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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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Kingsman: The Secret Service Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about the latest Mathew Vaughn film, Kingsman: The Secret Service. This film I’ve been interested in watching for a while, but the trailers didn’t blow me away, so I came into the film with mild expectations… So is it good or not? Well the short answer is a massive HELL YES!

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The story can be described as the following:

Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

The story in this film was great, this film definitely has a superhero element about it, however it is more so a spy adventure with a few unique traits that make it feel fresh from other films of the same genre. I like all of the references to other spy films whether it be James Bond of the Bourne series and the fact that the film is self-aware and knows what it is makes it so much better. This story swift, didn’t drag, had so much violence, but had a lot of good character moments and humour mixed in so that there was something for everyone. One thing to not before going into this film that is VERY violent and if that kind of thing turns of off, then this is not for you. I have to give props to Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman for the direction and writing, it seems like these two have really found their groove and work so well together to produce really great scenes with awesome dialogue and a nice sense of style.

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As for the cast they are awesome. Colin Firth as Harry Hart is great. This is certainly my favourite film from Firth as he brings the same level of acting talent as he has with other films, however here he just has a screen presence that makes him come across as such a cool badass. Taron Egerton as Gary “Eggsy” Unwin is just wonderful. From the trailers I thought I wouldn’t like his character because of his accent and behaviour, however those are the aspects that make him so likeable. Eggsy is a boy who has skills, but only needs a little direction and when he has a task he knows how execute it and think outside of the box. Egerton was very charming and charismatic and hope to see more from him in the future. And Samuel L. Jackson as Richmond Valentine, just wow. I had seen Jackson in so may films, however this has to be one of his most odd and memorable roles in recent times. Valentine is a very smart and ambitious individual with a plan to take over the world and he’s such a cool guy. However he’s also unconventional and funny because of his lisp and disliking of violence and his character works so well just because it is Jackson in the role who just steals every scene he’s in.

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Sofia Boutella as Gazelle was cool, this woman was Valentine’s right hand woman and dispatched people in such a violent and stylish way with those sword legs of hers. I was afraid she would just be a silent bodyguard for Valentine that had no substance, but luckily she had a fair amount to do and say and I really liked Boutella’s performance. Mark Strong was awesome as Merlin. I usually like Strong, but I think this is my favourite role he’s been in for a while. Merlin is firm, tactical and at times quite humourous and I loved his interactions with Eggsy especially. Michael Caine as Arthur was good as usual, Jack Davenport was very good as Lancelot and I really liked Sophie Cookson as Roxy (she is also incredibly pretty). Samantha Womack was good as Michelle and as a long-term casual watcher of Eastenders I was happy to see her do well in such a big film. Oh and seeing Mark Hamill as Professor James Arnold was so delightful, he wasn’t in the film that much, but for the screen time he got he was lovely.

When it comes to the presentation it is great. Visually the film is crafted so well, the cinematography and filming techniques used throughout is spectacular, and the action scenes are done SO well with the best camera shots used for shooting action for a while. There are some incredible tracking shots, wide shots and zooming in and out in these fast and furious action sequences. The action overall is just insane with some very great choreography and acrobatics and it is some of the best stuff I have seen since The Raid 2. Oh and there is one sequence in this film (you’ll know when you see it) that is one of the coolest, craziest and filthiest thing I have ever seen, SO good.

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In conclusion Kingsman: The Secret Service is a pretty kick ass film. As a fan of action and spy films this film ticked all the right boxes for me. The story was very nicely done, the cast were awesome and the action was on the most insane level. I would definitely recommend this to any fan of action films or people who know of Matthew Vaughn’s previous work, it is a really good time in the cinema.

Rating: 8.5/10

So have you seen Kingsman: The Secret Service and if so what do you think of it? Please be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Until the next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Fantastic Four Reshoot And Trailer Release Confirmed By Simon Kinberg

Howdy ladies and gents, time for some film news and while today’s news story is a little small, it is very important as it is related to the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. The following comes from ComicBookMovie:

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The fact that we’ve seen nothing from The Fantastic Four means that everyone is thinking the worst of it, with plenty of reports (like the one earlier today) claiming that the reboot is in trouble.Well, the movie’s producer and writer Simon Kinberg has reached out to Latino-Review with the following statement: “To confirm – Fantastic Four will be doing 3-4 days of additional photography with director Josh Trank and some key cast members. We are very excited about the film and can’t wait for you to see what we’ve been up to. And you will be able to do that very soon as I can confirm here that the teaser will be on Kingsman in theaters February 13.”

It’s worth noting of course that Kinberg isn’t going to contact them and admit that the movie is in trouble, but three to four days of additional shooting is a lot different to the weeks of reshoots we heard about earlier, and I don’t think he would tell an outright lie about how extensive they are.

The main thing to focus on here is the fact that we now FINALLY know when the trailer will reach us! With a Super Bowl TV spot likely, it will obviously be early February that we start getting to see more from The Fantastic Four, including a poster and stills hopefully.

All I’m seeing this article is the fact that there’s a date for the trailer of Fantastic Four and I have to say about that is THANK GOD! For the longest time this film has been hidden in secrecy and all we’ve had to go off is the words of the writers, actors, producers and directors. There have been no images or footage of any kind. It is absurd. So after all this talk we finally have a date for the first trailer which will be releases with Kingsman: The Secret Service on February. There is one thing that it makes me wonder though, over in the UK we get Kingsman at the end of the month so does that mean we’ll see the trailer with the film too or is it an American thing only? Also will the trailer be released online the same day or not? I’m sure it will but I need to know. I just want to see what this film looks like, understand the story, the tone, the characters and action as well. Plus I want to see how this footage compares to all the rumours surrounding the rumours about the quality of this film and whether it is Chronicle 2 or not and whether the film has any elements retained from the comics or not. As for the info about reshoots, woo, big whoop. Re-shoots happen all the time these days with films and it it’s not always a bad thing.

So what do you think of this news? Please comment below and let me know your thoughts.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2015 in Films, Media

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2015 Part 1

Howdy people of the interweb and welcome to the first 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! Consider it 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. I have done this for the last two years and I’m excited to do all over again this year. 🙂

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 😀

Blackhat

Release Date: January 16th (USA), February 20th (UK)

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Trailer:

So first on this list we have Blackhat, a film I’ve been interested in since the time I saw the first trailer. What we have here is a thriller dealing with hacking and cyber crime on computers and while that’s not a very good description, the trailer gives you a good idea of what to expect. The reason why I think this film is worth watching is because; 1) The film’s directed by Michael Mann. 2) The cast look great featuring the like of Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis. 3) The plot seems pretty intriguing, And 4) The film’s presentation looks lovely.

Wild Card

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Release Date: January 30th (USA)

Trailer:

So another Jason Statham film, at this point we’ve all become accustomed to Mr. Statham and the kind of films he participates in, and even though not all of them are hits, they always provide some form of fun and good action. This films looks like fun with plenty of action, card games, drama, revenge and all that jazz, plus the cast looks good and it’ll be interesting to see them interact. There’s currently no release for this film in the UK but hopefully it won’t be too long after it comes out in America.

Jupiter Ascending

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Release Date: February 6th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Ah Jupiter Ascending, feels like I’ve been waiting for this for ages. This time last year I was waiting for it as part of the summer of 2014, but it never came. The trailers haven’t blown me away but it certainly looks interesting and since it is directed by The Wachowskis, I have to see if they can make a good film that isn’t The Matrix (although I did like parts of Cloud Atlas). The story looks interesting enough, the CGI looks amazing, I like the cast and I want to see two things: 1) How Eddie Redmayne fares in the films and 2) How Sean Bean dies, because let’s be honest, that’s what everyone likes to see these days. The sad truth is that this film was meant to be out last summer, then got delayed to this year and normally when films get pushed back to the early part of the next year it means that it’s bad. I can only hope that it is worth the wait.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Release Date: 13 February 2015 (USA), January 29th (UK)

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Trailer:

Initially I wasn’t interested in this film, even if it was directed by the great Matthew Vaughn, the premise never sounded that interesting to me on paper. But then I saw the trailer and then I was convinced otherwise. This film looks mental, with slick and well-crafted action, a cool-looking story, a good cast and SAMUEL L. JACKSON! I mean I’m annoyed it has taken this film so long to come out, I just wanna see it now and get this cool stuff in my system already.

Focus

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Release Date: February 27th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Now we have a film I’m very curious about and hoping will be good and that is Focus, which is Will Smith’s first film in just under 2 years! The reason I’m interested in this film is because I like film’s with con men, it means there’s a lot of deception and trust involved and obviously when women come into play for men, things can never be simple. The story seems like there is a good balance of drama and humour and Will Smith paired with Margot Robbie seems like a great match. For me Will Smith is my childhood hero, I love the guy, but it is fair to say that in recent years the guy has become fairly invisible and has shown up in decent films (Men In Black 3 & Anchorman 2) and one really bad one (After Earth), so to see him in a potentially good film makes me smile. I hope this is his return to form.

The Lazarus Effect

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Release Date: February 28th (USA)

Trailer:

I’m not one for horror films, anyone who’s read this blog knows that. However, there was a lot of buzz about this film especially what I heard on AMC Movie Talk, so I watched the trailer and now I’m curious. I like the concept of resurrecting the dead and there being repercussions for the people involved. Sure it has been done in other films before and a lot of the things I saw in the trailer does look a bit generic when it comes to horror films, however I like the cast and I’m curious to see what this film’s about.

Chappie

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Release Date: March 6th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Ever since I saw the trailer for this film I interested. I like films about artificial intelligence especially when they learn and are trying to be human. Seems like Hugh Jackman is a man who wants machines to work one way and is threatened by machines that can think and Sigourney Weaver looks to be the bad person once again, supporting Jackman’s character. I hope that it will be good. I still love District 9, it remains to be one of my all-time favourite films, however, Elysium did not do much for me at all. So I am hoping that this film is a better experience than Blomkamp’s last outing.

Cinderella

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Release Date: March 13th (USA), March 27th (UK)

Trailer:

This does look like another variation on the classic story about Cinderella, however what interests me is the way the story’s being redone. It hits all the same notes as the original story (Cinderella has evil step mothers, there’s a fairy godmother, mice get transformed into horses, etc). However there is a heavy focus on Cinderella’s mother and childhood, the evil stepmother has more to do and the world looks more grand and vast than ever before. I love the vivid presentation and the cast look great, I am a big fan of Cate Blanchett, I love Hayley Atwell and seeing Richard Madden again after Game of Thrones makes me grin. I hope Kenneth Branagh succeeds with this film.

In The Heart Of The Sea

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Release Date: March 15th (USA), March 13th (UK)

Trailer:

I’ve already talked about how much I wanted to see this film in my first trailer review. However if you’re not already aware let me say it again, I am HYPED for this film. After Rush, I knew I had to see whatever Ron Howard was up to after that and this film looks amazing. The film looks super dramatic, action-packed, atmospheric and dangerous, there is a great scale and the cast are filled with a great set of people including Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson.

The Gunman

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Release Date: March 20th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I honestly didn’t know anything about this film until I looked it up and just from the cast I was interested. Then I saw the trailer and then put this film on my list. I am a sucker for action thriller’s, it is my jam yo. The film looks like it has an interesting story to tell and again I’m really liking the cast. I like Sean Penn, but I’m a massive fan of Idris Elba, Javier Bardem and Ray Winstone and I just want to see how these characters in the film come together.

Alrighty then, that’s part 1 done. Thanks a lot for reading. 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 PART 2! Laters 😀

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Films, Media

 

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