Friday 20 February 2015

E14 Reflects: Brad's Top 5 Movies of 2014

Here at E14, 2014 was a year to remember. We launched a second podcast (which you can find here), The Crazy Train went from strength to strength creatively and we even managed to put something on our Youtube page!

It was thus with a sense of nostalgia that Rob asked the rest of Team E14 to take a look back into the year just passed, and think about the media we experienced that stood out (for good reasons or bad). Here, then, is our first foray back into the previous 12 months. Today, Brad tells us his favourite movies from 2014. Enjoy, and look forward to more from the team soon!

Brad’s Top 5 movies of 2014

Here’s the list of my top 5 movies that I saw in 2014. To clarify, this means that I watched them for the first time in 2014, not necessarily that they were released in that year.

5: Godzilla: Final Wars

(Ryƻhei Kitamura, Japan/Australia/China, 2004)

Don’t ask me how it took me so long to get around to this one, because, frankly, I don’t know. Aliens invade, and turn all of the kaiju against humanity, and so they go and wake up the biggest of all the kaiju – Godzilla. After that, there was every monster I’d ever loved as a kid engaged in one massive rumble. Gigan, Ghidorah, Rodan, Mothra…they’re all here. And there’s even an exceptionally satisfying showdown between Godzilla and Zilla.

4: A Field in England

(Ben Wheatley, UK, 2013)

Having loved Ben Wheatley’s previous release, the superb black comedy Sightseers, I was expecting A Field in England to be similar in tone, but I was way off. What you get is a bizarre mish-mash of historical fiction, Hammer-style horror, drug-infused psychedelia, and a continuous heart-stopping tension. The cast is superb, and while I was always a fan of Reece Shearsmith, this gave me a whole new respect for him as an actor. Some genuinely terrifying moments, too, mostly from the all too human monsters in the field.

3: Good Morning, Vietnam

(Barry Levinson, US, 1987)

I don’t know how it took me this long to get around to seeing this, but I’m glad I did in the end, catching it just three months before Williams’ tragic death. The story starts as a “rebel against the system” story, as Cronauer (Williams) acts out and acts up against his superior (Bruno Kirby), but as the film progresses it turns out that Cronauer is much more than that. To the troops in the front line, he is a vital part of what keeps them going, keeping their spirits up in a tough time. It’s a comedy, a love story, a war movie…it’s a bit of everything.

2: Four Lions

(Chris Morris, UK/France, 2010)

Again, I don’t really know why it took me so long to catch this. This follows the story of four buddies – all British Jihadists – and their attempts to be taken seriously by Al-Qaeda. A brilliant hybrid of farce, political commentary, character comedy and batshit insanity that could only come from Chris Morris and Jesse Armstrong. Hilarious, yet sometimes painfully poignant, from start to finish.

1: Guardians of the Galaxy

(James Gunn, US/UK, 2014)

In terms of movies that were pure fun, nothing topped Guardians of the Galaxy for me this year. With the Marvel movies taking themselves increasingly seriously since Iron Man 2/Captain America: The First Avenger, this felt like a really nice throwback to the fun, explosions and silliness of the first Iron Man movie. A great ensemble cast, some great comedy, brilliant action sequences – and some fun nods for fans of the comics – this has everything you could want from a Marvel movie. Here’s hoping Avengers: Age of Ultron will continue the trend.

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