2016 Half Time Report

Ok, so the first half of any year is really never  better than the second half when it comes to movies. Still, these are the best (and worst) at the half way point (of the ones I have seen)…

The Best

 

5. Zootopia

Even if the funniest part of the film was in the original trailer, it is still a great family film.

4. The Jungle Book

Entertaining, thrilling, and very realistic, it stands alone from the great animated film as it’s own great film.

3. Hail, Caesar!

The Coens do it again, with another stellar cast that tells a story of fiction that seems like it really did happen. Sounds easy, but it isn’t. Then again, it is the Coens. A great movie about making movies.

2. Captain America: Civil War

I had no idea I would like it as much as I did. It is one of the most fun I have had at a superhero film in some time.

1. The Witch

It is rare for me to like a current horror film, so it is near unimaginable that I would call a horror film the best film of the year so far. Then again, that is what The Witch is: Rare, and unimaginable. And Scary.

 

The Worst

 

3. Race

Another biographical sports flick, it is not the movie that should have been made about Jesse Owens. It barely gets close to the bronze.

 

2. Me before you

I was so wanting to like this movie. It looked like it had potential. Then I saw it…(sigh)…

 

1. Independence Day: Resurgence

It took me a few days after I saw it to come up with a new name for it: ReTURDgence. Trademarked.

 

The second half of 2016 is upon us…movie wise…

 

 

Top 10 Films of 2015

Top 10 films of 2015

 

It is true that some years have better movies than others (1939 and 1994 are prime examples). This does not mean some years are always bad, it just means you have to look harder for them. 2015 had movies you may have had to look harder for to see.

Of course, I did not see every movie that came out last year (I still need to see Beasts of No Nation and Straigh Outta Compton), but I do feel rather confident still with my top ten list ( in which good movies like CarolThe Big ShortWar Room, and Bridge of Spies did not crack the list).

 

Wild Card

Sicario

Benecio Del Toro and Emily Blunt in Sicario.

It may not have gotten all the love it deserved, but great acting and tension fueled Sicario, especially the great performance by Benecio Del Toro.

 

10.

Steve Jobs

Michael Fassbender reveals the iMac in “Steve Jobs”

Written by the always wonderful Aaron Sorkin, Michael Fassbender will most definetly get an Oscar nomination as Steve Jobs, also with equally great performaces by Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels.

 

9.

The Hateful Eight

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kurt Russell, just two of “The Hateful Eight”.

Basically, anything by Tarantino is worth seeing, and The Hateful Eight is no exception. It is fun to watch as much as it is for those who made it.

 

8.

Matt Damon portrays an astronaut who faces seemingly insurmountable odds as he tries to find a way to subsist on a hostile planet.

Matt Damon portrays an astronaut who faces seemingly insurmountable odds as he tries to find a way to subsist on a hostile planet.

The most surprising thing about The Martian is not the performance by Matt Damon, nor the supporting cast, but that Ridley Scott directed a movie with humor. That is rare.

 

7.

Spotlight

Possibly the front runner for Best Picture, Spotlight is the story of the true revelation of the dark secret in the Catholic Church in Boston, and beyond. Every actor brings their A game to this film.

 

6.

Creed

Stallone shows Jordan the ropes in “Creed”.

Nostalgic as well as new, Creed is all the things we love of the original Rocky flicks. Stallone is truly remarkable here in the role no one could duplicate.

5.

Star Wars The Force Awakens

Rey, Finn, and BB-8: the three new heroes of the galaxy.

Sure, the story was a lot like the original film, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens brings new characters (as well as old) to new life in a film that is not doing to shabby box office wise right now.

4.

The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant”.

Filled with more realism and grit than any other film this year, The Revenant is a wonder to behold. It is also the ticket to that long awaited moment of calling DiCaprio an Oscar winner (and it would be well deserved too).

3.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron team up in Max Max: Fury Road

I like to think of director Michael Bay watching Mad Max: Fury Road and taking notes. There is just enough story here to back up one of the best action flicks ever. Like Star Wars and The Revenant, this film shows why films should be watched on big screens, not small ones. It is like Lawrence of Arabia on caffiene.

2.

Inside Out

Fear, Joy, and Disgust are just three of Riley’s voices in “Inside Out”

Easily the most original film of the year, I feel that Inside Out will be like a fine wine: aging better through your years on earth. It ranks among the best animated films ever made.

1.

Room

Jacob Tremblay discovers what lies outside the room.

You know a movie is good when you can’t get it off you mind, even months after you have seen it. Such is the case for my number one pick of 2015, Room. I drove about an hour to the theater and an hour back, and it was worth every second.

Brie Larson is the front runner for Best Actress, and I have not seen a better performance by anyone (of any age) this year than that of 8 year old Jacob Tremblay. The film is likely to never be forgotten once seen.

The 7 Deadly movie sins of 2015 (or, the seven worst of the year) (2015)

2015 Worst

How I felt during these movies….

Ok, seeing these movies are not actually a sin. Still, these are seven films (I am not yet a professional film critic, so I do not need to see all the bad ones. This means I did not make it to ten this year, which is a good thing) that I would consider the most disapointing of the year. (If you don’t see any on here, it is because I wisely avoided it. Take that Fantastic Four!)

7.

Ant-Man

Paul Rudd discovers his future in “Ant-Man”

Ant-Man is a forgettable marvel movie, even with decent special effects. Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas do ok work, but the script is not up to par, and it has one of the worst villains in recent comic book movie history.

6. Home

Home was a family film, but was not for everyone in the family. It was just meh.

5.

San Andreas

Dwayne Johnson is the one unbreakable “rock” in “San Andreas”.

Dwayne Johnson can do very good acting. Too bad he does not take very good scripts, like the made for syfy film San Andreas.

 

4.

Disney's TOMORROWLAND..Casey (Britt Robertson) ..Ph: Film Frame..?Disney 2015

Casey, played by Britt Robertson, visits Tomorrowland

I agree with the films message, but wouldn’t you want a film like Tomorrowland to take place in…..Tomorrowland?

 

3.

Terminator Genisys

He said he would be back.

Terminator Genisys does not only fail to live up to the first two, but it suggests that those two did not even happen? That is not cool.

 

2. Chappie.jpg

Chappie was something I thought could go well (it was made by the director of the great film District 9). The result? Change the H to an R in the title.

 

1.

  1. XXX JUPITER ASCENDING MOV JY 1628 .JPG A ENT

    EXCLUSIVE TO USA TODAY FOR FIRST USE Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis in a scene from the motion picture “Jupiter Ascending.” CREDIT: Murray Close, Warner Bros. Pictures [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

    When I got Jupiter Ascending from the library (like I would pay for it), I put it in, and tried to pay attention. I was on my ipad the rest of the movie. I forgot the game I was playing, but I am pretty confident it had a better storyline.

2015 Half Time Report

To be honest, I am a little disappointed.

I understand that many movies in the first half of the year are not that great, nor on many top ten lists at the end of the year. Still, the fact remains (to me) that this year has been just……par for the course.

Therefore, I only have five films I can think of that are worth mentioning (remember, I have not gotten to see all the films; the one I want to see still mainly is Batkid Begins, but from what I have seen here it is:

5. Jurassic World

Not great, but had plenty of CGI awesomeness to keep me entertained.

4. Avengers: Age of Ultron

It had moments that got me smiling, but it did not outshine the original.

3. Cinderella

The most known fairy tale of all time, this movie was a pleasant surprise with nice acting, visual beauty, and a message at its core for both kids and the adults as well.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

The action flick of the year, by far, this film had action that made the jaw drop. Add in some drama, solid acting, and wonderful music, and you have a piece of awesome work.

1. Inside Out

One of Disney/Pixar’s very best, this film has drama, comedy, and (if you forgive the expression) a lot of thought. The characters are top notch (mainly due to the casting), the writing is pure gold, and the result is a film we will talk about for a long, long time.

Worst of the year: There are a few contenders I saw (although I never saw Jupiter Ascending, but heard enough about it). My pick is Chappie. Basically, changes the “h” to “R” and the “IE” to “Y” and you have your movie.

Here is hoping for a better second half…

The Top Ten movies of the Year (and the five most disappointing) (2014)

There are many movies that could have made this list that I did not get to see in time before making this list (Gone Girl, Ida, Still Alice, Unbroken, St. Vincent, A Most Violent Year, Inherent Vice, American Sniper, Wild, The Judge, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Chef, Locke, and Cake. Just to name a few.) Since I am not a professional critic (yet), I can’t see all the movies I would like to.

Then there are movies that were great, and did not make my list: The Fault in our Stars, Edge of Tomorrow, The Theory of Everything, The Grand Budapest Hotel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Big Hero 6, Fury, Heaven is for Real. It was hard to cut some of them.

But first, a look at my five most disappointing films of the year (not saying they are bad, just not what I hoped for. The exception is number one, which was horrible).

5. Noah

It had good effects, but I wished they stuck to the bible somewhat. At least a little.

4. God’s Not Dead

I REALLY wanted to like this film, and I agreed with the message, just not how it got there.

3. Godzilla

Yes, great CGI, but hardly any Godzilla, nor Bryan Cryanston.

2. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

I feel they added too much, and I did not have the heart for it like I did the original three films.

1. Transformers: Age of Extinction.

The only thing this has in common with my favorite movie of the year? It was almost three hours and I saw it with my little brother. That is it. This movie was horrible like few before it, and maybe ever will be.

Now, for the top ten films of 2014

Wildcard: Foxcatcher

Great acting (mainly by a hidden Steve Carrell) drives this tale of desire, greed, disaster, and horror.

10. Interstellar

A sci-fi gem with uncanny CGI, top notch acting, and spiritual mystery.

9. Guardians of the Galaxy

The biggest surprise of the year was the one that made the popcorn taste the best. Also an outstanding soundtrack.

8. The Imitation Game

History is revealed in this WW2 drama with stellar performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.

7. The Drop

This hardly seen treasure is worth the viewing, starring Tom Hardy and (in his final role) James Gandolfini.

6. The Lego Movie

Yes, everything was awesome.

5. Selma

Stupendous historical drama about MLK Jr. is the least boring lesson you could give a middle schooler.

4. Birdman

Every actor shines (mainly Michael Keaton) in one of the most obscure and memorable movies in recent years.

3. Whiplash

A thriller set to jazz? Check. Miles Teller’s wonderful acting? Check. J.K. Simmons winning the Oscar? Checkmate.

2. Begin Again

From the director of “Once” comes another love letter to music and those who write it.

1. Boyhood

It was another year that, when I saw a certain movie, I knew right then it was the best of the year. I have seen many films (over 1,000 and counting). “Boyhood” has easily cracked my top 100 films.

Here’s to 2015…