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Movies Watched in 2015

So, I'd call it a bumper-crop of a year for movies I considered worth my time (and in several cases, multiple viewings at a cinema).
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Ant-Man
  • Spotlight
  • SPECTRE
  • Hyena Road
  • The Martian
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Comments

  • edited January 2016
    Avengers: AoU
    Ant-Man
    Star Wars: TFA
    The Martian
    Mad Max: Fury Road
    SPECTRE
    Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
    Inside Out

    Edit to Add: 

    Sicario
    Man From U.N.C.L.E.
    Terminator Genisys
    Ex Machina

    Stuff I missed (so far):

    Creed
    Spotlight
    The Big Short
    Trumbo
  • edited January 2016
    My cousin drags me to a boatload of movies every year, and I go to some good ones on my own. A few* I actually saw twice, which I don't do often.

    Avengers 2 and Ant-Man were both exactly what it said on the tin. Good, but starting to feel formulaic.

    There was some pretty good sci-fi: Ex Machina (good FX and ideas), The Martian* (humor + hard science), and Mad Max: Fury Road* (nuff said). There were also some clunkers: Jupiter Ascending (overwrought and clichéd), Chappie (implausible science, too much Die Antwoord), and Tomorrowland (better than the box office, but meh).

    I saw Furious 7, James Bond 24, Mission Impossible 5, Jurassic Park 4, and Hunger Games 3B, all of which were ... the latest films in their series.

    Inside Out was Pixar's best in several years.

    The remake of Star Wars: A New Hope* was very well done.

    I saw a fair number of good Oscar-bait docu-dramas (not all of which got nibbles): Bridge of Spies (by the book), The Big Short (off the books and off the wall), Love and Mercy (Brian Wilson played by two actors), Woman in Gold (Deadpool teams up with QE2), Trumbo (Heisenberg vs. the Blacklist). Gandalf as Mr. Holmes could've been Oscar bait, but was released at the wrong time of year to be noticed/remembered... and it was fictional.

    The only actual comedy I remember seeing was Spy (good, not great), which is an indictment of how little adult-intelligence comedy Hollywood is producing these days.

    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was my favorite twee independent coming-of-age film, a genre that also seemed sparse last year.
  • Can a movie be both sequel and remake?
  • Man, what a busy year for me. Let's see if I can remember all the movies I saw. Wifey and I love to hit the movies but it's tough to get out with the little one...

    Avengers: AoU (garbage)
    Ant-Man (fun but predictable)
    Star Wars 7 (fun but a lot of missed opportunities)
    Mad Max: Fury Road (awesome)
    SPECTRE (dumb, too long)
    Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (sharp)
    Man from UNCLE (surprisingly good)
    Paddington (best fucking movie of last year, says the big bad horror writer devil worshipper. Fuck all y'all) (ok I concede it was a 2014 movie, but I saw it in 2015).
    Big Hero 6 (excellent).  (I know, also a 2014 movie that I saw in 2015). 
    Mr Holmes (rather good indeed)
    Terminator Genisys (well, it was better than T4).
    Spy (yeah, don't)


    Stuff I really wanted to see, but missed:
    Nightcrawler
    Ex Machina
    The Martian
    Sicario
    Creed
    Mockingjay
    Bridge of Spies
    Entourage

    H8teful Eight didn't start screening in Australia til 2016. Saw that yesterday.
  • Can a movie be both sequel and remake?
    Sure. A lot of sequels to one-off movies that unexpectedly made money are really just remakes of the original with some new ingredients (e.g. Airplane 2, Home Alone 2, Weekend at Bernie's 2, Return to the Blue Lagoon). Sometimes a remake comes later in a series trying to "get back to its roots" (e.g. Jurassic Park 3, Superman Returns), and that's kinda what Star Wars 7 did.
  • Creed, in fact, is both a sequel and a remake. And very good.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (fun, but nowhere close to the first one.)

    Ant-Man (well, the first half. Walked out halfway through. Throughly unimpressed.)

    Mad Max: Fury Road (I'd never seen a Mad Max film before, and liked it much less than most of my friends)

    Star Wars

    Jurassic World (GOD, what a bad movie!)

    Dragon Blade (Jackie Chan and John Cusack in Ancient Roman times)

    Edge of Tomorrow/Live Die Repeat (older movie I finally saw)


    Those may be literally the only movies I saw last year. I don't get out to the theater much!

  • edited January 2016
    Brandon: That last one on your list is one I ended up deciding to read the graphic novelization by Takeuchi and Obata for rather than watch. All You Need is Kill, right? (Guessing the prose version's been translated at some point?)
  • Not only has the prose version of All You Need Is Kill been translated, but it's also been adapted into a graphic novel, if I am not mistaken. And then there's the manga that also came from Japanese prose version.
  • I was assuming that this is just movies watched in theatres (because I have a pet project where I am systematically watching 1960's horror movies chronologically/when I am able to get my hands on them)
    Movies in theatres:
    Avengers - bad
    Antman - better than I was expecting
    Mad Max - good eye candy but not the movie I was hoping for
    Star Wars - Fantastic in capturing the nostalgia of my youth
  • It's interesting to see the differing opinions on some of the movies. 

    I thought Age of Ultron was not only good, but better than Avengers, for example. 

    Surprised anyone has anything disparaging to say about Mad Max or Ant-Man, but at the same time, I thought SPECTRE was much better than Skyfall, so what do I know?
  • Spectre has the substanial flaw is that there is no situation where Bond is even actually inconvenienced.

    I mean, we know Bond isn't going to die or even really lose. But he keeps getting into situations that should be difficult and aren't.

    I mean....

    SPOILERS

    ...he has probes stuck in his brain that are supposed to disable various parts of his brain. But they don't. And not only do they not, moments after he does this, he shoots his way out of a compound, killing good a dozen bad guys without sign of THAT inconveniencing him.

    Compare this to Casino Royale, where he ends up having to recover for some period of time from being tortured by Le Chiffre, or even Skyfall, where there are actual stakes and his actions cost him.
  • I was about to raise a nerdish question about passage of time for the characters between movies, but I don't think I'll go there. Separate thread for SPECTRE-related issues, if that's agreeable to all?

  • I'll never get any work done if you start a thread to pull apart SPECTRE. 
  • So I can't help noticing that I saw a lot of movies compared to most of you guys.

    I bet y'all watched more TV than I did, but. I think my entire TV consumption consisted of 

    Hannibal seasons 1 and 2,
    Daredevil season 1
    Beter Call Saul season 1,
    1 episode of Jessica Jones
    five episodes of Game of Thrones.

    What about you cats?
  • New shows or anything Netflix, etc?
  • Spectre has the substanial flaw is that there is no situation where Bond is even actually inconvenienced.

    I mean, we know Bond isn't going to die or even really lose. But he keeps getting into situations that should be difficult and aren't.

    I mean....

    SPOILERS

    ...he has probes stuck in his brain that are supposed to disable various parts of his brain. But they don't. And not only do they not, moments after he does this, he shoots his way out of a compound, killing good a dozen bad guys without sign of THAT inconveniencing him.

    Compare this to Casino Royale, where he ends up having to recover for some period of time from being tortured by Le Chiffre, or even Skyfall, where there are actual stakes and his actions cost him.
    I wouldn't say this is a flaw, exactly, but it is inconsistent with the rest of the Daniel Craig/Bond: Year One era of movies, and positions SPECTRE as something more in line with the traditional films. (Consider the opening of GoldenEye, wherein Bond manages to fall faster than a falling airplane; not even physics can inconvenience Pierce Brosnan!)

    I also wonder if maybe the second probe did work, setting up 007 for his inevitable lifetime of disposable Bond girls...  
  • Now I almost wish I'd watched Spectre... although, nah. I did watch most of the pre-Craig Bonds over the last couple of months, though, and decided that Timothy Dalton was a definite step up after both Connery and Moore. That's how bad the original movies were.

    As for what Justin described: One thing I took from those Bonds is that they usually have a decent "short game" but next to no "long game" - no consequences, no theme, hardly anything tying the set pieces to one anthoer. Apparently, Craig's Bond is finally settling into that tradition.

    But this was about 2015 movies, right? Not so much movie-going for me last year. Avengers: AoU, The Martian, Mad Max and Star Wars 7, all delivering exactly what I wanted from them and not much more, although some of them delivered it extremely well.

    Jupiter Ascending, though, disappointed on so many levels. I really wanted to like it the way I turned out liking Star Wars 7  or Guardians of the Galaxy last year, but it was all too confused and style-over-substance and, frankly, quite boring at that.

    Really wnated to see Inside Out, AntMan and Ex Machina, but they didn't show in English in my town, so I'll pick them up on DVD or some streaming service when there's nothing on TV.
  • I'd call it a narrative flaw, and it's present in some of the older movies, too, although not most of them. The Brosnan movies are actually particularly bad for it.

    The thing about Bond is that he's more or less invincible and awesome. Which is absolutely fine. But in order to be consistently interesting, he needs to struggle. Same with Batman or whatever. The Mission Impossible movies are actually great at this as a whole - Ethan Hunt is awesome at basically everything AND he's genuinely a good guy. But the movies are careful to put him in situations where it seems like he could lose.

    But take Spectre AGAIN SPOILERS

    Bond goes into a meeting with LITERALLY hundreds of bad guys. He's spotted and....jumps out a window, gets in his car and drives away. Which is followed by a car chase where Bond is literally always in front of the (one) bad guy, and never comes close to being caught.

    Which is the situation over and over again in Spectre (if it weren't consistently the case, it wouldn't really matter)- Bond is in situations that sound exciting, and are filmed with enough bombast and style to camouflage that there are basically no narrative stakes. The entirety of Spectre is James Bond winning more or less effortless at no cost to himself.

    This also, I think, deflates the ending of it somewhat. If we had James effortlessly winning (and it's the effortless that's the main issue) until he goes up against Blofeld and then gets his ass well and truly kicked (not necessarily literally, just that Blofeld wins) before managing to come back, you could use the earlier weightless action as set up for a better climax. But that's not what happens.

    Compounding this is that Blofeld's non personal threat is too abstract in the movie. It's actually a good topical threat, but because we don't have a good sense of what Blofeld wants - the actions of Spectre seem to be to make money and set up the system Bond thwarts, which is I think too solipsistic to connect - there's not as much satisfaction at seeing Bond stop him.

    (Which sounds like I really disliked Spectre, and I didn't. It's much better than Quantum of Solace, and the combo of the right actors and accomplished directing can make up for a looooot of shortcomings)


  • Still sounds like a summary of every Bond movie I've seen over the last couple of months. Except for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", of course, and really only the back half of that.
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