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Blank's 28 Movies of 2014 That Will Be Way Better Than The Oscars Choices Because The Oscars Suck This Year (TOP 5!)

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We’re at the halfway point which means it’s now time for something completely different. This past year, we lost several legends in cinema, and I can’t talk about them all. So instead, we’re gonna talk about one man in Hollywood who has influenced me in so many ways who passed away in 2014. No, not Stephen Colbert, he ascended to the heavens. No, I’m going to talk about the one, the only, Robin Williams.

My first major exposure to Robin Williams was when I was about six-years-old, and my little brother, four-years-old at the time, loved Aladdin. He would rewatch Aladdin daily, checking out the VHS copy from the library so many times, I remember asking my mother why we didn’t just own Aladdin on VHS. I grew to hate the movie so much, but always I liked the genie. Years went by, and Robin Williams infiltrated my life without me even knowing it was Robin Williams. Flubber and Jumanji were frequently reran at my house and I loved them both so much. I remember seeing RV in theaters and thinking it was eh except the dad’s role (Robin Williams again). I remember watching Return to Jafar and wondering why the Genie wasn’t as funny as he was in the first one, but then liking him again in Prince of Thieves. I even remember watching Bicentennial Man one sick day morning on ABC Family. More recently, I remember starting English class senior year and watching Dead Poets’ Society for the first time and absolutely loving it. My sophomore year in Speech, I did a sketch of his where I played his role, embedded below. Robin Williams has always been a guy I’ve been inspired by.
When news of Robin Williams passing came out this August, I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. Robin Williams was the guy I wanted to be when I grew older. He was funny, heartfelt, and always brought smiles regardless of the material. I legitimately cried that night, feeling like he was the awesome movie uncle I never had. After his death, I went to college and saw Good Will Hunting for the first time, and broke down crying at his monologue. Even Night at the Museum 3 which made an appearance on my worst list; I almost broke down at his final scene in it. There are plenty of Robin Williams movies I haven’t seen, and I’ll definitely watch them over the upcoming years of my life. That said, I know that the world is a little darker with him gone. I’ll leave you with a clip of my favorite performance of his, and then we’ll move on with the countdown.
O captain my captain.


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Back to business.






Back to business. We don’t get blockbusters like these often, and by like these, I mean relentlessly dark and moody with an excellent tone. Reeves’ direction is impeccable and the cinematography in this movie with use of lighting and shot progression is astounding at establishing an awesome world. I’m always a fan of long takes and this has two excellent long takes! Clarke is very good in his role, but the true highlights are Toby Kebbell and, of course, Andy Serkis. I said it when it came out, and I stick with it now: Koba is THE villain of 2014. A terrifying presence, he almost overshadows Serkis for me. Any scene with Koba, you can’t keep your eyes off him and that’s thanks to Kebbell’s fantastic mannerisms he gives Koba. Serkis is wow. I can’t say much about him except for the fact that he manages to give a subtle performance in motion capture, something that I would’ve said was impossible before seeing this movie. The script is a bit lacking in how it cares more about the apes than humans’ side of the story, but besides that flaw, it’s pretty impeccable. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best blockbusters of the year, and the only sequel this year that I could easily say was a massive improvement on the original (not to knock Rise; I like Rise well enough but this was WOW).

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Yes, there are two sequels to originally acclaimed films in a row on my list. Get over it. :P Funnily enough, this one is timely with the recent delay to 2018 for the third movie in this franchise. Enough about trivia though, let’s get to How to Train Your Dragon 2. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is interesting in a sense, because it’s definitely inferior to the original film, but yet, still is an utterly fantastic film from DreamWorks animation and, to be blunt, the best animated sequel since Toy Story 3 (FYI, Kung Fu Panda 2 is still great and super underrated). It’s set five years after the first movie and is appropriately more dark and mature. Typically this would be a negative to me, but with animation, please, give darker and more mature any day! Dragon 2 moves forward animation as an art form by becoming one of the most blatantly adult animated movies yet; the only other animated movie I can say are like that in maturity (ignoring South Park and Simpsons) is Rango. The characters develop in amusing ways, Toothless is still adorbs, and Jay Baruchel gives a fantastic vocal performance. The real MVP voice-acting wise is Cate Blanchett, who brings a great gravitas to Hiccup’s mother, Valka. However, the true MVP overall is, once again, John Powell, who does admittedly phone in it at points, but the new theme “Flying with Mother” is beautiful, along with the best scene of the movie, in which Stoick and Valka rekindle their lost love through a single song, probably the best musical moment of last year for me. It may have some issues with story structure, but How to Train Your Dragon 2 is ultimately a future textbook example on how to make a great sequel to an instant-classic animated film.

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They say original sci-fi is dead in America. Unfortunately, I can’t use Snowpiercer to argue against it as it is actually a Korean production, but original sci-fi in general certainly isn’t dead. The way I typically pitch Snowpiercer to people is just simply “it’s a good version of Elysium.” I’m gonna talk about Snowpiercer’s filming style before getting into the plot. Director Joon-ho Bong is a Korean filmmaker who made this has his first English language film, and the influence shows, especially through the action and quirk of the movie. The action is freaking badass with profile shots and long takes abound. It’s brutal too, appropriately taking advantage of the R rating. The movie is uber quirky, easily switching from dark comedy to the odd drama it is. Chris Evans gives the best performance I’ve seen from him yet in the lead; he manages to sell an uber-dramatic monologue with probably the oddest subject matter. The real star though is Tilda Swinton, who is quirky and intimidating in her role. I also gotta give a shot out to Bong’s idea to keep Korean actors in the movie and not force them to speak English. It added more to the overall world of the train and allowed the Korean actors to emote better instead of stuttering through the movie *glare at Ken Watanabe.* All in all, Snowpiercer proves dark original sci-fi is still alive in the world of cinema, and manages to be both thought-provoking and entertaining.

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Haters ‘cause they ain’t us! That’s right, haters can hate on this movie but I loved The Interview much more than Seth Rogen’s other movie this year, Neighbors. Ridiculously funny, the outlandish plot is given exactly what you’d expect from a Seth Rogen vehicle. I saw this twice in a packed audience and both times I died laughing at various stuff. Even the one thing I was eh on, the forced Lord of the Rings references, has a perfect pay-off at the end. It’s not the best R-rated comedy this year, but one reason I particularly liked it and the other comedy coming up on this list is that unlike most improv fests, this film is actually directed and I really don’t think much of it was improved. Franco’s character is freaking hilarious and the whole thing is a decent satire wrapped up in hilarious dick jokes. Randall Park owns Kim Jong-Un, and really, I can’t knock anyone in the cast. I wish there was more Lizzy Caplan in it though. All in all though, I’m happy The Interview kept its 2014 release date, even though Sony honeydicked us with the cancellation, uncancellation, and then VOD options. The Interview is one of Seth Rogen’s best movies yet and a freaking hysterical comedy.

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Umm... The Lego Movie


Guardians of the Galaxy


22 Jump Street

Umm... Birdman?

Captain America: The Winter Soldier?

The Grand Budapest Hotel?

Umm... Some film I've never heard of?

And...................,............................................,..……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Left Behind

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Release Date: January 30, 2014

Director: Eugenio Mira

Runtime: 90 min

Rated: R

Tomatometer: 77%

IMDB Score: 5.9/10

BOT Average Rating: A (100%)

Available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Netflix streaming.





They don’t make thrillers like these that often anymore. Grand Piano is the type of movie you think would briefly mentioned in a sitcom as a joke, not a legitimate film. Interestingly enough, it’s written by Damien Chazelle, who is now famous for Whiplash, a movie I have unfortunately not yet had the opportunity to view. However, the script in this is great, so I have to presume that’s another reason I gotta see Whiplash. But enough about a movie I haven’t seen; let’s talk about Grand Piano. Basically a more classical music version of Phone Booth, Grand Piano is a load of fun. It’s tense, thrilling, and features pretty good acting. Elijah Wood is the best I’ve seen him yet as Tom Selznick, perfectly portraying the paranoia and cunningness of his character.


I’m not gonna pretend this movie is a masterpiece; it’s pretty much a B-movie that gets all the technical stuff right. That’s an understatement; excuse me. I mean the technical stuff in this movie is really, really well-done. The cinematography really should be recognized for awards as you’ll frequently find yourself just looking at the movie and saying “Wow. That looks good.” A special mention out to the editing, which has, as I’ve discussed with Jack Nevada, the single best cut of 2014. The editing is kinetically connected to the use of classic music in the score, making a beautiful marriage of sight and sound. Going back to the acting, John Cusack basically takes a voice-acting role in this movie and he kills it, almost to the sense when John Cusack proper shows up in the film, you’re surprised to see his face. The movie in general also works as a great argument for VOD, as a movie like this would’ve never got made without that market. Yet, it still manages to be strikingly cinematic, more cinematic than most previous films on this list. Grand Piano is a movie that mixes together old and new ideas about filmmaking, and makes a refreshing old-school movie that is one of the most thrilling of the year.



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