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

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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

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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

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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

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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 🙂

Rapid Review: The Babadook (2014)

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“You can bring me the boy.”
– The Babadook

SYNOPSIS: A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her. – via IMDB

the babadook book

GRADE 8Well, well, well. I know that I have been waiting for this since Tim reviewed it over on his site in May. It piqued my interest, so I wanted to know. Naturally, soon everyone was watching it and the consensus came back that it was brilliant. I had to know. The last good horror film we got was The Conjuring, and that was the first good one in a hell of a long time. The Babadook was excellent for me in the sense that it told a story, and did not get too wrapped up in the monster. It focused on Amelia and Samuel, and things progressively get creepier from there. The atmosphere is fantastic here, seeing as the house that the family is living in is already a flat and depressing space, and Sam is definitely a bit of a problem child for his mother and school, and the way that Amelia pulls away from him is odd to see in a mother, though understandable when more of the back story is revealed. It is as though she loves him because she is duty bound to do so, not because she genuinely adores her son. She has never dealt with her husband’s passing. Both should seriously have gone for counselling ages ago, but evidently it was not very high up on anyone’s list. You never actually get a handle on Amelia’s depression, and what is real and what is not. Anyway, the movie starts simply enough and progressively moves away from comfort and usual days on to something a little darker – and then this absolutely terrifying book makes its way into the home, and damn, it is a creepy one. I want one. Now. To add to my collection of books. It was so messed up and so awesome. I thought the movie was shot fantastically and looked wonderful, and the fact that there was not an overkill of focus on the babadook was refreshing for me. I am big on a concept of something, but so many movies lose it when it gets to the monster. The Babadook does not suffer from this whatsoever seeing as you get to see the babadook from time to time, but never too much, but when it is there? The darn chills! One thing that really got me was the voice. If you have seen this, you will know what I am talking about. Heebeejeebees I tell you. I really liked the concept of the babadook as a monster, too. The cast worked wonderfully with their material, and it was some solid work from all of them, which lent more credence to this. I thoroughly enjoyed that the movie did not evoke fear using cheap jump scares, but crafted a deeper and more unsettling film to work through. It’s smart, it’s scary, it’s unnerving, has been directed exceptionally well and it’s worth the hype and the watch, in my opinion. Good horror movies don’t come around very often anymore. This is just another instance that demonstrates that you don’t need a massive budget to make a flick work, and you also don’t need to squander the whole flick on CGI and silliness. If you haven’t seen it, go, now. Stop wasting time!