Each year, around this time, podcasters and website content makes all ponder what has been the best, the worst, the surprising and so forth of all the films, television shows, video games, books and so on. Its never an easy task and usually people try to come up with a Top 10. Sounds easy doesnt it? Well not when you have seen hundreds of films or played dozens of games over the past twelve months. But its a fun task that as hard as it it, we all enjoy doing.
December 23rd 2015 I recorded my end of year episode of The Movie Show with filmmaker John Foutz and we got into our thoughts for the year. What we liked, what we didnt etc.
December 21st 2015, I recorded alongside Lauren Rebecca Reid and Stuart Miller our end of year episode for The Horror Show where we went through our top films and performances.
I wanted to share my choices with those who look at this website but not listen to the podcast. So here we go. What made my ‘awards’ this year.
First up lets get the horror films out of the way.
Howl (Directed by Paul Hyett)
Such a lot of fun and considering how impressed I was with The Seasoning House (Pauls previous film), I wasn’t sure whether I would feel the same way about Howl. Well, I did. Howl is a very different film than The Seasoning House. its more popcorn than grim . A bunch of people on a train (some you like, some you dont) Add werewvolves and hey presto!!! Howl!!!! A great film for a wonderfully enjoyable evening and Paul Hyett now has 2 for 2. Will he make it 3 for 3 with his just wrapped film Heretiks (starring my favourite actor Michael Ironside) We shall find out in 2016
S Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk)
A film I have heard about over the past few weeks, I finally decided to check out on VOD, and wow. All I can say it wow. Brutal, slow paced, well acted and Kurt Russell at his best in this Wild West set drama/horror film.
Pollyanna McIntosh (Let Us Prey)
One of my favourite actors, Pollyanna get this award not only for this years performance in Let Us Prey, but also for her other films that I rewatched this year. The Woman, Offspring, Exam. Let us Prey is set in a small town and in a remote police station, where a mysterious stranger takes over the minds and souls of everyone inside. A very strange and wonderful film.
Best Horror Documentary
LEVIATHAN: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II was funded a lot by fundraising, and was such an ambitious project for the filmmakers to take on and try to pull off, but pull it off they did and resulted in one of the best documentaries about an existing film that I have seen for a long time. Featuring interviews with pretty much everyone involved with the production of Hellraiser and its follow up film. I saw the divided up documentary which featured on the wonderful Arrow Films Hellraiser Blu Ray set and it was such a great time learning more about the films than I ever thought I needed to know.
Personality of the Year
Actress, Producer, LIfe Coach, TV host to name just a few of the Brookes roles this year Never one to rest and always one to push her talents even more. Brooke has had such a busy year with several of her films seeing release including Starship Rising, Starship Apocalype, The Mourning, and 13 episodes of the TV show Breaking Dating being aired. Brooke also took time out of her insanely busy schedule to help me out a couple of times this year and most certainly deserves Personality Of The Year.
Say hi to her on Twitter @brookelewisLA
Now onto The Movie Show Awards
Best International Film
Star Wars:The Force Awakens
Given the award for not just being a wonderful film and returning Star Wars to its high standard, but because it was the only film that got me into the cinema twice in 48hours.
Mad Max Fury Road
Best British Film
Rise Of The Footsoldier Part 2
I had puzzling anticipation for this film. I wanted to watch it but felt that the first film (Rise Of The Footsoldier) was self contained. How could they carry it on? Well quite simply by telling us more about the life of Carlton Leach. Very different in style to the first film, Rise 2 ups its game and reminded me more of Nil by Mouth and Bad Lieutenant than it being another film focusing on gangsters. Brilliantly directed by Ricci Harnett in his directorial debut and another fine notch on the belt of film company Carnaby International who for the second that in the same year have taken a troubled production and allowed it and helped it recover for the fans to see.
Rise Of The Krays/Fall Of The Krays
Rise Of The Krays and Fall Of The Krays were filmed back to back but released months apart (Fall Of The Krays hits DVD in March) and together they tell the Rise and Fall (its all in the title folks) of two of the countries most notorious crime bosses. Brilliant performances by Kevin Leslie and Simon Cotton in the lead roles alongside a wonderfully written script that doesnt just give us the highlights that we all know but give us some great backstory of Ronnie and Reggie Kray.
I pressed play on the DVD of Anti-Social without knowing anything about the storyline, and that made the film even more enjoyable for me. So I will quite simply say. Do check out Anti-Social starring Josh Myers.
Ricci Harnett (Rise Of The Footsoldier Part 2)
First time director (Ricci also wrote the script) Ricci Harnett has done a fantastic job with the next chapter of Rise Of The Footsoldier Part 2 which takes us back into the life of real life Carlton Leach. Following on from the killings in Essex 95, We see Carlton Leach in what I feel would be his darkest and most self destructive time. The film is touch to watch and the performances are brutal, but the film is handled perfectly by Ricci Harnett who not only held directing duties but of course appeared on screen for most of the film.
Best British Performances
Ricci Harnett (Rise Of The Footsoldier Part 2)
Kevin Leslie & Simon Cotton (Rise Of The Krays)
In the same year that saw Tom Hardy star in the ‘other’ Krays film Legend. Kevin and Simon had a high level to hold but hold it they did in what I feel is the better performance for Ronnie and Reggie Kray (not to take anything away from Tom) Over the complete story (Rise of the Krays and Fall Of The Krays) when I think Kray, I think Kevin Leslie and Simon Cotton.
Amy (by Asif Kapadia)
I wasnt a fan of her music, I didnt know much about Amy Winehouse but watching this wonderful documentary was a great experience. Using home movie footage and conversations with her friends. Asif Kapadia has created a brilliant piece of work that needs to be seen and has been seen by millions.
The Death of Superman Lives:What Happened ( by Jon Schnepp)
Superman Returns, remember that film? Superman Lives. Remember that one? Nope. Well you wouldnt because it didnt fly into our cinemas. But it came close. IN The Death Of Superman Lives:What Happened, Filmmaker Jon Schnepp works his socks off to put together a fantastic feature length documentary that gives us a great insight into what Superman Lives would have looked like. Nicolas Cage as the Son of Krypton, giant spiders, no flying? This documentary has to be seen and is such a breath of fresh and will make you smile for its running time. Ever heard of the insanity that goes on in the movie world. Check out The Death Of Superman Lives:What Happened to give you even more evidence of that.
You can check out and purchase the documentary through the official website
‘Allies’ Award for the film that came out of nowhere and blew me away
Rise Of The Krays/Fall Of The Krays
Last year the film Allies came out and blew my socks off, hence this new award is called ‘The Allies Award’. Rise of the Krays appealed to me but my hopes were leveled as I was aware of Legend coming out. I popped Rise Of The Krays into my DVD and within about two minutes was hooked by the performances,the story, the production. At one time in my life, I was always a fan of the massive blockbuster type films. Nowadays I love the indie films, that dont come superhyped and are loaded by fantastic performances both in front of the camera and behind the camera. Fantastic work by all involved including of course Zachary Adler who directed the film and writers Sebastian Brown and Ken Brown.
What were some of your favourite films of 2015?