Yet another list of what were the best films of the year. Hope all of you got to see them cause there will be a test come New Year’s Eve…
5) Blue Ruin
-What I loved about this film was how realistic it was. A one man revenge trip would never go smoothly regardless of what you have seen in the movies. Dwight’s (Macon Blair) path of vengeance is bloody and it never gets easier even with the smallest of details. But what is amazing is that there is no law enforcement or any outside force to stop it all. It can be a bleak film at times but some good additions of dark humor is peppered throughout to keep it an entertaining affair. This got a super small release in the states (heck I had to see it in Paris…not to brag) but it is now on Netflix instant so I urge anyone to give it a shot.
4) The Lego Movie
-Call it the surprise of 2014, I honestly did not expect ANYTHING from this. But the moment the song ‘Everything is Awesome’ hits and you see the epic scope this film is about to unleash it blows your mind. Considering this is brought to us by the team of the 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs series it honestly shouldn’t be a surprise. With jokes barraging us every second and some gorgeous animation that this movie probably didn’t deserve; The Lego Movie easily winds up being the best animated film of 2014. Now hopefully we get the Lego Batman spin off we may not deserved but the spin off we needed.
3) The Grand Budapest Hotel
-While I may not be a Wes Anderson fan, his newest venture struck a chord with me for whatever reason. Maybe it is because the plot is actually interesting for a change or even the humor is more slapstick than usual. Or it could be that this film is a Production Designer’s wet dream as each setting from the hotel to the mountain landscape are treats to the eyes. Or maybe it is because he gets incredible performances out of everything in this cast from the main leads to the quickie cameos. Ralph Fiennes in general steals the movie as the over eccentric concierge M. Gustave (his monologue about surviving in prison had me in stitches). Even if you are not a fan of Wes Anderson’s work this one stands out from his usual tropes as a Director.
-Here is when I realized that I was going to love this film: When Chris Evans opens the door and his protesters in arms sees a sea of men in ski-masks carrying axes. Also, in the middle of this epic fight that occurs the action literally pauses so friend and foe alike can celebrate the new year. If that sounds batshit bonkers then congratulations as you haven’t seen anything yet. Snowpiercer is absolutely insane from minute one and it never slows down like the titular train. Director Bong Joon Ho (with co-writer Kelly Masterson) does not shy away from unique characters, crazy situations, and over the top action sequences. But the one thing that almost steals the movie away from all of that is Mason aka Tilda Swinton. Not only does she give a masterful effort as a bizarre megalomaniac; but the speeches she gives have been stuck in my head since the first viewing. Her ‘Be a Shoe’ scene might be one of the best monologues a villain has given in film in a long time. I feel like I am giving too much away if you have never seen/heard of this bizarre action movie. Trust me, even if you don’t wind up liking this it will be hard not to leave with some kind of impression after viewing it.
-Basically anything I put down on this blurb is everything you have already heard about Birdman. The haunting score, masterful performances, and the cinematography/direction make this stand out above all others. Michael Keaton definitely makes a comeback as a washed up actor but don’t forget about Ed Norton who most definitely will get a ‘Support Actor’ nomination come Oscar time. But like I said in my previous post about music in 2014 that score is what kept me thinking about this film for the longest time. We need to have more jazz inspired drums in our films that Antonio Sanchez provides. Birdman is the best film of 2014 because it is going to be one of those films that even in repeated viewings you will find something new each time.