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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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QUICK REVIEW: Straight Outta Compton

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another new film review, and today I’ll be talking about a film I’ve been waiting to see for a good while now; Straight Outta Compton.

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The story can be summed up as the following:

“The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.”

I thought the story was great, as someone who really wasn’t aware of what was going on at that point in time, this film serves as an interesting history lesson as to what was going on in America at that time, why NWA were such a big deal and how they changed music and the world with their presence. Obviously there will probably be some dramatized elements or stuff that gets left out, however for the most part everything felt real, authentic and was handled with a great deal of care. I like how the film gave enough time to focus on each of the three key characters (Eazy-E, Dre and Cube), but also sprinkled in references to other rappers and projects they’d be working on, and some of those references are hilariously well-placed. The story doesn’t hold back much, there’s nudity, death, violence, racism and it can be brutal and intense, and it’s just crazy to believe that the world used to be that way with the abusive police and turf wars between gangs. At the same time, like Selma and Fruitvale Station, this film sort of depicts some of the crazy shit that’s still going on today which makes it even more relevant.

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As for the cast, they were all great and there really wasn’t anyone who gave a best performance in my eyes. Firstly there’s O’Shea Jackson, Jr. as Ice Cube, damn! If there was ever someone who was cast perfectly to play a real life character in biopic, it would be this guy. Jackson does really well portraying his father with his body language, mannerisms and the right amount of sass and aggression, it’s almost completely uncanny. But beyond that Jackson does well playing this creative individual who has dreams and aspirations, but wants things to be equal and the guy has a bit of temper too. Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre was really good too. While Hawkins looks nothing like Dre, the guy does one hell of a job acting like him. In the film Dre is someone who is really into music in terms of the rhythm, composition and overall sound and you can tell that he’s got talent and aspirations to change the world of music. But the person who steals the film is Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E. I’d heard a lot of hype about Mitchell before seeing this film, but even I have to admit that guy was great. Eazy is a fun and smart individual, however he doesn’t always have the right kind of ideas and because of the nature of the stuff he gets involved with he goes on a really crazy, destructive and tragic journey, and I have to say that Mitchell killed it offering a performance that was handled really well. I also enjoyed Aldis Hodge as MC Ren and Neil Brown, Jr. was hilarious as DJ Yella.

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And then of course there’s Paul Giamatti as Jerry Heller, Giamatti was really good here offering a character who was funny and loyal, and yet sneaky, manipulative and questionable.I also have to say that R. Marcus Taylor who played Suge Knight was awesome, that guy, bloody hell, he was scary, he could be all calm one minute and then would explode if the littlest thing pissed him off. Oh and shout out to Keith Stanfield who did a great job as Snoop Dogg.

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In conclusion Straight Outta Compton is pretty badass film. It has such a great sense of pride, brutality, intensity and realism, and it also helps that the story was compelling, the acting was excellent and the music was awesome.

Rating: 8.5/10

So have you seen Straight Outta Compton and if so what did you think? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

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

 

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