Awards

Taylor’s 2014 Awards

I know it’s late, and technically the award season is already over, but here are my awards just for fun! I made them about a month ago, and I have seen several movies since then that definitely would have made it in if I would have seen them earlier, i.e. Whiplash and Big Hero 6. I saw over 115 movies this year; some were amazing and some were not so amazing. Here are the best and a few of the worst:

Worst Films:

5. The Rover

4. Rio 2

3. The Nut Job

2. Noah

1. Wer

 

Visual Effects:

5.Maleficent

4. Hobbit

3. Interstellar

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

1. The Lego Movie

 

Production Design

5. Hobbit

4. Interstellar

3. Fury

2. Snowpiercer

1. Grand Budapest Hotel

 

Costume

4.Hobbit

3. X-Men

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

1. Grand Budapest

Sound Design:

4. Fury

3. Locke

2. The Boxtrolls

1. Interstellar

 

Editing:

5. Imitation Game

4. Nightcrawler

3. Boyhood

2. Gone Girl

1. Grand Budapest Hotel

 

 

Cinematography:

5. Gone Girl

4. The Imitation Game

3. The Boxtrolls

2. Grand Budapest Hotel

1. Interstellar

 

Music:

5. Grand Budapest Hotel

4. Hobbit

3. Begin Again

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

1. Interstellar

 

Supporting Actress:

4. Carrie Coon- Gone Girl

3. Rene Russo- Nightcrawler

2. Tilda Swinton- Snowpiercer

1. Kiera Knightley- Imitation Game

 

Actress:

4. Keira Knightley- Begin Again

3. Emily Blunt- Into the Woods

2. Helen Mirren- Hundred Foot Journey

1. Rosamund Pike- Gone Girl

 

Supporting Actor:

4. Tyler Perry- Gone Girl

3. Evan Peters- X-Men

2. Shia- Fury

1. Logan Lerman- Fury

 

Actor:

5. Ralph Fiennes- Grand Budapest

4.David Oyelowo- Selma

3. Jude Law- Dom Hemingway

2. Tom Hardy-Locke/ Drop

1. Jake Gyllenhaal- Enemy/Nightcrawler

 

Best Cast:

4. X-Men

3. Fury

2. Gone Girl

1. Grand Budapest

 

Adapted Screenplay:

5. Guardians of the Galaxy

4. The Imitation Game

3. Hobbit

2. Snowpiercer

1. Gone Girl

 

Original Screenplay:

5. Boyhood

4. Locke

3. Interstellar

2. Nightcrawler

1. Grand Budapest Hotel

 

Best Director:

5. Richard Linklater- Boyhood

4. Dan Gilroy- Nightcrawler

3. Christopher Nolan- Interstellar

2. Wes Anderson- Grand Budapest

1. David Fincher- Gone Girl

 

Best Animated/Kid’s Movie:

5. Alexander and the Terrible..

4. Book of Life

3. Lego Movie

2. How to Train Your Dragon 2

1. The Boxtrolls

 

Best Action:

5. Sabotage

4. Divergent

3. Nonstop

2. Fury

1. John Wick

 

Best Horror:

4. Deliver Us From Evil

3. As Above So Below

2. Annabelle

1. Oculus

 

Best Fantasy:

3. Guardians of the Galaxy

2. Hobbit

1. Days of Future Past

 

Best Sci-Fi:

5. Zero Theorem

4. Edge of Tomorrow

3. Signal

2. Snowpiercer

1. Interstellar

 

Best Romance/Romantic Comedy:

5. Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

4. Longest Week

3. What If

2. Begin Again

1. Adult World

 

Best Comedy (Dramedy?):

5. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible…

4. This is Where I Leave You

3. Dom Hemingway

2. Frank

1. Grand Budapest Hotel

 

Best Drama:

5. Selma

4. Imitation Game

3. Enemy

2. Gone Girl

1. Nightcrawler

 

Best Films of 2014:

10. Enemy

9. Boxtrolls

8. Guardians of the Galaxy

7. Hobbit

6. John Wick

5. Interstellar

4. Gone Girl

3. Nightcrawler

2. X-Men: Days of Future Past

1. Grand Budapest Hotel

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Garret’s Top Animated Features 50-1

50. Shrek (2001)
49. The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
48. Titan A.E. (2000)
47. Cats Don’t Dance (1997)
46. Surf’s Up (2007)
45. Chicken Run (2000)
44. Megamind (2010)
43. Happy Feet (2006)
42. Pinnochio (1940)
41. Oliver and Company (1997)
40. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
39. Snow Whit and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
38. Corpse Bride (2005)
37. The Land Before Time (1988)
36. A Bug’s Life (1998)
35. Balto (1995)
34. Toy Story Trilogy (1995/99/2010)
33. The Lion King (1994)
32. Robin Hood (1973)
31. Ratatouille (2007)
30. Monsters Inc. (2001)
29. The Incredibles (2004)
28. Osmosis Jones (2001)
27. Hercules (1997)
26. Aladdin (1992)
25. Mulan (1998)
24. Anastasia (1997)
23. All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989/96)
22. The Black Cauldron (1985)
21. ParaNorman (2012)
20. Lilo and Stitch (2002)
19. The Lego Movie (2014)
18. The Secret of NIMH (1982)
17. The Iron Giant (1999)
16. Sleeping Beauty (1959)
15. 9 (2009)
14. James and the Giant Peach (1996)
13. The Fox and the Hound (1981)
12. Alice in Wonderland (1951)
11. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
10. The Dark Crystal (1982)
9. Fantasia (1940)
8. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
7. Coraline (2009)
6. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
4. Rango (2011)
3. The Road to El Dorado (2000)
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
1. The Prince of Egypt (1998)

Taylor’s Top Animated Movies 50-1

50. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937)
49. Balto (1995)
48. Cinderella (1950)
47. 101 Dalmatians (1961)
46. Madagascar 3 (2012)
45. All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
44. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
43. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
42. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
41. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
40. The Jungle Book (1967)
39. Tarzan (1999)
38. Robots (2005)
37. The Road to El Dorado (2000)
36. The Lego Movie (2014)
35. Robin Hood (1973)
34. The Prince of Egypt (1998)
33. Sleeping Beauty (1959)
32. Oliver & Company (1998)
31. The Fox and the Hound (1981)
30. The Princess and the Frog (2009)
29. The Lorax (2012)
28. The Dark Crystal (1982)
27. Lilo & Stitch (2002)
26. Pocahontas (1995)
25. Ratatoulle (2007)
24. The Polar Express (2004)
23. Peter Pan (1953)
22. A Bug’s Life (1998)
21. The Swan Princess (1994)
20. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
19. Up (2009)
18. The Aristocats (1970)
17. Mulan (1998)
16. Anastasia (1997)
15. Toy Story trilogy (1995-)
14. The Lion King (1994)
13. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
12. Aladdin (1992)
11. Hercules (1997)
10. Coraline (2009)
9. Monsters, Inc (2001)
8. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
7. Brave (2012)
6. Meet the Robinsons (2007)
5. Alice in Wonderland (1951)
4. The Incredibles (2004)
3. The Little Mermaid (1989)
2. Frozen (2013)
1. Tangled (2010)

Garret’s Top Animated Movies 100-51

100. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
99. Open Season (2006)
98. A Monster In Paris (2011)
97. Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001)
96. The Sword in the Stone (1963)
95. A Troll in Central Park (1994)
94. The Rescuers (1977)
93. Spirited Away (2001)
92. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
91. 101 Dalmatians (1961)
90. Peter Pan (1953)
89. Fun and Fancy Free (1947)
88. The Swan Princess (1994)
87. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
86. Home on the Range (2004)
85. Quest for Camelot (1998)
84. The Little Mermaid (1989)
83. Tangled (2010)
82. Ferngully: The Last Rain Forest (1992)
81: Brother Bear (2003)
80. Flushed Away (2006)
79. Shark Tale (2004)
78. The Princess and the Frog (2009)
77. Monster House (2006)
76. We’re Back! (1993)
75. Madagascar (2005)
74. Robots (2005)
73. Chicken Little (2005)
72. An American Tale (Series) (1986/91/98/99)
71. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)
70. The Lorax (2012)
69. Frozen (2013)
68. A Goofy Movie (1995)
67. Bambi (1942)
66. Hoodwinked! (2005)
65. Bee Movie (2007)
64. Meet the Robinsons (2007)
63. The Brave Little Toaster (1987)
62. Up (2009)
61. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
60. Tarzan (1999)
59. The Jungle Book (1967)
58. Brave (2012)
57. Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
56. Dumbo (1941)
55. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
54. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
53. The AritoCats (1970)
52. Finding Nemo (2003)
51. Wall.E (2008)

Taylor’s Top Animated Movies 100-51

100. The Tale of Despereaux (2008)
99. Hoodwinked! (2005)
98. Rio (2011)
97. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
96. Surf’s Up (2007)
95. Epic (2013)
94. Open Season (2006)
93. Shark Tale (2004)
92. Chicken Little (2005)
91. Bambi (1942)
90. Arthur Christmas (2011)
89. Fantasia (1940)
88. Over the Hedge (2006)
87. The Brave Little Toaster (1987)
86. Monster House (2006)
85. Pinocchio (1940)
84. Pippi Longstocking (1997)
83. The Wild Throneberrys Movie (2002)
82. Wall- E (2008)
81. Charlotte’s Web (1973)
80. ParaNorman (2012)
79. The Rugrats Movies (1998, 2000, 2003)
78. Dumbo (1941)
77. Rise of the Guardians (2012)
76. Finding Nemo (2003)
75. Horton Hears a Who (2008)
74. Megamind (2010)
73. Space Jam (1996)
72. Happy Feet (2006)
71. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
70. Ice Age (2002)
69. The Land Before Time (1988)
68. Rango (2011)
67. Madagascar (2005)
66. Monsters University (2013)
65. Osmosis Jones (2001)
64. Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001)
63. Brother Bear (2003)
62. A Goofy Movie (1995)
61. Cars (2006)
60. Thumbelina (1992)
59. James and the Giant Peach (1996)
58. The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
57. Lady and the Tramp (1954)
56. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
55. Despicable Me (2010)
54. The Lion King 1 1/2 (2004)
53. The Iron Giant (1999)
52. Shrek (2001)
51. The Secret of NIMH (1982)

Taylor’s 2013 Awards

Worst Films:

5. After Earth

4. City of Bones

3. The Host

2. Beautiful Creatures

1. Movie 43

 

Visual Effects:

3. Prisoners

2. The Hobbit

1. The Great Gatsby

 

Sound Design:

3. The Hobbit

2. Conjuring

1. 12 Years a Slave

 

Editing:

3. American Hustle

2. Wolf of Wall Street

1. As I Lay Dying

Cinematography:

3. Prisoners

2. The Great Gatsby

1. 12 Years a Slave

Music:

3. 12 Years a Slave

2. The Book Thief

1. Frozen

 

Supporting Actress:

3. Sarah Paulson—12 Years a Slave

2. Rooney Mara—Side Effects & Her

1. Lupita Nyong’o—12 Years a Slave

 

Actress:

3. Brei Larson—Short Term 12

2. Amy Adams—American Hustle

1. Emma Thompson—Saving Mr. Banks

Supporting Actor:

3. Tom Hanks—Saving Mr. Banks/ Bradley Cooper—American Hustle

2. Jared Leto—Dallas Buyers Club

1. Michael Fassbender—12 Years a Slave

Actor:

3. Leonardo Di Caprio–

2. Christian Bale– American Hustle

1. Chiwetel Ejiofor– 12 Years a Slave

Best Cast:

3. Short Term 12

2. American Hustle

1. 12 Years a Slave

 

Adapted Screenplay:

Honorable Mentions: The Book Thief, As I Lay Dying, Wolf of Wall Street, and The Spectacular Now

3. The Hobbit

2. The Great Gatsby

1. 12 Years a Slave

Original Screenplay:

Honorable Mentions: Prisoners and The Place Beyond the Pines

3. Short Term 12

2. American Hustle

1. Her

Best Director:

Honorable Mentions: Derek Cianfrance—The Place Beyond the Pines and Denis Villeneuve—Prisoners

3. Spike Jonze—Her/ David O Russell—American Hustle

2. Martin Scorsese—Wolf of Wall Street

1. Steve McQueen—12 years a Slave

 

Best Kid’s Movie:

3. Jack the Giant Slayer

2. Monsters University

1. Frozen

Best Action:

3. Trance

2. 2 Guns

1. Catching Fire

Best Horror:

3. The Purge

2. VHS 2

1. The Conjuring

Best Fantasy:

3. Wolverine/ 47 Ronin

2. Thor 2

1. The Hobbit

Best Sci-Fi:

3. Riddik

2. Star Trek

1. Her

Best Romance/Romantic Comedy:

3. Her

2. The Spectacular Now

1. The Great Gatsby

 

Best Comedy (Dramedy?):

3. Way Way Back

2. Kings of Summer

1. Saving Mr. Banks

Best Drama:

Honorable Mentions: Place Beyond the Pines, As I Lay Dying, American Hustle, Prisoners, and The Book Thief

3. Wolf of Wall Street

2. Short Term 12

1. 12 Years a Slave

Best Films of 2013:

Honorable mentions: Prisoners, Frozen, Side Effects, and the Bling Ring

10. Her/ The Spectacular Now/ The Conjuring

9. The Great Gatsby

8. As I Lay Dying

7. Dallas Buyers Club

6. Wolf of Wall Street

5. American Hustle

4. Place Beyond the Pines

3. Short Term 12

2. Saving Mr. Banks

1. 12 Years a Slave

Garret’s 2013 Awards

Worst Films:

Dishonorable Mentions: Pacific Rim, You’re Next, Stranded, Elysium, and Much Ado About Nothing

10. After Earth

9. Iron Man 3

8. City of Bones

7. A Haunted House

6. Movie 43

5. InAPPropriate Comedy

4. The Host

3. Beautiful Creatures

2. Hammer of the Gods

1. Crystal Fairy

 

Best Visual Effects:

Honorable Mentions: 47 Ronin, Star Trek: Into Darkness/ 12 Years a Slave, Riddik, and The Conjuring

3. Welcome to the Punch /Upside Down/Man of Steel

2. Thor: The Dark World

1. The Great Gatsby

 

Best Sound Design:

3. Trance/Riddik

2. The Place Beyond the Pines

1. 12 Years a Slave

 

Best Editing:

Honorable Mentions: The East, 12 Years a Slave, Trance, Prisoners, and As I Lay Dying

3. The Counselor/Broken City

2. Gangster Squad

1. Side Effects

 

Best Cinematography:

Honorable Mentions: The Conjuring, Side Effects, Gangster Squad, Prisoners, 12 Years a Slave, and 47 Ronin

3. Welcome to the Punch/ Upside Down

2. The Counselor

1. The East

 

Best Music:

Honorable Mentions: 12 Years a Slave and Spring Breakers

 

3. The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug

2. Frozen

1. The Place Beyond the Pines

 

Best Supporting Actress:

3. Patricia Clarckson– The East

2. Evangeline Lilly– The Hobbit

1. Penelope Cruz– The Counselor

 

Best Actress:

3. Emma Thompson– Saving Mr. Banks/Noomi Rapace– Dead Man Down

2. Roony Mara– Side Effects

1. Vera Farmiga– The Conjuring

 

Best Supporting Actor:

Honorable Mentions: Leonardo DiCaprio– The Great Gatsby, Javier Bardem–The Counselor, Bradley Cooper– American Hustle, and Tom Hanks– Saving Mr. Banks

3. Geoffrey Rush– The Book Thief

2. Jared Leto– Dallas Buyers Club

1. Michael Fassbender– 12 Years a Slave

 

Best Actor:

3. Matthew McConaughey– Dallas Buyers Club/ Chiwetel Ejiofor– 12 Years a Slave

2. Christian Bale– American Hustle

1. Joaquin Phoenix– Her

 

Best Cast:

Honorable Mentions: Now You See Me, The Place Beyond the Pines, and Side Effects

3. Broken City

2. 12 Years a Slave

1. American Hustle

 

Best Adapted Screenplay:

3. As I Lay Dying

2. The Book Thief

1. The Great Gatsby

 

Best Original Screenplay:

3. Prisoners

2. The Place Beyond the Pines

1. The Counselor

 

Best Director:

Honorable Mentions: Steve McQueen– 12 Years a Slave, Denis Villeneuve—Prisoners, James Franco- As I Lay Dying, Ridley Scott– The Counselor

3. David O. Russel– American Hustle

2. Michael Bay– Pain and Gain

1. Derek Cianfrance– The Place Beyond the Pines

 

Best Kid’s Movie:

3. Jack the Giant Slayer

2. Escape from Planet Earth

1. Frozen

 

Best Action:

Honorable Mentions: Killing Season, Catching Fire, and Phantom

3. 2Guns

2. Welcome to the Punch

1. Trance

 

Best Horror:

Honorable Mentions: VHS 2, Insidious 2, Mama, and Evil Dead

3. Lords of Salem

2. The Purge

1. The Conjuring

 

Best Fantasy:

3. The Wolverine/ 47 Ronin

2. Thor 2: The Dark World

1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

 

Best Sci-Fi:

3. Europa Report

2. Star Trek: Into Darkness

1. Riddik

 

Best Romance/Romantic Comedy:

Honorable Mentions: Admission and Drinking Buddies

3. Upside Down

2. The Great Gatsby

1. Her

 

Best Comedy:

Honorable Mentions: We’re the Millers and Dealin’ With Idiots

3. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

2. This is the End

1. Pain and Gain

 

Best Drama:

Honorable Mentions: Prisoners, The East, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Book Thief, and As I Lay Dying

3. Dallas Buyer’s Club/ 12 Years a Slave

2. American Hustle

1. The Place Beyond the Pines

 

Best Movies of 2013:

Honorable Mentions: Prisoners, Dallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Purge, Trance, Lords of Salem, Broken City, Gangster Squad, The Book Thief, and Phantom

10. As I Lay Dying

9. The Counselor

8. Her

7. The East

6. 12 Years a Slave

5. Pain and Gain

4. Side Effects

3. The Conjuring

2. American Hustle

1. The Place Beyond the Pines

Overall Film Awards for 2013

With the Academy Awards in less than a month, it is the time of the year that we reflect back upon all of the movies we watched over the past year. We both managed to watch over 70 movies released in 2013, so the competition within each of our lists was strong. We rank movies in 23 categories, ranging from genres to cast to design. There are ten best pictures slots, and three for every other category. Each of our awards will be posted soon.

Taylor’s Best Picture Noms Reviews

noms

Having seen over 75 new movies that were released in 2013, it is a little bit crazy to admit that I didn’t get a chance to see all of the Academy Award’s Best Picture Nominees. Movies that received a lot of attention like Gravity and Captain Phillips somehow managed to never make it on to my “watched-list”. And then there were the other movies that seemed to slip through some of the cracks like Nebraska and Philomena. I have heard and read some really great things about those movies and promise to try to watch them one day.

With all of that being said, I did get to see 5 of the nominees, so let’s talk about those.

First up—The Wolf of Wall Street.

noms 1

We’ll start here because out of these movies I saw it first (and maybe also because it was fantastic, I mean come on.) The Wolf of Wall Street is a too-exciting, overly-energetic, and slightly (only slightly?) ridiculous portrayal of Jordan Belfort’s real-life story. Under my main man Marty—ahem, Mr. Martin Scorsese’s—direction, the brilliancy of Leonardo DiCaprio being, well, a terrifically fun, somewhat insane Leo, is brilliant indeed.

Now, I’m not sure if this would be a real review if we didn’t at least touch on the Lemmon Quaaludes scene… The hilarity and craziness this entire scene captures is top-notch material, and that camera work on the stairs—perfection.

Aside from the always-lovely Leo and always-surprising Jonah Hill, there’s Margot Robbie, and if Margot Robbie didn’t accomplish what she was casted to accomplish, then I don’t think any female ever will.

While the story isn’t all that different from other Wall Street tales, the truth is—no one asked it to be.

I should say that I walked into this movie with already very high expectations, which can sometimes make or break a movie watching experience. In this case, my mostly met expectations turned out to be a big positive.

The Wolf of Wall Street gets 4 bright and shining Leo stars from me.

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Next—American Hustle.

noms 2

I’m going to start off here by saying that I did not have the highest of expectations for American Hustle, mostly because everything I saw and heard about it was almost exclusively about Jennifer Lawrence, and don’t get me wrong, I love Jennifer Lawrence, but I am not a fan of marketing a movie solely on the pretty female character. BUT! Fortunately I was very surprised and ended up being pretty happy with this movie.

So, it’s no secret that what makes this movie so exciting is the cast. With Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and yes, Jennifer Lawrence (and who could forget about Robert De Niro and Louis C.K.), it would be pretty hard to make anything but a good movie. Christian Bale manages to soar above pretty much everyone else here, with his beer-belly and hair piece, and makes the whole experience something you kind of just want to revel in. I mean really, how often do you see Batman sporting a style like that? He proves, as always, that he’s right where he needs to be. There’s also Amy Adams, who really surprised me here. After seeing her in Man of Steel earlier in the year (in which I really wasn’t impressed with her), it was nice to see her trying a little bit harder. And it was just that little bit of try that bumped her up into one of my favorite female spots of the year.

Aside from the brilliant cast, we also get a refreshingly original and amazingly well-written script, as well as a pretty picture. You get to follow along on this exciting scandal, while also just enjoying the dialogue and scenery. Really, A+ work David O Russell.

And to top it all off, the ending. You can call me a little bit of a sucker for good, unexpected endings, and this one really got me.

American Hustle gets 4.5 stars. You go David O Russell.

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Moving on to—Her.

Spike Jonze and Joaquin Phoenix on the set of Her

Her was undeniably the movie I was most skeptical about going in to it. I wasn’t really convinced that a love story between a man and Siri (for the most part) was something I could believe in or even enjoy watching. And I’m not going to lie, I was not a fan of The Master, and that was the last thing I had associated with Joaquin Pheonix. So you could easily say that I went into this movie with fairly low expectations.

Spike Jonze made me a believer (for the movie’s sake, at least). I don’t think it would be normal or acceptable by any means for someone to have a relationship like Theodore and Samantha’s, but this movie made me believe in theirs. Between Joaquin’s impressive acting and Scarlett’s lovely voice, I was captured. I wanted to know what was going to happen, I felt invested in their relationship. It was the most perfect love story set in the most unusual circumstances.

And if all of that lovey-doveyness wasn’t enough, this movie also successfully made me excited for the future in technology. The ear piece that reads you all of your messages, the virtual video games, and a Siri that would actually be able to help you do things… Of course those “things” should strictly be contained to handling computer and phone type jobs, but still. Any movie that can touch on my love of technology is a good movie indeed.

4 stars for Her.

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And then—Dallas Buyers Club.

noms 4

This one had a fairly clean slate for me going in because, I’m going to be honest here, I had no idea who Ron Woodroof was or what this movie was even really about. All I knew was that Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto (one of my favorites) was in it, and that Jared had recently been posting pictures of himself dressed as a girl. But it turns out that that ignorance that I had is exactly what this movie was striving to clear up, and clear it up it did.

Even from the very first opening (pretty ridiculous) scene, Matthew McConaughey kills it as this sex-addicted, drunk and drugged, homophobic loon. Though that sounds like a person you probably shouldn’t care much for, you somehow do. He makes you believe in his cause and in his character transformation throughout the movie. And that is coming from someone who has never been a huge fan of Mr. Alright, Alright, Alright. He somehow manages to take you away from his McConaugheyness for just enough time to see the Ron Woodroof within, and that is a pretty freakin’ big deal for him. Good job, man.

And you literally can not talk about acting in this movie without bringing up how incredible Jared Leto was in this. I have watched countless interviews from Jared, and have even seen him live twice, but I have most definitely never seen him like this. Not only is he… well… Rayon, he’s also just emotionally and creatively on point the whole time. Never once do you stop and question “is this really happening? Is he really doing this?” because you just believe it. This was, no doubt, a perfect role and a perfect execution to come back to acting with.

The movie successfully did what it sought out to do and managed to instill in every single viewer  a deeper enlightenment on AIDS, medicinal drugs, and life. I have to say, personally I was pleasantly surprised and most certainly impressed with this movie.

Dallas Buyers Club gets and most definitely deserves a beautiful bunch of 4 stars.

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And last but most certainly by no means whatsoever least—12 Years a Slave.

noms 5

This is a great place to end because honestly it was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. The cinematography, the sound, the script, and the acting were all unquestionably outstanding. The story takes you through a normal, free life in New York, to a highly emotional and raw slave life in the south in 1853.

Chiwotel Ejiofor brings Solomon Northrup’s wrenching memoir to life in the most alive way. I felt his anger as he was abducted, I felt his pain as he was hanging from that tree, and I felt his hope as it was finally restored to him. And dammit I felt Michael Fassbender’s villainy, which is a big deal for a huge Michael Fassbender fan like myself because it’s pretty tough to see someone you adore be that cruel. But he did it, and he did it well.

Steve McQueen somehow managed to get a huge, amazing group of actors and actresses to work together in the most cohesive and complimentary way. Chiwotel, Michael, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson, Paul Giamatti– all brilliant, and they all fit together like beautiful little pieces falling into place along with the screenplay, together building a captivatingly inspiring movie.

The raw unglamorized scenes are enough to make you want to look away, but I found myself completely unable to. I watched every bit of it, every bit of suffering. It all told the story of a man that needed his story to be told, and it did it with every single ounce of respect and sorrow that it deserved.

And 12 Years a Slave gets all the stars from me. Bravo.

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