Opinion Battles Round 6 – Favourite Film From 1987

Opinion Battles Round 6

Favourite Film From 1987

To celebrate my 30th birthday I have decided to challenge everyone to pick their favourite film from the year of my birth so 1987 will be the selection of films we will be looking at.

If you want to take part in the next Opinion Battles we will be looking at Favourite Performance in a Comedy Movie by a NON-Comedic Actor. If you want to take part email your choice to moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk by 2nd of April 2017.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

Predator

Predator was one of the very first adult action movies I ever saw and while it definitely isn’t the best movie from 1987 it is easily one of the most fun movies from the year. We get Arnold Schwarzenegger facing off against an alien creature with better weapons then him in the middle of the jungle. A role Arnie was born to play, and battle we could have watched for days and you add in all the one liners we have a perfect popcorn flick that can be enjoyed by all.

Kim – Tranquil Dreams

Dirty Dancing

Patrick Swayze; Jennifer Grey; Lots of dancing; a great soundtrack. Dirty Dancing is one of my feel good movies. I love its iconic line and the chemistry that Johnny and Baby have. The training for the dance is awesome and between the romantic tension and drama, there’s still a lot of great moments. While its a great love story, there’s so much about friends and family and expectations, seeing more in someone than they see of themselves.

 

Cinema Parrot Disco

The Princess Bride

Wow! What a great year! I didn’t know it would be so hard to pick a favorite movie from 1987. Let’s see…  Adventures in Babysitting! Can’t Buy Me Love! Fatal Attraction! The Lost Boys! A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors! Predator! Those are all favorites of mine. But there’s still one that beats them all. There’s one that truly stands the test of time & has built up an immunity to 1987, one that is seeking revenge & demanding that you prepare to die, one that begs the question “Anybody want a peanut?”. As you wish, my answer for best 1987 movie is The Princess Bride. Is there a better film from that year?? Inconceivable!

Rob – Movie Rob

The Princess Bride

This is a movie that truly has something for everyone.

It’s a love story based in a magical far away land that has swordfights, giants, deadly creatures, assassination plots, wizards, kidnappings, revenge, miracles, lots of humorous characters, lies, deceit, true love and of course, a bit of kissing.

I recall seeing this in the theater and being drawn in by the majesty and simpleness of the story, while still being so entertaining

It’s a great fantasy based story that has so many themes in it, it truly can be enjoyed by anyone. Excellent characters and dialogue that are so memorable and quotable. Great musical score with an amazing title song.

 

Damien Riley – Riley Film Reviews

Good Morning Vietnam

This is an absolutely incredible performance. It’s the antithesis of shyness! It represents the year 1987 so well. I myself was 17 watching this in a theater with a couple of my gangly friends. We knew Mork and Mindy on tv but this was a wholly different film with someone we knew we didn’t recognize. We loved him. He added so much to all of our lives. This film was only the beginning of an education from Williams.

 

Tom – Plain Simple Tom Reviews

Full Metal Jacket

 

A killer soundtrack, a disturbing performance from Vincent D’Onofrio, an unbelievable, iconic performance from R. Lee Ermey as the drill sergeant, great battle scenes.

 

An all round awesomely enjoyable film.

 

Rachel – 54 Disney Reviews

The Princess Bride

 

My favorite movie from 1987 by far is The Princess Bride. It’s got everything you could want in a movie and it is family friendly to boot. It’s got great sword fighting, storming the castle, fighting giants and strange creatures, true love, villains and humor. The casting on all the roles is spot on and it’s a film that I think actually improves upon the book by having a more focused narrative. I love Wesley, Buttercup and Inigo Montoya. Even Peter Faulk is the quintessential grandpa. Billy Crystal is hilarious as the medicine man. I just love it! 

 

Kira – Film and Tv 101

Good Morning Vietnam

 

1987 was a good year for film, so it was tough to pick a favourite from that year. I finally settled on

Good Morning Vietnam, just like I’d imagine many other people would do. This is without a doubt

Robin Williams’ film, evident in the fact that he also stars alongside someone of Forest Whitaker’s

calibrate and just absolutely dominates the film. Williams’ fast-paced, witty dialogue is what makes

this film so great, and I for one found myself in an even grander state of awe when I discovered

that the majority of the dialogue was improvised. It is a magnificent film, and in my eyes, the best of

1987.

 

Carl Wonders – Listening to Film

The Princess Bride

 

The year 1987 was unquestionably a great one for movies, but one film from that year stands out as one of the seminal films of my childhood. It’s a movie that I cannot imagine a time when it didn’t exist, even though I was already 8 when it came out, so it would be impossible…no…INCONCEIVABLE to not choose The Princess Bride as my favorite movie of that 1987. Granted, it’s impossible for me to be objective here, but there simply isn’t a wrong step made in this film, which deftly balances comedy and action throughout and has inspired countless memes and opportunities to quote famous moments at any opportune time (seriously, who HASN’T said the Inigo Montoya monologue at some point?). It’s one of those movies where you cannot imagine anyone else playing any of the roles, from Cary Elwes as Wesley and Robin Wright as Buttercup, to minor parts like Billy Crystal’s cameo as Miracle Max and Peter Cook’s The Impressive Clergyman. And because it’s directed by Rob Reiner, there is a part for Christopher Guest, who is superb as the infamous Six-fingered Man. Even the film’s wrapper, which involves a grandfather reading the story to his sick grandson, could have come off as cheesy or unnecessary. But with Reiner’s hand and a large assist from Peter Falk (seriously, who wouldn’t want Peter Falk as their grandfather?) and a very young Fred Savage, it works perfectly. There are very few movies that I am always in the mood to watch, but The Princess Bride is near or at the top of that list, and if a child of mine or anyone else really suggests we put it some evening, my response would, of course, be “as you wish…”

 

S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason

The Princess Bride

I thought at first that I’d be torn on what 1987 film to pick, but when I realized The Princess Bride was released that year, my favorite suddenly seemed obvious. The Princess Bride is an instant classic, as timelessly charming and funny today as it was back then. The “inconceivable” number of quotable lines, the romantic destiny of true love, the hilarious antics of memorable side characters, the thrilling sword fights and fantasy trappings, and the endearing framing device of a grandfather reading a storybook to his grandson have never gotten old and never will. May it never be remade!

Emma – Emma Explains It All

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

 

What a great film! One of my all time favourite comedy movies and an irresistible mix of good writing, great acting and the old John Hughes sentimentality. Ahhhh!

There’s a few films I enjoy from 1987 and I’ll be interested to see what other people come up with, but I absolutely had to go with this cracker. I don’t think I actually know anyone who dislikes it? 

J – Film & Nuance

The Last Emperor

The Last Emperor Poster

The Last Emperor is my favourite film of 1987 because well, frankly I haven’t seen many of the 1987 films. Having said that,it is one of the better films of the year and it won best picture if I remember correctly. It’s a complex look into the aristocracy of ancient China and its place in an ever shifting world around this archaic empire. It captures the mythos of royalty and the tragedy of a king who faces an adversary that knows no mercy: The modern world. It is a fascinating film filled with the gaudy and ostentatious colours of the throne’s past and the sweeping harshness of the real world.

 

 

 

Opinion Battles Round 5 Favourite Video Game Adaptation

Opinion Battles Round 5new-logo

Favourite Video Game Adaptation

Over the past 25 odd years videos games have become a new stream of entertainment, so naturally Hollywood has decided to jump on the bandwagon and turn these lengthy stories into one of films, a lot get highly criticised but for the fans of film that never played the games we get certain stories that work on film. With the final chapter of the Resident Evil franchise coming to the cinema it is now time for us to pick our favourite video game adaptations.

If you want to take part in the next round of Opinion Battles we will be picking our Favourite Film from 1987, email your choices to moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk by 19h March 2017.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

Silent Hillsilent

When Silent Hill first hit the cinema I want to see the film, I never played the game as I never cared for horror survival video games so I knew I wouldn’t be comparing this to any previous material. We have a simple enough story that makes horror work as we have a concerned mother looking for her adopted daughter that has been having nightmares about a place called Silent Hill. While in Silent Hill we get great horror moments with terrifying Pyramid Head and the nurses who only react to sound being ready to kill anyone who gets near them. We also get a well-rounded story that is open to a sequel which we do get but never really fits the same way this one does.

 

Kim – Tranquil Dreams

Resident Evilres

Resident Evil is my guilty pleasure and in all its wooden dialogue and morphed creatures, the first one which is probably the most in line with the huge video game franchise its built is the most like a survival horror. It actually sticks to its horror roots a little and has some nice characters to remember. It’s a ton of fun to watch, lots of action going on and even in all its crappy dialogue, it might make some cringe but it makes me laugh at the “so bad its awesome” factor. Video game adaptations are frequently not done right but at least this one has a lot of guilty pleasure points for it

Cinema Parrot Disco

Warcraft

warcraft 

I did a list recently of my top ten video game movies and, when making the list, realized I couldn’t do a list of actual video game adaptations because a) I haven’t seen that many and b) they’re all dreadful! So I did a list of movies with plots concerning video games in some way. And there are lots of good ones! WarGames, TRON, Wreck-It Ralph, etc etc. But I’m assuming that’s not what Darren wants (correct??). So, if it HAS to be a movie strictly adapted from an actual video game, my answer is Warcraft. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t awful. In fact, I thought it was kind of fun. It was certainly better than things like Alone In The Dark! Yep. Warcraft is my answer. But if people are gonna bend the rules on this one, my answer is WarGames… 😉 

 

Rob – Movie Rob

Tomb Raider

 tomn

Seems to be quite true to the video game, but it comes off as a lesser version of an Indiana Jones story.  Jolie is good as the title character and knows how to handle an action movie by herself.  Nice to see a pre-Bond Craig here in a role so very different from the spy we all know and love.

 

Rachel – 54 Disney Reviews

Ratchet and Clank

 ratchet

Every once in a while there is a movie I like that gets trashed by the critics. So was the case with last year’s Ratchet and Clank. While certainly not a masterpiece, I thought it was a fun space adventure for kids. It reminded me of the type of shows I used to watch on Saturday morning cartoons. It had some self-aware humor and decent animation. It’s particularly impressive on a $20 million budget which is very small for an animated film. The voice talent is decent with Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson and the voice actors from the game James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye. I liked the friendship between Ratchet and Clank and thought it was sweetly handled. 

The villain is pretty lame and the story is very generic but at 94 minutes I didn’t mind that. I have never played the game but was honestly surprised when people were as harsh as they were on Ratchet and Clank. Video game movies are awful that I have seen but this one I thought was passable entertainment.

 

Carl Wonders – Listening to Film

Resident Evil

 res

Admittedly, there isn’t a lot of cinema greatness to be chosen from in this category, and no one is going to mistake the Resident Evil series of films for anything masterful. However, what they are are entertaining popcorn flicks that, if you turn your brain off, can be rather entertaining. In addition, the series was doing zombies before they had become flavor of the month. With this series, director/creative force Paul W.S. Anderson (who probably directed the majority of films on this list) has created something that has continued to entertain fans even now. Anderson freely admits that he is purely interested in creating films that audiences enjoy without concern for critical reviews. It’s safe to say that, with Resident Evil, he has succeeded in that.

 

Kira – Film and Tv 101

Tomb Raider

 tomn

How can you not love Tomb Raider? It is without a doubt my all-time favourite video game based film. Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft was my IDOL when I was little. I was fanatical about the games and both movies, although I do prefer the first in the franchise. There is so much terrific action and a brilliant female action hero. I think I’ve just persuaded myself to watch it again very soon.

 

S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Withinfinal

Video game adaptations typically hold to a low bar in film quality, so while we wait for that genuinely good adaptation of Portal or Overwatch that may never come, I at least picked one that I found interesting. I know literally nothing of the Final Fantasy games, but the franchise’s first feature film adaptation certainly had lofty ambitions behind it, holding the distinctions of being the first cinematic attempt at photorealistic CGI animation and the most expensive video game adaptation to date. I won’t lie; it has massive faults, from a poorly explained save-the-world plot to annoying pseudo-scientific paganism promoting the New Age Gaia hypothesis. Yet, as muddled and clichéd as it is, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is a visual marvel at times and actually quite thrilling when it focuses on Aliens-style shoot-em-up sci-fi. The CGI human characters lie squarely in the uncanny valley, but, considering it came out in 2001, the animation of this video-game-based story is still pretty impressive.

Emma – Emma Explains It All

Resident Evilres

When I reminded myself of this fortnight’s Opinion Battle, my instinct straight away went to this film. And after I’d done the obligatory Wiki check of every other video-game-to-movie adaptation, I knew this was the right choice. Well it was either this or Silent Hill and let’s face it, Silent Hill is a great idea but still a bit shit. 


I must admit I’ve not watched the entire franchise of Resident Evil films but by all accounts they’re fairly popular and still being released now. I’ve watched this one, the original, quite a few times and always think it’s a pleasant, entertaining film – not a lot more and nothing less. The CGI can be a little silly in places but it’s still tense and mildly frightening at times. The action scenes are fun and nods to the game are well written in. Certainly the video game movie I’ve watched the most and would want to watch again in the future. 

 

Opinion Battles Year 3 Round 4 Least Favourite Oscar Winning Performance from an Actor in Leading or Supporting Role

Opinion Battles Year 3 Round 4new-logo

Least Favourite Oscar Winning Performance from an Actor in Leading or Supporting Role

The Oscars are around the corner and we all know that people either love or hate the Oscars committee decisions. We have had the best or the best winning Oscars and after looking at our Favourite we need to look at our Least Favourite this time around.

If you want to join in Opinion Battles our next round will be Favourite Video Game Adaption. Send you choices to moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk by 5th March 2017.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

Michael Caine– The Cider House Rulescider-house

Dr Wilbur Larch is a performance I do enjoy but when you see the performance it beat you have to question the decision for his choice as a win, Michael Clarke Duncan (Green Mile), Tom Cruise (Magnolia) and Jude Law (Talent Mr Ripley) who could all have been winning performances. As I said I have nothing against Michael Caine because he is a brilliant actor but this year I can’t help but question the winning decisions.

Cinema Parrot Disco

Christian Bale– The Fighter

 fighter

This is a tough one & I have to admit that my choices are very much influenced by not liking the “real life” person involved. I considered Christian Bale in The Fighter just because I don’t like him (but, yeah – the performance is fine). I also considered Timothy Hutton simply because Ordinary People is overrated & shouldn’t have won so many awards (no idea what he’s like in real life). Again, not fair I suppose. Well, another person I don’t like and have never liked or even seen the appeal of is Marlon Brando. I apologize to any fans! But, especially considering recent revelations involving the actress in Last Tango In Paris, my opinion is extremely unlikely to change. So my choice is Marlon Brando in The Godfather (even though he didn’t accept the award anyway, right?). If it helps, I do love that movie & think Pacino is fantastic…

 

Tom – Plain Simple Tom Reviews

Matthew McConaughey– Dallas Buyers Clubdallas

This is another hard choice since there were no performances that I actively dislike but I’m going for McConaughey, mostly because he was sooooo much better in his very brief role in “The Wolf of Wall Street”, released in the very same year. 

I know that “Dallas Buyers Club” essentially kicked off “the McConaissance” but his performance here isn’t particularly memorable and I wouldn’t include it on any best performances list.

Also, I could just have easily have gone for Jared Leto for the very same film.

 

Damien Riley – Riley Film Reviews

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenantreven

My least favorite would have to be DiCaprio. He did a great job in “Revenant.” Isn’t he the poster child for “Oscar Bait” though? He is one of those characters I have to get used to in a role because he has done so many roles that are household names. The other winners are slightly better and more interesting to me.  This is a tough and peculiar Opinion Battles topic, don’t you agree out there?

Rob – Movie Rob

Nicolas Cage – Leaving Las Vegasleaving

Inexplicably, Cage won an Oscar for his role here.

I guess it’s understandable that everyone in the Academy just loved to see Cage slowly kill himself because I think this is by far, one of his worst instead of best performance.

 

Emma – Emma Explains It All

Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

 joker

I am feeling mighty controversial today (evil laugh). What an awful thing to say and yes I can hear your jaws hitting the floor before this has even been posted. But wait, let me explain. I have reasons:

1. Okay firstly this was a REALLY hard round. I trawled the ‘best actor / supporting actor’ Oscar lists and nothing jumped out at me. So it was either ‘get creative’ or forfeit entirely. And if I forfeited everyone would just think I was being lazy again.

2. Tom Cruise hasn’t won an Oscar. Which is unfortunate because this would have been SO EASY if he had.

3. To be honest I’ve never really felt Ledger truly won the Oscar because of an amazing performance, but more because he died and it was a well timed tribute. Similarly, people always say how “amazing” his performance was as the Joker but who wouldn’t be amazing as the Joker? The Joker is a fun, dark, outlandish character – probably the type of character that most actors would enjoy playing. I imagine it would bring out the best out in anyone with a bit of talent.

4. And going against popular opinion I don’t really like the ‘Christopher Nolan’ Batman films. Sorry and all that. Maybe it’s just me but I still have fond memories of the good old days (AKA – Michael Keaton!).

6. But don’t take this too seriously. I loved Heath and his acting in The Dark Knight was just like the rest of his acting – bloody great. Though being totally honest I think he was better at playing good guys – he always came across like a genuine, good guy in real life (which is probably the most important thing anyway).

And you can tell Chris Nolan from me that none of his films beat 10 Things I Hate About You. Fact.

 

Kira – Film and Tv 101

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

reven 

I may be hated for saying this, but I really did not think Leonardo DiCaprio’s award-winning performance as Hugh Glass in The Revenant was all that spectacular. He has certainly had better roles in my eyes – can we just take a moment to appreciate him as Bill Costigan in The Departed? I’m not saying he didn’t do a good job, just that it was slightly underwhelming to hear mainly grunts and heavy breathing from a character that would finally win him that long sought-after Oscar. Plus, it ended all of those wonderful memes..

 

Carl Wonders – Listening to Film

Al Pacino – Scent of a Woman

 scent

Ok, I know this is going to ruffle some feathers. I have no issue with Al Pacino as an actor, and he has turned in some incredible performances over the years. His portrayal of Michael Corleone in The Godfather films is, quite rightly, legendary, and the fact that he was not recognized by the Academy for those films is unfortunate. But the understated acting that Pacino brings to that role (at least in the first two Godfather films) gives way to an over the top, hammy performance in Scent of a Woman that has all the tropes of every bad Al Pacino impression done in Hollywood. Pacino does more acting doing almost nothing in the classic Italian restaurant scene in The Godfather than he does chewing the scenery in Scent of a Woman. Adding insult to injury is the fact that Denzel Washington’s incredible performance in Malcolm X and Clint Eastwood’s turn in Unforgiven both lost out to Pacino that year. Chalk this one up to the Academy saying “Al, we know we’ve missed many of your great performances, so here is a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award this time around.”

 

S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason

Kevin Kline – A Fish Called Wandafish

It was hard enough picking a favorite, but looking over the list of Best Actors and Best Supporting Actors, I can’t really find a bad or undeserving performance. I did however find one I didn’t like at all: Kevin Kline as the shamelessly despicable thief Otto West in A Fish Called Wanda. Now I like Kevin Kline a lot; it’s hard not to. But when he spends an entire movie mocking Michael Palin’s speech handicap, it’s easy to hate him too. It’s even easier when his most notable scene is torturing Palin and swallowing his pet fish. I know it’s meant to be shockingly comedic, but it also felt cruel and mean-spirited. I love Kevin Kline and don’t have anything against his acting ability. He plays a spiteful jerk exceptionally well in A Fish Called Wanda, so well that I can’t stand to see him in it again.

 J – Film & Nuance

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

 bridge

Going through all the Oscar winning actors for best actor and best supporting actor, I couldn’t really point out anyone that I particularly disliked. I’m going with Mark Rylance simply because there were at least 4 other performances that were better…two of those weren’t even nominated. I felt like Idris Elba, Steve Carell, Sylvester Stallone and Christian Bale gave markedly better performances, and Rylance sort of paled in comparison. I liked him in Bridge Of Spies, I just don’t think he deserves the win

Rachel – 54 Disney Reviews

Kevin Spacey – American Beauty

I know this might be controversial but for me my least favorite Oscar Winning Actor has to be Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. To begin with I find the movie wildly overrated pretentious nonsense. If it was a horror movie than Spacey’s Lester Burnham might work but as the protagonist it fails in creating anything but a creepy gross character. The attempts to soften him and make him more human just turn me off even more. The movie is supposedly an enlightening take down of suburban values but I’ve seen that done better many times (nearly any Todd Haynes film for example) and it didn’t need a floating grocery sack to ram home how profound it is supposed to be.  Groan…


I get that not every character needs to be ‘likable’ but when you are dealing with someone like Lester the film wants us to care for him and I just didn’t. So good job Kevin Spacey in being creepy but bad job in creating a character that I felt for or cared about.

Opinion Battles Year 3 Round 3 – Favourite Film From 2015

Opinion Battles Year 3 Round 3new-logo

Favourite Film From 2015

Hitting the year 2017 we can now start looking back at films from 2015 and think what was our favourite without solely looking at the most recent watch. We had a brilliant list of Oscar contenders, the return of classic franchises with nearly all being great or better in their own way but just what do we call our favourite from this year?

If you want to join Opinion Battles our next question is returning to the Oscar winners as we pick our LEAST Favourite Oscar Winning Performance from an Actor in Leading or Supporting Role. To enter send your choices to moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk by 19th February 2017.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

Mad Max Fury Roadmad-max

Mad Max Fury Road came from nowhere because nobody thought we were going to get too much from this sequel with such a gap between the last film, yes this does have a reboot feel to it but the film showed us just how we can still use practical effects in action films and we don’t need superpowers or CGI to make us go wow. I will say I don’t think this is the best film but it will be the one I watch the most from this year where I could easily have go with The Force Awakens for repeat viewing or Room for pure quality. I think it is safe to say Mad Max Fury Road will be the film people will still talk about from this year of release.

Cinema Parrot Disco

Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens

 star-wars

What’s my favorite film from 2015? That’s an easy one – it’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. No contest. Well, almost… I’m a little torn between that one & the kick-ass Mad Max: Fury Road. But nothing beats Star Wars! The Force Awakens truly captured the magic of the original trilogy. I still love it. 🙂

 

Kira – Film and Tv 101

Sicario

 sicario

I absolutely loved Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 thriller, Sicario. There was so much that this film had going for it – the performances, the storyline, the director. I thought it was an abomination that the film got totally snubbed for all the big awards at last year’s Oscars, especially Benicio Del Toro for his tremendous performance as the mysterious Alejandro. For me though, the biggest sign that this was a gem of a film lies with the fact that we are due a sequel, and I’m not sure about whether I want to see it for fear it will ruin what I have already seen.

 

Kim – Tranquil Dreams

Spotlightspotlight

Tough choices all around in 2015 with so many strong contenders however rare as it is for me to choose the Best Picture winner, I am. Spotlight is a film with not only brilliant performances all around but based on a true story that really punches the audience over and over in the gut. Its a drama and mystery and as the truth reveals itself, it is so emotionally traumatic to watch. One that isn’t made for frequent rewatches but packs a lot of effectiveness and thought about the horrifying things that happen in the world.

Tom – Plain Simple Tom Reviews

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 star-wars

Well, what’s not to love? It’s a fun, exciting film full of wonderful characters both old and new, brought to life by an amazing bunch of actors. 

Maybe a bit too similar to A New Hope but still an excellent continuation of the Star Wars universe.

 

Rob – Movie Rob

Inside Outinside-out

This film is still my favorite film from 2015 because it is such an inspiring film where all the pieces are put together so well.

They do an amazing job of taking the complexities of how our minds work and try to make it a simple, mechanical well-oiled machine.

When one thinks about it, the way they have mapped out the functions of the brain and personality seems to make so much sense.

The tone of the film is quite perfect and they still manage to give an intuitive message to both kids and adults alike, each to their own understanding.

 

Daniel – Dellens Diary

Inside Outinside-out

I think perfection is quite an overused word. Doesn’t everything have flaws? Well, I would agree with you, but there’s one film that truly deserves the title of perfection, and that is…..

 

well, you’ve already read it so there’s no point trying to create suspension, it’s Inside Out. Why? Well you already know. It’s because the animation’s cartoony, but in the best way. It’s because it manages to represent emotions in a film. Have you ever tried thinking about how fucking hard it is to represent the very things we have inside our mind. I mean it’s one thing representing cars or something but emotions? Good god.

 

In fact, I could go on about this film for hours but to be frank most of you aren’t gonna read this and you’re going to skip through the picks. But if you don’t waste one minute of your life reading this, then let me just say that the best way of seeing how good this movie is is to watch the movie. So yeah, do that.

 

Rachel – 54 Disney Reviews

Inside Out

inside-out 

My favorite movie from 2015 is Inside Out. I literally watch it most weeks. I love both Riley and Joy’s journeys and the overall message of embracing sadness. I love the humor, heart and everything else.  The animation is stunning and I just love watching it 

Allie – Often Off Topic

Star Wars the Force Awakens

 star-wars

As much as my head is telling me to pick a hard-hitting, awe-inspiring drama from 2015, I just can’t deny the fact that my favourite movie was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Up until 2015 I hadn’t seen a single Star Wars movie, but forced myself to sit through both trilogies (in the wrong order, I’m told) before seeing Episode VII so that I’d at least have a clue what was going on. I didn’t expect to fall head over heels in love with the franchise! The Force Awakens is my favourite Star Wars movie so far, mainly because of the characters. I can’t wait to find out more about Rey, and I’m fascinated by Kylo Ren. December can’t come soon enough!

 

Carl Wonders – Listening to Film

Ex Machinaex-macina

Amidst a year full of big-budget action blockbusters and films with strong social commentaries, my favorite film of 2015 is the relatively small-scale directorial debut of Alex Garland, EX MACHINA. This film is one of the most beautifully photographed films I have seen and features three incredible performances from Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Oscar Isaac. EX MACHINA explores nothing less than the question of what does it mean to be alive and does so in a way that is gripping throughout and, on more than one occasion, had me squirming in my seat but unable to look away. Vikander in particular gives a standout performance as the android Ava (aided by some of the most convincing visual effects I have ever seen), while both Gleeson and Isaac are completely convincing as two geniuses who happen to be on the complete opposite sides of the same coin. With a mere four major roles, EX MACHINA could very well work as an incredible stage play, but instead finds itself as my favorite film from 2015.

Ben – Views From The Sofa

The Martian

 martian

In a year full of amazing movie releases like Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road and that other space movie set in a Galaxy Far Far Away, The Martian managed to fit many different types of movies in one great film. It was drama, comedy, action and suspense. It had emotion, conflict and at the heart of it one of the best performances by at that time, still quite underrated actor. Matt Damon was a superstar before The Martian but apart from Good Will Hunting, had hardly put in any performances that were considered “great.” The Martian showcased his comedy talent, his dramatic talent and tapped into what he was becoming better known for – an action star. Not to mention the fact he did this practically alone on-screen for most of the run-time. There were a lot of great films in 2015 but none felt as much of the “complete package” as The Martian did.

 

Emma – Emma Explains It All

Amy

 amy

I know everyone was probably expecting me to say The Hateful Eight. Hell, even I expected me to say The Hateful Eight. But when push came to shove I had to be truthful and choose the amazing Amy Winehouse documentary – which was indeed my favourite film of 2015.

I wasn’t really an Amy Winehouse fan before. Indifferent is probably the best way to describe it, though I always knew she had talent. It wasn’t until I watched Amy however, that I realised just how talented and how great and how darn likable she was. It made me sad I wasn’t a fan prior to her untimely death. 

Though I enjoyed a few films of 2015 (The Hateful Eight being one of them!), Amy had the most effect on me. I found it the most mesmerizing and wanted to watch it for a second time very soon after (which I did). A fantastic, honest and absorbing documentary.

 

 

Drew – Drew’s Movie Reviews

Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens

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There are many great movies from 2015 to choose from but I would kick myself if I didn’t pick the entry from my favorite film franchise.  I will admit, I didn’t like Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens as much as many others did but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the hell out of it!  The new characters were great, especially the kick-ass Rey and everyone’s new favorite droid, BB-8.  Kylo Ren is looking to be one of Star Wars’ most complex characters yet and I can’t wait to see where is story arc goes in the future sequels.  With the prequel trilogy heavily leaning on CGI effects, it was good to see a return to more practical effects, bringing out a greater sense of realism in the film.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a good start to another trilogy from the Star Wars universe that is also one of the best films of 2015.

 

J – Film & Nuance

Room

room 

Room is this year’s most touching film. The movie is an experience that doesn’t try to shake off its disturbing undertones. Left bare for all to see, Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay capture their characters struggle to hold on to life, and their growing strength in hope. It’s ultimately a universal expression of undying and unfailing love. Provovative, delicate, charming, lovable, touching and triumphant; Room is all of it. By embracing the intimate connections between mother and son that transcends all boundaries, Room is the most heartfelt thing I’ve ever seen. It is for all these reasons and more, that this epic story of love is the best film of 2015. I must say I loved Tangerine,Ex Machina and Beasts Of No Nation and Anomalisa as much, but Room spoke to me the most.

 

S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason

The Martianmartian

While I suspect that this round will go to Inside Out or Star Wars, my favorite film of 2015 has to be The Martian. Not only is it Ridley Scott’s best work in years, it’s a film that is full of science, math, dates, and technical jargon and yet manages to be surprisingly engaging and watchable. Matt Damon is perfect as the marooned astronaut with a wry sense of humor, and he’s backed by a collection of ideally cast supporting roles, notably Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Jeff Daniels. Thanks to the clever and above all intelligent script, transportive visuals, and classic ‘70s soundtrack, The Martian is a work of grounded science fiction that is both realistic and entertaining.

 

 

 

 

Opinion Battles Year 3 Round 2 Favourite Oscar Winning Performance from an Actor in Leading or Supporting Role

Opinion Battles Year 3 Round 2new-logo

Favourite Oscar Winning Performance from an Actor in Leading or Supporting Role

The Oscars are around the corner and we all know that people either love or hate the Oscars committee decisions. We have had the best or the best winning Oscars but today we are looking at what we think is the favourite Oscar Winning performance.

If you want to take part in the next round of Opinion Battles we are going to be answer the question of What is your Favourite Film from 2015? To enter send your choices to moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk by 5th February 2017.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

Christopher Waltz – Col Hans Landa – Inglorious Basterdswaltz

Col Hans Landa is one of the best characters ever created by Quentin Tarantino, he is pure evil known as the ‘Jew Killer’ for his ruthless ability to track down any Jews hiding from the Germans. His bilingual skills come in here as we see Hans flawlessly flow between German, French and English with his speeches. His opening conversation is one of the highest tension bound scenes of recent years. This character may well be the evil character but Waltz performance makes him one of the most interesting ever put to film that you just want to know more about. I have picked a supporting actor winner because looking at the lead actor category we see very straight characters that over the recent years have all become slightly more forgettable now.

Cinema Parrot Disco

Jack Nicholson – Randle McMurphy – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

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My favorite Oscar-winning actor performance will probably always be Jack Nicholson’s Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. It’s an all-time favorite movie of mine and Jack’s charismatic performance truly helps make that film the classic that it is. (But I’m still happy that Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar last year. Well deserved!) 🙂

 

Kira – Film and Tv 101

Javier Bardom – Anton Chigurh – No Country for Old Men

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After a long, torturous think to myself, I settled on Javier Bardem’s 2007 Best Supporting Actor win as Anton Chigurh in one of my all-time favourite films, No Country For Old Men. I think it’s only fair that I pick the man who made me throw my drink all over my mum. Bardem was frighteningly good as the psychopath who I can only presume to be a hitman. In my eyes, he is one of the greatest villains to have ever graced screens, and is an absolutely iconic character purely because of Bardem’s performance.

 

Kim – Tranquil Dreams

Anthony Hopkins – Hannibal Lecter – The Silence of the Lambshannibal

Perhaps an obvious choice but there are iconic roles that define an actor. Anthony Hopkins is no doubt an exceptional actor with many great roles under his belt but who can think of Hannibal and not think of Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. The creeping quiet fear whenever he speaks in his cryptic way that gets under our skin. It is a character brought to life by its source material but done so remarkably well.

 

Rob – Movie Rob

Anthon Hopkins – Hannibal Lecter – The Silence of the Lambshannibal

Not many actors could pull off the performance that Hopkins gave us when he portrayed Lecter for the first time.

 

He was able to give us a character who was ruthless yet charming at the same time.

 

By the end, you aren’t sure if you’re supposed to despise or love him.

 

Tom – Plain Simple Tom Reviews

Joel Grey – The Master of Ceremonies – Cabaret

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Wow, this category is haaaaard! There really are so many to choose from and it would even take too long to give some honourable mentions. 

 

But for me, Joel Grey in “Cabaret” is one of my favourite supporting performances mainly due to the fact that when I first watched the film, I spent much of it just waiting for Joel Grey to reappear! Seriously, I thought the film was average but Joel Grey, Liza Minnelli and the musical numbers are the best thing about it all.

Opening the film perfectly with “Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome”, Grey is so charismatic, engaging, fascinating and I finished the film with him in mind above all others, which is remarkably admirable from a supporting performance. 

For me, he is the star of the show right up alongside Liza Minnelli and the two of them together singing “Money” is incredible. 

 

Rachel – 54 Disney Reviews

Gregory Peck – Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird

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The best actor Oscar winner in a leading role I have ever seen is Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird. There are many things that make this performance masterful.  To begin with it is taking on one of the most beloved characters in American literature. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Atticus and Gregory Peck captured him perfectly. I can’t think of a better book to screen adaptation (the whole movie including him). Then you have his chemistry with the girl who played Scout. It felt like a real family, a real father/daughter relationship. Also, he controls his performance perfectly. He is loud when he needs to be loud and soft when he needs to be soft. The courtroom scene is one of the great scenes in all of movies and you can see the weariness in his face of fighting for a lost cause. But I also think the scenes with him and Scout talking about bullies or going to school are equally lovely. It’s perfect. 

 

Mike – screenkickermovies.com

Heath Ledger – The Joker – The Dark Knight

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I remember when it was revealed that Heath Ledger had been cast as The Joker in the latest Batman film.  I have to admit i was one of the people who hated the idea.  I only knew Ledger from 10 Things I Hate About You and an admittedly great performance in Monster’s Ball.  I’m not ashamed to say i was completely wrong.  Ledger’s Joker is unlike any villain you’ve ever seen in film.  He’s crazy, funny, cruel, cool, and oozes violent charisma.  Ledger totally inhabits the character in a way that makes the concept of a psychotic man in clown makeup feel completely real.  He’s the first believable threat to Batman and makes what is a fantastic movie into a classic.  He’s not a monster, he’s just ahead of the curve.

 

Emma – Emma Explains It All

Jack Nicholson – Randle McMurphy – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

 one-flew

For me, it was always going to be between Jack Nicholson playing McMurphy and Philip Seymour Hoffman playing the eponymous Capote in the 2005 biopic.

 

In the end I HAD to go with Jack. Because his role – and indeed his Oscar for Best Actor – really helps make the film what it is. He’s not the only ‘good’ actor in it of course, all the performances are fantastic and above-par but without Jack – the glint in his eye and hint of real life rebellion-slash-madness, the film would just not have been as great.

 

When someone mentions Jack Nicholson, it’s impossible not to think immediately of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He makes us laugh, cry and in some cases – stand up and cheer. My mum saw it in the cinema and when he started to throttle the evil Nurse Ratched the entire audience did just that – they stood up and cheered (what an awesome thing).

 

There’s been many great acting performances over the years, both Oscar nominated and not. But there’s something very special and memorable about Nicholson in this film, and it’s undeniably one of his best performances, utterly impossible to ignore.

Allie – Often Off Topic

Leonardo DiCaprio – Hugh Glass – The Revenant

 revent

I don’t have much luck when it comes to the Oscars. It seems that whoever I pick as my favourite is doomed to not win the award in the end! That said, the award last year for Best Leading Actor was well deserved, and I think most movie fans around the globe were rooting for him to win. I am of course talking about Leonardo DiCaprio! The Revenant wasn’t my favourite movie of his, but he does such an amazing job in any role that he’s given that he should have won himself an Oscar a very long time ago.

 

Carl Wonders – Listening to Film

Gene Hackman – Jimmy ‘Popeye’ Doyle – The French Connection

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As the film’s tagline says: “Doyle is bad news-but a good cop.” Indeed, Popeye Doyle is a racist cop who argues with his superior, drinks to excess, and shows little compassion for his partner (played by an also excellent Roy Scheider) when he is injured in the process of making an arrest. Yet despite his character having few redeeming qualities, Hackman is able to give an absolutely engrossing performance. His acting during the car-and-mouse chase through New York, the famous car chase, and the end where he has become completely consumed by a need to catch the villain Charnier, is absolutely superb. All the more so because both director William Friedkin and Doyle’s real-life counterpart, Eddie Egan, thought Hackman was miscast. Despite these misgivings, Hackman gives my favorite Best Actor-winning performance.

 

J – Film & Nuance

Kevin Spacey – Lester Burnham – American Beautylester

This is the toughest question I’ve ever had to do on Opinion Battle, *damn*…who chose this question??!! Haha, but in all seriousness, it’s also my favourite one so far. There have been so many deserving winners of Best Actor AND supporting throughout the years that have defined cinema and defied the boundaries of ‘acting’. I have so many favourites but if I had to choose one that stuck out for me, Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of the everyman in suburban America is my pick. Spacey’s acting is always top class, but I find his turn in Sam Mendes’ American Beauty especially poignant, true and realistic. As he plays the middle-aged man dealing with his midlife existential crises, his infatuation with his daughter’s friend opens up all the repressed desires and youthful energy that Lester is unable to fully express due to societal constraints and familial duty. Kevin Spacey perfectly captures his character’s search for meaning in the rural banality of his suburban habitus. With subtle nuances and masterclass acting, Spacey gives a startling depiction of the failed American ideal and makes us sympathize with his tragic character. Lester is representative of the mid-life crises struggle which we all face in life He is so good that he makes Lester entirely relatable and heart-breaking…and somehow also life-affirming. I remember being completely moved by his performance and still am till this day.

Drew – Drew’s Movie Reviews

Matthew McConaughey – Ron Woodroof – Dallas Buyers Club

Mathew McConaughey has been on the acting scene since the 90s, where is star power steadily grew. Then he went through a rough patch in the 2000s with a bunch of rom-com flops and it looked like his career had hit its peak. But by the early 2010s, he showed that he was still a force to be reckoned with, winning an academy award for best actor for Dallas Buyers Club. He has kept his streak going with hits such as Interstellar and Kubo and the Two Strings.  McConaughey has proved again and again his versatility as an actor and that he is wholly deserving of the awards he has received.

S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason

Tom Hanks – Forrest Gump – Forrest Gump

This was a really tough choice since there are so many great performances to choose from. I wavered between Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field, Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting, Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs, and Jack Nicholson in Cuckoo’s Nest, but ultimately I had to come back to one of my very favorite movies with one of my very favorite actors, namely Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. To me, a sign of a great actor is how well they can handle both dramatic and comedic roles, and Tom Hanks is a master of both. Forrest Gump provided an opportunity for both dim-witted humor and sympathetic tragedy, and Hanks himself deserves much of the credit for making the character and his many quotable lines so iconic. Plus, he’s one of only two actors (Spencer Tracy’s the other) to win the Best Actor Oscar for the second year in a row, following Philadelphia the year before.