Welcome to 2016, and my annual yearly blog summary post. I've been relaxing with family, not watching Netflix or sitting behind a laptop, which explains my radio silence, but I'm back on the job.
I've written a lot of posts this years - 121 in fact, representing about the same number movies. About 13 were made in 2015, maybe a few more if you count TV or Netflix series, and The Martian, which we watched with my sister, from Amazon, so it doesn't count for this blog, because it's about my Netflix queue. Let's say we saw 15 movies from 2015 in 2015.
That's more than last year, and the year before. We seem to be getting more current, although it's probably more to do with Netflix getting the latest movies sooner than with our taste changing. However, Mr. Schprock recently gave me a bit of a wake-up. He was much less enthusiastic than we were about Ant-Man and Man from U.N.C.L.E. and it made me think - are my tastes getting coarser? I once only watched "classics" and musicals, now I'm panting after the latest bloated franchise actioner. Not that Schprockie made such insinuations, but his taste is irreproachable, and I want to live up to it.
So I hereby resolve to up my game a bit in 2016. Suggestions for classy black-and-white movies cheerfully accepted.
As for 2015, we watched an X-Men movie, Days of Future Past, and two Avengers movies, Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. We loved them all, but they definitely had their flaws - for one thing, they tend to be all over the place, trying to do too many things at once. Ant-Man was the best for telling a single story, and might have been our favorite, but still showed signs of too-many-cooks syndrome. We caught the latest Dom and Brian show, and found it to be fluffy but fun - the farewell to Paul Walker left us dry-eyed.
Our favorite franchise blockbuster was the same as everyone else's - Fury Road.
As far as SF and techno-thrillers, we watched a lot of AI (artificial and/or augmented intelligence) movies this year, not all of them with Scarlett Johansson: Her, Ex Machina, Transcendence, Lucy, Limitless. Not to play favorites, but Limitless was pretty funny, and we look forward to the TV show.
Another trend we noticed was techno-optimism, usually framed as a critique of techno-pessimism, limits to growth, fear of progress, etc. I approve of the message, but the delivery in Interstellar and Tomorrowland seemed ham-handed and preachy. The Martian wasn't less preachy, but somehow more honest about it.
We watched a few documentaries, all music-related, and especially loved The Wrecking Crew, another behind-the-scenes look at the music we love. I hope we get to see the Boyce and Hart doc this year, about the songwriting team/backup band for the Monkees.
I'm going to cheat on the Best Netflix of 2015: The Bela Lugosi Collection. Since it has 5 movies on one disc, it has an advantage. But it really was one of the most fun discs we watched all year, full of thrills, chills, and madness.
And finally, for absolute Best of 2015, Ms. Spenser completed her PhD and must now be referred to as Ms. Dr. Spenser!