2014: The Top 5 Tagline Movies
5)The Purge: Anarchy: Original Post here.
A sequel to a more conventional home invasion movie, The Purge: Anarchy offered more of what was hinted at by the original premise. A movie that was a consistently paced and filled with heaps of action. I was sort of on the fence between this movie and John Wick for the best pure "guys shooting guys with guns" film, but I opted for The Purge because it had a little bit more nuanced of a narrative, and it was paced a little better. There was sort of a slower section in the middle of John Wick, whereas the Purge: Anarchy keeps the action coming, as the characters attempt to fend for their lives in a nearly impossible situation. It also offers a seriously unsubtle commentary on this country's treatment of the poor.
4)Godzilla: Original Post here.
A surprise entry for me, as I had very little in the way of expectations when this film was released. As a franchise reboot made by a Hollywood studio I was definitely figuring that we'd have a marginally better rehash of the disaster we were previously treated to with the 90s Godzilla. Instead, I got a movie with a really cool Godzilla, that I thought actually captured a lot of the spirit of kaiju films, while still including some manner of human drama to give a plausible perspective for the action. Also Godzilla is totally awesome and breathes superhot plasma. Some other notable inclusions were Ken Watanabe constantly looking startled, and Heisenberg as a nuclear scientist.
3)Edge of Tomorrow: Original Post here.
My number three was also actually a pretty big surprise to me, as there wasn't a ton of hype surrounding it. Based on a sci-fi manga, Edge of Tomorrow, or Live.Die.Repeat. or All You Need is Kill... whatever the fuck you're calling it, was a stand-out sci-fi entry in a year full of middling offerings, or occasionally movies pretending to be sci-fi (I'll deal with them on Thursday). This was a spectacular action movie, with an interesting and novel premise (think Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day) and a really cool and totally bizarre alien invader. The mimics are as alien as it gets, and make for a fascinating antagonist. Emily Blunt also gives an amazing turn as a totally kick-ass soldier/superkiller person. There was a lot to love about this film, and you should definitely see it.
2)Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Original Post here.
No doubt to the horror of true franchise fans, I've never really given a shit about Planet of the Apes movies (I liked the reboot film alright though, it was a good film in its own right). If a movie is just great however, you don't have to care about the franchise too much to enjoy it, and that was the case here. Dawn takes place a while after the world has been ravaged (as a direct consequence of the events in Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and follows a crucial tipping point in the diplomacy between the human survivors and the fledgling community of super smart apes. It has a lot of drama, shows a lot about the human condition (or ape condition I guess) and is packed with action. It is also tragic and sad, and reduced me to blubbery tears, as the audience learns by way of a super genius ape chieftain that you can never go home.
1)Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Original Post here.
No real surprise to anyone who has read my blog or even this post, my number one this year was without a doubt The Winter Soldier, despite my waning interest in a media landscape drenched in Marvel shit. Chris Evans is amazing as always, and leads a cast taking part in a film that transcends its genre and subject matter, to become a greater whole. Less a superhero movie than it is a political thriller and action film that happens to star some superheroes, The Winter Soldier exceeded every expectation I had of it, and raised the bar in my mind for the sort of movies I hope to see out of the Marvel studio. I understand that not every movie is going to be this caliber, but man I really wish it could be. If there was a single movie I demanded you saw this year, this would be it.
So there you have it, my top 5. On Thursday we will dip into sadder territory, as I recount my hall of shame list for 2014.