The 2015 Awards
BEST USE OF 'ROOM' IN THE TITLE SINCE TOMMY WISEAU'S 'THE ROOM': Room
MOST UNNECESSARY AND UNDERWHELMING DISNEY FILM OF THE YEAR: Cinderella
GREAT CONCEIT, POOR EXECUTION AWARD: It Follows
THIS IS WHY WE SHOULDN'T LET MONEY DICTATE MAKING SEQUELS: Hot Tub Time Machine 2
THE I WILL WATCH THIS MAN DO ANYTHING AWARD: Michael Fassbender. Because he's freakin' MICHAEL FASSBENDER!!!
THE MERYL STREEP/LEONARDO DICPARIO 'I'M DOING THIS FOR THE AWARD' ROLE: Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
MAYBE IT'S TIME WE STOP SPLITTING FINALES INTO TWO PARTS, EH? Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.
TIME TRAVEL, YOU CONFUSING, BUT YOU FUN: Terminator: Genisys (Runner Up: Project Almanac)
PLOT TWIST I DIDN'T SEE COMING: Second act-third act of Focus. Dayyuumm!
THE DOMHALL GLEESON'S BEEN LEFT IN A STATE OF PERIL, HOW'S HE GETTING OUT OF IT?!!? AWARD: Hmmm. Ex Machina or Star Wars? Unfortunately, it's obvious General Hux will return to give more Hitler speeches in the forthcoming eighth and ninth installments, so gotta go with Ex Machina. What's gonna happen to him!?
MOST OVERRATED AWARDS CIRCUIT NOMINEE: Spotlight
A DAMN FINE SCRIPT THAT WILL UNDOUBTEDLY BE BLASTED FOR NOT BEING AS GOOD AS THE ORIGINAL: Avengers: Age of Ultron
THE BOX OFFICE LOSER THAN WON MY HEART: Victor Frankenstein
FAVORITE ANIMATED FEATURE: The Peanuts Movie
THE IS IT OKAY IF I SAY THIS ISN'T THAT BAD OF A MOVIE? AWARD: Terminator: Genisys
THE GREAT: Star Wars - The Force Awakens/Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation/Mad Max: Fury Road
THE GOOD: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
THE BAD: Spectre
THE DREADFUL: Taken 3
THE UGLY: Hot Tub Time Machine 2
THE I-CAN'T-BELIEVE-I'M-GETTING-EMOTIONAL-BY-THIS-BUT-HOLY-HELL!!! AWARD: Furious 7, "See You Again"
AWARD FOR SURPRISINGLY GOOD HORROR MOVIE (LIKE, REALLY, REALLY UNEXPECTED): The Lazarus Effect. Admittedly, my interest in the film originated from a place of pure 'I love Olivia Wilde'-ness, but it being a early 2015 release, there was no reason to think the film would be any good, let alone worth my time, save for the lovely Ms. Wilde. Turns out, I was wrong. It wasn't that long ago that Lucy came out, a movie where a female protagonist is 'gifted' with abilities once a drug allows her to use all functions of her brain simultaneously. Ultimately, she meets a sort of 'tragic' end, but her arc is presented in a sort of superhero light, upping the 'woah' and 'awesome' factor in high-visual spectacles. The Lazarus Effect is the opposite of that. While abilities stemming from using all reservoirs of cognitive function plays a part in the movie, it's more of a Frankenstein-esque scenario where Wilde's character is resurrected from the dead, and it becomes a 'you're fucking with nature, and this is what happens when abominations fuck with you' type of deal. It's brutal, it's intense, and it's smartly written. Cards on the table, I'm not a huge fan of the ending, even though I've warmed up to it in the months since first seeing it, but the whole damn movie is better than it has any right to be, and for that, I gotta give it the edge over most horror offerings of the year.
THE COMING-OF-AGE FILM TEENS NEED TO WATCH: Paper Towns. After making boys and girls gush and cry like babies over The Fault in Our Stars, novelist John Green had another one of his books adapted for the big screen (with way less commercial success), but this time, with a story worth telling and character arcs worth showing. Look, we've all had that one crush that we put above everyone else - not in a worship-y sense, but we put that person on a pedestal, that that person becomes more than just a bloke or a lass and becomes something exalted, something special. We could barely know this person, but we transform this regular, everyday individual and idealize them, romanticizing them into something more than they are. That's a dangerous road, and one far too frequent an occurrence. Paper Towns takes that whole scenario - boy idealizes girl, boy loves girl, boy chases after girl cos she's his One True Love - and turns it upside down when she comes back to him with, 'how could you love me when I don't even know myself? I'm just as messed up as you are.' More than The DUFF (which I thoroughly enjoyed) or Me, Earl and the Dying Girl (which is a fantastic look at the complexities of friendships), the standout teen flick of 2015 has got to be Paper Towns cos the message this flick offers and, hell, the great side-characters the main protagonist has along with his journey. Great fun.
FAVORITE POSTERS OF 2015
|Although not a Drew Struzen piece sadly, this is still a epic poster..|
|Just because the movie was largely forgettable doesn't mean the poster campaigns were.|
|Another flick I wasn't a huge fan of, but if there's one thing it did well, it was atmosphere, and this poster has it in spades. Simple, yet effective. This is the movie.|
AWESOMEST CHARACTER OF 2015
|Rey (Daisy Ridley), Star Wars: The Force Awakens|
Could there honestly be anyone else? (If you answer 'yes', you are possibly certifiably crazy, and I'll see you in the inevitable remake of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) Before entering the theater for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there was one thing I was giddy above all - seeing the continuing adventures of Luke Skywalker. Now, as most of the entire planet knows, we didn't really get that in the sequel (but boy did we get a bunch of intense looks!), but we got something even better. No, not BB-8, although that droid is adorable something fierce. It's Rey, the new, mysterious character living on the desert planet of Jakku, who teams up with ex-Stormtrooper Finn on a journey to return the BB unit to the Resistance. She's funny, she's resourceful, she's strong-willed, she's intelligent, and she kicks ass. Fuck the people labeling her as a 'Mary Sue', fuck all complaints lobbied towards the character of Rey or actress Daisy Ridley, the coolest, awesomest character of 2015 was owned the second Rey slid down a sand hill by a deserted Star Destroyer. Whatever happens in the forthcoming episodes, just give us MORE Rey. More Rey, me happy. Got it, Episode 8?