Jupiter Ascending

Name: Jupiter Ascending
Year: 2015
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 127
Description: Jupiter Jones was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars, but wakes up to the cold reality of a job, cleaning other people’s houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine Wise, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along – her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.
Stars: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne
Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Tried to keep watching this because Michael Giacchino’s score wasn’t bad at all, but it was just too boring, too much alien ‘terminology’, hardly any explanations, dull villains…


Jurassic World

Name: Jurassic World
Year: 2015
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 124
Description: Jurassic World has been running with great success for more than a decade in the wake of the disaster that haunted the island 22 years ago. The park’s geneticists have once again broken scientific and ethical boundaries in order to raise attendance for the park, now experiencing a decline in happy customers. Convinced that the new attraction will bring in many more people, but having crossed the line once again, the results may be devastating.
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins
Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Jurassic Park was great. The Lost World was boring and I only remember one scene from Jurassic Park III. By that time, my mind was made up: you can only make one good film to prove that mankind should not breed dinosaurs, so I thought this one would be the same all over again… and it was, but this time I enjoyed it. There wasn’t a dull moment anywhere, though I’m really starting to wonder how many films they’ll still make that contain a scene in which a man holds out his hand to a woman and the woman bravely walks off on her own. Hollywood, I know perfectly well women are equal to men. You clearly don’t.

Even Giacchino’s score amazed me. This will probably become my favourite Jurassic score after Jurassic Park. I really loved the ‘Christmas-y’ parts and John Williams’ old themes were a joy to hear again as well, though Giacchino’s new theme isn’t memorable (it does work) and as usual, the lack of reverb reduces the excitement dramatically.

Finally, I wish audio-describers would stop narrating the whole end credits. I appreciate the effort and all, but would like to be able to appreciate the end credits suites for these kind of films. If you really want to know who the second-unit director was, go to Wikipedia, that’s what it’s for. The dialogue was also softer than the descriptions.

Bridge Of Spies

Name: Bridge Of Spies
Year: 2015
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 142
Description: In the cold war, a lawyer, James B. Donovan, is recruited by the CIA and involved in an intense negotiation mission to release and exchange a CIA U-2 spy-plane pilot, Francis G. Powers, that was arrested alive after his plane was shot down by the Soviet Union during a mission, with a KGB intelligence officer, Rudolf Abel, who was arrested for espionage in the US.
Stars: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda 2015 Oscar Winner for Best Supporting Actor, Mark Rylance
Genres: Biography, Drama, Thriller

Very moving story. As usual, Tom Hanks’ character was by far my favourite.

Newman’s score is as subtle as ever and it also turns out Shostakovich wrote music I can actually appreciate. Who’d have thunk it?

Inside Out

Name: Inside Out
Year: 2015
Rating: G
Running Time (minutes): 94
Description: Growing up can be a bumpy road and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
Stars: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

I really liked this one. Fun and airy story and Anger made me laugh more than once. The voice cast was perfect as well, especially in Joy’s case.

Giacchino’s score was better than I expected it to be too. He’s great at portraying happiness and the tense part was wonderful, but he should work on his sad music. It sufficed, but nothing more.

The audio description sounded rather weird in the beginning.


Name: Carol
Year: 2015
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 118
Description: In an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, Carol follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol, an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby come to light.
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson
Genres: Drama, Romance

I couldn’t keep watching this one. Even though I’m a bit tired of Blanchett, the plot seemed promising and someone with good taste had recommended this film to me earlier, but it’s so gloomy, the women barely do more than whisper, it’s depressing…

The music could have been more too. Very nice and subtle theme, but I was hoping for more romantic/sad music.


Name: Cinderella
Year: 2015
Rating: G
Running Time (minutes): 105
Description: A girl named Ella (Cinderella) has the purest heart, living in a cruel world filled with evil stepsisters and an evil stepmother out to ruin Ella’s life. Ella becomes one with her pure heart when she meets the prince and dances her way to a better life with glass shoes and a little help from her fairy godmother, of course.
Stars: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Everything dramatically slows down after the ball, which was rather rushed, but at least my mind is empty now and that was all I was expecting. Helena Bonham Carter exceeded my expectations as well: something in her voice doesn’t agree with me for some reason, I had preferred Julie Walters to be the fairy godmother and I just keep thinking of Bellatrix every time I hear her. Lily James is way too bland and her ‘I forgive you’ to the stepmother is laughable and unconvincing. Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd was as good as always and Holliday Grainger is one nasty piece of work (that’s a compliment).

Felt like an idiot watching this film (age issues, you know) but nothing beats Patrick Doyle’s gorgeous score in glorious 5.1 surround sound: magic it was.

The Lobster

Name: The Lobster
Year: 2015
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 118
Description: A love story set in a dystopian near future where single people are arrested and transferred to a creepy hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal and released into the woods.
Stars: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden
Genres: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

Hmm… I really liked the first part, but then all the unexplained things started bothering me, like: how did this society come about, why does everyone absolutely have to have a partner, or more importantly, what is going on with people’s feelings in this world? Some of the characters definitely had some emotions, but others clearly didn’t. During the second half, I was especially annoyed because of the weird plot twists and it’s still not clear to me why the Loners did what they did and what they hoped to achieve or which consequences all their actions had. The ending felt unresolved (for the characters) as well. Having said all that, I really liked Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman and wouldn’t mind having a partner with their kind of voices at all.

The music was effective as well. This was only the second time I’ve watched a film where the score consisted of strings only and source music, but this time it really worked very well.


Name: Home
Year: 2015
Rating: G
Running Time (minutes): 94
Description: When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.
Stars: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

The true is, Rihanna is absolutely TERRIBLE, whether she got an A in geometry or not. The whole thing are way too childishness to enjoy aside from some the jokes, it just fits out of my taste. The only good thing about it was that the Parsons at least do’s have the chance to say the contemporary music thingy in Smeckland is rubbish. The feel-good ending felt incredibly forced: I’ve never ever watched a film in which the narrator had to literally summarise an entire reunion that was supposed to be emotional in three sentences because nobody said a word during the five seconds of screen time it was given.

The score is really great, however, but then again, most animation scores I know are. It was nice to finally hear music by Lorne Balfe himself and not just hear him ghostwrite Hans Zimmer scores. Why is this film full of Rihanna songs, though? Her presence in the voice cast is bad enough. It doesn’t even make any sense for her to sing in the story either: she can’t talk and wail at the same time.

The audio description had a very serious flaw. It didn’t contain one single, comprehensive description of what the non-humans looked like. Only Boovs can run away from problems, not the audio-describers.

The Big Short

Name: The Big Short
Year: 2015
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 130
Description: Three separate but parallel stories of the U.S mortgage housing crisis of 2005 are told. Michael Burry, an eccentric ex-physician turned one-eyed Scion Capital hedge fund manager, has traded traditional office attire for shorts, bare feet and a Supercuts haircut. He believes that the US housing market is built on a bubble that will burst within the next few years. Autonomy within the company allows Burry to do largely as he pleases, so Burry proceeds to bet against the housing market with the banks, who are more than happy to accept his proposal for something that has never happened in American history. The banks believe that Burry is a crackpot and therefore are confident in that they will win the deal. Jared Vennett with Deutschebank gets wind of what Burry is doing and, as an investor, believes he too can cash in on Burry’s beliefs.
Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling
Genres: Biography, Comedy, Drama

Pretty good, although they overdid the financial terminology bit. If they had focused on the human side a little more, the film would have been much more relaxing and enjoyable.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

Name: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2
Year: 2015
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 137
Description: After young Katniss Everdeen agrees to be the symbol of rebellion, the Mockingjay, she tries to return Peeta to his normal state, tries to get to the Capitol and tries to deal with the battles coming her way… but all for her main goal: assassinating President Snow and returning peace to the Districts of Panem. As her squad starts to get smaller and smaller, will she make it to the Capitol? Will she get revenge on Snow? Or will her target change? Will she be with her “Star-Crossed Lover”, Peeta? Or her longtime friend, Gale? Deaths, bombs, bows and arrows, a love triangle, hope. What will happen?
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Genres: Adventure, Sci-Fi

The first film in this saga made a huge impression on me because it was so raw, brutal and moving. The second film was nearly as good as the first one. But then, they had to make the third film for no other reason than financial greed. And finally, there’s this one.

I don’t really know how to feel about it. I only really started to enjoy it at the 40-minute mark. It’s not a bad film, but it’s certainly not good either. It’s all doom and gloom. I realise this is not a fairy-tale, but there’s just something about these first two films that’s absent in the last two, even though I can’t say exactly what that is. And then, the finale started to unfold and I just found it absurd. But now that it’s all over and now that the whole conclusion is slowly sinking in, I must admit the ending probably isn’t that bad. It’s just not the grand finale I was hoping for. There’s no real closure, no relief after this harrowing story, though, and that bothers me.

Like in the previous films, James Newton Howard’s score contained lots of nice bits, but overall, it’s not really a score I like. Obviously, Howard needed to do what he did for the story’s purposes, but I know he can write much more interesting, dark music than what he did for this franchise. As the film drew to a close, the score really started to become noticeable and whatever problems this score has, I’m 100% sure Howard is not to blame for them.