Best of the Month: October 2014

Posted: November 15, 2014 in Best Of

Best Films

Birdman

Fury

Nightcrawler

Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me

Kill The Messenger

Keep On Keepin’ On

 

Best Actor

Ben Affleck- Gone Girl

Bill Murray- St. Vincent

Brad Pitt- Fury

Keanu Reeves- John Wick

Logan Lerman- Fury

Jeremy Renner- Kill The Messenger

Robert Duvall- The Judge

Andre Benjamin- Jimi: All Is By My Side

Edward Norton- Birdman

Shia LaBeouf- Fury

Jake Gyllenhaal- Nightcrawler

Robert Downey Jr.- The Judge

Michael Keaton- Birdman

 

Best Actress

Rosamund Pike- Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon- The Good Lie

Rene Russo- Nightcrawler

Emma Stone- Birdman

Nicole Kidman- Before I Go To Sleep

Naomi Watts- St. Vincent, Birdman

 

Best Director

David Ayer- Fury

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu- Birdman

Michael Cuesta- Kill The Messenger

David Fincher- Gone Girl

Jorge R. Gutierrez- The Book of Life

Dan Gilroy- Nightcrawler

Fury

Posted: October 18, 2014 in Reviews

Fury is furious as hell. Simple as that.

The director of Harsh Times and Sabotage is no where found in this film. This is the End of Watch David Ayer behind the camera and he tosses us right in the chaos of wartime. While Fury brings the action in full force, Ayer pushes the human element right up against it, face-to-face. It’s a raw, unrelenting ride through the massacre and mud, and the director follows and focuses on characters while capturing their defining moments. You just have to do your best to keep up.

This is a tense, unforgiving WWII film that does not shy away from showing the horrors of battle and the scars are there in plain sight. The focus is on a tank brigade that have traveled all over the world with no regard for murder and bloodshed. The men they were no longer exist. They are hardened with tarnished souls. The leader of this group is Sgt. Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) along with his brothers Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal), Trini Garcia (Michael Pena), and Boyd Swan (a remarkable Shia LaBeouf). But they are soon joined by Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), a kid who has never fired a gun or even been inside of a tank before. The transformation of Norman leaves a lasting impression of how the environment around you can soon consume you.

Lerman’s breakout role was in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but he turns it up a notch in this film. He is tremendous as Norman, who represents the innocence that the rest of the gang have not seen for a very long time. He knows the difference between defending and murdering. This is a blurry line for most of the guys in uniform. Also, it’s another first-rate performance by Pitt. He portrays a grizzled tank commander who hides his pain, but is not scared to show mercy. Wardaddy is battle fatigued, but still never questions his next mission. He’s a man who shouldn’t have a conscience after all he has seen and been through yet he does. It still shines through even during the darkest hours.

Fury is brutally told, but it’s necessary. It feels like you are riding inside the 30-ton slaying machine yourself waiting for something to explode and shake you down to your foundation. Even during the quiet moments of the film, there is still this unpredictability and uneasiness sweeping over you. However, it’s the final scene of the film that visually describes the hellishness these men have endured for so long. It’s not a pretty sight and that’s the point.

 

Best of the Month: September 2014

Posted: October 4, 2014 in Best Of

Best Films

The Drop

The Skeleton Twins

 

Best Actor

James Gandolfini- The Drop

James McAvoy- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Bill Hader- The Skeleton Twins

John Lithgow- Love Is Strange

Tom Hardy- The Drop

Liam Neeson- A Walk Among the Tombstones

Denzel Washington- The Equalizer

Alfred Molina- Love Is Strange

 

Best Actress

Noomi Rapace- The Drop

Jessica Chastain- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Kristen Wiig- The Skeleton Twins

 

Best Director

Michael R. Roskam- The Drop

Ned Benson- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Craig Johnson- The Skeleton Twins

Best of Summer 2014

Posted: September 6, 2014 in Best Of

It may still be hot as hell outside, but the Summer season in movies is officially over. Not only is it an exciting time due to football finally being back, but because we are about to encounter the best of the best in film with the road to the Oscars about to get underway.

Lets get to what I think was the best of the Summer. And I must say that most was unimpressive, leaving me to dig deep to find the gems that you see before you. I have separated it in to categories and singled out some great directors and strong performances along with a group of movies, in my opinion, that were the best of the best this season.

Best Comedy Film

Neighbors

 

Best Horror Film

The Purge: Anarchy

 

Best Non-Mainstream Film (Independent)

Snowpiercer

 

Best Animated Film

How to Train Your Dragon 2

 

Best Documentary Film

Life Itself

 

Biggest Hero

Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket, Groot, Dax (Guardians of the Galaxy)

 

Biggest Villain

Koba (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)

 

Most Impressive

Edge of Tomorrow

 

Most Disappointing

Lucy

 

Best Actress (in no particular order)

Emma Stone- The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Marion Cotillard- The Immigrant

Gugu Mbatha-Raw- Belle

Angelina Jolie- Maleficent

Emily Blunt- Edge Of Tomorrow

Shailene Woodley- The Fault In Our Stars

Tilda Swinton- Snowpiercer

Keira Knightley- Begin Again

Rachel McAdams- A Most Wanted Man

Kate Hudson- Wish I Was Here

Helen Mirren- The Hundred-Foot Journey

Patricia Arquette- Boyhood

Chloe Grace Moretz- If I Stay

Eva Green- Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Zoe Kazan- What If

 

Best Actor (in no particular order)

Steve Coogan- Alan Partridge

Don Johnson- Cold In July

Andrew Garfield- The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Jesse Eisenberg- The Double

Phillip Seymour Hoffman- God’s Pocket

Michael C. Hall- Cold In July

Joaquin Phoenix- The Immigrant

Jon Favreau- Chef

Sam Shepard- Cold In July

James McAvoy- X-Men: Days of Future Past/ Filth

Guy Pearce- The Rover

Ansel Elgort- The Fault In Our Stars

Robert Pattinson- The Rover

Tom Cruise- Edge Of Tomorrow

Andy Serkis- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Chris Evans- Snowpiercer

Philip Seymour Hoffman- A Most Wanted Man

Mark Ruffalo- Begin Again

Chadwick Boseman- Get On Up

Jeff Bridges- The Giver

Manish Dayal- The Hundred-Foot Journey

Ellar Coltrane- Boyhood

Jack O’Connell- Starred Up

Brendan Gleeson- Calvary

Pierce Brosnan- The November Man

Daniel Radcliffe- What If

Ben Mendelsohn- Starred Up

 

Best Director (in no particular order)

Bryan Singer- X-Men: Days of Future Pasts

Gareth Edwards- Godzilla (2014)

Jim Mickle- Cold In July

Jon Favreau- Chef

Doug Liman- Edge Of Tomorrow

Dean DeBlois- How to Train Your Dragon 2

David Michod- The Rover

Matt Reeves- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Anton Corbijn- A Man Most Wanted

Joon-ho Bong- Snowpiercer

John Michael McDonagh- Calvary

Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez- Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Richard Linklater- Boyhood

James Gunn- Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Best Films of the Summer (in no particular order)

Life Itself

A Most Wanted Man

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Snowpiercer

Begin Again

The Fault In Our Stars

Edge Of Tomorrow

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Godzilla (2014)

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Guardians of the Galaxy

Calvary

Boyhood

 

 

Looking Towards the Future

September

 

This Is Where I Leave You

No Good Deed

A Walk Among the Tombstones

The Equalizer

October

 

Annabelle

Gone Girl

Whiplash

Men, Women & Children

St. Vincent

Nightcrawler

Fury

Birdman

November

 

Big Hero 6

Interstellar

Dumb and Dumber To

Foxcatcher

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

Horrible Bosses 2

December

 

Exodus: Gods and Kings

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Into the Woods

Unbroken

Inherent Vice

Selma

Big Eyes

American Sniper

Best of the Month: August 2014

Posted: September 6, 2014 in Best Of

Best Films

Guardians of the Galaxy

Calvary

Boyhood

 

Best Actor

Chadwick Boseman- Get On Up

Jeff Bridges- The Giver

Manish Dayal- The Hundred-Foot Journey

Ellar Coltrane- Boyhood

Jack O’Connell- Starred Up

Brendan Gleeson- Calvary

Pierce Brosnan- The November Man

Daniel Radcliffe- What If

Ben Mendelsohn- Starred Up

 

Best Actress

Helen Mirren- The Hundred-Foot Journey

Patricia Arquette- Boyhood

Chloe Grace Moretz- If I Stay

Eva Green- Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Zoe Kazan- What If

 

Best Director

John Michael McDonagh- Calvary

Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez- Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Richard Linklater- Boyhood

James Gunn- Guardians of the Galaxy

Halfway There: The Best….so far

Posted: August 6, 2014 in Best Of

(From January 1st-July 1st 2014)

 

Best Comedy Film

Obvious Child

Best Animated Film

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Best Foreign Film

Big Bad Wolves

Best Documentary Film

Butterfly Girl

 

Best Actress—Top 15

Jessica Lange (In Secret)

Paulina Garcia (Gloria)

Elizabeth Olsen (In Secret)

Jennifer Connelly  (Noah)

Shailene Woodley (Divergent/The Fault In Our Stars)

Emma Watson (Noah)

Elisabeth Moss (The One I Love)

Jenny Slate (Obvious Child)

Robin Wright (The Congress)

Leslie Mann (The Other Woman)

Anna Kendrick  (Happy Christmas)

Marion Cotillard (The Immigrant)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle)

Angelina Jolie (Maleficent)

Emily Blunt (Edge Of Tomorrow)

 

Best Actor—Top 25

Don Johnson (Cold In July)

Jesse Eisenberg (The Double)

Philip Seymour Hoffman (God’s Pocket)

Michael C. Hall (Cold In July)

Jon Favreau (Chef)

Sam Shepard (Cold In July)

James McAvoy (X-Men: Days of Future Past/ Filth)

Kevin Costner (Draft Day/ 3 Days To Kill)

Nicolas Cage (Joe)

Tom Hardy (Locke)

E.J. Bonilla (The House That Jack Built)

Jude Law (Dom Hemingway)

Colin Firth (The Railway Man)

Macon Blair (Blue Ruin)

Adam Bakri (Omar)

Robert Pattinson (The Rover)

Jason Bateman (Bad Words)

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Sabotage)

Michael Pena (Cesar Chavez)

Russell Crowe (Noah)

Jake Gyllenhaal (Enemy)

Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Guy Pearce (The Rover)

Ansel Elgort (The Fault In Our Stars)

Tom Cruise (Edge Of Tomorrow)

 

Best Director—Top 20

Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days of Future Past)

Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) (2014)

Jim Mickle (Cold In July)

Jon Favreau (Chef)

Henry Barrial (The House That Jack Built)

Ari Folman (The Congress)

David Gordon Green (Joe)

Anthony & Joe Russo (Captian America: The Winter Soldier)

Gillian Robespierre (Obvious Child)

Steven Knight (Locke)

Gareth Evans (The Raid 2)

Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin)

Darren Aronofsky (Noah)

Denis Villeneuve (Enemy)

Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (The LEGO Movie)

Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado (Big Bad Wolves)

Doug Liman (Edge Of Tomorrow)

Dean DeBlois (How to Train Your Dragon 2)

David Michod (The Rover)

 

Best Films—Top 15

Big Bad Wolves

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Obvious Child

Butterfly Girl

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Joe

The House That Jack Built

The Raid 2

Blue Ruin 

Godzilla (2014)

X-Men: Days of Future Past

How to Train Your Dragon 2

The LEGO Movie

The Fault In Our Stars

Edge Of Tomorrow

 

 

Best of the Month: July 2014

Posted: August 6, 2014 in Best Of

Best Films

Life Itself

A Most Wanted Man

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Snowpiercer

Begin Again

 

Best Actor

Andy Serkis- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Chris Evans- Snowpiercer

Philip Seymour Hoffman- A Most Wanted Man

Mark Ruffalo- Begin Again

 

Best Actress

Tilda Swinton- Snowpiercer

Keira Knightley- Begin Again

Rachel McAdams- A Most Wanted Man

Kate Hudson- Wish I Was Here

 

Best Director

Matt Reeves- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Anton Corbijn- A Man Most Wanted

Joon-ho Bong- Snowpiercer