In case, you’ve not been noticing, I’ve been writing reviews for 2014 US releases as of late. It’s because to keep Motorbreath rolling, I’ve decided to latch on to the times and deliver timely reviews to stay relevant. You didn’t need me to tell you that to know how it is. But, in the spirit of Marvel’s recent PHASE THREE announcement (my judgments about that aside), I have my announcement of the next phase in Movie Motorbreath to announce.
As for the next few months, I will playing catch up with a (hopefully) constant feature called “Fixing a Hole – 2014” where I’m going to be going back to all the movies I’ve seen in 2014 (including the Cannes films – US releases or not) and reviewing them for the hopes of a rounded look at the year in cinema.
This should hopefully be starting soon (like this weekend), but in the middle of that, I am also working on the post-production process of my short film and a new Motorbreath video that is imperative I get it done by the end of this (surprisingly lackluster) Oscarbuzz season. So, there’s that. However, hopefully FIXING A HOLE should be completed by the beginning of 2015 when I need to get started on that Tyler Perry video series and the weekly David Lynch overview.
Since I haven’t had an article review in a while, I decided to grab a handful of the films I’ve seen and basically give a one or two sentence summary of my feelings for you all to expect when the review pops out (with an occasional pic I took during my various film watching exploits). Keep in mind that this is only a percentage of the films I will be attempting to review.
Cheap Thrills (2013/dir. E.L. Katz/USA) – I won’t be saying anything that hasn’t been said about this film before – it really really really wants to be Funny Games.
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (2013/dir. Chiemi Karasawa/USA) – A very well-made documentary, but I’m not seeing why I need to care.
Borgman (2013/dir. Alex van Warmerdam/Netherlands) – This is such a Dutch film. And man does it leave me hating people. I love it!
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013/dir. Jim Jarmusch/USA) – Alright… it’s pretty much textbook Jarmusch.
Snowpiercer (2013/dir. Bong Joon-ho/South Korea) – Crazy is exactly what the doctor ordered for this freight train and it’s exactly what it needed.
Enemy (2013/dir. Denis Villeneuve/Canada) – Marriage sucks, eh?
Oculus (2013/wri. Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard/USA) – Brilliantly clockwork writing for a horror movie.
Whiplash (2014/dir. Damien Chazelle/USA) – In spite of my jazz drumming nitpicks, tight as its tightrope on fire.
The Raid 2 (2014/dir. Gareth Evans/Indonesia) – OHMAHGAWD, HOW DID THEY DO THAT?! AND HOW DID THEY DO THAT?! HOW IS THE HUMAN BODY CAPABLE OF THAT?! HOW?! (I’m going to be reviewing The Raid: Redemption alongside this).
RoboCop (2014/dir. Jose Padhilla/USA) – It thought it was cleverer than it actually was and it thought it was a movie that made itself deserve to exist.
The Lego Movie (2014/dir. Phil Lord & Chris Miller/USA) – Everything IS awesome. It’s kind of disturbing.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014/dir. Wes Anderson/Germany) – If there were any more character in the film, it’d be Wes Anderson himself.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014/dir. the Russo brothers/USA) – Oh man, this movie could have been so great, it was on the way to it, but why did it have to end on a note that dismisses the themes of the movie and why with a showboaty battle that was nothing different from what we saw in the universe? (I’m going to be reviewing the rest of the Marvel Studios films alongside this).
Veronica Mars (2014/dir. Rob Thomas/USA) – I’m just glad to see the gang back together. (I will attach an overview of the show with this).
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014/dir. Marc Webb/USA) – Or: The Amazing Race to Hold Onto the Balls of Your Superhero Franchise Because Everybody Sees You Clearly Can’t Give Him a Decent Movie Treatment Since Raimi Left.
Godzilla (2014/dir. Gareth Edwards/USA) – I loved it when the lizard showed up and hated it when Kick-Ass did.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014/dir. Bryan Singer/USA) – Or: The Reason Why Anybody Possibly Gives a Damn About These Characters Is Because Bryan Singer Knows How to Make Them Characters and Nobody Else (I will also be reviewing the rest of the X-Men films alongside this).
HERE BE THE CANNES CORNER
Mr. Turner (2014/dir. Mike Leigh/UK) – Thought it was impeccably constructed as we’d expect a Mike Leigh film alongside Timothy Spall’s brilliant performance, but I eventually lost track of where it was going with itself.
Winter Sleep (2014/dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan/Turkey) – Almost went to sleep, despite its bourgeois themes being very clear and defined.
Coming Home (2014/dir. Zhang Yimou/China) – I think Zhang has finally gotten himself grounded after being hit or mess with his wuxia dramas.
The Salvation (2014/dir. Kristian Levring/Denmark) – Oh, is it Death Wish in the West? Yeah, it’s Death Wish in the West. I’m at least going to like it.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (2014/dir. Ned Benson/USA) – I regretfully feel I would have gotten more out of the experience had I seen Him and Her first and then finally saw Them.
The Homesman (2014/dir. Tommy Lee Jones/USA) – Hell of a dedication to the source you got there, Tommy. Practically damning.
The Rover (2014/dir. David Michod/Australia) – Actually an amazing work by the great Michod until the end where it forgot what the hell movie it was.
Foxcatcher (2014/dir. Bennett Miller/USA) – Look, guys, can we please start taking Channing Tatum seriously as an actor? Because he’s really really good at it.
Maps to the Stars (2014/dir. David Cronenberg/Canada) – One of the most half-baked films I’ve ever seen given the festival circuit.
Lost River (2014/dir. Ryan Gosling/USA) – “Hey, Nicholas, how do I do this?” “Oh, well, Ryan, you oversaturate in lighting and make yourself really plotless.” “OK. Hey, Nicholas, how would David Lynch do this?” “Well, Ryan. Well.”
Two Days, One Night (2014/dir. the Dardenne brothers/Belgium) – The Dardennes prove once again that they are possibly the most personable humanist filmmakers on the scene today.
Still the Water (2014/dir. Naomi Kawase/Japan) – Very meditative action towards a plot that almost made me think it was going to go to Twin Peaks territory and instead it went its own beautiful way.
HERE ENDS THE CANNES CORNER
Edge of Tomorrow (2014/dir. Doug Liman/USA) – WHY THE FUCK DID NOBODY SEE THIS MOVIE?! IS IT BECAUSE OF TOM CRUISE?! FUCK YOU GUYS!
22 Jump Street (2014/dir. Phil Lord & Chris Miller/USA) – Pretty self-congratulatory of a movie, but it was still Phil Lord and Chris Miller, so it was still fantastic. (I will be reviewing 21 Jump Street alongside this).
The Expendables 3 (2014/dir. Patrick Hughes/USA) – Much as the Sex and the City films are basically “lolwe’reoldandhorny”, it seem The Expendables are the male equivalent “lolwe’reoldandripped”. (I will be reviewing the rest of the Expendables series alongside it).
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014/dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu/USA) – LONG TAKE LUBEZKI IS MASTER RACE LUBEZKI.
The Boxtrolls (2014/dir. Graham Annable & Anthony Stacchi/USA) – I was admittedly late on the Laika train, but after their three films – even with Boxtrolls as the weakest by a significant margin – I’m all aboard.
Nightcrawler (2014/dir. Dan Gilroy/USA) – Pleasant debut from this man and forseeable Oscar buzz for Gyllenhaal.
John Wick (2014/dir. David Leitch & Chad Stahelski/USA) – Oh sweet, we got an American version of The Raid movies!
Interstellar (2014/dir. Christopher Nolan/USA) – Wow, is this some hamfisted emotion and lackluster writing from Nolan. But wow, did Nolan pick the right crew to sell it and some top visuals to distract it and Hans Zimmer’s on a role – first Man of Steel now this.
And hopefully these teasers should satisfy your lust for 2014 reviews for now while I make sure I’m walking the walk about movies and not just talking the talk. Thanks for your patience and thanks for sticking around.
P.S. One more thing – I am extremely disappointed with my review of Halloween and Night of the Living Dead. I was in a hurry to get the 31 Nights of Halloween segment done, but that’s absolutely no excuse. Sometime in the near future, I’ll be giving each film their own review to make up for it. Thanks, y’all.