Archives

Music blog

Comic Blog Elite

Navigation Menu
a little bit of BK in VA

Posts Tagged "Movies"

BERKELEY PLACE’S FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2014 (AND MY LEAST FAVORITES!)

I already listed my favorite comic book movies, but I see a ton of movies.  So why not recommend my favorites to you, my readers?

Can’t think of a single reason why not.

So, let’s do this…

THE TOP TEN MOVIES OF 2014 ACCORDING TO ME AND ONLY ME

10.  The Homesman. 

A small film featuring Tommy Lee Jones and Hillary Swank.  It’s horrendously sad, but oh so well done.

9.  Snowpiercer.

A little-seen movie that takes place entirely on a bullet train in which the poor face off against the rich in basically a non-stop orgy of violence and martial arts.

8.  Nightcrawler. 

A movie for fans of acting, but be warned: The main character is about as slimey as a person can get, and creepy as hell.  The film slithers along, just like its namesake, dark, vile, and compelling.

6.  Joe. 

I was just walking along innocently and then bam!  Nic Cage proved once again that he can actually act when he wants to.

5.  Top Five. 

Yes, there was a lot wrong with this movie (Chris Rock still is not a great actor) but so much was right.  You have to get past the first thirty minutes so you can be immersed in it, and you’ll leave having seen a really sweet, hilarious love story.

4.  The Skeleton Twins.  This was the kind of movie you see with someone and talk about for hours afterwards.

3.  Birdman.  This could almost be a comic book movie, if it weren’t so steeped in theater references—a stunning blend of real-life and fantasy that summarizes everything that is wrong with the current climate of big budget action movies.

2.  Guardians of the Galaxy.  And this was a comic book movie that summarizes everything that is right and wonderful with the current box-office worship of superheroes.

1.  Boyhood.  This movie took 12 years to film and it was three hours long and I didn’t look at my watch once.  It was the most accurate film I’ve ever seen about what it means to grow up, and what it means to watch your own kids grow up. 

A FEW MOVIES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE

Lucy.  The story was ridiculous, but it kept me watching.

Edge of Tomorrow.  Proof that Tom Cruise can still make a good action flick, and this one was actually pretty damn smart, too.

AND ONE THAT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN WORSE

Godzilla.  I was so looking forward to this, but it was complete garbage.

AND THE MOST OVERRATED FILMS OF THE YEAR WERE…

Foxcatcher.  Yes, the acting was very good—and not just Steve Carrel, by the way, but also Channing Tatum(!), but as a film it didn’t make sense.  There was no insight, no explanation, and no real build up—in the end, the events seemed random.  I’m not saying it was bad, I’m just saying it wasn’t much of a “film.”

Grand Budapest Hotel.  Don’t get me wrong: I love Wes Anderson films.  Moonrise Kingdom is one of my favorite movies ever.  But this one felt like a hodge-podge of ideas left over from previous Anderson films.  It felt like someone making a movie in the style of Wes Anderson, rather than an original Wes story.  Again, I’m not saying it was bad–but it should have been much better.

Gone Girl.  Now this one I am saying was bad.  Silly and stupid, with a plot twist any five-year-old could have seen coming.  And can we stop with the movies that feature false accusations of rape?  At least until we as a society come to grips with the reality of rape?

Interstellar.  Oh, and can 2014 be the year we all stop pretending that Matthew McConaughey is a good actor?

More

RIDLEY SCOTT MAY DIRECT BLADE RUNNER 2! Or: AN EXCUSE TO LIST MY FAVORITE RIDLEY MOVIES!


In a recent interview, 
the man who used to be one of my top 5 directors praised the completed script for a sequel to Blade Runner and indicated he might actually be willing to return to direct it.  In the past, he’s said he was done with Blade Runner based on the bad experiences he had with it: The studio made him overdub narration from Harrison Ford, which dumbed the movie down, and critics generally hated it.

And then it became a cult classic—and one of my personal favorite movies.  It’s one of those I can watch again and again.

I say he “used to be” one of my favorites because his recent work (Prometheus, The Counselor, Robin Hood, and, based on previews, Exodus) has not lived up to the depth and power of his earlier films.  It’s not that these are bad movies—they aren’t—but they’re certainly not great ones, either.  But when you look at the body of work he’s produced, his influence and ability is undeniable.


In light of this great news, I thought a tribute to the knight called “Sir Ridley,” was in order…

BERKELEY PLACE’S TOP TEN RIDLEY SCOTT MOVIES!

10.  G.I. JANE (1997). 

Call it corny, call it over the top, call it a complete fictionalization of real events, but the movie started people talking and it’s much better than you think it is.  Demi Moore got a Razzie for bad acting in it, but go look again: She’s pretty good in it.  One thing Scott can do is get good-to-great performances out of mediocre talents.

Plus: Demi Moore shower scene!

9.  MATCHSTICK MEN (2003). 

Nic Cage doing what he does best.

The rare example of a Ridley Scott comedy, I’d forgotten that this was one of his films.  It included a sighting of the Yeti of Hollywood (i.e., Nick Cage as a good actor), Sam Rockwell and Alison Lohman, and I think it was largely overlooked—but it’s a damn good movie.

8.  BLACK RAIN (1989). 

gladiator movie boxMichael Douglas chews scenery in Japan.  I’m pretty sure this was the first time Japan’s famous motorcycle gangs were depicted on film.  This wasn’t an “important” movie, it was just balls out fun.

7.  GLADIATOR (2000). 

I hate swords and sandals as a genre, but this one worked for me.  So much so that I saw it twice.

The second time was terrifying.  Not because of the movie, but because this very tall, very muscular, very scary looking dude kept wandering down the center aisle and talking loudly to himself and shadow boxing.

Movies at Union Station in DC.  Always interesting.

6.  ALIENS (1986)

Going from SF/noir to full-out action, this movie was groundbreaking and a shitload of fun.

5.  AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007). 

I know lots of people hated this movie, and the soundtrack, but I think it’s one of Denzel Washington’s most interesting performances, Russell Crowe’s best, and Jay-Z’s best post-retirement album.  So there.

4.  THELMA AND LOUISE (1991). 

Everyone thinks of postfeminism when they think of Thelma and Louise, but they forget the cheesecake!

Because Sir Ridley was into girl power before it was really cool.  See also: GI Jane.

3.  BLACK HAWK DOWN (2001). 

Before Katherine Bigelow started making contemporary war movies, this was the best depiction of modern warfare on film.

2.  ALIEN (1979). 

His second movie, his first big hit, and one of the first sci-fi noir movies.  It’s the rare example of a “first film” that is wholly and completely unlike its sequels, which were really action movies.  Kind of like how Pitch Black—a small movie with dark and shadows—spawned Riddick, a huge action film.  (The major difference is that Aliens was damn good and Riddick…Wasn’t.)

1.  BLADE RUNNER (1982). 

Harrison Ford’s best film (take that, Star Wars!), and one of only two good movies to star Rutger Hauer (the other is The Hitcher).

More

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9 other subscribers