Our Ladies (2019)

Quick Synopsis: A school choir drinks and flirts their way through 1996 Edinburgh in this beautiful coming of age story based on an Alan Warner book.

I should preface this by pointing out the obvious: I don’t think I’m the main audience for this. This may surprise you, but I did not go to a Scottish Catholic school for girls in the 90s so I don’t know what that experience was like. But when a film is good enough, it transcends those social boundaries, it’s why I still love films like The Duff or Tomorrowland. With this…..I feel it went slightly against it. I felt a definite disconnect between myself and the film.

That might have been due to the directing. Caton-Jones has a lot of experience and is obviously talented as his filmography shows. But I feel this didn’t seem like his story to tell. He has done similar films before, thinking specifically of Urban Hymn. But with this there’s just a few moments where it doesn’t quite feel personal enough. The film has moments which should be emotional and really hit you, but for whatever reason they don’t and I can’t quite figure out why.

Maybe that is because you are always aware that it’s a film about female sexuality that’s definitely from a male gaze. The only consequence of sex seeming to be pregnancy. Where older men ply schoolgirls with alcohol and take them home, and this is seen as a comedic setpiece. Even when they go to the police and talk about being robbed by a guy who they met in a whorehouse (that they didn’t know was a whorehouse) the noncommittal response of the police is played for comedy as opposed to the frustration and slight horror it should have. The film also struggles comedically in one or two moments. There are lines which are structurally jokes, but you feel there really should have been something funnier there (one of which is in the trailer).

There are also some issues with timing, the dramatic changing of locations make it seem more episodic than a film should be. You can almost feel the “next time on…” breaks at certain points in the film. I say this a lot but I feel this would have been better if it was a series. It wouldn’t have required a prohibitively large budget. The moments where characters are split up and have their own adventures could have been given an episode each character. It also would have meant the fireworks part near the end would have seemed more like a finale than it currently does.

Those are smallish issues though. It is still a really fun watch. That’s mainly down to the dynamic between the characters. You feel the friendship between the group and scenes where they just sit around talking shit are delightful, made so by both the performances and the dialogue. There are a lot of genuine laughs and there’s a real sense of joy that goes through the film, you will spend a lot of time with a smile on your face.

It also does a great job of setting the time. It really FEELS like a 90s film. If it was a 90s film, it is one with some moments which wouldn’t have aged well though, specifically a scene where the main characters (who I should remind you, are schoolgirls) flash truck drivers. Yeah, bit awkward. Does take you away from the film slightly, but not too much. Still a film that’s well worth watching. Maybe you don’t need to see it at the cinema though. But when it comes out on DVD and you can get it as part of a deal with another film, check it out. The best thing I can say about it is it automatically makes you want to call up your friends and hang out with them like you used to. It gives you a really personal nostalgia, and that’s wonderful.

I Scream For The Last Time: Scream 4

  • This film is actually tinged with sadness for me, it’s the last film Wes Craven directed. Please don’t be terrible. Or as it’s called on the package: Scre4m. So to give it it’s full title: Screfourm.
  • I haven’t mentioned this before on any of the others but the DVD extras on this are shocking: the trailer, subtitles, and that’s it. That’s unacceptable. This is the first film in the series in over ten years, at the very least, want a short documentary explaining why it’s back, maybe something about how horror has changed since the first Scream movie came out. The extras on this are like the ones you got listed on the very first DVDs that came out (I remember having 10 Things I Hate About You and the special features on that were “scene selection”, and “interactive menu”, and the DVD itself was actually broken anyway so you had to use the scene selection to start the movie because if you just clicked “start movie” it would just take you back to the menu.
  • I know, I’m surprised I mentioned a rather forgettable 90’s rom-com this early into a liveblog about horror too.
  • The film opens with characters complaining about Saw IV. “It’s all torture porn shit. You don’t give a shit who dies because there’s no character development it’s just body parts spraying everywhere”. This movie would be awesome at liveblogs.
  • “I’m going to cut through your neck until I feel bone”, her response to someone saying this on the phone is to hand the phone to her friend “well you’re the one with the stalker”. Even more reason to not do it.
  • Ah, so the opening of this film is actually just Stab 6. Now we’re actually watching this film.
  • Oh hey, it’s Kristen Bell, I think.
  • Okay, so it turns out people watching Stab 6 were actually actors in Stab 7. Wtf? Actually, I really like that opening, it’s unique and makes the audience know they’re going to have to stay on their toes and pay attention. It’s also quite weird, and I like weird.
  • Hey, it’s the girl from Tomorrowland, I don’t care what people say (and by “people”, I mean “almost everyone”), I actually really like that film.
  • Oh, she’s dead now 😦 I should just stop liking people in horror films, they almost always die.
  • Holy crap it’s The Sounds. Say what you like about this film, I never expected to hear European dance pop-punk in a horror movie.
  • Wow, it’s Alison Brie. Completely forgot she was in this too. I bet she dies 😦
  • Still weird the town kind of celebrates these murders, almost like they’re proud of them. it would be like New York selling 9/11 merchandise, would seem a bit cheap.
  • Wait, this film also has Anna Paquin and Emma Roberts, holy crap this is one hell of a strong cast.
  • “you’re not cheating on your wife if you eat my lemon squares”. Phrasing!
  • “”Here I am with Olivia “don’t look at my tits I have a mind” Morris””. Why is that a nickname? It’s an awful name, basically saying “this person hates being objectified”. Oh no, how awful of her.
  • Marley Shelton is really good in this, she reminds me of the bunny from Zootopia, which is odd as they’re both police deputies called Judy.
  • “Anything with an on/off switch should be off”. Does that include heart monitors?
  • Gale Weathers thinks she should be involved because she wrote the books on the original murders. But she wrote them after the fact, she didn’t really do much during.
  • “your lemon squares taste like ass”, in which case it’s even weirder her husband is eating them.
  • The killer says he’s standing in the closet whilst making the phone call, I could make an obvious “in the closet” joke, but instead I think I’ll take the high road and say “how did he manage to have a conversation on the phone whilst in the closet and the girl not hear him in there? I mean, the closet he was in belonged to a girl who was just standing there not making any noise, so she surely would have heard something?
  • “this isn’t a fucking movie”, hey, that’s my line!
  • “I’m going to slit your eyelids so you see when I stab you in the face”, wow, that’s…..brutal.
  • Just realised Sidney no longer has the necklace. Okay to explain. In the second film her boyfriend handed her a necklace before he died (obviously, would be a bit weird if he did it afterwards). She kept it in the third film, and I always thought that was a nice touch. She’s not wearing it in this one, so either her character has moved on, or the film-makers just forgot.
  • “Olivia Morris, who will officially never go out with me, is dead” this guy is the worst.
  •  Okay, Alison Brie’s character is awful too, saying Sidney should be glad about the murders as it will increase book sales.
  • “the problem with Sidney is she never gets laid”, I’d say the problem is more to do with all the murders.
  • Alison Brie gets stabbed in the stomach, not the most exciting death but well crafted enough.
  • Her body is thrown off car park onto a news van during a press conference. Now that’s better.
  • “you film your entire high school experience and put it on the web?” Why would any high school student do that? Most schools feature much embarrassment and things people would rather forget.
  • So they’re doing a drinking game for a film series consisting of 7 films? They’re going to be white-girl wasted by the end of this.
  • Wait, they’re showing the popcorn scene from the original Stab, then the shower scene. But weren’t they the other way around when they were shown in Scream 2? Unless maybe because that was a preview the studio changed it around. Actually considering someone was murdered at a sneak preview of the first film, how on earth did sequels get green-lit?
  • Cop gets stabbed in the head then random walks down the street, punching the air before falling over. May seem unrealistic but apparently based on videos of people who have been stabbed in the head.
  • “fuck Bruce Willis”, I agree.
  • Stabbed through the letterbox. That sounds like a weird euphemism. We later found out that the mother was intended to die, but how did the killer know that it was her leaning against the door and not Sidney?
  • Okay, they’re all settling down to continue the Stab-athon and finish watching stab 7. Which is weird as the last we saw they were still in the first one. So did all those people get stabbed and then just sit around and watch the first six films before doing anything? Let’s say 90 minutes per film that’s about 9 hours.
  • A history lesson on the slasher genre, I have now added Peeping Tom to my list to watch.
  • “name the remake that” she then reels off about 20 remakes that have been recently made. Very very funny.
  • “this is making a move” *proceeds to stab someone*. Hey, how about that? I have made a move on people before then.
  • So Rory Culkin stabbed someone seemingly out of sexual frustration? Typical white male bullshit.
  • Weird touch here that I’m not sure if it was intentional but both killers are played by people from acting families; Rory Culkin and Emma Roberts.
  • “I told so many lies that I actually started to believe them”. So she’s not only a killer but also a liar. I’m starting to think she’s not a nice person.
  • “old school, like Billy and Stu”, he’s then surprised when he gets stabbed by the other killer, did he not pay any attention to the first movie?
  • “I don’t need friends, I need fans”, actually a killer line.
  • “how do you think people become famous now? You don’t have to achieve anything” lucky me.
  • “you just need to have fucked up shit happen to you”, actually that’s pretty accurate. I mean, I would argue that point, but Madeline McCanns parents got a book tour and to meet the pope.
  • Emma Roberts character maims herself to make her look more like a victim. And we’re talking proper hardcore maiming here. She drives a knife into her own shoulder, runs into a glass picture frame, and throws herself backwards through a glass table. Surprisingly chilling scene. Weird that this is her first horror movie as she’s so damn good at it. She was later in Scream Queens, which again, I recommend everybody watch, even if only to hear one of the best songs you’ll ever hear.
  • Oh no, Marley Shelton got shot 😦 That’s annoying as she was lovely. I really need to stop finding people adorable in horror films, it never works out.
  • “you forgot the first rule of remakes, don’t fuck with the original”. I assumed that’s what all remakes did.
  • So it turns out Marley Shelton is still alive because, as she says, “Wear the vest, save your chest”, and it is a magnificent chest. Wait….
  • Oh fuck that’s how this series ends, with me making a perverted comment. God fucking damn it.

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

End Of Year Film Awards

NOTE: Everything written regularly is written by Producer Mark. While everything in italics is written by Producer Lee.

Best Actor

I’m sure this gets said every year, but every year there are a whole host of great performances, that choosing one is just too hard, but it must be done…Unless you’re a shoddy internet film blog like this one. So I picked two.jason-segel-the-end-of-the-tour-trailer

Jason Segel – End of the Tour. Known primarily for his comedic roles in…well everything else he has done, Jason Segal is revolutionary as David Foster Wallace; bringing a subtle but clearly perpetually uncomfortable nuance to his manner. Even as he runs the gambit of emotions from, funny, angry, confidant, overjoyed, and sad, he never appears at home in his own skin or mind, and is a truly authentic take on the troubled genius. And for such an orgastic turn to come from Jason Segel is the cherry on the cake.

steve-jobs-trailerMichael Fassbinder – Steve Jobs. It’s easy to make a bad guy unlikable but loveable, to play the asshole that treats everyone like shit and make the audience love him. It is an entirely different and much harder task to play a guy you’re meant to like and have complex emotions for, like a complete asshole. But that’s exactly what Michael Fassbinder pulls off in his embodiment of Steve Jobs. He then takes it further as we peel back the layers that make and has made him the way he is; jumping back and forwards in time to see the building blocks of his character all the way to the complete man he becomes; and it’s all perfectly portrayed to us with barely any of his actual life shownmaxresdefault

Al Pacino: Danny Collins. I know, Al Pacino gave a good performance, what are the odds of that? But this is a different Pacino performance than the normal good performance. The usual good Pacino performance makes you want to stand up and applaud, but this is different. You completely buy into his performance in a role which could have been derailed by a lesser actor. The downside is that writing this has made me have the song from the film stuck in my head.

Best Actress

bluntEmily Blunt – Sicario. She’s a badass who’s always in control, but feels constantly out of her depth. She’s tough as nails and takes no shit, but her growing fear of the morality of her job she just can’t quell. Always ready to dive in and fight for what’s right even when faced with an endless darkness, but never shallow enough to not think about and feel the repercussions of what she does. And with all that, she’s never a blank, genderless slate who could be played by anyone, she’s still a woman. Though this may read more like a look at her character than her performance, the fact is you can’t distinguish the two from the other.

Runner-up: Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina2015ExMachina_Press_20_140115.hero

 

 

 

 

 

ct-amy-schumer-of-trainwreck-says-falling-in-l-001

Amy Schumer: Trainwreck. Not the best performance by a long shot, but the film rests so heavily upon her performance that the fact she’s actually really good in it really helps it.

 

Honorable mention: Phyllis Smith in Inside Out as sadness. sadness-phyllis-smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Script

Steve Jobs: It’s an Arron Sorkin film script, so it’s expected that it will be one of the best of the year, stevebut this isn’t just fanfare. Like most Sorkin scripts this is a dialogue driven spectacular that runs the gambit of funny, to thrilling, to heart wrenchingly dramatic, but it is also a complete reinvention for the Biopic genre. Set in three real time acts between the 70s and 90s from behind the scenes at product launches, Steve has to argue his way through his friends, enemies and family to make each launch. What should have been the equivalent of telling a life’s story with both arms tied behind its back is turned into a fascinating character piece that tells us more about Steve Jobs the man than any old cradle to the grave film ever could.

Inside out: It’s the story and ideas that this film tells and so thoughtfully inside outexecutes that made it too amazing for me not to put it here too. Yes I think the plot isn’t as original as it could have been or thinks it is, and the writing while very funny wasn’t too special; but its imagery behind how the mind is put together and how we as people function is just too genius to not step back and applaud. And on top of that I was floored by its very mature message of the importance and the need for the emotion of sadness, and how it helps bring us together and grow-up.

ladyinvanLady In The Van. A film like this rests entirely on script and performance. And luckily both shine through. The script is full of hilarious moments (and a rather odd use for madeira cake). The fact it is a (mostly) true story doesn’t diminish the brilliance. In fact it makes it more impressive as it’s framed in a good way and says a lot about the power of the writer. 

Worst Film

The Big Game. Because it’s the only film I’VE seen this year that had me turnBig-Game-International-Trailer to my fellow Troubled Production’s producer and say, “We should fucking leave.” For more details look further down. I talk more about it in another section. 🙂

 

7133aU1riAL._SY550_The Gallows. There was a lot of bad films this year but this tops the list for absolutely NOTHING about it working. It was badly shot, the actors were shit, the characters were annoying, the “twist” didn’t make sense in terms of plot and seemed to be an asspull, the jump scare ruined what would have actually been an okay ending (seriously, if you have a moment in your film where a character gives a monologue on stage and then the lights go out and the curtain goes down: END THE FILM THERE!), the characters were the most annoying people I’ve seen outside of Twitter.  

 

Best Film Moment (scene, piece of dialogue or shot etc)

3052092-slide-s-3-fictions-in-the-steve-jobs-biopicIt’s an abstract – Steve Jobs. The moment in which, in the middle of a heated argument with his ex-wife, Steve Jobs turns over the Mac and shows her what their daughter had been doing on it, to prove to her (and in many ways the audience) why the computer is important and what people will use it for; and it turns out his daughter has been drawing an abstract painting in Paint. It’s a little moment, but in a film (and year) of great moments this one struck me just right. The combination of my own nostalgia for Paint, combined with the sweet little exchange between them, leads to the first time the character of Steve Jobs is humanised. It may not be the biggest moment, the most dramatic, or even the most important, but it was the moment for me that Steve Jobs went from an awesome film, to a great one.

Runner-up: and the conversation is the best one I ever had – ending scene to End of The Tour. It was a perfectly touching and an up beat way to close this melancholy true life tale.

inside-out-fear-disgust-anger-fightingInside Out control room locks up. The best way to describe depression to idiots who think it’s just “being a bit sad”. A truly iconic moment in a fantastic film. 

 

 

Worst Film Moment (scene, piece of dialogue or shot etc)

Picture1Focus- Woo woo. Focus as a whole is fine, it’s an okay caper with a fun return from Will Smith. But it has this one scene that involves conning an over acting Chinese Businessmen at a football game, that is legitimately one of the funnest and most thrilling scenes of the year. It’s so good that the immediate retarded explanation behind the con is such a painful whiplash, it landed itself as the worst moment of the year for me. The process to pulling off the con is sooooo over the top, ridiculous, and silly, it just destroys what was such a bad ass moment and just makes it laughable.

This is very easy for me. It’s a moment that’s so bad it stands out, even in a film film2-1_3-26-15made almost entirely of awful: Get Hard. Against my better judgement I watched this film, and I wish I hadn’t. It was unfunny, badly plotted and just not needed at all. I’d like to think Will Ferrell is at the stage of his career where he has his pick of films to be in, and he chose this. That says a lot either about his judgment or his cocaine addiction which I’ve just made up. So the moment: there’s a scene which is like 5 minutes of making jokes about prison rape. Rape jokes are odd as they’re the only thing that become less offensive if  you put the word “Prison” before it. But this scene was just ugly, and it wasn’t needed. It was just the same joke repeated over and over again “you’re going to get raped”, and the joke wasn’t funny enough to be the focus of a whole scene. 

Honorable mention: a scene in Child 44 where the camera panned to the side to showcase: a wall. 

Best Film

eott_web
Also the best poster of the year

End of the Tour. I have a lot of time for films about writers, that dive into their work, their creative process, and the damage of that; hence why another of my favourite films is Wonder Boys. I also have a lot of time for Linklater-esque stories based around the conversations between characters and their evolving dynamic, instead of heavy plot. So combine those in this true life story of the five day interview of acclaimed writer David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky, played by a typically great Jesse Eisenberg and a revolutionary Jason Segel as Wallace; which cuts deep as it examines the development of their uneasy friendship, the nature of writing and interviewing, and the plights but want of fame, you have my personal favourite film of the 2015.

Runner-up(s): Steve Jobs & Inside Out. Both are great films. Steve Jobs delivering an emotionally charged intellectual punch, while Inside Out delivers an intellectually charged emotional one; and End of the Tour only tops it for me because it does both.

8345_poster_iphoneThe Voices. And I am soooo glad about that as if it was bad it would have destroyed me. Ryan Reynolds actually seems to be redeeming himself for Green Lantern with this, Woman In Gold and next year’s Deadpool. This is the only film I’ve seen at the cinema this year which I now own on DVD. I didn’t want to wait, I knew I had to buy it. The script is hilarious, Reynolds just seems to be having hella fun, and there’s an absolutely BEAUTIFUL shot in the woods after he kills someone. A very good live action directorial debut from Marjane Satrapi. 

 

 

Best Film To Look At (a.k.a: the “Serena”)

Steve Jobs. For a film that predominantly takes place inside behind the scenes jobs.jpg.pngin theatres this may seem like an odd choice. But its Danny Boyal’s dynamite directing, that transforms rows of seats into complex tapestries, wide shots of walls into film screens, and characters staring at computer screens into complex moments of inner turmoil, that make this a clear winner for me. Really it’s here because this film didn’t need and shouldn’t have been such a visual feast, it just needed to let the words and actors stretch, but it still found beautiful ways to elevate those aspects, and keep you as visually enthralled as you are verbally.

Runner-up: Youth. Shot on location in the Swiss Alps and married with plenty of abstract imagery; never has a testament to youth and age ever looked so beautiful and devastating.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR

The Good Dinosaur. Yes the film itself was bland and 90’s Disney-esque and the characters looked, well, wrong, just wrong. But the scenery? Oh my god it was gorgeous. A planet that looked lived in and liveable. The way they animated water in particular made it actually look like water as opposed to just “standard with a blue tinge”. 

Most Disappointing Film

Legend. Far from a terrible film, but with the talent behind and in front of this camera this should have been one of the best films of 20mqdefault15 and a major awards contender. But outside a pretty fun dual performance from one of the best actors today, Tom Hardy, it turned out to be nothing but a decently entertaining, if mostly dull and plotless thing that never found its footing.

ganeThe Big Game. The worst part of this film is it’s easy to fix. You make the kid actually an effective hunter so it’s about the president of the United States being out of his element but helped by somebody who knows how to use the environment. So basically Rambo turned into an escort mission. Instead they made the kid useless, so it was a president being helped by someone who’s shit. 

Honorable mention: The Gallows. Had high hopes for this but in the end was the worst horror film I’ve seen all year. In a year that included Poltergeist remake, Insidious 3 and The Visit. 

Most Surprising Film

The Martian. Surprising doesn’t mean you expected it to be bad and it wasn’t. 17vZ0fzIt mean’s surprising. I went in expecting an existential Sci-fi about survival and the human will. And I got all that, but it also happened to be one of the best comedies of the year, that used the blend of dramatic thrills and comedy to make both more effective. From Matt Damon’s optimistic Martian and his crew, to Jeff Daniels smarmy NASA CEO and his quirky team of scientists. It is not an insult to this film to call it a comedy; it is a complement to comedy that this film is one.

Runner-up: Ant-Man. Who would of thought Ant-Man would have been the best Superhero film of 2015.

John_Wick_TeaserPoster

John Wick. I admit I expected a typical action film and didn’t have high hopes for it. But this film was a revelation. The universe and characters were so well defined it seemed like a comic book adaptation. News there’s a sequel excites me as I want to see more of this world.

 

 

 

 

The “well I liked it” award

Tomorrowland_posterTomorrowland. What’s with the hate on this film? Was it a perfect feat of science fiction? No, but it’s a fun Sci-fi adventure, with an interesting world, fun likable characters, a combo of goofy and deadpan humour, and is a real harken back to classic Sci-Fi adventures. When the future was something to wonder for not fear, and technology looked like technology. Ray guns are big and bright and silly, and jetpacks are sleek and still make no sense but are too awesome. Is the plotting all over the place, yes, is the first act a bit too much like molasses on sandpaper? Also not a complete over-exaggeration, but it’s got way too much heart to let little things like that get in the way of a good time.

Tomorrowland. I really don’t get the hate for this film. It’s odd as EVERYBODY I know who saw it liked it, but outside of my social circle everybody seems to hate it. But why? It’s nice. It’s the kind of film where if I saw it as a child it would have been my favourite film. 

The “I’m obviously not seeing what the reviewers are seeing” award

cWkwQf.jpgThe Big Game. “As spectacular as it is funny” “Samuel L Jackson has his tongue firmly in his cheek”. I wish either of these statements were true about this still born mess, failing to be dumb fun. The concept is great; a wimpy President played by Samuel L Jackson is chased through the mountains by terrorists and is helped by a badass child warrior. This should be as fun and or as campy as Olympus has fallen, or White House down…but instead, the kid isn’t a badass at all and spends most the film trying to find himself and failing; and though all his lines are wimpy, Jackson still plays it like a badass, so it’s just awkward. For a film apparently just going for fun, it takes its story and characters’ much too seriously, and its biggest failure is trying to distil genuine arcs and development on these blocks of wood.hqdefault

Unfriended. Seriously, fuck this film.

 

 

 

 

The “Yeah it’s bad but” award

index.jpgChappie: a perfect example of a hot fucking mess. The plot is all over the place, it’s supporting characters are unlikeable and stupid to the point of being endearing, it’s like a child’s film with hardcore violence…How can you not dig this film. Held up by the sheer adorableness and likability of Chappie himself, and some dark, dark humour, Chappie is one giant mess you don’t want to clear up.

Chappie. Always always Chappie. I know this film is bad, the plot is all over the place, the characters are unlikeable and it’s just bad all over. And yet I love it. No idea why. I just think the film works. It’s funny and kind of brilliant despite itself.