FILM: The Year In Review

December 30, 2015

2015 was the year I finally decided to give the film industry a go, and boy am I glad I did. Though my new years revolutions for the past two years have centered on actually watching movies, this year is the first time I can actually say I completed my target of 25 new films in 365 days, and I'm happy about that. Here's the films that have shaped my 2015:
Kicking January off with a bang, I sat down to watch The Theory Of Everything, the Stephen Hawking biopic based on his life and that of his wife Jane, and I'm so glad I did. Exiting the cinema with tears in my eyes, it was one of the first films I saw this year that I felt had a profound effect on me and my outlook on life, and as I currently read the book that the movie is based upon, I feel those memories resurfacing as four girls sat in a busy cinema screen, completely mesmerised at what we were seeing unfold. In January I also saw Unbroken, based upon the true life adventures of Louis Zamperini, the Olympic runner who was captured by the Japanese in World War Two and forced to endure prisoner of war camp life after his plane crashed into Japanese waters. When we weren't jumping out of our seats due to scary as hell sharks, we were enthralled by the atrocious ways real men and women were treated just because there was a war raging on.

February came and so did the giant megaseller that was the Fifty Shades Of Grey movie, which was just how I expected it to be, a film version of a fan fiction, and based on that, I really enjoyed it. Men, Women and Children soon became the weirdest film I'd seen this year, as it slammed social media, the one thing that was making it popular, and its constant flashbacks to space were unnecessary but I suppose it's a film I did not forget in a hurry, maybe because I spent £10 for the luxury of being confused and laughing at something rather than with it.

With May came Pitch Perfect 2 and Unfriended, two completely different films that both made me laugh hysterically - I'd even come close to saying that the second Pitch Perfect film was much better than the first - and Unfriended was so bad it was good, I mean who doesn't want to see a teenage boy putting his hand into a blender and filming it on Skype? 

In June I saw Spy, the Melissa McCarthy comedy to cheer me up after sitting probably one of the hardest A Level exams I had to take, and the laugh a minute jokes really made me smile as I sat in a practically empty cinema screen on one of the hottest days of the summer.

During one of the most hectic months of the year, aka August, me and my friends slotted in a trip to our local Vue to see the opening of John Green's Paper Towns, which although good, was a little boring and felt as though it did not have a proper ending. Me, Earl and The Dying Girl on the other hand was the film I expected Paper Towns to be, it was funny, well paced, indie whilst also being so uber mainstream, aimed at teenagers but then at the same time universally likeable. The Man From U.N.C.L.E was great if a little confusing but the fashions were gorgeous and once the film was explained to me, it suddenly seemed a hell of a lot better (thanks Laura).

Starting off Autumn, we popped into see Maze Runner: The Scorch Trails, which was an odd choice bearing in mind I fell asleep in the first film of the trilogy. This one on the other hand kept me on the edge of my seat as we hoped that Thomas and the Gladers wouldn't be killed by the evil bad girls, even though we knew somebody had to survive for them to make another film. Oh well. No Escape provided me with the tensest film I have seen in my life as I hoped that the Dwyer family would make it out of Asia where they were being hunted down simply for being foreigners, whilst also making me think because though this was fictional, it could so easily be real in this heated international climate.
In October I managed to see The Intern alongside a KFC, as a film I really enjoyed it and didn't even consider the parallels to The Devil Wears Prada until a friend mentioned it as we were leaving, the whole scenario is some place that I want to get to in the coming years so it really struck a chord with me. Pan, the recreation of the classic Peter Pan story, made me smile as I sat in a 12 seat cinema screen, but I can't remember a lot of it as I fell over in front of the whole screen on the way back to my seat and I'm still dying from the embarrassment.. 

November brought what should have been the film of the year, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, but I over hyped it and for that, I am so so mad at myself. Looking back on it, it was a very good film but the exhaustion of the characters in some ways exhausted the audience and that was something I noticed very early on into the film. Yet as an ending to a very long series, it was worth seeing and I will see it again and again. Crimson Peak scared the hell out of me, as did everybody's screaming and repeating of the word FUCK every five minutes when the tension rose. The costumes were God damn beautiful and it totally made me want to see more horrors, as this was what I would call proper horror rather than the slapstick comedy most horrors have turned out to be. 

I rounded off 2015 with a film marathon like no other, watching a record five films in a fortnight. December brought Bridge Of Spies, the Steven Spielberg directed blockbuster about the Cold War, in which Tom Hanks negotiates the safe return of an American spy in return for a Soviet, a film that I found both exciting and informative, so much so that I had to go home and read up about the true story on Wikipedia. I saw an early showing of Joy, the newest Jennifer Lawrence film about Joy Mangano, the lady who invented the Miracle Mop, and I was so affected by it I had to watch it again (there will be a full length review about this as I can't get it out of my head) whilst also managing to see Room, the Brie Larson indie about a girl who was kidnapped and forced to bring up a son in her confinement - the only place that her son thinks exists. 

Non 2015 releases I watched for the first time this year include Taken In Broad Daylight, a fast paced documentry style movie that details the life of a teenage girl who was kidnapped from a shopping centre and subsequently attacked until she was found by police due to intelligent clues left for the authorities to find. I also saw The To Do List, a cringe filled film about sex which I really enjoyed because of how cringe and cheese based it was, Silver Linings Playbook for the simple reason that I wanted to see what all the fuss was about regarding Jennifer Lawrence's acting skills and The Social Network, a movie based on the creation of Facebook which I found both interesting and inspiring as it shows that something that's so involved in everybody's life is can come from frankly anybody. 

Just as a warning, here are the films I saw in 2015 that I never, ever wish to see again: Serena, the Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper leading drama about a family who cut down trees for a living and want to murder each other, and The Divergent Series: Insurgent, the incredibly disappointing second film in the Divergent trilogy, where Katniss, sorry Tris tries to defeat yet another evil government but still can't do it - actually she might have been able to do it but as I couldn't bear to sit through to the end, who knows? 

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1 comment

  1. This is such a great post! I always aim to watch new films but with the ever-increasing price of cinema tickets it just never seems to happen. I think my goal for next year might be one new film a month, definitely starting with Joy as I really like the look of it. I also did not know that Room had been made into a film!? I read the book ages ago but I might have to give that a watch.

    Megan | Lazy Thoughts


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