Family, friendship, and the struggle to find oneself’s place in the world were the big themes on my list this year. Looking back the year might not have offered me the clear winner to top the list (I gave out no perfect score for any film this year), but it still offered a solid list of ten movies worth noting and celebrating. As always, I tried to see as much as possible but there are a few films, most notably Whiplash and Gone Girl, which eluded me. Others like Foxcatcher, Inherent Vice, and American Sniper won’t release in my home market in 2014 (and which I was unable to view and/or review before the publishing of this list) are also not included (although you might see a couple of them turn up in my mid-year list of Best Movies of 2015 So Far next year). Enough with what didn’t make the cut, here is my list of the Top Ten Movies of 2014.
Despite refusing to join the Justice League, Batman is forced to investigate when the various core members begin mysteriously disappearing beginning with Superman. Much like the LEGO Batman games LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Batman: Be-Leaguered features the same humor and LEGO-style action fans have come to love. And I was also pleased to discover the classic take on all members of the Justice League rather than the New 52 versions which apparently be making their first appearance in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
We’ve hit the halfway point of the year and, as has become the custom, that means it’s time to look back on the best movies of the year so far. This year’s list includes three animated films, two sequels, the return of a beloved television character, a latest (and in one case the last) from few big name directors, and a pair of small indie films topping the list of what has been a pretty damn good first-half of the year at the movies.
With a mix of stop-motion and CGI effects (some purposely cheesy enough to show you the string holding figures in frame) The LEGO Movie delivers an energetic and enjoyable story with a nice message for kids. A cynical person would note that the film is basically a 100-minute commercial to sell the various (mostly over-priced) specialized sets and figures that make up the LEGO franchise. However, the movie (for the most part) puts the story and characters first while also promoting the basic message of the building blocks that allow you to build anything you can imagine.
Beginning with an awkward opening scene involving a wizard (Morgan Freeman), the film’s villain Lord Business (Will Ferrell), and a prophecy about “The Special,” the movie gets off to a bit of a shaky start (although it does eventually backtrack to put the events into context). Jumping years in the future we’re introduced to our hero, unremarkable construction worker Emmet Brickowoski (Chris Pratt), who finds the mythical Piece of Resistance which can prevent Business’ plans of destruction.
DC Comics has released a press release that a new LEGO Batman game is in the works. The new game, entitled Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, will feature the Dark Knight, Robin, and other heroes of the DCU (including Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman) defending Gotham from the Joker and Lex Luthor. You can find the full press release after the jump.
As part of Bat-Week here’s the trailer for the upcoming LEGO Batman: The Video Game due out in September from Traveller’s Tales (who created both the LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Indiana Jones games). After beating a level as Batman or Robin (and Nightwing!) you will unlock the ability to play the same level as the villain.