2015 Film in Review

Hola, amigos! I’ve been taking a break from fashion blogging and focusing on other things, like writing and being sick. Because being sick is like an Olympic sport that I am a champion of. Isn’t that just so nice?

Anyways, for those who know me well know that I consider myself a HUGE film buff/nerd/enthusiast. 2015 was certainly an exceptional year for the movie business, and so I’ve decided to take the time to write down a review of the best, worst, weirdest, and coolest films that I saw from the year. Enjoy!

Number of Movies Seen Released in 2015: 38

Number of Movies Still to See: 20

Best Movie of 2015 (Seen Thus Far): Spotlight — no other movie from 2015 rattled me as much as this journalism masterpiece of a film. The subject matter is harrowing, but it is handled tastefully and effectively; the story runs the whole show, never steeping over into sentimentality (which, for the record, I would’ve had NO problem with if it had), but still being devastatingly heartbreaking. It also is the only movie that I saw that made me feel strong emotions after viewing and made me question a lot of things about the way the whole thing was resolved. I definitely recommend this to everyone; it is an amazing experience.

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Favorite Movie of 2015: Mad Max Fury Road — I have all the respect and admiration of Spotlight … but not even that could top this batshiz-crazy-adrenaline-pumping-I-can’t-believe-how-awesome-this-whole-thing-works movie. Having never seen the previous installments of the Mad Max franchise (which I still need to do!), I went into this thinking, “Oh, boy, this is gonna be another overhyped movie that everyone loved but will most likely suck.” Um, I am now shamelessly eating my words. This movie is fantastic to look at, nonsensical in the way that it makes sense, and so superbly acted that I had to remind myself that the world of Mad Max is not, in fact, real. I just friggin’ LOVE this movie so much.

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2nd Favorite Movie of 2015 That is Basically Tied with the #1 Spot: Star Wars The Force Awaken — Come on, guys. This was easily the most-hyped and anticipated movie ever*, and I can honestly say that it met every expectation and thensome of mine. Everything worked, and JJ Abrams should be commended for bringing the nostalgia and magic from the Original Trilogy back into view. I loved the new characters (especially Poe Dameron), the dialogue was snappy, the visual effects were perfect, the music was tear-inducing … everything. And BB-8? CUTEST ROBOT BEACH BALL EVER. Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow, you have big shoes to fill. *until Episode VIII comes out!

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The One Movie That Made Me Ugly Cry Like Nobody’s Business: Inside Out — thank you, Pixar, for once again shattering my soul into a thousand million pieces with this comeback of a movie. Two words: BING BONG. (Or is that just one word combined? Bingbong? I still don’t know…)

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Movie That Made My Appreciation of Matt Damon and Ridley Scott Even Stronger: The Martian — although, for the record, my appreciation for Matt Damon has never been called into question. Oh, and welcome back, Ridley Scott. We’ve missed you. (Fun fact: this movie also had probably one of the funniest nonseen uses of the F-word … and now I’m going to go get reprimanded by my mother, if she read this post. Sorry, Mam!)

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Movie That Awakened My Inner Five Year Old Girly Self: Cinderella — guys, for reals, I adore this movie. Cinderella has always been my favorite fairy tale story, and seeing this come to life in live-action was such a treat. This movie also falls into the category of Movie That I Wish I Owned Every Single Outfit From, and Movie That I Discovered That My Husband’s Doppelganger is a Disney Prince. πŸ™‚

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Favorite Marvel Movie: Ant-Man — I’ll say one thing about Marvel: they never cease to surprise me. Like a repeat of last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, I really had no high expectations of this movie, but in the end I came out absolutely adoring it. In fact, Ant-Man has officially taken the top spot as my favorite Marvel movie ever.

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Guilty Pleasure Movie of 2015: Jupiter Ascending — yes, this movie is bad. The writing, acting and overall experience is hokey as heck … but on the other hand, it’s like watching a live-action anime movie. So I enjoyed this movie a lot. Sorry. (Also, I WANT THAT WEDDING DRESS. Holy crap.)

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Most Underrated Movie: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 — I cannot believe the hate this movie got. It was so great! A lot of people were turned off to the Hunger Games after the snoozefest that was Mockingjay Part 1 (in defense, that’s how the book goes), so I’m sure a lot of them were just like, “Meh,” on this one. But seriously, I’ve never been so satisfied with an adapted conclusion as this one. And I wasn’t even upset about the changes they made to it. This definitely needs more love.

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Most Overrated Movie: Ex Machina — while I will admit that the writing of this movie is very good, and the acting is exemplary, I was very underwhelmed by the whole thing. It’s been a critical darling, but honestly? I thought it was pretty boring. I’m obviously missing the point … sorry, guys.

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Most Stylishly-Filmed Movie: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. — leave it to Guy Ritchie to make another impressive movie that’s as beautifully presented as it is quick-witted. I really love this one; it made me envious of the ’60s … again.

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Biggest Bummer of a Movie: Everest — this is not a bummer in the sense that it was a bad movie. On the contrary, I found it to be quite good. But this is not a happy story. It ends on a very bleak note. It will make you wonder why the crap people still climb Mount Everest. It will make you question the existentialism of life and the justification of leaving the dead bodies of your loved ones on the frozen peaks of a deadly mountain. It will make you sad, I guarantee it. Watch at your own caution.

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Biggest Disappointment: In the Heart of the Sea — ever since I first saw the trailer back in 2014, I was anticipating this hard. A movie by Ron Howard, based on the crazy true story that inspired one of the greatest novels of all time? Sign me up. But after watching it, I was left feeling a bit empty. It was visually stunning and well-acted, yes, but something was missing … and I still can’t quite put my finger on it. But maybe I’m being harsh, because I watched this right after seeing Spotlight … I don’t know. Just calling it like I see it.

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The 2015 Period Romance Drama Movie to Add to Every Jane Austen Adaptation: Far From the Madding Crowd — can I just say real quick how much I loved the soundtrack to this? Absolutely gorgeous. Also, I want the polka-dot dress Bathsheba wears in it.

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Movie That Should Have Been Amazing, But Actually Wasn’t and It Infuriates Me So Much: Jurassic World — begin rant: Jurassic Park is easily one of the most beloved movies ever made, and it also happens to be the movie that I’ve seen the most. (54 times. I’m not even kidding.) I was so unbelievably excited for this movie … and it spat in my face. Granted, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed it the 1st time around. But watching it a few more times just makes me angry. The dialogue is campy, the overall plot totally nonsensical (using velociraptors as military weapons? REALLY??), and too many characters I had no attachment for. (Chris Pratt was hot, yes, but I had more concern for Lowery, the nostalgia nerd that has the pedophile mustache.) AND THOSE VISUAL EFFECTS ARE SO BAD. If Universal had used the same CGI studio as in 2014’s Godzilla, it would have been incredible. But they didn’t, and they just look dumb. JURASSIC WORLD YOU COULD HAVE BEEN AMAZING BUT YOU WEREN’T AND NOW I AM ANGRY AND DEMAND MY MONEY BACK POSTHASTE.

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Most Anticipated Movie That I Still Need to Watch: Son of Saul — a foreign language film that deals with a Sonderkommando trying to give a dead boy that could be his son a proper burial in Auschwitz during the Holocaust? Um, yeah, sign me up. Runners-up to this category: The Revenant, Room, and Macbeth.

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Worst Movie of 2015: Krampus — I will NEVER let my mother pick another movie again. Granted, when I saw the trailer for this, I wanted to see it. But I regret my decision. It just creeped the cuss out of me. Something about demonic Satan-possessed toys really makes me squirm. I’ve learned my lesson in trying to give PG-13 horror-based movies a chance. NEVER AGAIN. Now excuse me while I cower in the corner in the fetal position.

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The Cutest and Most Romantic Gesture From a Movie Character: Ellis Jones from The Age of Adaline — Ellis Jones sees how much Adaline Bowman loves to read (and he loves the way she looks as she reads), so to win her affection, he brings her a bouquet of flowers to her work – and by flowers, I mean classic works of literature that have a different flower in the title: White Oleander by Janet Fitch, Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, and Daisy Miller by Henry James. SWOON. ❀

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Best Performance By An Actor That Was Top-Billed But Hardly Said a Word: Tom Hardy (Mad Max Fury Road) — let’s be honest: the man could be in a movie about the history of doilies and have a non-speaking part, and I’d still watch it and be enthralled. But in all seriousness, I thought his performance was fantastic. He is one of those actors that can say so much with just a look on his wonderfully beautiful face. Am I being too poetic? Maybe. Am I speaking truth? Of course I am.

Most Female Empowering Actress Performance: Daisy Ridley (Star Wars The Force Awakens) — 2015 was a shining year for strong female performances, but Daisy Ridley’s performance as Rey sticks with me the most. Rey is a stubborn female that has unwavering hope for a brighter future whilst living in less than satisfactory circumstances. But she takes everything with a grain of salt and stays true to herself to the very end, and that is pretty inspiring to watch. Plus, she kicks butt with a big staff and a lightsaber. What more could you ask for?

Best Movie Character That is Obviously Part of the Feminist Agenda, But I Totally Support and Can Get Behind: Furiosa (Mad Max Fury Road) — hot dang, this woman is incredible. She’s tough as nails but still empathetic. She kicks butt without being overly masculine. She’s pretty and not paraded as a sex object. And she basically steals the show from the top-billed character. Not bad, Imperator. Not bad at all.

Actor That Has Basically Defied Time and Refuses to Age: Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) — the man is 46, guys. 46. And he looks the same as he did in Clueless – which is 20 years old. WHAT? Also, he was perfectly cast as Ant-Man; good job to Marvel for finding their next Robert Downey Jr.

Actress That Was All Over 2015 and Will Be a Great Addition to the Hollywood Lineup: Alicia Vikander — I saw her in Ex Machina and The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and I loved her in both. She’s a very good actress and can already tell that she’s a versatile force to be reckoned with. I can’t wait to see her in more movies.

Actor That Played an Extremely Unlikeable Character in One Movie, and Then Turned Around and Played a Totally Charming Sweetheart in Another Movie: Oscar Isaac — I’ve been watching this man for a couple years now, and he’s definitely in my Top 5 Favorite Actors at the moment. But man, he plays a total douche in Ex Machina – very well, no surprise. I did not like him at all in it. And then, just like that, he turns around and ends up being my new favorite Star Wars character. Complete 180. Now that‘s great acting. Fun fact: Oscar Isaac also easily falls into the category of Actor Who Can Look Like a Different Nationality in Almost Every Movie He’s In – facial hair maketh the man.

Most Adorable Actor That I Have Yet to See the Movie He’s In: Jacob Tremblay — I still need to see Room, as I previously mentioned, but I’ve seen a couple interviews of this kid, and he is SO CUTE. He looks like the male version of one of my nieces, I’m not even kidding.

Veteran Actor That Came Out of Nowhere and I Cannot Wait to See More Of: Mark Rylance — Bridge of Spies is not my favorite Steven Spielberg movie (HERESY!!!), but holy crap, this guy killed it in the film. Charming, dry, and very appealing to watch, all I was thinking while watching him was, “WHERE HAS THIS MAN BEEN ALL MY LIFE, AND WHEN CAN I SEE HIM AGAIN?” Good news: he’ll be playing the BFG in Spielberg’s adaptation of the Roald Dahl book. I cannot wait!

Actress That I Missed Seeing In a Movie: Emma Stone — where’d you go, girlie?! I missed you! She’s one of my favorite actresses, and while she was in 2 movies in 2015 (Aloha and Irrational Man), I haven’t seen them and probably won’t. Come back, Emma! You’re greatly missed!

Actress That is FINALLY Getting the Recognition She Deserves: Rachel McAdams — I have adored this woman for a very long time, but she’s been under the radar for ever longer. And now, she’s in the best movie of 2015 and nominated for an Oscar for it. YAY, RACHEL! You go, girl! Her nomination makes me very happy, as I thought she did the best job in Spotlight – which is very flattering to say, since the whole ensemble was superb.

The One Movie Character That I Weirdly Had Feelings For, Even Though He is a Robot and It Makes No Sense, But I Can’t Help It So Quit Judging Me: Ultron — I mean … he’s played by James Spader. I would love nothing more than to have James Spader read me the entire menu from Taco Bell. Or maybe the Feminine Mystique. And um, Ultron also has the best Robot Badonkadonk known to cinema. It’s terrifyingly alluring how much I had feelings for this guy.

Saddest Movie Character Death (**WARNING: MAJOR SPOILER ALERT**): Han Solo in Star Wars The Force Awakens — ‘kay, guys, for real, if you’re going to be pissed at me for spoiling it, it’s your own freaking fault that you haven’t seen it yet. Anyways. DAGGER TO MY HEART!!! I totally called it, him dying and all, but it still hurt a ton. And it still hurts a ton after watching that movie 3 times. And it will continue to hurt a ton every single time I watch it hereafter. On the bright side, though, JJ Abrams finally gave Harrison Ford the death he’s been wanting to happen since Empire Strikes Back, so bravo, JJ. But still. 😦 Runner-up goes to Pixar for killing every person’s encapsulated imaginary friend shown on film for the 1st time, Bingbong. No, I’m not crying; it’s just raining on my face.

Movie Villain With the Greatest Fashion Sense and Hair: Kylo Ren from Star Wars The Force Awakens — my goodness. When Adam Driver took his mask off for the 1st time, it was like a frickin’ L’Oreal commercial. I definitely felt things witnessing it. And now I have dreams where I run my fingers through his hair and braid it with alpaca fur. Runner-up goes to Immorten Joe from Mad Max Fury Road … although he is much more, er, terrifying to look at.

Favorite Movie Soundtrack: Star Wars The Force Awakens — let me start by saying that 2015 had a myriad of excellent film scores: Mad Max Fury Road, The Danish Girl, Far From the Madding Crowd, Everest, Inside Out, In the Heart of the Sea, The Hateful Eight … I could go on. Superb year. But I have to go with good ol’ John Williams on this one. Yes, maybe I’m biased and incredibly shameless, but no other soundtrack from this year got stuck in my head more than this one. It just proves that the master himself still has it, even at 83.

Favorite Movie Song: Writing’s on the Wall (Spectre) — this one took me by surprise. I’m not the biggest fan of Sam Smith … frankly, the guy is a whiny singer. Ugh. BUT holy moly, this song is fantastic. It perfectly echoes Skyfall’s Bond theme, but stands apart as its own worthy entry. And Smith’s vocals are to die for, not whiny at all! Now if only the rest of his songs could be that way …

Best Movie Line of 2015: “Why did you have to make it personal?” (Lowery, Jurassic World)

Funniest Movie Line of 2015: “THE RATS CAN FLY!” (random office guy, Spy)

Saddest Movie Line of 2015: “Take her to the moon for me.” (Bingbong, Inside Out)

Most Powerful Movie Line of 2015: “We got two stories here: a story about degenerate clergy, and a story about a bunch of lawyers turning child abuse into a cottage industry. Which story do you want us to write? Because we’re writing one of them.” (Robby Robinson, Spotlight)

Most Cringe-worthy Movie Line of 2015: “It’s clobberin’ time!” (Ben Grimm, Fantastic Four) *NOTE: there is actually a much worse line than this one, but it is very inappropriate and NSFW … so I decided not to include it. Here’s a hint, though: it’s from Spy, and while I watched it edited on Vidangel, the context was still very evident. So … there you go.

Creepiest Movie Line of 2015: “Isn’t it strange, to create something that hates you?” (Ava, Ex Machina)

Best Movie Line of 2015 That Doubles As a Mantra: “I live. I die. I live again.” (Nux, Mad Max Fury Road)

Most Hilarious Movie Insult of 2015: “Tell Commander Lewis, disco sucks.” (Mark Watney, The Martian)

Favorite Movie Posters of 2015: mad_max_fury_road_ver13

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Well, folks, I hope you enjoyed this boring post. Here’s to another year of great movies! Lookin’ at you, 2016 — don’t disappoint.

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