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Ezen Baklattan

Spaghetti's Lustral Cinematic Celebration (100 Best Films From 2010-2014) - Top 10 Time!

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I have seen over 400 movies in the last five years, and most likely developed nicely as a film enthusiast. Now, I want to just do what we love doing: talk about movies. I feel like that's just what all these end of the year lists. The rankings feel so arbitrary in the end. It's the films that people remember.

 

With my list, I hope to show you new ideas, new films, and more. 

 

It all begins soon. 

 

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First, a disclaimer: I have missed a lot of films I may have otherwise loved: See them listed below, but not all are included:

 

FRUITVALE STATION

THE IMMIGRANT

SELMA

INHERENT VICE

FOXCATCHER

THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA

FOUR LIONS

TAKE SHELTER

KILLER JOE

ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US

COSMOPOLIS

NYMPHOMANIAC

MELANCHOLIA 

WINNIE THE POOH

 

Also expect surprises thrown throughout the list.

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We start off with two films in the same week, a very recent one at that.

 

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100. INTERSTELLAR (2014)

"Go not gentle into the night."

I have to admit that this is a film I admire more than I enjoy, but I really commend what Nolan was going for here. After generations of unsustainable living, humanity finds itself with little chance for survival but to reach to the stars and find a new way of life. As it turns out, driven by the thematic emotion from love, trust, and hope for humanity, the film in and of itself is a strong achievement. Cooper and Murph, both receiving excellent performances from Matthew McConaughey and McKenzie Foy respectively,  provide the movie with a grounding that allows these themes to grow as time changes with (one of) them. The empathetic beauty of the film almost overlooks the uneven pacing and story complaints, but these seem relatively petty for what Nolan was going for. Even so, they somewhat prevent the film from becoming a truly engaging and immerse experience, but I feel like Nolan was going for something bigger with this film, a love letter to idealism, discovery, and perseverance. It's the kind of big, spectacular, passion play that seems lacking in contemporary Hollywood. Even when it doesn't work, you do feel like you've seen something beautiful and cathartic. I thank Christopher Nolan for that.
 

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99. BIG HERO 6 (2014)
"I am satisfied with my care."
If this is the weakest film among Disney's recent CGI resurge, then boy, bring on Zootopia and Moana. In fact, I feel like this film, playing off of the recent surge of Superhero successes, is an unexpected testament to just how strong WDAS is relative to most other big blockbusters. The heart of the movie lies in teen engineering savant Hiro Hamada and his relationship with Baymax, the health care companion created by Hiro's late brother. Baymax, not only being one of Disney's most charming and hilarious comedic sidekicks in recent memory, helps Hiro to deal with the grief of his brother's death. It sets the film apart from other superhero films, whereas its other components feel relatively derivative. There are plenty of interesting characters, namely the rest of the titular superhero team, but we don't get to know them as well because of the encroaching superhero origin story. (Aunt Cass, for example, kind of disappears for a while) In the end, though, I can't really complain. It's a very fun, heartfelt, and gorgeously animated tale that packs a punch emotionally, if not much elsewhere. Simply put: It's joy cinema.

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98. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

"You've given them an opportunity. They just have to be brave enough to take it."

To call this an improvement over the original would be quite the understatement. The second installment of Katniss Everdeen's heroic rebellion against the ruthless Capitol drives up everything: the production values, the intensity, and the danger of Panem. Jennifer Lawrence is actually better here than she is in her deliberately dramatic performances, adding the necessary amounts of determination, fear, and empathy that drives Katniss. She makes you see into her eyes of fear and uncertainty, yet you still believe that she can be the one who will set things right. Props go to Francis Lawrence especially, who elevates the material to something real and dangerous, not just Young Adult pandering. He takes the audience seriously and shows us the darkness of the situations these characters are thrown into. He makes us give a damn if Katniss accomplishes anything, which so many directors take for granted nowadays. An expert piece in mood and performance, both Lawrences give me hope for Mockingjay - Part 2. (For the record, pretty much most of Mockingjay - Part 1's faults were inherent from splitting the film into two in the first place. It's an otherwise sharply made film.)

 

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97. INTO THE WOODS

"I really was excited - well, excited and scared"

I have to admit that I wouldn't put this on my list if the source material, which is mostly given a faithful adaption, weren't so damn good. Rob Marshall makes his weaknesses as a director show in the movie, with a somewhat awkward visual eye and a struggle to prevent easy flow of tone (in a story that absolutely requires it, no less), but if nothing else, he remains as true to the story as he can. The clear sexual tensions between some characters (namely the Wolf and Little Red) are removed for fairly obvious reasons, but most of the cast still makes good do with what they are given. Blunt and Corden successfully ground the movie as the Baker and his wife, providing empathetic, entertaining, and captivating heroes into this bizarre fairy tale world, whereas Chris Pine and Lilla Crawford provide lively and comical performances on their own adventures through their quests in the forest. It's a relatively hard to adapt story without ruining the integrity of the source material, but honestly, I think for a Disney-produced version under Marshall's direction, it pretty much works as well as it could have. 

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96. SAVING MR. BANKS

"It's not the children she comes to save. It's their father: Your father."

Another Disney oscar contender, Saving Mr. Banks not only tells a fascinating story (albeit with a somewhat biased point of view) about a fascinating filmmaking episode, but it provides a lightness and feeling of idealism and joy that seems oddly absent in even the biggest crowd pleasers. Emma Thompson shines as P.L. Travers, the author reluctant to leave her deeply personal tale to the making of a whimsical Walt Disney, portrayed with great warmth by Tom Hanks. As this story occurs, it is told simultaneously with that of Travers' own childhood, in which her father ultimately inspired Mary Poppins. A breezy, joyful, and heartfelt piece of film, it works because Thompson and Hanks play off of each other brilliantly as Travers lessens her guard and helps overcome her past. The film, however, does veer somewhat close to hamming up the cheeky emotion, especially near the ending which would leave P.L. Travers spinning in her grave fast enough to power the entire west coast of America, but I digress: It's a lovely movie and a fun treat for film lovers.

 

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95. THIS IS THE END

"James Franco didn't suck any dick last night? Now I know y'all are tripping."

A film so insane and over the top, it feels written out of Blankment's CAYOM career - this is one of the most bonkers and brilliant studio comedies of the decade. What makes it work is simply the banter and panic that overcomes the motley crew of stoner comics as the world around them comes undone and they struggle to survive or get into heaven. There are so many cracks and moments between the six that are a joy to watch, especially as everyone in the film readily makes fun of themselves. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg create a world of controlled chaos, keeping enough of a serious nature to the disaster that when - juxtaposed with all of the humor - actually heightens it all, while the bromance between Rogen and Baruchel gives the movie a gleefully joyous heart. It's a miracle when cinematic contrast works as well it does here. Rogen an Goldberg always had a nack for some brilliant comedy, but I'm glad that they finally got the chance to go for broke and do exactly what they wanted. I'm so happy this movie exists on principle alone, but we get one of Hollywood's most inventive and hilarious comedies along the way.

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It totally plays like a Chuck Norris and Liam Neeson movie. It's also a million miles better than The Interview.

I remember complaining when it came out that Rogen ripped me off :lol: I've been meaning to check it out, especially since I liked The Interview; just need to find some people to watch it with :P

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First, a disclaimer: I have missed a lot of films I may have otherwise loved: See them listed below, but not all are included:

 

FRUITVALE STATION

THE IMMIGRANT

SELMA

INHERENT VICE

FOXCATCHER

THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA

FOUR LIONS

TAKE SHELTER

KILLER JOE

ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US

COSMOPOLIS

NYMPHOMANIAC

MELANCHOLIA 

WINNIE THE POOH

 

Also expect surprises thrown throughout the list.

 

How do you expect to make a proper top 100 for this decade if you haven't see the definitive One Direction classic? 

 

Pshh any list would be considered incomplete if it's not in the top 3.

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