As of my writing of this reaction, I watched 113 movies from the year 2015 and my average star rating is 3.02 stars. I am excited to look into Sean Fennessey, Chris Ryan and Amanda Dobbins’ draft because I just ranked National Board Of Review’s Top 10 movies of the same year. Some of these movies on among the movies selected by the trio, and some will be left off that don’t deserve to be.

As we head into my eighth reflection on The Big Picture’s draft, I have Sean Fennessey with three wins (2010, 2011 and 2018), Chris Ryan with two (90s Oscars and 2012), Amanda Dobbins with one (2017) and guest Joanna Robinson with one (2003).

Now let’s head into the 2015 movie draft of The Big Picture.

Drama
  • We are starting off with a SLOBBER KNOCKER. We have Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario and a landmark journalism film in Spotlight. How the hell are we going to decide this? The first one I have to axe out is The Hateful Eight. It is a high quality movie, but if you were to compare it to Sicario and Spotlight, it is not nearly as rewatchable. Now this is nearly a coin flip.
  • I am going to go with Spotlight, so Amanda Dobbins is going to strike first. I say constantly that Spotlight is the best journalism movie I have seen since All The President’s Men (1976). It is unbelievably propulsive for a movie that is filled with button downed shirts and heavy conversations. This movie won two Oscars, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, and it deserved both.
Comedy/Horror
  • I have not seen It Follows, so that one is not in the conversation. We have the star-studded cast of The Big Short with the feel-good comedy and return of charismatic Robert De Niro in The Intern. I have to be true to myself, and while I have a crush on Anne Hathaway, I have to go with Adam McKay’s The Big Short. For some reason, Christian Bale’s portrayal of Michael Burry sticks with me. That is a sign of how strong a performer he is i whatever he does, because this is not a movie people think about when mentioning Bale.
  • Chris Ryan and Amanda Dobbins are tied at 1-1. Fennessey is locked out at zero.
Blockbuster
  • Three high quality movies in the Blockbuster category. For The Martian to be in this category is an achievement because it is a blend of critics appraisal and audience appeal. Unfortunately for Amanda Dobbins, I think that the movie is slightly overrated. It is good, but I don’t consider it great. Sean Fennessey chooses Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, which ramped up the stunts for Ethan Hunt higher than they have ever been. Unfortunately for mister Fennessey, the series got so much stronger as the years went on, so I can not pin the win on him.
  • Chris Ryan is going to get me point for Ant-Man because it was a time when i got a refreshing different dose from the onslaught of the Marvel universe. This was the role that Paul Rudd was born to play. It was a Marvel movie I watched that didn’t feel like homework and it embraced a heist movie vibe. Chris Ryan is now up on Amanda and Sean, 2-1-0.
Animated/Foreign
  • This one is easy to recap. I have only seen Inside Out from the three movies drafted, and Inside Out is criminally underrated. I cried during this movie, more than once. But know that Güeros and Clouds Of Sils Maria to my watchlist.
  • Chris Ryan still leads the charge, 2-1-1. We are going to be coming down to the wire.
Wild Card
  • This is a second straight category where I have only seen one of the selections…and that one selection is Chris Ryan’s Steve Jobs selection. With that being said, I fucking LOVED Steve Jobs. The conversation and acting job put on my Michael Fassbender and Jeff Daniels with the chairs up on the tables is just a flex of 8000 muscles.
  • I think you can argue that Steve Jobs is Aaron Sorkin’s best dialogue writing in any movie he has done. Not as an entire screenplay (though I would put it top three easy), but just the barbs thrown back and forth are sharper than recently steeled razors.
  • Chris Ryan wins his third category, and he wins the 2015 draft. But we have one category left.
Sequel
  • Three strong options in the sequel category, but if you know me at all, you know where I am going with this. Amanda Dobbins chose my favorite movie of the year, Mad Max: Fury Road. It is action movie perfection. It is pure ecstasy. Sure, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a great nostalgia bomb, and Creed blended a new star with an old star and elongated a new underdog movie franchise. These are all great selections, but it is Mad Max: Fury Road.

Chris Ryan gets his third win in my reflection of The Big Picture movie draft series. He takes down Amanda and Sean, 3-2-1.

Amanda gets the win in the Twitter Poll, and I do totally understand it. If I had seen Focus or Clouds Of Sil Maria.

My Draft
STANKO PICKS (All Movies Eligible)STANKO PICKS (No TBP Movies)
DramaSpotlightSlow West
Comedy/HorrorKingsman: The Secret ServiceBone Tomahawk
BlockbusterMad Max: Fury RoadKingsman: The Secret Service
Animated/ForeignInside OutBatman Vs. Robin
WildcardSicarioTrainwreck
SequelCreedJurassic World
Drama
  • Spotlight is remarkable. How many time do I need to say it or write about it? The story of what the Boston Globe did in illuminating the church’s coverups and bringing them to life is mandatory journalism viewing. Dramatized or not, Spotlight deserves the light that is shown upon it.
  • Slow West is Michael Fassbender doing unbelievable work and an introduction for me to Kodi Smit-McPhee. It is a slow story, one that rewards a bit of attention to detail. Following the naïve young man by Jay, played by Smit-McPhee, Slow West tells the story of how you can not have the optimistic feelings in a world where everyone is out for themselves. We have Silas who is hardened by the world around him and he tries to teach Jay the lessons he needs. The ending of Slow West reveals that even the best, cruel intentions, are not enough in a world were Eden is arid.
Comedy/Horror
  • I can not tell you how many times I watched the church scene from Kingsman: The Secret Service. This movie took my by surprise when i first saw it in theaters, and it still does to this day what Emma and I rewatch it now. Also for those who are going to say this isn’t a comedy…did you really not laugh at Samuel L. Jackson’s performance as the blood-hating but violence loving Valentine?
  • Bone Tomahawk is fucking terrifying. Sure, the first two thirds of the story are filled with dread but not much scares…but the last third is some of the most terrifying cannibalistic brutality you will watch. My reaction to Bone Tomahawk is the 10th most read thing on my site and that has to be some testament to how this movie has been able to stay within the psyche of random movie lovers in the years since its release.
Blockbuster
  • Mad Max: Fury Road. I have now written about it too many times in recent times to not rewatch it again. It will be viewed again in the coming weeks. This is a promise that I want to keep to myself.
  • The Kingsman: The Secret Service grossed 128 millions dollars. Taron Egorton is thanking his lucky stars that this movie did as well as it did. Since then there has been critical acclaim with Rocketman and international success around the corner.
Animated/Foreign
  • I was surprised that the majority of people cried when Bing Bong died in Inside Out. I was a bucket of tears at the end of the movie when Riley was reunited with her parents. I still remember when I went to go see this movie and I was the only attendant in the theater at 10 AM on a Saturday morning without a child. Still the hardest I have cried in an animated movie since Toy Story 3 (2010). Also Lewis Black as Angry is example A-Number-One for perfect casting.
  • *ducks for cover*. I did not see any foreign films from this year and I only saw a very few animated movies. Of those I did see, Batman Vs. Robin was the one that stuck out the best. It is one of the better DC Animated movies I have scene, and for that it gets the nod here. With that being said, I am not going to get many favors.
Wildcard
  • Sicario I touched on already above. This movie will have you on the edge of your seat, and Denis Villeneuve is a master at what he does. This movie is very good. Plain and simple.
  • Trainwreck, does it get a bad wrap? I actually really enjoyed this movie. I enjoyed that Amy Schumer acted like a real person and not a cartoon character. Also she doesn’t need to worry about stealing people’s jokes because they were all written for her anyways (ZING!). But really, I enjoyed this movie and I remember seeing Bill Hader and thinking he is more than just his SNL bits. Also, Trainwreck was the only movie I have seen in YEARS where I missed the trailers for it. I was on a date, and my date arrived late, and we have to sit in the back row and we only say down just as the movie started. That took a lot out of me.
Sequel
  • Creed did the tough task of blending an older generation with a new. Director Ryan Coogler got rising superstar Michael B. Jordan to be jacked and ready so he could be a perfect companion for Sylvester Stallone in what is most definitely going to be his last superb acting performance. Stallone was nominated for an Oscar, and if I could create a random category for The Academy, Creed was also be nominated for most inspiring movie. Also it can’t go without saying that that Creed didn’t just blend old and new characters, it blended new and old stories as well with the Creed name and legacy.
  • If I had a choice of sequels, I would have picked Creed, Mad Max Fury Road or Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, so my preferred choices are limited. I chose Jurassic World because despite the hesitations, this movie managed to create something absolutely ridiculous and entertaining. This was Chris Pratt reenacting Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones at its best. The movie did the best it could and reinvigorated a franchise that was thought to be fairly dead.

Reflection On “The Big Picture” 1990s Oscar Winners Movie Draft – Chris Ryan Victory
Reflection On “The Big Picture” 2003 Movie Draft – Joanna Robinson Victory
Reflection On “The Big Picture” 2010 Movie Draft – Sean Fennessey Victory
Reflection On “The Big Picture” 2011 Movie Draft – Sean Fennessey Victory
Reflection On “The Big Picture” 2012 Movie Draft – Chris Ryan Victory
Reflection On “The Big Picture” 2015 Movie Draft – Chris Ryan Victory
Reflection On “The Big Picture” 2017 Movie Draft – Amanda Dobbins
Reflection On “The Big Picture” 2018 Movie Draft – Sean Fennessey Victory

Sean Fennessey – 3 Wins
Chris Ryan – 3 Wins
Amanda Dobbins – 1 Win
Joanna Robinson – 1 Win


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