Paul’s Top 10 Films of 2015

2015 best of

Another year in film has come and gone, and I would go as far to say that 2015 has been the best year for cinema of the 2010s thus far. Genres that had gotten worse over time, especially horror and comedy, got wonderful additions this year with movies like “Unfriended” and “Spy.” Summer blockbusters were some of the best they’ve been in years, with specific emphasis on “Ant-Man” and “Shaun The Sheep.” While there were films that I did not care for, like “Jurassic World” and “Ex Machina,” and other films that were downright terrible, like “Krampus” and “Jupiter Ascending,” I’ve come to expect a range of good and bad from cinema these days.

As such, I’ve decided to do away with my Top 5 films of the year to expand this into a Top 10, since there were so many wonderful films to come out this year. These will all be films that I’ve previously done reviews of, and I’ll be linking each of my picks to their corresponding reviews. So if you want my expanded thoughts on each film, be sure to check those out.

mirn

Number Ten: “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2015/08/movie-review-mission-impossible-rogue.html

I might have written this film off in my initial review as another spy film, but as I thought more about the most recent entry in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, the more I realized how solid it was. Each action piece was fascinating to watch, the pacing is perfect, the acting is some of the best in the series, and the story is both convoluted and personal, something we haven’t seen in this group of films before. That gives “Rogue Nation” its own personal touch that I felt was lacking in the previous films. Something that hits home for our characters and makes their journey all the more satisfying.

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Number Nine: “It Follows”

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2015/04/movie-review-it-follows-2015-you-cant.html

This one makes the list for having one of the most unusual and terrifying monsters to hit the screen in years. A creature that is transferred through sex, and will stop at nothing until the person it is hunting has been killed. This is a monster that can be anyone or anything, but the scariest thing of all is that it walks towards you. Not running or sprinting, but a never-ending walk. As if this thing knows that it doesn’t need to go any faster than that. Eventually you will have to stop and rest, but this thing will not. This gives “It Follows” unbelievably tense pacing, where every scene leaves you tense and nervous about what might be around the corner.

steve jobs

Number Eight: “Steve Jobs”

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2015/11/movie-review-steve-jobs-2015-fallen-idol.html

“Steve Jobs” is a modern-day tragedy, about a man who fought the standard norms of life and was mocked for his innovative thoughts. About a man who wanted to make a name for himself in the world, at any costs, but is so self-absorbed in his own ego that it astounds him that others don’t agree with his methods. Michael Fassbender gives the role of Steve Jobs enough vulnerability while still keeping the intellect, to give us a man who wants to change the world so badly that he abandons his own. We watch as this man becomes an innovator, but also what it means to change the world.

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Number Seven: “The Hateful Eight”

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2016/01/movie-review-hateful-eight-2015.html

This is the middle-ground between an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, a Sergio Leone western and everything that is cool about Quentin Tarantino. Certainly the most minimalistic film on this list, we are given a film that relies on its characters, writing and the pauses between their breaths. We hang on each of these dasterdly-no-gooders next actions, waiting for that classic Tarantino style violence to show up, only to savor every moment they make us wait. When “The Hateful Eight” wants to give us a violent show, it is one I’ll never forget. When it isn’t being violent, the film is even better.

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Number Six: “Spotlight”

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2015/12/movie-review-spotlight-2015-separating.html

The movie that I respect more than any other this year. While not the most exciting or innovative film of the year, “Spotlight” is one of the few films I can think that stays honest with the “Based On A True Story” statement at the beginning of the film. As such, we watch as journalism wins over corrupt people and against the odds of a massive organization and the disbelief of an equally large city. We watch as these people give up everything, including their social lives and families, to fight for what they believe in and because they know this will help more people than it will hurt. Because they know that journalism gives the voiceless something to say and cheer about. And “Spotlight” gives power to those that need it the most.

creed poster

Number Five: “Creed”

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2015/12/movie-review-creed-2015-legacy-of-boxer.html

I would go as far to say that the best performance of 2015, leading and supporting, goes to Sylvester Stallone reprising an aging Rocky Balboa, a man who has lost everything and has nothing left to fight for, only to find that there is more to life than fighting. Who knew? In a year where we get wonderful performances from Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lawrence, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, that Stallone would be the one to have the most heart and strength in his performance. This is not just about Rocky becoming a mentor, but Rocky seeking redemption in a world that he has given up on. The first “Rocky” was about second chances and that the American dream is still alive. In “Creed,” Rocky is given a second chance at life, and wants to share that knowledge with others. This is a heart-warming tale of with some of the best performances in a year full of outstanding roles.

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Number Four: “The Martian”

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2015/10/movie-review-martian-2015-best-mars.html

Some love this film because of how scientifically accurate it is. Others love it because of the unique science fiction scenario that has lots of creativity and imagination in surviving on Mars. For me? I adore “The Martian” because of its always optimistic attitude and need to share that feeling with the audience through its sense of humor. In a world where we constantly keep getting gritty survival tales that are about as uplifting as a Holocaust film (I’m looking at you “The Revenant”), to see a film like “The Martian” where Matt Damon finds a reason to smile every morning even after listening to the same terrible disco music for hours means a lot to me. I honestly can’t find a reason why anyone would hate “The Martian.” Even if you don’t like science fiction or Matt Damon, this is a film that anyone can connect with on an emotional level and enjoy the ride as we’re taken to a far away place and shown that the human will is strongest thing we have.

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Number Three: “Inside Out”

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2015/06/mini-review-inside-out-2015-emotions.html

Speaking of films that anyone can connect with, “Inside Out” is the most relatable yet creative Pixar film in their entire library of emotionally-strong films. Basically, this is a story about growing up and the hardships that come with it. But it is just as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids, to show us that we don’t need to hide or repress our emotions. That it is very healthy to experience emotions like sadness and fear, and at times it is very necessary to experience those emotions. This is not just a conflict within the head of one girl, but in all of us, as we try to understand our own emotions. Throw in imaginative landscape for the human brain, some wonderful voice acting and an emotionally-gripping script and you get the best Pixar film since “Up.”

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Number Two: “Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens”

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2015/12/movie-review-star-wars-episode-vii.html

After seeing this epic a second time, I can’t remember one scene where I wasn’t smiling or giddy as a school girl. Keep in mind, I’m not that big of a Star Wars fan, this is just a fun film that takes every opportunity to fill the screen with colorful characters, expansive mythology, a lavish universe and wonderfully unique action sequences. It comes across like every single person that worked on this film had an absolute blast making it, and wanted to share that enthusiasm with the audience. They wanted us to know that Star Wars is not just another action movie franchise with pretty effects and lightsaber battles, but that it is a phenomenon that begs, no demands, your attention.

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Number One: “Mad Max: Fury Road”

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2015/05/movie-review-mad-max-fury-road-2015.html

I’m not sure what to say about this experience that hasn’t already been said.

Part of the reason this gets my number one spot is because “Mad Max: Fury Road” bucks with traditional action movie clichés and becomes its own unique style. Little to no CGI, takes every opportunity to showcase beautiful cinematography in stark and unforgiving landscape, very little dialogue between the main cast of characters, women leading the charge in the bad-ass department and not needing to see the other films in the “Mad Max” franchise to understand what’s going on. Every shot of this film is gorgeous to look at, whether you’re entranced by the barren post-apocalyptic wastes, the heart-pounding chase sequences combine with the thrilling soundtrack, or the crazy contraptions the wastelands will come up with next.

This is the type of film that makes cinema so much fun to behold. Every aspect of “Mad Max: Fury Road” was superb, including the writing, production design, costumes, pacing and so much more. I could watch this one on repeat and never get bored with it. This is not just an action movie, but an action experience.

Honorable Mentions:

“Unfriended”

“Spy”

“Trainwreck”

“Kingsmen: The Secret Service”

“The Revenant”

“Crimson Peak”

“Shaun The Sheep”

“Mr. Holmes”

 

Top Ten New Episodes Of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic”

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One of the biggest surprises I have experienced since I started this blog and catalog of thoughts on film, television, etc., is not one you would expect.

Of all the reviews, countdowns, editorials and ramblings I’ve posted in the last few years, the one that has had the most longevity and some of the most views is not my revelation on Godzilla, or my favorite films countdown or even some of my early reviews. It is the countdown of my 10 favorite episodes of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.”

I post my reviews and editorials on multiple sites, and on one of them (World Of Entertainment) that particular countdown is in the top ten in terms of viewing in 2014 (though the highest viewed article from that year was my fan reaction to Gareth Edward’s “Godzilla”). But more surprising is that it is the most viewed article on the entire site for 2015.

I am beyond words. I knew there were bronies and pegasisters all over the internet, but damn.

Well, if that’s case, why not do another one? There has been a whole new season of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” since the last article I published on the topic, and well over 30 new episodes.

As such, I will be counting down my top ten favorite episodes of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” since my last countdown. Like the previous one, these are the episodes that have stuck with me the longest after watching them. The ones that I felt best personified this creative, funny and thought-provoking show made for both children and adults.

For those MLP fans out there, this will include every episode between “For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils” and the end of season five, “The Cutie Re-Mark.”

tanks for memories

Number Ten: “Tanks for the Memories” (Season Five, Episode Five)

Quick back story for this episode – Every one of the main characters has their own pet. Twilight has an owl (named Owillicious), Pinkie Pie has a baby alligator who has no teeth (named Gummy), and Fluttershy has a bunny rabbit that seems set against ruining her life (named Angel). But the best pony-pet dynamic is Rainbow Dash, the speedster who is always up for a race, and her pet turtle, equipped with a magic propeller, named Tank.

Tanks for the Memories” is as close as MLP will ever get to the death of a pet. Since this is a show aimed for little kids, they would never be allowed to kill off any character, so they come up with the next best solution – Have Tank enter hibernation during Rainbow Dash’s favorite time of the year.

And of course, Rainbow Dash has an over-the-top reaction that would make even the Grinch feel jealous, by stopping winter from coming. Rainbow Dash would rather stop the time of year that makes her feel the most alive than lose her pet turtle for six months.

The first half of the episode is Rainbow Dash being unwilling and stubborn about losing her pet and that she can stop it. The second half starts with Rainbow Dash taking drastic measures to stop winter, including a “Mission: Impossible” style break-in to a weather factory. But what propels this episode further is the ending, with Rainbow Dash realizing that Tank will be gone and there is nothing she can do about it. A hard truth that any kid with a pet has to learn eventually.

This one was a touching episode with lots of funny bits scattered throughout. Plus Equestria looks beautiful in the winter, especially when it all plops down at once. Thanks for that Rainbow Dash.

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Number Nine: “Inspiration Manifestation” (Season Four, Episode Twenty-Three)

Imagine a magic spell that could bring everything you ever wished to life. Everything you ever want to create, your hopes and dreams met with just a thought. Would you be consumed by this spell? Would all your generosity to help others turn into a lust to perfect everything in your own image?

This is what makes “Inspiration Manifestation” so great, as Spike finds a spell book to help out a stressed, overworked and under-appreciated Rarity. It is something so very rarely seen on this show, in a world full of magic, both good and bad, there is a spell that can be taken as a good thing, but can corrupt the user. But the strange thing is that, even as Rarity descends into madness, she still feels like she’s doing the right thing. Being the element of generosity, Rarity puts others and their well beings above herself, so the interest of others is in her mind. So if that means replacing all of their chariots with “Rar-iots” because these ones are better, then so be it.

Of course, this is an episode that focuses primarily on the relationship between Rarity and Spike, who has always had a crush on Rarity but has never reciprocated those feelings. Spike, in a desperate attempt to keep Rarity happy, agrees with everything she says even if the spell is beginning to take her over. But once he puts his foot down and steps up for himself, telling her that what she is doing her is wrong, the real Rarity comes back. A good lesson for anyone who has ever had a crush on someone else – they’re not perfect, so don’t treat them like they’re royalty.

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Number Eight: “Do Princesses Dream Of Magic Sheep?” (Season Five, Episode Thirteen)

MLP seems to follow the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” style of comedy – These jokes are made, not for everyone, but for the right people. And this title, for those that get it, will find it hilarious.

One of the more mysterious and tragic characters in MLP is Princess Luna, the magical pony that controls the moon and the night. Her sister, Princess Celestia, controls the sun and day, and is often beloved by all of Equestria for providing life and happiness, while Luna’s work is overlooked. After years of being treated badly, Luna fought back and became the terrible Nightmare Moon, threatening to plunge Equestria into eternal night. But Celestia used her powers and the Elements of Harmony to trap Luna in the moon for a thousand years. After that time expired and the new Elements of Harmony forced the evil out of Luna, she returned to her princess duties and a protector of the night.

But not without punishing herself.

We find out in this episode that Luna put a spell on herself and created a nightmare creature that feeds off of her bad dreams. Now she has the same dream every night, of our main characters destroying Nightmare Moon, so that Luna would never forgive herself for what she did as Nightmare Moon.

And now that creature, called the Tantabus, has escaped from her dreams and is finding new ponies to unleash their worst nightmares on.

This the episode that best explores the character of Princess Luna, as a tortured soul who is filled with nothing but regrets and wants nothing more than to forget past, but is unable to.

Combine that with an imaginative story of exploring every main characters dreams, including Rainbow Dash fighting off Changelings, Twilight being in a never-ending library and Applejack with an apple that is ten times her size, and one of the biggest nods to previous episodes in the entire show in the final confrontation with the Tantabus, and you have a wonderfully beautiful and entrancing episode.

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Number Seven: “The Lost Treasure Of Griffonstone” (Season Five, Episode Eight)

If there’s a theme throughout season five of MLP, it is redemption.

One thing that MLP has always done in the past is to convert old enemies into new friends, like the malevolent Discord and the phony “Great and Powerful” Trixie. Because locking up the bad and evil characters isn’t going to solve anything, and often times they’re misunderstood rather than evil. Especially in the case of our returning “villain” in this episode – Gilda the griffon.

Early in season one, Gilda was cast out of Ponyville by her former friend, Rainbow Dash, after she was an ungrateful and unpleasant bully to Pinkie Pie. Someone who was once seen as a one-dimensional villain is now shown to be a complex character that has been shunned her whole life for looking different, except by Rainbow Dash, her only true friend. Rather than despising her for what happened, Pinkie Pie welcomes Gilda with open hooves (or claws in Gilda’s case). And as Rainbow Dash reopens to her friend, so do we.

We are also given a history lesson about Griffons in the world of Equestria – a once proud race who lived together in harmony, until they were split apart by greed and selfishness. Which is what we see now – a once-mighty city on the verge of collapse, full of creatures that are too full of themselves to notice that everything they’ve stood for is falling apart.

This whole episode is one great reason why I love this show – Detailed world-building, heart-felt moments of kindness, and giving old characters new opportunities to become better characters due to quality writing. Throw in two of the best characters, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash, going on an adventure through this city, and you get some of the best comedy and character moments of the season.

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Number Six: “The Cutie Re-Mark” (Season Five, Episodes Twenty-Five and Twenty-Six)

The redemption train keeps on rolling.

Certainly the most complex new character to come out of season five was Starlight Glimmer. She was introduced in the first two-parter to open up the season, “The Cutie Map.” Our cast of characters travel to a small town that she ran, where every pony had the same cutie mark. In Starlight’s words, this is her version of a utopia, where no pony is judged for being different and everyone is treated equally.

After her plans are thwarted and the town returns to normal, Starlight escapes into the mountains. Only to make her return here in the two-parter to end season five. Now she seeks revenge on Twilight for ruining her dream of a perfect world where other ponies would never be hurt by a cutie mark. Her plan of vengeance? To go back in time and prevent Rainbow Dash’s Sonic Rainboom that caused all of the main characters to get their cutie marks, thus separating their special bond.

What Starlight could never have predicted was what this event meant to the safety of Equestria. Twilight and Spike attempt to stop Starlight Glimmer, and fail every time, always returning to the “present,” with each one getting progressively worst, as a former villain throughout the show succeeded in their plans to conquer Equestria. From Nightmare Moon unleashing eternal night, to King Sombra using the forces of the Crystal Empire to unleash a never-ending war, to the Changelings draining all the happiness out of ponies and forcing the survivors into the forest and always judging every newcomer that might be a Changeling.

This is, without a doubt, the darkest and most disturbing episode of MLP. We watch as Equestria falls apart, the lives we’ve witnessed over the past five seasons be destroyed by war, chaos and cruelty. In one timeline, Rainbow Dash has lost one wing and has it replaced with a metal one. While in another, Fluttershy, the element of kindness is ready to viciously kill Twilight because she might be a Changeling.

And all because Starlight wanted revenge on Twilight. Revenge, the most worthless of causes.

The second half of the second episode is dedicated to why Starlight would do all this and how she got to where she was. Twilight then realizes that she can’t beat Starlight. There’s no way she can stop Starlight from her plans and that the two could be at this for all eternity if they wanted to. But it would never solve Starlight’s problem – her inability to trust others and see that a cutie mark should be cherished, not mocked.

I won’t spoil how this one ends, since it could mean big things for the future of MLP. But let’s just say that, like when Twilight became a princess, this could have big implications for the next season.

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Number Five: “Amending Fences” (Season Five, Episode Twelve)

But the theme of redemption is not limited to minor characters. In this case, Twilight is the one seeking to redeem herself in her first full episode about the newly crowned princess since “Magic Duel.”

Twilight, now dubbed the “Princess of Friendship,” has a realization one day – Before the events of this show started, she was a terrible friend. She was always reading a book or studying, never paying attention to her friends from Canterlot. And when the show started, she ditched everything there to move to Ponyville, never saying goodbye to anyone. Now she wishes to make up for this by returning to her roots and making amends to her old friends. What she finds out is that most of her old friends never thought badly of her, that this was who she was and just enjoyed her company. That is except for one friend, Moondancer.

In a call-back to the first episode of MLP, which was more of a throwaway line at the time, we find out that Moondancer was having a party, something she never did since she was an even bigger bookworm than Twilight. But Twilight, her best friend, couldn’t make it because she had “lots of studying to do.”

And now Moodancer does nothing but studying for the sake of studying. Her journeys take to the library and back to her rundown cottage in the woods, far away from every pony. She has given up on socializing, because she knows that it will only end in misery when they have to leave or become too important for you.

This is a great example of how the writing on MLP is improving, giving us glances at these characters that make us question if they’re doing the right thing, while still being accessible for children. An episode like this would have been impossible in season two or three, but we see Twilight has a character who has made mistakes and wants nothing more than to make up for it.

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Number Four: “For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils” (Season Four, Episode Nineteen)

I mentioned in “Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?” that Princess Luna is in control of the night, but she also has the ability to enter other ponies dreams and talk to them through their visions. We saw Luna do this with each of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, first with Scootaloo in “Sleepless in Ponyville” back in season three, and early on in season five with Apple Bloom in “Bloom and Gloom.” This is Sweetie Belle’s turn and it is the best of the trilogy.

With “Sleepless in Ponyville” and “Bloom and Gloom,” those were dealing more with Scootaloo and Apple Bloom’s fears of being rejected by Rainbow Dash and what it would mean to get a cutie mark, respectively. This one delves, not into Sweetie Belle’s fears, but the fact that she always feels overshadowed by her sister, Rarity. When she makes an entire play, including the set and dialogue, all any pony could talk about afterwards was the customs, designed by Rarity. Even when she tries to do what she loves, it is always about Rarity.

What follows is a “Christmas Carol”-like story, as we see the past, present and future of the relationship between Sweetie Belle and Rarity through dreams, while Luna puts a new perspective on what Sweetie Belle sees of her older sister. That when she made a fool of herself at her fifth-birthday party, Rarity was the one to turn the party around by making every kid happy, or that Rarity spent endless nights getting the costumes for the play ready, pushing aside all her other projects to do so.

This takes the amazingly creative dreamscape of the previous episodes and gives it a touching character piece about two sisters who now see more than just themselves in each other.

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Number Three: “Crusaders of the Lost Mark” (Season Five, Episode Eighteen)

Yeah, yeah, stupid pun title. I know, but the importance and execution of this episode cannot be denied.

There’s no other way around it. This episode makes the list for a good reason – The Cutie Mark Crusaders finally get their cutie marks. And it was done so well.

For five seasons, this moment has been building up. Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo’s adventure began in early season one, when they found each other and decided to try to find something they were all good at and find their cutie marks together. Since then, they’ve strayed far from getting into dangerous situations to get their marks and instead found out more about themselves, like the previously mentioned “For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils.” They also learned what it means to have a cutie mark that it is not just a sign of maturity but that you have found your place in the world.

Now it all comes together perfectly, as we have one last tale of redemption with the one character every fan thought was unredeemable – the bully of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Diamond Tiara.

For as long as the Crusaders have gone on their escapades, Diamond Tiara has been there to scoff at them, always calling them “blank flanks” and getting every kid in the school to laugh at them. As it turns out, her cutie mark allows her to persuade others into doing her bidding, which she has always used for her selfish and greedy purposes. She is, in every sense of the word, a bully. Until this episode, and we learn about how her parents don’t see her as their daughter, but as a way to climb the social latter faster.

Diamond Tiara has been misled and confused her entire life that she needs to block out anyone less than her and treat them as filth. When she learns what the Crusaders do outside of school, she says they are very lucky to be able to explore and learn about themselves. Diamond Tiara had this lifestyle thrust upon her and didn’t know any other way to take out her anger and confusion on the world.

The moment the Crusaders realize that Diamond Tiara has potential to help others, rather than hurt them, they help her realize her potential and what her mark truly means. They not only earn a new friend, but get their marks as well. They have found their calling – To help other ponies earn their cutie marks and help them realize what their marks mean.

The crusade comes to an end, but begins all over again.

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Number Two: “Brotherhooves Social” (Season Five, Episode Seventeen)

And now we reach a new type of story for the final two episodes: Minor character theater.

If there’s one thing I loved above all else in season five, it was the world and character building. Not just what was done with the main characters, especially the Cutie Mark Crusaders, but the characters that normally don’t get the spotlight. It comes across like the show’s creators are aware of how popular this show as become, and that many fans’ favorite characters are not the main ones. Sometimes they’re background characters, ones who have never said a word or have less than a few seconds of screen time per episode, yet they pack so much character into those few seconds.

“Brotherhooves Social” is one of best examples of that, as the only main character in this episode is Applejack, for about two minutes. The focus of this episode is Applejack and Apple Bloom’s big brother – Big Macintosh, or Big Mac for short. A character that is known for his unbelievable strength, and his limited vocabulary of “E’yup!” and “Nope!” He is shown to have an impressive vocabulary and has even joined a barbershop quartet in one episode, but he chooses to stay with those two words most of the time.

In this episode, Applejack and Apple Bloom are excited for the upcoming Sisterhooves Social event, which they dominate every year. But when Applejack is called away due to a problem in Manehattan, Apple Bloom is crushed. So, Big Mac, in an attempt to please his baby sister, dresses up in drag, going by the name Orchard Blossom, so that he and Apple Bloom can compete in the event.

This is one of the funniest episodes of MLP, because of how different Big Mac and Orchard Blossom are. Orchard has a massive southern vocabulary, taking every opportunity to use the most fancy words imaginable. Orchard is extremely social and wants to get to know every pony, while Big Mac is content to himself and only talks to others if it is absolutely necessary.

And of course, no pony buys the disguise, they all know it is Big Mac dressed as a woman.

The final event of the social really highlights the comedy, as Big Mac desperately tries to win one event for Apple Bloom, and his strength breaks the entire course. The sight of an angry Big Mac in drag running right at Rainbow Dash is a sight that needs to be seen.

But what makes this episode stick with me is the ending, where Big Mac opens up to Apple Bloom. We learn that, even though he may not say much, doesn’t mean he isn’t feeling anything. That he feels like he’s being left behind, Applejack has a big role in Equestria and he stays on the farm doing his job. And yet, all Apple Bloom ever seems to talk about is Applejack. He can live with being on the farm all day, but it upsets him that his sister thinks so little of him.

“Brotherhooves Social” is a wonderful character building episode, with a touching ending, great comedy throughout and character building on someone that deserves more attention.

And the Number One best new episode of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” is (Say it with me, pony fans)…

slice of life

“Slice Of Life” (Season Five, Episode Nine)

This was the episode that fans have been waiting years to witness – a celebration of everything that is wonderful about MLP.

“Slice Of Life” is the 100th episode of MLP, a massively impressive achievement no matter what your show is about, and the creators of MLP have dedicated this one to the bronies and pegasisters, because they know this show would never have lasted five seasons and over 100 episodes without their support. So the creators give us a love letter to everything that fans have been asking for, to the background characters.

Outside of the final line of the episode, none of the main characters say anything or are featured here. This is an episode entirely about the characters who never have had an opportunity to shine and their “normal” lives in Ponyville. From the fan-favorite cross-eyed and clumsy Derpy, to the completely self-aware and hilarious Doctor Whooves (yes, they make every possible joke they can about that), to the “Lebowski” ponies that look and behave exactly like their counterparts in “The Big Lebowski,” to the odd-yet-captivating relationship between DJ-PON3 and Octavia, one pony that is obsessed with modern techno beats and another that masters in classical cello music and share a house together.

Every major character that fans have speculated for years is given an opportunity to shine in this episode, as the town prepares for a wedding while our normal cast of characters are off fighting a monster. Derpy is as dim-witted as she is kind, the Doctor is obssessed with science and technology (what little there is in this world) while making as many “Doctor Who” references as possible, and the two musical ponies compliment each other nicely as they support each other in their endeavors to make better art.

But my favorite in this episode, by the slimmest of margins, is Lyra and Bon Bon. These two do everything together (In “Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?,” there is one scene where we see their dreams, and they have joined into one creature, similar to Nickelodeon’s “Cat-Dog”). But when Bon Bon finds out about this monster the main characters are fighting, called a Bug-Bear, her cover is blown and her secrets have been revealed.

I won’t go into too much detail, but let’s just say there is often confusion about Bon Bon, especially in marketing and toys for MLP. Sometimes she’s Bon Bon, other times she’s Sweetie Drop, and every time she’s spoken on the show she has had a different voice actress. The way it is handled in this episode is unforgettable.

And that’s how I would describe “Slice Of Life” – unforgettable. Every scene is packed with references and jokes, each character is wholely unique and it wonderful to see a new perspective on MLP that has never been explored before. This episode gives us exactly what the fans wanted out of a tribute episode and I loved every second of it.

 

Top Ten Movies Of The 2010s (Thus Far)

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It is strange to think about, but we are now halfway through this decade. It felt like just yesterday, we were still just in the beginning of the 2000s, yet here we are in 2015.

This has been an eventful five years in cinema, with some good film years with several noteworthy movies, some terrible ones with next to nothing, and even a few great ones like this last year.

As such, let’s take a look back at the last half decade and see the best the movies had to offer. These are the top ten films of the 2010s (thus far). For this list, any film released between 2010 and 2014 qualifies. This will include some films that I’ve done extensive reviews on, but others that I have hardly even touched.

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Ten: “Midnight In Paris” (2011)

This one snuck up on me. I did not expect much out of Woody Allen, who has been more of a filmmaker who lurks in the shadows and waits for others to discover his work. But, there is something so charming to his fantastic tale of a man who wants nothing more than to live in the past.

“Midnight In Paris” reminds me of a comedic episode of “The Twilight Zone,” where reality and fantasy meet and the desires to make the past present and fulfilled, only to have them come crashing down and shattered in front of their eyes. With each trip into the past, there comes the realization that we romantize the past and only see what we wish to see, taking away our ability to enjoy the present to the fullest.

Clever story, tight writing and an unexpected moral that has remained relevant since we began to record history. A pleasant surprise from Woody Allen.

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Nine: “Django Unchained” (2012)

Quentin Tarantino is a hit-and-miss director for me. Sometimes, he’ll make a film that hits all the right notes that is stylish, eloquent and suspenseful, like “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction.” Other times, Tarantino will make a film that meanders and does not seem to have much of a point, aside from showing off his own ego, like “Jackie Brown” and “Inglorious Basterds.”

“Django Unchained” falls into the first category, and just might be Tarantino’s best film since “Pulp Fiction.” I attribute this to not writing dialogue for the sake of the dialogue, but creating the characters and writing the dialogue around them. I remember very few lines from “Django Unchained” but I certainly characters like Dr. Schultz and Calvin Candy, for their charisma, their passions, their generous hearts (or in Candy’s case, a lack of one) and the performances behind them.

There is excellent character writing in “Django Unchained.” In a harsh world that cares very little for the individual, we get a German bounty hunter that loves what he does and appreciates a man’s contributions, as well as a slaver that loves this strange and unforgiving world and will use it to his advantage.

Aside from a few out-of-place scenes, like the KKK sequence and the artificially extended ending, “Django Unchained” is wonderful Western with some characters that will not be forgotten any time soon.

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Eight: “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012)

When I initially saw “Silver Linings Playbook,” I admired the performances by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, but got very little out of the film. After watching the film a couple more times though, I have gained a new respect for the movie by talking about issues that are so rarely discussed in cinema.

Perhaps when I first watched “Silver Linings Playbook,” I saw the film trying to say something about mental illnesses. In a way the film is talking about that, but it is more about trauma than anything else, as well as learning how to deal with it. The people who have mental breakdowns and blame tragic life events on themselves, like their spouse cheating on them or a loved one dying in a car accident. That these tortured souls have to take life one day at a time and learn to appreciate what they have now, and not what they had.

“Silver Linings Playbook” is smart, funny, and one of the more touching films of the last five years. Good performances all around, including Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver.

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Seven: “Gravity” (2013)

For the first time, this film feels like it is set in space. Not only that, but it feels like we are right along side Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in their journey through space.

The fear, the majestic view, and the unknown of space are all on display in “Gravity.” I did not like “Gravity” as much in my first viewing, mostly due to the story not being that impressive. But after thinking more about it, I’ve realized that “Gravity” is about the experience and not the story, like “2001: A Space Odyssey.” You don’t need much out of your main character, because you are your own main character. The extended long shots of space stations flying apart and debris fields zipping past you is more effective than any bit of character development in this film.

It is one of those oddities in cinema that puts you in a state of mind and lets you see an all new perspective, rather than watching a story unfold. Though it gets a bit cliché and predictable near the end, the cinematography and atmosphere more than make up for it. Overall, I respect “Gravity” more than most other films I have seen in the last five years.

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Six: “Birdman” (2014)

Actors can be fickle people, who pursue their cause for nothing more than fame. But some people will do just about anything to achieve fame, even putting their souls on display for everyone to laugh and ridicule.

This is what makes “Birdman” such a strong piece. The intent of Riggin Thomson is so basic and desirable, yet so personal as he looks for redemption and a purpose in life. The demons of his past continue to haunt him, calling out to reclaim what belongs to him alone, but he continues to wish to make his acting career one worth fighting for. It makes the film even stronger because of Michael Keaton playing the role, who has had something like that happen to him.

On top of that, there is top-notch cinematography, emotional performances from Edward Norton and Emma Stone and snappy dialogue that just rolls off the tongue. “Birdman” is a film that I would not mind watching many times in the future.

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Five: “The Artist” (2011)

2011 was a sad year for cinema. For the majority of that year, my favorite film was “Rango,” which came out in February, and saw an endless string of bad and disappointing movies, like “Hugo” and “Drive.”

Then along came “The Artist” to prove that cinema is a visual medium and that dialogue is just an added benefit.

I realize that sounds hypocritical, since I just praised “Django Unchained” and “Birdman” for their dialogue, but there are many different types of movies out there and what works for some may not work for others. “The Artist” goes back to the root of cinema – silent movies. To see a feature-length silent film being made in the 2010s, and to have it be so exciting, emotional and atmospheric is unbelievable.

“The Artist” could have gone the route of “Singin’ In The Rain,” and be a musical set during the transitional period in film history when talkies were taking off, but instead we get a “Sunset Boulevard”-esque story, of a silent actor who is being left in a rapidly evolving world. The quote, “I am big, it’s the pictures that got small,” comes to mind when I think of “The Artist.”

Overall, “The Artist” is a love letter to many different eras of cinema, including the quirky 1910s and 1920s, the darker and more personal 1950s and the many films of Billy Wilder. A timeless film made at a time when we needed a reminder of the power of cinema.

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Four: “Black Swan” (2010)

Much like “Birdman,” “Black Swan” is a film that shows the darker side of being a performer and relies almost exclusively on one performance. But the reason “Black Swan” gets higher on this list is because of the atmosphere and inner battle of the main character.

In “Black Swan,” there is always a foreboding atmosphere, that Nina is always trying her hardest but is one slip-up away from being cut from the lead role. Nina wants to be the best, but being the best comes with a tough mentality. This goes together with Nina’s struggle within herself, to the point that she must become the black swan to perform in the ballet.

“Black Swan” has many subtle parts to it, where you’re not exactly sure what is real and what is in Nina’s mind, to the point where Mila Kunis’ character might be a figment of Nina’s imagination, to make Nina fight harder for her role.

Throw in a one-of-a-kind performance by Natalie Portman and the dark filmmaking style from the same director as “Requiem For A Dream,” and “Black Swan” continues to impress me to this day.

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Three: “Nightcrawler” (2014)

From one creepy and disturbing film to another. This time though, we get a film that is set in reality and not the mind.

The tale of Louis Bloom has been compared to someone attempting to obtain the “American Dream,” only to realize that America has changed so much that the dream is dead. Louis sets out to prove that wrong, at whatever the cost. Louis does not care for other people, and only sees them as tools to achieve is own goals and can be disposed off once his need for them is finished. Yet all the while, Louis works harder, quicker and more deadly than the competition to make a name for himself.

Perhaps that is why filming horrific accidents and tragedies comes so naturally for Louis. He is so far removed from reality and lives in his own world that he does not see these as people, but his next paycheck. Sadly though, his news outlet seems to agree with his line of thinking and will pay Louis handsomely for their ratings boost.

“Nightcrawler” is a film that is relevant as it is creepy. A standout performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, poignant writing and an unrelenting atmosphere. This is a film that quickly grabs a hold of you and never lets go.

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Two: “her” (2013)

Now that we’ve got all the terrifying films out-of-the-way, let’s talk about the most heartwarming and imaginative film on this list.

I could not see “her” being directed by anyone other than Spike Jonez. The man who went inside John Malkovich’s head, who cast Nicholas Cage as the two lead roles in the same film about adapting a book at was unadaptable, and the guy who dared to bring “Where The Wild Things Are” to the screen, now makes a movie about a man falling in love with an artificial intelligence. But the great thing about “her” is that he pulls it off spectacularly.

Part of this is because the world of “her” is not so different from our own, yet advanced enough where software and everything digital can be interacted with. We still use email and social media, but everything is streamlined and quicker. It is not surprising that A.I. would develop a personality that others can identify with, care for and fall in love with.

“her” is one of the few films about romance that I not only tolerate, but adore. When we have so many predictable stories of love, nothing makes me happier than to see a film that strains the boundaries of personalities and what these two can do together.

And the Best Film Of the 2010s (thus far) is…

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“Cloud Atlas” (2012)

Possibly the most unconventional pick on this list, “Cloud Atlas” gets number one for being unlike any other film I have ever seen. Six different stories, all different genres and types of stories, combined into a timeline where each story affects the outcome of the next and reincarnations and past lives are a reoccurring trend.

What really sold me on “Cloud Atlas” was how each story fell into a particular genre, making it easier to follow. The events in present day London is a comedy, while the one in 1970s San Francisco is a mystery, and the 2100s Neo Seoul is (of course) a science fiction piece. Each section of the film stands on its own, but when you put them together it tells a tale over the course of thousands of years, and our understanding of the past, present and future collide.

There have been network narratives in the past, where there is no true main character and many types of people are followed, but never has there been a film like “Cloud Atlas” where each piece can work individually, and still contribute to a greater whole.

“Cloud Atlas” is ambitious, clever, knows no genre-boundaries and never gets boring or predictable. For being over three hours long, it moves a brisk pace and does not feel longer than an hour and a half. The editing is tight and focused, the cinematography ranges from breath-taking to other-worldly and it never fails to keep me entertained.

Now I’d like to know what are your favorite films of the last five years. Do you think there was a film that I missed? Or do you disagree with some of the films that I put on this list. Let me know in the comments.

Top Ten Films I Watched In 2014

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I have mixed opinions on the volume of movies that I watched in 2014. About half way through the year, I set a goal to watch at least 100 new movies before the end of December. Film is my passion and there are many wonderful films out there that I have not seen, so I should make time for those movies. By the end of the year, I had watched about 85 new films, most of them in theaters.

 

Luckily, I’ve made the same goal for 2015 and by the end of January, I had already seen 20 new films. Off to a good start.

 

While I am proud that I watched nearly every new movie in 2014 that I wanted to (I still need to see “Inherent Vice” and “The Theory Of Everything” to complete my list), I still wish that I had seen more. I don’t think that I watched as many new films in 2014 as I did in 2013, especially films that were already released, but I certainly made up for it with the quantity of my blog posts. In fact, every film that I watched in 2014 had at least a bit of writing about my opinion on it.

 

As such, it makes writing a top ten list of the films I watched this past year a bit difficult. There would be a lot of repetition and opinions that were better expressed in my earlier reviews. So, I’ll be trying something a bit different for this wrap-up of 2014. For each film in this list, I’ll be linking you to my extended reviews, and give a short write-up in this post.

 

With that said, let’s take a look at the ten best films that I watched in 2014. These can be anything, from new theater releases to classics that I caught on TCM or Netflix. As long as I watched it for the first time in 2014, it qualifies.

 

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Ten: “Life Itself” (2014)

 

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2014/07/movie-review-life-itself-2014.html

 

This one feels tailor-made for me and any other current film critics – The tale of passion and cinema, through the eyes of the most personal critic, Roger Ebert. While I don’t normally enjoy documentaries, this one was special because I felt like there was so much to learn about one of my biggest idols, even if I thought I already knew everything.

 

We got to meet the man, instead of the critic. And that is what made Roger so special – that he just wasn’t some guy who used his opinion as a platform, but as a way to connect with people and make them care about the movies they watch.

 

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Nine: “Stand By Me” (1986)

 

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2014/05/movie-review-standy-by-me-1986.html

 

I was going to put “Boyhood” in this spot, but I watched that one in the beginning of 2015, so it does not count.

 

With that said, this is a classic coming-of-age story, told from the future by a man reflecting on his childhood and what he remembers and cherishes. Though the core characters do not change over the course of the film, the journey of being twelve and free is more than enough, especially when you’re on your way to find a dead body. Combine this with the narration, and we see that these kids did learn, just not right away.

 

This is a grand adventure with suspense and danger around every corner, but without ever going over the top.

 

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Eight: “Robot & Frank” (2012)

 

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2014/10/mini-reviews-1.html

 

This one makes the list for stating the difference between man and robot, or in this case the similarities. A sentient creature with a soul is merely a collection of thoughts and experiences, and we become an individual by how we react and learn from those experiences.

 

Well that, and “Robot & Frank” has a plausible outlook on the future, where libraries no longer exist, robots serve retired and old people and there are people who refuse to live in this new world of technology and the lack of human interaction. A great modern science-fiction film that plays to both the heart and the mind.

 

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Seven: “The Lego Movie” (2014)

 

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2014/02/movie-review-lego-movie-2014.html

 

Everything is awesome. Everything is cool when you’re part of the team.

 

‘Nough said.

 

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Six: “The Wind Rises” (2013)

 

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2014/03/movie-review-wind-rises-2013.html

 

I think I have come to terms with the fact that my favorite genre of film is now animation, especially after having four animated films in my top ten list last year. Luckily, this year only has two.

 

This is the most down to earth Hayao Miyazaki’s animated works, but it still manages to be visually stunning, full of wonder, imagination and creativity. It is fitting that the last movie Miyazaki would work on would be about a man who wanted nothing more than to soar in the sky and be remembered for his contributions to the world.

 

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Five: “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962)

 

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-manchurian-candidate-1962.html

 

I despise politics, but this is an unbelievably poignant political thriller.

 

What I love about this film, other than the intrigue, atmosphere and suspense, is that the film does not pick a political side and chooses to ridicule them all. Democracy, Communism, McCarthyism, Marxism, all political parties are terrible and just want one thing – power. They will achieve that goal by whatever means necessary, such as corrupting the minds of good people.

 

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Four: “Birdman” (2014)

 

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2014/11/movie-review-birdman-2014-fame-fortune.html

 

Fame is fleeting, but that does not stop some people from recapturing it. Or at least trying to.

 

There is so much to love about “Birdman.” The story of an actor displaying himself in front of the world for everyone to see, the ingenious writing and dialogue to always feel fresh and crisp, the cinematography that makes it feel like a stage play while still having that filmic touch, and the pitch-perfect acting, especially from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton. What more can I say? “Birdman” is superb.

 

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Three: “Judgment At Nuremberg” (1961)

 

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2014/10/mini-reviews-1.html

 

Aside from the film that comes in at number one on this list, “Judgment At Nuremberg” was the smartest and most oddly convincing film I saw this year. I did not have much time to discuss this one, but here is the basics – It is the trail of several Nazis for this crimes against humanity, set in a torn and ravaged Germany following WWII.

 

You’d think that would be an open-and-shut case. But the movie is wonderful at making a point of why the Nazis did what they did, how America is hardly different from the Nazis and showing us that the Nazis are people just like everyone else. They had their reasons and did it to survive in a world that was rapidly leaving them behind.

 

To be able to take such an evil and despicable creation like the Nazis and make them all too relatable, “Judgment At Nuremberg” gets my respect and admiration.

 

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Two: “Nightcrawler” (2014)

 

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2014/11/movie-review-nightcrawler-2014.html

 

A creepy and other-worldly look at a man who wants nothing more than to make it big in the world. This is not someone who wants money, but respect and admiration. In his eyes, that is quite difficult to obtain in this world without hard work, determination and a willingness to let other people take the shots for you. Combine this with Jake Gyllenhaal’s captivating yet off-putting performance, and you get a relevant thriller that does not fail to please.

 

“Nightcrawler” along with “Gone Girl,” worked at showing the brutal reality of the media who is more focused on getting good ratings and viewers than letting the world know what is happening, making the film relevant and topical.

 

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One: “Giant” (1956)

 

http://gotengoxgodzilla.blogspot.com/2014/10/movie-review-giant-1956.html

 

Like “Amadeus” last year, “Giant” is the only film that I gave an A+ to in 2014.

 

It is difficult to discuss what makes “Giant” one of the greatest epics in such a short space, but here it goes. The film does not try anything complicated, and tells a story that anyone can relate and understand – Falling in love, raising a family and watching them grow. But along the way, we learn of the personal sacrifices that must be made, but ultimately realizing that you cannot live your child’s life for them.

 

It is also a tale of man against woman, old views versus modern ones, and need to treat everyone as a person, instead of by the color of their skin or their gender. The need to let go of those old world views if you want the world to change. The challenge comes from people who don’t want the world to change, because they don’t see anything wrong with it.

 

“Giant” might be well over three hours, but it moves at a brisk pace and never overstays its welcome. Tight writing, wonderful performances by Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean and a story that will never age. A timeless classic with themes of pride, family, love and sacrifice. What more could you need?

Top Five Films of 2014 (so far)

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It is weird to think that we are already half way through 2014. It only feels like yesterday I was talking about the best of 2013 and the Oscars, yet now the Summer Blockbusters are halfway done and most of my most anticipated films of the year have already been released.

So far, I have mixed feelings about the films released in 2014. It is kind of like an multiplying effect; when the films were good, they were really good, but when they sucked, they were almost painful to watch, like “22 Jump Street.”

However, seeing how most of the best films released this year have been summer blockbusters, it really is not fair to judge it too much. So instead, lets look at the five best films released in 2014 thus far.

These are the five films that have stuck with me long after I left the theater and reminded me how much fun going to the movies can be. Whether they made me think, laugh, cry, terrified or somewhere in between, these movies made a impact on me.

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Five: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

This is a typical Wes Andersen film, with standard of dry humor, characters talking directly to the camera, while moving and behaving more like dolls than human beings.

But really, is that a bad thing?

I’d say the only thing “The Grand Budapest Hotel” does differently is by expanding its cast even further than usual, while also having a more grand sense of scope and size. While Wes Andersen films typically have a large cast, this one in particular felt much larger, with each new character being played by a well-known and respected actor. This film also takes place over a vast landscape, as well as a war.

This gives the dry humor of a Wes Andersen film even more heft and irony. So while this feels like every other Wes Andersen film, it also does a few things to diversify itself from that same category of cinema.

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Four: “The Raid 2”

I did not think it was possible, but a movie actually managed to be more brutal and graphic than “The Raid: Redemption.”

It is interesting to compare the first Raid film to its sequel, as they both have many similarities of themes and atmosphere, but also drastically different stories and wider range of characters. But one thing that remained consistent between both films were the fight sequences still being fresh and exciting to watch.

Let’s face it, to have a good martial arts sequence these days is incredibly difficult. We’ve seen it all before and nothing really surprises us. But the creators of the Raid films still find a way to make each fight memorable and intense. By introducing fighters who each have a unique look and fighting style, each one feels different from the last while still remaining fast-paced and brutal.

That is what makes “The Raid 2” so much fun to watch. It is different enough from “The Raid: Redemption” but still keeping its core of solid fight sequences and a basic human drive that makes us care about the brawls.

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Three: “Godzilla”

I couldn’t help myself. This one had to be on the list.

The more I thought about this film, the more I really started to enjoy it. At times, it is reminiscent of films like “Jaws” and “Alien,” in how it builds up to the eventual reveal of Godzilla, but knowing when to hold back and not give us too much Godzilla, or else the audience would grow tired of him.

Not since “Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack” have I felt a giant monster walk around with so much weight, power and strength. Without even showing us his face, you get the impression of how imposing and earth-shattering Godzilla is. And he looms over every scene in the film, waiting to strike like a shark on the prowl.

While I still believe the acting is the weakest part of the film, it is never so bad that it becomes grating or annoying. It’s just so average that it does nothing for me. If we had one more actor who was on the same level of intensity as Bryan Cranston or unflinching and intelligent as Ken Watanabe, then this would have been a wonderful film.

But, for what it was, I thoroughly enjoyed “Godzilla.” It had just the right amount of monster sequences, while still having a balanced human story and some great moments of tragedy and heartbreak. It honored the character of Godzilla and knew exactly what he stands for.

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Two: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

This is a much more sophisticated movie than I thought it would be. I expected some degree of intelligence, like I do with most Marvel movies these days, but what we got was an argument about the blurred lines between good and evil and whether or not we can truly fight for one side when both are so messed up.

Captain America is one of the most basic superheroes imaginable: He fights for what he believes is right and just. Which makes the argument of “right vs. wrong” so powerful in this film. Even more so when put in a world that is constantly evolving, with new global threats appearing every day and trust is thrown right out the door.

This was a nice divergent from the typical superhero film of the villain being one dimensional and predictable, and instead being a corrupt version of ourselves. In a world where demigods can smite us at any moment or another alien invasion could take out a major city, protection and justice are needed even more for the people. But when we focus so much on protection, we end up putting fear and terror in everyone.

So really, is that the right thing to do? I’m not sure, and I don’t think Cap is sure either.

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This gets number one on my list because I have never seen any film quite like “The Lego Movie.” Not just stop-motion animation with legos throughout the entire film, but the world of legos. How the different lands of legos interact, how the master builders can take apart the landscape and rerrange it at will, how each piece of brick can used as a tool and how it all comes together with its twist in the end.

“The Lego Movie” is what I love about cinema. It is fun, imaginative, exciting, thought-provoking, intelligent, witty and is something that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. No matter what your film preferences are, there is something to be enjoyed in this movie.

The goal of this film is to make you feel like a child again. Coming up with your own grand adventure with your toys and legos, even using household items as some sort of foreign and ancient treasure. Yet, in the end, the film is also about growing up and moving on from your toys to have an even bigger adventure, while still remembering the good times you had.

“The Lego Movie” nails that aspect every step of the way, while still keeping up its pleasant and friendly environment where everything is awesome.

Top Ten "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" episodes



“My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” is not only an excellent childrens program, but also a respectable show. I have stated this in the past, but it bears repeating. 
I was initially hesitant to watch a show about brightly colored ponies and their adventures in friendship, especially since that is something aimed for little girls. One thing that got my attention quickly was how the creators of the show treated their audience with respect and kindness. Never once does the show attempt to talk down to its audience or force its messages and morals down the audiences throat. 
That aspect caught my curiosity, but what caught my attention was how well-crafted the show was. Each episode had stellar voice-acting, animation that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, writing that made the stories compelling and worth watching and morals that can be used in real life and aren’t rehashed from other television shows. 
I believe that “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” is a perfect children show that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. While the show knows who the target audience is, that doesn’t stop it from aiming jokes, stories and even entire characters at a more mature audience. 
With 83 episodes to watch at this time, there is a fair share of impressive episodes. Which is why I’ve decided to do a top ten of the best episodes of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.” These are the episodes that I feel best represent the show and what it is capable of. Whether they are making you laugh, making you think or making you smile, these are just a sample of what the show is capable of. 


Ten: “Power Ponies” (Season 4, Episode 6)
One of MLP’s favorite things to do is to put in little references, but never draw attention to them. Just letting the fans figure them out on their own. 
For example, one of the reoccurring characters is a pony with an hourglass cutie mark (the little tramp stamps on all the ponies) and has appeared different times in the show as a Pegasus (winged horse) and a regular earth pony. His name is Doctor Whooves. Another is at the end of an episode that will be featured on this list, that is quite similar to the medal ceremony at the end of the first “Star Wars.” Even simple references, like “Chocolate Rain.”
Well, this episode is full of those kinds of references, without even needing to know them to enjoy the episode. Our main characters get sucked into a comic book and become the title characters, the Power Ponies, each with their own unique super power that in turn is a reference to another superhero. 
Rarity gets the power of creating energy constructs with her mind (a reference to Green Lanturn) but mostly uses them for fashion and glamor purposes. Pinkie Pie can run at super sonic speeds (hey there Flash, nice to see ya) but she uses them to dash down the street to cupcake store before anyone even notices. 
However, the best one of all is Fluttershy, the quiet and kind one who would never hurt a fly…getting the powers of the Hulk. When she gets angry, she turns into a gigantic rage monster. Of course, it takes her a while to finally get mad but when she does it is hilarious. This episode makes the list almost solely on Fluttershy hulking out and being the funniest moment in any episode. To watch her meek and happy spirit disappear and to see the anger set in is wonderful to watch.


Nine: “Dragonshy” (Season 1, Episode 7)
One of the most common questions amongst fans of the show is who the best pony is. For the most part, it seems to be split equally between all six main characters, with each one having a good argument for why they are better than the others. 
My pick for the best would be Fluttershy, not because she is the funniest or most dedicated, but because she only wishes to help others. She represents the spirit of kindness. Forgiving, respectful, courteous, selfless, understanding and would do anything to make her friends feel better. She sees all life as equal, from the tiniest insects to the massive dragons. 
The moment I realized this was an admirable trait was in this particular episode, where a dragon has decided to rest near the town of our main characters, Ponyville, and threatens to cover all of their land in a dark cloud of smoke and smog. It is up to our heroes to climb the mountain and get the dragon to leave, by whatever means necessary. 
Most of the episode is the journey up the mountain, with Fluttershy not wanting to tag along because of her fear of dragons and constantly slowing down the group. Since this is early in the shows run, the group isn’t fully developed yet and characters like Rainbow Dash and Rarity don’t believe in Fluttershy and wish she wasn’t coming along.
Once they finally get to the dragon and attempt to get him to leave, their plans fall apart and they are nearly demolished by this beast. It isn’t until Fluttershy steps up and asserts herself against the dragon for hurting her friends. In the process, she makes the dragon cry. 
“Dragonshy” is exciting, well-paced, gives us a greater sense of this world and is a wonderful piece at building up the character of Fluttershy. That beyond her shy exterior lies someone who will do whatever it takes to protect what she loves. 


Eight: “Too Many Pinkie Pies” (Season 3, Episode 3)
Ah, Pinkie Pie. Always willing to do anything for a laugh or to brighten someone’s day, even if that means breaking the fourth wall. She only has one setting: Over the top craziness. 
Which is why one Pinkie Pie is enough. When she discovers a magical mirror pool that creates copies of herself, suddenly the town is overrun with an army of fun-loving destroyers. 
This one makes the list because of how consistently funny it is, whether casting spells that turn frogs into oranges, a newly copied Pinkie Pie learning how to pronounce her friends names or the final sequence where every copy is forced to watch paint dry to find out who the real one is. 
It is also a nice change of pace for Pinkie Pie, as having multiple copies surrounding her causes a crisis within her and makes her think what exactly makes her stand out. That she isn’t just the loud, crazy and happy-obsessed pony but the thoughtful and caring one who only wishes to make others lives a little bit brighter. 


Seven: “Lesson Zero” (Season 2, Episode 3)
I find that the main character of the show, Twilight Sparkle, is often at her funniest when she embraces the madness. She is the most restrained and calm-minded of the characters, always with everything in order and has a plan for all occasions. To her, life is one giant test that you must be prepared for or else you will fail. 
When things do go wrong, Twilight goes absolutely insane. Even if the tiniest thing is out of place and there is a chance she could look bad because of it, she will lose. This episode is the best example of that, as Twilight must always send a weekly report to her mentor, the ruler of this land, Princess Celestia. When she finds out that a week has gone by and she has not learned anything new, she goes crazy and tries to force others to learn anything. 
This includes going to see all her friends and making conflicts happen, as well as forcing everyone in town to love her stuffed animal by means of a spell.
In a way, Twilight’s logic makes sense. She believes if she does not do everything Celestia tells her to do, then it will make both of them look bad, and Celestia could use her godlike powers to do anything to Twilight as punishment, including sending her back to the lowest level of schooling. Failure is never an option with her, so to she her attempt this is what makes this episode so powerful. 


Six: “The Ticket Master” (Season 1, Episode 3)
If I were to get someone interested in this show three episodes to start on, it would be the initial two-parter that opens up the show and this episode. The first two episodes are great at establishing the world of Equestria and how it operates and sets the ground work for how the show will progress. 
The following episode, “The Ticket Master,” is wonderful at telling us how each of our main characters will work, their differences, strengths, weaknesses and why we should care about them. 
Celestia sends Twilight two invitations to the biggest pony event of the year, the Grand Galloping Gala. The problem is each of Twilight’s five friends has a good reason for why they want to go, and Twilight only has two tickets. 
This episode could easily become formulaic but never becomes cliche or predictable. The reasons for why each one wants to go is admirable and true to their character, and Twilight never shows any signs of picking favorites. She sees them all as equals and would love to give them all the tickets, but can’t. 
There is of course attempts from the other characters at bribing Twilight, but each attempt feels genuine in helping out Twilight, not just some attempt to win the ticket. They may care about going to the Gala, but they care about Twilight more. 
A great introduction to the show and one of the most well-written episodes of the shows run.


Five: “The Return Of Harmony” (Season 2, Episodes 1 & 2)
One of the biggest pieces of lore with MLP, is that each of the six main characters is a piece of an unbelievable source of power, known as the Elements Of Harmony. Each character represents a different admirable virtue, such as loyalty, generosity, kindness and honesty.
In the two-parter to open up the second season, these virtues are tested when a thousand-year old threat returns, Discord, the spirit of disharmony and unhappiness. An omnipotent creature whose only wish in life is to create chaos and corrupt the innocent. He is the most effective villain in the shows run for a couple reasons, one is that instead of just using his powers to do whatever he wants, he instead gets the head of his victims and makes them think terrible thoughts. He makes them realize their weaknesses and lets them draw their own conclusions. 
The other reason is who voices Discord, John de Lancie. You may not recognize the name, but you will remember his voice and personality. De Lancie played Q on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” an omnipotent creature who is supposed to watch over the universe but had grown bored and decided to just start messing with whoever he encounters. 
Sound familiar? 
According to the shows creator, Lauren Faust (who also created “Powerpuff Girls” and “Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends”), Discord is one gigantic reference to Q, topped off with the actor who played Q now voicing the spirit of chaos. Beyond that, he is the perfect rival to our main characters. He loves what he does, even if that means corrupting others and making the elements of generosity, honesty and kindness into elements of greed, lying and cruelness. He could use his powers to do whatever he wants, but what would be the fun in making sense?
Four: “Bats!” (Season 4, Episode 7)
I believe this is the most well-written episode of the show thus far. Every character is at their best here, where a horde of vampire fruit bats have attacked Applejack’s home and threaten to suck all of her apples dry. She and the other main characters see them as nothing but monsters who need to be dealt with, except for Fluttershy who feels they are simply misunderstood and that this can be dealt with peacefully. 
The conflict is not forced by any means and comes naturally from within the characters. Something I wish the show did a bit more often was make the conflicts of certain episodes revolve around different viewpoints of our main characters. That way it feels akin to a family feud, with each one having a valid point but too stubborn to see the other side. 
This is also one of the most atmospheric episodes. It takes its time, especially at night when our heroes are hunting down whatever it is that continues to eat the apples, even after they’ve dealt with the bats. It all leads up to one of the coolest designs for a character in the show and something that I hope returns someday. 
This is everything that I love about the show all in one package. Excellent writing, beautiful animation, comedy that hits all the right notes and a conflict that never gets old. 


Three: “Magic Duel” (Season 3, Episode 5)
Twilight’s character took an interesting course in season three that saw many shades and development. We saw her look beyond her view that life is a test and that self sacrifice is sometimes the only way, that there is room for change in every creature and her ultimate change that leads her to become an important figure in Equestria. 
Before that, she had to face the challenges of her past. An old foe, “The Great and Powerful” Trixie, whom Twilight forced out of town in a previous episode, has returned with one of the most powerful magical amulets in the world and challenges Twilight to a magic duel, with the loser leaving Ponyville forever. 
If this episode shows anything it is Twilight’s role in Ponyville and why she earned it. The moment Trixie shows up, the others call on Twilight. She is the only one they trust when the situation looks grim. You’d think this would go to her head, but she embraces it and does her best to stop the threat. She is quick thinking and resourceful, but also willing to admit her mistakes, especially with Trixie. 
Outside of that, this is one that either had me laughing or impressed by just how much magic can accomplish in this world. It can take many forms and have different meanings, but the fantasy elements are some of the more awe-inspiring parts of the show. 


Two: “The Cutie-Mark Chronicles” (Season 1, Episode 23)
One of my favorite elements of the show is how cutie marks are used. In this world, a cutie mark will appear on a pony when they have found what they wish to do with their lives. Their mark is a representation of their dreams and goals in life. It is a sign of growing up and realizing what exactly is in important to that particular pony. 
This episode is fairly straight forward: It explains how each of the six main characters got their cutie marks. It also has an interesting vehicle, as each of these stories is being told to the other three main characters, the Cutie-Mark Crusaders, little fillies who don’t have their marks yet and go on adventures in an attempt to find their calling. They feel that if they can learn from their elders, it will better prepare them for future adventures. 
The real drive of the episode is the back story for each of the main characters. Each one is unique and stays true to their roots. The most interesting one is Pinkie Pie’s, as she grew up on a rock farm where she wasn’t allowed to smile or play. After she saw a giant rainbow that made her light up, she realized that she wanted to share this happiness with everyone else so that they don’t experience the same sadness she had to endure. 
This one is fun from start to finish. Great pacing, touching and still finds a way to have a good moral even if it is mostly back story. 


One: “Sonic Rainboom” (Season 1, Episode 16)
This is the episode where I fell in love with this show. Every character gets a chance to shine here, whether through comedy, drama or just being themselves. There is never a dull moment and every scene lasts just long enough to get the point across without overstaying its welcome. 
The episode follows Rainbow Dash as she competes in a flying competition in an attempt to impress her idols, the Wonderbolts, the best flyers in Equestria. Naturally, she is nervous about competing and wants her friends to be there for her. Unfortunately, this is happening in the Pegasus City of Clousdale and only Pegasus can stand on clouds. Thanks to some spells by Twilight, Rarity magically grows butterfly wings and becomes so enamored by their beauty that she competes as well. 
Like “Bats!” this one is incredibly well-written, with the conflict arising naturally from within the characters flaws, without changing elements and values just to suit the plot. You could also make a case that this is just as much about Rarity as it is Rainbow Dash, with both changing as characters and having genuine moments where they realize their flaws. 
Also, this is the most exciting episode to watch, especially once it gets to the competition. There is always a sense that Rarity’s wings would disappear at any moment, and the more she becomes absorbed into them, the worse her downfall will be. This leads to one of my favorite moments in the show where Rainbow Dash has to save Rarity and prove to herself that she is tougher than she thought. 
“Sonic Rainboom” is, like “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” in general, a brilliant example of creativity and imagination. It does not just want to get kids attention, but wants to entertain them and give them stories that aren’t too far off from other more adult shows. It is respectful and does a great job at covering a full range of emotions. 

Top Ten Godzilla Films



With the release of the newest trailer for “Godzilla” out, I have been in a Godzilla mood lately. And why not? The King is gaining all sorts of new popularity and notice these days, which he hasn’t received now for more than ten years. Godzilla is now coming out of his hibernation and the revitalization of the daikaiju genre seems to have begun.
So, with an all new audience starting to appreciate Godzilla, I think its time we look at the best the franchise has to offer. With twenty-eight entries in the series, there is more than enough room for a top ten list of the best Godzilla films. 
These are the films that I feel are the most well-made of the Godzilla legacy. Not just the most entertaining ones, but the ones that have the best writing, acting, directing, tone, music, special effects and style of all the many films. These films are the reason I cling to Godzilla so tightly and why I love cinema so much.


Ten: “Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster” (1964)
Not only is this the film to introduce us to the classic Godzilla enemy, King Ghidorah, but it is the film that shows a dynamic shift in Godzilla’s character. Up to this point in the franchise, Godzilla had always been the enemy of man. This film introduces a threat far greater than Godzilla. A threat that has already destroyed worlds and civilizations and could easily do the same again. It is because of this that Godzilla must team up with Rodan and Mothra to take down King Ghidorah, or be destroyed.
On top of that, there is hidden political commentary going on with this film. In 1964, Communist China was beginning to rise to power and had begun to threaten Japan. Filmmakers Ishiro Honda and Tomoyuki Tanaka felt that the only way to stop such a threat was if the other two super powers in the world, the Soviet Union and America, put aside their differences and worked together to stop China. Isn’t it convenient that King Ghidorah just so happens to look like a three-headed Chinese dragon, and that Godzilla and Rodan are so blinded by fighting each other that they can’t see the bigger threat, hmm?
Overall, it’s a nice film that manages to make all four monsters in the film stand out and give them their own strengths. The human stories are a little cluttered and confused and the pacing is all over the place, but they make up for it with a wonderful climax.


Nine: “Invasion Of Astro-Monster” (1965) aka. “Godzilla vs. Monster Zero”
Now this is the film that takes the ideas given to us in “Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster” and develops them even further. This one is a combination of director Ishiro Honda’s favorite films to make. It is part alien invasion story, part monster flick and is all topped off his continued themes of unity through nations and exploring the depths of space. 
What really shines throughout this one is the chemistry between the lead actors, Akira Takarada and Nick Adams (yes, an American actor). While filming this, the two spoke their native languages, but their reactions to what they were saying felt natural, like they fully understood one another and have been friends for years. When the aliens aren’t melting satellite dishes or Godzilla isn’t dancing, watching these two is a blast.


Eight: “Godzilla vs. Hedorah” (1971) aka “Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster”
One of the things I find most fascinating about Godzilla is how he reflected the change in mood and tensions in Japan. When the country was scared to death of the bomb and still feeling the effects of the war, Godzilla was dark, destructive and unforgiving. As that tension was relieved, Godzilla began this ambiguous creature who could either destroy us at a moments notice or fight to save us. 
When new threats were introduced to Japan, Godzilla was still there, but now to fully protect Japan from those threats. The first of those threats was pollution. In “Godzilla vs. Hedorah,” Godzilla fights a gigantic space spore that fed off of our pollution and grew in size every time he ingested more of it. Soon, he is much bigger than Godzilla and there is little that Godzilla can do to stop Hedorah. 
Hedorah is pretty much the biggest threat that Godzilla has ever faced in one monster. His atomic fire has no effect, punches and kicks just bounce right off and his innards are made of acid, so even if he does hurt him, the acid will just melt the skin right off of Godzilla. Hedorah also emits toxic gases, making it hard for Godzilla to breath. 
The real highlight of the film is the overall style and presentation of the film. This film is a time capsule that will take you back to the 1970s, trippy hallucinations and all. This is neck-deep in counter culture ideals and seems to be made by someone who completely understands how weird it is to be Japanese but also the strength of it as well. From weird dance numbers to animations showing the strength of Hedorah, this film is a blast to watch.
Seven: “Godzilla vs. Biollante” (1989)
This is an example of everything going right. The film is able to nail every aspect just right, from the acting, story, characters and tone. 
The second film in the second series of Godzilla films, also known as the “Heisei” series, “Godzilla vs. Biollante” is a direct sequel to the previous film, “The Return Of Godzilla.” That one suffered from having uninteresting characters that were the backbone of the film, and thus became boring and predictable quickly. This one solves that problem by introducing characters like Dr. Shiragami, who wants to use Godzilla’s cells to cure diseases and even death. Like many great scientists, he oversteps his boundaries and combines the Godzilla cells with a rose to create a giant plant monster. 
“Godzilla vs. Biollante” works because it so atmospheric and moody, but not so moody that it goes over the top and suffocates the fun out of the film. This is mostly done through the music, which is slow and methodical, even from the opening as we start on something at the molecular level but pan out to see Godzilla surrounded by fire. Now that is a way to open up your monster film.


Six: “Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack” (2001)
Yeah, long title but I’m not complaining. The subtitle is just too awesome to be left out.
GMK is a different Godzilla from any other. Directed by Shusuke Kankeo, who had previously directed the 1990s Gamera trilogy, decides to take Godzilla both back to his roots, while also adding elements of fantasy and mysticism to it all. In this film, Godzilla isn’t just a rampaging monster, but is an embodiment of all the souls lost during World War II and are attacking Japan because the people have forgotten about their sacrifices to ensure they could live. 
In the 2000s, this was a big problem in Japan. The newest generation was neglectful and unsympathetic to Japanese traditions, including remembering those who gave their lives during the war. Kaneko felt that this was a great opportunity to reintroduce life into Godzilla and a wonderful way to make him attack modern-day Tokyo. 
On top of that, this is probably the best-looking Godzilla film. The effects are integrated well with some CGI and it doesn’t feel like it takes place on a model of a city. The explosions have weight behind their impact, which is often shown through the camera moving ever so slightly when something big happens. Godzilla’s design is both menacing and harkens back to his design in the original Godzilla.
Overall, GMK is the best Godzilla film from the 2000s, with updating the image of Godzilla without forgetting where he came from. 


Five: “Ebirah, Horror Of The Deep” (1966) aka. “Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster”
“Ebirah, Horror of the Deep” is different from any other Godzilla film, but in a good and noteworthy way. Rather than effects and monster fights, this film is more laid back and focuses mostly on the characters and story, to create a Godzilla film that isn’t forgotten easily. The film also has several elements that give it a re-watchability that is unlike any other film in the franchise, such as comedy and an atmospheric score. This film knows what it wants to be, and does not fail at providing solid entertainment.
Unlike most Godzilla films made before this one, the characters and story are the main attraction, with the monsters taking a back seat. With strong performances from Akira Takarada and Kumi Mizuno, among others, it propels these characters to icons of the late 60s Godzilla films. While the monsters aren’t amusing as the characters, Godzilla and Ebirah provide some decent fights. What gives the film its re-watchability is the theme of rebellion and how each character acts around rebellion. 


Four: “Terror Of MechaGodzilla” (1975)
If you watch this one, I highly recommend watching the Japanese version, because there is one aspect which drastically changes the outcome of the film. For years, I watched the English dubbed version and thought it was alright. Then I saw some of the scenes which were cut from the English version and I feel in love with this film. 
The reason this film is so high on the list is because of two reasons: Dr. Mafune and his daughter Katsura, easily the most well-written and interesting characters in any Godzilla film. They are tortured souls who only wish to be recognized for their achievements and will do whatever it takes to achieve that, even siding with an alien force bent on wiping out humanity. In a way, their characters are very Shakespearian-esque, with these of loss, regret, vengeance and sacrifice. 
On top of all that, this is one of the darker Godzilla films, right down to Akira Ifukube’s atmospheric score to punctuate moments of dread and hopelessness. Even the classic Godzilla theme seems suffocated and closed in by how screwed Godzilla is in this film. I said before that Hedorah was the most powerful single monster he has ever faced, but this situation is even worse. 
Godzilla now faces a mechanized version of himself, whom he fought before and nearly lost to, only winning due to the help of another monster and getting a brand new power that he now lacks. MechaGodzilla is also equipped with even more powerful weapons than before and features security measures in case Godzilla tries any of his old tricks. Not to mention, MechaGodzilla has backup with the help of Titanosarus, whose strength is on par with Godzilla. Finally, Godzilla has no backup. He faces these two monsters on his own and without any hope. 
This is a tense and nerve-racking film and I love it for that. Wonderful characters, excellent score, beautiful effects and unique fight scenes. Everything I love about monster movies.


Three: “Godzilla” (1954) aka “Gojira”
You can’t have a top ten Godzilla list without including the original somewhere. 
I feel like this film speaks for itself. Countless remakes and different interpretations, classic themes that have been adapted to many monster films, stunning effects that changed the way we look at guys in rubber suits and is often referred to as one of the greatest monster films ever made.
This is the “Citizen Kane” of giant monster films. When it came out, it changed everything, whether we knew it or not. All monster films, whether they were willing to admit it or not, took some inspiration from “Godzilla.” Why not? It is a technical marvel and encapsulates the struggle of life in Japan following the war. It took something like a giant monster and it relevant and exciting in everyday life.
That is a major accomplishment, and this film and its creators have my eternal respect for that. This isn’t just a great monster movie, this is a great movie. Period.


Two: “Son Of Godzilla” (1967)
You’re probably wondering what this film about Godzilla’s son did that makes it better than “Godzilla.”
It makes me emotional. 
This is no easy task. To my knowledge, there are only two films that are able to make me burst into tears: “It’s A Wonderful Life” and this film. 
This is also one of the few Godzilla films that gives Godzilla an actual character-arc. It makes out to be more than just a monster, but a character with flaws, wants, needs and emotions. At the beginning of the film, he starts out as a heartless and uncaring monster. By the end, he is willing to sacrifice himself for his adopted son. To make me care about something like that shows the strength of this picture. This is made even better when you realize that it is being conveyed by two guys in rubber suits. Stunning.
Also, this is probably the most well-written Godzilla film. Every scene has a purpose, with every action sequence having a reason to be there. The monsters have a bigger reason to be here than to just smash buildings and trample people and the human characters don’t feel like superfluous additions to spout exposition. In fact, the humans are funny, well-thought out and have some tense moments where they are at each others throats. 
Above all else, this is a fun movie. It does exactly what I love most about monster movies: Making me smile. That’s probably the biggest reason why I put this one ahead of “Godzilla.” Because as good as that film is, it does not make me happy. “Son Of Godzilla” is a blast to watch, whether it is making you laugh, exciting you with suspenseful action sequences or pulling at your heartstrings. 


One: “Mothra vs. Godzilla” (1964) aka. “Godzilla vs. The Thing” 
To me, this is movie that I have the most fun watching. Some people might say it is “Star Wars” or the Indiana Jones movies or even “The Lord Of The Rings” but for me, it will always be “Mothra vs. Godzilla.”
There is not a dull moment in this film. From the beginning, it throws us into the middle of a typhoon where a giant egg washes up on the shore of Japan. A corporate company buys the egg and intends to make an entire amusement park around it, only seeing endless amounts of money coming from this egg. Their plans are ruined however when Godzilla rises up out of the ground, also washed up by the typhoon and attacks Japan, seemingly confused and disoriented by the storm. The main characters, finding out that the egg belongs to Mothra, plead for help to the natives of Infant Island to get Mothra to take care of Godzilla, only to find out that she is dying. That won’t stop Mothra from protecting her egg and all of Japan from Godzilla.
Every bit of this film exists for a reason and all of it adds to the overall picture. From the corporate figureheads wanting to buy the egg and Mothra’s twin fairies, to the gruff head of the newspaper our lead characters work at complaining about doing something instead of complaining, to the themes of distrust and cooperation throughout the film.
The score fits the film like a glove, each note punctuating the scene, especially once Godzilla is introduced. The fight sequences are easily the best of the franchise, with each monster fighting for a reason and fighting like their lives depended on it. The effects have no aged one bit and still look wonderful even today. I just love everything about this film.
It is not only my favorite Godzilla film, but is one of my favorite films of all time. I could watch this film at any time and my mood would immediately brighten. I feel like that’s exactly what Godzilla does for me. He is constant source of happiness in my life and will always be there to make my day better. Whether he is doing that with awe-inspiring action sequences or representing both the strengths and weaknesses of humanity, Godzilla is amazing.