my top 5 movies of 2015

Hi friends! I thought I would start doing something a little different. I used to do “top 5 movies” videos on YouTube, and brought the idea to my blog for Halloween. I’m big into movies. My BA in media communications was mostly focused in film. What would you guys think if I started recommending some of my favorites?
Let me know if there are any categories and genres you want me to cover. We’ll start out with my five favorite films from 2015.

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Coming in at number five…
Everest

Based on a true story and starring big names like Jason Clarke, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, and Jake Gyllenhaal, Everest is the story of a group of climbers who get caught in a snow storm while climbing the famous mountain. It is an adventure beyond words that I saw in IMAX. Unfortunately the film did not earn any Oscar nominations, but I felt that it was very well done. From cinematography and sound, to characters and acting, it was a nail biting and intriguing story. I didn’t know much about climbing Everest before seeing the film and I liked getting to see so much of the process and the history of climbing the mountain.

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Number four…
Jurassic World

You might be surprised that a film from my favorite franchise only made number four on my list. If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough, you know that Jurassic Park is my favorite movie of all time. When the long-awaited fourth film was announced I lost my mind. Getting to see a new Jurassic movie was an extra special experience.
If you haven’t seen the originals, you might want to (at least the first one) before seeing Jurassic World. Otherwise the nostalgia and some back story will be missing for you. The film, in a sense, ignores the second and third movies, which took place on a completely different island. The park on Isla Nublar has been rebuilt and is the modern adaptation of everything John Hammond envisioned. The attractions and “assets” are all genetically modified, and the park guests arrive in droves. The surprisingly weak female lead, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), might run the entire park in her heels and stark white ensemble, but the real scene stealer is Owen (Chris Pratt), who is great with a gun, the Raptors, and sarcastic jokes. Claire’s nephews have come to the park at the perfect time–right in time for the new asset to escape captivity and cause some serious harm to the park and its guests. Owen and Claire must rescue the boys and contain the asset before too many lives are lost.

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Number three…
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Episode seven. We have been waiting years for this moment, my fellow nerds. Thank you for the characters and the amazing story, George Lucas, but I am glad that he stepped aside and allowed Disney to have complete control of this amazing addition to the Star Wars world.
While I understand not every fan is on board with The Force Awakens, complaining about things like the story feeling like a remake, I don’t share all of your concerns. I loved it. I love that there is a strong female lead who so far is not a Mary Sue. I love the humor, the characters, and the introduction to what will be our new Star Wars. Let’s all remember that the filmmakers had a hard task. They brought old characters into a new world, just like they brought new characters into an old world. They had to do both in order to appeal to an already established audience with high expectations. I think that they did a pretty good job, and I’m excited to see what they do next with their now already established characters.
I know people who went to see Episode VII without having seen any of the previous Star Wars films. They all liked it, but were confused about some things. I would personally recommend that you at least watch episodes four, five, and six (the originals released in the 70s and 80s) before seeing the newest installment.
I’m not going to say much about the plot line, because I personally hate spoilers. It is three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire and a new evil has risen in the galaxy–The First Order. Is the Resistance is the only thing standing in their way?

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Number two…
Mad Max: Fury Road

I had zero desire to see this movie when it first came out. I don’t like crazy apocalyptic movies about awful people doing awful things to other humans. Somehow, late one weekend evening, I found myself going to the movies with my sister to see Mad Max because she just loved it.
Surprise, surprise, so did I.
This George Miller film starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron is not your average film. The sand is a distinct orange color. The societies are weird and have sex slaves and War Boys. Max finds himself captured by a group of people and must find a way to free himself. He soon finds out that he isn’t the only one seeking freedom.
The editing is unique and Noticeable (which as an editor I absolutely adore because normally editing is not something that should be Noticeable). The sound mixing, sound editing, sound everything is to die for. And the surprisingly little amount of dialogue does nothing but build up the characters. I love weird movies that are well made. It is a feast for the eyes and the ears, if not for the soul. I really don’t want human beings to turn out like this in the apocalypse–let’s be honest.

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My number one from 2015…
The Martian

The book and the film are both immediate favorites of mine. Based on the book by Andy Weir, Ridley Scott has done it again. Mark Watney (Matt Damon), an astronaut botanist finds himself unexpectedly stranded on Mars after a freak storm causes his crew to abort their mission. With no means of communication, he can’t tell his crew or NASA that he survived what should have killed him. He has very few supplies and must somehow figure out a way to survive using only his ingenuity and incredibly good attitude.
The film pulled seven Oscar nominations this year, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Visual Effects. Honestly, what gets me more than anything on a film is the sound. I adore the sound in The Martian. Despite what a horrifying experience this man went through (obviously it’s fiction, but you would hardly know that with how well done it is), I really want to be an astronaut when I grow up now.
If you only choose one of these five films to see, I would recommend this one.

I’m really impressed with the films of 2015, but equally excited to see what 2016 has to offer. Some films that didn’t make the list are “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “American Sniper,” “Kingsman,” and “Cinderella.” What was your favorite film from 2015?

Until next time,

Jamie

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my top 5 halloween movies

If any of y’all know me, you know that I am very into movies. I went to school for film and spend a good part of my free time finding and watching new movies. Halloween is a time to pull out the classics. Personally, I’m not very into scary movies. Since getting into the television show Supernatural I have been getting better, but I still can’t handle zombies… and demons are my downfall. If those are things you look for in your Halloween movies, you might want to go elsewhere on the internet to find what to watch tonight. My top 5 is going to be a lot more family friendly so if that appeals to you guys, then awesome!

5. Sleepy Hollow

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For some people this is considered a little too creepy. It is the Johnny Depp version. I don’t watch it every year but I chose it over Beetlejuice. The story of Sleepy Hollow is basically about a town that is being terrorized by a headless horseman who is killing people. Johnny Depp comes to investigate.

4. Scream

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I love Scream! It’s pretty much poking fun at horror movies while being somewhat suspenseful at the same time. It’s about a small town that doesn’t usually have a lot going on but this girl’s mom was murdered and then all of a sudden these other murders start happening. She’s terrified and it all seems to be happening to her as well.

3. The Addams Family

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I love both of the Addams family movies. The family is very gothic and extreme. So extreme that it’s hilariously unrealistic.

2. Casper

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One of my favorites since childhood is the live action film starring Christina Ricci (who also happens to be in Sleepy Hollow and The Addams Family). Casper is a friendly ghost and he has three uncles who are your typical ghosts who like haunting and scaring people. Casper just wants to be nice. A father and daughter move into Casper’s house and the movie is about their relationship with the ghosts, among other things.

1. Hocus Pocus

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My all time favorite. Max doesn’t believe in magic and lights the black flame candle on Halloween to impress a girl, but instead he brings back three dead witches–The Sanderson Sisters. The witches, confused by a world 300 years older than the last time they were alive, have one night to suck the lives out of children in order to live forever. Max, his sister, and Allison are the only three who can stop them.

I hope you all have a properly spooky (and safe) Halloween! What is your favorite Halloween movie?

Until next time,

Jamie