Dateline Movies Countdown: Top Ten Memorable Film-Related Events of 2015

Another year, another curtain call. 2015 has given us a "sort-of" okay time for cinema, and a fair period as a whole. The majority of the most anticipated blockbusters not living-up to our highest expectations, the most unexpected oddities became one of the most unique masterpieces, and the ones we are still waiting for the coming days, already had us fans saving our lunch money. Only time will tell what 2016 will offer audiences. Salutations. This is Dateline Movies, and we'll countdown the most memorable film-related events of 2015.

10. The Martian Screening - Oct. 3, 2015

Let's start our countdown with an event that is only exclusive here in The Philippines, wherein a resurgence on historical drama is taking place. This one is personal for me because I was invited by a friend but I wasn't able to attend due to my exams during that week. Oh how cruel time can really be. Here, the critically acclaimed Ridley Scott-directed film The Martian will be screened for audiences willing to pay P 500.00 to see the movie in Greenbelt 3, Makati, right next to where we watched Snow White, and to help Sam Timbreza. Coincidentally, the film parallels the scenario in this event, with the protagonist Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon (The Bourne Series) attempting to contact his friends who are so far away to return home safely.

This was a fundraiser for Sam, who, although is not a friend of mine, was a person who needs help like the rest of us. She was suffering from severe lupus, resulting in massive kidney failure. This event was organized by her friends to help support her ever growing medical bills, which hopefully were payed with the income gathered from the said fundraiser. Although this was not known by many, this was unlike the other film-related events that occurred, with another one that is similar later on. We were able to see people paying not just for the flick, but also to offer help and support for the needs of another. 

9. Wes Craven's Passing - Aug. 30, 2015

Are you afraid of sleeping at night fearing that a mysterious supernatural force would haunt you on your dreams? Are you weary every single time a prank call might turn out to be a creepy set-up for a murder? You can thank one of the masters of nightmares, Wes Craven, for that.

Wes Craven was noted as one of the most influential directors in the horror-slasher genre, especially with his haunting originals, meaning non-remakes, like A Nightmare on Elm Street, the Scream films and the cheesy yet good Swamp Thing adaptation. Despite some lows, Wes Craven still had a legendary career and a decent legacy to keep his memory going.

By the time he was making some okay horror flicks that are often below the radar in today's standards, Wes Craven was growing ill. At August 30, 2015, he sadly passed away due to brain cancer. At least he will forever live in our 70s horror nostalgia, and of course in the hearts of every movie lover out there.

8. The 87th Academy Awards - Feb. 22, 2015

The Oscars, The Academy Awards, or whatever you prefer to call the ceremony, is one of the most anticipated and the most notable celebrations ever done annually. We get to see the best of the best win and show-off just how talented they are behind the camera or in front of it. This year, we see a major boom and resurgence in the art scene, with Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) taunting the superhero genre, which by the way is facing major backlash from many directors, including Steven Spielberg, in the eye. Whiplash paves the way for a better career path for Miles Teller and more exposure for J.K. Simmons. American Sniper paved the way for Bradley Cooper's more dramatic path.

The program itself was entertaining in its own right. Neil Patrick Harris clearly has the chops to be a fun and charismatic emcee. We also had that short incident with Sean Penn's allegedly racist joke, which is better not talked about. Also, didn't we had a full-on musical number at the beginning? Man, that was just legen..., wait for it, dary! We're still waiting for Leonardo DiCaprio to get a statuette, though.

7. Welcome Home, Spidey! - Feb. 8, 2015

Ever since the first Spider-Man reboot, people were always wondering how would Andrew Garfield's portrayal might fit in the ever growing Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite the rights belonging to Sony, the ideas of their own standalone universe with the use of the web-head's supporting cast seemed alright in paper. Sadly, the disappointing theatrical run of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 became the final nail in the coffin.

When the Sony leaks started to emerge, there was some hope that Marvel will be able to rescue Spidey from the disaster. This resulted in a lot of angry fan-boys to start posting their rage. And fortunately, yes, Spider-Man is back with The Avengers, and in fact, he is set to appear in Captain America: Civil War. Tom Holland will also be portraying the web-head.

6. Fifty Shades Boycotted - Jan. 28/Feb. 2, 2015

And here we have the saddest attempt of Hollywood to cash-in on a book's fame, or infamy in this case. These days, it is not new for books, some good and others just bad, to be adapted into a movie and shown into the big screens. With these makings coming-out in the most insulting ways to fans or really just boring for the rest, yet somehow managed to be one of the greatest like Game of Thrones, or at least passable like The Hobbit Trilogy.

A controversial source material from the start, Fifty Shades of Grey encountered a large number of protesters banding together to prevent the release of the film. The story follows Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, and his physically violent relationship with Anastasia Steel (Flying Home), played by Dakota Johnson (Black Mass). That was in case you still have no idea as to why this movie was controversial.

Its content was more shocking than the content that you see in most mainstream anime, that it not only faced a deadly sum of censorship, they faced a whole battalion of opposition in the form of parents, religious viewers, feminists and people who clearly have their sense together. Come on, it has nothing to do with love. It even reached a rare and lethal rating of NC-17, which means strictly for adults only in many countries.

Around January 28, a petition was made to put a halt to the theatrical presentations. It has 53,000 people agreeing with the cause. A concerned citizen even complained to a movie theater not to release it, and a collective of family members work in unity against Fifty Shades of Grey during those days as well. Here in the local cinemas, the film only had a limited release due to the complaints from religious parties.

5. Leonard Nimoy's Passing - Feb. 27 2015

If you are hearing jokes about rocks-papers-scissors-lizards-Spock jokes all over the Internet, there is only one man you can thank for the memorable, albeit complicated analogy in life, and that is Mister Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy.

For as long as anyone can remember, he played Spock for all of his life, even as far as going to fan-conventions in character. Around 2014, he said he was feeling ill, and he decided to retire from acting to spend some time with his family, and for the new Spock Zachary Quinto to enjoy the spotlight himself. What an awesome fellow. He has been a narrator, a director and an actor, and he respects his fans, which is pretty rare for many actors and actresses in Hollywood. He was so famous that he was very much the face of science-fiction.

Leonard Nimoy died on February 27, 2015 due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. It truly is a sad time when one of your favorite actors of all time have passed away.


4. Josh Trank Hates FANT4STIC - Aug. 6, 2015

It's one thing for a movie to bomb so bad both commercially and critically. It's another to force it to be great even though nothing good will ever come out of it. Director Josh Trank took his rage and what's probably left of his once promising career to Twitter, which eventually started into a war against Fox. Okay, maybe this is probably not Trank's fault. He did great in Chronicle, so how come this movie was terrible and sloppy?

Ever since the first trailer came out, and after the two disappointing predecessors, it has been since apparent that there is absolutely no way 20th Century Fox, despite unanimous praise for the X-Men films, could do any worse. You'd thought that Marvel would finally retrieve their long lost first superhero family. Unfortunately, Fox has held the leash on the Fantastic Four for more than a decade now, and it seems it has since become unlikely. They were rushing production and forcing unnecessary re-shoots were clear signs Fox has no idea what they are suppose to do. Beside, even Trank's claims that the studio is limiting his creative freedom. Don't worry Josh, it's all over now, probably.

3. Back To The Future Day - Oct. 21, 2015


You know its always great, and mind-bending, to watch time-travel movies, especially the film trilogy that influenced the science-fiction trend. Back To The Future proved that an out-of-this-world concept mixed with a straightforward story and some creepy relationships would mean a classic film is brewing.

In Back To The Future: Part II, we see Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox (Stuart Little) travel to a familiar date has since passed-by, October 21, 2015. This special date became known as the "Back To The Future Day", which resulted in a viral and word-of-mouth campaign made by fans to show their enthusiasm for the coming event.

Curious and imaginative theorists claim that at least some parts of Back To The Future: Part II have come true, despite the positive and far more hopeful appearance the film suggested the world would seem. Oh how time can truly be cruel. For instance, there has been speculation that the notable bully Biff Tannen, played by Thomas F. Wilson (The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water) reflects the now-infamous political candidate and entrepreneur Donald Trump. Hoverboards are here, but to be honest, they're not hovering quite well so far. Sadly, they haven't predicted reboots, remakes and video-game adaptations.

2. Christopher Lee's Passing - Jun. 7, 2015


You might know him as Saruman from both The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. He has shaken but not stirred his bad guy face as the bizarre Bond villain Francisco Scaramanga prior to Daniel Craig's portrayal. He embraced the Dark Side of The Force as Count Dooku in the Prequel Trilogy of the Stars Wars Saga. He is none other than legendary chosen one of theater and manliness, Christopher Lee.

Christopher Lee is mostly recognized by his distinctive, deep voice which you often hear in great monologues. He is so mysterious, he actually fought in the Second World War, capturing more than a handful of Nazi spies as well. So metal in his musical tastes, he basically made a rock album and metal heads rocked their hearts out. So suave, he might actually received his charm from James Bond creator Ian Fleming.

The news of Christopher Lee's passing was very, very heartbreaking for geeks and fans everywhere. Lee, 93 at that time, suffered from respiratory illnesses and eventually succumbed to heart failure. At least there is a huge spot in heaven for Christopher Lee, despite his role as the devil at one film.

1. The Force Awakens Again! - Dec. 17, 2015

Last year will probably be remembered for reviving the entire Star Wars Saga back from their recent failures with the prequels. After their first teaser popped-out of nowhere, which broke records and sparked thousands of arguments about having the first Black Stormtrooper. That's just rude, guys. Another trailer came out in a few span of months, and a third one sent all fans in a nostalgic frenzy!

After a huge amount of hype, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens finally came in Christmas just for us to unwrap our cosmic presents. The film was able to not only live-up to what we were expecting, but also exceeded them. Episode VII was so great, because why can't it be, that even original creator, and writer and director of both the first films and the prequel trilogy, George Lucas, praised it, despite that small mix-up of words. In addition, didn't facebook allowed users to add Lightsabers to their profile pictures?

In addition to the film's super successful release and run, there have been two other important events linked to Star Wars that made some headlines in the Internet. One is the launch of the #ForceForDaniel, an online campaign for Star Wars fan Daniel Fleetwood to see Episode VII in advance. It was a success, but he eventually die due to his disease. 

The second event to the release of the film is the backlash received by Quentin Tarantino after he made a comment that hurt many police officers' sensitive minds. This incident occurred due to him saying that officers are similar to murderers. As a result, police threatened to boycott, similar to what people did to Fifty Shades of Grey, Tarantino's eighth ironically named film, The Hateful Eight, which will be his second western outing since Django Unchained, and his yet another collaboration with Samuel L. Jackson.

Why is this linked to Episode VII you say? During the holidays, Quentin Tarantino believed that Disney prevented the wider exposure of The Hateful Eight due to Episode VII already established fanbase. Oh well, you win some, you lose some, Quentin.

Why nature? Why do you have to cause power outages and bad internet connection when we were in the middle of finishing this post? Sigh. Anyway, this is now our first post this 2016. And with a new year comes fresh new ideas. This year, we are hoping to reach the goal of finally expanding our reach through YouTube.

New content such as our "Hows of Dateline" episodes or posts, which will make use of our comicbook knowledge to give shadow creative consultation that may entertain some fans (in other words, fan-fiction in the form of a recipe book). Included here as well are some writing tips for actors, screenwriters, directors and future film critics.

The other one, "Inside The Trash Bin", is a series which will put the spotlight on Hollywood's most ambitious, strangest and sadly forgotten and cancelled projects. Also included in this category are fan theories and mysteries with a mix of intrigue and comedy.

We might hopefully make some videos for our already established categories and film news articles, including Spotted!, Miscellany, Reviews and etc.

Boy, this surely will be an exciting year for all of us! To close this post, we greet everyone a very belated Happy New Year. And now, please enjoy this trailer mash-up from user JoBlo Movie Trailers as a throwback to 2015's worst offenders and greatest achievements in cinema. Sayonara friends!


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