Neel Shah's Top Five Films of 2014
*Note: This film starts at the best and then works down*
I can hardly contain my praise of this movie to a few sentences, but I will do my best. Interstellar combines the best of humanity and science, blending complex scientific theories such as string theory and special relativity, along with a man’s quest to save the Earth for his daughter. The visuals are simply out of this world (pun intended), from a beautiful flight around Saturn, to a mind bending journey through a wormhole. Nolan proves, however, that the film is not completely about visuals, and creates a complex emotional narrative as well. Nolan closely follows Cooper (Matt McConaughey) as he races through another galaxy to find the key to save Earth all while trying to get home in time to reunite with his daughter. Despite his journey to another galaxy, Cooper’s love for his daughter keeps him tied to Earth and the audience. The performances by Matt McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are emotional, complex and most certainly Oscar worthy. I was unable to look away from the screen till the end of the movie. If you haven’t seen this movie, get to the theater NOW!
After the disaster that was Man of Steel, and Marvel’s many announcements of movies to come in the future, I became concerned that superhero movies would become dark, brooding, and cliché. Then I watched Guardians of the Galaxy, and my faith was fully restored. James Gunn creates an off-beat adventure with Chris Pratt as the leading man, better known for his other comedic roles in works such as The Lego Movie and Park and Recreation. Pratt’s lack of a serious career makes him the perfect choice to play the goofy and clumsy Peter Quill. Peter Quill, I mean, “Starlord” danced his way into my heart to the beat of “Awesome Mix 1” which adds a delicious dose of nostalgia through amazing music to the movie. Chris Pratt shines as the comical Peter Quill, with amazing performances from Bradley Cooper as the incredibly sassy Rocket Racoon and Zoe Saldana as the deadly yet loyal Gamora. Guardians of the Galaxy was everything a summer movie should be: fun, quirky, and ludicrous.
Snowpiercer was a radical shift for Chris Evans, who has largely gained fame playing Captain America, the invincible Boy Scout, who fights for an idealized set of American principles. Snowpiercer features a frozen post-apocalyptic world, where the only survivors live on a train, which is divided into a class system. Curtis Everett, Evan’s character in this film, lacks Captain America’s invincibility and sterling morals. Everett is determined to bring down the ruling class of the train, through any means necessary, and leads a revolution among the lowest classes on the train to take over the “sacred” engine. This film features many dark, and disturbing messages that are not easily resolved.
There are only three words that can be used to describe 22 Jump Street: rude, lewd and crude. Nevertheless, this movie is the perfect summer comedy to watch with a group of close friends. 22 Jump Street unabashedly rips off its prequel, and makes of point of mentioning this through meta-humor that only makes the movie funnier. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill keep their delightful bromance going for yet another movie.
I really love action movies, but Dawn of the Planet of the Apes goes beyond simple action movie tropes such as meaningless explosions and gunfire. True to its predecessors, Dawn is the thinking man’s action movie, as it examines how a dwindling human population would interact with a growing and superior ape population. This movie blends top notch acting and special effects, which introspective messages about society.
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