Mason Shell’s Top 10 Movies
I didn’t really start enjoying this movie until 45 minutes in when the hot female character ran into oncoming traffic after taking Molly. The film follows a trio of nerds as they navigate through a drug deal gone wrong. They end up making molly in their high school chemistry lab and selling it via bitcoin transactions. Dope is a ridiculous funny movie mixed with clever social commentary on race and a soundtrack produced by Pharrell.
- Austin to Boston
The film documents a music tour after the South by Southwest festival travels to Boston via a fleet of VW buses. It features some wonderful performances by The Staves and Nathaniel Rateliff and sections shot entirely with super 8’s that look amazing. Austin to Boston at its heart is a nice relaxing ride with some awesome people who play great tunes.
- The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
If you’re a fan of SpongeBob or looking for some nostalgia from the 2000s, you’ll enjoy this flick. It’s all the goofy fun SpongeBob normally provides, and Antonio Banderas’ performance is wonderful. Sponge Out of Water for me was a respite from all the blockbusters that rained down this summer. It was nice to see just a sweet movie made for the sole purpose to generate laughter.
- Inside Out
Any product Pixar makes is normally good or even great, and Inside Out is no expectation. Everything in the movie just works, the concept is interesting and executed flawlessly. The story is well told, and all the characters are engaging. The film’s portrayal of depression is very accurate, something not often seen in feature films. Inside out is just Pixar doing what Pixar does best: telling good stories.
- Mad Max: Fury Road
I’m not the biggest Mad Max fan in the world. In fact, I had never seen a Mad Max movie until this one and I was pleasantly surprised. The world George Miller built just blew my mind. It wasn’t always explained or made the most sense, but the visual quality it brought to the film was fantastic. All the vehicles were distinctive, the makeup was on fleek and my favorite stylistic touch in the whole movie was the war boy playing heavy metal as the war lord raced after Max. What the movie lacked in story or dialogue it makes up for with practical effects. I enjoyed seeing only a few slivers of CGI on the screen. Mad Max: Fury Road is a wonderful throwback to the days before computer generated scenery.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I’ll admit up front I’m a Star Wars fan boy though I rarely show it. The Force Awakens from a fan’s perspective succeeds all the expectations the fans had for the movie. It had just enough camp, references and inside jokes to satisfy our needs. Now from the perspective of just a moviegoer, the new Star Wars delivers everything you could want from a science fiction adventure movie. My favorite part of The Force Awakens was the first 30 to 40 minutes. It just didn’t stop with the light-speed space chases and blaster battles. It was the Star Wars movie everyone had been wanting to see.
- The Last 5 Years
This little flick was mostly overlooked this year. Ironic sense it has two rather recognizable actors in the leads, Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick. The Last 5 Years is the movie adaption of the musical, which premiered on Broadway in 1999. The film tells the story of the couple’s 5-year relationship. The score is both somber and sweet with songs that range from heartbreaking to humorous. Kendrick and Jordan will make you sob and smile as they fall in and out of love. If you’re a fan of Anna Kendrick’s work in Pitch Perfect or Jeremy Jordan in Smash, this flick is a must see.
- Song One
What I really enjoyed about Song One was its simplicity. It’s about normal people who have to deal with an unexpected tragedy. Anne Hathaway’s character’s brother gets hit by a car and turns up in a coma. The movie eventually becomes an exploration about music and love. It’s charming as hell with some great songs in it.
- Appropriate Behavior
The plot of this one is kind of aimless, and there is no overarching theme. It’s very much done in the tradition of Linklater’s Slacker or Before Sunrise. What Appropriate Behavior brings to the screen is crude but in a good way, and clever humor. Appropriate Behavior is humorous in all the best uncomfortable ways.
- Kingsman: The Secret Service
Mad Max pleasantly surprised me, Star Wars fulfilled my expectations but Kingsmen blew my mind. Going into this movie I thought it was going to be another big dumb Hollywood blockbuster. I was thankfully proven wrong. Kingsman is a clever satire of the spy genre, and the film breaks the cliches of most major releases. There’s no romantic interest for the young hero and the villain actually shoots one of the heroes. Some of the highlights in the movie are Colin Firth as a badass. It’s director Matthew Vaughn at his best.