#innoparticularorder #someinterestingstuffisawin2014 #editedandslightlyamplifiedforclarity #notjust2014movieseithersomeoldiesinthemixtoo #doubledipping
Citizenfour (2014) Directed by Laura Poitras.
2 hour documentary primer on the broad outlines of USA's global surveillance regime. Watch it with someone you love.
Particle Fever (2013) Directed by Mark Levinson.
Documentary of CERN LHC 2008-2012. Why smash atoms? To see what happens, of course. Higgs begets questions begets more questions . . .
Saving Christmas (2014) Directed by Kirk Cameron.
Stalinist-Maoist auteur Kirk Cameron's masterpiece of Marxist irony satirizes imperialist-capitalist excesses of Xmas.
Nightmare Detective 2 (2008) Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto.
Shinya Tsukamoto channels his inner Tarkovsky and conjures a hallucinatory, suspenseful mood from quotidian settings.
The Congress (2013) Directed by Ari Folman.
Hollywood chemically conquers reality. Dense mix of animation/live action. Rewards multiple viewings. Double up with Robert Altman's 1992 meta-thriller The Player.
A Touch of Sin (2013) Directed by Zhangke Jia.
Working poor in China pushed to many breaking points. Mythic/realistic aspects of blood vengeance fuse into one.
Snowpiercer (2013) Directed by Bong Joon-ho.
Class warfare on a train. I don't think that polar bear is gonna give those kids a bottle of Coca-Cola . . .
Dear White People (2014) Directed by Justin Simien.
College as a crucible for race and politics in the USA'14. Humor, wit, and the toxic legacy of racism/slavery right now.
The Babadook (2014) Directed by Jennifer Kent.
It's just a little hungry, ya'll, no need to freak out! Is this The Shining 2 or Introduction to Spiritual Ecology 101? Hmm. (NOTE: It's kinda both. And it's kinda brilliant.)
Message From Space (1978) Directed by Kinji Fukasaku.
Kinji Fukasaku's 1978 anti-realism homage a la Star Wars. Favorite line: "Tell Chairman Noguchi Don Quixote has returned."
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) Directed by Michael Bay.
American capitalists, Chinese communists, and alien robots conspire to waste your time/money.
(NOTE: You want some real Transformers opera? Take a look at the shockingly good Transformers Prime TV show. It has the definitive portrayal of Megatron, my personal favorite character from the Transformers multiverse. As voiced by Frank Welker, he is a glorious monomaniacal psychopath who makes Hannibal Lector look like Mister Rogers. The live action movies are total junk.)
Godzilla (2014) Directed by Gareth Edwards.
Strong kaiju scenes, weak human drama. Keystone military's handling of nukes hilarious. I guess San Fran's expendable, huh?
Boyhood (2014) Directed by Richard Linklater.
New Era Longitudinal Cinema. Do the kids in Texas really pledge allegiance to two different flags every morning? Explains a lot.
The Wind Rises (2013) Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
A grandiose dream results in a pile of corpses and twisted, burning wreckage. Thematic inversion of Howl's Moving Castle.
Love Hotel (2014) Directed by Philip Cox and Hikaru Toda.
Doc chronicles rightward cultural shift in Japanese society via demise of common sense toward human sexuality. Raw, intimate.
The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) Directed by Isao Takahata.
A strange being is caught between two worlds, each one trying to deny her autonomy. Gorgeous, morally complex.
A Most Wanted Man (2014) Directed by Anton Corbijn.
Citizens may be the only true moral agents. States demand human sacrifices. A classic Philip Seymour Hoffman slow burn.
Birdman (2014) Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
Michael Keaton brings the glorious crazy. Hoping Birdman 2 pits Riggan Thomson against Tetsuo Shima in a junkyard of desire driven idiots.
Karate-Robo Zaborgar (2011) Directed by Noboru Iguchi.
Tokusatsu heroes and villains crash into reality-diabetes, aging, dysfunctional families-and try to stay mythic.
Rosewater (2014) Directed by Jon Stewart.
Iran's crackdown on journalists/journalism. Strong portrayal of confinement/torture/madness, undercut by too tidy ending.
Interstellar (2014) Directed by Christopher Nolan.
Puer aeternus spaceman gives space-time the slip. Dug the robot, dug the black hole, but script goes soft as an ensemble piece.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Directed by Doug Liman.
Hollywood whitewashes Japanese science fiction novel. If you can get past that, it's okay. Groundhog Day+Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers.
The Raid 2 (2014) Directed by Gareth Evans.
A very determined man beats feces out of some very tough villains. Dig the kitchen duel, and then call the Health Department.
Future War (1997) Directed by Anthony Doublin.
'97 video obscurity depicts a prostitute turned nun selling cocaine to fund a guerrilla war against cyborgs and dinosaurs. #AFI100 (NOTE: This was also made into an amusing episode of Mike Nelson-era MST3K, but I recommend taking a look at the thoroughly batshit original, which is weirdly provocative in its daffy way.)
Why Don't You Play In Hell? (2013) Directed by Shion Sono.
Shion Sono's gang of young filmmakers go beyond full tilt boogie into full tilt kamikaze. Hella fun.
The Visitor (1979) Directed by Giulio Paradisi.
God vs Satan/Conspiracy vs Conspiracy whacked-out yet sincere homage a Star Wars/Exorcist/Omen. Dig Franco Micalizzi's score.
Dallos (1983) Directed by Mamoru Oshii.
Anime version of The Battle of Algiers+The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. 1st Original Video Animation from Ghost in the Shell director Oshii.
Unforgiven (2013) Directed by Lee Sang-il.
Lee Sang-il's rather remarkable remake eclipses Clint Eastwood's original. Hey. Sometimes that happens.
Fury (2014) Directed by David Ayer.
Carnage for the whole family. Despite the lack of slo-mo Sam Peckinpah would be proud, but not say it aloud. Too proud. (NOTE: Makes an interesting double feature with Peckinpah's Cross of Iron.)
Noah (2014) Directed by Darren Aronofsky.
Biblical flood myth as obscure, post-apocalyptic 1970s Jack Kirby comic.