I loved writing my end of year 2103 in movies post so much last year (and I hope you did too) that I thought I'd do another one. Note: These aren't in-depth movie reviews because I don't want to spoil them if you haven't seen them. So with our further ado, let's just get stuck straight in...
On the first day on 2014 I saw American Hustle. Brilliant film. Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence were a great (if dysfunctional) couple. Bradley Cooper also ace, along with the every exquisite Amy Adams. I loved the cameo by Louis CK too. Funny scenes with Bradley Cooper. Oh and the story is also decent.
12 Years A Slave
Hard subject, hard to watch at times. Fassbender was menacing as ever as the rich guy with the slaves. Lupita Nyong'o as Patsey was great. She took some beating. Hard to watch but you've got to really.
The Wolf of Wall Street
I've said it before and I'l say it again, I used to think that I hated Leonardo DiCaprio films (I still haven't seen Titanic - yuck), but then I realised that every movie i've seen him in I have LOVED. Yes, in capitals. And it's not because I particularly find him attractive, sure he's handsome but not my type. Sorry Leo! But he's just got it, hasn't he. A brilliant brilliant actor who is has not been recognised in the highest way with an Oscar, yet. Back to the film. A film that makes you think. A film about greed and decadence and making a quick buck and success and then failure. It's a bit long, sure, but not overly so. I've just bought it on DVD. See it if you haven't.
Orange Osage County
Hadn't heard much about this. Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep you know how this is going don't you. All in all quite a good (Sunday) movie. Meryl is over the top as ever but it kinda fits in with this storyline, which isn't a very happy one by the way.
That Awkward Moment
... when you type in the title and have to check IMDB to see what it was... back in a minute...
Ah yeas. Zac Efron and Imogen Poots. The first movie where I fell in love with her. She's great. Kooky and fun. It's a romcom with Zac Efron in it, it ain't gonna be deep. But for a Sunday it was nice. It's one of those you'll watch again on Netflix, when you've run out of everything else. Maybe that's a bit harsh, i'd definitely watch it again. I really enjoyed the sights of NYC since I was about o head there.
Dallas Buyers Club
BRILLIANT. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. Just magnificent. 1985. True story about a guy with aids who has to go to extreme lengths to get the medication he needs to try to prolong his life. Deserved Oscars for those two. Jared Leto plays a great part as Rayon. The movie is touching, they have a great relationship. It was sad too. Must see.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wowsers. It was beautiful. Ralph Fiennes was AMAZING as the main character. His lines were delivered with such precise comedic timing. The settings, the hotel, the way they walked like puppets, the script - all wonderful. The story was pretty nice as well. The cast is amazing - Edward Norton (not in enough moves IMO); Adrien Brody; Bill Murray; Tilda Swinton (brilliant character); Jude Law; Willem Defoe to name but a few. Definitely see this.
Need for Speed
Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots. Yep, her again. She's really great in this Fast and Furious look-a-lie movie. It's a car movie. A sunday movie. It was fine. Enjoyable. Dominic Cooper great in the role of the 'baddie' again.
I loved the first one. I really liked this one. Captain America wakes up in a modern world and I loved that he had to get see to the modern way of living. ScarJo is another favourite of mine. It's a comic book movie which I swore a few years ago that I hated. I'm not gonna say that again. Good movie.
I was curious but the trailer and the awesome song in it. It's adapted from a novel much like Hunger Games and you could say it's kinda like hunger games because well it is. But it's different. It's not trying to be something flashy and bolshy like HG. And it has a better male lead that the boy who plays Peta - I don't get him at all! This was a really great movie and left me wanting more. I thought Shailene Woodley was naturally beautiful and a great lead. There are 'factions' that she has to choose from and well, all is not what it seems. I watched this again on a flight form NY. I would highly recommend it.
Perhaps my biggest surprise movie of the year. A small release. Set in Ireland in a small village there's mystery and a giant priest figurehead Father James (Brenda Gleeson - brilliant). There's also a brilliant performance from Chris O'Dowd who by this time I'd seen on Broadway IN REAL LIFE and he was AMAZING. Yes, cap were required there. And there's Aiden Gillen whom I've always had a soft spot for. Father James is threatened in a Sunday confessional by one of his parishioners and he has to find out who?... I totally recommend this film.
The Amazing Spiderman
Now, when you have amazing in your movie title, you'd better live up to it. This didn't. It was still good, I mean anything with cutesy Emma Stone in it is sure to be, isn't it?! I was more in awe of the NY and Times Square scenes so that I could recognise places i'd just visited. A good comic book movie nonetheless.
The Other Woman
It's Cameron Diaz in a romcom, what's not to love. It's actually pretty good. I loved her Soho apartment, her shoe closet and the appearances by big butt herself, Nikki Minaj were funny. The guy from Game of Thrones was good as a fanciable male lead because he is indeed fanciable. Yes, that is a word. This was that good I watched it again on the flight to New York in September. It's just one of those films women will watch, men might not.
Really funny. Zac Efron again but this time with Seth Rogan and the wonderful Rose Byrne. She's great. It's not highbrow but you know what you're getting. I think you get more. Worth a watch for a laugh.
An Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie. Sofia Vergera's new beau is also in this tale of drugs and police and dirty cops and her from The Killing being all butch and quite frankly a right bitch. It was okay for a Sunday and is now on Netflix if you wanna give it a go. Sam Worthington worthy of a mention too, only cause he's lovely. Not in this though.
The Two Faces of January
An unexpected decent watch for me. Kirsten Dunst and Vigo Mortenssen play a con artist and his wife who happen upon a young handsome stranger (Oscar Isaac - who is going to be HUGE in 2015!). A tale of intrigue I really liked this.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
It's the X-Men what's not to love. (Forget what i said about unrealistic films in the paragraph above). In this film you've got everyone; McAvoy, Stewart, Fassbender, McKellen and the rest. They go back in time to prevent a catastrophic event. Does it work?! you'll have to see it. I actually can't remember what happens in this film. I think i liked it but honestly can't say.
22 Jump Street
The follow up to 21 Jump Street. Still funny but perhaps bit as much. Really liked it though. I love that Channing Tatum can take the piss out of himself in these films.
The Fault in Our Stars
Men and anyone older than me probably won't like this film but I did. It's a teen romance weepy film but it was played very well but he two main leads. Perfect for a sunday afternoon or any time you want to remind yourself that life is short, grab it with both hands.
I LOVED THIS MOVIE. Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley and surprisingly good turns by James Corden and Adam Levine. A film about how music can bring people together or tear them apart. Ruffalo is a failed music producer guy and Keira Knightley is the girlfriend of Adam Levine who hits the big time with his career and so they move to Manhattan. Except he has to travel the world and she gets left behind. The backdrop of Soho and lower manhattan was amazing and there was a particular scene where they share a pair of earphones - lovely.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Now. This for me was tricky. I quite liked this movie. I did not love it. I appreciated how realistic the apes were and all of that jazz but I couldn't rave about it the way that some people did. You see i'm generally not into unrealistic films and as I type that i realise that most films are unrealistic. It's probably that same thing i mean when i sued to say i didn't like comic book movie films. Not my top film of the year by any distance. You should probably see it and make up your own mind.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Really really brilliant. Chris Pratt is awesome. I had been waiting on this film since i saw the trailer and that music blasted out at me. The soundtrack is great too. Pratt has gone all grown up into a hot action comic book hero LEAD. A few pounds lighter than his Andy Dwyer of Pawnee in Parks and Recreaton but still as great. A quick witted racoon (bradley Cooper) and a tree that only says one line the entire film (Vin Diesel) are a couple of his sidekicks along with a green Zoe Saldana. I'm not sure about her... This is a contender for my movie of the year but i'm quite indecisive so we'll see. But you should see this. Go!
Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson is the bleak and confusing movie set in the Australian outback. I hadn't a clue what was going on. It was weird. And intense. I wouldn't have been happy had I actually paid £9 a ticket for this!
Hector and The Search for Happiness
Simon Pegg as Hector, searching for happiness. That's what we're all searching for isn't it? It was a nice movie. It made me want to pack up a bag and just go, like Hector. I might just do that. A Sunday movie. Okay.
I wasn't sure what this was about but I went to see it anyway. It's Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley from Downton) in one of his first roles since he left behind that stuck up Lady Mary. Except here he's all menacing and buff and mysterious. He lands upon a family saying he's friends with their dead son. They take him in... You can probably guess the rest...
Wish I Was Here
Zach Braff's crowd funded movie. I quite liked this one. It was sweet. Kate Hudson is always a winner in my eyes. I loved her played down mum version here.
Fantastic. Ben Affleck is brilliant as is Rosamund Pike. A good couple pairing. The film is adapted from the book and I always avoid reading the books but it kinda made me want to read the book afterwards. I really loved this film. It was a bit mental in parts but overall the story gripped me and I wasn't sure where it was going to go. I'd recommend this if you haven't seen it.
The Best of Me
Aw a lovely Sunday afternoon romantic drama. A pair of high school sweethearts meet again afar years. Nothing taxing, nothing mind blowing, James Marsden (bonus). Okay.
I looked forward to this so much. Ugh. I was disappointed. I can't quite understand why but it was just... This was the next instalment of the onscreen partnership of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. I mean, i love them both as actors but for me this didn't work. Have we seen too much of them together on screen I thought as I sat there looking at the time on my phone. For me, thats my sign a movie isn't holding me, the time check. It wasn't as good as I expected really.
Amazing. I loved this film. Jake Gyllenhaal is a weirdo. He's a misfit trying to find his place in the world. I felt his pain. However, he was savvy enough to pick up on something to do as a career, albeit slightly weird career as a 'nightcrawler' filming the immediate aftermath of RTA's, shootings and robberies so that he could sell the footage to a news corporation and make money. He played the oddball character well (famously losing hundreds of weight for the role). He was believable. He was ruthless to meet his end goals. All in all I really loved this film.
Sam Rockwell. It had me from the trailer. Kiera Knightley unleashed from her period drama costumes. I like this Kiera better. She should do more of this. She's really very good at it. She's another oddball who doesn't quite fit in and is still trying to figure out where her life is going. She meets a group of teenagers outside a supermarket and ends up hiding out with one of them on the floor of her room. Then she meets her new friend's father - Sam Rockwell, and, well you can probably guess the rest. I liked this film a lot.
Tom Hardy is a barman in Brooklyn but you can just tell he has a shady past. Noomi Rapace is a mysterious girl he meets when he finds a stray dog crying in her bin. Stick with it. James Gandolfini's final role and i don't think he looked well in it. I mean he must've been okay but he didn't look it. Anyway the story is decent and there's a good twist. Also popping up here is Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone). He's a baddie... or is he?! See it.
The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 1
Now. I really liked the first two movies. I was so looking forward to this one. I was disappointed and, again, I kept checking the time. Here's what I didn't like - Katniss was crying all of the time, over the creepy boy Peta. I actually don't like that character. I kept thinking 'why is she crying again?'. 'Would Katniss Everdeen really be crying this much?'. 'She's tougher than this'. That's what I kept saying to myself. Also, I really missed the glitz and glamour of the actual Games taking place like they did in the first two movies. I mean I know the story has moved on but still, I missed it. But I have to say Elizabeth ants as Effie Trinket is brilliant once again. Such a good character. Gale Hawthorne also good. It won't stop me seeing the next movie but i was overall disappointed in this one.
Horrible Bosses 2
I liked this first one. This was a decent follow up, although Jennifer Aniston is hardly in it. it's funny and was good for a Sunday afternoon.
Dumb and Dumber To
Yes there were laughs, yes it was good to see Harry and Lloyd again but it wasn't a patch on the first one. I think because we sort of know what's coming, we know the jokes, we know some of the characters already. See it if you liked the first one.
So after all of that I think my top few movies this year were (in no particular order): Nightcrawler, Guardians of the Galaxy, Dallas Buyers Club, Gone Girl, Begin Again, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Well, that's all folks!
Until next year.