I watch a lot of movies, which you probably guessed if you’re reading this. For some reason I keep chronicling them as if it matters how many movies I see in a given year, and for some reason I keep sharing them. In that spirit, here is the list of films I saw in 2014, in chronological order. Make of this what you will.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Monday, December 29, 2014
I’ll watch Salma Hayek in just about anything (I do, however, draw the line at the Grown Ups movies), but if you throw her into a Die Hard style actioner and hand her a big ass gun, like in this trailer for Everly, I’m 100% in.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
If you’re a fan of the humor in movies like This is the End and Pineapple Express, you’ll enjoy the Seth Rogen and James Franco-starring The Interview. If not, you probably won’t find much to your liking. It’s a film full of that broad, crass, bro-style humor that these guys are most known for, and it’s fun, with a ballsy hook, but it’s nothing earth shattering, and is only going to be remembered as the movie that pissed off a petulant little dictator and got Sony hacked all to hell.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Of the various continuing Doctor Who titles that Titan Comics has going right now, The Twelfth Doctor is something of an anomaly. The others, the Tenth, Eleventh, and, soon, the Ninth Doctors, are all gone and the comics serve as a way for fans to continue to go on adventures with their favorite Time Lords. But Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is still going strong, and will be for some time now that we know both Capaldi and Jenna Louise Coleman will be back for season 9 of the long running sci-fi series. There’s no nostalgia to trade on here, and I won’t say it’s unnecessary, but as we look at issue #3, “The Swords of Kali,” it has a distinctly different feel than the others.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Every year I tell myself I’m not going to make an end-of-year top ten list. I hate ranking films, but every year I cave and wind up throwing together a collection that I’m wholly unsatisfied with, and 2014 is proving to be no exception. Despite the fact that it was a terrible year in terms of overall box office receipts, that doesn’t mean there weren’t tons of great movies to be seen. I’m a firm believer that, no matter how fucked up the movie industry gets, there will always be people out there making interesting, worthwhile, badass cinema, you only have to look for it. Just check out all the amazing work on television right now, and all the big name filmmakers who are migrating that way in search of creative freedom. There will always be compelling stories being told.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Only Angelina Jolie’s second directorial effort, Unbroken is a very beautiful film to look at. Granted, she did herself a solid by retaining the services of celebrated director of photography, Roger Deakins, one of the premiere cinematographers working today. Unfortunately, the rest of the film falls flat, with an uneven pace, odd structure (at least at first), and too steadfast a dedication to telling every single step of Louis Zamperini’s (Jack O’Connell) amazing survival story that it’s ultimately unable to set itself apart from any standard, triumph-of-the-human-spirit type tale.
This is the best news we’ve heard all day. You knew that this was too good to just be a short. A little while back we told you about a crew trying to crowdsource enough cash to make a short film, Portal toHell, about a plumber, played by legendary wrestler and They Live star “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who battles H.P. Lovecrafts’ most horrific creation, Cthulhu. As awesome as that sounds, it’s still only a short. Or at least it was. The Canadian film just got a massive upgrade as Raven Banner Entertainment stepped in and said, “No, guys, this is too brilliant a concept not to be a feature,” and Portal to Hell is going to be a full length motion picture.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
If you read the latest installment of Titan Comics’ Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor, issue #6, and get seriously annoyed with the narrative storytelling gimmick it employs, you are not the only one. See, the story is told backwards, beginning with the end and moving through time in reverse. It gets really, really irritating.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Though I’ve watched a fair amount of documentaries this year, which I usually do, as I put together my best-of-the-year list, there’s a noticeable absence of the genre. For various reasons, I’ve missed biggies like Citizenfour, The Case Against 8, and The Overnighters, and though I really enjoyed movies like To Be Takei and The Internet’s Own Boy, I haven’t been floored by what I’ve seen yet. But for all the documentaries out there, I don’t know that there’s one I want to see more than Tales of the Grim Sleeper, and this this new trailer only solidifies that fact.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Of the three Doctor Who titles Titan Comics currently has going, The Tenth Doctor continues to show that it is far and away the best of the bunch. Issue #5, the conclusion of the two-part “Arts in Space” arc, further illustrates that this incarnation of the Time Lord, along with his travelling companion Gabby Gonzales, are easily the most relatable, connected duo running around the comic book pages, while also showing that writer Nick Abadzis isn’t afraid to take his time in letting a story or thread unfold and evolve.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
'The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies' Movie Review: An Epic, Mostly Satisfying End To A Troubled Journey
In the service of transparency, I’m not a fan of the first two films in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. We could go into greater depth, but that would take a good long while, and I’ve already detailed my issues elsewhere. I find them tedious and dull and almost completely lacking in all of the things that make me love J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel. That said, the latest and final chapter in the franchise, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, is not only the best of the series by a mile, it’s damn entertaining, and a mostly satisfying end to a troubled, overlong journey.
Are you in the mood to sit on your couch and watch a supernatural detective story starring Scott Bakula? If the answer to that question is yes, you’re in luck, as Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions just got a special edition Blu-ray release, including an extended director’s cut, courtesy of the fine folks at Scream Factory. If you’re familiar with their work, you know that means you get an awesome movie and a fantastic package of extra goodies.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Terrence Malick's 'Knight Of Cups' Trailer Throws Christian Bale Headfirst Into Excess And Temptation
Hot on the heels of the announcement that Terrence Malick’s next film, Knight of Cups, will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival next year, the movie dropped our first look in the form of this new trailer. From what we have here, this is both the Malick we’ve come to expect over his last few films, but also something totally fresh and different.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
With Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ridley Scott set out to create a throwback to the biblical swords-and-sandals epics of yesteryear. He even goes so far as to shoot day-for-night and to use white guys awkwardly painted to look like people from the Middle East. What he succeeds in delivering is a jumbled mess that starts fast and bogs down almost immediately for the entirely of its 149-minute run time. We’re talking about a shockingly dull mess, especially for a movie that bills itself as a massive action extravaganza. It’s a movie with grand ambition, minimal follow through, and little interest in the human component.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
This is the latest trailer for Mad Max: FuryRoad. Watch it. Watch it loud. Watch it repeatedly. It is absolutely insane, and just when I think I can’t be any more excited for George Miller’s return to the post-apocalyptic wastes, I look at this again and get stoked beyond belief. This is everything I’ve ever wanted out of any movie ever. Hell, this two-and-a-half-minute trailer just became my favorite movie of 2014.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, reportedly the first ever Iranian vampire western, watches like indie horror raised on a steady diet of Tarantino and Sergio Leone movies. A spare, fresh take on the blood sucker story, it’ll make a interesting double feature with Jim Jarmusch’s 2014 entry into the genre, Only Lovers LeftAlive. In fact, Girl comes across as a younger, twee companion to Lovers. The two are similar in mood, tone, and movement, but while the former is like a night at a dance club, the latter is more akin to a sparsely populated watering hole where you know the bartender by name.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Political allegory about race, class, and a host of other issues, I’m intrigued. Political allegory about race, class, and host of other issues, as enacted by dogs, what more can I ask for out of a movie? As a dog person (don’t get me wrong, I adore cats, but I’m first and foremost a dog lover), it’s like they made this White God trailer just for me.
You know who I will follow blindly in the event of any major disaster? That’s right, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. And that includes in the aftermath of a massive earthquake, just like in the first trailer for his upcoming San Andreas. This looks so, so dumb, but also super awesome.
Who would have thought I’d be excited about a remake of Kickboxer? But with a cast led by stunt badass Alan Moussi, featuring former UFC champ George St. Pierre, WWE star Dave Bautista, and original star Jean-Claude Van Damme as the wise mentor figure, you have my attention. Still, I’d rather you call it anything else and just let it be a Kickboxer remake, but now that Gina Carano has joined theparty, you can call it whatever the hell you want and I’m all in.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
2014 has been an awesome year for independent horror, and even though one of the most celebrated titles (Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook) left me totally flat, there is a lot to celebrate, and a lot to look forward to. One of the films I’m most anticipating is David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows, especially after watching this chilling new trailer.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Most of you probably haven’t seen Bill Gunn’s 1973 blaxploitation vampire flick Ganga & Hess, and that’s a damn shame. It’s a cool, unique meditation on race, class, identity, religion, and addiction, as well as being a strange, creepy horror joint. But don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar, because Spike Lee has seen it, and as if to prove that any film, no matter how obscure, can be remade, his Da Sweet Blood of Jesus does just that. It hits theaters and VOD early next year, and now you can check out this new trailer, which now has me solidly on board.
Right now we’re in that awkward place where we try to kill time between the end of Doctor Who season 8 and the annual Christmas special (how can you not be excited at the prospect of Nick Frost playing Santa Claus? That’s going to rule so hard). Lucky for you, we have the continuing adventures of the Doctor on the pages of the funny books to keep us occupied. This time, the Eleventh Doctor is back for the fifth issue of his title, and this bubbly installment bears the moniker “The Sound of my Voice.”
Thursday, December 4, 2014
The new, ridiculously named Terminator: Genisys has been a mixed bag. Some pieces sound rad, others make you roll your eyes. And this first trailer is that in a nutshell. There are elements that look totally great, and some that make you wish this didn’t happen. I’ll shut up for now and let you watch it for yourself. We can talk more about it down below.
Kickboxer is one of the greatest films ever made. If you disagree with that statement, we have very different worldviews. When I heard it was getting remade, with former WWE wrestler-turned-movie-star Dave Bautista as their big name, I had to groan; of course they’re going to fuck up one of my favorite movies. But then they started adding pieces I actually like. For instance, Tony Jaa, Scott Adkins, noted stunt badass Alain Moussi, and former UFC welterweight great Georges St. Pierre, were all on board. Okay, that’s interesting, and while two of those pieces are no longer a part of this particular puzzle, they’ve added a new one in the form of a little guy named Jean-Claude Van Damme. Now you have my attention. I still think this is a terrible idea, but I’m moderately intrigued now.