Wow here we go Top 10. I assume, if you know me, you were expecting to see the above image. Well here I am to not surprise you at all. But surprise! It’s not #1. If you have read any of my Oscar posts, I doubt you’ll be surprised by what shows up in the number 1 spot. But if you haven’t, then get ready for a fun surprise YEAH WOO YOOWOW
Directed by Justin Kurzel
Written by Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, Todd Louiso
This is definitely the best Macbeth I’ve seen (besides Kurosawa’s samurai version, Throne of Blood, and I haven’t seen the Roman Polanski version). Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard are absolutely perfect as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth (and they’re also two of my favorite actors). The fact that this movie didn’t even show up at the Oscars is mind-boggling. It’s total Oscar-bait. Oscar-nominated/winning actors, beautiful set-pieces, a classic story. It has it all. But apparently not enough for the Academy. But I have already made a post about the Academy and all of my issues with it so whatever. This movie is amazing.
9. Ex Machina
Directed by Alex Garland
Written by Alex Garland
Every year it seems like we get a high-concept sic fi epic. We’ve had some amazing ones in the past, like Minority Report. We’ve had some decent ones, like I, Robot. We’ve had the greatest one ever, Blade Runner (The Final Cut, obviously). But this is not an epic. There is a lot of implied scope, but the only real scope on display here is the scope of the potential of the ideas presented in the movie. It’s about a scientist who is invited to this highly-acclaimed, but reclusive, scientist’s bungalow where he is shown these highly lifelike androids. One, in particular, is almost indistinguishable from another person. That’s what makes this movie SO good. It deals with concepts that I am very specifically interested in (the nature of artificial intelligence, what constitutes a human mind, etc.) so I was all over this movie.
8. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Written by Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt
In the immortal words of Bill Murray, “If they should bar wars, please let these Star Wars… stay.”
I agree. Although I hate the idea of the world being saturated with Star Wars films, I think the road we’re currently headed down is a good road. I like the idea of getting “mid-qual” spin-offs. I love the animated TV series. The comics and books are mostly solid. As long as we keep the actual, core movies as sets of trilogies, we will be okay.
Anyway, this movie was fantastic. The best Star Wars is Empire. The 2nd best is New Hope. But then, every day I can’t decide if I like Return or this one more. It’s probably Return, but it’s DAMN close. Some people complain that this movie is too much of a point-for-point reproduction of the plot of A New Hope, and I agree, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. It’s using a movie to both end the old story and start a new one. And I loved (almost) every second of it. I love Star Wars guys.
I really love Star Wars.
Directed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson
Written by Charlie Kaufman
Anomalisa is hard to explain but I will try to. It’s basically about a famous author who is a misanthrope. He finally meets a woman who stands out in a sea of identical faces (literally, and they’re all voiced by Tom Noonan) and spends a night with her. That’s not really a spoiler, because you can’t really spoil this movie. It’s more of a movie about identity and philosophy and stuff. It’s a great movie that sticks in your head for a LONG time after.
Directed by Christian Petzold
Written by Christian Petzold and Harun Farocki
Phoenix is about a woman who survives the holocaust only to find that her husband might have turned her into the nazis in the first place. Now that she’s back, she finds out that he thinks she’s dead and is trying to get her estate. She has facial reconstruction surgery and no looker appears the same as she did before, so she works with him because, to him, she looks enough like her that she could claim her estate. It’s a dark, sad movie. It’s very upsetting, and features some of the best performances of the year. Being the greatest World War II drama in the year that Son of Saul came out is tough. I loved them both, but this movie’s intricate plot and highly emotional story resonate more, at least with me.
Directed by Tom McCarthy
Written by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
Spotlight won Best Picture and boy did it deserve that. I believe wholeheartedly that this is the most important movie of the year. It’s actually one of the most important movies in a while, because it tackles a big, awful, highly important issue. The abuse of children by priests of the Catholic Church is so much more widespread than people say, or want to think. It affects people in every pocket of the United States. It affects the rich and the poor. And all the church does is say they’re trying to solve it and instead just moving their priests around. For whatever reason, the U.S. government won’t do anything about it. So it’s up to journalists like those working for Spotlight in Boston to show people that this is serious and widespread. This movie serves not only as an excellent dramatization of the months and more spent writing the article, but as a megaphone for the article in a slightly more modern context. This movie shows that, in the 14 or so years since the article was released, very little has changed. This movie is a damning reminder and a call to action. And it is, again, the most important film of the year.
4. Crimson Peak
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins
Okay, so I’m going to shill for my blog here for a minute. Which should be fine because this is my blog. So it’s barely shilling.
This is my 31 Days of Horror post on Crimson Peak, which shares my FULL thoughts and feelings about what I consider to be a masterpiece.
TL;DR: Don’t go into it expecting to jump and be spooked. It’s a beautiful, tragic, gothic romance. Which is a kind of horror, but it is not, strictly-speaking, a horror movie. It’s a master-class of set design and costume design. It’s an amazing story. Fantastically-acted. It’s one of del Toro’s best (although almost all of his movies are his best).
3. It Follows
Directed by David Robert Mitchell
Written by David Robert Mitchell
I love that every year we’re getting a new crop of horror movies that are actually good. Some people call them “throwbacks,” but I think that’s almost a dirty word. A throwback is something that recreates the past. People use this word as a compliment for the movie, but I think that’s misguided. This movie (and You’re Next and The Babadook) is not a recreation of old, great horror movies. This is a movie that understands what made those old movies great, and applies those concepts to a modern film with modern ideas. This movie is very much new horror. It just isn’t awful, like so much new horror is (and was, let’s not forget horror has always been saturated with terrible movies). So to call the movie a throwback is almost like calling it a knock-off. It doesn’t recreate the old movies. It just gets them.
2. The Hateful Eight
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Written by Quentin Tarantino
The Hateful Eight almost didn’t happen, because someone who had the script leaked it to the public. Tarantino was rightfully furious, and decided, for a moment, not to make the movie. I am elated that he did, because it was close to perfect. I got a chance to see it in 70mm on a wide format screen with beautiful audio and a full service waiting staff. I know. I’m pretty fancy. The only better experience would be to have been the only person in the theater.
The movie itself is so, so good. It’s considered a western, but it’s not really a traditional western. It’s definitely more of a murder mystery type of movie. Not necessarily, but it’s definitely more like Reservoir Dogs than Django Unchained. And that’s why I like it so much. When I heard Tarantino was making another western, I was the slightest bit less-than-thrilled. Not because I hate westerns (I love westerns) or hated Django (I love Django) but because I love how Tarantino’s movies are all really distinct from one another (besides, obviously, Kill Bill 1 and 2). But once I saw the trailer, I was completely reassured, and VERY excited. And I was thoroughly, beyond satisfied with the end result.
Okay. Here we are. The moment everyone has been waiting for. Are you guys ready? I know I am. I was born in readiness. Molded by it.
Here we go
WHO WILL RIDE WITH ME ETERNAL
ON THE HIGHWAYS OF VALHALLA?!
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
Directed by George Miller
Written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris
WE RIDE ETERNAL SHINY AND CHROME
WITNESS ME BROTHERS
Mad Max: Fury Road is the latest installment of the Mad Max franch-I AM THE SCALES OF JUSTICE, CONDUCTOR OF THE CHOIR OF DEATH
MAD MAX FURY ROAD IS ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES I HAVE EVER SEEN. THE LOVE I HAVE FOR THE ROAD WARRIOR IS IMMEASURABLE, AND FURY ROAD IS EVEN BETTER. THIS MOVIE HAS IT ALL. PRACTICAL EFFECTS. DISGUSTING MAKE-UP. REAL STUNTS. MAD MAX. STRONG, AMAZING WOMEN. A GIANT TRUCK MADE OF AMPS. A FLAMETHROWER GUITAR. A GREAT STORY. AND SOME OF THE BEST EDITING IN ACTION MOVIE HISTORY.
IT ALSO HAS SIX OSCARS.
IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT, YOU ARE STUPID.
Okay guys that’s it for this year later bye have a good day.
OH also, legal availability for the movies listed:
Phoenix – Netflix (USA), DVD, Blu Ray, and VOD
Macbeth – Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico), DVD, Blu Ray, and VOD
Ex Machina – Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix (Canada), DVD, Blu Ray, and VOD
It Follows – Netflix (Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, New Zealand), DVD, Blu Ray, and VOD
Mad Max: Fury Road – Netflix (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), DVD, Blu Ray, and VOD
Spotlight – DVD, Blu Ray, and VOD
Crimson Peak – DVD, Blu Ray, and VOD
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens – DVD, Blu Ray, and VOD
Anomalisa – DVD, Blu Ray, and VOD
The Hateful Eight – DVD, Blu Ray, and VOD