Chris Pratt

The Top 10 Movies of 2014

by Alan Rapp on January 2, 2015

in Top Tens & Lists

The Top 10 Movies of 2014

Family, friendship, and the struggle to find oneself’s place in the world were the big themes on my list this year. Looking back the year might not have offered me the clear winner to top the list (I gave out no perfect score for any film this year), but it still offered a solid list of ten movies worth noting and celebrating. As always, I tried to see as much as possible but there are a few films, most notably Whiplash and Gone Girl, which eluded me. Others like Foxcatcher, Inherent Vice, and American Sniper won’t release in my home market in 2014 (and which I was unable to view and/or review before the publishing of this list) are also not included (although you might see a couple of them turn up in my mid-year list of Best Movies of 2015 So Far next year). Enough with what didn’t make the cut, here is my list of the Top Ten Movies of 2014.

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The Top Ten Movies of 2014 (so far)

by Alan Rapp on July 4, 2014

in Top Tens & Lists

The Top Ten Movies of 2014 (so far)

We’ve hit the halfway point of the year and, as has become the custom, that means it’s time to look back on the best movies of the year so far. This year’s list includes three animated films, two sequels, the return of a beloved television character, a latest (and in one case the last) from few big name directors, and a pair of small indie films topping the list of what has been a pretty damn good first-half of the year at the movies.

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Everything is Awesome

by Alan Rapp on February 8, 2014

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The LEGO Movie
  • IMDB: link

The LEGO MovieWith a mix of stop-motion and CGI effects (some purposely cheesy enough to show you the string holding figures in frame) The LEGO Movie delivers an energetic and enjoyable story with a nice message for kids. A cynical person would note that the film is basically a 100-minute commercial to sell the various (mostly over-priced) specialized sets and figures that make up the LEGO franchise. However, the movie (for the most part) puts the story and characters first while also promoting the basic message of the building blocks that allow you to build anything you can imagine.

Beginning with an awkward opening scene involving a wizard (Morgan Freeman), the film’s villain Lord Business (Will Ferrell), and a prophecy about “The Special,” the movie gets off to a bit of a shaky start (although it does eventually backtrack to put the events into context). Jumping years in the future we’re introduced to our hero, unremarkable construction worker Emmet Brickowoski (Chris Pratt), who finds the mythical Piece of Resistance which can prevent Business’ plans of destruction.

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Zero Dark Thirty

by Alan Rapp on April 1, 2013

in Home Video

  • Title: Zero Dark Thirty
  • IMDB: link

Zero Dark ThirtyDirector Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Marc Boal‘s examination of one woman’s 10 year odyssey to track down Osama bin Laden is an amazing piece of filmmaking that earned the top spot on my list of the Best Movies of 2012Jessica Chastain stars as the increasingly obsessed CIA agent who isn’t lacking in self-confidence or knowledge but could use better people skills. Plucked from high school after 9/11 the movie follows Maya’s mission to find the illusive courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti (Tushaar Mehra) who she is certain will lead back to bin Laden.

Bigelow delivers a hard look at the successes and failures of the operation which finally bore fruit thanks to Maya’s (Chastian) dogged determinism. The movie doesn’t shy away from controversial issues such using torture to extract information, but it neither endorses or condemns the methods used over the decade long search for the man responsible for the attacks on 9/11.

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Zero Dark Thirty

by Alan Rapp on January 11, 2013

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Zero Dark Thirty
  • IMDB: link

zero-dark-thirty-poster

The Best Movie of 2012

Three years ago director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Marc Boal collaborated on The Hurt Locker which won them both individual Academy Awards as well as taking home the coveted Oscar for Best Picture. With Zero Dark Thirty the pair reunite to examine the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden.

The project was not with pitfalls or controversy. Bigelow and Boal were about to start filming an entirely different script when news hit that American forces had found and killed the man responsible for the attacks on 9/11. Scrapping their initial project, Bigelow and Boal refocused to examine the work that went in to finding America’s most wanted.

The film’s detractors (almost none of whom have seen the film) attack it for what some believe is a pro-torture stance, the filmmakers access to classified information surrounding the search for bin Laden, and some have even argued against what they (wrongfully) believe is a pro-Obama propaganda piece. None of these allegations are true. What is true, however, is Zero Dark Thirty is the best movie of 2012.

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