Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Javi's Favorite Movies Of 2014, So Far

2014 has been a surprisingly good year for movies. Every time a movie comes out that appears to be a terrible or ill-advised idea, it turns out to be amazing. As always, we want to highlight some of our favorite movies that have come out so far and I always do my lists, I will list all of the movies in no particular except my absolute favorite movie at the end. The unofficial theme this year seems to be badass sequels. Check out my picks after the break.

The PR disaster that is Tom Cruise has seemingly crushed any of his recent projects with the exception of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movies, which is a shame because despite being a creepy guy in his personal life, he is also a really talented action star. This movie has him starring as a sleazy coward trying to get out of combat who gains the power to re-live the same day over and over. This not only adds for some surprisingly dark humor, but also great chances for badass action scenes. Not only that, but Perfect Lady Emily Blunt is proving herself to be quite the action star. This movie does not deserve the bad box office it has right now. Go check it out in the theaters.

This was one of the best movies out of the festival circuit so far. The story about a trio of young girls that start a punk band in the 1980's after everyone around them declares punk has been dead for a while. I'm always partial towards any music-related movie, but this movie in particular was just really cool as it wasn't this overly-dark drama, but there was tons of heart, jokes and rad punk music.

Another Chris Miller/Phil Lord joint. This movie does what would be the impossible and is actually funnier than 21 JUMP STREET. A majority of the appeal is just how cleverly, though rather bluntly, the movie lets you know that you are in a sequel and that it's trying to stick to the formula. And just like everyone else, I highly recommend staying for the end credits. You can check Jonesy's review here.

HTTYD2 is such a damn good follow up to the original. This is not a sequel that's trying to do the same, but rather expand the world. It does it in one of the most organic ways possible, by showing that with dragons, the Vikings can now take to the skies and thus finding more enemies and allies in the process. Here's Jonesy's review

Easily the best science fiction movie of the year so far, I've already talked about COHERENCE recently, so I'll leave you to my spoiler-filled and non-spoiler review.

This is everything that I could have asked for a new version of the iconic lizard. Snarky critics calling this a "dark and moody" type of remake are obviously ignorant of the fact that the original movie, which this one is trying to emulate, is a dark and intense movie that just happens to have an allegorical radioactive monster at its climax. Despite some of the issues with Aaron Taylor-Johnson's character, it is one of the best representations of an enormous natural or otherwise disaster, and how small as humans can feel against it.

This movie is yet another sequel uniquely expanding on the universe that was established in a much smaller movie. THE RAID 2 blows the worldwide open with the cop from the original movie being tasked to stay undercover for years in order to infiltrate a drug cartel. The fight scenes are up close, personal, and somehow even bloodier than the last one.

These are both included for the sole fact that they both star Zac
 Efron who is both funnier and more ripped than I expected (seriously, I'm typing this while I'm doing ab crunches)  and just shines in both of these movies. While NEIGHBORS is the funnier and better movie, playing off the chemistry between Efron and Dave Franco plus Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne and it's one of those movies that you need to watch twice since you'll probably be laughing too hard. THAT AWKWARD MOMENT is much more derivative and cliché when it comes to its plot. But once again, Efron has great chemistry with co-stars Imogen Poots, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller bring some emotions to this manboy shtick that would have made an otherwise run-of-the-mill romcom stand out.  

Easily the most re-watchable movie of the year so far and what's probably my second. While it seemed like it would have been a movie as bad as say GI JOE RETALIATION or THE BRATZ as far toy movies go, this ended up being not only a smartly written, satirical movie with a lot of heart and a great message, but it also features what could be the best cinematic Batman ever.

And my favorite movie of the year so far is:
This is the second collaboration of director Dennis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenghal after last year's PRISONERS, which I loved. I found this movie thanks to the intense recommendation of one @RockieWarAntz, and I have to say that I loved it. The movie brilliantly acted, shot and directed and it has to be one of the most exciting release of the last year. It deals with a shy history teacher who ends up finding a man who looks like him but happens to be an actor. When these two men meet, their live unravel in the most strange way possible. This is one of the most highly recommended movies from me this year.

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