Adventures In Cinema: August 2014
Continuing Kinnemaniac’s new regular monthly column, offering short reviews of every new film seen at the cinema during any given month. This will be updated after every cinema visit for an ongoing summary of what’s worth seeing on the big-screen. See also January, February, March, April, May, June, July.
Guardians Of The Galaxy
Not only Marvel’s finest movie to date, but also arguably the best movie of the 1980s made since 1989. Injecting a naughtier, more flippant edge to comic-book lore than most, director James Gunn has produced something that can be enjoyed as part of the wider Marvel story, as a stand-alone triumph and as a throwback to the days when blockbusters meant cool characters, doing cool stuff. HIGHLIGHT: Tree creature Groot, having taken out several dozen enemies in one move, turns to his friends with the same look of unbridled, child-like glee that you’ll be feeling watching this.
David Michod’s weary fable of moral collapse harnesses a familiar Aussie vision of the post-apocalypse to an equally familiar mismatched-buddy narrative. Aside from Guy Pearce’s brilliant performance as man way beyond the edge, it’s depressingly familiar. HIGHLIGHT: A midget finds out the hard way that Pearce’s drifter isn’t quite the put-upon victim he first appears to be.
How To Train Your Dragon 2
DreamWorks ignores its sequel tradition by banning wacky comic relief and serving up a visually expansive, emotionally tough adventure to treasure. Dare we call it The Empire Strikes Back of modern animation? HIGHLIGHT: A properly heart-breaking plot development that succeeded, where even the death of Mufasa in The Lion King failed, in bringing a tear to my son’s eye.
The Deer Hunter
Michael Cimino’s Oscar winner is exceptional as a study of America, far less convincing when it travels to Vietnam – but then, that’s what it was like for America, too. Ignore the overpraised, offensive Russian roulette sequences and concentrate on the masterful charting of blue-collar life. HIGHLIGHT: The entire first hour, in which De Niro and a soon-to-be-famous cast (Streep, Walken) attend one of cinema’s most authentically staged wedding celebrations.
Tagged 2014 films