Joey’s Favorite Movies of 2014

If you thought last year’s movie list was insane, BUCKLE UP! Thanks to Fantastic Fest (and trusting far too many websites), my movie list for 2014 currently sits at about 235; I’ve seen 207. That means there’s still a possibility of movies making this list, but enough is enough. I did my Top 26 of 136 (or whatever) last year; proportionally speaking, a Top 40 of 207 is about right. Also, whatever. (Note: it’s hard to write 3,500+ words and not use the same descriptions over and over. I apologize for how many times I say the word “dark.”)


40           God Help the Girl

Ugh I love this movie and I’m not sure how it’s #39. I can’t get any of this music out of my head – I’m going to listen to the soundtrack forever and ever – just like Frank, which barely missed this list. But this is a better movie, with more heart, and an easier one to recommend. Plus Emily Browning is adorable, and it has Gilly from Game of Thrones!


39           We Are the Best!

TWO MUSIC MOVIES IN A ROW TO KICK THINGS OFF! This movie’s on Netflix, and everyone should watch it and love it. What’s not to like about three girls in Scandinavia starting a punk band? NOTHING! Also – spoiler alert – there’s more catchy music in this. HATE SPORT. HATE SPORT. HATE-HATE-HATE-HATE-HATE SPORT.


38           The Skeleton Twins

While this movie isn’t a musical, its best scene is all about music. The highlight of the movie – and the trailer, if I remember right – is Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig lip-syncing and dancing to “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us.” But this movie is so much more than that one scene. It’s heartbreaking and lovely and just plain great. Plus, seeing Luke Wilson reminds me how much I love and miss “Enlightened.”


37           The Congress

This might be cheating. I’m not sure if this movie came out last year or this year. I think it came out last year, but the Drafthouse showed it this year, so whatever. I didn’t see it until this year; wanna fight about it? But this movie is super weird, and super great. Robin Wright is too old, so they scan her into a computer to make movies with her likeness. It’s twisted and great. Then, halfway through the movie, it becomes animated. Why? Why not!


36           Inherent Vice

At the end of the day, I could have published this list on January 1 and not felt bad for leaving this off. I really enjoyed this movie, the performances are great, and it’s very, very funny. But, at #36, it’s not breaking down the doors to reach the top of my list. I want to finish re-reading the book (which I’m enjoying far more the second time through) and then go see the movie again. Then, it may move. I’m cool with it here, though. MOTO PANNUKAKKU.


35           The Grand Budapest Hotel

I want to re-watch this movie, and doing so may bump it up the list. I think it’s Wes Anderson’s best movie since Fantastic Mr. Fox, and light years ahead of the mediocre Moonrise Kingdom. It’s also just plain pretty to watch. If Wes Anderson keeps making movies like this, I’ll keep seeing them. This one was firing on all cylinders.


34           The Book of Life

I only saw this movie because I had nothing to do one afternoon, but it blew me away. The story is wonderful, the animation is great, and the soundtrack is amazing. This might just be one of those situations where the movie just blew away my uber-low expectations, but I really enjoyed it. It was my second-favorite animated movie this year. (Maybe third, eventually. We’ll get to that. STAY TUNED!)


33           Only Lovers Left Alive

I’ve seen very few Jim Jarmusch movies (maybe only Ghost Dog?), but I guess I should start watching more, because I loved this movie. It’s slow and sleepy and moody and dark and brooding and not for everyone. I mean, nothing really happens in this movie – it’s just a couple of vampires, doing their vampire thing, hanging out and being in love. And it’s great.


32           Tokyo Tribe

I can’t accurately put into words how weird this movie is. I saw it at Fantastic Fest, and I don’t know when it’s coming out in the US. It’s about a bunch of Japanese gangs getting ready to battle each other over a turf war, except it’s also a rap musical. It’s the best. It’s so stylized and great and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It’s totally normal – and totally weird – at the exact same time.


31           Mood Indigo

Sometimes, Michel Gondry’s weirdness turns into stuff that’s just okay (Be Kind Rewind). Sometimes, it turns into something that’s absolutely wonderful (Eternal Sunshine). This is somewhere in between. It’s a pretty standard love story, but it takes place in the mind of Michel Gondry, so everything is weird just because it can be weird. It’s super trippy and strange and fun.


30           Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember a ton about this movie. I remember an ape riding a horse with machine guns in both hands, though, which means this movie is great. “Rise” was great, “Dawn” was even better. This movie is a “summer blockbuster,” but it’s a smart one. And it’s DARK! But yeah: that ape on a horse with guns. Great stuff.


29           Chef

Like The Book of Life, this movie may be on the list mostly because it so totally blew away the low expectations I’d laid out for it. I’ve seen a lot of weird hate thrown this movie’s way in the past month, and I don’t understand why. Whatever. All the food that’s cooked in this movie looks amazing – and is making me hungry thinking about it now. Also, I was super impressed that they got social media so right. So many movies do tech wrong, and Chef got it right. Points! (Plus, ScarJo and Olivia Wilde are in the movie, so, duh.)


28           Starry Eyes

This movie’s super dark and messed up and feels really David Lynchian. The underbelly and dark side of Hollywood and all that. Plus, the posters for this movie are super creepy and icky and great. This movie is so twisted and dark; I’m surprised it didn’t play at Fantastic Fest. (Maybe it did and I missed it? Or maybe in 2013?) Saying much more about this movie would give too much away, but it’s great. If you like dark, you’ll like this.


27           Fury

I don’t know what happened to David Ayer when he felt compelled to make the at-best-mediocre Sabotage earlier this year. End of Watch was amazing, then Sabotage was bad. But then Fury came out. And Fury was great! Every actor in this movie brings it. Anyone who thinks Shia LaBeouf can’t act needs to see this movie, then shut up. I was so looking forward to this movie, and it didn’t disappoint. I think it’s “better” than a lot of movies higher up on this list, but not as re-watchable. Definitely see it once, though.


26           X-Men: Days of Future Past

Like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I don’t remember a whole lot about this movie. I remember Evan Peters doing really cool things in slow-motion, and I remember a baseball stadium, and I remember lots of Very Important Events happening. But I also remember how good it was, and how it took what was great about First Class and made it even better. I also like how (spoiler) it erased X-Men III. That’s just funny. And weird. But mostly funny.


25           Whiplash

Unless you think watching a two-hour movie that’s all about jazz drumming sounds unbearable, you need to watch this movie. Miles Teller and JK Simmons are ON. POINT. in this. It’s just awesome (in the truest definition of the word, I think?) to watch them go at it. Everything else about this movie is set dressing, and doesn’t matter – it’s all about the two of them, that drum kit, and insanely fast jazz songs. “I’LL CUE YOU IN.”


24           Obvious Child

Jenny Slate is the cutest and I’m glad she finally got her starring role. This movie is so real and raw but also adorable and funny and great. I’m a little tired of seeing whats-her-face from Crystal Fairy and Girls in everything, but she works in this movie. Also, Gabe Liedman is great, because of course Jenny Slate was going to give him good stuff to work with and because of course he is.


23           Borgman

If The Guest and Dogtooth had a baby, that baby would be Borgman. European movies get real weird, man. This movie follows a guy who’s living in the woods – because why not? – who shows up at a ritzy house and starts causing trouble. Like a lot of the other movies on this list, it’s twisted and weird and there’s no real rhyme or reason for why things happen. But it’s creepy and funny and worth checking out. Also: the movie poster is great.


22           I Origins

More so than most of the other movies on this list, I Origins is a real conversation starter. It’s spiritual and reflective (maybe the wrong word?) in a way that some of Brit Marling’s other best movies are. I want to talk to and hang out with everyone who actively seeks out this movie. I don’t know if any of the science in this movie is real – it sure seems real – but it’s a smart movie at a time when we need more smart movies.


21           Big Bad Wolves

This was Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movie from 2013, and with good reason. It’s an awesome tale of revenge. But it’s also really funny at times, which is great, otherwise it’d be incredibly bleak and depressing. This movie has some stuff in common with Prisoners (from last year), but it’s not two-and-a-half hours long, and it doesn’t make you want to kill yourself when it’s over. It’s on Netflix, so it’s easy to find.


20           Neighbors



19           Godzilla

There’s one scene near the end where Godzilla finally unveils his full, true powers, and it’s the most awesome thing I’ve seen all year. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what it is. I don’t want to say more, because it would ruin that truly amazing moment. Also: You can safely ignore anyone who says Godzilla isn’t in the movie enough. Whatever. When he’s on screen, it matters. That’s what counts. The trailers for this movie set the bar ridiculously high, and this movie cleared that bar.


18           The Raid 2: Berendal

I think this movie is too long, and I don’t think it’s as good as the first one. That said, its action is amazing. That fight in the kitchen is one of the best things ever. I will watch unlimited movies in this franchise, even if each gets slightly worse than the predecessor; their quality is that high. Plus, there’s just not enough awesome action like this marketed in America; the fact that major theater chains like AMC picked this up is a great, great thing.


17           The Babadook

“If it’s in a word, or it’s in a look, you can’t get rid of The Babadook.” I can’t get a lot of this movie out of my head, and I haven’t seen it since mid-September. This is a great genre film, great pure horror, and great psychological horror. Also, that kid is the worst in the movie, which makes him the best. There’s just this sense of creepiness that you can’t shake after you watch this movie, and I love that. Also: BA-BA-BA-DOOOK, DOOOOOK, DOOOOOOOOK.


16           Captain America: The Winter Soldier

This movie kicked off The Summer of Scarlett, and that alone should merit it a place on this list. Also: it gave us Falcon. I think The Winter Soldier’s place on this list is sort of indicative of my feelings about what Marvel’s doing – they’re really going all out in tossing all their chips in the air, and seeing where they fall. I think this is one of Marvel’s best movies in a whole bunch of ways, and it set the bar really high for Age of Ultron and others to come.


15           Big Hero 6

What more do you need than this?


14           John Wick

I’m glad I didn’t watch the trailers for this movie before I saw it, because the trailers make this movie look dumb. Guess what? The movie’s not dumb! It’s really, really great. There’s crazy action in here – a whole lot of punching people with guns, and great gunplay, and more things that are gun-related – and everyone who loves action needs to see this. I’m glad Keanu is at the “I’m retired, leave me alone, you wouldn’t like me if I have to come out of retirement” stage of his career. Can we cast him instead of Liam Neeson in every action movie from here on out? Cool.


13           Goodnight Mommy

I have no idea when I’ll be able to see this again. This movie was the only secret screening at Fantastic Fest, which is a big reason why it’s so high on my list. There were rumors the secret screening would be a bunch of different movies, like Jupiter Ascending (<3) or Inherent Vice or Gone Girl. Instead, Tim League went on stage and said “I saw this movie at TIFF, and it was my favorite there, and I’m not going to tell you anything more.” And then the movie started. And it’s in German, and there’s not a lot of dialogue, and there’s no real title credit, and you just sort of sit there and watch and try to figure out what’s going on. And it’s insane, and twisted, and DARK, and terrifying. I’m so glad I saw this movie.


12           Nightcrawler

We’re in the heart of “I saw it at Fantastic Fest and loved it!” part of my list. I saw this at the U.S. premiere, and the writer/director was there, and everything about the night and the event and the movie were great. Jake Gyllenhaal is outstanding, and we should never forget how good he is. Even just thinking about this movie makes me want to re-watch Zodiac and End of Watch and Source Code. This movie is funny in the darkest ways imaginable, and Jake Gyllenhaal squeezes every ounce of ickyness from Lou Bloom. The fact that this is “only” #12 is bonkers. This movie is outstanding.


11           It Follows

I was so bummed to find out this isn’t hitting theaters until mid-May – but trust me: it’s worth the wait! We all fell in love with Maika Monroe in The Guest; now see a movie where she’s even better. If you want teenagers to stop having sex, show them this movie. (I mean, maybe. Who knows with #teens, amirite?) If you thought The Babadook was creepy, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. I mean, Jesus; this movie is terrifying. Also: the soundtrack was done by Disasterpeace, who did the soundtrack for Fez. It’s perfection.


10           Under the Skin

SUMMER OF SCARLETT! This is one of the weirdest movies I saw all year, and it’s supremely uncomfortable to watch. I don’t know what the end really means, but I don’t know that it matters. Watching this movie made me want to go and hunt down everything else Jonathan Glazer has ever done. There’s this level of innovation and uniqueness and craziness with this movie that I need more of in my life. It’s based on a book, which I haven’t read, but I’m sure it’s super weird, too.


9              Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer is kind of like The Raid – there’s this long setup, building toward this confrontation that you think there’s no way it can pay off, except it does – and then some. To say much more than that is to ruin this movie, and I don’t want to do that. Forget Captain America; if there’s only one Chris Evans movie you watch from 2014, make it this one. (Also, did you hear Japan is building an actual Snowpiercer train? Japan, you’re so crazy.) RUMBLE RUMBLE, RATTLE RATTLE, WE WILL NEVER DIE!


8              Guardians of the Galaxy

When I re-watched this movie a couple weeks ago, I was happy to find out that it’s just as charming and lovely as I first remembered. James Gunn has been making great movies for years; I hope people go back and watch stuff like Super and Slither, because they’re amazing, too. Guardians is wonderful from start to finish, top to bottom. Rocket is the best, and we all know about (and love) Dancing Groot. I loved The Avengers a whole lot, but this has more heart. I’m so happy with where Marvel’s at right now.


7              Interstellar

This is one of the most cinematic movies I’ve seen all year, and it’s truly wonderful. I want to watch this movie again and again, in a way I don’t feel about The Dark Knight Rises or Inception. The fact that it’s three hours long, though, means I probably won’t. If it wasn’t for Gravity, this would be hands-down the best space movie ever. Even with Gravity, it may be the best space movie ever. Also: I love TARS.


6              22 Jump Street

After I saw this movie in theaters, I think I put it at #1 on my list. I re-evaluated, and dropped it a bit. But then I watched it again recently, and it turns out I was right – this movie is just as funny as I first thought. Sure, you may be put off by how overly self-referential it is, or how much of a critique on cinema it is. But that doesn’t matter; this movie has funny in its bones. (That’s a thing people say, right?) It’s not just funny, though – it’s a fun, enjoyable action movie, and I liked it way more than that other movie Lord and Miller made this year.


5              Cheap Thrills

Cheap Thrills is messed up in ways nothing else on this list is. I’m really glad I didn’t see the (terrible) movie Would You Rather? before I saw this, because their premises are awfully similar. Cheap Thrills has substance, though, and actual character development, and is better in every single way. All four main characters are fascinating in their own ways. I couldn’t look away from the screen while this was on. Ugh, this movie is great. I haven’t heard many people talking about it, which is a shame. See this movie.


4              Birdman

Yes, it’s true that the trailers for this movie advertise a product vastly different from what the movie actually is. But it doesn’t matter. Birdman is still great, and it still lived up to the massive hype I built for it in my head. I don’t know what the ending means, exactly, but I know what I want it to mean, and that’s enough for me. Everything about this movie is so good. The score is so good. The performances are all so good. The cinematography is so good. The blocking is so good. It wasn’t the fun action-y romp the trailer made it look like it would be, but it turned out to be something even better than that.


3              Edge of Tomorrow

It’s a real shame this movie was such a box office flop, because it’s one of the best summer blockbusters I’ve ever seen. Its trailer was one of my favorites of the year, and I didn’t think there’d be any way that the final product would live up to its teasers. But it did, and it turned out it was even better. Haters gonna hate (hate hate hate hate), but Tom Cruise kills it in this movie, and Emily Blunt is even better. This movie is smart and awesome and exciting and great. (I will not call it Live. Die. Repeat., thankyouverymuch.)


2              Boyhood

I’m pretty sure no one will ever make another movie like Boyhood as long as cinema exists. And if they do, who cares? Richard Linklater did it first. This movie is so special in so many ways, and it deserves every accolade being heaped upon it. Yes, the movie is long, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s so real. It’d be interesting to know what people think about this movie if they don’t know its conceit (that Linklater filmed the same actors over a 12-year span), but I’m sure they’d wind up loving it, too. This is the best movie I saw all year, and maybe one of the best I’ve ever seen. I love seeing filmmakers do things that have never been done before, and Linklater absolutely did that with Boyhood.


1              The Guest

I loved You’re Next. My hype meter for The Guest was bonkers, and I didn’t think there was any way it would be able to live up to my standards. Guess what? IT DID. This is one of my 25 favorite movies of all-time, and I want to watch it over and over forever. I don’t know what my favorite part about this movie is. It might be the soundtrack, which is perfection. It might be how good Dan Stevens is. It might be how good Maika Monroe is. It might be how good everyone’s interactions with each other are. It might be how deeply funny it is. It might be the fact that we got free fireball shots (the drink, not the whiskey) when we saw it at Fantastic Fest. I loved this movie so much that I went back to see it the day after Fantastic Fest ended. Now that I have the Blu-ray, I can watch it forever, on repeat. ON. REPEAT.


0              The Interview

I don’t think it’s fair to put The Interview on my list. In fact, I have no idea where it’d fall, if I saw it in a completely neutral environment (probably in the #15-20 range). It’s at #0 because seeing it at the Drafthouse, on Christmas Day, with free American flags at every chair, Tim League in a red white & blue onesie, singing Lee Greenwood, with film crews around, and this overwhelming sense of patriotism, is a movie-going experience that may never be paralleled. The movie itself is very funny, but you probably know that by now. I don’t know why the internet is hating on it so bad, other than the possibility that people may be trying to compare it to the immense level of promotion and buildup it had around it, which will never, ever pan out. At the end of the day, one thing rings true: we now have “honeydicking” in our lexicon forever and ever.


There are still like 40 movies from last year that I want to see. I don’t know if any of them will make their way into my top 40, but… probably? If there are any Serious Movers And/Or Shakers, I will let you know. The Bat-signal will be in the air.


Here’s a look back at my most anticipated movies of 2014:

  1. Jupiter Ascending – womp
  2. Cheap Thrills – yay
  3. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – meh
  4. Mockingjay, Part 1 – meh
  5. Interstellar – yay
  6. The Raid 2: Berendal – yay
  7. Godzilla – yay
  8. Noah – gross
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy – yay
  10. X-Men: Days of Future Past – yay

I’d say this was a pretty good success rate. (Maybe?) Six of the ten made my list. I absolutely hated one (HELLO, NOAH) and was pretty indifferent to two others (Sin City, Mockingjay). Then, there’s Jupiter Ascending. Don’t worry, Wachowskis, I’ll wait.


Here are the movies I’m most looking forward to in 2015.

  1. Jupiter Ascending
  2. Hateful Eight, The
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  5. Mockingjay, Part 2
  6. Mad Max Fury Road
  7. Furious 7
  8. Tomorrowland
  9. Kingsman: The Secret Service
  10. Martian, The
  11. Inside Out
  12. Jurassic World
  13. Good Dinosaur
  14. That’s What I’m Talking About
  15. Sea of Trees
  16. Trainwreck
  17. Mission: Impossible 5
  18. Chappie
  19. Better You, A
  20. Get a Job

Yes. 2015 will be a great year for movies. CAN’T WAIT.

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Joey’s Favorite TV Shows of 2014

2014 was a great year for TV. I was going to start this thing off by saying there weren’t many shows I looked forward to watching week in and week out, and then I looked at my list, and I realized I’m a big dumb idiot. There were so many good shows – and so many good NEW shows – that it was stupid. We had an embarrassment of riches. Here are my favorites.


15       The Birthday Boys

Last year, Comedy Bang! Bang! was pretty high on my list. This year, CBB’s IFC partner-in-crime makes my countdown instead. The Birthday Boys is just such ridiculous fun. It’s (by far) the best sketch comedy show on TV today, and so full of joy. The last couple episodes weren’t as great as the first eight, but man this was a great season. You probably haven’t seen this show, so get on that. Season 1 is on Netflix. You’re welcome.


14       Fargo

This is one of the many shows on this list that “should be higher.” Even though it’s “only” #14 (and I know I’m using lots of “quotation marks” here), it’s my fourth-favorite “drama” (there they are again!) of the year. It was so good in so many ways; it’s sort of a shame that it came out in the same year as True Detective…. otherwise, its “tell a complete story in one season” schtick would have been even more stand-out-ish. (Let’s just agree to ignore the slowly degrading quality of American Horror Story, okay?)


13       Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

2014 was the year I gave up on The Daily Show. It was stale and boring and Jon Stewart was getting too old and crotchedy. (That’s the word, right? You know what I mean.) But, really, who needs nightly news reports when you can have weekly reports that are THIS GOOD?! Being on HBO means no sponsors, which means everyone is fair game. I never thought I’d be able to enjoy the news this much. #GoGetThoseGeckos


12       Nathan for You

I don’t think my brain can process the fact that Nathan for You is only #12 on my list. Whatever. It’s greatgreatgreat. I’m still mad that I didn’t put two and two together when I first heard of Dumb Starbucks. Even though that episode got more press than the rest of the season combined, it was far from the show’s best sketch. I will watch Nathan and a real estate agent sell ghost-free homes forever.


11       Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I love every single aspect of this show. There’s nothing I don’t love. It’s been funny since the first episode, which is super duper rare for a network comedy. Again, I don’t know how this is “only” #11. Come on, list! Get your act together! Don’t you know that Scully and Hitchcock demand that they be higher than #11? Sheesh.


10       Broad City

Comedy Central killed it this year. A lot of people list Broad City as their favorite show from 2014 – and it very well could be mine, too. It ended so long ago that so many other amazing shows have supplanted it in my short-term TV comedy memory. Even though I liked nine other shows more, “Eight F**king Thousand Dollars” is one of my favorite things ever. Ever ever.


9          Hannibal

Hannibal may be, probably is, the best show on television right now. But it’s also one of the toughest shows to watch week-to-week, because it’s so layered and dense and complex that you lose so much in the six days between episodes. Hannibal is the show I most want to re-watch on this list, and likely the first I will. I’m still amazed by the level of brutality and violence they’re able to show on NBC. Also: the show is gorgeous to look at, the acting is great, and the writers are supremely messed up.


8          New Girl

No show makes me laugh harder than New Girl. No show makes me pause my TiVo and rewind 8 seconds to hear a line of dialogue again because I’m laughing too hard more than New Girl. I think it’s pretty handily the funniest show on TV. Every character is wonderful. Nick is one of my all-time favorite TV characters. “The sky is too fickle! It’s the play-place for butterflies!”


7          The Leftovers

There’s this whole “ARE YOU A LEFTOVERS FAN OR A TRUE DETECTIVE FAN?” fight going on this year and I don’t like it. I love both. Deal with it. The Leftovers was an inherently fascinating show to watch and I don’t care what you say. Maybe it’s a problem that its best episodes (following the preacher around, following Nora around, seeing the days leading up to the “Sudden Departure”) take place outside the “main story,” or maybe it’s a testament to how good the writing is no matter when or where a story takes place. (Also, can we please just follow Aimee around for an entire hour, seeing her scribble “Mrs. Kevin Garvey” in a notebook over and over and over again?)


6          You’re the Worst

There’s something charming about how repulsive Jimmy and Gretchen are. (Also: there’s something beyond charming about how Lindsay says “Gretch.”) You’re the Worst is funny in ways unlike just about everything else on TV. It’s hard to describe, but it’s a show that could have easily been absolutely garbage, and instead became something I eagerly looked forward to every week. Also: I will watch Aya Cash (who I’d never seen before) in anything.


5          Playing House

I loved Best Friends Forever, but Playing House is on a whole other level. I will watch and love anything and everything that Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair do; they’re national treasures. But then you add in Keegan Michael-Key and Zach Woods and Lindsay Sloane (BIRD BONES!) and all of their Comedy Bang! Bang! alt-comedy buddies like Jason Mantzoukas and Bobby Moynihan and you have something beyond special. I didn’t think there was any way it’d get picked up for a second season – but it did! – so now you all have something to look forward to in April.


4          Silicon Valley

If you only learned one thing in 2014, I hope it was about optimal tip-to-tip efficiency. (And someone proved it!) This show is ridiculously funny – and ridiculously smart – and one of the most fun times you could have had with TV this year. I’ve loved Kumail and TJ Miller for years, and it was great to watch the rest of the world discover how funny they are. Then you add in Thomas Middleditch and Zach Woods (again!) and Josh Brenner (and also Martin Starr, but whatever), and you get this amazingly funny, cohesive, smart blob. Game of Thrones may be April’s big HBO debut, but I can’t wait for Silicon Valley to come back that same night.


3          Review

I’m so, so, so glad that Andy Daly is finally “known.” His Comedy Bang! Bang! characters (especially Dalton Wilcox) have made me laugh harder than just about anything else in the last few years. Review may have started a bit slow, but it escalated into madness and was so much fun to go back to every week. TV sites have heaped praises onto the episode, “Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes,” and rightfully so. Watching Forrest MacNeil’s life devolve into absolute disaster was an absolute joy to watch.


2          Kroll Show

First, let’s pour one out for the upcoming Season 3 of Kroll Show being its last. That said, this show is a-meez-ing. If I had to list my 10 favorite TV characters currently on the air, I think like five or six of them would be from Kroll Show. I don’t even know how to describe how much I love this show. Just about every character/show is flawless – and the timing to switch from one character to the next is even better. Trying to pick my favorite Kroll Show character is like a modern-day Sophie’s Choice; I think it’s George St. Geegland, but then I remember Eagle Wing, and then I remember Peter Paparazzo, and then I remember C-Czar… Kroll Show is an embarrassment of riches.


1          True Detective

There was no other show this year that I looked forward to watching more than True Detective. I don’t think another show was better this year, nor do I think one was more gripping or compelling to watch. Sure, the second half of the season wasn’t as good as the first, but MY GOD THAT FIRST HALF! I don’t know if Nic Pizzolatto can tell another story that lives up to that of the first season, but I don’t care. I will watch Matthew McConaughey wax poetic about… whatever… forever. I will watch that six-minute single take shot any time it’s on TV. Which, I guess, is any time and all the time, because time is a flat circle.

– – – – – – – – – – –

There were a few shows that made my list last year that didn’t this year. The Americans, just like Hannibal, was so dense and intricate that it was sort of hard to follow from week-to-week with such a long gap in between. I’d really like to re-watch that, BINGE STYLE. Justified‘s last season was one of my least favorite yet, but I’m SO EXCITED for its final season starting soon. The Walking Dead was… whatever. I’ve given up trying to figure out how much I like that show. My answer is: somewhat, or a lot, or not very much at all. You pick. Comedy Bang! Bang! was funny every single week, but I thought last year’s season was better (and the podcast was better than the show, too, but that’s not a surprise). I thought Orphan Black‘s second season was a real mess, but maybe it wasn’t? I love Tatiana so much, and this was The Year of Helena.

I haven’t seen Transparent or Bojack Horseman yet, so those could make my list.

Other shows that were close to my list but missed included Bob’s Burgers, Enlisted, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Mike Tyson Mysteries, Parks and Recreation, and Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories. I could have made a Top 20, but I thought a Top 15 was obnoxious enough.

Lastly, if we’re talking about the “Best TV” I saw all year (whatever that means), I think this is my list:

1    True Detective
2    The Leftovers
3    Hannibal
4    Rectify
5    Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
6    The Americans
7    Fargo
8    Louie

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The Movies That Disappointed Joey the Most in 2014

Last year, I wrote about the movies that I thought were the worst. This year, even though I watched way more movies from 2014 (at this point, 205) than I did in 2013 (131?), I hated fewer movies. #PROGRESS! (Also, thank you Melissa for encouraging me to give up on movies. It’s the best feeling.)

Because I didn’t hate as many movies this year as I did last year, I decided to go the disappointed route. I don’t think all 10 of these movies are bad movies (though I do think 7 of them are bad movies), but none of them lived up to what I wanted them to be. Sigh. Better luck next year, me!


10 Foxcatcher

This isn’t a bad movie. I don’t think. Maybe it is. I really don’t know. All I DO know is that it’s not at all the movie I thought it was going to be. Also: I laughed way more than the rest of the theater audience. Were we watching the same movie? Maybe. Maybe not. Finally: Anyone stunned by the end isn’t paying enough attention.

The Sacrament

9 The Sacrament

This is (probably) the best movie on this list. But considering how much I adore THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (and how much I really like THE INNKEEPERS), this just fell so short. I feel bad, because I love Ti West. But this movie didn’t do it for me.


8 A Million Ways to Die in the West

Here’s an idea: When marketing a comedy, try not to reveal EVERY joke in the trailers and promotional material. Guess what happened here? I really respect Seth MacFarlane, and I thought TED was way better than it had any right to be (or I expected it to be). But this movie is way too long, not nearly funny enough, and a chore in every way.


7 The Amazing Spider-Man 2

This movie is a disaster from start to finish — and it takes forever to get to that finish. It’s basically a slap in the face that says, “Hey, dummies! Come back for The Amazing Spider-Man 3! Because this movie is a 2 hour, 22 minute trailer for that movie.” Also, good job limiting the only good thing about this movie (chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone) to the absolute bare minimum. (Spoiler alert: At least Sony won’t get the chance to mess that up in the next one.)


6 Locke

You could argue that this is a good movie, and I don’t think you’d be wrong. It’s a “tour de force” from Tom Hardy, apparently, because the whole movie takes place in a car, where he’s making a bunch of phone calls. It sounds terrible, and it kind of is. It’s well made, I guess, and Tom Hardy’s interesting enough to command the screen. But it’s only 85 minutes long, and it feels waaaaaaaaaay longer than that.


5 The Monuments Men

I’m pretty sure the marketing campaign for this movie was more misleading than for any other movie in 2014. The trailers made this look like a light-hearted romp with all of your favorite comic actors, plus the handsome George Clooney! And then you go see this movie, and it’s slow and boring and depressing and not light at all. Womp.


4 Noah

The most offensive part about Noah is that it tricked me into paying to see it in IMAX 3D, instead of seeing it for free with MoviePass in 2D. Regardless of how you see this movie, though, it’s not good. It’s laughably dumb and not interesting and there’s no point to make it. I almost made the same mistake with Exodus, and then I decided, “Hey, I don’t need to see that movie.”


3 Tammy

I laughed a grand total of ONE time during Tammy — and it wasn’t even at a joke! There’s some song selection that’s so dated, yet used in a way where they’re totally unironically like “Hey this is a current song, right?!”, that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Every laugh that anyone gives this movie is wholly unjustified. It’s abysmal.


2 300: Rise of an Empire

I saw this movie, like, five months ago (WAIT THIS CAME OUT IN MARCH?!) and I have recollection what it’s about. Eva Green is naked a bunch, and there’s a lot of slow-motion stuff, and… battles? I don’t know. I have to say one thing about this movie: I laughed more at it than any other movie on this list. The problem is, that’s not what they were going for. Whoops!


1 Third Person

This movie was so bad that I blocked it from my mind completely. Here’s the tweet I sent about it while I was leaving the theater: “THIRD PERSON is an atrocious movie and insulting to the process of filmmaking.” Everything about this movie is so contrived and hacky and awful and terrible and pathetic and embarrassing. It’s disgraceful. Liam Neeson can do what he wants, I guess, but I don’t know what Olivia Wilde or Mila Kunis or Adrien Brody or ANYONE saw in this movie. Also, spoiler alert: EVERYONE EXCEPT LIAM NEESON IN THIS MOVIE IS MADE UP. FOR REAL. DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. I HATE THIS MOVIE.

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Joey’s 10 Favorite Movie Trailers From 2014

I saw a whole ton of movies this year. Even more than last year. I’ll save that obscene number for my favorite movies post.

I was going to post this on Facebook, but apparently Facebook Notes don’t let you embed videos. So, yeah. About that.

But seeing a ton of movies meant I saw about 9x as many trailers. (Thanks, AMC!) Luckily, the Drafthouse shows a ton of great trailers, especially for showings of older movies. But I still saw a lot of trailers for new movies. Here are my favorites.

10 God Help the Girl

I can’t stop listening to this soundtrack. This trailer is infectious. Emily Browning is adorable. Go see this movie.

9 Obvious Child

This trailer is so dark, and so funny, and so perfectly captures the tone of Obvious Child. Also, the music is great.

8 Entourage

It’s ridiculous that this is on my list. The movie will probably be beyond stupid. But I saw this trailer before I saw THE INTERVIEW, and I had no idea what it was, and I laughed out loud when it said “From the Executive Producer of Medellin and Aquaman.” This trailer is so good that it makes me want to watch Entourage again. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE.

7 Godzilla

This trailer is stupidly good. The slow burn is just as effective here as it is in the movie itself. It’s gorgeous and awesome.

6 Mad Max: Fury Road

I don’t even know how to wrap my head around what’s going on here. This would be, could be, maybe should be higher, but I can’t even process its content.

5 Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Did it help that I watched this 13 times in an hour and a half in a theater? Yes, it did. But also: I didn’t think I’d care about the new Star Wars movie, and I legitimately got chills at a couple points in this trailer. It’s wonderfully well done.

4 Birdman

I think this trailer probably gives people the wrong idea about what Birdman is, but that’s okay. I love the movie, and I love this trailer. I saw this more times than I can count in theaters, and still loved it every single time.

3 Nightcrawler

The first trailer for this movie is waaaaaaaay spoiler-heavy. This red band trailer is pretty spoilery, too, but not as bad. And it’s so funny. Watch this movie, then watch this trailer, and bask in its glory.

2 Edge of Tomorrow

I’m so sad no one went to see this movie. (It’s VERY high on my year-end list.) I love every part of this trailer, but I think my favorite part is the music. It’s hauntingly beautiful. The trailer is also cut perfectly. Ah, everything about this is great.

1 Inherent Vice

Since this trailer came out, I’ve wanted to see it before every movie I saw in theaters. It’s SO funny. I still haven’t seen the movie (it’s not just in time for Christmas, you rascally narrator), but I will forever love this trailer. MOTO PANACAKU.

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Episode 60: The LeBron Effect 4 Starters

LeBron James

Sports 4 Starters is back from its All-Star break to talk about… the All-Star game! Well, sort of. John and Joey pay some RE2PECT to Derek Jeter and guess what will happen in the game. (Turns out, they were pretty much right!) Then there’s talk about the World Cup, and John’s relief over having certain teams not come out on top. Also, the Emmy nominations are discussed, along with a moment of silence for Tatiana Maslany’s snub. Then, Eric pops in and the guys talk about LeBron, Manziel and all things Cleveland. Listen and subscribe!

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John’s Guilty Displeasures

The following is a list of my guilty displeasures. These are either things that I don’t like and don’t like to admit I don’t like, or I don’t like and don’t like to talk about not liking because I can’t be bothered to have the argument. Enjoy!

-Kevin Smith: I hate Kevin Smith. I hate all his movies. Even “Clerks”. Especially “Clerks”. Fuck “Clerks”.

-Tom Waits: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

-“The Princess Bride”: I like “The Princess Bride” fine. I liked it a lot when I was little. I enjoyed watching it once in college. But let’s get over this movie. It’s not THAT good.

-Bill Murray: Bill Murray is cool. But Bill Murray is hardly worthy of the cult-like following he has somehow achieved. He’s not that cool. Nobody is. And it makes everything cool and great about him end up being kind of grating and annoying. Speaking of which, everything I just said about Bill Murray I would also say about…

-Radiohead: Except “The Bends” through “Kid A”, which are unassailably amazing. Everything else is just whatever. It’s good. It’s fine. I just don’t care.

-American Football: It’s fun to watch. But the whole culture of it is dumb. And it’s hard to take a sport seriously when its constantly portrayed as the manliest man thing that ever manned when in fact all it is is rugby with protective armor so that nobody gets hurt, which they do all the time anyway.

-The Talking Heads: Don’t care.

-“Orange is the New Black”

-“Community”: I like “Community”, but it’s, like, exhausting. I feel like if I was gonna watch that show, I’d have to compensate by not watching like 5 other shows, and I just don’t care that much. Plus it keeps getting cancelled.

The cast of Alpha Bubblegum Metal Time Pronto: Let’s Rock N Roll!

-Anime: I don’t get it. Ever. What’s the subtext? What’s going on? And the voice dubbing is weird and creepy, and the animation is all choppy and stuff. Pass.

-“The Dark Knight”

-Tim Burton: I guess this doesn’t count anymore, since the rest of the world has caught up with me, but I was on this train circa “Mars Attacks”. Early adopter.

-Death Cab for Cutie: Ugh. Shut up, Death Cab for Cutie.

-Art museums

-“Dumb and Dumber”: I actually don’t feel bad about this. “Dumb and Dumber” is a terrible, unfunny movie and you should all feel bad for being excited about the sequel.

-Post- “Pulp Fiction” Quentin Tarantino/Post-“Life Aquatic” Wes Anderson Movies: At some point, I stopped enjoying watching the same movie over and over and over.

-Counting Crows: Almost managed to single-handedly ruin the 90s. Didn’t. Barely.

-Beyoncé: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

-“It’s A Wonderful Life”: It’s an overrated, poorly-paced, cynically sentimental, cloying movie that was right to be universally panned when it came out. Because it’s terrible.

And now it’s out there!

Love and hugs!


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Episode 59: John Brookses 4 Starters

John Brooks

Sports 4 Starters goes literary once again with an interview of Jeff Polman, author of Ball Nuts (now available on Amazon!). Listen to find out how Strat-O-Matic baseball became a fictionalized literary sensation! Also, John and Joey talk about lots of things that are ending, like the NBA and the NHL and Game of Thrones. You know, everything you love! Is there more? Probably! Listen and find out, then subscribe on iTunes!

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