Movie Season 2015: Let’s Go To The Movies

This has been a long and active movie season. I was going to wait another week to write it up and then I realized that I am not going to see anymore movies and I needed a post to put up today. So. Here’s Movie Season, and what I remember from each movie.

1. The Martian

I’m kind of amazed, given where I started with all of this how most of the big splashy block buster are more towards the middle. Not that The Martian isn’t flashy, it’s just, I don’t know, more serious? I can’t explain it. I did love this movie. And I looovvvveddd the book it’s based on

2. Straight Outta Compton

I like hip hop now. I really never did. I am the whitest white girl to ever not even. But if my Lululemon and Ugg Clad, Pumpkin Spice Swilling, Tequila Shooting ass can relate to the story of NWA as presented in this film anyone can.

3. Creed

It was a big year for re-quels (I saw and covered four of them) and this was by far the best one, and the most effective. It’s the second best Rocky movie ever. (After the first Rocky) and manages to be entirely it’s own thing while paying tribute to this huuugge iconic monolith. It’s an exceptional feat of film making and OMG PUT MICHAEL B. JORDAN IN EVERYTHING

4. Crimson Peak

I still giggle every time I think about Crimson Peak, which, honestly is not that often, but still. I’m sure once it makes it’s HBO rotations I’ll watch it like six more times. And we saw Tom Hiddleston butt! And it’s feminist! And there are ghosts! This movie is an underrated gem.

5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Stop it. You’re crying. I’m not still crying nearly a week later, that would be ridiculous. But the magic is back. It’s back in a big way. I’ll probably see it again…and again…and again and again until I finally have no more tears to cry.

6. Bridge of Spies

The more I think about it, this might be my new favorite non Dino related Spielberg movie. It’s definitely my new favorite Tom Hanks performance. It’s very beautiful. And the movie is good. It’s quiet, but affecting

7. Mockingjay Part 2

This series is over. I’m going to miss it. The movie itself is something deeply special, but I still think that Mockingjay Part 1 is the best part of the series.

8. The Man From UNCLE

Speaking of underrated gems. The lack of love this movie got is criminal. It was awesome. 

9. Spectre

Also awesome. As Aless and I exclaimed as we watched it, “He had a suit on under his other suit!” Which is ridiculous. And Wonderful.

10. Ant-Man

It’s a testament to how strong the fall was that Ant-Man fell so in the middle of the pack because it was probably my favorite movie of the summer. I need to watch it again, but everytime I think about it, I get super happy.

11. Mad Max: Fury Road

WE LIVE WE DIE WE LIVE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Another that I need to revisit, but I did absolutely adore it. I actually have a plan to do a kind of roundtable about this movie with other pop culture and feminism loving ladies I know.

12. Inside Out

Oh, there’s the crying again.

13. Trainwreck

I’ve only fallen harder for Amy Schumer since this movie came out and I’m convinced that she’s living exactly the life I wanted to live when I was twelve years old. (I no longer want that life, but I’m very impressed by it.)

14. Tomorrowland

Every time I tell people that this movie is worth watching, they looked at me like I’m insane. But it really, really, is. Is it the best movie ever. Of course not, but it’s worth a look.

15. Jurassic World

I loved this movie so much that I’m afraid to watch it again and learn that it was really, really stupid. But also…Chris Pratt…sooooo…..

16. Ricki And The Flash

I…sort of forgot I saw this. But Sebastian Stan was all smiley in it, which is something I can get behind because he has a lovely smile and he’s often so mopey.

17. Avengers: Age of Ultron

God what a messy disappointment, huh? I still like Bruce/Natasha though, and Hawkeye’s boring family.

18. Minions

What even is this movie? I don’t remember, I saw a lot of movies this year.

19. Fantastic Four

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooo

20. Terminator: Genisys

I badly wish that this had been good. It very easily could have been, and I still maintaining, “watching Khaleesi punch Computer Doctor in the face,” is a good idea for a movie. I mean literally that though, not some other characters played by Emilia Clarke and Matt Smith

21. Entourage

Ha. hahahahahahahahahahaha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

22. Pitch Perfect 2

How much I disliked this movie made me sad, because I loved Pitch Perfect so much.

 

So, that’s this year’s Movie season! I had a lot of fun, but I’m also glad that it’s over and I take a bit of a breather. (I mean, I’ll still see Hateful 8 and maybe The Revenant and probably Joy, but I don’t feel like I need to.) 

Time to gear up for 2016, which begins with Captain America: Civil War in May!

It’s Calling To You

OK, so, I’ll start off by saying simply that I really loved, The Force Awakens. I thought it was funny, smart, well constructed with fun new characters and great action.

I was thrilled to see old friends and happy to meet the new ones. (Rey is everything you’d hope she’d be. So is BB-8) The new Cantina song as written by Lin-Manuel Miranda sounded like…well, I was listening for it, so I absolutely heard his touches, but if you didn’t know, I could see not hearing it.

You should know that I went with a cranky old fanboy who hates everything (Hi John! Thanks for coming and for paying me for your ticket.) and he did not like it.

Well, he liked seeing Han Solo again.

But I loved it. I feel like by now you all probably have some feel for my taste, I’ve been reviewing movies for three years here.

OK, so from now on we’re into spoiler land. I warned you.

 

SPOILER; SPOILER; SPOILER

 

BEN MOTHER FUCKING SOLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Organa Solo? Organa Skywalker Solo?)

Kylo Ren, is the so of Han Solo and Princess Leia and he turned to the darkside for, reasons? It’s not elaborated on, but his name is Ben (I love this, shocking no one). And he is strong with The Force, and his parents sent him off to train with his Uncle Luke, because he was TOO POWERFUL, and then he went dark, and now he’s well on his way to become a full on Sith.

Killing his father did a lot towards that.

Yes Han is dead. Yes, I cried. Yes, you see it coming a mile away. It’s fine. It’s good.  Escaping from Harrison Ford’s monster presence was going to be impossible moving forward.

We only get one “May The Force Be With You,” and it comes from Leia to Rey.

Rey does the Jedi Mind Trick. We still don’t know who she is, just that she was abandoned by her family. I still think she might be a Skywalker. Or maybe a Kenobi. Or maybe she really is no one.

Poe Dameron is the SHIT. I love him. He’s a straight up good guy, and doesn’t quite get enough to do, but I kept waiting for him to come back around.

And then there’s Finn. We learn a little about how the Storm Troopers, post clone, are recruited, basically they’re taken as children and trained. They don’t have names, just numbers. It’s Poe who names Finn. It’s very effective. 

So much 0f the language of action films comes from Star Wars it was very cool to see it use the language of other stuff. Notably, the final scene, has Rey, climbing a mountain to reach Luke. Who is only in that scene. And never speaks. This is a huge let down, but the scene itself is right from Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings and it’s perfect.

I can’t touch on everything that I loved, but the one thing that really stood out to me was the use of Anakin/Luke’s light saber. Rey finds it in possesion of Mas, the motion cap character played by Lupita N’Yongo, and upon touching it has a vision. Later, Kylo Ren, tries to take it from her, knowing that it’s his legacy. (He’s trying to live up to being Vader’s grandson. Something tells me some one is BAD AT PAYING ATTENTION TO THE END OF STORIES, Mr. Ben Solo…Organa…Solo…Skywalker…)

Anyway, a chosen blade is not a mythological pool that Star Wars ever really played in, so I’m happy to see them dive into it. Captain Phasma, also great. Carrie Fisher’s return was delightful, and R2-D2 and C-3P0 also great. Overall, it was good. Ranks somewhere high above the prequels and just below Jedi. As far as blatant nostalgia trips from this movie season go. It’s better than Jurassic World and not as good as Creed.

 

 

 

 

END OF SPOILERS

Rankings

  1. The Martian
  2. Straight Outta Compton
  3. Creed
  4. Crimson Peak
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  6. Bridge of Spies
  7. Mockingjay Part 2
  8. The Man From UNCLE
  9. Spectre
  10. Ant-Man
  11. Mad Max: Fury Road
  12. Inside Out
  13. Trainwreck
  14. Tomorrowland
  15. Jurassic World
  16. Ricki And The Flash
  17. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  18. Minions
  19. Fantastic Four
  20. Terminator: Genisys
  21. Entourage
  22. Pitch Perfect 2

Trailers

Kung Fu Panda 3 – This is a movie that exists. I sort of forgot the second one existed.

Star Trek Beyond: Please be good. This cast deserves good. They’re great.

World of Warcraft: I know absolutely nothing about this world. But Joe and a few others I know assure me that it looks awesome. I defer to them on this.

Idependence Day: Resurgence: This is a damn good trailer and I want it to be a good movie. I’m still pissed on Mae Whitman’s behalf though. She should be in this movie.

Captain America: Civil War: Poor Bucky, Poor Steve, and I SWEAR TO GOD IF THEY KILL RHODEY I WILL CUT SOMEONE! (But not really…but maybe a little…)

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: I will not be deterred. I will not dislike this movie. I will love it. I will love it if it kills me.

 

Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of The Jedi

So those pacing problems I had back in the prequels? (That seems so long ago doesn’t it?) Those absolutely start in Return Of The Jedi. Or at least in the special edition, which is what I was watching.

I know, I know,  I’m a terrible heathen, but my original edition VHS’s have long since been scrapped, and hey, did you know that the stories and dialog are exactly the same in the Special Editions? There’s just some annoying extra CGI scenes, which I guess could ruin it for some people…but really, no. I don’t care that Anakin is replaced with Hayden Christensen at the end and while “Jedi Rock” is pretty damn pointless and breaks up the flow of that scene it’s not like a crime against humanity or anything.

OK, so that’s out of the way now.

But that doesn’t change the fact that Jedi lacks the zippy speed of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and here, I don’t see it as quite as much of a problem. I mean, the scenes in Jabba’s palace are interesting. I enjoy the large Ewok dance parties (Yup, both of them, but I’ve made my opinion on dance parties clear.

I feel like this post is kind of going off the rails.

Which actually makes a lot of sense for Jedi. I feel like I should talk about Luke redeeming Anakin, as I once wrote a whole paper about it, (I got an A-, it’s one of my proudest academic moments, I’d quote the paper right now, but I didn’t feel like looking for it…)  Because, if nothing else Jedi is a little bit off the rails.

But here are some things that are great:

  • Han being jealous for like a second of Luke and Leia, and then she explains that they’re brother and sister and he’s so releived. (PS if Rey isn’t their daughter I am going to be very sad. Unless she’s something equally as badass…)
  • Ewoks. I DON’T CARE. They are adorable and they defeat the Empire and then have a dance party. They are my kind of alien life form.
  • That final Light Saber battle between Luke and Vader. It’s a cool ass fight.
  • The Emperor might as well not be there. He does nothing. I mean, “Good,  good, embrace your anger,” I mean, whatever, he could just not be in the scene and it would still be the best.
  • If we count the prequels as counting, Obi-Wan learned that whole, “From a certain point of view” bull from Anakin…who used it to excuse embracing the dark side.
  • Leia has the Force right? That is made abundantly clear. Don’t screw this up JJ, she better levitate something. And if we really want to go big, maybe have a light saber. SHE SHOULD BE A JEDI.
  • Do you want to know a big difference between Jedi and Empire is? (And no, it has nothing to do with independent contractors, Randal, but thanks for asking) It’s a whole lot less sexy. I mean, we get plenty of resolution. But a lot less Harrison Ford/Billy Dee Williams smolder. Not a fan.

OK, I have exhausted my thoughts on Return of The Jedi. And Star Wars in general, I guess.

BUT, hey, in just over 24 hours, I’m going to be experiencing a whole new chapter in this saga, that once carried me through childhood and adolescence, and is about to enter my adulthood.

Fandom doesn’t get more fundamental to me than Star Wars, and I’m excited to get started again.

Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

I know yesterday I spouted about people overlooking A New Hope in favor of The Empire Strikes Back, but the thing is, when you watch Empire, you remember how god damned perfect it is and why everyone decides it’s the best Star Wars movie.

The thing that’s been striking me with the old vs. new trilogy is the pace. The Prequels tend to meander, whereas the originals get going and do not stop, Empire especially, where barely a half hour in, we’ve had Luke attacked by Yeti creature, Han rescuing him and The Battle of Hoth. That there is Avengers style pacing.

It’s also a plus that the two plots, Luke on Dagobah with Yoda and Han and Leia running from Vader are equally weighted and equally effecting. And there’s something uniquely magical about that moment where Yoda lifts the X-Wing out of the swamp. There are so few movie moments like that, that take their time and are still completely thrilling, and more love to throw on Mark Hamill, who, I don’t know if it’s just my new nerdier brain, or a maturity thing, or having seen too many boring *insert yourself here* protagonists, I’ve just been thoroughly enjoying during this rewatch. He’s acting his butt off in this movie, and it’s really cool to see.

I’ve mentioned that I consider Han and Leia’s story to be my favorite love story ever right? I love them, and there’s something so perfect about the scene with their first kiss. You know, the “scoundrel” scene? It’s so good. And Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are the best in it.

Also Lando. I love Lando. I have always loved Lando and feel like Star Wars comes to life when he shows up. (Not that A New Hope isn’t awesome, it is, but it’s just, I mean, Lando, man…) Billy Dee Williams is exceptionally good as well, it just feels like everything is firing on all cylinders.

The thing I want to call attention to here more than anything else though is James Earl Jones’s voice performance. I notice voice acting in a way that I never used to because of my year or so close animation watching and Vader really is a masterful performance, here even more than in A New Hope, and knowing the fact that him talking the Emperor out of killing Luke is saving the only family he has left (that he knows of) does make that scene more affecting, and having just watched the prequels, it’s hard not to see him wanting to save the only connection to Padme he has. But there’s so much emotion in Jones’s voice and there’s a desperation to this performance.

Maybe I’m projecting,  I don’t know, but I thought it was interesting.

I also want to talk about Yoda, and how miraculous it is that this is a character that works at all. I guess it’s Frank Oz being the best at what he does, or a script that willingly plays with how silly he is as a factor, or something, but the ancient tiny Jedi should be ridiculous and for some reason isn’t, he’s instead compelling.

So those are the things that really stood out to me about this, the best Star Wars movie, a title that Empire deserves almost to distraction.

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

The one, the only, the original. I found myself giggling with joy as I got started on this one Saturday afternoon. (I hadn’t even started drinking yet. only drank during Empire…) The thing is, with the nerd world deciding to blow so much smoke up it’s sequel’s ass, it’s easy to forget how really, and truly good, A New Hope is.

The opening sequence which sets everything into motion is delightful and the interaction between Vader and Leia immediately puts us in this world without being an info dump.

Imperial Senate? Rebel Alliance? Alderaan? These words mean something and create exposition in a way that’s just…gah, I could go on and on, but I’ll move on to other stuff.

Luke Skywalker sure is a great character huh? Luke tends to get the short end of the stick in a lot of Star Wars talk because Han is a lot more fun, but as boring, bland *insert yourself into his mindset* protagonists go, Luke is the best. He does have a personality, and it’s one that’s clean and hopeful and fun. (Granted, I am writing this after having watched Empire where we get to know Luke a little bit better.) But he’s also loyal, dreamy and kind of great. And Mark Hamill, is, I mean, he’s just really good at delivering weird dialog, which is a strange compliment to give. “I was going to go down to the Tashi station and pick up some power converters,” is the weirdest line ever, but Hamill sells it as a totally normal teenage activity.

I always forget until I watch again just how good Harrison Ford is, and am reminded why I’ve been in love with him since I was six years old. (I was a Han girl, my sister preferred Indy, this is a defining thing about our relationship.) But he’s just so, so, so interesting to watch and not bad to look at either. And Han is such a deeply fun character.

And then there’s Leia. I’ve written a full post about my love for that character and what she meant to me and I could go on ad nauseum about her, but they’re all just so good, and it’s hard explain how they all manage to be both totally heightened and totally natural at once and it’s wonderful and I love it.

And that’s all I have to say about it.

 

Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of The Sith

OH, Episode III, you beautiful, bloated delightful mess of a melodrama, you.

I have a completely unfounded and ridiculous love of Revenge of The Sith. I know that by any objective scale it is not good, a solid fourth (or fifth depending on your Phantom Menace opinions) in the series, but I still love it all.

I love the final light saber battles between Obi-Wan and Anakin and Yoda and Sidius. I love Anakin’s ridiculously contrived turn to the dark side. I love Padme’s absurd hairstyles. (This is in all three movies, but it’s even more obvious here. Also, I miss Natalie Portman’s curly hair.) I love, “I saw him, killing younglings!” and “From my point of view the Jedi are Evil.” and every inch of terrible, clunky dialog.

But mostly what I love about Revenge of The Sith is the way that it moves everything into place, and completes a circle. The movie literally ends with Owen and Buru holding baby Luke as Tatooine’s twin suns set.

I’m still a little annoyed that the desert planet that we’re going to be seeing in The Force Awakens isn’t Tatooine, but some new planet. Tatooine is where this all began, it’s an important place.

But that’s another topic, I really can’t stress enough how amazing Ewan McGregor is. I’m a big fan and have been for years, but rewatching these movies has really reminded me how exceptional he is. And how much I hope he gets a part in the upcoming anthology films.

The Order 66 sequence and the purging of the Jedi temple have, pretty much since the movie’s release been considered the high water marks of the Prequels and it’s for good reason. It’s a heart wrenching sequence, (made only more emotional from having watched a bit of The Clone Wars, and knowing more about those Jedi and the troops that turned on them.) Christensen is better here than in Clones, but only marginally, and it really does seem like at this point, Natalie Portman was phoning it in. She is really bad in this one, and at this point, it’s hard to call it simply awkward. (Although she does get one great moment, “So this is how liberty dies, to thunderous applause” is a good line, and she delivers it with deep conviction and horror.)

Anyway, as it stands we’re moving into the good stuff. You have to eat your vegetables before you can have desert right? Or like, sit though shitty bread service before eating the main course? I don’t know, this metaphor got away from me…ONTO THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY!

Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of The Clones

So I figured out why I hate Attack of The Clones, more than I dislike the large snoozefest that is The Phantom Menace.

Attack of The Clones is just a mound of wasted potential, it’s a million things that are good in theory that are executed terribly.

Anakin and Obi-Wan as space cops, good.

Love story between two good looking and talented young actors, good.

Cool new planet where they grow clones, good.

Boba Fett, good.

Giant Jedi battle for the finale, good.

But nothing quite comes off, and the movie is a mess. I’ll never condemn anything for focusing on a love story, even a tropey, bad, half baked one. I love love stories. But I find  Episode II’s romantic scenes tedious and awkward.

Obi-Wan’s hunt for the Clone Army is still pretty cool, and I’ve always held that it makes the movie watchable, but even Ewan McGregor’s considerable enthusiasm can’t get me psyched up for this movie, it just falls flat.

Hayden Christensen is a problem. I don’t understand this casting choice. They couldn’t recast Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor, but half the young actors in Hollywood wanted that role, they should have found someone who had some semblance of chemistry with them.

But again, Ewan McGregor just delivers. He just seems so delighted to be in this movie (also Samuel L. Jackson, who is great, as always.) And actually my favorite non lightsaber battle scene in all of the prequels is the one where Yoda and Obi-Wan ask the Younglings to find Kamino. And the Yoda/Dooku battle is great.

For some reason though, it never adds up to a good movie and that’s why it makes me so angry.

Christopher Lee is also great and the movies is gorgeous, which makes it easier to watch and The Love Story is actually only a few memorably terrible scenes. But they are like really bad.

There are so many things that are great in this movies and it isn’t great, and it’s really frustrating, and that’s all I have to say about it.

Make Your Own Legacy

creed-finalposter

Creed has a secret weapon. Because a lot of movies have solid concepts, good scripts, interesting direction, recognizable IPs, talented young stars or some combination of those elements.

But those other movies don’t have Rocky. Not it’s pedigree as a series which, over the past decade, it has managed to snatch back from its more ridiculous tendencies (give or take a Broadway musical), but Rocky Balboa, the character created with loving care over the past 40 years by Sylvester Stalone.

Stalone is a revelation here, turning in a warm, funny and intense performance that’s closer to his turn in the original film than any of the sequels. A particularly touching scene shows him reading the paper at Adrian and Paulie’s graveside, resigned to a quiet and lonely life after the loss of his wife and brother in law and the alienation of his son.

But this is only half Rocky’s story. The movie belongs primarily to Adonis Johnson (later Creed), the son of Apollo Creed, conceived during an affair  and born after Apollo died. (In Rocky IV, in the ring at the hands of Ivan Drago, then Rocky gets revenge and ends the cold war. Remember the bit before about the series getting ridiculous? I was talking about that. But I do love Rocky IV, I’m getting off track) Adonis’s mother also died and he was bounced around foster care and the juvenile detention system before Creed’s widow Mary-Anne took him in, hoping to preserve a connection to her long dead husband. Hoping to prove he’s worthy of his father’s name and legacy, Adonis moves to Philly to train with Apollo’s best friend and competitor. There he learns to box, falls in love and connects with Rocky as the father he’s never had.

This movie lives in it’s really great performances. I already called out Stalone, who really was exceptional, but there’s also Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne, who does more by herself talking to a TV than most actors do with monologues, Tess Thompson as Bianca, a singer Adonis falls for and is an excellent successor to Adrian. And Michael B. Jordan is incredible.

Jordan’s performance is restrained and focused. Adonis has none of Apollo’s flamboyance, but he does share his father’s arrogance, and he’s a good mentee for Rocky, who understands the kid’s single focus and drive to prove himself.

The film is creatively and vibrantly shot, which was refreshing, since this movie could have easily been very lazy and still very enjoyable. (See Rocky Balboa…) My favorite sequence involved Adonis projecting Rocky and Apollo’s first fight onto a big screen and standing against it, blocking out the Stallion and fighting his father.

Like Rocky  I think that Creed is going to make a major movie star of it’s leading man, and it’s about time for Jordan, who is just. so. good.

Rankings!

  1. The Martian
  2. Straight Outta Compton
  3. Creed
  4. Crimson Peak
  5. Bridge of Spies
  6. Mockingjay Part 2
  7. The Man From UNCLE
  8. Spectre
  9. Ant-Man
  10. Mad Max: Fury Road
  11. Inside Out
  12. Trainwreck
  13. Tomorrowland
  14. Jurassic World
  15. Ricki And The Flash
  16. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  17. Minions
  18. Fantastic Four
  19. Terminator: Genisys
  20. Entourage
  21. Pitch Perfect 2

Trailers!

We were a little late because parking at a mall on Black Friday is a nightmare, but we caught of few of them!

Hateful Eight, still looks awesome. No change there.

Ride Along 2: Much like many comedies, I thoroughly look forward to watching this on HBO one day when I’m sick and don’t go to work.

Barber Shop 3: Is apparently happening? This one is going to deal with the fall of the middle class, which is like, pretty heavy for Barber Shop. But hey, nothing says, “serious comedic engagement with social issues” like Nicki Minaj reciting jokes about her ass being “a Black Amex” that pays her rent.

Central Intelligence: This movie stars The Rock and Kevin Hart and is not a remake of Twins (but that would probably be better). The tag line is “To save the world you need a little Hart and A Big Johnson” which is probably funnier than anything actually in the movie.

The Revenant: At Thanksgiving dinner my cousin described DiCaprio as going, “Full Bale” for this role. I didn’t have the heart to explain to the young one that the term is in fact, “Full Daniel Day Lewis” or perhaps, “Full Brando.” Because”Full Bale,” works too.

There Are Worse Games To Play

Mockingjay Part 2

I knew going in that Mockingjay Part 2 was not going to pack the emotional wallop that Part 1 did. That half of the story just doesn’t have the same complexity.

But what this movie lacks in emotional complexity it makes up for in Natalie Dormer gunning mofos down with a machine gun. So it has that going for it.

That isn’t being entirely fair to this movie, which, like most of The Hunger Games lives very much in the general area of feels. The final sequence, which enacts the much maligned epilogue, had me balling. (I actually love  the end of Mockingjay, I think it’s remarkably realistic and emotionally resonant.)

The movie edits around Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death well, which, if I wasn’t looking so hard for it, might go completely unnoticed, and the overall performances are stellar, but that’s not a surprise for this movie.

If Jennifer Lawrence wins an Oscar this year, it will probably be for Joy, and that’s kind of a shame, because she deserve a lot more recognition for Katniss than she gets. This character would have chewed up and eaten just about any other actress, and Lawrence makes her, well, a person. I still want to punch Gale in his stupid handsome perfect Hemsworth face, and Josh Hutcherson is a perfect little golden retriever of a human being. Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks don’t get nearly enough to do, but what they do do is perfect.

I also just want to note that early in the film, as a bunch of characters stand around planning a battle, only two people at that table are white dudes, and most of them are women.

Way to go Hunger Games.

Rankings:

  1. The Martian
  2. Straight Outta Compton
  3. Crimson Peak
  4. Bridge of Spies
  5. Mockingjay Part 2
  6. The Man From UNCLE
  7. Spectre
  8. Ant-Man
  9. Mad Max: Fury Road
  10. Inside Out
  11. Trainwreck
  12. Tomorrowland
  13. Jurassic World
  14. Ricki And The Flash
  15. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  16. Minions
  17. Fantastic Four
  18. Terminator: Genisys
  19. Entourage
  20. Pitch Perfect 2

Trailers

Not many, but all good.

Alice Through The Looking Glass could be good? I don’t know, I was so disappointed in Alice In Wonderland, but God, that cast, you know?

Deadpool, it’s going to be perfect. It just looks so freaking good. Just so good.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I can’t. I just, I really can’t. We’re a month away, and my heart can barely take it anymore.

A Kite In A Hurricane

Spectre

Well, Spectre is most certainly a Bond movie.

There are fun action scenes, gadgets, a larger than life villain, weird sexy times with a woman Bond met a minute before with dubious consent. There are tuxedos and martinis and clashes with M, sexual tension with Moneypenny and all of that good stuff.

If it sounds like I didn’t enjoy it, that isn’t the point. Even the most paint by numbers generic James Bond movie is going to be a favorite movie going experience for me, especially since Daniel Craig took on the roll. This is the best he’s been. The movie itself is not the best of this crop. (My love for Skyfall is eternal.) But it’s very good and very fun and does it’s job well. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but the Bond wheel is a real good one.

Christoph Waltz does a really good job as “Guys he’s totally not Blowfeld, are you kidding hahaha!” and Lea Seydoux is a Bond Girl for the ages. (She waits three whole scenes before sleeping with him you guys. That’s practically celibacy!)

Rankings:

  1. The Martian
  2. Straight Outta Compton
  3. Crimson Peak
  4. Bridge of Spies
  5. The Man From UNCLE
  6. Spectre
  7. Ant-Man
  8. Mad Max: Fury Road
  9. Inside Out
  10. Trainwreck
  11. Tomorrowland
  12. Jurassic World
  13. Ricki And The Flash
  14. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  15. Minions
  16. Fantastic Four
  17. Terminator: Genisys
  18. Entourage
  19. Pitch Perfect 2

Trailers

Mockingjay Part 2: With the Primm and the crying everywhere.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: With the Rey, and The BB8 and the Han and the crying everywhere.

The Night Before: I really can’t wait to watch this movie on HBO in the middle of the night or on a Saturday morning or whatever and laughing a whole lot.