Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Film Finds of 2015

Every year I post a list of film finds. These are the films are too memorable  not to be on a year end list. Some of them probably should be on the best of the year list but a whim or a slight misstep kept them off, some are just so odd ball that they need to be noted. They are an ecclectic bunch and I would gladly watch anyone of them again- and in many cases over some the best of the best films of the year.

TOP FIVE- Chris Rock's near masterpiece is best when the film reduces down to just Rock and Rosario Dawson simply talking

PREDESTINATION- Robert Heinlein done expertly

EXODUS- Ridley Scott's epic is reviled by many. Yes there are problems but it plays closer to reality than any version and outside of Sigourney Weaver isn't all that bad.

IRON MASK-The best silent Douglas Fairbanks ever made as as far as I'm concerned. Yea I love THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD but this is greater

SUPREMACY- unexpected crime thriller is better than it has any right to be

FLIGHT OF THE FALCONS- fantastic look at schooling in Afghanistan

BIRTH OF SAKE- hypnotic look at how one company still makes sake by hand

KING JACK- Excellent coming of age film that absolutely feels dead on right

MAN UP- a wonderful romantic comedy that is way better once you pass a certain age and can relate to being over 30 and trying to date

HAVANA MOTOR CLUB-This should probably be on the best of the year list but I'm not sure if my passion for racing influenced how I feel about it. I need to see it again and reserve the right to move it to best of the year

STUNG- get past the first 15 minutes and then this giant wasp attacks a party movie is a blast and a half.

AFIREM- Glorious black and white Romanian epic about the hunt for a slave. One of the best Oscar hopefuls and a damn fine film in its own right.

DIXIELAND- if this didn't become artificial in the final minutes this would have been on my best of the year list. One of the most unheralded film of the year

GNOMIST- Small gem of a film about gnome houses

MAGGIE- a zombie film that is way better than it has any right to be. One of Arnold Schwarzenegger's best

LADIES OF THE HOUSE- John Wildman's throw back horror film is one of the recent spate of great horror films.

WE'RE STILL HERE- Ted Geoghagen's homage to Italian horror is better than its sources because he gives us characters we care about

N-CAPACE- Documentary essay that will have you thinking

YES MEN ARE REVOLTING and entertaining as they try to get us to understand why we maybe doomed.

NO LAND'S SONG- the power of music to heal will move you

RUINED HEART- Christopher Doyle lensed film that takes a cliche story and makes it magic

100 YEN LOVE- a seeming loser falls for a boxer. Wow. Another Oscar entry that should have made the cut.

SEASHORE- Great coming of age story

NINA FOREVER- what do you do when your dead lover keeps coming back? A great horror comedy romance

ON THE HORIZON-this romance has some of the greatest sequences in any film this year

BUNNY KILLER THING- Nuts completely nutty midnight film that must be seen late at night with a crazy audience

CASH ONLY- kick ass crime drama that with twist your gut- this is the calling card of a great filmmaker

POSSESSED- one of the best animated films is a send up of horror conventions and is NOT for kids.

WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX- no budget action film where anything can happen and the filmmakers riff their own creation. WOW and then some

JOKER GAME- Throw back adventure is like the best of Hollywood moved to war time Japan.

BACK TRACK (ADRIAN BRODY)- great thriller that defies convention to be something wonderful and unexpected. I saw this at the end of Tribeca and it had four or five of us standing in the hallway talking about it for almost an hour when it was done.

SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE- Adult romance is witty and charming and foul mouthed and a winner

FAR FROM MEN- adult adventure may bore some with its slowness and existential take, but for me, one the trip that is the center piece of the film happens films don't get better than this

ARMOR OF LIGHT- Right Wing conservative minister takes on the gun lobby. It will make you think

PRESCRIPTION THUGS- heart felt look at the drug industry. A kick ass piece of journalism

MAN VS SNAKE- Better than KING OF KONG. A super video game documentary

BOUNCE- why all creatures need to play.

MIRIAM HOME DEIVERY- Moving bio of a midwife in NYC. Good times with good people with one hell of a real set piece in a hurricane

MAD TIGER- portrait of P-Lander Z is a moving look at music and friendship

ROYAL ROAD- wonderful meditation on life and exploration

MADE IN JAPAN- Japanese country music...

HARBINGER DOWN- a hell of monster movie with no computer aid

THE FENCER-moving story of a man on the run who changed the life of the kids he taught.

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