Here we are once again, folks. 2015 has ended, and now we look ahead to 2016. Who's to say what the new year will bestow on us, or in Norm of the North's case, inflict on us. But one thing's for sure, there will be a lot of exciting titles coming up. I don't know about you, but I am hyped to see Hail, Caesar next Friday.
But first, it's time to take a look back at both the highlights and low points of the previous year. Having seen a total of a little over ninety movies from that year, my thoughts on it were similar to those of 2014, in that it was a good year with great films, but had some scattershot selections that didn't help it hit the heights of 2013. Granted, this might be owed to the fact that, while the year's movies were probably no worse than usual, I ended up seeing a bit more of them, from full fledged disappointments to agonizing tests of endurance. In fact, it was so competitive that even Fifty Shades of Grey didn't hit the top ten.
Granted, that still doesn't mean I actively sought out every bad movie I've heard about, with titles that include The Ridiculous 6, War Room, United Passions, Hitman: Agent 47, Aloha, Hot Pursuit, and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. Even for guys like me, there are limits to the pain someone can endure, so these are only going to be limited to my personal experiences.
As always, let's get some dishonorable mentions out of the way. Lost River was a very beautifully photographed directing debut for Ryan Gosling, but he seems to have taken all the wrong cues from Nicolas Winding Refn, stringing together sequences at complete random with little to no context, including several minutes of awkwardly dancing Ben Mendelsohn. For the first time in my list's history, a YA novel adaptation didn't make it into the top ten, but The Divergent Series: Insurgent's blend of incomprehensible plotting and faux-psychological action nearly secured it a spot, despite the most committed efforts of Shailene Woodley. Fifty Shades of Grey could have made for a so-bad-it's-good mockery of its infamous source material, but instead takes it so seriously and brooding that it isn't even ironically entertaining, and though the production values are top notch, it's so dull that even its target audience will be turned away by its passionless love scenes. Having finally watched all three Insidious movies this year, I can safely say that Insidious: Chapter 3 is easily the worst entry in the series, with Leigh Whannell seemingly forgetting everything that made the previous two films the successes that they were, and forsaking its subtle terror in favor of cheap jump scare factories. Jupiter Ascending from the Wachowski siblings did have fabulous visuals and sound work, but squandered it all (as well as a hefty budget) on a plot so unintelligible that it feels like a TV show's first season condensed down to two hours, and featured some of the year's worst performances, including a mumbled and monotone Eddie Redmayne who looks like he's counting the days before he can star in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Alright, with that out of the way, IT'S CLOBBERING TIME!