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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 2015


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2015 started with the end of one action series....

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Which was then followed by the start of another.

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An R-rated comedy was up next....

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Followed by a winning sequel with a great cast.

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Home found an alien on earth.

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And The Longest Ride was a youthful romance.

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True Story told of the real life tale of a murderer who tried to hide under the identity of a reporter, and how the two ultimately became acquainted.

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Far from the Madding Crowd was a sumptuous new version of the Thomas Hardy classic, and was one of the year's best films.

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Poltergeist was a new take on the 80s horror series.

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Spy was a spoof of espionage films

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Direct from Japan, more Dragonball......

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was a quirky teen film that built to a touching and moving ending.

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Fantastic 4 was an one-off attempt to bring superheroes back to the screen.

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Paper Towns was another teen romance, from a book by the same author as Fox's 2014 film The Fault in Our Stars.

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Mistress America was an indie comedy with greta Gerwig that started almost like a modern-day screwball comedy before becoming a one-set chamber piece in its second act. Still, what was good was quite good, and there was strikingly effective use of the 80s OMD song "Souvenir" throughout the film.

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Hitman: Agent 47 was a followup to the action film of a few years earlier.

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Maze Runner: The Scorch trials was the middle part of the dystopian trilogy.

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he Named Me Malala was a documentary about the young girl who became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

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it was then off to the Oscars three times in a row. First with the crisp Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies (with DreamWorks, and Touchstone/Disney) with fine work from Tom Hanks, and an Oscar winning performance from Mark Rylance.

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Matt Damon had one of his finest hours with his wonderful, enderaring full-throttle movie star performance in The Martian, a saga of survival that, despite being mainly set on the red planet, had some similarites to Robinson Crusoe. Ridley Scott directed well, and there was also room for Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, not to mention a great disco soundtrack (which Damon's character hated)

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This trio was completed by my personal favorite, and might just honestly be, in my opinion, one of the 5 best films made since 2000. Brooklyn might have been a simple romantic drama in form, but in execution, it was extraordinary. The 50s set tale felt almost like a film from the 50s as it was filled not just with a sublime star turn, but also an extraordinary supporting cast, all of whom enriched the film by their presence, all of them ideally suited for their roles. The script too was note perfect with many ironic delineations. When I saw this in the theatre in 2015, I knew i was witnessing a true rarity: a perfect film.

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The Peanuts Movie was charming. It might have been in CGI, but it had the same droll charm as the comic strip and TV specials, and made for a lovely throwback.

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James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe were unleashed on the Frankenstein saga.

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Youth was a sometimes surreal saga, quite provocative, which dealt with the lives of several around a home for retirees in Switzerland. Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano starred. And Jane Fonda got strong notices for her 7 minute bit.

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More chipmunks, and they haven't been back since.

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Joy was kind of treated badly at the time, even though Jennifer Lawrence was Oscar nominated. I personally found it to be a wonderful film, with a droll approach both comic and dramatic. It was Lawrence's best performance to date, and while the whole supporting cast was very good, Diane Ladd and Isabella Rossellini particularly shone.

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The Revenant closed the year with an austere wilderness saga that won oscars for Best Director and Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio). Aside from Domhnall Gleeson's excellent supporting turn, I don't want to talk any more about it......

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My top picks:

  1. The Martian
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Kingsman: The Secret Service
  4. Joy
  5. Bridge of Spies

 

I've also seen Taken 3True StoryPoltergeistSpyMe and Earl and the Dying GirlFantastic 4Hitman: Agent 47Maze Runner: The Scorch TrialsVictor Frankenstein, and The Revenant.

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