Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Five (or so) Fave Movies of the Year (So Far)

Today, for A Month of Favorites we get to journey outside the bookish and share some other faves from this year.  My mom and I go to see tons of movies, and there were more than a few excellent movies to be seen this year, a lot of them based on similarly good books.  Here are the great movies that distracted me from my reading this year...

This Is Where I Leave You - I missed the boat on reading this book before it, but I loved the movie.  I love movies that can make you laugh and cry literally at the same time, and this movie about a dysfunctional family sitting Shiva for their father totally did it.  It was serious at times and sad at times and funny at times and sometimes sad and funny at the same time, and, in my humble opinion, it was brilliantly cast.

St. Vincent - I saw the preview for this one a couple times and almost let it pass me by because of the perpetual worry about comedies airing all their funniest moments in the preview and then having nothing to offer once you've ponied up your hard earned dough at the movie theater.  Not so here.  Weirdly, Melissa McCarthy's not the comic relief.  The kid that plays her son and Bill Murray, as the world's unlikeliest babysitter, definitely are, but here's another movie that's masquerading as a comedy but is actually touching enough that you'll be wiping your eyes by the time the credits are rolling.  I'm not going to spoil it because you should see it.

Fury - There are some movies you go into expecting to like.  There are other movies you end up going to instead of Gone Girl because your dad never wants to go to the movies but finally figures out one he wants to see.  Lots of World War II movies don't quite capture the full horror of war, this movie seemed to get that Germany by the end of World War II was a pretty dreadful place to be, especially in tank, and showed it.  It's definitely a testosterone movie of a sort, but with a bunch of A-list actors putting in time in a World War II tank, the ante is definitely upped.  I didn't expect to like it, but ended up thinking about it long after it was over.

Jersey Boys - There are other movies that you see because you meant to see The Fault in Our Stars but end up being too disgustingly late for the show because you were, uh, buying books at a giant yard sale next door.  This is that movie.  If you're behind the curve, it's the movie version of the musical version of the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  I seriously had to stop myself clapping after these guys finished their songs on screen.  Loved.  Loved much more than The Fault in Our Stars (the movie, not the book). 

The Giver - Hey, I did read this book before I saw the movie.  A looooong time before I saw the movie.  I hear the movie's nothing like the book, but that didn't bother me so much because I read the book when I was, like, 12, and I am nowhere near twelve anymore.  I loved the story of humans learning to feel again, even if feelings make for an "imperfect" society.  It translated to the screen very nicely in the opinion who read the book more than 15 years ago.  ;-)

I may have mentioned that I saw a crap ton of movies this year, so here's 5 more good ones for luck...

Gone Girl - Here's another book I totally failed to read before seeing the movie.  Ben Affleck was good, even though I've never really liked him all that much, but Rosamund Pike, could she have been any more perfectly freaking creepy?

Interstellar - Downgraded to runner up for making my brain hurt with all this talk of complex physics concepts.  I mean, ouch, my brain.  Other than that, this was yet another high quality mind*bleep* from Christopher Nolan, bringer of films such as Inception and Memento, wherein you don't quite know what is happening or how it's happening, but you find in the days following the viewing you can't stop thinking about it and being impressed that somebody could make so many different plot strands and difficult concepts work together to make a movie people still want to see.

Divergent - Er, I finally read the book right after seeing the movie.  Another book fail.  But it says something that I enjoyed the movie depiction of dystopian Chicago enough to finally plunge into this series.  Loved Shailene Woodley and Theo James cast as the main characters. 

The Lego Movie - A token animated contender.  I love cartoon movies that throw in some humor for the grown-ups.  Also, who spent most of the late winter with the "Everything Is Awesome" song stuck in their head?  Who has it back in their head now?  You're welcome.

Mockingjay (Part 1) - Loses because the first part is the draggy part of Mockingjay anyway, and then they stretched it out to feature film length.  Still has that Hunger Games awesome though, and I can't wait to see the conclusion!

Frighteningly, there are still plenty of contenders to kick these ten off their pedestals.  I mean - Unbroken, The Hobbit, and Into the Woods are ending the year with a bang and definitely stand a chance to unseat some of the top five ten.

What's the best movie you saw this year?

Check out Estella's Revenge for more miscellaneous favorites today! 


  1. I really wanted to see Fury but it got out of the theaters by the time I got around to it! A lot of these are on my netflix list!

  2. Everything Is Awesome might have gotten stuck in my head if Bang Bang wasn't already there taking up space. Ha! I have The Giver on hold at the library. My daughter didn't like it, but I'm excited to see it just to see what they did with it.

  3. Oh what a great selection of movies! I love movies! I loved the Giver, Divergent and the Mockinjay movies too! But for me Interstellar wins the prize! It blew my mind away! I'm still not over it I think.

  4. I soooo want to see This is Where I Leave You! And I'll basically watch anything with Melissa McCarthy in it, because I love her! The Lego Movie has my heart. I don't even mind the earworm. :)

  5. I went to see St. Vincent this week and agree with you. The movie has its funny moments but is very touching in a lot of other ways.

  6. I'm not a movie fan but you've remembered me I want to read another Jonathan Tropper novel (I've only read his first one), so maybe I'll read this one.

  7. Oh my stars- you were totally reading my mind about Rosamund Pike. Like I LOVED Gone Girl the book. And I knew whoever played the role of Amy had their hands full with all the Amy-ness. Rosamund Pike OWNED that role.

  8. We meant to see Interstellar this past weekend, but flaked on it. I'm hoping it picks up some award nominations to keep it in theaters a bit longer!

  9. Of the movies you mentioned, I've only seen one -- Interstellar. It was awesome, although you're right, it did make my brain heart. Loved it, though. I really need to see The Giver and Gone Girl. Glad they were good!

  10. I don't know any of these, but I've heard such great things about St. Vincent. Maybe I can get to it over break. This was a great idea for the post, to help those of us (me) who have our noses only in books.

  11. I haven't seen any of these, but we will see The Hobbit and Into the Woods later this month.