Before I get to my awards…
2014’s Year in Film brought a lot of surprises, excitement, and disappointment. Despite having to suffer through movies like I, Frankenstein, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Into the Storm, and Pompeii (to name a few), it was hard to come up with 10 movies. 10! Who decided on 10 anyway? It must’ve been a bad year in film when they came up with that arbitrary number. When you see over 200 films a year, picking just 10 can be tough. Anyways here are my 10 favorite films (in no particular order)
- The Guest
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Gone Girl
- Edge of Tomorrow
- The Imitation Game
- The Raid 2
- The Drop
Honorable Mentions: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Babadook, Frank, Dear White People, The Two Faces of January, The Rover, A Walk Among the Tombstones, The One I Love, Anita.
Now time for the 2014 PC Awards….
Damian Lillard Award for a Breakout Star: Tessa Thompson
Being a good actress is one thing. Being electrifying on screen is another. Tessa Thompson caught the attention of moviegoers in this year’s indie hit Dear White People. She played Same White, a campus radio DJ who loves ruffling feathers with her show ‘Dear White People’. Not lost in the film’s satire is Thompson’s spirited performance. Thompson was impressive and stood out in a year full of great performances.She acts with the confidence of seasoned actress and the energy of an ambitious newcomer ready to stake her claim in Hollywood. With upcoming roles in Selma (2015) and Creed (2016), more people will see her in action. And that’s a good thing.
The Serial Podcast Award for The Movie Everyone Talked About: Interstellar
No movie drummed up more conversation than Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. In the same two minutes you can have a conversation where someone says the movie was amazing followed by someone saying it was the most disappoint thing they’ve seen since Johnny Manziel. It’s literally 50/50 when discussing this movie. You’ll either have a new best friend or insult someone’s intelligence. Interstellar may not be the box office juggernaut Nolan expected, but it A) continued the McConaissance [I hope it never ends]; B) sparked 1,389,983,390 conversations about the films ideas on love, time, and family.
The Donald Sterling Award for Best Villain: Michael Parks as Howard Howe in Tusk
Tusk is such a bizarre movie. Bizarre may be a the wrong word….Tusk is an acquired taste for moviegoers. It’s no surprise people haven’t seen it because it’s a strange film to describe. If there is one reason to see it, it’s Michael Park’s performance. Every movie needs a good villain and Parks provides exactly that as the sociopath Howard Howe. Everything he does is creepy. The advertisement he post around is creepy. His stories are creepy. His glasses even look creepy. Howe is intent on reliving his time lost at sea with a Walrus he affectionately named Mr. Tusk. How? Well by kidnapping people and turning them in to walruses. It’s as disturbing as it sounds. Parks gives Howe every bit of crazy he has and it’s spectacular to watch. Howe is definitely the character I loved to hate this year.
The Marshawn Lynch Award for Strong Performances: Jake Gyllenhaal
JG has been in beast mode all of 2014. I still can’t believe this is the same guy who was Bubble Boy. With strong performances in Enemy and Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal is at least in the conversation for Acting MVP aka Best Actor at the 2015 Academy Awards. In Enemy he plays two characters – a paranoid professor and a cocky actor; in Nightcrawler he plays a desperate man who finds a career in crime journalism. All three performances are not only good, they’re believable. What’s more amazing is neither of those characters is like the other. He played three leading roles in 2014 and knocked each one out the park. Gyllenhaal is now on the short list of actors who get me excited for a project just by seeing their name attached. If Gyllenhaal grabs his crotch like Marshawn when he wins an Oscar it would be inappropriate…..but well deserved.
Honorable Mention: Tom Hardy’s performances in Locke and The Drop.
The Uber Award for Reliable Service: Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow
Tom Cruise has to be the biggest action star of our lifetime, right? He’s been putting out quality action films for over 20 years. Not only has Cruise been the best at it, he’s been the most consistent. What’s more consistent than Cruise doing a movie where he fights aliens? The sun coming up tomorrow? Edge of Tomorrow has a Cruise run, lots of Cruise faces, tough guy Cruise, badass Cruise, and motorcycle riding Cruise. What more can you ask for if you’re a Tom Cruise fan? It’s a skill to do what he does and remain consistent. Cruise gives an all-time Cruise performance in a fantastic movie. I hope more people support Edge of Tomorrow and Cruise’s efforts to make amazing action movies. BTW his next three movies Mission: Impossible 5, Top Gun 2, and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. YEEESSSSSSSSSSS! I feel like jumping on a couch right now.
The Jalen Rose Keep Gettin’ Them Checks Award: Kevin Hart
If you thought Kevin Hart’s assault on your movie screens was over, you are sadly mistaken. Hart isn’t just one of Hollywood’s most visible actors; he’s also one of its most bankable. In 2014 he starred in About Last Night, Think Like A Man Too, and Ride Along for a total of $273 million worldwide. That’s more than Nightcrawler, Birdman, Boyhood, Whiplash, and The Imitation Game combined. What did Sony say about black actors not being bankable stars? Right! Keep gettin’ them checks Kevin.
The Roger Goodell Award for A Movie I Changed My Mind About: Godzilla
I originally gave the movie a C but the more I thought about it, the more I hated it. Who plays hide the monster for 2 hours? Why? Why did they kill off one of the film’s best characters and strongest actor? Why is Elizabeth Olsen wandering around San Francisco in the middle of a monster fight? Why does the crowd cheer for Godzilla at the end? None of it makes any sense. It’s just a big mess of a movie. My new grade: D-. It would be a big huge F it not for the final 3 minute fight scene.
Till next year.