OLD DAN CEDAR’S BEST AND WORST MOVIES OF 2014

What a putrid year for movies. After one of the best years in 2013, except for a couple of notable exceptions, 2014 was a film silver-screen-cesspool. Not that everything was a complete turd, but just finding anything that was not just meh…was a beating. Not only was your humble reviewer scrambling for great movies…I was scrambling to find the biggest shit heaps.

One of my greatest joys is finding giant Roto Rooters. And remember, as of 2014, I don’t review retreads. Whether it’s Transformer XV or Star Wars VII – ALL OF THESE MOVIES ARE ASSUMED TO BE A VEHICLE TO BILK THE PUBLIC OUT OF ITS MONEY. They don’t get Old Dan Cedar’s time, money or publicity (if you want to call this shitty website publicity).

Now, I know there is a lot of controversy as the Academy Awards approach tonight.

Namely, as we all know, there was a group that dissed by the old farts giving out Oscars. The Traci Lords movie We Shall Overcome was completely shut out of Oscar contention. The movie looks at her post-pornographic movie and singing career. Lords blames this on the preconceived notion that a great actress can’t come from the sordid path of a pedophiliac porn star. Despite a wonderful performance from Sally Struthers as Lords, the movie was only given one nomination…Woody Allen racked up another nomination as Best Director, but is not expected to attend the ceremony since the Academy wouldn’t allow him a four minute segment for a clarinet solo. Bigotry continues in this Age of Sexual Enlightenment.

Now, if you are ready. Here are my truly Best and Worst Movies of 2014!!

OLD DAN CEDAR’S WORST MOVIES OF 2014

Every one of these movies made someone’s Best Movies of 2014

1.) Gone Girl – How this could be a loved, successful book and movie is beyond me.

This movie is as manipulative as my 16 year old ‘girlfriend’ that lives across the street from me and my mom. Always promising to make me meatloaf and NEVER coming through!!

It is a series of vignettes that are meant to be a commentary on the 24 hour news cycle and the way we hypocrites pre-judge sensational murder stories. Maybe, I am just smarter than the rest of you. No, definitely. But the twists and turns for the sake of twists and turns go against everything that the best movie of the year doesn’t stoop to. More subtlety and less hyperbole go a long way. The Nevada Film Critics Society, for what that’s worth, named Gone Girl the Best Movie of the Year. For whatever those three guys have to say about it. Affleck spends the entire movie trying to play the role, and quite well, without any facial expressions to keep us guessing if he is a good guy or bad guy. Well done, Ben.

THAT…is called ACTING, LADIES AND GENTS!!

His wife gains 20 lbs in five day period in the movie and loses 20 lbs back in a seven day period in the movie.

I could go on, but I am going on vacation in six days and have to drop twenty.

2.) Under The Skin – In the category of ‘Let’s just be weird for the sake of being weird’, Under The Skin is one of those kind of movies that critics love because – it’s just plain fucking weird.

And not FUNNY weird…like Old Dan Cedar…but, STUPID WEIRD.

Let me be clear…there is only one tiny plus in this movie and that is Scarlett Johansson getting naked.

Here’s a clue – Google Images…FREE.

Under The Skin…NOT FREE.

This movie made The Washington Post Top 10 List and is hailed to be “haunting and mesmerizing” i.e. it’s going to give you bad dreams and make you wonder how ANYONE could be mesmerized by this meandering hunk of dog dookie.

I dropped some acid the other day and was mesmerized (for a couple of hours) by the giant pile of dog shit that the neighbor’s Golden Lab dropped on my side walk.

Great piece of art, Warhol. Smell That?

It’s SHITTY SARCASM!!

3.) Left Behind – Okay, so maybe I lied. I am a sinner.

No critic that I have seen says that Left Behind is a great movie! Even ‘Christian Today’ says that this is nowhere close to a Christian movie. But, there are a lot of individual defenders of this movie on the internet. I am guessing that they aren’t the Mohammed defenders blowing sarcastic Parisian’s brains out so they can be martyrs.

Left Behind does have some redeeming qualities. The first scene, when Nic Cage is putting on his pilot hat and his toupee almost comes flying off. The first of many chuckles. Then, every time he takes off his hat, Nic tips his head back slowly, to keep that hideous rug from snagging on his forehead and having to re-shoot the scene.

De rigueur…Cage is overacting. If it was good enough in Con-Air…he is sticking with it in Left Behind.

The majority of the movie takes place on an airplane during the rapture. This is apparently a reboot of a Kirk Cameron movie that was made before Bill Clinton was turning the White House into a whorehouse.

Hell if I know. Never saw it.

There is this campy, over-the-top feel that keeps this from being the worst movie of 2014. It’s like the original 1960s Batman TV show, where the lines are delivered in all seriousness, but the actors, writers, director and the audience know it’s an inside joke. i.e. Actor Burt Ward as Robin (figuring out a riddle) “The opposite answer to a girl is a boy!” or Commissioner Gordon…a man before his time, “You know I am violently opposed to police brutality!”

I do know this. There are a bunch of lines that are so bad, they’re hilarious. And the clunky toy-plane flying in the Left Behind rapture looks just like the one in Airplane! (1980).

The director of Left Behind had previously been a stunt man. Perfect! This explains the continuity editing problems and the same extras that keep circulating through any scene at the airport that is more than 2 minutes long.

Full disclosure. I never knew there was an original Left Behind. But I am sure of one thing. Since Burt Ward’s acting career has slowed considerably, there is NO actor on this earth (or on any higher plane or in the pits of hell) that can deliver the INTENSITY that Nic Cage can. Cage is always hysterical. Whether it’s Face/Off, Con-Air or Left Behind…you’ll get that Cage- INTENSITY and several chuckles. And if you’re lucky, that Rat-Nest-Wig may just come flying off at some point.

And if you’re REAL lucky…Lea Thompson (Cage’s bible thumping wife) may lose her top…as she did in Back To The Future.

In Left Behind, Lea is playing the role of her mom from Back To The Future (1985) preaching to her kids about how things were different when she was a kid.

It never gets old.

Repent Lassie!!

4.) Force Majeure – This is a pretentious piece of contrived garbage. We follow a Swedish family of rich fucks on a ski trip in the Alps.

Can you say Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize winner.

1 Hour and 58 Minutes of PURE HELL!!

First of all there is this contrived ‘landslide’ while the rich pretentious fucks are trying to eat lunch.

Dad runs for his life.

Mom grabs the kids.

Mom makes Dad feel like shit for what seems like the next 8 hours.

Then, some other bullshit crisis happens and the Mom tries to save her own ass.

Now, did that take two fucking hours?

It’s supposed to be SO FUCKING DEEP!!

I would rather be buried under 100 METERS of snow, than watch this Major Force of Shit flying out of my ass, like I had prepping for a colonoscopy for 18 Hours.

5.) The Grand Budapest Hotel – Once again, Director Wes Anderson, is trying to be weird and quirky for the sake of being…weird and quirky. Anderson has done one great movie, Bottle Rocket, way-back in 1996. Right up there with M. Night Shyamalan of The Sixth Sense.

Thank you sir, give me another!!

Please excuse the brevity of this review, but I lost interest in this movie by about frame 24.

I enjoyed Ralph Fiennes shooting Jews and running a concentration camp.

I don’t need to see him playing in Abbott and Costello Play A Game Of Clue.

I half expected a frantic Tim Curry to come running out to solve the murder.

Unfortunately, there is no Lesley Ann Warren running around with her tits plopping out to hold my pecker’s interest. No Salt Peter needed here.

The Phoenix Film Society Awards nominated The Grand Budapest Hotel for The Best Film of 2014. Luckily the youngest member of the society is 112, so the end is nigh!

Much like my previous pick…Left Behind.

But, as for the Best Picture Oscar nod. NO EXCUSE!! Other than they are racist old fuckers.

6.) 22 Jump Street – Okay, so I’m not following all of my own rules. I thought it wasn’t a sequel. I thought that would be 21 Jump Street II. But NO, they mind-me into seeing this one.

And, of course, this proves why I don’t see sequels. Same shit. Different Address.

Starsky and Hutch go back to school to catch bad guys abounding in the hilarity of inanity.

What once was cute and clever is now worn and politically correct.

The National Post named 22 Jump Street one of the two funniest films of 2014.

Dump Street grossed $330 Million. Contrived and Stupid pays!! Watch Saturday Night Live, ya know, ANY FUCKING SATURDAY FOR 40 FUCKING YEARS!!

Hey, Fuzz, “I CAN’T BREATHE!!”

OLD DAN CEDAR’S BEST MOVIES OF 2014

1.) Boyhood – And it’s not even close. Richard Linklater has finally made a great film. The film was shot in 39 days over twelve years. If you have been a boy, have boys or have ever had sex with boys…you will enjoy this movie. If you don’t, you’re a pedophile or worse, a Transformers’ fan.

This movie is what every other movie is not. There are no bogus twists or non-sensical plot devices to get us where the writer and director want us to go. There is not even one sword fight, much less a never-ending series of them. And there is NO CGI.

And yet…it’s fucking awesome!! How the hell can that be?

It’s the kind of movie that you morons think you’d hate. And yet, it’s pure genius.

Imagine Linklater’s Pitch - So, we see this kid go from six to eighteen years old.

He lives with (mostly) fucked up people that are doing the best they can to raise him. As a parent, you can only do so much. But, give it a shot. It’s the greatest thing you’ll ever do with your pathetic, little life. It’s exhilarating. It’s heartbreaking. It’s funny. The one thing that it is not…it’s not fucking contrived. I have the beginning and the end scene in my head. I have a general outline.

Would you mind funding this? It’ll cost $2.5 million dollars. I am going to film it over 12 years and hope that none of my actors overdose on heroin.

I took my boys to this movie. They didn’t get it.

Predicting the greatness of a movie is like raising a kid. Work your damndest and hope for the best! At the end of your directing and editing…you have to let that bird fly. Mixed Metaphors aside…

To my boys… You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday. When you’re sitting in prison with time on your hands because you didn’t listen to your old man’s sage profoundedness.

LIFE DOESN’T GIVE YOU BUMPERS…Hippies!

2.) Whiplash – The most intense film of 2014.

And unpredictable.

Like Jazz.

With the singularity to strive for greatness, Miles Teller plays a jazz drumming prodigy that is pushed to his limits by his perfectionist/sadistic music teacher at an elite music school.

The fact that some pussy from the Academy Awards refused to vote for it because it was “offensive” is just the icing on the cake. I fucking loved it!!

J.K. Simmons is the hard driving teacher that will win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor tonight. He has some great lines.

“I will fuck you like a pig!!”

And

“There are no two words more harmful in the English language than ‘Good Job’!!

Miles Teller is the student driven to greatness.

It’s a clash of titan performances. But Miles Teller is the one who got fucked like a pig by not even getting a nomination for Best Actor.

Fucking Ridiculous.

Good Job…Academy of Dunces!!

3.) Birdman – So, Old Dan Cedar’s favorite Batman is Michael Keaton. I loved Batman Returns.

But, I only liked Birdman. Granted, I liked it a lot. But the rest of my best are good. Not great.

I think Keaton acts great!

And in doing my research, I found out that an actual Mexican directed this film.

And boy did he do some fancy tricks with his camera. The movie comes off as one giant, continuous camera shot. No shoddy editing like that Hitchcock tried to pull off in Rope.

Yep, Santa Anna just may win de Oscar for best director come. Hell, he may win de Oscar for buenoest film. You know how those film folk love movies about actors and such. This year reminds me a lot of way back in 1998 where Saving Private Ryan and Shakespeare in Love split the baby. Swapping Best Picture awards between the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.

4.) The Lunchbox – So, this movie was actually released in India in 2013. But, it was released in the USA in 2014. So, it goes on my 2014 list.

And I don’t fucking live in India!!

This is a very cool movie set in…India. Duh!

Apparently in India they have this overly-complicated manner of getting food to people (all men) at their jobs.

It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest distribution of food network. For whatever that is worth.

A younger woman sends her unappreciative husband his handmade, hot lunch through this system. Then something goes wrong. And an old guy gets her lunch.

He falls in love with her food. Then, through a series of exchanged notes, he falls in love with her.

Funny. Touching. And a great ending that leaves you guessing as to how things will turn out.

A surprise package, with just a couple of problems that have a scant stench of curry.

5.) Chef – Jon Favreau writes and directs a truly enjoyable film about a fat-fuck chef that opens his own food truck. Hilarious and heartfelt…the movie is a great vehicle for the chef to bond with his son on a cross-country road trip.

John Leguizamo is perfect and not trying to do some goofy, gay character.

FINALLY!!

He turns in an outstanding performance.

Scarlett Johansson is hot, funny and only a little weird as a worker at the restaurant. She throttled it back quite a bit from the over-the-top weirdity of her performance in Under The Skin.

The only character/actor that makes no sense…and I mean ZERO…is Sofia Vergara as the chef’s ex-wife. Too beautiful. Not funny. She’s a distraction.

I just kept thinking why the fuck would this fat fucking chef be with this hot chick and why would this chef with this witty, funny personality be with this model with no personality.

I know…pussy knows no bounds. But personally, if she said one more banal thing, I would hit her over the head with a frying pan.

But, then, I hate her in everything I have ever seen her in.

Other Notable Films Worth Your Time – The Theory of Everything, Nightcrawler and Traci, I Love You.