John Goodman

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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The Monuments Men

by Alan Rapp on February 7, 2014

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Monuments Men
  • IMDB: link

The Monuments MenOriginally planned for a Christmas release, The Monuments Men finally makes it into theaters this weekend. Directed and co-written by George Clooney, who also stars as George L. Stout, the film is a war-time picture highlighting an unusual group of heroes. Based on true accounts, The Monuments Men tells the story of Stout and other over-aged art experts and connoisseurs who were put together by Franklin D. Roosevelt to save priceless art being plundered and destroyed by the Nazis during WWII.

The group of Monuments Men includes Matt DamonBill Murray, John Goodman, and Bob Balaban, along with Englishman Hugh Bonneville, and Frenchman Jean Dujardin. A little bit Ocean’s Eleven and a little bit old school war film, Clooney’s latest project begins with Stout stumping for the need for such and organization and recruiting old friends on what many in both Washington and on the battlefield see as nothing more than a fool’s errand. From basic training through searching abandoned German salt mines after the end of WWII, the film follows the fate of the unusual band of art experts and historians turned soldiers and the treasures they seek.

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From A to Z – The Top Ten Movies of 2012

by Alan Rapp on December 28, 2012

in Top Tens & Lists

2012 turned out to be a pretty darn good year at the movies. There were two films which I gave perfect scores to this year, one of which the majority of the country won’t be seeing until early next year. I’m breaking my own rule of including it on the list, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Between these two films, which naturally open and close the list (as it’s presented alphabetically), are eight other films rounding out the class of 2012.

Cutting down my list to ten means I need to speak for a moment on films that barely missed the cut. John Carter was the year’s most under-appreciated film, The Cabin in the Woods turned the horror genre on its ear, Ang Lee delivered an amazing journey with Life of Pi, Wreck-It Ralph was this year’s best animated feature, Safety Not Guaranteed was a terrific little sci-fi flick almost no one saw, and Moonrise Kingdom was director Wes Anderson‘s best film since The Royal Tenenbaums.

Enough with what didn’t make the list, let’s get down to discussing what did:

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Argo

by Alan Rapp on October 12, 2012

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Argo
  • IMDB: link

argo-movie-posterSome stories are so unbelievable they must be true. This was the case with Charlie Wilson’s War, one of my favorite films of 2007, which examined the absurd series of events that led a relatively unknown Congressman from Texas to lead the charge to bring down the Soviet Union.

Argo, the latest from director Ben Affleck who also stars in the adaptation of CIA Agent Tony Mendez‘s account of what became known as the “Canadian Caper” involving the extraction of six American diplomats from Iran during the Iran Hostage Crisis, is a similarly astonishing, and certainly well told, tale that’s so crazy it must be true.

Affleck stars as Mendez, a CIA extraction expert who comes up with a plan to safely smuggle out six Americans who escaped the seizure of the American Embassy in Iran on November 4, 1979. His idea is to pose as a film producer scouting locations for a new sci-fi movie in Iran and to pass off the six diplomats (Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Christopher Denham, Scoot McNairy, Kerry Bishé, Joe Stafford) as other members of the movie project.

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