Jon’s Top 10 of 2014

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Ahem. Is…is this thing still on?

I know I haven’t posted in months and while I want to bring up a ton of excuses the biggest of all those would be that time is truly a revelator. However with the year winding down I feel like I wanted to share with you my top 10 films of the year. These are a tiny bit different than Tim’s 10 but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless. So with that, let’s get to the list! (My list won’t include Interstellar, Whiplash, or Birdman as I haven’t seen them ┬ábut I’m sure they are insanely good.)

1. BOYHOOD

Richard Linklater’s 12 year film shouldn’t have worked as well as it did, but I honest to God was so enthralled by this film that for most of the three hour run time my face was a beaming light of wonder. I was this kid growing up. I moved with him from the years of my youth through puberty and into high school. We rode the same wave of enlightenment. The beauty of Boyhood is that it’s not in your face. The director doesn’t specifically make up drama to push along the story and that’s the key. Sure there are moments of tension and heartache but most of the film is just about a kid being a kid, and really who can’t compare themselves to that?

2. BLUE RUIN

Blue Ruin is what a Coen brothers film would be if they decided to become a group of indie hipsters. It’s a violent revenge tale that starts so quietly with a vagrant learning his parents’ killer is about to be released from jail. His eyes blaze with a fire of vengeance as he makes his way down the coast of Virginia murdering whoever needs it. Macon Blair turns in a performance for the ages as the ever uneasy lead Dwight, a normal person that tries his hand at murder. Truly a thunderclap in the film industry that even Hitchcock would be proud to see.

3. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

This was the movie I was most excited about seeing last year, and with good reason. It’s a near perfect super hero film. This is the superhero film that Errol Flynn would have been in. It’s incredibly fun and action packed while having the most heart out of any films currently in the Marvel canon. Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Michael Rooker completely steal the entire show here. I applaud Marvel for having such giant balls to make this film and if I’m being honest I can’t believe how well it payed off for them. I’m beyond excited to see where this band of misfits end up in the big picture, and I can only hope James Gunn gets to take them there.

4. BIG HERO 6

Disney’s first Marvel film is a franchise maker. It’s full of heart and laughs and because I went into it having zero expectations for the film, I can easily say it was the most enjoyable film I saw this year. Disney keeps making good movies. I’m not sure how they find ways around cliched plot devices and characters but they always do. This film breaks the mold of character action pieces having a fully developed team of heroes from different races and creeds who stick to the one tried and true principle when it comes to superhero teams: love each other. I really recommend this film full heartedly.

5. JOHN WICK

I’m a sucker for insane action pieces and John Wick delivered that in spades. Keanu Reeves stars as a hitman who decides to take on the entire Russian mafia because they killed his dying wife’s last present to him, a tiny cute puppy. What happens then is an opera of violence that harkens back to the days of John Woo before he did that Mission: Impossible stuff. John Wick is dark and brutal and has brought back Keanu Reeves as an action star. This is one of those movies that you really are going to have to see to believe. Just know that John Wick is fully aware of the kind of movie it is and you’ll have the best ride of your life.

6. GONE GIRL

Holy hell. I am so glad I didn’t read any spoilers about this film and I’ll try not to spoil anything here for you fine folks either. Gone Girl isn’t anywhere near to being David Fincher’s opus (that’s Social Network) but it is a masterfully told suspense story that by act two will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s one of the only films I’ve seen that after the lights came up, I couldn’t speak. I just did big arms and walked out, mulling over the insanity I just witnessed in my head. Gone Girl isn’t a pretty film. It doesn’t hide behind it’s Hollywood A-list beauty. It shows how truly despicable some people can be and forces you to deal with it. Great film.

7. THE LEGO MOVIE

There’s this pivotal moment in The Lego Movie when you kind of learn what’s happening behind the scenes that really pulled my heart out of my chest and took me from enjoying this hilarious stop-motion wonder and made me downright love it. This is one of those rare treats in film that can speak to kids and adults alike, normally making the latter cry tears of utter nostalgia. The cast is of course great, as are the jokes and sight gags, but the core heart of The Lego Movie are what made me love it so much. Everything, truly, is awesome.

8. CAPTAIN AMERICA – THE WINTER SOLDIER

Easily the best of the Avenger Marvel films. Winter Soldier is an abrasive look at our government’s use of spying on the common man and how, in no way, Steve Rogers will stand for such utter bullshit. Action wise, it’s perfect. Some of the best stunts and sequences not only of the Marvel series, but of any film I’ve seen. This is a key film in the Marvel universe as it does a really great job of setting up the events that will happen in Civil War but being this great spy-thriller film as well. Chris Evans, Robert Redford, and Samuel L. Jackson really deliver and the direction of the Russo brothers is top-notch. I’m excited to see how they handle the third Avengers film.

9. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

It’s Wes Anderson making a Hotel movie and it’s just as beautiful and crazy as you’d imagine it to be. Ralph Fiennes was the show-stopper in this film, playing pretty much against type as the foul-mouthed, blue-hair loving, legendary concierge Gustave H. The film is what Rules of the Game and Clue would be if they had a child and let Wes Anderson paint the set pieces. Wes Anderon never ceases to amaze me with his individualism and attention to detail and Grand Budapest is no exception. This is a film that you will a have a good time with, plain and simple.

10. EDGE OF TOMORROW

Tom Cruise is one of the best actors of all time and while some people find him to be insane, he still is an absolute superstar that picks these great movies to be a part of. Last year it was Jack Reacher which is a film I went nuts over and this year it was the sci-fi action epic Edge of Tomorrow, based on the manga titled “All You Need is Kill”, and it tells the story over and over how one inept public affairs officer turns into a stone cold alien killer. This film has it all – time travel, mech suits, action pieces, love stories, alien slaughter, and on top of all that it’s actually this really weird buddy comedy. Edge of Tomorrow is a film that will hold up for years to come because of just how incredibly well made it is.

Honorable mentions include Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Godzilla! What was your favorites of 2014?

 

Originally posted 2014-12-21 14:02:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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