I have Boston Calling to get to… so this will be quick.
After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 1985)
One of my several Scorsese blindspots. Never has a movie made me want so badly to be home and in my bed. Thankfully, that’s where I was watching from. A crazy film to say the least, and unlike anything else in Marty’s filmography. - 7/10
Draft Day (Ivan Reitman, 2014)
Note: I love sports movies (which is funny, because I’m far from a sports fan).
If this hadn’t dumbed itself down so much to pander to its audience, it may have been a great movie. The third act is highly enjoyable, and Costner’s good throughout, but overall Draft Day sure isn’t a first round pick. - 6/10
The Fault in Our Stars(Josh Boone, 2014)
One Sentence Review: I hate how much I loved this movie. - 9/10
The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, 1983)
One Sentence Review: I love how much I loved this movie. - 10/10
A Million Ways to Die in the West (Seth MacFarlane, 2014)
One Sentence Review: Sadly, MacFarlane’s lampoon of the western genre is at once - for the most part - too little and too much. - 6.5/10
A steaming pile of shit written by someone with severe masculinity issues and creativity whatsoever. Ugly filmmaking, laughable performances (we get it, you’re men… yeah, even you, Mireille Enos), and an embarrassingly predictable/pointless plot raise this one up to (or sink it down to?) “Worst Film of 2014 (So far…)” status. - 1/10
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
John Keating (Robin Williams), Dead Poets Society.
So much talent, so many life-changing performances. Thanks for everything Mr. Williams… Rest Well.
The casting of the villains was absolutely horrendous (aside from Giamatti, but I knew he was only going to be in it for roughly 5-minutes), the trailers led me to believe this would be overfull, piling plot upon plot, and the general word-of-mouth from its theatrical run weren’t as positive as I would have liked them to be.
What I got, however, was not a trainwreck… well, not quite. Sure, the villains are completely miscast and the performances are laughable (Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan give two of the year’s worst performances here). And yes, this could have been trimmed to a tight 100-minutes instead of a bloated 140-minutes. But there’s an undeniable redeeming factor at the center of this film that makes it all worth watching… and that’s Andrew Garfield. He’s fantastic, both as Peter and Spidey, nailing the wise-ass and the heroic effortlessly. Garfield makes this worth watching. - 5.5/10
Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn, 2014)
Now here’s a comic book movie that just fires perfectly on all cylinders. The cast is (almost entirely) brilliant (sorry, Karen Gillan… you were awful), the writing is breezy and fun, and it’s often stunning to look at.
Chris Pratt is terrific here, nailing every witty retort and playing on his own as flawlessly as he does with others. But Raccoon steals the show.
It’s not all perfection, though. The villains here are quite bad. Bad may be the wrong word, as they do serve their purpose quite well. They’re bland, and uninteresting, and no fun at all. Loki remains the only great villain in the Marvel Universe. - 9/10
A Most Wanted Man(Anton Corbijn, 2014)
Insufferably slow, and overall unsatisfying. Hoffman is quite good, but this is far from his best and certainly not the final starring role I was hoping it’d be. I loved the ending, though. - 5/10
Insomnia(Erik Skjoldbjærg, 1997)
The cinematography and Skjoldbjærg’s direction make this a must-see. Otherwise, it’s a too-slow-for-it’s-own-good mystery with far too little mystery. This is at once miles ahead and far behind Christopher Nolan’s 2002 remake. - 7/10
Locke(Steven Knight, 2014)
Tom Hardy talks on his car phone for an hour-and-a-half…
And it’s fantastic.
Hardy’s acting is showcased here, and what a showcase it is. It must be seen to be believed, that a man can sit in a car on the phone for 90-minutes and keep you enthralled for the entirety. - 9/10
Put an actor or actress in my ask and I’ll give you: A. First film I saw them in B. Favorite performance C. Favorite film they appear in D. Last film I watched them in E. If I were forced to pick a weaker performance F. Underappreciated performance G. Biggest viewing gap H. Least favorite film they appeared in
I don’t even know why I watched this in the first place. (Of course I do… Kate Upton.) It was awful. Absolutely awful. (Except for Kate Upton… she’s perfect.) I really can’t believe this is the only new film I’ve seen in two weeks. - 1.5/10
Enjoy! (I didn’t… except for when Kate Upton was on screen, which wasn’t nearly enough.)