2014 was a good year for movies in my book. While there were a few quality flicks that ‘got away’ (which I’ll no doubt get around to watching on DVD in 2015), of the substantial list of movies I did see, these make my personal 2014 Top 10.
For more info on each flick, click on the title to be magically whisked away by hyperlink (in a new window of course! Gotta stay connected to your beloved AccessReel after all!)
Honourable Mentions: Just missing out on my Top 10 is….
Keanu Reeve’s action thriller JOHN WICK. He may be 50 years old, but Neo can still kick butt with style!
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB – Matthew McCaunghey challenges the medical system, smuggling alternative therapies for AIDS into the U.S.
THE RAID 2 – Indonesian martial arts film gone wild! Very cool.
Perhaps an unexpected addition to the list, but I really enjoyed this flick.
While it took me a while to accept this new, glossy CG version of Middle Earth, I received a welcome warm and fuzzy feeling watching the last Hobbit instalment. It was lovely to visit Middle Earth once again and the tie-ins to THE LORD OF THE RINGS in this flick make it a great bridge film between the two series.
# 8 – GONE GIRL
Uber frustrating but uber entertaining. Crazy good.
# 7 – LOCKE
It’s likely you won’t have seen this movie. A shame, as it’s a brilliant performance by Tom Hardy. Few films have tied my stomach in as many knots as this one.
# 6 – NIGHTCRAWLER
Another stand out performance, this time by Jake Gyllenhaal. This movie may make your skin crawl, but there’s no denying it’s quality!
# 5 – HER
An intriguing look at the possible blur between technology and humanity in the not too distance future.
# 4 – THE LEGO MOVIE
Not much needs to be said here. Basically; everything is awesome.
Just another thing New Zealand is doing better than us at the moment: Making comedy flicks. A hilarious mockumentary following vampires flat sharing in New Zealand. Written by Flight of the Conchords team Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi.
# 2 – THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
I still can’t believe Leo was robbed of an Oscar for this performance. Rude.
# 1 – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
In 2012, Wes Anderson made my top 10 list with MOONRISE KINGDOM and he’s done it again….in fact, I’d go so far as to say that he has even topped himself.
There’s something about Wes Anderson. His storybook-like visuals, clever comedy and quirky characters all seem familiar…they remind me of my childhood dreams – though I don’t flatter myself to presume my dreams were anywhere near as sophisticated!
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL tells the adventures of M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel, and his budding friendship with Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) the lobby boy. Throw into the mix a stolen Renaissance painting, the bloody battle for a family fortune and impending war, and you’ve got yourself quite an interesting tale.
Set against a tense historical backdrop, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL is slightly more serious in tone than Anderson’s previous work, but it never gets bogged down in the politics: Zany is still the order of the day.
One may enjoy a game of ‘spot the cameo’, with A-listers from Anderson’s past films popping up willy-nilly: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton and Jason Schwartzman just to name a few.
The main cast is truly sensational. Reportedly, Ralph Fiennes was not Anderson’s first choice as the flamboyant Gustave (he wanted Johnny Depp). However, Fiennes is exceptional – I can’t imagine the role played by anyone else. He also has an excellent chemistry with off-sider Tony Revolori as the lobby boy. Really a great bit of casting here.
Visually you can expect the same storybook look Anderson has become famous for. With pretty, gingerbread houses and cardboard cut-out looking vistas. It’s cute, it’s quirky and totally immersive.
So there you have it! My 2014 list! Sorry if I missed out any of your faves.
Happy New Year.