Bandrew's Top 5 Films of 2015

This was another great year for film. Lucky for me, and you, there was a tremendous amount of great Science Fiction. Before we get into it I want to include the disclaimer that this is based on the films that I have seen. I know that there are some amazing films out there that I simply did not have time to catch. With that being said, let's go ahead and look at my Top 5 films of 2015.

5. Chappie

This is the latest film from Neill Blomkamp, and it was amazing. It seems that a lot of critics were not fans of it, but I found almost all aspects of this film to be excellent. There is some very strong social commentary about being forced to adopt traits to survive depending on your socioeconomic surroundings. On top of this important message, I found the acting to be superb. Die Antwoord did a great job in this film (although I wasn't surprised because their roles in Umshimi Wam were flawless) and the VFX department did amazing work with Chappie. The only thing that left me wanting more was Hugh Jackman's character. I felt like his story line was a bit rushed, but over all, this film has a really great story with an important message, and it is an all around a fun movie to watch.

4. Jurassic World

Come on. Of course this film is going to make it on my list. This is another film that I have heard people say some bad things about. I think that those negative nellys just missed the point. If you watch this film and realize that the entire film is a self satire, and that it is just making fun of itself and the executives that green lit this project, then you will walk away with a newfound appreciation and love for this film. On top of the fact that the writers were able to get away with this premise, Chris Pratt nails it. That dude is way too charming. But seriously, if you did not enjoy this movie the first time, re-watch it now and realize that they're just talking shit about the film that they're making. It's so meta that it's like a Dan Harmon script. 

3. The Martian

What an ambitious film. If you read the book, you know that it was a tremendous undertaking to try and adapt this source material. Somehow they did it...oh yeah...they did it by getting Ridley FREAKING Scott (although some people would say his stock has lost value following prometheus, I would tell them to shut their stupid cake holes and enjoy the hell out of this movie). I'm going to go ahead and say it, Matt Damon is not the star of this film. The star of this film is Mars, and it is awesome. The shots of Mars (yes I know it's not really mars) are some of the most gorgeous pieces of film that I have ever seen. I legitimately thought that I was there for a second while I was watching this in the theater. All around this film is great, but I would recommend reading the book first. 

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I finally am able to understand what it was like to be alive and attending the premiers of the original trilogy. I experienced the feeling of walking out of the theater with your jaw on the floor, and wanting to turn right around and see it again, and again and again. But I digress. Yes. I know that a lot of the tropes are borrowed from previous Star Wars episodes, but that's not what's important in this film. What's important is first off, the characters, and secondly, restoring our faith that Star Wars films can be good. And guess what, they nailed both of those important factors. The new characters in this film are just amazing and I cannot wait to see how they grow over the next few films. There is also some really interesting points that we can speculate about which is great because we can talk about it for the next two years while we wait. Regarding the second factor, I don't think many people can walk out of that film and say "yeah...Star Wars is still dead to me", and if they do, then we know that they are secretly a heartless Robot. If you have not seen this film yet. GET ON IT AND GO WATCH IT!

1. Ex Machina

I love robots. I love beautiful scenery. I love amazing acting. I love stories so good that they can be told with only 3 actors. This film meets all those criteria. Not only did I enjoy this film so much that it made my top spot of this year; I enjoyed this film so much that it is easily one of my favorite films of all time. The premise is that a guy is brought to a CEO's secluded home to help conduct the Turing test on an AI. But there is so much more than that, and I do not want to spoil anything for you. Suffice it to say, craziness ensues. If my poor summary of this film didn't get you excited, let me use the cast to sell you on this film...it has Oscar Isaac & Dohnall Gleeson. Two characters from the new Star Wars film! So these two guys made my top list twice! I just want to tell you that if you have not watched this film, then you need to go buy it, or rent it, or borrow it right now. Once you see it, let me know what you thought of it because I'm pretty sure you're going to love it.


What do you think the top 5 movies of 2015 were? Let us know in the comments down below! And here's to another year of AWESOME films!

Bandrew's Top 5 TV Shows 2015

Currently we are in something of a golden age of television. It seems that almost every week, a new TV show comes out that is great. It's almost to the point where you get angry with someone for recommending an amazing show because who the hell has time to watch everything. So here is the necessary disclaimer, I probably saw less than 1% of new TV shows this year, and therefore this list is just the top 5 tv shows that I was lucky enough to watch.


5. Mr. Robot

This TV show took the internet by storm. Almost everywhere I looked I saw people ranting and raving about it...and rightfully so. Rami Malik nails the role of Eliot. A character who works with a hacker group to bring down Evil Corp; a really crappy evil corporation. The premise may not sound that original, and there are definitely some plot points that were borrowed from existing materials, but that does not effect the awesomeness of this show. Basically, if you have ever hated a company for seemingly being an evil group of scummy a**holes, then this is a show you need to watch!

4. Rick & Morty

If you love Dan Harmon, then you will love Justin Roiland. And lucky for you, both those guys created this show. In all honesty, there really is nothing that can be said about Rick and Morty other than it is genius and it is one of the best shows on television. It is hysterical, meta as f**k, and it will make you contemplate life. The characters were based off the really strange relationship of Doc & Marty from Back to the Future, and the premise is: a grandfather and his grandson travel through the universe and through dimensions and deal with insanity. It is some excellent science fiction that is really funny. The thing that amazes me most about this show though is the great characters and the fact that there are some very sincere moments in the show that will tug at your heart strings.

3. Halt & Catch Fire

This is a show that follows a few people who began the computer revolution. The first season is about the development of the personal computer, and season two is more about the move to the internet. Regardless of whether you are into computers or not, the characters in this show are so dynamic, that you cannot help but be pulled into this world, and almost wish that you were transported back to this time to experience the excitement of this revolution. Just like every good show, the setting doesn't really matter...it just acts as a backdrop to tell the story of these characters, and that story is f**king interesting. However, that backdrop is perfectly set and incredibly interesting as well, so this show has everything going for it! You need to watch this!

2. The Expanse

There have only been four episodes, but I am sticking it up here already. This is based of the book series of the same name, and the only way I can describe it is f**king epic! This is just a space opera done expertly. The acting on this series is amazing. The direction, amazing. The cinematography, amazing. The VFX, amazing. Every department working on this show seems to be firing on all cylinders, and I cannot wait to see how this show continues to play out. Basically what I'm saying is, if SyFy is able to keep up this level of production for the remainder of the series, then I think we may have another Battlestar Galactica on our hands.

1. Last Man on Earth

This is a comedy unlike anything I have ever seen on television before. We may never know how Will Forte got Fox to green light this show, but all we can do is thank him and fox for creating this masterpiece. I simply don't know of any other comedy that is able to consistently & successfully create cliff hangers. If you can't tell the premise of this show, it's about the last man on earth. We quickly find that he's not the last person, and that's where it gets interesting. The relationship dynamics are sometimes a bit exaggerated, but they remain grounded. That is what's so interesting about this show; the relationships and character development. I may not be able to do this show justice in a paragraph, but it is number one on my list for a reason. So here's the one line summary of this show: Last Man on Earth is a Home Run! Get it...because the trailer is in a baseball stadium. YES! I still Got it!


Honorable Mentions

Comedy Bang! Bang!

If you listen to the comedy bang! bang! podcast, you would have to be an absolute idiot to not watch this show. It is constantly funny and they aren't afraid to try new things on each episode. Let me just ask you a question. You don't want to be an idiot, do you? Then watch this show...you idiot!

Maron

Have you ever had an overwhelming sense that the world is going to end and that you're the biggest pile of crap in the world? Then you will relate to this show. Just like the WTF Podcast, this show is brutally honest and we get a look at the darkest sides of who Marc is. It's an amazing show and I highly recommend it. 

@Midnight

I. Love. This. Show. This show is a comedy nerds wet dream. You get to see a bunch of your favorite comedians go on a show and just riff for 22 minutes about all the crap that happens on the internet. It is hilarious, and it's always fun to play along on the #HashtagWars! 

Nathan for You

Let me explain why this is only an honorable mention. I just discovered this show about 3 hours before I finalized this article. I would have had this article completed much sooner had I not found this gem. I have only watched three episodes from season one, but I can tell that this is going to be an amazing show, and if the quality remains consistent, this will most likely make an appearance on next years list!

Tremors 5: Bloodlines

There are very few film franchises that can go for 25 years, spanning 5 movies and a tv series, all while remaining fresh. Tremors is one of the few that has accomplished this. Their secret formula = Burt Gummer.

If you don't know who Burt Gummer is, he is the incarnation of what the rest of the world thinks Americans are. Gun toting, survivalist, right wing, nut jobs. But somehow, it's impossible not to love Burt. Just in case you're new to the franchise, I have included essential viewing from the first Tremors film to illustrate this point.

It seems like more and more movies are losing their sense of humor and are beginning to take themselves too seriously. That is what makes Tremors 5 a breath of fresh air. It is balls to the wall, tongue in cheek fun... just like the original. This film doesn't try to recreate the original film, it just takes the absurd backdrop and tells a slightly different story. There's even something for us a film nerds in the form of allusions to films like Jurassic Park, Die Hard and Alien 3. If we boil it down to one idea, this is what action films in 80's would have been if they had CGI from 2015.

This is a super short Friday Night Action Movie Book Club, but the part that I want to dive deeper into would be a spoiler, and I don't want to do that. So I'll leave it there. You can find this movie on netflix, and I highly recommend it if you've watched and enjoyed any previous tremors films. I should also note that other than the film Scream, this is my favorite Jamie Kennedy role.