2010s In Film Part 3 (2013)

January – Movie 43

Yeah, this year did not start out on a high, did it? It’s a shame this film is (allegedly) awful, as I wish there were more anthology comedy films. It could be a great way for new writers to get their work published alongside established ones. A way to overload a film with talent so you’re almost guaranteed to get an audience. Plus they’re easier to film as you can do quite a lot at the same time on different sets, and you don’t have to worry about continuity that much. This could have led to a resurgence in the genre. As it is, we got one of the worst films ever made.

February – This Is 40

This is such a waste. So much of it is not needed. Entire characters seem like they’re just there to pad out the runtime. It’s a shame as there is some very funny and interesting stuff in here, but since the film is over 2 hours long it’s not that you remember. There’s so much nothing there that it overloads the good stuff. This really could have been edited down to a really good 90 minutes.

March – Red Dawn

This movie exists. I had no idea this movie exists until now. I know the original exists, but I had no idea this did. There have been so many remakes of classic 80’s films and barely any of them have been any good: Footloose, Robocop, I’m sure there are more but they’re so forgettable that I’ve…….yeah I’ve forgotten them.

April – Scary Movie V

This film series went down FAST. I think it’s because the parodies became less focused. They stopped being genre parodies and just became “this film happened, let us reference it”. The first one specifically targeted the scream movies, as such the things they made reference to were well researched and funny. A good parody should make it hard to watch the original without laughing, and the newer films scattergun approach to parody doesn’t achieve that. The series also led to the unfortunate “[blank] movie” films, most of which were just terrible (Date Movie, Disaster Movie etc).

May – It’s Such A Beautiful Day

This is not a film you enjoy, even if you like it, you won’t really enjoy it. It’s an animated film which is a lot bleaker than that sounds. Don Herzfeldt is a scary genius. If you don’t believe me, look at what he did for The Simpsons. That was him on a leash (not literally, unless he’s into that sort of thing, I don’t know him.), so imagine him with no limits, no eye on the mass market. It’s insane. At time horrifying, at times beautiful. At times unbearably sad, at times it’s so uplifting it’s wonderful. This film is everything you want and everything you don’t want but you need to witness. Just watch that Simpsons clip first, if you can’t handle that, you won’t manage the film. If you see the beauty in it (the “still love you homar” moment always makes me feel teary) then you will in this too.

June – Man Of Steel

Why hasn’t the DC universe hit like the MCU has? Maybe it’s expectations. Everyone knows Batman and Superman so everyone has expectations for when they watch a film with those characters in. Not as many people were familiar with Iron Man when that film came out, so the film-makers had more of a blank slate to work with. Plus, there hasn’t been a critically and audience acclaimed film based on the MCU characters (with the exception of Spider-man and he didn’t arrive until late), the only character to have a film audience was The Incredible Hulk. Compare this to DC, the main characters for that: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman. All three of them have already had iconic performances (Christopher Reeve, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Christian Bale, Linda Carter etc) and great films (and some terrible ones, let’s be honest).

July – The Smurfs 2

Did we really need a smurfs sequel? Did we really need the first one? Both of these questions and more can be answered in my Big Book Of Fuck No, available everywhere because it didn’t exist.

August – Kick-Ass 2

Fuck Jim Carrey. Now, this has nothing to do with his performance in the film, which was actually surprisingly good, and everything to do with his promotional work for the film. Which consisted of him disowning the film and telling people not to watch it. His reasoning was that after the Sandy Hook massacre, saying he could no longer support being in a film with that level of violence. Because before Sandy Hook there was never any violence, and certainly no mass shootings. Nopenotasingleone.

Whilst I have no doubt that Sandy Hook was a tragedy, for it to be the bit of violence that tips you over the edge is just strange. It’s almost naive to think there was no violence in the world before that, and his reaction is like a schoolchild getting into politics “guys, guys, did you know there was a war years ago?” Also, he’s anti-vax. So yeah, fuck him.

September – White House Down

I’m still not sure if I’ve seen this. I watched either this, or Olympus Has Fallen, and I can’t remember enough about it to remember which one. It was so dull. It would have worked in the ’80s but it was just so lacking in substance that it left zero impression on me (I can’t even remember which guy was in the one I watched, that’s how little impact it left on me).

October – Thor: The Dark World

I saw this at a midnight screening, so not only did I watch a terrible film, I stayed up until about 2am to do it. Really soon after this, a relationship ended which I’m not entirely sure I’m completely fine with yet. Now I’m not saying this film was entirely to blame, but it didn’t help. Electric bastard.

November – The Counselor

I should love this film, it’s dark, gritty, has an interesting plot, is well made, and has great performances. My issue is that it’s a little too dark. It’s just relentless bleakness, but it’s so relentless that you end up becoming immune to it and just not caring. It’s just too cold a film with characters who you don’t really care about that much.

December – Frozen

Yes, there was a time before this movie existed. A wonderful time, America had a black man as president instead of someone who probably blacks up in his spare time for sex with his wife. Britain had an unpopular racist in charge instead of a perplexingly popular racist one. Alan Rickman was still alive, sugary drinks didn’t have an extra charge on them. It was a good time, then this happened. I feel I should watch this film but I won’t be able to take it seriously as one of the only voice actors I know in it is this guy.

Films Worth Seeing from 2015: The other genres

Action/adventure/thriller
(or everything else)

Sicario

The best kind of thriller; nailbiting, bleak, and full of characters you actually give a shit about. The director of the amazing Prisoners and Enemy solidifies his place in the Western filmmaking world with this all-star thrill-ride. Hosting an Oscar worthy Emily Blunt, a shit-ya-pants Benicio del Toro, asicario_ver8_xlgnd an oddly chilled out Josh Brolin who adds the much needed levity between all the torture and mutilation. Directed with a Finchian level of detail and pristine, it follows by the books SWAT officer Emily Blunt as she is submerged into the murky work of the War on Drugs, and is tasked along with the mysterious Benicio del Toro to bring down the head of the Mexican Cartel. Sticking well clear of action tropes this isn’t a glorious, FUCK-Yah-‘Merica tale of beating the bad guy, this is a twisted, gritty, and dark morality tale that tells us that rarely the right thing to do, is the best thing to do.

 

 

The Martian

17vZ0fzI know this is basically a comedy, but it is also an intense Sci-fi thriller and if I didn’t put it here this section would be pretty spare. Ridley Scott’s best film in years (though I think I’m the only guy with a soft spot for The Counsellor), is a beautifully shot adventure following a marooned astronaut on Mars and his optimistic fight for survival. Now I don’t think there’s much more I can say about this, its just a damn good film, Matt Damon reminds us why he’s a superstar, and “Science the shit out of this” is destined to become an obnoxious over used phrase. But what allot of people I think fail to mention, is just how damn fun the Earth team is. Yeah the focus is on Damon, but maxresdefaultJeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor and their team on Earth are just as engaging to watch as they have to ‘Science the shit out of it’ there end, to work out how to get to Damon before he dies. If you haven’t caught it already, it’s more than worth the two hour plus run time.

 

 

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Screw the next film on this list, THIS was the funnest action film of the Kingsman_The_Secret_Service_posteryear. Essentially a spy flick parody with a real plot and its gun barrel firmly planted in its cheek; it’s bloody, stylish, and with a perfect twee British sense of humour. It’s like if the Pythons directed a James Bond flick, but not without some studio supervision. Taron Egerton proves himself a bankable action lead and rising star in Hollywood, and I can’t wait to see where he goes next; while Colin Firth does a clean 180 and flawlessly reinvents himself as a very convincing action star without losing an of his preppy Britishness we’ve come to love and treasure. The bad rep this seems to be getting from some critics should be completely ignored as high-brow snobbery and the last thing I’ll say is go in expecting something silly but amazing, and be ready for some ultra-violence

mad-max-fury-road
Mad Max: Fury Road

Because it Mad Max fucking Fury Road. The action is kinetic, Charlize Theron is jaw dropping, and it tells us more about it’s world with barely any dialogue than three Star Wars prequels could. What else needs to be said?

 

 

 

Ex Machina

Ex-Machina

God damn I love me some good old Sci-fi mind fuckary, and I love Oscar Isaac. This was his other big Sci-Fi film of the year, you know apart from…you-know-what, and in my opinion it’s the stronger of the two. In almost every way a closed box thriller, Domhnall Gleeson plays a dweeby programmer brought to an underground house by his eccentric bro-y boss to perform a turing test on a Female robot he’s created, and work out if she really can feel. And from that it breaks out into a tense psychological game of cat and mouse and fox, and I won’t ruin who gets eaten.

 

 

Ant-Man

Ant-Man-Comic-Con-PosterWho knew the best super-hero film of 2015 would be Ant-Man. Plagued with production issues for years, worst of all being the walk out of geek god Edgar Wright from directing, but despite all that Ant-Man STILL came out kicking. Helped by a great cast led by an always loveable Paul Rudd and an enjoyably cranky Michael Douglas, Ant-Man found its strength by keeping the comedy present throughout, in character scenes, exposition scenes, and action scenes, it always stays funny. Which makes it’s few moments of seriousness hit that much harder, him shrinking to the quantum realm was truly amazing, and gave the film the weight it needed. Is it perfect? Far from it; but it was a fun ride, with good action, and a much needed breath of fresh air for the quickly staling Marvel verse.

 

482955It Follows
Easily the best horror film of the year. A real 80’s throw back to the likes of Halloween and Nnightmare on elm street, you can practically see Wes Craven’s fingerprints. With a focus on building atmosphere and tension over moderns mindless jumpscares, an actually likeable cast, and an intriguing story, It Follows will leave you glancing over your shoulder and watching off into the mid-distance.

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrowland

tl_busshelter_frank_v3_lgDoes this have problems? Yes. Are all of them made up for by pure retro-charm and heart? YES. I don’t know what people went in expecting with this film; some epic Sci-Fi drama that would change the world itself? Who knows? But if you went in just looking for entertainment, you got it in space-spades. A glories throwback to science fiction films of the 1940-50’s when the future was still fun, Tomorrowland may be slow to launch, but when it does it rockets through so many awesome set pieces, ideas, and so much enjoyable pseudoscience and alternate history bollocks , you can’t help but be charmed. Britt Robertson proves herself to be more than Jennifer Lawrence light, George Clooney shows he can wear the old curmudgeonanigif_optimized-19156-1425927260-1 hat with panache, and Raffey Cassidy is becoming one of the most unique child stars acting today. Is it a perfect film, no, but not everything has to be! We seem to be living in a world where if something isn’t ‘#tHeBeSTThInG_EVEEER’ then it’s terrible…No. Not everything has to be perfect in every aspect if it wasn’t trying to be. This film wanted to be nothing more than a fun family adventure with a good message, and it was hung because that’s all it was.

 

 

Oh and like Star Wars happened I guess. It was pretty good.2015-12-16-1450300622-8118374-Star_Wars.png