[YMS] 2014 is one of the best years
for film in quite a long time.
Now when I do my Top 10 lists,
I don’t restrict it to just ten movies.
The point of making these for me is so that I can discover
all of the great movies released within a year’s timeframe.
So don’t expect any of that
shit where somebody says:
“Hey, there’s these movies that I really wanted
to see this year, but I didn’t see them,
but I’m gonna make my list anyway, so they might have been
on it if I had seen them, but I’m gonna make my list anyway.”
There are far too many truly amazing films out there that people
miss out on, because they’re not willing to look for them.
And it’s understandable, I mean, who really wants to watch
through hundreds of boring, uninspired pieces of garbage,
just to find the great films in a year?
Hopefully with this list, you won’t have to.
If there’s a movie on this list that you haven’t seen and
what I have to say about it makes it sound appealing to you,
then please do yourself a favor and go watch it.
Now before we get to the actual list of what I
would consider to be truly great films from 2014,
here’s a few movies in no particular order that I
would consider to be my guilty pleasures of the year.
The first of which being a
film called Heaven Knows What.
Now why do I consider this to be a
guilty pleasure and not a great film?
Well, the truth is:
parts of it kind of suck.
It’s probably the ugliest looking
cinematography I’ve seen all year.
With way to many face close-ups and barely any wide shots,
it starts to feel ridiculously claustrophobic.
And on top of that, I can think of at least two practical effect
sequences that would be difficult to call anything other than laughable.
But despite all that, I still feel as
though this film is worth recommending.
Perhaps it’s because I have a soft spot for films that are
accurately able to capture the lifestyle of a drug addict.
Despite aspects of its presentation being shoddy at best,
there’s something about this film that is just so genuine.
Everything about the way the characters look, act and talk
makes it seem as though they’re actually real people.
In fact, the star of the film, Arielle Holmes, wrote the story based
on her own experiences as a homeless heroin addict in New York City.
And even without knowing that information
the first time I watched the film,
it was clear to me that her performance
held a certain level of observation
that would be difficult to achieve without experience.
I might not consider this to be a great film,
but it is genuine and it does have a heart.
And as you can probably tell from the
music playing in the background right now,
the soundtrack is very unique,
interesting and well-done.
So if this looks like your cup of tea,
then I’d suggest checking it out.
I got the razor blades, okay?
I don’t think you’re taking
me serious about this.
I’m sorry, okay?
But I am about to die right now,
and I really want you to be there.
If you don’t want to watch, just, please,
just, at least read this after I die.
[YMS] My second guilty pleasure
for 2014 was Obvious Child.
This right here is the movie that
Trainwreck tried so hard but failed to be.
Where Trainwreck’s lighting made it constantly look as
though it were on a filmset, this film feels like real life.
Where Amy Schumer embarrassingly tries to show any kind
of emotion but wouldn’t wind up convincing a small child,
Jenny Slate proves herself
as a seriously talented actor.
In Trainwreck, where nearly every
joke was awful and forced,
the humor in Obvious Child is not only more
clever, but it is so much more genuine.
Most importantly, Obvious Child feels as though it was
made by actual human beings instead of a fucking factory.
Now this film does still follow a formula
similar to that of a Hollywood comedy movie,
so naturally, between the second and third act, the film starts
taking itself a little more seriously at the expense of the comedy,
but overall, it was an enjoyable
comedy that actually made me laugh.
It may not be strong throughout, but it’s strong
enough to be worthy or a recommendation.
So if this looks good to you, then check it out.
[clip] I’ll take three more sips,
and if he doesn’t come out, then I’ll go.
I’ll take two more sips, actually.
And if the lady in the tan jacket
crosses the street on the second sip,
then that means that I should go home.
What are you doing? What am I doing?
Just go home to your house.
[YMS] And my third guilty pleasure
of 2014 was Goodbye To Language in 3D.
This movie is really, really weird.
Now some people have watched this film and
are convinced that it’s a masterful work of genius.
Do I agree with that? Mmm no.
However, I did find this film
very unique and entertaining.
If I could give this film an alternate title,
it might be called Artistic Youtube Poop: The Movie,
or maybe even RIP Headphone Users: The Movie.
To put it simply, this film
aims to break conventions.
So much so, that it is entirely jarring,
laughable and difficult to understand.
But I liked it.
This movie is definitely more audio-visual
stimulation than it is food for thought,
but it’s such a unique and weird experience that
I feel as though people should at least try it out.
Perhaps only to explore the limitations
as to what can constitute as a film.
To say this film is experimental
would be an understatement.
Now obviously, what you’re seeing right now is the
2D version, because this is on my Youtube channel,
so in this shot coming up when you see two different images overlapping
on top of each other, try to imagine that they’re one in each eye.
There’s points in this film where single seamless shots break into
two separate shots that you can view simultaneously in either eye.
It’s pretty fucking weird and I can’t say
that I’ve ever seen anything like it before.
However, a significant portion of the film does feel
as though it could have been filmed by anyone,
leading me to believe that if this wasn’t created by
an already established director like Jean Luc Godard,
I kinda doubt critics would
be taking it so seriously.
Now this movie is just under
an hour and ten minutes long,
and quite honestly, if it were much longer,
I would probably grow pretty impatient with it.
But as a short, weird, experimental,
one of a kind, nonsensical film,
I think it stands out enough to
be worthy of a recommendation.
Even if you’re basically laughing at it the
whole movie, I think that’s totally fine.
If I took this movie super seriously,
I probably wouldn’t enjoy it much at all.
But if this looks like something you could watch without finding
it absolutely unbearable, I’d suggest checking it out.
All right, we’re done with the guilty
pleasures and now on to this gigantic list.
Starting off at number 29, we have a
documentary called Mistaken For Strangers.
Now at first glance, this might just seem as though it’s a
music documentary for the popular Indie rock band The National,
but much like Exit Through The Gift Shop
and it’s relation to Banksy,
the film winds up becoming more about the filmmakers’
character and less about the subjects.
The entire documentary is filmed
by the lead singer’s brother,
whose awkwardness and incompetence
makes this quite the hilarious movie.
The music’s pretty great. I mean, I do like
The National and I have seen them live before,
but the music doesn’t really take
up very much of the film at all,
and the fact that they’re on tour really just serves
as a catalyst for the actual meat of the documentary.
That being how these characters interract with
each other in a funny, yet heartfelt way.
Whether you’re a fan of The National already or not,
I would recommend checking this one out.
How fast can you play?
Who’s faster? Should I go to Bryce for this, or…
Who’s faster? You or Bryce?
Well, if I play with my fingers
in scales, I can play pretty fast.
But Bryce is the faster guitarist?
Uhm. Technically, yeah.
Do you want me to turn around?
Actually, bend down and come up.
Now act like you’re just picking up your
glasses and not even paying attention to me.
Yeah, this is good. This is gonna
be perfect for your intro shot.
[YMS] At number 28 we have Life Itself,
a documentary about possibly the most respected and
well-known film critic of all time, Roger Ebert.
The film touches on his life, his accomplishments, his views
on film criticism and his relationship with Gene Siskel.
The only real criticism I have about the film is that
it felt a little one-sided when discussing the two of them.
Like, whenever it showed a clip of
them arguing over a well-liked film,
it would only ever show ones where Roger Ebert
is defending it and Gene Siskel didn’t like it.
I mean yeah, Roger Ebert’s the subject of your
documentary, but that felt a little manipulative.
Still, just a small complaint, because that
only makes up a short portion of the film.
The rest of it is a close and intimate look at
his life and ultimately his battle with cancer.
This film is both touching and enjoyable,
and whether you already know much about him
or not, I’d suggest checking this one out.
[clip] I think they were conscientious
about trying to do what they were doing
as well as they could and
as seriously as they could.
But invariably, a show like Gene and Roger’s
show because a part of that mainstream system.
This week, Siskel and Ebert review
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Last Action Hero.
And by and large, the purpose
of mainstream reviewing
is not just to valorise films that get
multi-million dollar ad campaigns…
… Spielberg’s Jurassic Park.
… but to eliminate everything else.
I think what Gene and Roger
did was the opposite of that.
Roger went out and he looked for people like
Michael Moore, you know. He looked for people like me.
As a film critic, he was somebody who gave
life to new voices, gave life to new visions,
that reflected all the diversity of this nation.
Different classes, points of view,
he wanted it all out there.
[YMS] At number 27 we have Phoenix,
a well-acted and emotional story about a disfigured
holocaust survivor searching for answers about the man she loved.
Now this movie is absolutely fantastic,
but it does require some suspension of disbelief.
And by that I mean that I’m not all too sure
just how advanced facial reconstructive surgery
would be in the years right after the holocaust.
Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know. I’m not
an expert, but it did seem a little off.
What’s important to recognise however is
that her disfigurement and her surgery
is more or less just a catalyst
for the actual story to take place.
A story that is both tense and dramatic and
one that is very easy to get sucked into.
The soundtrack is perfect for the time period and also holds a
lot of relevance towards the film that you’ll notice as it goes on.
Nina Hoss’ performance was particularly fantastic
although there was no single weak actor within the film.
This film is simple yet powerful and I would
encourage all of you to check it out.
At number 26, we have another
documentary called Finding Vivian Maier.
This documentary involves the film’s creator
searching for answers the late Vivian Maier.
Basically, he’d purchased a bunch
of photo negatives at an auction,
and upon realising her massive talent, he used those photos
to try and discover everything he possibly could about her.
And what we get is quite the interesting character study.
As the film interviews those that knew her,
we learn that she was beyond eccentric.
This film is not just great for art and photography lovers,
but it also tells quite the captivating story.
The only real complaint I have about
this film would be with the soundtrack.
Not that it was poorly made or anything,
but there was one song that they used a little
too often and in sometimes inappropriate places.
Still, this one is a great watch and if this looks
interesting to you, I’d suggest checking it out.
[clip] In these negatives that I discovered…
When I saw it first, I didn’t know if it was
really good. I knew that I thought it was good.
I contacted a couple galleries.
I didn’t know where to go.
I made a photo blog and
I put about 200 images up.
I put a link on Flickr.
That post… It just went insane.
[YMS] At number 25 we have Gett:
the Trial of Viviane Amsalem.
This film was the official Israeli entry for
Best Foreign Language Feature for the Academy Awards.
Nearly this entire film takes place in the religious
court that Viviane tries to obtain her divorce from.
However, her husband wants to keep her
married as a twisted form of punishment.
This film is excellently written with each
conversation becoming more engaging than the next.
And wow, is our main actor ever able to portray so much
emotion with something as simple as just a look on her face.
As the tension raises in the film,
that piercing gaze winds up communication so much.
Now this is actually the
third film in a trilogy,
and in most cases I’d want to
seek out the first two films,
but the way that this movie was presented made me feel as
though it probably works better as a stand alone film.
Reason being is that I really valued how much of
their relationship was left up to interpretation.
I kind of like the idea of being introduced to these characters
without actually witnessing the events that lead up to their divorce.
And when one of the characters makes a claim that the other
one says is false, I kind of enjoy not knowing the answer.
Now it’s very possible that these two films wouldn’t spoil the
experience of the third movie at all, so watch them if you want,
but regardless, this film on its own was quite
the watch and I’d recommend checking it out.
At number 24 we have The Raid 2,
the massively impressive sequel to The Raid: Redemption
that appeared on my 2012 list.
Now when I made a Quickie review for this while it was still in
theaters, I was a little harsher on it than I probably would be today.
Granted, my out of ten rating
for the film hasn’t changed,
but I think knowing what it was before seeing
it a second time helped my experience overall.
And by that, I mean don’t take this movie super
seriously, because in many ways, it is flawed.
But holy crap, is this movie ever
still so incredibly impressive.
Between this and The Raid: Redemption,
they are very, very different films.
Where The Raid: Redemption seemed fairly more grounded,
The Raid 2 almost has kind of an anime vibe to it.
The Raid: Redemption was more contained and to the point,
but The Raid 2 was infinitely more ambitious.
If you’re a fan of impressively coordinated fight
choreography, then this movie is a real treat.
And what makes this movie extra special
is the camera work that goes with it.
It is so incredibly rare to find directors
that know how to film an action scene,
and it’s this kind of talent that we
should be praising when we see it.
Sure, this movie doesn’t get straight into all the
action in the same way that The Raid: Redemption did,
but boy is the payoff ever worth it.
And in case you’re wondering: although I do recommend the
first film, The Raid 2 is not one where you’ll be lost without it.
Sure, not everything makes perfect
sense and this is not a perfect film,
but I’d be lying if I didn’t think that
this was one of the best of the year.
So if this looks like your cup of tea,
then I’d suggest checking it out.
At number 23 we have the Edward Snowden
This film is quite the historical companion piece.
This film captures conversations leading up to, including
and after Edward Snowden’s famously monumental NSA leak.
It’s absolutely fascinating watching how ridiculously but
understandably paranoid these people are as they discuss this information.
This documentary also provides great insights on
the actual leaks and their implications as well.
It’s an important piece of history that I’m glad was captured on
film, made even better by it being a captivating watch at that.
So whether or not you’re interested in politics, privacy
or security, I’d recommend checking this one out.
[clip] Protip: Let’s not leave the same SD
cards in our laptops forever in the future.
Did you know this was still
kicking around in your laptop?
– Yeah, that was the uhm…
– Okay, just making sure.
You will have a new one that looks exactly
identical that’s a different archive,
so you might want to take a
Sharpie to it or something.
Could you, uh, pass me my magic,
uh, mantle of power? Sorry.
I’m gonna go pick up…
– Is that about the possibility of…
– Visual. Yeah, visual collection.
I don’t think, at this point, there’s
anything in this regard that will shock us.
[YMS] At number 22 is Two Days, One Night
by the Dardenne Brothers,
who also directed The Kid With A Bike
from my 2011 list.
The film follows a woman played by
Marion Cotillard who has the weekend
to convince her workmates to give up their pay raise
in exchange for her being able to keep her job.
And it’s her performance
that really sells this movie.
Right away, the film lets us know that she’s
already recovering from emotional issues,
and Marion Cotillard’s performance
sells it all so well.
It’s no surprise that this film
got her a nomination at the Oscars,
and it’s not just as simple of
a matter as her being able to cry,
it’s that’s she’s able to perform it in a way that you can
tell there’s so much her character is trying to hold back.
It’s the subtle and reserved sadness that
brings so much detail to her performance,
and as we see the situation unfold, we can really understand
the stress that this situation’s inflicting upon her.
The story itself is simple and grounded,
yet versatile at the same time,
with each individual character she interracts with
providing an entirely new perspective to consider.
Without amazing performances, this film just might not work,
but fortunately, it more than delivers in that category.
So I’d recommend checking it out.
At number 21 is Violent.
Now the mere existence of this
film is kind of interesting already.
It’s a completely self-funded film, written and directed
by members of the Vancouver based band We Are The City.
It was also created by Amazing Factory Productions who
have collaborated making music videos with the same band.
And oddly enough, despite it being a Canadian film,
the entire thing was filmed in Norway.
So although I have no idea how this film would translate
to an actual Norwegian, I thought it was pretty great.
I mean, despite not being able to speak the language, there
were certain performances that were undeniably impressive.
The band also composed the film’s soundtrack,
which is also impressive on its own.
Despite mostly being a drama, this film
also exhibits a great sense of humor.
The film tells multiple stories instead of focussing on one,
but each of them involve the same main character.
Some of them are more gripping
and some of them are more sentimental,
but each of them is more or less centered on our main
character’s experiences with those who loved her the most.
It’s incredibly visual and atmospheric,
leaving a lot for the viewer to chew on.
Now I first saw this film at Vancouver Film Fest in 2014
and unfortunately there’s no real way to watch it right now.
However, after contacting them for information on how to view
their film again, they were nice enough to send me a screener copy.
They also told me the Canadian theatrical launch will
be September 24th at Vancity Theatre in Vancouver,
and European theatrical dates as well as international
video on demand will be set for March 2017.
So sorry you can’t see this one just yet,
but I saw it in 2014 and I thought it was great.
So whenever you’re able to see it,
I’d recommend checking it out.
At number 20 we have Nightcrawler,
a movie that very well could have been a blockbuster at the
box office if only it had a higher advertising and distribution budget.
I bought two tickets for the movie
a couple weeks before its release,
only to find out a week later that they
had cancelled the show at that location,
and they reimbursed me so that
I could see it at another one.
They told me that I was literally the only
person that bought tickets to see that movie,
and at the location I actually wound up seeing it at,
it was pretty disappointingly empty for an opening night.
Thankfully, word of mouth travelled fast and this film
wound up getting quite a large fanbase. And for good reason.
This is Dan Gilroy’s directoral
debut and quite an impressive one at that.
Jake Gyllenhaal helped produce
the film and based on his performance,
you could tell that this was a project
he was very passionate about.
Now I haven’t seen a single film where he doesn’t do
a great job in, but this is definitely one of his best.
His attention to detail when it comes to posture, speech and
mannerisms really helps bringing this character to life.
And this character is one of the most watchable
and entertaining I’ve seen all year.
It’s fast-paced, it’s well-directed and its commentary on media,
although blatant, was still interesting and fun to watch.
They only real issue I had with
this film was with the soundtrack.
Parts of it were very well done, but
parts of it sounded kind of cheesy.
Regardless, that didn’t stop this from
being one of the best films of the year.
I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t like
this film, so I’d encourage you to check it out.
[clip] Who am I? I’m a hard worker. I set high
goals and I’ve been told that I’m persistent.
Now I’m not fooling myself, sir.
Having been raised with a self-esteem movement so popular
in schools, I used to expect my needs to be considered.
But I know that today’s work culture no longer caters to the
job loyalty that could be promised to earlier generations.
What I believe sir, is that good things
come to those who work their asses off,
and that people such as yourself who reach the
top of the mountain didn’t just fall there.
My motto is: if you wanna win the lottery,
you have to make the money to buy a ticket.
Did I say that I worked in a garage?
So what do you say? I can start tomorrow,
or even why not tonight?
How about an internship then?
A lot of young people are taking unpaid positions to get
a foot in the door. That’s something I’d be willing to do.
I’m not hiring a fucking thief.
[YMS] At number 19 is a
Russian film called The Fool.
The story follows a man who learns that a building
with over 800 occupants could collapse at any moment.
What follows is riveting drama about corruption,
morals and responsibility.
The story is not only tense with high stakes,
but it also has some pretty interesting
statements to make about choice and morality.
Every single one of the performances is exceptional
and every single character feels like a real person.
It’s not a perfect film and there are some
things it could have done much better,
but overall, it did a fantastic job at
nearly everything it tried to do.
So I’d suggest checking it out.
At number 18 we have An Honest Liar,
the massively informative and entertaining
documentary on none other than James Randi.
Now if you don’t know who James Randi is, I would
encourage you to look up more about him regardless,
because he is one of the most important and influential
people in the world of debunking and skepticism.
Some of you may have seen some clips on Youtube of him
exposing Uri Geller, James Hydrick or Peter Popoff.
Basically, this man has lived his life as an
incredibly talented magician and escape artist,
and upon seeing others using magic
trick methods to exploit gullable people,
whether it be claiming to have psychic powers or claiming
that God will heal you as long as you give them all your money,
James Randi sought out to expose this manipulation
simply by showing people how their tricks actually work.
This documentary not only covers incidents
where he’s exposed others asz frauds,
but it also tells a personal and
intimate story on him and his life.
For a man this important and this inspirational,
this documentary does not disappoint.
The only thing that I felt was missing
from it was his Million Dollar Challenge.
If you don’t know what that is,
I’d suggest reading the Wikipedia page on it.
There’s even an archive of previous applicants
if you’re looking for an interesting read.
Anyway, this documentary not only
provides inside into his intellectualism,
but it also provides plenty of insight
on his emotional side as well.
This is a fantastic documentary about a fantastic
man and I think that you should check this out.
[clip] – Turn over to the left.
– There you go.
– She’s had a hysterectomy, she can’t take hormones.
– He’s got kidney and eye problems.
– You want God to touch your kidneys?
NOOOW, let that ear open! In the name the Lord – right now, Jesus!
Power of the Holy Ghost! Here it comes… Devil, back off!
And the bondage is broken! Whoo!
In the name of Jesus! You foul spirit!
And I thought: “I’m getting out of here now.”
So I packed everything up,
I turned the equipment off, took my bags and
walked down the stairs, outside to the cool air.
My heart’s pounding now,
because I’ve got the goods.
Not only did we have the evidence we needed,
we had more than what we needed. We had it.
So I went on the Johnny Carson show and when the
revelation came and you heard Mrs. Popoff’s voice…
Hello, Petey, can you hear me?
If you can’t, you’re in trouble…
..Johnny suddenly realised what the
gimmick was and he said: “Oh, sh…”
It turns out that God’s frequency – I didn’t
know he used radio – is 39.170 megahertz,
and God is a woman, obviously, and sounds
exactly like Popoff’s wife, Elizabeth.
[YMS] At number 17 is Dennis Villeneuve’s Enemy.
Now this movie is actually based on the same novel
as The Double that came out that same year,
which is kind of hilarious if you think about it.
And although The Double didn’t really do it for me,
Enemy had me hooked from start to finish.
Once again, Jake Gyllenhaal
is fantastic as usual,
and him playing two different characters in
this film makes it all the more impressive.
The soundtrack is both ominous and off-putting,
giving the film a really distinct tone.
The film also had a consistently yellow-ish
color palette, making it stand out as well.
Now this is the same director as
Prisoners, Sicario and Incendies,
so you can expect to see a lot of
observable filming talent here,
but you should not expect this film to
be the same as those previously listed.
This is definitely one of the more experimental
and unconventional films he’s done,
and compared to his other films, this
one requires a bit more interpretation.
I actually made an analysis video for
the film while it was still in theaters,
and even since making it, I feel like I’ve come to a new
conclusion about my explanation that I should probably update.
If you’re wondering about that, then I should have an update
in the description of that video by the time this is posted.
But obviously don’t go there if you haven’t seen the movie yet,
because that video would spoil the whole thing.
This film is mysterious, captivating,
mesmerizing and even nail-biting.
This movie might not be
everyone’s cup of tea,
so I wouldn’t really recommend to to people who
don’t want to stray too far away from the norm,
but if this sounds like something you’d like,
then I’d recommend checking this out.
[clip] I’m looking for, uh, “Call Me L8R”
and “Passenger Without a Ticket”.
[YMS] At number 16 is a
documentary called Art And Craft.
This documentary is about
an awed and fascinating man
who spends his time forging famous works of art to
trick museums into displaying them as the originals.
Now he doesn’t sell these forgeries
to museums, he merely donates them.
So despite him obviously being found out at this point,
he didn’t really receive any legal trouble.
Although he’s strange and mischievous,
you can tell he’s not really an evil person.
And the fact that he’s so passionate about doing
this makes him really interesting to watch.
The film also follows a man
who’s obsessed with stopping him,
and the borderline unhealthy nature of his obsession makes
him almost as fascinating as the film’s main subject.
This film is both intriguing and hilarious,
so I’d recommend checking this one out.
[clip] I would use this
to blow it up 154 times,
so that I could paste it
onto a piece of wood
that I got them to cut for me
’cause they don’t have
a Home Depot in Laurel.
But Lowe’s is just as good.
You know, maybe bang up
the edges a little,
and then you’re in business.
I already stained it
with instant coffee.
Now I make it look like thick paint, then
simulate paint strokes with that stuff I got.
[YMS] At number 15 we have Jodorowsky’s Dune,
a documentary about the greatest film never made.
In the mid 70’s, Alejandro Jodorowsky,
the director of my favorite film, The Holy Mountain,
attempted to adapt the science fiction novel Dune into a film,
but ultimately failed because his project was too ambitious.
This documentary guides us through what
this movie would have or could have been,
making it extra entertaining for
film and science-fiction geeks,
but at the same time, those aren’t necessarily
prerequisites to enjoy the film.
Listening to Jodorowsky retell how it all
went down is quite the engaging story,
and with him being such a humorous and charismatic
character, it’s hard not to enjoy this film.
This film also contains the last known
interview of H.R. Giger before his death,
so any fans of his work would also
likely benefit from seeing this film.
If this looks interesting to you, then check it out.
[clip] Alejandro motivated
me to such an extent.
I used to go in at weekends
just to finish paintings.
‘Cause I’ve got this sort of a memory
of coming up with a spaceship over a weekend.
It’s been mortally wounded and all
this spice is spitting out of it.
And it’s got a camouflage
which matches the astroid.
It was just like a fish. A bit stayed
very still, no one could see it.
And then… This was the whole…
I remember seeing that very clearly in my head.
You think you’re looking at a rock,
just as if you’re under the sea,
and then suddenly something moves
and you realise that it’s an object.
[YMS] At number 14 we have
Norte, The End of History.
This film is kind of insane.
With a runtime of four hours and ten minutes,
it’s astonishing that it doesn’t even feel slowly paced.
This film doesn’t feel like a stretched
out version of something shorter,
but instead it feels like you’re
watching a mini-series all at once.
The film is filled with gripping dialogue,
interesting philosophical discussions,
and enough action and drama to
keep things fresh and exciting.
There are also some extremely powerful
performances on display in this film.
In many dialogue-oriented scenes,
the shots go on for quite some time,
and only after so long do you realise that the
camera has slowly been inching forward that whole time.
This subtle creeping movement found in many of the scenes
helps accentuate the tension found in the actual story.
It’s wonderfully impressive,
but it’s also very disturbing.
If you’re not too intimidated by the long runtime,
do yourself a favor and check this one out.
At number 13 is a documentary called
The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.
Now before I’d watched this documentary,
I only really knew of him as co-founder of Reddit.
But holy crap, I had no idea just
how important of a person he was.
This documentary not only shows just how influential
he was over how the Internet functions today,
but it also tells an emotional story that
had me tearing up while I was watching it.
It’s a very well-paced and
and it’s not only just important to learn
about Aaron and his accomplishments,
it’s important to see this film so that his principles
and everything he stood for continues to live on.
Without his efforts, it’s possible
I wouldn’t even be doing this for a living.
This documentary is one that I’d consider to be necessary
to watch, so do yourself a favor and check it out.
[clip] I showed him the code, and
I didn’t know what would come next,
but as it turns out, over the course of
the next few hours at that conference,
he was off sitting in a corner,
improving my code,
recruiting a friend of his that lived near
one of these libraries to go into the library,
and to begin to test his improved code,
at which point the folks at the courts realized
something is not going quite according to plan.
And data started to come in,
and come in, and come in,
and soon there was 760 GB of PACER docs,
about 20 million pages.
Using information retrieved
from the trial libraries,
Swartz was conducting massive automated
parallel downloading of the PACER system.
He was able to acquire nearly 2.7 million Federal
Court documents, almost 20 million pages of text.
Now, I’ll grant you that 20 million pages had perhaps exceeded
the expectations of the people running the pilot access project,
but surprising a bureaucrat isn’t illegal.
[YMS] At number 12 we have Under The Skin.
This right here is one disturbing movie.
It’s not often when I see
something so genuinely unsettling,
especially when that feeling is brought out almost
entirely by the way it was filmed and presented.
This is a film that proves without a doubt
that presentation means more than anything.
There have been plenty of alien seductress
films before this one that weren’t all that great,
but the filmmaking choices in Under The Skin
make it stand out well above its competition.
The film itself allows us watch this
story through an alien perspective.
Much of what we see the main character do in the
film is left unexplained in a matter-of-fact way.
Although much of it is easy to interpret, it’s what we
don’t understand that gives of a fear of the unknown.
Anyone who’s read the book will obviously have
a clearer understanding of what’s going on,
but it’s not at all necessary
for this film to suck you in.
Many of the people you see in the film
didn’t even know they were in it.
Many of the scenes were candidly filmed in Scotland
where Scarlett Johansson wasn’t as easily recognisable.
This blend of real and fiction spliced together
gives this film a very distinct feel.
The soundtrack is both exceptional
and off-puttingly weird.
It has a kind of main theme that repeats
itself during certain scenes in the film,
but as more and more is revealed
each time in the scenes themselves,
the soundtrack complements this by adding more
layers to the music as the film goes on.
Under The Skin is a great horror movie that
doesn’t need jumpscares or shock value.
Instead, the horror penetrates deep into your consciousness
and leaves you disturbed well after the film ends.
Despite the film’s most memorable
moments being the most horrific ones,
strangely enough, this movie is more about the journey of our
main alien character more than it’s about just being a horror film.
If any of this sounds good to you, then
I’d recommend checking this one out.
[ ♪ Mica Levi – Lipstick to Void ♪ ]
At number 11 is Ida.
This film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film
of the year and it was also nominated for Best Cinematography.
And I’ve gotta say, the cinematography is
definitely where it stands out the most.
Each shot in this film looks
like a beautiful photograph.
Many of the character shots are framed with
an unusual amount of space above their heads,
almost as if to reference the elements of the
film that constantly hang over the characters.
These elements being religion,
upbringing, identity, responsibility.
a wealth of different factors and events that lead
to where these characters find themselves now.
Events revealed of the past causing these characters
to now start questioning their future.
At just 80 minutes, this film is short and sweet,
but it is also powerful and lingering.
It accomplishes quite a lot in a short amount
of time and it never once feels dull or boring.
The characters we see have subtle observable
traits that help us to better understand them.
All around, it’s a pretty perfectly made film.
So if this looks good to you, then check it out.
At number 10 is Winter Sleep.
Now this is the same director as
Three Monkeys from my 2008 list,
as well as Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, a film
that I sometimes regret not putting on my 2011 list.
Out of all three of these,
Winter Sleep is probably the slowest.
In fact, out of every single movie on this list,
Winter Sleep is definitely the slowest,
but that doesn’t stop it from being
expertly crafted on a meticulous level.
This director is one that I’d consider
to be an expert at his craft.
The visual element of this film is nothing short of breathtaking,
with each shot feeling like a precise calculation.
The story itself, although
I can’t call it riveting,
is one that is both thought-provoking and engaging,
which is exactly what it aims to be.
The film is fairly philosophical
in the conversations it develops,
and every single actor is absolutely fantastic to watch.
Their speech and mannerisms not only make them very
watchable, but it also gives them clearly defined traits.
It’s an expertly shot drama
with very relatable characters,
and one that’s even
better on your second watch.
If you’re not a fan of slow movies,
then this one’s not for you,
but to everyone else,
you should check this one out.
At number 9 is a Swedish
film called Force Majeure,
a fresh take on the dysfunctional
family vacation movie.
This dark comedy is hilarious,
awkward and emotional.
It’s wildly entertaining and very well-shot,
not just showcasing eye-catching environments,
but also a great sense of framing.
This film touches on various ideas and concepts, with its main
themes centered around gendered expectations and responsibility.
This movie’s an absolute blast to watch and
it’s easy to recommend it to most everyone.
Whether you wanna call it a comedic drama or a dark comedy,
it’s a fantastic film either way, so I’d recommend checking it out.
[clip] – Ah, okay. Thank you.
– You’re welcome. Have a good time!
– Yeah, you too. Thank you!
– Bye Bye!
Excuse me. I had to come back again.
We made a mistake. She didn’t mean you.
She meant someone else, my friend.
She didn’t mean you.
– I’m sorry. It was my fault.
– Okay, no. Fine, thank you.
– But have a good time.
Listen, it was my fault. I’m really sorry for this.
I was actually pointing at someone else, so eh…
[YMS] At number 8 we have David Fincher’s Gone Girl.
Now anybody already familiar with this director
already knows how insanely talented he is.
His attention to detail isn’t just
limited to what we see in each frame.
The way he carefully and respectfully constructs
and develops the characters in his films,
you might be surprised to learn that he doesn’t even have so much
as a writing credit on any single one of his feature length films.
The way he’s able to take the writing materials of
others and bring them to life in such a perfect way.
His keen understanding of the original
material shines through in such a way
that it’s astonishing that that original
material didn’t come from himself.
The way David Fincher directs his
films holds such an omniscience
that you can easily forget there’s
even anyone behind the camera.
He puts incredible amounts of effort into controlling
things that are visible within the frame,
and what helps sell it realism is that it
stays noticeable but not overemphasized.
Rather than having unnecessary close-ups, things
happen within the frame that you’re able to notice,
not things that the director
won’t let you not notice.
Sure, sometimes characters do things in
this film that are incredibly stupid,
but they don’t do anything that
contradicts their character.
The only real criticism I have about this film is
that I feel there were a few too many product placements.
But otherwise, this is absolutely fantastic, exciting,
gripping story presented by a masterful director.
So I think you should check this one out.
[clip] Nick? I just wanted to introduce
myself. My name’s Shawna Kelly.
– I am so sorry for your… troubles.
– Thank you, that’s kind.
– Are you remembering to eat?
– Well, a lot of cold cuts.
I’m gonna fix you up my
world-famous chicken frito pie.
– That’s very kind and very unnecessary.
– You have to keep your strength.
Say: “Chicken frito pie!”
You know what? Would you
delete that picture for me?
– It’s a nice photo.
– I know it is.
But just do me a favor.
Would you go ahead
and please delete that picture?
– You just press…
– What is wrong with you?
Could you please not
share that with anyone?
I will share it with whomever I please.
– Marybeth is pissed.
[YMS] At number 7 we have The Lego Movie.
Now when I saw the trailer for the film, I assumed
it would be just like any other random kids movie.
Especially with a property as big as Lego,
how could you even assume that what we get out of
it is an intelligent, creative, well-written film?
It is an absolute rarity that I’m this
surprised by how a movie turns out,
but I’ve gotta say, it’s a
genuinely fantastic film.
Now for some reason, whenever I talk
about how much I love this movie,
I get a few responses from people
saying things along the lines of:
“Adam, how come you like The Lego Movie
when it’s so riddled with clichés?”
Responses like that make me feel as
though they didn’t understand the movie,
because The Lego Movie is a
satire of those very clichés.
I shit you not, The Lego Movie is riddled with social and political commentary,
all the while parodying common film and narrative clichés.
It is a story about stories.
It is a film within a film.
It is a distopian exaggeration of our current society.
And while it’s doing all that, it still manages
to be a hilariously entertaining film.
I was planning on making a video explaining this, but Earthling Cinema
posted a video that explained most of what I wanted to say.
Obviously don’t click on that video
unless you’ve already seen the film.
I also left a comment there with
a couple things to add to it.
So in case you can’t find it there,
I’ll show it on screen here very briefly,
not long enough to read it, but just long enough to pause the
video if you want to read it after you’ve already seen the film.
3, 2, 1: BLEEEEAAAAARP.
This movie also has some of the most distinct and purposeful
computer animation I’ve seen in quite a long time.
It’s an absolute fucking rarity that a big Hollywood studio
film is able to present themselves in such a stylistic way.
Under a different team, this movie could have looked
like a high texture version of a Lego videogame cutscene.
Instead, the movie played with frame rate,
focus and depth of field
in a way that thoughtfully mimicks the type of stopmotion
video you’d see coming out of a Lego movie playset.
There is so much thought and care
put into each decision of this film
that it’s an absolute shame it didn’t even
get nominated for Best Animated Feature.
Perhaps the Academy, known for not actually
watching many of the films that they vote on,
just assumed that it would be
a gigantic Lego commercial.
And in a way, it very much was.
But if this is a gigantic advertisement that instead
of them having to trick or force me into watching it,
I ACTUALLY want to watch it, then feel free to make
all of your advertisements from now on this amazing,
and I’ll pay to see it, rather than
you having to pay for me to see it.
This is a surprisingly great film for every age and it’s
exactly what a kid’s movie should be, so check it out.
– Will you please tell me what is happening?
– I’m rescuing you, sir.
You’re the one the prophecy spoke of.
You’re The Special.
You found the Piece of Resistance.
And the prophecy states that you are the
most important, most talented, most interesting,
and most extraordinary
person in the universe.
That’s you. Right?
Uuuuuuuuh, yes. That’s me.
– Great. You drive.
Aaaaaaaah! I wanna go home!
This is not what I meant!
Oh, no. Look out, Special!
Uh, sorry. Never driven a motorcycle. Sorry!
[YMS] At number 6 we have Leviathan.
Now this is the same director
as Elena from my 2012 list,
and I’ve gotta say,
this film is even better.
This is not exactly what I
would call a feelgood movie.
You might even say that its aim
is to make you feel like shit.
The film may be depressing, but it is nothing
short of superb in its presentation.
Every single performance is absolutely flawless,
the characters are fleshed out, their struggles are relatable,
the choices this director makes of
what to show and what not to show.
How the story is revealed and how it’s presented is very
important and this director knows exactly what he’s doing.
The location and environment are not only relevant to the plot,
but they also add a lot of character to the film as well.
And on top of all that, when people act drunk in this
film, they look as though they’re seriously drunk!
I do not think I’ve seen a single film with
this much vodka consumption in my life.
This movie is one that leaves lot to appreciate on
nearly every level, so I’d recommend checking it out.
At number 5 is Magical Girl,
a surprisingly great movie that
came out of fucking nowhere.
It wasn’t even on my radar at all until somebody suggested it,
but I’m glad they did, because now it’s in my top five movies of 2014.
This film has three main characters that are
each given about an equal amount of time,
and each of these characters and
stories are equally powerful.
There isn’t a single
weak element between them.
It’s one of those stories that just seems
to fit and work together so perfectly.
There are drastic choices that
these characters have to make,
but each of them are completely
understandable in the context of the film.
The film’s reincorporations are memorable and
sweet without feeling forced and out of place.
It’s a film that impresses the first watch,
but still leaves things to pick up on your second.
There are interesting details and connections to
pick up on that give parts of the film a double meaning.
There’s also quite a bit that the director
respectfully leaves up to interpretation,
where certain elements of the film are actually
much more effective, because they didn’t show it.
Don’t really wanna spoil anything, so I’m
not gonna reveal too much about the plot,
but it doesn’t take long from starting
this movie to get you hooked until the end.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable film
and I’d recommend that you check it out.
At number 4 is The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson.
This film is quite the stylistic treat.
Wich each new film that Wes Anderson releases,
his style becomes even more perfected.
What we see in this film is a symphony of well-coordinated
stationary symmetrical shots that all look beautiful.
The film also makes an extra effort by
incorporating different aspect ratios.
And no, they’re not just there
to be weird and random,
they change dependent on the time period
that the scene is taking place in.
The film is quirky, exhilarating and quite often cartoony,
with an enery-filled upbeat tone that never slows down the entire film.
This movie is super fun and it’s hard to
watch it without a grin on your face.
Whether you’re familiar with his other films or have yet
to be introduced, I’d recommend checking this one out.
[clip] It’s quite a thing winning the loyalty of a
woman like that for nineteen consecutive seasons.
– Yes, sir.
– She’s very fond of me, you know.
– Yes, sir.
– But I’ve never seen her like that before.
– No, sir.
– She was shaking like a shitting dog.
Run to the cathedral of Santa
Maria in Brucknerplatz.
Buy one of the plain, half-length candles
and take back four Klubecks in change.
Light it in the sacristy, say a brief rosary then
go to Mendl’s and get me a courtesan au chocolat.
If there’s any money left, give it
to the crippled shoe-shine boy.
– Right away, sir.
– Hold it.
– Who are you?
– I’m Zero, sir. The new Lobby Boy.
– Zero, you say?
– Yes, sir.
Well, I’ve never heard of you, never
laid eyes on you. Who hired you?
– Mr. Mosher, sir.
– Mr. Mosher!
Yes, Monsieur Gustave?
Am I to understand you’ve surreptitiously hired
this young man in the position of a Lobby Boy?
He’s been engaged for a trial period,
pending your approval, of course.
Uh… Perhaps, yes.
Thank you, Mr. Mosher.
You’re most welcome,
[YMS] At number 3 we have Whiplash.
This is a movie that is widely
agreed to be a modern-day masterpiece.
The scenes that take place in this film
will be remembered for generations to come.
The performances from both J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller
are nothing short of career-defining for them.
There is so much incredibly performed
and delivered tension and drama.
The pressure that we see being put on these characters
is something that we can genuinely feel for ourselves.
This might not be an accurate depiction of what one
would go through in a jazz conservatory environment,
but it uses that setting as a way to explore a theoretical
scenario that brings so much artistic and entertainment value.
That scenario being: “What if we combine the
driving motivation of a talented musician
with a borderline
psychotic-army-drill-instructor type conductor?”
The result is an absolutely exhilarating
spectacle for both music and film lovers alike.
I would highly recommend this film. It is a must-see,
so if you haven’t seen it, then please see it right away.
It’s exciting from start to finish and it has one
of the best endings for a film I have ever seen.
So do yourself a favor
and check this one out.
[clip] Do you think you’re out of tune?
What are you…
There’s no fucking Mars bar down there.
What are you looking at?
Look up here. Look at me.
Do you think you’re out of tune?
THEN WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T YOU SAY SO?!!!
I’ve carried your fat ass for too long, Metz.
I’m not gonna have you cost us a competition because
your mind’s on a fucking Happy Meal instead of on pitch.
Jackson, congratulations, your fourth chair. Metz,
why are you still sitting there? Get the fuck out!
[YMS] At number 2 on my list is Mommy.
This movie blew me away.
Now this French Canadian director is 27 years
old and has been making films since 2009.
Now I haven’t seen all of them, but I only started
getting really impressed after he released Tom At The Farm,
a film that appeared on my 2013 list.
As it is right now, I consider
Mommy to be his masterpiece.
I’ve seen the movie at least four times now
and I’ve teared up every single time.
This film is so incredibly powerful that it’s a
shame it didn’t get more attention than it did.
The three main actors in this film each delivered
some of the absolute best performances of the year.
There’s so much character to each of these characters
and they are all performed absolutely perfectly.
Now if you’re wondering about the aspect ratio,
the film is presented in 1:1.
I know it seems weird, but trust me, there is a
purpose to it that you’ll discover as you watch the film.
These characters are ultimately disfunctional,
but they play off of each other in such an amazing way.
Even if at times they’re kind of insane,
this movie has me seriously caring for them.
Another interesting choice is
the presentation of the soundtrack,
where we hear a variety of late
90’s to early 2000’s hit music,
and the lyrics of each song perfectly
coincide with what’s happening in the film.
This playlist not only has a purpose
within the film’s universe,
but it’s almost as if the film
was written around these songs.
These extra details in the presentation,
whether from the soundtrack or elsewhere,
provide us with so much inside into these
characters and how they’re feeling.
It is so easy to fall in love with this movie.
It is so incredibly easy to get emotionally
invested in these characters and their struggles.
I absolutely love this movie and I highly
encourage you to check it out as well.
And my number one film of 2014 iiiiiiiiiiis……
Yeah, you guessed it. It’s Birdman!
Alejandro González Iñárritu is one
of my favorite directors right now,
and this is one of his films that
really shows off his talent.
This entire film plays as though
it were one continuous shot,
so the entire movie is essentially a
perfectly-timed hyper-coordinated dance,
where if everybody in the production isn’t at their absolute best,
it could mean having to redo an entire fifteen minute long take.
[Iñárritu] Every movement, every step, every turn
of the face, everything is absolutely pre-decided.
There is nothing improvised and if it didn’t happen like that, one little bit, little late or after,
as every joke, its timing is like music. If there’s a drum
that’s out of beat, it’d just screw the whole thing, so…
It was the awareness that everybody
was intervened with the other ones,
so everybody was interdepending of
the timing, the steps and the camera.
So all those things went for me in a very beautiful
process of exploration, of what storytelling is.
[YMS] The choice to present the film in
this way is perfect for the story,
as the absence of cuts very
much mimicks a theatrical play.
And that’s not the only meta thing going on.
The character Michael Keaton plays is an actor looking to
regain his fame after once playing a popular superhero.
We not only see actors play actors, we even see the
film’s soundtrack being played within the film.
It is super meta and self-referential, with endless layers
to dissect affecting the context or meaning of the film.
The performances in this movie are mind-blowing.
Because of the long takes, we get to see these actors go through
a variety of emotions seamlessly right before our eyes.
This is the best performance I’ve ever seen from Emma Stone
and this is the best performance I’ve ever seen from Michael Keaton.
The presentation of this film not only gives it
extra layers, but it also fits perfectly regardless.
To show these events seamlessly play out like this allows us to
really feel the tension and pressure being put on the main character.
[Iñárritu] The film has, I hope, a special way to perceived
by a linear narrative, by a continuous shot, who…
Which, I hope that… My hope was to really get
audiences in the point of view of the character,
and really live through his points of view
and his mind and put the audience in his shoes.
With a continuous flow of emotion
and not being able to get out.
Something like really to get into the…
The desperate flow that he’s going through in those
walls and these corridors and these dressing rooms.
I want the people to really feel that, because at the end,
our life, it’s just a continuous shot, you know.
We wake up in the morning, and then we are all day
with a steadycam floating and we don’t escape.
We don’t have “Cut to New York raining” and “Cut to…”,
no, we are trapped in our own reality,
so that’s the way we experience our life,
so I want people to experience the life
of a person in one continuous shot,
and I want to have an emotional narrative.
Dramatic tension valuate. It’s not only a visual thing.
It’s with a narrative purpose that
I really try and I hope that it worked.
[YMS] This is an absolutely brilliant film and I’m
glad that it managed to get the attention that it did.
So if you somehow haven’t seen this yet,
then please check it out.
[clip] This guy’s heart
was breaking, because…
… he coudn’t turn is goddamn head
and just look at his goddamn wife.
I mean, it was killing this guy.
– I am so tired of this. Is this water?
– It was killing the guy.
Did you replace my gin with water, man?
– Mike, come on.
– No. Come on what?
Come on, you’re drunk.
I’m drunk? Yes I’m drunk! ! I’m supposed
to be drunk! Why aren’t you drunk?
This is Carver! He left a piece of his liver on
the table every time he wrote a fucking page!
If I need to be drinking gin, who the
fuck are you to touch my gin, man?!
Listen, you fucked with the period, you fucked
with the plot so you’d get the best lines.
You leave me the fucking tools that I need!
Oh, come on, people, don’t be so pathetic.
Stop looking at the world through your cell
phone screen! Have a real experience!
Does anybody give a shit
about truth other than me?
I mean, the set is fake, the bananas are fake.
There’s fucking nothing in this milk carton!
Your performance is fake. The only thing
that is real on this stage is this chicken.
So I’m gonna work with the chicken.
That was interesting.
– Bring the curtain down.
– Hey, that’s good bird, man!
– Get him out of here!
– How do you want me to do that?
[YMS] Well, there you have it:
my top 10 films of 2014.
I don’t really have much else to say, but I hope that
these videos help you discover films that you truly love.
Thank you for watching and I will catch you later.
Hey, just wanted to say: Very special thanks
to everybody supporting me on Patreon.
Your names are scrolling
up next to me right now!
Although, your first name is over top of your
last name instead of them being side-by-side.
It’s not my fault, it’s a fucking issue because of
how Patreon changed how they export the user data.
It’s a long story, but I’ll get it fixed for next time. I know it
looks stupid, but you can still see your name there regardless.
Thank you very much, I couldn’t
have done this without you.
It’s because of you guys that I’m able to do these
longer videos and actually spend my time on them,
because as you know, Youtube isn’t exactly a platform
that incentivises videos that are not short and frequent.
So if your thinking of donating
on Patreon, thank you so much,
but please, remember only to do so
if you actually like the content,
and if you’re comfortable with the upload
rate that you already see on my channel.
Also, I’m pimping out these sick T-shirts now,
because you can actually see them this time,
if I actually move away from
my microphone for just a second.
There we go. Yeah boy. High quality.
I truly appreciate being able to introduce
people to films that they genuinely love,
so if there is a film on this list or
otherwise that you’ve discovered through me,
and you genuinely love it and you’re like:
“Wow, I never would have known about this film!”,
then please, I guess just let me know in the comment section,
because I like hearing that kind of shit,
and it makes me feel good and it makes me feel
like I’m actually doing something worthwile,
instead of just yelling at
random movies on the Internet.
But anyway, I love you guys so much.
Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.
Play us off, Tyrone.
[Subtitles by Abel Boeschoten]