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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 yaΒ on the next blog post, laters! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Films, Media

 

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Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Review

Howdy people of the internet, time for my latest film review in the form of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. I would have seen this film sooner but I’ve had to wait until I got time off from work. Anyway, I’ve been pumped for this film for a while and I just hoped that it’d be good with all of the awesome stuff that was shown off in the trailers. So is the film good or not? Well read on and find out!

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So the story can be described as the following:

“Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.”

The story in this film was really good. Talk about living on the edge, this film goes above and beyond to give you an adventure that insane, dangerous and totally cool. This was definitely a personal outing for Ethan Hunt and this film was also heavier with the spy and thriller elements. The key themes of this film dealt with trust, conspiracies and uncertainty. There was a lot of mystery going on, and at several key points in the film you’re not sure who to trust, this creates a great deal of tension and suspense, and because of the motivations of the main characters it makes for very intriguing and cool story. I really appreciated the odds that Ethan and his friends had to deal with this time, it really felt like an impossible mission with crazy odds stacked against them, and it was put together in such a smart way. Another aspects about this film series is that it is consistent with its codes and conventions. There are certain elements that come into play in Rogue Nation that have been used before, but because it’s part of this world and it’s used effectively, it doesn’t feel repetitive or unpractical. Oh and the’s really funny with a lot of great moments of humour sprinkled throughout. I don’t really have much in the way of negatives with the plot, it was all pretty good.

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As for the cast they are all great. Tom Cruise has still got it as Ethan Hunt. While we get all of the usual cool aspects of Hunt’s character, this time around it really focuses on his personality. The story really gets into his mindset, shows what makes him tick and why he’s so determined to take down his enemies, but also shows that he’s a team player and he cares for his friends. Cruise turns in another great performance and has such a great screen presence, whether he’s fighting, running or standing still looking like a badass, he’s just fun to watch. Jeremy Renner was great as William Brandt, this guy is just as funny and uptight as he was previously, but this time he’s more integrated into Ethan’s team and while he doesn’t always trust Ethan, he always does the right thing. Renner has such a likeable charm and in this film he had a lot of good material to work with. Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn was brilliant. Even though Benji was primarily around for humour, he had a lot of good moments drama and action and I liked how Benji’s character has progressed through this series.

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Rebecca Ferguson I think may be the stand out performance as Ilsa Faust. Ferguson is hot, beautiful and sexy all and the same time, but beyond that she’s a really interesting character. I loved Ilsa’s backstory, motivations and interactions with Ethan, plus she was a damn good spy with crazy amounts of skill, efficiency and badassery. I hope to see her return in future films as she’s too good a character to not see again. Ving Rhames was as Luther Stickell, Rhames just had that nice level of swagger, charm and humour that make Luther fun to watch. Also Sean Harris did well as Solomon Lane, the main villain of the film. what I liked about Lane was that he was always step ahead, he was so sneaky, swift and effortless in his actions, and Harris was really good in the role (although I wasn’t overly keen on the soft/quiet voice). plus Lane was certainly more memorable than the previous film’s villain for sure. Alec Baldwin was a welcomed addition to the MI world as Alan Hunley, Baldwin (regardless of his actions in the real world) is a good actor and in this film he displayed some of his best qualities, the guy is intimidating, serious, but also funny and engaging, and while Hunley’s character isn’t too likeable, he’s certainly fun to watch especially with his interactions with William Brandt. Simon McBurney as Attlee was another great character who was cool yet off-putting and creepy at the same time, and finally Tom Hollander as the Prime Minister is awesome and some of my favourite scenes in the film.

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When it comes to the presentation it is really, really good! I really liked the visual side of things. This film was shot really well with some really cool cinematography with the car chases and fight scenes, I also liked the use of colour and lighting for some of the scenes especially at night as it added levels of tension, drama and looked quite artistic. I also liked the choreography of the fight scenes as they were cool, slick and pretty brutal. The film score by Joe Kraemer was really cool, it had the right levels of intensity, sophistication and drama, and while I did miss Michael Giacchino’s sound from the last film, Kraemer did a damn good job.

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In conclusion Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation was bloody awesome, I knew the film would be good but I’m just so happy that it ended up being another solid entry in this series. This film has all of the best elements that you’d expect from these films, but here the filmmakers found ways to create even crazier action scenes, have a story with a great deal of tension, depth and conspiracy and still make a fun summer film. While I think I still like the more fun-oriented approach of Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation is just as badass and I highly recommend it.

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you think of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below, until the next time, laters! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Trailer #1

Howdy people of the internet, time for my trailer review for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Obviously the teaser for this trailer came out on Sunday (I foolishly thought that it was the first trailer, however it was just teaser to a full teaser), but now we have a full trailer to look at giving us our first look at the carnage we’re in for with this fifth installment of this film series.

Firstly check out the trailer here:

So what are my first thoughts after seeing this trailer? I want a piece of this pie yo, sign me the hell up!

Now after the badassery of Ghost Protocol (a film I LOVED), I was not only ready for more adventures with Ethan Hunt but I was also curious/worried as to how this film would come close to that level of quality. And I know from interviews that director Christopher McQuarrie said that he wasn’t trying to outdo the last film, but just wanted to make a solid film. However after seeing this trailer I feel like the people behind this film are definitely trying to up the ante from the last film.

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Looks like the stakes are set possibly even higher than before with a lot of interesting a crazy things going on like:

  • A cool female operative working with Ethan’s crew
  • The CIA are out to dissolve the IMF
  • Hunt and his crew are up against an organisation just as skilled as they are
  • Ethan Hunt hanging off of a plane

As for the plot it seems like Hunt and his crew are going to have their work cut out for them as their main enemy seems to be a bad version of themselves. This illusive group known as the Syndicate are coming after our heroes and it looks like they have a lot of skill and firepower. I’m liking the cast too. Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg like their on-point as Ethan Hunt and Benji Dunn, while seeing Jeremy Renner again as William Brandt makes me smile too. I am however really excited for the new additions to the cast. Alec Baldwin is one of my favourite actors and while he’s seemed less than likeable in the public eye over recent years, I don’t want that to get in the way of the talent that he has. Anways I like how his character looks like the bad guy, seems like he’s going to make things complicated by taking out the organisation that Hunt and his crew work for and creating friction is also fun. And Rebecca Ferguson looks like a great replacement for Paula Patton as the next leading female. Besides being a confident, she can kick ass and is in the thick of the action and I love that. What I also appreciated was that for all the action and serious story elements, there are still moments of humour, a lot of which involving Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise. Whether it is Ethan asking Benji if he has his seatbelt on while in a car that’s flying backwards through the air or if Ethan is asking a woman if he knows her after she helped him beat up his captors, it’s great and well-timed.

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Oh and then there’s the action which looks off the chain yo and some of the stuff I liked was:

  • There’s chase sequences with bikes and cars with people getting knocked down and over cliffs!
  • Cool hand to hand combat moments whether someone is being held hostage or a woman is dispensing people in a dress
  • Ethan jumps off a building into some water hole which looks like it is inside of a fountain area

I know its been said already many times at this point but I’m going to mention it anyway… HOLY SHIT, IT’S TOM CRUISE HANGING OFF A MOVING PLANE, OH MY GOD! Sure that reaction is a little extreme but you have to admit, a 50+ Tom Cruise hanging off of a moving plane is some hardcore shit. This guy must be the western version of Jackie Chan (not nearly as hardcore but you get the comparison). I mean most men at this age would probably start to slow down and not do such crazy and risky stunt work, but Cruise jumps into this madness like a duck to water and shit he goes through for our entertainment has to be applauded. I don’t know how anyone can hate on a guy that works so hard and does badass stuff like this.

I guess my only issue with the trailer is the use of that remixed version of “Ready or Not” The Fugees, it just sounded horrible and out of place, thank god if wasn’t in the whole of the trailer.

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In conclusion the first trailer for Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation looks awesome, I wasn’t sure if this film would get me as excited as the last one, but my worries were put to bed as this looks just as crazy, if not more than before. The action looks great, the story seems intriguing, the cast looks great and the set pieces look insane. The waiting period for the summer film season has gotten that much harder.

So what do you think of the first trailer for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below, until the next time, laters! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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