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.

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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.)

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The Week of the Five Finales

Saying goodbye to the best of television… for now!

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Three months ago I never though I would arrive at this point: the week where five of the TV shows that I’m following will have their season finale… Broadchurch. Sleepy Hollow. Marvel’s Agent Carter. How to Get Away with Murder. They are all ending and will soon be leaving me with the biggest post-dramatic withdrawal syndrome ever.

(But I wonder why did they all have to end in the same week. I’m convinced the TV gods are punishing me.)

SPOILER ALERT: This entry contains spoiler of the finales of every show reviewed. Please proceed with caution.

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Favorites of the Year 2014: Movies, TV Series & Books

Every year I make a list of favorite things. It’s fun to review what I watched, listened to, and read all year long… 2014 was a great year of movies and TV series, but not so much with books (although I still managed to come up with a Top 10 list of favorites!)

Here they are, my Favorites of the Year list!

Movies

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Scene from a Movie

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I want you back, Baby Groot!

Also: Tom Hiddleston’s Adam licking blood on a stick; the Society of Crossed Keys helping out M. Gustive; the White Council storming Dol-Guldur in the most BAMF way; and all the way Tom Cruise lives, dies and repeats.

TV Series

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Fargo was the best because watching this limited series of 10 episodes in which the people in it – with the exception of very few – do some incredibly stupid things, every single time, has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my TV watching activity this year. The cast is absolutely stellar (Allison Tolman pretty much wins 2014), not just in reputation but also in performance, and I can barely think of a murder mystery that is so finely done as this one.

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Ripper Street‘s return after its ‘cancellation’ is also exciting. Sorry, Mr. Holmes, but this year I think I like my detectives broody, in awesome hats, and named Bennet Drake, Edmund Reid and Homer Jackson. Plus, this show has Long Susan. That wins the contest from every angle.

AlsoThe Musketeers for all the men and Peter Capaldi in costumes; Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. for Director Coulson; The Strain because it’s from one of my favorite book trilogies; The Fall S2 because Stella Gibson and Paul Spector bring on the creepy all the time; 24: Live Another Day because of the stellar ensemble cast and the addictive feeling it brings; Jane The Virgin for all the hilarity (and the narrator); How To Get Away With Murder because Viola Davis is a goddess; and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey for all the SCIENCE!

Books

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(Bonus point for anyone who can spot the two M/M novels in this list!)

Talent Interview

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Interviewing Viola Davis, Hugh Jackman and James Gunn made my year. Three incredibly talented people who inspired me so much this year. They deserve all of our respect and admiration… I am so proud to call myself their fan.

Marvel Studios announces Phase 3 films up to 2019

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 3 finally begins. After the launch of Avengers: Age Of Ultron teaser trailer last week (another one, containing new scenes, will be released again later today), Marvel Studios announce their full Phase 3 plan, including release dates for said films. Age Of Ultron is confirmed for next year and will close Phase 2, meanwhile Ant-Man has already been announced at San Diego Comic-Con this year, so these two movies don’t play a large part in the announcements.

Perhaps the most exciting part is the announcement of The Black Panther movie. Chadwick Boseman is playing T’Challa and he will have a cameo in the next Captain America movie, which was initially announced as ‘Serpent Society’ (later on, this was proven to be a red herring and Marvel officially announced that it would be a Civil War movie.) Boseman appeared on stage at the Marvel event where the announcement was made, together with Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans.

Without further ado, here they are in all of their glory.

2016

Captain America: Civil War (6 May)
Doctor Strange (4 November)

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2017

Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 (5 May)

Thor: Ragnarok (28 July).

Black Panther (3 November)

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2018-2019

Avengers: Infinity War – Part I (4 May 2018)

Captain Marvel (6 July 2018)

Inhumans (2 November 2018)

Avengers: Infinity War – Part II (3 May 2019)

 

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Black Panther Concept Art

Marvel also released the following concept art for the Black Panther. (This is so exciting!)

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier Blu-ray promo clips

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes out on DVD and Blu-ray in September. Marvel has been teasing the extras through a series of clips. Here’s all of them so far in one place.

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Entertainment Weekly SDCC ’14 Star Portraits

Photos from Entertainment Weekly SDCC Star Portraits Gallery. Photography by Michael Muller for EW.

DAY 1

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First row: Benedict Cumberbatch; Sarah Wayne Callies; Josh Hartnett
Second row: J. August Richards; Jim Parsons; Adam West
Third row: the cast of Penguins Of Madagascar; Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead); the cast of Hannibal; the cast of Under The Dome

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DAY 2

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First row: Daniel Radcliffe; Colin Firth; Zachary Quinto; Jon Bernthal
Second row: Isaac Hempstead-Wright; Natalie Dormer; David Benioff & DB Weiss
Third row: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christie & Pedro Pascal; Sophie Turner, Kit Harington & Maisie Williams; Will Poulter, Dylan O’Brien & Kaya Scodelario; Freddie Highmore & Vera Farmiga
Fourth row: Samuel L. Jackson; the cast of Dominion; the cast of Outlander (incl. Graham McTavish); DC Comics’ Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, John Romita Jr, Dan DiDio, Jim Lee & Scott Snyder of DC Comics

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DAY 3

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Top: The cast of Avengers: Age Of Ulron
First row: Robert Downey Jr.; RDJ & James Spader; Spader; Mark Ruffalo
Second row: Cobie Smulders
Third row: Hayley Atwell; Chloe Bennett; Paul Rudd; Josh Brolin
Fourth row: Michael Douglas, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly & Corey Stoll (Ant-Man cast)
Fifth row: Janet Montgomery & Shane West; the cast of Gotham; the cast of Constantine; the cast of Arrow
Sixth row: Grant Gustin; Omar Epps; the cast of Grimm; the cast of Sleepy Hollow; Danai Gurira
Seventh row: The cast of The Walking Dead; Steven Yeun & Lauren Cohan
Eight row: Theo James & Shailene Woodley
Ninth row: George Miller, creator of Mad Max
Last: The cast of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies