Hi everyone, Bryan Here…
I can’t believe how fast this year has gone by. 2014 was an interesting year to say the least, most of which was great. Movie-wise, I think 2014 had some excellent films filling its theaters, but of course it had some real stinkers too. Below is my list of the Best and Worst films of 2014 with some added categories down at the bottom. I believe this year I watched over 145 new films, theatrically speaking and it was very difficult to narrow them down from 25. After some chocolate snacks covered in marshmallow cream, I finally had a TOP 10. But when you talk about the Best movies, you have to mention the worst too. My list tends to be a tad bit different from others, but hey, I’m twisted. I highly encourage you to seek out these movies – good or bad and enjoy the rest of your year.
Best Films of 2014
10. ‘Joe‘ – Nic Cage and Tye Sheridan (‘Mud’) star in this David Gordon Green (‘Pineapple Express’) film. It’s super rare these days where Nic Cage makes an Oscar worthy film. It’s violent, darkly funny, sad, and has some excellent performances. This was a big surprise this year. It’s on Netflix.
9. ‘The One I Love‘ – One of Ted Danson’s relatives made this unbelievably great film with Mark Duplass (‘The League’) and Elisabeth Moss (‘Mad Men’). The first time I watched this in the theater, I almost couldn’t contain my excitement. Someone had finally made a romantic comedy-ish film with some good ‘Twilight Zone’ vibes thrown in. Smart, brilliant, fun, and creepy. It’s on Netflix.
8. ‘The Raid 2‘ – I know this sequel won’t make many Top 10 lists, but it definitely should. It’s one of the best action films in the last few years and might have some of the best fight scenes and choreography ever filmed. The first film called ‘The Raid’ was basically a solid action film from start to finish with no breaks. Here there is a great storyline, similar to ‘The Departed’, with some action scenes that will literally have your jaw on the floor. One of the best.
7. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy‘ – I could just say “Dancing Groot”, and that would be enough, but I’ll go on. I’m so glad this film worked out for everyone involved. This little known comic book was a gamble for Marvel and it has paid off in big ways. Director/writer James Gunn (‘The Specials’, ‘Slither’) has come a long way and his unique brand of humor and action worked perfectly for this superhero story. It’s my favorite Marvel film to date. It’s cast is excellent and very likable and the dialogue is outstanding. Can’t wait for more.
6. ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘ – Wes Anderson has not made a bad film yet. And his latest film might be among his best. This is his WWII film and its amazing cast of colorful character never ceases to amaze. It’s a very adult film, something we haven’t seen in a few years from Wes and the story line keeps you interested and laughing all the way through. Who didn’t want to live in this hotel after watching this?
5. ‘NightCrawler‘ – I’m going to look at videographers in a whole new light now, thanks to this movie. Jake Gyllenhaal made a couple of excellent films this year. One of them was ‘Enemy’ and the other was this film. Gyllenhaal played one of the most frightening characters in recent memory here, but strangely enough , you also root for him through the film. ‘Nightcrawler’ is sick, twisted, creepy and has one of the best performances of the year by a male actor. I can’t recommend this enough.
4. ‘Boyhood‘ – The guy who made ‘School of Rock’ and ‘Dazed and Confused’, Mr. Richard Linklater, has done something very special here. Over the course of eleven years, Linklater made a film showing the great moments in a child’s life, using the same actors. It’s such a brilliant and nostalgic film that captures life’s little moments, both good and bad flawlessly. Amazing achievement.
3. ‘Birdman‘ – Finally, Michael Keaton is getting the attention he deserves. Yes, he was robbed of an Oscar back in the 80s for his role as Beetlejuice, but with ‘Birdman’, he might just receive the golden statue. This very theatrical film, which is shot to look like there are no edits or cuts in the film, but rather one long take, follows a man who was a big superhero action star in the 80s and 90s, but has fallen out of the spotlight. He is doing play on Broadway in hopes that he revitalizes his career into something important and worth remembering. Magnificent film and some of the best performances of the year by everyone involved.
2. ‘The Babadook‘ – I don’t imagine this film will be on a whole lot of people’s Best of list, let alone towards the top of the list, but hell, this film is THAT good. This Australian film is one of the scariest films of the last 30 years years and left me awake after watching it, trying to hide under the covers and turning on the room lights. It’s that terrifying. Not only that, but the acting in this film is Oscar worthy too. I only wish it had a wide release here in the states, because no doubt it would have made tons of money, not to mention that it would scare the shit out of people. But alas, if you have iTunes, you can rent it there, and we all hope that it receives a big wide release sooner than later. I’m going to have an excellent time, showing this film to friends and family.
1. ‘Whiplash‘ – And the number 1 movie for me this year is ‘Whiplash’. This excellent film, which I could watch 1000 times over and not get tired of it started out as a short film last year, and won a ton of awards at festivals. A year later, we have the feature length version and it’s simply amazing. J.K. Simmons is outstanding and Miles Teller is brilliant and hardcore. The soundtrack is phenomenal as well. I’m sure we all have had similar experiences with teachers like this before, which is scary, but also necessary. If you haven’t seen ‘Whiplash’ yet, make it your number 1 priority this holiday to see it – after food, and presents, and family.
‘John Wick‘ – Well finally somebody in the USA made an excellent and hardcore action film again with Keanu Reeves. This is one of those action films we’ve been wanting since the 80s and 90s again. There are so many scenes where you want to yell “Fuck yes” and “Badass”, that you’ll lose count. And yes, Kenau Reeves is 50 years old, but man does he still look like he is in his 20s here. He hasn’t missed a step at all in this funny, and highly entertaining action film.
‘Everly‘ – So technically, this film won’t be released this year, which is a shame, because it might be one of the best Christmas movies ever made, but I saw this earlier in the year, hence making my top films this year. This is basically ‘Kill Bill’ all set in one room. It’s some of the most fun I had in a theater all year, and I owe it all to director Joe Lynch. Highly recommended for when it releases early next year.
5. ‘Reasonable Doubt‘ – Terrible fucking movie with Samuel L. Jackson. Nothing makes sense here in this cat and mouse chase film.
4. ‘When the Game Stands Tall‘ – A true story about a high school football team from the guy who directed Eddie Murphy in ‘Metro’. What a long winded and boring movie with some pretty terrible performances. I think the main star Jim Caviezel (Jesus H. Christ) turned into a wooden puppet during production, because that’s what his performance is like. Terrible.
3. ‘Tammy‘ – I’m a huge fan of Melissa McCarthy, but this film just hit all of the wrong notes. It was unfunny, unlikable, and two hours of boredom.
2. ‘Hobbit Battle of Five Armies‘ – This 320 page book should not have turned into three long films. The last installment shot its gooey wad before the opening credits started and it never recovered. The emotion and passion is lacking here and had no good quality like the ‘Lord of the Rings’ had. What a huge let down for fans and movie goers.
1.’Lucy‘ – What a piece of shit film. It’s got a great cast and crew with Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman and Luc Besson (‘The Fifth Element’) in the director’s chair. But talk about a film that doesn’t make any sense and tries to be something that its clearly not. Wow. I actually felt bad for everyone who made this junk. It’s as if Besson had no idea where to go with the film 20 minutes in, and just piled on a bunch of slop to get through the day. Avoid at all costs.
Kevin Smith – Got him to tear up when talking about his favorite scene from a film.
John Turturro – Reprised his role as the Jesus from ‘Big Lebowski’ for me.
Joe Lynch – Could have talked and geeked out with this guy for hours over horror movies and television.
Frank Pavich – Director of the awesome documentary ‘Jodorowsky’s ‘Dune’. He’s smart, fun, and loves film.
Jack White – Lazaretto
Michael Jackson – Xscape
Forest Gump – Soundtrack
American Hustle – Soundtrack
Tom Petty – Hypnotic Eye
Last of Us Remastered
American Horror Story Freak Show Ep. 1
Walking Dead Season 5 ep. 1
Fargo Season 1
Game of Thrones Season 4
The Strain Season 1
The Kubrick Masterpiece Collection
Twin Peaks Complete Series
Guardians of the Galaxy
True Detective Season 1
The Sopranos Complete Series
Hard Days Night