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


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


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

Best of the Month: June 2014

Posted: August 6, 2014 in Best Of

Best Films

The Fault In Our Stars

Edge Of Tomorrow

How to Train Your Dragon 2


Best Actor

Guy Pearce- The Rover

Ansel Elgort- The Fault In Our Stars

Robert Pattinson- The Rover

Tom Cruise- Edge Of Tomorrow


Best Actress

Emily Blunt- Edge Of Tomorrow

Shailene Woodley- The Fault In Our Stars


Best Director

Doug Liman- Edge Of Tomorrow

Dean DeBlois- How to Train Your Dragon 2

David Michod- The Rover

Best of the Month: May 2014

Posted: June 15, 2014 in Best Of

Best Films

Godzilla (2014)

X-Men: Days of Future Past


Best Actor

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


Best Actress

Emma Stone- The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Marion Cotillard- The Immigrant

Gugu Mbatha-Raw- Belle

Angelina Jolie- Maleficent


Best Director

Bryan Singer- X-Men: Days of Future Pasts

Gareth Edwards- Godzilla (2014)

Jim Mickle- Cold In July

Jon Favreau- Chef

Whether you like his brand of humor or not, Seth MacFarlane is a comedic genius. He’s created a handful of successful shows and his first feature film, Ted, is one of the highest grossing R-rated movies of all time. With all of that said, it saddens me to say that his new film, A Million Ways to Die in the West, doesn’t deliver the laughs. Now are there funny parts? Of course. It’s sexual, crude, disgusting and violent. Everything you could possibly want in a rated R comedy, yet there are only moments of actual laughter. It falls victim to not only revealing too much in the previews, but there’s simply not enough story or jokes to carry itself through 2 hours.

MacFarlane plays a sheep farmer named Albert who despises the wild west. It’s a place where anything and everything has the capability to kill you. Albert likes to talk things out before shooting from the hip and that’s not very popular where he lives. You’re seen as a coward which is why his one and only love Louise (Amanda Seyfried) leaves him for Foy (a scene-stealing Neil Patrick Harris) who is better and more superior than Albert due to his glorious mustache. In a surprising, desperate attempt to capture Louise’s heart once again, Albert challenges Foy to a duel. But don’t forget, Albert is a talker not a fighter. Obviously, he is probably good as dead.

That is until a mysterious but gorgeous woman comes to town. Her name is Anna (Charlize Theron) and not only do her and Albert form a friendship, but may be something more. She is an accomplished gunslinger and offers to help Albert so he doesn’t die face-down in the dirt in front of everyone in town. And while sparks and bullets fly between the two, Anna doesn’t tell him about her invective husband named Clinch (Liam Neeson), a notorious outlaw who is feared by all. And guess what? He’s coming to town.

We can’t forget about Albert’s best buds Edward (Giovanni Ribisi) and his prostitute girlfriend Ruth (Sarah Silverman). They are both Christians whom are waiting to have sex until they wed. However, Ruth is having meaningless sex 15-20 times a day with strangers, but Edward is a very understanding boyfriend. They not only provide some of the best lines, but the filthiest as well.

A Million Ways to Die in the West is outrageous, raunchy, and ridiculous, which is to be expected by MacFarlane. Let’s be honest, that is what we want. Unfortunately, what works in Ted does not work here. It’s an impressive cast but hearing MacFarlane is different than seeing him as a leading man. The role just doesn’t fit well on him. He looks out of place. More importantly though is the lack of laughs this movie suffers from. Most of the jokes we’ve heard before or may have already been told on Family Guy. And there’s not as much as dying as you might think, but the deaths that do occur you’ve seen over and over in the trailers. But I will give MacFarlane credit to actually trying to make some time for romance. That may be the most shocking part of the movie.

A western spoof is a tough thing to not only create but succeed at it. A Million Ways to Die in the West isn’t trying to be Blazing Saddles. That would just be foolish to begin with. But it does try to be this rare western comedy with relevance to the times we live in today. MacFarlane doesn’t completely fail at doing so and some jokes undoubtedly make their mark. The problem is so do the missed opportunities.

Godzilla (2014)

Posted: May 19, 2014 in Reviews

Godzilla first came to life in 1954 and has had almost 30 films since then. Oh and how could we forget Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla in 1998 right?! Obviously, it’s taken a lot of years, but finally ‘Zilla gets the respect he deserves on the big screen. This is because of director Gareth Edwards’ (Monsters) vision and devotion to the origins of the story and his appreciation for the most famous monster of them all. He places Godzilla back on the throne with people looking at him not only in fear, but in awe, wonder and amazement. Thanks to Edwards, this film does the same thing to its audience.

While the film is built for the monsters to raise some hell, there is a human element to it as well. Unfortunately, it’s just not as exciting. The first people we meet are Dr. Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and his partner, Dr. Graham (Sally Hawkins). They have located a pod deep in a Filipino mine were a MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) has escaped. Then we jump to Japan where we are introduced to an engineer named Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his scientist wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche). They work in a nuclear plant and are completely unaware of it becoming a feeding ground for the MUTO. The place crumbles and leaves Joe without a wife and their only child without a mother. The incident is blamed on an earthquake, but Joe knows it’s a cover up and spends years looking for answers.

Fifteen years pass and Joe and Sandra’s son, Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), is all grown up and works for the Navy as an explosives expert. He’s returned to his wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and their son but almost immediately is pulled away to return to Japan to get his father. Joe is now seen as loopy and just plain out of his mind even by his own son. But he has heard something that will make everyone a believer. There’s not just one MUTO but two and to make matters worse, it’s mating season. However, everything changes at the Honolulu Airport. It’s here when things start to get chaotic and the only outcome is absolute mayhem. This is where we get our first look at the King of Monsters: Godzilla!

I’m sure Edwards wanted that human connection to have more of an impact on-screen, but there’s not one character that you can truly invest in. I think Ford is suppose to be that guy, yet there is an emotional attachment that’s missing. Now the acting isn’t bad by any means. It’s a terrific cast with Watanabe perhaps being the most significant supporting character only because he represents the only voice of truth to what Godzilla is and why he is here.

Don’t let the lack of emotion from the humans change your mind about seeing Godzilla. When it comes to the monsters, it doesn’t get any bigger or better. It’s visually breathtaking and, if possible, see it in IMAX because the scale and size is a perfect fit. The ground will literally shake. Edwards knows who we all came to see, which is why I respect his decision on going with a nice, suspenseful build-up that eventually leads to the revealing of the big green lizard. Why some may hate the wait, it’s undoubtedly worth it. The inspiration of Steven Spielberg and Jaws is definitely there.

Godzilla is a behemoth of a film for so many reasons, and most of them are good: the size of the monsters, the terror of the people, the explosions and the battles. It’s a sight to see. Edwards has a real gift at making all of the havoc and destruction look so damn beautiful. His tone and pace only helps the film and keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way up to when you feel his stomps and hear his roar.

Best of the Month: April 2014

Posted: May 12, 2014 in Best Of

Best Films

Obvious Child

Butterfly Girl

Captain America: The Winter Soldier


The House That Jack Built

The Raid 2

Blue Ruin 


Best Actor

Kevin Costner- Draft Day

Nicolas Cage- Joe

Tom Hardy- Locke

E.J. Bonilla- The House That Jack Built

Jude Law- Dom Hemingway

Mark Duplass- The One I Love

Colin Firth- The Railway Man

Macon Blair- Blue Ruin 


Best Actress

Elisabeth Moss- The One I Love

Jenny Slate- Obvious Child

Robin Wright- The Congress

Leslie Mann- The Other Woman

Anna Kendrick – Happy Christmas


Best Director

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