2015 Movies [In review] – Part 1

This list consists of all movies that I watched (and a few which I am going to watch in the last 2 weeks of 2015).

I put them in 4 categories: Animation, Action/ Extreme sport, Sci-Fi and Drama/ Romance/ History movies.

In this 1st list would be the first 3 categories, those block-busters with much marketing and what not.


Category: Animation

1. Inside out (8.5/10 IMDB)

After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.

I watched it on-board China Eastern to Shanghai and the movie totally kept me awake through the red-eye. It was stunning how our emotions were being illustrated through this cure animation.

You should read on how the plot was developed and started. It was amazing. Docter, Executive producer, first began developing Inside Out in 2009 after noticing changes in his daughter’s personality as she grew older. The film’s producers consulted numerous psychologists, including Dacher Keltner from the University of California, Berkeley, who helped revise the story emphasizing the neuropsychological findings that human emotions are mirrored in interpersonal relationships and can be significantly moderated by them.

2. Minions (6.5/10 IMDB)

Minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.

It was just cute watching these minions.

3. Shaun the Sheep (7.4/10 IMDB)

When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

I watched Shaun the Sheep BBC series ever since 2007. It always made me laugh out loud. Just really enjoyed it.

4. Peanuts movie (7.8/10 IMDB)

Snoopy embarks upon his greatest mission as he and his team take to the skies to pursue their arch-nemesis, while his best pal Charlie Brown begins his own epic quest back home to win the love of his life.

5. The good dinosaur (7.3/10 IMDB)

An epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

 

 


 

 

Category: Action/ Extreme sport

1. Furious 7 (7.3/10 IMDB)

Dominic and his crew thought they’d left the criminal mercenary life behind. They’d defeated international terrorist Owen Shaw and went their separate ways. But now, Shaw’s brother, Deckard Shaw, is out killing the crew one by one for revenge.

The ending tribute to Paul Walker when the song “See you again” being played was just flawless.

2. Everest (7.2/10 IMDB)

The movie based on a true story of the Everest expedition group. On the morning of May 10, 1996, climbers from two commercial expeditions start their final ascent toward the summit. Challenged by the harshest conditions imaginable, the teams must endure blistering winds and freezing temperatures in an epic battle to survive against nearly impossible odds.

I personally find that the movie was extraordinary. The suffering of the climbers (even when things are going according to plan), the thrilling moments (when circumstances throw the plan into chaos), the heartbreak and the small victories along the way all make me felt like I was right there on that mountain.

3. The walk (7.6/10 IMDB)

The movie based on a true story in 1974 when high-wire artist Philippe Petit recruited a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.

I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s acting and so I had a high expectation for this movie. And without a doubt, it was a visual masterpiece with a captivating story and superb acting. It was intense, thrilling, and emotional.

4. Spectre (007) (7.1/10 IMDB)

A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

This was not as good as Skyfall but I guess Daniel Craig has helped James Bond come back stronger. 

5. Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (7.5/10 IMDB)

Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

One can inevitably notice how Cruise has aged through the franchise’s almost two-decade history. He’s more tired-looking here, but you can’t question his commitment to the franchise. I was a high-tension action extravaganza worth watching.

6. Creed (8.5/10 IMDB)

The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

I am not quite a fan of boxing but I would still highly recommend this movie after watching it. The story was engrossing and well thought out.

7. The Martian (8.2/10 IMDB)

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

However, this movie was a little disappointing for me, Matt Damon’s acting was just so so. You might like it still.


 

Category: Sci-Fi

1. Kingsman (7.8/10 IMDB)

A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

The movie nailed it. Great lines: “Manners maketh man”, “A gentlemen is not born, a gentle(wo)men is someone who chooses to be one.”

2. Insurgent (6.3/10 IMDB)

It continues from Divergent in 2014. However, I feel it was a little draggy and so so.

Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side.

3. Avengers – Age of Ultron (7.6/10 IMDB)

When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it’s up to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

I only enjoyed the fight scenes and some amusing scenes just exactly from the trailer. Overall, it is still good as a franchise.

4. Tomorrowland (6.5/10 IMDB)

Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.

2/3 into the film it somehow got a bit boring.. but it got better. Could perhaps have been cut on a place or too, but the scenes were visually pleasing instead. Actually, the long trailer of this movie includes all the good scenes that one can expect. Well, George Clooney is still smoking hot!

5. Maze runner – The Scorch trials (6.5/10 IMDB)

After having escaped the Maze, the Gladers now face a new set of challenges on the open roads of a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.

The first part ended with an opening to the 2nd movie. However,  it was just in an overly familiar trope.

6. Jurassic World (7.1/10 IMDB)

A new theme park is built on the original site of Jurassic Park. Everything is going well until the park’s newest attraction–a genetically modified giant stealth killing machine–escapes containment and goes on a killing spree.

To sum up the positives in the best way possible: the parts that worked, really worked.

7. Ant-man (7.5/10 IMDB)

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

I would refer to Ant-Man as a beautiful mess, rather than a well-crafted superhero flick with profound depth and sense . There’s a lot of illogical nonsense that always nearly sends the film to wreckage, but there’s also so much of the fun side to make up for the eventual narrative shortcoming.

8. Terminator – Genisys (6.6/10 IMDB)

When John Connor, leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline.

This franchise is a typical example of the present days of Hollywood that insists in destroying great films from the past. However, it was a much anticipated movie during summer. It was still nice watching though.

9. The hunger games – Mockingjay 2 (7.0/10 IMDB)

As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.

It is a mixture of emotions and expectations. The movie delivers an ending that satisfies, but does not truly blow you away. There are plenty of tense action sequences, but not as many as expected. There are emotional scenes, but not quite as riveting as I hoped.

10. Star wars – The force awakens (8.9/10 IMDB)

30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat rises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of Heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.

I am going to watch it this evening but many spoiler alerts thus far. The best one from my friend: “Without doubt the worst and most disappointing film I have ever seen”.


 

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