Today’s post is all about my favourite things where I can’t think up enough categories to make a full blog post for. It’ll include movie, video games and novels. I really am an all-round nerd, with maybe a few too many hobbies. So without further to do, here are my favourite things of the year.
Favourite Movie of the year
While I love movies, I don’t usually have much of a chance to watch them while they’re in theaters thanks to a bunch of late night shifts. This past year I saw a total of 4. The first of which was Frozen, and that doesn’t count because it originally released last year. That just leaves Captain America 2: Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy. I’ve seen others here and there that released this year, and there are others I’m sure I’ll eventually see, but for now let’s talk about my favourite.
Captain America 2: Winter Soldier
It was between this and Guardians of the Galaxy. Guardians is the more entertaining of the two, but both of Marvel’s movies this year are very refreshing compared to most of Marvel’s movies so far. Captain America 2 is easily the smartest of Marvel’s theatrical releases and actually does the original story justice while still being its own thing. Hydra infiltrating SHIELD is a genius move of storytelling, making the shadow organization the only truly memorable villain in Marvel Phase 2 so far. Despite Winter Soldier’s more serious tone, it’s a fun movie with a big climax and a number of memorable lines. Guardians of the Galaxy is also very good, with a character focused story and a lot of entertainment, but the underdeveloped main villain holds the movie back in quality.
Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Snowpiercer (officially released in 2013, but had a much wider release this year)
Worst movie I saw this year
This category goes for any movie I saw this year and not just for those that released in 2014, and oh boy did I see some bad ones. In case you didn’t know, I enjoy watching hilariously bad movies. I own Troll 2 on Blu-ray and a bunch of Uwe Bowl DVDs. The reason I don’t usually write blog posts about these movies is they tend to get very few views. But that doesn’t mean these crapfests don’t deserve special mention here. So the worst movie I watched this year is …
Before I read a single issue of Nancy A. Collin’s Vampirella reboot, I watched the TV Vampirella movie and oh boy is it hilariously bad. Vampirella’s known to wear skimpy outfits, but the movie version looks like a cheap Halloween costume. It’s especially funny watching her run after the villain for the so called climax; the actress is obviously struggling in those high heels boots and the shiny red bikini. Ignoring that, it’s just a bizarre experience that has virtually nothing to do with the comics, popular vampire lore or good storytelling. For example, in the Vampirella movie, vampires are from another planet, and somehow arriving on Earth magically gives them powers. It’s like Highlander 2 in that way, just not as offensive.
Vampire Academy, City of Bones
These movies based on Young Adult novels are bad for different reasons. Vampire Academy is a cluster of dry exposition, rushed storytelling and bad acting. I’m sure there’s a good story in there somewhere, and some of the lore is interesting, but the movie utterly fails to convey it in an interesting way. City of Bones on the other hand is hilarious in its plot hole-ridden story, bizarre camera work and a love story that rivals Twilight in its insanity.
Favourite video game
I’m a gamer. In fact it was video games that eventually led to my introduction to comics. This year’s video game releases weren’t nearly as good as last year’s, with many of the major releases either being updates on formerly released games, including Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, The Last of Us Remastered, GTA5 for PS4 and Xbox One, and of course the disastrous launch of Halo: Master Chief Collection. Sure, there were a few big releases here and there, most notably Dragon Age Inquisition (which I’ll get eventually), but most of these releases were disappointments, such as Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed Unity. Really, most of this year’s good releases belong to the Wii U, making me so glad I have one. Picking my favourite of them is actually difficult, so I’ll just award it to all of them.
Super Smash Bros 4, Mario Kart 8 and Bayonetta 2. I love all three of these games for different reasons. Super Smash 4 should be obvious – it’s quite possibly the greatest Smash Bros game to date (I own and have played all of them). Mario Kart 8 is easily the best Mario Kart game since the N64/GameCube versions, and the fact that the DLC is generously priced is certainly a bonus (Either $7 for each of the 8 track, 4 vehicles and 4 character packs, or $11 for both packs). Bayonetta 2 is a delightfully over the top action game that improves on the first in pretty much every way.
There are plenty more Wii U games released this year that I’m interested in but haven’t picked up yet, partly because I’m still working my way through Bayonetta 2 and GTA5.
The only Runner Up: Marvel Heroes 2015, which I very recently got into. For those of you who have fond memories of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Marvel Heroes is kind of like that and it’s free to play.
I didn’t do a post of this sort last year, but even if I did, I wouldn’t have read enough novels to make this award category worth it. This year on the other hand I actually surpassed my goal to read at least 1 novel every month I didn’t write one, and there’s a blog post for every single one of them.
Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels 4)
This fantasy series starring a magic wielding mercenary is just fun, and Magic Bleeds is the best of what I’ve read so far. Forgive me for being lazy, but I’ll just copy paste part of my review – The world behind this series is growing increasingly fascinating with each entry. Each plot has a neat twist on some sort of mythology. They’re all filled with exciting action scenes, culminating in epic climaxes. The writing is witty and often funny, helping to balance out the otherwise dark storytelling. Some of the lines in this particular book are laugh out loud funny.
Most hated book
Before the start of the year, I didn’t know I could make it through a book that just didn’t grab me. This year has been full of pleasant surprises on that front. I only really read two books that I didn’t enjoy so this award is between them, and it’s no contest which is the worse of the two.
Long story short, it’s a vampire book where nobody is ever shown drinking blood, and about two thirds of the way through, elves randomly show up with no prior mention whatsoever. The main character, Doreen, spends the third act too injured to do anything. She’s a dhampir (half human, half vampire), who suffers from blood loss due to an earlier injury and yet never even considers drinking blood. She also has a grating personality that often made her unlikeable, and while that can work in a good book, it doesn’t here. There’s also a romance that feels incredibly forced and goes nowhere by the end. There’s a lot that I didn’t like about this book and I wouldn’t recommend it.
Marvel’s Civil War Novelization. It’s not terrible by any means, but for those who don’t like Marvel’s Civil War, this book doesn’t make it any better. If anything, the end is a bit worse.
That’s it for my favourite things of the year. Tomorrow I’ll post about my favourite comics of the year.