The Tower’s Resident Movie Critic Chooses “The Stevies”

Matt Damon in "The Martian"

Matt Damon in “The Martian”

By Stephen Fasulo II

As The Tower’s resident movie critic, I am proud to present my personal choices based on human limitations, I couldn’t see everything, and I’m going to say what my favorite things in cinema were over the year of 2015. The winners are:

BEST ANIMATED FILM: Inside Out

The film Inside Out managed to be heartbreaking, beautiful, and lots of fun all at the same time. Amy Poehler led a great cast of voice actors each managing to somehow present interesting characters and you’d never believe going into this movie that you’d be crying for a character named Bing-Bong.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Sylvester Stallone
in Creed

This was the film that made me remember that Sylvester Stallone was a phenomenal actor worthy of all the praise he managed to get when he wasn’t doing ‘80s garbage and The Expendables movies. He was Rocky Balboa back when that was ridiculously cool, and even though his dumb machismo made us forget that, he came back with a vengeance.

BEST SCORE:
Straight Outta Compton

My first review for The Tower was for the N.W.A. biopic, and in that review I praised Straight Outta Compton for its authenticity, and that extends to the score, which was incredibly powerful and interesting. The movie’s score was full of 90’s hip-hop which is widely considered the golden age of hip-hop. This movie is one you can groove too.

BEST ACTRESS:
Jessica Chastain
in The Martian

Technically, she would win best supporting actress, but I loved her so much in The Martian that she rockets up to best actress because she delivers a dynamite performance. The stoic leader is a common trope in movies, and It’s used in The Martian, but Jessica Chastain delivers a performance with necessary depth, showing femininity and courage in an archetype dominated by masculine tropes.

BEST ACTOR:
Matt Damon
in The Martian

(Qualifier: If Leonardo DiCaprio delivers the performance I expect him to, then he WILL be my top choice.)

Matt Damon handles adversity in The Martian with greatness. He’s funny and heartbreaking, and his ingenuity is compelling. For 2/3rds of The Martian, you’re watching Matt Damon puzzle through life-or-death situations. It is ridiculously interesting. It’s hilarious and beautiful, and the framing device for the movie, basically asides to the audience through talking to a ‘journal’ of his survival, involves the audience in a way that keeps you invested in the movie the entire time.

BEST FILM:
The Martian

(Qualifier: This is before Star Wars Ep. 7 and The Revenant will blow me away. I am so excited for these movies, the hype is real, but I won’t see them until Christmas.)

The Martian is labelled as “Science-Fiction” in almost every circle, which will probably bar it from an Oscar nod, but that is a shame, because The Martian does everything right in its quest to save Astronaut Botanist Mark Watney from being stranded on Mars. Its science is all based in fact, so the film never feels so Sci-Fi that the viewer is alienated, and the movie just rocks. This movie is the best film of the year so far, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a satisfying film.

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