Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jonesy's Favorite 2014 Movies..So Far

 2014 has been a pretty great year in terms of movies thus far. Thankfully I've avoided some of the bigger disappointments and bombs, but for the most part, I've found enjoyment with most of the films I've seen. It's definitely been a year of great sequels (which is a surprise), but there are a few original films that have stood out in my mind. My cohort has already posted his list, which you can find here.

As always, mine are in no particular order

Check it out after the break.

I have a slight obsession with the first installment of this series, so when the second one was released, it would have had to be a complete and utter mess for me to dislike it. But again, director Dean DeBlois surpassed my (this time around) very high expectations and created a wonderful and heartfelt film. The 3D animation is even better this time around and watching the characterizations of all the dragons will make almost anyone wish they could have one for their own. This film goes to some dark places, and it's refreshing that animated "kid's" films aren't afraid to explore more adult themes.

This film definitely proves that you can have sequels to comedies that live up to the original property. Lord and Miller understand meta commentary and satire, and I loved the constant jokes and winks at the audience they put in. Even though the story is basically the same as the first film, everything is heightened. It's grander, funnier, and has the best end credits of any film this year. 

Yet another Lord and Miller film on this list! I'm not sure if these guys can do anything wrong at this point. This movie will go down as one of the biggest surprises of the year. No one wanted to see a movie based on those toys, yet it completely surpassed any and all expectations. Each time I watch this film, I find more and more things I didn't notice the first time. Also, it made me want Lego sets of my very own. 

Revenge thrillers normally have very specific beats and character arcs that can make them all feel the same. This movie focuses on one man seeking revenge on the man who killed his parents. The plot is nothing complicated, but it's full of fantastic and haunting performances. It had a short run at some independent theatres, but you can get this on DVD and Blu Ray later this month.

To make a superhero movie different nowadays, filmmakers are finally realizing that characters are what makes us return to these films. The story arcs are generally the same, so creating dynamic and more realistic character arcs, the audience comes to care more and thus invest more. DAYS had me worried because of the 'time-traveling' aspect and trying to combine what seemed like an infinite number of X-men in the film. But they pulled it off. This also has one of the best slow motion action sequences I've seen this year...or ever.

About once every couple years, a small science fiction film is released that you can't stop thinking about. I can't say much about COHERENCE without giving some of the fun away, but it's definitely a film that has stuck with me since for a while. It's smart, dense, and requires multiple viewings to appreciate it fully. Here's my cohort initial review and his spoilerific second-take review

As a whole, Captain America have had the most solid entries into The Avengers universe. The first one was great, and this sequel was fantastic. It gave even more characterization to the Cap and Black Widow and upped the action. This is now the new standard of what these individual movies can be. 

This documentary is now streaming on HBO, and I highly recommend it. It's the ins and outs of the case against proposition 8, which as we know, ended up going to the Supreme Court. It starts from the beginning with the two couples who become the plaintiffs and gives real insight to the various logistics it takes for a high profile case like this.

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