Favorites of the Year 2015: Movies, Series, Books & Talents

It’s that time of the year where I share my favorite everything. Without further ado, here they are!

Happy New Year!


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Scene from a Movie

Everything that involves Luis telling a story about something somebody said! (And pretty much all of Michael Peña’s scenes in Ant-Man.)

Also: EVERYTHING in Mad Max: Fury Road but especially the final chase sequence that ends with Immortan Joe’s death; the Ares III Crew’s rescue of Mark Watney with that near miss at the end; Bing Bong’s disappearance in Inside Out; the ‘head popping’ scene in Kingsman; Thomas the Tank Engine’s cameo in Ant-Man; old Sherlock Holmes’ break down in Mr. Holmes‘ most emotional scene; Tom Hardy fighting Tom Hardy in Legend!


Last year Fargo was my top favorite TV series. This year, it’s my favorite series on TV as well. The second season of Fargo is, in fact, much crazier and more violent than the the first season with the same level of script cleverness from the writers and acting brilliance from the cast. The one area where it’s better than the first season is the soundtrack. Also, it’s proving to be a show driven by amazing female performers: Alison Tolman won the first season for me, now it’s Kirsten Dunst’s turn. Her character is annoying (you wish you could just stab her repeatedly) but Miss Dunst just SHINES in this role. All the awards (again)!

My absolute favorite web series, Sense8 was worth all the effort I made to watch it. All the characters are interesting, although not too developed that there’s no room for them to grow. In fact, the main attraction of the show is to see how the eight of them grew into their own skin after the troubles they faced. The number of characters also mean that some of them aren’t as prominent as the others but the concept is mind-blowing and the execution is flawless. Plus, it has a great opening credits and shiver-inducing music. Perfect.

Also: Marvel’s Agent Carter, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, London Spy, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Hannibal series finale, Wolf Hall, How to Get Away with Murder, Jekyll and Hyde, Poldark, Grimm, Galavant, Blindspot, Broadchurch and Quantico!


I spent the entire year reading Joseph Delaney’s Wardstone Chronicle (with fear and trepidation from all the horror). But reading the book successfully erased my severe disappointment with the movie version. Despite that, I still use the still from the movie to illustrate my love for this series because without that disappointment, I wouldn’t have been driven to read the entire series. Book reviews are available at Bookerie.

I don’t usually listen to audiobooks but this one is one of my favorites this year. OBVIOUSLY.🙂

And the rest…

Talent Interview

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Obviously this year is a FANTASTIC year in terms of interviewing talents. Pixar’s Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen come to mind, and Indonesian filmmaker Joko Anwar and the cast of Halfworlds as well. But of course the best was getting to talk to Mads Mikkelsen and Richard Armitage for the last season of Hannibal. The best of them all, however, was Mr. George Miller – director of my favorite movie of 2015 Mad Max: Fury Road – by phone. He indulged me for a 45-minute conversation and answered all of my ridiculous questions (because I’m a Mad Max novice!) He was very, very friendly and nice and articulate. I love these great taltens and I love my job.

Crimson Peak


Last week I went to a press screening of Crimson Peak, Guillermo del Toro’s latest that he always calls “not a horror story but a Gothic romance.”

I doubt anyone who’s never read a single page of Jane Eyre will truly get what that description means. It’s also possible that anyone who ever DID read Jane Eyre might not get what he means by that until they see the movie with their own eyes.

Del Toro made Crimson Peak based on his love of horror, fairy tales and Gothic stories. He went at length describing the differences, according to himself, between these ‘genres’ and how he wanted to mix everything to create a world similar to those from the stories he loved.

“I like how similar fairytales and gothic tales are. There is in fact a fairy tale called Bluebeard’s Wives that is very similar to the tale of Crimson Peak. There is a gothic tale called Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu that is comparable too.

Fairy tales, gothic tales and horror are three forms of literature that are very closely related, but they’re not the same. You can have the most horrifying fairy tale and yet some elements define it as a fairy tale, mostly the whimsicality and the fact that the agency is supernatural in a non Judeo-Christian way. It’s elemental- a fairy, a dwarf, an ogre etc. Most of the time, the gothic tale involves romance. And by romance, I don’t just mean a love story, but a longing for a past that is very poetic. Horror always has elements that are different from the other two.

My inspiration was thinking, ‘Can I make a movie that is a mixture of all these things that I love?’”

A lot of titles were mentioned in the press when he taled about Crimson Peak. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (the Hitchcock film version is one of his favorites’) and Wuthering Heights came up a few times, as well as Jane Eyre and Uncle Silas. He also mentioned paintings by Caspar David Friedrich and John Atkinson Grimshaw, as well as ‘Deborah Kerr’s dress from The Innocents‘. If you know what these are, and can imagine them being mixed together with ghastly looking creatures that haunt the corridors at night, then you’ve pretty much managed to picture Crimson Peak inside your head. Continue reading

All Film 68: Richard Armitage Feature


Earlier this week All Film issue 68 was released. It’s our Comic Book Movie Preview edition. All the features are about comic book movies such as Deadpool, Batman v Superman and whatnot. But we also couldn’t resist including Richard Armitage’s Hannibal interview in this issue as a 4-page feature, because we here at All Film are all just crazy about him. (We’re not even joking. We covered him for all The Hobbit movies, Into The Storm and now Hannibal. Not even Tom Hiddleston – who was in 3 MCU movies – could match that number and we’re also crazy about Hiddles.)

Hannibal ends this week – perhaps for ever – and we thought it fitting that the magazine should cover season 3 until its very bittersweet, scandalous and exhilarating end. As Francis Dolarhyde, Richard’s performance has been truly magnificent so we thought, despite having published the unabridged interview in our official website, we should still publish it in the magazine to reach an even wider audience. We did this mostly for the fans – especially the Armitage fans who are probably NOT Hannibal fans in the first place – because they were the ones who clicked on our website (and my blog and my Soundcloud) to check out the Richard Armitage and Mads Mikkelsen interviews.  But also to show our appreciation for AXN Asia, which has been very supportive to All Film in giving us the chance to interview Mads Mikkelsen and Richard Armitage by phone and a whole lot more materials for us to use, such as photos and transcripts.

Also, the coverage for Hannibal S3 has been my passion projects so of course I advocated for this article to be featured in the magazine as well.

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Richard Armitage Surprise Soundbite: On Staying with the Character


In honor of Richard Armitage’s birthday on 22 August 2015, I present a surprise soundbite from Richard’s Hannibal S3 interview. There’s no other reason for it than to appreciate his talent, his craft and his thoughtfulness because they are, after all, the reason why I admire him as a person. And that is also the reason why he’s among the few actors I would sincerely wish A Very Happy Birthday and All The Best of Luck – because even if he doesn’t read it, he still deserves it. Continue reading

Hannibal Interview Soundbites: Mads Mikkelsen and Richard Armitage


As promised, to all the wonderful Richard Armitage, Mads Mikkelsen and Hannibal fans who have read my interviews with those two amazing actors, here are the soundbites. Enjoy. Continue reading

Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal Interview: Abridged and Emphasized


This is the complete version of Mads Mikkelsen’s interview about Hannibal season 3 that I did a couple of months ago, before the season premiere, of which an excerpt has been posted before. Unlike Richard Armitage’s interview this is NOT the unabridged version of the interview and, while I sincerely apologize for that, I have a strong reason for doing so.

The interview session with Mads (consisting, as usual, a group of 4 journalists, including myself) was not as stellar as Mr. Armitage’s session. With all due respect to Mads Mikkelsen, who is also a wonderful, straightforward interviewee, this session was riddled with non-Hannibal related questions (e.g. asking him about his James Bond role) that I have no interest in putting inside my article. When the Hannibal-related questions appear, some of them are just too generic and too broad; a few, even, Mads has answered in other occasions (for example, questions about how playing Hannibal Lecter has affected his taste in anything and his preparation to play a killer like Hannibal in general). They are of no interest to me and so I didn’t use them in my article, and so they are not here either.

My long article was partially based on this interview, with some tidbits taken from a junket in Toronto last April, plus my observations of the show. A full translation of the article is not in the works at the moment but reading the Mads Mikkelsen interview will give you a glimpse of what I wrote in the article (with extra emphasis on Francis Dolarhyde and the Red Dragon arc.)

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Richard Armitage’s Hannibal Experience: A Conversation in Three Acts – Act III


Originally posted in All Film website as
Richard Armitage di Serial Hannibal: Perbincangan Tiga Babak – Babak III.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Hannibal S3.

Actor Richard Armitage speaks to All Film magazine about his character, Francis Dolarhyde, in Hannibal TV series. Continued from Act II. This is the third and final part.

Act III: Fans and Fullerverse

Bryan Fuller is said to be a collaborative showrunner. Is that what you experienced?

Yeah, I mean, it was one of the highlights of the experience for me. Any ideas I was sharing with him, he absolutely took on board and absorbed into creating of the episodes. But also a lot of the time, we’d email more or less at the same moment, and I would be asking for something at the same time that he was offering exactly the same thing, so we were very in tune with each other. There were very few occasions – I can’t even think of one occasion – where I disagreed with a choice that he was making and everything that I was given to say, everything that I was given to do, or where, just felt completely appropriate. And you know, when  those things were all in place, you can work in a way where you think, “Well, what about if we go here?” and I can jump a little bit higher, I can go further, and so that was exactly what happened. Continue reading