Best 2014 Films (so far!)
I know June isn’t over but I mean, an indie may surprise me but other than that we just have 22 Jump Street and Transformers 4 on the way, sooooo….here’s my list.
1. The Wind Rises - One of the most mature animated films I’ve ever seen. Has a sort of Terrence Malick quality to it - plus the thematic moral complexities supply plenty of food for thought.
2. Locke - A simple premise that just executes its one note perfectly. Tom Hardy owns the role of the pragmatic Locke as he spends the night dealing with worse and worse scenarios. A great exploration of responsibility and masculinity that says more with one actor in a car in eighty minutes than the ensemble cast of The Expendables or most Superhero movies can accomplish with the same themes in a bloated 2+ hour monster.
3. The Raid 2 - I knew the action was going to be good, and it may be some of the best ever filmed, but I was not expecting to be so drawn into the father-son story going down here. It made those action scenes (especially that car chase, oh boy) so much heavier.
4. Enemy - Jake Gyllenhaal is a history professor who discovers an actor who looks exactly like him. A very Lynchian or Kafka type flick ripe with symbolism just begging to be interpreted - there are various fan theories out already, and Enemy is crafted intelligently enough that they’re all potentially correct interpretations.
5. Edge of Tomorrow - A non-superhero non-sequel non-franchise science fiction flick? I know it’s based on a novel/manga but considering it’s not an already established American IP I was looking forward to this flick - and it delivered. I have more thoughts on this flick but it’s so fresh in my mind I think I’ll do a separate post once all my thoughts are gathered.
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel - Anderson’s made an action movie, with something to say. For once I felt he didn’t just make the usual aesthetically pleasing but otherwise un-engaging movie.
7. Milius - A pretty straightforward biography/documentary that coasts by mostly on how interesting and entertaining John Milius is.
8. The Lego Movie - Takes the standard hero’s journey model, and tears it apart, exploring what does and doesn’t work about it. I mean the visuals are gorgeous and all, thankfully we got a pretty smart story to go along with it.
9. Noah - Aronofsky’s biblical blockbuster is full of weird, interesting moments (the "In the Beginning" piece being my favorite) but working underneath that are lots of interesting Gnostic ideas and concepts straight from Kabbalah. If anything this is the kind of Old Testament movie we deserve. Reminds me of those ACTION BIBLE type comics.
10. Under the Skin - Scarlett Johansson plays a man-eating alien, in a very artsy manner. The plotting is a little murky but the style is constantly interesting.