2015 has been rather of a disappointing year. Smaller films have really shone for me like Carol and A Girl Who Walks Home Alone at Night. It was the year for nostalgia with Mad Max, Terminator, Jurassic World etc. But the majority will be forgotten as time goes by. I just want to thank my readers for sticking out with my through 2015, I have not delivered mass amounts of content but people still come back. Hopefully in 2016 I will begin my YouTube channel so stay tuned. Hope you all have had a wonderful festive time and a prosperous New Years. Here’s my top 10…..
Crimson Peak is by far one of the most intriguing films of the year. Honestly I don’t understand some people’s dislike
for Crimson Peak. From what I gather a lot of people respect Del Toro but can’t say the words I hate this film. Europe seems to have accepted Crimson Peak with open arms, it’s a great homage to cinema we grew up on *it’s not for a 21st century audience*. This isn’t Del Toro’s best by far but it crouches in my top 3 of his work. The overall design of the film is of the highest standard, the house alone is a haunting and eerie place. You really are witnessing a visual buffet of splendour with Crimson Peak. Once you witness the opening of the film you are sucked into the story and witnessing the minor details of Del Toro’s dream.
It’s safe to say this is an admirable attempt by Ryan Gosling. He has taken various ideas from many film-makers like Winding Refn and David Lynch.It’s a mesmerizing modern gothic fairytale in the heartland of America. It’s very
symbolistic of how the financial fall has effected lives in the states in my opinion. Families are struggling a lot, thus we have Billy finding work in a twisted club. Mother’s will go far in order too establish food and shelter for their kids. We have Bones struggling in making a life for himself as a young adult, there is no opportunities for him. Yet again we see the struggle of getting out of poverty. We see the rise of dangerous characters like Bully and Dave, they have power and money. This intimidates people, and they can buy fear and power. The use of the nightclub it truly shows the darker side of desire and fetish. If you have the money your darkest desires can come true. For me it truly is the nightmarish status of our society at the moment. It’s a timeless issue I understand this but I can relate this. The premise is great but it does slack in dialogue sometime. It can be very cheesy and cliché, but the dark undertone of Lost River helps that.
8.The Man From U.N.C.L.E
The Man From U.N.C.L.E was a lot of fun Guy Ritchie has made an interesting espionage film. It provides a lot of
comic relief and it’s a great homage to the spy films of the 60’s. It’s such a colourful film very vivid and bright, it captures the aesthetics of the period. The opening sequence in Berlin gives the tempo of the whole film and from the get go it sustains itself. It’s utterly charming and witty but the sense of action remains distinctive, the Guy Ritchie effect oozes throughout the movie. As for characters, I thought they were all great. Henry Cavill is very charismatic and fun to watch being the cocky American spy. Armie Hammer caught me off guard a little at first with his accent, but it grew on me and became enjoyable. Alicia Vikander, who I, like many, first took notice of in Ex Machina, was fantastic and should continue to be seeing great roles offered to her. The chemistry was great between the three and really propelled the movie going forward.
Justin Kurzel is a film-maker for the future! Macbeth is by far one of the better films of 2015. This is a very luscious
film, Adam Arkapaw’s cinematography truly captures the setting of Macbeth. The simple use of natural light is so elegant and truly shows there is not much hope in this tragedy. The heavy uses of red keeps the dangerous and vicious tone of the film. The landscape shots are the best of the year, they are as stunning as Dick Pope’s work on Mr.Turner. Kurzel’s direction here is very imaginative and truly creates his own interpretation of Shakespeare’s work. He is making Assassins Creed next and I would be happy to pay purely to see what he creates. Jed Kruzel’s score truly keeps the flow of the film. It’s very sinister with a hint of madness it really keeps you up to date with the change of tone throughout the film.
I wouldn’t class Sicario higher than Prisoners but Villneuve can do no wrong. He has a similar appetite to David Fincher, there dark sides a very strong and this is my favourite form of cinema. Sicario wouldn’t have succeeded without Roger Deakins behind the lens.The aerial shots between the USA and Mexico are phenomenal it really gives a great contrast to the two countries and it’s current drug and migrant issues. The night shots with the infra-red is just crazy, Deakins actually used these cameras rather than sending it to post-production. Johan Johansson’s score is very subtle but sinister it really packs a punch when it’s needed but very similar to the Prisoners score.
5.Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Force Awakens is a gigantic wave of nostalgia for all fans. J.J Abrams has done a terrific job re-kindling the fire for
Star Wars. The nostalgic aspect is very potent through out, Abrams seems to be saying look at this, do you remember this? You are overwhelmed by everything but it’s home-comforts that slowly eases you into a new era. The practical aspect of the film from J.J is what we wanted to see. Much edgier, rougher and not shiny. Abrams pays homage to the original trilogy by using practicality. He was even faithful to filming in 35 & 65mm at times and filmed on real locations. His direction was a steady studio hand that the franchise needed, I take my hat off to you sir. John Williams returned to score the film, it’s very subtle with a hint of the old school. He has really given the film a fine balance. Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams script is pretty decent it’s far too funny for a Star Wars film. It does have very cheesy lines but it’s Star Wars and you expect it. It’s very fast paced film with a lot going on through out.
This is nothing but a great British film! Not since Moon have I admired a sci-fi/thriller film, I can imagine Ex
Machina ending up on my best of 2015 list. Personally I thought the ending was going to be a gigantic twist, but I was very surprised how it actually unfolded. The screenplay is great it’s very humorous at some points but also the whole technological jargon seemed logical but you do have to take it with a pinch of salt. There are many messages we get from Ex Machina mainly about our humanity, sexuality and technology. I’d rather not get into it as I don’t want to spoil anything. For Alex Garland’s first film he has done a great job, he has a great eye for detail. Nathan’s house is impressive for some reason I felt at some points I was in Spike Jonze’s Her. But it’s an impressive spectacle and the scenery is just breathtaking Norway is a beautiful country. Garland’s tone seems sinister and it felt like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You know something bad is going to happen but we just wait.
3.A Girl Who Walks Home Alone At Night
What makes this a great film is Sheila Vand, the use of her eyes and her gaze alone is just mesmeric and haunting. For me she reminds me of an older version of Eli form Let The Right One In. She looks sweet, innocent and naive but her dark side is just horrifying. The girl is one the better vampire characters in recent times. It’s also great to see a strong female presence on screen.It’s a slow paced film, but there is never a dull moment. Every shot is significant and it’s well balanced. The horror element is a only the one aspect of it. It’s also a romantic drama between the girl and Arash they are very different people, but trapped they are both in the same vicious circle of isolation and hopelessness. The whole cast makes a wonderful work in their roles. The screenplay takes advantage of the classic tale along with giving it a fresh and trendy vibe. The soundtrack is just beautiful, every song really lives well within the film. It’s a great statement to show the liberal side of Iranian women through out. The beautiful black-and-white cinematography brings every scene to life, with precise frames which make even the most filthy alley or prosaic building look like a work of art.
2.Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road is a rock opera of intense grime and Slipknot-esk visuals. It’s two hours of pure adrenaline and
carnage, the world needs to watch it. George Miller has really outdone himself and I honestly think this is more superior to Road Warrior. The action sequences are phenomenal the fact that 80% of the stunts and effects are real is just phenomenal. Miller has taken us back to old Hollywood when it actually used real pyrotechnics and real stunts. Fury Road is a breath of fresh air for action movies, and it’s one of the best action films of the 21st century. The editing is phenomenal here, the action sequences are weaved well together. Junkie XL’s score is astounding, it weaves that old film vibe with a modern twist. These components along with Miller’s direction makes Mad Max: Fury Road what it is. There are so many little details in this film only Miller could justify creating such as the masked guitar player and drum core on a truck or Mother’s Milk. It’s utterly lavish and feels roughly authentic and I can’t stop being positive about this film.
This is a cinematic master-class from Todd Haynes I haven’t seen such a perfectly made film in a very long time. The framing, score, lens, cinematography, editing, sound mixing and acting are phenomenal. This is a film about love not being gay. You go through Carol connecting with the character, we have all experienced love and all it’s toils in our life. It really hits the heart at some moments and Haynes does not emphasise the hardship of being gay in the 1950’s. It’s the journey of a young woman finding her feet in life and Carol finding happiness that she deserves. Haynes never highlights the build up of the friendship of the girls, you have to observe it yourself. There is a lot going on in each shot and a keen eye is needed. Carol is mainly conveyed through looks and innuendo this is what makes it interesting. We are continuously wondering what are they thinking? do they know they like each other? It’s utterly gripping.