Tag Archives: Michael Caine

Best Movies of 2014

It has been quite a while since I posted anything on here. The last few months have been rather hectic. From school to work, I couldn’t find time to write reviews or continually post on this site. That doesn’t mean I didn’t see any movies since then. In fact I’ve seen most of the movies you could have seen, except the noticeably bad films released in the last few months.

A lot of movies that I really liked didn’t make my list and even with such a great summer with some impressive blockbuster, it was hard to keep some off my list.  The top three films where difficult because the could be interchangeable at any time.

There were some very welcome movies and also very disappointing movies that I was looking forward to. Making this list was rather difficult but I feel that it is a rather well constructed list.

10. Boyhood

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By the time I reached number 10, I realized that I didn’t include one of the best reviewed movies of the year. Everyone seems to be putting this at the top of their lists and I can’t deny that it is one of the best constructed movies of the year and a masterpiece, in my opinion. The story is timeless, the editing seamless, and the directing is top notch. The 12 years used to make this movie sets it apart from other movies of this caliber. Why is it at the bottom? When it comes to my list I put movies on it that I would rewatch in a heartbeat. After thinking about it, I haven’t really had the urge to watch Boyhood again. Now matter how impressive the movie may be, I never thought about watching it again.

9. The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Early on in the year, I believed that no movie could top this movie. To my surprise this year has been a fantastic year for film. This movie combines everything I love about Wes Anderson. The aesthetic of the film is amazing, while Monsieur Gustave H. is by far the most fascinating character in Anderson’s filmography. The changing aspect ratios was another amazing addition to the movie. This isn’t my favorite of his film but it is certainly one of his greatest achievements.

8. Gone Girl

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David Fincher is one of my favorite directors working today. He always brings something new to an aged formula. That is one of the reasons that make Gone Girl so unique. Instead of having the major twists saved for the end, the movie decides to reveal it at the end of the first act. It is an intriguing factor that I give both Gillian Flynn and David Fincher for pulling it off so well. What makes this movie even more fascinating is the commentary on both marriage and the media. Everything about this movie is nearly perfect. Rosamund Pick proves her acting chops and even Tyler Perry was able to surprise me, for the first time in his career. Even if I like other of Fincher’s films more, I do think this is a great addition to his impressive filmography.

7. Locke

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No other movie this has done more with less. So much goes on during the course of the runtime, that it is surprising that it was only 80 minutes long. Tom Hardy has impressed me lately. He is a powerhouse of an actor and he really shines as Ivan Locke. Throughout the movie more and more is revealed and it makes you question both his choices and reasons behind them. For a movie that takes place solely in one location, I couldn’t believe how much and how well they were able to pull it off.

6. Under the Skin

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I always thought that Scarlett Johansson was all looks and not really a good actor. I was proven wrong when I saw her in Under the Skin. The movies unique approach is impressive and the minimalistic style makes for a haunting and exhilarating experience. It asks questions that movies typically don’t ask. It asks what it is meant to be human but it doesn’t give you all the answers. The visuals are impressive and the score creates a chilling yet unique.

5. Filth

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I don’t know why I loved this movie so much, it was just so damn fun. James McAvoy is like you’ve never seen him before. He plays the vile and disgusting character so well. The movie isn’t so much about plot but more about how insane his characters become over time. Often times the movie is hilarious but also very sad and depressing. You never truly sympathize with him, you mostly fell bad for him. The ending is so damn perfect for the movie and completely ends the film in a satisfying manner.

4. Interstellar 

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Christopher Nolan is one of the best blockbuster directors working today. He is able to make the movies that he wants and is able to create some impressive films. His visual eye is incredible. He may have some problems with female characters but this is the first time that I feel he has created some worthwhile female characters. This movie isn’t about space travel as much as it is about love, loss, and fatherhood. There are so many perfect scenes of action but it is the little scenes that Nolan was able to impress me. This is by far his most emotional film to date. You feel the stakes at hand and really sympathize with each character, except for one. Interstellar impressed me both visually and emotionally.

3. Whiplash

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I wasn’t expecting much from this movie. I never really liked Miles Teller and a movie about a jazz drummer didn’t make me want to see it. Once I saw the trailer, that changed. The final product is so intense and awe inspiring that I loved it the minute I walked out. J.K. Simmons gives one of the best performances of the year, he is volatile and intense but somehow relatable. Even Miles Teller impressed me. The final ten minutes had me at the edge of my seat and is incredibly satisfying after all that happens in the movie.

2. Nightcrawler

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This was one movie that surprised the hell out of me. The movie created a character that is both psychotic and wise. He is a man who know what he wants and takes it, no matter what. Jake Gyllenhaal gives the performance of his life. The story is always surprising and you don’t know where it is going to go in the end. The commentary behind this movie is strong and very out there but it works so well. The directing is perfect and the cinematography is breathtaking. More than anything this is a character study and it showcases a character that is completely original and is also a work of genius.

1. Birman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

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The most surprising and delightful movie of the year goes to Birdman. Alejandro González Iñárritu created such a fascinating experience. He one of the best dramatic directors working today. He is able to get the best performances out of some of the most unexpected actors. Every actor in this movie are going the extra mile. Michael Keaton is revolutionary. He essentially playing a warped version of himself and he convinces everyone that he still does matter. What sets this movie apart from any other film this year is the fact that it is manipulated to look like one take. It is a technical revolution and is impressive in it’s cinematography. A lot had to go into this movie to achieve this feat and boy does it achieve it. There is also a lot of commentary involving the state of hollywood today, critics, and the will to matter. I loved this movie and think it is the best made movie this year.

Honorable Mentions

Edge of TomorrowAn original and fun blockbuster. Not your typical blockbuster but it breaks the model and makes something unique.

EnemyAn interesting and intelligent thriller that leaves you asking question long after it’s over.

Guardians of the GalaxyA very different Marvel movie and really shows that they can make an interesting movie out of unknown characters.

The RoverFueled by amazing performances and a simplistic story. This movie creates a landscape fully developed and tension that is equally fascinating and grim.

Blue RuinA movie that came out of nowhere and managed to create a fascinating and personal portrayal of revenge.

 

 

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Tom Hardy Actor Profile

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Tom Hardy has been on a hot streak lately. He has been acting for quite sometime but it wasn’t until Bronson that he got noticed. His performance in Bronson is nothing short of amazing. He has a raw intensity that really elevates a rather simple movie. He entered the game in Black Hawk Down and acted in smaller roles is plenty of movies including the main villain in Star Trek: Nemesis but really didn’t get the street credit that he does now. Inception was the next movie where he really stood out. Working with Christopher Nolan really expedited his career in the best possible way. He brought complexity to a character who didn’t get enough screen time. Not long afterwards he played the character Tommy Riordan in Warrior which was another performance showcasing his ability to make a treating and imposing character while also grounding him reality. Before Warrior and after Inception, Hardy was cast as the villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, a perfect casting considering his roles in Warrior and Bronson. The Dark Knight Rises made him the house hold name that he is today. He was able to express sincere emotion while wearing a mask that covered the majority of his face.

Even in the poorly received This Means War, Hardy is able to bring some depth to his character. It wasn’t until Locke that he was able to use the extent of his talent. He gives a stunning performance as Ivan Locke, a construction manager and his tough decision between his job, wife, and the destructive force that will tear everything apart. Set in a singular location the entire film rests on Hardy’s shoulders and he is able to carry the movie and elevate his talent.

Even The Drop (review in progress) even with two other fantastic performances from James Gandolfini and Matthias Schoernaerts, who is just as powerful an actor you are unable to take your eyes of his performance.

Sometimes an actor will play the same character in every movie, I’m looking at you Tom Cruise, but you never once think that Tom Hardy is imitating the same character but instead creating a completely new character every time. I think this is what makes Tom Hardy the powerhouse actor that he is.

Intersteller Trailer

interstellar-trailer-07302014-111409 Christopher Nolan has been on a hot streak since Batman Begins. He has now become one of the most well known directors working today. His fresh take on the Batman saga has influenced blockbusters since. Intersteller looks to be something completely different than we are use to. Like Inception it takes an interesting concept and makes it into a blockbuster. Science Fiction has become increasingly popular and last year is probably one of the most successful year of the genre. Gravity was so close to winning Best Picture and Her was not far behind. Intersteller may have a similar run. The trailer is brilliant and showcases the incredible visuals that this movie is bound to have.

It may turn out to be too experimental for the crowd that tends to go to these types of movies. The premise sounds insane but not exactly something that people will understand. He makes his audience think and if this film is anything like the film that influenced it, 2001: A Space Odyssey, than we might have the next great science fiction film.

When a wormhole (which theoretically can connect widely-separated regions of spacetime) is discovered, explorers and scientists unite to embark on a voyage through it, transcending the limits of human space travel. Among the travelers is a widowed engineer (McConaughey) who has to decide to leave behind his two children to join the voyage to another galaxy with the goal of saving humanity.

Directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring Matthew McConaugheyAnne HathawayJessica ChastainBill IrwinEllen BurstynMichael CaineCasey AffleckTopher GraceJohn LithgowDavid Gyasiand Wes Bentley.  Produced by Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey make Comic-Con debut with ‘Interstellar’

SDCC-PANEL-INTERSTELLARI’m surprised by the fact that Christopher Nolan hasn’t been to San Diego Comic Con yet. Given that he directed three of the most popular comic book movies to date and this is the place that these movies thrive. I’m excited for Intersteller and to see what Nolan brings to the table. I’m not a fan of San Diego Comic Con in general but the amount of movie news that debut here is astonishing.

When a wormhole (which theoretically can connect widely-separated regions of spacetime) is discovered, explorers and scientists unite to embark on a voyage through it, transcending the limits of human space travel. Among the travelers is a widowed engineer (McConaughey) who has to decide to leave behind his two children to join the voyage to another galaxy with the goal of saving humanity.

Intersteller is set to be released November 7th, 2014. Directed by Christopher Nolan and released by Warner Brothers Picture.

The Dark Knight Review

The Dark Knight

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal

After the much publicized death of Heath Ledger after production ended on the Dark Knight it became a very popular topic and a very sought after film. Once I saw the film I see why, Heath Ledger give a performance that completely changed everything about the Batman movie, it showed how committed he was to making a performance that was equally haunt and yet fascinating and tragic and yet compelling, this performance is by far the best and most committed performance of the last decade. Sitting at number 3 on my favorite movies list, right after Star Wars A New Hope and Raiders of the Lost Ark, it has become one of the greatest movie of all time that shows just how far people will go to survive. Joker is the polar opposite of Batman, he has no morals and he is not afraid to waste away people to accomplish his set out goals, Batman is humble and has one rule don’t kill, constantly the tests Batman and on a grand scale knows that he can’t break these rules which gives the Joker the upper hand.  This is what makes Joker such a fascinating villain and character is because he has no rules and proceeds with his plans regardless of how it effects anyone, it is also why he is Batman arch-nemesis. After watching this movie I knew that no  one is going to be able to outperform Heath Ledger in the role and I knew that this is what a true villain is, not some who is only out to destroy the world like most villains in any superhero movie as of late, he tests the hero and pushes him to the limits of his ability and tries to outwit the hero at every turn and that is why the Joker succeeds where other comic book villains do not and that is one reason this movie is as good as it is because it is not afraid to show a truly menacing villain.

The Dark Knight

With just one year having passed after taking out Ra’s Al Ghul’s plan to have Gotham eliminated and the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Jonathan Crane AKA the Scarecrow, and after the city was nearly plundered with his toxins, Bruce Wayne and his vigilante alter-ego the Batman, continue the seemingly endless effort to bring order to Gotham, with the help of Lt. James Gordon and newly appointed District Attorney Harvey Dent. But a new threat has now emerged into the streets. The Dark Knight faces a rising psychopathic criminal called The Joker, whose eerie grin, laughter, and inhuman morality makes him as dangerous than what he has yet to unleash. It becomes an agenda to Batman to stop the mysterious Joker at all costs, knowing that both of them are in an opposite line. One has no method at all and seeks to see the world plunge into the fire he has yet to light. One represents the symbol of hope and uses his own shadow to bring the peace and order he has yet to accomplish doing.

The Dark Knight

There is a lot to be admired about this movie, from the sheer scope of the mythology to the performance, The Dark Knight barely misses a note. I think the inclusion of Harvey Dent was a fantastic idea because it is a story about him and how he starts off as the good guy, who would eventually take Batman’s place as Gotham’s defender, to the villain Two-Face who was completely different from what he originally stood for. Essentially it is a self contained story of Dent’s rise to power and then fall to power after begin manipulated by the Joker into seeking revenge after the death of his loved one and Aaron Eckhart played the role perfectly bring layers to the character that Tommy Lee Jones’s interpretation ever had. The most interesting and intriguing scene in the entire movie is the integration scene, it both shows Joker’s true nature and his beliefs of Batman and how they aren’t different from one another. It also shows just how far Batman is pushed in the scene nearly breaking his rules and becoming just like Joker. It is an incredibly intense scene and shows just how great the performance from Heath Ledger is. It is a breathtaking scene that shows just how accomplished the movie really is. The next best scene was the flipping of the tractor trailer, it is a nice visual image and shows that nice scene can be achieved with out the use of CGI. What this movie has accomplished is simply amazing from critic love, to a posthumous Oscar (which he rightfully deserved) and it also shows just how Christopher Nolan can create a spectacle movie that both has substance and action without compromising either.

The Dark Knight

There is a lot you can say about this movie, mostly about how political it can be at sometimes which I know is present but I don’t think is a statement at all about the government itself. I have deep love for this movie and how it represents how superhero movies can be made to great movies, sure there are good superhero movies out there but nothing on the same level as Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of Batman. Nolan has created one of the best movies of all time with this one, something that the Academy realized after the fact and that is why they increased the nominations to 10 so that brilliant movies like this one have a chance at the recognition that it deserves.

10 out of 10