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 This Weekend’s Gobbledygeek

 

This weekend’s Gobbledygeek, “When the Wolfbane Blooms,” is available for listening right here. We wolf out about films such as An American Werewolf in LondonThe Wolf ManDog SoldiersBrotherhood of the Wolf, and Blood and Chocolate, among others, as we discuss the werewolf in all its furry glory. (And Paul is, as he is about many things, very particular about his werewolves.) In the bonus hour, we’ve got just a couple upcoming DVD releases, a brief celebration of John Lennon by yours truly in honor of what would have been his 70th birthday, and then we talk about Let Me InThe Town, and The Social Network.

Next week: ghosts.

Gobbledygeek #28 Tonight!

 

CHOMP

 

Late post today, but the twenty-eighth episode of Gobbledygeek airs live tonight at 10:30 PM EST right here. Our second Halloween-related episode in this, the month of All Hallows Something-or-Other, concerns itself with werewolves, those fuzzy, cuddly, indiscriminate killers. If they weren’t such an insurance liability, I’d totally keep one as a pet! (Also, it would be human for like 97% of the month, so…kinky.) In any case, we’ve got an array of werewolf movies, books, and TV shows to discuss, as well as our overarching thoughts on the werewolf mythology itself. In the bonus hour, expect DVD releases, movie talk (more Social Network!), and of course I’ll have to talk about a certain Liverpudlian tonight.

Reminder: Calling into the show is potentially a toll call, but if you’ve got a free Skype account and a free BlogTalkRadio account, you can use the free “Click to Talk” button to call in…for free!

Listen to Last Night’s Gobbledygeek

Last night’s Gobbledygeek, “How to Stake a Vampire,” is available for listening right here. It’s the first of our five Halloween-themed shows this month, and in it we discuss everyone’s favorite creature of the night, the venerable vampire. Everything from Nosferatu to Fright Night gets a mention, and we talk about our favorite approaches to the vampire mythos as well (Kevin and I share our own). Then in the bonus hour, we talk about next week’s DVD releases, The Social Network, and a few other bits and bobs. Sink your fangs in and enjoy.

Next week: werewolves.

The Gobbledygeek Guide to the Fall/Winter Movie Season

Last night, Paul and I discussed a plethora of upcoming movies we found interesting in some way. Listen to the show to hear what we had to say, but as promised, here are the IMDb links and trailers for each film we mentioned:

September 1

The American

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Fantastic New Trailer for David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’

It’s been a slow week on the blog, and for that I apologize. To make it up to you, here’s the new trailer for David Fincher’s The Social Network, an Aaron Sorkin-penned film starring Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

I admit to knowing next to nothing about Zuckerberg until recently, but what I learned was not exactly endearing. He is, to put it simply, a huge asshole. I’ve become less and less enamored with Facebook as time has passed; it went from being that cool thing all your friends were doing to that site where your aunt, your uncle, your second cousin twice removed, and all et cetera bug the living shit out of you. And I know I’m not the only one who feels that way, even if we might be in the minority.

Thus, it pleases me that The Social Network is shaping up to be so terrific. And dark. Oh, yes. As the genius tagline states, “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” Jesse Eisenberg, who up ’til now has played nerdy hipsters in the Michael Cera vein (doing it well, too, in movies like Adventureland and Zombieland), looks to break free from typecasting as Zuckerberg, whom Fincher and Sorkin appear to be showing with warts and all. Then there’s Scala’s cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” perfectly scoring the whole thing. Fincher? Sorkin? A different shade of Eisenberg? I am so there. The Social Network is set to be released on October 1.

Andrew Garfield Is the New Spider-Man

After months of intense casting rumors, Sony and director Marc Webb have chosen their new Spider-Man, and he is 26-year-old actor Andrew Garfield. Save for a role in the forgettable Tom Cruise/Meryl Streep/Robert Redford liberal message movie Lions for Lambs, I am entirely unfamiliar with Garfield’s work, so I don’t have much of a place opining on the subject. I will, however, say that he doesn’t look 15 as he should for this reboot, nor does he look like a nerd. I also know, though, that make-up and wardrobe can do wonders. And I don’t think anyone has the right to mock any superhero movie casting after everyone scoffed at Heath Ledger. I was one of the few who had faith in him, and the doubters all came around as soon as they saw footage. So I’ll hold my tongue and hope for a good film, considering Marc Webb made one of my favorite movies of last year, (500) Days of Summer. In any case, I think we’ll all get a better look at Garfield when David Fincher’s The Social Network premieres this fall. I’m really looking forward to that.

Does anybody know if this guy’s funny, though? I loved Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of the wall-crawler, but he was light on Spidey’s trademark quips.