The Lego Movie - It's easy to forget that this was released in 2014, especially with all the great movies that came after it. But in March we were treated to an all-ages delight in the Lego Movie. Great animation and entertainment are all wrapped up in a movie that everyone can enjoy.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Marvel had an amazing year and it started with the sequel to The First Avenger. Using the Winter Soldier as the main protagonist, Cap dropped some of the superhero fare for some down and dirty secret ops conspiracies. Falcon and Widow were both great and with the announcement of Civil War coming next, Captain America fans should be happy for a long time.
Edge of Tomorrow - Many of you skipped this because of the Groundhog Day theme and Tom Cruise. If you did, you missed a great scifi movie. It is a scifi Groundhog Day but the film is loads of fun and tons of high action. Cruise is good. He's always good and Emily Blunt is awesome. Highly recommend checking this out.
But my favorite movie of 2014 came near the end of the summer and is the best thing I believe Marvel Studios has done yet. That is hard for me to say because I love, love, love The Avengers. But the best movie I saw in 2014 was:
Guardians of the Galaxy - James Gunn took a relative unknown property and showed what made it so great. I have never quite experienced a scifi, superhero, comedy action movie all rolled up like this. The effects are tremendous. The cast is perfect. And the music, oh the music. It's a scifi movie with Hooked on a Feeling as one of its signature songs. Rocket and Groot, despite so many misgivings, work. And really make the heart of film. Bring on the sequel and please cross over with some Avengers. I want to see Starlord give Stark some sass.
There were a lot of other good flicks but these were the ones that stood out to me this year. Godzilla almost made it but weak acting took down a notch. The big lizard looked tremendous in his return though. And the Apes sequel helps build what could be a solid franchise. 2015 should be huge with Avengers 2 and Star Wars both dropping. And Mad Max. I want some Mad Max!
There was only one thing on television that got my blood pumping this year. But let me preface this by saying I have not seen Game of Thrones. Big fan of the books but not ready to undertake the show yet. My best show this year:
Southern Reach Trilogy - Jeff Vandemeer
I have not read the third one yet but if it is anything like the first two, it will be awesome. A chthulu-like series with heavy doses of science fiction and mystery, each book comes from a different perspective, pushing the story along and tying up everything but not giving you anything. 5 stars for this series.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami
The book that sold a million copies on its first day of release in Japan, Murakami is up to his old tricks by exploring the fallout of young Tsukuru's childhood relationships. The symbolism is deep but not enough to lose you. Heck, even the design of the book represents something.
Trees - Warren Ellis and Jason Howard
I will read anything Ellis writes and Trees is pure Ellis at his best. Jason Howard's art is fresh and the story reminds of just how small really are in the world.
I'm shopping book covers for ELDER and will have release info real soon.