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1. Zero: a stunningly and beautifully crafted animation with quintessential execution and delivery paired with an emotional, perilous, and lost lorn plot structure that will leave audiences appalled and teary eyed. 2. Paperman: Disney's return to critical acclaim stature, Paper-man offers gorgeous animation topped off with a heartwarming tale about love. 3. Feast: Feast offers finely detailed animation with an embracing and calming ambiance. The plot structure may seem overdone but the execution will have you reeling. 4. La Luna: One of Pixar's best offerings animated shorts wise, La Luna delivers and then some. 5. Partly Cloudy: Creative, hilarious, and heartwarming. 6. The Maker: Depressing yet oddly heartwarming. 7. Students: Unconventional to a degree yet enticing and adventurous in its political message. 8. Descendants: Thought provoking world with a powerful ending. 9. The Little Matchgirl: When it comes to storytelling, The Little Matchgirl offers an exquisite tale topped with an emotionally wrecking ending. 10. Coda: Dark, brooding, and thoughtful, Coda offers something animation is keen to avoid. 11. Yearbook: A must-see this animated short is simply amazing. 12. Sweet Cocoon: Entertaining yet offers a thought provoking ending about life. What are your "Best Animated Shorts?"
It's almost March which means I'm pretty much done with watching films from 2015. I haven't seen every film from 2015, but I surely tried. I've seen nearly 80 films from 2015. I wouldn't consider myself to be the best writer around but practice makes perfect. Feedback as well as your thoughts are very much appreciated! Making these lists was tough. 2015 was a terrific year. Between Kingsman and Star Wars we had our fair share of outright great blockbuster films. Except for Bridge of Spies I'd rate all best picture nominees a 8.5 or higher. That's how good this year was, because there's more great films than just blockbusters and oscar-bait. Making a worst list was equally tough because I didn't have as much picks as I would have in 2014. Admittedly, I haven't seen all worst contenders. I walked out of Ricky and the Flash and American Ultra, didn't see We Are Your Friends and Jem and the Holograms and only heard about Youth and the Lobster just weeks ago. But I think I did it. I made a list which we will all agree on. Ha-ha. We'll go from 10 to 1. For every worst, I'll also give you a best. Let's just get started with my top 10 worst and best films of 2015! #10 Worst The Intern - Nancy Meyers http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2361509/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 When I had just seen The Intern I didn't think it was so bad. I laughed my fair share and the positive attitude of the film worked for me. But the more I thought about this film, the more it annoyed me. DeNiro and Hathaway are terrific actors and Meyers is at least a somewhat capable director, but dear god this film was so poorly written. Let's dismiss the horrible concept which at least seems plausible in today's hipster culture, where every company tries to stand out by doing something unique. DeNiro's storyline is quite uplifting and sweet, but boy did they drop the ball on the Anne Hathaway story. She's proved to be capable enough to start up and run a company but suddenly the whole world around her starts acting like a sexist dick. The shareholders want a CEO but of course they all have to be sexist males who look down on her. The sole thought of looking for a qualified female CEO didn't even arise to anyone? Then, to make everything even worse, suddenly the husband starts cheating which was uncalled for, both in the story as in terms of realism. Who in their right mind, would be cheating when married to a woman that looks like Anne Hathaway. Most men would pray to the sky every night for being so godly lucky. 2015 was a good year for women in film. Between Sicario, Brooklyn and Mad Max, women had their fair share of being badass in their own unique ways. The Intern however was a huge step back. #10 Best The Martian - Ridley Scott http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 My expectations for the Martian weren't high. I hoped it would be enjoyable and that's basically it. I've never been a huge fan of Matt Damon or Ridley Scott. When this film was done I remained in my chair for the credits. I was stunned by how ridiculously enjoyable this film is. When I tried to write down my thoughts about the film, I couldn't help but praise its humor. I wrote that it could very well be the best comedy of the year. Matt Damon's performance was emotional on all the right notes but he never hesitated to add a bit of humor to the the pain and misery he was in. If you'd be all alone with no way of contacting another human being, of course you'd try to be sane with humor. It worked in all the right ways. The 70s and 80s music helped this film very well too. Ridley Scott gave the film all the time and breathing room it needed. A film needs to deserve being about two and a half hours, in my opinion, and for the Martian I hadn't even noticed it was so 'long'. After two and a half hours I was completely satisfied with what I had just seen. A complete, thoughtful and entertaining story. Ridley Scott doesn't lose the film for one second. There's still one question I have with this film; doesn't Mark Watney have any family?
Well, it took me some time to catch up with most important 2015 releases but now I think I've reached a conclusion. There were exactly 8 "A" movies in 2015 for me, meaning at least an 8/10 rating on my imdb list. Among them 6 releases I rated 8/10 and 2 9/10ers - here we go: 8/10 in alphabetical order: Mad Max Fury Road Pixels Shaun the Sheep The Force Awakens The Martian The Revenant 9/10: Ex Machina Victoria Well, when I saw MMFuryRoad, and my jawbone hit my knees halfway through without coming upo again, I didn't expect another 2015 movie to match it in intensity but now that the year is over, there are even two (Revenant, Victoria) which managed exactly that. Especially Victoria is an experience, not a single weak link there - a much "smaller" story then the other ones on my list (except maybe Shaun) - but the camera breathing through those 2 hours with the main protagonists (absolutetly pitch-perfect performances here) makes this an unforgettable ride. This is what movies were invented for! The only thing keeping it from a 10/10 (upon two viewings, maybe that'll change) is the story itself, a bit too convenient or well-crafted to fit the ultra-realistic acting. Whoever calls the one-take approach a "gimmick" has obviously not seen the movie. As to my other 9/10er: Ex Machina is, also, a very intimate story, brought alive through perfect acting and carefully selected set design, light and editing. Here, it was rather some technological and logical loopholes that kept it from a 10/10; otherwise easily the best SF movie of 2015.