2015 Movies

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The Films of 2015

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My Top Picks

  1. San Andreas: A totally unexpected "big dumb movie" but somehow the effects were really good and the Rock was really likeable. It was strangely amusing that he was a rescue worker who always found the appropriate safety and vehicles but usually he just drove, sped or flew on past the hundreds of people who needed his help. Nope, he was just about saving his family.
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: I originally gave this the number one position but after the hype wore off, I started to see it for what it was, a collection of the "best of" scenes from the other Star Wars films. I think it also helped that it had some of the best 3D I've ever seen. Things I didn't like; Another Death Star (no matter what they called it), some by-the-numbers plot points, mostly wiping the canon of the EU from books and comics. Things I liked, pretty much everything else. I feel sorry for George Lucas. His prequels were attempts to be a little original and add the wider story -- and some political intrigue but all anyone ever wanted was "more of the same". JJ Abrams delivers exactly that.
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road: Can't say I was expecting much particularly after George Miller's Babe genre change but this delivered. A stark film with almost no dialog and everything rendered in Blue and Orange.
  4. Martian, The: Pretty good. Good science and good acting. The 3D was good too.
  5. Ant-Man: At last a marvel film that concentrates on the smaller interactions -- and it's funny too.
  6. Chappie: I loved this. A great return to form for Neil Blomkamp after the very disappointing Elysium. Admittedly it was just short-circuit in a gangland setting.
  7. Inside Out: Another brilliant film from Pixar. I loved that it wasn't all about being happy.
  8. Terminator 5: Genesys: This was "fine" but I'd have preferred a continuation of the Christian Bale thing. Good ideas but a little too derivative.
  9. Kingsman: The Secret Service: Another unexpected film. I'm not sure that I liked Sam L Jackson's performance this time round but the rest was brilliant.
  10. Project Almanac: Fun.
  11. Cinderella: Totally unexpected. I don't know how this made it to the "top" list. I wasn't even planning on seeing it but the treatment of the material was done so well.
  12. Vacation: This was actually quite a lot of fun.
  13. Jurassic World: We make dinosaurs, we underestimate them, they get out, they eat people and then we run away. A copy of the original with less likeable characters. No idea how it garnered so much support.

Notable Mentions ("Surprise" Films)

  • Shaun the Sheep Movie: Obviously Shaun is great but after the Wallace and Gromit movie, I had fairly low expectations. This was particularly well written.
  • Little Boy: I was expecting a saccharine-soaked trip through an old man's past but this wasn't it. It was a great period story full of fun and great references. Well worth a watch.
  • San Andreas: I wasn't expecting much from this one but it was way better than the last big disaster movie (2012). Sure, there were a lot of unbelievable moments but the Rock's charisma carried him through.
  • In the Heart of the Sea: I was expecting Moby Dick... This story was better.
  • Insidious Chapter 3: Still good. Still scary. Not too derivative.
  • Ant-Man: Sometimes it feels as if the Marvel films have gotten way too big. They're concentrating on bringing in as many characters as they can, on having giant explosions, bigger and bigger threats and more and more villains. It feels like there's no room for character development. Fortunately Ant-Man has everything that is missing from the recent Marvel films.
  • Age of Adaline, The: I figured this would just be a "Benjamin Button" clone but it was better than that. A rich and thought-provoking drama.
  • Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension: No, nothing terribly surprising about the storyline but amazing use of 3D. It's one of the few films that I'd say, either watch it in 3D or not at all.

The Biggest Disappointments

  • Hot Tub Time Machine 2: Simply awful. Plodding, annoying and overly complicated for a comedy.
  • Seventh Son, The: A mostly incomprehensible mess of clichés.
  • Maze Runner 2: The Scorch Trials: While the first Maze Runner had a very simple story, it was new and fresh. The second increases story complexity but at the risk of looking like a dozen other (better directed) movies.
  • Jurassic World: Nothing actually wrong with this movie. It was good, the Dinosaurs ate the bad people but not the kids, the main characters were dull but likeable. The problem was simply that there's nowhere to go. Jurassic Park really only has one story to tell.
  • Crimson Peak: This wasn't a "bad" film, simply a sub-par effort from Guillermo del Toro. If it had been a film from more or less any less accomplished director, it would have been pretty good.

All the films I've seen at the Cinemas in 2015

  1. Kingsman
  2. Project Almanac
  3. Shaun the Sheep Movie
  4. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
  5. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  6. Mad Max: Fury Road
  7. San Andreas
  8. Jurassic Park
  9. Terminator 5: Genesys
  10. Mission Impossible 5
  11. Vacation
  12. Maze Runner 2: The Scorch Trials
  13. Visit, The
  14. Spectre
  15. Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, The
  16. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Films from 2015 that I saw on the "small screen"

  1. Age of Adaline, The
  2. Ant-Man
  3. Chappie
  4. Cinderella
  5. Crimson Peak
  6. Divergent Series: Insurgent, The
  7. Everest
  8. Fantastic Four, The
  9. Fifty Shades of Grey
  10. Get Hard
  11. Good Dinosaur, The
  12. Home
  13. Hot Tub Time Machine 2
  14. Hotel Transylvania 2
  15. In the Heart of the Sea
  16. Inside Out
  17. Insidious: Chapter 3
  18. Jupiter Ascending
  19. Krampus
  20. Last Witch Hunter, The
  21. Little Boy
  22. Martian, The
  23. Minions
  24. Pan
  25. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
  26. Peanuts Movie, The
  27. Pixels
  28. Point Break
  29. Poltergeist
  30. Run All Night
  31. Seventh Son
  32. SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, The
  33. Spy
  34. Ted 2
  35. Tomorrowland
  36. Trainwreck
  37. Unfriended
  38. Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, The

What's Left to See from 2015

The boldfaced titles are the ones I'm most interested in;

* Denotes titles I've acquired but haven't gotten around to watching yet.

  1. Bajrangi Bhaijaan
  2. Black Mass
  3. Blackhat
  4. Boy Next Door, The
  5. Child 44
  6. Coup, The
  7. Criminal
  8. Desert Dancer
  9. Don't Mess with Texas
  10. Entourage
  11. Focus
  12. Friday the 13th 3D reboot
  13. Furious 7
  14. Grimsby
  15. Gunman, The
  16. Hateful Eight, The
  17. Hitman: Agent 47
  18. Intern, The
  19. Jane Got a Gun
  20. Jem and the Holograms
  21. Joy
  22. Kidnap
  23. Kitchen Sink
  24. Lazarus
  25. Longest Ride, The
  26. Magic Mike XXL
  27. Man from U.N.C.L.E., The
  28. Masterminds
  29. McFarland, USA
  30. Mean Moms
  31. Midnight Special
  32. Monkey Kingdom
  33. Monster Trucks
  34. Moon and the Sun, The
  35. Mortdecai
  36. Paper Towns
  37. Pitch Perfect 2
  38. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo
  39. Regression
  40. Revenant, The
  41. Ricki and the Flash
  42. Rock the Kasbah
  43. Scouts vs. Zombies
  44. Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The
  45. Selfless
  46. Sinister 2
  47. Sisters
  48. Spare Parts
  49. St. James Place
  50. Straight Outta Compton
  51. Strange Magic*
  52. Taken 3*
  53. Transporter Legacy, The
  54. Triple Nine
  55. Unfinished Business
  56. Victor Frankenstein
  57. Walk, The
  58. Wedding Ringer, The
  59. Wild Card