Tuesday, January 06, 2015

2014: A Year in Movies in Bangkok

It was another dire year in movies in Bangkok. As per the trend, they mostly play the big blockbusters and I either have to download or watch other films on the plane. I long for the E Street Cinema in Washington DC. Bangkok could be a world class city if they improved their movies. Oh well.

(Key: I saw everything in the theatre unless its noted *Download ** Airplane)

The Good: 
Grand Budapest Hotel: My favorite movie of 2014. I had to wait until August to see it on the big screen in Bangkok and it was worth it. Ralph Fiennes is excellent and it was much darker than some of his other movies (although I remember the Life Aquatic with Steve Zazou being dark).

Dallas Buyer's Club: Matthew McConaughey continues to amaze. Funny, raunchy, and sad all at once. Jared Leto was also wonderful. This "honest trailer" got it right. Yeah - I know it was from 2013 but didn't come to BKK until 2014.

12 Years a Slave: burned a hole right through my soul and made me hate the South and everything it currently stands for. How dare we? Same - didn't see it until 2014.

Neighbors: I'm in love with Zac Efron. Period. This one was funny and not as offensive to women as I expected. Rose Byrnes was excellent.

Begin Again: sweet music, even Adam Levine seemed sweet in it.

Snow piercer*: Chris Evans almost unrecognizable but an amazing adventure film. Love post apocalypse films.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: I was rooting for the Damn Dirty Apes over the humans.

Godzilla: EXCELLENT. Atomic breath! Not enough panicked crowd scenes.

Fury: Couldn't believe how good the tank battles were. I have liked the director, David Ayer, ever since I saw End of Watch. Also a major miracle, Shia LaBouef was not that obnoxious. Michael Pena, excellent as always.

Edge of Tomorrow**: Singlehandedly turned me back into a Tom Cruise fan. Something about watching him die over and over again and being pathetic at the beginning brought me back to him. Plus Emily Blount as the Full Metal Bitch was wonderful!

Gone Girl: Really good and intense. The whole theatre was rapt. At one point, bitter married couples laughed bitterly. My single friend and I were shocked.  Love the "Cool Girl" speech.

Guardians of the Galaxy*: Surprised the hell out of me. I really liked it but then again I've always been a fan of Chris Pratt since Everwood so it shouldn't have surprised me that much. But I was really not interested in seeing a movie about a raccoon and a tree. Color me impressed.

Alan Partridge*: Superb! And so so funny. I love Steve Coogan.

Behind the Candelabra*: amazing performance by Matt Damon and Michael Douglas. Creepy. Even with plastic surgery to look like Liberace, Matt Damon is awesome. Rob Lowe was also insane!

Jiho Dreams of Sushi*: really beautiful and compelling.

In the Mood for Love*: Finally saw it in a hotel room in Myitkyina, Kachin, Myanmar. Made me crave noodles, nostalgia, and thwarted love.

Dom Hemingway**: Saw it on a plane. I love Jude Law because he's more than just a pretty face. And he was intense in this. And I loved that he didn't force Daenerys from Game of Thrones to be his girlfriend. She was his daughter instead. No vanity.

The Bad (Actually the Mediocre):
Inside Llewyn Davis - I don't know what all the hoopla was about except for the main actor was intense and hot. A bit disappointed in the Coen brothers. But I loved the orange cat!

The Fault in our Stars - not moved. I don't think I even cried. I don't know. Maybe I'm dead inside.

Maleficent:  hard to see Angelina as a fairy after the summit! A bit dull and could have been written to be more powerful. I loved the Lana Del Ray song and I actually like the rape analogy.

**The Two Faces of January: Pretty good. I love Viggo Mortenson and Oscaar Isaacs

The Railway Man: A bit dull but awesome to see Thailand on the big screen.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier ... I"m in love with Chris Evans. I believe in Captain America.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay pt 1: Not as good as it should have been. I would have liked a bit more Orwellian scenes like when she's in District 13 and a little more "If we burn, you burn with us!" 

**X Men: Days of Future Past: I also love Michael Fassbender and Wolverine so it worked for me. I loved the 70s aesthetic. The present day story of Mystique’s vendetta against Peter Dinklage‘s Trask feels repetitive of ideas we explored in the previous films…with thoughtful social commentary they were interested in exploring years ago  left on the floor, offering the audience only in your face statements.

Long Way Down**: I thought it would be excellent. Nick Hornby. Pierce Brosnan. Toni Collette. Can Jesse Pinkman be serious? The answer. Not so much. Just not quite as good as About a Boy or High Fidelity.

The Ugly: 
The Hobbit 3: Ridiculous. The special effects were not good at all! Legolas running up the collapsing bridge? And the ridiculous animals they all rode into battle? Bored. The honest trailer below sums up this one too.

Bad Words: Terrible Edit in Doha. they edited out all the bad language, the sex, and the "immoral scenes", I think it was 20 minutes long and incomprehensible. It might have been good and funny but I would never know.

Noah**: Good Lord! I couldn't believe how they managed to make this tale so boring and annoying! No shots of animals??? And even Emma Watson was bad in it. The dialogue was ridiculous and I didn't like the Nephilim/ Watchers/Rock Giants/Fallen Angels.

Lucy: Stupid stupid stupid. The smartest woman in the world battles it out in 5 inch stilettos and a dour look on her face. Buzzfeed sums up the stupidity.

Her: Stupid Stupid Stupid. I have never wanted to walk out of a movie so badly.

The Maze Runner: Actually walked out of it. So boring and trite.