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The best of the best - that you didn't see last year. We have returned with another set of worth watching, underseen films from 2014. Back by popular demand is our eighth annual list of the 19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2014 (past lists: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007). Featured below is a hand-picked line-up of the best independent and/or mainstream films that were either quietly dumped, ignored by audiences, or just not marketed well enough. So to give them extra attention in the spotlight, and to support some of the finest filmmakers out there, here is our best of 2014 recap. Read on for the full list!
After years and years of development, a new movie website has launched that will probably end up being one of your favorite sites (after FirstShowing, of course!). No, but seriously, it looks great and seems to work great so far, and will only get better with more time. The site is called The Projection List and boasts itself as containing "the entire cinematic release schedule", including "official & projected dates for all theatrical, home, and trailer releases." As proud as we are for offering a very simple release schedule here, this site ups the ante to include everything: all DVD, theatrical & VOD releases, with a very clean interface as well. It's sleek, I'm impressed, and as long as they keep it updated it'll be a great resource for cinephiles.
"Our motivation was simple: revenge. We loved womping fuzzy-cheeked college-bonus-babies owned by the Dodgers, or Phillies." We're well into the New Year which means it's time for another Monthly Must See feature highlighting a great film to watch this month (or instead of/while waiting for the Golden Globes on Sunday). It's the perfect time of year for documentaries, so this month's pick is The Battered Bastards of Baseball from directors Chapman Way & Maclain Way, a Netflix documentary that runs a brisk 79 minutes telling the story of the Portland Mavericks, an independent baseball team started in the 1970s. This light-hearted, highly entertaining film is easily available on Netflix for your enjoyment anytime. It's good.
It's here. Welcome to 2015. By the end of this year, after another 12 months, we will have seen the new Star Wars movie from J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm/Disney. But before that, we'll also see Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland, Jurassic World, Ant-Man, Spectre, and oh yes, Fifty Shades of Grey. It's one of those kind of years. The ones that we write about at the beginning, where we all say "whoa" there's a whole boatload of incredible new films in the works all due in theaters this year. Including a new Terrence Malick movie (or maybe two?). I know, what the f**k is going on?! But, here we are, we made it, Bienvenue à 2015.
All I want is to be free… Without a doubt, Richard Linklater's Boyhood is going to leave a long-lasting impression on cinematic history, primarily as a film beautifully crafted out of 12 years of footage but also as a story that captures the actual feel of growing up in America. Not only in the way certain fleeting moments mean more in the end than big events, but also in the way our upbringing shapes us. How the way we're raised, and the experiences that we're involved in, influence the person we become and the attitudes we maintain. Within Boyhood, there was one strong feeling that I picked up on the very first time I saw it at Sundance in January (and it has been on my mind ever since) – the nagging desire to be free from control. After another rewatch, I've confirmed that control is omnipresent throughout Boyhood. Let me explain.
Joyeux Noel! Gledelig Jul! Froehliche Weihnachten! Mele Kalikimaka! From all of us at FirstShowing.net, we want to wish every one our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays! Whether you're with your family or with friends or whether it's snowing or sunny, we hope you have a wonderful week. For those that follow the tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day, we hope you enjoy your selection this year with a variety of interesting movies to choose from (we suggest Selma, Top Five, PTA's Inherent Vice above all). News and trailers always slow down during the holidays, but we'll be back at full speed for 2015.
"One dream can change the world." Happy Holidays folks! Continuing our annual tradition of providing new release Thanksgiving and Christmas Week Movie Guides every holiday season, our San Francisco-based contributor, Marco Cerritos, has once again put together another comprehensive guide for Christmas 2014, providing a recap and rundown of what's playing and what's worth seeing. Marco has seen almost everything out there, and while you may not always agree with him, he provides the best reviews he can to make it a bit easier for everyone to choose. There's an interesting selection of movies playing this holiday.
From stories about Roger Ebert, Aaron Swartz and Sebastião Salgado, to an inside look at Studio Ghibli and Edward Snowden's whistle-blowing, 2014 documentaries have been nothing short of extraordinary. I'm honestly still a bit new to documentaries, it took my years to get into them in a way where I could actually feel comfortable about delivering a Top 10 list. But in 2013 I fell in love with docs, there were so many I saw that blew me away, that showed me the power of documentary filmmaking and the potential it has to be as exhilarating and enlightening as any narrative feature. After catching many excellent docs at film festivals this year, I submitted my Top 10 picks to the outstanding doc site Nonfics, and I'm sharing them below.
One of this year's must see documentaries is Citizenfour, directed by Laura Poitras, an inside look at the story of whistblower Edward Snowden. Poitras was contacted by Snowden early on and was right there with him, filming the entire event, as he leaked the information from Hong Kong about the NSA's spying program that stunned the world in May of 2013. Poitras has made two other provocative docs previously, The Oath and Flag Wars, and she's back with another one that is a bit more intimate, but still as powerful. I raved about Citizenfour after catching its premiere at the New York Film Festival, and I met up with Laura for an interview in New York City. What follows is a fascinating discussion about the power of storytelling.
"Congratulations! We’ve made it through another spin around the sun." Indeed we have. Since we're at the end of the year, it's not uncommon to see endless tributes and retrospectives recapping the year. "Here's to 2014" is yet another, but it packs in more than just a few events. Made by the graphics company behind the 85 Best Picture Oscar Winners infographic we featured in February, called Beutler Ink, the graphic (seen below) includes references to nearly every major movie, pop culture moment, or news event, from Too Many Cooks to the death of Robin Williams, The Lego Movie, Interstellar and Ghostbusters, too. The only thing missing is some kind of reference to the Sony Hack, but The Interview guys may be in there. Take a look!
Beginning this week, we will be taking a look back at the year in cinema that was 2014, from our favorite posters to our favorite movies and more. We've already been featuring some retrospectives of all the movies that came out this year with videos like Sleepy Skunk's 2014 Movie Trailer Mash-Up and Nick Bosworth's Final Cut 2014 (and we have more of those coming soon, too). But today, we're ready to look forward to all the new movies coming up next year with a list of our 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015. There's a couple Marvel movies, a new Quentin Tarantino flick and of course the long-awaited return to a galaxy far, far away. Together we chose 20 movies that we just can't wait to see, with explanation for each. Look!
Highway to the danger zone… Gunna take it right in to the danger zone!! Now these are some must-have poster prints, if you're lucky enough to get your hands on one. Our friends at SlashFilm have posted photos of the new print for Tony Scott's 1986 action-drama classic Top Gun designed by Gabz being sold by Odd City Entertainment. The print is unique because it was printed on holographic "foil" paper, meaning it shimmers like it's metallic and can be flipped and both sides show the kick ass Top Gun artwork. So awesome. I'm a huge Top Gun fan, I mean, who isn't? Tom Cruise, fighter jets, Anthony Edwards, frickin' Tom Skerrit, it's the best. This art highlights the fighter jets above all and if you're a big fan, it's a must have.
This guy! What an inspiration. Thanks to a great profile in The Guardian, we have been introduced to and must share this story of Tommy Edison, a man from here in America known as the "Blind Film Critic". Edison got the most attention in 2011 and 2012, being profiled by Roger Ebert and earning news coverage from CNN and other TV media by publishing YouTube video reviews of films he "watched", or rather, he listened to. We're just catching up to him now, but watching his reviews (see them below), seeing that smile on his face, and hearing his enthusiasm for film even though he can't actually see the screen - is infectious.
Editor's Note About This Editorial: This is a must read discussion by longtime friend of the site Patrick Campbell (@pj_campbell). It's time to discuss an issue that has been getting worse and worse. Everything mentioned in this editorial is something that I've observed as well, but I've had trouble figuring out how to voice my concerns without sounding too meddlesome. It's hard to speak out about a community when you're a part of that community, but thankfully others have started expressing their honest feelings. What began as a couple of paragraphs on Facebook has turned into a full-fledged editorial. It needed to be said.