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This film year was…
Action-packed. Hollywood is money-hungry and thinks generic action films are the golden answer of how to make billions. Captain America, The Hunger Games, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Expendables 3, Transformers, Divergent, Guardians of the Galaxy, Edge of Tomorrow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (since when were they still a thing?), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Hercules and Godzilla. Inundate audiences with blockbusters featuring the same dramatic soundtrack… who wouldn’t repeatedly invest in that type of experience?
Thrilling. Predestination was a mindfuck. 5 stars. Better than Inception.
Healthy for Seth Rogen in alleviating confusion with Jonah Hill (22 Jump Street) and boosting the sex appeal of Zac Efron (Bad Neighbours).
Falling flat on musicals. This was a lacklustre year for films of song and dance, with none particularly singing out to audiences. Unless your profound love for Ricky Gervais transcends the plot of Muppets Most Wanted. Then again, perhaps it’s wise to avoid bias as One Direction: Where We Are – The Concert Film was released, which some may consider heaven-ordained. Jersey Boys, directed by Clint Eastwood, also had a fantastic finale, sparking addictions to the song ‘What a Night’ for one viewer in particular. Has anyone thought of a musical modern-day Western… there’s an undervalued market.
Postman Pat: The Movie happened.
New Zealand’s claim to the vampire. Taika Waititi’s Kiwi twist on the recurring vampire theme with What We Do in the Shadows was a highly positive addition to the New Zealand cinemascape (and Wellington landscape) this year. For Victoria students, it was particularly special with its nostalgic footage of The Big K.
Richard Linklater. The film Boyhood scored 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and was praised by Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian) as one of the greatest films of the decade. The successful achievement of the ambitious goal to create a film over 12 years is enough in itself, and a touching storyline makes it a poignant addition to the director’s collection of challenging independent films.
A new direction for Scarlett Johansson. With leading roles in Under the Skin and Lucy, she pushed her acting repertoire into darker territory yet simultaneously proved to continue to be horrendously attractive even as the voice of a computer in Her. Multitalented.
Full of innovation… Someone thought it would be a good idea to transform the classic computer game Tetris into a blockbuster film. The excitement is building, yet the teaser trailer does not provide nearly as much light relief as the game. Not sure of its chances to be a winner. The Lego Movie has set the standards quite high with animating colourful blocks. It sets an interesting precedent, however. Candy Crush the Movie: Level 1 as the ultimate interactive experience requiring the audience to pay a little extra when in need of top-ups, and with never-ending ‘sequels’; it could happen.