The Zone's 2014 Movie Journal

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Re: The Zone's 2014 Movie Journal

Postby Spandau Belly on Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:01 pm

2014: Final Fight!

This is probably my final annual reflection. I think we all know that since the dawn of cinema, every film, every discussion about movies, every criticism, every rejected movie idea, has been in service of refining this artform. Building it up, tearing it back down again, it's all been in the pursuit of perfection. We've been sharpening cinema into a lean sharp jaguar lazer so that one day, it could deliver the one film that would justify the entire artform. And now, finally, after over a century of men labouring and dying to get cinema to a point many of them would never live to see, we're here. ANT-MAN is upon us. We've done it! And so, places like The Zone no longer serve a purpose. There's no need for churches when we all live in heaven. We are the generation who will remember movies in the plural and the idea that different people had different tastes in these multiple movies. After ANT-MAN, there will only be ANT-MAN.


Best film of 2014: THE WIND RISES

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Another supposed farewell tour from Miyazaki yields what I think is his first work outside the fantasy genre and an absolutely brilliant and complex historical drama that looks at the consequences of progress.


The Golden Oleg for Action Cinema 2014: ALL YOU NEED IS KILL: EDGE OF TOMORROW: LIVE DIE REPEAT: THE ADAPTATION OF THE NOVELIZATION: TWO MONKEYS ONE BANANA

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This is the standard every summer action flick should aspire to. Sharp and funny dialogue, and with solid pacing it better win the Oscar for editing.

This film also wins the awards for Most Titles, Best Editing, and Best Supporting Badass: Emily Blunt in peak physical condition.


Best performance from a male actor in a lead role 2014: Tom Hardy in THE DROP

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A small-scale crime movie that really won't shatter anybody's earth. But Hardy's performance is so nuanced and measured it hits its mark perfectly. And I really hope Hardy plays Svejk next time they do a big screen adaption of 'The Good Solider Svejk'.

I also want to give honourable mentions to:
J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller doing solid co-lead work in WHIPLASH
Jake Gyllenhaal in NIGHTCRAWLER


Best performance from a female actress in a lead role: Mia Wasikowska in TRACKS

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A good true story movie, Wasikowska gets a character who is hard to understand and hard to like, but makes her quite watchable.


Best performance in a camero role 2014: Uma Thurman for NYMPHOMANIAC

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I generally felt conflicted about this movie. It had a number of (intentionally) hilarious scenes, but the overall film just wasn't cohesive. Despite spending Peter Jackson lengths hearing the protagonist's life story, she never really felt like a character as much as just a mouthpiece for Lars Von Trier's out-of-touch and vague cynicism.

That being said, a number of players do excellent work and the film probably has the best ensemble acting strength of any picture this year. I will single out Uma Thurman because her scene was just so fucking funny and she sold it perfectly. I'll give Shia The Beef credit too, he's pretty funny in this, especially when he's talking about being ordained by God to be temporary manager of a shitty little printing press.


Worst movie 2014: SABOTAGE

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I think during his recent return to acting, Schwarzenegger has picked roles that suit this stage in his life; and I've been glad to see him taking on original properties and the choice of filmmakers he's chosen to work with have been solid choices. David Ayer really drops the ball on this one. Ayer was well within his comfort zone of telling stories about corrupt cops, but the story here is just a complete mess and film has no idea whether it has a moral centre or not.


Best Old Film seen in 2014: PATHS OF GLORY

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This Stanley Kubrick guy is a good filmmaker, I think. I put off watching this one for a long time because I was under the false impression it would be another battlefield flick, and I usually find those pretty boring.

Honourable mention to THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE


Lifetime Achievement Award 2014: Alejandro Jodorowsky for LA DANZA DE LA REALIDAD and his crazy ramblings in JODOROWSKY'S DUNE

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This guy is just as fucking nuts as ever, and I'll give him props for returning to filmmaking to tell his crazy life story in a film that is as good as his old movies.

LA DANZA DE LA REALIDAD also wins Best Supporting Actor for Brontis Jodorowsky playing his own real life Stalin-loving grandfather in a series of very funny fight and sex scenes.


Anyway, that's it! Thank you, 2014! It's been a slice!
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Re: The Zone's 2014 Movie Journal

Postby Ribbons on Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:51 pm

Spandau Belly wrote:ANT-MAN is upon us. We've done it! And so, places like The Zone no longer serve a purpose. There's no need for churches when we all live in heaven. We are the generation who will remember movies in the plural and the idea that different people had different tastes in these multiple movies. After ANT-MAN, there will only be ANT-MAN.


Maybe this is the singularity that futurists have warned us about, where movies gain self-awareness and realize they're better off without us.

Spandau Belly wrote:Best film of 2014: THE WIND RISES

Another supposed farewell tour from Miyazaki yields what I think is his first work outside the fantasy genre and an absolutely brilliant and complex historical drama that looks at the consequences of progress.


Miyazaki also *wrote* a realistic coming-of-age story (with the occasional dream sequence) called Whisper of the Heart in 1995. The movie was directed by Yoshifumi Kondo, who he was grooming to be his replacement, but the man died of an aneurysm in '98.
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Re: The Zone's 2014 Movie Journal

Postby bastard_robo on Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:30 pm

2014 was a grand year for film in my opinion. We got closer to the perfection of the blockbuster, as many of them were quit stellar. Also, this felt like the year that films became a little more daring and free spirited in the stories they told. In all, a fantastic year.

With that... here are my Ten favorite films of the year:

10: Birdman

9: The Raid 2

8: The Lego Movie

7: Frank

6: Edge of Tomorrow

5: How to Train Your Dragon 2

4: Night Crawler

3: 300 Rise of an Empire

2: Captain America the Winter Solider

1: The Grand Budapest Hotel


A special mention for The Wind Rises, which got a limited release last year, and a full release this year though.

Once again Wes Anderson continues to knock it out of the park. Marvel made a sequel that was vastly superior to any of the films they've made so far. I don't give a fuck how many people call the 300 sequel dumb, I loved it, every moment of it. How to Train Your Dragon was possibly the most adult animated films I've seen yet. Edge of Tomorrow is what blockbuster film making should be. Michale Fassbender continues to prove how fucking amazing he is in Frank, The Lego Movie is this decades Pirates of the Caribbean, and Birdman is just plain wow.

A few honorable mentions should go to:

Godzilla; Liked it a lot, redeemed Godzilla in the US, but there were so many other great films that even my deep love Godzilla couldn't over turn the greatness this year
Robocop: Far better than I could of ever imagined it being
X-Men Days Future Past: Bryan Singer proved he could make a really bad ass action packed X-Men film with the mature hand that was X2
Noah: For being bat shit crazy
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: For making the new apes films just as powerful as the original apes films
Tusk: For Kevin Smith finding his smile again
22 Jump Street; For Schmidt fucking the Captains Daughter
Snowpiercer: For existing
Big Hero 6: For not being Frozen
John Wick: For proving to everyone what I've been saying about keanu Reeves for years; he's amazing







+Wind Rises+
Last edited by bastard_robo on Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Zone's 2014 Movie Journal

Postby Al Shut on Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:32 am

I barely managed to watch my goal of 104 previously unseen movies in 2014, as usual next to none actual 2014 releases.

I also used the opportunity to rerank a lot of the movies I have seen in my Journal, which of course means I'm now morre unsure about the ranking than ever, but who cares.


I no particularly order my favorites (all ranked 9/10) were

The Fountain
Margin Call
Cloud Atlas
A Field in England
Dressed to Kill
Gyakuten saiban
Ookami kodomo no Ame to Yuki

In that list special mentions go to Cloud Atlas for the juggling of different storylines (and I insist on using the word juggling instead of handling), Gyakuten saiban (Phönix Wright) for being the silliest movie of the year and also for best hair and Ookami kodomo (Wolf Children) for being a movie that shouldn't necessarily hold my attention on paper (single mom raises her children who have to find their place in the world) but is still awesome.

Special mentions outside that list

La piel que habito (The skin I live in): Most fucked up movie I've seen all year. I'm still surprised that Almodovar didn't put some incest in it to round the thing off.

Das Finstere Tal: Apart from some Tv crime movies the only actual 2014 release I saw. Rock solid Austrian western (despite being set in the Alps)

The Muppets: Because this

Note to myself: Fix this image shit!
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Re: The Zone's 2014 Movie Journal

Postby justcheckin on Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:39 pm

I got 46 new movies watched this year. I feel like the older I get, the less time I have for this. *curse you responsibilities* I was thinking I wouldn't do another year of journal but I do think it's interesting to see what I saw when. Otherwise, I wouldn't remember.

The Hobbit movies where by far my favorite. I really enjoyed some of the comedies I saw. I caught up on Hunger Games this year, they were better than I thought they would be. I'm excited for some of the things coming next year. 8-)
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