Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 Year in Review

2015 was a very different year for me than 2014. I saw exactly half as many movies. On average, those movies were a fair amount better than last year, if you ignore Blackhat and Chappie (3.417 vs 2.9, or 3.175 vs 2.9 if those two are included, which is still better).

Whereas last year only 40% of the movies I saw scored higher than 3 overall, this year 55% did. Only 30% of movies were lower than 3, versus last year's 45%.

2015 was once again a good acting year, with only 10% of movies I reviewed earning less than a 3 in Performance (which is the same as 2014). The average increased from 3.2 to 3.45.

I continued to be far more critical of plots than other aspects of movies, though the average did increase from 2.6 to 2.8. The percentage of movies I reviewed earning higher than 3 actually decreased from 35 to 30, though.

2015 was a heck of a year for production values, though. My average increased from 3.2 to 4, with four movies earning a 5 from me.

There was an enormous difference between 2014 and 2015 as far as the Bechdel and Mako Mori tests are concerned. The pass rate for each was 65% this year, versus 37% and 30% respectively in 2014. The majority of movies I saw passed both (55%), whereas last year only 20% did so.

I attempted to break down the Bechdel test by how much a movie passed or failed, but I'm not sure the results are worthwhile. It's just not a very good test, which its creator acknowledges - The Hateful Eight passes it, and no one would say that that movie has a positive treatment of women or anything approaching parity of roles for women. It does show that about half the movies which passed the Bechdel test did so more or less on a technicality, with only a brief conversation to qualify.

I'm thinking that next year I'll try to add a measure - something like percentage of female principle actors, or maybe something related to billing order. Articles related to The Force Awakens noted that movies have a shockingly low percentage or female parts, both in the foreground and background - TFA doesn't have that problem, at least in part because someone bothered to point it out to the people who made it.

I also attempted to divide my scores into Fun and Serious sections so that I wouldn't have to compare them... and then only saw one movie that fit into the Serious section. I probably won't be doing that again.

I currently have 19 movies on the to-see list for 2016, which will appear on the right-hand menu sometime soon. I'm optimistic that it will be a good year.

Here is the final list for 2015:

Fun Movies

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (4.5)
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (4.5)
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron (4.5)
  4. The Martian (4)
  5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (4)
  6. Pitch Perfect 2 (4)
  7. Ant-Man (4)
  8. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (4)
  9. Spectre (3.5)
  10. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (3.5)
  11. Jupiter Ascending (3.5)
  12. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (3)
  13. Jurassic World (3)
  14. The Hateful Eight (3)
  15. Tomorrowland (2.5)
  16. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2)
  17. Insurgent (2)
  18. Chappie (1)
  19. Blackhat (1)

Serious Movies

  1. American Sniper

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