Lately me and Mikaela have been catching up on some of the most interesting movies of 2014 (and actually one movie from 2015) and I though it would be fun to write something about them and also to recommend them, because it turned out that all of them were well worth the time.
And while I’m at it I would recommend renting movies from the Itunes Store. My television/movie consumption is based around streaming (in our case Netflix and HBO Nordic) nowadays, but one problem that these services have is that they very seldom offer the latest movies. Actually, I would even say that if you have a specific movie that you are interested in, it’s quite rare that you’ll find it. So you kind of have to browse around and hope that you find something. But if we’re being honest, for 79 kr (10 dollars) a month this is reasonable.
Also buying new movies (like blu-ray copies) is very expensive. Just when they are released you will sometimes have to pay around 200 kr, which is crazy. The prices drop with time, but sometimes you want to watch right now without being ruined. In this situation Itunes is great, because you can rent even the really new movies for 50 kr, which I would say is cheap. Of course you could just use Pirate Bay, but that’s kind of wacky, annoying and morally questionable, so I tend to avoid it.
So without further due, here are some movie tips:
This is basically a Bond (or at least secret agent) parody and beleive it or not, it’s really great. It is such a strange movie that you just have to love it. There is loads and loads of violence, all extremely well choreographed and filmed with an interesting technique. Perhaps Martin could help me out here, because I don’t know how they have done it, but it’s almost like they have removed some frames and somehow made the action fast and jagged. The whole film is extremely over the top and oftentimes points out just how ridiculous the old agent cliches are and even discuss how sex and damsels in distress are portrayed in these movies in a really shocking way. There is also a meta layer to the film, which I really enjoyed. I could go on about a lisping villain and great characters, but in short just see it. I is so much better than it seems when you just hear the elevator pitch.
This is the first movie about drumming that I have seen, so right from the start I was interested. The first thing I thought about was this old (and quite amazing) music video from Arctic Monkeys. In this dark and intense film Miles Teller is an extremely motivated music student who meets his new musical director JK Simmons (whom for me will always be Peter Parker’s angry boss at Daily Bugle) when he starts at one of the most prominent schools in the US. It turns out that JK Simmons is a very angry man once again and the rest of the movie portrays Miles Teller’s long and hard battle for the approval of JK Simmons. The theme of the movie is ambition and the sacrifice one has to make to really become great and also coaching and leadership. I do think that they sometimes took things a bit too far; there is quite some blood and sweat and I found it to be unnecessary at some times. That does not keep this from being one of the most unusual and interesting movies I have seen for quite some time.
This is more or less a two hour long car chase in the desert. But just as with Kingsman - The Secret Service there is much more to it than what first meets the eye. George Miller directed the old movies from the eighties and has during the last years been working with Babe and Happy Feet. I just had to mention this since I find is so surprising. Anyway, now Mad Max is back with a really great movie. I think the reason why I like it so much is mostly because of the visual presentation. The cars and trucks feel heavy and real and all have this really cool homemade feeling to them. Everything is half broken, dirty and rusty. Even the people living in this desert all seem fragile and insane. I also found it cool and really modern that Tom Hardy (Mad Max) is almost a minor character in his own film, while Charlize Theron steals the show.
If you only have time to watch one of these movies this is the one you should see. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a lonely and cold young man desperate for work. By chance he meets a night crawler, a reporter working nighttime to find news stories, and decides to give it a go himself. He quickly becomes successful, mostly because of his unthoughtful and egocentric nature and by being really intrusive. As the movie progresses he gets more power over his life, which quickly leads to disturbing scenes where he takes advantage of his new situation. It is really a movie about a person who should never have power over others, but somehow gets it anyway. What makes the movie great though, is how delicately this person is portrayed by the creators and by Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s never clear that he is a sadist or an evil person, he just seem to lack something deeply human. The subtle way something is off with his laughter, his handshakes and his body language is just stunning and the primary reason why you all should see this.
I dawned on me now that all of the above movies will be mostly liked by men and I would guess that Wild is Mikaela’s favorite out of these five. So if you’re not that into men being agents, men drumming, men driving cars or men filming perhaps you are more interested in a film about a young woman finding herself. There is really nothing unique with Wild and much like The Lord of the Rings this is mostly a film about people walking. Reese Witherspoon plays a young woman who has been depressed for some time and decides to walk the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself. She is extremely unprepared, which lead to quite a bit of comedy, but also sincere and touching moments. My favorite aspect of this film is that it feels realistic and that the creators never really compromises with that vision in order to create drama.