2015: A year in cinema….The Girls’ Edition

As promised, a week has passed and the girls’ edition is up and there for the public praise/scrutiny, depending on your mood I guess. We have the contribution of two Hooligans (IT & The Vintage Vixen) and input for a guest reviewer Cathy S. So have a read, like , share or leave your thoughts…..enjoy!

THE VINTAGE VIXEN

HIGHS

Mad Max: Fury Road

I will say upfront that I had never watched any of the Mel Gibson Mad Max movies, and had a vague understanding of the plot. I purposefully decided not to watch them before the new movie, so that I didn’t compare them and could appreciate the new one on its own. I’m so glad I made that decision! Mad Max is truly one of the best action movies I have seen to date.

I never thought a 2 hour-long spectacle of a war rig driving through a desert could be so entertaining. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire movie, and that’s not something I can say for a lot of films I’ve seen. I especially like the fact that in this movie, the would-be hero of the franchise, Max, took the backseat so that Furiosa, the baddest bitch Down Under, could really show us what she’s got. Also, really nice contrast with those ethereal virgins against the dirt and grime of the desert.

Age of Adaline

I was looking forward to this movie, based purely on the fact that Blake Lively was in it and that Blake Lively would be wearing amazing vintage clothes. I disliked her acting in Gossip Girl, but I think she really redeems herself in this movie. Well filmed and well acted, with gorgeous costume design. A yes from me.

6 Years

Two young adults fall hopelessly in love, but there’s no happily ever after. I enjoyed this movie because of how visceral it was. We see a lot of stuff that comes straight off the assembly line of the Hollywood factory. This is anything but.

Jurassic World

These days, you could put Chris Pratt in anything and I’d be keen to sing his praises. The new installment of the Jurassic franchise was exactly what I thought it would be: good old-fashioned fun. It probably won’t go on my top 10 list, but I enjoyed it nonetheless and was glad to see a rebooted version of the 90s classic.

What We Do In The Shadows

I can’t express how much I love this movie. Everything about it is amazing. So random and so New Zealand. I feel like it’s what goes on in my head and my weird sense of humour compressed into a 1h27m film.

Ex Machina

I’m always a fan of movies that force me to ‘think’, and this movie did just that. Eerie, creepy and just really well done. Oscar Isaac is brilliant as an arrogant, manipulating genius. The ending literally left me staring at the screen with my mouth open – always a plus.

Creed

To be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing this movie. I remember watching the trailer and thinking that it’s probably going to be a huge let-down and over-hyped. I could not have been more wrong. It had me feeling like I was having a panic attack the whole time (in a good way, if that’s even possible). New respect for fairly newcomer Michael B Jordan. Stallone will forever remain my hero. He is just so good at being Rocky!

LOWS

Mortdecai

After watching this movie, I really feel like Johnny Depp betrayed me. I don’t know what he was

thinking by choosing to appear in this movie. It’s way too overdone and the jokes aren’t even funny.

Sometimes I think he chooses movies based on which new accent he can stun us with.

Chappie

I was really excited to see this movie. The trailer made it look cool (as trailers always do) and I thought given Blomkamp’s genius with District 9, that this would of a similar standard. Boy, was I wrong. I walked out of the movie thinking, okay, I spent that money, I’m kinda fine with it. But after a few days, while reflecting on it, I realized that I was just trying to make myself feel better about spending that kind of money on something that I shouldn’t even wait for to go to DVD.

Hugh Jackman dressed up as a cop from ‘80s South Africa should have been the first sign!

***

You’ll see I only have two movies here, which I think just goes to show how impressive 2015 has been in terms of film. I’m really happy with the content that the industry brought us this year, and the diversity of it, too. Holding thumbs for next year!

IT

HIGHS

Mad Max: Fury Road

This is the winner of 2015. As a fan of the original classic 1979-1985 Mad Max films, starring Mel Gibson and directed by George Miller, I was completely engrossed in the modern rebooted masterpiece. The incredible attention-grabbing visuals, adrenaline-charged storyline, dominant female characters (especially Max’s exposed, yet, tough counterpart Furiosa) AND my favourite: the MOFO blind guitarist rocking a flame-thrower guitar, while in battle. Miller does not disappoint. Keep a lookout for the notable conflicting visual scenes as they’re absolutely beautiful and INSANE!

Kung Fury

It was a short 31-minute Swedish martial arts movie, directed and starring David Sandberg (a Johnny Depp lookalike), but I believe it should make the list. Paying homage to the best and worst of the 80‘s. It uses syntheses from the 80’s, which includes buddy cop action with corny one-liners, ridiculous special effects, cool arcade styling and an amazing over-the-top plot. All these are ingredients for a work-of-genius. If that doesn’t win you over, you should know that Kung Fury’s car is voiced by The Hoff, his partner is a dinosaur that goes by the name Triceracop, his adversary is Hitler, he has a friend called Hackerman that helps him time travel, only to meet hot female Vikings and Thor. Also, there’s a T-Rex and huge Eagle battle! BEST 31 MINUTES OF MY LIFE.

Mood Indigo

This movie still gets to me. It’s artistically compelling, visually appealing (reminiscent of a dream) and I was in awe of the phenomenal ideas. However, the surprisingly depressing plot at the end confused the hell out of my emotions and left me totally conf*cked. I do believe the innovative and opulent visual journey makes up for the problem of complete despondent and morose feeling you’re left with at the end of the movie. All in all, it’s a must-see for everyone that appreciates surrealism and perplexity. Also, we get to see the amazing Audrey Tautou (Amélie) as a mesmerising protagonist.

Gone Girl

Daunting. Sophisticated. Cunning. I loved this movie SO much that I could not stop forcing everyone to go see it. Everything about this ingenious psychological thriller was BRILLIANT. It had a stellar cast that included Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck. It was meticulously crafted by director David Fincher and the disturbing and relevant story, by Gillian Flynne, had married couples questioning their partner’s dark side. For more on my appraisals regarding the movie check out our review at https://bigscreenhooligans.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/gone-girl-catfish-the-movie/ or visit http://ramzeeandthejillybean.blogspot.co.za/2015/09/girl-celebrated.html for my Amy Dunne tribute 😛

Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead

What can I say? Australasia made quite a spectacular mark this year. Although, I’ve realised that this movie is not for the faint hearted. It’s outrageous, it’s wild, it’s fast paced and did I mention there are zombies? Not your everyday, Dawn of the Dead or The Walking Dead, kind of zombies. These ravenous creatures, just like the premise, are completely original. They’re so original, that they exhale Zombie gas that powers vehicles! The protagonist (Jay), a mechanic who was forced to kill his wife and daughter, replaces his sorrow with rage. And this rage fuels his determination to save his eccentric sister (Bianca), who is being held captive. She is being used as a guinea pig by a psychotic doctor, who inadvertently gives her Zombie powers. The comic relief comes in the form of Benny, a fellow survivor that helps Jay. They arm themselves and prepare to go full-force Zombie attack mode. I told you it was outrageous. I loved every second of the ride!

 What We Do in the Shadows

A friend messaged me late one night, urgently requesting I watch ‘What We Do in the Shadows’. She was adamant that it was my kind of movie. I watched it the very next day and was immediately a fan of the flesh…I mean fresh and fun New Zealand mockumentary. It hilariously documents the life of four very different personality-type vampire roommates and their struggles in the 21st century. The only interests they share are taking pleasure in drinking virgin blood, liking towards peculiar places and their love for a human by the name of ‘Stu’. It’s dark, witty, awkward and most importantly entertainingly COMICAL. The movie contains pacifist Werewolves that the Vampires happen to have beef with…so make room for endless laughter. It was directed and stars Jermain Clement from the ‘Flight of the Concords’ fame. Watch it, since it was quite an underrated movie, and brace yourself for face-hurting laughs!

 

LOWS

Fantastic Four:

Check the Thesaurus, under the terms: Crap, Disaster or KAK.

When you want to use the terms ‘Crap’, ‘Disaster’ or ‘KAK’ all in one, it formulates the phrase ‘Fantastic Four’.

Could possibly be found under the smug expressions: “I told you so!!” and “You really F****D this one up, FOX!”. No one likes a smug asshole, but in this case the only asshole is FOX studio. GIVE UP ALREADY!

PS. ‘Fantastic Four’ should now be an actual movie phrase, used to describe horrible movies.

*Example below.

 Jupiter Ascending:

What do you get when you take high expectation (COZ sibling creators of The Matrix o_O), a weird dog looking Channing Tatum that looks like he’s about to break out in dance at any given moment and a toilet cleaning HOTTY that happens to be Universe royalty?

You get a ‘FANTASTIC FOUR’!

*See above.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

Can Tom Cruise just please STOP hurting the spy-action genre? And act his age. No, Xenu did not bestow upon you the gift of immortality. Maybe blind optimism, yes.

I love Tom, but someone should slap him and play him this song while shouting “Enough is enough, Tommy boy!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsY066wa08E

Seventh Son

The amount of bullshit they wanted me to swallow in this movie left me with a gross and bitter taste in my mouth. I wanted to spew it out so badly, but I was hoping the taste(direction) would change. Clearly, I was torturing myself since I regurgitated in my mouth then swallowed it again; and continued the process again and again by watching this ‘FANTASTIC FOUR’! Now, all I have to do to cause stomach-churning anxiety is repeatedly use the hypnotic words “You are the seventh son, of the seventh son. You are the seventh son, of the seventh son. You are the seventh son, of the seventh son.”

SURPRISINGLY GOOD

Only Lovers Left Alive

Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are centuries old Romantic vampire lovers. He’s the artistic and depressing musician, contemplating modern society’s ultimate purpose. She’s the wise and clever bookworm that brings him back to his senses with fond memories and thought-provoking talks. What more can be said? It’s Tom Hiddleston, people! Oh, have a listen to the OST!

Tomorrowland:

Awe inspiring. Breath-taking. Wondrous. A few terms capturing the essence of this underestimated film.

Straight Outta Compton

Quintessence of angry, black so suck a dick! I have new-found respect for rap music.

Predestination

I was not psychologically prepared for the calibre of this movie, especially for the twist. It’s either so good I had to watch it twice or it’s so bad that I had to watch it twice. Either way, I watched it four times.

Man from U.N.C.L.E

This movie is too appetizing to leave off the list. I cannot decide what won me over. Was it Henry Cavill’s persuasive charm, chiselled features and his smooth voice? Or was it Arnie Hammer’s gorgeously perfect face, strikingly tall-stature and rough Russian nature? It could also be both their sensual accents (yes, even Hammer’s Russian accent was quite sexy). Oh yeah, and eye-candy aside, pretty decent movie 😉 Also, the OST is one for keeps!

The Final Girls

Taissa Famiga, the girl from American Horror Story (the whiner in Season1 and the nagger in Season3) shows us the true meaning of horror tropes as she’s sucked into a B-grade slasher flick. The same film her dead Mom happened to star in. I really enjoyed this movie immensely. Keep an eye out for this girl, I have a feeling she’s going to be BIG. I just hope she’s not type-casted.

Starring: The lead nerdy, bug eyed dude from Silicon Valley, the good/evil vampire chick that loves banging brothers from Vampire Diaries and the half attractive son of the very attractive Ragnar Lothbrok from Vikings.

SURPRISINGLY DISAPPOINTING

Avengers: Age of Ultron

BIGGEST disappointment of 2015 (fingers crossed for Star Wars VII). I rate comic book movies by the butterflies in my stomach and there were NONE. Too congested, no new character developments and it felt like they were all strangers at the end of the film. That being said, I do not blame Joss Whedon, but rather the money hungry studio execs! Have I mentioned my Civil War fears? It’s too soon, not enough Avengers AND no Joss!

The Martian

Overrated as expected. I cannot lie, I don’t understand the appeal. Appreciated the great cast, especially Donald Glover, but it does not make up for the mediocrity. I know, I know, but please have mercy and don’t stone me alive. To each their own.

*Personally, I think this was the year for women. They played integral roles in most of 2015 movies. Kicking major ass and remaining unapologetic for their prevailing, dominant and fiercely tough disposition!

CATHY S – GUEST REVIEWER

Loved:

1. That Sugar Film

Usually not a documentary fan– this hasn’t left me. It’s funny, hard hitting and hits the mark in terms of health concerns today.

2. Pitch perfect 2

Loved it!! New level of humour and outrageous behaviour.

Low

1. Spy

Wouldn’t and shouldn’t have paid to see it. Made you laugh at it – not with it.

So, whose list do you agree with the most? Please keep in mind the Boys’ list in mind when making this decision.

Remember to leave your thoughts and likes, and enjoy Star Wars next week!

 

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