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Article – 5 Movies of 2015 I Hope To Never Have to See Again

 

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Posted January 7, 2016 by

 
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5 Movies of 2015 I Hope To Never Have to See Again

Warning: this article contains some spoilers.

It’s that time of year again. The end of one year and beginning of another that so often brings reflections of all sorts. Most people who write these sorts of things will come out (if they haven’t already) with their “Best of 2015” lists. Be it fashion, news stories, cars, food trends, movies, etc, it seems that there’s no escaping the positive spin placed on most end of the year lists. It’s because of this that (and other reasons that will shortly become more clear) that I’ve decided to do a “Worst Movies of 2015” list. It is my hope that armed with the knowledge, (and opinion), I’ll provide for you, that you can avoid seeing these terrible mistakes and save yourself the time, money and heartbreak that I suffered.

#5Digging for Fire

We begin this list with Number 5, Digging for Fire. When I first saw the summary for this movie in my 2015 New Hampshire Film Festival brochure I knew I couldn’t miss it. It said, “The discovery of a bone and a gun send a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.” Promising, right? And then there was the cast list to lure me in even more. Jake Johnson, Rosemary Dewitt, Orlando Bloom, Anna Kendrick, Sam Rockwell and many more added to my mental expectations. But when it came time to actually see this movie the number of disappointments quickly added up. First, although the summary promised some sort of dead person mystery, there was none to be had. Although Tim, the husband, and his friends do find some bones and a gun in the backyard, they never discover who it was that was buried or why they were there. Second, as with Men, Women and Children (which I also hated), Lee, the wife, ditches her husband and his friends for the weekend to meet another man and possibly cheat. Third, movies like this one are tired and predictable! I knew within the first 15 minutes what would happen by the end, making the other 70 minutes intolerable and boring. If I’ve come to expect one thing for sure in reviewing films, it’s that a stellar cast does not a movie make!

#4: A Pigeon Who Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

The description said comedy. The trailer was quirky, but mildly alluring. The film itself was more painful than watching the hair on your head grow. A Pigeon…. is the third installment in a trio of films by Swedish writer/director Roy Andersson in which he reflects on humans and human existence. Although some have labeled Andersson as a “visionary” and this film as “artistic and meticulous”, I think more appropriate words would be monotonous, tedious and lifeless. Half an hour would have been WAY too long a runtime for this film, which makes the 2 hour long runtime unacceptable. Steer clear!

#3: Jupiter Ascending

This is one I should’ve known to avoid long before I went to see it. I realized long ago that Mila Kunis couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag, and yet the trailers for this film were so enticing. I mean, the famous Wachowski’s, of The Matrix fame, wrote and directed it, other cast members included Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean and Channing Tatum and the imagery looked spectacular. So what could go wrong, right? In short, Mila Kunis and a weak story are what went wrong here. Moments that were supposed to be full of raw emotion turned insipid and weak before they began. This is one film that proves beyond a doubt that special effects can’t fix everything.

#2Ex Machina

Here is another in the ever growing list of films I hated that everyone else loves. Words like “beautiful, psychologically thrilling, powerful, dazzling, stunning” and many more have been used to describe this film, but they’re not the words I’d use. For me, Ex Machina brings words like “boring, predictable, painful, questionable and obvious” to mind. It was more perverted robot sex fantasy than psychological thriller, and while there were many other far more boring films that came out in 2015, none made me question the director’s intentions more so than this one. The only real question I was left with in the end was “why?”

#1: Mad Max: Fury Road

I’m so infuriated by this movie and all of the hype and awards buzz that it’s getting that I hardly know where to begin. When I first saw the trailers for Mad Max: Fury Road I was mildly enticed, mostly because it had been awhile since I’d seen anything in the theater and I was itching to go. Also, I like most of what I’ve seen Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in. That said, I avoided seeing it in theaters because I didn’t love the first Mad Max and because I couldn’t get any real answers as to what it was actually about.

Then it happened. In late November, early December the awards and nominations began flowing like Niagra Falls in praise of the film. All I could think was “Really?!? Can it really be that good?” Despite the fact that I had convinced myself that it wouldn’t be worth it, I decided that I did indeed have to spend some time with Mad Max: Fury Road, for no other reason than to figure out what all of the fuss was about. And so I sat down to watch it…

All 120 minutes of it. When it was over I had a look of utter disgust on my face. I slowly turned to my husband and asked “why?,” but he didn’t have any more answers than I did. Why is it receiving all of this press and accolades? Why do people seem to love it so much?

I did some digging and you know what conclusion I came to? Mad Max: Fury Road is being labeled as “great” and “visionary” simply because a bunch of men like their action flicks. I know that sounds harsh, and I’m not one to play the sexist card lightly, but that’s the only reason I could find to explain the buzz behind this film. I’ll give you some examples:

Brian Tallerco of www.RogerEbert.com writes “From its very first scenes, “Fury Road” vibrates with the energy of a veteran filmmaker working at the top of his game, pushing us forward without the cheap special effects or paper-thin characters that have so often defined the modern summer blockbuster.” And A. O. Scott of The New York Times writes “It’s all great fun, and quite rousing as well — a large-scale genre movie that is at once unpretentious and unafraid to bring home a message.”

Here’s my problem with all of that. Tallerco says that writer/director George Miller pushes us forward without special effects and paper thin characters, yet there was very little story given in this film that was bloated with special effects to make it look pretty. There’s no back story here to explain what’s happened to Max since we last saw him, or how the leader came to power or why he spray paints the mouths of his cronies. If anything, this film is nothing BUT cheap special effects and paper thin characters!

Then there’s what A. O. Scott writes. He says the film is unpretentious and unafraid to bring home a message. WHAT MESSAGE?!? There’s nothing remotely deep about this film! Its 2 hours long. The first hour is spent driving into the desert; the second hour is when they turn around and drive back! That’s not award winning film material. That’s not even cult classic material. That’s pointless, mindless garbage that’s made for no other reason than for the film makers to make money.

There were so many other films that came out last year that are more deserving, yet receiving such little acclaim in comparison. Trumbo, The Martian, Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Revenant, The Hateful Eight, Blackmass and more, actually have deep stories behind them and hold your thoughts long after they’re done. So please, don’t make the same mistakes I have; if you value your time and sanity steer clear of the films on this list!

 

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Leah Gage
@LMovieLowdown
Leah’s Movie Lowdown
Portsmouth Community Radio
Freelance Contributor

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