totally top five 2k14: movies

I didn’t really watch anything this year! This is a theme I am sure you will notice in the coming month of posts. I am hoping 2015 will be better, partly because I like to be able to talk about stuff, but mostly because I really miss stuff. Winter was long this year too, which meant that our trips to the nearest almost city — two hours away! where we have to travel! for a decent theater! — were fewer than the year previous. We did, however, get to watch one of this year’s faves in an actual huge, beautiful theater with reclining leather seats and an extremely enthusiastic crowd. Glorious.

5. X-Men: Days of Future Past | | AMAZON

I liked Days of Future Past just enough. Like, it was good and all. I did really enjoy it while I was watching it and I was glad I watched it once it was over, but it was pretty much forgettable otherwise and only ends up at number five on this list because I literally watched almost nothing else that was new to me.

My favorite X-Men movie is obviously X2 because I’m not a complete fool, so I was decidedly amped about seeing my babes back together, but we didn’t even really get enough of them for me to love it. I like the new cast for the most part — I think Nicholas Hoult has the charisma of a tree branch — but they just don’t seem fun at all. I didn’t like X-Men: First Class, like, at all, so I am not surprised I didn’t love this one more. X-Men stories need to be fun and need to lay hard into conversations about disability and racism1 and this didn’t do enough of either. Still a deece watch though.

4. Veronica Mars | | AMAZON

Veronica Mars is my favorite TV show of all time. I have watched the pilot the second most of any episode of TV ever.2 Crys and I backed it on Kickstarter the day it went live and long, drawn-out Internet arguments about wealth and art aside, I was really happy with what we got. It’s at number four because I loved it, but it’s also at number four because it’s not at all what I wanted for my favorite teen detective.

Veronica was dealt a shitty hand and she didn’t always manage it well, but she is intensely loyal and smart and awesome. The Veronica in the movie…? Eh. She left. She way left. And though I don’t blame her, I do think it doesn’t so much seem like her. But I’m not Rob Thomas, so I don’t get any say so. And that’s okay! Because what we got was pretty great anyway.

Really, just give me, like, an eight hour mini-series about Weevil. Or Wallace and Mac. Or everyone. Can I get another season? Please?

3. Big Hero 6 | | AMAZON

I went into Big Hero 6 with little to no expectations — which is generally the way to go in life, let’s be real — and it just blew me away. I thought it was visually bananas amazing with a great story and great, rich characters, and so much — like an amazing amount — heart.

I love Tadashi and Hiro’s relationship and I love Hiro’s very real pain and I, obviously, think Baymax is the sweetest, cutest, best, most awesome robot to ever cross my path. I love each of the secondary characters and I was glad to see so many female characters in roles (STEM!) that don’t usually go their way.

I really loved this one and I think it’s such a great antidote for a lot of what kids — and adults — are getting in media. These are normal kids, young men and women, who rise above, who experience real pain and real consequences, but who keep trying hard anyway. It was multicultural! It was fun! It was moving! It was so, so good.

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier | | AMAZON

I did not love the first Captain America movie. I liked it a lot, but I didn’t love it. I love love loved The Winter Soldier. I think it’s cleaner, less meandering, and since it isn’t an origin story, it has only the meat of the current narrative to carry. I like the way it interconnects to The Avengers and the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. I like what it did for Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff as characters and I loved Sam Wilson and the absolute agonizing pain of watching Bucky Barnes try to kill his best friend in the entire world.

I cried so much in this movie that it actually started to get weird. Like, I kind of started to worry about my own mental health. And I just yelled “BUUUUUUUUCKY” a lot afterward and then dry-sobbed and wrenched my hair from my skull in a plaintive manner.

A lot of people think the whole MCU thing is getting big and unwieldy and annoying and, sure, that’s valid enough. But I don’t care because I love these characters and I’m going to keep dragging myself to the theater to watch them suffer and succeed.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy | | AMAZON

Guardians of the Galaxy was by far the most fun I had in a theater this year. We got to see this one in that big, beautiful theater with a whole bunch of other excited people on opening night and it was so, so incredibly fun. Like everything I watch, I had some issues with it, but I really and truly loved it anyway. I loved every character and I liked that we got less backstory than most origin stories — Quill aside — and that they still felt like whole characters with real lives and a million stories to tell.

I loved the music, like everyone else, and I loved the emotional impact of those songs for Quill. I loved the villains and the visuals and the great big space opera of it. And I particularly loved turning around while I as weeping into my peanut butter M&Ms and seeing the row of teenage boys behind us openly weeping.

Any movie that can truly make me care about a RACCOON WITH A MACHINE GUN and a GIANT TREE deserves an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. Give Guardians the EGOT and give me the bluray already.

Honorable Mention

Previously: 2K12 | 2K13 | JAMZ

1: None of the movies thus far have done the latter enough. I mean, there’s so much potential! And it’s never carried through. To be fair, the comics also often fail at it though, so.

2: Parks and Recreation‘s “The Fight”