Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Best and Worst Films of the Summer - 2014.

That, as they say, is that. The summer movie season has finally come to a close, and awards season is right around the corner with the festival circuit in a couple weeks. However, before moving on to that time of year, I’ve decided to add a new feature where I’ll be talking about the best and worst films of the season.

For those who’ve been following my blog these last few months, I’ve made no secret for how poorly this season started out, starting with the disappointing releases of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Godzilla, but in spite of that, the movies released in the following months were progressively better. From How to Train Your Dragon 2 to Guardians of the Galaxy, the quality of the films improved by leaps and bounds, and in one unlikely instance, it has yielded one movie that has been near-unanimously considered to be a masterpiece. That being Boyhood from Richard Linklater. In comparison to last year, I consider it an improvement, and having yielded several superior movies. The worst film of this summer isn’t even as bad as the worst from last year, that being the utter failure The Lone Ranger.

So, now that that has been addressed, I’ll be doing my ranking of the fourteen films I saw this summer. Please keep in mind that I still haven’t gotten around to several big releases, namely X-Men, The Fault in Our Stars, and 22 Jump Street (frankly, I couldn’t care less about movies like Ninja Turtles or the latest Sin City), and I hope to get to those remaining films as they become available on home video. With that said, let’s begin...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Boyhood movie review.

Richard Linklater is perhaps best known for his Before trilogy of Sunrise, Sunset, and Midnight, but one other thing he’s often regarded for is that he’s an ambitious experimentalist. However, this is something that, more often than not, unravels his features. Linklater, at least to me, is a classic example of a man with stronger ideas than executions, almost like a question that’s far more interesting than the actual answer.

One year after his fantastic Before Midnight, Linklater’s back with another ambitious directorial effort, Boyhood. A project that was originally conceived in 2002, Linklater would annually reunite with his cast and crew to film snippets of footage for twelve years. It’s a stellar achievement on its own, but one that threatens to be a gimmick. While the idea is highly original, I never could shake my cynicism that critics were showering it with heaps of praise (even declaring it a masterpiece) because of the idea more than the execution. If the actual presentation isn’t good, that originality is for naught.

In the end, though, this was one time where Linklater deserved the benefit of the doubt, for Boyhood is the man’s best and most emotionally engaging film yet.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Brief thoughts on The Expendables 3.

The summer movie season, though it started out rough, has gotten better in the months following May. With the release of films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and especially How to Train Your Dragon 2, it has showcased some spectacular films.

However, if there’s any one film that seemed likely to disappoint, it was The Expendables 3, the latest chapter in Sylvester Stallone’s series of greatest hits action stars under one roof. With so much off putting press being spread of this movie, it’s no surprise that it’s turned out to be a dud.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Brief thoughts on Get On Up.

“GET UP OFFA THAT THING and DRIVE YOUR FUNKY SOUL to the theaters” is something I’d be happy to say about Get On Up… if only it were a better film than it actually is. Director Tate Taylor, following up his terrific film The Help from three years ago, is back in action with this biopic of the Godfather of funk and soul himself, James Brown. Being one of the most recognized and cherished artists of all time, you’d think this combination with Taylor would be ideal.

However, Get On Up is generally a more mixed bag, filled with interesting tidbits not executed to their fullest potential.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy movie review.

"I'm about to die next to the biggest idiots in the Galaxy” says Gamora, one of the characters in the
latest Marvel adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy. For several years now, Marvel has been doing a good job at introducing audiences to the less popular heroes of their library, and creating an ambitiously interconnected world in the meantime. However, in spite of their previous risks, I doubt anyone would have envisioned them bringing one of their more zany series like Guardians to the silver screen.

A somewhat obscure series in the Marvel archives, most audiences are generally unfamiliar with the characters, unlike the likes of Iron Man and Thor. You might have said the studio themselves would just as adequately be idiots for trying to make a film based on the material. But, try they did. Under the direction of the quirky James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy proves to be yet another gamble that paid off for Marvel. A funny, action packed, and thoroughly entertaining Sci-Fi romp with hardly a dull beat to be found.