Arts & Entertainment

Newswire selects top films of the past year

By: Patrick Phillips ~Staff Writer~

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” – Action
Many anticipated the new release of the sequel to the successful first film installment of “The Hunger Games.” Eyes were set on Jennifer Lawrence, who had just recently won the Oscar for her work in “Silver Linings Playbook.”
She once again donned her bow and arrow and wowed audiences in the deeper, darker sequel, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”Smart directing from Francis Lawrence maintained the emotional intensity of the second book by focusing on the internal struggles of Katniss Everdeen. This made it one of the best action films of the past year.

“Frozen” – Animation
As much as people may harp on the gaping plot holes of Disney’s latest animated film, “Frozen” is still the best animated film of the academic year.
With an all-star cast, witty dialogue and captivating visuals, Disney captivated audiences young and old.

The film showcased incredible voice acting and impressive comedic timing of Kristen Bell and Josh Gad. The score, co-written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, is possibly the catchiest Disney compilation yet. With songs such as “Love is an Open Door,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Let It Go,” “Frozen” was as much a joy to listen to as it was to watch.

“This is the End” – Comedy
Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg’s “This is the End” held no bars in delivering comedic gold.
Raunchy and outrageous, this film succeeded in using the comedic talents of all its star players: Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill and Seth Rogan.
The film smartly poked fun at itself. With few comedic successes recently, “This is the End” made sure the year was not without its dose of laughs.

“Her” – Romance/Drama
Touching and insightful, Spike Jonze’s “Her” holds the top spot for the 2013-14 academic year’s best romance movie. Featuring excellent performances from Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson, this near-futuristic film delves into human relationships with technology in a deep manner.
Phoenix plays with believable honesty in his presentation, turning the seemingly cliché questions into high-stakes, driven dialogue about human connections.
It’s this honesty that makes this film truly a standout.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Indie
Wes Anderson always pleases his audiences. With “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Anderson’s stylish cinematography and witty back-and-forth dialogue create a masterpiece that explores troubling points of war in European history while doing so with comedic flair.
Ralph Fiennes and newcomer Tony Revolori are a dynamic duo as hotel owner and lobby boy. Featuring creative visuals and excellent acting, “The Grand Budapest” is a creative exploration of friendship amidst hardship.