Saturday, January 10, 2015

2014 in Films: Part 1, The Overview

I don't understand why all the 'Best of 2014' lists are written and posted in early December. Why write off December like that? I mean, sure, it is cold and grey and most of us are on the long holiday-free slog to Christmas and need cheering up... But then you get gifts and time off to consume and enjoy 2014's cultural produce. I suppose that all the lists give you a grand selection of books and films and music to enjoy over your holidays but they're missing a trick in terms of a full and conclusive retrospective. A fair amount was read/watched/eaten in the last three weeks of December that should be remembered as part of 2014 rather than being swept under the seasonal carpet.

That said, I'm going to consider 'Films of 2014' through the lens of our Lovefilm rental list which is itself pretty narrow. We're one of the seven households in the UK that probably still has a hard copy Lovefilm subscription and I highly enjoy it. In this day and age it somehow already seems old-fashioned to have DVDs delivered but I think they're an excellent and necessary supplement to streaming. We have Lovefilm Instant/Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix subscriptions and I love streaming - we have watched eight series of the American Office this year on streaming and they have been glorious. Streaming is vast and convenient but, to be truthful, I watch almost exclusively drivel online. There are exceptions, I can think of The Office and, of course, Transparent, but mostly I watch trash like Step Up 4: The Uppiest on Netflix while I do the washing up. I find it difficult to psych myself up to watch anything challenging or complicated on streaming. My applause and disbelief to those of you watching subtitles or documentaries on streaming, you are a better person than me.

Luckily (for my self-esteem and non-existent reputation) I can't find the place on Instant or Netflix that records the films and TV that I have streamed in 2014. It would, no doubt, be undignified. I mean, it is undignified to be unable to find a website page that I'm sure must exist but I'm writing this on Blogspot - clearly I make no claim to technical expertise. Of course, there is plenty of rubbish on our postal list (which I could find and you have below) but there are some great films mixed in too. I haven't edited this list because I think recommendations are most relevant within context. For the most part, you are best off avoiding recommendations from people with directly opposing taste to you. Yes, it is good to be pushed and stretched and whathaveyou but if you hate most of the films I've loved and love most of the films I've hated then you're unlikely to get much out of my other favourites. That's fine, the internet is a big place and there are many films. Also, I don't wish to sugar coat my life - I make no pretensions to highbrow cinematic taste. I watch great films, crap films, stunningly mundane films. I watch big shiny franchises and as well as indie films. I cohabit with a boy so I watch a lot of superhero films. Such is life. I don't really trust people who only watch clever, brilliant films. Perhaps they exist, perhaps the bloggers whose lives are really just all peonies and Parisian balconies exist, the world contains multitudes. But, if they do exist, surely they are rather two dimensional if smart and sophisticated?

All of the films/DVDs I watched in 2014*:
*Excluding streaming, TV, the cinema and anything else you can think of.
**At a very rough guess I might estimate that these account for 2/3 of my total viewing.
***Also, as will soon become apparent, these are not 2014 releases because no one lives like that.

Searching for Sugar Man
Half Nelson
Veep S1-2
The Bling Ring
Monsters University
The Internship
Pacific Rim
Kiki's Delivery Service
Frances Ha
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Emma (2009)
Girls S1-3
Liberal Arts
The Mortal Instruments
Kick-Ass 2
In a World
Safety Not Guaranteed
Girl Most Likely...
Parks and Recreation S4
All the Real Girls
Drinking Buddies
How I Live Now
The To Do List
Now You See Me
Wolf Children
Bottle Rocket
The Decoy Bride
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
About Time
Before Sunrise
That Awkward Moment
Dallas Buyers Club
The World's End
Catching Fire
The Way Way Back
Kill Your Darlings
Bored to Death S1-2
Cuban Fury
Delivery Man
What a Way to Go!
Inside Llewyn Davis
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Two Faces of January
20 Feet from Stardom
We Are the Best!
Only Lovers Left Alive
Enough Said
What Maisie Knew
The Lego Movie
They Came Together
Begin Again
10 Years: The Reunion
Carrie (2014)
22 Jump Street
Bad Neighbours

Thoughts, recommendations and anti-recommendations to follow...

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