Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 20 Movies of 2014

Welcome to the second and last of my most biased list of 2014. Here I'll be sharing my TOP 20 MOVIES OF 2014. They don't have to be the best nor the worst, but if I liked them, loved them or just enjoyed the hell out of them, they'll be on this list. 

If some of your favorite movie(s) are not on this list, it's probably because I've never seen them or I never really liked them.

So without further ado, here's my list..

20) Interstellar

This film could have been easily placed at the top 10, if it weren't for the less-polished story. Nevertheless, the movie had the most spectacular visuals of space in cinema this year. Director Christopher Nolan did his best to bring us to the deepest reaches of space and he didn't disappoint 

19) Big Hero 6

2014 is definitely the year Marvel ruled the cinema world. Here they've handed Disney some of their most obscure properties and together (but mostly Disney) they've have made one of the most action-packed and entertaining animated film in a long time. Marvel -1, Disney Animation - 1, it's a win-win. 

18) Guardians Of The Galaxy

Speaking of Marvel, here's a game changer to the superhero movies. Taking some old school comic book that only hardcore Marvel fans have read (plus its modern incarnation) and adapt it to the big screen. What could go wrong? Everything, it could have been a disaster, thankfully it didn't. 

17) John Wick

It's nice to see an action-packed film that's not dumb. This film defys every single action movie who gives away good story for good action. It's just nice to see Keanu Reeves back at a good entertaining action film.

16) Chef

Chef was pretty straightforward. Once the film starts it's journey into the highroad of feel-good, it never stops going upwards. Watch this with an entire buffet right in front of you and you are in heaven. 

 15) The Babadook 

To be honest, I didn't see a lot of horror movies because of it's very low standards. Thank goodness, Director Jennifer Kent decided to spit on them and show them how it's done. This is real horror, and it's not even based on a true story. 

14) The Wind Rises

Director Hayao Miyazaki never loses grace and touch, and for his last entry he decides to go out with a bang. It's everything you'd love and expect from him, simply beautiful, elegant and really REALLY moving. Plus, knowing the fact that this is his swan song makes you wanna stand up and cheer for him as soon as the credits roll. 

13) The Fault In Our Stars 

You gotta give YouTuber John Green for writing a spectacular teen novel without breaking the teen novel-cookie cutter, well maybe just a bit. What's even more spectacular is that the film perfectly captures the essence of the book. The film definitely deserved the praises it gets, unlike the other teen novel-movies out there, yuck. 

12) Edge Of Tomorrow

So it's a movie based from a manga that is based from a book, but compared every other sci-fi/action movies out there this felt more original and miles ahead more entertaining. Somewhere, Tom Cruise is doing his Risky Business stint with his fellow Scientologist, probably on top of Oprah's sofa.  

11) Under The Skin

Oh my, this film got my heart beating real fast and that is very unusual for an art house film. And yes, EVERYTHING about Scar Jo is art

10) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

In terms of Marvel movies, the ones that are the REAL game changers are the ones that had a rough start. Before this it's popular statement that Captain America films are mediocre, until brothers Director Anthony and Joe Russo came up with the best way to end the trend. Make Captain America: The Winter Soldier the best action-packed, political thriller, spy, superhero film ever made. Funny enough, this used to be my number 1 movie of 2014, until I saw better films mention above.   

9) How To Train Your Dragon 2

I had little kids asking if there are animated films better than Frozen, then I brought them to see this movie, they were educated. This is how you make an epic and meaningful animated movie, better than Frozen, better than the first How To Train Your Dragon movie and the best animated film of 2014. 

8) The Raid 2

True that movie didn't had the suspense of the first film, but it still got the grit and speed of it's predecessor, if not, better. Everything is in a larger scale and you feel the jeopardy every character is in. People say "why call the movie The Raid 2 if they weren't even raiding anything crucial like the first film?" Well it's simply because the entire city is an oversize version of the same apartment and in both places, all hell breaks loose. 

7) Nightcrawler

Wanna be educated how to be the best of what you do? Let a creepy guy that looks like Jake Gylenhall enlighten you. Every sleekness of the scenes and every suspense just felt so real. Lesson learned, never underestimate a skinny white guy. 

6) Gone Girl

A very unhealthy movie to see with your significant other, the film is thought-provoking, spine-chilling and very eerie from every shot, every performance and even the music. What a film to make you feel like you know nothing about what's going on. 

5) X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Time-travel is very difficult plot point to tackle, even so these film managed to handle it very well and remain consistent throughout the entire film. It never loses it cool and class. The franchise had some tough times and this film was the savior. The more I watch it, the more I appreciate it. Thus, making it the best superhero movie of 2014. 

4) Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Just when you thought you're done with movies about monkeys, wait 'till you see this (and Rise, seriously watch that first before watching this. You'd never expect that a movie like this will have you emotionally attached to it in a great extent and will make your visuals entertained from point A to point B. The movie could have been simply Call Of Duty: Monkey Warfare, but it's way more than that. 

3) Frank 

Michael Fassbender is on a roll this year. From mass murdering mutant to deranged talented musician. Frank and his friends will bring you on an strange journey of finding your identity and your groove. Perhaps the film's greatest asset is its weirdness and makes you wonder, maybe being weird will indeed set you free.

2) Whiplash

Just when Peter Parker thought he had the worst version of J.K. Simmons, wait till Reed Richard comes and smack him in his face, or throw a chair at him like what J.K. Simmons' character did at him. If the movie taught me one thing, is that the journey to out performing yourself is pure "nightmare". What this film is a nightmare, a brilliant, inspiring and well-acted one. 

Before I reveal my number 1 pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

1) The Theory Of Everything

Never in my mind and in my heart I would ever realize that I would be so attached, so moved and so mesmerize to the beauty and tragedy of Stephen Hawking's life. The movie could have been easily a semi-boring biopic, but no the film played with our heartstrings by making our hearts overjoyed with the happy and lovely scenes and break it whenever it wants to. Despite all the tragedy, the film made us want to focus on the beauty of life throughout the darkness. If Stephen and Jane can do it, so can you. It's moving, touching and inspirational and thus my Top 1 movie of 2014. 

There you have it, my top 20 movies of 2014. I hope you guys have a great 2014 and i'll see you guys next year with more reviews and shenanigans. See you all in 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Top 20 Songs of 2014

credits to for the picture.

Welcome to the first of my most biased list of 2014. Here I'll be sharing my TOP 20 SONGS OF 2014. They don't have to be the best nor the worst, but if I liked them, loved them or just enjoyed the hell out of them, they'll be on this list. 

If some of your favorite song(s) are not on this list, it's probably because I've never heard of them or I never really liked them.

So without further ado, here's my list..

20) All About The Bass - Meghan Trainor

With some really bubbly-light catchy tunes and an "almost" good message, there's no denying that once this song pops into your head, it's all pink with blonde-chubby girl and big-fat-black guy(or gay) dancing and singing to this song. 

19) Jealous (Remix) - Nick Jonas featuring Tinashe

I guess the youngest of the Jonas Brothers threw his purity ring away for this one. The song's sexy and by that I mean REALLY sexy. It's even sexier thanks to the addition of Tinashe's angelic-but-provocative voice. Which is probably why I prefer this version than the original.

18) Fancy - Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX

This was the first song I've ever heard from Iggy and when it comes to head-turner songs, she definitely got my attention. Her overall confidence really did bring this song to a whole new level, backed up by some really cool hip-hop/pop-party anthem beats

17) Magic - Coldplay

I may have mixed feelings with Ghost Stories, but its lead single is definitely one of the songs from the record that you should listen to when you want to look up into the night sky and journey deep inside your broken heart. The pop-ballad song will bring serenity to your troubled thoughts towards your past love life and trust me, this song can bend you to your weakest points. 

16) The Man - Aleo Blacc

With the song's powerful and moving soulful vibe, this is the kind of song you'd want to listen to while doing some work, going to the gym or whatever that makes you confident about yourself. If you are a person who likes to sport, then you sure are the man

15) The Negative One - Slipknot

Out of all the songs from .5: The Gray Chapter, this is the song that is easiest to hook with. It's everything you want and everything you expect when they said the record was going to be a mix between Iowa and Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses). You want pissed off Slipknot? Here you go.

14) Coconut Dracula - Islander

It's nice to see some fresh faces pick-up where bands like Deftones and Limp Bizkit left off during the end of the 1990s. It's pretty much basic rap-metal/alternative rock track you'd expect from that era, but added with some modern flavor. Thank you Islander for bringing back those good times, you should check them out if you can. 

13) Ain't It Fun - Paramore

Undeniably the happiest, jumpy-est, purest of fun and simply the best Paramore song I've heard, ever. Period.  

12) She Looks So Perfect - 5 Seconds Of Summer

Move over One Direction, 'cause these Australian quartet are taking the spot of 2014's boy band. There debut single takes your regular bubble-gum pop boy-band song formula to an edgier and slightly punk-ish side. Believe me, school rock has never been this big since The All-American Rejects and Boys Like Girls.

11) Good Kisser - Usher

Now here's an Rn'B song that is not too loud, but not too soft. I remember seeing a TV commercial for a clothing company. The model was wearing underwear and was being provocative and all, until she put on a shirt, still a sexy shirt though. The tagline at the end was sexy isn't always about being naked or something like that, but you get the point. That commercial reminds me of this song, it has the right amount of sexy and it's soulful funky beats can keep that heat going 'till the end.  

10) Guilty All The Same - Linkin Park featuring Rakim

Linkin Park has never been this aggressive in a long time. They certainly didn't pull any punches when it comes to introducing the identity of their new record through its lead single. And they got one of the best rappers of the yester-years to back them up with his own rage-filled verse. It's basic rap-rock, sure, but don't let that make you underestimate this song.

9) Boom Clap - Charli XCX

The only artist to have tow entries on this list, one from a collaboration and the other for her signature song that has infectious synthpop beats accompanied by her hypnotizing voice. It's a perfect feel good song for a pretty sad movie.

8) Not A Bad Thing - Justin Timberlake

Wanna serenade a girl the old school way? and by old school, I mean with an acoustic guitar a couple of friends who can sing well? If you want to catch her attention with some lovely Rn'B acoustic, this is the go-to song of 2014. Plus, it's by Justin Timberlake, how can she say no to that? Don't sing that other song, it's annoying, stupid and rude (get it? get it?)

7) Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran

Now you got the girl, and you had good run with her for let's say 2 to 3 years (?). What better way to celebrate your anniversary (or monthsary) by going to a ball room and take her to a dance with this slow-dance, pop-ballad love song from our favorite Irish busker? Trust the guy who strive to learn how to dance for the music video, it's very romantic and worth the shot. 

6) Somebody To You - The Vamps featuring Demi Lovato

I guess you can say 2014 was the year I got attached to numerous love songs. This song featured the collaboration of two of modern pop-rock's finest and together they've just made everyone's beach-party tropical-getaway love song anthem of the year. 

5) Animals - Maroon 5

Let's be all honest, Maps was simply a disappointment. Which is why I'm glad the second single was a savior. It is the perfect song to unite old and new fans. There's no better dirty and sexy song to listen to than the one that came from PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive of 2013 and his band. 

4) Heaven Knows - The Pretty Reckless

Rejoice post-grunge, troubled teens and glam rock fans! Taylor Momsen and company had not only made the full-on stomp chorus for you, but they also made the rock anthem of 2014. And they did that with just this song. Trust me, it's so catchy and it's so good.

3) Shake It Off - Taylor Swift

Upbeat tempos might not be new for a Taylor Swift song, but saxophones are. This is T. Swift telling us she can makes a song sound different from her previous works and still maintain her lyrical identity. It was a close call between this and Blank Space, but you just gonna have to choose the one who introduced T-Swizzle's new sound better. 

2) Love Runs Out - OneRepublic

Believe it or not, this is actually my jogging song and you can't blame me. With some marching-like drum beats, spine tingling piano riffs and some power vocals by Ryan Tedder that will make you get up and do epic stuff. In my ears, my mind and my heart, this is the Adele-like male-version song of the year, screw the other guy. 

Before I reveal my number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Centuries - Fall Out Boy

Human - Christina Perri

Geronimo - Sheppard

Classic - MKTO

Moth - Hellyeah

All Of Me - John Legend

The Monster - Eminem featuring Rihanna

Air Guitar - McBusted

This Is How We Do - Katy Perry

No Good In Goodbye - The Script

Chandelier - Sia

1) Happy - Pharrell Williams

Coming from a mediocre film, I thought it was going to be hard for this song to get some attention, thankfully it did. People shouldn't miss out this funky, Motown-like, neosoul dance track. This is the best feel good, make you wanna dance cause you feel good song of the year and thus my top favorite song of 2014. 

There you have it, my top 20 songs of 2014. I hope you guys have a great 2014 and i'll see you guys next year with more reviews and shenanigans. See you all in 2015!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies MOVIE REVIEW

Goodbye, Middle-Earth. 

Writer and Director Peter Jackson has dedicated 14 years of his life bringing Middle-Earth to life on the big screen with hopes of having us audience engage on this phenomenal journey on a personal level as if we are part of this fantasy world. After 5 films, we have now come to this point where we have to see Peter Jackson's final last journey to Middle-Earth. The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies has duties to accomplish..

  1. The film has to be a fitting ending to The Hobbit trilogy
  2. The film has to tie-in very well with The Lord of The Rings trilogy
  3. The film has to be a satisfying end to Peter Jackson's Middle-Earth saga
  4. The film has to be amazingly entertaining in itself 

Biggest question, is The Battle of The Five Armies a fitting end to The Hobbit trilogy? Yes and no. The film did what it could to end on a really high note. Every story arc that we've explored in the preceding films at least had an emotional and satisfying closure in them. Perhaps the arc with Bilbo Baggins and Thorin are the most emotional ones. The film is relatively short, which makes us feel the the first two films should have been a lot shorter, making the trilogy less over stuffed. 

The one character who surprisingly shined out the most was Luke Evan's Bard, making him the equivalent of Aragorn from The Lord of The Rings. For a film that is called The Hobbit, Martin Freeman's Bilbo Baggins took a back seat on this film though he made the most out of the screen time he has and so does other main characters. 

Many criticize the film for being a bit cartoon-y compared to The Lord of The Rings movies and while it's true it's a bit unfair to judge it that way since this is a film that is adapted from a children's novel, so it's expected to be more colorful than the much darker LOTR films. Though it;s hard not to miss the practical effects the previous LOTR films since this film is over-packed with CGI. I never saw the film in 48fps and it still looks shinier than any LOTR films.

The main highlights of this movie though is the battle of the five armies which takes up half the run time of the film, give or take. There's never a shortage of it in this film, but at the same time it won't tire the viewers like other action packed films. When the brief build-up moves out of the way, everyone and everything goes to war. 

How does it stack up as ending to both a saga though? Not much since it's both the ending to The Hobbit trilogy and the bridge to The Lord of The Rings films. Return of The Kings might seem more of a fitting ending to the saga than this film. 

In its own The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies has it's shortcomings that prevented it from being as epic as The Return Of The King, but it is a great ending for The Hobbit trilogy and surely is the best of the three and if this is Peter Jackson's swan song to Middle-Earth, then he sure did went out with a bang. 

Great character/arcs
Brief build up
Everything else goes to war

Sudden ending 
Weighed down by its predecessors 

Score: A-

The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies now in theaters.

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