The fine line between right and wrong are often clearly etched into modern cinema. Audiences become satisfied with the age-long trope that “some men just want to watch the world burn.” That light always overcomes the darkness. That motivations for the wicked are always ill-founded. These absolutes dehumanize the Middle Easterner soldiers of “American Sniper” (2014) and unfairly antagonize anyone perceived as a threat to America.
Forget the popularized dystopian worlds in recent cinema. Instead, imagine one in which authors attend the same dystopian-fiction writing convention. This isn’t difficult to believe when you analyze this phenomena of dystopian films and filter out the similarities. As if a writing template was copied and pasted across the board, not only are said films like “Insurgent,” “The Maze Runner” (2014) and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013) comparable in theme, they also parallel in plot twist – like, on a molecular level.
Although a particularly slow year for film, awards like the Oscars remind us 2014 showcased some phenomenal films. Here is my list of the best films of 2014 by genre, including my film of the year.
When the gentlemen spy genre acquires an R-rating, an entirely new type of hero emerges. With director Matthew Vaughn’s imaginative screenplay style and expertise founded in former films like “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” he welcome into the cinematic universe somewhat of a James Bond/”Kick-Ass” hybrid in one of this year’s more satisfying surprises. Meet the Kingsman, the world’s most elite, secret spy agency.
Name the last animated Disney film you’ve seen promoting interracial couples. “The Princess and the Frog” (2009) and the sort-of-historically-based “Pocahontas” (1995) definitely come to mind. And, sure, Disney’s animated films have arguably advocated diverse relationships through extended metaphors, like a woman falling in love with a beast, a mermaid with a man and a woman with a frog. But is that all? Disguised advocacy?
A Sherman tank nicknamed “Fury” pits five American soldiers at the tail-end of World War II. In an effort to fight off a small, incoming army of Nazi soldiers, army sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) and his four-man platoon – including a rookie soldier – must face impossible conditions in an attempt to strike the heart of Nazi Germany.
T’is the season to be frightful. As made clear by the autumn leaves, hanging skeletons, and chocolate pushed near the entrance of Wal-Mart, Halloween is nigh. As per tradition, I was eager to submit myself to a good scare after last month’s disappointment “As Above, So Below.” Regrettably, I was disappointed yet again with this month’s horror film “Annabelle.”