Movies

Here Be Geeks’ best movie of 2015

We’ve tried many ways of choosing our favourite geekdoms in years past, but this year it went down to a simple top three vote for each of us, followed by a tabulation of scores. No real arguments this way, and with that, the hive mind has chosen winners for TV shows, movies, comics and games. It’s been a great year for geek movies, whether its the return to old franchises like Mad Max or Star Wars, or new, imaginative ones like Ex Machina, Inside Out and The Martian. 

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Good news is, we didn’t have to think very hard about this – there was an unanimous decision for what was the top movie. In second place was something a little more divisive, but there’s no denying its impact this year.

BEST MOVIE OF 2015 (RUNNER UP): STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

Direcow: Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the movie we were all waiting for before deciding our best movie lists – with years and years of buildup topped with months of non-stop hype barrage, it was either going to be the best movie in the past thirty years, or the next coming of Transformers.

While the former didn’t come true, neither did the latter – but JJ Abrams managed to do is just make a fun movie, weird logic leaps and plot jumps be damned. Watching the new trio of Rey, Finn and Poe light up our screens was such a treat, and multiple viewings thankfully made the movie more enjoyable instead of making the odd moments more glaring. There’s even some backlash going on now about the movie – but if anything, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was one movie we just wanted to keep discussing long after it ended.

For more of what we thought, the shared review I did with Kakita sums it all up in a spoiler-free way. But suffice to say this is a movie that some will hate for being derivative, and others will be perturbed by some changes to the well-loved Star Wars canon – some retconned since the EU was destroyed. Yet, Star Wars is back, and with Rian Johnson next in the director’s chair, the three amazing leads, and the amazing universe to play in, I’m just really happy Star Wars is back in a good way.

BEST MOVIE OF 2015: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Melvin: This was so good on so many levels. Before heading into the cinema I had no idea what to expect – except from the kickass trailer that came out of Comic Con. It was an all-out action movie that didn’t travel the expected route like Star Wars or Jurassic World and for that it kept me on the edge of my seat. As a fan of the original Mad Max movies, I have to say the action here was way more memorable – and I enjoyed Charlize Theron as a female lead much more than Daisy Ridley.

Kakita: 2015 was a year of sequels. Yes there were very successful movies that were not tied in to a pre-existing movie (Martian, Inside Out, Ex Machina), but most blockbusters of the geeky variety were sequels.

It is then very telling when we compare Jurassic World, The Force Awakens, and Mad Max: Fury Road. Jurassic World and The Force Awakens are arguably similar. Both are entertaining movies yes, but they are sequels first and foremost, made less to tell a narrative and more to ensure continual money-making opportunities for their parent companies. They are not a story; they are a financial decision. And financial decisions will naturally be safe, so while the fact that both movies were essentially just iterations of the original, it was probably an accepted fact.

On the flip side, if you lend a creator full rein then yes you get a story. But sometimes you get the drek story that is the Star Wars Prequels. Sorry George Lucas, but the fact that so much energy is spent to ‘fix’ Episodes 1 through 3 shows how much the movies pained Star Wars fans everywhere.

Mad Max on the other hand, is the fever dream and drug-induced post apocalyptic vision of terror and beauty that straddles both extremes. It is creator driven, and the creator has the cojones to tell a story of his own, in a world of his own. Yet, the creator understands that the world was built to tell a story, and not vice versa. So while we get beautifully detailed visuals and characters, they all serve a purpose rather than being there for their own sake.

And so we are wonderfully blessed to have Mad Max: Fury Road as 2015’s lightning-sandstorm-in-a-bottle.

And please Abrams, you can crow about having real-life props and practical effects all you like, but come back when you have actual people swinging on a 3-story pole while travelling at eighty kilometers per hour, okay?

Cavalock

Melvin Yong has worked way too long in the media and advertising industry. He now spends his time with his family, writing short horror stories and playing lots of board games.

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