Today marked 5 years since we stood on the Idols stage and pretended to sing and play fake instruments on live TV.

This moment in Streep history is one that fans often ask us about, so here are some answers to our frequently asked Idols questions:

How Far Did You Get On Idols?

It’s a common and completely understandable question, but it’s usually asked by people who only saw the finale. The fact is that we never entered Idols – we were simply asked by the producers to create a comedy song about the show, and then were invited to play it to the judges in the audition phase. When it proved popular, we were asked back for the final show. So in a sense, whilst we were never in the competition, we made it to the very end.

Were You Miming?

Oh yes, 100%. But it wasn’t our first choice. In the audition there was no easy way of quickly setting up a full band in front of the judges, so we thought the best way to bring across our full sound was to mime to a recording as it would be faster, clearer and less of a strain on the sound editors. But that introduced the moral dilemma of miming, and because we didn’t want to pull a Milli Vanilli on South Africa, we decided to make it blatant that we were miming by playing clearly fake instruments that would have never produced the sound you were hearing.

When it came to preparations for the finale, the producers actually asked us to mime to make the sound dynamics of the live event easier, and it wouldn’t come across as being too weird because it had already been established in the audition. We were still afraid of any Vanilli backlash, so we decided to make it even more obvious by making references to lip syncing in the opening lines.

How Did You Get Away With Insulting The Show?

This is where we have to give the producers a lot of credit. When we got the call to write a song about Idols, they gave us permission to say whatever we wanted to, and in fact encouraged us not to hold back. They even specifically said we could mention the embarrassing voting incident from the year before – essentially, we had complete free reign. And they held true to their word. They accepted the first version of the song we pitched, and were incredibly generous in the way they treated us throughout the process.

Dave or Mark?

Heinz.

Here at The Brothers Streep we’re big fans of the annual National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

This year will be our fifth year, so to celebrate and share the festival love, we decided to release a new song and music video to get as many people as possible to this amazing celebration of the arts.

You can watch the video below or download the song here.

COME BOOK A SHOW

Words and Music by
DYLAN HICHENS AND SIMON VAN WYK

There is so much to see at the Grahamstown Festival
It’s very hard to know which shows are the best of all
The programmes very long and you don’t know if you
can trust the mighty journalism of the Cue

The streets are full of flyers and posters on walls
Every show declares that they have won some random award
Might think you’ve booked to see a Shakespeare deconstruction
then sit down to realize you have booked a School Production

To watch a gripping drama or some comedy?
Interpretative dance or modern poetry?
A musical, some magic, or a cabaret?
Or the ramblings of a mad man someone’s called a play

We know it can be daunting making a good call
You’d rather eat and drink and shop and see nothing at all
You might think that’s a better use off festival time
After all, who needs the theatre when you’ve got gluvine?

But you’re wrong
there’s so much on!

Come book a show, and sit front row
If you don’t give it a try
you’ll make Tony Lancaster cry
Come book a show, it’s worth the dough
You’ve travelled all this way
you should see 10 new shows each day

Guy Buttery, Tigerlily, Agony, Unfair Lady
Ghost House, Ghost Story or Ghost Town
Tapping Hearts, Private Parts, Boet ‘n Swaer & Tarynne Swarts
Black Dog-White Cat, Death of a Clown

Dead Yellow Sands, Sleepwalkingland, Gl(o)ry, Gluten Free, Hatchetman
How Did I Get Here, Die Huweliksaansoek
Rob van Vuuren’s Life, Mr Right Swipe, One Man One Light, Finding Upright
I Came, I Taught, I Left, B!*ch Stole My Doek

Deer Breeder, Butlers and Broadway
In Good Taste, Sold, Blue, Purple Rain
Fantastical Flea Circus
We, Conversation with myself

Come book a show, and sit front row
Celebrate diversity and
see just how much you can see
Come book a show, it’s worth the dough
If you like it tell your friends
and maybe go see it again

Semi-gloss, Suggestion Box, Whistle Stop, The Last Drop
Hairy Potter and the Stoned Philosopher
Continuum, Kontinuum, Camp Carrawak, Chris Chameleon
Don’t Burn Your Sausage, Cock, Big Boys the Third

The Kiffness, Prime Circle, Plebs, You
Suck: and Other Inescapable Truths
Have You Seen Zandile, Pay Back the Curry
Animal Farm, Everybody’s Gone, If the World was Listening, Inside the Sound
Sweet Phoebe, Johnny Boskak’s Feeling Funny

A Man and a Dog, Paintings and Glass
The Plot Hole, Comedy Masterclass
Gym and Tonic, Art and Wine
Kafkas’s Ape, Dani and the Lion
Sleepless Misery and Dreams
Dangled, 10 Days in a Shabeen
Henrietta with Love Factually
And three shows with The Brothers Streep

Come book a show, and sit front row
Take selfie on the go
and give your Facebook friends FOMO
Come book a show, it’s worth the dough
Take a risk, enjoy the challenge
if it’s bad, it’s just raw talent
Come book a show!

Programme Ad 2016 WebBest of the fest! The show to see! Ovation award winning! Top pick of the 2016 Grahamstown Festival!

These are all things you’re likely to see on other people’s posters. It’s hard to compete with those sorts of quotes, so this year we’ve decided to bring THREE shows to the festival in order to increase our chances of you stumbling into one of them.

Here’s what you can look forward to from us this year…

The Brothers Streep: Stand-Up Musicians Plugged
Venue: Albany Cabaret Club
Book here.

The Brothers are bringing their full band to the festival for the first time in this re-imagining of their original sell-out Grahamstown Festival Show. Experience their musical comedy classics in a fun new way in this suitable for the whole family hit. “Laughing all the way” Cue 2012

30/06 16:00
01/07 20:00
02/07 18:00
03/07 12:00
04/07 22:00
06/07 18:00
07/07 20:00
08/07 10:00
09/07 16:00

The Brothers Streep: Same Streep Different Day
Venue: Albany Cabaret Club
Book here.

Dylan and Simon are back with their latest show featuring songs about life, love and loadshedding. This is the duo’s 5th year at the festival and they’ll be celebrating it in style with this fun hour of musical comedy. “Good for a laugh” Cue 2015

01/07 12:00
02/07 14:00
03/07 18:00
04/07 16:00
05/07 20:00
06/07 22:00
07/07 16:00

Watts Up With Streep: A Panel Show
Venue: Albany Cabaret Club
Book here.

Join musical comedians Derick Watts and the Sunday Blues and The Brothers Streep in a hilarious panel show where they battle it out for the title of funniest comedy duo at The National Arts Festival. Don’t miss this fresh and unpredictable fight to take home the ultimate made-up award.

04/07 10:00
05/07 16:00
06/07 12:00
08/07 22:00
09/07 12:00

School and group discounts are available, so take advantage of them!

Tim Cook has taken to the stage yet again to give us all an update on what Apple has been working on the last few months.

To save you time from having to watch a lengthy keynote presentation, or scroll through countless articles talking about pixels and processors and other parts you don’t quite understand, here’s a short succinct summary of what went down…

Security

For obvious reasons our devices need to be secure, but what happens if they’re too secure? What if our phones contain vital information needed in a criminal case, but they refuse to testify? Thankfully, Apple have come up with a three step security system. Siri is now programmed to offer any information available on the device, but only on the third time the information is asked for.

Cook (impersonating a policeman): Siri, where was Tim last week Tuesday?
Siri: You are not authorized for that information.
Cook: Siri, where was Tim last week Tuesday?
Siri: You are not authorized for that information.
Cook: Siri, where was Tim last week Tuesday?
Siri: Crying in the kitchen.

Apple TV

There have been many rumours about what the new tvOS update will bring, but hardly anyone expected it to come with the ability to turn your TV into an e-reader. Especially designed for people with poorer eyesight, your TV will now have the ability to display your favourite book on it’s large screen. A new portable power accessory has been created to allow you to power your TV on the go, for occasions where you’re keen to read on a plane or train, or any other location where it’s difficult to run a power cord to.

iPhone SE

For a while there has been a story circulating about Apple creating a smaller version of their latest iPhone, but it turns out everyone has been completely off on their assumptions of just how small the phone will actually be. The iPhone SE is a truly remarkable 1 centimeter wide, and 2.5 centimeters tall, making it the smallest phone available on the market. As Tim puts it, “Everyone loves that feeling of relief when they think they’ve lost their phone, but it turns out it was in their pocket all along. Here at Apple, we feel that this phone will give people that sensation… all the time.”

Unfortunately, early tech reviewers have noted that due to the considerably smaller size of the phone, it is actually impossible to use.

iOS 9.3

A whole host of new features were explained by Greg Joswiak, but the highlights were:

  • Underwater photos – a revolutionary software update offers crystal clear photos underwater. However, this will break your phone’s hardware.
  • Siri is now available in Elvish, perfect if you ever find yourself at the Council of Elrond.
  • iShuffle – Apple Music’s shuffle feature has been extended to the whole system, allowing users to send emails to random addresses, drive to random locations, or phone a random number. It’s unclear what the practical use of this feature is yet.

iPad Pro

It wasn’t just the iPhone that got the smaller treatment, the usual 12.7 inch iPad Pro has been scaled down to 12.6 inches. As Phil Schiller explained, “We feel that one solitary decimal inch makes all the difference.” The 12.6 inch iPad Pro will cost double the 12.7 inch version.

My darling sister Roxy got married in Thailand in April 2015 and I had the privilege of singing her down the aisle. The song she and her husband chose was “This Old Love” by Lior. A beautiful song for a beautiful day.

However, I did toy with the idea of doing Sally Brown’s song she sings while Snoopy waits at the altar in “Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown”. This was one of the many PEANUTS specials Roxy and I watched on VHS as kids and the song was sung from time to time over the years.

While the thought was sweet, there were a few problems. Sally is singing to a dog. A dog who is waiting for another dog to walk down the aisle. I know Snoopy is highly anthropomorphised in the PEANUTS universe, but the bride-to-be is essentially just a dog. And maybe that’s not the greatest sentiment when you’re singing at your own sister’s wedding. On top of that, [SPOILER ALERT] Snoopy’s bride-to-be ends up running off on the day. Again, not a great sentiment.

But there was a silver lining when hunting through my old VHS tapes to find this song; I got to revisit a load of old South African TV adverts! These are ads I know word for word having seen them so many times as a kid. But watching at them again as an adult, I could only laugh. The styles, the colours, the music, the fashion…brilliant.

Here are a few that stand out for me but please explore them all for a trip down memory lane…

(Apologies for the occasional audio drop out – these VHS tapes are over 20 years old)

Fun fact: The last line of our song Christmas Time is inspired directly by Marie Pentz’s delivery of the line, “…feeling is believing…”.

I’ve always loved ProNutro’s slogan at the end of this ad. “Probably.” It’s so honest. Also, that kid is definitely Rich Streep.

I’m not sure the bullies would necessarily be frightened off by a few Muppets in dustbins. In fact, if Simon Streep were part of the street gang he’d probably be thrilled and go chat to them.

I don’t get this ad. Who is advertising the potatoes? Who are we meant to buy the potatoes from? “The best meal on earth.”? I think Tim Noakes and Banter Clause might have something to say about that…

Here are the rest of my findings:

Firstly I must say that I love this movie! I’ve seen it twice in cinemas – opening day at the IMAX 3D and again in regular 3D. I’m a huge Star Wars fan and have been for many years so obviously there was a lot of pressure on this installment being good. I remember when people first heard that they were making a new Star Wars film, my reaction was, “Well, we weren’t really expecting anything more than these six films, so anything they give us now will be fine.” This is clearly the opinion of someone who was hurt by the prequels. Maybe I didn’t realise when I said it, but the prequels made me actively apathetic to the thought of new Star Wars.

Of course as time went on and more and more was revealed about the new film, I got more and more excited – all the while keeping my guard up in the background. I’d been hurt before and I didn’t want it to happen again. I saw cast photos, pictures from on the sets, teasers, trailers, interviews. Eventually I needed to stop looking for articles because I was just seeing too much.

dylstarwars
Dyl Streep vs. Awesome Jedi Kid

Come opening day. We sat in the cinema. The lights went down. I whipped out my Force FX Replica Darth Vader lightsaber that I got on my 21st birthday. Some people cheered. One person from the back of the room yelled, “Put that down!”. I did. And then the all too familiar yellow text filled the screen. And right from the very first moments I was convinced. Little pieces of text – LUKE SKYWALKER, FIRST ORDER, GENERAL LEIA ORGANA (“To me, she’ll always be royalty”), DESPERATE TO FIND HER BROTHER. Such exciting ideas. And all to the iconic score from John Williams.

I know it may sound that I was just going to be overjoyed with anything – being that excited just from the opening text. I did love this movie. But it does have flaws. I will get to some of those shortly. But one aspect that seems to have split people right away was the not-very-subtle parallel between this film and previous films from the original trilogy, most notably A NEW HOPE and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. I personally don’t mind it for the most part. In very simple terms; I love those original three films. I don’t love the prequel trilogy. The prequel trilogy was daring in its trying to show us something new. That daring was commendable, but the execution was poor. The result was the vast majority of viewers left with a nasty taste in their mouths after seeing episodes one, two and three. And that bitter taste has had time to fester. The story is boring, the acting is stiff and the fact that the films’ aesthetics relied so heavily on CGI which has not aged well has not helped either. So in THE FORCE AWAKENS, when BB-8 physically and actually rolls over a sand dune on Jakku and some strange alien pops his head up and turns to camera, I took it as a nod from the film’s creators to its fans. “It’s all going to be okay now. This is a real practical droid rolling on real sand. And here’s a puppet with glowing eyes for you. No vast halls of never-ending green screen. No droid armies that may as well come from a video game cut-scene. You’re in safe hands.” And for the most part we are.

supremeleadersnoke
Supreme Leader Snoke

From very early on we were promised practical effects, real sets, tangible action and that is exactly what we got. But it does unfortunately make a few moments stand out. While I loved the reveal that Supreme Leader Snoke was a hologram all along during his first interaction on screen, his CGI motion-capture appearance makes him stick out a little which can remind one of the prequels if one lets it. The same can be said for Maz Kanata, but to a lesser extent. It’s like an inverse of JURASSIC WORLD’s problem. All the dinosaurs were computer generated, so when we finally saw the physical head and neck of the wounded Apatosaurus it felt a bit silly. Like there was suddenly a Muppet on set for that scene.

THE FORCE AWAKENS introduces us to new characters that are likely to go froward into the next two films in this new trilogy. Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren being the main four. I’m really excited about these characters. Rey is brilliant. She’s strong, self-sufficient, comes almost “fully assembled out of the box” but is still childlike and approaches new experiences with a wide-eyed sense of awe. Rey’s confidence and aptitude to new situations provide humour as Finn tends to mistakenly treat her as a stereotypical “Damsel in Distress”. And this film is really funny at times. Finn is burdened. Scared. Ultimately cocky. It was great to finally see things from the perspective of a Stormtrooper. It’s not necessarily the life they chose. And he decides to break free. Poe Dameron is a fun and skilled X-wing pilot (as well as a TIE-fighter, it seems) who we don’t get too much of in this first installment of the new trilogy. He also offers some great humour very early on into the film when confronted by Kylo Ren.

Ah, Kylo Ren. People seem to really like, or really dislike this guy. I personally am a big fan. He’s flawed. He’s petulant. He has power that he hasn’t fully figured out yet and, more importantly, doesn’t seem to be entirely on the dark side. He’s conflicted, undeveloped and he is young. When we first saw Darth Vader in A NEW HOPE he was fully realised. Evil. That was it. And if we let ourselves think back to how we saw him at the end of REVENGE OF THE SITH he was basically the whiniest version of Hayden Christensen’s Vader we ever saw. “Noooooooooooo!”

darthvaderno
No.

But then we never got to see the development between those two states of Vader. Here we get to have a look at an evil villain on his way up and I find it really interesting. I look forward to seeing the progression of all of these new characters.

Honorable mention must go to General Hux who, while most of his time on screen is fairly uneventful, gives a chilling speech to the First Order going into the third act. Really great performance.

chewiewerehome
“Chewie, we’re home…”

As for the legacy characters, Han and Chewbacca were absolutely perfect. Even though I’d seen the “Chewie, we’re home…” moment a number of times by watching and re-watching trailers, my eyes still welled up to see it in the context of the film. The change in Han from the skeptical, sarcastic cynic in the older films, to the wise older man shepherding the new characters on their journey was a thrill to see. And when he is killed, it really hurts to watch. I’m sure everyone let out a little Chewbacca cry in their hearts. I’m glad the filmmakers decided to do it though. It adds weight to Han being back in the first place. It adds to the threat of Kylo Ren. And for when the time comes that the film is inevitably remastered to more kid-friendly, #kylostabbedfirst. You heard it here. It was a brave move and I liked it. General Leia was there too. Not a massive role, but it was great to see her again. Leia and Han’s interactions were meaningful on screen. You could feel a chemistry. She could have had more to do following the death of Han perhaps, but then again a lot was said in the silence. The tease of Luke at the very end of the film was just right for me. Some people felt there might be more to it. I didn’t really expect him to be in the film at all, let alone play a major role in it. There was little to no mention of him in any promotional material. I thought they might just refer to him in this film. If anything I think the shot could have been even shorter. Maybe Luke doesn’t even turn around. Rey stops behind his cloaked figure, he begins to turn and we go to credits. Either way, I was happy with Luke’s involvement.

Overall the film really works for me. Yes, it does mimic elements of the original trilogy. Starkiller Base is probably the most obvious of these. I’m not sure anyone left the theatre saying, “Wow! I’m sure glad they included a third Death Star!”. It’s a strange choice. But then again, everything that was happening on Starkiller Base – the death of Han, the lightsaber duels – was very compelling. So I’ll let it slide. It’s a Star Wars film – they need a couple of small spaceships flying up really close to a massive evil structure and blowing it up from within. It happened in THE PHANTOM MENACE with the Droid Command Ship and nobody ever said that was too similar to the originals.

kylobolt
Kylo Ren freezing a blaster bolt

The film also introduced some new and exciting uses of the Force – freezing a blaster shot in mid-air, Force mind-melding, Force-pulling soldiers across the room – and for anyone who has played a Star Wars video game, it’s great to see them expanding on those abilities a bit.

THE FORCE AWAKENS is an incredibly fun adventure which ultimately reminded me again why I loved Star Wars in the first place and left me feeling confident that the saga will be great going forward.


If you’d like to hear Dylan, Andrew and Simon discuss THE FORCE AWAKENS, you can do so by listening to episode 8 of The Brothers Streep Show here. Alternatively, you can take a musical trip down the Death Star Trench here.

We’re just over half way through January and it feels like things are about to get busy here at Streep Industries. (Not a real company.)

We’ve got some shows coming up in early February at Cape Town Comedy Club, we have a super secretive project we can’t tell you about (so don’t even bother asking), and we’re gearing up for a whopping three shows at the Grahamstown Festival this year – more on that in a couple of weeks.

But if you’re feeling a little under-Streeped right now, then the good news is that The Brothers Streep Show is back after a two week break, and you can listen to that here. Enjoy!

Last night many celebrated as they discovered Netflix had just been launched in South Africa. It was like getting a late Christmas present, an unexpected surprise. But then a lot of people opened the present, and found socks.

South Africans love to hate DStv, but if they want to legally enjoy premium movies and TV series, they kinda have no option but to go for MultiChoice’s satellite TV offerings. Because let’s face it, SABC and e.tv aren’t exactly on the cusp of recent television trends. To be fair, Noot vir Noot is worth our TV license fee alone, but even the solace of knowing my money goes towards Johan Stemmet’s waistcoats doesn’t quite warm me towards our local channels.

(Side note, South African Broadcasting Corporation, if you’re reading this, I have an idea: I think more people would pay their TV licenses if they stood a chance of winning 90’s TV memorabilia. Maybe one of Dali Tambo’s pillows, a Telequack signed by Martin Bailey, or a bottle of Felicia Mabuza-Suttle’s tears.)

For a while now the digital age has bought along the potential promise of being able to stream TV via the Internet. Some local streaming services cropped up, but because good content requires good deals which require good portions of money, most of these services seemed to offer a substandard selection. Sort of like going to an all you can eat buffet, and realising they only have beetroot salad. I’m no market expert, but I’m guessing this is because all the good content had already been tied up in contracts with MultiChoice – a truly clever name because you essentially have NoChoices if you don’t use their services.

Now before we hate on MultiChoice, I think we need to give them credit where credit is due. In comparison to what people pay for similar services oversees, they’re actually incredibly well priced. They also have an amazing collection of shows. If you lived in the US and wanted a similar satellite selection, you’d not only need basic cable, but you’d have to also subscribe to premium cable channels like Starz, Showtime and HBO. (In case some of the terminology is too confusing, premium cable is basically another way of saying bad language and nudity.)

I know for some of you reading this it might be like meeting your partner’s ex and finding out they’ve secretly been siphoning fuel into your car, but MultiChoice have actually done you a favour. They might indeed have a monopoly in TV in this country, but if they hadn’t been making the exclusive deals they have been, they’d have more competition, and you would probably need to go to more than one TV provider to get the same selection.

But yes, we all know monopolies are bad. Even the board game causes un-repairable rips in relationships, so a little competition and an alternate way to access TV is probably a good thing. Enter ShowMax. The first SA streaming service that actually has a catalogue you’d want to pick from. No more beetroot salad. But there’s a catch… ShowMax isn’t quite competition to MultiChoice, because they’re both owned by Naspers. DSTV just put on glasses and a fake nose and thought no one would notice.

And that’s why it was so exciting when South African Netflix was announced. Finally, a company big enough to stir the pot. They have connections with content providers around the world, they have money, they have House of Cards… what could go wrong?

And that leads us back to where we began… socks.

If you’ve fired up your South African Netflix account, you’re likely to be fairly underwhelmed. Yes, there are some fantastic series on there, but it’s nowhere close to what is offered on the American version. It’s like getting to the buffet and someone has put salmon into the beetroot salad. Yes, it’s salmon. But there’s still a lot of beetroot. My rough conservative estimate is that the SA Netflix has about 5% of the content of the US Netflix. It doesn’t even have House of Cards, but it does have Big Momma’s House 1 & 2 if that’s any consolidation. (Maybe one day they’ll make Big Momma’s House of Cards).

The good news is that socks are still better than no socks. Netflix coming to South Africa is a good thing. There’s hope for our buffet yet. They are big enough to stir the pot, and in time, they will. My guess is that certain exclusive studio deals have been made with DStv/ShowMax that are currently standing in the way of a fully formed South African Netflix, but as Netflix continues its global domination, they’ll have the money and pull to be able to make global deals that will make all their countries catalogues more like the US. After all, that’s America’s ultimate desire – to make more countries like America.

So, as the consumer, what should you do?

If you’ve read this far… you probably should watch less TV. Get out there, enjoy the world a bit. There’s more to life than streaming series. But, once you’ve got some fresh air, why not subscribe to Netflix? Enjoy the free trial. Supporting your local Netflix will in theory increase their leverage when making global deals with content providers. Whilst it’s missing key series and movies, it does have Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Making a Murderer, Master of None, Narcos, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – and that’s more than enough to keep you going for a while.

As for ShowMax, if it’s working for you, enjoy it while it lasts. If Netflix gets space to breathe in this country, ShowMax might be the one that’s left with old episodes of All Access and Leon Schuster movies.

As for DStv, they’re expensive, but fast internet and enough bandwidth to stream video is also pricey. Do the Maths and see what works for you.

As for me, I’ve still got to finish Breaking Bad, so it’s hard to tell if my opinions on television actually count anyway.


It’s hard to tie this article back to acoustic comedy, but, if you like TV, then you might like movies, which means you might enjoy my top movies of 2015, our little musical tribute to Stars Wars, our song about movie twists, or ode to Disney Princesses.

Movies2015… and the bottom ones as well.

Every year, much like Santa, I make a list, I check it twice, I decide what was naughty and nice, and then I publish it to the Internet – far easier than distributing the list through people’s chimneys on 24 Dec.

My list isn’t of people though, it’s of movies that I’ve seen at the cinema that year, listed in order of enjoyment. Due to my own rulings, this means I have to exclude movies that I’ve watched in the comfort of my own home, which this year means leaving out five amazing films that deserve an honourable mention… Whiplash, Pride, Shaun the Sheep Movie, What We Do In The Shadows and Frank.

I will offer full paragraphs for my top five and one liners for the rest. Without any further ado, here’s my list in order of enjoyment…

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I’ve never been a big Star Wars fan, in fact I only watched the whole of the original trilogy this year. I am however a big J. J. Abrams fan, and love his work from LOST to Super 8 and the Star Trek reboot, so I had pretty high hopes for this film, despite my lack of interest for Luke, Leia, Han and Woofles from Pumpkin Patch.

But this film ticked all the right boxes for me. It managed to make me care about Star Wars, it completely drew me to the world my friends loved, and made me feel nostalgic despite never actually watching the Star Wars films at a time in my life which would allow nostalgia. It had action, compelling characters, mystery and warmth, and it’s the only film I watched this year that made me want to walk straight back into the cinema and experience it all again.

2. Paddington

I’m a sucker for a bit of silliness, especially when there’s actual thought behind it, and even more so when it has heart and is uplifting. It’s why I love The Muppets, and it’s why I loved Paddington.

It’s beautifully directed by Paul King (of Mighty Boosh fame) and incredibly funny – a rare example of a children’s film that has jokes the whole family can enjoy at the same time – never feeling the need to be too juvenile for the kids, or too edgy for the adults.

3. Inside Out

This made my top five because it’s the only film in my list which is actually important. Yes, it’s entertaining, wildly creative, and will make you laugh and potentially cry, but more than that, it’s got something to say, and the world will be a better place for it.

The stigma behind sadness, especially when it is caused by depression, is tough to break, and any public work that helps spark important conversations around dealing with complicated emotions is a step in the right direction for a healthier society. The fact that the film has this embedded in its DNA, yet is still a wonderfully exciting, humorous and uplifting film, showcases the incredible talent and passion that went into it.

4. Nightcrawler

I struggled placing this film, because it’s a strange watch – it’s unsettling, darkly comedic, and the main character is so unstable and unpredictable, the film itself unfolds like a thrilling roller coaster ride headed in an unknown direction.

This isn’t for everyone, but if you’re interested in watching a film that will stay with you longer than its’ running time, then give this a go.

5. Crimson Peak

Speaking of not for everyone… this Gothic horror snuck into the list purely because it’s one of the most well made films I’ve seen this year. From the stunning cinematography and masterful direction, to the enjoyment of watching secrets unravel as the plot creeps along its’ haunting path, this film is sure to lure you in if you have the stomach for the odd scare, death and romance.

6. The Imitation Game

Fascinating true(ish) story with the ever impressive Cumberbatch.

7. The Martian

Fun, gripping and packed with stars.

8. Ant Man

Marvel’s smallest superhero of the year is also it’s best.

9. Jurassic World

Chris Pratt proves yet again that he’s an enjoyable male lead in Dinosaur Parks and Tribulation.

10. Bird Man

Not quite as fun as Ant Man, but some creative commentary on celebrities and superheroes. Pity about the last few seconds which make no sense.

11 – 13. Spectre, Mission: Impossible Rouge Nation & Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Not sure why there were so many spy films this year, but all three were worthy, enjoyable action films.

14. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Not as charming and concise as its predecessor, but still good super hero movie fun.

15. Pitch Perfect 2

Worth it for all the scenes with Snoop Dogg, and a mashup that includes MMMBop by Hanson and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrew Sisters.

16. Mad Max: Fury Road

For a film that is essentially one big car chase there and back, it’s surprisingly captivating and creative.

17. Kingsman: The Secret Service

Wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be, but worth the watch to see heads explode to Land of Hope and Glory. (Also, that church scene is pretty insane, in a good way.)

18. Trainwreck

Takes a while for the film to abandon its shock comedy for the sake of sweeter laughs, but when it does it settles in to an enjoyable romcom with some good moments.

19. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Not for anyone expecting anything remotely close to the book. This is as much an adaption of James Dashner’s The Scorch Trials as it is of [insert any book title in the world here]. The source material is barely present, but it’s got some good post-apocalyptic action and features everyone’s favorite Chicken Man from Breaking Bad.

20. Into The Woods

I’m not a big fan of Sondheim’s music, and I found the film too long – but Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen’s rendition of Agony makes it worth the watch.

21. St Vincent

Enjoyable but unremarkable comedy, except for a very touching scene at the end.

22. Big Hero Six

Whilst I loved all the jokes with Baymax, the rest of the characters weren’t as a remarkable or engaging, making the film fairly forgettable superhero fare.

23. Sicario

Two or three great action set pieces, surrounded by a far less interesting film.

24. True Story

A true story which could have done with more made up bits. Not as good as the trailer made it out to be.

25. Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie

I feel bad putting this movie so far down the list because the truth is that the animation is inventive, the tone is spot-on with the old Peanuts movies, and its brimming with a lot of care and heart. But… it just didn’t feel like a real film to me – it felt rather like random scenes thrown together with a vague plot happening around it.

26. Foxcatcher

Aka Sheepcounter. The year began with this film getting a lot of praise and Oscar buzz. But despite wanting to be part of the social elite that enjoyed this movie, I just found it far too boring. Like really boring. Nothing gripped me, and whilst I can appreciate there was some good acting going down, it wasn’t enough to stop me looking at my watch and hoping something interesting would happen before I fell asleep.


If you enjoyed that, you can listen to Dylan, Simon and Andrew look back on other areas of 2015 in a special New Years episode of the Brothers Streep Show. Click here.

2015 is almost done, and what a year it has been!

If you’d like to join us as we reminisce over the highs and lows of the year, click here for the latest edition of our podcast where we do just that.

All the best for 2016, may it be utterly fantastic – we’ll see you in the New Year!