The Movies of 2016: Some Sort of List

Hello hello! I am back in LA after a cold jaunt to New Jersey for my annual xxxmas pilgrimage. Believe it or not, another year has gone by, and I saw a ton of fucking movies. Here’s my favourites, the ones I thought were sort of “eh”, and the absolute piping hot messes of 2016.

Spoilers ahoy, so no bitching.

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In no particular order..

THE GOOD;

  • Nocturnal Animals. This movie is absolutely HAUNTING, my god. Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon deliver incredible performances in Tom Ford’s second foray into film, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I saw it a couple of months back. There’s this uneasy tension throughout that winds tighter and tighter and tighter.. it’s a movie I won’t ever forget, it’s so intense and bonkers. Just, wow. See it. And if you haven’t seen A Single Man, see that too.
  • La La Land. Oh my god, this movie is so fucking charming. It filled a void and a yearning I didn’t even know I had, it was just the right movie to close out the shit year of 2016. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are wonderful together, the music is super fun, and that montage at the end is nothing short of imaginative and wonderful. The perils of ambition and dizzying love colliding with the truths of reality, it’s all good good great. This movie is lovely.
  • Captain America: Civil War. I dig most of the Marvel movies, and I never tire of Chris Evans’ Cap. I dig the way this movie is structured, and Tony Stark with a bonus Spider-Man and Ant Man are never bad.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I was feeling lukewarm about this movie until I saw it; I actually saw it the day Carrie Fisher died, and the theatre was absolutely rammed and filled with this understandably sad energy. That first act is a damned disaster, but the rest of the movie is solid.. though I really want to see the original cut pre-reshoots. Not sure what the point of Forest Whitaker’s character was.. and CGI Tarkin was pretty unsettling. Should’ve just gone with actors and makeup/a little enhancement rather than full on creepy BFG CGI.
  • Moonlight. This movie is fantastically written, well acted, and a complete triumph of storytelling. See this movie.
  • Arrival. Emotional science fiction? Yes please. Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner are great, the story is mesmerising, and the ‘twist’ is really fucking well done.
  • Dr. Strange. Enjoyable! Benedict Cumberbatch’s American accent needs some work, but I really dug this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I mainly like that this is a character Stan Lee invented to shut the hippies up. He’s got a dope cape, and uses the power of being an infuriating dick paired with a time loop to save the day. Prettay, prettay.. prettay good.
  • Everybody Wants Some! I love Linklater (except for Boyhood..), Dazed and Confused is one of my faves. This flick is just the right dose of nontoxic masculinity and fun rowdy dude shit set over the course of the first weekend at a Texas college. Linklater excels at capturing the feeling and energy of a particular time in your life, it’s totally magic.
  • Sing Street. This soundtrack hasn’t left my regular rotation since this movie came out, oh my god. It’s an absolutely delightful movie! Positive and hopeful amidst the backdrop of early 1980s Ireland which was anything but. Sing Street is the type of movie you didn’t know you needed until you see it. Watch it right the fuck now, it’s on Netflix.
  • High Rise. I’ve never been so intensely attracted to Tom Hiddleston until I saw this movie. High Rise is a surreal, expertly stylised, darkly funny, dystopian jaunt that I’m still thinking about. It’s intense.
  • Complete Unknown. Michael Shannon again! This movie is slow and subtle, a woman shapeshifting and running from her life and coming back to the man she once loved. Equal parts fascinating and gripping, but very true to life. They have a lost night together in New York City, as he tries to change his life while she wants to stop changing hers.
  • The Nice Guys. Shane Black can do no wrong in my book, I’m a huge fan of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are great together as washed up PIs in 1970s Los Angeles.. this movie is a whole lot of fun, a cool take on noir like his other flicks. So well written.
  • Cafe Society. I never thought I’d see Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart fall in love in a movie (ah fuck, forgot about Adventureland), but here we are. I love the world this movie creates; it’s vintage gorgeous and feels real, along with their ~romance~. And hey, Steve Carell is a complete delight. Well worth watching.
  • Star Trek Beyond. This movie is such a fucking joy to watch! It feels like Trek, the action and story are on point, and you really align with the characters. I watched this again the other night and was completely charmed.
  • Midnight Special. Man, remember when we all thought that Tomorrowland was going to be the second coming of Christ? And it turned out to be a wet fart? Whole lotta big ideas that turned into nothing. Well, Midnight Special is the right kind of sci-fi for me; it’s serious, striking, and grips you with wonder. Michael Shannon gives a stellar performance amidst a sea of fanatical cultists dressed in the earth’s dumpiest dresses made of couch fabric.
  • OJ: Made in America. Holy shit, you guys.. this nearly 8-hour long documentary was on ESPN over the summer and it’s INCREDIBLE. I was 10 when the OJ Simpson trial was going on, and besides being both a literal child and someone who knows fuckall about sports, it was fascinating and horrifying to see what a beloved figure OJ once was, and the darkness.. the cultural background for the fever pitch of race relations in 1990s Los Angeles, all these pieces coming into play.. truly fascinating and shattering, heartbreakingly sad. Check this one out.
  • Elvis & Nixon. I never knew I needed Michael Shannon as 1970s Elvis before, and once I saw this flick, frankly I don’t know how I survived without it. Spacey plays a great Nixon, too. Well worth a spin.

THE BLAND;

  • War Dogs. This movie was incorrectly billed as a comedy. Overall it was pretty fucking dark and enjoyable, but also sort of unpleasant. Todd Phillips has a knack for writing these man friend BRAH characters with a whole lotta mean streak coursing through their veins. Jonah Hill and Miles Teller have real chemistry as bros, even if the latter distractingly resembles a boiled potato. *[editor’s note; my dear husband thinks that comparing Teller’s face to a potato is “harsh”, but I implore you to locate the lie.]
  • Hail, Caesar! I adore the Coen Bros, but this movie felt like it was missing something. The cast is fantastic, the look and feel of everything is incredible, Brolin’s Mannix is fucking magical, we got Alden Ehrenreich’s delightful Aw Shucks character, but the story was .. not great? It seems like it’s going to take a bizarre, surreal left turn when Clooney’s Whitlock is kidnapped by a group claiming to be ~The Future~.. but it’s just a group of Commies. I’ll have to give it another whirl.
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane. John Goodman is fucking incredible in this movie, but it didn’t really hit the mark for me overall. I don’t know. Maybe it’s good?
  • Keanu. Man, there’s a really tiny kitten in this movie. Most of it is pretty funny, but a lot of the humour fell flat for me. Eh.
  • Independence Day: Resurgence. This shit heap of a “movie” is only on the Bland list because of the presence of Jeff Goldblum. There’s SO MUCH fucking wrong with this flick.. AND THEY HAD 20 GODDAMNED YEARS TO GET IT RIGHT. Now. I adore the original ID4, it’s one of my favourite movies in life. This trash sequel from hell has an overabundance of dull undeveloped characters, a blatant franchise setup, Judd Hirsch riding out the apocalypse in a goddamned tugboat.. and they did Vivica Fox real dirty by killing her almost immediately. No. It does, however, have Bill Pullman as a complete crazy person which was sorta cool, and he Randy Quaids it to save humanity all over again. It’s the worst kind of bad movie; there’s so much going on that it actually manages to be fucking boring.
  • Central Intelligence. I love The Rock and Kevin Hart together, but this movie didn’t really land. It was close! Got some laughs.
  • Ghostbusters (Ladybusters). I waffled on this flick. Hated the trailer, liked it when I saw it, and have not thought of it once since. Meh.
  • Why Him? About 80% of this movie works, I’ll be honest; it’s just not entirely all there. Bryan Cranston is fantastic against James Franco, but there was a toilet gag that went on for too long, shit like that.. some of it was a little on the dumb side. I saw this movie at a test screening on the Fox Lot months back, so I’m sure some things were tweaked for the final release.
  • Snowden. Well, that was a movie.. I think I don’t like Oliver Stone.

THE CONFUSINGLY HORRENDOUS;

  • Girl On The Train. Man, this book sucked. It was so predictable and boring. I was hoping the movie would be better and a little Gone Girl-esque, but it was ultimately forgettable and tedious. It did make me crave a dirty martini or 10 from the Grand Central Oyster Bar, though.
  • Sausage Party. This movie tried so fucking hard to be ~edgy~ and Rated R. Granted I’m not the biggest fan of Seth Rogen’s brand of stoner humour, but I’d heard a ton of positive stuff about this flick so I checked it out. Though the beginning is promising and creative, and there are flickers of actual funny gags, this movie was bogged down with SO MUCH SHIT that seemed to exist purely for shock value alone. It was mind-boggling. And that massive food orgy at the end? WHY did that even need to exist? What the fuck?? Maybe I’m an old person, but what the FUCK??
  • Anomalisa. I found this movie so fucking repellant I dedicated a whole blog post to yelling about it. Apparently this is such an uncommon opinion for this flick that it’s one of my most read and Googled posts.. so I’ve got that going for me, I guess. Seriously! I get a couple of hits on that post per week for the past YEAR. Goddamn.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse. What a fucking dumpster fire this thing was, my god. I absolutely loved Days of Future Past, so I had high hopes for this flick.. NOPE. It was at least 7 kinds of dumb, the worst kind of camp, and Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse character touching a television and crooning “LEAAAAARRRNINGGG” was so fucking hokey I laughed out loud for about a minute. What a complete disaster.. not even James McAvoy and flawfree Fassbender could save this mess.
  • Jason Bourne. I adore the Bourne movies (not that Jeremy Renner garbage  filler flick), and this movie was super disappointing. It was not good. Lots of noise, killing off Julia Stiles WAY too soon, and it’s overall super forgettable. Honest to god I don’t even fucking know what happened in this movie.
  • Now You See Me 2. What the fuck? Why is this a movie? The first Now You See Me was one of those extraordinary movies where it all just clicked; it’s an outrageous fun romp that bends reality and is all over the map, and though everything about it conspires to make it a fucking mess, it just works. This sequel absolutely and completely sucks, save for Mark Ruffalo fighting some rando using actual magic.. which was awesome.
  • The Lobster. Everyone has such a huge monster dong boner for this movie, and I absolutely loathed it. The concept is enchanting for the first half of the movie, and made me want to know more of why this world of Relationships Only existed; the hell is that about? Why is this happening? What’s the machine that turns people into animals? Is the rest of the world like this, or only Ireland? The second half of the movie is sad, drab, dull and overall.. no. The tone is so flighty, I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be taking itself seriously as a movie, or if it was a dark comedy, or what.. ugh. I also can’t see Colin Farrell without thinking of him cockslapping that lady in his sex tape and talking dirty WAY too much. So, at least that’s sort of depraved and delightful.

And there you have it! 2016 had some really great flicks for sure. I’ve still got a few movies to see.. but nobody can pay me enough cash to give an iota of a shit about Casey Affleck.

Here’s to 2017!

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In which I Eat My Hat: Ghostbusters was OK!

You may remember my adverse reaction to the Ghostbusters Trailer from March. Turns out it was simply a shite trailer, and not a shite movie; I stand corrected.

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cardigan status.

Ghostbusters is not a perfect movie, but it’s a very fun movie. Totally enjoyable. I went in ambivalent at best and came out of the theater completely charmed. Paul Feig is still not my favourite, but the humour in this movie was mostly spot on. The trailer was worrisome with that grating SNL-style “THAT’S THE JOKE” nonsense, but the movie had very little of it in reality! Praise be.

With the exception of Kate McKinnon being dialled up to 11 in every damn scene, this reboot channels an updated version of the witty quick humour of the 1984 original. And when McKinnon was being a character as opposed to a caricature, I thought she was great.

There’s been a deluge of very polarising reviews for this movie, but at its core I feel that it’s worth seeing at the very least.. plus, plenty of neckbeard tears going around giving the positive reviews lifeblood. There has been a near-absurd level of praise, coupled with burning it to the ground. Y’all gotta calm down.

At the center of everything, it’s a decent comedy with fun science fiction and fantasy elements. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig play off one another incredibly well, and Leslie Jones is an excellent addition to the cast. As an ensemble piece, it all flows really well. I believed them as characters, and I believed them as a team.

This still isn’t a movie that I needed per se, but there are plenty of women who will get something really positive out of seeing lady scientists science-ing the shit out of the supernatural while being covered in goo, and that’s really great. The world is changing in terms of representation, and Ghostbusters is another example of the ever-morphing zeitgeist. Not bad!

The term “bustin’ makes me feel good” is still wildly upsetting, though. N O P E.

In other news, I am off to San Diego Comic Con – it’s time to leaf through 1970s comics and porno mags, spot celebrities, and witness panic-stricken dudes hauling gigantic bags of toys out of the convention center. Til next time!

The Movies of 2015: Tremendously Belated Edition

Getting married at the end of 2015 significantly hosed my schedule for a year of movies recap, so here’s my long overdue post that’s been sitting in some form as a draft for the last 3 months. Pardon the mess.

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Look at all these dresses & tickets!

Spoliers ahoy, so quit yer whining. 2015 had some real gems, and some true trash. Enjoy!

FAUX AWARDS;

Delightful Holiday Romp: The Night Before.
Shockingly Violent and Fun: Kingsman: The Secret Service.
The Most Fucking Infuriating Movie of 2015: While We’re Young.
Most Fun Erotic Dancing: Magic Mike XXL.
Fun Superhero movie that wasn’t Stupid Gritty: Ant-Man.
Best Thriller featuring Jason Bateman as the DouchepocalypseThe Gift.
Best Use of a Soiled Adult Human Diaper: The Visit.

THE GOOD;

  • Spotlight. So happy this won Best Picture at the Oscars this year, holy hell. A really incredible story about a team of journalists unraveling systemic child abuse within the Catholic Church, set in Boston. Absolutely gripping, heartbreaking, and a must-see. Mark Ruffalo remains flawfree, and Michael Keaton has atoned for Birdman.
  • The Night Before. Didn’t have any expectations going into this, and it was wonderful. Fun comedy, good backstory, outrageous shit happens, there’s drugs, and it’s Christmas. I love Christmas.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This movie is pretty polarising, but I really enjoyed it. Adam Driver is a fucking revelation.. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac too. These characters are instant classics, and I am really excited to see what happens. The music, the vibe, all of it.. spot on. No Lucas CGI or garbage in sight. Is Snoke really just a tiny bug? Will Hux bust a forehead vein while screaming about how boss the First Order is? Has Luke just been JO’ing for the last 30 years on that Ireland planet???
  • The Martian. Probably my favourite movie of 2015. I saw this flick twice in one day because I’m a fucking maniac. Loved the book, loved the movie more. The soundtrack, Matt Damon carrying the whole damn thing, the science fiction end of it all.. just fantastic.
  • The End of the Tour. Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel star in a rare dramatic film for them both, centering on Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky interviewing David Foster Wallace post-Infinite Jest during his book tour. I can’t say enough positive things about this movie.. powerful performances, genuine character moments, and the dialogue in this flick is top notch which is no easy feat. Seriously worth seeing. I was lucky enough to see this at the San Francisco Film Festival!
  • Creed. Man, this movie is just wonderful. Michael B Jordan was seriously snubbed for his performance as Adonis. And Christ, is there anything sadder than seeing Rocky fucking Balboa being diagnosed with cancer?
  • The Big Short. Who knew Adam McKay could churn out something like this? Seriously one of my favourites. The book of the same name is incredibly dense and hard to get into, but the movie is just right. Bonus: Ryan Gosling’s spraytan explosion.
  • The Hateful Eight. Technically I saw this on New Year’s Day, but whatevs. Well worth the 70mm Roadshow half a day of viewing, this flick is just about everything you could ever want from a Tarantino western.
  • The Connection. Jean Dujardin stars in this French film based on the 1970s French Connection, as the police magistrate taking down a massive drug ring. Utterly and completely captivating.
  • Joy. I didn’t love this as much as I thought I would, but it’s definitely a solid movie. I’m a David O Russell fan, and Jennifer Lawrence knocked it out of the park. There’s absolutely charming writing/character moments and the soundtrack was spot on, but the pacing overall is a little off. The third act could have been fleshed out more for sure, but well worth a watch either way.

THE BLAND;

  • Bridge of Spies. This movie is neither great nor bad, it just is. I enjoyed it a lot, but it’s very much one of those Spielberg(TM) movies. This is not to say that the man isn’t magical, it was just a very by the numbers flick to me. Tom Hanks remains flawfree, however.
  • The Gambler. Saw it, forgot about it almost immediately. Loved Mark Wahlberg’s haircut.
  • Taken 3. Oy vey. It’s enough already.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road. Unpopular opinion, I know, but this movie did nothing for me. It felt like being blown out of a cannon at a million miles per hour, but that’s about it.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Besides the incredible costuming and period setting, this movie was a whole lot of nothing. Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer are two gigantic brawny dudes who can barely fit into human man clothing, some shit blows up, and there’s a girl involved. Oh, and spy shit. I think.
  • Steve Jobs. Eh.

THE CONFUSINGLY HORRENDOUS;

  • Tomorrowland. Jesus, this is still disappointing to me. I followed the development of this flick for actual years. YEARS, Lindelof. Brad Bird, apparently some kind of nerd god, was supposed to make this into THE MOVIE. That one we’ve all been waiting for! And he’s got the writers from LOST too! Instead, it was just a steaming pile. I’ve got some more ranting about this movie for another post to come soon..
  • While We’re Young. Oh god, no. OK. This movie was presented as a hip 40something married couple living an interesting/eclectic life in NYC, and they meet younger friends. Suddenly friends their age had a baby and they wonder “wait, do we need to do that too??” (actual answer: NO). The main characters have a shaky marriage at best. Their friends yammer on about how fulfilling it all is or whatever as a baby shrieks, so they begin to question themselves and go on one of those intolerable hipster finding themselves journeys for rich people and befriend some 20somethings (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) who are totally delightful but Quirky(TM). And they’re totally cool being an awesome couple without kids, TIL THE END WHEN THEY ADOPT A BABY BECAUSE IT’S GOING TO FIX THEIR MARRIAGE AND HOW CAN WE ENJOY LIFE WITHOUT CHILDREN. NO. NOOOOOOOO. Burn it to the ground. Nope.
  • Jurassic World. U G H this pile. Where do I even begin? The main characters are garbage, the made up new dinosaur is a mess, the regurgitated bits and pieces of the original amazing Jurassic Park were just annoying, and the excessively violent death that happens to Fake Jessica Chastain’s assistant for no reason was just too damn much. The kid from Iron Man 3 is charming enough, though. It seems that re-booting a franchise in the present day means taking absolutely nothing about what made the original movies worth watching/movie magic in the first place and just jamming surface level things like the musical cues and logos on stuff. It’s a poorly written mess where you don’t give a damn about any of the characters in the least. BOOOOO.
  • Spectre. Good god, what in the fresh hell happened here? This movie has some powerful moments but is pretty unpleasant overall. The performances are good and the stunt work is incredible, and I know better than go into a James Bond flick expecting anything ~super deep~ but Spectre is an all around letdown. I really wanted this to be good, Skyfall set a high bar. Instead, they were like “let’s take all the cool bits of Thunderball/You Only Live Twice, add a terrible whiny Sam Smith song, criminally under-use Christoph Waltz, jam it all under the hydraulic press, and VOILA!” Mess. At least it wasn’t anywhere near as fucking boring as Quantum of Solace, so it’s got that going for it.

Anyhoo, that’s my schpiele. Thanks, 2015! I’m working on something about Midnight Special right now, so expect that in the next few days.

The Movies of 2014

Holy shit, remember when I had a blog? Me neither. Sorry for the radio silence – lots of Real Life(TM) nonsense went on on including moving, hustling, getting engaged, getting a full time job, Christmas in NJ, planning a goddamned wedding, the whole nine. I was reading on Facebook earlier about how disappointing the Oscar noms are and figured I could slap my thoughts about my faves of 2014 in here rather than blow up a Facebook status. Sound good? OK!

Those of you lucky souls who follow me on Instagram have probably noticed that between photos of booze and cats, I post a photo of every ticket stub for movies I see in the theatre. This is due to a couple of reasons – the constant deluge “of the now” realness that social media has enforced is slowly seeping into my brain, but it’s also utilitarian in a way; it allows me to keep track of the movies I see because I can’t remember anything that happened more than a week and a half ago. In short, I very much enjoyed in no particular order; Gone Girl, Top Five, Nightcrawler, The Gambler, Interstellar, The Judge, The Disappearance of Elanor Rigby Her/Him, The November Man, XMen Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I’ll elaborate a little more on some of these along with the flagrant disappointments of 2014 in a bit.

FAUX AWARDS;
Best Achievement in Throwing a Goddamned Horse: The Rock in Hercules.
Most Eraserhead Realness Served in terms of Uncomfortable/Cold Feeling Homes: The Double.
Most Lewd Fun had in a Theatre: Filth.
Best Fun Sci-Fi Flick with a Female Character who shockingly wasn’t Made of Fucking Cardboard: Edge of Tomorrow.
Most Realistic Horrifying Gritty Violence: Blue Ruin.
Best Non-Ironic Nicolas Cage Performance: Joe.

THE GOOD;

  • Nightcrawler. Probably my favourite flick of 2014. This movie is written absurdly well, with Gyllenhaal as this bizarre misanthrope antihero with no real character arc and it STILL works. He’s an absolute fucking lunatic with LA as the co-star, and I couldn’t stop thinking about this movie once I saw it. It’s just a solid movie, a type that I didn’t think was made anymore. Truly enjoyable and tight.
  • The Disappearance of Elanor Rigby. This movie was originally intended to be two separate back to back experiences, one strictly from His POV and the other from Her POV. Thanks to the fucking Weinstein Company, we got some mangled slapdash ‘Them’ cut first before the original Her/Him versions were released in theatres here.. needless to say, this movie should be enjoyed in its original form. There’s so much depth to these characters and their experiences that the edited/combined version just misses the mark. The performances are fantastic and the story is heartbreaking, but ultimately satisfying, gripping, and real. These movies have stayed with me for months. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain play really well off of one another, and I believe them existing as a couple.
  • Gone Girl. Jesus, this movie is fucking fantastic. I struggle to recall any movie that has ever improved upon the novel as source material; I enjoyed the hell out of Flynn’s book, and read it in about three days flat mostly on a flight back from Ireland in June. The casting of Ben Affleck opposite Rosamund Pike could not have been more perfect, and Fincher just makes this whole movie work. It’s sinister and upsetting, the dialogue and action are taut, and Reznor/Ross’ score is delightfully creepy. Plus.. it has an orange cat named Cheeto deftly playing the role of Nick and Amy’s cat. Aaaaand you see Affleck’s dick. Not bad!
  • Edge of Tomorrow. If you haven’t seen this movie, DO IT RIGHT NOW. It’s fantastic, it’s fun, it’s funny without being gimmicky, and the story is really great.
  • The November Man. Pierce Brosnan is always a delight, and I’m not just saying that because I grew up watching Remington Steele with my mom. It’s an action flick and is of course a little predictable, but still a totally fun experience that surprised me with how much I got into it. Brosnan’s still got it, and Cobra Commander from the fantastically awful GI Joe sequel plays opposite him so whatevs. Totally unexpected fun romp, complete with miscellaneously Eastern European villains.
  • Interstellar. Now, in case you haven’t noticed the inalienable truth, I’ll reiterate it here; the Nolans are not good writers. McConaughey does the heavy lifting and brings the relatable human touch to the Nolans’ otherwise typically sterile characters, and Hathaway manages to not be completely intolerable so there’s that. The robots steal the show, which says all you need to know about the Nolans. The movie is not flawfree, but the strange thing here is that I liked it more and more upon reading/thinking about it and a couple of additional viewings. This movie really grew on me. It’s also worth noting that the Hans Zimmer score is fucking MAGICAL.. I haven’t stopped listening to it.
  • Top Five. Chris Rock wrote and directed this movie, and it’s really, actually, funny with heart.
  • Joe. Every now and then, I am reminded that Nicolas Cage is an actor, and a great one at that. This movie is nuanced and stripped down, and he gives a hell of a performance. It was the first movie I wrote about on this blog, in fact!
  • Jersey Boys. Now, before you all think I have brain damage, this movie isn’t actually good; I know that. It’s camp and totally absurd, but it sure is fun. Sometimes I want a fun movie to take me out of reality for a couple of hours, and Jersey Boys is the movie for that. And I love the music! I feel the same way about the 2008’s Mamma Mia; it’s genuinely terrible, but still manages to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

 

THE BLAND;

  • God’s Pocket. I had some high hopes for this one, considering John Slattery directed it and Philip Seymour Hoffman headlined, but it was just another one of those forgettable “THIS IS MY NEIGHBOURHOOD AND YOU’LL NEVER BELONG BECAUSE YOU’RE DIFFERENT” steaming piles of nothing.
  • The Drop, another steaming pile of nothing, for a movie I hoped would be great. The late great James Gandolfini puts in a wonderful performance in this otherwise banal movie that I really cannot recall much about; it was just sort of.. there.
  • Birdman. Unpopular opinion, I know. Performances aside, this movie was a goddamned mess. I went into it with high expectations, had read so much positive critical acclaim, and it was just one of those blowhard Faux Arthaus shitpiles trying too hard to be edgy and artsy. Don’t even get me started on the fact that this movie’s “score” was nominated for a Golden Globe, a score that as far as I could tell had someone strap a drumstick and cymbal to a couple of dogs.
  • A Most Wanted Man. I couldn’t tell you a goddamned thing about this movie other than the fact that PSH had a German accent.
  • Snowpiercer. Eh. I enjoyed it while watching it, and then never thought about it again.

 

THE CONFUSINGLY AWFUL;

  • Inherent Vice. Holy shit what a letdown this was. Now, I am mostly hit or miss on Paul Thomas Anderson flicks because I think they’re lazily referred to as ‘character studies’ when they should really be categorised as ’roundabout messes’. I was genuinely hoping this would be another Boogie Nights (which is the only PTA movie I actually enjoy, come to think of it), but IV is inconsistent, rambling, and nonsensical. At least it wasn’t as horrendous as The Master, which gave me an actual migraine. The styling of everything in IV is great though, so at least there’s that. What an abject disappointment.
  • The Theory of Everything. This movie is not only awful, it is aggressively awful. It is infuriating. Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s take Stephen Hawking’s story, strip it of any and all actual character, feeling, and science,  throw it into the Romantical Story(TM) garbage disposal with a love interest who manages to look constipated for the entire two hours she’s on the screen, and you get this fucking movie. Not really an actual spoiler, but that ending: where he’s next to his estranged wife and looks at their children frolicking around a fountain at fucking Buckingham Palace and has his computer say LOOK AT WHAT WE MADE I wanted to hurl my rocks glass at the wall.
  • Locke. What in the goddamned world was this movie? It just didn’t work for me. Everyone was shitting themselves over how wonderful and visionary it was, and all I could think was, did these people all have lobotomies? Dafuq?
  • Hercules. Aside from The Rock throwing the aforementioned horse, this movie was a mess AND it was boring. There’s nothing worse than an action movie that’s incredibly dull. How in the fresh hell does that even happen? It’s the worst combination.
  • Noah. Speaking of boring, THIS fucking movie. Granted, I would never have seen it had Nick not wanted to, but HOLY FUCKING HELL IT WAS BORING. Mind-numbingly awful. And one of the characters was named Ham, so I kept thinking about ham. That’s really all you need to know.

 

SO, that’s about all I have to say about 2014 movies. And hey, Mad Men is back on April 5th, so look forward to more content on here in the near future. Rock n’roll.

Movies that Rule: Filth

filth-movie

 yes, please. image courtesy of Shockya

Man, what a fucking movie this was. As soon as I saw a trailer for it a few months back, I knew I needed to see it — and I did just that this afternoon at the Sunset Sundance cinemas. Irvine Welsh is perhaps best known for penning Trainspotting, so I figured Filth would be profanely bizarre and hysterical, and it did not disappoint. This movie is brimming with joyful depravity and ludicrous amounts of high-octane language and sex, with the glorious backdrop of Scotland and near-unintelligible accents.

By the way, these are the IMDB keywords for FilthMurder | Phone Sex | Corrupt Cop | Fellatio | Raised Middle Finger

Perfection.

I feel like I’ve had a James McAvoy mini marathon as of late, watching X-Men First Class on Blu-Ray and seeing X-Men Days of Future Past last week. Real talk: this guy rules. I first saw McAvoy on Channel 4’s Shameless on one visit to the UK in 2005 or so, and I was hooked. Then Wanted hit theatres in 2008, and though that movie isn’t anything stellar, it’s super fucking entertaining and over the top ridiculous. 2009’s The Last Station was playing at like.. 2 theatres in the US, and I happened to see it at the Angelika Film Center in Manhattan on a bitterly cold day. Last year, Trance came to cinemas and I was pretty much blown away. If you haven’t seen it yet, do it right the hell now; it’s a fun flick with a great premise. McAvoy is sublime and Filth is no exception; he puts on a hypnotic performance, really making you feel for his demented-ass character.

In the trailer, Filth comes off as a debaucherous adventure of obscene proportions. While that’s definitely true, the movie takes some truly dark turns and it actually manages to have a heart, which is refreshing. Some scenes are legitimately off-putting in the best way possible. McAvoy plays corrupt drug-fuelled detective Bruce Robertson, who will stop at nothing to get a promotion that he wants. He bangs around and plays mindgames, does a batshit amount of drugs, drinks like a bum, and is generally a complete fucking maniac mess. He’s into autoerotic asphyxiation with his colleague’s wife. He outs his colleague’s babydick status with a cock-photocopying “game” at the Police Christmas party. He consistently tries to out one of his colleagues as a possible homosexual in the rudest ways possible. His prank calls to his best friend’s wife Bunty are nothing short of monumental; they’re closely tied with Kathleen Turner’s Serial Mom prank calls in terms of absurdity and top-notch salaciousness. And obvi, he bangs her in her tacky jungle-themed living room while framing his best friend/her husband as the pervy prank caller.

Robertson is slowly losing his goddamned mind and we’re all along for the ride. His wife (with daughter in tow) left him, most likely because he’s a legit crazy person, and he’s dealing with that trauma in the most fucked out ways imaginable. His taunting shrink appears to be a Kubrick/Gilliam/Lynch/Cronenberg orgy creation, portrayed by the always delightful Jim Broadbent. Robertson hallucinates horrifying farm animals along with his tragically dead little brother, and is heavily medicated as a result. He’s dealing with a lot of dark shit in probably the worst ways possible, but it’s wholeheartedly enrapturing to watch. He receives praise and kindness from a woman (and her son) because he valiantly tried to save her husband from dying when everyone else just stood around like dead-eyed cows; Robertson has no idea how to receive her positivity and gratitude and genuinely struggles with it.

Filth appears to be on super limited release in the US; though it was released in the UK and Ireland last October, it was just released here on May 30th. Even then, I was only able to find it in one theatre in the LA area which is sort of shocking because it’s fucking Los Angeles. But hey, it’s available on VOD. Go check it out! Seriously. Don’t argue with me, just go!