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A Look Back At My 10 Anticipated Movies of 2014

I thought it would be interesting to see if my pre-2014 expectations matched what was actually produced on screen.

Honorable Mention: Transformers 4, Ninja Turtles, Expendables 3
– Expendables was trash and it would have been off the list entirely if I heard it was PG13 before I made the list. Transformers was the same shit recycled and the 10 minutes of Dinobots didn’t make up for it. Ninja Turtles was GREAT in spots and STUPID AS HELL in other spots but it probably still earned the honorable mention spot.

#10: Hercules
– While not the movie I expected, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it seems worthy to be on my list.

#9: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
– Swing and a miss here. I mentioned “something missing” about it in the lead up to the movie. The something missing was a coherent plot and a streamlined Spider-Man movie.

#8: Godzilla
– Hmmmm… didn’t quite live up to the hype. Sure, 10 minutes of the movie certainly did but the rest… nope, not at all.

#7: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
– Deserved its spot, probably deserved #6 in hindsight. Great movie… it being this low is a testament to the year, not the movie itself.

#6: 300: Rise of an Empire
– I keep forgetting this movie came out last year. While entertaining, #6 is way too high but it probably still sneaks in the top 10.

#5: The Raid 2
#4: X-Men: Days of Future Past
#3: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
#2: Guardians of the Galaxy
#1: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

– I pretty much nailed this. Sure, the order would change a touch but these were my favorite five movies this year.

Movies I Missed: There were a couple movies I missed, either because I wasn’t expected them to be worth a crap or they flew under the radar. Doubtful all of these would have made the top 10 but they should have at least been honorable mentions. Off the top of my head…

– John Wick
– Edge of Tomorrow
– The Lego Movie
– The Equilizer

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Review

Shadow’s Overall Rating: God Status— A fitting ending to the Hobbit Trilogy, featuring epic large scale battles and epic small fights before hitting you right in the feels.

Shadow’s Theatrical Rating: God Status
Shadow’s Rewatchability Rating: God Status

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 61%, 6.3/10
Audience: 81%, 8.2/10

Plot in a Nutshell: Now that Thorin has reclaimed Erebor, others want what is inside the mountain… elves, men, and legions of orcs lead by Azog. Plus… Sauron must be dealt with in Dol Goldur.

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Spoiler FREE Thoughts…

– This was a very, very fitting end to the Hobbit Trilogy. What the first two Hobbit movies lacked in large scale battles, this one made up for it all in one go around. The last say… 45? minutes of the movie involved the actual Five Army battle. And that isn’t counting Smaug going to Lake Town or the White Council showing up in Dol Goldur to help Gandalf. This movie is (slight exaggeration) two hours of action.

– The epic, large scale battle stuff was expected to be great (it was). However, the one vs one stuff this movie featured were EPIC and leagues above the one v one stuff in the LotR series. Well, to be fair, there wasn’t much of that in LotR (Aragorn’s epic fight with the Uruk hai in Fellowship excluded) but it was a nice touch. Despite having battles for a long running time, it never felt stale.

– This movie was much, much more emotional than any of the previous Middle Earth movies. MUCH MUCH more so. We have seen death in the LotR trilogy (Boromir, Theoden, that Elf at Helm’s Deep) and Frodo leaving Middle Earth might hit you in the gut a little bit, but holy fuck this movie stuck a spear in your gut and twisted it over and over again.

– It was nice to see Elrond, Saruman, and especially Galadriel kick some fucking ass. The Lady is one of the most powerful beings on Middle Earth… EVER and it was nice to finally see that. Saruman kicking ass like he is Neo… YES!

– One thing I wanted them to show was the contrasting battle styles of Dwarves and Elves and we definitely got that. On another note, Dane was a boss.

– There was a hell of a lot more focus on Legolas than I would have guessed.

– The character designs on the orcs and trolls were fucking ON POINT. Some of them looked like stuff Del Torro would come up with. Really cool and interesting.

– The CGI was great in 99% of the movie but every once in a while it looked… awful? in spots. Everyone once in a while it would just throw you out of the experience. I name those spots below the jump.

– WAR ANIMALS YES!

– I haven’t talked much about Bilbo despite him being the “main” character of the whole thing. He was played perfectly and I have absolutely no complaints about him at all. Played a pivotal role and it nearly mirrored the book. He just gets a bit overshadowed due to HOLY FUCK SO MUCH FIGHTING AND ACTION!

– All in all… probably the best of the Hobbit trilogy, although I need to see the extended version next November (this was the shortest LotR movie yet) to confirm. I would still probably say every one of the LotR movies were better than everyone of the Hobbit movies, although this one is CLOSE to being as good as the Fellowship IMO. Need to see that extended version though.

For those who are keeping score, I generally order them like Two Towers, Return of the King, Fellowship, Five Armies, Desolation, Unexpected Journey.

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More Spoiler FILLED Thoughts After the Jump…

Continue reading The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Review

December 2014 Movie Preview: The Last Trip to Middle Earth

December has one crown jewel, one heart of the mountain, one ARKENSTONE… The Hobbit. My most anticipated movie of the year. Who cares what else happens this month… this is all that matters. (There are some good home releases out though lol)

Best Theatrical Release: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Best Home Release: Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Red Box Release: Guardians of the Galaxy

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Theatrical Release

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Date: December 12

Verdict: I… I don’t know? It seems like it is just a swords and sandals movie with some Godly speech and some plague stuff. So… cool? Noah was so fucking bad that this movie scares the shit out of me. Probably be a red box movie.

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Date: December 17

Verdict: This is THE movie of the year for me. The last movie of the Hobbit trilogy and even more depressing… the last movie in Middle Earth, probably until Chris Toilken dies and whoever inherits the rights goes broke. I have mentioned before how this could potentially be the best Middle Earth movie of the six (I am not saying its likely just that it could) and any movie named after a battle will immediately have my attention.

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After the jump, home and Red Box releases…

Continue reading December 2014 Movie Preview: The Last Trip to Middle Earth