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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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“What happens when a man stands up; says enough is enough?”


Release Date: December 25, 2014

Director: Ava DuVernay

Runtime: 127 min          

Rated: PG-13

Tomatometer: 99%

IMDB Score: 7.7/10

BOT Average Rating: A (91.9%)

Available in theaters.



Yep, this movie last minute beat out Guardians for a slot in my top five, and honestly, a part of me wanted to put it at #4, but alas, another film narrowly beat it. Selma is honestly probably the first biopic I saw and completely enjoyed. It basically took what I hate about most biopics (cover too much time, more a propaganda piece than an actual piece of cinema, no real plot) and said “Fuck you, we can make a good biopic.” To be blunt, calling Selma a “good biopic” would be like calling David Oyelowo’s lead performance in the film a “good performance.” Selma is an utterly fantastic movie that in a fair world, would’ve been up for as many Oscars as other major contenders.


Now, who do we have to thank for Selma? This might be sounding a bit predictable at this point, but I always thank the director it seems like. This is the first film I’ve seen of Ava DuVernay and after seeing it, I’m not missing another one of her films. Selma is rated PG-13; does it feel like it? No. The brutality in this movie feels as brutal as in 12 Years a Slave, and that’s because DuVernay knows how to make the audience truly feel the impact of the violence. In the Bloody Sunday sequence, I honestly almost broke down crying because how truly horrible it was. She also manages to draw excellent parallels from the struggle at Selma to the struggles with racism still today. Couple that with a few fun directorial choices (I was a real fan of the FBI headers), and DuVernay’s director snub tops any other director snub in the past few years for me.


But now, let’s talk about what the average viewer would see as the highlight of the movie, another freaking great aspect of this movie: David Oyelowo’s performance. Strikingly subtle, Oyelowo does the impossible in a nearly unnoticeable way: he makes Martin Luther King, Jr. a real person. You watch Oyelowo, and you don’t see David Oyelowo: you simply see MLK going about his business, a real man caught up in the struggle for his people who are denied basic rights. I’m not going to whine about the Oscars anymore (in this entire list actually, surprisingly) but Oyelowo is simply phenomenal in the role. Heck, the whole film is phenomenal. I’d honestly say the top five movies on the list are masterpieces, and I don’t use that term lightly. Selma is a film that will be shown in history classes for years to come, and thankfully, wonderfully, it is one of the best of the year and the best biopic in recent memory.



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“Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige.”


Release Date: October 17, 2014

Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Runtime: 119 min           

Rated: R

Tomatometer: 92%

IMDB Score: 8.4/10

BOT Average Rating: A (92.6%)

Available in theaters.




I’ve actually already talked about Birdman for quite a bit. If you look at my review in the RTM thread, you’ll see I gave a much longer review than I typically did. I’m giving this disclaimer because, well, this is definitely going to repeat some stuff from that review but you know what? That’s okay. I’ll address the detractors of this film first; most people who aren’t a fan of this have stated they didn’t like it because of its pretentiousness. I have nothing to say to that. This movie is pretentious. Does that make it a bad movie? Hell no.


Birdman is an actors’ showcase type of film, with all three main actors giving their best performance I’ve seen from them. Disclaimer: I haven’t seen much from them, but that doesn’t make their performances any worse. Indeed, I don’t even have to see that many Michael Keaton movies to know that he’s giving the performance of a lifetime. It’s impossible to keep your eyes off of Riggan Thompson, the man is so fascinating in his self-loathing and yet his identifiablity. There’s a little bit of all of us in Riggan, a man so eager to please others, he has replaced his desire to please himself with the need for others’ approval. I understand this struggle, probably not to the same degree as Riggan, but I certainly understand where he is coming from. Edward Norton’s Mike Shiner is the perfect prick, maintaining some likability despite being an incredible jackass. He also manages to be incredibly funny. Emma Stone is very good as well, but please, ignore her awful awards bait speech and just pay attention to subtle work she does, specifically in her scenes with Norton. Everyone else in the cast is great too, but a special shout-out to Zach Galifianakis, who takes on an entirely different role than anything he’s done so far in movies.


Now, at this point, you should know what’s coming. Time for Blank to praise the director. Well, HA! I actually think Inarritu is what’s probably holding down the movie from becoming truly the best of the year, as he applies a mostly clinical look to what should be an emotional journey. The one thing that is noticeably well-done is the one-shot look to the film, which perfectly blends cinema and the theatre into one ideal art form. I’ve also already written on how well the film taps into the inherent terrifying aspects of acting, with the cue missing scene and other great moments in the film. I could talk about Birdman for a while, both on flaws and its many strengths, but really, Birdman is just a really great movie that honestly deserves all the accolades it’s been receiving.


Edited by Blankments
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“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.”


Release Date: November 7, 2014

Director: Christopher Nolan

Runtime: 169 min           

Rated: PG-13

Tomatometer: 72%

IMDB Score: 8.9/10

BOT Average Rating: B (84.8%)

Available on... well, it’s kind of in that limbo space when it’s not available anywhere, sorry. :(




Time for some disclaimers, because let’s be honest, when you’re talking about Nolan, people get kind of pissy. “But Blank, you love every Nolan movie! You’re so bias!” Two issues with that: one, it’s my list so it’s naturally going to be bias to my taste. That’s kind of the point. Two, and more importantly, I’m honestly not a Nolanite. I find Inception highly overrated (actually agree with Tele on it) and Dark Knight Rises is entertaining but particularly good. I’ve honestly been worried about Nolan recently and wondering if he still has what it takes. Interstellar was the ultimate test, and honestly, Nolan passed in my eyes.


That’s not to say Interstellar is a perfect film. Far from it actually. There’s still some clunky dialogue (I was incredibly tempted to put “One of those useless machines they used to make was called an MRI, and if we had one of those left the doctors would have been able to find the cyst in my wife's brain,” as my quote of this film) and the speech about love is kind of awkward, even though Hathaway sells it well. Yet, I can’t fault the film. It’s easily Nolan’s most ambitious and emotional film yet, and it works entirely for me. The video log scene is the single most emotional scene Nolan has done yet, and the visuals while entering the wormhole still make me gasp. McConaughey’s acting in the film is phenomenal as usual and Hathaway ain’t no slouch too. The ending of the movie is incredibly poignant and it’s really really hard for me not to like this film. Also, it looks beautiful and MATT DAMON.


Honestly, the part everyone loves about Interstellar is the one thing I find weak. The Earth stuff at the beginning is slow, but it has to be there to gain an emotional connection with Murph. TARS is great too, probably my favorite comic relief character of the film. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Blank, what the heck? This description of the movie has no flow.” Well, I’m aware of that, and I guess it can kind of be a metaphor for Interstellar. Interstellar has a lot of good ideas that aren’t all necessarily executed fantastically. Yet, there’s no way to perfectly execute them so the ambition of it is enough to award. Sorry haters, but Interstellar is a legitimate sci-fi classic in the making and Nolan’s best film since The Dark Knight.



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“You don't have to be the bad guy. You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things. Because you are the Special. And so am I. And so is everyone. The prophecy is made up, but it's also true. It's about all of us. Right now, it's about you. And you... still... can change everything.”


Release Date: February 7, 2014

Director: Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Runtime: 100 min           

Rated: PG

Tomatometer: 96%

IMDB Score: 7.9/10

BOT Average Rating: A (93.1%)

Available on DVD and Blu-Ray.




You guys knew it was coming. I’ve been praising the LEGO Movie since its release so much, you might find it surprising it’s not #1. I’m not going to talk about #1 at all in this description, since LEGO is such a legitimately great work of art that I’d be underselling it otherwise. I’ll get to the hyperbole immediately: The LEGO Movie is the first animated movie a very long while that returned my hope to Hollywood’s creativity. That’s not to say Hollywood hasn’t been creative; rather, the sheer imaginativeness of LEGO and belief in idealism gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, the world wasn’t a steaming pile of shit that Hollywood only distracts us from.


The LEGO Movie is a celebration of imagination and joy, a thesis on how all can change, and how even the worst ideas can become something truly wonderful. I honestly find it unfathomable how anyone can at least not like this movie on some level, but you know what? I’m not going to proclaim my opinion as law. That’s an asshole thing to do and honestly, LEGO doesn’t deserve that shit at all tied in with it. I never even played with LEGOs as a kid, but this captured my imagination and joy of being a kid again. The story... honestly, I don’t want to regurgitate the story for you. I don’t want to tell you about the characters. You don’t need to know anything about this except for this two things that explain why I love this movie oh so much. First off, the twist. A lot of people hate the twist in this movie, and I can kind of get where they’re coming from. After all, it’s out of left field and adds some melodrama to the movie. I love it though, because it’s so true to life. I remember playing with my toys and pretending that my dad was the bad guy, going to work instead of playing with me. I didn’t hate my dad, I loved my dad; but I wanted to spend time with him that he didn’t have to spend. I could get more into this too, but I have another personal story I want to share.


Back in February, a few days before this released, my dog died. I was lusting after a girl that ultimately led to my complete utter failure in myself and an endless cycle of self-loathing that I still feel the effects of today. But you know what happened when I saw LEGO? All my problems went away for 100 minutes as I got emerged in the most fun I’ve seen. As my life came crashing down around me, I saw the LEGO Movie again and it managed to cheer me up yet again. This is a movie that blatantly helped me through my depression. Again, I’m not getting into technical reasons why I love this movie, because honestly, you can read multiple reviews that would state the things I would say why I love it. The LEGO Movie is a movie that brings hope back to the multiplexes, non-romantic love for others back into my life, and joy to a generation. I know it sounds like a cat poster, but it’s true.



Edited by Blankments
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