My Favorite 10 Films of 2014 (that I saw)

10. Idatumblr_n8998w5t8f1qghl49o1_500

 

9. Tom at the Farm

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8. Snowpiercer

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7. The Lego Movie

 

 

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6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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5. Only Lovers Left Alive

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4. Nightcrawler

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3. Birdmanbirdman

 

 

2. Boyhood

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1. Under the Skin

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Albums of 2014 Year-End List

10 Todd Terje: It’s Album TimeTodd_Terje_-_It's_Album_Time_album_cover

Cheesy/fun(ky) cocktail lounge jazz that takes unexpected turns in a way that seems improvised, yet controlled.

9 Mr. Twin Sister: Mr. Twin Sister18249-mr-twin-sister

Mr. Twin Sister made a large leap out in their sophomore album. They sound i more trip hop, more sad dancehall, more freely vacillating, and bolder.

8 Ariel Pink: Pom Pom

20178-pom-pomThis album is an oversized bundle of silly retro honks and gags with a few standout and soft psych-pop singles.

7 St. Vincent: St. Vincent

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St. Vincent is a beautiful David Bowie who makes fun internet rock.

6 Kero Kero Bonito: Intro Bonito

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This album feels like a guilty pleasure. K-pop has been around some time but KKB brings new fun from the other side of the culture-amalgamating かわいい trend.

5 Aphex Twin: Syro

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I’m late to the Aphex Twin fan club, but here I am.

4 Giant Claw: Dark Web

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Catchy dismantled hip hop fragments flow through dark electronic with a spiritual emotion comparable to the master, Daniel Lopatin.

3 Arca Xen

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The debut album from the dark and mysterious Arca who came out of nowhere this year. Beautiful. Dizzying.

2 FKA Twigs: LP1

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FKA became my favorite new artist this year with her hyper-sexy intricate and seemingly vulnerable R&B.

1 Perfume Genius

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Mike Hadreas’ third album brings with it more of his intimate piano ballads, but summoned up out of these familiar tones is a new/ancient, gloomy/glam-rock 2-spirit.

Albums of 2012

Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin – Instrumental Tourist

Visions – Grimes

Animal Collective – Transverse Temporal Gyrus, Gotham EP, Centipede Hz

Shrines – Purity Ring

Fanatasea – Azealia Banks

Lemonade- Diver

Andy Stott – Luxury Problems

Phedre – Phedre

Total Loss – How to Dress Well

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend, Ascend

Confess – Twin Shadow

Chromatics – Kill For Love

Mature Themes – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

A Collection of Rarities- John Maus

Dan Deacon – America

Death Grips – The Money Store

Hot Chip- In Our Heads

Dark York – LE1F

Clams Casino – Instrumental Mixtape 2

Put Your Back N 2 It – Perfume Genius

Bat for Lashes – The Haunted Man

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange

Evian Christ – Kings and Them

Dirty Projectors – Swing Low Magellan

Beach House – Bloom

Films of 2012

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Skyfall

The Master

Moonrise Kingdom

Les Miserables

Silver Linings Playbook

Elena

Dark Knight Rises

Safety Not Guaranteed

Cabin in the Woods

21 Jump Street

Wreck it Ralph

Brave

Cloud Atlas

Oslo August, 31st

Holy Motors

Django Unchained

The Avengers

Hunger Games

Lincoln

Indie Game The Movie

Jeff Who Lives at Home

Flight

Best Films Of 2011 (That I saw)

Here’s my annual year end list of the films I say this year ranked from best to worst.

Melancholia
This film reminded me of Tree of Life in that it leaves you contemplating some of life’s most important mysteries. Films like this are important because they help break the spell of the monotonous everyday distractions from real life. This film is beautiful and the acting is great. It is a draining experience that builds to an epic climax.

The Tree of Life
This movie would have felt drawn out at times if it wasn’t so beautifully shot, and it has such a huge scale that it is understandable that it would feel long. I felt like it could be interpreted in many ways which is sometimes what artists strive for. But I understand that some people feel its ridiculous and pretensions because of the scale.

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Olsen is great as a haunted and strong-willed girl trying to escape the complicated scars from her past 2 years as a member of a cult and Hawkes is great as the leader of the cult. The story is fairly barebones but told in such a way that it I never felt that it dragged and at the end I wanted more.

Drive
This film does a good job at simply establishing a love interest that sets into motion the gory and beautifully stylized ride. The music is great and the acting is good. It wants to be a cult film and it doesn’t say much about anything but is entertaining.

 We Need to Talk About Kevin

“Kevin” is a horror story that is thrilling and disturbing because it could be based on a true story and it seems like it is. Bad child actors can often ruin films for me, but I don’t really have any problems with the kids who portrayed younger Kevin. The acting is pretty great all around especially from Tilda Swinton (no surprise there). The film is well balanced and well paced as it navigates through the current setting and flashbacks and it leads up well to Kevin’s big plan.

 

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
I hadn’t seen the Tim Burton movie or too much of the tv before seeing this movie and I didn’t have many expectations for it. I was kind of expecting a popcorn movie and for most of the movie to be a big monkey fight but that was only part of it. The main ape, Ceasar is well developed emotionally and visually. It is a popcorn movie but its a well-made popcorn movie.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
I used to be a Harry Potter freak like everybody else but the phenomenon had worn out a couple films ago. I didn’t reread the book before watching the film like I used to do. The movie starts out where the last one left off, like the plot of a videogame  where Harry Ron and Hermione are collecting he magical objects they need to defeat the evil boss Lord Voldemort. The rest of the film does a good job at pacing itself and reaching the crescendo of the series. There are great little moments with the characters portrayed by the awesome British actors that most of the world have been watching for the last decade. Alan Rickman’s performance as Snape is the best part of this film.

Super 8
Super 8 feels a bit like it has two separate parts. The story of a young boy named Joe who meets a girl while shooting a zombie movie with his friends while he and his father are trying to figure out how to cope with the death of his mother and about how it influences their somewhat distant relationship.  The other part of the story is your basic alien invasion in a small town story. It is a little predictable. I really expected this part of the story to be more complicated and have more mysterious puzzle pieces, seeing as it is from the person who brought life to “Lost” and “Star Trek”. Overall I really enjoyed this movie and recommend it.  It is thrilling, has good action, and has a heart.  Full Review

Bridesmaids
Kristen Wiiig was hilarious in this movie. This movie is often compared to the first “Hangover” and I definitely enjoyed it more even though I’m a Zach Galifinakis fan. I think the movie could have been funnier if they did without the formulaic, chick flick, relationship between Wiig and the police officer, but I guess that made it more accessible to both genders. Overall I enjoyed this movie, lots of good laughs.

Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen’s latest is a love letter to Paris and the power of nostalgia. Owen Wilson travels back Paris in the twenties and meets the era’s greatest artists.This is kind of fun at first but it gets kind of silly after a bit. But its a fun and dream-like film.

Mission Impossible IV
This was the first film I have seen of the Mission Impossible franchise. It was probably the most fun I had at the theater this year and I felt that it was worth spending the ten dollars to see it in Imax. Its understandable that there would be some cliche and nearly cheesy moments but they were well handled. The fact that the gadgets that could have easily ruled a movie like this, seemed to malfunction in every mission made the film more believable and more about human triumph.

Uncle Boonme Who can Recount his Past Lives
This is a difficult film to rank because it is quite unlike anything I’ve seen before. It is quite dreamlike in the way it seems to wander but never too far and still maintaining a feeling of purpose. Its quite slow and its quite an experience of a fantasy where spirits live amongst the living in a way that is so matter-of-fact that it seems dull while still keeping your attention.

Submarine
It doesn’t fully plant its few attempts at meta-jokes and the stylistic tendencies seem a bit forced. It has a tone that may not feel unique but the quirky and simple take on coming of age, virginity, and the persistence of love is entertaining and somewhat refreshing.

Hanna
Fairly mindless but quite entertaining. Its fast paced and the fight scenes are well choreographed and they are short and quick. Long fight scenes usually bore me.

Weekend
Through the love interests of the film, Weekend shows two perspectives of the gay community. Its fairly understated and honest and it portrays gay people as actual people.

Winnie the Pooh
Winne the Pooh is fittingly a simple and short film. It is fairly entertaining for an adult audience as well with fun meta-humor and original music from She and Him. It does well at capturing the characters and spirit of the classic franchise for a new generation.

Beginners
This movie was maybe trying to hard to be cute, and a few times it was dead on but a lot of the times it wasn’t. Too much dog dialogue. In the end its not much more then a somewhat unique romantic comedy.

Paul
This movie was pretty funny. It did a good job at playing homage to films in the extraterrestrial vein, and maybe for that reason the plot of the film didn’t feel very new or exciting. Kristen Wiig was probably the funniest part of this movie but her swear jokes were not as funny after a couple go-rounds.

Another Earth
The high-concept sci-fi drama does what most well-made sci-fi films do by not focusing on scientific explanations of going-ons but the way these going-ons effect people. The relationship at the center of the film did not feel real to me and I think that may be more due to the writing and pacing of the film then the acting.

Cars 2
I don’t really remember most of this movie for some reason. Cars was my least favorite Pixar film and Cars 2 was a bit worse. It was just  generic spy movie with a forced eco-friendly message with humor that was mostly corny and delivered by Larry the Cable Guy. This movie doesn’t lower my faith in Pixar “Brave” should be good.

The Trip

This film is sometimes quite funny but also sometimes feels like a waste of time. The random ranting could be funnier and the impressions get old fast as I think think they are meant to. I’m normally a fan of dry satirical comedy but The Trip just didnt do it for me sometimes. Its fairly entertaining though and has some heart.

Source Code
This movie was enjoyable if you ignored their attempt at “science”, their reasoning for why things worked, and the fact that most of the film was the same scene being revisited. They made this movie more entertaining then “Vantage Point” which isn’t saying a whole lot, but I didn’t get as bored by revisiting the same scene over and over. The acting was alright. I feel like the story and writing needed some work.

Captain America
A movie full of lame short jokes and endless action scenes.This movie takes place during world war II but the weapons are just as, if not more, advanced then the technology of today. The supervillan is literally an evil Nazi demon who is trying to destroy the world with an evil death ray, come on now, really? I’m glad “The Avengers” is coming out soon so they can stop making these movies.

Best Albums of 2011

Eye Contact – Gang Gang Dance

Channel Pressure – Ford and Lopatin

You Are All I See – Active Child


Replica-Oneohtrix Point Never

Forever – Sleep∞Over

With U – Holy Other


Tomboy – Panda Bear


Trust Now – Prince Rama


Badlands – Dirty Beaches


Instrumental Mixtape/Forest EP – Calms Casino

We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves – John Maus
W H O K I L L – tUnE-yArDs
Relax – Das Rasict
Ruin 1/ Ruin 2 – Elite Gymnastics
Dxys Xff/ Teams vs Star Slinger – Teams/ Star Slinger
Glass Drop – Battles
Thee Physical – Pictureplane
House of Balloons/Thursday – The Weeknd
Bodysongs – Born Gold (Previoulsy Gobble Gobble)
Looping State of Mind – The Field
808’s & Dark Grapes II – Main Attrakionz
Era Extraña – Neon Indian
Ravedeath 1972 – Tim Hecker
Conatus – Zola Jesus
Wander/Wonder – Balam Acab

Honorable Mentions

LiveLoveA$ap – ASAP Rocky

Goblin – Tyler the Creator
Defaults – Hard Mix
Galactic Melt – Com Truise
Parallax – Atlas Sound
Go Tell Fire on the Mountain – WU LYF
Black Up/Of Light/Shabazz Palaces – Shabazz Palaces
Underneath the Pine – Toro Y Moi
Azari and III – Azari and III
Cults – Cults
Lesser Known – Adventures
James Blake – James Blake
Benny and the Jetts – TV Girl
Within and Without – Washed Out
Sigma Chi Primavera – Fancy Mike

Super 8 Review (Spoiler Alert)

Super 8 feels a bit like it has two separate parts. The story of a young boy named Joe who meets a girl while shooting a zombie movie with his friends while he and his father are trying to figure out how to cope with the death of his mother and about how it influences their somewhat distant relationship. This part of the movie is well done, you feel for these characters and that’s something that is getting harder to find in today’s pool of action-driven blockbusters. The kids are believable in their performances and Kyle Chandler delivers well as Joe’s father. There are a few very good scenes, I admit I got a little teary-eyed. I would have been alright with watching just this part of the story, but most of the scenes that developed this story were interrupted by the other part of the story.

The other part of the story is your basic alien invasion in a small town story. It is a little predictable. In a recording the boys hear a scientist who was studying the alien tell them that the alien was a “good guy” and then he ends up being misunderstood and a good guy. I really expected this part of the story to be more complicated and have more mysterious puzzle pieces, seeing as it is from the person who brought life to “Lost” and “Star Trek”.

Overall I really enjoyed this movie and recommend it.  Although some parts of it are predictable, it is thrilling, has good action, and has a heart.

 

Random Notes:

The music was pretty great of course because Michael Giacchino composed it.

A lot of good action and explosions in this film, like when the train explosion and when the tanks are destroying the city. The school bus scene was pretty thrilling,

I loved the scenes after something crazy happens and the kids are having like three different conversations at one time.

The kids were pretty cool, except for running joke with the kid who liked blowing things up. That was a little overdone. And the taller kid with glasses didn’t seem to bring much to the table.

It looks like J. J. likes camera flares. I feel like he might over due the use of them sometimes but it does seem to create an interesting, mysterious, and beautiful aesthetic.

Joe’s father’s name is Jackson, and is sometimes called Jack. He looks a bit like Jack Shepherd from J. J. Abram’s show “Lost”

A sign advertising the fictitious slushie drink, Slusho, can be seen in the gas station scene. Slusho appears in other places in the universe of J. J. Abrams, such as “Cloverfield” and “Alias”.

 

 

 

 

Best Films of 2010 (That I saw)

The years almost over there were a lot of pretty good films that came out this year. Here are all of the movies I saw from 201o in the order of my preference.

Toy Story 3

 

Inception

Black Swan

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

127  Hours

Kick Ass

The Social Network

How to Train Your Dragon

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Shutter Island

The Town

Winter’s Bone

The Other Guys

Un Prophete

Average

Get Him to the Greek

Cyrus

Iron Man 2

Despicable Me

Dinner for Schmucks

Youth In Revolt

Alice in Wonderland

Not so Good

Red

She’s Out of My League

Robin Hood

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…Again: Xmas Mix 2

Have a very indie, dub-step-y Christmas!

Holiday Face” Dent May

I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun” Beach House

Merry Christmas, Baby (Please Don’t Die)” Crocodiles and Dum Dum Girls

Winter Wonderland” Radiohead

Carol of the Season” Parenthetical Girls

All I Want For Christmas Is Filth” by derphead

Snow Bridge” Candy Claws

Xmas Rush” Nathan Fake

Christmas in Harlem” Kanye West ft. CyHi Da Prynce

Check out last years mix.

Top 50 Albums of 2010


1.    Salem – King Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.    Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (II)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.    How To Dress Well – Love Remains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.    M.I.A. – Maya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.    Sleigh Bells – Treats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.    Gobble Gobble – Neon Graveyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.    Baths – Cerulean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.    Beach House – Teen Dream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.    Twin Shadow – Forget

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.    Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.    Avey Tare – Down There
12.    Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
13.    Kanye West – My Dark Twisted Fantasy
14.    Xiu Xiu – Dear God, I Hate Myself
15.    Tobacco – Manic Meat
16.    Das Rasict – Sit Down, Man
17.    Gonjasufi- A Sufi and a Killer
18.    Perfume Genius – Learning
19.    Anthony and the Johnsons – Swanlights
20.    Owen Pallet – Heartland
21.    Sufjan Stevens – Age of Adz
22.    Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal
23.    Girl Talk – All Day
24.    Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
25.    Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
26.    LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
27.    Prince Rama – Shadow Temple
28.    Coma Cinema – Stoned Alone
29.    Diamond Rings – Special Affections
30.    Explode Into Colors – Quilts
31.    Javelin -No Mas
32.    Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday
33.    Wavves – King of the Beach
34.    Caribou – Swim
35.    Pill Wonder – Jungle/Surf
36.    Here We Go Magic – Pigeons
37.    Future Island – In Evening Air
38.    Phantogram – Eyelid Movies
39.    Yeasayer – Odd Blood
40.    Die Antwoord – $O$
41.    Hot Chip – One Life Stand
42.    ceo – White Magic
43.    MGMT – Congratulations
44.    Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid
45.    Growing – PUMPS!
46.    Vampire Weekend – Contra
47.    Warpaint – The Fool
48.    Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
49.    Fang Island – Fang Island
50.    The Morning Benders – Big Echo

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