2014 Recap

“Another year, another boatload of movies. I completely blew last year’s numbers out of the water. I don’t know if that’s cause for celebration or reevaluating my priorities in life, possibly with some therapy. I thought about just posting my entire spreadsheet on here, because yes, every time I see a movie at the theaters, I log it in Excel with the date, rating, theater, and link to the post. But no one cares about that other than me, so I’ll just post the full (linked) list and share some stats before going into my tops and not so tops for the year. Keep in mind, I track the year based on when I see it, not release date. Drumroll please (preferably one that sounds like it came from Birdman)…

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, August: Osage County, Lone Survivor, That Awkward Moment, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, I, Frankenstein, Labor Day, The Lego Movie, Monumens Men, Three Days to Kill, Robocop, Non Stop, 300: Rise of an Empire, Veronica Mars, Grand Budapest Hotel, Need for Speed, Divergent, Muppets Most Wanted, Bad Words, Noah, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dom Hemingway, Draft Day, Make Your Move, Transcendence, The Raid 2, Brick Mansions, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Neighbors, Locke, Only Lovers Left Alive, Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Million Dollar Arm, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Maleficent, Fault in Our Stars, Edge of Tomorrow, Obvious Child, The Signal, 22 Jump Street, How to Train your Dragon 2, Jersey Boys, The Rover, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Begin Again, Tammy, Snowpiercer, Begin Again, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Sex Tape, Wish I was Here, The Purge: Anarchy, I Origins, Hercules, Lucy, Guardians of the Galaxy, Get on Up, Magic in the Moonlight, A Most Wanted Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, What If, Calvary, The Hundred Foot Journey, Expendables 3, The Giver, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, If I Stay , Frank, As Above So Below, The November man, Ghostbusters, The Congress, Let’s Be Cops, Love is Strange, The Maze runner, The Drop, This Is Where I Leave You, Tusk, The Skeleton Twins, A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, The Boxtrolls, The Equalizer, Gone Girl, Men, Women, & Children, Left Behind, Pride, The Judge, Laggies, The Princess Bride, Fury, The Book of Life, Kill the Messenger, Birdman, Whiplash, St Vincent, John Wick, Dumb and Dumber To, Nightcrawler, Horns, Interstellar, Big Hero 6, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Theory of Everything, Rosewater, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Foxcatcher, Horrible Bosses 2, The Gambler, The Babadook, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Wild, The Imitation Game, The Hobbit:Battle of the Five Armies, Annie, Top Five, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Into the Woods, Unbroken, Big Eyes,

So that totals up to 122, minus 2 repeats, means 120 distinct movies, minus 3 re-releases or special screenings, equals 117 distinct new movies. Damn. I think last year’s full total was only 101. I know I did better the year before, but not this much better.

Some interesting (to me at least) stats:
Breakdown by month: Jan 6, Feb 5, Mar 9, Apr 7, May 9, Jun 9, Jul 12, Aug 16, Sep 12, Oct 15, Nov 10, Dec 12.
Kinda surprising that August was the peak, considering it’s usually a graveyard. But I think Guardians changed that notion for the future. Also a bit of a slow start. I don’t think it’s so much that I stepped up my game as it is that Hollywood stepped up theirs.

Theater breakdown is: Loews Boston Common 85, Kendall Square Landmark theater 10, The Brattle 7, Regal Fenway 4, Apple Cinemas 3, Somerville Theater 3, Jordans IMAX Reading 2, AMC Assembly Row 1, Chicago AMC 1, Coolidge Corner 1, Chinese Theaters LA 1, The Landmark LA 1, Hollywood Hits Laredo 1, Cinemark Laredo 1, AMC Times Square 1.
So that’s 15 different theaters across 5 different states. I think the Common was so large because it’s easy to double and because I had a streak going there on Foursquare (or Swarm) that I didn’t wanna break. Sadly, it ended over Christmas, but I think I was up to something like 30+ weeks in a row. I suspect Somerville Theater might pick up again this year, if I get back into my after work on Fri habit. Also wouldn’t mind finding excuses to hit up the new Assembly Row theater more. That one was swanky, just annoying to get to.

Ratings breakdown, by number of rock hands is: 1 – 4, 1.5 – 6, 2 – 12, 2.5 – 17, 3 – 21, 3.5 – 24, 4 – 33, special 3, Repeat 2.
While the scientist in me would expect a more evenly distributed bell curve, there’s a few possible explanations why it trended so heavily upwards
-Hollywood just did better. I know I had a harder time picking my top 10 from an embarassment of riches this year, rather than last year only really finding 10 on the first pass. Last year only one made it to my top 100, but there’s a couple contender’s this year.
-I was better at picking movies. I allowed myself to skip ones I knew would be duds. Eh, maybe not. I still saw a lot of crap.
-I’m just a pushover when it comes to rating movies low. This is actually kinda true, and every so often, I resolve to be a bit harsher and give out more 1’s and 2’s and then I don’t. Even if I’m hating something, I can usually find some merits somewhere, and it does break my heart to have to call something bad. Unless you’re I Frankenstein or Let’s Be Cops, but we’ll get there.

And now the highs and lows.

The wall of fame
1-Birdman – I loved everything about this movie: the cast, the absurdity, the story, the setting, the cinematography, the direction, the humor, the darkness. It couldn’t have been any closer to perfection.
2-Gone Girl – It was a toss up for a while because this is so ridiculously dark it’s delicious. Fincher masterfully directed an adaptation of a book I adore and made it everything I could possibly want to see on screen and more.
3-The Lego Movie – Everything is awesome! Sorry, had to, but it’s true. Everything about this movie is quite awesome, and it’s one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time.
4-Edge of Tomorrow – Or is it Live. Die. Repeat. Or All You Need is Kill. How about, that Tom Cruise scifi one from this year, that you thought would be like the one from last year, but was actually really good. It’s one of the most genius screenplays I’ve encountered, given the tricky set ups and just the right amount of comedy.
5-Begin Again – This is kinda guilty pleasure-y, but I fell in love with this movie and its music. Mostly the music. The film hit me right when I needed something like it, and I haven’t been able to shake it since.
6-Pride – I was rewatching this today, and it still made me so happy. Such an inspiring and encouraging story, with charismatic characters that I want to hang with and/or emulate. Everybody needs to see this. Everybody.
7-Whiplash – I still feel shaken up thinking about this one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie more intense, and to think it all takes place in music rooms in a drama, not the battlefields of an action film.
8-Into the Woods – The nostalgic feels are getting to me, but I can’t get over the spot on casting. This could have been an utter trainwreck, but instead it was the rare adapted musical done right. I was prepared to hate it, but ended up loving it.
9-Guardians of the Galaxy – Just when the comic book hero genre is starting to feel played out, we get some new life breathed into it. And it gets better and better on repeat viewings.
10-The Theory of Everything/Imitation Game – Let’s be real, they were kinda the same movie, and kinda not, but kinda awesome either way. The nerds are having their day in the sun and it’s glorious.
11-22 Jump Street – Cheating and squeezing these boys in because I can’t not. Schmidt and Jenko are a part of me, and they showed us how sequels are done!
Honorable mentions (no special order): Nightcrawler, Neighbors, Draft Day, The Babadook

The Hall of Shame
1-Let’s Be Cops – Not only did I not found it funny, I was very uncomfortable watching it. I felt like it was much too disrespectful to police officers, and didn’t have the payoff to justify it.
2-Tusk – Oh Kevin Smith, why? I loved you. I do love you. Just not when you’re blatantly high when you make a movie. Of all I’ve given you, I will never get those two hours back.
3-I, Frankenstein – Were they even trying? Or were they trying to be bad? IDK. It was a hot mess of cliche. Poor Aaron Eckhart, who did you wrong that you were dealt such punishment?
4-The Rover – This one is a bit of a critical darling (as are a couple of my dishonorable mentions) but I just didn’t get it. I was bored. Didn’t really care. Couldn’t get into the slow burn pace. At least RPattz is pretty.
5-The Signal – Also, kinda dull. Started off with so much potential and then wasn’t sure where to go, so it tried to go too many places at once. Fail. *tear*
Dishonorable Mentions (no special order) (most of these weren’t necessarily bad, just boring): A Most Wanted Man, Only Lovers Left Alive, Noah (okay that was bad), Three Days to Kill, Transformers: Age of Extinction

And that’s a wrap folks. On to 2015! See ya at the movies! Or something.”

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