Another year gone. I finished up with 286 films viewed in 2015, which is the lowest total for several years. A number of things contributed to the lower viewing count, including reading more, watching more TV, studying, and doing everyday life stuff like gardening. I don’t think this was the strongest year for film, but in saying that, I still struggled to select only 25 for my Favourite Films of 2015 list. Check out everything I watched in December after the jump.
Screenings: refers to anything I have seen at the cinema/on the big screen
New at home: encompasses new-to-me, first-time viewings on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD/Screeners
Rewatches: are [obviously] things I’ve seen before , which I’m viewing again at home
Best viewing: my favourite viewing in each of the categories listed above
Best viewing: The Revenant
The Night Before
The Big Short
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
New at Home
Best Viewing: Phoenix
A Very Murray Christmas
What Happened, Miss Simone?
5 Star Life
Beasts of No Nation
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Best viewing: Home Alone
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Magic Mike XXL
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Sleepless in Seattle
December was an absolutely cracking month at the cinema. Apart from Joy, which I did not care for at all, I liked everything I saw – in fact, it was some of 2015’s best. I won’t be reviewing The Revenant, purely because I don’t really know how to articulate what a powerful cinematic experience it was for me. I could hardly breathe. I felt like I had been flung into some unforgiving, icy hell, and I couldn’t escape. Many people have said the film looked good but lacked substance, but I have to disagree. For me it was about the most primal need, survival. Survival in the face of the harshest of landscapes, and the roughest of men. It’s brutal, relentless, and utterly spellbinding.
For someone who doesn’t really care for Star Wars, I had quite a good time with The Force Awakens. It’s a little too heavy with the nostalgia syrup, but the new characters are awesome. It will be interesting to see where they go with it, especially now that Rey has been well and truly established as the new lead of the franchise. Considering Disney are going to be milking this cow every year from here until eternity, I am glad that I am on board.
If you look at my at home viewing for December, you can clearly see when I switched from end-of-year catch up mode, to meh-I’m-on-holiday mode. I watched some trash, but it was for the most part enjoyable. Vacation is a terrible movie with about a 15% hit rate for jokes. Considering the purpose of the film is to make you laugh, this isn’t great. I have to give some props to Chris Hemsworth for the utterly riDIC[K]ulousness of his supporting role. He really went with it and it was rather amusing.
Beasts of No Nation is one of the few films I couldn’t quite make it through this year. It’s so grim, so awful. I know that’s the point, but I didn’t feel like the story developments were worth how crap the film made me feel while watching it. I also struggled with rewatching 2012, a film I watched with my Mum because that’s what she wanted to watch. You gotta do these things for the people you love.
Do I have any film goals for 2016? Try and write one review a week, maybe. I’ve really struggled with writing this year and have often thought about throwing in the towel. However, I love films and I when I get in the zone, I do enjoy writing about them. Gotta find a way to locate that zone more often. I also want to make more of an effort to watch older films. I think it was Matt Zoller Seitz who said something about watching more films that were made before you were born. That’s some smart thinking. Here’s to a great 2016!
2015 viewing totals
New at Home: 114
Jessica Jones – Season 1 (Episodes 7-10)
Hart of Dixie – Season 4
Due to wanting to watch as many films as I could before assembling my end of the year list, TV was put on the back burner in January. I did enjoy watching the final season of Hart of Dixie, a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. While we’re watching Jessica Jones at a painfully slow rate, I am very much enjoying it.
It’s been a really good year for TV, in particular for Netflix original content. Master of None, Jessica Jones, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, and Sense 8 are some of the best TV I watched in 2015. I also really enjoyed UnReal and Brooklyn 99.
There’s a bunch of stuff I want to watch, but next on the cards is Fargo Season 2, River, and catching back up with The Good Wife.