Saturday, January 02, 2016

The 2015 Movie Post

Hello, to all the people still receiving my transmission.

Here are my previous years' posts: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005.

Sometimes when I do these posts, I go back and see how many stars I gave the movies on Netflix. I didn't give any movie this year five stars. In fact, I gave all of them on this list four stars, which explains why I had such trouble figuring out in what order I should put these and which one gets my number one position. I find that time really figures it out for me. Some movies I tend to watch a lot more and some movies I never really watch again. This means that, when in doubt, I will pick the one I think I would probably view more often than the other ones.

Okay, so I give you my list (yes, there are spoilers):

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens - I should be ashamed to admit that I've seen this movie three times already, but I guess I don't care because the buttery popcorn is good. The funny thing is: I don't LOVE this movie. I think it's good, certainly, but I also felt like they just sort of took Episodes IV - VI and repeated them, only in one movie. And they gave a lot of nostalgia references so everyone would cheer and wet themselves out of geekish delight. But the thing is... the nostalgia references didn't really do anything for me. They were cool in Episodes I - III because it was so nice that Padme told Anakin to hold her, just like Leia did to Han in Episode VI, but in this one I felt like they were marking off a checklist of nostalgia to hit, like maybe a short Disneyland ride would do. But I liked all of the new characters, so that was good. Rey is simultaneously awesome and suffering from Trinity Syndrome, but I think that her character somehow succeeded in spite of the syndrome. So ultimately, I know I'm going to be able to suspend my criticism and enjoy it for the buttery popcorn movie that it is, however much I end up watching it. Also, it reeked of J.J. Abrams: "Here is a little bit of information, but I'm just giving you some clues so you can endlessly debate this online and build up your own anticipation for the answers that may or may not be given in the next two movies."

2. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - I guess I like spy movies. I really liked the retro-ness of this movie, as well as the humor, silliness, and implausibilities. It was sort of like a Bond movie to me but with two guys instead of one and supposedly a continual love interest instead of a new one each movie (well, for one guy, at least). I also really like it when movies go to touristy sites like they did at the Spanish Steps in Rome in this one. It's cool how they can do it, even though the movie takes place decades ago. The Spanish Steps just don't change that much (they're being refurbished right now).

3. The Martian - I don't think I'm going to watch this movie repetitively because it's sort of like Castaway, only in space (a little boring watching the same person trying to survive the whole time), but it was a well-made, interesting, and occasionally humorous movie. So, it succeeded.

4. Jurassic World - This was basically the same movie as Jurassic Park. It really was, only updated with a romantic undertone and with Sphero-like technology (just like Star Wars because apparently spheres are the cool new way to do things). But it was a good time, and I laughed at the jokes, so it was good.

5. Ant-Man - This movie only succeeded because it recognized what a ridiculous premise it was and made a joke out of the movie. I mean, the plot and everything is pretty dumb, but the movie made you laugh, so it was good.

6. The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) - So I guess this isn't out yet in the U.S., but I saw it on the plane, which is a huge reason why I saw so many movies this year (boring, sleepless flights). The story is simultaneously cute and weird, the animation is simultaneously awesome and terrifying, and it was just a fun, different movie. The movie makes a number of thoughtful observations about life, so if you're not into a movie with a message, you probably don't want to watch it. I liked it, though.

7. McFarland, USA - Maybe I like feel-good sports movies? I'm not sure. Anyway, I enjoyed this movie. I like that it contained a quinceaƱera and generally the Mexican culture. I don't have anything else to say about it.

8. Inside Out - This was a unique and cute movie. It was fun and clever, and I think I could see it again and like it.

9. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation - I gave it four stars because I must have liked it, but this movie is extremely forgettable to me. I can't totally remember what happened in it, but it was a spy movie and had action, and I think it was probably good. The fact that I can't remember it very well should say something about it. It wasn't my favorite MI film, but I know for sure it wasn't as bad as the second one.

10. Avengers: Age of Ultron - Yeah, so I think this wasn't my favorite one because I haven't really felt the extreme need to watch it again. The making of this movie reminded me in some ways of all that is wrong with the TV show Agents of Shield. It's not terrible, but it's not really that great. They have good characters, but they also spend a lot of time on things that you don't care about at all. I think this movie took itself too seriously or something. I like the humor parts of these movies, and this one just wasn't funny enough, I guess.

I also saw the following movies:

Spectre - This was probably the worst of the Daniel Craig Bond movies, maybe tied with Quantum of Solace. It's probably about in the middle of the Bond movies in general, if I were to rank them, which I never have. Remember, the rankings I posted previously were my sister's. It was still good, though, just not my favorite Bond film.

San Andreas - This was such a Dwayne Johnson movie. Holy cow. If people actually are like the people in these movies, America is doomed. It was so corny, but hey, it was a popcorn flick with explosions, so if that's your thing, you'll probably like the movie.

Everest - I didn't like this movie. It made me sad and cold.

The Visit - This was a legitimately creepy movie. Especially the poop parts. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. Also, the rapping kid was kind of hilarious. Not the best of M. Night's movies, though.

Home - This was cute, but I didn't love it, probably because I was tired when I watched it. I think a lot of kids would like it, though. It reminded me of Lilo and Stitch in some ways.

Fantastic Four - It wasn't bad. I liked it okay, but it took itself way too seriously. It's like the movie thought it was cooler than it was.

Minions - I know I was supposed to laugh, and there were some slightly humorous parts, but I guess it just wasn't really that great. The minions were never the good part of Despicable Me to me, anyway.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 - It was okay, and I think I actually liked it better than I liked the book.

Insurgent - Divergent just seemed like it was better for some reason. I guess I don't really care about this series. Maybe you had to have read the books to like it better?

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - I actually liked the first movie, so I thought I'd give this second movie a chance. It was basically the exact same movie as the first one, only not as fresh or entertaining. I'm over these movies, so they don't need to make another one.

Cinderella - This movie was really well-done for a live action version of Cinderella. I think I just prefer to watch the cartoon, though.

Terminator Genisys - I liked this one pretty well. I know a lot of people didn't really like it, but I thought it was good enough. I didn't have exceedingly high expectations, though. Arnold did a fine job, and the plot was fine.

I also saw from 2013:

Philomena - It was alright. Kind of a slow-paced drama but alright.

All Is Lost - It was like Castaway, only I didn't really care for it.

Frequencies - It was a trippy movie. I had to go back and watch a few parts again after I watched it. I kind of enjoyed it. If you like trippy thinker movies, this one is for you.

I also saw from 2014:

Million Dollar Arm - I liked it. It was entertaining.

Big Hero 6 - I think I need to see this again, uninterrupted and without distraction. I think it was good, but I think the location where I saw it was too distracting to fully enjoy the movie.

Meet the Mormons - It was fine.

Into the Woods - I think they did a good job, especially the song "Agony." I like the story and the music, so I will probably eventually buy it.

Unbroken - I liked this movie. It was pretty good for a historic prisoner of war movie. It kept my interest.

The Imitation Game - I liked this movie. It was a good biopic. I didn't know about the code-breaking or the history of the movie, so it was interesting.

The Theory of Everything - I thought it was okay. I didn't love it, but it was alright.

Noah - I didn't like it. The acting wasn't very good, the plot wasn't great, and the protagonist character was the worst.

Movies I still want to see from 2014:

The Fault in Our Stars
If I get around to it ever, I'll also watch the Planes movies and The Book of Life.
I also added Ida
I also added Belle

Movies I still want to see from 2015:

Tomorrowland (even though I heard it's meh)
Tangerines (the one from the country of Georgia)
Bridge of Spies
Once I Was a Beehive
The Good Dinosaur
The Intern
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Thanks for reading! Do you have any recommendations for me?


julie said...

I haven't seen Star Wars yet, so I didn't read your review of it but am heartened with its #1 rank. I'll see it eventually. As usual, I agree with your reviews of the few movies I've also seen. I can't think of any movies I saw that you didn't, so no recommendations. Oh wait...I saw Spy. I recommend NOT watching it as it ranks high on my list of worst movies ever. It was my pick; I thought it would be a good mix of comedy and action. Even Steve commented that there was too much language and he was an Ammo troop! His pick of The Man From U.N.C.L.E was much better and I'm looking forward to more in the series.

Was Le Petit Prince in English or French? Either way, I'd like to see it and will look out for it. :)

Cardine said...

I saw Le Petit Prince in English, but it was originally made in French. I imagine you could get a copy to watch in French if you want. It's a cute movie in some ways.

Cassie said...

I agree a lot with your Star Wars review. I loved Man from U.N.C.L.E for the retro quirkiness. I hope they make a sequel. I was looking through movies that I saw this year to recommend and here are ones that I liked: Selma, Still Alice, Woman in Gold, Age of Adaline (mostly just for the romantic in me and handsome men), Far from the Madding Crowd (loved), The Walk (fascinating). I would also say to watch the documentary Man on Wire about the same thing but there is some nudity in it FYI.

I really really liked Brooklyn as well so I'm glad it's on your to see list.

Cardine said...

Ah, Cassie, you don't disappoint with your recommendations, as usual. I do have Man on Wire on my list already, and I'm glad to hear about it so I'm not surprised by the nudity. I'll likely add your recommendations to my list! :)

Jill said...

My movie game is so off these days... my only child care is my kid's school, not exactly prime movie viewing time. But I did see Star Wars and the Mission Impossible flick. I totally agree with you on that, I recall enjoying it while watching it but I couldn't remember anything about plot particulars.

Cardine said...

I totally understand, Jill. I am fully aware that if I ever have kids, I'll probably discontinue this annual post because I probably won't see very many movies. Or maybe I'll just rank the three movies I see.

Ruth said...

I saw Joy over the weekend. I would not recommend it to anyone. The Good Dinosaur was okay, but not something I would buy. The Fault in Our Stars was a great movie! Once I was a Beehive was good as well. Definitely not, your typical LDS movie, which for the most part have gotten better with time.

Cardine said...

Good to know, Ruth. Maybe I won't watch Joy, then? The reviewer I like to read gave it a C+, so maybe I won't like it after all.

dub said...

I second Far from the Madding Crowd. Also, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Yes, it's another movie about a teenager with cancer, but it's quirkier than The Fault in our Stars.

Cardine said...

So I probably can't watch both Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The Fault in our Stars very close together, or I will feel too sad.

julie said...

I started to read The Fault in our Stars and couldn't get into it. The writing style was not my cup of tea. Maybe I'd like the movie better but will probably never watch it.

I second Cassie's Woman in Gold. I forgot about seeing it...NOT because it wasn't good; I just have a forgetful brain lately. I also want to see Far From the Madding Crowd but after I read the book...if I can get around to reading it. :)

Please continue to do this post even after you have kids and only see a few movies a year! You'll still see more than me. When I was single, you still saw more movies than me...and you're a lot more adventurous in your viewing. I like knowing about movies from a reliable source. :)

Cardine said...

If that ever happens, then my reviews would be hilarious if I only watch three movies. So yeah, that probably sounds fun.

tearese said...

We just recently watched Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. It was all right. We also saw The Fault in Our Stars; I think I liked that one better. Or not; I go back and forth. I also haven't seen Star Wars, so after we get it on Netflix or something, then I can read what you said about it.
Yes, SPY was horrible! We thought it'd be really funny, but they ruined the movie with all the's not like, fighting movie swearing, it's like, lets try to be overly shocking and see if it's funny swearing. I was so sad, because it started out pretty funny.
Also saw: San Andreas (it was fun), Inside out (like it, but don't get why everyone likes it SO much), Avengers (was okay, Joseph liked it more than me), Home (laughed a lot more than I thought I would), The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (like a lot; I kind of want to own these movies because I like movies about India- saw Slumdog Millionaire this year and loved it too),Ant Man (Joseph loved, I thought okay), Jurassic World- agree with what you said of it.
I'm excited to see Mockingjay, it's coming up in our Netflix queue after The Scorch Trials. I'm also excited to see Insurgent. I did read these books; I liked the first too and was severely disappointed in the third one, so I'm kind of hoping they change the story for the last movie. Love Big Hero Six- I like the artwork and the mix of Japanese and American stuff, also it's funny. We saw the Book of Life at a discount theater and I actually liked it a lot. It was weird. Tomorrowland felt too preachy for me, though Joseph really liked it. I thought it would just be....more.

tearese said...

first two. That's what I meant.