Favorite Films of 2015

There are a lot of movies I have not seen.  So bear that in mind.  If you are wondering why the Room is not on this list?  It is cause I have not seen it.

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
    Biggest surprise of this year for me.  When first announced, I thought there was no way this could work.  It would be a lesser sequel to a franchise that puttered out over 20 years ago.  And yet, George Miller came back to his franchise and blew the audience away.  The film is insane with it’s visuals.  It’s characters are minimal yet compelling.  it has a positive message.  and it is amazingly re-watchable.
  2.  Selma
    Ava DuVernay has given us a powerful gut punch of history.  The performances are excellent and the film pierces the heart.
  3. Creed
    Like Fury Road, this one totally surprised me.  It was the smartest way to continue the franchise with great performances from Jordan and Stallone.  The story is compelling and inspiring.
  4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    Introducing lovable new characters, bringing back beloved heroes and putting the prequels to the best use possible…I greatly enjoyed this.
  5. What We Do In Shadows
    Thanks, New Zealand.  This mock documentary follows four Vampire Flat mates and manages to mine laughs from even the most awful parts of vampire lore.  Very funny film.
  6. Maggie
    A small and personal zombie film with one of Schwarzenegger’s strongest performances.
  7. Jupiter Ascending
    A much maligned film, it is like watching a live action Anime.  it gets goofy at times, but like most Wachowski Sibling films visually stunning.
  8. Mr. Holmes
    A typically thoughtful performance from Ian McKellan and a movie that is comfortable moving at a slower pace.  Having a compelling story allows them to take there time without becoming boring.
  9. Ant-Man
    This was such a fun change of pace after the more grim Age of Ultron.  It had a strong and likable cast.
  10. Krampus
    This one was just a light fun holiday scare movie that I enjoyed immensely.

Ava DuVernay Will Not Direct the Black Panther

I was hoping this one would come to be.  I really thought DuVernay’s Selma and felt that it would be good to bring some of that passion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

ava_duvernay
AP Images

In a talk with Essence Magazine, she confirmed she was not going to direct.  Explaining that why she loved the people involved, she could not come to a place of agreement with Marvel.  This is certainly not the first time Marvel and a Director could not find a point where their visions aligned enough make things work.

A lot of this comes down to just how Avengers-centric the Marvel Cinematic Universe is.  There is seeming to be less and less room for specific visions within the films themselves.  Already Civil War looks less like a Captain America film and more like a mid season replacement for the regular Avengers.

Marvel Studios needs to start looking to expand their product.   Movies that are not connected to the Avengers and movies that might even be outside their theatrical universe. Warner Brothers has shifted films based on Vertigo comics to New Line.  Marvel needs to start exploring movies that are based in some of their more independent books.

As it stands, their vision and commitment to the Avengers franchise is becoming to restrictive to allow them to work with directors uncomfortable with making a film that serves the bigger puzzle.

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