Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 at 5:30 pm
We are a few weeks into 2015, so it’s time to go through all the movies I have seen this year to pick the best of the best, the cream of the crop. For those of you who’ve followed my few posts here on Geeks of Doom, you may have read my Top Ten Movies Of 2014 So Far back in August. Now, instead of revisiting that list, I’ve gone through to select my finalized Top 10 with a fresh view. (Although, to be honest, I had the top few movies memorized already.)
So without further ado, here’s my Top 10 Movies Of 2014.
My top ten list has a few movies that were surprises, and good surprises at that. I am not a huge fan of Tom Cruise, although I am pretty much in when there’s a new Mission: Impossible movie. I saw the trailer for Edge Of Tomorrow, and like most of us, I thought it was going to be a horrible movie, trying to pull off the Groundhog’s Day storyline, with a sci-fi twist. It took some good buzz before I was willing to give this one a shot, but as you can see, it turned out good for all because it’s made it into my Top 10. It’s not a perfect movie, as the ending still falls a little flat for me every time I have watched it. But I got a great deal on this one at Best Buy on Turkey Day, and I’ve watched it few times since I bought it. It’s a nice mix of action and comedy, with a few moments of feelings as well, and let’s not forget about Emily Blunt being a badass alien hunter with a sword that reminds me of Final Fantasy.
It seems that every year when I compile my top ten list, there is always one movie where I know it’s not going to be a movie for everyone, and Under the Skin is that movie for 2014. I was even asked by a friend why I liked this movie, but being a Scar Jo fan, that’s an obvious reason to like it. I am not going to lie, it was a nice surprise, but there is more to this movie, just not an easy one to explain. If you know a little about this movie, it involves real people interacting with her, and one person in particular which really stood out to me. Add in some amazing visuals, a certain body in a black goo being slowly engulfed leaving nothing but skin that looked great on the big screen and still memorable on my TV at home. It’s also a movie that I went home and immediately bought its soundtrack, by Mica Levi, which brings back the creepy atmosphere/vibe of the movie, no matter where you are. It’s also a movie that gains a little if you go in and don’t know a lot about it, hence the very vague sentences here. You have to be patient with this one, it’s a slow burn, but if you stay focused, it’s worth the journey.
SPOILERS: As an added bonus: here’s a great video, by Chris Stuckmann talking about the movie with some great insight.
I guess we have two movies in a row that I know some people aren’t going to get. Wes Anderson is one of those directors you either love or hate, there seems to be no middle ground for most. As you can guess, I seem to fall on the love side. You know what you are getting going into one of his films — some quirky comedy/visuals (best example in this movie, the prison escape), scenes you can dissect in perfect squares, a look that makes you think you are watching a play at times, and of course, plenty of the Wes Anderson regulars when it comes to the cast. I recently re-watched The Grand Budapest Hotel just to make sure if I needed to move this up or down my list, but this seemed like the appropriate slot after thinking about it for a bit. For me, it seems to be a staple for one of his films to make my top ten list, that is why you can pretty much expect to see me in the theater when a new film of his gets released, without seeing or hearing much about it.
I loved the first one, although I am willing to admit I was a little late to the party, being somewhat of a Pixar fan boy, so took lots of great buzz to get me into the theater to see it. But I did see it in IMAX 3D and I was hooked the first moment Toothless the dragon took flight. And I ventured down once again to see the second installment in IMAX 3D as well. I am always a little worried that they won’t be able to keep what was great about the first one, going into the second one, but have no fear, they did. Another wonderful film, with lots of laughs, and of course lots of feels as well. Still gets a little dusty at a few parts even after repeat viewings. If you own or ever have owned a pet, you can’t help but fall in love with this series. Considering what happens in How to Train Your Dragon 2, I am looking to see how the next one (I believe the last installment) is going to play out. I am really hoping that I will get the chance to re-watch the whole series once again in glorious IMAX 3D, the best way to experience this film series. Fun for all, no matter how old or young.
A creepy Jake Gyllenhaal leads you on the journey of a man who just wants to make his mark in the world, and is willing to do pretty much anything to get there. An intense drama and a great performance from Gyllenhaal leaves you on the edge of your seat many times in Nightcrawler. It does get somewhat graphic at time, so those who can’t handle blood, be warned. I am looking forward to watching this one again when it comes out on Blu-ray, and can’t wait to go on that intense journey once again.
I waited a little to finish up my top ten list to make sure I saw this before I finalized my list, and as you can tell, that was a wise choice. I am not a huge horror fan, but there are times when I love checking out those low budget horror movies, that have a great story that are way more intense and scary than the big budget gore/torture porn. I’d rather have my mind messed with than relying on jump scares to get an emotional response from me. And as much as this might be considered a horror film, there is some much more to this film, and you can interpret the meaning and who is the real monster many ways, some great discussions after seeing this. My only regret is not being able to see this one in the theaters, and had to watch it on my computer via iTunes.
And we come to another movie that surprised me this year, which is going to be a theme for the rest of this list. I heard a little buzz about Birdman and decided to give it a shot, and I have seen it twice in the theaters and may check it out once again. There’s still a chance for a Best Picture nomination for this one. I am not a fan of plays, but the way this one is shot, and some great dialogues from the cast, and add in some wackiness and we have a very entertaining movie, which hits close to home with the current movie industry. Add in a great score, that once again was an easy choice to buy. I almost wanted to move this up on the list, but looking at what is ahead, just couldn’t do it. But still a great movie and it’s one of those ones where you catch a little more each time you watch it.
As I stated in the previous movie, there were a few surprises, this was not necessarily a surprise, but I was a little worried that they weren’t going to top the first one. They took what was great about the first one, and turned up the craziness way up in this one. You get a very stylized action movie which puts most of the crap Hollywood puts out to shame. If you are thinking about doing an action movie, I suggest you watch this one and take notes. Looking forward to seeing what happens next in the trilogy and hope that they end on a good note. Definite highlight for me, bat man and hammer girl, you can see glimpses of them in the trailer below.
And now we come to the surprises of the year. Not to sound like a broken record, but when they announced this movie, I was kind of meh on it. But much like when How to Train a Dragon first came out, I was a little hesitant to check it out. But when I finally gave it a shot, all I can say is….EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!! It’s not just a movie for kids, as there is stuff for the adults to enjoy and laugh, and reminisce what it was like to play with Legos as a kid. And so many hidden easter eggs that repeat viewings are encouraged. Another movie I bought on Turkey Day, and have watched numerous times since then.
To say that Chris Pratt had a great year is an understatement, and it looks like he is going to continue in 2015 with Jurassic World. I was a little worried about this one going in, but knowing that James Gunn was behind this, I had some faith in Guardians of the Galaxy. And boy did he knock it out of the park, or galaxy even. A great mix of action, humor, and even some feels, throw in a soundtrack that will stick with you, and it all adds up to a great time for all. The reason I had this one at the top spot is because it is the movie I saw the most in the theaters, in various formats and size (first time was IMAX 3D, of course), and just got wrapped up in the craze, just take a look at my Groot Disney Infinity figure and my dancing Groot T-shirt.
So there you go, my top 10 movies of 2014. I did miss out on seeing a few movies that potentially could have made it, but I only have so much free time to watch movies. But I feel good about my list and would highly recommend checking any of these movies out, and can only hope you will enjoyed them as much as I did. If not, that is OK too, but at least you gave them a shot, that is the most important thing to me. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any thoughts on my list or how it might compare to yours. As 2015 has begun, it should be a huge year for movies – let’s hope for more good than bad this year.