Monday, December 28, 2015

My Top-10 Films of 2015 (So Far)

I may see one or two more before the year ends, but thus far here's my listing of the 10 films I saw this year.  When I've already written a blog entry for it, a link will be provided in the title of the movie:

10. Terminator: Genisys

A big let-down, and the only film I saw in the theatre this year that had me checking my watch. Couldn't wait for it to end. And making John Connor the antagonist was the biggest bonehead decision of 2015. Well, before Slater elected to kick away in overtime in yesterday's Patriots game.

9.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I: I 90% liked it; 10% didn't.  Read about that here.

8.  Bridge of Spies

Not a bad film, exactly, as my blog entry said. But I couldn't recommend it with excitement, either. A professionally made, professionally acted, professionally delivered movie, and all over the year end's Top-10 lists in many places (and #8 for me, though I only saw 10 total movies as of 12.28.15.), but still not a film that will generate awe or excitement. Spielberg's genius works against him here. My expectations for his films are sky-high, and this isn't. Even more low-key than Lincoln was, but without Day-Lewis's awe-inspiring performance. A good film for a Sunday afternoon on cable.

7. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Middle East is a land mass unlike any other in the world.  Without traveling it, if you want to get to Africa, you'd have to take a ship or plane.  Those who control the Middle East control all trade (today, much or most of the trade) coming and going from all of Africa.  Control that, and you will have riches and power, then and now.  Combine that with the extreme religious significance of those lands (three of the world's major religions spring from it) and combine that with the concentration of oil there, and you've got land that everyone wants. And they'll all fight for it. Forever.

Now think of this movie, and that mountain. It's got gold and not oil, but it's all otherwise the same. A better movie than it's being given credit for, especially when compared to Jackson's LOTR films. And a very political movie, too. It's got something very relevant to say.

6.  Spectre

A very good Bond film, Daniel Craig's 3rd-best, IMO, after Skyfall and Casino Royale. Expecting it to be as good as Skyfall was indeed too much to ask, and that's okay. The planets aligned for Skyfall, which was a better movie than it had a right to be, and perhaps was the best in all of Bond. And a great movie in of itself, by itself, that transcended the genre. Spectre doesn't do that, but it's a great ride nonetheless, and Christoph Waltz's performance is as good as you figured it would be. Though it's not as good as Javier Bardem's in Skyfall, Waltz doesn't have as much to work with, either. There are a couple of head-scratches here, in terms of what Blofeld does, and you wonder why he's treated as well as he is at the end (to better set him up in the sequel?), but overall this was a good ride.

Honorable Mention: Jaws (re-release).  This would have been rated if it had been released this year.

Top Five Next Blog Entry--to be continued

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