It’s that time of year again, when we all start making lists for 2014. The very best, the very worst, the mediocre, the couldn’t-be-bothered. But fortunately, it’s been a bumper year for geek movies.

Which were the very best? Following much arguments, tears and cries of are-you-kiding-me, the Geek Crusade team is proud to present: our seven best geek movies of the year.

Not all of you will agree, I know – but you are more than welcome to start a conversation with us!

X-Men: Days of Future Past

by Head Geek Nicholas Yong

X-Men: Days of Future Past
They were having trouble dealing with the continuity issues. ©20th Century Fox

X-Men: Days of Future Past (see our original review) bears about as much resemblance to the original comic book storyline as I do to Wolverine. Being a rabid X-Men fan of more than 20 years, this should send me into a berserker rage.

But it doesn’t, partly because I know that a comic book adaptation is necessarily a very different beast from the source material. But more than that – it’s because Bryan Singer (long live the king), as he so often does, crafted a brilliant ensemble piece full of fantastic performances and genuinely moving moments.

It doesn’t even matter that DOFP takes everything that was in the third movie and essentially throws it out the window, creating continuity issues that will make the inside of your head itch. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

X-Men Days of Future Past
©20th Century Fox

For all the timey-wimey stuff, it’s really centred on the pivotal relationship between Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Eric Lensherr (Michael Fassbender), and more than ably supported by Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence).

And while it goes into video game mode many a time – how many ways can we kill the mutants! – it never detracts from the gravity of the situation: a horrendous future for homo sapiens superior that can only be avoided by changing the past.

Besides all that, it’s THAT scene with Quicksilver (Evan Peters) that leaves your jaw stuck firmly to the ground. As it is, I can’t wait for X-Men: Apocalypse and more of Singer’s magic.

Edge of Tomorrow

by Grumpy Geek Bryan Huang
Edge of Tomorrow
They were both uncertain about the change in title. ©Warner Bros
Edge of Tomorrow (see our original review), otherwise known as Edge of Tomorrow: Live. Die. Repeat or “show that should have kept its original title All You Need Is Kill“, is a sci-fi movie with hints of Groundhog Day (1993)/any game where you respawn.
The movie’s pacing is excellent, as is its balance of action, drama and comedic moments (the part where Tom Cruise’s Bill Cage was trying to escape boot camp was priceless), but these things alone don’t set it apart for me.
It’s the movie’s portrayal of Emily Blunt’s Rita Vrataski that really moves away from your typical action-movie heroine. From the first moment Cage meets her till the last, she exudes the kind of aura you’d expect from a military character in command.
Sure, she’s sexy, but she isn’t oversexualised and/or a prop for the main character. Despite the viewers seeing the story through Cage’s point of view, you never get the feeling that Vrataski is just there to provide eye candy. She’s an important element of the story, and you know it.
Edge of Tomorrow
Meet the Full Metal Bitch. ©Warner Bros
All You Need Is Kill was originally a light Japanese manga, so it’s very fortunate that the writers decided to leave out the “well-endowed canteen lady” known for her “good cooking and looks”.
Sadly, Edge of Tomorrow suffered from some really terrible marketing choices (like its title), which perhaps affected its box-office numbers. Even with the home release, Warner Bros emphasised the “Live. Die. Repeat” tagline a fair bit more than the movie title itself.
Edge of Tomorrow sounds like some cocktail drink at a bar that’s meant to sound edgy but actually contains 0.5 per cent alcohol.
 All You Need Is Kill is more like the one that’s gonna give you a massive hangover unless you have that triple bacon stacked burger for supper, but will be totally worth it.


by Cinemaniac Diana Othman

Interstellar movie
“No, it’s not a good idea to watch any of my rom coms, honey.” ©Warner Bros

If I had to describe Interstellar (see our original reviewin a single word, it’d have to be AMBITIOUS. Like the noble space explorers in his film who look to the stars for solutions, Nolan searches beyond the conventions of storytelling and reel world-building to create a fresh cinematic experience.

But the story is in fact simple and far from original – the influences from Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) are so palpable, it even seeps into Hans Zimmer’s soaring score. There are bits of Contact (1997) with its father-daughter-cosmology drama. It’s evident that Nolan also borrowed heavily from another iconic sci-fi film – the fourth act is basically the plot from La Jetée (1962).

But it is still very much a staggering piece of cinema because it bravely incorporates cosmic ideas and theories about astrophysics, space travel and *gulp* quantum physics and relativity, and uses them as tools for its emotionally-driven narrative.

Interstellar movie
Matthew couldn’t believe how ambitious the movie was. ©Warner Bros

But because the film attempts to wield all these huge concepts and juggle them with the intimate human drama, it is inevitably clumsy at times and I found a few situations a tad too convenient or unconvincing.

So Interstellar has its flaws and I wouldn’t even go as far as to call it the definitive Nolan film. It certainly isn’t as tight as his previous works. But it’s got a curious mind, a dream team cast of Hollywood’s best A-listers that performed superbly, and it is a gripping film, poignant even. Also, the space vistas are stunning, especially on an IMAX screen!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

by Opinionated Geek JM Wong

Captain America, The Winter Soldier
JM wanted to write a sonnet to his biceps but decided to have some self-respect instead. ©Marvel
I was going to write about X-Men: Days of Future Past, but Head Geek Nic Yong beat me to it. No matter. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (see our original review) was tied with it as my pick for best geek movie of the year, and not just because of Chris Evans and his perfect hair.
How much do I love this movie? Let me count the ways.
I love how it showed Cap (Chris Evans) trying to adapt to the modern world while still holding on to his strong personal beliefs. I love seeing the side of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johanssen) that looks out for her Super Soldier friend in the heat of battle.
Chris Evans and Scarlett Johanssen in Captain America
They couldn’t quite believe where the plot was going. ©Marvel Studios
I love how Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) acted as an anchor for Cap, offering him help while still giving him space to figure out where he fits in today’s world. I even loved seeing the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) in some of the best action sequences I’ve seen in some time.
Other than some of the best characterisation I’ve seen in any Marvel movie, there’s another reason why this movie was just so good: finding out that Hydra had infiltrated SHIELD all through the ranks was a huge gamechanger for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And we’ve only just begun to see the aftereffects of this revelation.
It was the best kind of comic book movie, and I think it’ll be a long time before we see anything as satisfying in the cinema. Maybe when The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens next May?

The Lego Movie

 by Commando Geek Wong Jun Heng

The Lego Movie
“That’s right, we’re awesome!” ©Warner Bros

The Lego Movie is my top pick for the best movie of 2014. Not because I’m a huge Lego fan (well, yes I am) but primarily because it is an AWESOME MOVIE!

It was about damn time that Lego got their act together and finally had a theatrical film in the cinemas, instead of languishing in the realm of straight to video movies. Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite (2013) or Bionicle: Mask of Light (2003), anyone?

And the box office receipts speak for themselves, as it made almost half a billion dollars at the box office. It has the perfect blend of action, face-paced humour, memorable characters and drama that you could actually relate to. Plus, a catchy soundtrack to boot.

The Lego Movie
Batman wants YOU to be awesome! ©Warner Bros

The one thing that makes this movie stand out from any of the rest is it’s re-watchability. It doesn’t bear you down with depressing drama or inundate you with scientific jargon to the point that you lose the essence of the film. This is the kind of film that would play in the background of some party and there would still be people watching it.

If you haven’t seen this yet, shame on you! Get to your nearest DVD/Blu-ray rental place (or vending machine) and get a copy, NOW. Not only have you been missing out on a most awesome movie, you’re also missing the best theme song for any movie this year.

Big Hero Six

by Consulting Geek Dian Marissa

Animated films deserve more love than they get! Many people dismiss them as mere “cartoons”, but Big Hero 6 is hands down one of my favourite movies for 2014.
It’s the story of child prodigy Hiro Hamada, who develops a bond with the robot Baymax, built by his brother Tadashi. One thing leads to another and eventually, Hiro teams up with a group of friends to form a band of super-smart and tech-savvy heroes.
I could honestly gush about many things in the movie – the animation, the extremely lovable and huggable Baymax, fun and likeable characters and the futuristic city of San Fransokyo (yay for cultural diversity! Cherry blossom trees and the Golden Gate bridge, among others).
Big Hero 6
I also love that it touched on darker, more mature themes for a movie targeted at kids. We’re talking loss and dealing with grief. Also, puberty jokes. Gotta love how they pander to the grown-ups too.
Without revealing too much, I didn’t expect to tear up at the movie, but I did. Much like the best Pixar movies, Big Hero 6 serves up humour, action and heart all in one. Pixar’s next effort called Inside Out, to be released in Singapore on August 20, already looks good.
Also worth mentioning is the after-credits scene includes what is arguably the best Stan Lee cameo ever, NBD.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

by Hot Geek Jacqueline Wong

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
“Who says we’re rubbish?”

While many may argue that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (see our original review) isn’t exactly their choice of a must-see film of 2014, I beg to differ.

TMNT contains all the makings of a successful comic adaptation. Firstly, Michael Bay is a producer of the film. Which naturally means an excessive amount of extravagant explosions, and the intense use of visual effects and CGI. Watching things explode in a fancy exaggerated manner. Now, who wouldn’t want that?

Next, there’s the hot girl. Yes, THE hot girl. The girl who shot to FHM “Sexiest Woman in the World” fame after starring in the first installation of the Transformers series. Six years and two sons later, it’s nice to know that Megan Fox still has it.

"I still gots it, bitches." ©Paramount Pictures
“I still gots it, bitches.” ©Paramount Pictures

Then there’s that wonderful theme song that comes with the film. I’m sorry. But “Shell Shocked” is possibly my favourite song of the year. Have you heard it? It’s a wonderful mix of rap and hip-hop. I don’t know about you, but it made me want to put on that “bandanna on my face like a gangsta”.

I guess disgruntled fanbys might not be so happy that the turtles are less ninja and more big, ugly and brutish than they should be. Or that the movie glorified April more than the Turtles.

But come on, if you went into the movie with no expectations and an open mind, you’d be pretty pleased by the end that you just watched an action-packed film with a hot girl. And yes, you’d even stay to watch the credits because the theme song is awesome.

What were your best geek movies of 2014? Tell us, geeks!