Tom’s Top 5 Favorite Films of 2014
So every year has their fair share of movies that come out, some are loved and praised while others are hated and attacked in the most malicious of ways. But everyone is different, we all have our own idea of what makes a movie truly remarkable. So that is why I am writing this post more personally. I cannot promise top 5’s from the other guys at GeekBeerz but either way here’s mine.
Now I honestly didn’t absolutely hate any movie in 2014. I personally thought that 2014 had a good array of films and not one made me bang my head on a wall until my skull broke (not even films like Robocop, Transformers: Age of Extinction or Ninja Turtles. While they weren’t the best I thought they still had some pretty cool things in their own right).
So out of all the films in 2014 I managed to narrow down the choices, here is my list: (warning: beware of potential film spoilers!)
5. THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
This film came at the end of the year but still came out in 2014, so it still certainly counts.
The surprisingly three-split film trilogy from J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic book has finally come to a close. It was certainly great to see the middle-earth universe that Peter Jackson has brought upon us for one last time. Unless they plan on doing some other films from tales like “children of hurin” or other lore from the simarillion, it looks as though this is officially the end.
So do we think this trilogy was worth it? Did I personally think it was worth it? Definitely!
I put this film at number five on my list because while I was excited to see it I already knew I was going to enjoy it no matter what, regardless of whatever “changes” would come of it. And yes, while there were certainly changes from the book I still thought the changes worked well for this versions take on the tale.
4. THE LEGO MOVIE / HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
So I almost forgot that the Lego movie did actually release in 2014, February 2014, so because it came out so early in the game I almost forgot about it completely.
So anyways, I have two films for my number four because reasons. Both films were, in my opinion, THE animated films of 2014 (yeah there was also Big Hero 6, while I did enjoy that film I thought it was weak compared to these two). Also, both animated films were highly liked among fans and critics alike.
So let’s talk about Lego movie.
This movie was definitely going to be on my watch list as soon as I realized they were making the film all “stop-motion-y” instead of the weird CGI stuff they do with their home video releases. Lego has been a big impact on my childhood (particularly anything Bionicle and medieval) so seeing a film literally just about lego, and not a particular theme, was really intriguing.
So basically my expectations were certainly rewarded upon viewing. The film successfully absorbed all various different themes and genres and blended it all into a surprisingly unique package. The story might be a little generic but honestly does that really matter? There was also a lot of great humor and characters.
One of my biggest worries for the film was basically the worry of them only leaning on certain themes, like super heroes or sci-fi. Fortunately these elements were not pounded in hard and keep the balance stable.
Overall the film was great and worth seeing and now owning.
As for How to Train Your Dragon 2, do I even have to explain this one?
When the first film in the series was being advertised I actually thought it wasn’t going to be as amazing as it turned out to be. I thought the commercials for it were too hammered and not funny… I was definitely wrong.
So when the second film was revealed I sort of expected the same thing to happen: A film where the commercials are meh but the actual film is outstanding. And for the most part I was right, only this time it might have even been better!
This film almost had me a little worried when they were revealing the main characters mother in the trailers. I was afraid that the film completely lost any shocking revelations that it could have had. But again, I was definitely wrong. Turns out the film actually had another big thing happen, one even bigger than finding out someone’s mother is alive. And that’s possibly why this film series intrigues me, it manages to keep the best moments away from spoilery trailers, which is definitely a big problem with trailers nowadays.
So How to Train Your Dragon 2 is definitely as good as the first.
3. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
So I was originally never into the Planet of the Apes films growing up, I guess the concept never really hooked for me as a child, monkey humanoids that rule the planet? The things I see at zoo’s do stupid things and goof around? Really?
However the first released reboot/prequel film changed my mind when I decided to go see it in theaters. The first film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, was actually quite fascinating and convinced me that Apes can actually be terrifying, especially if they take over. So I was happy to see that they were actually going to make more films involving the lead character ape in the film. The first sequel being Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I certainly expected a film with similar tone and feel to the first.
Instead, the sequel went a totally different direction, a better direction.
The sequel went darker, creepier, and the tone became more depressing and unnerving. They made both sides of the story, the humans and the apes, very relatable and no side was really the true enemy or victim in the story (some might say otherwise however). They did the smart thing of making a character, already developed from the previous film, become the main antagonist that messes with both sides.
The sequel is by far superior to the first one, which is definitely a feat that can be hard to do. This film might have been lower on my list if it wasn’t for the fact that it actually surpassed the first film.
The king of the monsters is back, he is actually back!
This was one of those films I knew about for a couple years and have been waiting desperately for its initial release. Well the wait was definitely worth it in my book.
The film certainly took one of the more riskier moves of this year by making you test your patience for the cooler and more action packed moments. However patience was never a problem for me, if I’m really interested in a film the long boring moments will go by fast for me.
The new enemy monsters in the film, the MUTO, are actually good monsters in both designs and as enemies to Godzilla himself. They also really took the time and effort to make sure these creatures were incredible looking while still looking massive and powerful. Godzilla is the biggest he has ever been in this film, and all the trick shots they do to better establish this is quite impressive.
Speaking of Godzilla, that reveal… Oh sweet heavens above that reveal of him.
I don’t know why that first reveal of him in the actual film, as well as all the build up leading to it, is so flippin good. The first time I saw it that exciting feel in my stomach and the shiver down my spine was something I rarely feel seeing a film. Sometimes watching it every now and then I still get that spine shiver. Easily my favorite part of the film by far!
I know there are a few individuals who thinks this film is not that great, I’ve met and know a few of these people, and obviously their entitled to their own opinions. However most of their complaints are invalid, mostly because they either know little or nothing about the true film structures that have been with Godzilla since the beginning. Perhaps this is mostly the fault of a certain shameful American made Godzilla in the past, that showed a completely different take on the monster (poorly so I might add).
In the end, this film was truly wonderful and has done great things for the character.
1. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER / GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
So yeah, there were actually two incredible Marvel MCU films in 2014. But which one was the best?
I always hear people say either one. I myself have switched between the two every now and then but in the end I think the answer is obvious: both are legit.
So yeah hate me for doing two ties within a single list but come on. 2014 was an incredible year for films and It was really hard deciding between them all.
So let’s start with Captain America.
While I technically enjoy all the Marvel films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some were certainly more enjoyed than others. If you were to ask me what were my favorites out of Phase one (not including Avengers) I would easily say the Iron Man films and the first Captain America film.
Captain America: the First Avenger was really enjoyable in my opinion. I thought the film captured the 1940’s really well and I think it works brilliantly as sort of the technical beginning of the MCU timeline. This opinion of mine is greatly more proven thanks to the sequel.
The sequel, Captain America: the Winter Soldier, Takes place after the events of the first Avengers film (like Iron Man 3 and Thor: the Dark World). Many people were expecting this film to be somewhat similar to the other Phase two sequels, but instead went beyond that. It went beyond and became a huge staple point to the entire universe. This film managed to establish things while also tearing other things away. You thought you knew how things would continue into future films? Well you’re dead wrong because this film reveals something much bigger than anyone had anticipated.
A perfect film for the universe and a perfect film to lead into the new year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron film.
Guardians of the Galaxy, a film of a-holes.
This was a film I got very excited for when they first announced it a couple years back. I looked up and studied all the bizarre and unique characters and discovered the true importance that these characters were bringing into the universe. I also got excited to see a film within Phase two that wasn’t just another sequel, something no one can really expect to be either good or bad because it was going to be entirely new to us.
I am so happy to see that the film became huge. I knew the film would be enjoyable but I honestly didn’t expect this much praise!
The film was sort of a different take on an Avengers-ish team up film. They managed to make the characters interact with each other very well and not one character of the main team was left in the dust. They also didn’t limit the screen time of the two CGI characters, Rocket Raccoon and Groot, who actually fit in extremely well and felt very real.
This is also one of those films where not one character in the entire film annoyed me or was disliked. I enjoyed all the characters in this film, even Ronan the Accuser despite being a bit typical for a villain.
Guardians is the film that proves even the most unknown properties can become as good as the greats.
So there you have it, my two favorite films of 2014 were actually the two best Superhero films of the year. Perhaps it was obvious choices but these were honestly my favorite movies of 2014.
thank you for reading my list, what were your favorite films of 2014? Please let us know!
Have a happy 2015!