Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Films of 2015


Recommended Posts

Suite Francaise (2014) had its premiere in 2014 but is another film that went into release in 2015.  It is about the German occupation of a small French village in WWII.  Some of the single women are torn between patriotism and their attraction to the young German soldiers.  Its star, Michelle Williams plays a quiet introverted girl and that doesn't make for very exciting cinema.  It is fairly predictable until about the 60 minute mark.  Competent but fairly routine.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a tv film, but I finished watching the six hour Syfy channel adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's CHILDHOOD'S END. I was a fan of the book when I read it many moons ago, but I wasn't sure how well it would work any more since it's imagery has been co-opted by countless SF productions over the last 60 years. My fears were somewhat founded, as the sight of giant spaceships hovering menacingly over fearful cities across the world has been seen too often to pack the punch the book did when published. The writers changed a few things up, adding romantic subplots, and drastically altering one of the main characters to make him more relatable to middle America, I guess. The last section also seemed a little rushed and unsatisfying.

 

On the plus side, it looks better than arguably anything they've ever made for Syfy before, on par with most theatrical releases. The aliens are well executed, and Charles Dance is excellent as the lead Overlord.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Beasts of No Nation (2015) is quite an exceptional film by American director and cinematographer, Cary Joji Fukunaga.  It is the story of child warriors of an African rebel army and it doesn't pull any punches.  Indris Elba, who is being touted as the first black James Bond is very good in this and may indeed be nominated for a supporting award come Academy time.

The real gem is the lead performance by Abraham Attah.  It is too bad the Academy no longer gives out separate awards for the juvenile performance of the year.  It would be good if they could have a write-in vote and skip the nominees process and just announce a recipient each year - male or female.  No nominees would take a certain amount of competition pressure off of the kids.  I feel a bit sorry for them when they are sitting in the auditorium competing against established adult actors.

Fukunaga has handled this film very well and I look forward to his next.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the shortlist of films still in competition for a nomination in this year's Best Foreign Language Oscar category:

 

 

  • BelgiumThe Brand New Testament, Jaco Van Dormael
  • ColombiaEmbrace Of The Serpent, Ciro Guerra
  • DenmarkA War, Tobias Lindholm
  • Finland: The Fencer, Klaus Härö
  • France: Mustang, Deniz Gamze Ergüven
  • GermanyLabyrinth Of Lies, Giulio Ricciarelli
  • HungarySon Of Saul, László Nemes
  • IrelandViva, Paddy Breathnach
  • JordanTheeb, Naji Abu Nowar.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ginger Rogers gets plaudits because it is said that she did everything that Fred Astaire did but only backwards, and in heels.  Well move over Ginger because Bryce Dallas Howard spends an hour running through the jungle in high heels while being chased by angry Raptors and a genetically modified dinosaur aptly named the Indominus Rex in the utterly ridiculous film Jurassic World (2015).

JW may be ludicrous but it is fun.  I couldn't help rooting for the dinosaurs especially when they descended on the throngs of people who were stupid enough to go there on their vacation.  If only my neighbour would send his kids to this theme park for a visit.

JW rarely disappoints.  For example, you know that fat, lazy security guard who is constantly eating?  Yeah, he gets it real good.

Vincent D'Onofrio is a standout as the heavy set villain who wants to, what else, militarize the dinosaurs.  And I don't think I will be giving too much away when I add that the "natural" dinosaurs become man's best friend when they come to the rescue and do battle with Indominus Rex.  Shades of King Kong.

I can't wait until they clear away the dead and re-open this theme park!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the shortlist of films still in competition for a nomination in this year's Best Foreign Language Oscar category:

 

 

 

  • BelgiumThe Brand New Testament, Jaco Van Dormael
  • ColombiaEmbrace Of The Serpent, Ciro Guerra
  • DenmarkA War, Tobias Lindholm
  • Finland: The Fencer, Klaus Härö
  • France: Mustang, Deniz Gamze Ergüven
  • GermanyLabyrinth Of Lies, Giulio Ricciarelli
  • HungarySon Of Saul, László Nemes
  • IrelandViva, Paddy Breathnach
  • JordanTheeb, Naji Abu Nowar.

 

Haven't seen any, but from what I read, SON OF SAUL is probably the winner.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) is quite a good little film about teenage alienation.  It won a few awards at Sundance earlier this year and it already looks like its director, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is moving on to bigger and possibly better things.

The ever interesting Brian Eno provides the music score.

My only criticism might be that the film lags in the middle.  This is when the hero has become so self-absorbed as to start to lose his friends and he sinks into depression.  It is a device to give the character somewhere to go and an obstacle he must overcome at the end of the film but it also makes for some less than exciting viewing.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched Suffragette (2015) directed by Sarah Gavron.  This should have been the ultimate Norma Rae for it is a great story and Carey Mulligan is very good in the lead role.  But for me, the screenplay was less than gripping and the execution of the film was just plain sloppy.

If I may give one example it would be the employ of the shakey-cam technique.  I understand why this is popular.  It is supposed to give one the subconscious feeling that you are watching something real like a raw documentary film.  Suffragette even combines the shakey-cam with a telephoto lens when depicting a simple conversation to give one the feeling that you are eavesdropping.  

Perhaps I am being too literal but for me shakey-cam doesn't work in a period piece.  Perhaps it works in Hill Street Blues but there were no documentary film crews as such at the turn of the 20th century so when it envokes that subconscious feeling it just doesn't fit.

There are always exceptions.  Peter Watkins use of an imagined television crew at The Battle of Culloden (1964) worked wonders because it was fresh.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched this year's documentary about the life and death of English Jazz singer, Amy Winehouse, Amy (2015).  It is a sobering look at the effects drugs has on a very talented young girl's life.  Well-loved my a group of friends she grows apart from when fame takes over her life, Amy Winehouse tragically falls under the influences of some rather leech-like people.  The documentary does a very credible job of placing you in Winehouse's world.  The English press and paparazzi are merciless.  Stand-up comedian's jokes about Winehouse's propensity for drugs now look heartless and opportunistic given her tragic outcome.  Recommended.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

X+Y (2015) is a pleasant little British drama directed by Morgan Matthews.  Asa Butterfield from Hugo (2011) plays the socially withdrawn autistic boy who is a maths genius.  It isn't as endearing as Jodie Foster's Little Man Tate (1991) mainly because Butterfield is so painfully alienated and blank as to make the film a tad hard slogging at times.  I may be alone in this criticism.

Rafe Spall plays the boys maths teacher.  He too is battling problems of his own in the form of MS.  This could have been a horrible stereotypical treaclely role but Rafe excels in this film and alone is worth the price of admission.  It may be his best film role since playing William Shakespeare in Anonymous (2011).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just saw Scott Cooper's Black Mass (2015) with Johnny Depp.  It was okay and perhaps if I had come to this with a clean slate I might have liked it more.  But for anyone who has seen Goodfellas, or The Departed this may seem like a poor-man's Scorsese film without the flair, energy and pazazz.   And Depp seems to be channelling Jack Nicholson a wee bit too closely.

Dakota Johnson is pretty good in a small role.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Bogie said: If I may give one example it would be the employ of the shakey-cam technique.  I understand why this is popular. 

 

Well I don't. I hate shakey cam. I already have vision troubles watching digital projection....shakey camera exacerbates it.

 

Thank you Bogie, for your thoughtful, easy to read reviews. How many movies do you see in a week?

 

Your schedule reminds me of my friend - a professional movie critic. He'd have to see average of 3 movies a day.

He'd call me to join him for musicals, cartoons, romantic comedies. Afterwards, he'd meet his Dad in the lobby for the next movie if it was a violent or comic book franchise.

 

Talk about rotating partners!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to see CAROL, SPOTLIGHT, THE DANISH GIRL,ROOM, BROOKLYN, THE BIG SHORT, and TRUMBO. Since these movies never opened where I live, I hope that they will come to Redbox sometime in 2016. JOY, CONCUSSION, POINT BREAK, and the new Will Farrell Mark Wahlberg movie are opening here on Christmas. I only plan on seeing JOY and CONCUSSION. I know that there are fellow posters who have the same problem. A movie lover has to live in a larger city to see all the new releases. If THE REVENANT doesn`t come here, I will be upset. Leonardo DiCaprio is my favorite younger actor.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to see CAROL, SPOTLIGHT, THE DANISH GIRL,ROOM, BROOKLYN, THE BIG SHORT, and TRUMBO. Since these movies never opened where I live, I hope that they will come to Redbox sometime in 2016. JOY, CONCUSSION, POINT BREAK, and the new Will Farrell Mark Wahlberg movie are opening here on Christmas. I only plan on seeing JOY and CONCUSSION. I know that there are fellow posters who have the same problem. A movie lover has to live in a larger city to see all the new releases. If THE REVENANT doesn`t come here, I will be upset. Leonardo DiCaprio is my favorite younger actor.

 

It's possible that many of those movies won't get a general release throughout North America until after the new year. That way, the movie studios can cash in on the awards shows and nominations that will dominate the month of January.

 

A film must be released by Christmas Day in order to qualify for the Academy Awards. It can play in one theater in Los Angeles County and fill that requirement.

 

The Oscar nominations are scheduled for Thursday, January 14, 2016. You should see many of the most talked-about films in theaters by then.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's possible that many of those movies won't get a general release throughout North America until after the new year. That way, the movie studios can cash in on the awards shows and nominations that will dominate the month.

 

A film must be released by Christmas Day in order to qualify for the Academy Awards. It can play in one theater in Los Angeles. County and fill that requirement.

 

The Oscar nominations are scheduled for Thursday, January 14, 2016. You should see many of the most talked-about films in theaters by then.

I hope that you are right. The track record of the movie theatre here isn`t great. THE HUNGER GAMES, IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, and KRAMPUS are closing so the four new movies will be shown. STARS WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS is on two screens which it should be.POINT BREAK will also be on two screens, and the theatre only has eight screens.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope that you are right. The track record of the movie theatre here isn`t great. THE HUNGER GAMES, IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, and KRAMPUS are closing so the four new movies will be shown. STARS WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS is on two screens which it should be.POINT BREAK will also be on two screens, and the theatre only has eight screens.

You're beating me by two; my theater only has 6 screens. We've got STAR WARS, SISTERS, ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS, CONCUSSION, IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, & THE GOOD DINOSAUR. They're only showing STAR WARS in 2D for the last showing each night, so I'll probably be missing that, since I don't do 3D.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently saw two foreign films that got public releases just this year.

Marshland (2014) is a Spanish fllm about two mis-matched cops on the trail of a serial killer.  Great cinematography and not a bad effort.

White God (2014) is a Hungarian mess.  I'm not even sure what the title refers to as it begins about a girl and her dog and the dog isn't even white.  Somewhere along the line the dog gets the boot by evil adults and falls under the clutches of professional dog fight trainers.  We've seen this in Jack London but not to this extreme.  What could have been a nice little Lassie film descends into severe brutality and harsh language.  Then at the 90 minute mark ... 90 minutes! ... the film changes gears and decides it's a doggie version of The Birds or Willard and the dogs lay seize to the big city and start ripping out the throats of everyone who ever did them harm.  I'm making this film sound interesting which it was not.  Oh and this one could not afford shakey-cam and had to settle for the much less sophisticated vomit-cam.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Mr6666. I hadn't heard of many of these. I didn't care for THE VISIT, but WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS was great. THE FINAL GIRLS, WE ARE STILL HERE, CRIMSON PEAK and IT FOLLOWS I know. The others I didn't know.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You're beating me by two; my theater only has 6 screens. We've got STAR WARS, SISTERS, ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS, CONCUSSION, IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, & THE GOOD DINOSAUR. They're only showing STAR WARS in 2D for the last showing each night, so I'll probably be missing that, since I don't do 3D.

Lawrence, it looks like we are in the boat. I do not know how large your city is, but Columbus, MS. has a population of 24,000. I sometimes travel to Starkville, MS. which is twenty five miles away. I like Julia Roberts, and I saw SECRETS IN THEIR EYES at that cinema. My son is a huge Stars Wars fan, and he bought 3D tickets to see the pre opening on December 17. The movie was well worth the wait, and the audience clapped when Harrison Ford came on the screen. The movie is predicted to earn $500 million by Sunday. My son went back again to see the movie for the second time. THE BIG SHORT is playing in TUSCALOOSA, AL., but the drive is 60 miles.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Lawrence, it looks like we are in the boat. I do not know how large your city is, but Columbus, MS. has a population of 24,000. I sometimes travel to Starkville, MS. which is twenty five miles away. I like Julia Roberts, and I saw SECRETS IN THEIR EYES at that cinema. My son is a huge Stars Wars fan, and he bought 3D tickets to see the pre opening on December 17. The movie was well worth the wait, and the audience clapped when Harrison Ford came on the screen. The movie is predicted to earn $500 million by Sunday. My son went back again to see the movie for the second time. THE BIG SHORT is playing in TUSCALOOSA, AL., but the drive is 60 miles.

I'm about 40 minutes north of Gainesville, which is the nearest large city. It's the home of the University of Florida, and so has a number of theaters. I just can't build up enough enthusiasm to drive down and fight the crowds. I usually opt to just watch my backlog of films at home, and wait for the newer films on blu ray or cable. I managed to see 10 in the local theater this year, which is up compared to the last several years, when I'd go only 2 or 3 times all year. Which is sad, because for years I went nearly every week, and saw up to three on any given weekend.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) from Nick Park and the Aardman Studios is the best animated feature that I have seen so far this year.  Very funny British humour.  Those that enjoyed Chicken Run (2000) and Wallace & Gromit should enjoy this too.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm about 40 minutes north of Gainesville, which is the nearest large city. It's the home of the University of Florida, and so has a number of theaters. I just can't build up enough enthusiasm to drive down and fight the crowds. I usually opt to just watch my backlog of films at home, and wait for the newer films on blu ray or cable. I managed to see 10 in the local theater this year, which is up compared to the last several years, when I'd go only 2 or 3 times all year. Which is sad, because for years I went nearly every week, and saw up to three on any given weekend.

Merry Chrisatmas Lawrence, and to everyone on the boards. The movies playing today here are ALVIN AND THE CHIPMONKS, DADDY`S HOME, JOY, POINT BREAK regular and 3D, SISTERS, and STAR WARS regular and 3D. Tuesday I went to see SISTERS. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were fine, but the extended party in their parents home which was sold, went on too long. It was overdone, and Bobby Moynihan from SNL got on my nerves. I am going to see the first showing of JOY. The story interests me because it is true, and the supporting class is good. Mississippi State University is located in Starkville, MS. where Hollywood Premier Cinema is located. They only add different releases two or three months a year.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

A Royal Night Out (2015) almost falls into the so bad it's rather good category.  Almost. 

The story concerns the mythical night that Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret slipped out of Buckingham Palace incognito to celebrate VE Day with the commoners.  Sort of a Cinderella in reverse.  Liz even loses a shoe.  But this is no Roman Holiday I'm afraid.

I don't think my mini-review contains spoilers as the film is so cliched and full of caricatures that it telegraphs every move.  Princess Margaret is the ditzy party girl played to the dreadful comic relief hilt by Bel Powley.  She gets in trouble and also separated from her older more responsible sister, Liz.

Aiding Liz on her an all-night quest to find her sister is a cynical bomber boy with a chip on his shoulder and a disdain for Royals.  Remember Liz is incognito.  

It is almost pure camp fun, but not quite.  I wonder if 'WE' were amused by this film?

For another look at Princess Elizabeth during the war I would recommend the comedy, Churchill: The Hollywood Years (2004) where Neve Campbell plays Liz and Christian Slater is her American love interest, Winston Churchill.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...