It’s not a hard choice, this movie was beautifully shot, had a great cast, and a story that was action packed. It made me laugh and almost made me cry. And it had one of my favorite actors in it, the immortal Keanu Reeves.
John Wick is a story about an ex-hit man who does the impossible and retires when he meets his wife. He was the best at what he did and everyone knew him.
You see from the beginning that his wife meant everything too him. He loved her with every fiber of his body. When she dies of cancer he is depressed, as one would be, when he gets an unexpected delivery, something to help with the pain. A beagle pup, which soon becomes his companion. They go for a drive in his muscle car when a punk kid try’s to buy it off him. “Not for sale,” he says.
Long story short, He lost his wife, his dog gets killed, and his car stolen. (No spoilers, watch the preview). It’s time for the slower part of the movie to stop and the kick butt chew gum and take name part to start. This movie is an instant classic.
Five stars and hands down the best action movie of the year.
Guardians of the Galaxy
I don’t go to the movies very much. I’m not a big fan of the crowds or the possibility of a phone going off because the owner isn’t smart enough to cut off the ringer.
But when Guardians of the Galaxy was announced as the the next big movie in the Marvel cinema universe, I decided to brave the crowds right then and there.
I became a big fan of the team when the spectacular sci-fi duo of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning resurrected the group with an entirely new cast for Marvel. The comic chronicled a ragtag group of space wanderers following an unlikely, but natural, leader and becoming the unlikely heroes of the Marvel Cosmic Universe. It had humor, action, and new takes on near forgotten characters. It also helped that it had a talking, wise-cracking raccoon and a big tree that spoke the magical phrase, “I am Groot.”
The film was all of that and more.
Marvel allowed for all the above to be translated to the big screen. They didn’t try to make them Avengers-lite by adding characters with a bit more recognition or scale back on the snarky humor that was the heart of the series. They stuck to what made the characters a success in the comics and it paid off in a big way. It was the same great series I fell in love with in 2008 and it brought in new fans that would never have come in contact with such great characters. And the best part: Marvel didn’t scale anything back when introducing their cosmic characters. They wanted everyone watching to understand the scale and potential of the Marvel Universe outside of Earth. We saw Thanos, Ronin, The Nova Corp, and The Collector. All obscure and Marvel showed they have more characters at the House of Ideas besides that iron guy and the All-American.
Guardians is a great action movie, with awesome characters, and one totally rad mixtape. Marvel’s risk, was movie goers reward. And it made for a fun time at the old picture show.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Yes, I do believe that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be the best, biggest, and most amazing film that 2014 will see. Honestly, how can it not? With veteran Hobbit/Lord of the Rings actors like Orlando Bloom and Sir Ian McKellan, and Hobbit alums Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans (and many more) leading the way.
The final Hobbit installment boasts a 45 minute final battle scene; however, what that scene truly is will have to wait until the national theatre release on December 17. I speculate it will be between Thorin Oakenshield’s Dwarven Band and Azog the Defiler and his army of Orcs. However, I do hope we will see quite a bit of Smaug as I love dragons and the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
(Writer’s note: There are several other movies that I want to see and know that they are just as good or better what I have on my list, such as Gone Girl, but with limited budget and two kids I have to wait for Home Video release.)
Even though each had there strong points, my favorite movie of the year was Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I was disappointed with the first Cap movie. I know that they had to show the origins, but it moved slow, and may be my least favorite of the Marvel movies. With Winter Soldier they did not wait. Right off the bat it was kicked into high gear and did not slow down.
There was copious amounts of actions with sprinkles of comedy. This “Comic Movie” was turned into a political thriller mixed with Jason Borne action scenes (Which, by the way, Matt Damon would have made an excellent Captain America, but Chris Evans is pretty spectacular). It kept me on the edge of my seat and gave me an adrenaline rush.
I also love the way they find ways to introduce new characters. The Falcon was a big positive and added a different dynamic to Cap. I love the Winter Soldier story line and have since fellow geek, Aaron, let me borrow the comic. It was an excellent transfer onto the big screen. It could have used more scenes with the Winter Soldier, but overall it knocked it out of the park.
For whatever reason, movies set in space usually rely on the “having enough fuel” trope to keep the tension front and center. “We’ve got to get these guys home!” Houston shouts. And yes, while the threat of floating away forever and slowly starving to death because your ship ran out of batteries is terrifying – at least to your resident Monsters of Geek scientist – a space travel film needs more.
Interstellar gives us more.
Ignoring such a cliché opened the door for the Nolan brothers to take time to tell their story and create a captivating father-daughter relationship and a gripping, powerful twist.
Truly, there hasn’t been a more perfectly paced 3-hour film since Return of the King
Opening on a farm somewhere in the US, we’re immediately aware that a biological blight is consuming Earth’s oxygen content and slowly suffocating everyone. As such, farming is one of the only remaining industries in existence. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a widowed farmer, father of two, and a former NASA pilot. Former because NASA has become unnecessary due to intensified blight.
Central focus, however, is given to Cooper and his daughter Murphy, who shows a propensity for science like her father. So when they discover NASA still secretly exists and has a mission for Cooper, he must make a choice. Accept this mission and leave your child behind with no promise of a return trip, or leave humanity up for dead. As you can guess, he accepts the mission.
Beyond Cooper and Murphy’s touching story, even Interstellar’s minor characters get their due, which is all the more impressive when Interstellar skips three years here and 30 years there. [Leaving] no one’s story left unfinished.
Perhaps most impressive is Interstellar’s commitment to mostly accurate science. Obviously intergalactic travel requires some suspension of disbelief, but from this non-physicist’s perspective, the Nolan brothers really stayed committed to Einstein’s relativistic theories. Again, it wasn’t perfect (Frozen floating ice clouds? Really?), but a space travel film that avoids faster-than-light travel should be applauded on that merit alone.
Interstellar was one of my favorite films of the year because of the wonderfully played father-daughter journey, the commitment to mostly accurate science, and the romp through intergalactic space, complete with a great depiction of a giant black hole.