Jason’s Top 10 Entertaining Things Of 2015!
We launched Nerd Infinite in September 2015 with a very simple idea. Entertainment today isn’t confined to televisions and movie theaters. It’s on EVERY SCREEN and it’s available whenever you want it.
When I set out to recap 2015 I wanted to include everything I loved. Below you’ll find a mix of content that includes web series, podcasts, movies, television shows and more. The one major element that’s absent? Video games. That will all change this year thanks to my brand new Xbox One and a return to my PC gamer roots.
Regardless, it was a fantastic year and I’m looking forward to amazing stories in 2016!
10. Kinda Funny
One year ago, Greg Miller, Colin Moriarty, Nick Scarpino and Tim Gettys left their jobs at IGN to start Kinda Funny. What is Kinda Funny? It’s a content network focused mainly on video games that features podcasts, let’s play videos and more.
Their podcasts have grown exponentially over the last 12 months. The Game Over Greggy Show features four random topics that always entertain. The Kinda Funny Gamescast (A top podcast on iTunes) tackles big issues and topics in video games. PS: I Love You XOXO is the number 1 Playstation podcast in the world! I listen to PS: I Love You XOXO every week and I’ve never owned a Playstation in my life. In addition to those weekly shows, they also produce daily live streams on Twitch and original series!
I’ve listened to every single podcast they released in 2015. My commute to and from work is usually spent with the guys from Kinda Funny. They make this list for consistently making my commute to work entertaining. Actually, I tend to look forward to bumper to bumper traffic because of Kinda Funny.
9. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
In a summer movie season that included The Avengers: Age of Ultron and so much more, M:I 5 was my favorite. It was so much fun! After 4 successful films it’s easy to imagine the well is running dry when it comes to Ethan Hunt action set pieces. Rogue Nation proves there is plenty of water in the well. Director Christopher Mcquarrie did an amazing job raising the bar and I’m ecstatic he will be the first director to direct a second Mission: Impossible film.
I love giant action packed blockbusters but it’s also nice to slow things down and appreciate the subtlety and nuance of films like Spotlight. The amazing ensemble cast alone is worthy of recognition. Everyone comes to the table with incredible performances led by Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo. It’s a slow burn that fits right alongside films like The Insider, Erin Brockovich and more.
7. Making A Murderer
The Netflix documentary series took the world by storm when it was released. This is an insane story full of twists, cliffhangers and rage filled moments of frustration. My wife and I kept hitting ‘next episode’ late into three straight nights knowing full well our daughter wakes up at 6am whether we like it or not. It was a captivating series to say the least.
Now, I’m not going to assume I know everything about the case and form a definitive opinion on Steven Avery. Is he guilty? Was he set up? Will we ever know what really happened? I don’t know if definitive answers are out there but a woman lost her life. That’s a tragedy that will never change regardless of Steven Avery’s fate.
6. Marvel + Netflix = Daredevil & Jessica Jones
I’m cheating a bit on this one but I don’t feel bad. Netflix and Marvel’s marriage is absolutely flawless after two successful launches in 2015. Daredevil was MADE for the binge format. The series skillfully established a brand new corner of Marvel’s Universe and expanded the crossover potential between television and movies. The series also introduced my favorite villain on any screen in 2015: The Kingpin.
Next came Jessica Jones. Krysten Ritter is phenomenal as the titular private eye/superhero. What I love about the show is how her powers are simply hinted at. The series boasts another fantastic villain in Killgrave. The series delves into the psychology of ‘people with powers’ contrasting Jones and Killgrave’s journey brilliantly. All in all, Marvel on Netflix is officially two for two. With two more series and a Defenders crossover on the way, I can’t wait to see more in 2016.
5. Mad Max: Fury Road
And then a guy has a flame throwing guitar. And then they ride beside a massive tornado. And then Max fights a bunch of guys on a speeding war machine. And then… You get the idea. Mad Max is a simple story of a journey to save women from a terrifying warlord named Immortan Joe. From there, Mad Max is chaos. It’s insanity! But it’s deliberate insanity. An exercise in creative precision. I can’t believe they shot this film practically. I may have called MI:5 my favorite summer movie of 2015 at the time but I’ve revisited Mad Max several times since then. It’s brilliant.
I have to be honest. I went into Creed with little to no expectations. I was blown away by the emotional impact the film had on me. Somehow they managed to tell a new underdog story while capturing the magic of the original Rocky. Sylvester Stallone IS Rocky Balboa. His performance is truly one of the best in his career and his chemistry with Michael B. Jordan carries this movie to greatness. I got chills when I finally heard that wonderful score in the film’s final act. I’d happily line up for a sequel to Creed.
3. The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino often talks about his filmography and when he plans to retire. The quotes vary but he usually states that he will hang up his directing hat when he reaches 10 films. This was number 8. I really hope we get to 20 and beyond. The Hateful Eight is a brilliant film that showcases why Tarantino is the undisputed champ when it comes to writing dialogue.
I barely noticed the 3 hour run time. It could have been seven hours long and I would have sat through it. His films should be given to every film student on the first day of school. They certainly inspire me as an aspiring screenwriter. I loved how characters in The Hateful Eight developed. Little by little, the conflict and suspense grows and the world he created comes alive. He’s a genius. A storytelling legend.
I can’t wait to see number 9.
2. The Revenant
I had a hunch I was going to enjoy The Revenant but I had no idea it would resonate like it did. I absolutely adored this movie. So much so that it nearly unseeded Star Wars Episode VII as my favorite film of 2015! The Revenant is a gorgeous movie set in an unforgiving frozen wasteland. It is shot so beautifully you actually feel cold watching Leonardo DiCaprio struggle against the elements. Not only is this film a remarkable achievement in directing, it’s also full of incredible performances led by Leo and Tom Hardy. Amazing.
1. Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens
Let’s go back to January 1st, 2015. If you asked me then I would have told you Star Wars VII would be number 1 on my list a year later. That’s how it narrowly beat out The Revenant on my list. J.J Abrams and his team delivered on the impossible hype and brought Star Wars back from prequel hell. Watching Star Wars on the big screen embodies everything I love about going to the movies.
My first screening of the film was in IMAX and the atmosphere was amazing. It was an event. In my opinion, no matter how successful future Star Wars films are, they will never be as big as The Force Awakens. Fans waited decades to find out what happened. To return to a galaxy far, far away. To see old friends again. Star Wars Episode VII gave us all the answers we could hope for but it also left us wanting more. I’m obsessed with Star Wars all over again.