Here’s my annual list of favorite films for the year. This year had a few surprises for me. I’m really pleased with 2015, and really excited about the films that I managed to see throughout the year. Let’s get started.
Not completely new
Not on my radar / simply haven’t seen /
couldn’t be bothered
For the first time in a while we have a year without a Pixar film. I tend to put all Pixar films on my anticipated film list every year, but The Good Dinosaur was delayed until 2015. That will mean two Pixar films will be on my list for 2015, however, and I’m very excited about that. I’m pretty excited about this year’s movies, however, with the end of The Hobbit capping the a year filled with Muppets, superheroes, robots and biblical epics.
Before you read into this list too much, there’s something you must know: I only see movies that I have an interest in seeing. I rarely find myself leaving my comfort zone, or randomly picking a movie from a list. I also don’t go see movies just because they are “critically acclaimed.” I don’t buy into that, as I don’t listen to critics. I sometimes see movies that are, but that’s because I do make good choices in what films I see.
I haven’t created a list of my anticipated films of the next year in some time. My friend Teddy posted one, though, and inspired me to do my own. (Reading through this list, you can get a pretty good idea of the type of movies I like, for the most part. You could probably predict what movies I’d see, year after year.)
10. Thor: The Dark World
Since Disney has delayed The Muppets 2 until March 2014, it made room in my top ten for Thor 2. Love the first one, and the sequel should continue that.
9. Monster’s University
Finally we have Pixar’s latest. This is a prequel to Monster’s Inc. It landed after a Dreamworks animated film on my list because of Cars 2. However, it made my list because of Toy Story 2 and 3. Brave was a definite step in the right direction for Pixar, and I’m hoping that they can bring back some of the magic of the Monster’s Inc. as they’re about to branch out again into more uncharted territory.
8. The Wolverine
This looks to be the Wolverine film we’ve been waiting for since Hugh Jackman first played him in 2000’s X-Men. Definitely looking forward to it.
7. The Lone Ranger
My brother and I used to watch the old TV series when we were really little. I can barely remember any of them, but there are pictures of us watching it. I’m a fan of the Pirates movies (more or less), and that gives me some trepidatious hope for this film. I just haven’t been a big fan of westerns.
The trailer for this totally caught me by surprise. Each time that I saw it attached to a film, the whole theater (kids and adults) was suddenly silent, just watching as it unfolded. I hope that, like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, Dreamworks has created another film that could just as easily have come from Pixar.
5. After Earth
A potential new science fiction world. Looking forward to entering it, to see if it brings anything new to the genre. I don’t expect it to land like a new Star Wars, Star Trek or even Avatar. But I’ve been surprised before. The successful launch of a new Sci-Fi franchise could be quite a twist!
4. Iron Man 3
Shane Black brings a fresh voice to the Iron Man films. (I’m probably the only person in the world that liked IM2 better than IM. I just thought that Iron Man fighting another large Iron Mech at the end of the first film was terribly anti-climactic and somehow reminded me of Ang Lee’s Hulk.) Looks like the ante has been raised for Iron Man.
3. Star Trek Into Darkness
I only saw the first one because of J.J. Abrams. I’ll be seeing this one because I actually enjoyed that one. As a fan of Star Wars, there was a time when I wouldn’t have been caught dead watching anything Star Trek. Abrams changed all of that. I haven’t watched any other Star Trek movies, and had only seen a few episodes of various Trek shows over the years, but J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek was the first time that I wanted to continue watching.
2. Man of Steel
Love what Christopher Nolan did with Batman, for the Dark Knight trilogy. Now that creative team has worked on a Superman film. The only difference is that Zack Snyder is directing. I’ve only seen one of his films before this one, though. The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. That showed me that he could be the person to capture heroic flight in a film unlike anything we’ve seen before. From the trailer, so far I think he’s nailed it. The shot of Superman flying outside the Earth, Superman makes some very subtle movements that make him feel more like he’s actively flying, rather than just rocketing around.
#. The Muppets 2 (Delayed to March 2014)
As a big fan of the Muppets franchise, and a huge fan of The Muppets, the mere thought of another film from some of the same creative team is very exciting. I thought they brought the Jim Henson magic back to the characters in a big way, and I look forward to seeing that continued on the big screen.
1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
If you know me, you know what a big fan of Tolkien I am. I’ve seen An Unexpected Journey three times (so far). I’ve been waiting for these films since the credits rolled on The Return of the King, and so far I haven’t been disappointed. Where the story goes from the end of the first one, it gets far more epic and enthralling. I have a feeling that, for much of the audience, like The Fellowship of the Ring, the first film in this trilogy will only be strengthened by the power of the next parts of the story. For better or for worse, this is all part of one single story, and that makes it impossible for me to judge the first part on its’ own, without having seen the rest.
Oz: The Great and Powerful
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Within the past couple of days, people have been slamming The Hobbit film. Not for the content, though, they seem to love that. They’ve been talking about the speed at which the film is displayed: 48 FPS. Until now, that hasn’t been possible to display at a movie theater. Until now, and for the last 90 years, all movies have been projected at a mere 24 frames per second.
It’s a leap forward in technology.
Something weird is happening, though. The negative reaction to the 48 FPS is because it is “too realistic.” But since when has that been a problem for people? People to want their video game graphics to be as realistic as possible. I’m one that doesn’t care what the game looks like, as long as it’s fun to play. I love a beautiful looking video game, but I think that the SNES and up is fine as far as graphics quality. But more often than not, people talk about how great the graphics look, and that’s what they’re looking for in a video game. People also buy the latest and greatest in HD TVs, Blu-ray Discs, and even Apple is touting the graphical display capabilities of the new iPad (3rd Generation).
And when our movies look better, we’re suddenly against it?
“Indeed, the footage was vivid, with grass blades, facial lines and soaring mountains appearing luminous and pronounced. The actors looked almost touchable, as if they were performing live on stage.” (CBS)
That sounds FANTASTIC to me. I want to see that. That sounds magical. That sounds like what movies should be. Completely immersive.
I just read a blog on Cape Town Community called Please Don’t Spoil My Movies! which I found to be something that I agreed with wholly. When it comes to movies that I want to see, I don’t want to know what is going to happen. If I see a trailer, that’s fine, but knowing anything beyond what the studio wants to show is a rarity for me.
It’s also for this reason that I don’t read reviews. I think most critics are ridiculous, and I have yet to find a single one that I agree with all the time (based on looking at scores after I’ve seen a movie). As I haven’t found a critic whose reviews match my own point of view 100% of the time, or even 50% of the time, how can I trust any critic to really get how I’ll feel about any movie. They might hate a movie that I’ll love, or love a movie that I’ll hate. Critics hold no sway over my perspective, for this reason, and I’ve found that I love some movies that even the critical mass has hated. If I had listened to them, I wouldn’t have found the movie.