1. The Divergent Series: Insurgent - I remember liking the first movie, but oddly, I don't really remember very much from it. And even more oddly, I don't remember a big part of the plot that is essential for this installment. *spoilers ahead* Apparently, Tris killed Will (who???), and is now facing the consequences, both politically and emotionally (we know it's emotional because she chopped her hair off. DUUUUH. Her hair looks terrible, btw.). I can't really say that I liked this sequel, but I didn't hate it. It's sort of just "there" to serve a purpose of propelling the story forward to the next chapter. It's like the really boring middle part of a movie, but extended for 2 hours. I was surprised by some of the cast. Was Jai Courtney in the first one? Because I don't remember him at all (although, that's not surprising)). And I know Naomi Watts wasn't in the first one. The question becomes how the fuck did Jai Courtney end up in the same movie as Kate Winslet and Naomi Watts?!? Also, I need someone to explain the difference between the "factionless" and the "divergents". They explained it in the movie, but they still seem like the same thing, to me. I also don't really understand how the divergents are going to save the world, but I guess that will be explained in the next one?
2. The Loft - I'll admit, this movie has some excellent twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I watched it for the cast - Karl Urban, Rachael Taylor, Wentworth Miller, Matthias Schoenaerts, Rhona Mitra etc. I was expecting a cheesy, predictable thriller. However, just because it has a good twist doesn't mean it's a good movie. The script is obnoxious, infuriating, misogynistic, homophobic, fat-phobic, and ridiculous. I think many women will be put off by the premise - five guys sharing a loft for the sole purpose of cheating on their wives. I'm not actually too bothered by it. Men cheat. Big whoop. (Women cheat, too.). The parts that bothered me is that these men are actually bad people. One of them assaults and rapes a woman, but apparently it's okay because his father was abusive. So, his "bros", stand by him. Another guy consistently calls a woman he has sex with "dumpy", which is never ok, but it's certainly even more absurd when he's not even fit, himself. I won't say why the other guys are awful (other than the fact that they don't call the police after their friend rapes someone) because it would ruin the twists, but I think you get my point. The characters are confronted with a "punishment", which could have been really satisfying if it were real, but the twist negates the punishment. Overall, it just made me angry, because a film this bad shouldn't have an impressive twist.
3. What We Do in the Shadows - I was not expecting to laugh as hard as I did. I didn't even really know anything about this movie; other than it got pretty good reviews. I knew it was about vampires, but I was expecting a moody vampire movie in the same vein as Only Lovers Left Alive. I guess I wasn't really paying much attention, was I? It's fucking hilarious and best of all, ORIGINAL! It actually made my stomach hurt from laughing so much. The best part is obviously the "werewolves not swearwolves", but I really loved so much of it. There are so many quotable moments ("If I had a penis, I would have been bitten years ago"), and memorable scenes (when they circle around him yelling "shame! shame! bad vampire!"). I would LOVE to watch it again, and again, and that is a rare feeling. I hate that it's technically a 2014 release, because if it were a 2015 release, it would be my number 1 movie of this year. That's not really saying much, though, because my best of list is pathetic so far. I'm so excited that there is supposedly a spin-off in the works about the infamous werewolves; I can't fucking wait!
4. Furious 7 - I'm a fan of this series; have been from the beginning. Not as big of a fan as some, but overall, I think they are fun action movies. I knew this one was going to be a tough one to watch. Paul Walker has become synonymous with this franchise, not just because he was the star, but because it is where he excelled. He seemed to enjoy making these films, and the cast had a real camaraderie that kept the franchise fresh and different. The relationships between the characters were just as important as the action and that's what kept the audience interested. That and, you know, flying cars through buildings. This film served as a touching tribute to Paul. I didn't realize how much of the movie was already filmed, so I was expecting his character to die during every life-threatening sequence (*spoiler* he doesn't, which was really, really smart). I do have to admit that I am a little disappointed in the fact that the movie takes a step back from the badass female characters that were featured in the previous one, but I understand and accept the reason behind it; It needed to focus on the original main characters (it was always a "bro" movie, anyway). There are some FANTASTIC action sequences, all relating back to "cars don't fly". Some of the action sequences were real, and not CGI, which is really hard to believe (the cars dropping from the plane scene, for one). The final tribute scene, is so heartbreaking. I fought back a tear (or two). I can understand why some are calling this one the best in the series, but I prefer 6 (and probably 1, but I would need to watch it again to be sure).
5. The Maze Runner - Eerily similar to the Divergent plot, but told in a much more concise way. I feel like this movie did what both Divergent movies did, but in just one movie. It's even more odd that this movie ends in almost the exact same way as Insurgent (what's on the other side?). I watched them only two days apart, so I noticed the similarities more that I might have if I saw them further apart. I remember seeing the trailer for this movie, and I was surprised at the intensity, but then I forgot about it until the sequel was just released. I feel like all of these movies are overshadowed by The Hunger Games (rightfully so), but this one definitely had some interesting ideas and surprising outcomes. It's like an updated version of Lord of the Flies. The plot focuses on this group being placed inside this "maze"; they learn to civilize, and accept the terms in order to survive. Then, one day, someone is dropped in the maze, and questions their complacency. He demands action, which could have dangerous results. It really stresses the differences in humanity (those who accept injustice and those who fight against it). There were some great effects, and some really intense scenes, especially if you're claustrophobic (I'm not, but I imagine this movie might be hard to watch if one is). I love the cast, too. Kaya Scodelario has been on my radar for a while now (since the first series of Skins). There's just something about her. I don't think I've ever seen the main lead guy before (Dylan O'Brien), but I really liked him. He sort of reminded me of Paul Walker. The best part of the movie is that I actually look forward to watching the sequel!