Worst Five Films Of 2015

Whilst 2015 brought us some fantastic films,  it is fair to say that 2015 hosted some of its fair shares of cinema atrocities too. Luckily, not as many 20 which is what I have in my upcoming favourites list, but listed below are 5 films that really got me seething. I must note before that I actively try and avoid films that I just know are going to be horrendous (a real film critic has to sit through everything though) so this list might not be truly representative. One must also realise the difference between a film that is disappointing and a film that is truly bad. I could probably find 20 films that disappointed me last year but this is not the purpose of this post.

Honourable Mentions – (not quite awful enough to be ranked here but these films got me quite annoyed)

(FSR:AA)

Mortdecai 

‘Mortdecai’ came right at the beginning of the year and left a sour note that has remained all year. The trailers looked so promising and the whole cast looked as if they were having fun but what we got was a film that was aggressively unfunny, poorly paced and for a lot of the time, incredibly annoying. Johnny Depp tries his best here but he can’t help a doomed film – luckily he found a resurgence with ‘Black Mass’. Now with all this said, there is one thing going in its favour and it’s that the last 20 minutes or so picks up ever so slightly but it’s nowhere enough to save this failure. A real shame.

knock_knock_szenenbilder_02-1

Knock Knock

What on earth was Eli Roth thinking? 2015 saw the comeback of Keanu Reeves in the highly entertaining ‘John Wick’ but he is not forgiven for starring this film which is hammy and annoying. After a promising first 10 mins, the film then descends very quickly into a disaster and it seems as if that Eli Roth wants to let the audience know that he just discovered what paedophilia is. Truly annoying.

 

papertowns-2-gallery-image

Paper Towns

‘Paper Towns’ is another adaptation of a John Green novel and I actually found quite a lot to like in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. It was by no means great but this is just horrendous. The plot here is utterly implausible and Cara Delevigne’s acting is very poor. Her character is completely unlikeable and she comes across as needy and attention-seeking. A stupid film with an implausible story with bad acting.

wild_3082594b

Wild 

‘Wild’ was not just a massive disappointment, it was pretentious filmmaking by Jean-Marc Valee that really narked me off here and it’s a shame as I was quite impressed with ‘Dallas Buyers Club’. Reese Witherspoon’s performance is horrendous and I can’t believe she actually received awards buzz for it?! The film is so badly paced, so boring and the characters are extremely unlikeable and undeveloped. Now Witherspoon’s character is developed but she’s just so unlikeable that I really didn’t care.

Luckily not quite as bad as these worst five films of 2015…

avengers-age-of-ultron-ultron-970x536

5) The Avengers: Age Of Ultron

I would never dream of putting a Marvel film into this kind of a list and I honestly tried all year to make excuses for this turd. I have rewatched it twice more after seeing it first in the cinema and this film just doesn’t improve – I have given it more than enough chances. There are some promising elements here and a couple of decent scenes but it’s not enough to compensate for god-awful action sequences, the fact that the film lacks a coherent story and all the film is aiming for is to set up future films. By doing this, they have forgotten to make a film. I really respect Joss Whedon and admired ‘Avengers Assemble’ so I feel really sorry for him. He did have to re-edit the film due to Marvel executives disagreeing with him (although not to the extent Josh Trank did with ‘Fantastic Four’) which I can feel some sympathy but regardless, this film is an absolute travesty.

poltergeist-film-horror-2015

4) Poltergeist

The remake of ‘Poltergeist’ was not only a disappointment, but an extremely bad film. The film is not scary in the slightest, it’s mostly laughable and the story is paper-thin and utter claptrap. Sam Rockwell looks extremely uncomfortable playing in this film, Rosemarie DeWitt just can’t act and this is the first bad film I have ever seen Jared Harris play in. The script is beyond awful and cringeworthy.

daddyshome_ferrell_wahlberg

3) Daddy’s Home 

How disappointing to have a film with both Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg be so bad?! I didn’t laugh once during this cringeworthy, disgusting film – it is crass, stupid and the characters are all infinitely annoying. The kids in this film are horrible and Linda Cardellini in particular manages to cement herself twice in this list with two dreadful performances. Sean Anders has proven multiple times he is incapable of directing a film and I thought last years, ‘Horrible Bosses 2’ was the final nail in the coffin. But it wasn’t, here he is again and he’s equally as annoying. A vile film.

selma

2) Selma

Surprisingly, another film along with ‘Wild’ that was commended among critics but I found to be absolutely dire. What I will say before completing ripping this film apart is that David Oyelowo’s performance is mesmerising but that is it. ‘Selma’ is excruciatingly boring, it is pretentiously filmed, it has some horrific performances from Tim Roth, Tom Wilkinson and Oprah Winfrey and it doesn’t help when the film drags on for 128 minutes. What’s even more perplexing is I am the only person who hates this film, it has near perfect reviews among critics and everyone has only good things to say about it. I just don’t get it.

maxresdefault

1) Pan

Ever since the first trailer came out, I was very trepidacious about the film and then after finally watching it, it is an absolute stinker. However, I did have some hope as I have enjoyed everything that Joe Wright has directed and with a cast including Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara, two of the best actors currently working in Hollywood. How could this have been so bad?! The film feels like an awful pantomime, it is visually disgusting and features awful performances from pretty much everyone in the film, in particular newcomer Levi Miller who I hope never gets work again and Garrett Hedlund as Hook. The story is completely incomprehensible and John Powell’s score is an absolute headache. A complete disaster and an embarassment for all involved.


So there we go – as mentioned, I’m sure if I would have actively gone and watched all the really bad films, this list potentially would change (although it would be hard to remove ‘Pan’, ‘Poltergeist’ and ‘Selma’ from here) but I didn’t. The fact still remains though, regardless of whether there is anything worse out there, this list is still a collection of flops. Fingers crossed 2016 ends up being as good a year as 2015 but also that there is nothing truly awful released. Luckily, the trend didn’t to continue in 2016 with bad Award-Nominated films – the worst one out of the crop was ‘The Martian’ which still was fairly watchable despite being very disappointing.


What are your thoughts? Was there a worse film than ‘Pan’? Let me know in the comments or tweet @TheFilmMeister

Advertisements

Best Films Of 2015 (10-1)

This is the second part of my Best Films of 2015 feature detailing my Top Ten films. Click here to read numbers 20 to 11 and the Honourable Mentions.

Without further ado, here are my Top Ten films of 2015:

black-mass-depp-1280jpg-32cad0_1280w

10) Black Mass

‘Black Mass’ is another winner from Scott Cooper – it features some fantastic performances with Johnny Depp in an outstanding turn as Bulger, the script is fantastic and draws heavy inspiration from classics such as ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Goodfellas’ and there are many outstanding sequences that have ‘quotable’ status. The pacing of the film is generally sound, but the film does choose to focus on some aspects of Bulger’s life that perhaps don’t warrant it and this is its main shortcoming. It’s not quite as good as Scott Cooper’s previous film, ‘Out Of The Furnace’ which was a little more subtle and atmospheric in its execution, but it’s still very impressive. (Full Review here)

inside-out

9) Inside Out

‘Inside Out’ is an expertly crafted film – it is extremely original, emotionally satisfying, humorous but at times suitably dark and enthralling but what stops it from reaching the giddy heights of their very best films is its little too familiar narrative. The voicing cast are spot-on and the film is supplemented by a fantastic score by Pixar-regular Michael Giacchino. The pacing is perfect and the characters really resonate with the audience. (Full Review here)

o-IT-FOLLOWS-facebook

8) It Follows

‘It Follows’ redefines the horror genre with its fantastic direction and plot. The film isn’t overly scary, but the ideas are exceptional and the film plays out like a 1980’s John Carpenter feature, particularly with its John Carpenter-esque score by Disasterpeace. The performances are excellent  and the pacing is near-perfect. A very good effort by all involved.

720x405-frd-ds-00668

7) Mad Max: Fury Road

For George Miller to make another good ‘Mad Max’ film, let alone an amazing one in a 30 year period is quite frankly, nothing short of a miracle. The film is completely bonkers with its action sequences (the film plays out like a continuous car chase) as are the performances, particularly by the incredibly over-the-top villain played by Hugh Keyes-Byrne. Tom Hardy is excellent as the titular character, easily taking over the reigns from Mel Gibson and the score by Junkie XL is bonkers. There’s so much craft to this film and the action sequences are exhilarating. This film is a work of art and nothing short of a miracle. One of the best action films of recent years.

sicario

6) Sicario

‘Sicario’ is a near-perfect film that features some heart pounding action sequences and excellent performances, most notably from Benicio Del Toro who delivers a career-best performance and hopefully will attract attention in Awards Season. Villeneuve’s direction is superb and he has created a very gloomy, dark film that is extremely intense. It’s not quite as good as ‘Prisoners’, Villeneuve’s previous film, as it doesn’t have the same emotional punch and the ending is also a little muddled but in its own right is superbly crafted and paints a very bleak picture of Mexico as a country. Villeneuve also released a second film earlier in 2015 – a film called ‘Enemy’ which stars Jake Gyllenhaal in dual roles. It’s by no means brilliant, but I’d advise checking it out as it’s a very intellectual watch and Gyllenhaal is excellent. (Full Review here)

slow west

5) Slow West

Originally released at the Sundance Festival, ‘Slow West’ really resonated with critics and audiences alike and then was subsequently released in cinemas. I caught up with it pretty late in the year (otherwise it would have featured in my Mid-Year Review very highly) and loved it. For a debut feature, John Maclean is very mature and the film is visually stunning and a sensory experience. The performances are incredible and Kodi Smit-McPhee puts in a career-best performance and Caren Pistorius’s debut should allow her to go onto getting good work in the film industry. Jed Kurzel’s score is also worthy of mention. This film is proof of the resurgence of the Western genre.

TheF

4) Kingsman: The Secret Service

‘Kingman: The Secret Service’ serves to the spy genre as ‘Kick-Ass’ does to the superhero genre – an adult version with graphic violence and plenty of swearing. It’s terrific fun and there is not one dull moment in the film. The action is enthralling and the film is also very funny. You don’t always need to go to the cinema to watch a film that will stretch your brain and this film is the perfect example of this.

Now into the top #3…

FOXCATCHER

3) Foxcatcher

‘Foxcatcher’ is a fascinating, enthralling and meticulously crafted film packed with excellent performances all-round from the cast. Steve Carrell is the standout and is very disturbing and calculated as John DuPont. The camera shots are excellent as are the locations that the film uses which help to create a very eerie, disconcerting, yet seemingly safe atmosphere. The film does get a bit self-indulgent at times and is quite a long stretch at 134 minutes. There are a couple of parts which are a little bit dull and it’s a bit disappointing how the audience grow to know the characters only for the film to end so abruptly, but then again, the ending events are abrupt anyway! Considering this film came out in the height of Awards season last year, so for this film to last over a year here and only fall down one place since the Mid-Year Review. (Full Review here)

JoelEdgertonTheGift

2) The Gift

Another film that I caught up with very late in the year that I loved the first time and it gets better with every subsequent rewatch. Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut is assured, intelligent and very well paced and the performances from the entire cast are fantastic, particularly Jason Bateman who normally takes more comedic roles. The film’s story is excellent and it kept me guessing at every turn and the film’s ending is extremely satisfying. The score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Juriaans is also minimalistic yet very chilling. It will take a miracle for Joel Edgerton to surpass this but at the moment, he doesn’t have any other directorial projects greenlit.

whiplash

1) Whiplash

‘Whiplash’ would get on this list just for J.K. Simmon’s psychotic performance, it’s that good! But the film not only has this going in its favour, ‘Whiplash’ also has another career-turning performance by Miles Teller and is an enthralling, darkly comedic watch that reaches a mesmerising conclusion. The fact that the film does not have a big budget and was only shot in 19 days just goes to show to all the big-budget, brainless drivel that Hollywood constantly churns out that quality is better than budget. It rightly deserves all its praise that it has garnered.


So there we go, these films were in my opinion, the best of 2015. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments or tweet @TheFilmMeister

Best Films Of 2015 (20-11)

2015 was a fantastic year in film. Although many critics have shared their lists already, there were quite a few films that I didn’t get a chance to watch hence why this is so late. I am pretty confident that I can now share my best films of last year and have been quite ruthless in what makes the list. As usual, 2015 followed the trend of a lot of the films that I had never heard of or had low expectations of ended up surprising me and featuring here.

There were so many fantastic films last year. I would normally stick to a Top Ten list but there are more than 25 films that are worthy so I have decided to expand this to 20 films.

Here I rank numbers 20 to 11. The Top Ten will be detailed in a separate post.

Note

I am following the UK release date calendar from January 1st to December 31st hence why a lot of the Awards films do not feature here and why there are some from last year.

Honourable Mentions

These films didn’t quite make it into the Top Twenty but I feel that they should still deserve a mention:

1401x788-as-trl-86797

American Sniper

A very solid film by Clint Eastwood with a strong central performance by a beefed-up Bradley Cooper, ‘American Sniper’ is thoughtful and extremely tense even though it isn’t the most original and does get overly-patriotic at times. Oh, and don’t forget the awful baby prop!

legend-tom-hardy

Legend

A very interesting film with a fantastic performance from Tom Hardy and also from Emily Browning. It features many outstanding sequences but the reason it can’t quite make it in to the Top 20 is it’s a bit of a tonal jumble and director Brian Helgeland does seem grapple with the material a little bit. It would have been even better if it was a little more ‘British’ as Helgeland, an American director can’t quite find the right tone probably because of his nationality.

crimson-peak-trailer

Crimson Peak

This was the closest film to get in to the Top 20 as I think Del Toro has created another thoughtful film with some excellent performances and production design that has unfortunately been a misunderstood by critics and audiences alike. Tom Hiddleston, in particular, is fantastic in this and the score by Fernando Velazquez is endlessly haunting.

macbeth2-xlarge

Macbeth

It’s a perfect film and would have got into the Top 5 even if it ditched the Shakespearean dialogue which I personally struggled with a lot during the film. That said, the direction by Justin Kurzel is very assured here as are the performances by Michael Fassbender who is sensational here. Hats off also to composer Jed Kurzel and cinematographer Adam Arkapaw. (Full Review here)

the-walk-joseph-gordon-levitt

The Walk

A film that I watched pretty close to writing this, ‘The Walk’ is at times enthralling and visually, is superb. However, Joseph Gordon Levitt’s performance is very wonky in places and the film does feel a little pantomime-like in parts.

Now onto my top 20:

suffragette

20) Suffragette

I watched ‘Suffragette’ pretty close to writing this and thought it was a really solid film. Although its story should not be taken for granted (there are a lot of fictionalised characters), it’s still good entertainment and does hit on some important messages. The cast are very strong here too and the score by Alexandre Desplat is very fitting.

antman-xlarge

19) Ant-Man

The only comic book film to make my list from 2015 is ‘Ant-Man’ which is an excellent and entertaining character-driven film that has a warm heart and innovative action sequences. Wright’s input is incredibly obvious and is all for the better and the casting is near perfect. The storyline is fun and the pacing is spot-on as well. However, one cannot stop themselves from unpacking the film when watching it to distinguish all of Edgar Wright’s directorial traits in it and ultimately ponder what Wright’s finished film would have been like. However what has remained is very, very promising and Marvel have another series to their name and rightly so. It’s just a shame that ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ was the opposite end of the spectrum  – one of Marvel’s very worst films to date. (Full Review here)

SPECTRE

18) Spectre

An extremely different film to ‘Skyfall’, ‘Spectre’ is very dark and has some excellent action sequences but it’s also a lot more playful in tone and harkens back to the days of Sean Connery and Roger Moore. The performances are excellent and the locations and cinematography are mesmerising. ‘Spectre’ is not without its flaws – it has a slow middle section in its lengthy 148 minute run time and the ending is extremely predictable. It’s refreshing to see that Mendes hasn’t just tried to rehash ‘Skyfall’ – one can tell that both cast and crew have complete trust in him and everyone has settled into their roles which makes for a very entertaining and thrilling film. (Full Review here)

the-theory-of-everything-eddie-redmayne-2-3

17) The Theory of Everything

Despite feeling a little too ‘Oscar-bait’ at times, ‘The Theory of Everything’ is still a very solid film with some fantastic performances particularly by its two leading stars, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones and the viewer goes through a very emotional yet heartfelt journey. It managed to get #8 on my Mid-Year Ranking but it’s a film that has got a lot better with subsequent viewings.

ex-machina-movie

16) Ex_Machina

Alex Garland’s debut is a tense, slow-burning yet a very philosophical watch and the film makes for a great character study. The performances in this film are brilliant with Oscar Isaac being the standout and this film has proven to be the gateway for Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander to go on to do great things and Vikander ultimately received a Golden Globe nomination for her role here and an Oscar win for her role in ‘The Danish Girl’. ‘Ex_Machina’ also has one of the best climaxes of the year and it’s worth all the waiting the audience do in the slow-burning build-up.

640_jennifer_lawrence_hunger_games_21

15) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2′ is a marked improvement on its predecessor and it very nearly scales the heights of the first two films in the series. It is a heartfelt and satisfying conclusion that makes Part 1 completely redundant and there are many social and political messages embedded throughout. At a time when ISIS terrorises the West, this film couldn’t come at a more ironic time and there are many uncomfortable similarities that both the fictional world created by Suzanne Collins and reality share which culminate in an even more heartfelt watch. (Full Review here)

la_ca_0105_chappie

14) Chappie

‘CHAPPiE’ may be quirky and a bit of an oddball, but this film is elevated with its tremendous, refreshing warm heart and again, Blomkamp really does get the audience to think with a lot of thought-provoking questions. It is very entertaining and the cast seem to be having a lot of fun here, and even the rave rap duo of Die Antwoord aren’t too bad! The film is supplemented by a completely bombastic, yet memorable score by Hans Zimmer which really fits the film. I was very surprised when it was released last March to fairly negative reviews – perhaps critics misunderstood it? (Full Review here)

john-wick-keanu-reeves

13) John Wick

I was really looking forward to watching this, especially as the UK release for this film was so late – April 2015 as opposed to pretty much the rest of the world getting this in Autumn 2014. The film was definitely worth the wait – it’s an extremely well crafted film and is endlessly entertaining albeit silly. Keanu Reeves is the best that he has been in years and he is well supported by the rest of the cast which includes talents such as Michael Nyqvist, Willem Dafoe, Ian McShane and John Leguizamo. A sequel has already been greenlit and it will be impressive if it can match or surpass this. It’s just a shame that Reeves’ other film this year, Eli Roth’s, ‘Knock Knock’ was so very disappointing.

602

12) A Most Violent Year

Although the film is a little patchy in places, in terms of ideas and performances, ‘A Most Violent Year’ is incredible in places and it gets better on every rewatch. Oscar Isaac gives a career-best performance with strong parallels to characters in ‘The Godfather’ and the supporting cast also give tremendous performances, most notably Albert Brooks. There is a fantastic 100 minute-or-so film here without the excess baggage and for ideas and craft, this film deserves to be commended. A very good effort.

everest

11) Everest

‘Everest’ is an awe-inspiring film that features incredible visual effects and some fantastic performances from its star-studded cast. It also manages to pack an emotional punch and character development is solid for a film of this genre. The tone of the second half of the film is extremely unnerving and upsetting and the film’s ending is perfect. Not only is it Kormákur’s best film, it is the best disaster film that I have seen in a long while. The reasons why this doesn’t get full marks are because it is a little hard to distinguish characters in some places (mainly because they’re dressed in tons of layers!) and the film cannot quite get rid of all the clichés associated with the genre but it is a very admirable attempt. The film also would have benefitted from having a 15 rating to make the film look even more realistic by showing more of the degradation of the characters. (Full Review here


So there we go, numbers 20 down to 11. Stay tuned for the Top Ten in a separate post…


What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments or tweet @TheFilmMeister

Top Ten Films Of 2015 – Mid-Year Report

July, the half-way point of the year has finally arrived and so it is that time of the year where many people share their current best films of the year and reflect on what the year in film has been like so far. I feel pretty confident that I too am able to share my best films of the year so far. There are still a few films that I am still yet to see but I have watched all the films that I thought might make it into this list but you never know, almost 9 times out of 10, the best film of the year ends up being the one you’ve never even heard of.

Honourable Mentions

As always, there are a handful of films that for whatever reason didn’t quite manage to make it into the Top Ten. As I feel they deserve a mention, I will list them below:

– Jurassic World
– Big Hero 6
– Birdman
– Get Hard
– Enemy

Top Ten Films Of 2015 – Mid Year-Report

the-theory-of-everything-eddie-redmayne-2-3

10) The Theory Of Everything

Despite feeling a little too ‘Oscar-bait’ at times, ‘The Theory of Everything’ is still a very solid film with some fantastic performances particularly by its two leading stars, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones and the viewer goes through a very emotional yet heartfelt journey. This almost certainly won’t feature at the end of the year, but as for now, the film more than fits the bill.

602

9) A Most Violent Year

In terms of the film itself, ‘The Theory of Everything’ works better as a film overall compared to this, but in terms of ideas and performances, ‘A Most Violent Year’ is incredible in places. Oscar Isaac gives a career-best performance with strong parallels to characters in ‘The Godfather’ and the supporting cast also give tremendous performances, most notably Albert Brooks. The film does have a lot of problems with its pacing which unfortunately means there are quite a few dull moments in the film, but there is a fantastic 100 minute-or-so film here without the excess baggage and for ideas and craft, this film deserves to be commended.

americansniper

8) American Sniper

Another very solid film by Clint Eastwood with a strong central performance by a beefed-up Bradley Cooper, ‘American Sniper’ is thoughtful and extremely tense even though it isn’t the most original and does get overly-patriotic at times. Oh, and don’t forget the awful baby prop!

ex-machina-movie

7) Ex_Machina

Alex Garland’s debut is a tense, slow-burning yet a very philosophical watch and the film makes for a great character study. The performances in this film are brilliant with Oscar Isaac being the standout and this film is the gateway for Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander to go on to do great things. It also has one of the best climaxes of the year.

This is where the films featured in this list jump up in terms of quality…

la_ca_0105_chappie

6) CHAPPiE 

A completely misunderstood film that suffered a very poor marketing campaign, ‘CHAPPiE’ is a very entertaining film that has a refreshing warm heart. Its plot may be familiar, but the film still manages to bring some originality to the table. Hugh Jackman turns in a very fun, gritty performance and Sharlto Copley who provides motion capture for the titular character gives an innocent yet funny performance. The film is supplemented with a completely bombastic Hans Zimmer score. I realise I am in the vast minority here, but honestly, there is a lot to like about this film and I really hope it can make it into the Top Ten at the end of the year. It’s a shame the film was marketed very badly and an even bigger shame that Blomkamp, the film’s director, pretty much threw the film away in favour of directing a new ‘Alien’ sequel.

o-IT-FOLLOWS-facebook

5) It Follows

‘It Follows’ redefines the horror genre with its fantastic direction and plot. The film isn’t overly scary, but the ideas are exceptional and the film plays out like a 1980’s John Carpenter feature, particularly with its John Carpenter-esque score by Disasterpeace. The performances are excellent  and the pacing is near perfect. A very good effort by all involved.

maxresdefault

4) Mad Max: Fury Road

For George Miller to make another good ‘Mad Max’ film, let alone an amazing one in a 30 year period is quite frankly, nothing short of a miracle. The film is completely bonkers with its action sequences (the film plays out like a continuous car chase) as are the performances, particularly by the incredibly over-the-top villain played by Hugh Keyes-Byrne. Tom Hardy is excellent as the titular character, easily taking over the reigns from Mel Gibson and the score by Junkie XL is bonkers. There’s so much craft to this film and the action sequences are exhilarating. This film is a work of art and nothing short of a miracle. One of the best action films of recent years.

Now into the top three…

TheF

3) Kingsman: The Secret Service

How can this be better than the the last three films? ‘Kingman: The Secret Service’ serves to the spy genre as ‘Kick-Ass’ does to the superhero genre – an adult version with graphic violence and plenty of swearing. It’s terrific fun and there is not one dull moment in the film and that is what makes it, just a hair better, than ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ – it has slightly better pacing. The action is enthralling and the film is very funny. You don’t always need to go to the cinema to watch a film that will stretch your brain and this film is the perfect example of this.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Excellent)

2) Foxcatcher

A sure-fire Oscar-contender that surprisingly didn’t manage to nab a Best Picture nomination. ‘Foxcatcher’ is a meticulously crafted and daring film that is a fascinating character study. Steve Carell gives a career-best performance as does Channing Tatum and Carrell was robbed of the win. The film is a very slow-burn so don’t watch without being wide awake, but the film reaches a very satisfying climax. A truly excellent film.

So the best film of the year is…

Whiplash-5547.cr2

1) Whiplash

‘Whiplash’ would get on this list just for J.K. Simmon’s psychotic performance, it’s that good! But the film not only has this going in its favour, ‘Whiplash’ also has another career-turning performance by Miles Teller and is an enthralling, darkly comedic watch that reaches a mesmerising conclusion. The fact that the film does not have a big budget and was only shot in 19 days just goes to show to all the big-budget, brainless drivel that Hollywood constantly churns out that quality is better than budget. It rightly deserves all its praise that it has garnered.

Reflection on 2015 in Film so far…

2015 has proven so far to be a year in film where despite Hollywood continue to produce many big budget films, the films this year that have proven to be the best for me are the ones that on paper, wouldn’t have been. For example, I fully expected films such as ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ to feature here. When I first watched the trailer for ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ or ‘CHAPPiE’ for example, the trailers just don’t them justice and never did I think I would have loved them so much. In terms of quality of films overall, I don’t think this year is the strongest in the decade so far but it is much better than 2011 and 2012 for example. I hope the second half of the year continues to bring a lot of thought-provoking, exciting films that remind us, as the audience, why there is still fuel in the film industry left.

Looking Ahead 

I really hope the Top Six of this list can stay, I really do. But who knows, the next best film may only be just around the corner. Just listing a couple of films that I think look like have potential include:

– Ant-Man
– Inside Out
– Sinister 2
– The Martian
– Everest
– Sicario
– Crimson Peak
– Spectre
– Steve Jobs
– Black Mass
– The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
– The Good Dinosaur

Top Ten Disappointment’s of 2014

I know it has been a long time since the end of 2014, 5 months in fact, however there were still some films that I had not seen at the end of the year and I decided that rather than make a Top Ten which may have seen some changes, now that I have finally seen all the films of 2014 that I wanted to see, I feel that I can now share my thoughts on what the best films were.

This first post details the most disappointing films of the year – they should have been great. In a lot of cases, the trailers pointed towards an excellent film. Furthermore, in some cases where the films were part of a series, they follow up to a fantastic predecessor which made my Top Ten Films of previous years.

10) Dracula Untold 

Ok, everyone knew this film wasn’t going to draculaget the best reviews, but I’m a real sucker for these kinds of films, for example, ‘Van Helsing’, but this film was just completely unmemorable and the effects were sub-par.

9) Annabelle

annabelleThe trailers looked awful and the film looked like it should have been straight-to-DVD. Still, there was a glimmer of hope after last year’s outstanding, ‘The Conjuring’ of which this is a spin-off, but the film was a complete disaster. The acting was dire, scares almost laughable and the ending is just absolutely baffling in terms of the decisions made from  some of the characters.

8) Locke

lockeAnother film that suffered a lot of hype, I was extremely disappointed by this film. Tom Hardy’s performance was baffling and the stakes were never high enough for his character.

7) The Judge

UnknownWith a cast this good, how can a film be this disappointing?! The film was massively overlong, its plot poor and the film looked extremely cheap-looking. Somewhere in this big mess is a decent film, but unfortunately this isn’t it.

6) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Don’t get me wrong, this was a godotpotaod film and in parts excellent, but it was such a come-down from its stellar predecessor. I didn’t care for the human characters at all and in parts, the film is a real slog. The story is extremely predictable and the film is a bit overlong. That said though, Andy Serkis really does elevate his performance from the first film, which is a plus and there really are some awe-inspiring shots that still make this a worthwhile film.

5) Godzilla

What startsgodzillq out as an absolutely fantastic first 45 minutes then makes the mistake of killing off a key character and the audience are then subject to the extremely wooden Aaron Taylor-Johnson for the next 1 1/4 hours.

4) The Lego Movie 

legoMaybe it was due to the near perfect reviews, but I found this to be a very overrated, self-indulgent film that’s pacing was way too fast and the gags weren’t funny enough. That said though, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller clearly do have a love for these characters and the end twist is very effective, but as a film overall, I cannot help but be disappointed.

3) The Rover 

imagesThis was a big disappointment, particularly as the trailer promised an atmospheric, revenge thriller film rich with fantastic performances from Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. The result is a film that is extremely polarising, slow and boring. The film starts out really strong and ends really well but everything in between is just a struggle and a chore to sit through.  The story is original, but it’s just completely unengaging  – a really big shame.

2) The Babadook

bbdkWith near-perfect reviews and critics calling this the best horror film since William Friedkin’s, ‘The Exorcist’, it really was a shame when the film, despite being original, ultimately turned out to be extremely silly, overlong and unfortunately not scary in the slightest. However, kudos to director Jennifer Kent for holding off the jump scares and trying to be original.

1 ) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

hg-mjp1The first two films were near-perfect, excellent pacing, character development, acting, music and direction. But the third instalment is painfully slow, boring and Jennifer Lawrence completely phones in her performance. It’s not engaging in the slightest and the decision to split this into two parts is simply a cash grab.  Here’s hoping for a finale that firmly lives up to the first two instalments.