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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Top Ten Movie Picks for 2014

Image result for nightcrawler movie poster1. Nightcrawler * * * 1/2 Stars
My quote as a critic: "In conclusion, with superior yet far fetched direction from Dan Gilroy and a social commentary that will cause your jaw to pretty much slam to the ground, Nightcrawler is the type of dark, L.A. based calamity that will "crawl" into one's head and stay there. It's horrifically brilliant because its main lead (Gyllenhaal) is astute in the most creepy, habitual way." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 95%

Image result for birdman movie poster2. Birdman * * * 1/2 Stars
My quote as a critic:  "Director Alejandro G. Inarritu's latest is a raw, unflinching,  original play on words and for what it's worth, might just punch Keaton's thirty-two year wait of a ticket (for an Oscar nomination). As an acting showcase, this "bird" is definitely the word as quiet as it's kept." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 92%

3. Edge of Tomorrow * * * 1/2 Stars
My quote as a critic: "Edge of Tomorrow is intelligent, sophisticated film making and it stakes its claim as the best thing to hit theaters this year. It makes you think (but not too incredibly hard), it heightens your senses (just like a summer blockbuster should), and it reminds you the audience, why Cruise became a movie star in the first place." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 90%

4. Interstellar * * * Stars
My quote as a critic: "2001: A Space Odyssey was made over forty years ago and it forced you to ask questions about time and space. It was just a blueprint where as Interstellar pretty much answers those questions for you. Does that make this fall release a ballsy, forceful masterpiece? Not quite. But it's too involving, absorbing, and monstrously canvassed to not garner my recommendation." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 72%

5. RoboCop * * * Stars

My quote as a critic: "Now I will say that this RoboCop of 2014 is anything but perfect. It is at times emotionless, it has some glaring plot holes when it comes to the actions of the Detroit Police Department, and it bypasses some key plot points by whisking from one scene to the next. However, what looms for roughly two hours, still manages to be ultra cool with cynically cool characters. Most of them possess a hammering amount of dry wit and narcissistic overload. Therefore, I can't say that I wasn't surprised or for a better word, royally entertained." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 48%

6. God's Not Dead * * * Stars
My quote as a critic: "God's Not Dead comes off as a little preachy. It does at times, project itself as a public service announcement or an infomercial posing as a movie. However, just when you're not expecting it, the film sneaks up on you and packs an emotional wallop. A couple of the character portrayals are very heartbreaking and this is the glue that holds things together." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 17%

7. Bad Country * * * Stars
My quote as a critic: "Yeah, Bad Country does at certain intervals, feel like a full-on rental with carbon copy shootouts and accents used by its actors that don't sound like anybody who lives in Louisiana (the flick's setting and on-site location). But for most of the time, there is plenty of crackling dialogue, a sense of urgency, and smooth, conventional storytelling tactics that make you think otherwise." Rotten Tomatometer Score: Not applicable

8. Neighbors * * * Stars
My quote as a critic: "Now granted, Neighbors does have a weak, feel good ending and a slow, almost guffaw-free beginning. All things considered though, I'd say that the laugh ratio throughout this vehicle's 90 plus minutes is pretty darn high. And if you're wondering whether or not I left the theater with a big fat smile on my face, well the answer is a profoundly stark yes!" Rotten Tomatometer Score: 73%

Image result for sandcastles movie poster
9. Sand Castles * * * Stars
My quote as a critic: "Overall, Sand Castles with a small budget, a small town feel, and an anti-Hollywood approach, teeters on the edge of amateurism. Thankfully, director Clenet Verdi-Rose avoids this notion for almost 90% of the running time. He channels a little bit of Steven Soderbergh with his camerawork all the while building tension with every careful inch." Rotten Tomatometer Score: Not applicable

10. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For * * * Stars
My quote as a critic: "In Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Rodriquez and Miller treat each violent, cartoonish sequence as if it's art being painted by Picasso himself. Longtime bud Quentin Tarantino would be proud of the way they film sword wielding stuff in the vein of say, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (in black and white with white blood no less). With glorious comic book overtones, these two mavericks create a sumptuous background rooted in black and white hues interspersed with some reds, oranges, and blues (these colors are thrown in to possibly introduce an important protagonist, a plot point, the color of a dress, the color of lipstick, or a mild image of bloodletting)." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 43%

Honorable Mention: NoahNon-StopThe November ManMillion Dollar Arm, and Brick Mansions. These are all good films that didn't quite make the cut.

And the worst...

1. Sex Tape
My quote as a critic: "There are bad movies and then there are excruciatingly bad movies. This pile of horse dung falls into the latter category. It's a lame, irrelevant comedy that at 94 short minutes, actually comes off as boring. As an audience member, you get to experience a non-existent script, sloppy direction, tastelessness, capricious star cameos (by Rob Lowe and Jack Black), and the acting of Jason Segel." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 18%

2. Ride Along
My quote as a critic: "With grating, inept dialogue, characters and situations that aren't believable or plausible, and good actors who play those characters and dent their reputations in the process, Ride Along is cinematic proof that Thanksgiving comes early in 2014. Translation: this movie is one big, giant turkey. It's a "ride" you would never want to get on." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 17%

3. This Is Where I Leave You
My quote as a critic: "This Is Where I Leave You is like a comedic version of The Big Chill (without a point or purpose) or a poor man's version of August: Osage County (without the stellar acting). It has characters that are despicable, hypocritical, wishy-washy, and to a fault, underdeveloped. Everyone who walks into frame is someone you wanna throw popcorn at, yell at, or slap (hypothetically speaking of course). The only likable actor that existed was the lead, Jason Bateman. Too bad the rest of the proceedings around him were the movie equivalent of a garbage pale." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 42%

3. (tie) Small Time
My quote as a critic: "In truth, this is just another stupid independent film (there are so many of them) that tries to be cool, tries to be cute, but just completely flaps in the wind. It's not the actors/actresses that's the problem, just the concept." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 63%

4. The Prince
My quote as a critic: "There's a reason why no theater would be willing to show The Prince. It's not something you pay admission to. It's more like the type of wide eyed fluff you'd wake up to (on cable) at four in the morning." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 0%

5. About Last Night
My quote as a critic: "This new reboot doesn't have much continuity, shape, or flow. The trailer leads us to believe that we're in for a warm, funny, laughable treat. So much for the trailer. What's on screen is a downer with a razor thin plot and characters who are unlikable, not believable as friends or lovers, sappy, and downright dull. If this is a foretelling of movies that are to be released on Hallmark's most glorious holiday, then you can just count me out." Rotten Tomatometer Score: 68%

Written by Jesse Burleson

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