Dee recaps 2015 in TV, Movies & Entertainment: Best/Worst Of and Random Observations Dee recaps 2015 in TV, Movies & Entertainment: Best/Worst Of and Random Observations
A very subjective look back at the weird year that was 2015 in movies, TV and entertainment. Best and Worst of, pics and gifs... Dee recaps 2015 in TV, Movies & Entertainment: Best/Worst Of and Random Observations

2015 was a weird year in the world of Movies & TV. At least for me.

I remember when this year was basically announced as the “second coming” in terms of geek- relevant movies.
Long-awaited sequels to prestigious franchises as Mad Max, Star Wars, Terminator and Jurassic Park, new original efforts by Neill Blomkamp and the Wachowskis, a new Tarantino movie, two new Marvel movies and so on. But like with 2012 before, which received a similar level of anticipation and praise in advance, most of it just went kind of “Poof!”.

poof

I haven’t witnessed such a lack of direction and inspiration in blockbusters (apart from a few exceptions, of course) since the early Naughts, my least favourite time in pop culture history (more about that in the near future-maybe). Some stuff looked shiny and chrome, but underneath it was mostly…

immortan

I know there was a lot of great stuff on TV as a counterbalance in the last year, but at heart, I am still more of a movie guy and not that much of a friend of the serialized format. It’s only a personal quirk though, so aside with the whining and here is the Best/Worst of TV of 2015 while we are at it, from my limited view on the medium:

Best/Worst of TV

Hannibal Season 3: Mason Verger gets his comeuppance

While I conceded before that the third season of one of my Top 3 favourite shows ever dipped a little compared to the preceding one, especially in the second half, it was still a bloody good time overall. The highlight of the season was Episode 7 though, when the events of Hannibal, with a nod to its roots in Gothic literature, move from Florence to the spooky mansion of the depraved villain (Mason Verger) with the twisted family history. Everything culminates in a truly disturbing yet delightful excess of vile happenings, from a baby corpse sewed into a pig to faces getting cut off, ending with Verger’s well-deserved gross death via his pet moray.

A fittingly spectacular and grotesque Grand Guignol finale for one of pop culture’s most repugnant yet fascinating baddies.

It's a-moray!

It’s a-moray!

 

“It’s dangerous to get exactly what you want.”

– Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal.

Les Revenants is back with a second season …and a vengeance

Les Revenants is another one from my Top 3 of all-time favourite TV-series. If you don’t know it, have a penchant for well-written mystery and no aversion to subtitles, check it out if you can (I heard Netflix is hosting it). You will not regret it, I promise.

Les Revenants is a French TV-series that tells the story of a remote small town whose inhabitants are suddenly confronted with the return of their dead. They are not Zombies or ghosts though, but simply return in the state they died in, unscathed and with no memory of their deaths. Other mysterious events follow – are they connected?

I won’t spoil too much here- I hope I will find some time to write in depth about it soon. It’s a marvel though how effortlessly this series marries the psychological drama that surrounds the effect the return of the deceased have on the dynamics between the townspeople with the mystery plot, without one subverting the other. Not to mention how well the mystery aspect is done, it never becomes embogged in its own mythology and the storylines never become too convoluted. Atmosphere and substance are perfectly balanced, the tension never dissipates, the acting is great… I could go on and on without being afraid to oversell it.

Anyway, after a whopping three (!) years, finally Season 2 arrived and it had the unthankful task to continue after the surprising ending of the first one and I still cannot believe how virtuously they pulled that off. It’s a minor marvel that not only they could hold up the high quality standard, they even raised the stakes and introduced new characters, but never at the cost of storytelling.

….assez parlé, I can only recommend it.

Les Revenants

Les Revenants

 

American Horror Story: Hotel is surprisingly a return to form

After “Coven”, killed all the good build up of the season in the last three episodes and “Freakshow” already took a nosedive midway through, I had no high hopes for Season 5 of the horror anthology show, “Hotel”. That series stalwart Jessica Lange was replaced with pop-star Lady Gaga also did not bode well. But life is full of surprises and see, this turned out to be the season with the most compelling and -this is particularly surprising- coherent storyline since Season 1. Gaga did a very good job as the lead and the returning cast members Evan Peters, Kathy Bates and Denis O’Hare are brilliant as always. A plethora of gore, lush designs and overall misanthropy are a given in this show anyway.

If you didn’t like any of the seasons I still would not recommend it to you, but every fan who, like me, was disappointed with the preceding two outings, should take a glance.

gaga

Positive surprise No. 2: Ash vs. Evil Dead

I haven’t finished the season yet, but so far it’s a fun ride, not holding back with gore and the typical, appropriately rustical Ash-humour. Much, much better than Fede Alvarez’ dour remake.

ash-vs-evil-dead-chainsaw

Disappointment of the year: True Detective, Season 2

First I was intrigued by the idea of an anthology show, but the shoddy result just confirmed my suspicions that showrunner Pizzolatto has always been the weakest link of the first season and its strengths was owed to Cary Fukunaga’s assured direction and the parts Pizzolatto lifted from the books of horror author Thomas Ligotti. In Season 2, the minor weaknesses of Season 1 blew up to lethal proportions, i.e. ridiculous Weltschmerz- posing and laughable machismo wisdom- fueled dialogue. The story was hardly compelling, only a weak attempt to channel James Ellroy and none of the characters was even remotely as interesting as the duo Cohle and Hart. After episode 5 I decided to drop it, not willing to see if it got better -it would have needed to become drastically, disproportionally better to counterbalance the episodes before. Well, sometimes you cannot recapture a lightning in a bottle.

td2

“More brooding, please! Make it look intense!”

 

If the ghosts keep killing the guests, we’re going to have zero stars.

-Kathy Bates as worried hotel clerk in American Horror Story: Hotel.

Random Video of the Year #1:
Darth Vader Yule Log

You own one of those fake fireplaces with a screen? You are a nerd? This is for you:

Best Random Act

Shia LaBeouf watching his own movies in a marathon

It may be partly a very narcissist act, but I cannot be unimpressed by someone who is so willing to confront himself with his own art from the perspective of the consumer in such a brutal, almost martyr-like way. Always respect an artist who does not take himself out of equation.

shia1

Random Video of the Year #2:
George Lucas is more Gangstah than you

 

…and now for something completely different:

intermission

Madonna falling off a stage

madonna-fall-brit-awards

Next Page: Movies of 2015

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DetectiveDee

Detective Dee reviews movies and sometimes TV-series. He likes to indulge in the Asian cinema, exploitation flicks and the horror genre but is no stranger to Blockbuster culture either. He writes whatever he wants, but always aims to entertain.

  • Tim R.R. Something

    Antman was good. Not great, but good, and that was a surprise.

  • Dee

    It gets a solid “meh” from me.

  • I_am_better

    Bees are definitely designed to recognize royalty.

  • I_am_better

    I have totally missed that Madonna bit.

  • I_am_better
  • I_am_better

    …and then there was that.

  • I_am_better

    I guess that warning in “The Incredibles” was true. Capes ARE dangerous.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    “Movies belong to fans now, not directors or writers.”

    Bingo. And it’s the worst thing to ever happen to genre cinema. By and large, fans are morons with no story or creative sense. Don’t drag the rest of us down to their level, Hollywood.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    “Joss Whedon will find new, interesting ways to explain why he is not responsible for any of his mistakes.”

    LOL

  • Frimmel

    I liked the really comic book stuff with the ants but boy could I have done without the shaky cam argument the three mains had near the middle. Just soooooo try hard and been there done that.

  • Stalkeye

    BUAAHAHAHAHAH @Madonna busting her ass.
    Long overdue.

  • CoolHandJuke

    Orange is the New Black made me want to scissor Ruby Rose…

  • JAGUART

    yea, same here. It’s the moment when I realized my superhero saturation point. Woulda been great pre-Avengers , like five years ago.

  • Bop

    I like Lady Gaga, so sue me.

  • Bop

    I think he has bad breath.

  • Sagamanus

    OUTRAGEOUS! Nvm, carry on. I disagree on TD2. I hope Zissou doesn’t come in here to talk about it though, we don’t need that. Nevertheless, there were quite a few reasons why it didn’t stir the minds for a lot of people. And number one was the atmosphere of the first season that was almost Silence of the Lambs as if it was debuting on TV for the first time instead of the theater wasn’t there. Vince was actually great in it. But I guess to each his own.

  • Stalkeye

    Better than Age of Ultron at least.

  • I really liked True Detective season 2. I went to it already knowing it was not going to be a repeat of season one and as such took it on it’s own terms.
    I’m waiting for season 3.

  • Wasn’t this the year of the “Meh” movies? Blockbusters, i mean.

  • Dee

    Well, but you read that I had my own reasons, right? It was a very thin soup in my eyes and it barely held together.

  • Dee

    that it was

  • Dee

    Yeah I mean there are several instances where studios should have listened to fans, actually. And sometimes (certain) fans have better ideas than the filmmakers, indeed. But while I understand that everybody has certain expectations from a certain franchise -rightfully so- there is a point where it has to stop. Movies should not be a vending machine that delivers you the feels and images you want at the push of a button. In the end, I still want to see what the artist is thinking on screen, not my own ideas. It’s a horrible form of self-indulgence that will lead right into a dead end soon.

  • Frimmel

    Cinema by focus group at its finest. Movies with high basements and low ceilings. Everything was so by the numbers. Even Fury Road.

  • Stalkeye

    I remember Rose telling me about Les Revenants since the early days of Talkbacker and although the episodes that i have seen were compelling, I, for some reason didn’t follow through. Prolly too much on my plate as it is. One of these days, I’ll catch up with the rest of the seasons.

  • Dee

    I am afraid Dr. Strange will be more of that.

  • Toruk_Makto

    I love any chick not afraid to ditch her clothes. Plus she’s got moxy.

    Can’t wait to binge watch the latest season of American Horror Story.

  • Toruk_Makto

    “I still want to see what the artist is thinking on screen, not my own ideas”

    Booyah.

  • No, not that later, that later was completely bugnuts. no studio woul dhad the cojones to make such a mad movie.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Errm…Warners Brothers DID make the movie.

  • KilliK

    what the fuck are you talking about, Asi? WB gave 200m to Miller to make and promote that movie, and they even were patient with the continuous delays, the reshoots and the costs going over budget. They were expecting to reinvigorate Mad Max as a modern, worldwide mega-franchise in the likes of Fast and Furious, that’s why they invested so much on Miller’s vision. but this didnt turn out as they had planned since the movie was a mild hit.

  • KilliK

    maybe he thinks those $200m that FR cost, came from Miller’s pocket money.

  • What i know is that the movie was independently financed and WB gave PART of the budget for the rights of distribution, but most of the money came from various sources, to the point the finance even felt thrown during filming and they had to hold filming until they got re-financed again. The notion that WB payed THE ENTIRE bill for the movie goes completely contrary to what i know of the movie and what had been said by the film’s own production.

  • “The fourth instalment in the Mad Max franchise, it is an Australian and American[6] venture produced by Kennedy Miller Mitchell, RatPac-Dune Entertainment and Village Roadshow Pictures”

    WB distributed the film (which had to payed for it, which made for part of the film’s budget. Very usual thing for independent productions). The thing was financed by independent financiers. Similar situations with Blade Runner and Terminator 3, to name two.

  • KilliK

    then you should recheck your sources because they are wrong. The project started as a Fox production and eventually went back to Warner Bros after it fell to production hell. WB paid the whole bill, 150m for the production plus another 50m for the marketing. That’s why they started filming in the first place, they had never left pre-production before WB stepped in. The only reason you got FR is because WB paid for it. You should thank them.

  • CabezaQueso

    S2 of True D’s absolutely shit on the weak ass naval gazing BS of S1. 33, Vinny V and the leprechaun were fucking awesome to watch. The only weak spot of S2 was the pie faced broad. S1 did have Daddario’s feed bags so that good.

  • CabezaQueso

    I thought S2 of Les Revenants was aimless and highly disorganized and not nearly as compelling as S1.

  • Dee

    So far I dig it…

  • Dee

    Pie-face broad=McAdams?

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    You know that “Ratpac” is Brett Ratner’s production company, right? Not exactly a model of independent respectability. All of those financiers are controlled by big, fat cat Hollywood players, not visionary mavericks.

  • KilliK

    yep, this company is nothing more than the legalized representation of power players in HW to invest on movies. in fact, they have replaced Legendary in the exclusive co-founding of WB’s productions. that’s why their name is mentioned in the first place, because they put money on the budget as that was their contract with WB. i

    independent filmmaking, this aint, in fact is a common practice from the big studios in HW, distribute the costs for minimal financial loss if the movie flops.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RatPac-Dune_Entertainment

  • Fucking putrid piece of shit Michael Bay is supposedly the producer of Black Sails and that show turned out to be awesome and great. That’s an example of a fucking hack involved in a very good thing.
    So if you ask me, this shits are not truly hand on producers but more like they gave their names to the production for “prestige” or to have a big name attached to a project so it could get investors or whatever and then let the real showrunners take the helm.
    Or maybe this shits found themselves where they truly belong, producing, back in the rear with the gear.

  • Tarmac492.1

    jerked off to her a few times

  • KilliK

    ahahaha, Lucas’ attitude is so badass, love him ever more after that clip.
    and that producer, what a fucking douche. and yes, apparently Lucas squashed his fucking movie like a bug.

  • Tarmac492.1

    withnail and i?? loved it. need to watch again.!!

  • Dennis O’Keefe

    They were joking with each other, you moron. That producer is Frank Marshall, who’s married to Kathy Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm. Goodness, you know nothing about the film industry whatsoever.