Top Ten Favourite Movies of the Year (so far) [End September Update]

Hey guys,

I know I haven’t really posted anything in about a month, but I’ve been so busy with exams >.< Anyway though, I did manage to watch a movie or two during the September period, most notably The Maze Runner, a re-watching of Bridget Jones’s Diary, and I also watched several (older) “fairytale-ish” movies, namely Ever After (starring Drew Barrymore) and Snow White: Tale of Terror (starring Sigourney Weaver).

Anyway though, I don’t think I can reliably post an actual review of The Maze Runner (since I watched it quite long ago), but I guess there are certain highlights I can point out:

Patricia Clarkson’s evil smirks (omg, she is literally almost as scary as Snow), Dylan O’Brien because Dylan O’Brien, and those little moments between Dylan and Chuck stood out for some reason, which made that last scene even more heartbreaking and notable… you should know what I’m referring to.

But anyway, from what I can remember, I think it’s a pretty solid 7-8/10? I’ll place it at around 7.3 I guess, since I generally enjoyed it, and there weren’t any bits that were particularly clunky, those as a WHOLE it seemed a little lacking, mostly on the emotional and characterization aspects.

so ANYWAY, with that, I’m going to give you guys my Sept update of my fav. films this year so far!

SO..

as usual, I’ll start with stating some of the films I DIDN’T watch, which could potentially end up in the list:

The Grand Budapest Hotel (didn’t come out ANYWHERE near me)

Chef (didn’t come out ANYWHERE near me)

22 Jump Street… but I’ve got a copy on my computer so I’ll be watching it soon.

Possibly… Noah (too many other interesting films came out around then)

1% chance: The Expendables (just couldn’t be bothered)

Let’s begin.

10 (tie) . The Maze Runner

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Well, like I said above, I don’t think I will be posting an official review for this yet, though if I decide to watch it again I most probably will. This makes my Top Ten because I only think it’s the best YA dystopia-ish movie adaptation of the year yet (sorry, Divergent fans), those obviously once Mockingjay hits theatres that opinion is bound to change drastically. But yea, I mean, I need at least one YA dystopian movie adaptation here 🙂

.

10. Godzilla (tie)

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AHHH I can’t let this drop out of the list D: I know I’m probably being a little biased with the tie but whatever. I actually re-watched it (I think I mentioned this is a previous post) and I really want to see it in my final Top 10 but there are just so many good movies! 😦

(adapted from August update) Honestly in any of the previous few years this would definitely have made the Top Ten at the end of the year. But now that seems slightly dubious :/ Aah well, we’ll wait and see. My opinion might change 😮

(adapted from first post) Ok, we’re starting to get into the blockbusters. TBH, just a note, I thought almost all the blockbusters this year were actually really well made, with only a few exceptions. (I’m looking at you, TAS2, Transformers 4… urgh). Godzilla felt pretty dark to me, but all the more suspenseful. I would pick those fight scenes with Godzilla over the ones in Pacific Rim any day (I’m sorry), because they were simply EPIC. That atomic breath… WOW. I actually found the way they changed perspectives from one human to another to be really interesting as well… since it kind of showed that, well, this mega-sized (and at times, kind of awesome) destruction was happening just about… everywhere. Those long-legged creatures/parasites or whatever actually scared the crap out of me. The visuals were stunning in a big-scale, buildings-getting-destroyed-like-cardboard kind of way, which was expected. As for Godzilla itself (himself?), I don’t know if it’s just me, but I had SO much respect for it (him?). Yea he’s some gigantic, slightly paunchy lizard, but his resilience brought tears to my eyes.

Highlights: The Atomic Breath. Sally Hawkins (because it’s Sally Hawkins), looking at how useless man-made technology was. Las Vegas destroyed.

9. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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Yup…….similar to Godzilla. It’s really slipping quite fast tho :/ plus at this point there’s a certain chance Godzilla might overtake this since I can’t remember this that clearly, though I remember it being epic.

(adapted from August Update)Another one like Godzilla. Again, we’ll just wait and see what happens to this.

(adapted from previous post) I watched this really recently, so it’s still pretty fresh in my mind. I know there’s some message about humanity etc etc, but to be honest I’ve had enough literature for the term, so I’ll not delve into that. I thought at the main antagonist, Kova, was really what drove the film. He was so brutal, so savage, that any scene with him (which was pretty much almost every scene) kept me by the edge of my seat. When he shot Caesar and those watchmen, I flinched so hard the guy beside me spilt his popcorn. That huge scene where the human base is attacked was so intense and brutal I was literally shaken after that. It was really impactful to me. But perhaps more so was the final fight between Kobo and Caesar, honestly I wasn’t sure how much damage either party was going to take before one of them came out on top. It ended on a slightly cliched note, with the typical “villain-hangs-by-the-edge-of-a-cliff-while-protagonist-looks-on.” kind of thing. But really, that last part was a really fitting end for Kobo.

Highlights (in a few words): that big orange ape (Maurice). that book scene with Maurice and Alex. the final explosion.

8. (new) The Fault in Our Stars

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Honestly… I cried so much more watching HTTYD2 then when I was watching TFIOS (even though I had heard so many people talking about how they had drowned in rivers of tears coming out of the theatre). I’ll keep this one short…

I thought it stuck really well to the book, and the highlight was obviously the romance/chemistry between Augustus and Hazel. I really liked both their acting, especially Shailenes’ and I thought that they really brought the pain/love of the characters out very well.

It is down-to-earth and emotionally engaging, definitely not like some soppy rom-coms/chick-flicks you may see bomb out at the box office (I’m glad this did really well btw)

So… yea. All in all, it was a really emotional experience throughout, and its realness of their characters/situations really pushed me past the threshold several times to make me cry.

Highlights: I guess the very last part of the movie? Where she’s reading the letter.

7. The Lego Movie

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….No longer my top animated pick :O tbh I kind of see this going up the list a little, since it was so awesome, and I see it as at least Top 5 material. Though we’ll have to see since I’ve watched HTTYD2 and wow.

(adapted from end august update) Still my top animated pick of the year! I really have to get around to watching HTTYD2 though lol. Also still waiting on Big Hero 6 and The Book of Life.

(adapted from previous post) Not to be cocky or anything, but I could tell instantly this was going to be a huge hit the moment the first marketing materials came out. And it was. I think the theme song holds completely true, everything IS awesome about this film. Like, literally every part of the movie seemed to be a highlight. The film was funny, reaaally smartly written, visually appealing, and had a really interesting plot. All the characters are so unique and hilarious in their own ways, from Emmet’s “nobody, yet somebody” character, to Batman’s narcissistically hilarious character, to Unikittys overly sweet and chirpy facade. I loved the cast as well, Chris Pratt (from the awesome Parks and Rec), Elizabeth Banks (THG, Pitch Perfect), Morgan Freeman (is it just me, or is Morgan Freeman in like every known movie). That twist at the end where we see a real-life Will Ferrell was pretty cool, and the final confrontation between Emmet/Lord Business, Will Ferrell’s char/his son was really touching, and was probably just about the best conclusion I’ve seen to a movie yet.

Highlights: If I have to choose… The Spaceship Dude. All the Batman-nisms.

6. Edge of Tomorrow

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I don’t know why, but I’m suddenly a huge Emily Blunt fan. I’m really rooting for her for some Oscar consideration for Into The Woods, and I guess that helps here xD. But as a movie, Edge was definitely very very deserving.

(adapted from end august update) Heard that it barely made enough at the box office or something. Might just be the lowest grossing blockbuster of the year lol. Though that won’t change my opinion of how good the film was.

(adapted from previous post) The most overlooked film this year, in my opinion. The box office receipts definitely wasn’t proportionate to the quality of this film… to me this was definitely one of the best films of the summer, if not the best. The “Live, Die, Repeat” sequence in the film was really interesting and intriguing to watch, and for once, we really see the impossibilty of Tom Cruise’s stunts (through his constant deaths). The chemistry between Emily and Tom’s character was actually one of the strongest and most interesting for me, as personally, I thought that both their warrior-like hearts shone really powerfully, individually, and when put together… wow. I thought the design of the Mimics was really cool, and overall, as the marketing material very correctly states, this film was smart, exciting and unexpected. Those scenes on the beach were so intense, and seeing the intricately planned motions which the two characters went through was almost better than every coordinated mission in the MI series. It was funny, hilarious even, to watch the way in which these plans were made out, which I thought added a nice and appropriate touch of humour to the film. Overall, this is my definition of a GREAT film.

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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Honestly, after GOTG this just seems to be being pushed back more and more in my mind… though not yet on this list :/ not very sure but for now its safe I guess.

(adapted from end august update)Yup… this is no longer my top Disney/Marvel pick of the year. Who would’ve known? I mean, it was definitely an awesome movie, just didn’t think that GOTG could actually top it. Just top it.

(adapted from previous post) The first one was good… but this REALLY showed what Marvel can be made of. I thought it’s straying from the typical “beating-up-bad-guys” thing all Marvel movies seem to have made this film SO much better. After the disappointing Thor 2 last year, I went in with my expectations slightly muted. And boy, was I blown away. The action throughout most of the film was far from Avengers-esque, but more with a touch of Black Widow to it, which I really loved. The whole idea of Hydra completely infiltrating Shield really helped made this film so much more suspenseful for me, it honestly felt to me that it was Chris and ScarJo (and that falcon dude) versus the world, since EVERYONE seemed to be against them. The final sequence with those huge helicarriers felt so unique and enthralling to watch. The way those ships blew each other up at the end…. WOW… the chills… Perhaps more so though, was the connection between The Winter Soldier and the Capt. After the first film, where I really liked the friendship between the two, I thought their fight scenes were more like a fight between two best friends, which is SO much more emotionally conflictive than one between worst enemies. That was definitely the emotional highlight for me through the movie. The chemistry between Chris and Scarlett was good as well, and once again, Scarlett is back in her lovely lethal and sarcastic character, though with a nicely added vulnerability. Maria Hill and Nick Fury also played really interesting roles, and I actually half-believed that Nick Fury had actually died there at the start.

Highlights (in a few words): The helicarrier guns. Colbie Smulders. Emily Van Camp. The emotional conflict between Capt and TWS.

4. (new) How to Train Your Dragon 2

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I loved the first one so much that it felt kind of surreal when I actually started watching the second haha. I don’t follow the animated series/spin-off, but luckily that didn’t compromise any of the plot points. The storyline/plot was really engaging throughout; it might have felt a little generic maybe at some parts, but overall it left me thrilled throughout. The emotional engagement was strong and present. That dance/song scene with Stoic and Valka made me cry so much my eye was sore for the rest of the day :I .On that note, Valka (aka Cate Blanchett) was a really good addition IMO. Her character was just so awesome, especially when she’s in that tribal almost voodoo kind of mode and spirit. I’m actually planning to try and make/get hold of a replica of that staff she has xD (too awesome).

The visuals were amazing of course, the fight between the two Alphas was pretty epic, though that final standoff was nothing short of bone-chilling. I love/respect Toothless so much more now, and I already adore him so much 🙂.

On the other characters, I thought the minor/supporting roles were actually quite memorable, especially since they added most to the humorous element of the film for me. The character Kristen Wiig plays was particularly hilarious (I’ve forgotten her name though >.<), the way she goes “Eret, son of eret!” XD. On the topic of Eret, Kit Harrington plays the very British (or some other linked accent?) and arrogant character who while minor was a fine addition to the cast.

Lastly, that death scene (don’t want to spoil completely in case) actually felt so real/raw, despite the fact that its animated. DK why, but just have to put there in there :/. Guess it’s a factor of how good this film is.

Overall, no bad elements per se, if maybe that point about being slightly generic, but either than that, this will definitely rival The Lego Movie for my top animated pick 🙂

tl;dr/Highlights: Valka (and her epic outfit/armour), Kristen Wiigs’ character, Toothless being Toothless, the Alphas.

3.  Guardians of the Galaxy

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Yup, this Disney/Marvel film’s position in the top ten seems pretty watertight as of now, since it’s probably the most fun I’ve had at the movies all year.

(adapted from end august update) The first time I watched this and reviewed it, I gave it like a 7.8 or something. Then I watched it again… and realised just how good it actually was. I was actually REALLY conflicted as to whether I preferred this over Captain America 2, but in the end, I think just the whole idea of these 5 anti-heroes working together and kicking ass pushed this over the edge.

Full review here.

Highlights: Karen Gillian/Nebula. The Blockade. Chris Pratt dancing.

2. X-Men Days of Future Past

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Still in the same position :/ I did re-watch this while I was on the plane, and it did remind me of how much chills and feels I got watching it but… well at least its my Top Marvel pick of the year so far.

(adapted from end august update) OK I am REALLY conflicted about this one. I mean, there are just SO MANY THINGS to adore about this movie, that would potentially push it back into the No. 1 spot for me. If this came out in the few years before, this would have been No. 1, hands down, but… :/

(adapted from previous post) No questions asked, this was THE movie of the summer for me. Where do I even begin? The concept felt really refreshing and new for the “going back in time” thing, to start. And all the scenes in the future… SOO awesome. I was actually hoping there were more of them. The fight scenes in the future were SOOO intense, the most intense ones I’ve seen yet. Frankly, it’s pretty enthralling yet frightening to see my favourite heroes from the original X-Men series (Iceman, Colossus, Storm) fighting such an impossible battle, not to mention the equally awesome newcomers (Blink, Sunspot, Bishop etc.) The Sentinels were shit-your-pants scary, easily the most intimidating antagonists of the summer. It was SO painful to watch those drill-like hands impale so many of the X-Men. The emotional engagement of this film was also… wow. The scene with old/young Charles brought SO MANY tears to my eyes I was bawling like a little baby. That final climactic scene, which flashes the Mystique/Magneto confrontation and the final battle… the chills and feels were just… overwhelming. This film went beyond awesome for me, it had such a poignant, powerful pulse to it, like the beating of a human heart. (Ugh I’ve been drowning myself in literature for my exams). I watched this film 5 times in theatres… more than any other film this year, and each time I felt so equally engaged. Oh of course, the cast. I mean, what can I say? This ensemble cast could easily outmatch The Avengers cast. All in all, this was the film of the year. (so far)

Highlights (in a few words): BOBBY 😀. That 2 seconds of Rogue. All the future fight scenes. Blink’s portals. Old/young charles scene. Storm’s storm/lightning. The love/hate relationship between (young and perhaps old) Magneto and Charles. The Sentinels rising to Magneto’s side. The slow-mo prison break scene. Mystique’s fight scenes. The stadium descending around The White House.

And once again, before I unveil my No.1 pick, here are a few honourable mentions (in no particular order)…

The Giver

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Neighbours

 

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And my No.1 pick…

1. Boyhood

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Some films are just too perfect to contend with.

(adapted from end august update) Like I said, kinda conflicted about this actually. I mean, Boyhood is beautiful, but there are just SO many things to love about X-Men Days of Future Past. Ah well, we’ll see what happens.

Full review here.

Highlights: Honestly, the beauty of this film is in its holistic experience.

Well, that’s my updated list!

Oscar season is (nearly?) upon us, with a new outpouring of trailers/ films that all look so tantalising. I guess this is where my list might get even more jumbled :O (and I guess, I would have to say goodbye to Godzilla soon)

Well, we’ll wait and see. If I have time, I might create an updated list of my most anticipated movies this year (that haven’t already come out). I probably will. Stay tuned for that! 🙂

Please comment/follow/share 🙂 It would mean the world.

-J.K

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