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Monday, December 22, 2014

The Best and Worst Films of 2014

It's that time of the year again and, though I missed it last year (sorry about that), here's my take on the best and worst in film in 2014, which, as it turns out was really rather good. 

Just a few things to keep in mind:

1) I'm going purely by South African release date so there will be a bunch of films on here that came out last year in the US and the UK, especially, and, by the same token, there will be a few that came out overseas this year that haven't been released yet. I've actually seen a number of really good films due for release in 2015 so look out for those if I do this next year.

2) I'm not rating these films in any order other than in a loose chronology. Not just because I don't have the balls to do so but because comparing, say, Guardians of the Galaxy with Calvary seems like a stupid idea.

3) I didn't try and make a balanced list between mainstream Hollywood and "art" movies. It just came out this way.

4) Whittling the best of the best to a top 25 was surprisingly difficult this year so a special shout out to stuff like The Hunger Games 3.1, Don Jon, American Hustle and a bunch of other very good to great films I simply couldn't include.

5) I could have added to the bottom list too but the good news is that most of the weaker films this year were mediocre, rather than offensively bad. Progress! 

6) Finally, I was thinking of commenting on each title but, as I have reviewed most, if not all of them, just click on any given title and it will take you to my original review!

Anyway, on with the show...

The Top 25 Films of 2014

Wolf of Wall Street
12 Years a Slave
Inside Llewyn Davis
Saving Mr Banks
The Lego Movie
Nebraska (how the hell have I not reviewed this - it's amazing! 10/10)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (this either??? I LOVED this movie. Wes Anderson's best in years - 10/10)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Philomena (This is getting embarrassing but this was funny and heartbreaking and disturbing - 9/10)
Dallas Buyers Club
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Under the Skin
Edge of Tomorrow
The Fault in Our Stars
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The Broken Circle Breakdown
Guardians of the Galaxy
Begin Again
Gone Girl
The Boxtrolls
Big Hero 6 (Review coming soon)

The Bottom 12 Films of 2014

Ride Along
Transformers 4
Mom's Night Out
300: Rise of an Empire
I, Frankenstein
Europa Report
That Awkward Moment (Can't find a review of this but bleugh)
The Other Woman (Another non-review but what an insult to women everywhere!)
Grace of Monaco (And again. One of the most inept films of the year)
Planes: Fire and Rescue
Walking on Sunshine

Crushing Disappointments

Anchorman 2
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Oh Just Go Away Already

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

And just because I actually love several different kinds of media...

Other Stuff I've Been Digging

Comics: Daredevil, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Adventures of Superman (RIP), Sex Criminals, Saga, Rat Queens, Lazarus, Shutter, Deadly Class, Southern Bastards, Fatale (RIP), Velvet, Chew, East of West, Low, The Multiversity.

TV: Game of Thrones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Newsroom (RIP), Parks and Recreation, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report (RIP), New Girl, Modern Family (though out of habit at this point), Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, The Flash, Banshee, Community

TV (Rewatching/ rewatched): Seinfeld, The Office, The X-Files, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Freaks and Geeks, Fawlty Towers, The IT Crowd

Novels: The World to Come by Dara Horn, Chosen by Chaim Potock, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Books 1 and 2 of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, Blind Willow, Sleeping Willow by Haruki Murakami, Turning Thirty by Mike Gayle.

Podcasts: Harmontown, iFanboy, The Nerdist (depends on guest), Wordballoon (depends on guest), The Empire Podcast, Coverville, House to Astonish, The X-Files Files.

Music: The Avett Brothers, Kacey Musgraves, Lily and Madeleine, The Proclaimers, Gillian Welch, a new appreciation for Paul McCartney's 70s catalogue (Ram! Holy crap, Ram!), old favourites (Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Who, Dylan, Clash, Johnny Cash, Ramones, Neil Young etc.).

What do you guys think? What have I missed? What was your favourite pop culture this past year? Let me know in the comment section below!

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