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Entries in Year in Review (195)

Wednesday
Dec232015

Menagerie '15: Best Animals in the Movies

Personality Assessment. Go...

• Do you feel guilty (like me) about missing White God, Hungary's acclaimed drama about a pack of wild dogs?

• Were you puzzled when Susan Cooper was embarrassed by her crazy cat lady disguise in Spy?

• Would you put on a bee suit to hang with Mr Holmes

• Would you adopt Paddington after he defiled your toothbrushes? 

If you answered yes to any of those questions you might be an animal person or a crazy cat lady like your host Nathaniel. This list (updated from a halfwaymark celebration) is for you!

TOP 15 ANIMALS FROM 2015 MOVIES
after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec222015

Cinematic Lumps of Coal: 15 Worst of '15

They've been naughty. So we shan't be nice. Rather than choosing the 15 worst movies (we skip a lot of stuff that looks atrocious), here are 15 matters of annoyance within the movies of 2015, whether the movies were decent or terrible. Vague/light spoilers ahead.

15 Lumps of Coal From '15
Links go to past articles about the film or reviews if they exist

15 Grab Bag of Undelights
Afew I couldn't fit in below: Chris Hemsworth's wandering accent in In The Heart of The Sea often within the same scene. Is this First Mate Australian, British, or from the Bronx?; The way Mother Malkin's (Julianne Moore) red hair stays that way when she shifts into dragon form in The Seventh Son. That was cute with Madame Mim in The Sword in the Stone but in "realistic" cgi not so much; and, the perpetual agony of trailers that take you from the beginning to the end of a movie (Room and The Revenant are the latest victims) spoiling every story beat.

14 Longwindedness
In nearly great movies (Clouds of Sils Maria 124 min), good movies (Saint Laurent 150 min.), divisive movies (I'm still making up my mind about The Revenant okay? 156 min), and arthouse curiousities (Arabian Nights, Vol II 131 min., Love 135 min.) alike the tendency in contemporary cinema is to let the camera linger here and there and everywhere and also to include entire sections that add nothing particularly new to the plot or our understanding of character or theme if narrative isn't the movie's main thrust. Don't misunderstand: a good lingering camera can be among the greatest of things but if you're running over 90 minutes please justify it with new information. Shave 10 minutes (or a lot more in some cases) off any of these movies and they're instantly improved. 

13 more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec212015

Best of '15: Co-Star Chemistry, the Great Intangible 

These are the 15 relationships that really crackled for us on screen this year with an electric snap... or familial/platonic warmth... or sexual combustibility... or tense reserve ... or  lived-in authenticity ...or any combo thereof depending on what the relationship called for. Kudos to the actors, directors, screenwriters, and casting directors who all obviously contributed to capture lightning in a bottle. The following examples of screen chemistry told us so much about the characters within the story and sometimes outside of it from long before the events of the movie or projecting out after the narrative. Do I find it troubling that the SAG and BFCA nominations for Best Ensemble avoided ALL of these films save Spotlight? Why, yes --- yes I do! Thanks for asking. 

Note: I opted not to include Carol in the list primarily because the obsession is too strong and every single relationship in the movie is fascinating (yes even Therese & Richard's! Even Harge & Abby who only get one scene together) and it wouldn't be fair to the other pictures with its web of relationships, new, old, soured, fresh, complicated and all superbly rendered. Joy, which is better than the initial response suggests, also has fine pockets of chemistry within a bustling cast (something David O. Russell excels at) but I couldn't settle on any one relationship.

The list is presented without commentary... but for what you have to say in the comments. 

15 Sylvester Stallone & Michael B Jordan in Creed (trainer/trainee and surrogate something)

14 more couplings after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec202015

Year in Review: The 15 Biggest Box Office Hits of '15

There's not much of a story this weekend beyond Star Wars: The Force Awakens which broke all available records without even breaking a sweat this weekend with a $238 million opening. And that's even before the lucrative Christmas week. Jurassic World currently tops the 2015 box office globally with $1.6 billion in revenues with Furious 7 tailing it with $1.5. Surely The Force Awakens has its eyes on even greater prizes though. Like James Cameron's top two records Titanic's 2.1 billion and Avatar's (2009) 2.7 billion worldwide gross.

The Force Awakens is a good movie so the audience wins. Or do we? Let's talk about the Dark Side of the box office as we look at the biggest hits of the year in five separate categories after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec192015

Team Experience's Most Popular Tweets o' The Year

Year in Review Party!

Just for silly quick fun I thought we'd list our most popular tweets this year. Not necessarily the best but the ones that caught on somehow. It's like a very quick 140 character scrapbook of the film year.

Our 15 Most Popular Tweets of 2015 after the jump... 

 

 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec172015

Foreign Film Long List Overachieving Recap!

If the Academy is on the same time table they were last year with the Foreign Language Film volunteer committee we should know the 9 finalists from the 80-wide foreign submission list before the weekend. But before we get there, let's look back on where we've been. It's the most coverage we've ever done for one of our favorite categories so we hope you've been reading along and trying to see what you could (these films are often elusive, we know). 

Much thanks to Jose who has been invaluable in seeking out interviews. Catch up on the coverage like so...

"everything u ever wanted to know about the foreign film category *...but were afraid to ask" Pt 1 81 Trailers | Pt 2 Female Directors & Debuts | Pt 3 Zoology | Pt 4 I know that face! | Pt 5 More Trivia!

THE NOMINEES

embrace of the serpent

Colombia, Embrace of the Serpent  REVIEW  & INTERVIEW
Denmark, A War PILOU ASBAEK & INTERVIEW 
France, Mustang REVIEW & INTERVIEW 
Hungary, Son of Saul  REVIEW & INTERVIEW  
Jordan, Theeb INTERVIEW  

 

goodnight mommy

THE OTHER SUBMISSIONS

Afghanistan, Utopia DISQUALIFIED | Albania, Bota | Algeria, Twilight of Shadows 
Argentina, The Clan  REVIEWED | Australia, Arrows of the Thunder Dragon 
Austria, Goodnight Mommy INTERVIEW | Bangladesh, Jalal’s Story 
Belgium, The Brand New Testament | Bosnia and Herzegovina, Our Everyday Story
Brazil, The Second Mother INTERVIEW | Bulgaria, The Judgment
Cambodia, The Last Reel |  Canada, Félix and Meira INTERVIEW

Chile, The Club REVIEW | China, Go Away Mr. Tumor
Costa Rica, Imprisoned | Croatia High Sun | Czech Republic Home Care  
Dominican Republic, Sand Dollars  REVIEW & INTERVIEW | Estonia, 1944
Ethiopia, Lamb | Finland, The Fencer | Georgia, Moira
 
Germany, Labyrinth of Lies REVIEW & INTERVIEW 

Greece, Xenia | Guatemala, Ixcanul REVIEW | Hong Kong, To the Fore
 Iceland, Rams | India, Court | Iran, Muhammad: The Messenger of God
 
Iraq, Memories on Stone | Ireland, Viva
Israel, Baba Joon REVIEW | Italy, Don't Be Bad INTERVIEW 
Ivory Coast, Run | Japan, 100 Yen Love |  Kazakhstan, Stranger
Kosovo, Babai | Kyrgyzstan, Heavenly Nomadic | Latvia, Modris | Lebanon, Void

Lithuania, Summer of Sangaile | Luxembourg, Baby (A)lone | Macedonia, Honey Night
Malaysia, Men Who Save the World | Mexico, 600 Miles INTERVIEW 
Montenegro, You Carry Me | Morocco, Aida | Nepal, Talakjung vs Tulke
Netherlands, The Paradise Suite | Norway, The Wave REVIEW & INTERVIEW
Pakistan, Moor | Palestine, The Wanted 18 | Paraguay, Cloudy Times | Peru, NN
Philippines, Heneral Luna INTERVIEW  | Poland, 11 Minutes
Portugal, Arabian Nights - Vol 2 REVIEW |Romania, Aferim! | Russia, Sunstroke

Serbia, Enclave | Singapore, 7 Letters | Slovakia, Goat INTERVIEW
Slovenia, The Tree | South Africa, The Two of Us | South Korea, The Throne
Spain, Flowers INTERVIEW | Sweden, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch... REVIEW
Switzerland, Iraqi Odyssey | Taiwan, The Assassin REVIEW & GOLDEN HORSE
Thailand, How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) | Turkey, Sivas
United Kingdom, Under Milk Wood | Uruguay, A Moonless Night INTERVIEW
Venezuela, Gone With the River | Vietnam, Jackpot

the assassin

FOREIGN CHARTS (FOR EVEN MORE INFORMATION)

Wednesday
Dec162015

Best of '15: Music Videos of the Year

We'll begin our daily year in review partying with some music.

The best music videos are like short films. Or, rather, all music videos are short films. The best of them can give cinematic thrills, though. Not that you'd want two full hours of most of them. Still and all, here are 15 favorites of the year. Apologies to two tremendous auteurs who dabbled in music video this year (P.T. Anderson with Joanna Newsom and Xavier Dolan for Adele) but if you're a legit auteur with great films under your belt, expectations run too high to excited when the video is only "good".

Disclaimer: Endorsement of videos is not neccessarily endorsement of songs though it helps, sure.

Suggestions for what we missed are welcome in the comments since it's easy to miss great ones if a less than spectacularly popular artist makes them...

15 BEST MUSIC VIDEOS OF 2015
(after the jump)

Click to read more ...

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