TOP 10 FILMS OF 2015

HOLLYWOOD – The Studio Exec has put together a list of the top films of 2015, in no particular order.

2015 was an odd year for film. A bit underwhelming until December it has to be said. The blockbusters busted blocks but the most successful (until December) was the M’eh-fest of Jurassic World. Everything looked very familiar. There was an Avengers movie (I think) and a new Bond film. The two main European festivals saw the main prize picked up by average movies that won’t escape the festival circuit. Of course, December suddenly gave us a year’s worth of interesting stuff. What am I talking about? Jesus, why am I even writing this? I’m hungover and tired and it is now time I went to bed so here’s the Goddamned list:

Bone Tomahawk

Gruesome and beautiful western, both elegiac and horrific, starring Matthew Fox, Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson and Richard Jenkins. It will certainly divide audiences, if not bifurcate them. Here’s the review.

Mad Max: Fury Road

A remake that if anything exceeded its original source material. George Miller brought his post-apocalyptic car chase into the territory of the purest genre cinema. Witty, exciting, incredible. Here’s the review.

Son of Saul

Devastating portrayal of the life in the day of a Sonderkommando in Auschwitz. A film I never want to see again, but everyone should see once. Review here. 

The Revenant

Leonardo diCaprio crawls through hell to get to an Oscar. On the way he features in one of the most beautiful and stunningly immersive cinematic experiences of the year. For the review click here. 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

It wasn’t shit. Click here for the review.

Crimson Peak

Guillermo Del Toro goes full on Gothic with Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain in a Roger Corman/ Stanley Kubrick inspired visual treat. Review here.

Anomalisa 

Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s stop animation tale of angst should have won at Venice. I’ll write a review some time soon.

Sicario

Made me want to see Blade Runner 2. Or at least made me not be too scared about it. Review here. 

Call Me Lucky

There have been some great documentaries this year and Call Me Lucky by Bobcat Goldthwait was one of the best. Charting the life of comedian Barry Crimmins this was a portrait of an unsung American hero, read the review here.

So Happy New Year and all that jazz. Let’s hope 2016 brings us some movies that’ll light our collective fires.

For more Reviews, CLICK HERE.

STUDIO EXEC: TOP TEN

HOLLYWOOD – Everyone is doing a top ten, so I’m doing a top ten, but I don’t know if it’s a top ten of the best films, the worst films, the most middling films: it’s a top ten of something. That’s all.

1. A Most Wanted Man. This is the top of the ten films that came out this year featuring a final performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman. If you weren’t pissed about PSH dying watch this and you’ll be pissed once more and depressed. A fantastic John Le Carré adaptation. Perhaps even better than the sprawling and unfocussed Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Read the review here.

2. Boyhood. Richard Linklater’s weird sociological/anthropological experiment is a kind of epic Seinfeld episode, essentially a film about life itself and nothing at all. The bildungsroman is epic, rich and beautiful, and this from the man who brought us the wonders of the Sunset/Sunrise trilogy. And School of Rock. Read about Ethan Hawke’s new project here. 

3. Whiplash. Crash! Bang! Wallop! What a Picture! Miles Teller is brilliant as the young drumming student and so is J.K. Simmons as the sadistic teacher. For the review, Click Here.

4. Birdman. Michael Keaton is back and he is kicking ass in this superlative satire on the film industry, acting, theatre, journalism, YouTube, oh Jesus, everything. Read the review here. 

5. Pompeii. I didn’t see it but it’s supposed to be brilliant and there’s a chance it will win all the Oscars. Read about that here.

6. Interstellar. Christopher Nolan not only makes a film complete with worm holes, black holes and plot holes, he also spectacularly illustrates the uncertainty principle, how can someone so clever, in such a clever film, occasionally do things which seem so stupid. I went with it. Read about that here.

7. The Interview. I haven’t seen the film, but I’m going to have to. So thanks for that Kim Jong-un. I think you won round one. Read some of the stuff we wrote about it here.

8. The Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel are now following the Pixar model of basically making old fashioned Studio era comedies dressed up as films for kids. Funny and clever and a bench mark for the Marvel house style. Click here to read about Chris Pratt’s celebrations.

9. The Nightcrawler and The Babadook and ’71: three cracking movies, all feature débuts, all fantastic with the promise of great things to come. Also all genre films. Here are the reviews of Babadook and Nightcrawler.  

10. Leviathan, The Look of Silence and Mommy: Just to prove I can read, these are the films that are in foreign which you might want to have a look at.  I saw them at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals. Here are some reports from them.  

Happy Xmas, Happy Hanukka, Happy mid-winter atheism for those who still enjoy food and giving.