easily the best film of 2013

“According to the latest Oricon report, the perfect limited production edition of the 10th Naruto anime film The Last: Naruto The Movie, released in Japan on July 22, topped both the DVD and Blu-ray weekly sales chart, each selling 19,000 units in its first week. They were both the best first week sales record in the anime franchise. The previous first week record for DVD was 3rd by Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison released in April 2012, that for Blu-ray was 11th by Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie in April 2013.

The Last: Naruto The Movie was released on 266 screens across Japan on December 6, 2014, and easily took first place in its first weekend box office with an impressive 515,331,800 yen on 396,280 admissions. By the end of the year, it earned about 1.75 billion yen (14.76 million US dollars), becoming the top-grossing feature film in the franchise.”

I really want to find those silly NS fans that went out of their way to say that “NS is more famous in Japan, this movie is going to suck over there in sales!” half a year ago, when The Last was released, and rub this hard on their faces.

Blue Jasmine | 2013 | dir. Woody Allen

Cate Blanchett definitely deserves the Academy Award for Best Actress this year and no one is expecting her NOT to easily walk away with it because her performance as Jasmine goes from overly eccentric to deeply upsetting and heartbreaking with so much ease, making her breakdown in the final moments of the film to be truly distressing. 


Oscar Talk 2014: Films Completely Snubbed by the Academy

The Oscar Nominations are always exciting, but once when things settle down, you being to think of films that were completely ignored by the Academy. In honor of the nine Best Picture nominees, here are nine films that were completely shut out of this year’s awards season. 

Blue is the Warmest Color

Potential Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Foreign Film

Signs of any nominations became grim when France chose not to submit this film to represent their country in the Foreign Language Film category. However, had they chose this edgy NC-17 love story, not only would it have been nominated, it probably would have won. And as we’ve seen in the past, foreign films can reap Best Picture bids (last year’s Amour) Other categories that this film was up for including Adèle Exarchopoulos for Best Actress, Léa Seydoux for Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Enough Said

Potential Nominations: Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay

Enough Said was certainly the best romantic comedy of the year. Although comedies aren’t nearly as praised in the Best Picture category, there was plenty of buzz for the late James Gandolfini’s performance and for Nicole Holofcener’s Original Screenplay. 

Fruitvale Station

Potential Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay

A while back, Fruitvale Station was in the running for a Best Picture spot. The film followed in the steps of last year’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, another small, low-budget summer indie film. Ultimately, it failed to do so. Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer were getting plenty of praise for their performances and writer/director Ryan Coogler has emerged as one of 2013’s breakthrough filmmakers. 

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Potential Nominations: Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Hairstyling & Makeup, Best Visual Effects, Best Original Song

Big Hollywood blockbusters are rarely taken seriously. However, the production value of Catching Fire exceeds its predecessor in every way. Nominations for Art Direction, Costume Design, Hairstyling & Makeup, and Visual Effects were certainly considered or at least they should have been.


Potential Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay 

Mud was one of the stronger Oscar potentials in the earlier half of 2013. Jeff Nichols’ followup to the equally snubbed Take Shelter received great reviews and lots of praise. Most of the acting attention went towards Matthew McConaughey, but young actor Tye Sheridan gave in my opinion one of the best performances of the year.  


Potential Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Hairstyling & Makeup, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing

The most noticeably snubbed movie of the year is definitely Rush. You can say that the film was running out of gas towards the voting, but many assumed it would nab at least one of the many technical awards. Most of the awards attention went towards Daniel Brühl as he earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics Choice, and SAG nominations, but failed to make the cut at the Oscars. 

Short Term 12

Potential Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song

Short Term 12 was a darling film in the indie scene. Most of its attention was going towards a long shot nomination rising star Brie Larson. Also getting glimmers of attention are the adapted screenplay and the supporting performance of Keith Stanfield, which includes an original rap. 


Potential Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Art Direction

Easily the first great movie of 2013 was Stoker. It was hot off the festival circuit and received stellar reviews, but a long year of movies pushed this thriller under the rug. Essentially it could have been up for many, many Oscar nominations had it been release in the fall rather than early spring. 

The Way, Way Back

Potential Nominations: Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay

The Way, Way Back was declared one of the best films of the summer. Lighter, coming-of-age comedies usually get a bad rep in the Academy. However, Sam Rockwell gives a career-best performance and Allison Janney is also delightful in the ensemble cast. Oscar winners Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Descendants) were also considered early on for Best Original Screenplay. 

Click on the link below to see my complete thoughts on this year’s Oscar Nominations!


2015 Most Anticipated Films

After a relatively quiet year for movies in 2014, 2015 is bringing out all of the huge sequels and remakes. While 2014 had amazing films, there were none that were as huge as the films being released this year, except for possibly X-Men: Days of Future Past and Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. So below is a list of the top 15 movies to look forward too, but first some honorable mentions of films that didn’t make the list. Chris Hemsworth is in four movies this year alone, two made the list, but In The Heart of the Sea reunites him with Ron Howard which looks really promising (its released on March 13) as well as starring in the National Lampoon reboot of the Vacation series (out October 9) which will hopefully be a great comedy like the original series of films. Disney is rebooting more classics this year, and The Jungle Book (out October 9) is something to look forward to, even if its just to hear Bill Murray sing “The Bare Necessities.” The Fantastic Four reboot starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan is finally seeing release on August 7, but any footage or images still awaits to be seen. And finally, while this is last year for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to host the Golden Globes together, both can be see in their new comedy The Nest opening on December 17, proving to be the only film crazy enough to open against the Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

15. Ant Man (July 17)

Marvel has not had a bomb since their Cinematic Universe debut back in 2008. It’s had high points (The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier Guardians of the Galaxy) and low points (The Incredible Hulk Iron Man 2), but its never had a misfire. While Ant-Man promises a new type of Marvel film, this time using the heist structure, it could be the first misfire. First off, Paul Rudd doesn’t seem like superhero material. No offence to Rudd, but he doesn’t have the heroic quality that every Marvel hero has displayed so far. And then there is Edgar Wright’s departure after years of working on the film due to creative differences, which is not a good sign. But despite all this, Marvel has always provided top notch entertainment so I will eagerly be awaiting for Ant-Man to release this summer.

14. The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (September 18)

No one would have guessed that The Maze Runner would have been a hit when it hit theaters in September. But the film was well received by critics and audiences alike, and this year we see the second novel hitting the big screen. This novel is even more thrilling than the first, expanding upon the mystery if why all the Gladers have no memory of their life before the Glade, and the addition of many new characters. The first glimpse of the Scorch at the end of the first film was perfect, and the casting of Aidan Gillen as Rat Man is a perfect fit. Assuming that the movie is as good as the first film, fans awaiting to see what happens next to the Gladers should be very pleased come this fall.

13. Mission: Impossible 5 (December 25)

Not many film franchises make it to five films where none of the films featured continued stories. And no one would have thought that Mission: Impossible would have made it to a fifth film. But after Ghost Protocol which proved to be the best film of the franchise to date, the idea of another film is exciting! While the story is under wraps, the addition Alec Baldwin and the return of Ving Rhames as Luthor Stickell, this mission, whether you chose to accept it or not, should be a great action film.

12. Jupiter Ascending (February 6)

I was dissapointed when this movie was delayed from being released last summer, but the only good thing is that it has allowed the marketing campaign to get to full strength to get me excited for its release in a month. Jupiter Ascending looks like the comeback film for the Wachowski’s. The pairing of Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum seems like the perfect match (even if Channing Tatum is playing someone who is half dog). But I’m most excited to see Eddie Redmayne as the villain of the film. He caught my attention in 2012's Les Miserables and gave easily one of the best performances as Stephen Hawking in 2014’s The Theory of Everything, so I’m excited to see how evil he can get. My prediction based on the trailers, very evil! Visually, the movie looks wonderful and this should be one to experience in IMAX 3D without a question.

11. blackhat (January 16)

Chris Hemsworth is a great star. He can do the action (as proven with his numerous appearances as Thor) but he has also proven himself a very skilled actor, especially in 2013's Rush. So blackhat seems like the perfect film for him. A high-tech thriller set in the world of cyber-crime. Given the current hack of Sony Pictures, this movie seems more plausible on some levels, and considering it co-stars Viola Davis who kept me glued to How To Get Away With Murder all fall on TV, this seems like the perfect thriller to being the year with.

10. The Last Five Years (February 13)

Anna Kendrick in yet another musical, yes please!! After being great in Pitch Perfect and last year's Into the Woods, Kendrick takes on the lead in a Broadway musical opposite Jeremy Jordan. This musical follows a couple’s love story told from the beginning and backward from the end of their relationship meeting in the middle, the film promises great musical performances, and easily a big tear-jerker just in time for Valentine’s Day. But, it had me at musical and Anna Kendrick, and only time will tell how it holds up against the four musicals released in 2014.

9. Terminator: Genisys (July 1)

Another reboot this year is Terminator which is taking a new twist on the original film’s story.  Sarah Connor is not the helpless girl you remebered but raised by a Terminator. With Kyle Reese sent back to an alternate reality, expect lots of action in what is set to be a first film in a new trilogy. But the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to the role that made him a star is exciting enough. But with a cast that includes Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, Matt Smith and J.K. Simmons, Terminator: Genisys should be an action packed film to enjoy this summer.

8. Cinderella (March 13)

Kenneth Branagh’s live adaptation of Cinderella is shaping up to be one of the year’s most anticipated films. While everyone knows the story and have grown up on the Disney animated classic, the live action version looks to be incredibly faithful to the story everyone loves. But its Branagh’s attention to detail in creating this high Victorian world that makes the trailers a pure delight as the story is brought to life in front of your eyes. The cast is also great. Lily James appears to be capable as Cinderella, Richard Madden is shaping up to be a great Disney prince, and Cate Blanchett as Cinderell'a evil stepmother is a villain not to be messed with. If all follows what the trailers are promising, Disney fans will be over the moon with this live action rendition of the classic story when it hits theaters this spring.

7. The Divergent Series: Insurgent (March 20)

After a good start to the franchise with last year's Divergent, the sequel picks up right where the first one ended with much higher stakes. Expect a lot more action as the film is able to further explore Veronica Roth’s world after completely setting it up in the first film. Featuring a cast of Hollywood’s most popular young actors (led by Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and Theo James) and adding Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer to its already stellar cast, the sequel is heading in the right direction. The second book was so much more exciting than the first novel, so it lends to a better film right away. But reports that the story goes in new directions could work in the film’s favor as it could help split the story to fill out the two part conclusion to the series which is set to hit theaters in 2016 and 2017.

6. Minions (July 10)

Groot’s Minions are finally getting their own movie. After stealing pretty much every scene in Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2, a whole movie devoted to everyone’s favorite banana eating, nonsense talking yellow guys are going on an adventure. After a hysterical teaser trailer which showcases them killing off famous historical figures through their stupidity, the Minions find themselves in New York looking for a new evil master to serve. Considering the film will feature the voices of Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm in addition to depressed Minions, there is no reason for this film not to be the animated hit of the year!

5. Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15)

Pitch Perfect took the world by storm when it hit theaters in 2012, fans have been waiting for a sequel. And its finally coming. Considering the film is reuniting Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp and Brittany Snow in their roles from the original, it should be aca-awesome! While the standard has been set incredibly high by the original film, the sequel was not rushed but instead took a few years to be developed and with Elizabeth Banks at the helm, I believe its safe to say that the film is in good hands who want it to not be a repeat of the first film, but its own story. And with the reaction to the teaser trailer released back in November, fans are already excited to see the Barden Bella’s back on the big screen this summer!

4. Jurassic World (June 12)

Just one of this year’s big reboots is Jurassic World. Starring Chris Pratt, hot off his starring role in last year's Guardians of the Galaxy, the movie has a lot of talk around it. There has not been a good Jurassic Park film since the original, but this one has the potential to be a good entry. Getting back to the original story, the film follows the theme park on Isla Nublar, but this time the dinosaurs appeared to escape and create chaos for the tourists. Lots of dinosaurs where shown in the teaser trailer, with hints of a new breed of dinosaur created especially for the film, the story is very secret but we know it features Chris Pratt on a motorcycle with velociraptors. Enough said, this is going to be amazing! And considering its getting and IMAX 3D release, this is the Jurassic Park film you have been waiting for. (Fingers crossed its not a CGI spectacle that looks like a video game!)

3. Spectre (November 6)

Daniel Craig's James Bond films continue to introduce elements of the Ian Fleming novels. After 2012's Skyfall introduced Q, Moneypenny and the new M; this year's Spectre is introducing SPECTRE, the evil organization behind Dr. No led by Ernest Stravo Blofeld. While the casting does not mention Blofeld by name, its not a stretch to see this classic Bond villain returning to the big screen. And with Christoph Waltz casted as a villain, its very likely he will take on the role which would be amazing! Daniel Craig returns as Bond, Ben Whishaw as Q and Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, this is shaping up to be a great follow-up to Skyfall which is arguably the best Bond film ever made. Only time will provide insight into the story, but this will easily be one of the winter’s best films.

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 17)

J.J. Abrams does Star Wars. This is easily one of the most anticipated films of the year, if not the decade as millions of fans eagerly await to return to a galaxy far, far away. Abrams did wonders rebooting the Star Trek franchise, so the bar is set high for his attempt at Star Wars. The first trailer which debut in November offered a glimpse of the new film, and while practically nothing is known about it, its very hard for the inner fan boy not to freak out. Hopefully we will learn more as the year progresses about the film, but its safe to say that in December, there will be no other movie to see than Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)

…And the number one spot goes to Avengers: Age of Ultron. While Star Wars: The Force Awakens is going to be huge, the sequel to Marvel’s team-up should be the movie event of the year! Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye are all back to battle Ultron, the artificial intelligence gone homicidal played by James Spader. If the teaser trailer that HYDRA leaked online a week before its release is any indication of what is to come, this is going to be the most thrilling Marvel film to date. Ultron is the deadliest villain Marvel has delivered yet, and the trailer is almost horrifying. Captain America’s shield is cracked, Bruce Banner is in shock and the music from Pinocchio has never been so haunting. But the action looks like it will soar to new levels. And with the addition of Quicksilver, Scarlett Witch and The Vision (played by Aaron Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany) this looks like it will be Marvel’s biggest spectacle to date, which was me counting down the minutes till its release on May 1!