Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Top 50 Movies of 2015: Part I (#50-41)

It's that time of the year, folks! Time for me to take time out of my busy schedule (...just don't) to put together my awesome yearly countdown lists filled with wonderful movies for the whole family!...assuming your family consists of nothing but adults and really mature children you don't mind plopping down in front of movies filed with violence, drugs, and people making sex on each other.

So, now that I've posted my top 10 male and female performances lists, I think I will start with my favorite movies list. Now, I have been doing top 25s for several years now, but since I'm all about spitting in tradition's face and calling it naughty words like dung-head or poopyface (I generally like to stick with insults revolving around poo), I decided, why not mix it up? Let's do a top 50. Aaaaand then I started writing. And writing. And writing. And more writing. And then I realized I was not even halfway through and that it's impossible for me to write a top 50 list and make it interesting all in one chunk. So I'll be doing the lazy routine of breaking this beast into parts, posting them fairly regularly over the coming weeks.

So, before I bore my audience to death, I present to you the first chunk. A lovely chunk of 10 movies that I feel need to be mentioned, and you might want to consider looking into watching (assuming you haven't already). Heeeeere we go:

50. Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Directed by David Zellner

Rinko Kikuchi gives a lovable performance as the titular Kumiko, whose obsession with the film Fargo leads her on a journey to the United States to hunt for a suitcase buried in the snow in the film. Funny, sweet and sad, this movie's premise alone is enough to make most film lovers enjoy it.

49. Black Sea
Directed by Kevin MacDonald

Anchored by a great performance by Jude Law (with strong support from the entire cast, most notably Ben Mendelsohn), this is a tense, albeit predictable, thriller that keeps things moving at a good pace, but never feels rushed. By no means a masterpiece, but a very good example of effective filmmaking.

48. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

One of the most emotionally satisfying movies of the year, this is one of those rare coming of age movies that I can point to and say I actually enjoyed. With good performances and the right blend of comedy and drama, the are few complaints to,be made about this film.

47. The Revenant
Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

One of the best-looking movies of the year, and yet another showcase of Tom Hardy's ability to steal the show, this movie may be far from Inarritu's best, but still stands as a strong addition to his filmography. Also, this movie helps in the argument that Emmanuel Lubezski is the best cinematographer in the business.

46. Goodnight Mommy
Directed by Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala

Though I'd be hard-pressed to call this a particularly "scary" movie, this is the kind of horror film that gets under your skin and gives you the creeps in some of the most subtle ways possible. Susanne Wuest gives a great performance (barely missing out on my top 10 Female performances list), with the Schwarz twins holding their own admirably. The screenplay can be a bit dodgy at times, but there is no doubt this is among the better horror movies in recent memory.

45. Jurassic World
Directed by Colin Trevorrow

Finally, after over 20 years, another Jurassic Park movie that I actually can call a good movie. A nostalgic, fan-pandering dinofest to the max, this movie knows when to call back classic moments, and when to throw in new ideas. With few upgrades to the overall look of the original (why tinker with perfection?), this is an awesome, fun ride from beginning to end. It won't blow your mind, but it is hard not to enjoy.

44. Tangerine
Directed by Sean S. Baker

Definitely one of the most surprisingly funny movies out there, it's also one of the most difficult to recommend to the majority of people. Tackling tricky issues in a non-confrontational, non-preachy sort of way, this movie is vibrant, hilarious, and totally wild from beginning to end. I was very pleased.

43. Spring
Directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

A somewhat horror-themed romance (done much in the thematic style of Let The Right One In) that takes great risks in its subdued execution but reaps the rewards in the overall effectiveness of the result. Don't be fooled going into this, it is not a horror movie (I feel it is unjustly criticized by some for that misconception and false-advertising), but rather an affective love story with a hint of blood. And no, it's not like Twilight. Blech.

42. Beasts Of No Nation
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga

Gritty, haunting, and oh-so depressing, there is something both morbidly fascinating and equally horrifying about watching children being orphaned and plucked from their homes and morphed into killing machines. What's equally as intriguing, is seeing a character like Elba's Commandant be painted as not only a terrifying force of depravity, but a sympathetic character with great depth. It's hard not to be impressed by what this movie accomplished.

41. Turbo Kid
Directed by Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell & Yoann-Karl Whissell

Just based on the name alone, I assumed right out the gate that I would dislike this movie. "Turbo"? Isn't that that dumb snail movie? "Kid"? Bleh, that's even worse. But much to my surprise, this wasn't some hokey kid's action movie. This is an insanely fun and gory post-apocalyptic action movie with just the right amount of humor and emotion to keep you interested in its unique characters and rooting for a happy ending. Pure, unadulterated fun, and definitely way better than its dumb title might imply.

Check back in a few days for parts 2, 3, 4, and 5. Don't give up on me!

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RIP Alan Rickman, you are already sorely missed.

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