Now that the summer blockbuster season is pretty much over and done with, as we venture forth into Oscar season, what are your top movies of the year? What are you still looking forward to?
Personally, I don't think I've seen more than 5 movies from this year. I just finally watched The Winter Soldier like last week. I don't get time to go to movies often and I didn't have a TV for a while. I'm going to try and make things up over the next couple months.
Top movies of 2014 by domestic BO:
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Disney - $260m
2. The LEGO Movie - WB - $258m
3. Guardians of the Galaxy - Disney - $251m
4. Transformers: Age of Extinction - Paramount - $244m
5. Maleficent - Disney - $248m
6. X-Men: Days of Future Past - Fox - $233m
7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Fox - $204m
8. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Sony - $203m
9. Godzilla - WB - $201m
10. 22 Jump Street - Sony - $190m
11. How to Train Your Dragon 2 - Fox - $172m
12. Divergent - Lionsgate - $151m
13. Neighbors - Universal - $150m
14. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Paramount - $146m
15. Ride Along - Universal - $134m
Top movies of 2014 by average rating (English/Animated) on RottenTomatoes (not counting documentaries/concerts):
1. Boyhood - 9.4
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel - 8.4
3. Ernest & Celestine - 8.2
4. The LEGO Movie - 8.1
-. Snowpiercer - 8.1
6. Blue Ruin - 8.0
7. The Wind Rises - 7.9
-. Under the Skin - 7.9
-. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - 7.9
10. The Normal Heart - 7.8
--. How to Train Your Dragon 2 - 7.8
12. Guardians of the Galaxy - 7.7
13. Captain America: The Winter Soldier - 7.6
--. Locke - 7.6
--. X-Men: Days of Future Past - 7.6
--. Calvary - 7.6
1. Ida (Polish) - 8.3
2. We Are the Best! (Swedish) - 8.0
3. Gloria (Spanish) - 7.9
4. Stranger by the Lake (French) - 7.8
5. The Lunchbox (Hindi) - 7.7
6. Like Father, Like Son (Japanese) - 7.6
7. Omar (Arabic) - 7.5
-. The Dance of Reality (Spanish) - 7.5
9. The Raid 2 (Indonesian) - 7.4
10. Venus in Fur (French) - 7.1
Upcoming movies I'm looking forward to:
The Two Faces of January - The directorial debut from Hossein Amini, the writer of such films as The Wings of the Dove, Drive, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Killshot (and 47 Ronin, but... eh). It's an adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel that stars Oscar Isaac as a tour guide in Athens in the 1960s who gets caught in a sticky situation involving a wealthy American played by Viggo Mortensen (the whole "alluring wealthy person who isn't what he seems" deal) and his wife, played by Kirsten Dunst. Early reviews are pretty positive, saying the film is old-fashioned, beautifully shot, and tense as a motherfucker.
The Congress - In the vein of Being John Malkovich, The Congress stars Robin Wright as herself. From what I gather, Robin Wright agrees to basically sell herself as a character to a studio, then the film somehow goes on this crazy ride where Robin Wright is sucked into a dream world that blends live action and animation and looks spectacular. I don't know much about the plot (neither, apparently, does the film), but early reviews say the movie is ambitious and beautiful enough (plus Robin Wright's performance would be Oscar-worthy if half of it wasn't voice-acted) to make it worthwhile.
A Walk Among the Tombstones - Liam Neeson. A Particular set of skills. I'm in.
The Zero Theorem - A new Terry Gilliam movie that looks so unapologetically Terry Gilliam that it gives me goosebumps. The movie takes place in an awesome-looking cyberpunk world and stars Christoph Waltz as an anti-social hacker who is trying to find the meaning of existence. Just watch the trailer. Holy shit.
Gone Girl - David Fincher. Thriller. Mystery. Ben Affleck.
Fury - Directed by David Ayer. It takes place toward the end of WWII and stars Brad Pitt, who leads a tank crew that gets trapped in a battle where they're hopelessly outnumbered. Pitt leads a crew of war vets along with a soldier fresh from the states played by Logan Lerman. After End of Watch (one of the best films of 2012, easily), I'm eager to see what Ayer does again tackling heavy subject matter, only this time with a much bigger budget and Brad Pitt to work with.
White Bird in a Blizzard - Written and directed by Gregg Araki, and I'm pretty much always down for anything he does, even if I don't ultimately end up liking it (he's done Kaboom, Smiley Face, Mysterious Skin, and Nowhere). He's got a way of getting into uncomfortable territory without it being cringe-worthy that I really like. Plus the movie stars Shailene Woodley, and I'm eager to see what she does with Araki's kind of material. And Eva Green is in it, which almost certainly means her boobs are as well.
Interstellar - Obviously.
The Hunger Games: Mockinjay, Part I - Yes, it's another "part 3 of a trilogy, only we're making 2 movies out of it because you'll pay to see it anyway," but the last 2 Hunger Games movies have been so damn good that I have faith the next 2 will be as well. The quality of the movies blows the books so far out of the water, it's unreal. Francis Lawrence did a magnificent job with the last movie. The only things to give me pause would be that the movie could possibly end up bloated to shit because it's one (thin) book stretched over 4-5 hours, and this movie doesn't quite have the screenwriting pedigree of the last 2 (Billy Ray and Michael Arndt, respectively). This one is written by Danny Strong and Peter Craig, who both do have good movies under their belt (The Butler and The Town, respectively), but aren't as established as Ray and Arndt.
Exodus: Gods and Kings - This one might suck, but there are enough names around it to make me watch it anyway. The story of Exodus, as told by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien, Gladiator, etc etc), Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List, Mission: Impossible, Gangs of New York, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), starring Christian Bale, Aaron Paul, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley (obviously), Sigourney Weaver, Indira Varma, and John Turturro.
Inherent Vice - Paul Thomas Anderson, going back to subject material that (presumably) isn't preachy as fuck, which is something I feel like his las few films have been really guilty of.
If we end up with 8 people, there will be 2 QB's per team and 7 other offensive spots. Those go down as more people join (smaller leagues are more fun when every team is loaded).
Right now socring is set up as pretty standard PPR, but I'm always interested in trying different things. 6 point passing TDs, heavy punishments for mistakes, etc. Some of you probably remember my ill-fated Suck League last year (I would still love to do that if there's a system out there that lets me score drops, missed tackles, penalties, etc)
Also, if anyone is at all interested in making it an IDP league, I would absolutely love it. I haven't done one of those in a couple years. Some people think it's too much work and there's too much luck involved, though.
Of course I already bought one, though, GI-style. I bought the 48" entry level Vizio E-series for $500. My old Panasonic croaked and I needed a new one on a budget.
Anyone else have experience with Vizio TVs as of recent? Their models over the last few years seem to be getting really solid reviews. Most reviews say they still might not quite be on Samsung's level, but the fact that they cost roughly the same as a Toshiba, it's well worth it.
No money, for-fun league that we did last year is renewed. I sent out invites to all of last years' managers, but anyone is welcome to join, up to 14 people.
It's a PPR league with fairly standard scoring.
Because we only had 8 teams last year, we only had a 4 team playoff and large rosters (2 QB's, 2 RB's, 2 WR's, 2 FLEX), but obviously that will change if there are more teams this year. If we hit 10 teams, I'll probably take off the second QB. If we hit 12 teams, I'll probably take off the second flex.
I'm watching this thing on mlb right now about the proposition of creating an illegal defense rule that would prevent the defense from putting to many players on one side of second base. The point of this is to increase the number of hits, which are at their lowest since the introduction of the dh.
I have a different idea. Allow players to take greenies again. The banning of amphetamines has had a much bigger effect on baseball than testing for steroids. hitters, who play day in and day out are playing with no rest (or amphetamines) against pitchers who are on 5 days of rest.
That's the reason baseball has devolved into pitchers battles and is more boring than its ever been. Either decrease the number of games or allow hitters to take amphetamines again