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10 Best Movies Of Last Year (Midnight Movie Madness)

Heath aka The Host here. You’ve all waited long enough (too long to be exact), now it’s time to finally unveil my list for what I thought were the very best films last year had to offer. Hope you enjoy!

Previous Midnight Movie Madness:
10 Worst Movies Of Last Year
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.2, Bridge Of Spies
The Martian, Inside Out, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, Avengers: ‘Ultron

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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    Great video as always. I’d never even heard of Best of Enemies but will seek it out.

    I still haven’t seen Hateful Eight, I wish that home release would hurry up!

    Hard to argue with the top choices.

    “Straight Outta Compton, the year’s most strikingly relevant NWA biopic.” – not much competition there 😉

    I didn’t like the Steve Jobs movie at all. Fascinating guy, fabricated, dull movie for me.

    What did you think of Brooklyn, Spy and What We Do in the Shadows?

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    • The Host said
      The Host

      Pretty sure Best of Enemies is on Netflix right now. Hateful Eight still hasn’t had a home release yet where you’re at?

      Really enjoyed all of those you mentioned. Two of them I got to see at separate SXSW events, which was a lot of fun.

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      • The Host said
        The Host

        *those last three

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      • Sheridan Passell said
        Sheridan Passell

        It’s finally out May 9th in the UK, a hateful wait.

        Great, gonna watch Best of Enemies right now, becoming kinda fascinated with Nixon-era politics.

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        • The Host said
          The Host

          I’m probably gonna hold out on the Hateful Eight, at least until they release the Roadshow version on Blu-Ray, complete with overture and intermission.

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          • Sheridan Passell said
            Sheridan Passell

            Watched Best of Enemies, great political doc. Have been following this U.S. election closely so found it interesting to go back and see the parallel event in a different era. It’s curious how much the argument between Republican and Democrat hasn’t changed. Didn’t realise Reagan had been trying to become President for a long time – 12 years – before he got it. There sure are going to be some great Trump documentaries in the future.

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  • gd smith said

    My favourite of 2015 was Ex Machina by a longshot. I don’t see the comparison to Chappie at all. Chappie isn’t about artificial intelligence. It’s a very sentimental science fiction take on Oliver Twist with a robot and in that Dickensian sense actually has more in common with Attack the Block.
    I really ended up liking the force awakens, but I dunno. I’ve never got JJ Abrams mystery box shtick. It always builds up to disappointment. In this case it’s the Snoke thing. If he isn’t Darth Vader it will be disappointing because it feels like it should be and it would be cool. If it is then why surround it in unnecessary mystery? Also, it seems more like a soap opera technique designed to string things out than a useful filmic device. Aside from anything else, Lost, Cloverfield and Into Darkness say it all really.
    But anyway, there are some good films on this list.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      JJ won’t be around to run out of steam, to limp to a finale, Episode XIII has a master at the helm. I reckon Rogue One will upset you a lot more, with its mediocre director calling the shots.

      Ex Machina could be the best of the year, or Star Wars or Mad Max, it depends what the criteria is. Ex Machina had the smartest screenplay and gave me the most pause for thought, Mad Max was brilliantly staged and had that intangible ‘energy’ not experienced since The Dark Knight, whereas Star Wars had the sheer transportation and emotion.

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      • gd smith said

        Rogue one. like the trailer more than the Force Awakens trailer.I thought Godzilla was a visually good looking movie, but was let down by focusing on the dull Kick-Ass dude’s boring marital angst instead of Godzilla and Brian Cranston.

        I liked Looper. Didn’t like either Brick or the Brothers Bloom, nether of which were visually interesting. So I’m not convinced Johnson is a master. But I’m sure the film will be fine. The Star Wars saga was never driven by directors in the way that the Alien movies were. The two original sequels were helmed by reliable journeymen and came out in the 80s when genuinely interesting directors were seen as a bit of a liability. Of the movie Brat generation only Spielberg and DePalma were getting big projects really. The 80s weren’t a directors era after a serious of high profile flops. Looking at the actual films it was mostly a bad decade for movies unless you were into low budget horror or high concept action. There are more genuinely good movies made now than in the 80s, but the distribution and costs means the tent pole stuff is safer than ever.

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      • G said

        That’s a bit harsh calling Gareth Edwards mediocre. Godzilla was a steaming pile, but Monsters was excellent. He made Monsters all by himself, and I honestly loved it. But come Godzilla he was working with a studio. So maybe the problem wasn’t him, but maybe the suits?

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        • Sheridan Passell said
          Sheridan Passell

          Maybe, as I say I haven’t seen Monsters I’m just going by the IMDb score which is so-so. Godzilla should have been a barnstormer, the fx department and creature design knocked it out the park, but his character work and mistimed suspense direction turned it into a snoozer. Perhaps it was studio interference but then any blockbuster could claim that.

          But you’re right, I ought to watch Monsters before saying anything more on this!

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          • G said

            Monsters was a $15,000 movie, which he wrote himself, did all the special effects himself, and which he shot with off the shelf camcorders and a depth of field adapter.

            You don’t go from that, to a 150 million dollar movie unless you did something right.

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          • gd smith said

            G,
            I was going to say the same thing. I’ve seen movies with proper budgets that don’t look as good as Monsters. I suspect that in best Barton Fink mode the producer said something like “give me a movie like Monsters, you know the score”. The thing about Monsters is it’s a love story with an alien invasion in the background, but still a very impressive looking movie.

            Sheridan,
            I have heard of the DePalma documentary.

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          • Sheridan Passell said
            Sheridan Passell

            http://pagesix.com/2016/05/30/disney-execs-in-a-panic-over-upcoming-star-wars-film “the movie isn’t testing well”

            Hopefully the execs can save it.

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          • gd smith said

            I dunno if I trust execs to be honest. Test screening and studio interference has turned movie making into a production line assembly based on the idea that the best test of quality is whether or not an ADHD afflicted 15 year old boy thinks something kicks-ass or sucks and is slow. What you end up with is exposition dialog and cut to the action disjointed story telling. I’ve No faith in execs what-so-ever. And Disney left to their own devises will just make the same film over and over again like they do with Marvel and Pixar. They’re more interested in selling toys and games than movie making these days.

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          • Sheridan Passell said
            Sheridan Passell

            Without seeing that rough cut we just can’t know, but they wouldn’t be reshooting 40 minutes of the movie if something wasn’t way off. Rumour is it’s partly the tone, which is too dark, somber and humourless for a film that leads directly into A New Hope. The main issue lies with them trying to make a movie every year and handing the directing jobs out to, typically, whoever happened to make a blockbuster that year. They actually gave a movie to the director of Fantastic Four, presumably after they viewed a rough cut, and only booted him after fan reaction to the movie’s release – what a joke.

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          • gd smith said

            Again I dunno. To me reshoots just means that one of the suites wants to leave their mark on a film more than anything else. Early test screening are only ever really for studio people and are full of inflated egos. If you read enough film books you’ll find loads of examples of some twit saying this or that was unrealisable or demanding this and that change. Plus the reshoot and re edit approach usually results in a worse film with a few butchered clips or on set photos that merely highlight that the film would have been better had it been left alone in first place. You can see the effect of this kind of thing in everything from the Magnificent Ambersons to Alien 3 to Mimic to even Cherry Falls and to the god awful CGI in the Thing prequel. Quite frankly a Star Wars film is going to make money no matter what.

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          • Sheridan Passell said
            Sheridan Passell

            In the case of The Thing, I’ve seen the practical fx as models and some limited motion, which look amazing, but how did they look in motion on film? (eg https://youtu.be/fBzpT7VmSaU?t=3m4s doesn’t look like it’s quite working) Until we see footage of that I think it’s probably unfair to slam them for dropping it (I thought some of the cgi was actually pretty good, though it will date).

            These days I reckon everyone at Disney is well aware of the teenage kid saying “This sucks” in a test screening and not taking it as gospel. Having said that, if rumours are true ‘Rogue One’ does perhaps parallel ‘Fan4astic’ in that the first cut of that was much darker (see the depressing, creepy sequence where they first wake up with their disabilities) and that’s what prompted them to shoot a butchered more upbeat final third.

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          • G said

            Just to interject a bit about what you are saying about Rogue One. I hope it’s dark. I hope it’s dark as hell. One of the things that annoyed me about the Force Awakens was that the universe seemed it worse shape from when the Empire in control. Why did they get rid of the Empire so everything can just turn out to be harder for everyone? I mean through 6 movies we were told the Empire was evil, but life for ordinary citizens seemed OK, better even than it was in the Force Awakens. So I hope Rogue One is dark. Really dark. And in doing so, show us how bad the Empire really was. Show us why people rebelled so we have some context as to why they did things like dupe some furry Ewoks into attacking some innocent storm troopers.

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          • Sheridan Passell said
            Sheridan Passell

            Force Awakens mishandles its post Return of the Jedi status, the Rebels are still a ragtag group and the New Order is far too similar to The Empire. It’s as if Skywalker’s victory was meaningless. The overly-criticised prequels actually made the pre-Empire feel like a different era. We’ve already seen three movies showing what life under the Empire is like and Rogue One has to be fairly consistent with that. New Hope got the cruelty across with the brutal fate of Luke’s Aunt and Uncle and their burnt corpses. But that movie also had humour, romanticism and hope. Darker on its own isn’t always better. Return to Oz doesn’t feel like a sequel to The Wizard of Oz because they went too dark.

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          • G said

            Return to Oz is what I though about the Force Awakens. I mean you destroy the bad guys but come years later and everything is worse. What was the point? In the Force Awakens things are worse now than they ever were under the Empire, and plus you’ve got star destoryer wrecks littering the place up.

            #Bring back Palpatine.

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          • gd smith said

            I agree with G
            Bring back Palpatine. In retrospect if you watch all the films in order it becomes the tragic tale of how the rebels destroyed civilisation.

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  • dnwilliams said

    These lists are always tricky. I guess The Revenant has to go on my 2016 list, seeing as how it didn’t see UK release until this January…

    Excluding Star Wars, I think my favourite/the best ten movies of 2015 were:

    Ex Machina
    The Lobster
    Sicario
    Beasts of No Nation
    Dope
    Carol
    The Assassin (or) Fury Road
    Rogue Nation
    The Man from UNCLE
    Kingsmen

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Playing it cautious without numbering them, c’mon now.

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      • dnwilliams said

        Complete with arbitrary number rankings, removed franchise entries/starters for a lean, mean list (though Sicario 2 is happening and who knows with Pixar):

        1. Ex Machina
        2. Sicario
        3. The Lobster
        4. Carol
        5. Beast of No Nation
        6. Dope
        7. Inside Out

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  • gd smith said

    I don’t do best of lists. So I’ll list my favourites. Apart from number one the order is pretty interchangeable and could have included other films. My may main criteria is that I’ve watched them more than once.

    1) Ex Machina
    2)Straight outa Compton
    3)Krampus
    4)Cop Car
    5)Sicario
    6)Duke of Burgundy
    7)Pitch Perfect 2
    8)Chappie
    9)Mad Max
    10)The Force Awakens.
    But it could equally have included a bunch of cheapo horror movies and Whiplash.

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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    Not ‘the best’ by general standards but these are the ones I connected to most personally last year, for different reasons. It might be that I’ve thought about them a lot since, that they were very transportative, hit a nerve, amused me or inspired me to remember why I love cinema –

    1. It Follows
    2. What We Do In The Shadows
    3. Spring
    4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    5. Ex Machina
    6. Everest (big screen 3D only)
    7. No Escape
    8. Turbo Kid
    9. The Walk (second half in 3D)
    10. Deathgasm

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