Monday, December 29, 2014

Almost over - the movies I liked

Another year gone, another shot at making a movie. Hopefully. Whatever.

I've seen most of the films that are up there for awards, except for The Theory of Everything, which I hope to get this week. The only movie I saw at a theater was Nightcrawlers, which I liked a lot. 

Here's a few words about the films that will be in the game without the critics who really don't know much about anything, as far as I'm concerned. There's two kinds of people in the film business, those who make the films and those who criticize. 

And those who criticize often don't know what they're talking about. And besides, except for the Golden Globes where foreign critics suck up to studios and producers, the voting is done by "peers" as they say, and those are the true judges. 

I'm sure you know which group I belong to so here goes;

Birdman - is okay, I don't particularly like Ed Norton and to be honest ejected the dvd about thirty minutes in. Yes, it's a fancy looking movie and the cuts were hard to find but I just can't handle actors pushing over the top with "it's all about me."

Boyhood - is like watching paint dry. Boring at almost three hours. The hook is that the director filmed sequences of the movie over 12 years so you see the kid grow from the age of 7 and lasts until he's 18. American critics are really excited by this, but the British version of this called 7-UP over a period of 60 plus years is way better. The Brit version started a real life group of English kids at age 7 and interviewed them every 7 years.

Selma - is another movie about the black and white conflicts within America. Supposedly done on a low budget.

The Imitation Game - Another good Brit movie about a real-life character. I liked the movie a lot and the actor is great, but it's also more like a TV movie on HBO. Also, the movie Theory of Everything, based on Stephen Hawking are both similar life stories and this might cut them out from receiving an oscar.  

Nightcrawlers - isn't going to win but I predict that Jake Gyllenhaal might get a nomination for his portrayal of a sociopathic newscameraman. I really liked the movie and so did a lot of my filmmaker friends. It's a solid story with incredible tension at the end. 

And then there's Unbroken.

I have to say that I didn't read the book based on Lewis Zamporini and apparently there's a lot of the readers who objected to the "rest of the story." It seems that the second half of his life after the war was pretty difficult for him as well. However, I did like the movie and I think Angelina did a good job. It's the closest to good movies that I remember, not quite as good as Bridge On The River Kwai, but close in today's sensibilities.

What's missing?

Sniper - It's a Clint Eastwood movie and not bad, it's just that the story has been told too many times and Clint leaves out some of the bad parts about this true-life character who wasn't always a nice guy. It ends with what most people remember, the character takes a fellow military guy to a shooting range and gets shot and killed by that guy. 

So that's it for '14 and we can look ahead for whatever horror awaits for us ahead...

And maybe something good.

Remember this; writers outlive producers and actors in this business. 

We can still write but "they" are over once they're kicked out.

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