Top Five Worst Films so Far
Sometimes its fun to hate
The common theme to the films that I see with my worst films list are films that try really hard to be something and takes the worst approach to it. GBF tries to satirize high school stereotypes and the vapidness of today’s culture except the heightened stereotypes prove to be much more offensive than timely. Its obvious that the filmmakers want to be like Heathers or Mean Girls but instead of being a pertinent look at high school life, it becomes a mean film in which the characters are made fun of rather than allowing the comedy to come naturally. It actually reminded me a lot of Struck by Lightning with Chris Colfer from last year with how the film seemed to be derived from such a negative place and anger that it becomes really unpleasant to watch.
4. The Purge: Anarchy
As I write this I must say that this is the freshest film on any list I made. But, I detested this film. In trying to make an allegorical tale about the government’s totalitarism rule of people by using violence, the director, James DeManaco seems to revel in the violence and torture that he puts onscreen. The plea for humanity that he is advocating is openly contradicted by the amount of violence that is put onscreen. Maybe the worst part is how stupid the characters are. Frank Grillo does have charisma as generic stern cop looking guy #34 but everyone’s motivations and character choices are baffling. At one point in during the movie, I actually tried to will myself to sleep but the film was too loud so I kept watching even though I didn’t want to. Unfortunately I already paid.
3. Tran4mers: Age of Extinction
This film induced a full day headache for me. Michael Bay is indeed an auteur and he is indeed self aware. In fact it was clever to put a remake in Rio Bravo as the background poster during a diatribe on how Hollywood does not make original movies like they used to anymore. But, he just is not for me. The terrible jokes, the offensive jokes, the recessive nature of his action scenes, obvious product placement, dumb storylines, dumb character motivations and many more traits are all not for me. But, they are for as of right now, $800 million worth of people. I give up.
2. The Other Woman
I hate this movie because it tries so hard to be a feminist, female empowerment film only to prove to be one of the most reductive female film that I can ever remember watching. In trying to create strong powerful women, there are still jokes about Kate Upton being an idiot, Cameron Diaz caring about her looks, and I don’t even want to get into Leslie Mann’s character.
- I, Frankenstein
This movie sucks.
11:07 pm • 23 July 2014 • 1 note
Top Ten Films of the Year So Far
So, I have been falling behind on my diary which is the basis of this tumblr so I am going to shift to a more essay based which i guess doesn’t work well on a tumblr blog but who cares. Here is my Top Ten Films for 2014 so far and it does not include “Boyhood” which I assume will be on here since I haven’t seen it yet. Also if you want to know what I have been watching go to http://letterboxd.com/ and find haoster15
10. Nymphomaniac: Volume 1
I had trouble considering whether or not to consider Nymphomaniac as one film or split it up into the two parts like its theatrical release. But, if I were to judge the two film together as one, then Nymphomaniac would be out of the top ten. I found the second part to be muddled in vision and redundant. But, the first part, which almost played like a comedy, was incredibly engrossing anchored by a solid performance by Stacy Martin. I think the problem comes with the attitudes that both films bring. For the central character, in Volume One, the lead is still young thus is vibrant and full of life. The second part has her broken down by the sadist attitudes of the film bringing the film down making it a slug to watch. Anyways, because I wanted to talk about Lars Von Trier’s latest, Volume One is on the list.
9. Tim’s Vermeer
Directed by Teller and narrated by Penn, this is not a typical debunking of some social tradition, in a sense, which the two magicians are known for. More so, the film celebrates genius and problem solving by following Tim Jenison and his obsession over how Vermeer painted his photorealistic paintings. Penn and Jenison vamp making the film entertaining if there was no arc to follow. But, with the added effort of revealing the mystery of how a great painter mastered his craft, the film is one of the best and most entertaining documentaries of the year.
8. The Immigrant
James Gray latest has its major detractors but, I loved the combination of an old style type of operatic melodrama combined with neo-realistic imagery. For some, the melodrama proves to be too much in a time where action has replaced heightened emotions. Gray seemingly tries to change the perception that people have with the genre of melodrama. By using Marion Colltaird as our ever suffering heroine, Gray creates so much suffering and pathos without ever becoming Von Trier like that a nice sense of release and catharsis felt truly satisfying.
7. Blue Ruin
Jeremy Saulnier’s newest feature is also an introduction to a director who seemingly has a bright future ahead of him. Although not his first film, Blue Ruin will definitely open doors for him as he takes this stripped down approach to a revenge thriller. The violence, although gory, comes few and far between. In those moments in between however, the deliberate pacing, although never slow, is like a simmer on a warm broth that always borders on becoming a full tilt water overflowing boil. And by separating the gory moments from each other, it accentuates the horror of violence which is refreshing in this desensitized society. Great directors often times start in genre pictures and Saulnier seems to be poised for future success.
6. Finding Vivian Maier
I have an affinity for documentaries that focus on unknown artists or geniuses. These biographies are able to not only illuminate on a subject but an art form as well. Vivian Maier is an enigma; one of those artists that received fame after death whether she wanted it or not. But, the film never portrays her as a saint. The same eccentricities that made her a great photographer of quirky subject also made her hard to deal with and skewed way of taking care of children, her primary profession. The film unfolds like a mystery and the revelations are surprising and unique, making the film a great example of why documentaries as an art form has been one of the most radiant of styles in the past few years.
5. Only Lovers Left Alive
Jim Jarmusch making a vampire film with Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska, as well as Anton Yelchin. This is an indie film fan’s wet dream and happily it does not disappoint one single bit. As all vampire movies are, the vampire in this picture is an allegory. This time, the allegory is about artists living through immortality. The two central vampires, Hiddleston and Swinton, have relationship to the arts. Hiddleston is the creator, who becomes tortured by the possibility of fame. He is depressed and uses art as a way to unleash pent up feelings but that drives him deeper into depression. Swinton, on the other hand, is a consumer. Because of that, she is lively and energetic despite being the older of the vampires. This central relationship makes Only Lovers Left Alive, Jarmusch’s best film since his peak in the mid-90’s which is saying a lot as the quality of his output has not exactly diminished in recent years.
4. We are the Best
This Swedish coming of age tale about teenage girls with no music experience forming a punk rock group is, for the lack of a better term, punk rock. It has all the excitement and grunginess of punk rock, with actors, I assume having little to no experience, and that leads to the joy in this film. The children look like children and the subject matter is never pandering or safe but never becomes exploitation. It is a frank portrayal of growing up an outcast from the rest of the world and finding solace through creative output. I think this is mandatory viewing for all teenagers around the middle school and high school age especially when it comes to females as I cannot think of a smarter film with three strong children female protagonists.
3. Life Itself
Roger Ebert helped me fall in love with the movies. That is a sentence that has been written by many and that’s because it is true. His reviews spoke to the common man without ever pandering to them. He knew what he was talking about but also knew his audience. Steve James had extraordinary access to Ebert’s final months, and to be truthful it was hard to watch. But, Ebert was still himself, maybe even more youthful in his final months and the film had me crying throughout. James does an excellent job capturing all the key moments of Ebert’s life while also unrelenting allowing Roger to present himself in all his glory, post-surgery; a brave thing to do. But in the end, I cannot be objective about this film. I love Roger Ebert and I love his portrayal in this loving documentary.
In a time where franchises dominate the summer blockbuster season and anything else harps on the idea of nostalgia, Snowpiercer was a fresh injection of life into the blood. Bong Joon-ho creates a new perfect sci-fi film filled with allegories, a fresh blend of Korean style genre mashers and a set design that creates a whole world in train. And more importantly, this is not a pretentious film geek film. It is a summer blockbuster in every respect, having action set pieces, and even huge star in Chris Evans (also this is the second Tilda Swinton movie in the top five). I cannot harp on it enough but I haven’t felt this much excitement coming out of film in a long time and I wish that big budget filmmakers can take note at the possibilities and if this was part of a major studio, then I believed that this could have appealed to a mass market.
1. Like Father Like Son
My favorite film so far is a tiny Japanese film made by Hirokazu Koreeda, who made one of my favorite films of the last ten years called Still Walking. Here he takes a sitcom plot, and adds subtlety and truisms to it that makes yourself ask what you would do if you were in that situation. He explores the aspect of family and what makes it work and questions the different aspects of raising children. There is a constant battle between whether it is better to be fun loving but sparse in discipline with a more rigid type of landscape. But, he never makes it one sided because that conflict is not one sided. That is a mark of a good filmmaker who writes his own films. Koreeda is also a quiet filmmaker, not relying on style instead he takes an economical approach of simply letting the actions of the actors tell the story. I think anyone who watches this film will appreciate Koreeda’s unflinching and beautiful tale of the meaning of familial bond.
10:43 pm • 23 July 2014 • 3 notes