YEBO 2014: Movies...

A little late this list is, wouldn't you say? By "little late," like, "ridonkulously late."

I'm sorry I sat on this one so long, but Katie and I had plans to see additional movies just a few days after the New Year and we got a rental from the library that I thought might have a chance to see the light of day on my YEBO Movies list. So I figured I'd hold off just a bit longer. We only saw one of the pair in theaters (Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb but not Unbroken) and we watched the rental last night (The Hundred-Foot Journey). So, I guess I really didn't need to wait.

Oh well.

We only saw 26 movies this year (based on Wikipedia's list of 2014 movies). Of those, only nine were seen in theaters by both of us together with me seeing an additional three with my brother and dad (Godzilla, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and RoboCop) and Katie seeing four more as well with the sister-in-law (Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, Begin Again, and The Other Woman). The rest were viewed online or via DVD rentals. 12 movies each in theaters is a number that is much higher than I was expecting. Weird.

Here are our top movies of the year. Yes, I'm running with seven again. Maybe this year, I'll pick some other totally random integer to run with. Six? Eight? 22? (Ha ha at that last one). Please note that movies that were only seen by one of us are noted accordingly.

The Tops:

7. Draft Day
I believe this was movie number two in the so-called "Year of Kevin Costner" (the first being Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) and I was admittedly hesitant to see it. I know Costner is notoriously great in sports films, but I always held that was just baseball (Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, and For Love of the Game). So we waited until DVD to see this and loved every last second of it. Sure, it starts off a little slow, but

6. Guardians of the Galaxy
I went into this movie with ridonkulously high expectations as I had heard nothing but good from so many of my friends. I wanted to like it, nay, love it and I did. Just not as much as I had thought I would. Sure, I enjoyed it enough to want it as a Christmas gift from Katie and Nathan and I'm so glad they got it for me. But, for some unidentifiable reason, I just can't place it as high as I might've initially thought. The closest I can get is that I'm just tired of aliens, as I explained in a post about Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That's all I can come up with.

5. Fury
I love World War II. Not for all the death and destruction it caused, but because it was such an insanely fascinating part of world history and development of the modern world. I read books, watch TV, and see films about it on a regular basis. So, yeah, when I saw posters touting a story about a tank crew in WWII, albeit fictional, I was excited but without letting my expectations go too bananas. Honestly, I'm hit or miss with Brad Pitt, who could just as easily have ruined Inglourious Basterds with his over-the-top performance as carried it; and I was freakishly concerned with star Shia LaBeouf, an actor in whom I find little to no merit whatsoever. Yet, the two of them were amazing. Combined with Jon Bernthal, Logan Lerman, and Michael Peña and you've got a golden ticket of a WWII film. Highly recommended.

4. This is Where I Leave You
In the spirit of full disclosure, I had never heard of this movie until after its release. Weird. But what a pleasant surprise when we finally did watch it a couple weeks ago. Four siblings (Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, and Corey Stoll), accompanied by their families, return to their childhood home to sit shiva with their mother (Jane Fonda) for seven days upon the death of their father. When you have that many clashing personalities combined with visiting friends and neighbors, it can be an explosive mix. And it was. But it's so amazing to watch. Sometimes I feel like Bateman has been in so many movies since his return to fame around the time of Dodgeball that he's wearing himself -- and us -- thin. But not in this movie. Not one iota. He's perfectly cast and plays his part well. This film was roundly panned by critics, but we loved it so clearly it's not for everyone.

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Here's one that started out in a place opposite Guardians of the Galaxy in that I was expecting to not like it at all, and, as it turns out, I loved it! I'll just let the two linked posts do the talking for me, okay?

2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (only me)
I never know what to expect when watching a movie about our planet gone ape-shit crazy (ha-HA!). You could have a great film like the original The Planet of the Apes or you could wind up with complete shite like the attempted (and failed) reboot by Tim Burton starring Mark Wahlberg. Ack! So these two most recent films -- Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2012 and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this year -- have been incredibly pleasant surprises to me. Want more? Check out my pseudo-review.

1. Chef
Here's another film that, similar to This is Where I Leave You, I knew nothing about until Katie happened to mention that she wanted to see it. And then we completely forgot about it. For some reason, I was reminded of it when it came out on DVD, so I placed it on our library loan list. Singularly amazing from its writing to the acting to the directing to the music... to the food! Om nom nom!

The Others-Seen (in alphabetical order):

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Begin Again (Katie only)
  • Divergent
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • Godzilla (only me)
  • Horrible Bosses 2
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • If I Stay
  • Into the Woods
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
  • The LEGO Movie
  • Let's Be Cops
  • Million Dollar Arm
  • A Million Ways to Die in the West (only me)
  • The Monuments Men
  • Neighbors
  • Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
  • The Other Woman
  • RoboCop (only me)
  • 22 Jump Street

The Meant-To-Sees (in alphabetical order):

  • Big Eyes
  • Big Hero 6
  • Birdman
  • The Boxtrolls
  • Equalizer
  • Foxcatcher
  • Get On Up
  • Gone Girl
  • The Imitation Game
  • Lucy
  • Maleficent
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Unbroken
  • Wild

What did you see and love this past year? More fun... what did you hate?


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Kevin Spencer

Didn't go to the theater all that much this year. In fact as every year goes by, we seem to go less and less. And I'm woefully behind on watching even a 10th of the movies you did. But two that I did go see that I loved were Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians Of The Galaxy.

With GOTG, I had zero expectations as I'm not a comic guy so, to be honest, had never even heard of them. Hence was super surprised that the movie was kinda great and had a blast watching it.


I had no knowledge of GotG either. But I built myself up *so* much expecting to like it (despite the lack of familiarity) that it just didn't wind up faring as well as Cap in the end. I still loved it, just not as much as I expected. 

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