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CRANKY SEZ: Now we write and play catch up on what we missed. And screen some of the films other critics are screaming about as the best of the year . . . and find that they are not. Cranky's Best of 2014, our twentieth year of list as it turns out, comes to you on Christmas Day.

WALLPAPERS:Images from Exodus: Gods and Kings and lots more from The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies are up.

THE ONLY AWARDS THAT COUNT: are those issued by the New York Film Critics Online, of which Cranky is a founding member. Boyhood was the big winner this year (Best Picture, Director Richard Linklater and Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette ) matched only by Birdman (Ensemble Cast, Screenplay, Cinematography). Eddie Redmayne took Best Actor for The Theory of Everything (we toldja so....) and Best Actress honors went to Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night . . . a film no reader of this site will ever see as it is a French language indie; Belgium's nominee for the Best Foreign Picture in this year's Academy Awards. Cranky would have made a big stink about this at the voting but my legs stopped working and I wasn't able to attend (which is what happened when the films screened back in October). Personally, we still root for Redmayne's co-star Felicity Jones. The complete list of honorees is here.

[LAST] WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Last week we reported on In what could be called the worst box-office weekend in the worst box-office year but we were wrong. This past weekend trumped it with newbie Exodus: Gods and Kings earning a tepid $24.5 millions, just two million more than The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 ($13.2 millions/ $277.4 millions) did in its third week at the Top. Penguins of Madagascar ($7.3 millions/ $58.8 millions), newbie Top Five ($7.2 millions/ $7.2 millions) and Big Hero 6 ($6.1 millions/ $185.3 millions) round out the Top Five. THE REST OF THE BEST:  Interstellar ($5.5 millions/ $166.8 millions) drops Fifth to Sixth; Horrible Bosses 2 ($4.6 millions/ $43.6 millions) Third to Seventh; Dumb and Dumber To ($2.8 millions/ $82.1 millions) Sixth to Eighth; The Theory of Everything ($2.5 millions/ $17.1 millions) and new entry Wild ($1.6 millions/ $2.4 millions), rising FIfteenth to Tenth

-------------------- New Releases --------------------
Annie

We're not sure what this Annie is going to be . . . Cranky was flat on his back from the passing effects of a nor'easter when the film screened. We also missed the film to the right.

We will play catch up.

Night at the Museum The Secret of the Tomb

Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb is Ben Stiller's fourth and final outing as the night guard who really loves his job . . . for more unfortunate reasons it is also star Robin Williams final film performance.

We will play catch up.

gambler

The Gambler stars Mark Wahlberg as a college professor with a wee blackjack problem, and John Goodman as the loan shark more than willing to make that wee problem into a deadly one. A really good sit.

mr. turner

Mr. Turner is director/ screenwriter Mike Leigh's bio of the final years of 19th century painter J.M.W. Turner -- yeah, we've no idea either. Leigh tries to create a painting of his film, one requiring you to sit still and concentrate and slowly understand and get under its skin and ... yeah... zzzz

Song of the Sea

Based on an Irish legend of a race called the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells of a brother and sister who must journey across land to get back to their home in the sea. The animation was far too cartoon-y for us and the story failed to hold our attention. Even a 'toonhead can be let down.

hobbit

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is more rightly Part Two of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Six months from now you will be able to sit and watch the whole megillah from its intolerable start to its action packed finish. There is no need for a review -- everyone is going to go see it, even if just to finish out the story -- so we've built a couple of dozen wallpaper sized images for y'all to download. Click an image or Start here

Exodus Gods and Kings

Exodus Gods and Kings stars Christian Bale as Moses . . . if we need to tell you the story, shame on you . . . with Joel Edgerton as Pharoah and Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley in supporting roles. There's also an interesting choice for the One who isn't called God. We're glad director Ridley Scott has kept relatively close to the original story.(or maybe we should thank writer Steve Zallian) for an OK sit.

mr. turner

Mr. Turner (ltd) is writer/ director Mike Leigh's biographical painting (a virtual landscape) of the latter part of the life of famed nineteenth century painter J. M. W. Turner -- Joseph Mallard William -- for the anal retentive reader and a name that is important to the tale of a man whose memory is beginning to crack just as he sees the technological future that will make his famed landscapes obsolete. Timothy Spall makes his stand for nominations but the overall piece is plodding and dull. Just like most of the nineteenth century.

The Theory of Everything

Every once in a while we close the books early: if The Theory of Everything, tells the story of Dr. Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his love turned wife Jane (Felicity Jones), as they face (his) last two years of life with working legs. She starts a family. He solves the Physics of Time. One of the best of the year.

The Theory of Everything trailer

Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is one of two films that could get star Benedict Cumberbatch best actor nominations, if not an award. This one tells the "true" story of a WWII codebreaking machine called Enigma and how its use helped win that war. Assuredly, one of the best films of the year. Cranky's movie review

Whiplash

The music world according to Whiplash: Rock drumming isn't music. Jazz drumming is and, if you're not as willing to take the kind of abuse you are willing to inflict on your instrument, you'll never make it as a pro. J.K. Simmons abuses. Miles Teller takes it. TV's Paul Reiser co-stars as the failure of the kid's dad. Kid doesn't want to be a failure which is why he takes it so prepare yourselves -- the abuse is verbal and hard core. Nominations will follow.

Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice, from ace film-maker Paul Thomas Anderson stars Joaquin Phoenix as a stoner P.I. in late 1960's Los Angeles. Thomas Pynchon may have written a great novel but the film is terrible.

Top Five

Top Five stars comedian Chris Rock in something Paramount didn't screen as part of its Awards wannabe shows. If you're young enough to rank Rock as one of the funniest persons ever, the general consensus is that this is funny.

Wild

A number of events, badly revealed in flashback form, spur a young woman (Reese Witherspoon) -- an ex-alcholic and former sex addict -- to walk the thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, by which she intends to detox. Said travels begin at the southern edge of the Mohave Desert and end at the Canadian border. There are not enough revelations in the aforementioned flashbacks to make Wild into an interesting film. Unless you've read the book, avoid the film, which is Ms. Witherspoon's cry for Oscar®.

Still Alice

Still Alice (ltd) stars Julianne Moore as a Columbia University professor diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers Disease. With Alec Baldwin as her husband and Kristen Stewart as a daughter on the west coast the film gently documents the character's decline. Moore's performance will break your heart. As serious films go, this one is magnificent . . . and you won't get to see it until January. Now trolling for nominations.

f
foxcatcher

Foxcatcher is a film that will re-define the word "creepy" for a new generation Formerly comic actor Steve Carrell goes strictly dramatic as an exceedingly wealthy middle aged man determined to restore the U.S. Men's Olympic Wrestling team to its former glory. He will teach the true meaning of Greco-Roman wrestling even if he has to get all touchy-feely to do it. His focus is on two brothers (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), one who figures it out and one who, maybe, doesn't want to figure it out. Carrell wants Oscar. He'll get a nomination.

Big Hero Six

A boy and his older brother's robot take on the mysterious killer of latter human in Big Hero Six. It's an adequate animated film, though two deaths early on make us warn readers not to bring six year old kidlets to the film. . The cute moments outweigh the creepy but, ultimately, the film is a rental offering.

Penguins of Madagascar

We greatly enjoyed The Penguins of Madagascar, which brings new birds into the series and gets the whole thing back on track. The film is funny, it's story is great and, once you take the kidlets to the movies, you can put backgrounds from the film on to their machines. click here

Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2 is really Horrible. If you haven't seen the first one, rent it. Without that background, only half the film is understandable. Three inept dudes (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day) who got their boss (Kevin Spacey) thrown in jail last time out, decide to start their own biz. How that turns into kidnapping will be left for you fans to discover. Jennifer Aniston has very little to do other than to look good in lingerie, which she does very well.

the sheik

Now on VOD (that means your cable supplier or itunes user) is The Sheik, certainly the most entertaining documentary of this year. Documenting the rise fall, plummet and resurrection via Twitter of the WWF/ WWE once world champion "Iron Sheik" -- if you watched TV in the 80s you know him well -- those thinking to watch his life story with their kiddies beware, the f-bomb flies a lot. As we moved into end of awards season, this is the best of the (admittedly) few that we've screened. If you flat out trust us, buy it from Amazon

the mule

The Mule, an Australian film with accents so thick even a knife couldn't cut through 'em. In it, a naive man attempts to smuggle 20 condoms packed with heroin, from a supplier in Bangkok to a dealer back home. Said dealer isn't the smuggler's usual connection -- which pisses off said connection. In the middle is Australian Customs, which quarantines the mule, suspecting what is essentially the truth. The film doesn't deliver the suspense you would infer from our description.

Alexander No Good Horrible Day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day based on the novel Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day will please any parent whose kids have read or grew up reading (and are still young enough to be interested in) Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. That's not us but Cranky's movie review is here anyway.

Interstellar

Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey as an astronaut searching out a new planet on which to seed a new Earth. Or serve as sanctuary for refugees from the old, dying earth. The film offers both possibilities and then dives head first into explaining time shifts and Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Until the final two minutes the film is a slow, steady and good sit. What we thought was supposed to be happening in those two minutes was not what we saw on screen.

The Judge

The Judge stars Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall as father and son who haven't spoken in twenty years, both members of the legal profession and one on trial for murder.

Oh, you can figure it out. Getting through the setup is a grind but the back end lets both actors set off their own kind of fireworks. Film buffs see this. Everyone else wait and rent.

Dumb and Dumber To

Harry and Lloyd are back in Dumb & Dumber To starring Jim Carrey as one of 'em and Jeff Daniels as the other. You know if it's to your taste from the first one. So not funny to yours Cranky that we passed. Apparently, the word of mouth is that this number two is, well, number two. That and short of jokes, as well.


WALLPAPERS: The Batmobile joins the few decent images from 2016's Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Click the links. Scroll down for other movie image links.

TRAILERS:   Loitering with Intent -- Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 -- Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb -- Inside Out -- Boyhood -- Unbroken -- Terminator Genisys -- Still Alice -- Exodus: Gods and Kings -- Inherent Vice -- The Theory of Everything -- Witching Bitching -- Spanish Lake -- The Signal -- Home -- Rage -- The Trip to Italy -- The Congress -- Goodbye World -- The Olivia Experiment -- Frontera -- If I Stay -- Step Up: All In -- School Dance -- The Kill Team -- The Sacrament -- Wish I Was Here -- Obvious Child -- Words and Pictures -- Alive Inside

TRAILERS WALLPAPER  DOWNLOADS

Jurassic World -- Lap Dance -- A Merry Friggin' Christmas -- Space Station 76 -- Sin City A Dame To Kill For (red band) -- The Expendables 3 -- 50 Shades of Grey -- Frontera -- What If -- Into the Woods -- Catch Hell -- Guardians of the Galaxy -- Land Ho! -- 4 Minute Mile -- The Prince -- Hercules -- Cantinflas -- Night at the Museum (2014) -- The Longest Week -- Ouija -- War Story -- The BoxTrolls -- Hide Your Smiling Faces --Perfect Sisters -- A Night in Old Mexico -- Gold Frapp Tales of Us

Palo Alto -- Only Lovers Left Alive -- Stage Fright -- Moms Night Out -- Alien Abduction -- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- Lucy -- Ant Boy -- Fractured -- Jinn -- The Drop -- Liars All -- Bad Words -- 10 Rules for Sleeping Around --13 Sins -- 50 to 1 -- Cheap Thrill -- Odd Thomas -- Sparks -- Nurse 3D -- Best Man Down -- Best Night Ever -- Beyond Outrage -- Need for Speed -- Big Bad Wolves -- The Pretty One -- Cheap Thrills

Kids For Cash -- Open Grave -- Brightest Star -- 22 -- -- Walking With the Enemy -- The Protector 2 -- Hercules -- Mistaken for Strangers -- Leave the World Behind -- Earth to Echo -- Finding Vivian Maier -- Edge of Tomorrow -- Jupiter Ascending -- Goodbye World -- Ida -- Beneath the Harvest Sky -- Home -- Borgman -- Wolf Creek 2 -- Rob the Mob -- Persecuted -- Rowdy -- Poseidon Rex -- Walk of Shame -- We are the Best -- No God No Master -- Begin Again

Help yourself to lots of images from . . .

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The Amazing Spider-Man
The Avengers
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Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America: First Avenger
Cars 2
Conan the Barbarian
Dark Knight Rises

Despicable Me 2
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How to Train Your Dragon 2
Kung Fu Panda 2
The Lion King
Man of Steel (Superman)
Planes
Red Riding Hood
Rio
Rio 2

The Smurfs
Sherlock Holmes
Suckerpunch

Thor
Transformers 3
Turbo
Winnie the Pooh
The Wolverine

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Dallas Buyer's Club -- Last Vegas -- Rush -- Cloudy with Chance of Meatballs 2 -- Jackass: Bad Grandpa -- All is Lost -- Best Man Holiday -- Ender's Game -- Dark Knight Rises -- Less -- Ted -- Amazing Spider-Man -- Prometheus --- Madagascar 3 -- Men in Black 3 -- Magic Mike -- Snow White Huntsman --The Avengers -- Amazing Spider-Man -- The Artist -- Three Stooges -- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- The Muppets -- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close -- Alvin + Chipmunks Chipwrecked -- War Horse -- We Bought a Zoo -- Fast Five-- Bridesmaids (unrated) -- Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance -- Thor -- X-Men First Class -- Rio -- Rango -- Unstoppable -- For Colored Girls -- Life As We Know It -- Red -- The American -- The A-Team -- Avatar -- Dinner for Schmucks -- Machete -- Zombieland

Dallas Buyer's Club -- Last Vegas -- Rush -- Cloudy with Chance of Meatballs 2 -- Jackass: Bad Grandpa -- All is Lost -- Best Man Holiday -- Ender's Game -- Ted (unrated) -- Les Miserables -- Prometheus -- Madagascar 3 -- Men in Black 3 -- Magic Mike -- Titanic -- Jaws -- Star Wars IV-VI -- Twilight Saga: New Moon -- James Bond collection -- Snow White Huntsman -- The Avengers -- Amazing Spider-Man -- Singing in the Rain -- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- Casablanca 70th anniv -- South Park season 15 -- The Descendants -- Adventures of Tin Tin -- My Week With Marilyn -- Melancholia -- The Muppets -- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- Alvin + Chipmunks Chipwrecked -- Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt 1 SE -- Super 8 -- X-Men First Class -- Big Lebowski -- Star Wars Saga I-VI -- Sucker Punch -- Lord of the Rings Trilogy -- Super -- Unstoppable -- Red -- The American -- The A-Team -- Legacy -- Legendary -- Machete -- Wall Street Money Never Sleeps -- Toy Story 3 -- Kick-Ass

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