Saturday, February 21, 2015
It is Oscar time again. I FINALLY have now seen all 8 movies nominated for Best Picture, the last one was a freakin hot and cold torture movie to watch but it's finally done.
Now I can say what I feel are the Best 10 I saw in 2014, or which came out in 2014.
10) Begin Again
It has Mark Ruffalo, it has Keira Knightley, it has that kid from True Grit and it has catchy pop songs. Who knew Keira could sing? Who knew they could write a movie about a 40 something male who does not end up, oops I about blew it. Let's just say if you like music, the business, these actors, and can put up with Adam Levine and Cee Lo for a few moments, this one may do it for you. By the way, the ending. Great. Unexpected.
9) Only Lovers Left Alive
I had time to kill one day. This one looked "interesting". Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, John Hurt, Detroit, and Vampires. Let's just say it was very interesting. Dark, strange and right up my alley. Never been a Jim Jarmusch fan, until now.
This is a modern day Taxi Driver. Jake Gyllenhaal is Travis Bickle wandering the streets of LA at night when comes upon a new line of work. Free lance news. He not only covers it, he creates it and inevitably becomes it. Jake Gyllenhaal deserved an Oscar nomination at the very least. He is fantastic.
You expect nothing. And you get surprised. Much like when Taken came out years ago, this one got me. Keanu Reeves really hasn't made much of anything decent since River's Edge. But ,like Liam Neeson, he may have found a niche'. There's a scene in this movie, involving choreography so fine , in a club, that makes film geeks like me geek out big time. Phenomenal.
Get off Ben Affleck's ass. He's a fine talent. David Fincher is one of the best 3 directors out there. Rosamund Pike is a gift. The story is pulp novel shit but if you haven't read the book, see this movie. It has some truly shocking moments.
It's Catholic. It's Irish. It's about a man paying for other people's sins. It's truly biblical. And Brendan Gleeson is in it. It might not be what you expect.
4)The Imitation Game
Alan Turing's story is truly remarkable. How the Allies won WW2 behind the scenes, and that means without Brad Pitt and a tank crew from hell, is a great story.
I would have no problem with this movie winning everything. It truly is a unique experience. But it drags. A lot. Unless Ethan Hawke is onscreen. Still, this is a movie much like Being John Malkovich, in that if you want uniqueness in movies, you better support these types of films and stay the hell away from shit churned out to make money.
Christopher Nolan makes movies that make you yearn for more. Like Inception before it, Interstellar makes you think. It may give you a headache but it makes you go, ok I think I got it, oh noooo I don't....What more can you ask for from a movie? Great story, visually stunning and smart enough to make you have to use your noggin. And of course Michael Caine and Jessica Chastain.
The Best Movie of the Year is this.
J K Simmons will win the Oscar for being a maniacal jazz teacher. He is fascinating and you cannot take your eyes or ears off him. I can't condoine this guy's methods, in fact I despised him, but like R Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket, you'll remember him. Just my tempo. And one more thing, Paul Reiser is overlooked in this as the opposite of Simmons. He is so good in his subtlety, you won't even notice how goddam good he is.
There were others I liked...Birdman was good, will probably win, but it didn't make me remember it. And OF COURSE he doesnt have superpowers fro chrissakes. He's nuts.
The Babadook was positively Hitchcockian in its honesty and suspense.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was thrilling and almost as good as the first one. And a helluva lot better than the the original
The Homesman was a good western with a lot of talent doing favors for Tommy Lee Jones. Great cast. Decent story.
Life Itself was the best doc of the year. Period. And it didn't even get a nod. Disgraceful.
There were a lot of others I liked really not worth mentioning. But about that American Sniper movie...Later