Top 10 of 2016

As is customary with New Years Eve here at Movie Mad Reviews, here is my personal top 10 films released in the UK in 2016:

10. The Hateful Eight

I struggled with this one. Being a Tarantino fan ever since I came across Pulp Fiction back in 2009, I’ll be the first to admit I have a biased opinion when it comes to the mans movies. Instantly assuming that by January 8 I’d already have my number 1 film of the year ready after seeing The Hateful Eight in glorious 70mm, it turns out I was wrong. H8ful has some great moments as well as a fantastic cast and a score to die for so it deserves a spot on the top 10 for sure. But only just.

9. Eye In The Sky

Of the numerous celebrity deaths this year, Alan Rickman was one of the toughest. We can take solace at least in his final on screen performance shortly before his voiceover work in Alice Through The Looking Glass, in Eye In The Sky. A fantastically tense piece of writing from Guy Hibbert, Eye In The Sky holds up on repeat viewings and boasts an incredible lineup including Dame Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul and Barkhad Abdi.

8. Goosebumps

Instead of adapting one of the many books in the Goosebumps series, Jack Black takes on the role of author R.L. Stine in this zany comedy which  brings the classic villains to life along with laughs aplenty. No other childrens film would be able to pull off a Shining gag in quite the same way!

7. I, Daniel Blake

Definitely one of the most heartwrenching films of the year, I, Daniel Blake tells the story of a man trapped in the arguably inhumane social welfare system. With incredibly strong performances from both Dave Johns and Hayley Squires,  I, Daniel Blake will bring tears to your eyes and anger to your heart.

6. Spotlight

This tale of the events leading up to the revelation of paedophilia within the Catholic Church is an intense watch which is made even more eye-opening with 4 pages worth of areas in which the scandalous acts of crime were committed.

5. Zootopia

Or if you’re British, Zootropolis. Disney’s first of two animated features this year sets up its world of predators and prey wonderfully with colourful characters, the hilarious Flash being one of the many highlights, before it moves into a much more serious plot. Zootopia is definitely a film which fits the year it was released in.

4. Eddie The Eagle

The story of Eddie Edwards is perhaps the most inspirational one to hit cinema screens this year. The struggle and determination of Taron Egerton’s Eddie is portrayed wonderfully bringing some true heart to the screen. Read my full review at Red Carpet News TV here.

3. David Brent: Life On The Road

Ricky Gervais brings back his most popular character and brings a toe-tapping soundtrack along with it. Life On The Road is for my money, the best comedy of the year. Check out my review here.

2. Room

Winning Brie Larson her first Oscar earlier this year, Room is much more than just her performance. Relying heavily on the viewpoint of Jacob Tremblay’s Jack is a risky move for the then 8 year old actor but it pays off beautifully.

1. Sing Street

Director John Carney’s latest is a moving and genuinely heartwarming film set in 1980s Dublin which, like Life On The Road offers a memorable soundtrack, though not in the same tone. On rewatchability alone, Sing Street comes out on top without a doubt. Read my full review here.

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Bottom 10 of 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time for the annual tradition of the top and bottom 10 films of the year. And since it’s been such a shitty year all round what with Brexit’s, elections, and deaths (oh my!) it feels right that we start with the worst films, so we can at least end the year on a bit of a high with the next post.

So, without further ado:

10. I Saw The Light

Being a huge fan of musical biopics thanks to Walk The Line, I was so excited for Tom Hiddlestone to bring Hank Williams back to life. While it kicked off with an absolutely gorgeous opening scene, not much else followed unfortunately. Read my full review at Red Carpet News TV here.

9. Dad’s Army

After it’s seemingly eternal run of adverts in cinemas and basically everywhere you looked, Dad’s Army was finally released and… did nothing. While it was well cast, nothing could recapture the brilliance of the hit BBC sitcom and it’s a shame to see any attempt even being made.

8. The Girl On The Train

Emily Blunt stars in this boring tale of an alcoholic’s adventures on a train. What makes this worse is it’s blatant attempts to pull off the look and feel of 2014’s Gone Girl.

7. Grimsby

Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest ‘comedy’ was not much more than a crude 83 minute piece of stale cinema which used getty images for 2 characters. Nuff said.

6. Blair Witch

When it was revealed that Adam Wingard (The Guest) had been secretly working on a sequel to arguably the mother of the found footage genre of the last 20 years, I had hoped that this would be similar case to 10 Cloverfield Lane, where a secret sequel breathes fresh new life into a much loved film.

5. The Neon Demon

A gorgeous film to look at, and not just in its opening scene, Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest is not much more than beautiful cinematography. Read my fill review at Red Carpet New TV here.

4. Weiner-Dog

This was my first foray into the work of Todd Solondz, and after seeing Happiness earlier this year I’ve since realised it wasn’t the best way to start me off. Told through the eyes of the titular weiner-dog, the film moves from story to story without much to connect it and slaps in a random interval for no apparent reason. The irony however comes in the form of Danny DeVito’s Dave Schmerz, a screenwriting lecturer who basically discusses the problems with the very film he’s in!

3. The BFG

After bombing in the states, I was determined to see Spielberg’s take on the Roald Dahl classic and give it the support t surely deserves. How wrong I was. The BFG had barely any threat and spent more time focussing on a farting queen than it did on its script.

2. We Are The Flesh

The only film from this year’s Horror Channel FrightFest to deserve a place on this list, We Are The Flesh is without a doubt the longest 80 minutes I’ve ever spent in a cinema. A couple of days ago I spent 6 hours and 40 minutes watching Napoleon at the BFI Southbank and that felt quicker!

1. Suicide Squad

But of course, this years worst film must be Suicide Squad. When it wasn’t ramming every song it could think of down our throats in its opening sequence, it was showing us a strange gyrating Cara Delevigne. But the worst act of this heinous movie is the fact that it now stands as a reminder of what we lost the frankly brilliant Suicide Squad from Arrow for. Read my full review at Red Carpet News TV here.

 

Now that’s out of the way, stay tuned for my top 10 films of the year before the day is out!

Oscar Predictions 2016

In exactly 24 hours time, the awards season will be crawling to its end with the annual overlong pat on Hollywood’s back known as the Oscars. With this year set to be the year in which Leonardo DiCaprio will finally hear his name read out in something other than the list of nominees, why not whet your appetite by checking out my predictions for the awards. As usual, I’ve predicted what should win and what will win in tonights ceremony. Feel free to add your own predictions in the comments and look out for a possible tweetalong at @movie_mad internet permitting. For now though, the predictions:

 

Best Picture

The Revenant – Will

Room – Should

Best Director

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant – Will

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road – Should

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant – Will

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs – Should

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Brie Larson, Room – Will

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn – Should

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies – Will/Should

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl – Will/Should

Best Animated Feature Film

Inside Out – Will/Should

Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant – Will

Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight – Should

Best Costume Design

Sandy Powell, Carol – Will

Sandy Powell, Cinderella – Should

Best Documentary (Feature)

Amy – Will/Should

Best Editor

Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin, Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Original Score

Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight – Will/Should

Best Original Song

‘Writing’s On The Wall’ Sam Smith, Spectre – Will

‘Simple Song 3’ David Lang, Youth – Should

Best Production Design

Colin Gibson (Production Design); Lisa Thompson (Set Decoration), Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Sound Editing

Mark Mangini and David White, Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Sound Mixing

Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo, Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Visual Effects

Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams, Mad Max: Fury Road – Will/Should

Best Adapted Screenplay

Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short – Will

Emma Donoghue, Room – Should

Best Original Screenplay

Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen, Inside Out – Will/Should

NB. I’ve not predicted the winners for Best Documentary (Short)Best Foreign Language FilmBest Short Film (Animated) and Best Short Film (Live Action) because I’ve not seen all or enough of the nominees.

BAFTA Predictions 2016

What better day to celebrate the love of film in Britain than Valentine’s day! That’s right, tonight is BAFTA night. In a few hours time the envelopes will be open and the winners will have their new golden masks. But before that, here’s a little prediction for who will go home with a grin on their face. As I do every year, each category has a prediction for who should win and who likely will win. I’ve left four nominations out due to having not seen the nominated films: Best Film Not In The English Language, Best Documentary, Best British Short Animation and Best British Short Film. Let me know in the comments below if you think I’m right or wrong, and what your own predictions are! Depending how spoiler worthy my twitter feed is tonight (since the awards are screened like 2 hours after they’ve been handed out) I may tweet along to the ceremony at @movie_mad so feel free to follow me there. For now though, see you at the Oscars!

BEST FILM

Will: THE REVENANT

Should: SPOTLIGHT

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

Will/Should: EX MACHINA

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

Will/Should: ALEX GARLAND – Ex Machina

ANIMATED FILM

Will/Should: INSIDE OUT – Pete Docter

DIRECTOR

Should: THE BIG SHORT – Adam McKay

Will: THE REVENANT – Alejandro G. Iñárritu

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Will: THE HATEFUL EIGHT – Quentin Tarantino

Should: INSIDE OUT – Josh Cooley, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Will: ROOM – Emma Donoghue

Should: STEVE JOBS – Aaron Sorkin

LEADING ACTOR

Will: LEONARDO DICAPRIO – The Revenant

Should: MICHAEL FASSBENDER – Steve Jobs

LEADING ACTRESS

Will: BRIE LARSON – Room

Should: SAOIRSE RONAN – Brooklyn

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Should: MARK RUFFALO – Spotlight

Will: MARK RYLANCE – Bridge of Spies

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Will/Should: ROONEY MARA – Carol

ORIGINAL MUSIC

Will/Should: THE HATEFUL EIGHT – Ennio Morricone

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Should: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – John Seale

Will: SICARIO – Roger Deakins

EDITING

Will/Should: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – Margaret Sixel

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Will/Should: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – Colin Gibson, Lisa Thompson

COSTUME DESIGN

Will: BROOKLYN – Odile Dicks-Mireaux

Should: CINDERELLA – Sandy Powell

MAKE UP & HAIR

Should: BROOKLYN – Morna Ferguson, Lorraine Glynn

Will: CAROL – Jerry DeCarlo, Patricia Regan

SOUND

Will/Should: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – Scott Hecker, Chris Jenkins, Mark Mangini, Ben Osmo, Gregg Rudloff, David White

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS

Should: EX MACHINA – Mark Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris, Andrew Whitehurst

Will: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – Andrew Jackson, Dan Oliver, Tom Wood, Andy Williams

THE EE RISING STAR AWARD

Should: BRIE LARSON

Will: JOHN BOYEGA

Top 10 Films of 2015

Now that the bottom of the barrel has been scraped, let me try to end the year on a high, with a look back on the top 10 films of 2015. Before I begin though, these are based on UK release dates which means that The Hateful Eight isn’t allowed so will be next years number 1…

10. Good Kill

In the year that saw American Sniper get critical acclaim galore, it’s important that you see the right version of it. Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper do a sterling job but in Good Kill, Ethan Hawke knocks them out with a much more effective look at modern warfare as a drone pilot is put into the very heart of the war even through a computer screen. Though it’s not as gritty it’s sure as hell more emotional.

9. Irrational Man

Woody Allen’s latest addition to his never ending CV stars Joaquin Pheonix and Emma Stone in a beautifully written indie which takes an unexpected turn.

8. X+Y

Asa Butterfield brings an incredibly emotional performance in this beautiful story about a young math prodigy who finds new confidence on the other side of the world.

7. Inside Out

The first of Pixar’s two offerings this year gave us a brand new set of characters to love, cherish and pour our tears over. Inside Out is an instant classic and brings the magic back to the studio that was once slightly struggling with entries like Cars

6. Big Hero Six

Though Inside Out did bring the tears and the feelings you’d expect with Pixar, Disney’s offering did much more by using their association with Marvel with a new batch of superheroes. The main success of Big Hero Six however is the way in which they handle depression. For a children’s film to treat it as an illness while not pandering to its core audience, Big Hero Six gives us a new masterpiece.

5. Steve Jobs

Michael Fassbender brings an electrifying performance in Danny Boyles biopic of the face of Apple. While the film isn’t just a nuts and bolts biopic, Aaron Sorkins script does the man justice in a thrilling 3 act structure while Fassy’s Jobs slips into fight after fight with colleagues and family alike.

4. Ex Machina

Without a doubt the most terrifying film on this list, Ex Machina stays with you weeks after initial viewing, thanks mainly to the incredible trio of cast members Domnhall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac

3. Brooklyn

Saoirse Ronan brings one of the best performances of the year in this tale of homesickness in 50’s Brooklyn. Don’t be surprised to see her name mentioned throughout awards season.

2. Love And Mercy

And speaking of awards season, Paul Dano and John Cusack bring an oscar worthy double act as young and old Brian Wilson in this Beach Boys biopic.

  1. Whiplash

Without a doubt the most engrossing film of the year. Oscar winner JK Simmons gives a career best performance as the tenacious Terrence Fletcher while Miles Teller brings the tortured soul of Andrew Neiman to life with the help of Damien Chazelle’s simple but beautifully flowing script and a beautiful score.

Bottom 10 Films of 2015

As another 12 months pass, what better way to start off the celebration of the past year in film than with a look back on the most dire excuses for art to grace the silver screen! Hopefully you’ll be able to take this list as a warning not to approach the films mentioned but apologies if it serves as simply nightmarish reminders of when you witnessed the atrocities yourself:

10. Knock Knock

Eli Roth’s latest is a poorly written ‘thriller’ which brings more laughs than thrills. Not even Keanu Reeves can save this film. But what’s more distressing is that this was able to get a UK release this year yet still Roth’s previous film The Green Inferno still struggles to get into cinemas here.

9. Inherent Vice

Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest had two things in it that begged to be seen on the big screen, the long awaited reuniting of Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. At least it was for me, a die hard Walk The Line fan. But not even this repairing could speed up the films dull 148 minute runtime nor its muddled story.

8. Jupiter Ascending

Sean Bean is in this. He plays a bee. And he doesn’t die.

7. The Boy Next Door

How this managed a cinema release I’ll never know. It barely even deserves to be on channel 5.

6. Mortdecai

As I type, even my macbook rejects the title of Johnny Depps ‘comedy’ in which he prances about with a grating british accent and even more disturbing moustache. You can’t blame Gwyneth Paltrow for gagging at the sight of it.

5. The Visit

While it divided audiences upon release, M. Night Shamalamadingdong’s latest is a cringeworthy found footage horror with the most insufferable child actors of the year. Barely 5 minutes into it I was in uncomfortable.

4. Terminator Genisys

The latest entry into this once great franchise brings back it’s main selling point and then proceeds to shit all over the originals in a clear attempt to ruin the timeline as much as possible before the rights revert back to James Cameron.

3. Fantastic 4

The worst thing about Fant4stic was how much potential it had. With a great young cast to reboot the comic book franchise into a grittier retelling, all interest is swept away from us thanks to a title card that shoves us forward a year before a hastily joined on final act that’s over before it’s even begun.

2. Pixels

Adam Sandler hangs out with his buddies again. Having previously nearly destroyed Al Pacino’s career in Jack and Jill, this time he destroys the nostalgia of classic arcade games while plonking Kevin James in as president of the United States for good measure. Save yourself the time by watching the original short which in 2 minutes long, gives a much better version.

  1. Absolutely Anything

The Monty Python gang gather to bring a story in which Simon Pegg is able to make anything happen just by saying it. Unfortunately he couldn’t make the film disappear.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

maxresdefault-1The blockbuster season is finally upon us with Joss Whedon’s much anticipated Avengers sequel kicking it off. It’s just a shame then that Age of Ultron is the first real disappointment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Age of Ultron catches up with the Avengers post Captain America 2 as they team up to bring down HYDRA in an incredible opening action sequence that tells us there’ll be no time wasted in getting the Avengers together this time round. Now that they’ve been fully established and brought together in the conclusion to Phase One, Avengers 2 feels much more free to explore the dynamics of individual characters and thankfully this means more time spent on Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), with emphasis on Hawkeye. Hawkeye’s character development is increased a huge amount and it’s a joy to see more focus on the characters who haven’t yet had their chance of a standalone adventure while Captain America, Iron Man and Thor steal all the slots.

Age of Ultron also boasts one of the most menacing MCU villains yet with the titular character. James Spader’s soothing voice is terrifyingly appropriate as the homicidal AI and his ability to be everywhere at once makes him a credible threat that can destroy the Avengers in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately he goes down the traditional villain routine of biding his time to make his victory all the more sweet but that’s to be expected.

We also get the arrival of two new team members for the Avengers in the form of twin mutants (or ‘enhanced’ as Captain America calls them due to Marvel Studios ban from the use of their own species name) Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). And herein lies the first of Age of Ultron‘s problems.

Although it’s not really their fault, the fact that we have already had a glimpse of Evan Peters’ turn as Quicksilver (albeit a different incarnation of him) in last years X-Men: Days of Future Past made Taylor-Johnson’s appearance hard to digest. While Peters managed to become the highlight of DOFP in one simple yet brilliant sequence, Taylor-Johnson is scattered throughout Age of Ultron and yet still doesn’t manage to bring anything new to the superhero. Again, this is hardly Marvel Studios fault, but with the way they conclude Quicksilver’s involvement in the story, it almost feels as if they saw DOFP halfway through shooting and gave up trying.

This isn’t the only place where Age of Ultron slips up though. Unfortunately, thanks to Marvel releasing information incredibly early, its not too hard to find out that most of the main cast are signed up to pop into the rest of Marvels films up until around 2019 when Thanos is due to finally rear his big purple head in Infinity War parts 1 and 2. Thanks to this, Age of Ultron feels like it can’t take chances with the main cast lest it ruin Marvels big plan and more importantly, the casts contracts. And, knowing that Captain America: Civil War is just round the corner, at times turns Age of Ultron into a 140 minute teaser trailer for Captain America and Iron Man’s upcoming face-off.

All this would be fine and is almost expected by now, yet still Marvel can’t help but turn the final act of Age of Ultron into the usual big action packed mess of CGI destruction that, after 9 films has passed the point of comfortable viewing into just plain boredom. To discuss this more would be to add another page or two of ranting so I’ll instead suggest you read Andrew Jones’ article on the situation here as I can’t put it better myself really…

In the end Age of Ultron concludes the 2nd phase of what it appears will be a trilogy the same way that it began in Iron Man 3. With an interesting story that is eventually butchered with an infestation of CGI robots fucking shit up. One thing’s for sure, if you’re still with the MCU after Age of Ultron, chances are you’ll stick through to the end now. Here’s hoping Phase 3 brings better ideas and adds more risks. And if that doesn’t work maybe DC will have taken over by then…

3/5

Oscars 2015 – The Predictions

It’s that time of year again folks! Hollywood is just about finished patting themselves on the back with their annual awards season and, in under 24 hours, the Oscars will have begun. Before that though, there’s still time for me to give my thoughts and predictions on this years nominees. As usual, I’ll be choosing which nominees I believe should win and which, I predict will win.

NB. There are some omissions with certain categories due to the fact I’ve not seen many or indeed any of the nominees listed.

Best Film

Will/Should Win: Boyhood

There’s just no doubt that Richard Linklater’s 12 year project will scoop the main prize this year. While Whiplash is undoubtedly my favourite awards contender of the year and could very likely be my number 1 film when it comes to my top 10 in December, Boyhood is the closest I’ve seen to actual life being displayed on screen. A deserving win in my books.

Best Director

Will/Should Win: Richard Linklater – Boyhood

While some may view the main talking point of Boyhood‘s 12 year creative process as a bit of a gimmick, it bloody well worked! In a film in which, honestly, not much happens in the space of 3 hours, I barely noticed the time go by. That to me, is the work of a good director.

Best Actress

Will Win: Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Should Win: Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

While the UK release date for Still Alice means I can’t see the film until after the Oscars, I’ve heard enough about Moore’s performance to know she’ll likely win. However of all the other performances, Pike is my favourite.

Best Actor

Will/Should Win: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Having already won the BAFTA for his incredible performance, Redmayne will certainly walk away with an Oscar come tonight. His portrayal of Stephen Hawking still resonates with me nearly 2 months after seeing the film!

Best Supporting Actress

Will/Should Win: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

As with Redmayne and Moore, her previous wins over awards season increases the likelihood that she’ll win tonight.

Best Supporting Actor

Will/Should Win: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

His terrifying, career defining role is one of the strongest aspects of Whiplash! And I’m praying that when he accepts the award, the academy try to play him off only for him to throw a chair at the band for not being on his GODDAMN TIME!

Best Animated Film

Will Win: Big Hero Six

Should Win: The Boxtrolls

While I won’t be particularly upset when Big Hero Six wins (It’s Disney after all) I’ll still stand by my view that The Boxtrolls should win. Both are fantastically made animations – hell I’d even accept How To Train Your Dragon 2 winning (I’ve not seen Song of the Sea or The Tale of the Princess Kaguya so I can’t comment on those) –  but I’ll forever be in awe of the magic that Laika studios creates.

Original Screenplay

Will Win: Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Should Win: Dan Gilroy – Nightcrawler

Adapted Screenplay

Will/Should Win: Damien Chazelle – Whiplash

Let the record state however, that had Gone Girl been nominated I’d have put that as the one that should win. Whiplash will win either way though.

Cinematography

Will/Should Win: Mr. Turner

Mr. Turner didn’t so much for me in terms of it’s uninteresting story and bloated length, but there’s no denying the beauty that cinematographer Dick Pope has achieved. Literally every shot is a marvel to look at.

Costume Design

Will/Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The only real competition in this category is the costume designs in Into The Woods. But I’ll be surprised if that beats The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Editing

Will/Should Win: Boyhood

12 years worth of footage is a lot to edit!

Makeup and Hairstyling

Will/Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Yes, Steve Carell’s transformation in Foxcatcher is incredible and yes the costumes in Guardians of the Galaxy are rather good, but The Grand Budapest Hotel will no doubt win.

Original Score

Will/Should Win: Hans Zimmer – Interstellar

Original Song

Will/Should Win: Eveything is Awesome – The LEGO Movie

This won’t heal the wounds left by the gaping hole from the lack of awesome/LEGOness in the Animated Feature category but it’ll certainly help…

Production Design

Will/Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Sound Editing

Will/Should Win:  Birdman

Sound Mixing

Will/Should Win: Whiplash

Visual Effects

Will/Should Win: Interstellar

And there we have it! Join me on twitter tonight/tomorrow morning at @movie_mad as I live tweet the ceremony!

Top 10 BEST Movies of 2014

With the final day of 2014 ensuring there’s no way I can watch any more films this year, time to sum up the best of the best in a top 10 list! Something I’m sure has never been done before…

Before we get into it let me point out my super special rules for the top 10. As with all top 10s, this list is personal and views are my own and are indeed correct of course. However There are certain films I’ve seen this past 12 months which aren’t allowed in the list due to the UK release date being next year. Sure, I could put things like Whiplash and The Green Inferno in this list but the former isn’t released until January 19th and the latter hasn’t even got a release date over here yet. Which isn’t allowed. Them’s the rules.

Anyway, moving on:

10. Interstellar

Chris Nolan’s latest is an epic sic fi with fantastic acting all round. Hans Zimmers score is as always, a delight to the earholes and the visual treats are stunning. Best seen on the biggest screen possible, Interstellar is an incredible addition to the well respected director’s already impressive back catalogue.

9. Nymphomaniac

Lars Von Triers’ four hour exploration into the life of a sex addict is the only film of the three of his I’ve seen (the others being Antichrist and Melancholia) that actually stayed interesting throughout.

8. The LEGO Movie

Everything is indeed awesome with this film in our lives.

7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

After hitting my top 3 with 2011’s RiseDawn of the Planet of the Apes is a worthy successor and ups the ante with apes on horseback WITH MACHINE GUNS! As well as incredible motion capture performances by Toby Kebbel and Andy Serkis, it has everything you need for a successful sequel.

6. The Boxtrolls

Who’d have thought that there’d be a kids film to top The LEGO Movie! Laika have proved once again that they’re a studio we should be taking notice of. Only 3 films in and, for me, they’re proving as delightful as a Pixar movie, perhaps even more so…

5. Gone Girl

It’s hard to talk about Gone Girl while trying not to spoil it for the poor souls who haven’t yet caught it but, suffice to say, David Fincher has done fantastically well as usual. However it’s really the performance of future Oscar nominee and hopefully winner Rosamund Pike who shines brightest in this.

4. Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal gives a career best performance in this incredible thriller as a press hound hellbent on getting to the top by any means necessary…

3. Inside Llewyn Davies

Probably the best soundtrack in any of the films from this list (or at least the one I’ve listened to most this year), Inside Llewyn Davies brought my attention to Oscar Isaac and for that I’m grateful.

2. Her

This was so close, to being my number 1 for the year that, from February for most of the next 6 months I was guaranteed nothing would beat it. Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson bring one of the greatest love stories ever and had me trying (and failing) to hold back a waterfall of tears by the end.

1. Boyhood

Officially the Number One Film of the year for practically everyone who’s made a top 10 list, or really just everyone. Boyhood is the closest depiction of real life in a film. It’ll bring back long lost memories and feelings and you’ll hardly notice the 3 hours go by. Bravo Richard Linklater!

And there we have it! My new years resolution for 2015, as with every other year, is to try and write more so hopefully I won’t disappear! But if you need me I’ll mostly be on http://www.redcarpetnewstv.com. I’ll try to check in over here every now and then though!

Top 10 WORST Movies of 2014

As the year comes to a close, it’s time for the annual tradition of looking back over the films that delighted and disappointed myself and most other sane cinemagoers during the past 12 months. So without further ado, read on for my top 10 worst movies of 2014:

10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

While the heroes in a half shell had an almost promising reboot this year, Michael Bay, in his infinite explosive wisdom just couldn’t help adding his touch of sexism and product placement (hello Pizza Hut!) to ensure that the Transformers franchise had some company.

9. Men, Women and Children

Writer/Director Jason Reitman can be good. Juno was bearable, Up In The Air was an instant favourite. It’s just a shame that his latest is such a crushing disappointment. Read my full review over at Red Carpet News TV here.

8. Bad Neighbours

That’s right folks, The Interview wasn’t the only Seth Rogan film to bring about shock and horror across the world. Bad Neighbours’ unfunny script and mediocre storyline just didn’t hit the right notes. Bad by name, bad by nature.

7. The Rover

Guy Pierce and Robert Pattinson try and fail to bring a thought provoking post apocalyptic drama in a long and tedious road trip movie which just feels all over the place. The lowlight is the random use of Pretty Girl Rock by Keri Hilson, completely and horribly switching the tone around.

6. Annabelle

When 2013’s The Conjuring was released, its effective opening scene practically demanded more screen time from that oh so terrifying doll which didn’t even need to move to send shivers down your spine. This year we were given our demand, however it came with a lesson. Sometimes what you think you want should just stay wanted. Annabelle, with its cheap tricks and even cheaper jump scares does it’s predecessor no justice whatsoever.

5. Lucy

If you want a film centred around the unused potential our brains could give us, it’s best to go for Bradley Cooper’s Limitless than Lucy. At least he doesn’t turn into a memory stick at the end…

4. Alien Abduction

Thankfully this didn’t get a cinema release over here, or I’m willing to bet anywhere. But you may spot this straight to DVD found footage horror flick in HMV with a genuinely intriguing cover boasting its links to Pulp Fiction. If this happens, AVOID! God knows why the producer of such cinematic masterpieces as  Pulp Fiction would attach his name to such utter tripe but don’t be fooled by the statement.

3. Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie

While Mrs. Brown’s Boys may work well on TV, the transition to cinema just doesn’t fit well. Unfortunately the popularity of Brendan O’Carroll’s titular irish mammy has all but guaranteed a sequel, let’s just hope it somehow manages to right the wrongs the second time round…

2. Sex Tape

Product placement: The Movie!

1. Dumb and Dumber To

Racist, sexist and everything else in between, Dumb and Dumber To is undoubtedly the most offensive movie of the year. To watch this after seeing Jeff Daniels in his Emmy winning role in HBO‘s The Newsroom just breaks my heart…

And there we have it. Rant over. Keep your eyes peeled tomorrow for my top 10 best movies of the year and let me know in the comments below which movies hurt you the most this year.

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