In my continuing "Best of cultural things I have partaken in this Year" series we move on to films.
Without further ado, here's the first half of my "Top 2015 Movies" list:
In my defence (in advance) I was living in Tokyo in January so did not have access to films at their UK/Ireland release dates. January was not a great movie month for me. But there was one gem:
Big Hero 6
This film didn't quite hit me in the feels as much as Wreck it Ralph did, but it still did pack a punch. A great film about dealing with grief and the fallout from an unexpected death. A bonus for me was that I saw it in Tokyo, which provided some of the cityscape of the fictional San Fransokyo.
Still living in Tokyo - v little to see in the Cinema, but I did catch some of the releases later on so we'll go with that.
Utter Rubbish.. A completely bonkers rush of a film that I loved. I will the Wachowskis so much leeway because they always try so spectacularly. They never go half in.. it's all or nothing and I love it. In a year that gave us this and Sense8 (more in my Best of.. TV post) the Wachowskis deserve both our respect and our support. Keep on doing what you are doing. Without them in the world there'd be no Speedracer or Jupiter Ascending.
Back in Ireland so easy access to a cinema once again (yay).
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Ok.. so I was feeling a little homesick for Japan (where I did not get a chance to go to Studio Ghibli). Regardless, this film is unbelievably good. It's purportedly Isao Takahata's final film and the style is completely different to the typical Studio Ghibli film. It broke my heart into tiny pieces. I loved it so.
Fully ensconced in Dublin town.
Fast & Furious 7
Whatever your feelings about this franchise (it's one I really like) this film is a satisfying conclusion Even with the world's longest runway. It's a shame they're making an 8th one.
I have a soft spot for teen coming of age movies and they've been pretty sparse these last few years. The Duff was a surprisingly fresh take on this old format. I liked it a lot.
This one was good. I liked the subtle world building, the cold way people maneuvered around each other and the walking DEATH that was Keanu Reeves.
A different type of coming-of-age film featuring the magnificent Maisie Williams. This is slow film that draws you in and along with it's central protagonist. Intense and evocative, this film is incredible.
Far From the Madding Crowd:
I liked this a lot. There is so much acting talent on display here, particularly from the wonderful Carey Mulligan & Michael Sheen. I did feel the feels and may have cried a little at parts.
This film came from the people that gave us Rare Exports.. The Finnish are a strange breed. This film mashed up a Boy's Own adventure story with Roland Emmerich action to great effect. It's definitely a popcorn movie, but one with a European slant.
Mad Max: Fury Road
If you have not seen this epic road chase then you need to seriously consider your priorities. This is definitely in my top 5 films this year. It has everything, from editing to explosions to acrobatics to plot to flame-throwing guitars. Honestly, it's just the best.
Pitch Perfect 2
I really really really liked Pitch Perfect. I really really really didn't in any way see the point of a sequel. I don't understand the need for sequels to things that are perfectly whole with no strings needing to be tied up. Still, this was a good sequel and introduced Flula Borg to the world (#HappySigh, #FlulaBorg).
A Royal Night Out
Fluff, but utterly charming Fluff.
Despite it's poor reviews, I loved this film. It brought back memories of Sunday afternoon Disney movies like Flight of the Navigator. I thought the leads were excellent and the effects superb.
What you want from a romantic comedy... In that it has likable leads who have chemistry and comedy.. The comedy is actually important.. and hard to do.. so well done that film.
May was a great month for films and I didn't even see a Girl walks home at Night (which is meant to be brilliant).
My birth-month.. Yay.. Let's start with some action comedy..
Squee.. I loved this film so much I saw it twice. That last bit after the credits still cracks me up. Melissa McCarthy is brilliant, but I think Jason "the Staith" Statham wins the award for best comedy side character. That man is a legend.
Fun, but forgettable. Like popcorn. Worth a watch for the drink carrying dude :)
Ian McKellen remains one of the most compelling actors alive today. This film is a study in understated story-telling.
I have only one word: Bottom
So that wraps up the first half of the year.. Not bad.. May was the best month, with different genres battling it out for my number one spot. So far it's between The Falling and Fury Road.
We'll move on to the latter half of the year shortly.