James D'Alessandro's Top 5 of 2014
Oh 2014, you were a frustrating, infuriating, despicable year. But here we are, the calm after the storm with a handful of movies that should be remembered for at least another year. Amidst the flurry of remakes, reboots, and sequels, there were just a few films that (in my humble opinion) were even close to being considered, let alone making it to these hallowed positions.
Into the Woods
We’ll start with a movie that I remember through an alcohol induced filter. Now, granted this film came out a matter of days ago, and the fact that I was preeeetty drunk when I saw it, it was easily one of the more hilariously entertaining films of 2014. It also doesn’t hurt that I love Anna Kendrick (marry me?). Anyways, being a fan of musicals and comedies, this was a well made combination of the two, and easily picked up a spot in my Top 5 list.
Yeah, this film wasn’t exactly received well, probably because of the fact that it lies a little heavy in the sci-fi realm and not enough in the current trends of insane violence, explosions, and half-naked women. Now, this is the point where I would usually step in to defend the film from snooty critics, but I won’t, because it wasn’t a “great” film. Despite this, I still really enjoyed the film because of the premise and the possibilities it explores, namely the integration of humanity and technology.
How To Train A Dragon 2
Toothless: most adorable dragon ever? Quite possibly. This film managed to buck the trend of riding the coattails of its predecessor just to make some easy cash and instead fully delivered an interesting, intense, and hilarious romp through the dragon filled lands of Berk. It managed to maintain much of the charm and humor of the first film, while simultaneously setting itself apart with its darker, more serious tone. Plus, its a hit with for all ages!
The LEGO Movie
This film is a wacky, inventive rollercoaster of fond childhood memories and present adulthood fears. It reminded me of my carefree days of spill bins of Legos on the floor and only ceasing my adventures when the creative juices were tapped, or it was time for a snack. The movie itself was incredibly well done, with its humor spanning audiences of all ages and a solid moral message to boot.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Easily one of the most popular films of the year, and for good reason, this hilarious out-of-this-world did a splendid job of allowing guys to convince their girlfriends to watch a Marvel movie and not get yelled at afterwards for doing so. It had lovable characters, a fairly interesting plot, and a slew of references which flew over most people’s heads. Overall, a great movie that further solidified Disney/Marvel’s dominance of the box office.
Overall, it was a decent year for movies. Nothing that completely blew me away, but some solid contributions nevertheless. Granted, there were a few films that I managed to miss that may have swayed that, such as Birdman or Boyhood, but no point in dwelling on it. Its a new year!