A (VERY) Late Mid Year Review of 2014 in Film

Honestly, when I started to think about this post, my initial thought was – Geez, this year has been rather “meh” film wise. The focus on the “event” film, or the 3D or just the blockbuster in general, left me feeling fatigued, so much so that I even missed the chance to see several of my favorite actors in the early summer release X-Men: Days of Future Past (MORE on that in general during my Guardians of the Galaxy review this Sunday/Monday — stay tuned).

2014 Mid Term

Try as I might I could not muster the will to drag myself to the local cinema and catch this one.

Or maybe it was the fading afterglow of having attended my first ever Sundance Film Festival. Yeah, I’ll buy that. 🙂

But actually after much thought I realized that actually, the period from January-June did offer up some cinematic delights, at least enough to allow give me a Top 5 list for 2014 … so far. And without further ado, here they are (in no particular order):

  • The One I Love – review pending (spoilers and stuff).
  • Boyhood – the one that almost got away, and so glad it didn’t.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – one of the better formed comic book adapts for a minute.
  • Belle – being hailed as a Jane Austen/Regency/Georgian piece with depth, I think it is more (and different) than that label.
  • When the Garden was Eden – “My” New York Knicks in their glory days.
  • Honorable Mention to The Only Lovers Left Alive – a film whose experience was punctuated by my attending a midnight screening during Sundance. Also a film where I have warmed to it a lot more post-screening.

So what do I think the future holds? Stayed tuned later today for what I am looking forward to in this latter half of the cinematic calendar.

P.S. Thoughts? Hit the Comments section below.

Quick Recap of the 86th Annual Academy Awards

Photo Credit: Creative Commons License  (Attribution No Derivative Works) by ebbandflowphotography via Flickr

Photo Credit: Creative Commons License
(Attribution No Derivative Works) by ebbandflowphotography via Flickr

I debated doing a recap – there are so many out there that by now opinions are formed and the papers that covered the events of this past Sunday night are securely lying in recycle bins worldwide. So, I asked myself, “is my two cents needed or valid?” Well of course my opinion is valid – everyone’s is (I do not lack THAT much self esteem).

In the end, I resolved to drop a quick list on my reaction to the festivities.

  1. Most of the awards went as I predicted. Pays to check out the odds-makers for probabilities. Also, it has gotten to a point that there are so many awards between January and the Oscars (registered trademark) that a pattern definitely does start to emerge, to the point you end up
  2. Ellen was good. Sure I may have laughed-cringed at the Liza Minnelli joke (rather cruel, and speaks to a larger issue), but overall she kept the show moving and brought audience engagement to new heights with the pizza party and selfie tweeted around the world. I would post the image, but then I think I would have to pay some money to Bradley Cooper or something like that.
  3. Leading up to the show I was really wondering how they were going to fit P!nk into the show; in fact all advertising leading up to broadcast had me questioning if this show was morphing into the Grammys (registered trademark). But she did just fine. But my favorite(s) in the musical performance title was a three-way tie between Pharrell Williams (“Happy“), Bette Midler (“Wind Beneath My Wings” In Memoriam tribute) and Darlene Love’s impromptu song of praise following Twenty Feet From Stardom‘s win the Best Documentary category (good film by the way, check it out).
  4. I must really be a glutton for punishment because I endured an hour of a cable channel’s live coverage of red carpet arrivals. Not that it is bad to parade people in front of cameras and have them ogled at like show-horses or anything, but this take  At the moment I could switch to ABC for their own “Countdown” show, which while in the same vein, provided a little more cinematic insight and context in the buildup to the evening’s festivities.
  5. (really 4B) I always get tickled when I see all these really rich and famous folks in fancy frocks parade down Hollywood Boulevard and ascend the steps into the Kodak Dolby Theatre. I am tickled because the theatre is housed in what can be best described as a mall, albeit a very nice one. In fact on a trip to the Home of the Academy Awards (until 2021) several years ago, I was ‘allowed’ to peek inside and see the theatre. One day maybe I will be able to have a seat when it matters most!

Well, that is all I got! Did you watch the show? What were some of your favorite moments? Hit the comments section below and share, share share