January 2014 In Review

I've seen many of my fellow critics put posts like this on their blogs, so I figured that in the spirit of the new year, I'd begin making a blog post on a monthly basis. This month brought many brilliant films, many of which made it into my top 100 films of all time. So without further ado, here are the films I saw over January.

American Hustle - 4.5/5 - David O' Russell's latest may not be as strong as his past two films, but he still manages to bring a vibrant direction and energy that makes for a great experience, and a cast who excel in their roles.
Boogie Nights: Best film of the month
and Biggest surprise
The Heat - 3/5 - A predictable and sporadically funny comedy that's lacking thanks to a poor script that relies too much on swearing & Bullock not swearing, but succeeds with the acting and the heart. The less said about McCarthy's loud, Boston family, the better.
12 Years A Slave: Best film seen in cinemas
In Bruges - 5/5 - A black comedy that excels all around. The actors are all superb, from Farrell proving why he's better in smaller films, the always brilliant Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes just being perfect. The comedic moments hit as hard as the emotional moments, which makes for one of the best black comedies out there.

The Naked Gun: From The Files of the Police Squad - 5/5 - A classic that i've loved since I was young, due to how insane it is. The ever dependable Leslie Nielsen proves why he's the king of spoofs with his hilariously deadpan performance. A spot-on spoof of cop films and procedurals, with a perfect car chase spoof.
Goodfellas: Best film rewatched
Last Vegas - 2/5 - The quartet of Academy Award winners overcome the poor script to give good performances. It's just a shame this comedy had to focus on cheap, repetitive gags of the main characters being old and on cheap sex gags.

The Wolf of Wall Street - 5/5 - Scorcese bring an insane 3 hour ride which is equal parts outrageous and compelling, giving us DiCaprio throwing midgets, sinking a ship and snorting coke out of a hookers bum. Packed with a strong cast and a great tackle of The American Dream, it shows Scorcese won't be slowing down at 71.
The Heat: Biggest disappointment
Goodfellas - 5/5 - Upon my first viewing of this film, I liked it, but didn't get why everyone praised it as one of the best films ever. Repeat viewings really do make all the difference, as Liotta charms and Pesci, like Scorcese's film, manages to effortlessly switch from comedic to chilling, both to an astounding effect.

Boogie Nights - 5/5 - Being my first Paul Thomas Anderson flick, I didn't know what to expect, but what I got was a bonafide masterpiece. The entire cast give fantastic work, from Mark Wahlberg's career best, to Philip Seymour Hoffman's underrated performance as a tragic victim of unrequited love. Not a porn film, but a film about porn, fairly showing the industry in a balanced manner.
Last Vegas: Worst film of the month
12 Years A Slave - 5/5 - Steve McQueen holds back no punches in this unflinching and brutal tale that will leave you emotionally drained. The kind of film that deserves to be shown in classes, to educate and inform on the horrors which humanity was responsible for. Fantastic performances, especially from Ejiofor and Fassbender, who give career bests.

Best film of the month: Boogie Nights
Best film seen in cinemas: 12 Years A Slave
Best film rewatched: Goodfellas
Biggest Disappointment: The Heat
Biggest Surprise: Boogie Nights
Worst film of the month: Last Vegas

Number of films watched: 9