Sunday, 14 December 2014

2014 Top Ten Lists - Favourite Movies

I will start this post by stating that Jo and I don't go out to movies anymore (unless we happen to be out of town in a place with a big cinema) because we can't sit comfortably in the seats at our local cinema. So we tend to catch the new releases when they make it to our video channel.  But, having said that I think we've caught a reasonable number of movies from 2014. Only one of my choices came out in late 2013, but we only saw it in 2014. :) OK with that out of the way, here you go with my Top Ten list...

10. Gravity (2013) , directed by Alfonso Cuaron, and starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. This is the movie that came out in 2013. Both Jo and I loved it, such great acting by Sandra Bullock. The cinematography and the concept were both excellent. You could feel the loneliness and the vastness of space. Excellent movie.

9. Edge of Tomorrow (2014), directed by Doug Liman and starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. An excellent, fast-paced, action-filled Science Fiction adventure with overtones of Groundhog Day. I'm definitely warming to Tom Cruise as an action star, especially when he displays some humour as well, and Emily Blunt was excellent.

8. The World's End (2013), directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. OK, well, it seems that maybe more than one of my selections comes from late 2013. Ah well. Still, this was one of the films that we didn't manage to see until 2014 and like Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, it starts buddies, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. It's exactly what you expect it to be, a buddy film in which everyone, from Pegg and Frost to their mates, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsden, Rosamund Pike and many others just seem to be having a great time. Lots of laughs and fun to watch.

7. Non-Stop (2014), directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and starring Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore. Liam Neeson must be one of the busiest actors in movies for the past couple of years and his movies seem filled with action and adventure. In this movie, he plays a tired air marshall on a trans-Atlantic flight who must discover who on the plane is a threat and enlists the assistance of Julianne Moore in his efforts to track down the villain. Once again, filled with action, and who cares whether it's believable or not. Just pure entertainment.

6. The Monuments Men (2014), directed by George Clooney and starring George Clooney and Matt Damon (and many others). Excellent movie set during World War II which finds a group of US and international art historians trying to save the great art of Europe during WWII. Based on a true story, it's got a great cast, is well acted and delivered and is quite a thoughtful, interesting movie.

5. Draft Day (2014), directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. I do like a good sports movie and Draft Day is one of those. Kevin Costner has made a career out of playing in excellent sports movies, even though they usually focus on baseball. This movie stars Costner as the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns NFL football team, with Jennifer Garner as his money manager. Costner must try to rebuild this team and come out of the shadow of his illustrious father, while trying to get the right draft picks to set the team up for the coming season. This was a surprisingly good movie and might even make my Top Ten Sports Movies some day.

4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and starring Chris Evans and Scarlet Johansson. The Marvel comic empire has become one of the most successful movie empires of recent years. They have put out such entertaining movies based on their comic books (graphic novels) and not just action filled movies. Not that they aren't full of action but the mix in humour and drama easily. The Captain America series feature Chris Evans as Captain America, of course. In this second movie of the series, he must delve into his past and also try to find out who is betraying SHIELD. With the help of the lovely Scarlet Johansson as the Black Widow and also Anthony Mackie as The Falcon, they must battle Hydra and secret enemies to protect the world! Loved it.

3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), directed by Peter Jackson and starring Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage. Yes, this did open in 2013 but not until December. Peter Jackson has turned the JRRR Tolkien books into a vast, sprawling action filled movie series featuring dwarfs, trolls, wizards, dragons, elves and, of course, hobbits, plus countless other creatures and beings of the Middle Earth. This is the second movie in his hobbit series and I preferred it to the first, maybe because there was more story and adventure. Either way, I enjoyed very much and loved how the story has been progressed.

2. About Time (2013), directed by Richard Curtis and starring Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams. Yes, yes! It didn't come out until November 2013 and we never heard about out here in the sticks until it came out on the Movie Channel. Lovely, touching little romantic love story about a young man who discovers he can adjust his present actions by going back in the past and resetting the course of events. Rachel McAdams is a wonderful actress and Domhnall Gleeson was excellent and their love story was beautiful. Throw in Bill Nighy as Gleeson's dad and their touching relationship, you've got an excellent movie.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana. Another of movie from the Marvel universe, definitely my favourite of the year. Fun, action, great acting and lots of adventure. The Guardians are Chris Pratt (Peter Quill), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Vin Diesel (Groot), Bradley Cooper (Rocket) and Dave Bautista (Drax), an unlikely partnership of humans and aliens who must save the universe from Lee Pace (Ronan) who possesses a device that can destroy civilisations. There are laugh out loud moments, touching moments, action-filled moments and a super story. Excellent!!

So there you have my Top Ten movies. I hope you check them out. Next will be my Top Ten TV shows/ series.

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