1-20 of 340 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
After a summer season of blockbusters that gave the cinematic landscape of jewels and gems worthy of inspection a shake, “awards season,” from which some worthy contenders showed themselves, came roaring. Likewise, a backlog of more movies in the thick of this holiday season growing, certain timely realities proved elusive, in terms of getting to see everything 2014 — a year with more discoveries on my part than planned anticipation — had to offer. For that reason, potential favorites may turn up by the time some people, including myself, get to see those.
Yet, among the larger blockbusters (Interstellar, Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy) and widely lauded releases (Gone Girl, Boyhood, Whiplash, Birdman), surveying every crevice of that landscape, there were a lot of movies that were released, watched, podcasted about and reviewed here on Sound on Sight.
(Look for Sound on Sight’s finalized, staff-wide list of this year’s best on December 28.)
In fact, »
- Fiman Jafari
Posters are more often than not the first things we see during a movie’s marketing campaign. They provide us with a little snapshot of what’s to come, and if they’re done right, posters can completely embody the style, tone, and content of an entire film. Case in point: The Exorcist.
It doesn't matter how good word-of-mouth is, if the poster sucks, we might not want to see the movie. Yes, we do occasionally judge a book (or movie) by its cover. Yet sometimes posters are more memorable or even better than the actual movies they’re promoting, and this year is no different. The films with 2014’s best posters are an interesting mix of critical darlings, surprise hits, underperformers, and box office bombs.
Here are the ten best movie posters of 2014:
10. Men, Women and Children
Though Canadian director Jason Reitman might not be winning any awards for the poorly-received Men, »
- Sasha James
When is a gimmick not a gimmick? When it underscores strong storytelling rather than distracting from a bad script. It was easy to think of the selling points behind “Boyhood” (actors age in real time during a production spread out over a dozen years); “Locke” (movie centered around one man in a car making phone calls) or “Birdman” (camera and editing tricks employed to make the film look like one continuous take) as mere hoopla – and then we saw the movies.
Not all of the year’s best films employed such razzle-dazzle, but it was heartening to know that in »
- Alonso Duralde, Inkoo Kang and James Rocchi
When it comes to cultural impact, mega-sales and drama, this year’s Best Original Song category at the Academy Awards is going to have an awfully difficult time competing with last year’s category.
The 2013 winner, you might remember, was “Let It Go,” the anthem from “Frozen” that became a hit around the world and spawned a zillion amateur YouTube renditions.
See photos: 15 Movies You Already Forgot About: TheWrap’s Best & Worst 2014 (Photos)
And “Let It Go” was joined as a nominee by another song that was so ubiquitous that most sentient human beings got sick of hearing it before the Oscars – Pharrell Williams’ “Happy, »
- Steve Pond
Assembling a year-end top-10 list has always been a personal, even self-indulgent, ritual, a way of disguising a whimsical ranking of favorites as a carefully curated declaration of personal taste. At the risk of making things even more solipsistic than usual, let me begin by noting that the fraught relationship between artists and critics provided 2014 with one of its most compelling movie themes, with critics themselves — food critics, art critics, theater critics and, yes, film critics — figuring among the year’s most favored characters. And by favored, of course, I mean mocked, loathed and misunderstood at every turn.
In one of the most talked-about scenes in Alejandro G. Inarritu’s virtuoso backstage farce “Birdman,” a washed-up movie star named Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) comes face to face with a notoriously nasty New York Times theater critic, Tabitha Dickinson (Lindsay Duncan), who calmly informs him that she’s going to eviscerate his new Broadway play, »
- Justin Chang
Can Tilda Swinton snag a surprise Oscar nod for her supporting performance as sinister Minister Mason in "Snowpiercer"? Unlike many of the year's more competitive categories, the Best Supporting Actress race isn't yet locked, so Swinton, Supporting Actress winner for 2007's "Michael Clayton," is in the club for this already iconic role. She wowed this year not only in summer hit "Snowpiercer," but also as a vampire in Jim Jarmusch's "Only Lovers Left Alive" and in Wes Anderson's Best Picture contender "The Grand Budapest Hotel" in a minor, but colorful, role. Our video interview with her is here. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
The holiday season is always a bit hectic, so it is understandable if you, like me until recently, failed to notice something that’s actually been brewing under the surface of the awards discussion for some time: namely, the grassroots support behind the best supporting actress Oscar candidacy of Tilda Swinton for her work in Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer.
On Monday, the 54-year-old’s performance as a gender-neutral politician in the dystopian RADiUS-twc drama — which comes on top of other chameleonic work this year in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel (a best ensemble SAG nominee) and Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive — was nominated for the best supporting actress Critics’ Choice Award, a major profile boost.
Read the rest of this entry…
- Anjelica Oswald
“Ava DuVernay’s career evolution is fascinating,” said SXSW film chief Janet Pierson. “She began directing independent films while running her own successful marketing firm before expanding into distribution and now, she is helming a groundbreaking studio picture. Her passion, fearlessness, and excellence are extraordinary.”
Pierson also said, “RZA may seem like a somewhat out-of-the-box choice for a film keynote given his prominence as a musician. What is inspiring is how his love of film has informed his entire career and creativity. We’re intrigued by his increasing work as a multi-hyphenated filmmaker, actor and curator.”
- Dave McNary
Welcome back everyone for the final day of Daily Dead’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide! Because it’s been an exceptional year for genre fans, we’re focusing today on recapping more books and films that would make for great gifts this holiday season and are perfect for all fans. We’ve also got another great find from over on Etsy and we’re celebrating a new subscription service from the fine folks over at Waxworks Records.
And be sure to check out today’s final Holiday Horrors trivia question below for your shot at winning some awesome merchandise from our fine sponsors at HorrorDecor.net, Scream Factory and Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Thanks so much for following along with our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide and I hope you guys had as much fun reading the series as I had putting it together!
Vendor Spotlight: Waxwork Records
Waxwork Records specializes in releasing horror, »
- Heather Wixson
Christmastime is a cinephile’s dream. Not only will they have a smorgasboard of memorabilia, Criterion Collection blu-rays and old props from the set of a Jim Jarmusch movie that went for surprisingly little money at auction under their tree come the morning of December 25th, that’ll be the icing on the cake of a whole month of superlative festive films. From It’s A Wonderful Life to Die Hard to A Muppets Christmas Carol (which features both the definitive Scrooge in Michael Caine and the definitive Charles Dickens in Gonzo), the schedules and cinemas are stuffed with classic Christmas films.
Some people’s movie tastes skew a little darker, though. A little bloodier. A little lighter on the festive cheer, a little heavier on the buckets of gore and B-movie production values. Horror film makers don’t miss a trick, though, and having already mined Halloween, »
- Tom Baker
Dutch-born D.P. Robby Muller has never been a household name in the way that someone like, say, Roger Deakins is. And yet his influence on cinema, particularly of the independent and world variety, is impossible to deny. Known primarily for his work with Wim Wenders (“Alice in the Cities,” “Kings of the Road”) and Jim Jarmusch (“Down by Law,” “Mystery Train”), Muller has also offered his considerable talents to filmmakers like William Friedkin (in his neon-slicked sleazebag thriller “To Live and Die in L.A.”) and Alex Cox (in the watershed proto-punk classic “Repo Man”). His is a relaxed, understated style of shooting. Whereas someone like Deakins plays with visual artifice to achieve something akin to cinematic mythology, Muller’s approach is naturalistic and pared-down. It’s also far from simple. For the most part, Muller prefers working with independent filmmakers and rarely, if ever, says the words “that’s not possible. »
- Nicholas Laskin
Tilda Swinton is going to win a second Academy Award. Some way. Some how. It will happen. At some point, depending on who's in office, she will likely win a Kennedy Center Honor, too. She might even be knighted by the Queen. But that second Oscar is going to happen and probably because, like her first, she really won't be trying. The 2008 Best Supporting Actress winner for "Michael Clayton" had one of the most honest reactions ever to hearing her name called because she really didn't think she was going to win. She wasn't trying to humbly pretend she didn't think she'd win, she really didn't think she'd win. Frankly, apart from her incredible acting skills that's one reason she's become adored by movie fans and the industry alike. She's one of the few artists (and seriously, an artist) who realizes the whole awards season game can just be a »
- Gregory Ellwood
This list is in alphabetical order.
Only Lovers Left Alive (voted by Rick)
Only Lovers Left Alive, the latest film from cult indie director Jim Jarmusch, stars Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as Adam and Eve, two century old vampires. Adam is an underground musician with a dedicated cult following. In his past time, he drives through the city in his classic Jaguar, collects music memorabilia, photographs, books, vintage musical instruments and old vinyls. He lives in an isolated home in the ruins of Detroit Michigan where he reunites with his enigmatic lover Eve. There, he enlists the help of one of his most dedicated fans (Anton Yelchin) to help collect the analog equipment he needs, and his doctor (Jeffrey Wright) to provide him with a steady supply of his favourite drink, type O-negative. Immortality is weighing on him and thoughts of suicide slowly take over. Not much happens, and not much needs to. »
We here at Sound On Sight believe horror transcends explicit gore, jump scares or supernatural content, which is why you’ll soon notice our list ranges from independent art films to psychological thrillers to parodies, satire and more. Surprisingly, vampires lead the pack this year, along with found footage flicks, but there are a few comedies, one remake and even some strange love stories as well.
Every other year, I’ve published the list of best horror films based solely on my picks, but this year, Sound On Sight editor Justine Smith and Sos contributor Felix Vasquez Jr. also participated. Since we couldn’t agree with what is the best horror film of 2014, we decided to publish the list in alphabetical order. That said, here are our individual picks:
Ricky D- Under the Skin
Justine Smith – Cybernatural
Felix Vasquez Jr. - The Babadook
This list is in alphabetical order
Editor's Note: We're featuring individually chosen Fyc's for various longshots in the Oscar race. We'll never repeat a film or a category so we hope you enjoy the variety of picks. And if you're lucky enough to be an AMPAS, HFPA, or Critics Group voter, take note! Here's Tim on Only Lovers Left Alive.
From Gary Oldman’s transformation into a desiccated gargoyle, to a 7-year-old wearing plastic fangs, vampires have long been an inspiration for disguising human beings as immortal bloodsuckers. And with Only Lovers Left Alive, the hair and makeup designer Gerd Zeiss has made a terrific addition to the annals of the cinematic undead.
Director Jim Jarmusch’s vision for the film was more about characters detached from time than horror, and so the vampires played by Tilda Swinton,Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowsa, and John Hurt haven’t been designed to look like animate corpses, so »
- Tim Brayton
Several years ago, I watched the short-lived IFC series Fishing with John, an early reality show in which actor and indie icon John Lurie goes fishing with a different celebrity in each episode. The celebrities on that show were Jim Jarmusch, Tom Waits, Matt Dillon, Willem Dafoe, and Dennis Hopper. It occurred to me that it would be fun to do a TV series called Tripping with Caveh, in which fishing with celebrities would be replaced by tripping with celebrities.>> - Caveh Zahedi »
We’ve been appreciating the clearly defined, distributor friendly, solid eight Spotlight section since it’s inception a couple of years back. In 2014 we had sugary, critic darlings from the world film festival circuit in films from Pawel Pawlikowski, Steven Knight and a solid foursome from Cannes from the likes of Jeremy Saulnier, Ritesh Batra, Jim Jarmusch and Alain Guiraudie. This year we have a pair from Berlin (Aloft, ’71), four films from Cannes (Girlhood, The Tribe, White Dog, Wild Tales), one from Venice (99 Homes), one from Tiff (Eden) and Mark Cousins’ London BFI preemed, 6 Desires: Dh Lawrence and Sardinia. This really is a cinephile’s wetdream.
6 Desires: Dh Lawrence and Sardinia/ United Kingdom, Italy (Director: Mark Cousins) — In winter 1921, Dh Lawrence and his wife journeyed to Sardinia, and he chronicled their experiences in Sea and Sardinia. Now, Mark Cousins retraces Lawrence’s footsteps. The film is conceived partly as a »
- Eric Lavallee
Tilda Swinton didn’t think she’d had a prayer of winning the Oscar when she attended the ceremony in 2008 for “Michael Clayton.” After her name was announced, the shocked actress stumbled to the podium and promised to give the statue to her agent Brian Swardstrom. But first, she took her Oscar back home to Scotland, because she wanted to show it to her gardener (he’d never seen one), before handing it off a few months later. “It’s on my dresser in my apartment,” says Swardstrom, who tried not to accept the gift. “I have willed it back to her children, so it’ll go to the Swinton household at some point.”
Swinton is back on the awards trail this year, with Wes Anderson’s “Grand Budapest Hotel” and Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive” (which landed her an Independent Spirit Award nomination last week). Her most memorable turn, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Question. What do The Skeleton Twins, The Better Angels and actor Miles Teller have in common? There’ll always be some head-scratcher surprises and snubs and the 2015 Indie Spirit award nominations are no different. It goes with the territory. As we tend to some wounds, we access those that were criminally overlooked in the key categories. Here is a glance at some of the shoulda, woulda and coulda.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Falling below the 21 million mark set by the Indie Spirit folks, it is indeed an odd year when a major studio release figures among the fives noms. Considering that Ava DuVernay is an indie talent, I didn’t think her film would be part of the equation. That said, it was a given that Boyhood and the more deserving Birdman and Whiplash would all face off. In »
- Eric Lavallee
The Film Independent Spirit Awards are back with their list of the 2015 nominations. Leading the pack is the existential comedy Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) with a whopping six nominations, including one for actor Michael Keaton and one for director Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Closely following with a solid five nominations are Boyhood, Nightcrawler and Selma.
Boyhood (read our review here) is Richard Linklater’s ultimate character study, which filmed over the course of a decade, creates a time-lapse examination like no other before it. The film follows six year old Texas boy Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, through his childhood years as he transitions into the life of a young adult ready to take on college. Boyhood received nominations for best film, director, editor, supporting actor and actress. It is bold experiment in film and should prove a serious awards contender.
- William Fanelli
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