Thursday, February 26, 2015

Top 10 Films of 2014

Well, it's that time again. Since I'm not lucky enough to see all the films right away and have to wait until they're released in the Midwest, this list seems late. That's ok because I still enjoy doing this so let's jump right in.

10. Gone Girl
       This film was based on the Gillian Flynn novel of the same name. I read the novel before the film was released so I could get hyped for the film. I'm glad I did because the ending was a little disappointing in the film.
After two hours of enthralling story, the ending seemed liked everyone was just tired of filming and decided to stop. There were many good points to the film, and David Fincher was on his A game as usual.
     The score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross complimented the film very well. The best aspect of the film was the casting and acting. Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, and Carrie Coon were spot on. While watching the film the characters I pictured while reading the book were brought to life with perfection by this cast.

9. The Babadook 
     Definitely one of the best horror films of recent years and possibly of all time. The Babadook is completely unnerving and Essie Davis gives an award worthy performance. Her character is dealing with a troubled child and working full time and she slowly defends into madness. This type of character can be overacted and hammed up, but she was very convincing and realistic. Also, there were no cheap scares in this film. So many mainstream films rely on cheap scares and nudity so people will drop tons of money to go see the film. This film has substance and emotion with a very big creep factor that all works very well.

8. Nightcrawler
     Dan Gilroys' directorial debut was one of the best directorial debuts ever. Jake Gyllenhaal gives arguably his best performance to date as Louis Bloom, a Small time their and con man that finds his calling in filming accidents and wrecks. He will do anything to get want he wants and get rid of anyone that gets in his way (poor Bill Paxton).
     I liked this film because it shows how local news doesn't care about reporting the news and just cares about ratings. Also, it's a reflection of the American dream today. It used to be work hard and you'll move up and get that manager position with the house in the suburbs with the perfect family. Today, however, it’s get money any way you can and to get where you want you'll have to slit some throats. It's unfortunate but that's today’s American dream.

7. Foxcatcher
     Bennett Miller is becoming one of the best directors in Hollywood, as he’s been behind Capote, Moneyball, and now Foxcatcher. Steve Carell had his best performance of his career and I can't wait to see him do more dramatic rolls in the future. His performance of John Du Pont was creepy and unsettling. It was a shame this film was left off the best picture ballot because it truly was a brilliant film. Mark Ruffalo was also brilliant, his turn as Dave Schultz was deeply layered and very emotional. If it wasn't for J.K. Simmons’ brilliant turn in Whiplash, Ruffalo would've won best actor.

6. Birdman (Or the Unexpected Virture of Ignorance)
     I have to say this was a good film, but if it wasn't about Hollywood it wouldn't have won best picture. It was a very honest look at Hollywood (directors and actors) and film critics. It also showed the generational gap between the baby boomers and the Millennials. The acting was great, and the cinematography was exceptionally brilliant. 

5. Inherent Vice
     Paul Thomas Anderson is such a phenomenal director and writer. His ambitious adaptation of Thomas Pynchons' novel was great. The plot was convoluted and confusing, but I think PTA pulled it off.
     As long as you actually pay attention you’ll be able to follow the film. Josh Brolin was hilarious as Lt. Det. Christian “Bigfoot” Bjornsen and should been up for best supporting actor. I was laughing constantly throughout the entire film. It was a great dark comedy.

4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
     Wes Anderson is one of the greatest storytellers of this era. He finds a way to bring comedy and true heart together for a very compelling and heartfelt story. What I love is when I watch a Wes Anderson film I feel like I’m watching a play; that’s the best way I can describe his films. The set design and cinematography for Grand Budapest certainly makes you feel like it’s a play. Ralph Fiennes was fantastic as M. Gustave. He was charming, witty, and hilarious. If it wasn’t such a crowded year at best actor he could’ve been up for the Oscar.

3. Interstellar
    This was a very ambitious film for Christopher Nolan to take on and  I feel that was the downside of the film. It was too big of a task to tackle. That being said, it still was a gorgeous film.
I always loved Physics so I was really excited about this film, however, everything about this film made it beautiful. The overall theme about love conquering all could be considered corny, but I thought it was beautiful. Hanz Zimmer score was on a grand scale, I understand why Alxeandre Desplat won for The Grand Budapest Hotel, but Zimmer could’ve won for this score. I highly recommend everyone see this film.

2. Whiplash
     This film blew me away. Its editing was as if I was watching a war film, but I’m watching college kids play jazz. It keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire film. J.K. Simmons was undoubtedly fantastic. Every award he won was deserved. He’s been in this business a long time and he finally got his recognition. Miles Teller is also amazing, I first recognized his talent in The Spectacular Now. He’s a real talent who has a big future in film. Damien Chazelle also has a great future as a director if he can keep this kind of work up.

1. Boyhood  
     Head and shoulders above all other films this year. Richard Linklater had a very ambitious idea to film a movie over 12 years with the same cast and pulled it off. No other film has done this, at least not a documentary film. It’s not only that which makes it great the writing is amazing.
Linklater has a way of writing his films that’s very realistic. It’s like Linklater takes real conversations he has in his life and writes them down. Sometimes I feel like I’ve had a conversation that’s said in the film.
     Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette were fantastic. They were so believable in their roles and you could tell they were giving their heart and soul into their parts. I truly believe that in 2017 when AFI does their 100 greatest films of all-time, Boyhood will be on that list.

Thanks again for reading I hope everyone enjoyed.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

TV/Movie Fantasy Football Team

In the hours before the Super Bowl, I was thinking how fun would it be to have a fantasy draft, but draft players from TV shows and films. So without further ado here is the team I would draft.

Special Teams

K/P- Nigel Gruff (The Replacements)
    Gruff can score a goal from the length of the field in soccer. He'll break some records for you.

K/P Returner - Corey Meggett (The Longest Yard 2005)
   He's one fast son of a gun. You'd get great field position after every punt and kick-off.

Defense Backs

FS- Earl Wilkinson (The Replacements)
    He would've gone pro if it wasn't for damn law enforcement. Sure he'd need guards at all times, but his playing is worth it.

SS- Brian Chavez (Friday Night Lights, Movie)
    He's an Ivy League man who can hit like no other. Definitely has the brains and braun to play in the NFL.

CB- Petey Jones (Remember the Titans)
    Maybe he can't play running back, but he was a great corner.

CB- Larry Summers (Blue Mountain State)
    Will always have your teammates back (especially Thad Castle) and will do anything for the betterment of the team.


OLB- Luke Cafferty (Friday Night Lights, TV Show)
    He can pretty much play any position so I figured I could draft him at the linebacker position.

MLB- Daniel Bateman (The Replacements)
    Essentially controlled chaos in a person. It's frightening that he's law enforcement, but he's great to have on your side of the ball. Plus he'll keep Earl Wilkinson in line.

MLB- Thad Castle (Blue Mountain State)
    You can't have a football team without this man. He might be an idiot, but he sure knows football. He might need a babysitter to stay off boats, but it's a small price to pay.

OLB- Gary Bertier (Remember the Titans)
    Since it's fantasy we can ignore the car accident and draft the All-American Linebacker. He'd make a great captain and awesome teammate.

Defensive Line

DE- Julius Campbell (Remember the Titans)
    Another All-American that knows how to lead and inspire a team. You couldn't have a football team without him.

DT- Ivory Christian (Friday Night Lights, Movie)
    Preacher man! Still waters run deep in him. He's also a born leader.

DE- Luther Lavay (Any Given Sunday)
    The veteran with tons of wisdom and experience. He's got a few good years left in him, and he'll be a great teacher for the younger players.

Offensive Line

LT- Louie Lastik (Remember the Titans)
    Lovable big guy from Remember the Titans. He has to be on the team.

LG- Billy Bob (Varsity Blues)
    It would always be an adventure with the guy who has a pig as a pet. As long as he didn't eat waffles on the way to the games.

C- Donnie Schrab (Blue Mountain State)
    This was a tough decision because I almost went with the Jackson Twin from the Replacements, but  it was very hard to pass up on the dim wit.

RG- Jumbo Fumiko (The Replacements)
    The Sumo wrestler can definitely move some people. I just wouldn't let him eat raw eggs before the game.

RT- Andre Jackson (The Replacements)
    The one half of the bouncer twins knows how to throw people around. He'll help you flip your overturned truck over. Everyone could use Andre.

Wide Receivers

TE- Hastings Rucker (Friday Night Lights, TV Show)
    Sure he may be a peace not war hippie, but once he comes around he'll be a top 5 Tight End in the NFL.

WR- Charlie Tweeter (Varsity Blues)
    He might get into a few legal mishaps, but he'd make a great slot receiver.

WR- Rod Tidwell (Jerry Maguire)
    Every team has a diva wide receiver and this would definitely be ours. Plus he's got some skills.

WR- Deacon Moss (The Longest Yard)
    Just think it's Michael Irving playing Michael Irving. Easily 1,000+ every season.

Running Backs 

FB- Tim Riggins (Friday Night Lights, TV Show)
    A great fullback who can lead block as well as carry the ball. He'll just need to get his drinking under control.

RB- Wendell Brown (Varsity Blues)
    Under Bud Kilmer he only gets 3 touchdowns with over 1,000 Rushing yards a season. I'd make sure he'd get his touchdowns that he deserves.


QB- Willie "Steamin" Beaman (Any Given Sunday)
    He's been a 3rd string for far too long and now gets his chance for the spotlight. He'll seize it and become the next Fran Tarkenton.


HC- Eric Taylor (Friday Night lights, TV Show)
    A natural born leader. Knows when to put his foot down and when to let off. I'd feel very comfortable knowing he's leading my team.

That's it! I'd love to know what you guys think and who you would draft where. Thanks again for reading.