Looking forward to 2016
I didn't originally make a list for what I wanted to see in 2015 and while it's too late to completely look at it with fresh eyes, I can look back at some that I missed. Also this seems like a good spot to review my favorites that I have watched so far from the last year.
The Top 10 I Missed in 2015:
10. What We Do In The Shadows
Some of these movies - this one included, I never heard about until researching this list. But I watched the trailer and it was funny. Four Vampire roomates - simple premise. It seems a little too indie for me at times, but I think it's got enough interesting ideas here that it will be a fun watch at Halloween time.
9. The Big Short
I tried so hard to ignore this movie. The Wolf of Wall Street was so good and it will be hard to be matched. It also seems to be a little preachy and the bank premise is boring to me as well. What I can't ignore is Chrstian Bale and Brad Pitt in the same movie accompanied by Carell and Gosling. That's enough for me to give this a shot. They could just read the phone book and I would be entertained.
8. Mad Max: Fury Road
I never watched any of the originals, so no way was I going to hop into this one. But I've heard so many good things, it's almost impossible to pass up at this point.
It seems like such a downer to make a movie about this. I'm none the less curious how it turns out. I don't think it will move me quite the same as Price of Glory, the fact that it's a true story might hit harder. At the very least it will give Carell some interesting work.
6. It Follows
I don't know much about who is in it or the director. I don't think the premise even sounds that interesting, but it's supposed to be one of the best indie films of 2015. Also my love of horror movies and the fact that good ones are hard to come by.
5. Straight Outta Compton
I don't know if this will remind me of Boyz n the Hood. I still haven't watched Notorious yet, though 8 Mile and Get Rich or Die Tryin are two of my favorites. Do I expect or hope it stays close to what actually happened? Not necessarily.
It was two years ago now when I watched all the Bonds in chronological order. I remember liking Craig's Casino Royal and Skyfall quite a bit, though Quantum of Solace was lacking. The director Sam Mendes returns from Skyfall which ended in an interesting spot.
Another one I did not actually know about until...yesterday. So there was no hype here, but the reviews seem decent. David O. Russell has more than enough slack with me. He has developed his own rat pack with Lawrence, De Niro and Cooper. Do I expect this to be as good as American Hustle or Silver Linings? No, but not having any expectations and going along for the ride is what made those two movies so good.
I got more excited the more I saw Stallone in it. It won't be as good as Rocky, but it can't be as bad as Rocky 5. It does have work to do if it wants to say on the level with me as The Fighter, Warrior or Southpaw.
1. The Martian
This seems like it will be a good ride. The book was supposed to be good. The premise seems decent. It looks quite Interstellar like to me. Damon is a good lead. Many reasons why this is number one for me right now.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
I had heard it was good but still didn't give it a chance originally. Even when I started watching it, I wasn't particularly interested, but by the end I was hooked. Haven't bought it yet, but definitely deserves a second watch.
I heard so many great things about it, my expectations were high. I wanted to like it more, but probably won't watch it again. It was pretty entertaining, but not what I expected or wanted. It's quite similar to how I feel about Transcendence.
It's becoming more and more obvious this 50's group of Superheroes won't work on the big Screen. I don't know what would take to make a good Fantastic Four, but they haven't found it yet. While more serious than the first two installments, they seemed to have failed with almost every character. Reed was too young, Sue was too boring. Doom started off as a whiny computer hacker and goes completely bonkers with instant kill lightning, then gets taken out 15 minutes later. It was all kind of rushed. They really don't need to do this origin thing anymore. Though I did like the Thing more this time around.
Best Use of Your Time:
30 minutes of the best thing ever! It almost made my list, but then I realized it would be doing a slight disservice to either Terminator or Jurassic World which had much more going for them.
Time will tell where this movie goes. Terminator was amazing. T-2 is one of the best ever, T-3 was completely disappointing and Salvation was half decent, but half terrible. I actually liked the time jumps they made, and all the references to Pops. It might stand in the middle for me, but deserves more watches.
My Top Ten for 2015:
10. Jurassic World
It wasn't going to live up to the original without some amazing help. They didn't quite get it but they got something that was closer in spirit to a sequel than what two gave or whatever three was. It's hard to blame the visuals or even the callbacks that they gave. There were problems with the script and logic which is unfortunate, but it was still entertaining. It was hard to get a bigger star than Pratt and if hunting a super dinosaur with raptors doesn't excite you then this wasn't for you.
9. Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation
All the movies in this series have been entertaining multi-watches for myself. I especially like the original and how many times it's taken me over the years to understand it. It's been kind of James Bond like since then. John Woo came in to do the sequel which was very action oriented. The third was done by JJ Abrams which was stylized and had some twists. Four was done by Brad Bird who has done some amazing animated movies - Ratatouille, The Incredibles and The Iron Giant, but felt hollow to me. This one was an improvement for the first time. From start to finish it was a good ride.
The movie was supposed to be just as much about Lyndon B. Johnson as it was King how it was written. The director changed it quite a bit to not be about the bill as much - though that was obviously the main point of contention and focus more on the King and what he accomplished in Selma.
7. Inside Out
It sounded like a cute premise and I liked the short. The whole movie was a pleasant ride. I don't think I've liked a Pixar movie this much since The Incredibles(WALL-E and Ratatouille were both decent). It's clever how they portrayed the emotions out of a basic story and even had a bit of fun with the premise at the end of the movie - quite like 22 Jump Street.
Had no idea what to expect, but it was another good watch. Quite a bit different than the Rocky story, but just as good of a payoff. There were some unexpected things, but a good payoff. Gyllenhaal is really good in the right role and he is here. McAdams is finding herself in quite a bit of the movies I like and director Antoine Fuqua is putting together a nice resume.
I never heard of Spotlight prior to watching this. I knew I liked Ruffalo, Keaton, Schreiber and the aforementioned Adams. It was really entertaining. Wouldn't have thought a movie about investigating Priests would be so engaging.
Really well made. It doesn't deviate much from what you would expect of the story. Cate Blanchett was amazing as the wicked step mother. Kenneth Branagh was the star here as both the directing and the cinematography were fantastic.
This was in the making for years. We gained an Edgar Wright and lost him but it seems to everyone that the best parts of the movie were due to him. I enjoyed the montages with Michael Pena. The trio of Rudd, Lilly and Douglas was fine. I especially think Douglas was the heart of the movie. I kind of wish Rudd had more of an attitude. I don't think think he will have much of a voice in this iteration of Avengers. I did like the Avenger cameo but Corey Stoll was a generic bad guy who looked like Lex Luthor.
2. Avengers Age of Ultron
It probably wasn't as good as the original but it was also really good. James Spader's voice was perfect. Vision was awesome. We saw some tension between Iron Man and Captain America. Hawkeye was given something interesting to do. The action was better than the first at least in the climatic scene and the Hulk scene. I love battles for AI, so it was interesting on another level as well for me.
1. Star Wars The Force Awakens
It lived up to the hype for me. I smiled the whole time. I loved Finn and BB-8. I hope they do something more interesting with Rey and Kylo in the next few movies, but they were serviceable here. The older characters did enough but not too much. I really missed Wedge and Boba Fett. Phasma didn't end up doing anything useful. My biggest disappointments are mostly with the look of Maz and Snoke - seemingly our new Yoda and Emperor. Also there were no Star Wars in the movie at all.