Thursday, 2 July 2015

Blog: 2015 - The Halfway Point

We're currently at the halfway point for 2015, and in my opinion, it's been a pretty solid year. Let's see what films are, in my opinion, the Top and Bottom 5 of 2015.


Best


Honourable Mentions go to Ex Machina, an engaging sci-fi film which puts fantastic ideas & performances first, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, a worthy follow-up to 2012's hit, which gives each of the increased cast a moment to shine, and makes a nearly two and a half hour runtime fly by.

5. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, a documentary which casts a focus on the famous lead of Nirvana. The difference being that it leaves out the circumstances of his death and tip-toes around Cobain's legendary status. Instead, director Brett Morgen provides an intimate gaze at the man himself, as we view his drawings, home movies and even listen to recordings of him. It's almost an intrusion, but rather heartfelt.

4. The Voices is, without a doubt, one of the years most unique films. Marjane Satrapi has a great hold on the tone, managing to get the dramatic moments to hit their target just as well as the humorous ones. Ryan Reynolds delivers one of his best performances, managing to be well meaning, yet truly unsettling.

3. Wild Tales, an anthology film which tells 6 blackly comedic tales of revenge. The result is one of the years best surprises, managing to be equally shocking, hilarious and masterful.

2. Inside Out could've been another entry to show how Pixar are far from their best. Yet, they managed to defy all expectations, and make a triumphant return to their creative highs. Packed with imagination, humour, characters you can get behind and, well, emotion, this is easily one of Pixar's best works.

1. Mad Max: Fury Road managed to come out of nowhere, and set the bar for 2015's films. George Miller shows why he knows best for this franchise, as he crafts a maddening world for our eyes and ears to behold. He takes what's essentially one long chase scene, and utilizes it to power forward motion to the plot, momentarily stopping for necessary moments. Let's not even forget the breathtaking motor destruction that unfolds before our eyes, or even Coma Doof Warrior, one of the years best characters.

Worst


Dishonourable Mentions go to The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water, which works as an animated film, but then falls flat once it enters the real world, and Frozen Fever, a short which adds nothing to the 2013 smash hit, instead existing to cash in on the brand.

5. Fifty Shades of Grey, which came into cinemas on a wave of controversy, due to its source material. Sam Taylor-Johnson and Kelly Marcel have tried their best to improve on the source material, but you can feel author EL James' hands all over this, from the unfortunate line of "Fifty shades of fucked up". But the poorly written characters, Jamie Dornan's dull performance and the yawn-worthy sex scenes don't help things either.

4. The Divergent Series: Insurgent takes any goodwill left by its predecessor, and manages to destroy all trace of it. The result is something which isn't much different from the other Young Adult film franchises, with the exception of Robert Schwentke's poor choices, and a general sense of frustration at how most of the characters are handled.

3. Mortdecai, the latest Johnny Depp misfire which lacks any characters worth liking, humour or excitement. But it's okay, there's a lot of importance put on moustaches, if you're into that sort of thing.

2. Get Hard, which seems to operate on the mindset of "When in doubt, tell a rape joke". Otherwise, it seems to be unable to stop enacting racial clich├ęs, or devolve into 90's style homophobia. Believe it or not, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart are above this embarrassment to comedy.

1. The Boy Next Door, which is just a cheap TV movie that happens to star Jennifer Lopez. Instead of thrills or logical thought, we get double entendres to groan at, and a cartoonish villain whose point of view we never get. What doesn't help is how one scene's CLEARLY an act of sexual violence, yet is never treated as such, and the blame gets put on the victim.

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