As promised, here now is part two of Reel Reviews Best of 2014.
Godzilla 7/10 – Mr. Howe did not enjoy Godzilla as much as Mr. Taylor, but this is still the biggest star to hit the screen this year.
Yes, it’s a bit long and perhaps some of the acting is wooden, but hey, it’s a monster movie! Turn down the lights, crank up the speakers and give the big lizard your full attention, he deserves it!
Get On Up 7/10 – Chadwick Boseman (42) portrays the Godfather of Soul James Brown in this biopic epic that is full of music, dancing and the true-to-life craziness of the hardest working man in show business. Don’t miss it.
X-Men: Days of Future Past 6.5/10 – Although 6.5 might seem a little low to be considered one of the best movies of the year, this is only because so much of what we see is utterly terrible.
In this “reboot” of the franchise, staple muscle-hunk Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back in time (sort of) to stop a war against the mutants before it has even begun. We liked that director Brian Cox built up the story and meaning while turning down the frantic fighting. Like it or lump it, you better get used to seeing Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy as Magneto and Professor Xavier.
Maleficent 6.5/10 – Another seemingly low scoring film that proves Disney wants us to take fairytales seriously. Angelina Jolie is the title character, a guardian fairy of the Enchanted Forest. When her wings are removed by a man too weak to kill her, as was his charge, Maleficent becomes bitter and seeks revenge. However, before the end of the film, she will change her mind about the curse she has laid upon Sleeping Beauty. It’s a bit dark for very young kids and a bit ridiculous for adults, but is fun to look at.
The Edge of Tomorrow 8/10 – Tom Cruise is a futuristic soldier fighting a war against an extraterrestrial enemy who can reset the day and know the future. Through the process of repeatedly reliving the same day, he meets Emily Blunt, who has found a way around this problem. Together, they will turn tables on the enemy, attempting to win the war. Live, die, repeat…
The Amazing Spiderman 2 7/10 – Neither of us were particularly enthralled by the newly rebooted Spiderman films. They look fake and Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker is an abomination. However, there is no denying that this is the best Spiderman movie ever made, which is actually kind of sad. Nevertheless, if you know someone who loves the web-head, stuff this film in their red boot.
Draft Day 7/10 – For the sport fan on your list, don’t miss this great little film about the inner workings of the NFL draft. Kevin Costner manages to be believable as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns and we even believed Jennifer Garner could be his girlfriend, although thinking about that is kind of gross. What makes the film work is the behind-the-scenes accuracy that was provided by the National Football League. It’s not about the game, it’s about the business.
Muppets: Most Wanted 7/10 – When everyone’s favourite frog is switched out with an imposter, Constantine world renowned criminal mastermind, Kermit finds himself trying to break out of a Siberian prison while his doppelganger tries to figure out how to run a successful theatre company.
The Muppets themselves are just happy to be on tour, which seems to be made up of gigs at theatres that are always beside a museum full of priceless treasures that go missing. It’s fun, safe, and smarter than the average kid’s movie
Captain America: The Winter Soldier 6/10 – A perfect, feel good, comic book killing spree, with about a million bullets fired, many baddies killed, yet only two drops of blood spilled, so it’s safe for your kids. It also has the obligatory social commentary on the American military industrial complex and questionable motives of their intelligence apparatus. We mentioned it’s for kids, right?
There are more movies that deserve mentioning this year. They simply haven’t been made available yet for home purchasing.
In the interest of thoroughness, we would love for everyone to know the following films made our best of list as well: Interstellar, Nightcrawler, The Theory of Everything, Hunger Games 3, Big Hero 6, St. Vincent, The Judge, and Gone Girl.
– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon.