Film

COUNTDOWN AT THE MOVIES 2015

Before we start this countdown, let's state the obvious: there are some great films released this year that I haven't gotten around to seeing yet. Also, this list is ever-changing, so as 2015 becomes 2016 you can check back as we update it via Letterboxd. A big thank you to guest contributor and movie aficionado Sean S.


TOP 10 COUNTDOWN


Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

Screenplay by Roger Allers, based on the novel by Kahlil Gibran


'Love and Mercy' captures the musical talent of Brian Wilson

Directed by Bill Pohlad

There is no doubt that Brian Wilson is both extremely talented and an individual who is hurting deep down, as seen in Bill Pohlad's new film, Love & Mercy. The film succeeds at telling Brian Wilson's story, but at times the editing is very choppy. Paul Dano is convincing as a young Brain Wilson, however there are some issues with seeing John Cusack as a much older Brian Wilson. The songs are all there as they go through the surfer-boys phase, right up too Brain Wilson's Smile. Yes, Love & Mercy captures the musical talent of Brian Wilson and his personal issues, however it lacks the social background of the era.


'Mad Max: Fury Road' goes back to basics of classic action films

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), directed by George Miller and written by Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris


Inside Out

Let me cut to the chase and just post my first initial reactions to Disney Pixar's new film Inside Out: Man tears flowed out of me while I reminisced on childhood days. Inside Out is the best film I have seen so far this year, and it is possibly one of the best animated features I have seen in a while. It finds the long lost spirit and heart of Pixar.


Pitch Perfect 2

Universal Pictures 2015 - Directed by Elizabeth Banks and written by Kay Cannon

Oh no! It's the dread of having to review another sequel, which only means that it has to supersede its primary, the first one in the series. After the strong success of the first Pitch Perfect (2012), a sequel was bound to happen in the hopes to answer the fan's question, "whatever happened to The Bellas?" Luckily, Pitch Perfect 2 retains its core to showcase great musical numbers set to choreography, a great cast ensemble who make up The Bellas, and the witty banter of John and Gail. This film is a directorial debut for Elizabeth Banks.


'Dark Places': Great cast, shallow style

Dark Places, adapted for the screen and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, is Hollywood's latest take on the novels of writer Gillian Flynn.


'Cop Car': One of the best dark comedies of the year

Cop Car, directed by Jon Watts, had to be one of the best films screened at Fantasia this summer. Being a fan of dark comedies (a genre Fantasia serves up in abundance) and Joel and Ethan Coen, Cop Car resonated well with me. Let me take a moment to gush over what a fan I am of star Kevin Bacon, who is quite a reserved and humble individual. This is one of Mr. Bacon's darker roles, but he eases in and out of the bad-sheriff good-sheriff routine in a matter of seconds.


'Ava's Possessions': What happened last night?

There have been many films in the horror genre over the years that deal with demonic possession and how the characters came be to possessed (The Exorcist, The Exorcism of Emily Rose), but never the aftermath of the ordeal, or how the victim's life and the lives of those around them are affected. With Ava's Possessions, screenwriter and director Jordan Galland tries to show how a character must answer for her actions in the aftermath of her possession. This dark comedy works the same techniques as most exorcism movies, but subverts the genre by adding humour and answering the unexplainable.


'She Who Must Burn': The controversies of film realism

Disclaimer: The beliefs expressed in the film She Who Must Burn do not reflect the writer's own views, nor those of CJLO 1690AM, CJLO's editorial board, our partners and affiliates.

 


Ant Man: The Superhero of Comedies

Sadly when the time came to catch the premiere of Ant-Man at Fantasia, I had to miss out because of work. Thursday night was the official film premiere and the theatre was packed for the first showing, that was presented in a 3D Dolby Atmos theatre. The crowd was gleamed with excitement as they traded Marvel factoids that made me wish I brought the Marvel Encyclopedia from my coffee table. Everyone including myself is asking the question will the comedic actor of the Judd Apatow franchise of films pull it off. All eyes were on Paul Rudd to make everyone forget Seth Rogen started in The Green Hornet.


'Tangerine': An artificial Christmas in July

Sean Baker's Tangerine is an independent film shot entirely on three separate iPhone 5 cameras. It follows the lives of various communities living in Los Angeles for 24 hours on Christmas Eve. The only glimpse of artificial nature in this film is the idea of Christmas in LA, which is a reoccurring theme. There are strong character investments as they go about their daily lives that can be compared to an entertaining train wreck of a Jerry Springer or Maury Povich episode. Set to a score that sounds as if Tangerine Dream were placed in a blender with Skrillex.


What to look forward to at this year's Fantasia Film Festival

Last year was my first Fantasia film festival, and this year I feel honoured to be covering the festival for CJLO. The Festival boasts 135 feature films and 300 short films, from a total of 36 different countries. It can take an entire day to read through every synopsis, as well screen the trailers. The Fantasia Film festival has something to offer every cinephile from July 14- August 4.


Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, The Man Behind the Music

I am not the biggest Nirvana fan but Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck hits all the right notes, and takes you on an emotional roller coaster. The perfect documentary must inform, entertain, enlighten and possibly move the audience. The documentary is the most authentic and intimate portrait of not only the band Nirvana, but also the frontman Kurt Cobain: it is one of the best films of the year so far.


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