It’s 2016 and I can’t believe how quickly 2015 passed. There’s a lot to look back on, but I want to start with the year’s media offerings.
2015 was a great year for movies. From Blockbusters like Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens to less popular but very good titles like New Zealand’s What We Do in the Shadows and the vastly underrated Ex Machina. My favorites were:
Mad Max: Fury Road
Tom Hardy is definitely one of my favorite actors1, and Charlize Theron is just as epic. Together they make for a phenomenal movie, but Fury Road also delivers with an engaging story that’s not too heavy handed, tons of super cool action because explosions are really important, too, and unbelievable cinematography. It’s legit a perfect movie.
Guillermo del Toro? Tom Hiddleston? Jim Beaver? Charlie Hunnam? Jessica Chastain? Yes, so much yes. I’ve been stoked about Crimson Peak since Jim Beaver kind of, sort of, maybe, alluded to it a little bit on his Facebook page. The visuals are stunning, the performances are spot on, and it’s Guillermo del Toro so you know the creep factor is at max.
Mockingjay Part 2
There was no way I was going to miss the final installment of the Hunger Games franchise. Jennifer Lawrence is as powerful as ever as Katniss and the movie delivers a few scares I wasn’t expecting. While I have read the books and obviously knew the mutts would make an appearance, they’re a lot creepier than described in the books and the chase through the sewers is so well paced.
I’ve loved the folklore surrounding Krampus for a while now and I love that it’s starting to find itself a place in popular culture. From an episode on one of my favorite shows, Grimm, to graphic novels like Krampus! and Krampus: Shadow of Saint Nicholas. The latter in fact is a companion to the movie Krampus, which I saw in theaters with my older sister. It has its slow parts, and the previews didn’t do the best of making it obvious it was intended to be a horror-comedy, but I just so happen to love horror-comedies. I love Toni Colette, David Koechner, and even Adam Scott has grown on me, but Conchata Ferrell as boozy and foulmouthed Aunt Dorothy steals every scene.
Star Wars: Force Awakens
Cliche as it is, I really, really liked this movie. I remember when the original trilogy was re-released in theaters in the ’90s and my mom took my three siblings and I to see all three movies as they came out. We’d grown up watching them in our home, surprisingly my mom is a total nerd as well, but seeing them in theater was spectacular. And of course I saw all of the prequel trilogy in theaters. So there was no way I missing the theatrical release of the newest installment. While I had my reservations because I’m genuinely unimpressed by JJ Abrams – what with him “not getting” the Star Trek universe – I was really happy with the movie. It’s one of the few movies I believe to be truly worth the hype.
I Prevail – Blank Space
A punk version of a pop song? I literally cannot resist.
Tove Lo – Talking Bodies
According to Spotify I listened to this song 20 times in 1 day. I am not surprised because just in the course of writing this post I’ve listened to it twice.
Apashe – No Twerk (ft. Panther x Odalisk)
I didn’t know I liked trap music until my husband made me a workout playlist and it was all trap. I do like a strong beat, one of the reasons I’m so drawn to hard rock and harder rap, and I probably burned a few thousand calories to this song.
Big Data – Dangerous (feat. Joywave)
This is actually my kids’ favorite thing to listen to while we’re running errands and I can definitely jam to it, but I kind of hate it now because I’ve heard it about thirty-thousand times.
I’m a lot more picky about television shows than I am movies and that’s mainly because I already have so many shows to keep up with. This year I did add three to my list of shows to fall behind and binge on every few weeks, except of course for Jessica Jones which was released on Netflix and I was able to binge in a weekend.
I grew up on Marvel comics so it’s hard for me to really get into DC offerings, but I liked what Greg Berlanti did for Arrow and Flash on the CW so I gave CBS’ Supergirl a shot. I’m not totally pleased with it, there are a few inconsistencies and it’s often hard to reconcile a character’s behavior with any sort of motive, but I keep watching because Melissa Benoist is fantab. She plays a Supergirl that’s engaging and relatable, plus my kids like to watch it and I like them seeing a young woman that can save the day.
I wouldn’t say I didn’t like Krysten Ritter prior to watching Jessica Jones, she just wasn’t on my radar. I know she did a short-lived sitcom that involved James Van Der Beek playing himself and that’s not really my cuppa, but her portrayal of one of my very favorite Marvel heroes is perfection. The entire show is great2 but the acting, specifically from Ritter and David Tennant, is what makes the show truly engrossing.
I can’t not watch a horror offering with Jamie Lee Curtis, it’s just not possible. Plus, as mentioned in regards to Krampus above, horror-comedies are my sweet spot. Fan’s of Ryan Murphy’s offerings with American Horror Story, myself definitely included, should expect similar scares but the show doesn’t take itself nearly as seriously. Acting is on point and the story line is interesting. The most winning part of Scream Queens though is how well it riffs on its namesake. It’s often gory and provocative for simply the point of being gory and provocative, but that is in fact the point.