By Matt Rooney

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The Old Familiars

Blu-Ray Quickie: The Interview

It's understandable for a Seth Rogen and Co. movie to win the box-office for a weekend, but grabbing the attention of a megalomaniac dictator to the point where his threats took the movie off the release calender is whole other thing entirely. But maybe Mr. Kim Jong-Un should've waited to see the movie first. Then he would've realized it was totally harmless and nothing more than farcical stoner comedy.

Seth Rogen and James Franco play the producer and the star of an entertainment news show who get an offer to interview Un in a world where he actually has the power to challenge the world in nuclear war. Sounds quite topical, but the movie doesn't really aim for a political bulls-eye.

Instead Rogen and co-director Evan Goldberg from a script by Dan Sterling just use this timely international conflict to create a satirical, and dare I say adorable, portrait of Un as they jump from goofy scenario to goofy scenario. 

Those familiar to normal Rogen films know what to expcet: Penis jokes, drugs, hilarious banter and a quick spirited pace. Nothing much out of the ordinary. Those who like his other movies will enjoy this one, and those who don't, well you get the gist. I for one am part of the former and this movie, though missing the opportunity to do something slightly more intelligent, flat-out hysterical.  Who wouldn't laugh at a fight scene that involves three, count em' three, fingers being bitten off? Someone without a soul, that's who.

*in no particular order*


Honorable Mentions: Chef, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Edge of Tomorrow, John Wick, Fury, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Snowpiercer

Gone Girl: Sadistic, raw, haunting, brutal, magnetic, intelligent and even a little funny. Those are only a few words to describe David Fincher’s latest stroke of genius.

Nightcrawler: Casting a grim light on the notion of success against the backdrop of broadcast media, Jake Gyllenhaal gives his best performance as the man we all have the potential to be—albeit with an extra dose of madness.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: What do you get when you mix blockbuster excitement with an old-school thriller plot? A damn great movie, that’s what.

The Babadook: Wrapping a constantly terrifying premise and fantastic cinematography into a tale about a mother and her son into a truly haunting family horror-drama. What better way to spend your evening?

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson is at his best in terms of both humor and style with a definitive work amongst a sea of triumphs. Even if you don’t laugh you won’t be able to take your eyes off it.

Guardians of the Galaxy: The world has all agreed this movie has given them the most fun at the theater then they’ve had since “The Avengers”. A perfect homage to “Star Wars” and all great sci-fi with all the giddy pleasure Marvel has to offer.

Interstellar: Even with “The Dark Knight” and “Insomnia” on his resume, “Interstellar” stands out as Christopher Nolan’s ode to pure movie-going magic with stunning visuals, jaw-dropping scope and a heart-warming family odyssey. Who knew this guy still had all these tricks up his sleeve. Me…I did.

The Lego Movie: Bursting from the seams, onto the ground, and into my deepest brain crevasses with wit and pure imagination, “The Lego Movie” was the most surprising movie of the year and one that, although it came out in February, I can’t get out of my head.

Birdman: With artistic mastery out the wazzu, “Birdman” features a pedigree of acting and technique you see only once in a blue moon. Needless to say it soars like some sort of majestic winged creature, which probably goes south for the winter.

Boyhood: You will literally never see a movie like “Boyhood” ever again. Though the rest of this list is in no specific order, “Boyhood” is in fact the best movie of the year. Filmed over 12 years it flows so effortlessly while ringing with nostalgia, humor, insight and talent. It is, with my total endorsement, a perfect movie


Dishonorable Mentions: The Giver, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sabotage, Maleficent, Robocop

Let’s Be Cops: Flat-out unfunny and a transparent attempt to copy “21 Jump Street”. Let’s not.

The Other Woman: Meant to be an up-lifting “girl-power” comedy, this movie does the opposite by projecting them as cruel, whiny or brainless. On top of that it’s not remotely funny.

Transcendence: At one point the talk of the town, this sci-fi thriller was supposed to be the movie of the year that showed us the consequence of technology. Instead it was mentally strenuous with its dopey plot, lack of direction and care by its cast and crew.

Dumb and Dumber To: So dumb is speeds past funny and stops dead on mind-numbing with the actors even trying too hard, you need little proof to prove the Farrelly Brothers have lost any touch they once had.

Mockingjay Part 1: The more I think about this movie the more I hate it. Obliviously useless with a stagnant plot, any sense of imagination, fun or intelligence while giving not only Part 1’s a bad name, but blockbusters in general.

Divergent: Rivalling only Twilight, “Divergent” is amongst the worst the YA stable has to offer with phoned-in performances, an easy premise and a gag-worthy sense catering to drooling fans.

Transformers: Age of Extinction: How could these movies get any worse? How about stretch an hour-long story over three hours, stuff the audiences’ brains with blatant product placement and the worst acting any involved has ever done. Michael Bay is officially sent from Hell to teach us all a lesson. Lord help us.

Tammy: Even with “Dumber” and “Let’s be Cops” in the mix, “Tammy” takes the fruit cake as the worst comedy of the year. Never remotely funny, Melissa McCarthy pandering to her sloppy, crass, simple-minded persona and one of the most aimless stories this year. I…I just can’t…

The November Man: An attempt at action-star rejuvenation at its worst, this is lazy, dumb, pointless, straight-to-DVD worthy effort to bring Pierce Brosnan back into the spotlight. I’d rather have “007: Generations”

I, Frankenstein: Me brain no member dis movie cuz it brokeded da part of me brain. When you see it, run fast and never look back.