Here at Director's Cut Movies, I am proud of the quality and effort that goes into my reviews. I dedicate a lot of my time to this website and it's something I am very proud of, but to get to where I am, I had to start somewhere. If you've ever had the displeasure of reading some of my very early reviews, I can almost guarantee you would've cringed. They're atrocious reviews, and its this sort of stuff that I am not proud of. I feel that if you, as a reader, read my last few reviews then decided to search up one of my older reviews, there would be a strong chance that you would be put off by it. Because of this, starting today I will be taking down all the very old reviews that I do not wish you to see. I will not be going through all the archives of the news page for that will take a lifetime, but I will, however, be deleting some of my original reviews. The first review I ever wrote was for The Dark Knight Rises back in 2012, and I was very pleased with what I had concocted at the time. I will be keeping a copy of some of these reviews for personal use, but I just thought it would be wise to let you all know why they're disappearing. Thank you for checking in with my website and I hope you all stick around for the years to come!
Wow, okay. So I just got through this entire month without failure. That's... that's actually pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. 100 movies in just thirty-one days. That's something I'm proud of, but something that I never intend to do again. I'll be honest, there were multiple times in this month where I doubted I would complete the challenge. I doubted that I would actually be able to sit through 100 freaking movies this month, but hey, I did so that's pretty goddamn awesome.
When I first set this challenge I simultaneously thought it would be harder and easier. That sounds weird, but please let me explain. I actually thought I would have had a harder time sitting through all the movies. I thought I wouldn't be able to sit through all these movies, or that I wouldn't get enough time to actually see them all. As it turns out, I underestimated my laziness. But what was harder to do was to actually get the urge to put a movie on. I'm usually great at picking a movie to watch. There's always a movie I haven't seen that I really feel like watching or a movie I love that I would kill to watch again. There were multiple times this month where I just didn't know what to put on or I wanted to watch a movie I'd already seen this month I'd want to watch one thing, but the runtime would be too long or I wouldn't have it available or there wasn't enough time and I was running out of days etc. That, to me, was the biggest challenge with this month, something I didn't foresee happening.
Since I'm covering a few more days than I did with previous recaps, I had a fair few more films to watch. Since the last recap I watched about 35 movies, finishing the challenge off with my favourite film of all time: Goodfellas. I rewatched plenty of movies in the past week and a half, but I'll just go through some of the highlights. I saw 4 James Bond movies this week - On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun. None of them are the best Bonds around, but they're not bad either. I also went through and rewatched the Jurassic Park trilogy. The first is still flawless, the second still rather underrated and the third I can still find enjoyment in, unlike most. The final mentionable one this week was Gremlins, which is a film I almost reviewed on Christmas. Well, until I got sick. Gremlins is still so bloody awesome, and arguably one of my top 50 films of all time (and yes, I do have a list).
So now for the high points in the week. Of course, there were plenty of highlights from the rewatches eg. Jurassic Park, Gremlins, Evil Dead, Up etc. but there were plenty of new classics I discovered. On Christmas Eve I sat down and watched Miracle on 34th Street for the very first time, and what a movie. Entertaining in every sense of the word. Another brilliant piece of cinema was The Aviator, which has now completed my Martin Scorsese filmography. Then there's Oldboy, the 2003 Korean movie. It's a violent, psychologically disturbing and twisted movie, and one of the best foreign films of all time.
While I always try to avoid as many bad films as I can, there were two this week that are deserving of a mention. The first is Spaceballs, a Star Wars parody that's shockingly beloved by many. I hated it, although slapstick parody movies aren't really my thing. After all, Scary Movie is one of the worst films I've seen in my life. Spaceballs brought plenty of cringes, but very few laughs. There were a couple of smile-worthy moments, but nothing amazing or even that funny. And the other movie is Oldboy. Yep, Oldboy. Not the genius, foreign language version, but the American remake from the last year, and boy is it terrible. It tries to be both the original and its own thing, but in doing so it just mucks everything up.
So it's now January. I watched an unbelievable amount of movies last year, and I'm glad to have seen most of them. Most. You can find the full list of movies I watched this month here. I hope you all have a happy New Year and I can't wait for the year ahead. And don't worry, I'll be posting my most anticipated for 2015 very shortly. Because yes, I have to do that too. Just like every other goddamn person on this planet.
Well everybody, we've reached the final day of 2014, meaning it's time to list my favourite movies of the year. If you're interested in reading my worst list then just click here. Okay, before I begin I must point out that I live in Australia, meaning we haven't gotten every 2014 released film just yet. Don't expect movies such as Birdman or Foxcatcher or Inherent Vice to appear on this list as I haven't seen them just yet. Before I delve into my favourites, here are some honourable mentions, since apparently 25 Films isn't big enough to mention all the films I want to mention. These include Life Itself, Godzilla, John Wick, Begin Again and Locke, not in any particular order. Okay, now enjoy!
25. The Drop
The Drop is the final film to ever star James Gandolfini, and he goes out with quite a bang. The Drop is a slow burning thriller with very little action, but it's the final payoff that's brilliant. Full of tension and atmosphere, the film had me edging for more until the final credits roll, just after a pretty neat twist is pulled out from under the rug. Tom Hardy gives one of his best performances to date, which is really saying a lot when you look at his impressive filmography. READ MY REVIEW HERE
Frank is one of the two or three movies I saw late this month that I didn't get a chance to review, another notable one being Under the Skin. That doesn't make the film any less brilliant. It's such a quaint little movie with an absolutely brilliant performance from Michael Fassbender, despite the fact that he's wearing a bobble head-like mask for the entire film. The songs are hilariously catchy, the humour is just right and the screenplay is wildly original. It's really just one hell of a good time.
23. Edge of Tomorrow
As far as popcorn flicks go this year, Edge of Tomorrow is one of the best. Obviously there's a few more that beat it, but I'll get into those soon. Edge of Tomorrow is a lot of fun. We see Tom Cruise as an officer who's forced to become a soldier in a war against an alien race. Sounds conventional, I know, but then you add in the fact that every time he dies, he's revived and is forced to live the day over and over. Featuring plenty of thrills, humour and badass-ery, Edge of Tomorrow is goddamn awesome. READ MY REVIEW HERE
22. These Final Hours
These Final Hours is the first, and not the last, Australian movie to make it onto this list. I tend to be one to like Aussie films more than most, especially the bad ones, which for some reason or another I end up liking. These Final Hours is a brilliant Aussie flick and it makes me proud to be Australian. While it's themes are a bit been there, done that, the execution is something more than that. With some excellent performances, a great relationship between the two leads and plenty of moments that are sure to thrill, this film is simply awesome, to say the least. READ MY REVIEW HERE
21. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was one of my favourite movies of 2012, and The Desolation of Smaug one of my favourites from 2013. I wanted to like this film a heck of a lot more than I did, but that's not to say that it was even close to mediocre. Sure, the plot isn't too fleshed out and Bilbo and Smaug are criminally underused, but The Battle of the Five Armies is still a satisfying wrap up to The Hobbit trilogy, flaws and all. The effects are top notch, the soundtrack impeccable and the action's damn awesome, even if it's more logic defying than any of the previous Middle Earth films. READ MY REVIEW HERE
Calvary is possibly the only film this year to be confronting, disturbing and hilarious all at the same time. Brendan Gleeson plays a priest who, in the first scene of the movie, is threatened in confession by a man he cannot see. This leads him to a week where his faith is questioned, and it's always entertaining. With a shining perform from Gleeson and a runner up performance from Kelly Reilly, Calvary is a film for both the filmmakers and the audience alike. Does that make sense? I wanted that to make sense. READ MY REVIEW HERE
19. The Skeleton Twins
The Skeleton Twins made me want to cry in the first five minutes of the movie. It made me want to cry on multiple occasions, actually. It also made me want to laugh. Hard. And laugh I did. It's a charming and gloriously performed movie that really plays off the chemistry between Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. READ MY REVIEW HERE
18. The Lego Movie
Everything about The Lego Movie is awesome, and it's even got a song to prove it. It's an animated film that was made to look like stop motion, and they even tallied the total bricks used in this film to be 15,080,330. It's a hilarious tale of friendship and avoiding the norm, plus it's got an insanely awesome voice cast to go with it. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller should just direct every animated film from here on out, they always do such an amazing job. Also, Batman is in this movie. Batman!!! READ MY REVIEW HERE
17. Gone Girl
It's not the film's problem that it's so far down on my list. It's really not. It's the book's fault. I read the Gone Girl book like practically everyone else on this Earth, and I loved it a lot. It's one of my favourite books. David Fincher is one of my favourite directors too, so I was very much looking forward to this film, especially since the trailers were so perfect. While it's an amazing movie and the performances and direction are excellent, reading the book made a major impact on the thrills. That being said, rewatching it made it just a little bit better, making it eligible to rank higher than films I gave half a star more. READ MY REVIEW HERE
16. The Imitation Game
Last night I went to a screening of The Imitation Game. Because of this, I have not yet had time to write up my review for the film, but you can most certainly expect it up by tomorrow. The Imitation Game is utterly brilliant, full of emotion, triumph and betrayal. The true story is rather spectacular and this film definitely does it justice. Benedict Cumberbatch is sensational as Alan Turing, giving a performance that may just earn him a much deserved Oscar.
Pride, which is based on a true story, could just as easily have been made as a depressing drama. Instead, we have a wild and energetic movie that's genuinely hilarious. It's a riot that will have you cheering in joy in one scene and then screaming for justice in another, all while tears are slyly forming in your eyes, plus it has a finale that's beyond perfect. READ MY REVIEW HERE
14. The Grand Budapest Hotel
When this film first came out, I thought for sure that it would be higher up on my list. Then a bunch of other amazing films came out and so I guess I don't really have anything to complain about. The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most Wes Anderson film Wes Anderson has ever made. It's not his best, but my god, it may be close. It's just such a delightful movie, full of whimsical performances and striking visuals. This may also be one of the most rewatchable films of the year, so there's that. READ MY REVIEW HERE
13. X-Men: Days Of Future Past
X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of the two films that I saw three times in cinemas, the other one is higher up on this list. It combines the best things about the original franchise and the best things about X-Men First Class, the prequel from 2011, to make a film so brilliant and fun, yet depressing and emotional. It rights all wrongs done by previous, less interesting instalments and then goes on to set up what could potentially be the best X-Men yet, a spot currently taken by this movie. READ MY REVIEW HERE
12. The Fault In Our Stars
And the winner of most emotionally draining film of the year is.... The Fault In Our Stars. Based on the already brilliant novel by John Green, this film had me in A LOT of tears, like it did with many others in my cinema. The film is funny, heart breaking, led by some charming performances and full of so many sensational character moments. I've seen it three times now and damn, it still gets me teary eyed. Damn you movie, damn you. READ MY REVIEW HERE
11. The Babadook
If it's in a word or it's in a look, you can't get rid of the babadook, but I don't really want to either. The Babadook is a horror movie with so much more than what's on the surface. It's a haunting movie with one of the strongest female performances of the year. I'm not joking when I say that The Babadook just may be one of the scariest movies that I have ever seen, and it's undoubtably the best horror movie to come out this year. READ MY REVIEW HERE
While 2014 has brought us some rather odd Tilda Swinton performances, especially The Zero Theorem in which she performs a rap, none of them are as unrecognisable as she is in Snowpiercer, and she's not even the best thing about this movie. The screenplay is unlike anything I've seen before, the performances are so unlike what these actors are famous for and the grim look at the world is somewhat mesmerising. The ending takes a minute or two too long to say what it wants to say, but whatever. As a whole, Snowpiercer is phenomenal. READ MY REVIEW HERE
9. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Much like X-Men: Days of Future Past, I saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes three times in cinemas. I am a long time Planet of the Apes fan, so much so that I have the single greatest blu-ray collection of every film in the franchise. And yes, it is the best collection ever. If you see it, trust me, you'll agree. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best films in the franchise, almost matching the standards of the original and most certainly exceeding Rise of the Planet of the Apes, another one of the franchise's highlights. READ MY REVIEW HERE
Lou Bloom, the main character in Nightcrawler, is probably the most psychotic yet enthralling character to come out of 2014. He understands what to say, but not how to say it. Nightcrawler is a fantastic movie, full of black comedy, polished direction and a performance from Jake Gyllenhaal that, along with his performance in Enemy, may be one of the best this year, if not the best. READ MY REVIEW HERE
There's not much that I can say about Predestination without giving away the entire plot. It's an epic and preposterous time travelling masterpiece with an as always amazing stunning performance from Ethan Hawke and a breakthrough performance from Sarah Snook, who's suddenly become an actress to put on my radar. This is a film I see myself discussing years from now, and I would be more than happy to. READ MY REVIEW HERE
I must get one thing out of the way before I discuss my thoughts on this film, I AM NOT A BIG NOLAN FAN! I like a lot of his films, sure, but he doesn't stand out as one of my favourite directors. Interstellar is, however, one of his best films yet, just trailing behind The Dark Knight. It's an ambitious and daring movie that's just amazing on so many levels. It's complex and exciting, plus it has a scene that I would argue made me cry more than any one scene in 2014. #SciFi4Life READ MY REVIEW HERE
Prisoners was my favourite film of 2013, or at least it was until The Wolf of Wall Street came out here in January. Denis Villeneuve, the director of Prisoners, has returned, although this was technically made first, to bring us another mesmerising piece of cinema. Enemy is a psychotic, complex and undeniably unusual thriller with another flawless performance from Gyllenhaal. If you thought Prisoners had a jaw dropping ending that left you wanting more, well, you've seen nothing yet. READ MY REVIEW HERE
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I'm a big time Marvel fan, and superhero fan for that matter. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of the latest films in the Marvel cinematic universe and it may just be one of their best yet. Playing off as a political thriller, this film is much darker than the previous films, but it does this without ever loosing the fun popcorn action we've come to expect. The post credit sequence may be a cop out, but the mid credit sequence is the one worth sticking around for. The Winter Soldier most certainly delivers. READ MY REVIEW HERE
3. The Rover
The Rover, to me, is the most underrated movie of 2014. Worldwide, this film racked in just over a million dollars. Critics wise, this film received mixed reviews. Nobody saw it and the people that did didn't like it, yet here it is slotting into the #3 spot on my Top 25. This film is mesmerising in every sense of the word. Every single frame speaks to me. Every shot is beautiful. Every performance is utterly brilliant. The Rover is a masterpiece, and it's a film I want more people to see. READ MY REVIEW HERE
If you're interested in finding out what it's like to be yelled at by JK Simmons then this movie is for you. Whiplash tells the story of a young drummer who's asked to join the class of JK Simmons, who turns out to be the most psychotic music teacher I've ever heard of. Simmons gives the single greatest performance of 2014, loosing his s**t every second minute. But what I loved most about what they did with this monstrous character is that they take the opportunity to give him a heart. They make him human, despite doing some rather inhumane acts. Whiplash is a tense and psychotically disturbing movie, and one I can't wait to watch again. READ MY REVIEW HERE
If you read my review for Boyhood or if you've listened to a podcast where I bring up the movie then I doubt this will come of any surprise. Filmed over twelve years in short sections, Boyhood is one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all time. This film is more than just a movie, it's an experience. You watch these people grow old and by the time it's all over it's heartbreaking. There were so many moments in this film that, upon rewatching it, had me wanting to curl up into a ball and cry. It's a film of little moments, rather than big, and it's these little moments that I love. There's so many of them, such as the many Harry Potter related scenarios, that I could relate to. You're not human if you can't find something to relate to in this movie. Many have claimed that this is a movie you only need to see once. While I respect their opinion, I beg to differ. I've seen it twice now and if it weren't for its damn limited release then that number would be much higher. Upon second viewing I picked up on a lot more than I did the first time around. I knew it was my favourite film of the year when I watched it once, but when I saw it twice... wow, I had to bump it up to one of the best films I've seen in my life. I have never seen anything like Boyhood before, but I'm glad I did. This movie really hit home. READ MY REVIEW HERE