Throw back thursday: 1960′s factory printed Lego bricks from the Netherlands. From the good old days when a cigarettes (cigaretten) store and a fast-food automat (automatiek) were a must have in every childs brick town ;)
Plus some long gone names as ‘Posterijen‘, the dutch postal service and ‘P.T.T.‘, post-, telephone- and telegraph office.
Tom Hardy is an incredible actor and he has proved it before, but he reminds us of it in this movie. The entire movie is just him driving in a car talking to people on the phone. That’s how the story is unfolded. I don’t recommend watching the trailer before seeing it because it is kind of false advertising, but definitely give it a watch.
A really great movie abouta priest who has lived a good life and been a good person, but is punishedbecause of it. All of the cast, especially Brendan Gleeson, are fantastic.
18. Big Hero 6
Baymax is awesome and you can’t help, but want to hug him. I’m
not a big fan of long action sequences and I get it is a Marvel universe movie,
but I could have done with less.
17. How to Train Your Dragon 2
Not as good as the original,
in my opinion, but still a really entertaining movie. A little more story and,
like Big Hero 6, shorter action
sequences would have made it much better for me personally, but I’m sure others
liked those scenes.
16. Under the Skin
This is one of the
strangest films I have ever seen. It is dark, twisted, weird, and absolutely
beautiful to look at. If you are a cinephile, you will be obsessed with this
15. The Trip to Italy
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon
are hilarious yet again in the follow-up to The
Trip. Beautiful scenery, amazing looking food, and plenty of laughs.
14. 22 Jump Street
How many times is a sequel
on par with the original movie? Not very often, but 22 Jump Street definitely
is. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum together are comedy gold.
13. St. Vincent
You really can’t go wrong
with Bill Murray in your cast. He is one of the greatest, if not the greatest,
comedic actors out there and he delivered the laughs. Although it is a
hilarious film, it is also heartwarming and brought me to tears at the end.
Worth a watch.
This was the feel-good
movie of the year. It’s upbeat all the way through. The food looked amazing and
the music was incredible. If Hugo was Martin Scorsese’s love letter to movies,
this was John Favreau’s love letter to food and I couldn’t mean that in a more
sincere and loving way. Absolutely wonderful.
What an accomplishment this
film is. Filming a story over 12 years with the same cast? Amazing.
Great performance from Jake
Gyllenhaal who played creepy so well. I think he channeled Donnie Darko a bit.
9. Only Lovers Left Alive
A fantastic vampire movie. There isn’t much of a plot and when
the movie ended, I was like, “What did I just see?!” But I found that I couldn’t
stop thinking about it. Just the other night, I was falling asleep and I woke
back up because I was thinking about how cool this movie was. Wonderful cast as well. Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, and Mia Wasikowska were all amazing. If
you want your faith restored in good vampire movies, check this one out.
8. The Grand Budapest Hotel
I thoroughly enjoyed this
film. It’s very dark, but still has that Wes Anderson charm. I also think it is
one of Wes Anderson’s most beautiful films. There are too many names to mention
because everyone was great and it was a huge cast, but everyone left their mark
on the film. This has become one of my favorite Wes Anderson films.
7. Into the Woods
I’ll admit that I have never seen this musical live, but I
have seen the production that aired on PBS and I love it. When I heard that
Disney was making it, I was pretty scared because it is quite dark. Kudos to Disney
for allowing them to keep a lot of that darkness. All of the performances were
wonderful, but special shout outs to Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep (duh), Emily
Blunt and Chris Pine. All of them were absolutely incredible.
6. The Babadook
We are lucky if we get one good horror movie a year. This
year, it was The Babadook. It also happens to be one of the greatest
horror movies I have ever seen. I loved the story, the ending and, of course,
the Babadook (even though he is an asshole). I wish this movie got a wider
release, but still be sure to watch it. It will not disappoint.
5. The Lego Movie
Hands down, this is the
best animated movie of the year. Another great, creative story and it is
ridiculously funny. That fact that it wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar is a travesty as there was no competition and it should have won unanimously. I’ll never get over it.
4. Obvious Child
This movie handles a
difficult topic to discuss in film perfectly. Everyone involved in the film did
a fantastic job of breaking down the barriers and allowing a movie to
truthfully portray a woman’s right to decide. My hope is that everyone, even
people who are against abortion, will watch this movie. I don’t think it will
change many minds, but I think it will help people look at this topic
It is not very often that I
can’t figure out how a movie is going to end. This film is the exception. Up
until the last few minutes, I had no idea what was going to happen and my heart
was pounding. Masterful acting from J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller was marvelous
I can genuinely say this is
one of the most incredible movies I have seen in my entire life. It is filmed
beautifully. I’ve never seen anything like it.
The acting is superb. Everyone had to be on their game to make this
movie work. Hats off to the editors of this film as well. This movie will be
shown in film classes for as long as film is relevant and I am jealous of
the people who will get to study it. I know there are a lot of people who are upset it beat Boyhood for Best Picture, but Birdman was the best.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy is everything I could ever
ask for in a movie. It is funny and heart-warming, it has a great story and it
has fantastic characters. I’ve heard
some people call this the Star Wars of this generation and I completely agree and also completely jealous that kids
get to grow up with this movie and the future sequels. I cannot recommend this
“Eighty percent of everything ever built in America has been built in the last fifty years, and most of it is depressing, brutal, ugly, unhealthy and spiritually degrading–the jive-plastic commuter tract home wastelands, the Potemkin village shopping plazas with their vast parking lagoons, the Lego block hotel complexes, the ‘gourmet mansardic’ junk-food joints, the Orwellian office ‘parks’ featuring buildings sheathed in the same reflective glass as the sunglasses worn by chain-gang guards, the particle-board garden apartments rising up in every meadow and cornfield, the freeway loops around every big and little city with their clusters of discount merchandise marts, the whole destructive, wasteful, toxic, agoraphobia-inducing spectacle that politicians proudly call ‘growth.’”
– James Howard Kunstler, Geography of Nowhere, 1993, p.10
The technical element of this film is dynamic and left my eyes glued to the screen the entire time. An intelligent screenplay filled with philosophy and conversation guides the edited as a single shot film to gratuitous moments. Funny when it needs to be and daring to be different, the film never suffers from its gimmick. Reminiscent of a stream of consciousness, when a man’s antagonist is his past, one way to fight it is through an understanding of a changing world which Riggan belongs. This is accomplished through his interaction with other characters, all delivering fantastic performances, especially Edward Norton.
9. Gone Girl
I mean a film by David Fincher always deserves to be in my list of favorites. I was a fan of the book and was a little worried about a film adaptation, but with Fincher on the helm I was excited and he definitely delivers with a phenomenal cast. Rosamund Pike is fantastic as Amy Dunne and also dominating the cast is a supporting performance by Carrie Coon (who is also fantastic in The Leftovers). Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was still engaged and surprised, based solely on the directing choices made by Fincher.
Very much controlled by its gorgeous cinematography, Ida is much more than a film focused on a road trip. It balances this typical situation with the themes of faith and identity at its core. It is subtle and simple yet engages its audience through the beautiful shots of its subject and environment.
7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
This film has my favorite opening and closing shots of this year, yet the cyclical element is strengthened by the development of Caesar. I was reminded of Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko through the determination and leadership qualities of the protagonists. We also have forms of conflict between and against the ape vs. human hierarchy. Toby Kebbell as Koba is a welcome addition to the already fantastic motion capture performances initialized by the first film and his characterization is one of my favorites of the year.
6. The Lego Movie
A testament to nostalgia and creativity, a film about toys was not supposed to be this good. With Lord and Miller on the helm and a fantastic voice cast, The Lego Movie stands as an evident triumph in animation and storytelling. It is packed with humor and heart, enough to be loved by any one of any age. I mean sure I was disappointed the only Bionicle reference was a half second cameo, every other cameo or licensed character was never wasted. This film was everything I expected and more: colorful, energetic, and creative.
Intense cannot even describe this film. With each beat of the drum, moments of the film will cause a whiplash in understanding the complex and dangerous relationship between Andrew and Fletcher. As each character attempts to outdo each other, the film reaches one of the most memorable climaxes of year. It is packed with adrenaline and energy and very deserving of its title.
Whether it is a journey or a destination, Curtis (Chris Evans) travels from one end of the train to another. The symbolism of the train holds a truth while each cart feels vastly different from the last. Each resembles a different world. A heavy social commentary is also present through the range of grittiness through the treatment of those towards the back of the train. The focus on humanity and the morals of an individual is put at the forefront through the strength and decisions of Curtis. This leads to a hard hitting, uncomforting plot twist which may seem to derail the film, but stays on track through a gripping performance by Evans.
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
In his latest, Wes Anderson tackles many genres in a satisfying way. A memorable performance from Ralph Fiennes leads a vast and perfect ensemble cast in this adventure heist caper. Anderson never leaves the audience bored in this film through his fun story and a submission to a world. Changes with aspect ratio tracks us through time and never distracts from the whimsical world Wes delivers.
It is appropriate that the protagonist, Mason is a skilled and passionate photographer because the snapshots of life offered and sewn together deliver a work filled with consistent celebration and grief. As an individual sharing an age with Mason, this is the obvious choice for one my favorite films of the year, and I know I’m not the only one. There is just something so special about this film that speaks to life from a distance. A timeline of events seamlessly put together and thematically important, this is not only a film about a boy, but also his mother.
A film where I found myself neither rooting nor jeering against the protagonist. This indecision is anchored by Jake Gyllenhaal’s superb performance as Louis Bloom, a man who puts himself into a dark, dangerous world of the underbelly of journalism. It’s a Lynchian concept without much Lynch, but still works in its own right. The nature of media is also put on question and in relation how humanity consumes the news by delving where this news comes from. There are tones of noir, which brings a sense of thrill to the audience. I enjoyed every second of this and was on the edge of my seat. It was uncomfortable to watch, which made it much more of an experience.