with ambition, he’s smart, confident and charming, however he is also uncompromising and mysterious. Isaac delivers what could be his best performance to date, he goes from being laid back to funny to intimidating and everything in between and he handles the role with such charisma that he is hard to take your eyes off of him. Alicia Vikander as Ava is fabulous, Ava is the AI created by Nathan and stays within a specific area of his house. She’s super smart, but is also curious about the outside world and gaining human interaction. Vikander is incredible, she walks the line perfectly between being robotic and being human, whether it be the way she talks or walks has just enough humanity to be realistic.

In addition to that the presentation was lovely. Visually the film was beautiful with a good use of colour, great shots of the outdoors and the CGI was very stylish and realistic. And the soundtrack by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow is cool and adds the atmospheric and creepy nature of the film.

In the end Ex Machina is a smart, chilling and well-executed and it is one of my favourite films in recent history to deal with artificial intelligence and how it interacts with humans. I highly recommend this film, the story is great and the performances from the three main cast members is brilliant.

Rating: 8.5/10

So have you seen Ex Machina and if so what do you think of it?  Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next review yo! 😀

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 23, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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