Films 2015

Here's what I've seen so far this year!

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 (2014)

Wow, this movie was boring. I know we're gearing up for Part 2, but come the fuck on. NOTHING happened in this movie except for an emaciated Peeta. Part 2 better bring it because if it keeps going like this, I am not into it.

OBVIOUS CHILD (2014)

I'm so glad I finally got a chance to watch this movie. It's refreshing, funny, Jenny Slate is delightful beyond belief and it is so much more than 'that abortion movie.' It represented real relationships with real conflict and with real resolution. I highly recommend this flick.

THE IMITATION GAME (2014)

I'm definitely in the minority here but I really wasn't moved by this film. Yes the acting was good and the story compelling but I wished we had learned more about Alan Turing's machine and how it worked, exactly how their cryptography was done and Enigma itself. And more Keira Knightley cuz girl was fab in this. Other than that, I was left wanting. The best part was the ending, honestly, which isn't saying much.

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (2014)

This movie can do no wrong. Please, everyone. Do yourself a favour and go out and see this movie. It's inventive, it's absolutely laugh-out-loud funny, it's quirky and just altogether brilliant. Seriously, if you've ever wondered about the day-to-day goings on of vampires, and you most definitely have at some point or another, this movie will make all your dreams come true.

WHIPLASH (2014)

Fuck this movie was upsetting but in the best way possible. The chemistry between Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons was beyond electric and more intense than anything I could have imagined. I knew that this movie would be stressful but I didn't guess just how stressful it would be. I'd be happy with this as the winner but again, this is highly unlikely. In my mind, it hit all the marks of a quality dramatic film and I can definitely see it standing the test of time.  

BIRDMAN (2014)

I know that this film is the front-runner for Best Picture but I was honestly underwhelmed. I thought the acting was fantastic and the long takes were very impressive but all in all I found the movie self-indulgent and a bit pretentious. The magical realism aspect was decent but I really wasn't blown away.  

AMERICAN SNIPER (2014)

Fuck, this was upsetting in the worst possible way. From start to finish I felt like I was being slapped in the face with overly-zealous American patriotism and propaganda. I actually found this movie hard to watch and had to do other things during the viewing. There's not really much more to say about it other than don't watch it, and what the hell with the fake baby?

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (2014)

I liked this movie much more than I thought I would. It was sweet and heartfelt and not at all deserving a Best Picture nod but I liked it all the same. Eddie Redmayne was truly phenomenal in this and I won't be surprised if he takes home gold tonight. This movie was nice and easy and not too fraught with heightened emotion. All in all, good film, but not great. 

SELMA (2014)

This movie was really well done but very difficult to watch as well, but in a different way. Selma's plot is still just as relevant today as it was during the time of Martin Luther King Jr.  Daniel Oyelowo was completely robbed of a Best Actor nomination as his portray of MLK was poignant, powerful and piercing. This film moved me to tears and it's unfortunate it didn't get the recognition from the Academy it deserved. It does suffer a bit by being supposedly historically inaccurate (Lyndon Johnson was apparently a great supporter of Civil Rights) but if American Sniper can take liberties with the past, then Selma sure can. 

BOYHOOD (2014)

I had really been looking forward to Boyhood as I'm a huge Richard Linklater fan. Sadly... I was bored (sorry, sorry, I know!). I get that this was an incredible feat of cinema, and the lengths that the cast and crew went to to make this film possible is very impressive. That being said, as much as I like moments-in-a-life movies (like Linklater's far superior Before Sunrise trilogy or the Coen Brothers Inside Llewyn Davis ) this movie fell a bit flat for me. I found the acting and screenplay to be incredibly sub-par and I found myself detaching from the film completely. I did start to gain a bit more interest near the end and I appreciate the use of music and technology to indicate how much time has passed but I was expecting more, especially from a 3 hour movie. I found this film incredibly demanding and I kept checking the time to see how much more of the film I had left. Not a good sign. 

FRANK (2014)

This movie was super weird but I really enjoyed it. I decided to watch it because I was going to meet Jon Ronson the next day and wanted to brush up on his content. Based on Ronson's own experiences being in a band with a man in a giant mask, the movie recounts what it means to be an artist and how differently people approach it, whether for fame or for the simple joy of creation. The movie is moving and very funny and definitely worth a watch.

GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF (2015)

I thought this movie would be a whole lot scarier and more interesting than it ended up being. Honestly, it's better to just read Paul Haggis' open letter about Scientology. That's a whole let more frightening. 

FACE/OFF (1997)

This is probably the most bonkers movie I've ever seen and I FUCKING LOVED IT. It literally is about Nicolas Cage and John Travolta switching faces because SCIENCE and lots of explosions and a kid gets killed in the first 30 seconds and there's not only a plane chase but a boat chase too, and Joan Allen's butt. Seriously, everyone needs to see this movie just once. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wtf all over the place.

PITCH PERFECT 2 (2015)

I was really looking forward to this movie, considering how much I loved the first installment of Pitch Perfect. However, this one fell a little bit flat. The jokes weren't quite as punchy, the music was almost completely forgettable and the plot was basically ripped right out of the first one. Unlike 22 Jump Street, which poked fun at its similarities to its first film, Pitch Perfect 2 just went along with something rehashed. I still enjoyed the movie, but it didn't live up to its own standards.

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (2015)

I'm in the very small minority, but I really didn't like this movie. Obviously, for none of the MRA reasons for disliking the movie, but simply for the fact that it felt like a sequel to a movie that doesn't exist. There was no exposition (and for a lot of people, this is one of the main reasons they enjoyed the film), I didn't care about any of the characters, and it was just all one long action sequence. Also, this has nothing to do with the plot, but how are these supermodels traipsing about in the desert without getting ANY sand on them??? IMPOSSIBLE, I SAY! Sorry guys, this movie was just not my jam.

12 ANGRY MEN (1957)

I decided to watch this movie because of the Inside Amy Schumer episode that parodied it and I wanted to get the joke. This was a solid decision on my part. This film is incredible. The acting is phenomenal and it doesn't feel dated in the slightest. It's one of the best films I've seen in a long time and well deserving of its Criterion induction.

ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL (2015)

I have a full review of this movie here on Mind the Gap Zine.

INSIDE OUT (2015)

I have a full review of this movie here on Mind the Gap Zine and also on The Edge here!

LIFE PARTNERS (2014)

I have a full review of this movie here on Mind the Gap Zine.

 

 

 

MAGIC MIKE XXL (2015)

I have a full review of this movie here on Mind the Gap Zine.

 

 

 

AN HONEST LIAR (2014)