Before beginning part 3 of my year-in-review opus I’d like to acknowledge how truly great a year we’ve had this year in regards to movies. For as many films and performances that will be nominated for awards, there will be just as many that have a right to feel snubbed. There were so many quality indie, genre, and franchise films that even the stingiest of movie watchers could easily find one movie they really enjoyed. This year was so great that they didn’t even abide by the normal January-February as dumping grounds mentality, releasing movies like Haywire, The Grey, Chronicle, and Wanderlust, which are all vastly superior to the normal dreck that’s usually released at the beginning of the year. Even some of the more disappointing movies of the year were at least interesting to discuss, like Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises.
Some Romances Are Stronger Than the Bonds of Time
Safety Not Guaranteed received quite a bit of love as the indie darling of the year. So much so that I assumed it would end up being this year’s annual indie movie that makes my top 5. Turns out, I didn’t like it nearly as much as everyone else. A lot of that had to do with my expectations being way too high, but the movie is far from flawless. As much as I like Mark Duplass his character is essentially a male version of a manic pixie dream girl and serves the purpose of being an eccentric person whose love saves the main character, Aubrey Plaza, despite being completely unrealistic to real life relationships. Jake Johnson has his own clichés to fight against as the guy who is a jerk but is funny enough where the audience doesn’t hate him. Then they find out his jerkiness is based around his unhappiness so they start to love him and he goes through a predictable character arc. Despite my complaints I still think the movie is good, just not as good as every other person seems to think.
Looper was writer/director Rian Johnston’s third feature film which starred Hollywood’s newest big man on campus Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young Bruce Willis, or was Bruce Willis an old Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Time travel being used as a way for mobsters to have people killed with no evidence left behind? Awesomely brilliant idea, especially by having Jeff Daniels as the guy who traveled back in time to run it. Having numerous people have slight telekinetic powers? A little jarring and way more unbelievable than the idea of time travel for some reason. There was also a romantic sub-plot with Emily Blunt which felt a little forced, but since JGL and Blunt are so good, they made it work. That’s how the movie feels as a whole, though. It definitely has its problems and plot holes, but overall it’s so original and well-made/acted that it’s easy to forgive them.
And the Winner Is: Looper - but speaking of time travel let’s go back in time a few decades ourselves.
In many ways, Moonrise Kingdom is the epitome of a Wes Anderson film, the quintessential work by a filmmaker who has taken the popular conception of the auteur theory to an extreme, forging a very individual and recognizable style that has only gotten more precise and well-defined with every film. You’d think that by this point, having successfully integrated his style into features, shorts, commercials, and even stop-motion animation, a straight-up comedy/drama would lapse into either retread tedium or self-parody. And for some people, Anderson has probably already reached this point long ago – his particular brand of twee quirk is tailor-made to annoy a certain portion of the population. But people who find Anderson’s whimsy up their alley will be delighted with this new offering, which manages to stay fresh and delightful while maintaining and even refining his distinctive style.
A New England island, roadless and only navigable from the mainland by helicopter or boat, is home to a small police force, a pair of lawyers and their progeny, a boy scout camp, and miles of wilderness. When twelve-year-old scout Sam Sankusky goes missing, a search is mounted, but the other boys approach it like a manhunt rather than a rescue – the awkward and forthright boy is not well-liked. Except by Suzy Bishop, the oldest daughter of the lawyers, who has arranged a meeting with Sam. The children carry out their idlewild, their young love blossoming as they hike and camp…until the adults finally catch up to them.
There are a ton of smaller movies on DVD and Blu-ray this week. Take a look…
|Rank it amongst the best thriller movies of all time.
Flickchart Ranking: #1562
Ryan Reynolds gets buried alive.
|Rank it amongst the best crime thriller movies of all time.
Flickchart Ranking: #2151
Look at that win percentage! From what I hear, imagine if Scorsese was Australian and this is what you’d end up with. This movie also furthers my theory that Guy Pearce is incapable of making a bad movie.
|How would you rank it amongst the best animated movies of all time?
Flickchart Ranking: #2829
I never got a chance to see this in theaters. Does it end with a pop song and big dance scene like every other DreamWorks Animation movie? I firmly believe that’s the main reason DreamWorks (Sony and Fox’s animation studios are guilty of this too) will never make a truly great film.
|How would you rank it amongst the best movies based on comic books of all time?
Flickchart Ranking: #8515
The biggest turkey of the year. Sad, considering there’s probably a good movie to be made with the source material.
|How would you rank it amongst the best dramatic films of all time?
Flickchart Ranking: #9237
Read Ebert’s review. There’s a reason he won a Pulitzer.
|How would you rank it amongst the best movie comedies of all time?
Flickchart Ranking: #8470
Edward Norton in a dual-role as a set of wildly different twins. Or as I call it, cinematic bliss.
|How would you rank it amongst the best thrillers of all time?
Flickchart Ranking: Just Added
The original Lost Boys definitely deserves to remain in the public’s consciousness. I’m pretty sure these DTV sequels do not.
Wow, what a terrible week. We’ve been pretty spoiled lately, especially with September usually being a dumping ground, that I guess we were due for a complete stinker of a week. The limited release Stone might be good but that’s about it.
Planning to see this movie, or already have? Directly rank it against these similar movies to see where it ranks for you amongst the most romantic movies of all time:
I made it about half-way through the trailer thinking this could actually be cool. It looked like a movie about somebody who actually stole souls not people’s lives, so it would at least be interesting. Then the trailer had to go and reveal it’s just a silly serial killer slasher we’ve seen 100 times before.
Planning to see this movie, or already have? Directly rank it against these similar movies to see where it ranks for you amongst the most slasher movies of all time:
Planning to see this movie, or already have? Directly rank it against these similar movies to see where it ranks for you amongst the most sports movies of all time: