We're just now approaching the end of the second month of 2014, and yet I am already winded.
The start of the year is traditionally a time of studios dumping the movies that they couldn't quite slot anywhere else, and one of the reasons those films sometimes have trouble finding a home is because they just plain didn't work out. Talented people with the best of intentions sometimes simply miss the mark, and when that happens, studios find themselves playing a game to try to get people into the theater before word of mouth gets out.
There have definitely been some bright spots this year. I think “The LEGO Movie” is pure delight, and audiences seem to agree, turning it into a full-blown sensation. Sundance always helps kick the year off with some great new films. “The Raid 2” and “Whiplash” and “The Guest” and a fistful of other titles all made that a great ten days of fun films.
As far as general release titles go, “About Last Night” is a really solid and enjoyable version of the rom-com genre written smart. “Non-Stop” may have irritated me deeply, but I don't begrudge anyone who has fun with it. “Grand Piano” is a straight-up hoot, and there's a film I'm still embargoed on that has the year's first can't-miss performance, a genuinely delicious bit of movie villainy that made me cackle as I watched the film.
But there have also been plenty of mediocre and even bad films, and when we realized just how many there have been, we decided to give them one last Viking's funeral send off by torching them as we head into March.
I think I've dodged a few of these bullets by virtue of my schedule, but even so, I've got a little more gas in the tank for a few of these. Here's hoping the rest of the year is nothing but sunshine and lollipops, because I'm not sure I can handle more than one “Winter's Tale” in a year.