Sunday, January 4, 2015

Top 10 Best Films That I Have Seen in 2014

by: Benj Ramos

Top 10 Best Films That I Have Seen in 2014

What an amazing year for film makers! From creative takes on book adaptations, spin offs and deconstructing bedtime stories to exciting sequels and what not, truly the world cinema is continuously exploring to reach its new height. Plus the hybrids and the birth of new genres make cinema goers excited for what the coming years have to offer.

Here ye, my top 10 films that I have seen in 2014. 

10. FURY – Directed by David Ayer

Fury is a reminder of our vehement past, the true horror of war. It has this quality of tough uncompromising realism that as I witnessed the brutality, it moved me to tears. It makes you respect the Veterans even more. Not Saving Private Ryan, but close. History is indeed, violent.

It may not be historically accurate, but this is the most realistic war film I have seen in a long while. Stellar acting as always from Brad Pitt. When Shia appeared I thought tanks are going to be Transformers and kill the Germans. 

9. BOYHOOD – Directed by Richard Linklater

Linklater gave us a different viewing experience as the characters transform right before your eyes. Not a fan of the story, but I have so much respect on how passionate the cast and crew were in creating this masterpiece. The soundtrack itself was a perfect nostalgic timeline. In addition, Linklater also made the time as one of the main characters. Felt like I too was growing with the movie. And I wonder how they edit it from lots of footages to go through.

Boyhood made me think life just passes on too soon than we realize; that moments are just there when growing up, whether we seize them or they seize us. It concluded on its perfect sense. Definitely an important film, for sure.

8. EDGE OF TOMORROW –Directed by Doug Liman

Edge of Tomorrow may be so underrated because of its lame title that sounds like an afternoon soap opera, and bad marketing. This Groundhog Day meets Aliens meets Terminator makes Transformers look like so basic and amateur. By just seeing the first 20 minutes of the film, I knew that I am going to love this movie. Great one lines, great plot, and if you hate Tom Cruise you’d love this because you get to watch him here die over and over again. I found this movie very entertaining with a good measure of humor, action and satire to keep me engaged. I am so gaga over films that play and control time, and Doug Liman choreographically pulled it off. For a movie with nothing new about the concept, I also wonder why I liked it so much it is included in my top 10 list.

7. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – Directed by Wes Andersen

Flawless is an understatement to describe this Pink Panther-ish film. I love the style and cinematography. This multi-layered film is a mix of funny, smart, violent, exciting and ridiculous scenes. Settings are visually stunning.

6. LUCY – Directed by Luc Besson

Fact or fiction, I am glad that this film has so much concern with how the human brain works. I am now contented that I only use the 20 of my cerebral capacity, because I know some people who don’t use their brain at all. Luc Besson made it very clever, spontaneous and genius.

This Limitless-like film has challenged the viewer’s senses – hearing, seeing and even the sense of feeling. It has engaged my 100 cinematic viewing capacity. I’m kinda sad with the plot because Lucy got the highest knowledge and she just wasted it for a pointless revenge.

And by the way, where can I buy a Lucy flash drive?

5. X-MEN – Directed by Bryan Singer 

Definitely a must watch. It's a great entertainment and was even better than expected. Great to see old and new faces come together in a movie. Magneto is such a brilliant character. That slow-mo kitchen scene with Quicksilver is my favorite. That's how you do Quicksilver right. Just an observation, if the Sentinels were created in the 70's why weren't they ever mentioned or shown in the first X-Men series?

4. THE LEGO MOVIE – Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

The animation is amazing. It is so good you can hardly tell if it's CGI or stop motion. Or could be entirely CGI but they made it look like a stop motion. I love how the special effects are made with lego fire and water. I was so pumped because everything was awesome. Thanks for this unique experience, now my childhood is haunting me

3. IL CAPITALE UMANO – Directed by Paolo Virzi

This multilayered narrative is more than a tragic film, it’s a social commentary. Virzi’s direction, eye for details and perspectives are notable, Rashomon-style. The continuity is precise with each chapter reveals new understanding of the main characters. A multi-angle melodrama that explores social inequality and how the rich and poor are being measured by their wealth. I actually like this than The Great Beauty. 

2. SNOW PIERCER – Directed by Bong Joon-Ho

You can never go wrong with Korean film makers. Horror, suspense, drama and even comedy, they are excellent in their craft. This film is probably the most underrated movie of the year. Fantastic concept. The subtext is superb -- politics, ego, fear, nature, entertainment, human nature, class system. Intelligent and entertaining with scenes that will make you say, "WTF is that??!". Great acting from Chris Evans. It's like Hunger Games inside a train.

1. GONE GIRL – Directed by David Fincher

A satirical piece that presents sociopath-y at its finest with a rough story told in second to none cinematography. Gone Girl is the exaggerated and metaphorical portrayal of marriage. A match made in hell. Everything in this movie is twisted, sick and psychopath. Well executed, yet creepy it can leave you traumatized about marriage.

Some may not like how it ended, but for me it was okay; it’s realistic. And look how dishonest and deceptive media can be in our lives. For me, the best sexual thriller since Basic Instinct. Lovers, don’t say you were not warned.