05 January 2015

Best Non-Horror Films 2014 + Best Albums, Best Songs & Top 3 Surprises

Yes, it's that time of the year. Best of this, best of that, lists, lists, lists. The whole fucking week through. Gonna start with my favorite non-horror flicks, albums and songs + for the very first time: the Top 3 Most Surprising Films of 2014.

[Click the links to get to the reviews. If I haven't reviewed the movie, you'll get to the movie's Imdb site]



Maynard's Top 20
Best Non-Horror Films 2014

20.
Thomas Gomez Durham's
95ERS: TIME RUNNERS
USA, 2013

Completely overlooked, yet terrific and highly intelligent time-travel-themed science fiction somewhere between "12 Monkeys" and "Primer". Deserves much more love!





19.
Neil Burger's
DIVERGENT
USA, 2014

Second-best young-adult film of 2014, surprisingly way better than "Mockingjay Part 1" (which didn't make the list). Great cast, splendid soundtrack, gripping and entertaining from start to finish.





18.
Yasuhiro Yoshiura's
PATEMA INVERTED
Original Title: Sakasama no Patema
Japan, 2013

One of the best animated films I've seen in a very long time. Highly original concept (2 teens, separated by opposite gravities, fighting against a totalitarian regime), very well developed and fabulously directed.



17.
Wes Ball's
THE MAZE RUNNER
USA / UK / Canada, 2014

Best young-adult film of 2014, also way better than "Mockingjay Part 1". Fantastic youngster cast, excellent CGI and some of the most nervewracking action scenes in a long time.





16.
Woody Allen's
MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT
USA / UK, 2014

Fuck the critics, this was just wonderful. Not as amazing as "Blue Jasmine", but still another piece of quality Woody-work. Lovely cast, hilarious dialogue, beautiful cinematography.





15.
José Padilha's
ROBOCOP
USA, 2014

A tremendous re-interpretation of Paul Verhoeven's uber-classic that surprisingly exceeded all my rather low expectations. Emotional, thought-provoking, breathtaking and packed with ace CGI.





14.
Caradog W. James'
THE MACHINE
UK, 2013

Unexpectedly brilliant, super-stylish
and extremely fascinating low-budget-that-looks-like-high-budget science-fiction thriller in the vein of "Metropolis", "A.I" and "Blade Runner".





13.
Houchang Allahyari's
DER LETZTE TANZ (=The Last Dance)
Austria, 2014

Touching and very emotional, but also pretty amusing "forbidden" love story between a young male geriatric nurse and an old woman who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. Impressed me a lot more than "Harold & Maude".




12.
Noam Murro's
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE
USA, 2014

A blast of a movie. Bigger, better and more action-packed than the first part. Blood, boobs and explosions. Badass action scenes, over-the-top bullet-time/slow-motion awesomeness and super-fun gimmick-3D. Love!




11.
Ulrich Seidl's
IM KELLER
International Title: In the Basement
Austria, 2014

A terrifically made and very successful step back to Ulrich Seidl's documentary-roots that gives fascinating, entertaining and quite unsettling insight into the Austrians' most favorite comfort zone: the cellar!



10.
Steven Knight's
LOCKE
UK / USA, 2013

85 minutes of Tom Hardy driving a car and making telephone calls - believe it or not, it worked really fucking great! Intense and unbelievably believable performance, tense and gripping over the entire runtime.




9.
David Cronenberg's
MAPS TO THE STARS
Canada / USA / Germany / France, 2014

A stunning return back to form that makes you forget about the mediocre "Cosmopolis". David Cronenberg once again proves that he is still the best living Canadian filmmaker and that there's no need to go back to his body-horror past.




8.
Andreas Prochaska's
THE DARK VALLEY
Original Title: Das finstere Tal
Austria / Germany, 2014

A frighteningly great and super-susenseful Austrian western(!), set in the beautiful Tyrolean mountains, playing with all kinds of Western tropes and clichés in surprisingly non-clichéd, non-stereotypical ways + astonishing cast!



7.
Makoto Shinkai's
THE GARDEN OF WORDS
Original Title: Koto no ha no hiwa
Japan, 2013

The first animated feature film that brought me to tears, thanks to the charming, heartbreaking and wonderfully love story between the two adorably lovely and totally believable main characters + mindblowingly awesome-looking animation!



6.
Doug Liman's
EDGE OF TOMORROW
USA / Australia, 2014

"Groundhog Day" goes science fiction! After "Oblivion" yet another uber-excellent Tom Cruise film with a fascinating storyline, super-stunning CGI effects, shitloads of unexpectedly hilarious scenes and some really outstanding 3D effects.




5.
Dan Gilroy's
NIGHTCRAWLER
USA, 2014

A nasty motherfucker of a movie, darker and more grim than I expected. Flawlessly filmed, written and directed, thrilling and chilling like crazy, including Jake Gyllenhaal's absolute best performance of his life. Deserves an Oscar!




4.
Alejandro Jodorowsky's
THE DANCE OF REALITY
Original Title: La Danza de la Realidad
Chile / France, 2013

23 years after his last feature, Chile's greatest filmmaker of all time returns with yet another mystifying masterpiece that looks more like a painting than an actual movie. Packed with dazzling visuals and masterfully directed scenes and sequences. Welcome back, Mr. Jodorowsky!


3.
Wes Anderson's
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
USA / Germany / UK, 2014

A staggering rave of gorgeous colours and magnificent visuals, directed and composed in a marvellous and deeply impressive way. A masterpiece of epic proportions, with a stellar cast, some of the most beautiful hotel settings since "The Shining" and a certain kind of Euro-humor I haven't seen in a very long time.


2.
David Fincher's
GONE GIRL
USA, 2014

An incredible return back to form that makes you forget completely about the unnecessary "Dragon Tattoo" remake. David Fincher once again proves that he is America's best, most intelligent, most visionary filmmaker alive. A mindblowing mindfuck of a movie, so full of insane and totally unforeseeable plot twists, I'm still gobsmacked. Also, fantastic acting, superb music, top-notch cinematography.

1.
Matt Reeves'
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
USA, 2014

Not just better than its predecessor "Rise of...", but IMO also the absolute best Apes-film since the original "Planet of the Apes (1968)". "Cloverfield"-director Matt Reeves managed to create one of the most powerful, most spectacular action films of the last year, delivering huge amounts of badass action, overwhelming drama and terrific acting. Pitch-perfect from the very first to the very last shot. I'm still shocked about how great this movie turned out to be.



Top 7 Best Albums:
  1. THE ENDLESS RIVER - Pink Floyd
  2. SONNY BLACK - Bushido
  3. AMORE - Wanda
  4. SOUSED - Scott Walker & Sunn O)))
  5. BACKSPACE UNWIND - Lamb
  6. FVCKB!TCHE$GETMONE¥ - Shindy
  7. MYSTORIA - Amplifier















Top 14 Best Songs:
  1. A MATTER OF TIME - Dillon
  2. BOLOGNA - Wanda
  3. RETURN TO THE CLASSICS - Pulsedriver & Rocco
  4. HUMAIN A L'EAU - Stromae
  5. SPORTTASCHE - Bushido
  6. WILL CALLS (DIPLO REMIX) - Grizzly Bear
  7. SCHICKT MIR DIE POST - Wanda
  8. CHANDELIER - Sia
  9. DIRTY VIBE - Skrillex with Dilo feat. G-Dragon & CL
  10. IN BINARY - Lamb
  11. PANCAKES - Shindy
  12. TAKE ME TO CHURCH - Hozier
  13. REMURDERED - Mogwai
  14. THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE - Bastille



Top 3 Biggest Surprises:

1.
Michael Bay's
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
(Review soon)
USA / China, 2014

I'm a fan of Michael Bay's 90s flicks, but I couldn't do much with his "Transformers" films, thought the first and the second were mediocre at best, while the third one sucked cock. Thanks to last year's amazing "Pain & Gain", Bay is finally back on track and created the absolute best film of the entire "Transformers" franchise. Sure, dumb as shit, but not as retarded and unfunny as its predecessors, with better action, a darker tone, a fantastic Mark Wahlberg, a hilarious Stanley Tucci, Dinobots, Autobots riding on Dinobots, gigantic magnets and shit. I loved it!

2.
James DeMonaco's
THE PURGE: ANARCHY
USA / France, 2014

I hated the first "Purge" flick so goddamn much, it ended on #12 of my Worst of 2013 list. I sooo wasn't looking forward to this, expecting it about as stupid as the first one. To my surprise, it's actually WAY better. Incredibly entertaining, fast-paced and action-packed, packed with scenes and sequences straight outta 70s / 80s action flicks. Awesomeness, can't hardly wait for the third one!

3.
Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez'
SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR
USA, 2014

Doesn't matter that  came 9 years too late, doesn't matter that it bombed like a lead balloon. I thought this was a fun and well-made sequel with a great cast, lots of blood, boobs & fire, and a terrific cast. Sure, far from being as awesome as the first one, but it's definitely Rodriguez' best flick in years.




7 comments:

  1. Grand Budapest and Gone Girl are in my top 5 too. I still have to see most of the others. I liked 300, Sin City, Purge and Nightcrawler too. Did you see Blue Ruin, The Guest and Cold In July by any chance?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, haven't seen any of them, though I try to check them out later this year.

      Delete
  2. Yet another list with Edge of Tomorrow on it! I really don't want to give in and watch it but I now feel like I am missing out!

    Glad to see Rise of the Apes on the list, such a good, dark film. Thought I'd made a mistake in taking the 11 year old cousin to see it but he loved it!

    K :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ignore your Cruise-hate and watch EOT ASAP. This movie is so friggin' awesome!!

      Rise isn't on this list, it's Dawn...

      Delete
  3. I've seen three of these movies - great list!

    ReplyDelete

Total Pageviews

:-)

:-)