It’s been nearly a week since 2015 has begun to test our mettle. 2014 is now in the past and with it, a year filled with personal success that did not translate well into a lot of film watching and reviewing. It was, for me, an excellent year nonetheless, in which I was able to purchase my first property, finish my first marathon, visit Paris for the first time, and receive approval for a work visa to stay in the United States.
My blog suffered greatly in 2014 in part due to all of these activities and important “distractions”. I managed to post only 15 times in 12 months, and I watched 94 films that, when compared to 2013’s sum of 143 films, leaves a lot to be desired. With that in mind and with the resolve to improve greatly on these numbers, I look back at some of the best and worst experiences with film in the past year (following post to focus on TV and videogames). The following is not meant as a post about the “best films of 2014” (that will come in a later post when I begin to catch up), but rather as a summary of my own experiences with new and old releases.
Continue reading Reminiscing about the best & worst of 2014
July was a good and busy month. I’ve been preparing to run the Chicago Marathon this coming October, and running has now taken a significant chunk of my time, especially as the date gets closer and closer. Despite a hectic couple of weeks at work, I was finally able to dedicate a little bit more time to this blog of mine, and watch a few more films than I have recently. In lieu of my “best 2014 films of the first half of the year”, I offer my thoughts on the best films of ANY YEAR that I have managed to watch since January.
Continue reading Best films of any year watched in 2014
After a forced long hiatus, I’m back at blogging about some of my favorite things. In an effort to make this blog more representative of my interests, my monthly round-ups will now include short reviews of books read and videogames played (even if not completed) in addition to my usual run-down of films.
Below, the first part of a set of short reviews on anything I have had the pleasure to watch in the previous months.
Continue reading Months in Review: March & April (part I)
Until I watched Her, I was not really sure why I liked the films directed by Spike Jonze. When you watch them all together, looking at the evolving career of an artist, it becomes obvious that this a film maker interested in stories that speak about heartache, alienation, social awkwardness and the power of imagination and creativity. More importantly, Jonze’s films tend to be more substantive on larger metaphorical themes that are open to interpretation, and less focused on the specifics of a particular story. In other words, the story is a vehicle through which to express or hint at certain emotions and ideas.
Continue reading Film review: Her (2013)
Director: Spike Jonze
Cast: Max Records, James Gandolfini (voice), Lauren Ambrose (voice), Catherine Keener
♦ Blog of Big Ideas’ Top 250 Films Ever ♦
Rarely do I get to sit down to watch a film that despite its visual tenderness and innocence, manages to dig deep in my soul and carve itself a small crevasse in my memory where it will remain for a long long time. The beautiful Where the Wild Things Are, wonderfully directed by Spike Jonze, is one of those rare films that had I not been able to see it, my life would have been a little less complete and a little less special than it is today.
What Spike Jonze has done is not without merit for he has not only crafted a touching piece of film, but he managed to bring a wonderful story to life from a slender children’s book first written in the 1960s that runs for less than 40 pages containing as many images as it does words. Crucially, the screenplay did not seek to interpret what was at the heart of the story, instead Jonze collaborated with Dave Eggers to expand upon the central message by infusing it with richer characters surrounded by colors, textures and incredible shots of forests, endless seas and wavy sand dunes.
Continue reading Film review: Where the Wild Things Are (2009)