Monday, 7 July 2014

2014 in Film: Surprisingly Good and Surprisingly Disappointing

I don't go to the cinemas much but when I do I am very picky about what I'm seeing. Usually I get peer-pressured into seeing bad movies but I always like to see the ones that I really want to see and am super excited about. A lot of what I've seen in 2014 has shocked me with how surprisingly good or surprisingly disappointing they have been despite their terrible or excellent reviews.

#1: The Other Woman, directed by Nick Cassavetes and starring Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann

Despite its lame script, sexual glorification of Kate Upton's body and predictability this film was actually not that bad. The film's plot is simple, Carly (Diaz) has a had a few month relationship with Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who she finds out is married with Kate (Leslie Mann) who befriend each other and team up with a third mistress Amber (Kate Upton) to get revenge on the man who cheated on them all. Leslie Mann steals the show with her hilarious antics, sweet disposition and cute outfits making her surprisingly the star of the film whereas Diaz and Upton are just there to look good. Despite this the film is a surprise which I found when I saw it at the cinema. My friend forced me to go with her and I begrudgingly agreed only because Jaime Lannister was in it and I left feeling like I had a really good laugh.
Verdict: Surprisingly good.
IMDb rating: 6.4

#2: The Grand Budapest Hotel, directed by Wes Anderson and starring Ralph Fiennes and an ensemble of Anderson favourites

A hilarious film with an ensemble cast with every single one of my favourite actors yet lacking that Wes Anderson punch that I look for when I see one of his films. To me the plot was not really a plot. Nothing seemed to be happening and nothing seemed to be not happening. It was kind of in the middle. The film is a story within a story within a story within a story. It opens with a young girl reading a book, then the author tells this story as an old man but when he is a young man it is being told by the old Moustafa and this story is the story of Gustave H. and his young Lobby Boy Zero and the Grand Budapest Hotel. Fiennes is perfect as Gustave H. and I highly commend newcomer Tony Revolori as a young Zero yet there was something about this film that left me feeling a surprised "oh" when it was over. I have been a massive Anderson fan for a long time with my favourites being Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and Fantastic Mr Fox (2009) so I am in no way criticising the Anderson style of film I am instead criticising that it was not enough like any of his films prior to Grand Budapest.
Verdict: Surprisingly disappointing.
IMDb rating: 8.3

#3 Maleficent, directed by Robert Stromberg and starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning

I bought my ticket for this film thinking it would be a dark and evil story starring one of the most beautiful women in the world as one of the best villains in the world. In essence it was a children's film which I did not realise and did not expect. I still liked the film but I did expect it to be darker and more like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) or even the original Sleeping Beauty (1959).
Verdict: Surprisingly disappointing.
IMDb rating: 7.4

#4 That Awkward Moment or Are We Officially Dating? Directed by Tom Gormican and starring Zac Efron and Miles Teller

Okay so my sister is a massive Zac Efron fan and dragged me to this one unwillingly and surprisingly I liked it. I'm a fan of Miles Teller so I knew it couldn't be so bad and I was actually kind of looking forward to seeing Zac in a different role, a lot different to the goody goody Troy Bolton or Link Larkin. I questioned the movie's leading lady Imogen Poots' character's involvement with Efron's Jason throughout the film just because they, on paper, were definitely not a match. Yet there was a cuteness to them that made them as a couple quite endearing and gave the movie a little bit extra.
Verdict: Surprisingly good.
IMDb rating: 6.2

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