2014 Movie Round Up – There were actually movies worth seeing this year!

My family loves movies, but when it comes to new movie releases we often can’t find much to get excited about. Usually I’ll see one or two movies in the theater a year. But not this year! Since May we’ve seen eight movies in theater. So here is my run down of my movie year. Yes, I know there is a whole new onslaught of movies being released as we speak, but I’m good for now. Plus, these movies should all be on DVD by now, so if you’re still looking for a Christmas present idea, here’s a list.

Captain America – Winter Soldier: (Synopsis: The Captain has taken on Hydra and an alien invasion, but is he ready to take on his own government?) Great movie. If you like the Marvel movies or just Captain America, I think you will enjoy this movie. It is the right mix of humor, drama, and action. While some people were disappointed that the 1940s side of the Captain’s story that dominated the previous movie didn’t really show up, I didn’t feel like it was a detriment.

Maleficent: (Synopsis: Just why did Maleficent get so angry?) I actually liked this movie more than I thought I would. The negative reviews of the movie that said it glorified evil or that it was nothing but feminist propaganda were ENTIRELY untrue. I think you would have to go into the movie already decided to actually come out with that opinion. While I felt it lacked a little coherence on the visual side, the story itself was a good twist on a classic.

Heaven Is For Real: (Synopsis: A 5 year old boy wakes up from a near death experience with visions of heaven.) Our feelings were mixed on this one. I liked it, though it was a little slow. My sister, however, had read the book it was based on (a true story), and felt disappointed. The age old problem with books and movies.

The Hundred Foot Journey: (Synopsis: Fleeing political persecution, an Indian family decides to start a new life and a new restaurant in France…just 100ft away from one of France’s most famous restaurants.) Great movie. We just flat out came away from this movie feeling really good with a general agreement on “That’s what movies should be like!” It’s soft and sweet, but the story is never dull. The characters are all enjoyable, even when they aren’t the most agreeable. Well worth the price of a ticket.

Spider Man: (Synopsis: At 18 Peter Parker is ready to face his future, but what about his past?) Let’s face it. Andrew Garfield is a better Spiderman that Tobey Maguire ever had a chance of being. To me, the Amazing Spiderman series brought back the whole layer of banter between superhero and villain that was lost in previous versions. Although, ultimately, all Spiderman stories are always tales of tragedy and triumph, and this one did not stray from that line.

America – Imagine a world without her: (Synopsis: People accuse America of a lot of terrible crimes, but what is the history?) My documentary for the year! The film didn’t really imagine a world without America. It did something I felt was more interesting. It lined out one by one the things people accuse America of then went to the history records. As I said, very interesting!

Belle: (Synopsis: Dida Belle has grown up as a daughter to one of the most prominent families in England on a beautify country estate. The problem? She is half black in an era where law and society are against her.) Another great movie. First off, the visuals, from settings to costumes were wonderful. When it comes to historical movies that is a key for me. It’s a great movie to look at. But apart from that, it is a very good, interesting story. Knowing it was based on a real story makes it doubly interesting. Personally, I felt like it was kind of a prequel to the William Wilberforce story in Amazing grace.

Doctor Who Premier: Okay, so you might not count this one because it was a one night only screening that was shown on regular TV the next weekend…but, hey, I was in a crowded theater on opening night so it counts for me! If you’re a Dr. Who fan you’ll understand the fun of a theater packed with people wearing fezzes, bow-ties and Dalek dresses while holding sonic screwdrivers, waiting to see the premier of the next Doctor. If you’re not a Dr. Who fan…you should be. I suggest starting with Season 5. Netflix it. ;)

So there is my round for the year.
What are your picks for 2014?

The continued and successful use of irony. (Aliens? Sports? Fairies?)

How is it that some people can get away with drawing us in using the same ploy again and again? At the moment, I’m talking of the case of Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock; a man who made his fame as a big, bad WWF wrestler then made is acting debut playing a sheriff who introduced his opponents to a baseball bat.
Know him? If you do, you might also know that over the past few years he’s become star in world of family movies. Why? Because it’s ironic! And somehow that works!
Here is a very large, menacing looking actor playing opposite cute little kids who just need his understanding. It’s an attention grabber, but at first glance it also seemed so corny.
When I first saw the trailer for Game Plan it just outright looked lame. Consequently, I was really surprised when I watched it and found both a lot of good laughs and a very family oriented messages. (blinks hard)
Then out came Race To Witch Mountain, again pitting big, bad, mean Dwayne Johnson against two willowy, needy kids on the hunt for a flying saucer. Come on! It practically screams corny!
But I watched it this weekend and, well, as far as family movies go, it was good. It actually achieved a lot of good suspense.
No, these aren’t deep, academy award worthy movies, but if you’re in need of a decent, funny, or suspenseful film, The Rock might just be your man. (That sounds so wrong ;)
And so this weekend Hollywood once again pits Johnsons’ seemly forever cemented mean guy image against little kids…and the Tooth Fairy?
My inclination when I first saw the trailer was to roll my eyes. Can they really continue to get away with this? Once again, it doesn’t seem like the type of movie worth my time…and yet?
…Maybe there is just some value in underestimation…