Movies of 2014: Gone Girl, Interstellar & Frank

You can find Part 1 and Part 2 of my “Movies of 2014” posts here and here.

Gone Girl
Full disclaimer: I read Gone Girl…and wasn’t much of a fan. Like everyone else in the world, I was taken aback by the ending even though I was completely entranced at the beginning. That aside, I actually enjoyed Gone Girl (the movie) which is surprising because I was absolutely convinced I hated it during the first 10 minutes. To be honest, I think I just realized its the characters – all of them drive me up the wall. Nick is a terrible self-centered husband, Margo gives me second-hand embarrassment because I just think she is so obnoxious, and Amy is (obviously) willing to kill to get her way (which I know is the point but it just irks me). But, somehow, David Fincher made me at least kind of enjoy it. I’m not even a massive Fincher fan, either, so I’m as surprised as anyone. I guess I’m just being “that guy” but yeah, I thought Rosamund Pike was great but everything else? I thought it was good but not knock-your-socks-off amazing.

I expected a lot from Interstellar. I’m not afraid to admit it, I tend to go into a Nolan film expecting something…mostly just that I won’t be let down. Unfortunately, I think I set my expectations a little too high with Interstellar. There was nothing inherently bad, but I also wasn’t wowed in the same sort of ways I was when I saw Inception for the first time. I know its just a movie but there were many parts of it that stood out to me that just played as distractions that I couldn’t shake. Like, for example, Matthew McConaughey’s character (Cooper) is piloting this ship…and he knows the plan is to travel through a wormhole. They say earlier in the film that this is the sort of thing he was “trained for” and that he was their only available pilot. Okay, fine. But then, right before they’re about to go through the wormhole, Romilly (played by David Gyasi) explains to Cooper how a wormhole works. I know I’m being nit-picky but that bugged me! I know its a movie for the masses that had to have “subtle” explanations for people who may not be familiar with wormholes and relativity but I just found it very distracting to have the pilot not understand the science. From then on, I hung onto his words constantly, waiting for the next time he’d have to have something explained to him. But, that aside, I did enjoy the last 20 minutes a lot (mostly). It was interesting/cool to see how all of his actions were making an impact from the beginning and, to be honest, that was the part I most enjoyed. I wasn’t much a fan of after he was saved and saw his daughter again (it felt lackluster to me…it would have been cool to see him interacting with her family though) and I felt weird about him completely not asking about his son. Anyway, I obviously didn’t hate the film, I actually liked it, but it just didn’t meet my expectations.

Frank was delightful. It was kooky and funny and even sad. It is the story of a man named Jon and what ensues after he accidentally joins a band called The Soronprfbs. Most of the film was hilarious. Michael Fassbender as the titular character was incredible. It just felt easy to watch in the sort of way I wish all movies felt. The only weird feeling I had about the film was the odd jump in tone. Everything goes from funny and light and only mildly aggressive to incredibly manic and somber. I had no problem with the actual shift, just how fast it happened. Obviously, the death of a main character can do that to ya, but it just took me off guard a bit. But, to be honest, I actually liked Frank more than I liked the other films I talked about here today – Gone Girl and Interstellar. Maybe its just the kind of film that calls more to me, I don’t know. If you’re interested, Frank is currently streaming on Netflix.


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