Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Movies Roundup 2014

 First things first, 2014 was a sub-par movie year for Bollywood. No two ways about it. The last couple of years had raised the expectations but this was back to the superstars and their regular Rs. 200 crores rubbish, for the most part.  Also, personally this year I ended up seeing far fewer movies in theatres primarily because the downtown cinemas that had started screening Hindi movies dialed it down, and most of the non-mainstream movies like Filmistaan, The World Before Her etc. never saw the light of day in this part of the world. However, my friend Parth had thrown a helpful challenge, to also take into account the overall movies watches, including those at home. Though I failed miserably on my 2014 resolution of 100 movies overall (theatres and TV) but the last month of the year saw a strong upswing with a TV moving to the bedroom. Ended the year with 14 movies in the theatres and 24 on the smaller screen. Barely passed with 38% marks. Toning down 2015 expectations to 50 movies overall.

 Moving to the real deal now. Just like in 200920102011, 2012, & 2013 I made a quick note of my initial thoughts and a rating on 10, purely on how much I enjoyed it. As always, very keen to hear your thoughts and exchange some notes. Welcome 2015 and let the show go on!

  Starting with the popular stats first, only for movies released the same year.


Year     # Seen Hindi:English:Bangla   Top Rating      Avg. Rating
2007     32               22:10:0                           9.0             5.78
2008     30               23:7:0                             8.5             6.35
2009     24               18:6:0                             9.0             6.85
2010     25               16:9:0                             8.5             6.62
2011     22               15:6:1                             8.5             6.77
2012     28               12:11:5                           9.0             7.33
2013     28               14:14:0                           9.0             7.12
2014     16                10:6:0                            9.0             6.16 

 The average rating was significantly impacted by the worst movie I have seen in the last 10 years - Gundey. And it breaks my heart that after a 10 month stay at the bottom of IMDb rankings, it's now the 3rd worst movie in history.

Coming to the top 5, and with just 16 movies, decided to go with a mix of Hollywood and Bollywood this time. (All posters courtsey Wikipedia)

5. 2 States


Exaggerated, stereotypical plot but thoroughly enjoyable. Besides one pretentious social message, a fun, feel good movie. 7.5/10.

4. American Hustle


.Smart, fast paced and genuinely funny. Smooth performances, great lines with Jen Lawrence a cut above the rest. 8/10

3. Haider


Recommended to not watch it with real life biases and enjoy a brilliant movie. Pulls you into the story from get go. Haunting. 8/10

2. Gone Girl


One of the most intriguing characters in modern cinema. You'll forget whom you're rooting for and what you want. Gripping. 8.5/10

1. Queen


Characters & situations you identify with. Touches upon prejudices without being preachy. Spectacular Kangana and support cast. 9/10



Below, a collection of tweet reviews of all the movies of 2014.

American Hustle - Smart, fast paced and genuinely funny. Smooth performances, great lines with Jen Lawrence a cut above the rest. 8/10

Gundey - 0.5/10

Highway - Superb performances by Alia & Randeep, beautiful locales & cinematography, soothing score, unnecessary parallel thread. 7/10.

Gulaab Gang - has a message, and is delivered in simple black & white. An outstanding Juhi Chawla. Unnecessary music. Masala lines. 6/10.

Queen - Characters & situations you identify with. Touches upon prejudices without being preachy. Spectacular Kangana and support cast. 9/10

2 States - Exaggerated, stereotypical plot but thoroughly enjoyable. Besides one pretentious social message, a fun, feel good movie. 7.5/10.

Finding Fanny - eccentric, funny, realistic in an over the top way, heart warming performances and Goa beautifully captured. 7/10

Haider - Recommended to not watch it with real life biases and enjoy a brilliant movie. Pulls you into the story from get go. Haunting. 8/10

Gone Girl - One of the most intriguing characters in modern cinema. You'll forget whom you're rooting for and what you want. Gripping. 8.5/10

Happy New Year - 5/10 (a series of tweets on the movie here)

PK - 7/10, but that's irrelevant. Here's the full review - And an earnest request to watch it.

The Interview - Utterly outraged that a topic as fascinating as North Korea was completely messed up in this terrible comic attempt. 3/10.
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