Tuesday, 1 July 2014

June 2014 in Review

As you read this, we're halfway through the year. How fast has that come around? So now, let us take a look at what I saw in June.

Maleficent - 1.5/5 - Angelina Jolie and Sharlto Copley commit to their roles by giving great performances, but cannot compensate for the poor writing which fails to commit to the titular characters villainy, gives us a dull Aurora that is preferable in her eternal sleep and a trio of fairies who do little more than annoy and be useless.

The Good, The Bad, The Weird - 3.5/5 - A film that regularly lives up to the title of a rollicking good time and strengthened by a fantastic trio of lead performances, but unfortunately feels overlong, thanks to the drawn out fight scenes which unfortunately became dull.

Planet of The Apes (1968) - 5/5 - How is it I never saw this before? Not only is it packed with groundbreaking make-up effects, it takes an intriguing B movie premise and turns it much better than it has any right to be. This is thanks to the commentary it provides, be it for a society turned upside down or a creationism v evolution debate that rages on to this day. And that ending, no wonder it is so iconic. It's a shame it's been spoiled on pretty much everything, but it remains such a powerful image.

Best film of the month: Planet of the Apes

The Prestige (rewatch) - 5/5 - Everybody may praise Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight, Inception and Memento, but this is definitely his most underrated masterpiece. Knowing the final reveal, I could see the seeds cleverly being sown early on through this viewing.

This Is The End - 2/5 - What begins as an average satire of Hollywood celebrities turns into a meshing of genres, packed with gags that are both crude and lazy, a talented cast overusing swears in many overlong scenes.

Edge of Tomorrow - 4/5 - Cruise and Blunt fantastically act out this scenario with great looking scenes of action and some wonderful moments of black humor. Just a shame the film couldn't have ended a few minutes earlier and that many scenes feel like they've been done better in other films.

22 Jump Street - 3.5/5 - Miller and Lord return to deliver a follow-up to Schmidt and Jenko's fantastic adventure from 2012. Just a shame it feels too repetitive and not as funny, but it is still fantastic to spend time in the company of these characters.

Best film seen in Cinemas: The Fault In Our Stars

A Million Ways To Die In The West - 1.5/5 - Seth MacFarlane tries to pass off urinating sheep, Neil Patrick Harris shitting in a hat and a flower in Liam Neesons arse as comedy. Does it sound like it worked?

Ghostbusters (rewatch) - 4.5/5 - Definitely a classic, with those effects, the fantastic cast and that kicking theme tune. Not a masterpiece though, with how little Ernie Hudson does and how grating Louis Tully felt, but despite this, bustin' still makes me feel good.

Dumb and Dumber (rewatch) - 4/5 - Somehow, the Farrelly brothers took juvenile antics and toilet humor and turned them into something bloody hilarious. The wacky, unhinged performances of Carrey and Daniels probably helped things.

Best film rewatched: The Prestige

Pretty Woman - 3.5/5 - Richard Gere and Julia Robert are good in their roles, but there's ultimately little special about this film, especially in regards to the writing. Plus, it would have been nice for a couple of the characters to act more like real characters as opposed to plot devices.

Bend It Like Beckham - 3.5/5 - Well, I was surprised. Yeah, the romantic moments feel tacked on, the script is cheesy and some moments feel clunky as hell. But the character development, the great performances and the cultural drama really elevated this above my expectations.

The Legend of Hercules - 0.5/5 - Renny Harlins take on the greek god is plagued by a bland lead, poor effects, a weak script and an overuse of slow motion.

Biggest Disappointment: This Is The End

Walk of Shame - 2.5/5 - Elizabeth Banks delivers a spirited performance that carries this lazy product which lacks the potential that can be felt within the finale, which challenges preconceived notions in an unexpected manner.

Jaws (rewatch) - 5/5 - Yeah, masterpiece. Just look at the spectacular effects, that nerve-shredding score and Robert Shaw's monologue for proof.

The Purge (rewatch) - 2/5 - Never thought I would willingly watch this one again, but here we are. The problems are all still there, underdeveloped characters, focusing on clich├ęs and violence over expanding this nightmarish world, that infuriating kid.

Biggest surprise: Bend It Like Beckham

Oculus - 3.5/5 - The choice to focus on tension over gore and the great performances help to make this more than the poor B movie it initially looked like it would be. But the best thing is how things can be viewed as either a result of the haunted mirror, or as a by-product of the psychosis that apparently runs in the family, meaning this film can be either supernatural or psychological to the viewer. But it's disappointing how the direction and the writing seemingly favour one theory over complete ambiguity.

Akira (rewatch) - 4.5/5 - Despite this being my second viewing, my reaction doesn't get anymore eloquent than the following two words: fucking hell.

The Last Stand - 2.5/5 - Arnie's return to the big screen is packed with moments of dumb fun and a likable cast, but it also has enough hammy acting, generic writing and moments that are overlong to the point they become dull to make this far from a film to recommend.

Repo Man - 3.5/5 - From the great ensemble cast to the many memorable scenes of hilarity, it's clear why this became such a cult classic. Just a shame that things get disjointed and random, particularly towards the end.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation - 2/5 - Jon M. Chu takes away any sense of fun for a dour, serious tone which makes the film a chore to watch. Luckily, Dwayne Johnson and a capable cast (excluding Bland Bruce Willis) are on hand, and there's an impressive cliff side battle.

Worst film of the month: The Legend of Hercules

The Fault In Our Stars - 4/5 - There are some scenes and lines of dialogue which are incredulous, but Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley are perfect for their roles, and the romance hits all the right notes to bring on the emotion.

Only Lovers Left Alive - 4/5 - Hiddleston and Swinton deliver fantastic performances in one of 2014s best romances, with the writing being nothing short of truthful, eloquent and beautifully written. But the pace can slow down at times to the point where it's tiring to watch, but these moments don't last too long and are soon replaced by a captivating scene

Sabotage - 1/5 - A good cast are wasted on a grim, needlessly excessive film that believes ridiculous nicknames are all that is needed to distinguish between unlikable characters.

Snowpiercer - 5/5 - Well that was fucking fantastic. Bong Joon-Ho builds a well realized and bleak future around a fantastic cast, to make a socially relevant film that's one of the years best.


Best film of the month: Planet of The Apes
Best film seen in cinemas: The Fault In Our Stars
Best film rewatched: The Prestige
Biggest Disappointment: This Is The End
Biggest Surprise: Bend It Like Beckham
Worst film of the month: The Legend of Hercules

Number of films watched: 25

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