Taylor Network Contributors Top Ten of 2014

BabadookRene Alvarado:

1. The Babadook. The best horror movie of the year and my favorite movie of the year. Sometimes scary things happen to us in real life and then the real horror begins.

2. X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Bryan Singer has reinvented himself and the X-Movies. I did not think he had a movie this great in him. Hugh Jackson truly is The Wolverine.

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The best action movie of the year and it’s a comic book movie with freaking Captain America and The Falcon. “On your left.”

4. Edge Of Tomorrow. This movie is on this list just because I hate Tom Cruise. Let me explain. This movie was so good that it made me forget my Tom Cruise hate for 90 minutes. That alone would be enough to put it on this list, but EOT is the best pure sci-fi movie of the year. Yes, better than Guardians.

5. The Lego Movie. I never played with Legos when I was a kid. I don’t have kids so, I don’t have Legos. (Also, I live in NYC apt. I don’t have the room for Legos.)
But, in spite of all of that the Lego Movie is a fun romp for kids and adults. Fun Movie. Great voice work from everyone involved.

6. The Interview. It’s not a great movie, but it did make me laugh out loud and only 2 other movies did that for me this year. Worth watching just to see what the fuss was about.

7. 22 Jump Street. They did it again. Funnier than the first movie and I want to see them team-up for one last case. It has the funniest end credits sequence in recent memory.

8. The Raid 2. I thought this was the best action movie until I saw Winter Soldier. This is how you make a martial arts movie, Every hit looks and feels real. You can see every hit and break in every fight scene. Which is something that most Western action directors just cannot get right. (see The Expendables and the Jason Bourne movies. Or don’t. Save yourself 2 hours.) See the Raid movies before the American remake ruins these 2 movies.

9. ABC’s Of Death 2. Another gonzo horror anthology from the people that brought us the VHS movies. In ABC’s, horror movie directors from around the world made a horror movie involving murder and a letter of the alphabet. (C is for Capital Punishment.). The movie is hit and miss for a few of the letters, but for the most part it’s a great horror movie that will stay with you after watching it. A few of the scenes were downright disturbing. One in particular I don’t think I can ever watch again. That’s my kind of horror movie!!

10. Guardians Of The Galaxy. I have a giant confession to make about this movie. I really don’t think it’s that good anymore. I watched it again after I did my Best & Worst podcast for Innercity Geeks. Guardians looses something for me with every viewing. Still, it’s a fun movie and it deserves to be on this list for two very good reasons: Groot and Rocket Raccoon. I read the comics a few years ago and I can remember thinking that they could never turn this into a movie and make it work with Groot and Rocket. James Gunn pulled it off and those two charcters are real enough to be the heart of a two hour movie.

Top Ten Video Games:

(Xbox and PS games only. I am an adult without kids so nothing anywhere near remotely Nintendo crosses my hands.)

1. Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfighter. (Xbox One): A lot of people were burnt out after the last few COD’s. Between the multiplayer and the cheating that made it worse, it stopped being fun for me a few years ago. Then, I got the Xbox One and fired this bad boy up. They have done it again. And, how!!! COD is fun to play online again and the campaign is a lot of fun, too. It doesn’t make any sense, but you get to kill Frank from House Of Cards if you play the game right.

2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One): Every main Halo game in one console (with ODST on it’s way in 2015). How can you pass this up?! Halo 1 is the Anniversary Edition from a few years back. Halo 3 and Halo 4 are mostly untouched. Their graphics are touched up a little bit for the upgrade to the Xbone, but I didn’t notice any big changes to the games. The real gem here is the classic Halo 2. This is the first Halo to go online and it is still a great game. Yes, the story is still the same but the game is still awesome. Completely redone graphics for Halo 2 and it looks gorgeous!! A must if you own the Xbox One and it includes the Halo 5 beta until January 19.

3. The Walking Dead Season 2: Continuing the adventures of Clementine in the Walking Dead Universe, this is the video game version of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books but with zombies and a kid who can shoot better than Carl ever could. I highly recommend these games. If you’re a fan of TWD, pick this up. It’s a different type of video game experience but if you give it a chance, you will not be disappointed.

4. Game Of Thrones: Made by the same people who made The Walking Dead games on the consoles, it follows the same adventure game style of gaming and for the kingdoms of Westeros it makes a great fit. The game takes place immediately after the events of the Red Wedding. You follow a family that were Bannermen of the Starks and that leaves them in a very dangerous predicamtnet after the Red Wedding. Part One is the only one out as I write this, but it’s enough to make me put it on this list.

5. South Park: The Stick Of Truth: Imagine an entire season of South Park that you control. That’s basically the entire idea behind the Stick Of Truth and it might be the best South Park anything since the movie. This game shocked and offended me more than once while playing it and I love it for it. One of the funniest games you will ever play and until I got the Xbox One this was my favorite game of the year. DO NOT LET YOUR KID PLAY THIS OR BE IN THE ROOM WHEN YOU PLAY!!! I cannot stress this enough. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when your kid asks you, “What’s an anal probe?”.

6. Wolfenstein: The New Order: This was a fun surprise. TNO is a thowback to older shooters that were just run from point A to point B and shoot/kill everything in front of you. It’s actually a refreshing game since every shooter now has a gimmick or hook to get you to play it. This is just you killing Nazis and mutants for a week. It also surprisingly has a good story. You play as soldier just out of a coma in an alternate universe where Hitler won. Trust me, it sounds crazy, but the game’s story is part of why the game works. You’ll want to kill every Nazi in sight by the second level. I’m now working on a time machine to do the same after this game. It’s that good. Highly recommended. Especially, for fans of the classic Wolfenstein games.

7. Ultra Street Fighter 4: Online Street Fighter 4 with new characters and everything unlocked. Under $20. ‘Nuff Said.

8: Metro Redux: This is a collection of 2 games that I think I was the only one that played them on the Xbox 360. The Metro games are based on a Russian sci-fi novel series that takes place after a nuclear incident has destroyed most of the planet. The entire series takes place in the Russian subway system. They are great shooters that most gamers have never heard of. I played both more than once and I highly recommend these games. The redux versions fix the one complaint I had: graphics. If you pick this up you will be playing a better version than I did.

9. Alien Isolation: People have been trying to make a good Aliens game since the first movie in the ’70’s. They finally got it right this time with Alien Isolation. I played the last Aliens game, Aliens Colonial Marines and that was the worst game I have ever played from start to finish. It hurt my soul to play that game. So, the fact that the next Alien game after it is so amazing is both a surprise and a miracle. With a script written by the great Dan Abnett, this game has a lot going for it before you even insert the disc. ONce you play the game, you realize that they have made the closest thing to a virtual reality version of the first Alien movie. Check this game out. Great survival horror game and easily the best Aliens game ever.

10. Bioshock Infinite Complete Edition: This was my favorite game of 2013 and it is in my top ten of all time best video games now. This edition has all of the DLC for it. The DLC and this game complete the Bioshock Universe and ties everything together. A lot of people still have not played this game and out of every game on this list, this is the one everyone should play if you haven’t already. Even if you did play it, it’s worth playing again. Especially, in light of recent events. Like the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  You don’t need to have played the other games to enjoy this one. Trust me. You will never forget Bioshock Infinite.

PS- I didn’t get to play a lot of games this year and anything Nintendo just isn’t going to be on any list I make. So, I am missing a few of the bigger games of 2014.

Matthew Guy:

Top Ten TV shows of 2014 (including cable & Netflix):

1.  Alabama College Football  (be it CBS, ESPN 1/2)  I want to enjoy watching the Crimson Tide tear apart the fellow teams of the SEC & others across the nation on Saturdays in the fall & this week Bowl game(s).  ROLL TIDE!!! (A+)

2.  Switched at Birth Season 3 & Christmas Special (ABC Family) One girl is an artist & the other girl is high school basketball player & as the title suggest both were “Switched at Birth” & as their families deal w/ the change to their lives. (A+)
3.  House of Cards Season 2 (Netflix in February all 13 episodes at once)  Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood goes from the US House to across the street as Vice President.  Let’s just say Spacey has not lost his Lex Luthor ruthlessness in politics & other people be damned if they get in his way.  (Knock, Knock)  (A+)
4.  ESPN’s 30 for 30 Documentary series. (ESPN 1/2)  Be it a sequel to “The U”, “The Day the Series Stopped” or  “When The Garden Was Eden”.  There is something for every sports fan here.  It also contents 30 for 30 shorts that cover lesser known sporting events in precise detail.  (solid A)
5.  The Flash (CW)  After over 20 years The Flash returns to TV.  Bring on the superhero action w/ a healthy dose of CW romance tension & drama.  Will Barry finally get Iris or will he find a new lady in his life?  Will Barry find out who the man in the Yellow Flash really is?  I’m hooked on this series like some ladies are hooked on fashion shows or Dancing w/ the Stars.  I want my Flash fix dang it!  (solid A)
6.  The Amazing Race (CBS)  Seasons 25 was not the best season for me personally but still very entertaining as to who would land on that mat first each leg of the Race & which team would win on finale night. (B+)
7.  The Good Wife (CBS)  I have binged on this series from the first episode to the most current episode this fall.  Dang you Julianna Margulies I can’t quit you.  (B+)
8.  Dallas (TNT)  Yes JR Ewing is dead but that doesn’t mean there will be peace at SouthFork as JR’s Son, John Ross, Bobby Ewing & his adopted son, Christopher lock horns in season 3.  I am still very disappointed this series was cancelled with the last episode not given a proper fitting conclusion.  If Netflix were to do a short miniseries to wrapup all the loose plot threads I would be overjoyed.  (solid B)
9.  Marvel’s Agent’s of SHIELD (ABC)  Season 1 was largely a disorganized mess however season 2 is a vast improvement & I want to see what happens next.  Bring on the fight to HYDRA & as always kickass SHIELD.  (B-)
10. Mike & Molly (CBS)  I really enjoyed the early seasons of the series but since it turned into “The Molly Show” 24/7 starting from all of last season; it has fell out of favor with me.  I sincerely hope that it gets on the right track soon as it pushes onward into 2015. (C-)
Top Ten Movies
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (A+)
2. Guardians Of The Galaxy (A+)
3. John Wick (A+)
4. The Lego Movie (solid A)
5. Life Itself starring Roger Ebert (an indie pick) (solid A)
6. Enough Said (DVD release January 2014) w/ James Gandolfini & Julia Louis-Dreyfus a romantic drama w/ slice of life comedy (B+)
7. X-Men: Days of Future Past (B+)
8. The Drop the last James Gandolfini film w/ Tom Hardy a crime drama (solid B)
9. Justice League War (DVD release February 2014)(solid B)
10. Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (C-)

Shawn Churchill

2014 Favorite Films:

  1. Big Hero 6 (#1)
  2. Big Eyes
  3. If I Stay
  4. Captain America: Winter Soldier
  5. The Skeleton Twins
  6. The Judge
  7. The Wind Rises
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy
  9. Belle
  10. Chef
  11. Maleficent

 

2014 Favorite Comic Books

  1. Lumberjanes
  2. Velvet
  3. Ms. Marvel,
  4. Princess Ugg
  5. Bitch Planet
  6. Copperhead
  7. Sensation Comics (the glorious return of the true Wonder Woman!)
  8. Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman
  9. Gotham Academy
  10. Batgirl: Futures End
  11. Shutter, The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood
  12. Saga (Again, TOO Fantastic: A must-read)
  13. Lazarus
  14. Transformers: Windblade

 

2014 Favorite Graphic Novels:

  1. Adventure Time: Bitter Sweets
  2. Tomboy, Seconds
  3. The Shadow Hero
  4. Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery
  5. Furious
  6. Leaving Megalopolis.

2014 Favorite Video Games:

  1. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
  2. Shovel Knight, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U
  3. Remastered The Last of Us
  4. Child of Light
  5. Hyrule Warriors
  6. Fairune
  7. Azure Striker Gunvolt/Mighty Gunvolt

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