Advertisements

The Best Films of 2014

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

It’s time to list my favourite films from 2014, a year that was… actually not quite as disappointing as previous years. 2014 was a year where a larger than usual percentage of blockbusters were above average, and some were even great! Of course, it wasn’t all terrific, but I definitely enjoyed more movies than I hated this year, and that makes me one happy film-going guy!

Obvious caveat: I’m a human, and being a human means that I can’t see every movie, so this list features only movies I saw last year. If I saw Whiplash, maybe Whiplash would be on this list. Same goes for Boyhood and Under the Skin. I did see Birdman (it was great), but Birdman didn’t come out in Australia until 2015, so it saw the bin on a technicality.

You got really close: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The LEGO Movie, Jodorowsky’s Dune, The Skeleton Twins, 22 Jump Street, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Blue Ruin.

Let’s start at 10 with a controversial choice:

They-Came-Together-banner-m

10. They Came Together

The funniest comedy of the year. Director David Wain‘s style is not for everybody, but this was undoubtedly the one movie that made me laugh more than any other. The joke-per-minute ratio is outstanding, but They Came Together makes the cut for being a hilariously clever spoof of the romantic comedy genre. While I was certainly a fan of how much fun 22 Jump Street had with subverting cinematic tropes (Plainview Red Herrings is my favourite gag of the year), and 22 Jump Street was close to taking this spot, but I give the nod to They Came Together simply for the audacity to be as silly as it is.

John-Wick-banner-mini

9. John Wick

May I follow up a controversial choice with another? On paper, John Wick does not deserve to be on any ‘Best Of’ lists. The logline basically reads, ‘Top hitman Keanu Reeves comes out of retirement to avenge the death of his beloved dog.’ That is a silly premise, but the film is so visually kinetic and self-aware that it was a pure, genuine joy to watch. Against the grain of similar films of previous years, the action is grounded in reality, featuring a lot of close-quarters combat (so many head-shots!), mixed martial arts, and inventive gunplay. First time director Chad Stahelski — a former stunt-man by trade — successfully transforms Keanu Reeves a legitimate badass for the first time in his career, and man, it’s a thing of beauty.

(more…)

Advertisements

Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014) — Cruise Keeps Dying, Doesn’t Stop Running, in Smart and Gripping Sci-Fi Spectacle

Edge-of-Tomorrow-banner

In the near future, alien creatures — known as Mimics — have conquered most of mainland Europe, with global domination in mind. A last-ditch assault is planned by the military: a surprise attack on France, fueled by the addition of weaponised ‘Jackets’ worn by human soldiers. After attempting to weasel out of front-line deployment, Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is apprehended and knocked out by military general Brigham (Brendan Gleeson), who dumps him with the infantry unit J-Squad en-route to the invasion. The cowardly Cage winds up in an explosion with an advanced Mimic known as an Alpha, and the Alpha’s caustic blood spills over Cage as he dies. Cage wakes aboard the same vessel on the day before the battle. Confusion sets in as he repeatedly dies on the battlefield and awakes the day before, stuck in an infinite loop. With the assistance of war hero Rita Vrataski, the “Full Metal Bitch” (Emily Blunt), Cage realises his curse may be the key to victory over the Mimics.

(more…)

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: