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 (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.
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 Cinemaniac Diana Othman
If I had to describe Interstellar (see our original review) in 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.
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
The Lego Movie
by Commando Geek Wong Jun Heng
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 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
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
by Hot Geek Jacqueline Wong
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.
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!