Friday, January 1, 2016

Films of the year

And I haven't really seen enough movies this year, even with membership of our local arts picturehouse in Cambridge. Suffragette was an impressive and important movie. The Lady in the Van was bit cutesy although the performances were good. The Martian was enjoyable but only about as third as good as this simply splendid book, and they disappointed me by adding the Iron Man ending that is quite rightly ruled out in the book for good scientific reasons.

Marvel put out the Avengers Ultron movie and Ant Man and I can remember very little about them. By contrast Daredevil and Jessica Jones on Netflix were much more enjoyable and memorable for all the right reasons.

So that just leaves me with the four big blockbusters for the year. I had a good time at Spectre but the plot holes were huge and it was at least one set piece too long. I can't see Daniel Craig returning for a fifth go because this film ends with him hanging them up and choosing a life over a gun which was very refreshing.

Somehow Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation managed to out Bond Spectre and led the field in its use of practical effects and a splendid scene-stealing turn by Rebecca Ferguson. Strangely Tom Cruise managed to be less annoying that usual and it was all just terrific.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens also contained huge plot holes and moments of madness that made no sense but I didn't acre. It perfectly captured the magic of the original films and left me a very happy geek. I also was able to see it with my wife and kids, the first time we've gone to see a film together in years which was just as exciting. And when that music started I almost shed a tear.

But far and a way the best time to be had in a cinema this year was with Mad Max: Fury Road with Max himself almost reduced to a supporting character as Charlize Theron's Furiosa tore up the road and the screen. A movie where pretty much the first scene direction read cut to the chase, where former doctor George Miller threw everything at the screen and reminded us all how good action movies can be when we know it's actual stunt men doing this ridiculous stuff rather than those tedious bouncing CGI sprites. Best film of 2015 by several furious road miles.

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