Friday, January 02, 2015

My Ten Favorite New-To-Me Movies I Saw in 2014

After posting here about the ten books I read in 2014 and liked best, I thought maybe I should try something similar with movies.  Only trouble is, I don't review every single movie I watch.  But I do record them all in my journal, so relying on that, I've come up with a good list.  I've linked to my reviews if I wrote one.  Unlike what I did for books, I'm listing only movies I'd never seen before.



1.  X-Men:  Days of Future Past (2014)

Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) travels to the past to save the future.  My absolute favorite X-Men movie.  Words truly can't describe how deeply I love it.

2.  Hercules (2014)

Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) and a bunch of pals (Rufus Sewell, Ian McShane, etc) are heroes-for-hire and try to help free an oppressed city.  Absolutely fun.

3.  Monuments Men (2014)

A bunch of art experts (Matt Damon, George Clooney, etc) try to save art from the Nazis.  A throw-back to the great WWII classics of the '60s.

4.  Tangled (2010)

Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) climbs out of her tower and gets a passing thief (Zachary Levi) help her fulfill her dream of seeing what those floating lanterns are all about.  The first time I watched it, I was ho-hum through the first half, but when it got to the boat scene, I fell in love with it.  Every repeat viewing has confirmed this as a total favorite.

5.  The Holiday (2006)

An unhappy LA woman (Cameron Diaz) trades houses with an unhappy British woman (Kate Winslet) for Christmas, and they find happiness and love in their new surroundings.  Did I mention Jude Law?  And Rufus Sewell?  But my favorite part of the whole movie is everything that involves Eli Wallach's sweet, elderly Hollywood writer.

6.  The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

Dwarves, Elves, Men, and hordes of Orcs duke it out in Middle Earth.  Can't wait to see this again!

7.  The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

Edmond Dantes (Jim Caviezel) transforms himself from a simple sailor wrongly convicted of treason into a vengeance-seeking nobleman.  I didn't want to see this ever ever ever, but two friends convinced me I should, and whaddaya know?  I love it!

8.  Hour of the Gun (1967)

A gritty exploration of revenge, in which Wyatt Earp (James Garner) hunts down the men who killed his brothers, with Doc Holliday (Jason Robards) riding along.  Definitely the most serious portrayal I've seen of the OK Corral events and their aftermath.  I don't love it as much as Tombstone (1993), but it's by far a better movie.

9.  Frozen (2013)

You totally know what this is about already, right?  Elsa freezes everything, Anna helps her thaw everything, yadda yadda yadda.

10.  Little Women (1978)

A really nice, thorough TV miniseries starring the likes of Susan Dey and Dorothy McGuire, with William Shatner making a surprisingly effective Professor Bhaer.  It needs to be more widely known!

25 comments:

  1. I loved Monuments Men. Because Jean Dujardin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love how C!-esque it felt, especially many of Dujardin's scenes.

      Delete
  2. My list is rather short because I tend not to watch a lot of movies and especially not in theater. But there are a few from this last year that I would consider favorite new to me movies.

    First, Godzilla, 2014. Love, love, love Godzilla. I was cautious about the new one, but it ended up turning out much better than I thought.

    Second, Despicable Me 2. Love both the original and this one.

    Third, Knuckleball, 2012. A movie focusing, at the time, on the two remaining knuckleball pitchers in the Major League. I'm a big fan of the knuckleball.

    Fourth, The Avengers, 2012. A nice action movie with some good characterization.

    I also saw The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. But I wouldn't necessarily call that a favorite new to me movie. I usually can't stand Jackson's abomin...I mean adaptations of Tolkien's works, but as action movie this one didn't annoy me as much as I thought it would. Needed way more Smaug and Martin Freeman in it, though.

    From your list, I've only seen Tangled and Frozen but liked both of them very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like I said, these were new to me, not necessarily new movies -- but I did see 4 of them in the theater (X-Men, Hercules, Frozen, and Hobbit). I do watch a lot of movies, though I didn't stop to count how many this year -- maybe 75 or so? I love movies like I love books.

      I have never seen a Godzilla movie all the way through. I really ought to try one, though. Glad to hear this one exceeded your expectations!

      I haven't seen either Despicable Me movies, but they do look fun.

      I like baseball movies a lot, so I'll have to check out Knuckleball. I hadn't heard of it before.

      Thanks to crazy holiday parking (our theater is part of a mall, grrr), I missed the whole first half hour of TH:TBOTFA. Came in after Smaug was dead, right when Kili was deciding if he should go with the dwarves or stay with Tauriel. And I STILL loved it so much it made my top 10 for the year! I'm really hoping to go see it again tomorrow so I can see the beginning too.

      I'm afraid I'm a bit of a reprobate when it comes to Jackson's Hobbit movies -- I like them better than the book! Are you shocked? I've never liked the book much, even though I absolutely adore The Lord of the Rings. But the movies gave the plot structure, created a worthy antagonist, and fleshed out all the characters so beautifully. Sure, there are things that annoy me, like the Goblin King section of the first movie, and so on, but overall, I like them much better than the book.

      Aren't Tangled and Frozen fun?

      Delete
    2. Not shocked so much as saddened. :( Ah well, I have a friend who likes neither The Hobbit book or the movies. Although she too likes LOTR. Too bad you missed the part with Smaug. Despite the repeated Orc slaughtering, the rest of the movie was kind of slow moving, IMO.

      My favorite Godzilla movie is the original 1954 one. The original Japanese one, not the one that adds in Raymond Burr for American audiences.

      I've only seen Tangled and Frozen once but they were both fun movies. I'm eventually hoping to buy them on Amazon Instant Video.

      Delete
    3. I'm very much looking forward to the Smaug part, especially since Bard is my favorite character in this trilogy. I didn't find the rest slow-moving as a whole, though there were parts that did feel like they could have been trimmed a bit.

      The original Godzilla is the one I would be most interested in seeing. It just hasn't crossed my path yet.

      Delete
    4. I have a Blu-Ray DVD copy if you'd like it. I think I also have non-Blu Ray copies too if you didn't have a Blu Ray player. I've got the movie on Instant Video now, so I just watch it on my Kindle.

      Delete
    5. You're very kind! However, I see I can stream it for free on Amazon, so I think I'll try to watch it that way instead. Thanks anyway!

      Delete
    6. No problem. You're weclome!

      Delete
  3. Tangled is my favorite!!! I like it better than Frozen!!! I might have seen that same version of the Count of Monte Cristo this year!! It was really well made!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay!!! Tangled is so well-told, isn't it? Frozen is as well, but I like the characters and story arc better in Tangled.

      Did the Monte Cristo you saw end with a sword fight in a field? If so, it was the same one.

      Delete
  4. The Holiday! I love that movie, but for some reason I only seem to watch it during the summer... It might be just a whole bunch of romantic nothing, but it's such a great, easy-going feel-good movie, it doesn't need to be anything more! I love the cast too. :D

    Nice list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A little romantic fluff now and then is no bad thing. And it does have some deeper themes about caring for the elderly, standing up for yourself, etc.

      Delete
    2. That's true, it does have quite a few really nice, positive themes! Mostly on Kate Winslet's side of things. :D

      Delete
  5. That Little Women version looks really good - that's the version between the old one with Elizabeth Taylor as Amy and the version with Winona Ryder? Or is it the one with Elizabeth Taylor as Amy? Any way, I want to watch it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a TV miniseries version from 1978, so it does fall between the one with Elizabeth Taylor as Amy (1949) and the one with Winona Ryder as Jo (1994). And it's very good!

      Delete
  6. William Shatner as Professor Bhaer?? And he's convincing? I have to watch this adaptation now! :) - Maggie @ macarons & paperbacks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well... I DO have a fondness for Shatner, but yes, I thought he was quite convincing! You can watch the whole thing for free on Hulu.com :-D

      Delete
  7. Awesome list, Hamlette. So many of these are favorites. I adore The Holiday and of course both of Disney's recent Princess films (Frozen, Tangled). Hercules was fun. Like you, I liked this recent 'X-Men' movie so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe it took me this long to watch The Holiday -- all the years of happy watching I've missed! Argh!

      Ahhhhh, X-Men: DOFP. Bliss.

      Delete
  8. Hobbit, Hercules, Monuments Men, and Hour of the Gun would all make my list! I saw Tangled the year before, or it would have been on there too! :-D

    Good stuff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So would Hobbit:TBOTFA top Hercules for you now? I've been wondering about that.

      Delete
    2. Also, do you realize you are directly responsible for me seeing more than half of these?

      Delete
  9. I've seen half of these and surprisingly The Holiday is the one I've found myself rewatching when it's on TV. Total fluff but such good fluff. I loved Eli too and Kate and Cameron.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, it's a very superior brand of fluff. Definitely one for rewatches!

      Delete

Agree or disagree? That is the question...

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)