Friday, January 01, 2016

My Ten Favorite New-to-Me Movies of 2015

I had a lot of fun putting together a list like this last year, so I decided to do it again.  And I discovered something severely weird:  nearly half of these were released this year.  Craziness!  It was a really good year for movies I would love, I guess.  And another oddity:  only one of these was made before the year 2000.  It's not like I didn't watch lots of old movies this year, because I always do, but most of them were either things I'd seen before, or things I didn't love.  As usual, I've linked to any reviews I posted.



1.  The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) (Second review)

An American (Henry Cavill), a Russian (Armie Hammer), and a German (Alicia Vikander) team up during the Cold War to stop neo-Nazis from creating a nuclear bomb.  This is an unabashedly fun movie, and I love it ever so dearly.

2.  North & South (2004)

A woman (Daniela Denby-Ashe) from the pastoral south of England moves to the industrial north and spends months ignoring the fact that a wealthy manufacturer (Richard Armitage) is in love with her.  Yes, it's technically a mini-series and not a movie, but that does not matter.  I MUST include it here.

3.  Cinderella (2015)

Ella (Lily James) treats her stepmother (Cate Blanchett), a prince (Richard Madden), and her fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) with courage and kindness.  It's a fabulously faithful retelling of the classic fairy tale, and it delights me.  (Yes, my new header is in honor of the Cinderella blog party/blogathon I'll be involved in next week!)

4.  Star Wars:  The Force Awakens (2015)

A bunch of new characters join forces with a bunch of old characters and try to defeat some bad characters.  Seriously, I'm sooooo spoiler-shy that I don't want to say more than that.  I hope to see this again this weekend, and then I'll post a real review.  But for now, just know it's in my top 5 on this list!

5.  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)

A meek magazine editor (Danny Kaye) spends his life getting trampled on by everyone around him while he daydreams about being a hero, until the girl of his dreams (Virginia Mayo) shows up and involves him in a dangerous spy mission.  I just watched this for the first time last night, and it zipped right onto this list!

6.  Mission:  Impossible -- Rogue Nation (2015)

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) goes rogue with a lovely female spy (Rebecca Ferguson) to stop a bad guy from being evil.  This series keeps improving, doesn't it?

7.  The Avengers:  Age of Ultron (2015)

The Avengers create an evil robot and then have to stop it from destroying the earth.  No, I didn't love it like I loved The Avengers (2012), but it's still a fun ride.

8.  Dracula Untold (2014)

Vlad (Luke Evans) becomes a vampire temporarily to save his family and his kingdom from certain destruction.  This is the only Dracula movie I have ever loved, and yes, I have seen quite a few of them.  It has such a great twist on the character and the curse, and I wish I'd seen it in the theater.

9.  Inkheart (2008)

A young girl (Eliza Bennett) learns that her dad (Brendan Fraser) can bring characters from books into the real world, and this causes all sorts of problems and mayhem and excitement.  I like this So Much Bettter Than The Book!!!

10.  13 Going on 30 (2004)

A teenage girl wishes she was 30 instead of 13, her wish gets granted, and she discovers that being an adult is actually harder and more confusing than being a teen.  Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo Could Not Be More Lovable If They Tried.


Happy New Year!

35 comments:

  1. Cinderella 2015 is AMAZING. I'm going to write a review of it for Heidi's party. :-)

    Oh, and N&S TOTALLY deserves to be on the list, mini-series or not. :-)

    Happy New Year!!

    ~ Naomi

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    1. Naomi, looking forward to your review!

      And yeah, N&S just has to count. The end.

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  2. Oh, I loved a lot of these! (interestingly, I also watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty for the first time just a month or two ago. I liked the newer version of it, as well) I've been wanting to watch The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for really long time now, but I haven't gotten a chance, yet. :( The only other movies on this list I haven't seen are Mission Impossible, 13 Going on 30, and Dracula Untold, but the others are some of my favorites, too :)

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    1. Hayden, I hear good things about the new version, so I'd like to see that too at some point.

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  3. Star Wars is awesome. It's my everything right now.

    Aww, I loved Cinderella too.

    I actually IMPORTED North & South to be able to watch it, since it took the BBC over a year to bring it to America, so that's my short story about a beloved miniseries.

    Dracula Untold was an interesting take on the lore. I did see it in the theater one night around Halloween. :)

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    1. Charity, SW isn't my everything right now, but it might be after a second viewing, we'll see.

      Wow. Imported it. Very cool!

      I really liked the character motivations and arcs in Dracula Untold, which the character is generally kind of lacking. Not to at all even remotely mention a teensy bit that um... Luke Evans played him. I'm sure that wasn't a factor :-o

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    2. Maybe you don't have obsessive compulsive addiction problems like I do. I hope. ;)

      I eventually sold my English region version and bought the American version, in case my hacked player broke.

      Nooo, I'm sure Luke Evans had NOTHING to do with it...

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    3. Charity, I'm not nearly as compulsive as my father, but I do fall deeply into addictions. Witness my fanatical immersion into the world of The Man from UNCLE this summer, and ditto for TBOTFA last winter...

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  4. I caught a few minutes of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on TV one time, and it looked like fun. I'll have to try and see the whole thing sometime.

    I'm working on my own top-ten movie list—should be up in a few days!

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    1. Sam watched the first hour or so with us because he was having trouble getting to sleep, and he laughed a lot. But then he said it was getting too intense, so he went to bed. Hee. I definitely recommend it!

      Looking forward to your list :-)

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  5. Oh, you listed some great titles here, Hamlette! Of these I saw...Cinderella and loved it, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. And totally looooved it, Mission: Impossible - my favourite so far! This year there were quite a few good titles that came out... MacFarland USA was excellent, so was Far from the Maddening Crowd (Carey Mulligan) - a MUST see for everyone...probably the sweetest love story ever! I also saw Belle (2014) which was amazing too! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
    Blessings for 2016!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly-Anne! It was a great year for movies. I haven't seen the new Far from the Maddening Crowd yet, but I did see the BBC one not long ago and would like to see the new one. And I actually just picked up a copy of Belle and hope to watch and review it for the Period Drama Challenge :-)

      I'm SO VERY HAPPY that you loved The Man from UNCLE!!!!!!!! Oh, I adore that movie.

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  6. Nice list! The only movies here I haven't seen is The Man from UNCLE, (which I definitely will be watching once I get a good opportunity!) and Walter Mitty. I absolutely loved the new Ben Stiller Walter Mitty though -- have you seen that one? A lot of people didn't like it, but I was surprised at how good it was.

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    1. Sarah, I really want to see the new Ben Stiller version because I hear it's quite good too, but very different. Maybe my library has it...

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  7. Diggable list! I enjoyed all of those!

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    1. DKoren, yay! You know you're directly responsible for me seeing 4 of these...

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  8. YAYYYYYY!!!!! YOU LIKED SW7!!!!! Okay, pardon the excitement, but I absolutely LOVED that movie and I was really, really, REALLY hoping you would enjoy it too. And you did. So all is well :-)

    BB-8. Just sayin' ;-)

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    1. Jessica, hee, yes :-) I'm really happy I liked it too.

      And BB-8 is adorable. The little thumbs-up thing? Cutest Droid Action Ever!

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  9. What a great list, Hamlette. I added several of these to my favorites too including U.C.L.E., Avengers and Cinderella. Glad you enjoyed 13 Going on 30 (one of my most favorite chick flicks) and welcome to the North & South fan club. Beautiful that one is. :)

    Also, I'm very much anticipating seeing the new MI movie. We had it under the tree so many this weekend I'll watch it. :)

    Happy 2016.

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    1. Thanks, Rissi! I hope you dig the new M:I movie -- it's great fun. (Also, bonus points to it for not killing of Josh Holloway. I still hold a grudge against the last one for that.)

      Happy 2016 to you too!

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  10. N&S AND CINDERELLA!! YES, THEY MADE IT!!!! (*coughs discreetly* Though, of course, I kinda knew. Just slightly. ;D)

    And I didn't realize there was a 1947 Walter Mitty. I think the new one looks super intriguing, but I've read it has some iffy content. What is the older one like on that score?

    (And your new blue party header!! I like how it turned out. ;) Most lovely... especially all that sparkly swirly-ness.)

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    1. Oh, and Heidi, here's me butting in on other people's conversations: I really, really enjoy the new Walter Mitty, and I really can't remember much of any content. Walter "zones out" a lot, so there are some times when he imagines fascinating the woman he likes, but nothing inappropriate that I can recall. I might be forgetting something major, but I really don't think so…there's some swearing, possibly including a brief more severe expletive, but I'm not sure. Overall, I'd say give it a try. It's VERY wacky, but somehow it works. And it's lots of fun and humorous and sweet :)

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    2. Heidi and Olivia, you both might like to read Carissa's contrast post about both Mitty versions here. It's what prompted me to put the Danny Kaye version on my Christmas list, and also what convinced me I want to see the Ben Stiller version too.

      The old version has no actual iffy content, except this one bit where he has hidden something in a woman's corset (NOT while she was wearing it) and thinks it's getting delivered to this house, so he goes there to ask about it, and the husband answers the door and gets really mad at him for inquiring about his wife's corset and Walter saying he'd left something in it, and then to make matters worse he has to deliver a nightgown there and -- it's all innocent, but layers of innuendo do exist. We let Sam stay up late on New Year's Eve (he made it to about 10:30) and watch it with us, and although he didn't finish it, he did see that part and was just not at all concerned about why this guy was mad at Walter Mitty -- he just figured he was annoyed.

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  11. This liiiiiiiiist. Me loves it :D

    YES YES AND YES!! I think I shall have to try Man from U.N.C.L.E. and 13 Going on 30 sometime, I've heard they're both good ;D

    Inkheart! I love both the movie AND the book, but I definitely like how the movie ends better. Plus the CAST.

    I've only seen the new Walter Mitty, but I really like that one ;D

    Oh, how was Dracula Untold? I've seen advertisements and pictures, but I was skeptical because, you know, vampires. Howevah, Luke Evans…you can imagine my predicament ;) Was it a "typical vampire movie"?

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    1. Olivia, yay! Both UNCLE and 13 Going on 30 do have a little bit if iffy content, but both are overall so so so enjoyable.

      I actually don't like the book of Inkheart much at all, but the movie is awesome. All because they made the characters so much nicer.

      Okay, Dracula Untold is brilliant. Also gory and violent, and one small scene of starting-to-get-it-on between Vlad and his wife, but it was NOT a typical vampire movie. I went through a thing in college where I was completely fascinated with vampires, and I'm still absurdly fond of them (blame Angel, it's totally his fault), but most vampire movies leave me meh. This one, though, I have to own. All because of what I said above -- he becomes a vampire in order to save his family. It's fresh and different and character-oriented and wonderful.

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  12. Oh, these sound like some pretty awesome movies! :) I've actually only watched one of the movies you listed, Cinderella ;) But some of my family watched Star Wars. Too scary for me :P 13 Going on 30 sounds really interesting though!

    Just wondering, did you list the movies in order of what was your favourite? :)

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    1. Thanks, Blessing counter. 13 Going on 30 is really cute!

      And I did list these order of favorite being #1, and so on.

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  13. Those sound like really interesting movies! I haven't seen very many of them though, only Cinderella :P

    Which of these movies was your favorite?

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    1. Mikayla, my favorite was definitely The Man from UNCLE. I absolutely love it!

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  14. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty sounds really interesting! I didn't even know that existed. I knew about the new version, but I didn't know that there was an older version.

    I have to watch Inkheart too. I started to read the book, but for some reason I didn't really get into it. Maybe I would like the movie more than the book. :)

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    1. Ekaterina, you should try Inkheart! The plot follows the book closely, but the characters are just kinder, nicer, and more lovable.

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  15. Another great list! I really should/want to watch some of the movies on this list ASAP: The Man from UNCLE and Cinderella in particular

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    1. Thanks, Birdie! I hope you like them when you see them :-)

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  16. Yay for N&S!! :D And Cinderella, I loved it. Which reminds me that I'm due another rewatch of it soon.

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    1. Kara, I just rewatched Cinderella a little over a week ago, the day before Cinderella Week started -- my 5-year-old daughter and I had colds and had to stay home from church, and she chose to watch that with me :-) It gets better with every viewing!

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Agree or disagree? That is the question...

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)