11 films in 2015 I didn't bother reviewing when I should have

Matt Looker

22nd December 2015

As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to do some housekeeping.

2015 has been a busy year for us Shiznits. Two of us had recently become fathers, one of us continued to be a father, three of us started new jobs and Ed had a brunch thing on. Probably. As a result, you may have noticed that the site offering has been a little lean recently, and we may have neglected to cover some pretty major film releases and some fairly important movie news. Or, more accurately, all of it. To that we say: "Oops, sorry" and also "But it’s so much easier to do on Twitter".

Anyway, as everyone else agonises over which films make it in to their Top 10 of the year with such aggressive debate it’s as if they think the list will serve as their legacy for future generations to study, we at The Shiznit struggle to remember 10 films we have even seen this year.

But in doing so, it has become apparent exactly how bad we have been with offering our opinions on the important movies of the past 12 months. To help quickly make amends for that in the laziest and most self-indulgent way possible, here’s what I thought of films that I was supposed to review throughout the year but apparently couldn’t be arsed with.

That's right. It's the feature that literally no one was waiting for.

Ex Machina

Probable star rating: 5/5

What the gist would have been: Something something brilliant effects something something tense claustrophobia something something Oscar Isaac dancing.

Why I didn’t do it: I spent too long trying to formulate the something somethings and in that time everyone else had already raved about the film better than I was trying to.


Probable star rating: 2/5

What the gist would have been: An interesting idea ruined by a final twist that is easy to see coming from the first 10 minutes of the movie.

Why I didn’t do it: I didn’t know how to write about the twist spoiling the film without er… spoiling the film.

Fifty Shades Of Grey

Probable star rating: 2/5

What the gist would have been: Not as bad as everyone was expecting, but still pretty dire. And Jamie Dornan looks as bored off his tits as I felt.

Why I didn’t do it: I decided to save the internet from yet more thoughts on this overhyped, oversexed shit-bubble.

The Voices

Probable star rating: 4/5

What the gist would have been: Ryan Reynolds proves himself to be a great actor for the first time in years playing a socially awkward mentalist in the midst of a deliciously black comedy.

Why I didn’t do it: I already wrote a review for Virgin Media, and just didn’t have another one in me.
Mad Max: Fury Road

Probable star rating: 5/5

What the gist would have been: What in the awesome hell did I just see?

Why I didn’t do it: By the time I was getting round to it, everyone was already writing feminist thinkpieces and calling it the greatest blockbuster in years. I just wanted to talk about cool explosions and that dude with the guitar.
The Martian

Probable star rating: 4/5

What the gist would have been: Matt Damon is great. The cinematography is amazing. The script is brilliant. It’s all very good.

Why I didn’t do it: Ali said he was going to do it.

Probable star rating: 2/5

What the gist would have been: All the hallmarks of a recent Kevin Smith film: Terribly paced, badly shot with an entire sub-plot that just doesn’t track with the rest of the film. But hot-damn is it a fucked up concept, with some great, darkly funny scenes and some really disturbing moments that have stuck with me ever since.

Why I didn’t do it: I got confused about when it was out because the VOD release got fumbled. And then I realised that it was so far under everyone’s radar, no one gave a shit. Plus, Ed said he was going to do it.
Dark Places

Probable star rating: 3/5

What the gist would have been: “Not enough Garth Marenghi.”

Why I didn’t do it: This generic thriller didn’t inspire any real thoughts or opinions one way or the other beyond the above joke.

Probable star rating: 5/5

What the gist would have been: In the notes section of our site admin area, I told the others: “It's just lovely. And much more discreet and sweet than I was expecting. I really can't fault it.”

Why I didn’t do it: Time. It was the middle of the London Film Festival and my ambition to write a review of every film I saw there failed after the first two days. In fact, I only managed two reviews.
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse

Probable star rating: 3/5

What the gist would have been: I wrote an opening paragraph: “In a film that sees a pole-dancing zombie stripper, a teenager fondling zombie breasts and a moment when a zombie penis tears off in a young scout's hand, it is clear that the most disgusting and flagrant transgression committed here is still the lack of an apostrophe in the title.”

Why I didn’t do it: That apostrophe really was the only thing I had to say about the film. And I was well aware that I was going to go easy on an obviously terrible movie purely because it was fun respite after two weeks of serious awardsy films at the LFF.
High Rise

Probable star rating: 4/5 maybe

What the gist would have been: I spent the entire film trying to decipher the indecipherable, trying to apply meaning to what was actually just a lot of beautiful, surreal chaos. So I came out of the cinema feeling like it should have had more to say, but it stuck with me for weeks afterwards as I realised it was quite deliberate in not saying much at all.

Why I didn’t do it: I still might. Film’s out in March. Don’t hold your breath though.
So I guess what I'm saying is "sorry". We'll try to do better next year. Bring on 2016. Here’s hoping there’ll be fewer films.

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