Jan 242016





Though it seems to be a minority opinion, I feel that Aardmann slipped a bit with their last feature Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists, but Shaun The Sheep showed the studio totally back on form with this fine example of a film which really is suitable for all ages as well as being the best comedy of the year [not a difficult feat though, I must admit]. Endlessly inventive, consistently hilarious, gleefully eccentric….and all without a single word spoken. 8.5/10



9/ A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHTa-girl-walks-home-alone-at-night
I’ll admit that I was slightly disappointed to find out that this was not a full Iranian film, being shot in California with a lot of American personnel, but Ana Lily Amirpour’s effectively minimalist, somewhat feminist [without over doing it] directorial debut, stunningly shot in black and white, was possibly the best vampire film since Let The Right One In, an extremely evocative, slightly surreal portrayal of a ghost town populated by society’s outcasts with a totally unique atmosphere. 8.5/10



45-years8/ 45 YEARS
I’m generally not convinced of the supposed pleasures of getting older, but I do find myself more drawn to films that wouldn’t have appealed to me years ago. This quiet little gem of a movie may seem slight, but the thing still haunts me, especially those looks on Charlotte Rampling’s face in the last few minutes, and won’t let go, perhaps appropriately so considering that it’s partly a ghost story of the very most subtle kind. A deceptively simple but actually extremely layered and, in the end, emotionally devastating film. 8.5/10



7/ IT FOLLOWSit-follows-quad
By some degree the best horror movie of the year, breathing life into a genre which, at least in terms of mainstream American movies, seemed to be almost devoid of originality. It succeeded in almost every way, from its brooding atmosphere to its relatable characters to its scary moments, while its premise was devilishly clever. Evoking early John Carpenter, but feeling very fresh and ‘of the now’, writer/director David Robert Mitchell is going to have a hell of a lot of trouble beating this. 8.5/10



Whiplash-poster6/ WHIPLASH
I suppose that a movie about a drummer in a jazz band who has a nasty teacher doesn’t sound that exciting, but Whiplash, excellently scripted by director Damien Chazelle, exerted a powerful grip right from when J. K. Simmon – simply incredible as one of 2015’s most memorable film characters, a person whom you love to hate but come to partly understand – first came on, and never relaxed that grip. Being quite musical myself, the final drum solo was one of the intense things I’ve ever seen. 9/10



5/ CAROLtumblr_nwsivq6Gzc1s56t2eo1_500
I don’t have a problem with the most unashamedly romantic film of the year being about two women, though I feel it limited the audience for Todd Haynes’s wonderful movie, which depicted the act of falling in love in a way I reckon almost anybody can relate to. Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett gave incredibly complex, detailed and touching performances, while Edward Lachman’s exquisite cinematography was the icing on the cake in a genuinely great modern love story. 9/10



11130422-12443205293883674/ THE DANCE OF REALITY
God, how long had Alejandro Jodorowsky fans waited for his next film! His last was in 1989. I honestly didn’t think that the surrealistic genius would still have it in him to make a great movie, but how wrong I was. Despite considerable budgetary limitations, the man rewarded his patient fans with a glorious outpouring of crazy but meaningful invention, this time imbued with a melancholic beauty that provided a strong emotional connection. And he’s making the sequel! 9/10



3/ SICARIOSicario-UK-Quad-Poster-900x675
Concrete proof that Denis Villeneuve is one of the best newish filmmakers out there, and a film that, amazingly, has actually got me excited about the Blade Runner sequel, the powerful, uncompromising, yet still thoroughly entertaining Sicario, which had one of the most blisteringly tense movie sequences in quite a few years [the ride into Mexico], also had three perfectly pitched performances from the always brilliant Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benecio Del Toro. 9/10



inside-out-pixar-20152/ INSIDE OUT
The once great Pixar had been showing signs of laziness until they bounced back in tremendous style with Inside Out, which reminded us of why we fell in love with the studio in the first place. A unique and very meaningful concept, great characters, terrific humour, superb animation, eye popping visuals, and just a bit of sadness [yes, I cried when a certain character faded away] – it was all there in spades, while the level of invention was almost boundless. 9/10



1/ MAD MAX: FURY ROADb9f1c41f8ecacfac8de10ac12d223ff2
Though I do often find myself disagreeing with majority critical views, I find it immensely refreshing that a film like this, which for me even topped Mad Mad 2: The Road Warrior, got such good reviews – I’m not sure that it would have happened even ten years ago. And they were right. George Miller raised the bar for the action movie in this pulsatingly thrilling, meticulously detailed, yet stripped to the bone and intelligent, thrill ride, and it’ll be ages before anyone even gets near him. 9.5/10

Dr Lenera

Dr LeneraI'm a huge film fan and will watch pretty much any type of film, from Martial Arts to Westerns, from Romances [though I don't really like Romcoms!]] to Historical Epics. Though I most certainly 'have a life', I tend to go to the cinema twice a week! However,ever since I was a kid, sneaking downstairs when my parents had gone to bed to watch old Universal and Hammer horror movies, I've always been especially fascinated by horror, and though I enjoy all types of horror films, those Golden Oldies with people like Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee probably remain my favourites. That's not to say I don't enjoy a bit of blood and gore every now and again though, and am also a huge fan of Italian horror, I just love the style.

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