What happened in 2014?

Well folks, this is it. Tonight, this year is coming to an end, and with it comes a lot of time for reflection upon everything – what you did this year, what you learned about yourself, what you succeeded in and failed at. So here’s a short review of the movies I’ve blogged about this year!

Of course many more movies came out than I had the chance to blog about, so this is not an entirely representative list of what’s been happening in the entertainment industry. But looking back at this year, I’ve decided to do a short rating of the things that did happen, in this blog at least, regarding the films and  games that were released this year. 😉 So if you missed out on something, or are once again looking for tips as to what to watch, here we go!

  1. Interstellar was by far the movie that impressed me most this year, and I doubt it’ll be the last time that I’ve watched it. It was fascinating in terms of story, characters, the mood, the style – simply beautiful.
  2. Maleficent was the movie I looked forward to most this year and although it wasn’t exactly as amazing as I’d imagined, I liked it a lot; a very fascinating re-interpretation of Sleeping Beauty, with a theme song that chills me to the bones.
  3. How to Train Your Dragon 2, surprisingly, was much, much better than the first one (which I’d already loved to pieces anyway). It was both funny and emotional, and it is a must-see if you want to have a good time. (Also, dragons!)
  4. Her was quite a strange movie, but in a good way – a somewhat disturbing, yet funny-sad commentary on our dependence on media and technology.
  5. Transcendence, just like Her, was all about technology, computers, artificial intelligence, and specifically a masterful performance by Johnny Depp as a human consciousness transferred to a computer, because what could possibly go wrong with that? I know a lot of people had problems with this movie because ‘Meh, the science stuff doesn’t add up,’ but if you disregard that, it is a lot of fun, though it feels incredibly slow, too.
  6. Pride is hilarious and incredibly emotional, colourfully exploring a rather strange alliance between the UK miners and a small homosexual community.
  7. Boyhood had a very unique, yet quite ordinary concept, simply presenting the growing up of a boy with all the problems and joys that childhood brings with it – and don’t we know them all?
  8. The Maze Runner is one of the many dystopian young-adult adaptations that are currently coming out, exploring issues like conformity and safety, survival and living, fear and bravery in a place where a small community of boys has to choose to either keep on living in a world that they are trapped in, or trying to regain their memories and break free.
  9. Divergent portrays a dystopian world in which people are separated into communities entirely based on their personalities – but there are outliers, and it’s a dangerous game that is played.
  10. In Your Eyes is confusing and sweet, a paranormal romance story by Joss Whedon – a type of relationship that truly transcends space.
  11. The Wolf of Wall Street has been widely talked about both positively and negatively, a portrayal of the corrupt, drug-and-sex-addicted world of Wall Street and the risks and drama it brings with it.
  12. Edge of Tomorrow, while not normally my type of movie, had an interesting video game style in the way that it manipulates time through what we gamers would call ‘savegames’ – and it is in the hands of one person to try and save humanity from an alien invasion.
  13. Whiplash was quite a powerful film and very painful to watch at times, exploring the competitive world of jazz and the psychological pressure and damage that teachers can put on their students.
  14. Last Vegas was simply a hilarious movie, but it also had its moments – following around a group of elderly friends who try to party in Las Vegas in style, it is about honesty, friendship, and coming to terms with yourself.
  15. Dracula Untold was a quite entertaining re-imagining of Dracula, or more specifically his story before becoming a vampire – a man who simply means well in trying to save his country against the Sultan’s army.
  16. 3 Days to Kill is a humorous stab at spy movies, portraying Kevin Costner as a retired CIA agent who is called back into the field and has to try to reconcile his secret life with his family.
  17. 300: Rise of an Empire was as hack-and-slash as you would expect from a 300 movie, and despite all the criticism that it got, I still liked it quite a bit, and I thought it told an interesting story taking place parallel to the previous movie.
  18. Maps to the Stars was pretty much as painful, disturbing and confusing as you would expect from a Cronenberg movie. Dealing with all the craziness in Hollywood, it is probably the most polarising film this year, which you’ll either absolutely love or absolutely hate.
  19. Magic in the Moonlight, while definitely having a nice premise, proved to be a little disappointing in its execution, with the meta-level that Woody Allen is so famous for feeling quite rushed. But it was still a decent feel-good movie that just had a little something extra.
  20. Horns was strange – it was nice entertainment, but not something I’m likely to see again, a film that cannot quite decide whether it’s simply a whodunit or a horror movie or something else entirely. It had its moment though, and it’d probably be great for an evening with friends.
  21. Winter’s Tale is another feel-good love story that transcends time and space, but one that tried to be much more than it actually was, though it was certainly a nice mixture of realism and fantasy.
  22. Lucy was, of all the movies I’ve written about this year, the most disappointing, and judging by the looks in the cinema, most people agreed. The premise, even though based on the outdated ‘We only use 10% of our brains’ theory, was great – not the most original, but certainly something – but the movie just took it way too far, turning a potentially great movie into something more and more ridiculous.

Of course there were other movies that I watched, and that I didn’t have time to write about, and from the top of my head (because the list is long), my highest recommendations are definitely The Imitation GameGuardians of the Galaxy, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.

Game-wise, this year has concluded Season 2 of The Walking Dead, and Season 1 of The Wolf Among Us, both masterpieces that are definitely a great play – and Telltale Games have also introduced their Game of Thrones version, which I am very excited to continue. Of course one of my personal highlight was getting to try out Tribal & Error, which has now been greenlit on Steam, so keep an eye out!

Incidentally, the five most-viewed blog posts of 2014 – the ones that you found most interesting – were:

  1. What happened to The Wolf Among us?
  2. Tribal & Error – First Impressions
  3. Liebster Award! – Wait, what?
  4. Dracula Untold
  5. Interstellar

Generally, this year has been an interesting one for me, both in terms of this blog and in terms of my private and academic life. With my best friend’s constant butt-kicking and the enthusiasm of several other people, I have managed to push this blog a bit more towards what it’s meant to be. I have a long way to go, but I can promise that if all goes well, there will be some significant changes in the upcoming year, and I’m excited for all of them. I have learned a lot about myself not only through this, but also through my private life, and with only a few months left of my Master’s programme, times really are changing – it’s both exciting and frightening, but I am really rather curious what the new year will bring.

I wish you all a great celebration and hope that we’ll see each other safely again in the new year – hopefully not completely hungover. I myself have decided to do something special and am spending New Year’s in Italy.

Cheers!

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