I’ve watched Mad Max: Fury Road more than any other motion picture I’ve had the good fortune to see this year. As far as 2015 is concerned, this is without a doubt one of the absolute best to hit theaters, filled with so many sights, sounds, layers and ideas the overall effect it has upon the viewer is staggering. It’s remarkably close to perfect, and I have this sneaky suspicion it’s one dystopian action-fueled spectacular we’re going to be waxing poetic about for many years to come.
Backcountry is growing on me to the point I find myself feeling it’s one of 2015’s most unheralded gems. It’s mesmerizing and unsettling, both in equal measure, slowly building tension and suspense until terror is the only logical outcome for everything that has meticulously transpired. Additionally, it is anchored by a performance from Peregrym that’s easily one of the best I’ve seen all year, and while it’s doubtful she’ll garner anything even close to resembling award’s consideration that doesn’t make what she does as Jenn any less magnificent.
Season 6 of The Vampire Diaries has a lot on its mind, just not a lot that feels original, fresh or new. Same time, it has just enough energy, just enough heat, to make it through 22 episodes with decent enough aplomb, everything building towards a final episode that says goodbye to the show’s main character – Elena Gilbert – while also setting up a number of intriguing possibilities for where things could go next.
The Harvest is a nice, solidly directed thriller from esteemed – if reclusive – filmmaker John McNaughton (his first in almost 15 years), featuring superb performances by its central cast members Calis, Tahan, Shannon and especially Morton. It lulls the viewer into a false sense of security before leaping out to sever the jugular with ferocious tenacity, sending uncomforting shivers up and down the spine that last long after the film itself has come to an end.
There’s not a lot to director Max Joseph’s We Are Your Friends. Working from a story by Richard Silverman, co-writing the script with Meaghan Oppenheimer, the man behind MTV’s “Catfish: The TV Show” hasn’t exactly come up with a coming-of-age looking-to-find-stardom scenario anyone, anywhere likely hasn’t seen before. It’s A Star is Born for the Under the Electric Sky generation, a hallucinogenic sojourn into electronic dance music craziness given a Millennial twist if only in somewhat patronizing fashion.
What follows is ferociously visceral, and not for a single second do either Dowdle coddle the audience into believing anything warm or fuzzy is going to take place. This is a meat grinder movie, a motion picture that wraps itself inside the blood and viscera of its central characters asking the audience to sweat, cry and bleed right alongside of them.
Not that I’m dismissing Mistress America. As much as the stagy pitter-patter of the dialogue didn’t sit as well with me as I’d have liked, that doesn’t make the structural, character-driven cohesion of the plot Baumbach and Gerwig have constructed any less attention grabbing.
Sinister II is a horror sequel with real potential. It has a central conceit that’s inherently intriguing, building on the disturbing premise of its predecessor with real ingenuity. Yet in the end it’s nowhere near as satisfying as it might have been, and while glimmers of chilling astonishment can be found it just isn’t enough to make Bughuul’s return anything memorable.
In the end, it’s hard not to find plenty to like about Cop Car, and as minor as this little thriller might be Watts directorial talent is still undeniable, and as such for those who tend to like this type of thing the movie offers up a ride potentially worthy of the taking.