Sunday, August 31, 2014
A Fistful of Summer 2014! (Matt’s Picks)
This year has, overall, been a huge step up from the past two, and it seemed like every week I was seeing some movie that I enjoyed, or really enjoyed. Though there have been few ‘amazing’ films, there has been a wide variety of very good movies. So, looking back on the Summer, I’m gonna give a countdown of my five favorites. (See how they compare to my Fistful of Summer Anticipation).
5. Cold in July: A nasty, ugly crime caper set in the 1980s. It takes some unexpected turns, to say the very least. And it gets dark. Real dark. Steel wool shower dark.
4. The Rover: Australia is the sight of yet another horrible, petering out apocalypse. Hopeless people do awful violence to each other. A movie that makes you try to shake the sand from your hair, wipe the sweat from your brow, and keep an eye on the horizon, for danger is always close.
3. Jodorowsky’s Dune: One of the great What If? stories from the annals of science fiction and Hollywood. The Dune that didn’t happen. The Dune that shaped Alien, Star Wars, and countless films that did happen. The Dune that still echoes through the mind’s eye of filmmakers and artists decades later. Would it have been good? Would it have ever really happened? Would it have changed the perception of generations? Who can say? But it’s a compelling story, none the less, and Jodorowsky is a wonderful mad messiah.
2. Godzilla: I’m a Godzilla fan from way back, and while not a perfect film, this new take is firmly rooted in the things that make the original movies magic. When Godzilla unleashed his atomic breath, I was a kid again, looking at nature in all its fury.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Marvel Cinematic Universe finally opens the doors to the realms of my interest, the cosmic. I’ve always been more of a rocket ships and ray guns kind of guy, as opposed to capes and eye beams. Taking a page from the original Star Wars, and one from Firefly, this film reminds us that space opera should be fun and exciting, and not always dark and depressing.
I want to give an honorable mention to Life Itself, a fascinating look at the life of Roger Ebert; The Hundred-Foot Journey, a cute romance with some good food porn; and Chef, a heartwarming father & son adventure…with some good food porn.
-Matthew J. Constantine