I must preface this with an omission of lazy rule braking here. These are the top films I watched last year, not necessarily 2015 releases because some were early media screenings. Don’t get too bogged down in it.
Stay with me here. I’ve not gone crazy. But this is a movie, starring Tom Hardy. Alone. In a car. Speaking on the phone. For 90 minutes… And it is some of the most enticing cinema I’ve ever seen. Over a series of phone calls this man’s life falls apart and you slowly learn how, and why, who’s to blame and more importantly- where he’s going. If you want a bottle movie to get lost in on a slow weekday night. Put it on.
Ugh, just, ugh it’s amazing! This movie is a can of red bull filled with lightning and a child’s fantasy played out against the most stunning backdrop and pacing I’ve ever seen. Read Tony’s top 10 for an account of the maddening action, what I want to talk about and compliment is the pacing. No other director alive today could put that much action in a film without it ever becoming too much and losing our attention. And I don’t think any film will ever pull that off again.
Apart from giving me my favourite throwaway character of the year, Margherita man, the perfect representation of what this blog would do in that situation, apart from Tweet from our @reeltimedublin account (follow us though), this was the first taste of having a childhood classic brought back to the screen. We have a review already finished for this that we managed to piece together shortly after we picked our jaws up and sank a few pints.
Despite being left slightly disappointed by this, it’s clawed its way into my top films under the following headings: attention to detail, stunning cinematography (only overshadowed by The Revenant) and style! It’s a down and out Bond film but every single frame is a painting and the more I replay parts of it, the more I spot small stylish little quirks like the custom band on his watch that I learned was only made for that film in Chris Hardwick’s excellent interview with Daniel Craig.
Really, it’s Gyllenhall’s performance that landed this film in here. You can read my full drunken thoughts on it here.
Kingsman The Secret Service
Despite having an enormous fight with the girl I brought to the premier of this one…I still really enjoyed it! Also the premier was pretty damn cool too. But this is a great example of a ‘let go and relax’ action film. It has the right amount of tension, conflict, excitement and infectious madness that really pumps it into this ridiculous over the top loveable film status.
I watched this film at a time when I was making my slow and not so graceful exit from the Irish film industry and what really struck me about it is how bravely meta it’s analysis and stab at actors was. Technically speaking, it’s an amazing film- the tracking shots and editing to seem like one take (I swear to Christ I will happily spend my night arguing in the comment section with anyone who says it actually was one take). But the stab it takes at how actors want to just blindly expand into whatever they can to escape an image and how the agents will let them and praise them is painfully real. And ironic when you think about what Leo did for this Director’s next film…
Fast and Furious 7
Split minds about this one. Beautiful tribute and send off for Paul Walker (that made me cry big dramatic manly tears all over the VIP section of Movies@Dundrum) but then they tarnish that lovely ending by milking this thing for all its worth and doing another one! Again, it’s more mindless over the top action but unlike Kingsman; it’s not smart enough to hold up the madness with any real substance. Still very enjoyable.
This one really came out of nowhere as a standout film for me. Will Smith is back on form big time in this smart action crime comedy piece. What starts as seemingly predictable but still enjoyable quickly becomes a tense and unexpected thriller with just the right amount of ‘safe’ Will Smith comedy and then hints of his old ‘Bad Boys’ bad ass self. Also staring at Margot Robbie for two hours isn’t the worst way to spend an afternoon either.
I won’t harp on too much about this one because we have a review coming soon (follow the blog, I mean, you don’t want to miss this one surely?) but stylistically speaking this film is absolutely gorgeous. I won’t play the ‘give Leo an Oscar’ card here because we’re better than that at ReelTime but his performance is stellar. What is even more impressive is to see Tom Hardy play a villain that you actually do hate despite it being him, he’s able to play this role without his fame following him into the character and taking any believable traits out. This film is impressive in the sense that there’s almost no dialogue for like, a third of the thing, but it still holds your attention fully all the way through.
There it is anyway. We’re happy to announce that we have some huge things in the works for this humble, drunken little outlet for our movie passion in 2016 so do follow us on Twitter so you can keep up with our various announcements! Thanks guys!