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

Pierec 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

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.