Tuesday, 14 January 2014

My  top  10  films  for  2014.

10. Wish  i  was  here

Much fuss has been made about Zach Braff's sophomore attempt as director due to the film's financial backing coming largely from the website Kickstarter. 2014 is a fitting year for Braff's film to debut, since it marks the ten year anniversary of his first film, Garden State. And the two seems do not seem too different from one another as Wish I was Here sees Braff playing a struggling actor, father and husband attempting to find meaning in his life. Set to have it's world première at this year's Sundance Festival it won't be long till all those Scrubs fans can see how far their funding has gone.


You would be forgiven if you forgot about Spiderman what with all those Avengers hogging the limelight recently but Marc Webb's follow up his 2011 re-imagining of everyone' favourite superhero has more than enough to entertain everyone. One of my major issues with the first film was the villain, Dr.Lizard played by Rhys Ifans, didn't really offer much to the film and was possibly not the best villain in all of the Spiderman canon. But it seems like the second instalment will not suffer the same fate due to Webb including the likes of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and judging from the trailers the Green Goblin (Dan DeHaan or Chris Cooper). The strongest element of the first film, the relationship between Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone), which offered so much humour and put the bleak memories of Tobey Maguire and Kristen Dunst to bed, seems to be going from strength to strength. With Sony looking to produce two more Spidey films and spin-offs for the likes of Venom and Doctor Octopus,

8. tHE double

Richard Ayoade first came to public's consciousness in his role of awkward, shy IT nerd Moss in Channel 4's massively popular The IT Crowd but Ayoade had been starring in some of the most outlandish programmes of the last few decades in the form of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, which Ayoade co-wrote and created as well as starring in The Mighty Boosh. But little did anyone know that behind his nerdy façade lay the British answer to Wes Anderson. All was revealed in 2010 when Ayoade made his directorial debut with his adaptation of Joe Dunthorne's Submarine. Aoyade's Submarine had slick stylistics devices and an excellent script. Four years later and Ayoade has returned with his new film The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska. Ayoade has adapted another book, this time Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novella also called The Double. The film sees Jesse Eisenberg's character Simon go mental after the discovery of a doppelgänger who has been usurping his whole life. Having premiered at last year's Toronto International Film Festival and a 2014 release announced by Magnolia Pictures, look out for Ayoade's mix of black humour and excellent scriptwriting.

7. Calvary

Irish cinema has had something of a bit of a renaissance in the last few years. Ever since Martin McDonagh teamed up with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson for the excellent In Bruges way back in 2008,Ireland has been producing some of the funniest films of past years in the form of Grabbers and The Guard. This year's offering comes from The Guard writer and brother of Martin, John McDonagh. Calvary sees McDonagh teaming back up with everyone's favourite Irishman, Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson plays Father James Lavelle a lovely Priest who's parish is full of unsavoury characters and things start to turn sour when one of them threatens to kill Father Lavelle during confessions. This may not sound like the foundations for comedy gold but judging from the trailer McDonagh has injected his hilarious dark comedy into the film with the help of everyone's other favourite Irishmen Dylan Moran and Chris O'Dowd. Let's just hope it is more In Bruges than Seven Psychopaths.

6. I  Origins

I Origins is the second collaboration between Another Earth director and writer Mike Cahill and Another Earth star and co-writer, Brit Marling. After Another Earth's première at Sundance in 2011, Marling was the recipient of much of the film's acclaim yet her last few outings in the likes of The East and The Sound of my Voice were pale in comparison. But hopefully teaming back up with Cahill, Marling can find produce a performance on par with her's in Another Earth. I Origins centres around Michael Pitt's Ian Gray, a molecular biologist who along with his lab partner uncovers evidence that could potentially change society as we know it. Little else is known about the film but this synopsis, partnered with the reuniting of Cahill and Marling is enough to get me excited. I Origins looks set to be this year's Upstream Colour and that is in no way a bad thing.

5. Ex  Machina

Dredd was one of my favourite films of 2012 but sadly for anyone who enjoyed it as much as me a sequel does not look set to happen, despite many fans attempting to petition for one on-line.If you're hankering for something that resembles Dredd this year look no further then Dredd writer Alex Garland's Ex Machina. Ex Machina is Garland's first attempt behind the camera, he is better known for penning to scripts to the likes of 28 Days Later and Sunshine. The film centres on Domnhall Gleeson's Caleb, a coder who wins a competition run by the company he works for to spend a week with the company's CEO (Oscar Isaac) on his reclusive mountain yet once he arrives Caleb finds out his is part of a bizarre experiment and has to interact with the world's first artificial intelligence. The film tread's similar grown to Spike Jonze's Her but looks set to lack the charming humour and instead go for a more serious tone. Having worked with Danny Boyle in the past let's hope Garland has picked up a trick or two behind the camera.

4. x-MEN: Days  of  future  past

Last year's The Wolverine was probably not what most fans wanted from their beloved X-Men, especially after the mess that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. So for many comic book and film fans, Michael Vaughan's X-Men: First Class was something of a saving grace for fans of Bryan Singer's original X-Men series. First Class told the story of how magnet maniac Magneto meet psychic playboy professor, Professor X. With a cast that boasts the likes of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and that guy off the EE adverts, First Class was a surprising excellent inclusion in the X-Men series. The follow up, titled X-Men: Days of Future Past, sets to expand the universe by including the older generations played by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan. The film will centre on two different time periods, one set in the McAvoy and Fassbender's time and another in an alternative present in which mutants are hunted and killed by massive robots called Sentinels. With Wolverine taking centre stage, again, time travelling from his present self to his past self to warn the mutants of the future and attempt to alter their fates. Some may struggle with the chronology and it will leave some scratching their heads as to how Stewart's Xavier will come back after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand but returning director Bryan Singer looks set to set puzzling questions to bed. With a mutant cast that outshines the Avengers and a budget to match, Fox should have a right winner on their hands.

3. How  to  train  your  dragon  2

Pixar were once the untouchables of the animation world having created some of the greats over the last few years, Up, Toy Story and Wall.E to name a few, but in recent years their ideas mill has run a little thin with sequels and prequels being all they can manage for the time being. But while Pixar's quality has seen a bit of a decline, Dreamworks have been attempting to produce some winning animation. Their best is the stand out How to Train Your Dragon released in 2010 and based on Cressida Cowell's book of the same name. The film saw Hiccup, voiced by Jay Burchel, take on dragons to only find out that they are not the death bringing, horrors they may have been presumed. The first film had some breath taking animation and a great deal of heart. The long awaited sequel is set to hit our screens this July. Set five years on from the first film the sequel centres on Hiccup and toothless as they venture to new lands and map uncharted territories to discover new wild dragons and a bit more than they hoped for.

2. Interstellar

Christopher Nolan is a director who likes to play his cards pretty close to his chest and his first feature since completing his much acclaimed Batman trilogy is evidence of this. Nolan's first venture in the director's seat since The Dark Knight Rises is his first original work since Inception in 2010 and much like his last few outings little is known. But what we do know is Interstellar is based on Kip Thorne's treatment originally written for Steven Spielberg which includes the likes of wormholes and time travel. The film sees a group of astronauts lead by Matthew McConaughey to study a wormhole which could possibly hold the answer to Earth's dwindling resources. With a cast that boasts the likes of Nolan's lucky charm Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon, Casey Affleck and Jessica Chastain, it is clear that Nolan is the director everyone is Hollywood wants to work with. After the likes of Memento and Inception, the idea of Nolan working on a film to do with time travel and wormholes makes me wish it was November already.

1. Godzilla

Pipping Interstellar to the top spot is Gareth Edward's re-imaging of classic monster movie, Godzilla. Edward's minuscule budget science fiction hit Monsters was the job that got him the gig on this gigantic blockbuster and rightly so. Monsters demonstrated that Edwards was one of the directors to look out for what with Edwards doing basically everything on the film, including special effects. Judging from the trailer the decision to let Edwards helm the first outing for Godzilla since 1999 was a stroke of genius. The trailer itself is something of a work of art, in a time of endless spoilers and rumours, the trailer just gives off subtle hints of what we can expect. With a cast that has the likes of Aaron Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanbe and Sally Hawkins, the film looks set to have the potential to be the blockbuster to beat this summer.

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