Best and Worst on 2015

The Best & Worst Movies in 2015!

Out of the approximately 270* movies released in US theaters in 2015, I managed to see 103. Which might not sound like a lot (approximately 38%) but when you consider that a good number of these films were never in more than 4 theaters nationwide, my amateur level coverage of the action in our movies theaters – I think – is decent enough for me to proclaim my picks for the best and worst of 2015.

Best 5
1: Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs (2015)What Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin have done is take a peek behind the reality distortion field. Creating a masterful piece of movie entertainment – we didn’t know we wanted. It’s like 2013’s Jobs was the biopic ‘they’ thought we needed. The PC versus the Mac. The product brought to market only after months of research, PowerPoint presentations and user feedback. Whereas the Aaron/Boyle film is a more perfect depiction of the rock star CEO’s life, because it wants to be, knows it is, and doesn’t give a damn what you think. This is what will work and they know it, and you will too when you see it.
2: Song of the Sea
Song of the Sea (2015)Song of the Sea is one of the most beautiful films it’s ever been my pleasure to watch. It’s simply stunning. I honestly can’t think of any decent adjectives that can truly describe how incredible looking this film is. It’s not just an empty visual extravaganza either, there’s a truly touching and powerful story at the heart of this film too. One that both children and adults should be able to connect with and understand. It’s a story that gets under your skin, and I totally got swept away by its nuanced characters, gorgeously detailed artwork, and superb music.
3: Inside Out
Inside Out (2015)I loved how the inner workings of the human brain were presented in this film. From the formation of new memories, to the personality island theme parks based on each character’s core experiences. Inside Out is incredibly well designed, and animated. It’s a story that both adults and children can relate to, and it certainly proves Pixar is still capable of producing high quality family entertainment.
4:Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road 2015Oh what an experience, what a lovely experience! Mad Max: Fury Road. Mad as in, bat-s#@! crazy this time around. A superb visceral journey through a post-apocalyptic world, and a stunning looking picture to boot. It’s everything the trailer promised. By day, beautiful warm desert tones of yellows, oranges and reds. By night, cool blues, whites and silvers. Contrasting nicely against the black oil covered cars, trucks, motorcycles and people.
Sicario (2015)The war on drugs has proven to be a huge expensive failure. You know it, I know it, and finally a lot of the power brokers that started it, realize that too. Denis Villeneuve’s and Taylor Sheridan’s Sicario, perfectly encapsulates that opinion, and points a powerful finger at the users who continue to fuel that deadly trade.
Honorable Mentions: Ex Machina, What We Do in the Shadows, Paddington, Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Hateful Eight.
Worst 5
1: Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015)The first Hot Tub delivered fun 80’s nostalgia, and made a half decent effort to tell a story about three friends dealing with middle-aged life. This sequel is having none of that, and just mindlessly throws gag after gag at the audience hoping something will stick. While also trying to deliver a woefully confused subplot about Lou’s (Rob Corddry) self-destructive nature. Showing the target audience crazy half-naked drunk uncle Lou, getting wasted with hot women, while telling us to *cough* drink responsibly kids *cough* – wink!
2: Pixels
Pixels (2015)This is our beloved 80’s video games exploited for box office gold. A stupid poorly written film spawned from a viral short and stretched into a 105-minute-long disaster. Loaded with performances that were either lazy or incredibly dumb, Pixels is a plot holed mess, and an insult to any reasonable moviegoer’s intelligence. It did however, inspire me to write one of my favorite reviews!
3: The Wedding Ringer
The Wedding Ringer (2015)Was I supposed to feel sorry for these people? Care about them? One, a hopeless loner ready to spend the rest of his life with the first cute blond that smiled at his wallet. The other, a con man trading fake sentiment for cash. The premise behind The Wedding Ringer is shocking. Shocking that someone thought this was a good idea for a comedy. And doubly because this ‘service’ actually exists in the real world.
4: Blackhat
Blackhat (2015)Blackhat makes no effort to establish its main characters, or bother developing what these people mean to each other. The movie skips from one badly hand-held shot to another, as people mumble through their terrible dialog. At times, the film looks like a found footage project, cut with other scenes that have all the depth and pacing of a Chanel No.5 advertisement.
5: Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four (2015)Seriously, how hard can it be to make a good Fantastic Four film? This is the third attempt by Fox studios to get this right, and they’ve somehow managed to screw it up again. Is there a three strikes law for this kind of thing? Maybe Marvel studios should be given the keys to this intellectual product. At least then we’d get something competently made.
Dishonorable Mentions: Jupiter Ascending, Insurgent, Hot Pursuit, Project Almanac.

These are my lists, and your lists will likely be different. Each to their own as they say. If you agree or disagree, feel free to comment. I would just ask you keep any talk about 2015’s movie’s  respectful and polite. Many thanks for your time.

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