Josh our Film Reviewer is Back!
For the past couple of years, Josh (The Movie Squabbler) has been a regular guest blogger on Roving Jay, providing his summary of the best and worst movies of the year. This year’s Oscars (the 88th Academy Awards) is slated for the end of Feburary, and it’s the highlight of the awards season.
I’ve gone Cold Turkey on what’s happening on Hollywood Screens now that I’ve relocated to Bodrum, so just as well Josh is back again to give us his take on the hits and misses from 2015.
Josh Reviews 2015
You’ve been waiting for this moment and here it is – my Obscure Gems and and Bottom 5 movies of 2015. One caveat is that i have not seen The Revenant yet which is the kind of movie I typically like. I have also done something different this year and moved away from rankings. On the worst movies, they all stink it’s hard to pick a least favourite.
OBSCURE GEMS OF 2015
’71 – A very underrated and underseen British thriller, this film follows a British soldier in 1971 Ireland who gets left behind during riots in Dublin and has to survive on the wrong side of a brewing civil unrest. Unbroken star Jack O’Connell plays the young soldier and he seems a little more at ease acting in his native accent than his previous attempts at an American one.
It’s a fairly relentless game of cat and mouse as he tries to survive the night. This movie could have been a decent little cult hit if it was marketed more effectively.
Brooklyn – Brooklyn is like a breath of fresh air, a simple love triangle written by novelist Nick Hornby that brims with emotion, humor, and a real conflict driving the story. It stars the brilliant Saoirse Ryan as a poor Irish immigrant who leaves her family in the 1950’s for America and settled in Brooklyn.
She is painfully shy and reserved and it’s not until she meets a charming and brash Italian boy who steals her heart that she really comes out of her shell. However family circumstances send her back to Ireland. While she is there, the tug of home starts pulling at her and it’s a force that she may or may not be able to resist.
WORST MOVIES OF 2015
Fantastic Four – If you’re wondering if Fantastic Four could be as bad as the reviews would suggest, well yes it is that bad. Despite a really good cast of Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell they are let down by a downright boring and slow script and cheap effects that are one step above a CW superhero show.
While there was a lot written about the director being a nightmare on and off set, the problem really seems to be a studio that wanted to launch a franchise but was afraid to spend money to make a good and exciting movie to back it up. I think after 2 failed attempts for this superhero group, we can move on to the 100 other comic book franchises currently on screen.
Chappie – Director Neil Blomkamp certainly came out of the gate strong with the excellent District 9 but after his mediocre follow-up Elysium and now the really bad Chappie, he seems to be moving in the wrong direction. Chappie is a true mess that shows what can go wrong when you give a director with limited writing skills too much autonomy.
It follows a robot made self-aware by engineer Dev Patel who is left in the care of 2 despicable lowlifes who want to use him to help them create havoc. There seem to be 2 or 3 totally different movies in here but sadly none of them are very good.
Tomorrowland – A Disney franchise movie starring George Clooney, directed by the amazing Brad Bird (Incredibles, Mission Impossible 4) and written by Damon Lindelof – what could go wrong? Apparently everything. This movie is a huge disappointment with Clooney terribly miscast as a cranky old man and a slow story that takes forever to get going but then very quickly veers to the ridiculous.
This movie was so bad that Sarah (Josh’s better 1/2), trapped on an airplane, turned it off after 15 minutes, and proceeded to watch Pitch Perfect 2 for the fourth time instead.
Unfinished Business – A horribly unfunny Vince Vaughn comedy, this is one everyone involved wants to erase from their resume. Vaughn plays a fast talking but down in his luck businessman with two sad employees trying to save his small business against the big Corp that got rid of him.
His partners in crime are Dave Franco playing a naive rube and Tom Wilkinson playing the older but not wiser team member. I really have nothing good to say so I’ll just stop.
Pixels – Adam Sandler strikes again with a mindless, lazy mid-summer family comedy. This time, however, he is helped by what could have been a fun if totally ridiculous premise – the Earth is being attacked by aliens posing as classic video games like Pacman and Donkey Kong.
Sandler is a Geek Squad ex-video game champ whose best friend is America’s unlikeliest president Kevin James. Josh Gad provides a few real laughs but the script is so lazy and most of the cast is just showing up for the paycheck. It’s probably better than the ridiculous looking Western Sandler put out on Netflix but that’s not exactly a compliment.
It’s just as well the U.S. is the land of free speech … or else Josh’s current employer (and my former employer) might be locking him up for slandering last year’s film slate.
Look out for Josh’s next round-up of his Top 10 movies of 2015.