Not sure how much of an introduction I need for this. Not much. Everyone’s doing it. Even so, I have no desire to drag this out and milk it for more posts.
The top five stories that I experienced in 2014 (because some of them weren’t just read or seen, they were events unto themselves, good and bad). And the worst five.
Part of me wants to do a MEH list. You know the ones that aren’t quite good but are quite bad enough to hate. The kind you’re going to forget really in six months. But, as unmemorable stories are by definition, impossible to remember, I can’t recall any of them. I’ve already forgotten them. Is that worse than being HORRENDOUS? At least I remember Twilight.
This list is in no particular order. It’s a list, not a ranking.
Shall we begin? Oh, please, let’s…
The BEST Five
- The Magicians: Taken as a whole, I haven’t burned through a book series in a weekend like that in a while. It was, for all the faults I’ve lain on it, lot of fun to read. While I didn’t entirely agree with the ending, there’s definitely some fun to be had there.
- Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (movie): Enough has already been said about this movie. It’s got a 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and very nearly transcends it’s superhero origins. Though, not quite and not to it’s detriment.
- The Wicked + the Divine [Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie]: It’s beautiful, well written, meta-commentary on gods and pop culture. Sure, it’s a comic book, but since when have great ideas been limited to purely books? Plus, the visuals alone make this a must buy.
- The Raid 2: Yeah, I’m sorry. This is the best movie no one’s seen this year. It’s an Indonesian action movie with some of the best fight choreography and inventive shots I’ve seen in a while. The action is slick and the movie doesn’t skimp on emotion or style either. It’s rated R for a reason though, so expect brutality and blood.
- Avengers [Hickman, Original Sin arc, ch: 29-34]: Okay, his entire run is amazing. Despite what I’ve read on IGN or CBR, who think that it got bogged down. The concepts Hickman puts on display are mind bending and a bit surreal. Most people get a headache from causality and time travel. Hickman bends it to his will, with some pretty spectacular dialogue to boot. “Now we exist as a perfect idea. You understand such a thing? IDEOLOGY MADE ACTION.” How epic is that?
The WORST Five
- Godzilla (2014 movie): I don’t know what else to say about this other than I walked out of the theater and wanted my money back.
- Sixfold Short Stories (all of them): Why do people insist that “to be” verbs and telling are the best ways to show me a story?
- Prometheus (movie): Yeah, I know, this came out a few years ago but I only just saw it. Um… The main character goes through the last 3rd of the movie with severed stomach muscles, doesn’t die, bleed to death, and still manages athletic feats of super heroics. WTF…. just doesn’t seem to quite cover it.
- Marvel Comics: Original Sin event: This entire story is such a contrivance to move their characters into such unbelievable positions and Out of Character moments as to stretch already thin credibility. What moron in editorial allowed this putrid event to be conceived, let alone green lit and written? Hey, you know what was good? Avengers, where they basically ignored that this event happened.
- Marvel Comics: AXIS event: Hey, Marvel comics has two on this list. Speaking of poor writing, story decisions, and editorial interference of the worst kind to manufacture whatever it is they call it (because it’s not story, character development, or any semblance of good), this is the epitome of an event comic. I’d burn this if I actually owned it. Or better yet, ask for compensation wasting my time reading it.
Thoughts: No horrible books this year. That’s a little sad. Not that I enjoy horrendous books, but that means I didn’t get around to reading nearly as many as I wanted. On the other hand, maybe that also says something about how horrible I thought the worst 5 were. Two movies, two comics, and some short stories. But let’s not dwell on any more dwindling return for that shall not dwarf the achievements of the year.
What were some of your favorite stories this year? They don’t have to be books (mine obviously isn’t comprised of just books). Stores, well told and captivating (not always the same thing or interchangeable) should be recognized in all forms, not just novels.
See you all next year. I’m looking forward to it.