Monday, December 28, 2015

Ten Favorites from 2015

The latest from Cameron Crowe was a victim of a lot of things, from the fake racism critics cooked up (hey, Emma Stone's character is not 100% native Hawaiian, it's completely written into the script) to further efforts to sabotage would-be new movie stars (Bradley Cooper, especially after the unexpected huge success of last year's American Sniper), and the belief that Crowe himself is no longer relevant.  Put all that aside.  Recognize that you've also got Bill Murray.  And a perfectly excellent movie.

Furious 7
Paul Walker's understated goodbye helps elevate this whole experience, which otherwise pumps the franchise up to superhero proportions.

Jim Parsons had unexpectedly found a second act (concurrent with his first one, The Big Bang Theory) as a breakout voice talent.  He easily carries this fun animated flick.

Jupiter Ascending
The Wachowskis deliver again with another mind-bending alternate view of reality.  I think the fact that so few people care anymore (see: Cameron Crowe) makes it all the more interesting for those who still do.  Hence, a cult film in the making.

The Martian
Matt Damon in what might amount to his career-best performance, one that captures his full potential.  He may have just become the new Tom Hanks.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
This series keeps finding new life.  I enjoyed Jeremy Renner much more this time than in his debut, although it's still weird how everyone seems to have so much trouble figuring him out after his breakthrough in The Hurt Locker.

Tarsem joins the ranks of great filmmakers getting the critical snub this year as most reviews glossed over this one so much it was downright criminal.  But the joke's on them.

As it looked in the trailer, this was a fine showcase for Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and of course Benicio del Toro.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
Nearly everyone seems to love this.  With good reason! 

The Visit
M. Night Shyamalan did something people actually liked?  Stop the presses!  I look forward to eventually catching up on Wayward Pines, too.

Still waiting to see others, like Ex Machina, Mad Max: Fury Road, Hateful Eight, and The Revenant...

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