January 22, 2017

Tag Archives: TOP 10

The Best of 2015

2015 was a very interesting year, both cinematically and personally. On the movie front, which is what you all care about, we had plenty of quality, though more than likely the year will be remembered for Star Wars: The Force Awakens dominating the landscape. Of course, I’m hardly complaining, considering how much I loved the flick, but there were plenty of other noteworthy films that hit during the year as well. As such, with today being the end of 2015, it’s time for my annual tribute piece, which will be more than just a simple top ten list…much more. You’ll see what I mean shortly, but I want to try to pay tribute to the entirety of what made the year so special. The past 365 days had tons to offer, and I’ll attempt to reflect that in this piece. Then, it’ll be on to 2016 and a whole new year of films, in addition to new predictions to kick off the year tomorrow…
What you’ll see below is a look at what I liked best in 2015, taken from the 320 or so films that I saw. Instead of simply doing a top ten, I’ve got a top 30 to show you a wider range of my favorites. Also here is my personal awards for the year, complete with some runner ups. This will include some of the overlooked/underrated things that I cited yesterday, but plenty of other things as well. It’s a fairly comprehensive look at what I found superior in 2015. I avoided talking about what I didn’t like, focusing instead on the positive. Take a look, enjoy, and here’s to the year that was!

Here’s my top 30 for 2015:
30. Beasts of No Nation
29. 45 Years
28. Racing Extinction
27. Carol
26. Magic Mike XXL
25. Slow West
24. Time Out of Mind
23. Mistress America
22. The Stanford Prison Experiement
21. Heaven Knows What
20. Inside Out
19. Trumbo
18. Where to Invade Next
17. Sicario
16. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
15. Room
14. The Hateful Eight
13. Grandma
12. Sleeping with Other People
11. The End of the Tour
10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
9. Youth
8. It Follows
7. Creed
6. The Martian
5. 5 to 7
4. Trainwreck
3. Steve Jobs
2. Anomalisa
1. Spotlight

And now, my personal awards for the year that was 2015:
Best Picture: Spotlight (runner up: Anomalisa and Steve Jobs)
Best Director: Ridley Scott for The Martian (runner up: Tom McCarthy for Spotlight and David Robert Mitchell for It Follows)
Best Actor: Jason Segel for The End […]

Seth Gordon will direct Uncharted

An adaptation of the adventure video game Uncharted has been in the works for a while now. For the longest time, it seemed like David O. Russell was going to be the man to bring Nathan Drake’s story to the screen, but that was before Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle made him an Oscar darling. Russell’s involvement then gave way to Neil Burger being tapped to direct, but apparently his stay with the presumed franchise was brief. Now, it’s Seth Gordon’s turn.
Yes, the director of The King of Kong and Horrible Bosses will be directing this video game adaptation now. There’s a script from David Guggenheim, so Gordon will be upping his game and directing an action movie after mostly staying in the comedy realm to date. It’ll be a challenge for him, but this game has its light hearted moments (think an Indiana Jones knock-off of sorts and you’ll be in the ballpark of what the Uncharted games are like), so he won’t be a million miles away from what he’s used to.
It’ll be a while before we get any casting announcements most likely, but a strong choice for the lead role will go a long way towards getting folks excited for this one. Fans of the game had a mixed reaction to Russell’s initial plan to introduce original characters (such as the protagonist’s father), so it’s likely that Gordon and Guggenheim will be keeping this one closer to the stories of the games. That could go either way, but the ingredients are there for a successful summer blockbuster.

I’ve actually played a few of the games in this series, and they have a bit of a cinematic quality to them, so there’s potential here. A movie version is obviously less interactive, but the idea of big set pieces and a wise cracking hero certainly translates. There’s no reason to expect an Oscar player out of this one, but it’s a potentially very entertaining flick in the making.
This one still has a long way to go before it even begins filming, and if its history is any indication, don’t become married to the idea of Gordon directing the film. Still, he’s here for now. This is a production to definitely keep an eye on…

“Gangster Squad” Review by Kirk Honeycutt

“Gangster Squad” is a western masquerading as a gangster movie. It takes place in the Wild West — a virtually lawless 1949 Los Angeles — and some very bad dudes hold the town hostage.
All the law can do is round up a bunch of good guys willing to be as bad as the bad guys and then run ‘em out of town.
As these things go, this Warner Bros. production has an unusually starry cast and striking look with vintage cars and glistening period effects that pop off the screen.
To read more about ‘Gangster Squad’ go to honeycuttshollywood.com
Opens: January 11, 2013 (Warner Bros.)
Production companies: Warner Bros. Pictures presents in association with Village Roadshow Pictures a Lin Pictures/Kevin McCormick production
Cast: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Peña, Robert Patrick, Mireille Enos
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Screenwriter: Will Beall
Based on the book by: Paul Lieberman
Producers: Dan Lin, Kevin McCormick, Michael Tadross
Executive producers: Ruben Fleischer, Paul Lieberman, Bruce Berman
Director of photography: Dion Beebe
Production designer: Maher Ahmad
Music: Steve Jablonsky
Costume designer: Mary Zophres
Editor: Alan Baumgarten, James Herbert
R rating, 113 minutes
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“The Human Centipede II” Review

HollywoodNews.com: I get the joke. Really, I do. I get that Tom Six has made an ‘up yours’ movie that is basically an attack against everyone who had anything to say about the first Human Centipede (review). It sticks its tongue out at those who thought the film was grotesque and morally offensive. It reams those who were upset at how much of the violence was suggested or off screen. It mocks those who called it a grand piece of art, finding hidden meanings and symbolic complexities that arguably were never there in the first place. It is a meta-film, an overt post-modernist commentary on the series, the nature of sequels, and the horror genre itself, as well as those who make and watch them. That’s nice, but The Human Centipede II is a genuinely boring and ultimately obnoxious motion picture. Despite some genuine attempts of some kind of social commentary unto itself, the film remains only worth seeing purely for the sake of saying that you’ve seen it.
A token amount of plot: In our world, where The Human Centipede was indeed a fictional film, one obsessed fan of the first picture (Laurence R. Harvey) decides to recreate the original experiment. One-by-one, he kidnaps his victims and eventually does his dirty work to create a twelve-person centipede. And that’s about it, folks. The Human Centipede II is barely a film. It is technically a 85-minute motion picture that promises to offend and shock on an here-fore-unheard of level, a promise that guarantees disappointment by virtue of its very offering.
Yes, there are several moments of grizzly onscreen violence, and since they represent arguably the film’s lone ‘entertainment value’ I won’t spoil them here. But the movie itself is a overly presumptuous bore, working in ironically an opposite fashion from the first film. The first picture had an unnerving and tension-filled initial half which led up to the primary ‘operation’. But after the deed had been done, the remaining forty-five minutes was merely endless nearly-silent scenes of the main victims existing in unbearable agony. To the extent that it worked at all, it was chiefly effective for its mere suggestion of horrifying cruelty and Dieter Laser’s classically villainous lead performance. The sequel works in reverse, with a boring first half followed by […]

Kings of Leon Frontman Abruptly Leaves During Concert

HollywoodNews.com: In Dallas Friday night, Kings of Leon singer Caleb Followill left during the concert after complaining his voice was wrong and he was overheated.
The frontman told the crowd, “My voice is completely 100 percent wrong. I’m sorry.” The 29-year-old added, “I’m gonna go backstage for a second. I’m gonna vomit. I’m gonna drink some beer…and for the record, I’m not drunk …I’m about to fall down here because I’m so goddamn hot,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. However, Caleb never returned onstage.
Younger brother and bandmate, Jared Followill was apologetic to fans. He went to his twitter page to clear up any confusion. Jared tweeted: “Dallas, I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am. There are internal sicknesses & problems that have needed to be addressed. No words.”
Caleb’s brother added, “I love our fans so much. I know you guys aren’t stupid. I can’t lie. There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade.”
What do you think drove Caleb offstage?
Image by PRPhotos
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Paranormal Activity 3 Trailer

HollywoodNews.com: Considering how completely enshrouded in mystery the second film is, it’s a little surprising that Paramount basically ups and reveals the primary plot in this moody and effective teaser. This time around, it’s being helmed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who broke out last year with the somewhat questionable (in regards to its ‘non-fiction-ness’) documentary Catfish. I have no objection with the third film in this franchise being an 80s-set prequel, but I have to wonder where they will go after they’d allegedly explained much of the mystery in this alleged ‘here’s how it all began’ third chapter.

I am genuinely curious to see A) if they actually shot the film on old-fashioned VHS camcorders and B) whether this series can maintain the consistency of the Saw franchise, which was flying high for five straight installments before crashing with the sixth (and ironically best) chapter back in 2009. It took direct competition from the first Paranormal Activity to bring down Jigsaw. What will be the next October-scheduled franchise to take down the poltergeists/demons from this series in a few years? Anyway, this one opens on October 21st, which is the same weekend as the wide releases of the first two films. As always, we’ll see…
Photo by Paramount Pictures
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“Game of Thrones” spoiler snafu upsets author, excites fans

By Kim Palacios
hollywoodnews.com: Fans of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, the epic fantasy series which begins with the novel “A Game of Thrones” got more than they bargained for this week when spoilers for the fifth book, “A Dance with Dragons” hit the Internet in full force. Unlike with some other well-awaited book sequels, such as Stephenie Meyer’s “Midnight Sun”, which saw an unauthorized early copy leaked by somebody close to the author, the leak of “A Dance With Dragons” was the fault of Amazon.com Germany, which prematurely shipped 180 copies of the book.
“If we find out who is responsible, we will mount his head on a spike,” said author George R. R. Martin in response to the incident. A devoted group of faithful fans has stuck with the series for nearly fifteen years, since the release of “A Game of Thrones” in 1996. The series was recently popularized (and the books have seen a revival) since HBO produced it beginning this year as a well-received television series, “Game of Thrones”.
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Bethenny Frankel testing her knowledge against 5th graders

HollywoodNews.com: Bethenny Frankel is heading over to another show and this time she is going to find out whether or not she measures up to 5th graders.
The ‘Bethenny Getting Married?’ star will be testing her intellect on ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?’ states UsMagazine.com. Frankel may have successfully become a chef, TV star, author and more, but she may struggle with some elementary school questions.
Frankel will be appearing on the October 5th episode of the show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. Do you think she’ll be smarter than a 5th grader?
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“Grease” game puts musical fans in cyber Rydell High

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: A discussion actually popped up on Twitter last night, as major movie bloggers began debating the merits of innocent Sandy versus the slutty Sandra Dee who pops up near the end of “Grease.”
The debate was triggered due to the fact that the classic movie musical was airing on AMC last night. (I admit to stopping on it for the last 15 minutes while channel surfing, because it’s nearly impossible to click onto “Grease” and not linger for at least a song or two). Oh, and I’d have to vote for sweet and innocent Sandy, because I never hand-jived with the “Grease” plot twist that, in order to get her man (John Travolta), Olivia Newton-John had to say goodbye to the girl she was inside. What a terrible message, set to a tremendous musical score.
Anyway, expect the debate to rage on for weeks and months now that 505 Games U.S. and Paramount Digital Entertainment have released “Grease: The Game” for the Nintendo DS and Wii video game systems. Based on the film,
“505 Games is always looking for new ways to engage players with original interactive experiences and our relationship with Paramount Digital Entertainment has allowed us to do just that,” said Adam Kline, president of 505 Games (U.S.). “Contributing to the current Grease revival has been a such a rewarding experience for all of us that we are truly excited to welcome a whole new generation of fans with Grease: the Game. With its compelling gameplay, iconic track list and charming graphics, ‘Grease’ is going to entertain enthusiasts of all ages.”
The game invites players to dance and sing along to 16 of the movie’s iconic songs. You’ll also participate in party fun Frenchie, Kenickie and Rizzo. Pick-up-and-play mini-games for the whole family include drag races down Thunder Road against the Scorpions, sports competitions to win a letterman jacket, carnival games at the Rydell Graduation carnival, and even pillow fights with the Pink Ladies.
In story mode, gamers can fix up Greased Lightnin’ to try to win Sandy’s affections with their funky dance moves. Players can also dance their way through movie moments as they follow Sandy and Danny during their high school years.
“Grease: The Game” is rated E for everyone by the ESRB, and is now available at retail outlets nationwide.
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Zac Efron’s ways to escape paparazzi

HollywoodNews.com: As he rose to fame with ‘High School Musical,’ Zac Efron is having to find new ways to avoid the paparazzi.
While recently at a hotel, Efron went as far as jumping down a drain pipe in order to avoid being seen by the photographers, reports The Chicago Tribune. He claims that he’s now “adopted the ninja lifestyle” and even named his new production company Ninjas Runnin’ Wild.
However, sometimes the ‘Charlie St. Cloud’ star will use a more subtle approach. While at the Coachella music festival, he grew out a mustache that left him almost completely unrecognizable which allowed him “the freedom to be there with the crowd.”
Now young girls everywhere will have to be on the lookout for a ninja with a mustache if they ever want to catch Zac.
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