2015 was a stacked year when it came to the world of entertainment. We had some long awaited huge projects as well as some nice surprises… as well as a few high profile duds. This was also the second full year for the new consoles and it shows in the games that are coming out, which are much more polished and complete.
Best Television: Narcos
Narcos was a huge surprise to me. I knew nothing about it until it was already available on Netflix. It is mostly in Spanish with subtitles. My wife and I watched it on a whim. It was a revelation. A dramatic telling of the unbelievable true life of Pablo Escobar. This show came out of nowhere and blew my mind. – Note: No Amazon link for Narcos, if you want to watch this you’ll have to sign up for Netflix streaming.
Best Movie: Star Wars The Force Awakens
There was a lot riding on the biggest movie follow to come a long since we were introduced to Jar Jar, and this time it went much better. As a huge Star Wars fan I couldn’t have been happier. As I said in my review, the story was fast paced and exciting. There is a great new cast of characters to carry the torch. This easily makes the top movie of the year. Can’t wait to see it again and again.
I’d also like to give a shout out to Ex Machina, in a year without the first good Star Wars since my adolescence I would have chosen it for sure.
Best Game: Rise Of The Tomb Raider
This was a closer one for me. The biggest surprise might have been that I was considering giving it to a Halo game. In the end, Rise Of The Tomb Raider is just my kind of game. I love the combination of story, game play, exploration, and the cinematic sequences that unfold. While it plays a lot like the last one, it is still fresh enough that I am having a great time.
My shout out here goes to Halo V: Guardians. While I am not even 100% certain it would be my runner up (it would surely be close), I feel it has been far to over-looked in most game of the year talks. It was an excellent game in an excellent series.
This year we are doing a little something different. Here is what our good friend Ryan Gorman @itsRocketSauce had to say on the matter.
Ryan’s Best Television: Ash vs The Evil Dead
Hail to the King! After 24 years, Bruce Campbell is back to play the role that made him famous, and Ash vs. the Evil Dead happens to be my favorite show of 2015. For at least two decade, fans of the Evil Dead movies have been asking for more Ash. Then in 2014, at the San Diego Comic Con, Sam Raimi (Evil Dead writer, director, and creator) shocked his fans when he announced that Evil Dead would be returning. Not as a movie, but as a TV series. With Sam and Bruce working together, the fans knew this series would be in good hands.
Ash vs the Evil Dead debuted on Halloween on Starz Network, and didn’t disappoint. In fact it exceeded my expectations. Fans of the Evil Dead will happy to know that Ash vs. the Evil Dead stays very true to the movie series that came before it. It sticks with the formula that the fans of the movies come to love. Plenty of over the top gore, and laughs. (There’s a scene with a deli meat slicer that you just need to see) Ash vs. the Evil Dead takes place 30 years after the original movies, with another Deadite outbreak, and it’s up to the aging hero to stop it. Bruce Campbell is absolutely brilliant in his performance as the chainsaw wielding, shotgun shooting, demon slaying Ashley (Ash) J. Williams. With his new friends, a chainsaw, and a Delta 88, Ash will have to do his best to save the human race. Ash vs. the Evil Dead was a big hit and it will return for a second season in 2016. This series alone is worth subscribing to Starz Network.
Ryan’s Best Movie: Creed
In a year full of franchise reboots, one stood out more than the rest to become my favorite movie of 2015. No, it wasn’t Star Wars. The movie I’m referring to is Creed, aka Rocky 7. The film centers around the life of Apollo Creeds son Adonis. In an attempt to advance his boxing career, Adonis seeks out his Dad’s friend and rival Rocky Balboa to help train and mentor him. There are a few throwbacks from the older movies that really tickle the old nostalgia bone in Creed. One in particular is that Rocky, now at the age of 70, is the same age as his old trainer Mickey from the original Rocky film. Although this movie borrows some of the same notes from the original movie it is one of the best movies in the Rocky series. The cast is great. Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone have great on screen chemistry together, and honesty I haven’t seen a performance this good from Stallone in years. There are already rumblings of him winning the Oscar for best supporting actor, and if the Golden Globes is any indication, this seems to be lock. If you were ever a fan of the Rocky series, do yourself a favor and go see Creed.
Ryan’s Best Game: Metal Gear Solid V – The Phantom Pain
Very few games for me ever live up to the hype. In his swansong to the series he created, Hideo Kojima created a game that even though I beat it over a month ago, I’m still thinking about it. Very few games have me replay it right after I beat it, but this one was so much fun, I needed to see if there is anything I missed. Every installment in the Metal Gear series has some slight changes to gameplay, but with the Fox Engine (the game engine that was created for this particular game) the combat is top notch. The game’s story ends with a send off to the series from the original Metal Gear games that were released on the MSX and the Nintendo Entertainment System and ultimately brings closure to the MGS storyline. The best part about this game being prequel is that if you have never played a Metal Gear game before, you could start here and not be lost. If you were ever interested in getting into the Metal Gear series this game is a great place to start. Metal Gear Solid 5 was my favorite game in 2015.