Free Hugs! Black Dog’s Top Picks for the Best Things!

Free Hugs!

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Twas a fine year for films, one of the better years in recent memory. 2014 made 2013 look like a big pile of puke in comparison. This is Black Dog’s list of what we thought were among the best things that cinema had to offer in the year of our lord, 2014. Grand Budapest Hotel seemed to be a popular film amongst the staff. Great film. Doing up my list I couldn’t help but wonder what would have been on John’s list. He had the most eclectic taste in film. It probably would have include some great art-house foreign flick – I’m guessing the new Dardenne Brothers film – whatever Mike Leigh or Ken Loach put out this year and maybe some action (was there a new Die Hard film this year?) or horror flick. Miss that guy.

Anyways without further ado (no more ado for you!) here’s what some Black Doggers liked this past year. (We’ll have a few more lists – including mine – next week)

Patrick’s Picks…

The Guest
Night Moves
Enemy
Boyhood
Dear White People
Grand Budapest Hotel
Hill of Freedom
Wintersleep
Listen Up Philip
Tale of Princess Kaguya

And here’s what tinkled Alex’s fancy…

(in alphabetical order)

Boyhood
Finding Vivian Maier
Gone Girl
It Follows
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau
Only Lovers Left Alive
Snowpiercer
Starry Eyes
Under the Skin

And from Amanda we have…

Grand Budapest Hotel
The Babadook
Under the Skin
Frank
Obvious Child
I Origins
Big Eyes
Mr. Turner
The Dog
Finding Vivian Maier
Ida
Coherence

Best in the realm of TV

The Comeback
True Detective
Inside Amy Schumer
Nathan for You
Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories

From RJ we have this fine selection…

10. Nightcrawler. Gylellenhaal and Rene Russo do some mighty fine acting in this tense thriller.
9. Ida. beauty and sadness often come together. Visually stunning.
8. Birdman. Michael Keaton really is a super hero. Innaritu makes a movie that isn’t depressing and guess what? .. It’s really good! The cast is on fire!
7. It Follows. Forget the Babadook! This movie s the most original horror movie in eons.
6. We are the Best!! Rebels with a cause! 80s punk teen girls rule!
5. Blue Ruin. A thrill ride thats never lets go and begins where you think it would end.
4. The Wonders. Italian new comer Alice Rorwacher’s coming of age story is true magic. Sweet but real with a hint of fantasy.
3. Under the Skin. Creepy Arty Genius. Glazer is a master of visual stimulation. Best soundtrack of 2014
2. Clouds of Sils Maria. I almost wrote this movie off and took a chance and was blown away. Layered and complex study of acting, actors and egos. Assayas has redeemed himself.
1.Force Majeure. This is the kind of movie that makes going to the theater worth every penny. A truly modern comedic masterpiece. Snow avalanches aren’t the only kind of disaster awaiting a family with deeply rooted issues .

Honorable mentions: Snowpiercer. Only Lovers Left Alive. Tracks. The Wind Rises. Lego movie. Grand Budapest Hotel. Edge of tomorrow. Stranger by the Lake.

Best TV shows/series in 2014

-Utopia(bbc)
-Broad City
-The Leftovers
-Mad men
-Getting On
-The comeback
-The Kroll Show
-Nathan for you

Biggest Disappointments…

-Godzilla-dumb dumb dumb…ugh!
-Muppets most wanted…way too long and not funny enough…
-The Sacrement- ti west please some back and make a good movie! please!

Seems Bjorn didn’t see any new films this past 12 months but here’s a great list of older stuff that blew his hair back…

In order viewed…

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Joseph Sargent, 1974)
A whip-crack 1970s thriller, with plenty of authentic grit and grime, awesome performances, and a perfect ending.

I Killed My Mother (Xavier Dolan, 2009)
Heartbreaking first feature from Canada’s boy genius. This kid whips out a screenplay in the time it takes me to fold my socks.

Brother’s Keeper (Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, 1992)
Before they made Metallica cry, Berlinger and Sinofsky made a name for themselves with this forthright bit of investigative journalism that is equally charming and creepy.

The Set-Up (Robert Wise, 1949)
This poignant boxing potboiler unfolds in real-time. A true nail-biter that transcends straight noir.

Titicut Follies (Frederick Wiseman, 1967)
This uncompromising, film is often brutal to watch, but it’s also bizarrely funny, and strangely charming.

Rome Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
Made under incredible circumstances, this first blast of neo-realism finds poetry in destruction.

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Elio Petri, 1970)
Eye-poppingly stylish murder procedural morphs into devastating political satire. Hey Criterion, more unearthing hidden gems like this, and fewer releases like, uh, Tootsie.

Gates of Heaven (Errol Morris, 1978)
Morris’ first stab at a feature documentary is like the most serene psychosis, quietly burrowing into the lives of the seemingly ordinary and unearthing the perfectly weird.

Coal Miner’s Daughter (Michael Apted, 1980)
Enthralling biopic featuring (literally) note-perfect performances across the board.

Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki, 2004)
By avoiding provocation, Araki makes his most provocative film. One of the most honest films about surviving abuse ever made.

On the Shelves This Week

Not much. This is traditionally a very slow period for releases. January looks tremendous though!

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Arrested Development Season 4 – It’s about friggin time this thing was released for all of us folk to enjoy. I hear that it’s great – maybe not as great as the first 3 seasons but you’ll want to see it none-the-less. Trust me.

Coming Next Week!

Boyhood
Alive Inside
Atlas Shrugged III
Get on Up
Girls Season 3
The Guest
Life After Beth
No Good Deed
The Skeleton Twins

We’re open until 8pm on New Year’s Eve and Noon till 11pm on New Year’s Day! Plan accordingly.

Happy viewing, my lovelies. We’ll have more picks for you next week (next year!). Hold on Tight.

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