Movie Review: Selma (2014)

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As I teased/promised yesterday in a tiny post that I would review this here movie. And Ya know what, I am a man of my word and shall therefore deliver a review.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to… “Selma”.

This movie follows civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) in one of the biggest periods of his life. As he is trying to make sure there are true equal voting rights for black people, he plans to start a giant march between Selma and Montgomery (Sidenote: Both towns are in the state of Alabama) as a sort of protest. And then drama. The story not only touches on the bigger aspects with the whole black rights thing, but it even explores a little bit of Dr. King’s family life and the relationship between and his wife. The story also decides to show you every terrible thing that happened to the people involved in the protests. What I am trying to say is that this movie got a lot of balls in the air at the same time. And I do think that it manages to juggle them perfectly. The story is full of excellent drama and it never feels like it is a “Ooo, white guilt” movie, it actually delves into all of the issues at the time in a very professional and superbly well-presented manner. I also like how the movie doesn’t present Dr. King as a flawless and god-like man, but actually presents him as human. It’s not always easy to watch, but I still thought the story was great!

Like I said, the character of Martin Luther King (jr) is humanized in this movie and is not presented as a god among men, but as a man with a really good heart which is kind of awesome. And holy fuckin’ shit, David Oyelowo gives us an incredible performance as the good Dr. I’m not joking, this is one of the best performances of last year. Carmen Ejogo as his wife was also terrific. A lot of great acting in this movie actually. Tom Wilkinson, Giovanni Ribisi, Cuba Gooding Jr, Oprah Winfrey, Common. And hello Tim Roth, fun to see you in an awesome role again. There is only good, great and amazing acting in this movie and I think that really helps out a lot.

The soundtrack to this movie is pretty great. The score was done by Jason Moran and it is pretty great, with all the right emotions and tension in place. And the licensed tracks used are perfectly placed as well and really helps sell teh time period. And ouf course I’m gonna talk about the original song “Glory” by Common and John Legend that was made for the movie… it’s pretty great. Perfect for the movie and overall really good music. Great job, guys!

This movie looks pretty fucking fantastic. The directing is really good and the cinematography is absolutely fantastic. The cinematography was done by Bradford Young who also did it for the movie “A Most Violent Year” which I kind of loved and reviewed a while back (Shameless plug). I feel like I need to disclaim something; if you can’t stand violence (a.k.a. if you’re a little squeamish) then this might not be the movie for you since it is at times really violent (But for a reason).

This movie has gotten some pretty great reception from critics and people alike. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 99% (100% if you go by “Top critics” only) positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 89/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10. “Selma” also won an Oscar in the category of Best Original Song (Glory). And it was nominated for an additional Oscar in the category of Best Picture. 

“Selma” is a difficult movie to watch because of it’s often brutal scenes, but it is also a very emotional and well told movie with fantastic acting, great music, good directing and terrific cinematography. Time for my final score. I HAVE A DREAM… My final score for “Selma” is a 9,86/10 and definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “Selma” is now completed.

… THAT ONE DAY THIS NATION WILL RISE UP…

Movie Review: A Most Violent Year (2014)

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If you’re the boss of a company, you want what’s best for said company. So therefore you might have to do some stuff you might not have wanted to do in the first place to keep it running. But you also have to think about your family (if you have one), and make sure they are healthy and good. It is quite the dilemma.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for… “A Most Violent Year”.

We follow Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac), an ambitious immigrant in New York City, year 1981. He runs a prtty successful business that runs oil. But as his trucks get robbed time and time gain, he has to find a way to keep his business safe. He also have to make sure his wife (Jessica Chastain) and kids are safe. And I found it all very interesting. Not only that but I was also riveted by the story and how it unfolded. And even though the story is a work of fiction, it still felt like something that could be real. It is also surprisingly suspenseful, even though it isn’t really a thriller. And don’t get fooled by the title, this is a pretty quiet drama, not an action movie. The plot also had some prety great twists here and tehre And I found it all to make a pretty great story.

The characters are fleshed out, entertaining and actually kind of unique in a sense. Oscar Isaac gives a terrific performance as Abel, a man who wants to go legit but gets forced into some not as legit stuff. So in a way he is kind of like Michael Corleone from “The Godfather”. Jessica Chastain as his wife was also pretty great, but that doesn’t surprise me since she’s been great in other things. David Oyelowo played a D.A. ‘(District attorney) in the movie and he was pretty great as well. Also, Albert Brooks was in this movie and while not as fantastic as he was in “Drive”, he was still great in this movie. Every performance in this movie was pretty great, I found no weak link here.

The score for the movie was done by Alex Ebert (Sidenote: No relation to movie critic Roger Ebert). And I gotta say, it is a very ominous and even a little bone-chilling score… and I fucking love it. Sure, it’s not as dark and terrifying as “Requiem For a Dream” (not comparing, just saying), but it is still pretty bone-chilling and haunting. It is also very well done and sounds perfect. It is definitely something I’d want for a suspenseful movie. I mean, some of the suspense actually comes from the score. So I do think that it really fit the movie perfectly and actually showed overall quality as a score/soundtrack.

“A Most Violent Year” was directed by J.C. Chandor. And while I haven’t seen anything by him yet, I have been curious about his two previous movies for a while. One of them is “All is Lost” and the other one is “Margin Call”. Anyway, Chandor did a great job directing this movie, the shots line up perfectly and it is overall very well-directed. I also really liked the cinematography by Bradford Young, it looked fantastic. His cinematography almost gives the movie a David Fincher-esque style/quality to it, and I love that shit. I also gotta mention that the writing in the movie is pretty fucking great. The dialogue is fantastic and it all feels very natural. Also, Chandor is the writer of the movie, so he did two great things with this movie!

This movie has been received pretty damn well. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“A Most Violent Year” is one of the most surprisingly great movies I have seen in a while. It has a fantastic plot with some great twists, fantastic performances & characters, a terrific score, great direction, excellent cinematography and great writing. Time for my final score. Jeff! Get over here! *Punches Jeff in face*. Maybe that was a little too violent, huh Jeff? My final score for “A Most Violent Year” is a 9,87/10. It most definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “A Most Violent Year” is now completed.

Onwards to J.C. Chandor’s other movies!

Soon it will (finally) arrive…

Hello, peoples of le interwebz. I don’t know what the fuck that was, but it happened. Anyway, I just wanted to say that it won’t be long now (hopefully) until I will finally make my list of my favorite movies of 2014. There are maybe only like three movies left I have to see before I can be sure of what my list will be like.
You see, I didn’t want to make my list at the end of the year like everyone else simply to have it out at the same time as everyone else. I wanted to wait until I’d seen all the movies from 2014 I wanted to see. So that is why my lsit is so late compared to others. But soon, it’ll be here and it will be a good time.

Have a good one.

Movie Review: Snowpiercer (2014)

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Post apocalyptic stories are really fascinating. It is interesting to see how different authors/directors portray their post apocalyptic world. Some of my favorite post apocalyptic stories include the TV show “The Walking Dead” and the excellent novel “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. What I am trying to say is that I enjoy post apocalyptic stuff and I was therefore intereted in this movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Snowpiercer”.

The world has gone to shit. Everything is frozen because of something humans discovered once. And because of that there aren’t many humans left (thank you, people!). Now the few remaining humans all live on this train that circles the world during the course of one year. But this train isn’t like the happiest place ever, oh no. It has basically become a very tragic society. In the front we have the good parts of the train where people live happily and richly and asshole-y. And in the back we have the essential shithole. But soon we will have a revolution led by Curtis (Chris Evans) and old man Gilliam (John Hurt). And while that sounds like typical “the little people standing up for themselves” story, you’d be right an wrong. It looks like that at first but the story is much more well-written than that. It contains twists, excellent plot progression and some genuinely good storytelling. I loved the plot to the movie. It was interesting to see Chris Evans with all these other people trying to take this train, because it wasn’t just an action movie, it also had a lot of dramatic strength too and it managed to surprise me with everything that it did. And that is why I kind of loved the plot.

The characters in this movie all have serious arcs which makes them so interesting. And that is great because there are a lot of characters in this movie and that is something they could have fucked up, but didn’t. Chris Evans is pretty fantastic in this movie. He shows all emotions possible in this movie and he captures them all perfectly. He is also excellent in the action scenes. John Hurt is also pretty great, but you all knew that. I mean, it’s John frickin’ Hurt! Octavia Spencer was also great in this movie as this mother who loses her child pretty early on. She also showed a lot of emotion and gave a great performance. To be honest, everybody in this movie was great! All characters and all performances were great.

The original score by Marco Beltrami was another thing in this movie that was great. It fit the mood of this dark and at times disturbing movie. His score really helped bring the intensity to an entirely different level. There were also some emotional songs in the soundtrack as well that were pretty great too. Like I basically said at first, the entire score is great.

Don’t go into this movie expecting a generic American action movie which is kind of ironic because of Chris Evans who also plays Captain America in the Marvel movies. Anyway. this is as far from your typical American action movie as you can get. So if you want a generic American action movie then this isn’t for you. The action in “Snowpiercer” is intense, brutal and visceral. And for those of you who have seen the movie, yes there is shaky-cam in the movie, but they use it in a good way compared to everyone else who decides to use it. The camera work in general is pretty great too. This was directed by Korean director Joon-ho Bong who I have not seen anything else from. But now that I’ve seen how great of a director he is with “Snowpiercer” I kind of want to see something else by him. Because he was great.

This movie has been really well-received by critics and a fair amount of people alike. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 84/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

“Snowpiercer” is a very original and different movie that I loved. The story was great, the acting was great, the music was great and everything from the camera work/director was also great. Time for my final score. The hell? *Opens up bullet*. The score was rolledi nto a bullet… weird. My final score for “Snowpiercer” is a 9,83/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

Review of “Snowpiercer” is completed.

Wait… This isn’t the Hogwarts express!

Movie Review: Whiplash (2014)

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Here is a little fun fact for you, I am actually a musician. Yeah, didn’t see that one coming, did ya? I play the trombone. For how long you may ask? Well this fall I will have played for 10 years (Damn, dude!). I enjoy playing and it is something that I have always enjoyed despite a few ups and downs here and there. And even though there have been times I have felt I didn’t enjoy it too much, I have never had it as tough as the main character of this movie.

What I am saying is that this is my review of “Whiplash”.

Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) is a young man with a dream. This dream is to become the next big jazz drummer. So he enrolls in this certain music school. And when he gets a shot to be in a sort of high-end orchestra in that school he meets conductor Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) who is the scariest motherfucker ever. And from that point on we see not only how Andrew evolves as a drummer and person but we also get to see some psychological warfare between him and Fletcher. And this butting of heads creates one of the most intense storylines I have seen and not one firearm is shot. You see how Fletcher really does his best to bring Andrew down to the ground with both verbal and physical abuse. You see how Andrew dealing with the orchestral/Fletcher problems and you also get a small look into the fact on how the world looks at musicians compared to athletes. And I loved absolutely every second of the story of this movie. It is dramatic, it is intense and it is powerful. I was interested every second of screentime. The story of “Whiplash” is fantastic.

All the characters have good arcs, writing and acting. Miles Teller I never expected much from in anything really, but I was kind of turned around when I saw him in this movie. He really got some great acting chops. So I am curious to see how he takes on the role of Mr. Fantastic in the upcoming “Fantastic Four” movie. But by far, the highlight of the movie was the performance of J.K. Simmons. Let me put it like this. There is good acting, there is great acting and then there is J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”. When he was on screen I didn’t see J. Jonah Jameson or Assistant Chief Will Pope, this was a new guy who I swear is the most intimidating character in a movie since Derk Vinyard in “American History X”. Simmons was absolutely fantastic as this vulgar, loud and frightening character. I do overall think the characters and the acting in this movie are absolutely great.

The score by Tim Simonec is great. It is jazzy, it is cool and it fits fantastically in this movie. Of course there were a few tracks that were simply covers (like Don Ellis’ song “Whiplash”). But the covers that were in the movie were absolutely fantastic and the original tracks were great as well. This is a soundtrack I love listening to and will probably buy.

This movie is beautifully shot. Sure, it isn’t as innovative as “Birdman” but it still looks great. The use of darkness and lighting in this movie is really great and the camera work is really, really good. Something that was interesting to find out about this movie is that even though they are playing to backing tracks in the movie, Miles Teller is apparently one hell of a drummer and has been playing since age 15. I also want to mention that the last 10 – 20 minutes of this movie are absolutely phenomenal and is probably one of the best finales I have seen in any movie ever.

This movie has gotten some pretty great reception. On Rotten Tomatoes this movie has a 95% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic this movie got a score of 88/100. And on imdb.com this movie has an 8,6/10 and is ranked #38 on the “Top 250” list. “Whiplash” also won 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons), Best Film Editing and Best sound mixing. The movie was also nominated for another 2 Oscars in the categories of Best motion picture of the year and Best adapted screenplay. 

“Whiplash” is an absolutely fantastic movie with a great story, fantastic performances, great music, great directing and one of the best finales ever! Time for my final score. JEFF! GET THE FOLDER! Great! Get the fuck out of my sight before I demolish you! My final score for “Whiplash” is a 9,85/10. This is a fantastic movie that definitely is worthy of the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “Whiplash” is now done.

I don’t wanna start playing drums, I might end up with Fletcher!

Movie Review: Birdman (2014)

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Superhero movies! You either love them or you hate them, that’s how it is. Fine you can be indifferent about them too, but that isn’t important. So last year I heard about this new superhero movie that when it came out got some of the best reviews of any superhero movie ever. So I was of course pumped! Now this superher-what? This isn’t a superhero movie? Really? Well, fuck you, Jeff!

So this isn’t a superhero movie apparently… fuck it, this is my review of “Birdman”.

“Birdman” is about washed up actor Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton). In the early 90’s he played superhero “Birdman” (Roll Credits). But now he got no major relevance. So to kind of get back some of that former glory he is setting up a stage play. But that isn’t as easy as it may seem. For one it is on Broadway, A.K.A it is a big production. Next up he has to deal with a few family issues, mainly his daughter Sam (Emma Stone). He also has to deal with a last minute replacement actor named Mike (Edward Norton) who is really “method”. We also get to kind of see Riggan’s descent into madness throughout. And it turns out the story of “Birdman” is fucking amazing. I have never been invested in a story this weird and amazing since I first saw “Fight Club”. Seeing Riggan and everybody try to deal with setting up the play is interesting and then to see the often kind of surrealistic descent into madness from Riggan just adds to the already multi-layered and amazing story.

The characters in this movie are all incredibly interesting with some terrific writing and great development. It is also noticeable that they all have their own problems to deal with. It was also great to see a movie with so many great performances. Michael Keaton gives the best performance of his entire career. I have always liked the guy, bur he has never really been THIS good. Emma Stone was also great. Hell, even Zach Galifianakis was really good in this movie. And I am aware you know I will gush over Edward Norton since he is my favorite actor so let’s just get it over with. Edward Norton was fucking amazing in this movie. Now he is always great, but he hasn’t given a performance this good since I don’t know, “The Illusionist” maybe. But I do think all the acting in the movie was great and all characters were well-rounded and well-written.

The score was done by Antonio Sanchez and the funny thing about the score is that it is made from percussion only… but I didn’t mind. The score was truly great and really worked to give the feel of all the situations and emotions of the characters. There is also a thing about the score that integrates itself into the movie in a really fun way that I am not going to spoil, but when you see it you will know it and really enjoy it. Overall I found the score to be great.

This movie looks amazing. Not only because they found people who could line up the shots perfectly but also because it all looks like a continuous shot. That’s right, the entirety of “Birdman” looks like one long never-ending shot. Of course there are cuts in it, but it is cheated and edited so well that it isn’t easy finding them all. It is also kind of ironic that this is about a guy who used to play an iconic superhero, even bigger irony is that the last movie that said character was in came out 1992 (according to characters in the movie). Why is this ironic? Well because Michael Keaton used to play Batman back in the day and that the last movie he played Batman in was “Batman Returns” which came out in 1992. See the irony? Good. To keep on the same trail of superheroes, this movie gives a lot of great statements on superhero movies, stage plays, actors, critics and everything within the entertainment business you could think of. And that type of self aware commentary is something I love seeing in movies. Of course I love myself a good superhero movie, but the way this movie comments on them is genius. Believe me, this movie doesn’t rip the superhero movies a new one, but it sheds a good amount of light and gives great commentary on it. There is also a scene featuring some great commentary in the movie where the character of Riggan just explodes on a critic and it is glorious! Of course I might sound a tiny bit like a hypocrit saying that because I might be viewed on as a critic and I completely understand that, but I’m not a critic… but that’s for another time! *Nudge nudge, wink wink*.

This movie like I said in the beginning got some great reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and is certified “Fresh”. On Metacritic it has a score of 88/100. And on imdb.com it has an 8,1/10 and is ranked #202 on the “Top 250” list. Also, as of this review the movie has been nominated for 9 Oscars (Holy shit) in the categories of Best motion picture of the year, Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best cinematography, Best sound mixing and Best sound editing.

“Birdman” is an achievment in film-making with it’s original filming/editing style. It also got some truly great performances, a great score, a great original story and some great commentary on the entertainment industry. Time for my final score. JEFF! Where’s the fucking envelope!? Thank you! My final score for “Birdman” is a 9,86/10. This is a fantastic movie that of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“Birdman” is now reviewed.

Why the extra title? Why not simply choose one? Either you go “Birdman” or you go “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance”. Simple as that.

Movie Review: John Wick (2014)

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Is it just me or are action movies these days incredibly reserved and stiff? I mean, in comparison with how they were 20 years ago. Remember the intense action movies of the 80’s and 90’s such as “Die Hard” or “Speed”? Because I remember those (despite my young age) and they are awesome. They intense, badass and for the most part unrelenting. These days all action movies are PG-13 with shaky-cam and obring premises. Okay, not all modern action movies are awful, the “Bourne” trilogy is fucking awesome, but you get my point. But this is a discussion for another time, today we are getting something else! This time we are taking a look at a modern action movie that has gotten good reviews and it is… actually rated R… holy shit. Let’s review it!

Johns and Janes… “John Wick”.

The plot to this movie is actually really simple to summarize. Russian mobsters take everything from former hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) and then John goes out on a revenge spree, taking them out one after one. That’s it really. It is a simple revenge plot with a lot of great sort of world building, establishing this universe and adding a few neat twists and turns. But how does the plot work to keep the movie going? Pretty well actually. It is a simple plot that works because of good execution and good twists. I thouroughly enjoyed the plot of “John Wick”.

The character of John Wick is pretty relatable in comparison to a lot of action heroes. Not only does Keanu Reeves have that feel about him, but he also gets his ass kicked a fair amount. He kicks a ton of ass but also gets his ass kicked… he is kind of like John McClane from “Die Hard” in that sense and I like that. i also have to dare to say that this is probably the best performance I have ever seen from Keanu. He shows a lot of emotions in this movie, not only his regular “stiff but smiling sometimes thing”. He shows a lot of anger and despair throughout the movie and he actually gives a great performance. The otehr characters in the movie were all great as well. Michael Nyqvist plays Russian mobster Viggo Tarasov and he does it splendidly. He adds a lot to the character and he perfectly fit. Alfie Allen plays his son Iosef and he plays a dick. And he is good at playing a dick. That is what he is. All actors gave really good performances and the characters were well-written.

The soundtrack in this movie was awesome. The original score was done by Tyler Bates (Guardians of the Galaxy) and was really good. The different songs he made fit perfectly the situations and scenes they were used in. There were also a few licensed tracks in there which were… badass to say the least. They were for the most part hard rock and metal tracks (Sidenote: you can imagine how they were used if I called them “badass”). The music in the movie was great.

What’s fun to ntoe about this movie is that it was directed by a pair of veteran stuntmen and that it was their directorial debut. Where am I going with that statement? The movie is really well shot and it looks fantastic! It’s always fun to see when someone is a first time director and actually makes the movie really well-directed. The action in the movie is also really awesome. Remember my rant about modern action I made in the beginning? Yeah this movie is nothing of that. The camera shows the action and it is swift, bloody, brutal and incredibly well done. You notice that Keanu does most if not all of his action scenes and I like that, he knows the audience wants a good time with action movies and he makes sure we know he is engaged in it all. And I swear, this movie has the best nightclub scene since “Collateral” in 2004. Not sure which one I like better… but both are fantastic!

How did this movie do? You read my little thing in the beginning right? This movie did well. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb it has a score of 7,2/10.

“John Wick” is a badass motherfucking action movie with a great performance by Keanu Reeves, a good plot and a kickass soundtrack. It also looks visually great! Time for my final score. *Shoots bad guys* My final score for “John Wick” is a 9,73/10 which as you know gives it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “John Wick” completed.

This feels like a video game… but I don’t mind.

My Top 12 Rock Songs of 2014

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I am a guy who listens to A LOT of music. And I don’t really stick to one specific genre, I can listen to most things (Not really into dubstep and such). But if you have to ask then I will admit that I am a big sucker for rock music. The guitar solos, the bassline, the drumming… it is all awesome to me. So today we are taking a look at My Top 12 Rock songs released in 2014. Now for some ground rules!

Rule 1: This is my list, so if you don’t like any of the songs on the list then you can’t complain about it, these are just my opinions I will be sharing.

Rule 2: Heavy metal, metal, death metal, rockabilly and such styles will not really be featured in this list. Songs with a few of those influences are acceptable though. Punk is also okay(ish).

Rule 3: These songs may have been known in 2013 or had been teased back then but their release dates are 2014.

Now without further ado, here you have My Top 12 Rock Songs of 2014!

Number 12: U2 – Every Breaking Wave.

If you have an ipod you might be familiar with this song since apparently the entire album was downloaded to every ipod in existence (without the owner asking for it). The reason this song in on the list is beacause it is a good song. Nothing spectacular, but the main thing I kind like is how it sounds like classic U2. And classic U2 is always nice.

Number 11: Ted Nugent – Everything Matters

This song is simply cool. Good guitar playing, a good rhythm and just an overall cool feeling. This is a song I could imagine myself sitting and listening to when I am sitting outside on a warm day. This song and a cold drink would make it all great.

Number 10: Foo Fighters – Something from Nothing

For as long as I know I have liked Foo Fighters. I first heard them when I was about 12. I have liked most of their songs. And their 2014 album “Sonic Highways” was nothing short of great. It showed that they are still a great band and that they are here to stay. The reason I chose “Something from Nothing” is beacause I really liked the song. It stood out to me in one way or another. I also liked the sort of ballad/hard rock mix that it had going for it.

Number 9: Billy Idol – Postcards from the Past

The 1980’s was a great decade for rock music. We got tons of great artists/bands such as Bon Jovi. Guns ‘n’ Roses and of course Billy Idol who with this song shows that he still got a lot of steam in him. This is very reminiscent of some of his classic songs… but I don’t mind. This songs sounds great and is definitely something I would turn on during a party. It’s a great song and I hope that Billy will keep making songs as great as this. His voice is also still great.

Number 8: Seether – Same Damn Life 

Coming in at number 8 is a song by South African rock band Seether, a band I never expected myself to listen to. Then I heard their song “Country Song” and I started listening to them. This song is just as heavy, great and enjoyable as their earlier works. I really got nothing else to say.

Number 7: Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes

Here we find a song by none other than Bruce “The Boss” himself. This song is great because of how it takes everything good about Springsteen songs and combines it into one big awesome thing. He also gets help from the criminally underrated guitarist Tom Morello (Former guitarist in Rage Against the Machine). When you listen to this you will probably go “Yeah… fuck yeah, Springsteen!”. This song is great on so many aspects.

Number 6: Slash feat. Myles Kennedy – World on Fire

When this song starts you’ll automatically go “OH YEAH! ROCK, BITCH!”. It is a cool and badass hard rock songs from one of the greatest guitarists of all time; Saul “Slash” Hudson. Yes, his name is Saul. Someone photoshop his head onto Saul Goodman from “Breaking Bad” please and then send it to me. Anyway, the guitar in this song is crazy and shows just how much skill Slash has when it comes to skillfully and awesomely playing the guitar. This is one of those songs that I’d listen to when I would be out driving, it is made in that way. It is also one of those I would dance like an idiot to because that is just who I am.

Number 5: Royal Blood – Figure it Out

This song comes from British rock duo Royal Blood and is featured on their debut album, yes they are that new(ish). The first time I heard this song I had never even heard of these guys. I heard it while watching an episode of the relatively new TV-show/Batman prequel “Gotham”. I heard the song in the episode and thought to myself “This song is pretty good, maybe should look it up”. So of course I went a day or so later to the site tunefind.com where you can look up shows and find out what songs used in episodes are called, highly recommend it. So after that I started listening to the song more and more and it was kinda awesome. I also checked a few other songs out by the band and they are pretty good, go support them!

Number 4: Ed Sheeran – Make it Rain

At number 4 we have the rock ballad from the penultimate episode of the awesome drama series “Sons of Anarchy” which I actually reviewed a while back (Shameless self-promotion). This song got some truly great work on the guitar by Sheeran. It also fits the mood of the scene it was used in (Don’t worry, no spoilers, simply avoid youtube comments). It is a really good song with great guitar, great singing, great feeling and is just overall a truly great song.

Number 3: Rise Against – The Great Die-Off

Going for a more punk-y style we have a song from Rise Against from their 2014 album “The Black Market”. It shows that they know how to play different styles yet never deviate too much from the punk/rock style they have. I am a big fan of Rise Against and I was happy when I listened to this album last year and head that it was quite awesome. I just liked this song the most because… well I can’t really explain, I just do.

Number 2: The White Buffalo & The Forest Rangers – Come Join the Murder

Yes, once again I pick a song from “Sons of Anarchy”, but I can’t help the fact that the show had awesome music! This is the song that plays in the very last episode of the show and boy do they use it well! This song is a rock ballad like few other. You have a smooth yet powerful voice for those who like that, you have talk about God and such for the christian people in the audience and you have one hell of a song for those who love great music! This is a song I have listened to more times than I dare count. It is so great that I at times have put it on repeat and just listened and listened and listened. I love the ballad style of it, I love the smooth yet powerful singing voice, I love the guitar, I love the simple rhythm… I just love everything. It was also featured in one of my favorite TV-shows of all time, so there’s that. Again, stay away from the youtube comments if you don’t want to get spoiled.

Number 1: AC/DC – Rock or Bust

I could just as easily have put the entire fucking album here. I love EVERYTHING on the album, no kidding. but I chose this because it’s the one you’ll most likely remember the most of and also because it is the title track. The reason I also chose this is because it is AC/DC, my favorite band. Sure there might be some bias here, but I do think this song (and album) is great. There are (in my opinion) no flaws here, I simply love it.

So… those were My Top 12 Rock Songs of 2014. But my opinion isn’t everything. What are some rock songs from 2014 you liked? Fuck it, what were some of your favorite songs overall from last year? Let me know with a comment, I’d like to know what you think!

See ya!

 

Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

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I will be completely honest with you guys, I am not a Wes Anderson fan. Mainly because I have barely seen anything from the guy. Before this I had only seen “The Royal Tenenbaums” and I wasn’t a big fan. But I still decided to give this a go because I had heard some great stuff about it and it looked like a pretty good movie. I also thought I maybe should check out more movies by Wes Anderson before one of you cut my throat. So here we go!

Ladies and gents… “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

So what is this movie about? It’s about Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham) telling a young writer (Jude Law) about how he became the owner of the hotel and his adventures with the former owner Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes). The main plot around that is how Gustave is accused of stealing a painting and murdering a rich woman whom he was a good friends of. So now he has to find a way to clear his name. And from that point on the level of quirk increases to ridiculous levels and we get one of the most original and clever plots in recent years. The twists and turns this movie has really work and fit perfectly. The situations we see our heroes in are also relly fun and, again, quirky. I really enjoyed the plot of the movie.

The characters in this movie are all unique, fleshed out and highly entertaining. Which is a tiny bit surprising considering there are so many of them in this movie. But let’s start with the main ones and some favorites of mine. First off we have Gustave H. He is strict, he is weird and he is very profane and Ralph Fiennes portrayes him perfectly. He is also a very kind man. Next up is the character of Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) a.k.a. the young version of F. Muray Abraham. He was one of those guys you just liked because… he was a likeable guy I guess. And I do think Revolori portrayed him excellently even though it was only his first movie. Next up we have the character of Jopling (Willem Dafoe). Even though he had a very prominent role in the movie he is here mainly as a favorite of mine. He was a psychotic killer who was hired by Dmitri (Adrien Brody) who is a relative of the dead woman to check things out and maybe “Take care of things”. That’s really it. All the characters in the movie are great and really quirky.

The score by Alexandre Desplat (Godzilla, Harry Potter) is really good and once again, quirky. It really fit the often non-serious tone of the movie and also the serious bits as well because yes those exist. I don’t really know what to say, it was mostly orchestrations and they were all enjoyable… I have nothing else.

I really liked how this movie was directed. When we had the scenes with F. Murray Abraham and Jude Law we had these wide and beautiful shots. But when we had the flashbacks that focused on Ralph Fiennes and friends it was done in a smaller aspect ratio to sort of fit in the time that those parts are set in. He also used paintings as backgrounds in the flashback parts like in old movies. The only part of the direction that kinda bothered me was a part where there was a ski-chase that was really computer generated and not practical, it was really distracting for me.

This is a very well-received movie. A lot of people liked it, not just the critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the movie has a 92% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 88/100. And on imdb.com it has an 8,1/10 and is ranked #186 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also (at the time of this review) nominated for 9 Oscars (Holy crap). Categories: Best motion picture, Best director, Best writing directly for the screen, Best Cinematography, Best editing, Best production design, Best costume design, Best makeup/haristyling and Best original score. That is a lot of nominations!

Overall “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a fun, quirky, entertaining movie with a good story, really good performances, a great score and great direction but is slightly brought down by that distracting computer generated skiing bit. now for my final score. LOBBY BOY! Thank you! My final score for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a 9,01/10. It’s a fun movie that is worth buying.
betala-kassa-butik

Review of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is done.

I got nothing to say.

Movie Review: The Drop (2014)

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I am a big sucker for a good crime story. If something (movie/tv/games) with a crime story looks interesting to me. So then I found out that there was a movie that was a crime story written by Dennis Lehane, author of books like “Shutter Island” and “Mystic River”. So of course I got pretty excited. Now I have finally seen it and I am ready to talk about it.

Ladies and gents… “The Drop”.

“The Drop” is about Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) who works at a bar with his cousin Marv (James Gandolfini, R.I.P). But this isn’t a regular bar, oh no. It is a so called “Drop bar” that sort of funnels cash around to different mobsters. But one night the place gets robbed and shit starts going downhill. I thought the plot was great. The reason I didn’t say too much is because it is best experienced. It is a really good plot with a few twists here and there. There is also a sort of sub-plot on the side with Bob finding a dog in a trashcan and befriending a woman named Nadia (Noomi Rapace). And that works too, I liked it. The only problem I have with the plot is that the main stuff takes a while to get started. Not bringing the movie down too much, but it still tick’s me off a little.

The characters in this movie are well-written and spectacularly acted. Bob for instance may seem like a calm person who wouldn’t hurt a fly, but believe me when I say he got tons and tons of rage built up inside of him that you don’t wanna expeience. Tom Hardy portrays him pefectly. James Gandolfini is also great as this guy, Marv. I mean… he is James Gandolfini. Noomi Rapace is also great as this woman who Hardy’s character befriends. The characters are all great.

Even though I cannot for the life of me find the composer for the OST of the movie I can still say that I really like it. It reminds me in a lot of ways of the soundtracks by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, cold and slow. They all help build a suspenseful atmosphere in the movie that stayed with me throughout. The choices for the licensed tracks were good too.

Even though I am a big fan of Dennis Lehane I was a little worried going into the movie. Last time I saw a movie with a screenplay by an acclaimed author was when Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men) wrote the screenplay for the terrible “The Counselor”. Thankfully the screenplay and overall writing in the movie is terrific. I am going to be completely honest, everytime someone opened their mouth I was very interested. Everything they said was great. This movie was also terrifically shot. This movie is directed by Michaël R. Roskam who made the Oscar nominated foreign film “Bullhead”. Every shot looks great, the framing is great, everything relating to the direction and camera work in this movie was great.

This movie was well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 69/100. And on good ol’ imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“The Drop” got a good story, great characters and acting, a really good soundtrack, great camera work and a great script but takes a little while to get going. Now for my final score. My final score for “The Drop” is an 8,98/10. I highly recommend it and I do think it is worth buying.
betala-kassa-butik

Review of “The Drop” is now completed.

No, no, drop it… DROP IT!