"Ladies and gentlemen, come and dream with me." Just yesterday we featured a montage from the American Film Institute looking back at 120 years of film history. In fact, this year it will have been exactly 120 years since the Lumiérè brothers screened the first commercial film images. And since this year marks another decade milestone in filmmaking and cinema itself, the folks at Tandem Entertainment put together a little tribute to cinema, running through the magic of movies. What makes this a wonderful retrospective is the cutting back and forth between films and footage of characters in movie theaters. Watch!
Yes, we're done with our own year-end lists counting down our favorite films amongst other things as part of our yearly Looking Back series, but director James Gunn has chimed in with a late edition of his own favorite films of 2014. We'll cut him some slack since he was busy finishing and promoting Guardians of the Galaxy (#4 on my own Top 10 Films of 2014) to get his list in before the end of the year. The social media active Gunn took to Facebook to give fans a list of his top 12 Favorite Films of 2014. They include some of our favorites like Whiplash and The LEGO Movie, and a couple that we were surprised by too.
While there's no denying that 2014 was a good year for great filmmaking, it was also a little bit harder than recent years as we lost some monstrous talents from the big screen. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams both passed tragically and far too soon. The retired Bob Hoskins left this planet not long after he stepped away from acting, and Harold Ramis joined all the ghosts he busted 25 years ago. Though there will be tributes to those we lost at both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards coming up, we already have a fantastic tribute to some of the talents we lost last year who made cinema so wonderful.
Even though we're in 2015 now, there's still plenty to look back at in 2014. Another year end video that we just stumbled upon and wanted to feature is one called "2014: How We Used Slow Motion" made by The Nerdwriter YouTube channel. The video is simply a showcase of some of the best slow motion moments from movies of 2014, including some music videos and TV shows like "Sherlock" and "True Detective". Of course, there was a lot of impressive cinematography in 2014 (A Most Violent Year, Interstellar, Birdman) and it's invigorating to see so much talent out there. That said, slow motion moments are always fun, and it's cool to see the technique used in different ways. The real winner is the Quicksilver scene from X-Men.
Just earlier today, we ran out last retrospective video looking back at the films of 2014, and today I'm chiming in with my final year-end list with my Top 10 Films of 2014. This year I had a hard time narrowing down my list, and I almost broke down and decided to do a Top 15, but I promised myself to be a little more disciplined to pick my absolute favorite films of the year. You can see how hard it was just by taking a glimpse at all the honorable mentions that could have made the list, and the ones that made the cut are a hodgepodge of indies, blockbusters, comedies, dramas and a couple more. So let's get to the actual list.
Yes, we know it's 2015 already, but since the New Year fell in the middle of the week this time, we figured ending the week with one more retrospective video wouldn't hurt anyone (especially since my Top 10 Films of 2014 is still coming later today). This time it's editor Ben Zuk rounding up just under 150 films from the year into the impressively edited 2014 Salute to Cinema, using some of the year's best soundtrack music to fuel the video. This mostly seems to be a collection of the better known films of 2014, along with the buzzed about indies and awards contenders, but it's certainly a fine look back at the year in film. Watch it!
The end of 2014 is upon us, and tomorrow begins a whole near year of cinema to soak in. We've been posting some of our favorite movies from this past year, with FS.net chief Alex Billington listing his Top 10 Documentaries and also his Top 10 Movies of the year, and our Golden Briefcase boys chimed in as well with Jeremy Kirk listing his Top 10 Movies of 2014 and Tim Buel getting a little more specific with his Top 8 Horror Movies of the year. My final year-end list is coming before the week is out, but for now, I wanted to focus on the big laughs with my Top 7 Favorite Comedies of 2014. So what made me laugh this year?
Not my tempo. It all began at Sundance 2014, with the opening night film, a little breakout indie called Whiplash starring Miles Teller & J.K. Simmons. Now, 12 months later, we're at the end of the year and I'm ready to reveal my Top 10 list for 2014 - which includes Whiplash. It was the first film I saw the festival and I was floored, I kept thinking, there's no way but maybe this is one film that might remain my favorite all year long. The little film that could, and indeed, it lasted the whole year because it's a perfect example of what I love in cinema - exhilarating films that leave you in a total state of awe at the end, impressed by the potential of cinema. The rest of these 10 films on my list also had that same kind of effect, the experience being a key component in my connection to the films I genuinely love. Take a look at my 2014 picks below.
Another insane year of film draws to a close and the time comes to reflect on the selections that stood out the most. This year was especially good to the horror community and I am here today to let you know about eight films that I thought were truly special this year! I'm still playing catch up on a few notable titles such as The Canal, Honeymoon, Late Phases and a few others, but I think I’ve seen most of the goodies from this year. I've tried not to delve too much into plot or anything with my picks, and opted just praise the films themselves. So without any further adieu, here's my list of Top 8 Favorite Horror Films of 2014!
One of the most hyperbolic film critics working today is Peter Travers of the long-running Rolling Stone magazine. You're almost guaranteed to see a pull quote from him for every blockbuster that hits theaters, but he likes powerful dramas and awards contenders too. Therefore, we're surprised that when Travers unveiled his Top 10 Films of 2014 that there was very little to argue with. He doesn't go for much beyond the major awards contenders likely to be in play at the Oscars, except with one surprising pick, but it's certainly not what we would have expected from Travers. So what movie made the top of his list? Read on!
"This has been such a bad year for movies." That odd statement inevitably rears its head throughout social media pretty much every year. The easy response, the right response, to such a statement is, "You haven't seen enough movies." There are always great films out there just waiting to be found, incredible pieces of cinema mixed in with all the weekly, standard garbage lovers of film have to sift through. It's always worth sifting through to find the diamonds in the rough, those quality treasures of exceptional filmmaking and storytelling. So now I present to you my own Top 10 Films of 2014 that I am thankful to have discovered.
This month, as the year winds down, we've been taking several looks back at the films that grabbed out attention on the big screen this year. Most of the retrospective videos have been very general, including the best and worst of 2014, while others have been more specific about highlighting individual favorites of the year. Now we have a retrospective that gets even more specific by highlighting some of the gorgeous cinematography that was pleasing to the eye this year. From Christopher Nolan's Interstellar to Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu's impressive Birdman, cinema looked stunning this year, and here's the proof. Watch!
Just under a week until 2014 is officially over, and to finish up the year in cinema, next week we'll be delivering multiple Top 10 Films of 2014 lists. But for now, we're still looking back at everything that the year offered on the big screen. Our latest look back at films of the year comes in the form of Cinematic Retrospective 2014 from Jakub Ignarksi. There seems to be a lot more foreign films represented here than we've seen previously, so you'll definitely want to check out the full list of films used to see what some of these featured movies are. The sound mix could be a little better for dialogue, but it's still fun. Watch!
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.