Mousertainment Movies: What Was Worth Watching in 2015?

Today I’m going to take a quick look back at the films of 2015 and highlight the reasons I did or did not go see what I had planned at the beginning of the year and give my reactions to the films I did see and whether they got me out to see them in the theater (*) or whether I waited for home entertainment rental/on demand.

As always, these reflect my personal opinions/reactions to the films.

Note: these are listed in my original order of interest in seeing these films at the beginning of the year.  At the end of the article, I will provide the order in which I actually liked them best!

10) Home

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Really liked the book “The True Meaning of Smekday”
  • Jim Parsons

Reasons I didn’t go see it:

  • Waiting for rental/on demand

9) Inside Out *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Pixar
  • Director Pete Docter

Reasons to go see it:

  • It will very likely win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature this year and possibly even be nominated for Best Picture
  • Parents and people who have moved away from home can connect to the story of a girl coping with loss and dealing with the mixed emotions of growing up
  • But for me, personally, I couldn’t relate at all and was very bored by it – however, I’m apparently in the minority in not enjoying it

8) Terminator: Genisys

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Continuation of Terminator storyline
  • Return of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator

Reasons I didn’t go see it:

  • Got truly terrible reviews
  • Waiting for rental/on demand

7) Jurassic World

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Continuation of Jurassic Park storyline
  • Chris Pratt
  • Dinosaurs

Reasons I didn’t go see it:

  • Waiting for rental/on demand
  • Still REALLY want to see it and need to do so!  This is the one I’m sad I missed seeing in theaters.

6) The Good Dinosaur *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Created by Bob Peterson
  • Pixar
  • Dinosaurs
  • Concept Art

Reasons to go see it:

  • The animation of nature is very pretty
  • The characters were appealing in this attempt on a reverse take on “a boy and his dog” story
  • But otherwise, to me, it felt too often like an overly familiar re-tread of The Lion King including certain sequences that seemed taken directly from it. You’re better off re-watching The Lion King or the original Pete’s Dragon instead (one of the best Disney versions of “a boy and his dog”… well, dragon… tale).

5) Cinderella (with animated short Frozen Fever) – waited for rental

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Director Kenneth Branagh
  • Cate Blanchett as the Stepmother
  • Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother
  • Disney
  • Frozen Fever

Reasons to go see it:

  • Director Kenneth Branagh
  • The visuals – amazing art design and costumes
  • Helena Bonham Carter as a surprisingly sweet Fairy Godmother
  • After the struggle-to-watch Maleficent stumbled with its poor script, I was afraid I might be burned out on live-action Disney movies, but Cinderella restored my faith and is a great new addition to the Cinderella film “family” after the pretty-much-perfect Ever After, fun variations on the theme such as Ella Enchanted and Cinderfella and of course, the classic Disney animated original.
  • Frozen Fever is strictly for the Frozen fanatics but SPOILER (highlight the text ahead to reveal a story plot point): Somewhat delicately put: it’s about Elsa making snow creatures from her mucus. Not sure what else to say about it.

4) Ant-Man *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Continuation of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) storyline

Reasons to go see it:

  • It probably helped that I had a low threshold of expectation for this film, but happily it turned out to be much better than I was concerned it would be and is a worthy, if for the moment junior member of the MCU.
  • To me, it was a more accessible comedy than Guardians of the Galaxy, being a more “grounded” film by comparison – it wasn’t as wacky, but it was definitely funny.
  • Paul Rudd is charming as always

3) Tomorrowland *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • An original sci-fi/fantasy adventure story
  • Disney history/parks connection

Reasons to go see it:

  • DISNEY. DISNEY. DISNEY.
  • The pure Walt Disney-ness of this film cannot be overstated as I noted in my glorification of this film earlier in the year.
  • It took me right back to the fantasy family films of the 60’s and 70’s that Disney would release that I loved so much, such as Escape to Witch Mountain and The Watcher in the Woods.
  • My absolute favorite film of the year – one I went to see twice in theaters and had to buy on Blu-Ray the day it was released.

2) Star Wars: The Force Awakens *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Continuation of Star Wars storyline
  • Return of original cast
  • Hopeful for a refreshed take on the universe and characters

Reasons to go see it:

  • It actually IS a great Star Wars movie.
  • All the nostalgia/hat tips to the original films from the opening crawl to the classic John Williams score to the editing wipes
  • The original cast
  • The new cast
  • Poe Dameron
  • Although it is, to a large degree, a millennial version of A New Hope, it’s still charming and effective and a great entry for fans new and old. And it’s a good popcorn flick unto itself – I will buy it on Blu-Ray the day it is released to go with my Episodes IV, V and VI.

1) Avengers: Age of Ultron *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Continuation of MCU storyline
  • Joss Whedon
  • James Spader
  • THE WHOLE AVENGERS CAST

Reasons to go see it:

  • Vision. Because awesome.
  • Continuation of MCU storyline
  • While feeling largely like a piece of a story rather than a satisfying self-contained adventure ala the first Avengers film, it’s still necessary for any Marvel fan to see at least once. Despite the silly Hawkeye subplot and bizarre, inexplicable shipping of Bruce and Natasha. Please, no.

 

So here’s how I ultimately ranked the films I saw in 2015 from personal favorite to least interesting for me:

  1. Tomorrowland
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  3. Cinderella
  4. Ant-Man
  5. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  6. The Good Dinosaur
  7. Inside Out

Tomorrow, Mousertainment Movies will take a look ahead at the year in film.

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