Romy Shiller

Archive for January, 2015|Monthly archive page

Live for Films: The Highs and Lows of 2014

In Film, Team Live For Films on January 1, 2015 at 4:49 am


Phil Edwards: Another year over, another one just begun. I can’t believe Live for Films is 6 years old! Where does the time go?

2014 saw many things happen in the world of film. We lost some great actors as new faces appeared on the silver screen. A Seth Rogen comedy almost started another war and it is not every year you get to say that.

phil edwardsSome of my highlights were the absolute joy of Guardians of the Galaxy, the action of The Raid 2, The Guest, Fury, watching the wonderful Captain America: Winter Soldier make Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. essential viewing, the brief times we saw Godzilla, Rosamund Pike being an absolute psycho and Ben Affleck being an idiot in Gone Girl, Ralph Fiennes and his filthy mouth in The Grand Budapest Hotel, our final journey with Bilbo in The Hobbit and Tom Cruise going all Groundhog Day in Edge of Tomorrow. It was also funny to see how the latter film’s ad people suddenly realise that they should have called it Live, Die, Repeat. Oh, and Live for Films being quoted on the Cheap Thrills poster and blu-ray (thanks to Alan and his great review for an excellent film for that one).

We also interviewed many fantastic people over the past 12 months. Oh, and the brilliant TV shows that we had – True Detective, Arrow, The Flash, Hannibal, Person of Interest and many more. There was also the cool caricature of me (left) by Will Robson.

Lows for me include not getting to see enough films in the year, how staggeringly bad Transcendence was, not enough people going to see Edge of Tomorrow at the cinema, Dracula Untold showhorning in a beginning of Universal’s non-horror shared universe.

However, the biggest low was losing Live for Films’ Holly B to cancer. She will be forever missed.

2015 has many delights for us including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, Ant-Man, Bill, The Hateful Eight, Crimson Peak, Chappie and Tomorrowland. There will also be a Live for Films video show thing on the way, with yours truly looking slightly confused as I realise the enormity of it all! Watch for that in the next few months.

That’s enough from me. Without further ado, here are some of the incredibly talented Team Live for Films with their highs and lows of 2014.

Stephen Bowron

stephen bowronHighs: It’s unbelievable that The Lego Movie came out only this year; it was a cultural phenomenon that almost rivalled that of last year’s Frozen and rightfully so. Phil Lord and Chris Miller don’t have any new films on the horizon but with both 22 Jump Street and The Lego Movie out this year I feel my funny bone’s need to be tickled has been sated for now. I expect Gone Girl will be on most peoples’ lists as a movie high this year and that’s undoubtedly because David Fincher’s latest slow-burn is not just a fine film on a practical level but is also one of the best book adaptations I can recall. Finally, the year ended on two more highs as Dumb and Dumber To and close of the Hobbit trilogy proved that we can return to treasured lands and reap shining gold.

Lows: Trans4mers, absolutely. The film itself was a vast improvement on the franchise’s second and third instalments but no Transformers film should ever earn over one billion dollars. Almost as ridiculous as Trans4mers’s gross was the plot of Transcendence and the squandered talent and premise of Muppets Most Wanted (it hurts to think badly of anything with Tina Fey in it). Jonathan Liebesman also had a good go at destroying our childhoods with the abominable TMNT for which makes me all the more excited for his 2016 film, Transformers 5. Last of all, I never saw Adam Sandler’s Blended but something tells me it’s Rotten Tomatoes rating of 14% was well-earned – though, at least he showed us he still has talent, even if he refuses to display it often, with Men, Women and Children.

Alan Simmons

Alan-Simmons2014 has been a cracking filmic year for me. Not just in terms of all the great movies that have come out, but also all the way cool stuff I’ve been able to cover for the site.

So here are not just my Top 5, but my Top 10, plus my Top 5 things I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to do thanks to a site that I love and an Editor who rocks.

Al’s Top 10 Films of 2014

  1. What We Do in the Shadows
  2. Wolfcop
  3. The Sacrament
  4. The Guest
  5. Cheap Thrills
  6. Veronica Mars
  7. Nightcrawler
  8. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  9. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy

Al’s Top 5 Highlights of Contributing to Live for Films in 2014 

In no particular order:

And do you know what? I don’t know if it’s remembering all this sweet stuff that’s put me in a particularly good mood, or that my post-holidays blood alcohol is still seasonally high, but I’m not going to do a “lows” or a worst five – let’s start the year with nothing but love.

Instead here are my Most Anticipated 5 Films of 2015:

Mad Max: Fury Road – Because Tom Hardy is Max. Because George Miller is back. And because did you see the trailer?!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Because no matter how much I hate the prequels, and because no matter how worried about JJ post-Star Trek Into Darkness I am, I will never not be excited for Star Wars – like everyone – that shit is in my blood, and the teaser got me so excited that I didn’t know if I needed to watch it another ten times in a row or throw up.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – Because Joss. Because the Marvel movies are my crack. Because the trailer gives me goosebumps.

Spectre – Because if there’s one franchise that I hold dearer than Star Wars or Marvel it’s Bond, James Bond. Plus aprés-Skyfall, all the pieces are now on the board for what could be the best Bond ever.

The Hateful Eight – Tarantino. Sold.

Adam Truscott

adam truscottHighs:

  • IMAX opening in Chichester. Sod the visuals. Interstellar and Five Armies never sounded so good!
  • Kept my Cineworld cards for 3/4 members of Team Truscott when common sense said get rid. We’ve started using them again, and baby T will start to venture in with us soon.
  • In terms of films: Nightcrawler, Grand Budapest, Raid 2 all gave me what I wanted us a little more.
  • Marvel continue to make us all their bitch. Guardians is a beautiful film… But how good is Winter Soldier? It gets better with every view, IMHO.
  • Days of Future Past wasn’t half bad, either.
  • Gone Girl saving me from reading the book.
  • Everything is awesome.
  • Scorsese and Tarantino still giving me my highlights of 2014. Even if it’s a script reading and not an actual film.
  • Freaking Force Awakens trailer in IMAX. Yes!
  • Realising Boyhood (which I missed and know I’ll love) was available on German eBay.


  • Realising 6 weeks later that Boyhood still wasn’t here from Germany – and is out in the UK in a few weeks. (FML).
  • Missing The Guest on its theatrical run. Livid.
  • Birdman taking what feels like three years to be released.
  • 12A films fucking continuing to have the fucking “F Word” in them. So unnecessary. Fuck you Apes, X-Men, Transformers 4, Interstellar and all other fucking 12As!
  • Films that crashed and burned because audiences are idiots. Edge of Tomorrow, I feel for you Son. Spidey 2 was very harshly treated too. So was TMNT. People need to remind themselves what they’re buying a ticket for in 2015.
  • Lucy deciding to “jump the shark” when everything was looking so positive.
  • Godzilla losing all re-watchability after that honest trailer. So much good. So much bad.
  • 3D getting better but seemingly more irrelevant by the day. Disappointing they’re mastering their craft just as the craze dies down. Tell me Quicksilver’s moment isn’t the standout 3D moment of the year, though?
  • Missing several classics at the cinema as I lose out on time. Blue Ruin, Locke – I’m looking at you.
  • Knowing the world we live in will never allow Keaton an Oscar. Leo-style.

Romy Shiller

romy shillerI have decided to create a TOP 5 LIST instead of ‘highs and lows’ because my ‘low’ will ruffle way too many feathers here. For sure.

  1. Under The Skin
  2. Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance]
  3. St. Vincent
  4. The Theory of Everything
  5. Interstellar

Jackson Ball

jackson ballHighs:

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – I declared it as I left the cinema, and I stand by it now: THIS is Wes Anderson’s masterwork. His meticulous visuals are never more stunning, and Ralph Fiennes delivers the comic performance of 2014.
  • Gone Girl – Controversies be damned; this was the stand-out thriller of the year. Fincher’s gift for storytelling, combines with inch-perfect casting creates for one of the most visceral cinema experiences in recent memory.
  • Boyhood – As moving as it is ambitious. Linklater shows the real milestones of childhood by ignoring them entirely, and focusing on those understated transitions we can all relate to. Arquette and Hawke are flawless.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Easily the most exhilarating blockbuster of the year. Andy Serkis once again smashes our preconceptions of what to expect from motion capture, as Caesar the ape cements himself as one of the most iconic cinematic characters of recent history.


  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – A bigger mess than Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin, and nowhere near as funny.
  • Godzilla – Overly-long and Overly-pretentious. This film was devoid of any of the charm or fun that the King of Monsters deserves.

Chris Edwards

posters3 of the best and 2 of the worst films of 2014:

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – This isn’t just my film of the year, it’s one of my all-time favourites. Inspired by the work of Austrian writer Stephan Zweig, director Wes Anderson combined his trademark quirkiness with a sense of pre-war melancholy to create a wonderfully charming and funny world for his characters to thrive. A fantastic achievement.
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Is it too controversial to call this the best CGI animation ever? I’m sure Toy Story and a bunch of other Pixar flics would have something to say about that, but as far as I’m concerned DreamWorks has a winner on its hands with this series. The sequel retains the journal like narration, staying true to Cressida Cowell’s books. At the same time, this is just as creative as the first, conveying traditional family film values in the most heartwarming and visually breathtaking way possible.
  • Gone Girl – I went into the cinema knowing nothing about the film or Gillian Flynn’s novel. I left utterly enthralled, but more importantly, freaked out. With its themes of domestic abuse, misogyny and psychopathy, it’s no wonder Gone Girl was one of the most talked about films of 2014.
  • The Lego Movie – I’ve only seen parts of this film, parts long enough for me to be absolutely baffled at the widespread obsession amongst various age groups. If you’re 13 or younger, fair enough, but anyone older should be grinding their teeth and painstakingly clawing at the armrest while the younger viewer screams ‘everything is awesome’. No it isn’t.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction – Where to start with Michael Bay. Just when I thought a film about giant, transforming, alien robots couldn’t get any worse he releases this miserable excuse of a thing. If there is an art to smashing CGI polygons together in an orgy of mashed metal and explosions then this is the equivalent of an artist smearing the canvas with his own shit.

Trevor Hogg

This is how I view 2014:

Best Film: The Tale of Princess Kaguya
Worse Film: Scarlet Innocence (Madam Ppang-Deok)
Pleasant Surprise: Guardians of the Galaxy and ’71
Best Visual Effects: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Most Ambitious: Boyhood

Biggest Disappointments: Bill Cosby and Jian Ghomeshi

Looking forward: House of Cards Season 3, Blackhat, Tomorrowland, The Walk

Dreading: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Onward to 2015.

What were your highs and lows of 2014?