Obviously that lasted only a few months.
Then, when I started this blog, I instead did full-on reviews for some of the big blockbusters that I would see (read: NERD movies). As my blogging went from pretty prolific in its early days, to non-existent more recently and now, onto, "I'm giving it my best shot" it has become apparent that full-blown movie reviews (like this, or this, or this, or this) take WAY too much time to write.
[Side Note: Each and every blog post that I've written is very time-consuming. Never would have thought this to be the case and not an excuse for how much I cut down in the past but just the truth]
Anyway, so I figured I'd start a hybrid, where I capture all the movies that I see this year, whether new or a repeat, on whatever medium (theater, Blu, TV, etc.) and write a very brief blog about each.
At least that will be the thought...We shall see... Mild SPOILERS may be ahead...
(1) Guardians of the Galaxy
This was my Blu-Ray re-watch from when I saw it in the theaters the first time.
Don't know what to tell you. If you missed this -- only the highest grossing movie of 2014 [Note: Hunger Games 3 is likely to ultimately surpass it] -- you simply don't watch movies (or, alternatively, only watch snobby indie bullshit).
This is the movie that made Marvel Studios the King of the Motherfucking Mountain, if you will.
Take an absolutely unheard of Marvel comic properties (well, at least unheard of to all but a handful of diehard NERDS) that features a talking raccoon, a blue-skinned Bautista in the main cast and a talking tree that only says three words ("I. Am. Groot."), and it doesn't look like that's a recipe for success.
Yet, that's exactly what happened. A smart script tied just enough to the rest of the Marvel universe + tight, fun direction + a great soundtrack + an a-star-is-born performance from leading man Chris Pratt = Huge Box Office Success (not to mention a belief that Marvel can do no wrong, to be put to the test this Summer with Ant Man).
Oh, and a Yes and Please!
|Zoe Saldana, Yes and Please!|
Also a re-watch from seeing it in the theaters this summer. This was a surprise hit as it the first trailer led to near-universal derision coupled with "We need another Godzilla?" sentiment.
Probably a lot of it was due to bad feelings from the last time someone tried to make a Godzilla movie...
|Starring Matthew Broderick = WHAT THE FUCK?!?!|
THIS new Godzilla grossed $200MM domestically (good for 12th in 2014) // $528MM total worldwide. In other words, a HUGE American AND International hit.
But it's also a GREAT Godzilla/action movie.
The direction, F/X, score are all amazing. Plus, Godzilla is unequivocally the GOOD GUY, fighting two other giant monsters to put "nature back in balance." In the process, Manila, Honolulu, Vegas and San Francisco all get absolutely obliterated and it's all good stuff. The acting is "Meh" (even Bryan Cranston for the 15 minutes he's in the movie) but that's not why you're watching a Godzilla movie in the first place. Finally, unlike most Hollywood movies, this one is relentlessly pro-military, showing how members of the US armed forces are selfless and courageous to a fault, even against an "enemy" that simply cannot be defeated by military means...they keep following orders and going after it anyway.
(3) Inside Man
Have seen this a bunch of times. Late one night, saw it starting on one of the movie channels and ended up watching the whole thing.
Of all of Spike Lee's movies, I think (total guess) that this was his biggest commercial success and also my favorite. As a critical endeavor, it's merely a bank heist movie, but an exceedingly smart one at that, with prime-level acting talent.
It's got Denzel, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, and Chiwetel Ejiofor before he was anything. And, as Denzel says "This ain't no bank robbery!" -- it's much more than meets the eye than that! Plus it's got Nazis. Nazis getting their comeuppance is always a good time!
(4) The Grand Budapest Hotel
This is the talk of Hollywood with its surprise nine Oscar nominations (tied with Birdman for most).
Basically, if you like Wes Anderson movies, you'll like this. If you don't, it's best to skip this one. Almost all of his standard actors are in this, including Bill Fucking Murray. But most of all, it might be the most Wes Anderson of Wes Anderson movies possible (to date).
The plethora of Oscar noms might be a little surprising because he has not been all that successful with the Academy. Nevertheless, I'd say that this is probably his most "complete" movie, with the most complete plot and overall characterization.
It has all the tricks that the Academy likes, in this case a story-within-the-story-within-the-story structure, well-loved actors, a girl with a tattoo in the shape of Mexico on her right cheek and a heavy dose of inter-war Europe nostalgia (this period of time, if done well with set design, costuming, etc. always fares well with Academy members). It also has perhaps the most ludicrous prison escape scene ever on any TV show or movie.
It's supremely well-acted, as any Anderson movie is, especially Ralph Fiennes (though its rare that he's not great). Best picture quality? Eh, not for me. And I even put a few of his other works (Life Aquatic, Mr. Fox, even Moonrise Kingdom) ahead of this one.
FINALLY got around to seeing this on Blu. You all probably know the basic premise as one of the we're-bringing-back-the-R-rated-comedy genre movies that have come out lately.
Long story short: Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne are married (pardon my editorial laugh at that ludicrous coupling, HA-HA!) with a small baby yet still not ready to accept that the baby has changed everything about their former lives.
Fraternity, led by Zac Efron and Dave Franco, moves in next door. Rogan/Byrne try to be cool while still requesting that the Fraternity "keep it down" a bit. Parties/noise/pranks/fights/hilarity ensues. Great soundtrack. Epic parties. Rose Byrne is a Yes and Please! Hall of Famer. Efron's GF in the movie, played by someone called Halston Sage is a Yes and Please! newcomer.
First, the newcomer:
And now the Hall of Famer (and with her Australian accent, just that much HOTTER) ...