Way Too Late: Year in Review 2015
It’s that time of year again. Time to reflect on the many movies I watched over 2015 for this website. Time to relive the highs and lows of movies both new and old. This year I revisited several movies from my childhood and changed my mind on a few of them. I discovered new favorites, suffered through old disappointments, and was exposed to several movies that redefined the definition of horrible. Without further ado, here’s how 2015 shaped up in Way Too Late reviews. Click on any of the titles below to read my full-length Dorkadia review.
2015: The Good
- Mad Max: Fury Road Hands down how a reboot/sequel should be handled. Mad Max left every other movie I saw in the theaters in its dust. It’s Michael Bay filmmaking for smart people, featuring stellar performances from both Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy, as well as a gripping tale that isn’t much more than two people driving, once you boil down the plot.
- Tucker and Dale vs. Evil One of those movies that I’m sad I never watched earlier. Tucker and Dale stands alongside The Cabin In the Woods and Scream on how to subvert the horror genre and turn tropes upside down. There’s enough gore for the spatter freaks and enough comedy to keep this from being a truly scary movie.
- Primer Man, Primer is just so damn good. It’s an adult’s adult movie: a confusing, convoluted character piece with some hard (and I mean hard) science thrown in. Got 90 minutes and need a good brain scramble? Then watch Primer.
2015: The Bad
- Hellraisers 3–9 It was a close race to the bottom this year, as I put two new movies on my personal Top Ten Worst Movies of All Time list. In the end; however, not even The Room was a match for the collective weight of a horror franchise shitting the bed over a 20-year period. The Hellraiser saga is littered with so much wrong, I’d rather watch Highlander II: The Quickening seven times in a row than sit through Hellraisers 3–9 again.
- The Room A movie so bad, only the collective effort of seven truly awful movies kept it from the top spot. Over this year I’ve developed the sort of affinity for The Room I imagine I’d have for watching a slow-motion train wreck over and over. It took 6 viewings of Zoolander before I began to enjoy that film. I’m not giving The Room the same chance.
- Batman and Robin All things must move toward their end, and Batman and Robin was my most-hated movie for nearly 20 years. Revisiting the classic POS solidifies my revulsion; this movie has even fewer redeeming qualities than I remember. No one is more shocked than I that this film didn’t kill George Clooney’s career.
2015: The Surprisingly Good
- The Punisher (Thomas Jane edition) Yeah, John Travolta sucks as the villain; crappy Marvel villains are nothing new. Thomas Jane nails this take on the Marvel character, and I’m truly sad he wasn’t tapped for the upcoming Daredevil season.
- 50 Shades of Grey When the source material sets such a low bar for goodness, there’s nowhere to go but up. Ignore Jami Dorman and his stone-faced school of acting. Dakota Johnson nails her character. Bonus feels for me was all the exterior shots of Seattle and the Pac Northwest.
- Cockneys vs. Zombies Tiny indie film with heart. The idea of retired pensioners running from the zombie apocalypse is played well in this film, and Alan Ford is at his foul-mouthed best.
2015: The Disappointing
- Back to the Future III While I really wanted to like BttFIII, the tone is just wrong. The romance subplot feels shoehorned in and I’m less invested in the characters than ever before. Only Thomas F. Wilson as Mad Dog Tannen saved this film for me.
- Cool World Another movie that makes even less sense on the second viewing. It’s as if Disney animators got their hands on an NC-17 cartoon script. Big fan of Ralph Bakshi and sad he didn’t quite have creative control over this one.
- Snowpiercer Another movie I really, really, really wanted to like. In the end, the strong acting and inventive premise can’t save the inconsistent tone and plot holes.
That’s it for Way Too Late Reviews this year. See you in 2016.
Alone in A Movie Theater image by Flickr user Sarah_Ackerman. Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0