Top Ten Films of 2015

Top Ten Films of 2015

Top Ten Films of 2015

2015 was a very weak year and one of the worst in a long time unfortunately. Most of the big movies disappointed, but there still were more than enough really great movies with a couple of truly fantastic ones. Animation had a very good year and there were some truly phenomenal foreign flicks this year. As with the last year’s list, I tried to represent many genres with my list so here we go.

Dheepan Movie Review

10. Dheepan

The tenth place belongs to this excellent French film which rightfully won the Golden Palm at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and which was wrongfully snubbed by the Academy. It is such a relevant, very emotional drama that perfectly explores its subject matter. It does have a jarring shift in tone, but that action in the second half is really well executed. The film is incredibly well acted with the two talented leads giving terrific performances and it is surprisingly funny with such a good humor present from time to time. But Dheepan is above all such a powerful and a very emotional movie that has a very sophisticated screenplay and such realistic characters. It is the year’s second best foreign film.

Racing Extinction Movie Review

9. Racing Extinction

The only documentary on my list is Racing Extinction, a film that is also one of the most underrated of the year. It is a work of such urgent message and such an important subject matter. It is a film that everyone should see, but it is also a really well crafted, incredibly well made movie that is great in all of its aspects. It is one of the most heartbreaking movies of the year and some scenes here almost made me cry. It is a real life horror film, but the one that admirably ends on an optimistic note with such a visually dazzling, simply beautiful finale. It is such a great movie that is another shameful Oscar snub and easily the finest documentary of 2015.

The Second Mother Movie Review

8. The Second Mother

And this is the year’s absolute best foreign film. This Brazilian drama has all of the reasons why I love the genre so much – the plot and the character’s problems are very relatable, the emotion is there, but never too emphasized, the characters are incredibly realistic and the dialogue is excellent. The acting is also fantastic and it is overall such a well made, very involving movie. Its humor is also really good and emerges seamlessly from the story’s scenarios. The ending is wonderful as well and The Second Mother is thematically rich and explores its themes in a great way. It isn’t perfect as it has its problems, but it is really great for the most part and I just loved watching it.

Shaun the Sheep Review

7. Shaun the Sheep Movie

Shaun the Sheep Movie is one of the two animated films on this list. It is to me the finest Aardman feature yet which is really saying a lot. It is a stop-motion charmer that never stops to amaze with its evident craftsmanship. It is also admirably silent for its entire running time and it is such a wonderfully old-fashioned flick in every way. The movie also has a big heart with a couple of truly heartwarming scenes. The humor is good, the characters are endearing and the plot, although simple, is immensely enjoyable and always engaging. Shaun the Sheep Movie surprised me with its quality and it is such a beautifully animated, incredibly well crafted film and I just can’t wait to see the next entry in Aardman’s impressive filmography.

Grandma Movie Review

6. Grandma

Coming in at number six is the shortest, but sweetest and funniest film here. Grandma is pure entertainment, but that doesn’t mean that it lacks in other areas as it has a brain as well and its heart is in the right place too. Lily Tomlin gave one of the year’s finest performances and created such a memorable character that made me laugh countless times. The humor here is amazing with many quotable lines, but the characters are real and their problems are relevant and really well dealt with. It is an infectiously funny road trip flick that is the most fun of all of 2015 films that I’ve watched, not just the ones on this list. And it takes extra points for being a great film all around.

Paper Towns Review

5. Paper Towns

Paper Towns lands on the middle of the list and it has the distinction of being the worst reviewed movie here. And although I can understand people not liking it for its jarring shift in tone is too distracting, I still found it to be such a fascinating, endlessly quotable and surprisingly sophisticated teen movie that is one of the better teen flicks I’ve seen. Its characters are realistic, but the themes are so good and the dialogue is just superb as is expected from a John Green story. The entire ending with that thought-provoking and really truthful observation is the highlight and the entire film is not only fun and funny, but so relatable and just honest and real in every scene.

Inside Out Review

4. Inside Out

Being not only the best animated film of the year but also the third overall best, Inside Out’s greatness came as no surprise to me as I was looking forward to it for a long time and I knew it was going to be great. It isn’t one of Pixar’s best, but it is one of the most original films I’ve seen recently with many scenes being incredibly authentic. It has great character development, excellent animation and such a wonderfully mature tone to it, but its message is the highlight as it is a rare film that teaches you how it is okay to be sad at times. Inside Out is also often heartbreaking and it is just such a great mix of sophisticated ideas and likable characters. It is a glorious return to form for Pixar which really needed it after a recent string of misfires.

Ex Machina Review

3. Ex Machina

The third place goes to the only worthy sci-fi film in a bad year for the genre. But what a film this is. It is the kind of hard science fiction that I just love, filled with many brilliant and thought-provoking themes and such a sophisticated dialogue. But among all of those smart observations and ideas is also a huge heart as the film can be very emotional and just beautiful to behold. It also has such amazing, seamless special effects and superb editing, acting and directing. It is a thrilling and involving look at some important questions and it is to me the best film about robots ever made and an essential science fiction movie that is going to go down in history as one of the classics.

Carol

2. Carol

Carol is simply put wonderful. It is a romance that works on every level. The film is not only incredibly well acted, wonderfully scored and really well made, but it is also stupendously charming and romantic. It is filled with great detail and recreates this beautiful relationship as it truly deserves – with a style, great performances and evident chemistry between the two. This is a traditional film in the best way possible and watching it was like watching a 1950s classic, that’s how good it is. The mix of new and old is brilliant, but its ending is just spectacular and it brought a big smile to my face. In fact, I was smiling during the entire running time here because this is that kind of a film – it superbly transports you to its time period, it is cozy and just beautiful in its every scene. It’s an immense charmer that did not get nearly enough attention that it deserved as it truly is a classic.

Room (2015)1. Room

And number one goes to Room – a movie that is so obviously the very best film of the year that I honestly cannot understand how my sentiment isn’t universal. This is a perfect movie in every way and I confirmed that upon second viewing as it also has a repeat value and an evident timeless appeal to it. The characters feel real and I felt that I had just met them, the story is so involving and the film is superbly crafted with the direction, acting, pacing and writing all being terrific. Jacob Tremblay is just a revelation and Brie Larson is expectedly great and the film is emotional, but in an exhilarating, hard-hitting way. I almost cried while watching it and it can really destroy you how powerful it is. But the fact that it avoids going into an exploitative territory and becoming a thriller is the reason why it is that great. It is such a sophisticated, endlessly original film that never ceases to amaze you with its lack of plot holes and with its evident ease at which it explores its very difficult subject matter. It is a miraculous film and the only true masterpiece of 2015 and one of the very best that the entire decade has to offer. A future classic.

Honorable mentions:

Crimson Peak – Guillermo Del Toro’s terrific mystery Crimson Peak unfortunately failed to make the final list, but it is such an underrated, authentic film filled with great imagery and a superb mix of genres.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – In a great year for teen flicks, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is one of the best, featuring such likable characters and an incredibly moving ending with such a great message.

Spy – Spy is a hilarious comedy with a joke after joke, but it is also a great mix of spy action and comedy. It is the finest Paul Feig movie thus far and such a fun, very satisfying com

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Let’s Get Movin’ (1936)

Let's Get Movin'Let’s Get Movin’ Review

 Let’s Get Movin’ is a 1936 animated short from  series. It is one of the fastest shorts in the series.

Olive is moving and she gets Bluto to do the job believing he is strong. But Popeye wants to prove that he is stronger. The premise itself is ripe for Popeye the Sailor series and although it does play it safe and is problematically paced, I still liked that fast pace near the end. The entire third act is so frenetic and so incredibly fast that it is quite unforgettable. And I enjoyed that quite a bit and I wish more entries were that fast in action as the action here is all the better for it.

The fights are great, the voices are phenomenal and Olive is absolutely fantastic with her obsession with strong men being hilarious. In fact, this is her best episode in a long time. Bluto is very good, but Popeye is another highlight as his talk here is frequently amusing. The score is also great and the film is exhilarating to watch. It is such an entertaining entry that is funny as well.

Let’s Get Movin’ holds the distinction of being the fastest Popeye short to this date, but it is funny and very entertaining too.

 My Rating – 4.3

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The Remains of the Day (1993)

The Remains of the Day Review

The Remains of the Day Movie Review

The Remains of the Day is a 1993 drama film directed by James Ivory and starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. It is an acclaimed, but to me such a disappointing movie.

The plot is quite good here and its themes in particular are great. I loved the critique of aristocrats and especially British people and their cold behavior and calculated mannerisms that can affect their lives in a negative way. I liked that quite a bit and it is such a powerful, very important subject matter because it is a big issue for this nation. And there is nothing worse than not being able to emotionally connect with people.

However, all of those great themes are unfortunately executed in a mediocre way. The Remains of the Day becomes like its protagonist himself – cold and distant. That was unfortunate and really frustrating for me as I like more heartwarming films. And yes, the ending had that great scene, but for the most part, the film is very cold and emotionally distant. And it is above all excruciatingly slow paced and just dull. I was honestly bored from beginning to end as there isn’t any energy in its execution. And it lacks heart, as I said earlier.

I get the protagonist and his issue, but I still really disliked him and I think he should have been given better treatment. Miss Kenton is better, but even she isn’t that great as her story really took way too long to take off. And the other characters are all either forgettable or tedious.

The acting is one of the strongest aspects in The Remains of the Day. The acting duo of Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson is just fantastic as both are such great actors. And they both did such a great job here. I wouldn’t call this performance one of his best, but Hopkins is excellent in it. And Emma Thompson is really fantastic as well.

The dialogue is very disappointing. It is never as sophisticated as the script needed it and there is too much focus on politics which is unnecessary as the focus should have been put on characters and their problems. They get good treatment in the third act, but by that point, it was too late. The tone is also too dreary and the directing is okay, but should have been better. The pacing is of course bad as the film is very slow and very boring. And it is such a weak execution of a potentially very good screenplay.

It received eight Academy Award nominations and I definitely agree about the acting nods as both actors did a great job here. But all of the other nominations are thoroughly undeserved and The Remains of the Day is most certainly an overrated, very disappointing movie to me. I expected so much from it, but I was let down because it is mainly just dull.

The Remains of the Day has such a good subject matter with very important themes and Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson are both great in it, but the film is unfortunately such a disappointing, overrated mess with an excruciatingly slow pace, very cold tone and a bad approach with the dialogue being very disappointing. It never explored its themes properly and it is above all such an immensely dull movie to watch.

My Rating – 3

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Casanova Cat (1951)

Casanova Cat ReviewCasanova Cat Review

Casanova Cat is a 1951 animated short that is the 55th Tom and Jerry cartoon. It is a very offensive, albeit fun entry.

Tom courts Toodles because she inherited a lot of money and uses Jerry as a doll. The mouse invites Butch to get his revenge and in the end he ends up with the female cat. That ending is absolutely ridiculous. And the fact that it is racist does not bother me as much as I watch it contextually. But the bigger offender here is the film’s sexism. Toodles is even more of a sex object this time around and she is basically a non-entity. That was frustrating and very annoying.

This is another Tom and Jerry short that I remember loving as a child, but even though I do not share the same sentiment now, I still like it quite a bit because it is very entertaining. The torturing of Jerry continues in this installment and it is hilarious with the doll scene being so good. Butch is also well used and Tom is very funny here. And those scenes with Toodles, although sexist, are certainly funny and the whole flick is a lot of fun. It is troublesome, but amusing.

Casanova Cat is offensive, but also very funny and entertaining with many amusing scenes.

My Rating – 4.1

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Top Five Female Film Performances of 2015

Top Five Female Film Performances of 2015

Top Five Female Film Performances of 2015

The year of 2015 had so many incredible actress performances that it was very difficult for me to just pick five. I wanted to represent many types of different women and different actresses so without further ado, here is my list of the best female performances of the year.

Rooney Mara for Carol

5. Rooney Mara – Carol

Rooney Mara bested Cate Blanchett in Carol which is really admirable. Cate is really good, but because she was a bit over-the-top at times, Mara outperformed her as she gave a more subtle, more memorable performance. Her character is so endearing and she herself is immensely likable in this role.

Regina Casé for The Second Mother

4. Regina Casé – The Second Mother

The Second Mother is a terrific film all around, but she is one of the biggest reasons why it works so well as she is absolutely magnificent in it. She wonderfully brought to life this timid, complex and in the end very sympathetic woman and she isn’t getting much attention for it which is unfortunate.

Lily Tomlin for Grandma

3. Lily Tomlin – Grandma

The fact that Lily Tomlin wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar is mind-boggling and it just goes to show the Academy’s evident bias towards comedies. But she is great not only in comic delivery, but also in the more dramatic scenes as well and the film has those in abundance as it is a dramedy at its core. She is amazing and her character is without a doubt the most memorable and funniest of the year.

Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl

2. Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Alicia Vikander had such a great year. She was terrific in Ex Machina, but her role in The Danish Girl takes the most screen time and she plays a realistic, difficult and yet in the end caring woman. And she delivered in every single scene she was in and stole the show from Redmayne himself.

Brie Larson for Room

1. Brie Larson – Room

Brie Larson is such a great actress and I am glad that she won her much deserved Oscar. She plays such a strong, caring woman who will do anything for her son and she is absolutely terrific in this difficult role. And it is great that the movie that is the best of the year also has the finest performances, both actor and actress. That rarely happens, but Room is  that one movie and Brie Larson is a great talent to keep an eye on.

Honorable Mentions

Carey Mulligan for Suffragette

Carey Mulligan is excellent in everything she does and she had one strong year in 2015. She was great in Suffragette, but she was really good in Far from the Madding Crowd as well.

Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight

Jennifer Jason Leigh plays such a despicable woman in The Hateful Eight, but she is terrific in this very unusual female role, especially for a western. And she is certainly highly memorable.

Kalieaswari Srinivasan for Dheepan

In my opinion, Srinivasan was even better than Jesuthasan in Dheepan. She gave such a great, underrated performance in such a difficult role and she stole every scene she was in.

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The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

The Great Mouse Detective Review

The Great Mouse Detective Movie Review

The Great Mouse Detective is a 1986 animated mystery comedy film directed by Ron Clements and with the voice work of Vincent Price. It is the 26th Walt Disney animated feature and such a solid, often overlooked movie.

It follows a mouse detective who along with his friend doctor must chase a villainous rat and rescue the father of a little girl. The plot itself is both the film’s weakness and strength. Let me explain. It is good because it is very mysterious and adventurous, filled with excellent set design and a great use of various locations. It is also very engaging and really charming. However, it is derivative and there lies its problem. It is basically a Sherlock Holmes movie, albeit a family-friendly version with mice. And though it can be considered to be a wonderful homage, it is still too much influenced by it with the characters themselves basically being the same. I would have liked to have seen at least some change in its storytelling, but it unfortunately remained the same which is very lazy from the screenwriters.

The Great Mouse Detective’s character development is one of its strongest suits. Yes, these characters are basically Sherlock Holmes characters, but they are still very charming and endearing with the new ones being very good as well. Basil is excellent as this cocky detective that is seemingly cold, but with his heart still in the right place. As for Dawson, he’s also pretty good. I expected more from him, but he’s mostly well utilized and the relationship between the two is the highlight. Olivia Flaversham is a likable, but forgettable child character.

Professor Ratigan is such a terrific villain! He is one of the most underrated and easily one of the better villains in the Disney canon as he is so good. Vincent Price did a great job in this voice role, but the character itself is really well written and he is such a wonderfully theatrical, yet menacing villain that posed real threat to our protagonists. He is easily the finest and most memorable character in the entire film. Toby is somewhat annoying as a dog stereotype ruled by mice which was weird, but Fidget was pretty good as a henchman and I liked Felicia’s presence quite a bit. And the Queen was also solid.

The animation is quite good here. It isn’t particularly inspired or memorable with the character designs being mostly typical, but Ratigan is exquisitely animated and his transformation near the end is phenomenally done. That whole ending benefits from some excellent use of CGI and the clockwork scene is gorgeous to look at. The film is also meticulously detailed with some great interiors. The animation is quite solid, but admittedly forgettable.

The soundtrack is pretty good and underappreciated. Goodbye, So Soon is solid and accompanies that iconic intense sequence really well. Let Me Be Good To You is also quite good and so catchy and fun. It also accompanies a memorable and really entertaining and well executed scene. The songs are really put in some great scenes here which is great. And of course the standout song is The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind. I just love this song as it is not only incredibly catchy and well executed, but also because it perfectly showcases its villain and presents his personality and goal in the quickest way possible. And it is just so damn entertaining. The songs are really good here, there are just three of them, but all three are quite good. As for the score, it is also pretty good with some quite memorable moments here and there.

The Great Mouse Detective is an incredibly effervescent and likable movie that isn’t the most ambitious excursion, but is so much fun and has a lot of charm. The highlights for me, apart from those songs and their scenes, are the opening scene and the ending. The opening is so intense and very mature. It is very atmospheric and it sets up this story perfectly, ending in some really good, fittingly retro title score. The ending is so heartwarming. When Basil says goodbye to Olivia, that moment is touching. But the entire finale with the doctor staying and becoming his personal assistant is such a great conclusion to this story, the one that emphasizes their friendship and partnership perfectly. The clockwork scene is also very well executed and even intense.

Yes, this film has some pretty good action sequences. The plot itself is forgettable and unfortunately the entire movie is like that which is its biggest problem, but the action is really well done and always fun to watch. The pacing is also pretty good and although leisurely, I liked that about it as it fits the mood of the story. It is well scored and solidly animated, but the directing could have been better and the film could have used more ambition and more interesting and unique plot points to it.  The humor is solid, but there aren’t that many funny moments here. The imagery is great with some locations being really memorable and detailed. The dialogue is also quite solid and it has some fine lines in it. The film is somewhat clever, but typical and could have used more energy and originality in its execution. But it admittedly has a big heart with some scenes being incredibly heartwarming. And it is also very charming. The Great Mouse Detective isn’t one of the more memorable Disney flicks, but it is still quite solid and certainly one of the better 80s efforts from Disney. It isn’t on the level of ‘The Fox and the Hound‘ of course, but it is better than ‘The Black Cauldron‘ and it is certainly superior to ‘Oliver & Company’.

The Great Mouse Detective is admittedly too familiar and lazy in its storytelling and the film is very forgettable among the Disney flicks, but it is still a solid little film filled with some great characters with the villain being superb, excellent score, some good songs, a great charming tone to it and well executed action sequences. It is forgettable, but endearing and charming and having some great scenes here and there.

My Rating – 3.5

 

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Never Kick a Woman (1936)

Never Kick a Woman ReviewNever Kick a Woman Review

 Never Kick a Woman is a 1936 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is one of the weirdest and most different entries in the series.

I really liked this entry. It has such a great premise in it. Popeye wants to teach Olive self-defense, but eventually she must fight a woman who is infatuated by Popeye. The execution of this unique premise could have been better and the humor is also lacking, but it is still such a fun entry in its weirdness and offbeat plot.

Popeye has his moments and I like the newly introduced female character, but this is Olive’s episode and she shines in it. After being basically a weak damsel in distress for many years, she finally learns to fight and defend herself and that development is so interesting and incredibly satisfying. It is interesting because this is the only instance where she eats spinach, not Popeye. And I really liked the fights with the ending where she even beats Popeye being hilarious and a perfect finale. It also has that inventive action scene in which Olive’s hairstyle, while being beaten, changes with every punch. That was hilarious. It is overall flawed, but so much fun.

Never Kick a Woman could have been better, but it is so refreshing in its action-oriented use of Olive and she shines in it with so many memorable moments.

 My Rating – 4.1

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Gorillas in the Mist (1988)

Gorillas in The Mist Movie Review

Gorillas in the Mist Movie Review

Gorillas in the Mist is a 1988 drama film directed by Michael Apted and starring Sigourney Weaver. It is such a strong, important movie.

It tells the true story of Dian Fossey, a naturalist who saved mountain gorillas from poaching in Rwanda. This is such a heartbreaking film that is necessary for everyone to see and learn as it really happened and this woman did such an admirable job basically on her own saving this species. The film’s running time is somewhat long, but it is always an involving and entertaining animal film that is a must see for any animal lover. I really liked how it started on such an adventurous tone that hooked me in instantly. And the entire movie is sort of an adventure, but the one that really happened. The ending is also strong, but some of the middle parts are admittedly problematic, but more on that later.

Yes, the character development in Gorillas in the Mist is definitely troublesome. Weaver is excellent herself, but the character never was fully realized and Dian Fossey deserved a better and more real portrayal. And some of her personality traits such as anger issues are entirely omitted which is unfortunate. I liked the character, but she needed to be better as this is her movie. Sembagare is endearing and the relationship between the two is very charming. As for Campbell, he was boring to me, but the two did have some effervescent, romantic scenes.

The acting is great here. I am such a big fan of Sigourney Weaver and this is undoubtedly her finest performance to date. She shines in this role and the casting director in particular is to praise because she fits this role like a glove. She was amazing not only in her more charming and humorous scenes, but also in her more dramatic and emotional ones. She is fantastic and deserved her Oscar nomination without a doubt.

Gorillas in the Mist is a technically splendid picture. The scenery is gorgeous to look at and Rwanda is just beautiful. The more action-oriented scenes are wonderfully executed and the scenes with the gorillas are the highlights as they are either majestic or really sweet. And the score is really good as well. The directing is also pretty good, but the editing could have been better.

The film is a wonderful adventure as well as an important biographical drama. And the subject matter I thought was really well dealt with here and the film is emotionally powerful and even devastating in some scenes. However, what I found problematic is the film’s use of violence. It is way too difficult to watch at times and I really, really did not need to see a headless gorilla. That scene disgusted me and made me angry and it shouldn’t have been included. It may be necessary to some, but to me it was an excursion into a sadistic territory. But the movie thankfully is mostly devoid of such scenes with just that one being repulsive.

Gorillas in the Mist is one of the better animal movies and is very underappreciated in my opinion. But it did receive its five Academy Award nominations with the Best Actress nod for Sigourney Weaver being much deserved. But those technical ones are a mixed bag. It did deserve nominations for sound and score, but not so much for script and editing. But overall, the film is really well made and to me an essential film of this type.

Gorillas in the Mist does have weaker characterization, not that good editing and one repulsive and too violent scene, but this is mostly such a good movie that is important for its story, but also very emotional and even devastating at times. It is also beautiful to look at and it features probably the finest performance in Sigourney Weaver’s career.

My Rating – 4

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Top Five Male Performances of 2015

Top Five Male Performances of 2015

 

 Top Five Male Performances of 2015

2015 wasn’t such a good year for male roles as there weren’t that many actors that shined. But those who did delivered some truly powerful performances. So here is my list of the best male performances of the year

Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight

5. Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

I really enjoyed Ruffalo’s performance and he was without a doubt the best actor in Spotlight. He played such a different character than usual and he played the more physical attributes really well. But he delivered in dialogue as well with one truly emotional sequence. He was the best aspect in the entire film

Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl

4. Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

Eddie Redmayne is quickly becoming one of the best actors working today and his role in The Danish Girl is extremely difficult, but he delivered and truly became Lily which is so admirable and such a tough thing to do. His mannerisms and his way of speaking are very feminine here and he delivered in those more emotional sequences as well. He is such a good actor and I can’t wait to see him in Fantastic Beasts.

Ian McKellen for Mr. Holmes

3. Ian McKellen – Mr. Holmes

This is the most overlooked performance of the year unfortunately. Ian McKellen is absolutely fantastic in Mr. Holmes and he is the heart and soul of that movie. His subtle, elegant manner of speaking is perfect here and his character is so complex and moving and he played him wonderfully, definitely giving one of the finest and most underrated performances of the year.

Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs

2. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

Michael Fassbender is one of the finest actors today as he is excellent in almost everything he does. Here he plays Jobs and his role takes the most screen time and he is excellent from beginning to end. He became Jobs, he is so professional and this is one of the best performances I’ve seen in a biopic.

 

Jacob Tremblay for Room

1. Jacob Tremblay – Room

And the finest actor performance of the year goes to Jacob Tremblay who simply amazed me with his incredible work. His role in Room is so difficult, but he delivered with his spectacular performance. His facial expressions are excellent, he delivered in both more subtle and more emotional scenes and he even outshines Brie Larson which is really saying something. He really came out of nowhere and at just the age of nine gave not only the best performance of the year, but also the very best child acting performance of all time.

Honorable Mentions

Matt Damon – The Martian – This is a typical blockbuster comedic character, but Matt Damon is superb in it nonetheless as he is great in not only humorous, but also those more dramatic and heartbreaking moments.

Antonythasan Jesuthasan – Dheepan – This is such a strong movie on all grounds, but the acting in particular is superb with Jesuthasan being terrific in a hard, layered and relevant role.

Michael Shannon – 99 Homes – I have never been the biggest fan of this actor, but there is no denying his great work in 99 Homes. Andrew Garfield is also good in it, but Shannon is the one who is the most memorable.

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Cue Ball Cat (1950)

Cue Ball Cat ReviewCue Ball Cat Review

Cue Ball Cat is a 1950 animated short that is the 54th Tom and Jerry cartoon. It is a true return to form for the series and one of their finest efforts.

I loved the setting here. The pool setting is new, but perfect and so fitting for the series because it is ripe for many great action scenarios and the holes are so similar to Jerry’s usual mouse hole. And they made use of its premise and setting perfectly with some phenomenal action at display here. The various torture scenes in which Tom destroys the mouse are superb not only for their incredibly inventive execution and conception, but also for the fact that Jerry has rarely been on the receiving end of the torture this much. So refreshing to see.

And yes, some of the action later on is disappointing with Jerry’s torture plans being not quite as effective or as unique as Tom’s, but Cue Ball Cat mostly is terrific with the humor being excellent as I laughed many times. The animation is great and the various scenarios are so entertaining and inventive. It is undoubtedly one of the best Tom and Jerry cartoons and easily their finest in many years.

Cue Ball Cat makes use of its terrific setting wonderfully with some superb humor and an amazing action filled with many inventive moments.

My Rating – 4.3

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