Tag Archives: Ralph Fiennes

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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Wrath of the Titans Review

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Wrath of the Titans

Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman

Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy

I’m not going to be blunt and not say it but I really hated Clash of the Titans, something during the entire movie just didn’t feel right like the Gods having nothing really to do except to guide Perseus once in a while and Zeus yelling “Release the Kraken” otherwise the felt wasted and not given the chance to really develop. Sam Worthington was also another big problem for me, after Avatar I had some faith in him as an actor, he just felt wooden and lifeless during the duration of the film. The worst part was the Kraken, sure the special effects were amazing but the trailer made it seems like it was going to be something epic but just lead to an anticlimactic ending with the Kraken only serving as a big action set piece at the end but last only 3 minutes. When I saw the trailer for Wrath of the Titans I feared that the movie was going to go down the same path but for me it actually did something right, get more down and dirty with the filming and special effects to the point that it didn’t feel the same as Clash. Sure it had some similarities but all in all I thought that what Wrath ended up being was a better version of the original.

The epic battle between the Titans and the gods continues in this sequel set ten years after the events in Clash of the Titans, as Perseus (Sam Worthington) descends into the underworld on a mission to rescue Zeus from the clutches of Hades (Ralph Fiennes), Ares (Edgar Ramirez), and Kronos. In the wake of his decisive victory against the Kraken, Perseus has retreated to a remote fishing village to raise his young son, Helius. Meanwhile, humanity has lost faith in the gods. As a result, Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon find their power beginning to slip, a development that could spell disaster for all of humankind should their imprisoned father, Kronos, manage to break free from his underworld prison in Tartarus. When Perseus learns that Zeus’ son Ares has teamed with Hades and Kronos to capture Zeus, steal his power, and create hell on Earth, the time comes to take action. Now, with Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), Argenor (Toby Kebbell), and Hephaestus (Bill Nighy) by his side, brave Perseus will venture deep into the underworld on a mission to defeat the Titans, deliver Zeus from evil, and prevent the powers of darkness from consuming all of humanity.

What I found better in this movie was that it contain better special effects, which really brought some of the creatures to life and made the environment feel much grittier and not as flashy as the first one did. What caught me by surprise was that Sam Worthington actually outperformed himself in this role which felt much more natural and not so wooden or corny. The one major thing that made the movies to similar is that the story is essential the same. Perseus starts his journey and then recruits a bunch of followers, one who happens to be a demi god. Their travels leads them to a location which they have to battle giant monster, in this one it was Cyclopses and the first one it was Scorpions, and then later they ride them to get to the location, which leads them to a source of information, the witches in the first and Hephaestus in the second. This information leads them to the Underworld where they have to defeat yet another Mythical beast, Medusa in the Clash and the Minotaur in Wrath, shortly after this confrontation and some more traveling which then leads them to the main villain which they have to fight and subsequently defeat. Afterwards the have to fight the big monster at the end, The Kraken and then Kronos, which tries to be epic but ends up being a lackluster final battle with the all powerful creatures gets defeated very easily. Personally I think that the sequel used this plot structure better but in the end it all seems all to boring of a story which relies to much on big screen effects and little to no character development. At least the Gods got something to do this time around even though I will be sad to see Liam Neeson go, not because I’ll miss Zeus it’s because it’s freaking Liam Neeson one of the only good things about this franchise.

All in all it can be a fun movie to watch but if you are looking for a story or good characters this is definitely not the movie for you.

5.5 out of 10