It has been a few months since the last time that I published something. After a long fall semester of college and shunning my computer during winter break, I have returned to garner criticisms for my criticisms. While my previous articles were not widely read, my hope is that I can start something up from this and at least entertain readers. It may be difficult to accomplish this feat with a busy collegiate athlete schedule and starting off with little to no followers, however, I am up for the challenge. For those of you who enjoy my work, please pass it along to others who you think will enjoy it as well. For those who hate what I say or write, still pass it along to others who will join you in mocking my opinions. Thank you for all who read my work regardless of what you agree or disagree with.
So, the question is how to reboot this page. To start, I am going to recap my favorite movies of 2015. This may be a little late because the middle of January is already here, but better late than never (plus there is not much to review that is new in theaters that I have seen). This recap will be a series of articles where I review my top five favorite movies that came out in 2015. As part of this introduction, I will write about my honorable mentions that missed the cut. A question that one might wonder is why I am only doing five movies? The answer is simple: I am a college student with limited funds and time, I cannot see every movie that is released. However, I did see a good amount of movies, whether in theaters, on DVD, or from my laptop, in order to be able to have enough knowledge to make a list of quality movies. I wish that I could do a full list of ten, however, there would be mediocre movies that would round out the ten which would not be right.
Before I reveal my two honorable mentions, I am going to add movies from 2015 that I have not yet seen that could have been on this list. The Revenant will not be included in this because it was not released in theaters near me until January 8th of the New Year. Three movies that I still want to watch that I believe could have been in the discussion for the list are as follows: Straight Outta Compton, Spotlight, and Bridge of Spies. Straight Outta Compton was a movie I was not expected to be excited for until I saw the first trailer for it. After that, I was eager to try to make it out to see it in theaters. Unfortunately I not only missed it in the standard theaters, but in the $2 theater that plays movies in the time of movie limbo where it is out of regular theaters but not out on DVD quite yet. I should be catching up on that movie not too long from now. Meanwhile, Spotlight never came to a theater close to where I live and I am hoping that it will pop up in the $2 theater shortly. This movie could easily be part of my top five because of the cast that is in it. Finally, there is Bridge of Spies that I know will be coming to the cheaper theater in a month or so. Any Tom Hanks movie has the potential to be great, which explains why it is part of this list. There are other movies that have received positive reviews that I have not yet watched, but these are the three that I believe would have made my decision on this list a bit tougher.
I have only selected two honorable mentions since I wanted to keep this introduction article shorter in length. When it comes to the judging criteria for these movies, it came down to what I enjoyed the most while watching. Although one movie may be “better” from a film student standpoint, that is not the main criteria for myself. To be honest, I do watch movies with a critic’s mentality where I pay close attention to film details rather than shutting my mind off. These are simply my opinions on the movies, not a statement of how others should feel about this movie.
When initially contemplating this list, I thought that The Martian would definitely make it into the top five. This movie was thoroughly entertaining from start to finish with outstanding acting from all of the cast. Matt Damon earned his Golden Globe (albeit for comedy) with his performance as an astronaut who is left stranded on Mars. Damon portrays Mark Watney with perfect balance between the humor and drama that would be felt by a man experiencing those circumstances. Jeff Daniels surprised me with how well he was in a role where he had to be blunt, serious, and logical. Ridley Scott directed a masterpiece of a film that made Mars feel like a place where one could actually inhabit.
The reason why this movie did fall into the honorable mention slot is because it felt too close to Cast Away for me to elevate it above the other five. Now that is not me saying that I believe The Martian is simply Cast Away in space that is me nitpicking in an attempt to finish my list. The worst part about this movie was the fact that some people walked in late and disturbed the theater with their noise for a few minutes. If you have not seen this movie yet, I highly recommend purchasing it on DVD because it will be a movie that you can watch multiple times.
Sicario was another tough movie for me to leave off of my list because I was encased in the movie while I watched it. It kept me excited throughout the entire movie, even when little to nothing was happening in some scenes. Sicario was one of those movies that told a simple story that was elevated by great direction and excellent acting. Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin provide great performers in support of the true star of the movie, Benicio del Toro. Those three meshed extremely well together while portraying three very different characters. Blunt is able to show the audience her character’s confliction via facial expressions and body language. Benicio del Toro steals the best performance with ease. His character is the most interesting and complex character in the entire movie, even if it does not appear that way. I wish I could have seen this movie in theaters.
Why does Sicario miss the list? When comparing it to the ones that made the top five, there were more levels of emotions hit while watching those movies while this one was a constant feeling of rush/thrill. That does not mean that this makes Sicario flawed in anyway, but I enjoy movies that put me through an emotional or intellectual journey.