Why a Top 5 and not a Top 10 like everybody? Simply put, I don’t think I have seen enough films at the cinema in 2015! I even wrote a blog about the Top 10 Films that I Missed in the Cinema in 2015 (click here for said blog). So, out of the very small amount of films I watched at the cinema in 2015, here are my Top 5 Films of 2015….
Subsequent reflection on the latest Star Wars film has led me to absorb the many flaws of ‘The Force Awakens.’ It’s too similar to ‘A New Hope,’ relies heavily on nostalgia (a very powerful ally!), and veers close to falling apart in the second half. However, at the cinema, it was a brilliant experience. It felt like Star Wars, looked like Star Wars, and made me feel twelve again! There’s definite heart and humour throughout the film (BB8’s lighter thumbs up is possibly the funniest film moment of the year!), unlike other franchise returns like Jurassic World. The new characters are full of promise, and the old characters aren’t simply along for the cash-filled ride. ‘The Force Awakens’ is a film that will appeal to children and adults, old and new Star Wars fans, and gives us something a hell of a lot better than the prequels!
(Click here for my review of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens)
‘Ant-Man’ was the only Marvel film worth watching this year. Avengers: Age of Ultron dulled my senses with an onslaught of boring, city-levelling fights, silly plot turns, and under-used villain and essentially the same story as ‘The Avengers.’ It added little of substance to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, whilst trying to do too much at the same time. ‘Ant-Man,’ however, gave us something on a smaller scale (literally and figuratively!). A heist movie in essence, it gave us fun, thrills and spills in equal measures. Paul Rudd was another great choice for the titular hero, and Michael Peña gave us some of the best comedy moments of the year. Although it suffered from the usual Marvel problems, such as an under-utilised villain and an awkward Avengers cameo, ‘Ant-Man’ did more than enough to distinguish itself in the over-saturated superhero movie genre.
(Click here for my review of Ant-Man)
The best music biopic in years? Possibly. This tale of the rap band N.W.A. grabbed me by the throat from the biggest and only started to let go in the last act of the film. It was rough, gritty, fairly realistic, and completely topical. At a time when white police men seem to be shooting black people willy-nilly in the USA, ‘Straight Outta Compton’ showed us that police brutality is institutionalised (the references to the Rodney King incident, for example). Possibly my favourite film moment of the year was the N.W.A. singing ‘F**k Tha Police’ at a concert after being strictly prohibited from doing so. You know that they’ll sing it, but the tension creaks up and up until the scene explodes into madness. The last act of the film sags things down a little, but apart from that it’s a tension-filled look at a society in which little had changed.
(Click here for my review of Straight Outta Compton)
- Inside Out
Yes, I know this was on the list of films I had missed in 2015, but I watched it last night! And what a beautiful film I was treated to! Pixar have been on a steady decline since ‘Wall-E,’ but this was a definite return to form for the great animation group. It’s such a simple idea as well: what if there are beings in our head controlling what we do? What if these beings are simple emotions? What follows is a rollercoaster ride of emotions! The amount of imagination on show is mind-blowing. Visually, it is astonishing. In mostly everything, it is astonishing. The film takes a while to get going, but the wait is necessary and completely worth it. ‘Inside Out’ easily ranks as one of Pixar’s best!
“The world is fire and blood…” and thus begins my film of 2015. Yet another sequel to an 19 franchise? Wouldn’t it just be a greatest hits version of the Mad Max trilogy, with extra CGI and modern effects? Oh no, not in the slightest! You’ll find only the slightest use of CGI in Fury Road. It’s a two hour car chase movie, but one of the best chase movies in history. The sheer amount of imagination and insanity on screen is cause enough to adore the film. Every car chase sequence blows any other CGI car chase off the screen, and the brilliance of said chases only increases as the film continues. But overall, the visuals and cinematography of ‘Mad Max’ are unparalled. Even when things slow down, and cars aren’t smashing into each other in wildly creative ways, there’s always something that catches the eye in a fantastic way. Okay, the plot is very simple, but when there’s unimaginable amounts of creativity being slung at screen at every juncture, it hardly matters a jot! And did I mention Charlie Theron as Furiosa? Another great female sci fi character to add to the roster! Easily the film of the year.
(Click here for my review of Mad Max: Fury Road)