I’ve always loved watching the Oscar awards. From the moment the nominations are announced up until the final show it’s undeniably an exciting and fun time for movie buffs. It’s a good feeling to have watched some of the stuff on the list. It’s also a chance to catch up on stuff you may have missed during the year. That being said in most cases Oscar worthy films don’t always have blockbuster appeal but you can be assured that all of them do possess a certain degree of quality. Most people go to the movies for different reasons. For some, it’s a great way to pass time and they care little about the entertainment value. For some like me we do take our movie watching experience rather seriously.

Talking during a movie will not be tolerated.

Despite my hope I didn’t have the time and resources to watch many of nominated movies. These are ones that I did get to see.

Bridge of Spies

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This was one of those, what should we do on a Sunday afternoon, let’s go watch a movie thing. I knew little of the movie going in. All we did was check out what’s was playing nearby and book the tickets. Bridge of Spies is about the cold war and spies but it’s not an action movie per se. It still manages to keep you on the edge of the seat throughout. It’s more emotional and resonant than you might think with another star turn by Tom Hanks. By the end of the movie you are left with what can best be described as a warm feeling inside. The revelation for me as the credits began to roll was that the movie was directed by Steven Spielberg, proving once again that he still remains one of Hollywood’s best directors.

The Martian

Matt Damon portrays an astronaut who faces seemingly insurmountable odds as he tries to find a way to subsist on a hostile planet.

The Martian is the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars and about the efforts of both his crew and the people back on earth attempting to save him. It’s a familiar tale with strong echoes of the movie Gravity. Something of a return to form for director Ridley Scott it’s a movie that rests squarely on the performance of the central character played by Matt Damon. Thankfully he does a remarkable job playing a character who is both smart, funny and emotional in equal ways. The comparisons with Gravity will be there just because it’s a space movie. But at the end even though I thought Gravity was stronger on a purely technical level The Martian is still an incredible journey into space and back.

Mad Max: Fury Road

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I had never watched a single Mad Max movie before this one. All I really knew was Mel Gibson was the star of the previous movies and the setting was a post apocalyptic desert wasteland. I went for this one only because I saw the race reviews it was getting from the critics. When the movie starts out it’s a little hard to figure out what’s happening and why, especially if your not familiar with the world of Mad Max. Once the movie starts firing on all cylinders, all that really remains to comprehend is that the entire movie is an extended vehicular, combat chase and escape sequence. The movie contains without doubt some of the most exhilarating, inventive and incredibly shot action sequences I have ever witnessed. Combined with music that blends so well everything you are witnessing on screen I was on the edge of my seat throughout. A rush that stayed with me long after the credits rolled.

Inside Out

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This was the year Pixar released 2 movies in a year. The Good Dinosaur wasn’t the worst movie to come from the studio but it was rather forgettable in comparison to Inside Out.
Inside Out, Pixar’s latest was a brilliantly imaginative movie about the working of the human mind. The one thing they have proven time and again is how good they are at using the power of animation to explore extremely heady concepts that continue to remain relevant and entertaining for years to come. Representing human emotions as characters with their own personalities is an amazing concept to begin with. What Pixar managed to do with that will go down in history as one of the most imaginative and original movies of all time. When the credits rolled I was in awe of how they had managed to pull all this off. Without spoiling too much Inside Out is best described as a journey of a child growing up and dealing with all the complex emotions that it brings to fore. The twist is that majority of the journey is experienced from inside the mind rather than the outside.