Top 20 Movies of 2014: Part 2 (1 – 10)

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So I gave you Part 1 earlier this week, counting down my top twenty films for the year from 20 – 11, and today I will share the big ones, the ten films I enjoyed the most in 2014!

Again, we are still waiting on some of those massive releases most of the world got already, but no matter. These are the ten films this past year that made me think, or just thrilled me endlessly, flaws and all.

10. The Babadook

the-babadook-poster

Another independent budget flick, and another goodie to be sure. The Babadook sure provided some thrills and chills, and I thought it was a wonderfully crafted horror movie. I have not seen one this good in a really long time. The acting was quite solid, the pacing was good, the story was something different, and it gives you something to think about when all is said and done. Not to mention, when that freaking thing opens it’s mouth to speak, that’s just scary as hell! Absolutely great work here, and well worth looking into!

9. Coherence

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Mind games all the way, Coherence is another small budget film with a small cast, minor effects and all that, but with a story that will just shatter your mind. It is a simple plot that draws you in, even though it is a slow start, but when it gets going, you have to keep your wits about you. Fantastic concept and one of the more fresh films I have seen in years, Coherence proves that sometimes less is certainly so much more.

8. Interstellar

interstellar poster

Absolutely amazing to look at, visually, with some solid performances, Interstellar was an epic space journey. It was my most anticipated movie of 2014, and, as always, Nolan delivered the goods with this one. Going in you sort of think you are ready for what is about to happen (yeah, right), and by the end of it you know that you have been owned. Wow, that is all I can actually say. I know there has been a very mixed reaction with this, but I am firmly in the impressed camp.

7. X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Here’s another superhero film and all of that, for sure, but this turned out to be even better than I expected. Trust me, my expectations were pretty high for this as is. A solid story, fantastic performances, and awesome effects? This was definitely going to make it. An interesting plot, plenty of humour and plenty of drama, this movie was incredibly well balanced and benefited from a phenomenal execution, X-Men: Days of Future Past demonstrates clearly what one expects when going in for a film of this caliber, and delivered on each and every front.

6. Snowpiercer

snowpiercer movie poster

I went in for this not really knowing what was going to come. Then I had my mind blown. This movie was fantastic. I was incredibly shocked at how well it worked, especially considering the closed environment should have (in theory) crippled it. Instead, it told a crazy story. The cast was brilliant for this, and the performances they gave were amazing. I was a big fan of Chris Evans’s portrayal of Curtis, too, he just dominated that role, reminding the world that he is so much more than just Captain America.

5. Filth

filth movie poster

Well, this was another movie just to prove to me why I am a James McAvoy fan. Truly his finest performance to date, in my opinion, Filth rocked my socks on so many levels. The movie starts off all fun and games, albeit a little dark, and soon is this descent into sheer lunacy, dragging you along for a really bad trip, the whole time wondering where the hell you are. The cast worked so well, the plot was solid, the execution fantastic, and features one of the best twists I have seen in ages (truly damn near brought me to my knees). Definitely worth the watch, I thoroughly enjoyed this!

4. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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This movie boasted some of the most amazing CGI and effects I have seen in ages, and touted some serious emotion and some excellent action. An incredibly successful follow up for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, this movie brings so much to the table, and should be noted for it. While maybe not completely perfect, it was plenty more than enough fun, and was extremely well put together. Andy Serkis is the motion capture king for a reason, and I think he worked phenomenally well with Toby Kebbell, who brought a whole different element to the fore here.

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

captain america winter soldier poster

This movie just… wow. I loved it. It came together so well and thrilled me, and the more I thought about it after the fact the more I liked it. I got totally obsessed with it. The Winter Soldier was a great villain, the action was fast, fun, and brutal, the cast all played off each other brilliantly, it was shot beautifully and it was paced well. I missed the period feel that Captain America: The First Avenger offered, but I felt that this movie carried itself without that setting. Captain America remains my favourite Avenger, and this movie once again demonstrated why. Slick, fast, spy thriller feel? So there!

2. The Guest

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I went into this hoping it would be something I would enjoy, not expecting it to turn out to be something that I would love. I mean I had to rearrange my whole top ten for this film! The Guest is excellent, perfectly balancing out characters and actions, deliberately building up a story and then exploding into an action/thriller type thing. The Guest is bold, wonderful to look at and boasts a mean score. There is so much to love here, especially Dan Stevens’s performance, and it definitely ticked all the necessary boxes for me!

1. Fury

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This might not surprise all of you (seeing as how I gushed about it), but Fury was incredible. It has stunning cinematography, a solid cast that delivered all the goods, some terrifying and realistic situations and effects, a score that just drives everything home and is an emotional roller-coaster. Fury just astounded me endlessly, and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. It keeps you engrossed and at the edge of your seat, and is undoubtedly raw and gritty, one of the best war movies in a really long time.

Well, there you have it. The twenty films I enjoyed the most this year 🙂

Review: Snowpiercer (2013)

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snowpiercer movie poster

“Know your place. Accept your place.”
– Mason

In the year 2031, the world has been destroyed. Global warming was becoming a serious issue and an experiment was launched to cool the atmosphere, bringing temperatures back to a more manageable level. Instead it froze the atmosphere, killing everything. Well, almost everything. On board the very special Snowpiercer, a perpetual-motion train created by Mr Wilford, there are survivors. The Snowpiercer ceaselessly travels a globe-spanning track, housing the only survivors of Earth. Cutis Everett (Chris Evans) seems to be someone that the residents look up to, someone they consider a leader – a role he is extremely uncomfortable with. They live in a few train cars, decrepit, poverty stricken, filthy… the lowest of the low. This is their world now. There is no way to better yourself, no option for advancement, nothing. It seems that a rebellion is brewing in the bowels of the train, to stop living in fear and as someone else’s slaves. The oppression must end. This is not living, this is captivity. Curtis’s right hand man, Edgar (Jamie Bell), is prepared to do whatever Curtis wants to get this rebellion underway. Curtis is communicating with Gilliam (John Hurt), a survivor of the last rebellion and a confidant of Curtis. They are receiving instructions from someone further up in the train, someone they believe to be in a position of power. They receive their notes in tiny silver capsules embedded in their protein blocks.

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“I belong to the front, you belong to the tail.” – Mason

When some woman comes from higher up in the train, she takes with her two children, one of Tanya (Octavia Spencer) and Andrew (Ewen Bremner). They viciously attempt to stop this, but are unsuccessful. Soon after Curtis realises that they are running out of time, and the rebellion’s time frame moves up significantly. They will have to start sooner than anticipated, and immediately they start. Tanya joins them in a desperate attempt to recover her son, and they are off. Their first stop is to fight through the security they are faced with after Curtis realises that the guns the guards wield must be empty, the bullets were used up in the last rebellion. They make way to the prison section where they awaken Namgoong Minsu (Song Kang-ho) and request his help, seeing as he was a part of the security of the train. He is a Kronal addict, and will only assist them if they supply the drugs for him and his daughter Yona (Go Ah-sung), who was sleeping in the next container, as long as he opens the doors on their journey to the front of the train. Relenting, the rebellion moves on. Lives are lost as the battle wages.

snowpiercer smoking

Gilliam sends Curtis along with Mason (Tilda Swinton), a higher up on the train, though not yet the all-powerful and extremely elusive Mr Wilford. She is a loyalist in the most extreme sense. Using her as a captive and guide, a small group of survivors advance once more. Curtis and his fellow tail end train people are horrified to learn that the other inhabitants of the train live in the lap of luxury, something that most people cannot even recall, some never even had access to that when Earth was normal. While they battled and lived in squalor, there is a huge section of the train that enjoyed tailors, restaurants and gardens, amongst other things. The train builds from the slums into a stunning area. Namgoong and Yona are seemingly on another little mission, and it does not take long for Mason to try and save her own skin again, attempting to turn on Curtis and his people. Curtis is intent on making it to the front of the train and facing Wilford himself, though Gilliam insists that he kill him and not give Wilford a chance to talk his way out of it. The children are still missing, and there is no luck in finding them, though it is evident that they were far forward on the massive train. As the journey through the Snowpiercer continues, the elite start fighting back – or, at any rate, Wilford and his security lot do, making this revolt that Curtis is a part of all the more difficult. Many more obstacles present themselves, including many that start to chip at Curtis, designed to bring him to his knees.

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Will Curtis and his group make it to the front of the train? Will he finally face off with Mr Wilford, the most revered man on the train? Will they ever be able to balance out the poverty and the comfort that the member of the train experience? Will this be the first successful revolt upon the Snowpiercer? Are their days of oppression almost over?

snowpiercer rebellion

“They’ve got no bullets!” – Edgar

GRADE 8.5I kept seeing reviews about this popping up the whole time and figured I should totally find out what that was all about. I went in relatively blind (again, I do my best), and I was pleasantly surprised. This movie was bizarre, but it was very well done. It had everything stacked against it due to the really closed environment and all that, but it turned out to be amazingly well done. I loved the camera work and the score. Chris Evans gave a wonderful performance, and (no spoilers, relax), the story that was told at the end really just bowled me over, his delivery was perfect, it was flawless. Song Kang-ho was equally impressive. I thought the two worked fantastically together. Song’s Namgoong was definitely a great character, definitely my favourite. He brought so much to the table. The plot itself was actually pretty good, though there were some things that I questioned, if you don’t worry too much about it they will become superfluous. At the same time, the issues are nothing to really get hung up over and allow to detract from the movie. I had no idea how they were going to sustain the concept, seeing as the train is small and a closed environment, but that was sorted out relatively soon, too. The movie is long but never actually go to the place where it felt that way for me. Tilda Swinton was absolutely disgusting in this, and she played her role well. She grated on my absolute last nerve. Gilliam was also a very cool character and I enjoyed him. The rebellion that they led from the tail was impressive, and there were plenty moments where it got incredibly intense. The movie, as I said, was really bizarre, but it just worked for me, I was truly very taken with it. I thoroughly enjoyed all the themes that it explored about society and class, government and leaders… it was interesting. It was a pretty movie to look at, too. I would recommend checking this one out!