12 Years A Slave
Lords of Salem
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
*It should be noted that, while not a great movie, The Bling Ring gave us this .gif and we should ALL be thankful for it.
I’ve never been particularly drawn to anything about Harmony Korine, but fell in love with Spring Breakers. Putting an entire generation of the self-entitled, it’s-never-enough on blast, this film delivered on looks and substance. SO many people that I’ve talked to completely missed the point of the movie and I’ve found a surprising number of women that found it misogynistic, but I choose to believe the Jeff Jarrett cameo is enough to keep everybody happy. I feel like Selena Gomez wanted to have her cake and eat it too while making this movie, but her effort was sincere. And, bah gawd, James Franco. Dude, James Franco in this movie! Look at his shit! Scarface! On repeat! Constant, y’all!
I’ve been riding the Brie Larson train since Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, so it’s good to see everyone else start to hop on. It’s difficult to tell someone you’ll love Short Term 12 as it doesn’t deal with the most positive of subject matters but the narrative and the moral of the film leaves the viewer with hope and optimism. The world can be a sick place at times, but there’s always hope for another day and there are people to help you see it. As great as Larson was, Lakeith Lee Stanfield stole the show. Quite the launching pad. Director Destin Cretton’s next project will star Jennifer Lawrence; guaranteeing that it will get the award buzz many felt this deserved.
It’s long, yes. Deal with it. Telling this tale of destiny couldn’t have been done in 90 minutes. Ryan Gosling was magnetic (I hate using that word). Eva Mendes was surprisingly good. Bradley Cooper gave the best performance of his career thus far (Fuck outta here with that Silver Linings Playbook nonsense). Also, that Ben Mendelsohn dude was awesome and Tom Hardy didn’t even break his neck! This was an incredibly polarizing movie, but I found it gripping and engaging.
Sex disguised as love and love disguised as sex. I think that’s a conundrum most people face during their lifetime. Blue Is The Warmest Color is a story of that, but also of self-discovery. It’s one of the greater romance movies I’ve seen, like, ever. The film features an absolutely legendary performance from Adèle Exarchopoulos (The “Academy” unjustly, egregiously left her from the Best Actress category but, seriously, I’ve complained about that enough elsewhere). It’s long, it’s taxing, some may find it hard to watch; but that’s what makes it work and that’s what makes it great.
It’s a movie about a writer… Of course I loved it. If he had been an alcoholic wrestling fan, it may have been better than Forrest Gump. Spike Jonze (Oscar winner, FUCK YEAH) takes us into the life of Theodore Twombly, living out a not-so far off scenario in the not-so distance future. While the film should have us thinking about and questioning how disconnected and isolated we are becoming as a society through our use of technology, it really just left us agreeing on the enigmatic brilliance that is Joaquin Pheonix. Jonze could have just called this movie “Women Actors: A Story of Dominance.” Amy Adams was on; I thought this was her top work of the year that was unfortunately overshadowed by that American Hustle crap. Rooney Mara (bitch) was engaging despite her transient bitch nature. Shit, even Olivia Wilde was demure and charming. Scarlett Johansson brought the heat (amongst other things) as the voice of Samantha, turning the OS into one of the more memorable female movie characters of the 21st century. More than anything, Her had Joaquin Phoenix doing the dance number from Beat It. My unwavering man-crush on Phoenix aside, Her was one of the most original and fresh films of the year.
Dolph Ziggler wasn’t the only one who had to face the harsh realities of show business this past year. Llewyn Davis was faced with the question of compromise in the light of promise on his quest for super-stardom, and was left with the more sobering “What now?” when he answered no. The Cohens crafted Davis’ heartbreaking, at times angering, story through their masterful hands and, with it, created a movie that immediately shot to the top of their filmography. Oscar Issac gave a career performance that I truly hope doesn’t go overlooked and, once again, displayed his tremendous chemistry with Carrie Mulligan. Mulligan, too, was great, but every time I hear her say “fuck” it sounds so forced. One of 2013’s best looking films, as well.
For me, The Maughey’s Oscar win will forever be a co-win for his work in Dallas Buyers Club as well as his career re-defining performance as Mud. Jeff Nichols ushered in a new era for Matthew McConaughey while making an incredible love story along the way. Love can be a real son of a bitch and it can tear people apart, but sometimes it’s worth it. Tye Sheridan tore the roof off the sucka with his performance and left me cheering. Also, Reese Witherspoon is an Academy Award winner. #NeverForget
“I don’t know if there is such a thing as destiny but if there is, it was for Michael Bay to make Pain & Gain.” Probably the most accurate statement anyone has ever made about Michael Bay or destiny. I waited over ten years, but The Rock finally rewarded my patience and made me able to hang my hat on a movie that was better than The Rundown and something I could point to and say “See, guys! The Rock has made a great movie! He’s a good actor! He’s awesome in that movie! God, I love Dwayne! He’s so perfect! Don’t you just want to touch him?! …Where are you guys going?? I’m sorry! Come back! We don’t have to watch Rock-Triple H from SummerSlam ’98 again! We can play Apples to Apples! Please come back! I just ordered pizza!” I’ve always said Mark Wahlberg is an infinitely better comedic actor than serious, and this proves it. His deadpan, merited portrayal of Daniel Lugo was fucking phenomenal and one that I have quoted incessantly since April. Pain & Gain had the perfect cast and story to create the over-stylized and crazy-paced action-comedy Michael Bay always knew he had in him, but couldn’t ever get out. Pain & Gain is a comedy; I just think it had too many people afraid to laugh.
Everyone’s already said all there is to say. Christ’s sake, BOTH guys won Oscars. So… here’s a picture of Jared Leto with an elephant.
Sometimes a simple road is the best one to take. Enough Said didn’t strive to change the wheel, but it perfected itself within the realms of its medium. Sublimely acted; it’s a simple story that everyone can relate to in one way or another. The best work of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ career. Period. She’s just so damn perfect here. It sure as hell will make you miss James Gandolfini; all you want to do when it’s over is give him a hug. This movie also created the first burst-weep moment I’ve had in a movie theater since the end of The Dark Knight Rises. Ugh, why are you not watching this movie right now?! Stop staring at me! GO!
Thanks for reading.