Reflections on the Best and Worst of 2014

2014 is in the books and as is tradition here at Monster Movie Kid, it’s time to take a look back at the previous twelve months. What were the high points and low points in cinematic viewings? Now, anyone who follows me on Facebook will know that this year threw more than a fair share of obstacles my way. From moving to Kansas City to moving both children to my wife battling breast cancer, it was certainly a different and challenging year. That said, movies can always provide a good escape from reality, even if a temporary one to allow myself time to recharge. So, let’s first take a look back at the number of movies watched (in a theater, on DVD, Apple TV, etc.) through December 31, as well as the best of the best and the rest best forgotten.GOTG

Action: 8
Animated: 7
Comedy: 45
Concert: 0
Documentary: 5
Drama: 8
Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror: 116
Suspense/Thriller: 19
Western:  4
Total: 212 (down from last year but much more than I thought I actually had time to watch)

Total numbers of movies watched in a movie theater: 37 (surprisingly, the most I’ve seen since 2011)

Now, let’s start off with the best of the best. As always, some of you will agree while others will wonder if I’m just plain nuts. I always go into a movie with optimism. This year more than ever, I’ve learned to appreciate all that life throws your way.

X MenTop 10 Movies I Watched in a Movie Theater:
1. Guardians of the Galaxy – Fun old school adventure, one of the best from Marvel
2. X-Men: Days of Future Past – Perhaps the best X-Men movie to date, gotta love Wolverine
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Love the big spy epic feel this one had
4. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – By this point, you either like these films or not, I love them
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – Less action, more story, just as entertaining
6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Great follow-up and entertaining
7. Lone Survivor – Incredibly intense modern war flick
8. Fury – Love the grittier side of WWII
9. Godzilla – Sure, it needed more Godzilla but it was much better than some of those 90s flicks
10. The Monuments Men – Could have been better but really entertained me
Honorable Mentions: Interstellar, Gone Girl and Edge of Tomorrow

Top 10 Movies I Watched on DVD/DVR/TV/On Demand For The First Time:
1. Cash on Demand (1962)
– I loved the Christmas setting in this Hammer classic along with the usual stellar performance from Peter Cushing
2. The Big Gundown (1966) – Fantastic and underrated spaghetti western
3. The Babadook (2014) – Scariest movie of the year, much better than the average horror theatrical release
4. Stagecoach (1939) – Classic John Wayne western, what more could you want
5. Les Miserables (1935) – I love this story and I think this is one of the best adaptations, loved Charles Laughton
6. Scream of Fear (1961) – Another fun one from Hammer with some cool twists
7. The Visitor (1979) – Yes, this one is so bad its good
8. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) – I loved the gothic feel, music and different take on vampires
9. Byzantium (2012) – Gemma Arterton, ‘nuff said
10. The Zero Theorem (2013) – I’m not usually a fan of Terry Gilliam but Christolph Waltz made this one for me

And now for the worst of the worst. I continue to be picky about what I watch but these few got back the filters.COD

Worst Movie I Watched in a Movie Theater:
1. Neighbors
– I’m not sure why I continue to give Seth Rogan my money

Worst Movies I Watched on DVD/DVR/TV/On Demand For The First Time:
1. Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever (2014) – I watched this one not by choice, sure I chuckled once or twice but good God, who thought this was a good idea? And why was Grumpy Cat voiced by a woman?
2. Argento’s Dracula (2012) – Try as I might, I just can’t get into Argento and this one certainly didn’t make me a fan, horrible CGI, bad script, bad acting, why did they bother?
3. Tender Dracula (1974) – Not sure what Cushing was thinking with this one, bizarre is an understatement
4. Inchon (1981) – Worst war film ever, propaganda piece that is a curiosity at best

One of my biggest accomplishments this year was my 3rd Annual 31 Days of Halloween tribute to Boris Karloff. That was so much fun and proved to me that classics are always entertaining. I also had three articles in print in The Basement Sublet of Horror magazine. I am incredibly proud of that and special thanks to Joel Sanderson for making that happen. Sure, I never got around to Kurosawa or Hitchcock this year and I still crave more classic comedy and westerns. One thing I’ve learned is to make my movie goals much simpler in 2015. So, come back tomorrow as I talk about what I have planned for 2015!

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