The 2016 Biggie Awards (and My Top 10 & Bottom 5 of 2015)

BIGGIE’S 10 FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2015

in A-B-C order

As always, there’s a difference between favorite and best. If I could only watch 10 movies from 2015 for the rest of my life, it would be these’ns.

poster- AGE OF ULTRON

It’s flawed, and it’s nowhere near as good as the first Avengers, but I still love watching these characters interacting together, and I love me some Joss Whedon dialogue.

poster- BIG SHORT

poster- BLACK MASS'

poster- CREED

poster- MAD MAX

poster- MI5

poster- SICARIO

poster- STAR WARS

poster- STEVE JOBS

poster- COMPTON

FIVE OTHER FAVORITES:  ENTOURAGE, GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF, THE HATEFUL EIGHT: 70MM, JURASSIC WORLD, STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE

10 MORE LESSER-SEEN MOVIES YOU NEED TO WATCH:  99 HOMES, BROOKLYN, THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN LIVES: WHAT HAPPENED?, EX MACHINA, THE GIFT, IT FOLLOWS, ROOM, RUN ALL NIGHT, TRUMBO, VICTORIA

Ex Mach 1aEx Mach 1bEx Mach 1c

THE 5 WORST MOVIES I SAW IN 2015

in A-B-C order

Key words being that I saw. Doubtless there were many films worse than (some of) these, but as I’ve said, I don’t bother seeing movies I know I’m gonna hate. I believe the Vulcans would call that “logical”.

poster- CRIMSON PEAK

I absolutely hate to badmouth Guillermo del Toro. I got to talk to him in L.A. during the awards season run of Pan’s Labyrinth (still his best movie), and he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. If I were to make a list of people in Hollywood I’d want to be friends with, he’d be in the top 5. On top of that, he’s one of the few genre directors in Hollywood attempting to use his popularity make original films, and he deserves praise for that. That said, other than the beautiful sets and costumes, Crimson Peak is atrocious. Everyone in the geek world lusted to love this movie, but once everyone saw it, the internet got verrrrry quiet very quickly. Not even fangirl hero Tom Hiddleston in one of the lead roles could save this mess. It also wasted the talents of my one true love, Jessica Chastain. Nor did it help that Mia Wasikoska was our heroine. I swear I’ve seen this girl in 10 movies, and I’ve yet to think she was memorable in any of them. And while I admit I’ve never seen a minute of Sons of Anarchy, I’ve yet to see any evidence based on his film work that Charlie Hunnam is a good actor, either. Crimson Peak is a lame gothic horror love story stew that commits one of the greatest sins in modern cinema: trying to use CGI as the primary method of scaring people in a horror movie. Just NO.

poster- 50 SHADES

The most hyped up literary adaptation in years and this is what we get? I can’t imagine the book is much better, so what the hell am I missing? Ladies, why do you love this shit? Is this like Twilight,  where the female protagonist is basically a surrogate so women readers can imagine themselves in her place? The first and biggest issue is that Jamie Dornan & Dakota Johnson have zero onscreen chemistry. That’s kind of a big deal for a movie that begs us to believe these two people share any kind passion or attraction. Dornan can barely act, and while Johnson clearly has some talent (see: Black Mass), it’s completely wasted here with a bad script and her paper-thin character.

I was led to believe that at the very least, Fifty Shades of Grey would be the most sexually daring American movie in recent memory. Not true. I blame that as much on the MPAA as I do the people who made the movie, though. You really can’t make a realistic, sexually aggressive movie in American cinema and get it past the prudes on the ratings board (a concept whose time has long expired). This movie should’ve been made in Europe, where they’re not afraid to be truthful with onscreen sexuality. That, or Universal should’ve had the balls to allow it to be NC-17. Regardless, that wouldn’t have spared us from the awful script and boring people who inhabit this world. The last English-language movie I saw that had any balls sexually was Steve McQueen’s Shame. Fifty Shades had the power to change the way theater chains dealt with NC-17 movies, which is a big deal, but Universal decided to punt on creative freedom and we wound up with this insipid melodrama. But hey- it made money! Sequel in 2017! Yaaaaaay.

poster- FURIOUS 7

I didn’t think this franchise could ever sink below 2 Fast 2 Furious in terms of quality, but by god they’ve managed it, and in epic fashion. Furious 7 is by far the worst movie in this spasmatic series. After the utter lunacy of Fast & Furious 6, I had a sinking feeling they’d try to go even bigger and even crazier for part 7, and they certainly did not disappoint in that regard. After the moronically insane stunts Dominic Toretto alone is able to survive unscathed in this movie, I find it hard to believe Vin Diesel’s character is even human anymore. These people have literally become cartoon characters. What disappointed me most is the fact that even the audiences who rightly believed the movie was dumb thought the Paul Walker tribute sequence at the end was completely believable and genuine. I disagree vehemently. In my view, those final moments for his character simply aren’t earned. You can’t have a movie be this absurd throughout and then have that bittersweet ending resonate. Did not work for me at all.

The only saving grace of the movie is the song that was written in tribute to Walker, “See You Again”. It sucks to say, but this entire enterprise, despite its success, was not a fitting goodbye for Walker’s untimely death. But because the movie earned $1.5 billion worldwide (good job, audiences!), the series will continue unabated. And continue. Presumably for as long as Vin Diesel is alive and able to drink Coronas. Universal wants to go all the way to a part 10, which at this point will have these guys battling aliens in space. I will, however, give the filmmakers and effects team a lot of credit for (mostly) doing an excellent job disguising Walker’s absence through doubles and CGI. They spent millions of dollars covering the holes created by his absence.

I have some modicum of hope that the 8th installment can rebound (it wouldn’t take much), if only because F. Gary Gray (hot off of Straight Outta Compton) is at the helm. I’d like to think that based on his previous work, Gray would like to bring this franchise back to the real world, but I’m not sure he’ll have that much pull on how it’s written (unfortunately, Diesel now has a lot of input in the script stage). Not that I particularly care, but if the series is to be anything resembling good again, they’ve GOT to reign in the size and scope of these movies. We’ve gone from these characters being mere street racers and common criminals to them being government-hired rogue black ops agents. It’s beyond ridiculous. The main issue is that an action scene that would pass as the grand finale in most big budget movies is now the opening titles action scene in a Fast & Furious movie. And in this franchise, where there are 4 or 5 major action sequences, how do you up the ante that many times in one movie? The answer is you can’t. Or at least shouldn’t. The bad news? Chris Morgan, writer of every FF movie since Tokyo Drift (that’s the third one, which takes place after the fifth one), is on board once again to work on the oh-so-cleverly-titled Fast 8.

Cinema Sins recently covered Furious 7, and it’s one of the best, funniest videos they made all year. This is much more entertaining than the actual movie:

-If you’re interested in the details of how they put Paul Walker into the film after his death, read The Hollywood Reporter’s excellent piece on that very subject HERE.

poster- JUPITER ASCENDING

Where oh where have my Wachowskis gone? They had just started showing some promise again with the surprisingly good Cloud Atlas, and then they go back to writing their own original stuff and this sci-fi buffoonery is what we get. I haven’t seen Speed Racer (and have no desire to), so I’m just going to assume this is the worst thing they’ve ever made. It’s the kind of creative and financial disaster that literally kills careers. But hey, they can forever boast that they directed the worst performance of Academy Award® winner Eddie Redmayne‘s career. And they put elf ears on Channing Tatum.

I don’t even know where to start with this mess, so once again, I’ll let Cinema Sins handle it:

I still believe the Wachowskis have considerable talent as filmmakers, but I think the solution going forward is for them to work off someone else’s script. I have long said I wanted them to do a Transformers movie, and with Michael Bay finally stepping off the Transformers gravy train after the fifth movie next summer (or so he says), it would be an excellent opportunity for them to make their mark on a guaranteed hit, which would presumably give their careers some much needed resuscitation.

poster- SEVENTH SON

I just…I can’t. Why I was curious enough to even watch this I’ll never know. Here is a perfect reminder of why the vast majority of American actors should not be starring in medieval/fantasy movies. Not even Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, two of our finest thespians, can pull off the old world English accent and gravitas required for these roles. The movie is also about witches, which in my view is the most boring, least interesting subgenre of fantasy. It was just fucking silly. Stupid characters, a stupid story, lame mythology. There was literally nothing noteworthy about it other than the amount of acting talent that wasted their time working on it. And it’s painfully clear the movie was edited to death and completely hopeless, as evidenced by the fact that it was dumped in February to no fanfare whatsoever with a marketing budget of about $28.50. It even managed to waste my It Girl of the Year, Alicia Vikander (as well as my It Girl of 2013, Antje Traue). It’s based on a book, and while I refuse to believe that book is as bad as this movie, I’ll sure as hell never find out.

MORE SUCKAGE & DISAPPOINTMENTS:  CINDERELLA, FANTASTIC FOUR, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, PITCH PERFECT 2, TERMINATOR: GENISYS

Well, that does it for 2015, friendos. To paraphrase Ben Affleck in The Town, I’m puttin’ this whole year in my rear view. Many thanks for reading. I do appreciate it, and as always, if you made it all the way to the end, you’re a good person and you really love movies, so I love you. I spend a loooooong time staring at my computer screen putting this post together every year, and the goal is always to make it equal parts entertaining and informative. If you check out just one of the above movies based on my blabberings, I consider this a successful endeavor. Should Hollywood hold to trend with its typically high quality even-numbered years, 2016 should be a big improvement in general quality. For my geek flicks, I think Captain America: Civil War has the potential to be Marvel’s best movie yet (their first Best Picture contender maybe?), Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad look legit, we just got an awesome R-rated comic book movie in Deadpool, and we’ll get our first Star Wars spinoff in Rogue One, which should be cool as hell. But what I’m most looking forward to is being surprised, and I think that’s a strong possibility. Let’s see what happens…

Big Short fuck off

Entourage Neeson finger

Just kidding! Let’s play!

Ant-Man dog 1Ant-man dog 2Ant-Man dog 3

Ant-Man call the Avengers
Ant-Man 1aAnt-Man 1bAnt-Man 1c
Ant-Man i fought an Avenger

I had to:

 Avengers gonna say this once 1Avengers gonna say this once 2Avengers Civil war logo gif

And now for a shit-ton of Avengers fun:

Avengers overhead team 1Avengers overhead team 2Avengers overhead team 3

Avengers frickin lazers
Frickin lazer beams!

Avengers hammer worthy 1Avengers hammer worthy 2

LOLtastic:Avengers Vision hammer 1Avengers Vision hammer 2Avengers Vision hammer 3Avengers Vision hammer 4Avengers Vision hammer 5

Avengers naive 1Avengers naive 2

Soon…

Avengers ThanosAvengers Infinity Stones

Revenant art 1Leo Oscar
It’s TIIIIIIME!

Hardy Leo red carpetRevenant junket lol

MM Immortan

MM my name 1MM my name 3MM my name 2MM my name 4

MM that's my 2MM that's my 1MM that's my 3

This is fucking awesome digital art:

MM poster art

MM wheel whorshipMM guitar 2MM guitar
Awesome doesn’t get much awesomer.

MM storm 2

Miller Gibson HardyMM Hardy premiereWoo! Man crush alert!
Hardy, don’t hurt ’em!

The Cool Creepiness of It Follows:

It Follows - blanket It Follows - beach

JW Indom eat

Martian potatoes

Martian alternate posterMartian camera 1Martian camera 2

Martian botany accidentMartian Damon happyMartian Chastainmuah
I still love my Jessica.

Ex Machina, Dance Machine!

Danish Girl quote

Carol lips poster
Carol - Cate carCarol - Rooney carCarol likes the hat

H8 Jackson looks upH8 gunshotH8 laughing

Trumbo tub 1Trumbo tub 2Trumbo tub 3Trumbo tub 4Trumbo tub 5Trumbo tub 6

O, HAI Rebecca!

Straight Outta Stay PuftCompton - speak a little truth

A cool throwback to “The Last Goodbye”, 2014’s Best Original Song:
MM LG 1MM LG 2MM LG 3MM LG 4MM LG 5

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2 Responses to “The 2016 Biggie Awards (and My Top 10 & Bottom 5 of 2015)”


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