Biggest Surprise: Vin Diesel as GROOT
I knew Guardians of the Galaxy would be a blast when I walked into the theater. What I didn’t know was just how great Groot would be. It’s a walking tree that says the same three words over and over: I AM GROOT. Groot is a more intelligent version of Game of Thrones’ Hodor.
The thing is, big time movie star Vin Diesel voiced those three words, and was fan-freakin-tastic doing it. Groot was wonderful. He was so much more than a walking tree. He had a soul that inspired warmth and sympathy in a big old mound of CGI. I’m not even a big Diesel fan, but I loved what he did with Groot.
Best Comeback: Michael Keaton in Birdman
Keaton has been dipped his toes in a few films in the past few years, but it’s been garbage like the Robocop remake. Birdman finally put Keaton back in the spotlight, and he’s great in it. Keaton needs projects that fuel his weird energy, like Beetlejuice. Keaton basically plays his fictional self in Birdman, playing upon his iconic turn as Batman in the Tim Burton movies. No one else could have pulled this one off.
Movie I didn’t enjoy as much as I probably should have: Snowpiercer
I really wanted to love Snowpiercer. In its defense, it is a fun project. A sealed up train hurtles across the icy, post-apocalyptic wasteland of Earth with the lower class confined to the last car. The lower class revolts, move their way up, learns some horrid truths. It’s like The Matrix meets the 5 floors of peril from Bruce Lee’s unfinished Game of Death. Evans is good in it, there’s a bunch of fun action. It just wasn’t the crazy, mind blowing experience that I expected due to the hype. Perhaps I’ve seen one too many B-flicks at this point.
Movie I forgot I saw because I saw it the same day as Boyhood: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Ohhhhhh yeah, I totally did see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. There were apes riding horses, apes taking tanks, and that one guy from Fringe mucking things up by acting like a total ass. Jason Clarke and Kerri Russell were pretty good in it (although Russell is way better as a stone cold Soviet spy in The Americans). Andy Serkis did his usual tremendous job with the motion capture work. Gary Oldman was a little much with the yelling and spitting. It was a fine big budget action flick, but Dawn didn’t stick with me like it did with the big critics.
Movie I’m still pseudo quoting: The Babadook
The Babadook is a pretty good throwback horror flick from the land of koalas and koala sized beers. Along with the Australian setting comes the super weird Australian accent. After initially seeing the movie, my quotes were limited to the “BABA DOOK DOOK DOOOOOOOOK” noise that the monster made. Then I watched Mad Max on Netflix one night and was reminded of those wonderful Aussie accents. I now randomly yell, “No mom, don’t let him in!” and “Watch out for the Babadook!” around the house, much to the dismay of my roommate.
Best bloody death: Gone Girl
Hi, have you seen Gone Girl? Ok, do you care about getting spoiled on Gone Girl? Great, let’s go ahead and spoil Gone Girl for you.
Neil Patrick Harris, America’s favorite gay man, plays super nice creep Desi Collings. He finally gets his shot at his dream girl, Amy (Rosamund Pike). He keeps her under a tight leash though, and when she bites back, she bites hard. And by bites I mean savagely murders him.
Collings’ murder shows just how depraved Amazing Amy really is. She’s covered in his blood. It’s calculated and cold blooded. Amy was a monster and Desi got to know that firsthand.
Best anything: Batman in The LEGO Movie
Will Arnett rules.
Best appearance by Robert Redford as a supervillain: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I’m as surprised as you are! Oh, and, um, spoilers. I guess.
Your latest reminder that Frank Miller needs to retire already: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Go home, Frank Miller. You’ve been drunk for 20 years. Also, Robert Rodriguez, you make me sad.
Worst use of the word “two”: Think Like A Man Too
As bad of a title as Dumb & Dumber To is, I get it. They’re dumb, it’s dumb, we’re all dumb. Think Like A Man Too, however, went the Look Who’s Talking route. I wish they had titled it Think Like A Man Too:Look Who’s Thinking! but I guess that would have been offensive or something.
Worst Bible movie: Exodus: Gods and Kings
We received the gift of not one, but two big budget Bible stories this year, with both Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings being released. Noah at least received a few good reviews. No one seemed to like Exodus, between its cast of white washed Egyptians and Ridley Scott bloat.
Best movie I didn’t see: Nightcrawler
Or maybe Whiplash. Or Selma. Or jeez, I don’t know you guys, I’m not made of money.
I totally meant to see Nightcrawler. It got some great reviews. I did not see Nightcrawler and failed you all. I am sorry Jake Gyllenhaal, please spare my life.
Worst movie I didn’t see: Amazing Spider-Man 2
This could have gone to the latest Transformers or TMNT. However, the Spider-Nerd in me decided that this had to go to the latest Spidey flick. If a man who can name multiple iterations of the Sinister Six and numerous Spidey supporting cast members has zero interest in this movie, then it must be pretty bad.
I’ll catch it on FX or FXXXXXXXX one of these days, watch for an hour, and then drink heavily to forget it.
Best movie I did see: Boyhood
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is winning everything. You know why? It deserves everything. Boyhood was the beautiful work of a lifetime that finally made me appreciate Ethan Hawke. I connected with Boyhood on so many levels. That’s what it’s like growing up with divorced parents. It’s a lovely collection of the moments that make life, life.