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  Are there any people viewing this topic who aren't ashamed to admit that they were bored to death by BIRDMAN and BOYHOOD ?  Here's my list of better films that came out at the end of 2014:










The films listed above are in random order,not by preference.

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Watched the SAG screeners. I was bored by Boyhood, Birdman was oooooh, aaaaahh, but in the end just hated it, wasn't impressed with the gimmickry didn't care for the drama, glad I didn't pay $$$$ to watch it.
For Gone Girl I actually watched the Netflix DVD just last night, hated the soundtrack which played behind every dialog, and the dialog didn't feel natural in a lot of sequences. The cops all looked too young & pretty, lol. It wasn't all that interesting either if you don't give a hoot about any of the characters or don't find them believable. If you are glued to the TV news all day you might find the media manipulation angle intriguing, but maybe not.  Will not watch this ever again. 
A buddy has this to add about Gone Girl:
1. The initial blame-Afleck bit was full of holes, but I was willing to give it a pass.
2. The kill-and-blame Neil Patrick Harris routine was full of holes and I was NOT willing to give it a pass. It's fun to see a diabolical character improvising, but that was ridiculous. And everything Neil Patrick Harris did was for the convenience of the plot, not because his character would actually do those things. Apparently, for the plan to work, Harris had to keep silent about the fact that the girl of his dreams was living with him. How did psycho-**** know he would? How does psycho-**** know he did? Harris has waited all his life to get together with this woman and he tells no one? And also he leads such a sequestered life that no one in his entourage (and where IS his entourage) would even guess that his living arrangements have suddenly changed? Where is it that Harris goes in the daytime if not to work or for some kind of social activity? He's certainly not a hermit. Doesn't he have any family? He's a rich guy, which means he has people depending on him, and such people are usually attuned to tiny changes in their meal ticket's SOP. Finally, there's no way that the woman's story would hold up if investigated, but we're supposed to believe, in spite of the woman's many fantastic claims, the LEOs have no interest in verifying her version of events (we even have the scene where the FBI guys silence the dissenting local cop). C'mon.
3. Afleck has heard the story of the guy who the woman framed for rape. He's also been framed himself by the woman for her murder. Gee, ya think at the end he thinks it's safe to hang around with this psycho? How could you sleep nights? I'd rather kill her and try to beat the rap. Since the LEOs are so dumb in this world, it looks like you can get away with anything there. Maybe Afleck could shift the blame to Nixon. Just takes a bit a planning, apparently, and sometimes even not that.
of the rest I've only seen The Theory of Everything (also a SAG screener) and it was ho hum also.

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I loved Boyhood, think it's a really great film for the agesDidn't see Birdman -- don't want to. What I've seen of it doesn't appeal to me, and I don't like Michael Keaton.  I liked The Theory of Everything well enough, not a great film, but Redmayne's performance was special. And I'm a sucker for all that English mise-en-scene. I just saw The Imitation Game -- thought it was great! OK, they had to beef up a part for a woman -- Keira Knightley's shtick is the film's weakest element. Apart from that, I think it's one of the year's best. I also saw Ida, which won the Best Foreign Film Oscar. Friends are absolutely wild about it! Although I think it's a good film, with stunning images, I was underwhelmed.  Of this year's other big films, I totally enjoyed The Grand Budapest Hotel.

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Overall I think 2014 was quite a mediocre year for films.  Nothing startling.  But certainly a handful of half-decent films.

I happened to see all of the Oscar nominated films in the all of the major categories and here is my current top 10 for whatever it is worth:


1. Boyhood

2. Still Alice

3. Unbroken

4. Birdman

5. A Most Wanted Man

6. Nightcrawler

7. Gone Girl

8. Big Hero 6

9. Citizenfour

10. Selma


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I've only seen a few, but I really liked "Boyhood". It was structured enough so that you knew that every 15 minutes or so it would jump a year ahead, but it never felt gimmicky. None of it seemed random; each segment set up the next and followed through on the previous one. I could see how she got drawn into her two subsequent marriages and why each had to end, without anyone ever "explaining" it. The through-lines of both parents were fascinating to me and were anchored by very solid performances. I was prepared not to be wowed by the boy because he had seemed so taciturn at all the award shows, but he was great. I like that eventually the kids became involved with the parents of the father's new wife in a way that showed how messy and ill-defined "family" can really be. The movie cast a very wide net to tell its story and, to me, it paid off beautifully.

Another one I liked, which was pretty much ignored at awards season, was "St. Vincent". It also featured a young boy in a major role, one of the most natural young screen actors I've seen. Melissa McCarthy was genius, finding some humor in pathos but never going big and bold in the way she's deservedly known for. Bill Murray gets more amazing as the years go on and this may be his most complicated role ever. He's every bit the jerk he's supposed to be, but we also see what the boy sees, his uncompromising fidelity to the people, things and ideas he values. It's another movie which can get pretty messy on the way to telling its story, yet it brings you to an extremely satisfying end.

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