2014 LOG (4-5-6)

CAP

(2 Apr) Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014, Anthony & Joe Russo) 83
[ Chris Evans is still perfect as Captain America and he has wonderful chemistry with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. Meanwhile, the whole plot about SHIELD/Hydra is surprisingly engrossing and, well, surprising, like something out of a 1970s spy thriller. And the Winter Soldier storyline is rather affecting, in addition to leading to some awesome action scenes. Who knew the Russo brothers had such a badass flick in them? ]

(10 Apr) L’Auberge espagnole (2002, Cédric Klapisch)

(12 Apr) Bears (2014, Alastair Fothergill & Keith Scholey)

(24 Apr) Million Dollar Arm (2014, Craig Gillespie)

(25 Apr) Les Poupées russes (2005, Cédric Klapisch)

(3 May) 40 Is the New 20 (2009, Simon Boisvert) [ review ] 70

(17 May) Blue Jasmine (2013, Woody Allen) 85
[ This film is most notable for Cate Blanchett’s exceptional, Oscar-winning performance as a woman slowly but surely losing her mind after the trafic end of her marriage to a super wealthy, super sleazy man (Alec Baldwin). Now crashing with her sister (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco, she tries to make a new life for herself, far from the glamorous lifestyle she used to have, but it proves harder than planned… “Blue Jasmine” is as well written and as well directed as you’d expect from Woody Allen, but again, what really sets it apart is how fascinating Blanchett is to watch. Popping pills, drinking too much, talking to herself while getting lost in flashbacks to her old life… She’s a sometimes funny, more often than not really sad figure, certainly one of the richest characters in a Woody movie in recent memory. ]

(23 May) X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014, Bryan Singer) [ review ] 77

(28 May) Maleficent (2014, Robert Stromberg)

(6 Jun) Edge of Tomorrow (2014, Doug Liman) [ review ] 84

(18 Jun) Frozen (2013, Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee)
[ I’m not the biggest fan of fairy tales, but there are some nice twists in this one, plus it features gorgeous animation and some wonderful songs, including the Oscar-winning “Let It Go”. ]

(20 Jun) That’s My Boy (2012, Sean Anders) 46
[ Dumb and crass, but I like Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, plus you’ve got to dig the supporting parts by Vanilla Ice, James Caan and Susan Sarandon. It’s good for a few laughs, basically. ]

(21 Jun) The Fault in Our Stars (2014, Josh Boone) [ review ] 90

(24 Jun) Side by Side (2012, Christopher Kenneally)
[ Keanu Reeves, of all people, produced and did all the interviews for this documentary and man, he did an amazing job. This is an absolutely fascinating snapshot of this very special transition period we’re going through where film is almost entirely being replaced by digital. Best of all is how Keanu got to talk to almost all these major filmmakers, from George Lucas and Martin Scorsese to James Cameron, David Fincher and Christopher Nolan, to name but a few. A must-see. ]

(25 Jun) Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (2011, Rodman Flender)
[ After he got screwed out of hosting The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien went on a comedy and music tour throughout North America. This documentary captures bits from his performances, but mostly life on the road, dealing with fans and whatnot. It’s pretty interesting, if not fascinating or anything. The most notable thing about the film might be how it shows a Conan O’Brien filled with anger and bitterness, hardly the fun-loving buffoon we’re used to. ]

(26 Jun) The Thin Blue Line (1988, Errol Morris)
[ I love Errol Morris’s documentaries, which are very distinctive visually and which often feature spellbinding scores by Philip Glass. And then there’s Morris’ sense of storytelling, which make a film like “The Thin Blue Line” feel like a mystery thriller. It also happens to make a truly convincing case about the innocence of a man who was convicted of murder, while also incriminating the man who’s actually guilty of the crime. ]

(29 Jun) Twenty Feet From Stardom (2013, Morgan Neville)
[ This brilliant documentary, which won the Oscar this year, shines a light on some of the most legendary background singers of the 1960s and ‘70s, strong women with such killer voices as Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Claudia Lennear and others. They have many great stories to tell and we see a bunch of footage of them performing back in the day as well as today, which makes us pay special attention to their contribution to countless classic records. The film also briefly focuses on a current background singer who’s trying to make it as a solo artist, Judith Hill, who you surely remember if you’re a fan of The Voice like me – but somehow, they never mention that TV show in the film. Oh well, it’s a still a great watch! ]

January-February-March / July-August