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North Texas Film Critics Association Name “The Martian” Best Picture of 2015

the martian

 

NORTH TEXAS FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION NAME “THE MARTIAN” BEST PICTURE OF 2015

The North Texas Film Critics Association is proud to announce their Best of 2015 and winners in ten categories. The association was founded in 2005 and consists of a group of twelve film critics who write or broadcast in the North Texas area. 

The North Texas Film Critics Association voted the space epic based on the best selling novel THE MARTIAN as the Best Film of 2015, according to the results of its annual critics’ poll which was released today.

BEST of 2015

BEST ACTOR – Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant 

BEST ACTRESS – Brie Larson, Room

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant

BEST DOCUMENTARY – Amy (Asif Kapadia, director)

BEST FOREIGN FILM – Son of Saul (Hungary;  László Nemes, director)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – Inside Out

BEST DIRECTOR – Ridley Scott, The Martian

BEST PICTURE – The Martian (Ridley Scott)

Top 10 Best Films of 2015

 

10. The Revenant
As most of my colleagues have said, The Revenant isn’t a film, it’s an experience. Though, I can’t say it would be high on my re-watch-ability list. It is quite possibly the most unforgettable film this year. Largely due to an epic bear fight, in which images of that sequence are forever burned in my brain. Leonardo DiCaprio gives his most physically demanding and best performance yet! This film is beautifully shot, and with little dialogue director Alejandro G. Iñárritu still manages to captivate audiences through the entire 2 hours and 36 minutes.

9. Spotlight
Though this is a kind of slow burn film, it is worth patiently waiting for these reporters to gather all their research on the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Church. As Spotlight nears its conclusion with the Boston Globe publishing one of the most shocking revelations in history, you’re in for a powerful and emotional ending that I didn’t even expect to be so moved by.

8. The Hateful 8
I don’t know how Quentin Tarantino keeps doing it, but The Hateful 8 is just another great work of art by the iconic director. His dialogue never ceases to amaze me. As we watch the first half of the film trying to figure out the mystery among these peculiar characters, we wait in anticipation for the mind blowing second act that ends in true Tarantino style.

7. Room
For those who haven’t heard of this film, please do yourself a favor and see it right away! After being held captive in a room for over 5 years, we are shown the emotional trauma that follows after finally escaping and entering the real world. Room features an Oscar-worthy performance by Brie Larson and a breakout performance by Jacob Tremblay.

6. It Follows
These days horror films are rarely interesting and hardly scary, but It Follows manages to tell an original and clever story along with many scream-out-loud moments. The soundtrack only adds to this surprisingly, entertaining thriller that will leave you thinking twice before having unprotected sex.

5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Overall I have enjoyed almost all of the Star Wars films, but man, the recent piece to the saga is amazing! I can’t help but geek out talking about it. Not only is it a great continuation of the story filled with non-stop action and excitement, but all the new characters are likable and blend in perfectly with the return of the old.

4. Trainwreck
A good comedy that can make you truly laugh out loud and provide originality is like finding a diamond in the rough. And this year that diamond is Trainwreck. Amy Schumer has brought a whole new level of funny with the comedy about a commitment-phobic woman who never thought monogamy was possible, until she meets the one guy (Bill Hader) worth trying to commit with. There’s humor, there’s heart, and there’s Hader.

3. Inside Out
Not since Toy Story has an animated film hit me so hard with the reality of how sad growing up can be. Let’s put aside the fact that this script is smart and beyond creative. Inside Out is a bitter-sweet tale that reminds us of how simple our emotions were when we were kids and how much easier it was to stay joyful. Though there is a gloom to getting older and life’s changes, Inside Out also shows us the positive side of broadening our emotions.

2. The Martian
Well done Ridley Scott!!! Finally you make up for the crap that was The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings. The past two years we’ve seen a visually stunning space film with Gravity and a confusing, long space film with Interstellar. But it’s 2015 that has brought us the best space movie yet! The Martian is the whole package film. Surprisingly enough, there is a lot of comic relief and the script does an excellent job of explaining the science in the film without going over the audiences’ head. With a running time of 2 hours and 24 minutes, the film never loses steam. The Martian is a beautifully shot and hilarious thrill ride.

1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
I wish this film got more recognition. Might be hard to remember back in July when ME and Earl and the Dying Girl came out, but it has stuck with me since. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon tells this story in such a John Hughes like manner that it almost feels nostalgic. This isn’t just a film about a girl with cancer. It’s her story told through point of view a new friend who is just now getting know her. With its awkwardly realistic dialogue, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is funny and incredibly moving.

Top 5 Worst Films of 2015

5. Adult Beginners– A less funny and messy version of The Skeleton Twins.

4. Jupiter Ascending– What a waste of perfectly good special effects.

3. Aloha– What a waste of a perfectly good cast.

2. Hot Pursuit– Still wondering why Reese Witherspoon was an accomplice to this crime.

1. By the Sea– What the f***!?!?

 

 

Movie Review: “The Counselor” is one Boring Philosophical Conversation after Another

Now I did not have super high expectations for this film, but I’ll admit I did expect a certain level of quality given the strong casting.  I easily passed up a screening to see Bad Grandpa, thinking that of course I would rather see a film with an actual storyline and interesting characters.  However, about 10 minutes into the film, I think the alternative might have been more entertaining.

To sum up the film in the best words I can with out confusing myself, The Counselor (Michael Fassbender) is a big shot lawyer involved in a huge drug deal.  He has the love of his life (Penelope Cruz) by his side, in what seems to be the perfect romance. His partners in the deal are the mysterious, riddle talking Westray (Brad Pitt) and the eccentric dressing, spiky haired Reiner (Javier Bardem).  This might be Bardem’s worst hair style since No Country for Old Men.   Anyways, with any drug trafficking deals you are bound to have mishaps, which lead to dire consequences.

The beginning of the film moves slow because of the extended “philosophical” conversations each one-on-one scene has.  Rarely are more than two people on screen together.  Every discussion these characters have is filled with analogies. So much so that you loose all meaning to whatever they are saying.  I am sure there was some thoughtful lessons behind these speeches, but feeling forced and out of place, you simply loose all interest.

This is the first screenplay for Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, All the Pretty Horses).  Notably known for his novel writing, The Counselor may have been more understandable on paper.  McCarthy fails to write a script with relatable dialogue.  His characters come off as pretentious and rambling snobs.

Reiner manages to be the most practical speaker of the cast.  Especially when describing to The Counselor a shocking moment he had with his sex-crazed, cheetah tattooed girlfriend, Malkina (Cameron Diaz).  In what is sure to go down as one of the raunchiest and biggest WTF scene in a film this year, she performs a spread-eagle masturbation scene on the hood of Reiner’s car.  It is the only thing from the film that is unforgettable.

The actors give great performances, which is no surprise.  With a cast this strong you would think director, Ridley Scott (Prometheus) noticed they were not being utilized in a monotonous script.  It just felt more like they were reading for an audition, giving their all in useless dialogue that does not move the story forward.

Though the big picture of the film was clear the transitions and some of the reasoning for the actions that take place are not.  The Counselor has essentially no plot, outlandish characters, and leaves you with lack satisfaction from an A-List cast.

Luckily, Brad Pitt’s and Michael Fassbender’s performance in 12 Years A Slave is far more memorable than anything they did in The Counselor.

Rated R for graphic violence, some grisly images, strong sexual content and language.

The Counselor opens theaters today.

The Counselor Official Trailer HD