Friday, 31 July 2015

Best and Worst of July 2015

We’re nearing the end of the summer season of 2015, but by no means are things quietening down yet. There’s still a lot to look forward to before the kids go back to school (as I am writing this I’m looking forward to seeing Rogue Nation very soon. But of course what’s been happening this month? Well most of the smaller scale blockbusters (quite literally in some cases) have emerged and some good mixes of indie and documentary films are heralding great results. The only real disappointment comes from the longest running franchise that got its latest instalment this month. But more on that later, for now, here are the best.
3: Ant-Man
Marvel just cannot do anything wrong right now can they? Well actually they can get a couple of things wrong, but a majority’s great. Ant-Man falls into the latter description, by stepping down in scale the super powerhouse studio proves they can still tackles stories on an intimate level and have created a funny, action packed and visually stunning caper with plenty of great performances to boot from Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas. At Comic-Con DC may have given us a lot to get excited about in the future, but Marvel is giving us a lot to get excited about now. ‘Age of Ultron’ gave them the title of highest grossing film franchise of all time, and ‘Ant-Man’ is putting them further into the lead.
2: Amy
‘Senna’ director Asif Kapadia turned his direction to a subject that fascinated me a lot less than the greatest driver of all time, a singer whose music I admired but never really liked. But rest assured I liked his film about her a lot. It’s edited beautifully and played out on such a personal level thanks to remarkable use of home videos. The end result is a pulsating and energetic film that shines a light on some of the harshest forms of media as well as the complexity and pressures of celebrity life. Not only that, but the nature and poignancy of the footage and the way it’s structured makes for a haunting tribute. It’s not overly critical or sentimental, just beautifully truthful.
1: Dear White People
It’s not new to integrate race into film or to use film as a vehicle for messages involving race. But to do it in such a way that views the entire situation in a more satirical light, without resorting to stereotyping or sentimentality, that takes a lot of talent. In fact the racial issue almost takes a backseat in proceedings as this smart and original story examines the concepts of personal identity and human interaction. The screenplay is sharp and humorous but manages to maintain a certain amount of gravitas, it may not be a perfect film, but what it does right is exceptional.
And the worst…
Terminator: Gensysyisysisyesisiesisesises

Is that how you spell it? Never mind, I don’t care. ‘Terminator… 5’, let’s just call it that, was advertised as the ‘Star Trek’/’Days of Future Past’ of James Cameron’s (it’s not really his anymore though is it?) franchise. But it fails on so many levels, only further souring the ‘Terminator’ legacy. This film marks a turning point that turned the franchise as a whole into a bad one as there are now more bad Terminator films than amazing ones. The action is uninspired, the plot needlessly complicated and Jai Courtny is proven to be owed a huge favour by someone important in Hollywood, why is he in so many big movies, I don’t know? Why does ‘Terminator 5’ exist? Same answer. 

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