Top 5 Films 2015

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Epic stunt driving taken to its logical conclusion. All the more impressive that Dr. Miller was able to do it all on location in the Namibian Desert with the likes of his two leads, no less. Only two issues to take note of are the fact that there is only one and only 'Mad Max' and that is the one and only mad Mel Gibson. Tom Hardy’s character should have been the adult version of ‘The Feral Kid’ from THE ROAD WARRIOR. Also, the opening chase sequence that closes Act I should have been the titled Fury Road –like a shortcut Max suggests to all of them in order to beat 'Immortan Joe' and his marauders back to the Citadel. Because the film/ climax is never able to top that opening scene number.  

AMERICAN ULTRA 

A film brought to life not so much by its dazzling music video direction but by its electric cast of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart who are full of palpable chemistry. Likewise Connie Britton and Topher Grace, who accentuated just the right amount of realish meets cartoonish, which oddly created the eclectic amount of relatable tension. Walton Goggins is also a revelation in proving how much he can do with so little given to him. His commitment and intensity was just another bright spot to the stew that keeps you stirring. The first and so far only Max Landis script done well, where it was a perfect marriage of possibilities, most of which were executed well within target range. 

THE HATEFUL EIGHT

Road Show version. Meaning the one with the overture and intermission, which ultimately hurt the climax/ ending of the film. Just absolutely sucks all the air out of all the tension its built and earned up to then. A true crestfallen letdown disappointment. Granted, it is hard not to enjoy soaking up the overture as you get settled into your seat, especially with that Oscar-winning score. Again, Walton Goggins steals the show. The true hero and glue that holds the film together. Even without the intermission the film is just too long for its own good. Although there is something to be said of Mr. Tarantino shooting an intimate chamber room drama in 70mm. Like the intermission, the one segment that almost derails the entire film is the celebrity cameo flashback showing the actual 'Minnie' and her Haberdashery. Wow. Felt like that was from a bad parody film universe movie. And even if Mr. Tarantino had pulled it off --it still would have been superfluous. The film should have also ended on a button with some other hapless traveler arriving just after the carnage ended and saying, "Fuck this! I don't care how good her coffee is!"  as he rides back out into the snow. 

4. 

No selection.

5. 

No selection.

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FILMS THAT DIDN'T MAKE THE LIST:

ANOMALISA (Not Yet Reviewed) 

BEASTS OF NO NATION (Not Yet Reviewed) 

THE BIG SHORT (Flat or Tone-Deaf) 

BLACK HAT (Not Yet Reviewed) 

BLACK MASS (Not Yet Reviewed) 

BONE TOMAHAWK (Portentous) 

BRIDGE OF SPIES (Flat or Tone-Deaf) 

BROOKLYN (Not Yet Reviewed) 

CAROL (Not Yet Reviewed) 

CARTEL LAND (Glorified Short) 

CREED (Not Yet Reviewed) 

CRIMSON PEAK (Portentous) 

THE DANISH GIRL (Not Yet Reviewed) 

DOPE (Not Yet Reviewed) 

THE END OF THE TOUR (Not Yet Reviewed) 

EVEREST (Forgettable) 

EX MACHINA (Glorified Short) 

GOODNIGHT MOMMY (Not Yet Reviewed) 

THE GIFT (Not Yet Reviewed) 

INSIDE OUT (Not Yet Reviewed) 

IT FOLLOWS (Glorified Short) 

JOY (Not Yet Reviewed) 

JURASSIC WORLD (Misfire) 

THE LOOK OF SILENCE (Not Yet Reviewed) 

LEGEND (Not Yet Reviewed) 

THE MAN FROM UNCLE (Not Yet Reviewed) 

THE MARTIAN (Insufferable) 

THE REVENANT (Glorified Short) 

ROOM (Not Yet Reviewed) 

SICARIO (Glorified Short) 

SON OF SAUL (Not Yet Reviewed) 

SPECTRE (Flat or Tone-Deaf) 

SPOTLIGHT (Not Yet Reviewed) 

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (Misfire) 

STEVE JOBS (MOW) 

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (MOW) 

TOMORROWLAND (Misfire) 

TRUMBO (Self-Indulgent)