BY ALEX GRUBER, CHRISTOPHER HEIM, COLIN HERZOG, ANASTASIA MONTAVON AND KYLE VAN DEN HEUVEL
The gang picks their favorite movie or TV show that came out during this school year.
Alex: “The Imitation Game”
I’ll go with “The Imitation Game,” the winner of the Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay focusing on Alan Turing, a brilliant mathematician and cryptographer during the Second World War. The movie chronicles Turing’s gradual cracking of Enigma, the Nazi coding method that seemed impossible to decipher, as well as his struggles in relating to the other cryptographers on his team and occasional glimpses of his childhood. “The Imitation Game” boasts a compelling plot, extremely comical and quite heartbreaking scenes and testimony to an important, if misunderstood, contributor to the Allied victory in World War Two.
This isn’t a surprise to most people. “Birdman” isn’t only the best film I’ve seen this school year, it’s the best film I’ve seen, period. I saw it as a joke with a friend late at night without knowing what it was about, and to my surprise, it was incredible. The movie is filmed to look like it was done in one take, and all of the actors are amazing, and the story, while predictable at times, delivers some incredible messages about life.
Chris: “Top Five”
Released this past December, this independent comedy stars Chris Rock, who also wrote the story and directed. A semi-autobiographical depiction of the day in the life of a New York City comedian Andre Allen (Rock), Top Five is a smart, funny and insightful look into the mind of a comedian who desires to do more serious work. Not only that, but Rock and co-lead Rosario Dawson (playing a journalist conducting an interview with Allen regarding his past and present comedy career) have an awesome chemistry, too. The movie also boasts a great supporting cast and hilarious cameos from Whoopi Goldberg, Adam Sandler and Jerry Seinfeld.
I know that while some may view the film as overly sentimental or too focused on special effects or exposition, for me, it is a tour de force of emotions, with Matthew McConaughey giving an incredible performance as Cooper, and probably the most effective demonstration of the true costs of relativity that I have ever seen. The effects are an excellent blend of CGI and practical, and the score is amazing. The film’s homages to “2001” show a sense of self awareness that helps prevent the film from feeling too preachy, and, when it does get on its soapbox, whether it be about environmentalism or the idea that knowledge is more than a dollar sign, it feels merited and, honestly, given today’s climate (no pun intended), probably necessary. Great work all around.
Kyle: “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter”
I’ll admit I’m not one who watches a whole lot of movies or TV shows, but my favorite movie of this school year was “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter” based on the premise of it alone. It is about the urban legend surrounding the death of a Japanese office worker who supposedly came to America to find the money hidden by Steve Buscemi’s character from the movie “Fargo.” She thinks the money is real and dies trying to find it. In reality, she ended up committing suicide, but it makes for an interesting story.