Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 In Review/Film Friday--The Best Movies I Still Need To See

We're Doing This Again?
Last year I put up a list of the best movies of 2013 I had yet to see. I felt it was appropriate to do so as there were so many flicks out there in theaters, on DVD, or streaming via Netflix which I desired to give a gander but found it just too difficult to get out to/find the time for. Well, the same thing happened this year with a ton of movies coming out which I would love to digest, but was unable to. Therefore, I now present the best movies from 2014 I have yet to see.

In Alphabetical Order:
This just sounds right up my alley, so to speak. We have Michael Keaton--an actor I often enjoy--playing an actor within the movie who used to be in super-hero blockbusters (just like Keaton in real-life with "Batman" so now we're getting meta) and now is trying to prove he still has talent through putting on a big play; plus, and the entire movie is presented as if it were done in one long take (although there are some cuts cleverly disguised). It sounds funny, touching, clever, and otherwise like a rip-roaring time. I definitely want to see this.

This is the favorite movie from 2014 for many people this year, it seems. Shot over twelve years as the child actor aged from 5 to 18 and everyone else grew older too, this is a, "Coming-of-age" drama with quite the killer hook of how--as I just said--this thing was actually basically filmed in real-time--e.g. they didn't get another actor to play the kid as he grew up, he just did! While that is a unique gimmick, one cool trick does not a movie make. The story is good however, I have heard; we basically see scenes from various points in our character's lives and in the process probably learn more about parenting, ourselves, and what-have-you. I've read it is great and I am a fan of Ethan Hawke (who plays the Dad), so it's worth a viewing.

The Equalizer
Denzel Washington as the lead, Anton Fuqua as the director, and plenty of action? I'm in!

Gone Girl
David Fincher directing, Ben Affleck acting, a whole bunch of other great people involved, and the script was actually written by the person behind the book so you don't have to worry about the author complaining the film-version of her story ruined it--a good recipe for success. I've been told this is an intensely thrilling movie, one that has you constantly second-guessing yourself as a town struggles to figure out what caused as man's wife to suddenly disappear--and how responsible he could be for it.

I enjoy films by Christopher Nolan so even though I know next to nothing about this, I think I will see it when it comes out for home-theater viewing. I just didn't really read much about the movie so all I am aware of is that it involves space, love, and has Matthew McConaughey. Lots of special effects occur too, apparently.

John Wick
I like Keanu Reeves. I read articles about how he is a nice person, and it makes me feel bad for him when I also read how hard it can be for him to get roles in movies. Some folk make jokes about his acting being wooden, but from the movies I have seen him in I would say they are plenty of times he, "Registers a pulse," and emotes just fine. That said, I enjoy action movies, so Reeves playing a retired assassin who ends up having to kick some assess most likely will make for an enjoyable piece of fun.

Scarlet Johansson is a strong actress, and even though I was extremely annoyed by previews for this movie furthering the absurd myth we only use 10% of our brain I thought it looked like good fun. Luc Besson has made some enjoyably bizarre films ("The Fifth Element") and from what I read this is quite an out-there movie too. Oh, and Morgan Freeman is in it, he makes almost anything extra fun!

I love the movie "Network" with its biting commentary on how the media functions (so much still rings true today about what it says), and "Nightcrawler" is getting a lot of buzz for doing the same--albeit in a way that is less comedic and more creepy through Jake Gyllenhaal's electrifying performance.

I've already heard a ton of great things about "Selma" and as this did have an official limited release in theaters on Christmas day I put it on this list even though it doesn't actually go into widespread release until January. "Selma" is about Martin Luther King Jr. and other heroes, displaying their struggles and successes. While there have been many films about MLK and the Civil Rights movement, this one is apparently superb, getting rave reviews. I'll check it out in theaters if I get the chance or be sure to rent it later in the year.

This has been sitting in my Netflix list, just waiting to be watched. Based on the French comic (now translated into English) and starring a quality cast made-up of folk such as Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, this looks quite promising. Set in a dystopian future (is there any other kind?) with what remains of civilization riding on a train where the carriages are separated by class-status, this film deals with the kind of troubles that could bring, and focuses on an uprising, I believe. It sounds unique and interesting, something often lacking from today's movies.

Under the Skin
Another movie starring Johansson, of all things! A strange science-fiction flick about an alien (played by Johansson) who lures various men hanging around Scotland to their doom, this sounds quite odd. In a strange twist, many of the men Johansson picks-up while in character are not actors, but real people who were out and about, finding themselves lured into the car of an in-character Johnasson and only being told they were filmed with hidden cameras after pieces of story with them had been recorded! I've been told this is an eerie and quite minimalist experience, with people either loving or hating it. I'd be willing to give it a chance and see how I feel.

A Good Assortment
I've got a good assortment of movies I would like to see from 2014, and while I wasn't able to view everything from 2013 I was interested in, I can hope I'm able to get more of these watched in the upcoming year. We will see, I suppose. Anyways, there is my list for 2014 in review!

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