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Kalo's top 25 favorite films of 2015 - Countdown complete #1 film on page 4.

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    Yeah it's time this is for my top 25 favorite films of 2015 in case you didn't figure it out. ;). I almost didn't do this but I thought what the heck. This was a really really good year for movies! and some that are very close to my heart as this was a special year for me. I managed to watch 57 2015 releases. and I thought a top 25 seemed sufficient as it is almost how many films I gave an 8/10 or higher to (26 to be exact). I also actually saw some films I really didn't like so I'll do a bottom 5. and maybe talk about some of the positives and negatives that film had to offer in 2015.

     

    hope you enjoy reading! 

     

     

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    So like always there are a few films I wanted to see and for various reasons did not get a chance to watch yet here they are:

     

    Beasts of No Nation

    The Big Short

    Brooklyn

    Bridge of Spies 

    Crimson Peak

    Daddy's Home

    The Good Dinosaur

    The Intern

    Joy

    Macbeth

    Tangerine 

    Trumbo 

    What We do in the Shadows

     

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    So I will start with the worst, but first here are a couple dishonorable mentions: 

     

    Jupiter Ascending

     

    jupiter-ascending-gifs-jupiter-ascending

     

    Yup it didn't quite make my bottom five? why? because even though it had a cajumbled mess of a script and whatever that was that Eddie Redmayne was trying to convey in his performance, and it was like super cheesy. it did however have some really gorgeous visuals and bizarre yet exoticly beautful art-direction, and it really felt like there were some good concepts in there that might have worked if it didn't turn out so, well cheesy. I try to look at all aspects when watching a film and so while I didn't necessarily like Jupiter Ascending, there were parts of it I enjoyed watching and definitely some eye candy in here, and it's far from the worst film ever made like some people think. however, it's still not a good film and deserves a dishonorable mention. 

     

    My Grade: C+ 

     

    Fant4stic Four 

     

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    Wow talk about studio interference, so I am a superhero guy, I see almost every superhero film that comes out in theaters, regardless of reviews, however because I was already on the fence about this film because of it's lackluster trailers and the "Troubled "Production" rumors I heard, when this movie opened to an onslaught of negative reviews, it actually swayed me to not see it in theaters.

     

    but a few days ago I finally got around to watching this movie and braced myself for the worst, and I got to be honest, the first half hour or so I thought I was watching a different movie than everyone else, it had an intriguing set-up, and the inter dimensional travel concept was actually pretty cool. Miles Teller was also very solid, sure there were some flaws and it lacked development in certain areas, (especially character development) but it had some stuff going for it, kind of a 1950s Forbidden Planet sci-fi vibe and I was actually enjoying the movie for the most part!

     

    But then I got to about the halfway point, after they are all terrified from the physical transformation and abnormal abilities they posses of being exposed to another dimension. and then it skips a year and they are all.. fine. and honing their powers and stuff- then it really goes downhill, it fells like this movie is literally missing a middle act and everyone except for Miles Teller is totally mailing in their roles. you can just sense they can't wait to get it over with and I got to mention Doctor Doom. Wow I love Toby Kebbell, I think he is really underrated actor. but Victor Von Doom's character is so dull and lifeless-even before he is Dr. Doom (sort of) and so one-dimensional that you could like have a butt-hole play this part and it pretty much sums up what they were going for. 

     

    You can actually almost literally see when the studio swept in and said "Hey no, we don't like what you are doing" and I actually have a theory that the studio executives actually wrote what was possibly the worst superhero showdown in history that lasts about five minutes, wrote as in picked up a flash card titled "generic superhero showdown" and told the actors where to stand. now I probably can't blame the studio completely for this film, I have yet to see Chronicle, but I could tell that Josh Trank does posses talent as a director, however I can also see that he is inexperienced and apparently doesn't handle studio interference well, not this his film would have necessarily been great to begin with (probably would have been watchable at least though). Anyways this is kind of a big write up for a dishonorable mention but I really wanted to talk about this film, because I found the reasons for it being so bad really unique and pretty tragic to be honest. and I can't give this movie an F. because I did enjoy the beginning and I wasn't completely bored until the last act really and believe it or not there is actually worse superhero movies than this, but it is so inconsistent even the visuals were inconsistent this movie barely edges out my bottom five and on another day it might be in there.    

     

    My Grade: C- 

     

     

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    #5 bottom of 2015: Legend

     

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    Man I really wanted to like this film, what a disappointment. I was really looking forward to this movie, I liked the trailers, and well, Tom Hardy is my favorite actor and I see pretty much everything he is in. His performance is maybe the only good thing about this movie. for one thing, before this movie I had never even heard of the Kray brothers, and after watching this movie I didn't learn much, it is told from the perspective of reggie Kray's wife Frances Shea, played by a suffocating performance from Emily Browning, that given her poorly written character and the negligent direction, you can't really blame her for. when I think of this movie I think missed opportunity, for one thing this is supposed a movie about notorious gangster brothers in the sixties, but it feels surprisingly restrained and well to be honest dull. there is an obvious, poor attempt at trying to capture the style of Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" it even has popy sixties music to beat down scenes and shiny cars. but you care so little about what is going on that it feels the music becomes a nuisance and feels sloppy and ham fisted. not to mention copy-catish.

     

    Lately I have taken to looking for the cinematography of a film, as I found a true appreciation for it as of late. and this is one I actually noticed has bad camera work, apart from being pretty standard the scenes were Hardy and Hardy are on screen together, especially where they have to interact together look very odd and you can tell it' not real.

    Then we get to the character of Ronnie Kray, who is basically psychopathic loose cannon and a homosexual. a perfect recipe for a extremely interesting character. and well he probably is the most interesting character in the movie, but there is so much that is tip toed over, in fact if it weren't for a couple references he made that he was gay and that he had a boyfriend (sort of) that hung around him, played by probably the second best performance in the movie Taron Egerton. you would never know this, it felt like I was watching a movie on gay characters from the 60s! just a tid-bit of sexuailty may have livened it up a bit. there is for example a orge referenced that is shown in a five second PG seen. sigh...

     

    And then on top of this the movie is obsessed with the dull uninteresting romance between Reggie and Frances of all things and seems to make this the focal point of the movie, and apparently Frances is a pill popper, but if she didn't explain this in the narrative and it didn't show her taking them. you would have no clue of this based on her behavior. 

    I know a lot of people seemed to find enjoyment from this film, but I found very little to enjoy and saw what could have been an edgy gangster period piece, crumble under the restraints of a poorly written script and an unfocused and dull direction. 

     

    My Grade: C-

     

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    #4 Bottom of 2015: The DUFF

     

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    Okay, sure there were a couple laughs to be had in this film, and the DUFF premise was interesting, but so many things in this film were poorly executed, like that manikin mall scene, look nobody dry humps a mankin in broad daylight over and over again and lets you record it and if they do, they shouldn't be mad to see it on social media the next day, there was just so many instances of characters doing over the top unrealistic things in this movie. that it left a poor taste in my mouth, and it felt like it was trying to be a throwback to breakfest club and in my opinion it failed at that miserably. and Mae Whitman does not look highschool age, I mean she is nearing 30... I liked her better when she was Katara. 

     

    My Grade: C-

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    #3 bottom of 2015: The Sisterhood of the Night

     

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    I pretty Much only saw this film because Georgie Henley was in it and I wanted to see what she was doing post Narnia days. and I must say that sadly The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was probably her peak, she wasn't awful in this movie, just really mediocre, and the whole cult thing the town is trying to put on these girls. like she really could have convey something without telling her parents everything about their little get together in the woods, there were just too many instances of unrealistic decisions made and plot holes, and this movie was just kind of boring. true I'm probably not the audience for this movie, but it just was kind of Meh.

     

    My grade: C-

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    #2 Bottom film of 2015: Blackhat.

     

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    Chris Hemsworth plays a convicted hacker here, who if he helps the government hack things can get a second chance in life. this was by far the most boring movie I've seen all year, everything that happens in this film is uninspired and dull. It was really hard for me to finish this movie. Chris Hemsworth does his best, but when the material you have to work with is this uninteresting it's hard to convey much of anything. this movie did pick of just a smidge of interest near the end, but it was to little too late. lethargically paced, poorly constructed action sequence and an uninspired script make this one of the worst films of the year for me. 

     

    My grade: D+

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    #1 worst film of 2015: The Danish Girl

     

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    Unlike some of the worst films on this list, the Danish Girl has some good technical aspects to it, Alicia Vikander shines (once again) as Gerda Wegener, there is a pretty if very by the numbers oscar batty score, the costumes are good, the set direction is good, and I felt that Ben Whishaw (like always) and Matthias Schoenaerts were both very good in their small, but memorable roles. However the problem with this film is well, kind of everything. this felt like a movie that was made only to get recognized by the academy for oscars.

     

    I am not transgender I know very little about the transgender community, but if Eddie Redmayne performance is the norm of what they are like (unlikely) then he has painted a very poor picture indeed, his performance insists of him looking at himself in the mirror, quivering while trying on dresses and acting borderline insane and constantly doing things to inconveniences his wife and he comes off of as selfish and mental. it is one of the most over the top performances of the year. (well this and that other Redmayne performance) and he was awful in it.

     

    but it's not all his fault as the director I feel did not understand what they were doing. never did I feel that Einar Wegener was a woman I saw a man playing dress up. I had hoped watching this movie would give me a better understand of the Trans community but it in fact did the opposite. Tom Hooper may have had good intentions, but frankly I found this movie to be kind offensive. this was clearly a film made by the straight cisgender community for the cisgender community. horrible movie.

     

    giphy.gifgiphy.gifdanish-girl.gif

     

    My Grade: D

     

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    They're done with the bad now it is time to focus on the good, and there was a lot of it this year, in fact I really liked most of the movies I watched.

     

    these are some of my honorable mentions, even these movies I really liked and I almost did a top 30 because of how many good ones there were.

     

    Spy:

    GIF_spy_rose_byrne.gif '

     

    Slow West:

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    Avengers: Age of Ultron 

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    The End of the Tour

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    Kingsman: The Secret Service

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    16 minutes ago, Kalo said:

    these are some of my honorable mentions, even these movies I really liked and I almost did a top 30 because of how many good ones there were.

     

    I have been finding that myself with ranking. I watch a film and think 'Wow that was great, must be top 10 material. Now let me check my list....

     

    Yep 29th it is!

     

    Nothing I loved was in your bottom 5 (although seeing Danish girl in about 2 weeks), so, so far so good so far :D

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    #25 Furious 7

     

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    I'm not really what you call a Fast & Furious fan, in fact Furious Seven was the first one I saw in theaters, but I did watch most of them (all but 2 & 3) and found varying degrees of enjoyment from watching them, and Fast Five and Fast and Furious 6 I would actually consider good fun movies. 

     

    that's kind of what I was expecting from this. only it ended up being a step up from that with a lot of heart amidst all it's glorious over the top action sequences that somehow worked. obvious the untimely tragic passing of Paul Walker made a few changes to the script that could have hurt it, but ultimately ended up adding a heft and reverence that the previous entries just didn't posses. but I think the reason why I could tolerate all these mindless action movies to begin with, is that at the heart of it was always this tight knit family dynamic between Diesel's Dominic and Walker's Brain, they had excellent chemistry that made you care about what happens to this ragtag group of outlaws. and this one did that better than any of them, on top of having some crazy stunts and outstanding visuals that made it just a really beautiful movie to watch. 

     

    It is far from a perfect film, but it is a very entering heartfelt one. and come on who wasn't tearing up in the end montage? It's just really sad that this is the last time will see Walker in a film again, I felt he was a really underrated actor and just a great person in general. 

     

     

     

    My Grade: A-

    Favorite Scene: skyscraper car jumping, ending Montage

    Favorite Character: Brian O'Conner 

    Favorite Performance: Vin Diesel 

    Award Winner! Best Song: See You again - According to Kalo 

     

    R.I.P Paul Walker 

     

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    #24 Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation 

     

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    Let me start off by saying I am a big Tom Cruise fan, and I've now been a fan of the Mission Impossible series for a while, I watched them completely out of order actually, started with MI: III, then 4, then 1 and the 2 I think lol, and all but #2 have been from good to great. Rogue nation is the later. while I don't think it is quite as good as Ghost Protocol (my favorite), it comes close, mostly because of the energy this series still has managed to maintain. and a lot of that can be attributed to Cruises complete devotion to the role of Ethan Hunt, and his magical ability to stop aging. 

     

    On top the fantastic stunts was the great chemistry  of the cast especially that with Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg, who gets an even bigger more involved role this time around, along with the daring stunts glorious set pieces along with the introduction of the wonderful Rebecca Ferguson into the franchise. makes it's a very worthwhile entry into the series.

     

    My Grade: A-

    Favorite Scene: Underwater heist scene. 

    Favorite Character: Ethan Hunt

    Favorite Performance: Tom Cruise 

     

    What was strong in 2015 spotlight:

     

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    death defying real stunts! 2015 had several films that were daring even to try real stunts and Rogue Nation was one of these films. Tom Cruise unbelievably actually really performed these daring feats in the film, which including hanging off of a flying airplane, as well as really jumping into the water main and having to hold his breath in the sequence while performing. 

     

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    Bad-Ass heroines portrayed in an empowering positive way. 

    Mission Impossible Rogue Nation was just one of several films that portray strong female characters in physical action roles, now this has been done many times before, but what is so unique about the films this year was the way it managed to show this heroines as strong capable woman without them losing their femininity or oversexualizion them. and Rebecca Ferguson's Ilsa Faust is just the first example of these portrayals, I also appreciated the fact that she asked Ethan to remove her high heels before she has to do a rooftop stunt, unlike another film that came out this year.  

     

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    #23 Southpaw 

     

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    Jake Gyllenhaal is in my opinion of of the best actors working in the industry today and considering Boxing films like Rocky and Warrior (MMA) rank among my all time favorites, and I'm a sucker for emotional sports dramas, I was very much looking forward to seeing Southpaw, and while it may not be the best in the genre, I found it immensely enjoyable. Gyllenhaal's portrayal of a boxer who hits rock bottom after the loss of his wife. which included him losing custody of his daughter Leila, (played with very impressive performance from Oona Laurence) and his house.

     

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    The top dog becomes the underdog, and he fights not for the title but for his daughter and ultimate to regain the life he lost. a shout out to Forest Whitaker, who gives an excellent performance as is reluctant trainer.  sure the script had a couple issues, but I feel the payoff is so powerful and has such a strong impact, that all is pretty much forgiven imo.

     

    My Grade: A-

    Favorite Scene:

    Spoiler

    Billy reunites with his daughter Leila, in what is one of the most emotional scenes in 2015

    Favorite Character:  Billy Hope

    Favorite Performance: Jake Gyllenhaal. 

     

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    44 minutes ago, Ethan Hunt said:

    Southpaw is pretty mediocre IMO. Jake tries his darndest and he has some great moments but most of it falls flat (especially the ending. Doesn't really feel like he Gaines anything from winning that fight)

     

    I disagree. :) 

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    4 hours ago, Mockingjay Raphael said:

    MJ2 FTW 

     

    And you should have watched Joy, it's one of my fave movies ever 

     

    I was planning to see it in theaters, but after it got mediocre reviews, and like everything went wrong with my house around the time it was released and well I was kind of preoccupied seeing another movie multiple times, it just passed me by.

     

    anyways should get back to doing the countdown tonight, was kind of busy with school.. and watching Ben-Hur.. which was amazing and the first 1950s release I would gave an A+ to, and now I am completely on a 1950s kick haha.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    #22 The Duke of Burgundy

     

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    "Will you come sit on my face?... Please." 

     

    Wow, who would have thought that a extreme indie, lesbian S&M film would be such a technical wonder? 

     

    I probably wouldn't have ever watched this film if I hadn't heard raves from some of the users on here, but before sending in my BOOFY's I decided to give it a watch, and well first off this movie is absolutely gorgeous, from the tranquil cottage that looks like it could be set in a fairytale, the gorgeous cinematography and even the many close ups of moths. it is quite a sight to behold.

     

    On top of that the story is incredibly intriguing, and is a interesting character study for the rather niche and perhaps even taboo subject matter, the ambiguity of the chronically of the story as well as the Déjà vu redundancy of the scenes, giving the film an immersive dream like essence, even the time period and whether or not men in fact exist in this world adds to the fantasy like setting, making the viewer feel like Alice going further down the rabbit hole, there is also a subtle quite brilliant amount of humor in the film that works very nicely, this has got to be one of the most unique and original screenplays of the year. 

     

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    The performances of the two leads as well as the the score are also incredible, and I can see why this could be among someone's favorite of the year, and really the only reason this isn't higher for me is because it's just slightly out of my wheelhouse (if it had been two men in the roles that may be a different story. :P). but this is a brilliant film and and definately an aquired taste, none the less I dare you to check it out, you may be surprised. 

     

     

    My Grade: A-

    Favorite Scene: "Let's see if you've done your job properly" 

    Favorite Character: Cynthia

    Favorite Performance: Sidse Babett Knudsen

    Award Winner! Best Sound and Sound Editing - According to Kalo

     

    What was Strong in 2015 spotlight:
     

    Cinematography:

     

    The Duke of Burgundy is the first of many on my list to have an excellent inventive use of Cinematography, the camerawork as some parts of this film is utterly breathtaking and it's moth montages are brilliant, this was truly a stacked year for camera and The Duke of Burgundy is definitely in my top 5 of the year.  

     

     

     

     

    Art Direction:

     

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    I almost think just using the manson in this film is enough for Set Direction, but it wasn't just that the whole gothic romantic feel of the entire house was rich and vibrant and the fact that everything seemed be snowned from close-ups to semi-close ups adding an almost claustrophobic feel to the film, that actually enhanced it. 

     

    Original Scores, Sound and Sound editing. 

     

    What a year for film soundtracks and just sound in general, and the intoxicating score by Cat's Eyes in The Duke of Burgundy is mesmerising and sensual, really inquire, not to mention the great use of sound in this movie, yeah like I said this was a really technically brilliant film.
     

     

     

     

     

     

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