30 December 2015

Scenes of 2015

The best scenes of 2015.

Based on UK release date in the order I saw them. Although The Case Of Hana and Alice has yet to be released in the UK but screened at festivals.

  • Whiplash

    The opening scene wastes no time in setting up the two characters and their relationship, I wish more films would just get to the point.

    However it was the ending that convinced me this was a five star film.

  • Ex Machina

    Perhaps the moment of Ex Machina where things really passed the turing test was when Ava asked Caleb to close his eyes.

    When Nathan tears up the dancefloor is a pretty special moment as well.

  • Big Hero 6

    Just about any moment when Baymax is on screen but let's go for the batteries running out.

  • Appropriate Behavior

    The final scene on the train is a great ending.

  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

    Fleeing the palace.

  • Still Alice

    Alice finds her own video message

  • Wild Tales

    So many great moments to choose from the freeze frame title shot came close but it's the climax of the road rage sequence that stands out the most.

  • It Follows

    The opening sequence is a wonderful condensed version of the entire film.

  • Mommy

    Yes, that moment. I knew it was coming and it still completely floored me.

  • Girlhood

    "Let's try something new" followed by crazy golf.

...plus 8 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

December 30, 2015 at 10:39PM

2015 The Regrets

The films of 2015 (UK releases) that I didn't see but wanted to.

Hoping to catch a few of these in the first few weeks of 2016.

  1. A Most Violent Year
  2. Clouds of Sils Maria
  3. Eden
  4. Enemy
  5. Love & Mercy
  6. Magic Mike XXL
  7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  8. Phoenix
  9. Slow West
  10. Sunset Song

...plus 6 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

December 30, 2015 at 08:39PM

The Dresser, 2015 - ★★★

Part of the reason I've never got into theatre is that a lot of time it feels solely like it is written and performed only for the sake of the writing and performances. That certainly seems the case here and although everything is done very well I was failed to be engaged.

Really glad it showed up on the BBC though.

December 30, 2015 at 03:59PM

Swallows and Amazons, 1974 - ★★★

Nothing too remarkable but not bad either.

December 30, 2015 at 03:57PM

28 December 2015

The Emperor's New Groove, 2000 - ★★★

This never feels like a Disney film which seems to be the reason most people like it. For me it felt like it never got going and was just a series of unrelated gags.

December 28, 2015 at 04:17PM

27 December 2015

Mr. Holmes, 2015 - ★★★½

Apart from the 2.35:1 aspect ratio there's really nothing here that wouldn't have been more suited to a TV film. That's not to say it's bad; it's a nice idea, ably performed especially by newcomer Milo Parker but it the mystery element is disappointing and most of the film lacks any urgency until the final scenes.

December 27, 2015 at 11:31PM

25 December 2015

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946 - ★★★★★

I now know just about every line but it's all still wonderful.

December 25, 2015 at 08:53AM

24 December 2015

2015: The Time Capsule

If I could only save 20 films from 2015 it would be these.

(24th Dec - Not finalised this yet but it seems unlikely to change now)

...plus 10 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

December 24, 2015 at 05:21PM

22 December 2015

Best 2015 Releases on Netflix UK

A response to Shortlist's terrible "12 movies released in 2015 you can watch right now on Netflix" list.


December 22, 2015 at 05:57PM

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 2015 - ★★★★

The Force Awakens is hugely enjoyable but lacking something to make it truly special. That missing something could be the music which is one of the few areas where the film disappoints. It's also a shame that at least one fully CG character sticks out like a sore thumb and another CG heavy scene feels completely superfluous - if only these had both been physical effects. I'm sure the plot could be picked apart but that really doesn't matter because everything is so much fun (which is saying something considering the darker elements of the story). Everything plays up the nostalgia to maximum effect without over doing it, although the reliance on echoing earlier moments in the series could become tiresome. It also feels like a direct continuation of the original trilogy whilst feeling contemporary. Perhaps more than anything this will be the film to bridge the gap between old and new and allow the rest of the trilogy to become classics.

In a great year for blockbusters and strong female roles this feels like the perfect way to bring 2015 to a close.

December 21, 2015 at 11:52PM

21 December 2015

Home Alone, 1990 - ★★★★

The last time I watched Home Alone (properly in 2008 although partially more recently) I remember thinking how much better it was than people probably realise. Everybody remembers the home invasion part (which probably only lasts 15 minutes) and seeing that in a cinema full of laughing children was a joy. But the film works on many other levels. It's a really great script, probably Hughes last great piece of work, with echoes of Ferris Bueller amongst other things. It's a great Christmas film with a solid message about the importance of family and only occasionally steps into mawkishness. But it also has that fantastic third act which remains incredibly funny.

December 20, 2015 at 11:57PM

14 December 2015

Black Mass, 2015 - ★★★

Mostly unremarkable until the final third when things step up a notch.

December 14, 2015 at 09:51PM

Scrooge, 1951 - ★★★★

I was unsure if I'd seen this version (apparently I have on TV back in 2011) and it's faithfulness to the story makes it instantly familiar. It's the moments when Dickens' words are on screen that make this really stand out. The problem with this is there are not enough Muppets or songs because that's the version which is lodged in my mind as the best version (even if I did only give it 3.5 the other year).

December 14, 2015 at 07:52AM

Orion: The Man Who Would Be King, 2015 - ★★★½

The truth really is stranger than fiction and once again Jeanie Finlay has put together a really engaging documentary.

December 14, 2015 at 07:42AM

12 December 2015

The Duke of Burgundy, 2015 - ★★★

Strange and sadly beautiful but I'm not really sure what else to make of this.

December 12, 2015 at 01:07PM

Trainwreck, 2015 - ★★

A huge disappointment. I've been looking forward to this since I discovered Amy Schumer but this doesn't even come close to the greatness of her TV show or stand up. Also, Mr Apatow there are people in the film industry called "editors", please find some and listen to what they have to say.

December 12, 2015 at 01:04PM

06 December 2015

That's Entertainment! III, 1994

A step backwards to the dull format of the first rather than the enjoyable seques of the second. Also some dubious "tropical makeup" and "we weren't really racist" moments.

December 06, 2015 at 10:16PM

05 December 2015

White God, 2014 - ★★★★

The scenes with just the dogs are spectacular and once they've started it always feels like a disappointment whenever we return to the humans. Those early scenes feel like a live action Disney film and are a joy to watch. It's a bit unsettling then when things start to get more brutal and that's before things get weird. It's almost a complete genre change for the final acts and it is completely ridiculous. But for me it didn't matter; the many, many plot humps were small enough for me to still massively enjoy the ride. There's just a niggling feeling that the whole thing could have been more smartly handled and resulted in a better film.

December 05, 2015 at 08:41PM

03 December 2015

Bridge of Spies, 2015 - ★★★★

A solid, engaging and entertaining film. There's a timeless quality about the film so it's not surprising so many people are saying it could've been a James Stewart film. The only weak moment also betrays that timelessness, a CGI heavy sequence featuring a plane feels horribly out of place.

December 03, 2015 at 06:26PM