Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2014

The new year is less than two days old, so once again, it’s time to look back to our favorites of last year. As always, lists are imperfect, incomplete, and totally subject to change upon reflection and the passage of time.

We’ll start with Paul; he remains skeptical of this whole top 10 business, so this year, his contributions to our lists (including comics, albums, and TV shows) will be presented without comment.

(Mine, of course, will probably say too much.)

~ AJ

PAUL’S FAVORITE (NOT BEST) FILMS OF 2014
10. Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater)
9. Interstellar (dir. Christopher Nolan)
8. Maleficent (dir. Robert Stromberg)
7. Only Lovers Left Alive (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
6. The LEGO Movie (dirs. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
5. Guardians of the Galaxy (dir. James Gunn)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (dirs. Joe & Anthony Russo)
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (dir. Matt Reeves)
2. Big Hero 6 (dirs. Don Hall & Chris Williams)
1. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (dir. Dean DeBlois)

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Snowpiercer (dir. Bong Joon-ho)
Edge of Tomorrow (dir. Doug Liman)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (dir. Francis Lawrence)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (dir. Bryan Singer)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (dir. Marc Webb)

DIDN’T SEE
Birdman (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Force Majeure (dir. Ruben Ostlund)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (dir. Peter Jackson)

AJ’S TOP 10 FILMS OF 2014

10. BIRDMAN (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)

Film Review Birdman

“A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing,” reads the quote (sometimes attributed to Susan Sontag) stuck to Riggan Thomson’s mirror. One imagines the former superhero actor, played by a back-and-swinging-for-the-fences Michael Keaton, clings to that mantra as he negotiates a shot at artistic integrity with his paranoid need to be loved. It also serves as a warning to anyone trying to dissect the film or Iñárritu’s intentions. After making a career out of overwhelmingly somber dramas, Iñárritu has made a frenzied comedy propelled by a furious drum score from Antonio Sanchez. He also peppers the film with flights of insanity, in which Riggan has telekinetic powers or takes to the skies just like his old alter ego. How much of this is real? What does the film’s beautiful final shot mean? There’s a lot to be said, but you can also take Birdman for the absurd, chaotic, hilarious thing it is.

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Listen to Our ‘Snowpiercer’ Chat, “This Is Not a Shoe. This Is a Bonus Episode.”

snowpiercer

The Gobbledygeek bonus episode “This Is Not a Shoe. This Is a Bonus Episode.” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

We discussed Snowpiercer briefly on our most recent epsiode, but there was too much monkey business going on to talk about it in-depth. So we had to go all-out and do a bonus episode, the sort of episode that fits in between the cracks of our elaborate continuity, featuring none other than The Debatable Podcast host Greg Sahadachny. Shoes as hats, rave cars, orgasmic school teachers…this movie’s nuts, and we do our best to honor that by babbling about it incoherently.

(Show notes for “This Is Not a Shoe. This Is a Bonus Episode.”)

Listen to Episode 191, “Chimpin’ Ain’t Easy”

DAWN PLANET APES MOV

Gobbledygeek episode 191, “Chimpin’ Ain’t Easy,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

A new day has dawned, one which doesn’t shine too favorably upon humanity. In Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the apes have taken over…well, mostly. As Caesar and company learn, a small faction of humans still resides in San Francisco, and they believe the key to their continued existence lies in the apes’ territory. It’s not a swell situation, as Paul and AJ discover in their discussion of the second film in this new Apes franchise. They chat about the complexity of Caesar and Koba’s relationship, the likable (if simplistic) human characters, and the palpable sadness at the film’s core. Plus, the boys hop aboard the Snowpiercer train.

Next: the gang (including Nowheresville director and Smoke Gets in Your Ears co-host Joseph Lewis) straps on their musty old half-shells to revisit the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie AKA OGTMNT.

(Show notes for “Chimpin’ Ain’t Easy.”)