markbernstein (markbernstein) wrote,

Dramatic Presentation: Long Form - Mark's Top Ten

Time for my apparently-becoming-annual roundup of the genre movies and miniseries I watched in 2015. The top five are the ones that will appear on my Hugo ballot. That does, admittedly, influence the order, as I tend to favor more literary and intellectual works when nominating.

10. Cinderella. It's a live-action riff on the Disney Animated version, and so doesn't offer much that's new. In a stronger year, it wouldn't make the top 10. That said, the cast is engaging, Kenneth Branagh's direction is impeccable, and the production design is gorgeous. The sequence of the coachman, footmen, horses and carriage changing back to goose, lizards, mice, and pumpkin as they careen down the road is a high point.

9. Ant-Man. easily my favorite comic book movie of the year. Fun, fun, fun.

8. Tomorrowland. The one that divided critics and viewers. I fall on the "loved it" side. Which is predictable, as I'm a big fan of director Brad Bird, and a sucker for positive, hopeful messages.

7. Mad Max: Fury Road. No question, it's wonderfully made in every aspect, and I'm glad I saw it in the theater. It's just not the kind of thing that appeals to me on an emotional level.

6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I had a fantastic time seeing it with friends, loved Rey in particular, and look forward to seeing the next chapter. It drops this far because of there just isn't anything particularly new here, and I favor originality.

5. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Of the three major TV mini-series drawn from genre literature, this was, to me, the best. It was mostly faithful to the book, including reproducing the overall tone of the original, and had a great cast.

4. Inside Out. One of Pixar's all-time best, which is saying one hell of a lot. Touching, hilarious, massively imaginative, and full of things I've never seen before, including the core message.

3. Ex Machina. The most intelligent original SF script of the year, brought to life by a great cast and good direction. The shots of naked women did seem a bit gratuitous at times, but not enough to throw me out of the story.

2. Predestination. The Spierig brothers have pulled off the all-too-rare trick of taking a classic SF story (Heinlein's "All You Zombies", in case you didn't know), adapting it faithfully, extending it in ways that logically follow from the text of the story, and making a compelling, suspenseful film out of it. I was a co-sponsor of the motion at the 2015 Worldcon Business Meeting to extend its eligibility to this year.

1. The Martian. What can I say? Everything worked.

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