Okay, one last post to wrap up my favorites from 2014. Then I can get back on track and start writing about what I'm currently reading and watching. I saw a lot of movies last year, but I've narrowed it down to eight favorites. The first four were movies that actually came out in 2014 that I saw in the movie theater, and the last four are movies that came out in 2013 that I saw on video last year. Here we go:
The Grand Budapest Hotel: I love Wes Anderson. I own all of his movies, and I try to see everything he directs at least once in the movie theater. He is my favorite film director. And The Grand Budapest Hotel did not disappoint. The humor is dark, the cast is outstanding, and the sets and cinematography are incredible. It is everything you would expect from a Wes Anderson film. [Side-note: My brother got the DVD for me for Christmas this year, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the special features include the recipe and instruction video for Courtesan au Chocolat. See this video: How to Make Courtesan au Chocolat]
#2 Captain America: The Winter Soldier: If you have yet to join the Marvel Studios party, I would highly recommend that you do. It has been so much fun going to see all of these movies as they come out in the theater. I love waiting to the end of the credits for a hint of what's to come next. I love tuning into Agents of Shield after an opening weekend to see how the events unfolded in the latest film will effect the next episode. Captain America has become a favorite in this new movie universe Marvel has created. And The Winter Soldier is definitely one of my favorite movies in the entire series of Marvel films.
#3 Guardians of the Galaxy: Another Marvel Studios favorite from this year. This movie was simply a ton of fun! As I came out of the theater, I told the friend standing next to me, "I want to turn around immediately and watch it again." The soundtrack! I can't say enough about the soundtrack. The moment Chris Pratt started dancing to Come and Get Your Love during the opening credits, I knew I was going to love this movie. [Side-note: I also fell in love with the character Groot because he reminds me of my brother, Will. When he smiles at the end of this scene his face transforms into my brother's for just a second. And I think if my brother didn't have MD, he would be a superhero with a heart of gold, just like Groot. (He's already a superhero, in my book.)]
#4 The Fault in Our Stars: I know that I have mentioned before that I am a huge fan of John Green. I really am. I took tissues to the theater the day my friend Jeanne and I went to see this because I'd already read the book, and I knew what was coming. This movie did such a wonderful job capturing the spirit of John Green's book. I was very pleased with the outcome. And yes, the story made me cry... again. But it's a beautiful story, and I would highly recommend reading the book and seeing the movie, if you haven't already. If you are so inclined, you can also visit the post in which I wrote about The Fault in Our Stars when the book first came out.
#5 Snowpiercer: If you do not like violence, I'm going to tell you right now: do not watch this movie. However, if you do like interesting, and somewhat strange, post-apocalyptic stories, then you might enjoy this one. And to truly enjoy this movie, you must be a person who can suspend their disbelief because it is about an impossible train that can circle the globe without ever stopping. In the Snowpiercer universe, the Earth is frozen over, and it's last inhabitants live on said impossible train. A class system emerges on the train, and the lower class, tired of being mistreated, plan a revolt against the higher class and the leadership. I really enjoyed this movie, even though there were a couple of scenes I had to turn away from.
#6 In Your Eyes: This is a wonderful film by Joss Whedon about two people who discover they have an inexplicable telepathic link. The movie was never released in theaters which is kind of a shame because it is really good. But it is currently streaming on Netflix, and I believe you can also purchase a digital copy on Amazon. I would highly recommend seeing it. It was definitely a favorite from this year. It's sweet and charming, and I'm becoming increasingly impressed with Zoe Kazan. She is a marvelous actress and does a phenomenal job in this film.
#7 What If: This is another film starring Zoe Kazan, and her leading man is Daniel Radcliffe. He's not Harry Potter anymore, folks. Daniel is all grown up, and he's quite funny in this quirky romantic comedy about two friends who are seemingly perfect for each other. I've come to think of it as my generation's When Harry Met Sally.
#8 Begin Again: Starring Kiera Knightly and Mark Ruffalo, this movie is about a down on his luck music producer who discovers a musical talent that might save his career. The film was directed by the same people who directed Once, so it is, not surprisingly, a heartwarming story full of great music.
All the movies I've mentioned in this post are currently out on DVD and you should be able to find them at your local library. Happy viewing! :)