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“Best Of…” Featured Films Of The Year (2015)

Official Banner for the 'Best Of..." Featured Films of the Year | Credit: The SPARX Team; Images credit: Universal, Lucasfilm, Disney, & MGM

Written by: J. Johnson

2015 is the year that we seen some of the greatest franchises that defined generations make a triumphant return to the big screen. It was a year of nostalgic appeal, expansion on the given cinematic universe, shocking write-offs of some favorites from times before. A movie is supposed to evoke an emotion from you that reality itself no longer exist. You often wonder why you see some “hardcore” fans cosplay their favorite movies franchise (i.e. Star Wars or Star Trek). If the dressing up as a favorite character isn’t enough you’ll get a mouthful of debates trying to convince one another why the movie’s franchise is better or worse than one. In the end movies brings millions together in unison to create a memory that will last a lifetime. In 2015, the memories of the past came back to life as memories of anew have been implanted for generations to enjoy.

Our “Best Of…” series will dive into 4 films that had a lasting impression on the worldwide audience. From the action of thriller to the jaw-hurting chuckles of a humor this topic can present anything. Lets see if we agree, disagree, or agree to disagree on the “Best Of… Featured Films Of The Year (2015)”

I know what some may say “But Sparx this is a bad list”, “But Sparx why is Star Wars #1 it wasn’t that great?”, “But Sparx 2015 Hollywood had no originality” and I respond hey this list is only our opinions on the matter. We like these movies and stand by our listing of them.


Theatrical Poster | Credit: Lucasfilm & Disney

I. Star Wars “The Force Awakens”
Long ago. In a galaxy far, far away… A classic line that can send shivers down the spine of the “unshaken” fan base for Star Wars. When Disney purchased the famed studios, “Lucasfilm” from George Lucas and announced the 7th installment to be in development, countdowns began and fans began to cry tears of joy for the return for one of the world’s greatest movie franchises. Rumors swirled along with a possibly of Darth Vader making a return along with his insidious master Lord/Darth Sidious (see what I did…)

All I wondered was “How are they going to tell the story?” and “This movie is going to the biggest opening movie of all time!” Indeed in the second week (Christmas week) I was right and it shattered the record for biggest opening film and sent the holiday cheers to Disney for breaking the record for highest gross on Christmas Day.

The movie in a nutshell without reviewing-reviewing it was great in telling a story that wasn’t about politics and heading into a different direction than telling the same story similar to the prequels/original trilogy. The focus was mainly on the new characters as some returning characters from the past helped anchor in a new era for the franchise. Although some subtle continuity, character pacing, plot holes, and details that could make the film perfect

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is phenomenal for all ages. LITERALLY! No I won’t ruin the movie for you here, but Kyle Pinaro’s review definitely will give you a professional outline about the movie. The Force Awakens will be that movie where nostalgia and legacy will outweigh the direct criticism. Nevertheless, “Star Wars” has returned in revitalizing fashion and the future is truly bright. Can’t wait for Episode VIII!


Theatrical Poster | Credit: Universal

II. Jurassic World
No longer “Jurassic Park” the franchise that gave a love for dinosaurs to roam the same planet as humans made its return this past summer to about everyone. Remember in Jurassic Park when the T-Rex let that roar out after escaping, taking out both SUVs, killing one person, and injuring about 4 others? Now that was dominance, however that was 20 years ago as the T-Rex is trumped by a new “villain” that is much smarter, sly, and vicious than a raptor. You can go back to the original when Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) discussed the “Chaos Theory”. It’s simply put that the balance of life is not to be tampered with when man creates something that could disrupt the flow of life. There was a reason dinosaurs and humans never existed together (even though some think they did; can’t fault them on that. I’m understanding). Of all time it has earned the #3 spot for highest grossing film, that’s not on accident when the franchise like “The Force Awakens” is truly for all ages.

Jurassic World has evolved from the days of touring into a field of dinosaurs to being able to the control the environment, but to reiterate a doctor in this kind of study “life finds a way”. The inGen company would genetically create a dinosaur to up the “WOW” factor for the shareholders and tourist of the world. They called it the Indomius Rex and even frightening name for a killer dinosaur to have as a villain. The CGI usage along with the story was perfect telling the tale of how much greed can destroy anything that you may hope will be amazing. Jurassic World’s characters didn’t have as much stain power, but served the purpose in which they were there for, but in a minimal outlook. Michael Giacchino took the helm of composer, which John Williams had and even so Giacchino paid great homage to the score. Only bringing the reminiscence of the original scores back to life for the new generation. Jurassic World was a great movie and I see why the movie is the third best of all time, can’t beat those odds.


Promotional Poster | Credit: Universal

III.  Furious 7
Just thinking about makes a grown man cry. Furious 7 is the movie that has it! You must know first what it is first. The Fast and the Furious franchise would have the mixture of action, drama, and a subtle thriller fact making you want to enjoy cars even more. Who wouldn’t want to fight Jason Statham in a building only to put him through a table, or take a care for a joy ride (no pun intended) for pinks or to drift in the nightlife of Tokyo. This franchise has a dedicated fan base do to the model cars used it. You could see a full stocked Skyline GTR (illegal in the states) racing a modified Honda Supra to catch an Asian smuggler or Latin drug cartel. Who knows? It’s known that The Fast and the Furious franchise will continue to rip the streets with the high-speed action most fans look forward to.

With only 75% of the movie completed, the passing of Paul Walker, who died in an auto accident put the studio in the position to postpone the release date and re-shot some of the film with the long-lasting mainstay for the franchise. The film was dedicated to Paul Walker, with Vin Diesel singing that emotion provoking song “See You Again (feat. Charlie Puth) By Wiz Khalifa. If you could sit there and tell me that song doesn’t shed a tear than you’re not human. Even with the passing of Paul Walker, his brother would offer to stand in for some of the shoots to complete the film and write-off Paul Walker’s character from the franchise. Furious 7’s story was a pretty much straightforward as they picked up from the 6th installment dealing with the Shaw Brothers. Han was killed by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) on an act of revenge on Dom’s (Vin Diesel) crew for putting his brother in a coma. Even with the simplicity of the story and music having the modern hip-hop/dupstep appeal the movie was great for what it was. You can’t survive 7 films in when the fan base isn’t interested and they truly were for this film. Wonder if the 8th film will see any returning characters… Just have to wait and see.


Promotional Poster | Credit: MGM Studios

IV. Creed
*Bell rings* “Tonight we’re gonna have a great show!”

Like I said, before the nostalgic feeling is the essence of 2015 in films. The last Rocky movie was in 2006, when Balboa back into the ring for the last time to face Mason “The Line” Dixon. To be honest, I thought Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) would step into the ring once last time to see what he’s got left to be the heavyweight champion, but the franchise went into the spinoff direction to keep the franchise fresh for fans past and new. Now we have a boxing movie that we know won’t be purely depressing (i.e. Southpaw).

On July 23, 2014 it was announced that the spinoff for the Rocky franchise was in development. To much people’s surprise it didn’t spark as much attention, but hearing Michael B. Jordan in the role spiced it up a bit. The film was so overwhelmingly expecting that the reception for it gained the attention of many to see it. Some even stated it was equal to if not better than the original. Can’t say whether or not anybody reading this liked or disliked the movie, it’s a matter of how you perceive the movie is all. Like Fruitvale Station, Michael B. Jordan delivers a fantastic performance giving the term underdog and living out of your father’s shadow a whole new meaning. Sylvester gives the fans that inside look as to what happen to the former “Italian Stallion” as he’s going through a tough time himself. Feel bad for Rock. Some inspiring music is scored in this film as  Ludwig Göransson steered the soundtrack. “Creed” is one of those feel good movies of the year, where the underdog never gets his fair shake in life, gets that comeuppance. In the end of the movie Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) doesn’t win, but wins the respect that Rocky earned from Adonis’ father Apollo Creed.

Movies are the connection we all share. We get nostalgic when we see a franchise returns to the big screen. We even get excited when a sequel is made to further develop a universe from the past. No matter the time film making will be around practically forever or until the ideas for movies become a thing of yester-year. Until that time you must enjoy the style and appreciate the memories that come along with it. 2015 catered to the past and rebirth of that past where the entertainment for films in 2016 will only get better.

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