Due to travelling more than usual in 2014, I had the opportunity to see a more movies and TV shows than usual. I carry my iPad loaded with things to watch, and when I don’t have to work on the plane or in the hotel, I fire up something to watch before falling asleep. Goes pretty well with a couple of glasses of whiskey or wine.
I picked the three best films and TV series that I tore through in 2014. These are the movies. The TV shows will appear in a succeeding post.
Begin Again – Written and directed by John Carney
It’s a movie about the music business, the people who make the music, music in general and, well, people. My favorite scene is when Dan (Mark Ruffalo) and Greta (Keira Knightley) plug an earphone splitter into an iPod and roam the streets of New York to an eclectic playlist. It comes across as poignant and natural, and the relationship of the characters and the music shine through. Also, Keira can actually sing, which is a revelation.
Edge of Tomorrow – Written by Chris McQuarrie and Jeb & John Butterworth, directed by Doug Liman
A shockingly massive box-office bust, this film is an adaptation of the Japanese novel/manga オール・ユー・ニード・イズ・キル (“All You Need is Kill”) by 桜坂 洋 Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Tom Cruise apparently no longer can carry a film with his presence alone. It’s a shame, because the screenplay is smart, the direction is effective, and the editing keeps the gimmick from getting stale. It’s still the movie on this list that most people are likely to have seen. Finally, Fieldwork’s “This Is Not The End” was a fantastic choice for this film’s trailer, and I’m really not an electronica person either.
Fury – Written and directed by David Ayer
Fury is my film of 2014. I like me a good war movie, and this is one of the best since Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. The perspective of the war from the inside of a tank is unexplored territory, and the cast that inhabits the tank delivers a textured, believable performance. It’s usually a curse to have the well-known faces of Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf, but the two actors manage to overcome their star power (LaBeouf more than Pitt, who still kind of comes across as indestructible). The visuals are compelling, and the whole project earns its spot in a WW2 film pantheon of great films.