Monday, June 30, 2014

2014 (well, from June on) monthly movie list: June edition

Inspired by friend David Steffens and his list-making over short fiction podcasts (like this), I thought I would start keeping track of the movies I watched in 2014. There'll be minimal commentary here--I'm just interested in keeping track of what I saw and about how much I liked it. And since I rarely get out to the movies, most of these will be rentals and Netflix.

Also, to be clear, this is not a list of "best" but rather a list of "most enjoyed."
  1. Kill Bill 1 & 2
  2. Her
  3. Edge of Tomorrow
  4. The Emperor's New Groove
  5. World War Z
  6. The Wolverine
  7. We're the Millers
  8. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
June surprises: I was a little bored with I saw Kill Bill the first time, but now I thought it was not only enjoyable, but clearly a work of incredible craftsmanship.

Her was very interesting, as a rom-com (sort of) about a guy getting over his ex with a new girlfriend, who was able to help him reconnect with his joyousness--only this new girlfriend is a computer OS (rather than a manic pixie girl) and there are certain missed connections between a human and an OS (which is what really sets her off from the MPG, since she has her own arc); in many ways a tone poem to depression and recovery, and by "tone poem," I mean I was occasionally bored.

Emperor's New Groove is one of the not-very-much-talked-about Disney movies from after the 90s Renaissance but before the Pixar salvation. Apparently it had a very troubled making, but I thought the movie was enjoyably meta and strange, from the non-linear telling and interruptions to the setting of a pre-Columbian Incan Empire (with plenty of anachronisms).

Emperor's New Groove also demonstrates something that Incredible Burt Wonderstone failed at, which is making your unpleasant protagonist fun and/or identifiable: Kuzco and Burt are both self-centered, but Kuzco has a sense of humor, whereas Burt is a joyless jerk; and while Kuzco is introduced in contrast to the really evil villain, Burt's sad introduction with bullies and an absent mother don't actually build to anything.

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