Sunday, 1 June 2014

May 2014 in Review

This month marked the end of my 3 years at University, but this did not deter my chance to watch films in my spare time. I got introduced to a horror masterpiece, finally finished one of the best film trilogies ever made, saw some of the years worst films and finally saw a little film from last year which many people raved about. So, how about we take a look at the films I saw in May.

Suspiria - 5/5 - Wow, what a film! Dario Argento's adult fairy tale may be thin on the plot, but the hypnotic visuals and Goblin's faultless soundtrack are astounding pieces of work.

Blue Ruin - 4/5 - Jeremy Saulnier proves to be one to watch, delivering a stripped down, solid entry into the revenge flick genre. Macon Blair does an outstanding job, giving one of the years more impressive performances.

The Perks of Being A Wallflower (rewatch) - 5/5 - One of my favourites from 2012 that remains as well acted, humorous and heartfelt as it was the first time I saw it.

The Perks of Being A Wallflower: Best film of the month
and Best film rewatched

Troops - 4/5 - This 10 minute short showcases what fantastic work can come from fan films, as the mockumentary concept of COPS is taken and applied to a group of Stormtroopers. What we're left with is a fan film that shows fantastic attention to detail and is obviously borne out of love for the original trilogy.

Return of The Jedi (rewatch) - 4/5 - The original trilogy wraps up in spectacular fashion. Sure, things slow down considerably with the introduction of the Ewoks, but let's face it, the Luke/Vader conflict is what makes this film, being nothing short of compelling.

Almost Home - 2/5 - This 4 minute short from Dreamworks gives us a taster for what we're to experience from their upcoming film Home, and if the results resemble this, then we're in for an unfunny animated flick that panders to the kids with simplistic humour, relying on its big name voice actors. Joy.

X-Men: First Class (rewatch) - 4.5/5 - Matthew Vaughn does a fantastic job handling the prequel to the popular mutant franchise, thanks to a wonderful script which develops franchise familiars and the brilliant acting that is on display, especially from Fassbender and McAvoy. Shame about the underdeveloped supporting cast.

X-Men: Days of Future Past: Best film seen in cinemas

Bad Neighbours - 3/5 - The themes of growing up help to deal with the lack of character development, the hit and miss humour and the weak third act. But Zac Efron and Rose Byrne prove to be the scene stealers.

Straw Dogs (2011) - 2.5/5 - To me, James Marsden is a more than capable actor who is in need of his own McConaissance to prove his talent, as opposed to starring in idiotic attempts at comedy. Here, he gives one of his best performances. It's just a shame that the tense last half hour has a poorly written 75 minutes before it.

A Haunted House 2 - 0/5 - Just as bad as the first. Poor attempts at acting, horrendous attempts at "jokes" and pretty darn offensive. Seriously, fuck this film.

Godzilla (2014): Biggest Disappointment

Batman: Dead End - 4/5 - What begins as a fantastic portrayal of two of DC's best known characters turns into a pants-wetting dreams for fans everywhere, as Batman fights a Xenomorph from the Alien franchise, and a Predator. Just a shame the camera couldn't have been more steady, and that it frustratingly ends on a cliffhanger.

Groundhog Day (rewatch) - 5/5 - The world is a less funny place with Harold Ramis gone, and that has never been more evident than in this, his shining example. Bill Murray perfectly plays his role of embittered weatherman Phil Connors, a character with one of the most perfectly rounded arcs I can remember, thanks to the brilliant writing. In short, a masterpiece.

Suspiria: Biggest Surprise
Godzilla (2014) - 3.5/5 - Gareth Edwards brings the spectacle, some fantastic effects and a flawless sound design to the remake of the popular monster. It's just a shame the characters are written so poorly and Aaron Taylor-Johnson makes for a bland lead.

Machete (rewatch) - 1/5 - Robert Rodriguez tries to make a homage to exploitation films, but unfortunately cannot use that to justify the focus of gratuitous and shallow scenes, ham-fisted dialogue, lack of logic and bland or unmemorable acting. How did this get a 72% fresh rating?

Blended - 0.5/5 - Adam Sandler offers a laugh free two hours in his latest film, which manages to feel more like an advert for visiting Africa, especially in how it deflates moments of dramatic honesty for the weak humour attempts.

A Haunted House 2: Worst film of the month

Non-Stop - 3/5 - Liam Neeson does a good job of headlining this well acted film, which boasts multiple moments packed with fun. Unfortunately, the film focuses on going through each red herring rather than building up the tension with the thriller aspect, before descending into a ridiculous finale.

Dallas Buyers Club - 3.5/5 - Matthew McConnaughey more than proves he's more than deserving of his Oscar win, giving a fantastic performance in his role. It's just a shame almost everything else lets him down, as the writing and direction are rather pedestrian, with the government being portrayed as faceless villains. I also question the decision to turn Woodruff, who was bisexual in real life, into a homophobe from the start.

X-Men: Days of Future Past - 4.5/5 - Bryan Singer returns to the franchise he helped bring to screen, in an effort to make up for the ways the franchise has been wrong in the past, and by god, it works.

Best film of the month: The Perks of Being A Wallflower
Best film seen in cinemas: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Best film rewatched: The Perks of Being A Wallflower
Biggest Disappointment: Godzilla
Biggest Surprise: Suspiria
Worst film of the month: A Haunted House 2

Number of films watched: 18

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