2014 Review Plus My Favourite Things I Didn’t Write About

2014 was a great year for Movies and TV.  I got the chance to make a dent in my “To Read” pile, visited an exhibition or two, and I got to see Frankenstein NT Live Encore Screening at my local theatre.  Most importantly, I made a proper attempt to blog more regularly here!

Here’s a summary of my favourite posts from this past year, and some honourable mentions for other stuff that I have also enjoyed, but for whatever reason I didn’t actually write about!

My favourites from Existing Posts:

Only Lovers Left Alive
The Imitation Game
Frankenstein NT Live Encore Screening
Sherlock Holmes Exhibition at the Museum of London
For The Win by Cory Doctorow
The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss


Honourable Mentions:

Hannibal Seasons 1 and 2
This show is deliciously dark!  Mads Mikkelson is a brilliant Hannibal Lecter.  Hugh Dancy is a slightly different take on Will Graham where he has a more intuitive insight into the mind of a killer based on his introspective social anxiety or Asperger’s type disorder.  Supported excellently by Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas and a host of talented others.

Set before Hannibal is caught for being his own brand of serial killer, there are twists and turns aplenty in both the crime of the week, and the ongoing arc.  And if you’re a foodie, this show presents more than enough food-porn to whet your appetite.  Even when you know what they’re supposedly eating!

Both seasons 1 and 2 kept me enraptured, and I can’t wait for season 3.

Penny Dreadful Season 1
I was pleasantly surprised by this series.  Initially it sounded like the usual re-hash of old standard horror stories into a single show, which had the potential to devolve into a jumbled mess.  Actually, this show was well-staged, and the stories were cleverly intertwined.  Timothy Dalton and Eva Green brought an air of sophistication to some of the wilder moments.  And the fact that this show did not shy away from some pretty startling imagery and possession-induced bad language!  I’m eagerly anticipating the next season for more lovely tangled tales.

The Walking Dead Seasons 1 to 5
I’ve followed this show since it’s beginning, and although these later seasons seem to have slowed down a little, the main characters are still well worth watching.  Previous years have shown us that even the title characters are not guaranteed to get out of any situation alive.  The jeopardy started high and had remained so.  It’s not the zombie horde you have to worry about!

Breaking Bad Seasons 1 to 5
I am guilty, like many others I am sure, of mainlining this show from start to finish on Netflix.  I don’t think this has ever aired on UK television, and yet I know of many people who have sought it out after hearing about it through word of mouth, or from the good old internet!  If you haven’t heard of this show, you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years.  Just queue it up and watch it already!

Guardians of the Galaxy
One of the few movies actually worth seeing in 3D.  There are some directors who I think understand the medium of 3D more than others.  You can often tell whether a movie was designed to be in 3D from the start, and those where they decided to add in the 3D gimmick at the last minute, through the framing of many of the shots.  For 3D to actually add something to the experience of the movie you need to barely notice it’s being used at all, if you’re immersed in the environment then it’s working.  If you’re just waiting for something to pop out of the screen and poke you in the eye, it’s a waste of time!

This movie has a great story, has loads of hidden gems related to other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has characters you really care for, and is crammed with comedic moments.  Because it was created from a lesser-known comic book, it’s likely to be a new story for most of the viewers, so there’s no requirement for fore knowledge of any of the comics.

I generally don’t read comics; not because they’re not any good – clearly they are – but I read text really quickly and therefore skip through comics too fast.  You’re supposed to slow down and appreciate the artwork.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The main thing to say about this movie is how brilliant the performance is by Andy Serkis in the role of Caesar.  Motion capture has come a very long way, and you can barely tell that the apes are computer generated.

MARVEL’s Agents of SHIELD Seasons 1 and 2
Continuing and expanding on some of the plots and enemies from the MCU, Agents of SHIELD is a fairly light-hearted addition.  Focusing on the human perspective and policing a world where superheroes and villains are the norm.  Both stories of teamwork and stories of betrayal keep you guessing each week.

Sherlock Seasons 1 to 3
Sherlock has quickly become one of my favourite shows of all time.  The fact that you only get 3 episodes per season means that, for me, it always stays fresh and new.  Sherlock the series, not just the man, is super intelligent and I’ll be eagerly awaiting new cases every year (or two!).  I don’t mind that there’s a long wait between series, the anticipation and speculation is half the fun.  We know that the show is created by super-fans in Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, so as long as they’re all enjoying making the show, the outcome will always be great.

The 2015 special is currently in production, quite possibly as a one-off out of the timeline of the regular show.  This should be interesting!

Game of Thrones Seasons 1 to 4
Another show where the main cast of characters are in constant jeopardy.  The fight to claim the throne of the 7 kingdoms is a bloody one.  It’s epic in scale, violent, and sexy.  What’s not to like!