Best movie of the year: Mad Max: Fury Road
This one was obvious, wasn't it? This year there really wasn't much competition for this title, although Fury Road could esily have triuphed over a much stronger line-up. As I've said in the movies thread earlier this year It's probably one of the best action movies of all time (though it's not the genre defining movie that Road Warrior was for post-apocalypse). There is reall artistry to it, phenomenally well made. It's almost primal, and both insanly fun and very stark and sombre when it needs to be, emotionally genuine and all the more satysfying when there is, in the end, some kind of redemption. Fury Road has artistry to it. It's not just fun, it's impressive, engrossing and in it's own violent way beautifull. It's a great action movie, but it's also great cinema.
The biggest positive surprise: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
I wasn't even going to see it, but there was nothing else that weekend, and me and a friend of mine were in a mood to just go the cinema and watch whatever. Imagine our surprise, when it turned out to be one of the most fun movies of the year! In fact, I would easily recommend it over the new Mission Impossible and even Kingsman (not to mention the dismal Spectre). It's fun, it's clever and it's stylish. The lead actors deliver fantastic performances and are probably one of the best action movie duos since Lethal Weapon. The action is well shot and paced, the music is great, it's just a joy to watch. It's not a deep movie, it's not supposed to be. It's jsut a fun action movie done perfectly, with rare flare and just the right balance of all elements.
The biggest negative surprise: Crimson Peake
Oh, how I was looking forward to this one. I love del Toro's horrors. His big budget hollywood movies were always rather disappointing (except maybe Hellboy 2), but his spanish language horrors were simply beautiful and magical. Unfortunately, Crimson Peake, despite being a horror, falls in line with the director's other english language movies, and is just a weak, weak movie. Neither scary nor clever, sadly predictable and at times simply dull, it's a waste of everyones time and talent. The visuals are good, but on their own hardly enough, and even they lack the creative flare of something like Pan's Labyrinth. It's a mediocre horror/romance flick, not bad, but just so unremarkable as to be enitrely pointless.
Worst movie of the year: Transporter Refueled
Now here we had some real competition. The fact that Ridley Scott's Exodus would not even make it into the top 5 worst movies of this year speaks volumes. It was hard to choose the very worst one, but in the end even in things like Fantastic Four and Spectre I found some miniscule redemeeable qualities when compared to the latest Transporter. And that's regretable, because those movies would be much more fun to talk about. Transporter is just painfull. It's dull to the point of physically hurting. It's the most joyless, predictable, bland action movie I've seen in a long time, maybe ever. Everything about it is so boring and uninteresting as to almost become invisible. There is not one scene, character or line of dialogue to remember or care about. It literally sucks the joy out of you as you watch it. It's negative entertainment. It doesn't even make you mad, just sad and miserable. I can have fun with various bad movies, but this just wasted my time, and was one of the most miserable movie going experiences of my life. Fuck this film.