Wednesday, December 31, 2014

TOP 10 FILMS OF 2014 (THAT I'VE SEEN SO FAR)


These are not the ten best films of 2014.

These are the ten best films of 2014 that I have seen so far. With so many of the most acclaimed films getting limited releases or coming out at the very last minute this year I cannot say with 100% accuracy that these will be my final choices. I will attempt to see as many of the remaining significant releases (specifically the possible Oscar nominees The Imitation Game, Selma, Whiplash, Unbroken, Into the Woods and American Sniper) over the next seven and a half weeks leading up to the Oscars, and I will announce my final top ten of 2014 list on February 21st, 2015, the day of the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the day before the Academy Awards ceremony.


I guess it is possible that all of these films will remain on my top ten list, even after seeing those other big releases. Whether they do or not, I can say with 100% certainty that I recommend every single one of these films without hesitation. 2014 may have been a huge disappointment in terms of box office, but it was full of highly inventive films of all shapes and sizes. The ten films I highlight here are the best of the bunch, but there were plenty of other great films in 2014, fourteen of which I recommend at the end of this post as well. If you've missed any of them, I suggest you seek them all out.


Here they are, the ten best films of 2014 (that I've seen so far):

1. Only Lovers Left Alive
Written and Directed by Jim Jarmusch
Starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Anton Yelchin, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright


Jim Jarmusch has been writing and directing films on the outside fringes of the cinema world for thirty five years now. With Only Lovers Left Alive he shows once again that he is still a master of the film universe. Lovers has a razor sharp wit that cuts away all the Twilight Saga bullshit and shows vampire life for what it really is (you know, if vampire's were real); Boring, lonely, and tediously long. The film's beautiful night cinematography creates a nocturnal tone that works perfectly in conjunction with Jarmusch's original music soundtrack, giving a heartbeat to the beaten and left for dead Detroit landscape where much of the film takes place. Featuring exquisite turns by Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and John Hurt, Lovers manages to be an effective parody of the vampire and romantic comedy genres, while also being an excellent vampire film and romantic comedy. This one is not to be missed, and is my choice for the best film of 2014.


____________________

2. Nightcrawler
Written and Directed by Dan Gilroy
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed


As soon as Jake Gyllenhaal first appears on screen you can't take your eyes off of him, specifically his eyes, which appear to be possessed throughout the entirety of Nightcrawler. Gyllenhaal's performance is absolutely captivating, and is the single greatest achievement in film acting this year. Written and directed by Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler is his remarkable first attempt at directing after writing such hits as Real Steel and The Bourne Legacy. When I was first gathering my "best of" list a few weeks back this was further down my list, but Nightcrawler is a film that sticks with you and it has been creeping and crawling up my list ever since.


____________________

3. Guardians of the Galaxy
Directed by James Gunn
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace
Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman


The most fun I had in a movie theater all year was seeing Guardians of the Galaxy. So much fun in fact that we went back and saw it again the next day. I haven't been compelled to see a movie in theaters twice on back to back days since Iron Man back in 2008. James Gunn created a film that hits all the right notes, being funny, action packed and heartfelt, all set to the best soundtrack of the year, the aptly titled Awesome Mix Vol. 1. Chris Pratt was the breakout star of the year, giving us two of the best comedic performances of the year in Guardians and his voice work in The LEGO Movie (more on that later). Guardians was not only the best "popcorn flick" of 2014, it captures the same kind of cinema magic that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg captured in their prime.


____________________

4. Boyhood
Written and Directed by Richard Linklater
Starring Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke


Richard Linklater has been making his brand of personal, straightforward yet profound films for over two decades, so I'm glad he's finally getting recognized on a grand scale this year for Boyhood. Famously Boyhood was filmed over a twelve year period, charting the life of a young boy (Ellar Coltrane), his sister (Lorelei Linklater), and parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) from when the boy was six years old up through when he graduates high school and turns eighteen. Linklater has already done something similar, playing with the concept of time with his "Before Trilogy" of Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013), charting a romance between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy over a period of nearly twenty years. Only a skilled filmmaker as brave and visionary as Linklater could pull off such a unique idea more than once. The final product is flawed but fascinating. Most directors edit out the "boring bits" of life, Linklater on the other hand aims his lens directly at it and sits there a while. It captures life in all it's precious detail. Boyhood is the single greatest achievement in filmmaking in 2014, not necessarily the best film. It may be remembered as such though, and I'm alright with that.


___________________

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Written and Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrian Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson


Wes Anderson has made some of my favorite films, ones that I revisit often. His first three feature films (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums) are as good a start to a career as any in Hollywood history. Fantastic Mr. Fox is the best animated film of this century not made by Pixar, and it might exceed even their best. His films are are visually stunning, quirky, and full of characters that could only exist in Anderson's world, while simultaneously reminding you of people you know in real life. Ralph Fiennes is a joy to watch in Budapest, giving his funniest performance to date. The rest of the cast including Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham and Tilda Swinton are marvelous as well. The Grand Budapest Hotel combines all of the usual Anderson elements, and it might be his most complete film and the supreme accomplishment of his career to date.


____________________

6. Blue Ruin
Written and Directed by Jeremy Saulnier
Starring Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack, Eve Plumb


Blue Ruin is nominated for the John Cassavetes Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, given to the best feature film made for less than $500,000. To put that in perspective The Amazing Spider-Man 2 cost around $200,000,000 to make. Yep, a budget 400 times smaller produced a film 4,000 times better. Blue Ruin is a story about murder and revenge but more importantly it's about what it takes to end the cycle of violence. How is that possible? Drop your weapon and walk away. My suggestion is that you drop whatever you are doing and seek out this miraculous film, which will stay with you for days. I can't wait to see what comes next from writer/director Jeremy Saulnier and star Macon Blair.


____________________

7. Ida
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
Starring Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik, Joanna Kulig
Written by Pawel Pawlikowski and Rebecca Lenkiewicz


Some films you watch, some you experience. Ida is one of those film experiences that haunts you like a ghost, with beauty and sadness. Taking place in the early 1960's, the film is shot in black-and-white and in 4:3 ratio, giving the film almost a documentary feel. The beautiful cinematography is among the best work of the year. Co-writer/Director Pawel Pawlikowski takes his time telling the story, setting up the camera and framing the scene, and then letting his stars Agata Kulesza and Agata Trzebuchowska take over. It's a simple story of a Polish nun who visits with her Aunt in the days before she is to take her vows, only to discover a dark secret about her past. It's perhaps the best example of film as art in 2014. 


____________________

8. The LEGO Movie
Written and Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Starring Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman


The LEGO Movie was the first best film I saw in 2014. Coming out way back in February, it still remains one of the best and most original films to come out this year. When I first heard they were going to make a feature length film about LEGOs I was a bit skeptical but Phil Lord and Chris Miller from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street fame created a film that celebrates creativity and overflows with fun. Chris Pratt leads a vocal cast that also includes Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman that were one of the best ensembles of the year, animation or otherwise.


____________________

9. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Amy Ryan
Written by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo


Many films have memorable scenes consisting of a long, continuous take, but Birdman might be the first film ever that was shot and edited entirely as one long, continuous take. It might sound like a gimmick but what it does is create a sense of urgency that never lets up. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu continues to prove he is one of the premier talents in all of cinema, after earlier successes with Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel and Biutiful. His cast led by Michael Keaton, Emma Stone and Edward Norton gave us some of the best individual performances of the year, some of which will likely be rewarded with Oscars.


____________________

10. The One I Love
Directed by Charlie McDowell
Starring Mark Duplass, Elizabeth Moss, Ted Danson
Written by Justin Lader


The One I Love is a unique blend of romance, sci-fi, drama and comedy that focuses on the struggling relationship between a couple (Mark Duplass and Elizabeth Moss) who are sent by their marriage counselor (Ted Danson) on what is supposed to be a romantic weekend getaway. The weekend doesn't go as planned, as two familiar strangers show up and throw a wrench in their plans to rekindle their relationship. It stands alongside David Fincher's Gone Girl as 2014's best examinations of adult relationships, and the dark layers that sometimes sit just underneath the surface.


____________________

 14 more recommendations from '14 (alphabetical order):

The Bachelor Weekend (The Stag)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Chef
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Foxcatcher
Fury
Gone Girl
How To Train Your Dragon 2
The Immigrant
Interstellar
Labor Day
A Most Violent Year
Snowpiercer
Under the Skin
____________________

What are your picks for the best films of 2014?

Leave your comments below or tweet me

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES IS ROCKIN' IN THE NEW YEAR

Don't have plans for New Year's Eve? Tune into Turner Classic Movies and spend the evening with Elvis, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones!

Monday, December 29, 2014

15 MOST ANTICIPATED FILMS OF 2015


STAR WARS!!! YEAH!!! STAR WARS!!!

To be honest when I was first thinking about putting together a list of my fifteen most anticipated films of 2015 the thought occurred to me that Star Wars: The Force Awakens might actually take up all fifteen spots. Then as I started going down the list of next year's releases I remembered there were actually a ton of big movies coming out next year.

2015 is going to be a HUGE, ENORMOUS, GIGANTIC, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BIG year for movies. How big? Three of the four highest grossing franchises of all time have releases (Marvel, Star Wars, James Bond) in addition to the final installment of The Hunger Games, Paul Walker's final ride in Furious 7, 2014's breakout star Chris Pratt reboots the Jurassic Park franchise with Jurassic World, Tom Cruise attempts another Mission: Impossible, and Pixar gives us two new releases with Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur.


2015 isn't all about mega franchises though, there are also some mega directors with films coming out, as Cameron Crowe, Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, David O. Russell and Alejandro González Iñárritu all have new releases scheduled. Some of the most acclaimed and inventive directors working in film today, including Neill Blomkamp (District 9), John Hillcoat (Lawless), Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) and Jeff Nichols (Mud) also have films hitting theaters next year.


FIVE STAR FLICKS' 15 MOST ANTICIPATED FILMS OF 2015


The below list is in no way the complete list of titles that I'm looking forward to, these are just the fifteen that have peaked my interest the most. Here they are, in chronological order of release date, along with IMDB.com plot descriptions.
____________________

Chappie – March 6th
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Starring Sharlto Copley and Hugh Jackman

After being kidnapped by two criminals during birth, Chappie becomes the adopted son in a strange and dysfunctional family. Chappie is preternaturally gifted, one of a kind, a prodigy. He also happens to be a robot.
____________________

Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1st
Directed by Joss Whedon
Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlet Johansson and Jeremy Renner

When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.
____________________

Untitled Cameron Crowe Project – May 29th
Directed by Cameron Crowe
Starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Alec Baldwin and Danny McBride

A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and re-connects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog assigned to him.
____________________

Jurassic World – June 12th
Directed by Colin Trevorrow
Starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard

Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly.
____________________

Pixar's Inside Out – June 19th
Directed by Pete Doctor
Voices by Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling

Told from the perspective of the emotions inside the mind of a little girl.
____________________

Triple Nine – September 11th
Directed by John Hillcoat
Starring Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Gal Gadot, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus and Kate Winslet

A group of corrupt police officers are blackmailed into pulling off a seemingly impossible heist. They plot the murder of a rookie police officer in order to orchestrate a "999", code for 'officer down', to pull off the heist across town.
____________________

Black Mass – September 18th
Directed by Scott Cooper
Starring Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, Sienna Miller and Adam Scott

The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.
____________________

Untitled Steven Spielberg Project – October 16th
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan and Alan Alda
 Written by The Coen Brothers

An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union.
____________________

Crimson Peak – October 16th
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Starring Charlie Hunnam, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston

In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds...and remembers.
____________________

Spectre – November 6th
Directed by Sam Mendes
Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes

A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
____________________

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 – November 20th
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth

After being symbolized as the 'Mockingjay' Katniss Everdeen and District 13 engage in an all-out revolution against the autocratic Capitol.
____________________

Midnight Special – November 25th
Directed by Jeff Nichols
Starring Adam Driver, Kristen Dunst, Joel Edgerton and Michael Shannon

A father and son go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers.
____________________

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – December 18th
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Starring John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher

A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).
____________________

Joy – December 25th
Directed by David O. Russell
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro

A story based on the life of a struggling Long Island single mom who became one of the country's most successful entrepreneurs.
____________________

The Revenant – December 25th
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson

The frontiersman, Hugh Glass, who in the 1820s set out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.
____________________

FINAL NOTE: It's also possible that Richard Linklater's "spiritual sequel" to Dazed and Confused and Boyhood, called That's What I'm Talking About, will also come out in 2015. If so, it would definitely be on this list as well.


WHICH FILMS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2015?


Leave your comments below or tweet me

Saturday, December 27, 2014

NETFLIX COMING & GOING: JANUARY 2015


Here's your monthly reminder list of titles you better stream quickly before they're gone and flicks to look forward to on Netflix come January.

The incoming titles are a bit younger and hipper than the outgoing titles, with films like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Election (1999), Mean Girls (2004), Chef (2014) and Frank (2014) replacing older classics like Duck Soup (1933), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), Roman Holiday (1953) and 12 Angry Men (1957).

The new batch of movies does include some old standards like John Ford's The Quiet Man (1952) starring John Wayne, plus William Friedkin's Best Picture Oscar winner The French Connection (1971). Other notable newbies are Cast Away (2000), Bruce Almighty (2003), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011) and the 2014 releases Brick Mansions, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, and the acclaimed documentary To Be Takei. The complete TV series Friends is also coming, with all seasons available to stream starting January 1st.

While there are some nice additions, without question the outgoing group is a lot stronger, including some of the most iconic films of all time. It's time to say goodbye to The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? (1967), The Longest Yard (1974), Carrie (1976), Manhattan (1979), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), Spaceballs (1987), Batman (1989), Boyz N the Hood (1991), The Usual Suspects (1995), Happy Gilmore (1996), Love Actually (2003) and Hotel Rwanda (2004). Also leaving are FOUR Best Picture Oscar winners; Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Braveheart (1995), Titanic (1997) and Gladiator (2000). Also, if you're an 80's child you better hurry up and binge watch G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and Transformers: Generation 1 as they are also leaving on January 1st.

Here's the complete lost of what's coming and going from Netflix in January:


COMING TO NETFLIX

JANUARY 1

101 Dalmatians (1996)
Bad Boys II (2003)
Batman & Robin (1997)
Bruce Almighty (2003)
Cast Away (2000)
Dallas: Season 3 (2012)
Get Low (2009)
Election (1999)
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Fort Bliss (2014)
Friends: Complete Series
Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)
Mean Girls (2004)
Shall We Dance? (2004)
To Be Takei (2014)
The French Connection (1971)
The Quiet Man (1952)
The War of the Worlds (1953)
Wayne’s World 2 (1993)

JANUARY 3

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
White Collar: Season 5

JANUARY 7

Brick Mansions (2014)

JANUARY 8

Frank (2014)
Psych: Season 8

JANUARY 9

Z Nation: Season 1

JANUARY 13

Being Human: Season 4 (U.S.)

JANUARY 15

Wolfblood: Season 3 (2014)

JANUARY 16

The Adventures of Puss in Boots: Season 1
The Fall: Season 2
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)

JANUARY 23

Iliza Shlesinger: Freezing Hot (2014)

JANUARY 28

Chef (2014)
Beauty & the Beast: Season 2
  

GOING JANUARY 1, 2015

12 Angry Men (1957)
A Mighty Heart (2007)
A River Runs Through It (1992)
Backdraft (1991)
Bad Boys (1995)
The Bad News Bears Go to Japan! (1978)
Batman (1989)
Beethoven (1992)
Beethoven’s 2nd (1993)
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Boyz N the Hood (1991)
The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
Braveheart (1995)
Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)
Carrie (1976)
D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996)
Duck Soup (1933)
Far and Away (1992)
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Seasons 1­-2
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)
Gladiator (2000)
Good Burger (1997)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
Happy Gilmore (1996)
Hitch (2005)
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
Kiss the Girls (1997)
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Love Actually (2003)
Manhattan (1979)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
My Girl (1991)
My Girl 2 (1994)
Red Dawn (1984)
Rocky I-­V (1976­-1990)
Roman Holiday (1953)
Saved! (2004)
Scary Movie 2 (2001)
Spaceballs (1987)
Stargate (1994)
Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless (2010)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
The Company Men (2010)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The Longest Yard (1974)
The Mighty Ducks (1992)
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
The Parent Trap (1998)
The Phantom of the Opera (1989)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
The Wedding Planner (2001)
Titanic (1997)
Tombstone (1993)
Transformers: Generation 1, Seasons 1­-4
Turner and Hooch (1989)
You’ve Got Mail (1998)

____________________

Leave your comments below or tweet me

Friday, December 26, 2014

FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS VOTER INFORMATION


If you have been paying attention to this years awards season so far it is clear that main contenders for the big awards this year are almost exclusively smaller, more independent leaning films. Many of these Oscar front-runners like Birdman, Boyhood and Selma were first recognized with Film Independent Spirit Award nominations.


Having already seen about a third of the nominees, I can tell you firsthand that this is a stacked year. Not only have the more widely publicized films like Birdman, Boyhood and Under the Skin lived up to the hype, but some of the more under the radar nominees like Blue Ruin and The One That I Love have also knocked my socks off. Seriously, you need to check out all of these films, they are simply incredible.

Here's the complete list of Film Independent Spirit nominees:



If you are a current member of Film Independent, here is some important info regarding the voting process:


One of the key benefits of becoming a Film Independent member before January 16th, 2014 is the chance to attend FREE members-only screenings in Los Angeles and New York of all the nominated films.

Here is the schedule for both L.A. and N.Y.:



For more information or to join check out FilmIndependent.org or SpiritAwards.com


____________________

Leave your comments below or tweet me

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Oscars Promo: Christmas Gifts


Found on the OSCARS YouTube channel.

12 Days of #FliXmas Recap and Top 5 Christmas TV Specials


Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope everyone got the Red Ryder BB Gun, Oscar Meyer Weenie Whistle, or whatever else you asked Santa for. I also hope people enjoyed the 12 Days of FliXmas countdown. You may have noticed that a few holiday favorites were missing, and that's because there are way more than 12 great Christmas movies. Classics like The Shop Around the Corner (1940), Holiday Inn (1942), The Bishop's Wife (1947), It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947), A Christmas Carol (1951), Gremlins (1984), Scrooged (1988) and A Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) all could have made the list as well.

I only included feature length theatrical films, but everyone also has a favorite holiday TV special as well. Here, in my opinion, are the five best.


Have a great rest of the night, and I hope everyone has a very happy and healthy new year.
____________________

Leave your comments below or tweet me

12 Days of #FliXmas: 1. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)



DIRECTED BY
Frank Capra

STARRING
James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame

WRITTEN BY
Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett & Frank Capra
From a story by Philip Van Doren Stern



It had to be It's a Wonderful Life.

Any list covering the "best" or "greatest" Christmas movies must be topped by Frank Capra's eternal classic. While all of the films that made the "Five Star Flicks' 12 Days of FliXmas" countdown are special in their own right, It's a Wonderful Life is on a whole other pedestal, not only being the top holiday movie of all time, but one of the best overall films period. Is it overly sentimental and nostalgic? Sure, but it's also dark and sad and melancholic, and ultimately redeeming. Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey is right up there with Gregory Peck's Atticus Finch in the way they fully encapsulate the best of what we are capable of as moral people, while also showing how difficult a part to play that is and the toll it takes on a person. Dona Reed is ravishing as George's girlfriend and then wife Mary, who serves as his backbone when needed and the rock for their family to cling to during his storm. Henry Travers and Thomas Mitchell are superb as Clarence the guardian angel and Uncle Billy respectfully, and Lionel Barrymore as Mr. Potter is one of the cinema's ultimate villains. Many film's have tried with varying degrees of success to show the impact that one person can make on a town and a society, but none are as convincing and indispensable as our number one film of FliXmas, It's a Wonderful Life.



SNEAK PEAK



Let me know what your favorite Christmas/Holiday movie is in the comments below or tweet me 
@FiveStarFlicks or @5StarFlicks using hashtag #FliXmas