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!

Movies

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Scene from a Movie

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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!

Series

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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)!

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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!

Books


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.

Hannibal Interview Soundbites: Mads Mikkelsen and Richard Armitage

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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

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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.)

Continue reading

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

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

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 I.

Act II: Finding the Beauty Behind the Beast

This show is distinctively about Hannibal Lecter’s and Will Graham’s relationship with each other. Francis Dolarhyde is said to be trapped between Hannibal wanting to corrupt him further and Will wanting to kind of save his soul. How do you find this dynamic, and is this something that you feel is true to the original Thomas Harris story?

No… that’s the new element. That, in a way, suspends Dolarhyde appropriately in the existing Hannibal TV series universe. In the book, Dolarhyde is a very standalone character and Hannibal isn’t really… they never really meet, they don’t have very much to do with each other, and of course you can’t play that character in a series that’s called Hannibal [in which] Will Graham is such a featured character. So that is a construct that is designed to place Dolarhyde in a part of the story whereby he can engage with Hannibal Lecter and play against Will Graham. Continue reading

Mads Mikkelsen: “Showdown is a small word for what’s happening between Hannibal and Francis Dolarhyde”

Photo credit: AXN Asia

Photo credit: AXN Asia

It’s less than 24 hours until Hannibal S3’s premiere and the excitement for the show based on Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter novels and characters is at its height. I was fortunate to have been granted an interview session with Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Dr Lecter himself, and talk about the series. As anyone can guess, I couldn’t not ask him about Francis Dolarhyde, a.k.a. The Tooth Fairy. But first let me explain why I felt the need to ask him that.

Pretty much everything you want to know about Richard Armitage’s Francis Dolarhyde has been covered everywhere. I can’t even begin to explain to you just how epic this role is – The Tooth Fairy is THAT iconic – and the fact that Richard Armitage gets to play this character is an honor to both actor and character. (And before anyone accuses me of idolizing a serial killer – no, I do not admire Dolarhyde for being a killer. I admire the character because he is a complex individual that requires deft handling by an accomplished actor on screen. Let’s just get that straight.) So far, we’ve heard plenty Richard’s involvement in the show, but they are mostly from Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller and, in a couple of occasion, from himself. (Most recently, Fangoria has an interview with Richard Armitage on Francis Dolarhyde.)

When the opportunity came up for me to interview Mads Mikkelsen (who is also one of my favorite actors) I couldn’t not ask him about working with Richard. I wanted to know, from a fellow actor’s point of view, what Francis Dolarhyde’s appearance in this series will mean for Hannibal Lecter’s character. In other versions, Dolarhyde’s case was what made Will Graham consult with Dr Lecter again, and Dolarhyde was said to idolize Lecter, but I wanted to know if the TV show is going that way or taking a different path.

Continue reading