Best of 2014: Movies

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

This year’s nominations are…

Best Comic Book Film

  • Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past

Results here.

Best Straight-to-Video Movie

  • Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham
  • Justice League: War
  • Mudbloods
  • Son of Batman

Results here.

Film of the Year

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Interstellar
  • Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
  • LEGO Movie

Results here.

Best Drama of the Year

  • Birdman
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • Fury
  • Noah
  • The Normal Heart

Results here.

Best Horror/Thriller of the Year

  • Gone Girl
  • Horns
  • Nightcrawler
  • The Purge: Anarchy
  • Under the Skin

Results here.

Best Comedy of the Year

  • 22 Jump Street
  • A Million Ways to Die in the West
  • Knights of Badassdom
  • Neighbors
  • Sex Tape

Results here.

Best Sci-Fi/Action of the Year

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Godzilla
  • Interstellar
  • Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction

Results here.

Best Family Flick

  • Big Hero 6
  • Book of Life
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • LEGO Movie
  • Maleficent

Results here.

Best Independent Film

  • Chef
  • Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Hector and the Search for Happiness
  • Snowpiercer
  • Wish I Was Here

Results here.

Onto: Best of 2014 – Television

Best of 2014: Movies – Best Independent Film

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Independent Film

  • Chef
  • Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Hector and the Search for Happiness
  • Snowpiercer
  • Wish I Was Here

WINNER – Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson graced us with his genius this year, bringing audiences The Grand Budapest Hotel.  A simple story about a hotel manager and a faithful lobby boy, this film warms the heart and makes you laugh throughout.  All the quintessential Wes Anderson elements are present – the unique cinematography, the clever dialogue and narration, Bill f***ing Murray – it’s all there.  What impressed me most about this film is how star-packed the cast is.  Along with BFM we get Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and others.  It seems that with each passing Wes Anderson film more stars (and fans) want a piece of these great films.  If you’re unfamiliar with Wes or his work The Grand Budapest Hotel is a great starting point.  If you’re not smiling by the time credits role, then you may want to see your doctor about that. – Taylor

Second Place – Chef

Chef Best of 2014 Movies Independent Runner Up

Being your own man is a hard road to take. Head Chef Carl Casper, played by Jon Favreau, is being choked creatively by restaurant owner Riva (Dustin Hoffman, who gives Casper the ultimatum of leaving or doing things by the owner’s book. I can’t praise enough how inspiring this movie was, or how hungry it made me. Traveling the country with family, doing what you love and making money doing it can be more than just a dream. I also love how social media is portrayed as a useful tool for small businesses. And if this film had an actual soundtrack, I would have bought it; for now, I will settle for the New Orleans marching band rendition of “Sexual Healing.” Chef reminds us that the easiest way to touch people and make them feel a connection is through food. – Sherif

Third Place – Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer Best of 2014 Independent Film Runner Up

I saw Snowpiercer. I was pretty well blown away by it. It starts off almost like a comet; very fast paced and filled with bizarre visuals. The action started off in an almost gonzo Middle Earth kind of way in which the sense of danger is muted being instead traded for a sense of adventure and exploration. Then the turn comes when they confront a hundred angry leathered men wielding axes in the confined dimensions of a box car as it passes through the dark of a train tunnel. At that moment the movie becomes brutal and brutal again as the surroundings get more and more bizarre, until the moment the movie is overcome with the bizarre and, literally, goes off the rails. – JH (an exerpt from his full analysis, which can be found here)

RUNNER UP – Wish I Was Here

WISH I WAS HERE

Who has time to watch movies anymore? There’s so much to do, so many errands to run and meetings to attend and money to make and – just shut up. Turn everything off. Remember a time when you enjoyed your life, were passionate about something and dared to dream big. Being poor doesn’t hold a candle to running out of reasons to loving life. I can’t explain how much this movie means to me. It made me look at my career, my wife, and my family in ways that I have been neglecting to for years. Couple that with an insightful soundtrack and Zach Braff’s X-Factor, and you have yourself the most meaningful films to hit the theaters since The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Hector and the Search for Happiness

Hector and the Search for Happiness Best of 2014 Independent Film Runner Up

This little indie film is based off a short book of the same name written by Francois Lelord and the film itself had a very limited release here in the U.S. despite the book being popular. The film itself stars an absolutely amazing cast with Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead) as Hector, Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Jack Reacher) as his loving but frustrated girlfriend; it also stars Christopher Plummer, and Jean Reno in memorable cameo/supporting roles. The film itself is about a psychiatrist who discovers he is unhappy and cannot help his patients and because of this he sets out on a worldwide trip to discover what makes people happy in every aspect around the world. Hector and… was an eye opener for me at a time in my life where I was really struggling with finding happiness myself and the reason this film was my favorite of the year is it gave me a push to work harder at the things I love, to love the things I love more, and be more passionate about the things that matter. I left feeling uplifted and good about a lot of bad aspects of my life that came to be this past year. Now the film itself is not some magnificent eye opener for everyone and if you go in expecting it to change your life it wont be what you are looking for but it was absolutely perfect for me, my sense of humor and the writing and acting made everything equal out to be the one film of the year I have recommended everyone to see. – Jacob

 

Next Category: Best of 2014 Television Shows

Best of 2014: Movies – Best Family Flick

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Family Flick

  • Big Hero 6
  • Book of Life
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • LEGO Movie
  • Maleficent

WINNER – LEGO Movie

I am a huge LEGO buff so it makes sense this was one of my favorite movies of the year especially since I worked at The LEGO Store during a lot of the post release for the film and I can not tell you how many times I have heard “Everything is Awesome!” But this film held a very special place in my heart for films this year because of my love for LEGOs, but also because of my love of animation and all things pop culture which the film was filled with. The film itself was a perfect mix of family and adult humor. The ultimate message of that everyone has the potential to be special but it is how you use your talents and what you have that can make you special is a great message to kids. In addition, the hero of the movie was not Batman or the typical archetype, but your regular old construction worker; that is sure to make any normal child feel they have the talent to improve the world if they try. – Jacob

Second Place – How to Train Your Dragon 2

how-to-train-your-dragon-2-best-of-2014-family-film-runner-up

How to Train Your Dragon has become a very cherished movie to most. This year’s sequel only furthered this intoxication with all things Toothless. Build-A-Bear Toothless dolls sold out everywhere in anticipation for the film. As people swooped in to enjoy owning their very own pet dragon I even considered fighting a 6 year old girl at comic con for one when I couldn’t get my own. The second movie did the impossible, and gave us a reasonable back story for Hiccup’s absent mother, and again showcased what is possible when you have a loving companion dragon by your side. This movie made me laugh, cry, and hate my life for the single fact that I will never be able to live in this beautiful world of dragons. It’s too late to see this masterpiece in theaters, but I would strongly recommend making a point to watch this with any family and friends you have. – Sara

Third Place – Maleficent

maleficent-best-of-2014-family-film-runner-up.jpg

I knew I was going to automatically like this movie even before I saw it.  Does that make me biased?  Probably, but I don’t care.  Maleficent is hands down the baddest witch in town and being played by Angelina Jolie just made her perfect.  But beyond the reputation and the actress who played the part (above and beyond), Maleficent did a fantastic job at drawing the audience in and giving us a lot of feels.  Many times, a retelling can seem too far fetched, but the retelling of Maleficent’s story seemed plausible, if not probable.  And those wings?  Bad. Ass. – Adrian

RUNNER UP – Big Hero 6

big-hero-6-best-of-2014-family-film-runner-up.jpg

Big Hero Six: the ass-kicking, robot-building, heart-warming movie of the year. Right off the bat it was awesome, a genius child with no direction using his prodigal engineering skills to enter robot fights. Later, with the guidance of his older brother he decides to use his talents in a more practical way. This all leads to him meeting his brothers invention, the medical robot Betamax and that is where his adventure begins. I loved this movie because of that warm, cliche feeling of the hero being triumphant in the end after overcoming physical and emotional hardship. It also is very diverse when it comes to the engineering department of his school, all of his friends coming from different racial backgrounds. I also loved that it could inspire kids to enter STEM fields in college and change the world through science. This movie definitely gets my vote for one of the best movies of the year. – Jojo

RUNNER UP – The Book of Life

The Book of Life

With a better afterlife than Corpse Bride and better colors than a Sesame Street acid trip, The Book of Life is one of the best family movies in recent history. It’s a fun romp through the world of the dead. My favorite part is the fact that one of the producers is king of creepy goodness Guillermo Del Toro, unexpected and wonderful. The story is fun little love triangle between Manolo and Joaquin as they fight for the beautiful Maria. Channing Tatum brings a good humor to the story as Joaquin, a lady killer military man. In a wager between a fighting couple, of the spirit world variety, Manolo, Diego Luna, is sent to the Land of the Remembered after being bitten by a poisonous snake, he of course has to fight his way back to the realm of the living to win the heart of the lovely Maria, Zoe Saldana. Gather the whole family and enjoy this sugar skull full of fun. – Scott

Next Category: Best Independent Movie

Best of 2014: Movies – Best Comedy

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Comedy

  • 22 Jump Street
  • A Million Ways to Die in the West
  • Knights of Badassdom
  • Neighbors
  • Sex Tape

WINNER – 22 Jump Street

Let’s be honest.  No one goes to see a Jump Street movie because of the plot. But that doesn’t make the franchise any less hilarious.  This time, cop duo Schmidt and Jenko are working undercover as college students.  While the hijinks were the same, I found this movie funnier than its predecessor because the kids that were doing bad things were actually of age.  Ice Cube was hilarious in this movie, particularly when it came to his daughter.  There were many laugh-out-loud moments, making it our favorite comedy of the year. Plus Channing Tatum never hurts.  – Adrian

Second Place – Neighbors

neighbors-best-of-2014-comedy-film-runner-up.jpg

Although North Korea has made America look like pansies by canceling The Interview with Seth Rogan and James Franco. In 2014, we need to remember we had the next best thing, kinda. We had Neighbors with Seth Rogan, Zac Efron and Dave Franco. This movie was filled with all the classics the world expected out of a Rogan-Franco film; drugs, penises, and the most amazing  dildo sword fight scene known to cinematic history. This film was hilarious, and allowed me to see how non-stressful and unserious the world can be sometimes. Without a doubt, 2014 became a little more comical with Neighbors. – Evan

Third Place – Knights of Badassdom

knights-of-badassdom-best-of-2014-comedy-film-runner-up.jpg

For 90 minutes (ish), Knights of Badassdom made LARPing the coolest thing in the world – and not in that dickish sarcastic way. What really drew me in were the guest appearances by Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones) and Danny Pudi (Abed Nadir in Community), not to mention that Firefly’s Summer Glau is the main love interest. This movie does have a bit of horror mixed in, but it’s much more Tucker & Dave Vs. Evil than Cabin in the Woods. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – A Million Ways to Die in the West

A-Million-Ways-To-Die-In-The-West-best-of-2014-comedy-film-runner-up.jpg

Don’t get me wrong, A Million Ways was not a great movie. It was barely a good movie. However, it was a Seth McFarlane movie, and that much it lived up to. This cast of relatively big names leads a fun adventure with the typical Seth McFarlane-esque humor. There are guest appearances, mustache dances (pictured above) and a lot of innuendo – thank you Jesus for Sarah Silverman. I especially enjoyed the commentary on how primitive a time the Wild West days actually were. People died, a lot. Fun fact: Liam Neeson, who plays the bad guy in the movie, insisted that he keep his Irish accent, only to pay homage to McFarlane’s joke on Family Guy of playing a cowboy with an Irish accent. It’s no coincidence that Seth McFarlane gets to cast a bunch of great actors; these guys love him! – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Sex Tape

sex-tape-best-of-2014-comedy-film-runner-up.jpg

One thing is for certain: nobody understands the Cloud. It’s almost like those hackers got their idea from this movie, because damn, how could that timing be any more awkward, right? Aynway, this movie revolves around an aging, but still somehow kind of hot Cameron Diaz and the sex tape she made with Jason Segel. There are tons of penis jokes – I know those are all the rage now – but the funnier part to me are the ones that make fun of how little this generation understands about the technology we use every day; isn’t that right, JLaw? You’re not gonna see anything spectacular here, but Jason Segel fans will still love his comedy. – Sherif

Next Category: Best Sci-Fi/Action Movie

Best of 2014: Movies – Best Horror/Thriller

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Horror/Thriller Movie

  • Gone Girl
  • Horns
  • Nightcrawler
  • The Purge: Anarchy
  • Under the Skin

WINNER – Horns

Horns is a seemingly unlikely pick for the best horror movie of 2014, but it was able to steal the win by being by far the most dynamic movie in its category this year. It’s not traditionally scary, or even gory – and it certainly doesn’t fit the whole torture porn thing that is so damn popular these days, but it’s thrilling and plays on the human fears of losing someone you love and the monster that you can turn into through the need for vengeance. In my opinion it at least had a beautiful and happy ending. What this movie really had going for it (other than Daniel Radcliffe *swoon*) is that it told a great love story, that just so happened to include demons, devils, and sociopaths. In a year of horror/thrillers that relied on blood and torture Horns had layers, and emotion and someone who actually knows how to write (Joe Hill) at its helm. We’d all be lucky if a new trend in horror started because of the impact Horns made. – Keriann

Second Place – Nightcrawler

nightcrawler-best-of-2014-horror-thriller-film-runner-up.jpg

Louis Bloom gets by stealing and scavenging until he picks up a video camera and a police scanner.  Bloom, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, is dark and intense, which is what Gyllenhaal does best. He starts to chase terrible accidents and crimes happening while the rest of us sleep. He pushes the boundaries every night to get bigger and better shots. Renee Ruso is a local news producer trying to raise her station’s rating so she employees Gyllenhaal. Ruso is fantastic and equally as intense as Gyllenhaal, which is hard to do. They’re both characters I wouldn’t want to be left in a room alone with. I don’t like using clichés like “heart pounding,” but if the shoe fits… Nightcrawler isn’t a mile a minute thrill ride; however, it is an exceptional movie that deserves everyone’s consideration. – Scott

Third Place – The Purge: Anarchy

the-purge-anarchy-best-of-2014-horror-thriller-film-runner-up.jpg

If you’re looking to really scare the crap out of people, prey on the fears that could most realistically happen. For this, The Purge: Anarchy has gripped onto our feeble minds and burrowed itself there for years to come. In this materialistic, reality-consumed America, the nation sacrifices one night each year to make all crime completely legal. You know, to get it out of our system. Nobody is safe, and nobody will help you. That is 100x scarier to me than an evil doll or serial killers wearing fox masks (“What Does the Fox Say?”). Creating a lot of buzz with such a low budget – Anarchy cleared over ten times its $9 million budget – you can be sure to see new installments of this every year. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Gone Girl

gone-girl-best-of-2014-horror-thriller-film-runner-up.jpg

This story doesn’t have a happy ending , that’s why I like this movie. Amy wants things to go back to the way they were. Nick, played by Ben Affleck, is scared to death of his wife, Amy, knowing she is over the top manipulative and just got away with murder. The story on paper is a mess but this movie is able to spin it all together so well into a cohesive story. There are a few plot holes but nothing too glaring. It’s a clever game of manipulation by almost every character in the movie .The underlying message I got from this movie was, don’t believe any narrative the media tries to shove down your throat, you don’t have a clue as to what’s really going on. – Shane

RUNNER UP – Under the Skin

movies-scarlett-johansson-under-the-skin

I don’t think I like the movie. Sometimes when I think about it, I do. Maybe this is the brilliance of the film. It had a friend and I talking about it for hours afterward. I’m not a big fan of the ScarJo at all, but this role was perfect for her because she just has to do her equivalent of a Keanu Reeves Matrix stare. I would have liked more explanation and understanding what is going on with the character and why she is luring men back to this strange house in Ireland. At the same time the film treats you as if you’re part of her story and should already know what her story is. It’s an extreme version of the show over tell. I need to watch it a few more times to really explore the narrative. The most interesting and disturbing part of the film is the ending reveal. The alien inside the human suit is some cinematography genius. And if a film makes me watch it just to understand how I feel about it, then it’s done something right. – Jené

Next Category: Best Comedy

Best of 2014: Movies – Best Drama of the Year

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Drama of the Year

  • Birdman
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • Fury
  • Noah
  • The Normal Heart

WINNER – Birdman

Everyone loves Michael Keaton, or at least they should, and Birdman was an amazing way for the world to be reminded of that. It was sweet and sad, and Keaton’s portrayal of an actor known for playing a super hero who’s fallen off the map is not only bitingly reminiscent of the real man but it hits a soft spot for all nerds who once loved an actor just for playing their favorite character. The movie is dynamic and has a great cast of characters – some you love, some you hate, and all that confuse you at varying times. Birdman tells a great story that makes you really sad at times, but it’s edgy and funny and honestly that’s how I think all dramas should be. And I don’t care what anyone says, Keaton was the best Batman, even if he sounded like Beetleguese at times. – Keriann

Second Place – The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars

Like I said in my review of The Fault in Our Stars back before the film came out, this story holds a very special place in my heart. Based on the bestselling novel by John Green, I have seen Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus’ (Ansel Elgort) journey with cancer and love five times, three of those times on the big screen. Every single viewing I end up sobbing, not only because I am grieving for the characters I love, but because this story has come so far. The online community of Nerdfighters feel extremely connected to this story, having been infatuated with it since before it was even released. As the little guys, seeing TFIOS hit the big screen feels like a giant slap in the face to anyone whoever told us we were weird for being the outcasts. TFIOS was extremely successful this Summer, beating out Tom Cruise’s Edge of Tomorrow in the box offices with $ 304 million worldwide and being the number one film during its opening weekend. – Charlotte

Third Place – Fury

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A group of elite tank cavalry hold off the German war machine so the rest of the allied forces can push into Europe. Fury is like the last scene of Saving Private Ryan but with more tanks and for the entire film. It’s exciting it’s dramatic and it’s extremely well put together. The cast is one of the strongest put together for most films. Brad “Wardaddy” Pitt leads the brilliant cast with a stellar performance. The rest of the tank crew is made up by Shia LeBeouf, who despite being a little nutty in real life is excellent here, Logan Lerman, the new to the crew young kid whom I’d like to see more of, Michael Pena, as good as ever, and Jon “Bring back Shane” Bernthal. Drama, action, and an outstanding cast, there aren’t more reasons necessary to see and love Fury. – Scott

RUNNER UP – Noah

Russell Crowe as Noah

I think I’m maybe one of five or seven people on the planet that liked this movie. The problem is too many people saw it and thought, “Rock monsters? I don’t remember any rock monsters in the story of Noah,” and hated it. However, this is an Aronofsky joint, and he likes his weird. Additionally, he might have invented the style of the rock monsters (or nephilim as they’re called), but almost all his extra content was culled from extra-biblical sources, most coming from the Book of Enoch. I can’t say enough about Aronofsky and his cosmic vision of the world. – JH

RUNNER UP – The Normal Heart

the-normal-heart-best-of-2014-drama-film-runner-up.jpg

Everyone has AIDS. AIDS, AIDS, AIDS. Also known, apparently, as gay cancer. In all seriousness, though, this movie will destroy you emotionally. Mark Ruffalo and Jim Parsons star as part of a group of gay men in New York City fighting desperately both for recognition as a people coming under a deadly new virus, and to fight their stigma as second-class citizens. There’s really nothing happy about this movie; it’s meant to alarm you. The early 90’s were a time of progression, but there was a whole other civil rights movement going on that never got any attention. – Sherif

Next Category: Best Horror/Thriller

Best of 2014: Movies – Best Straight-to-Video Movie

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Straight to Home Video Movie

  • Justice League: War
  • Son of Batman
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham
  • Mudbloods
  • Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher

WINNER – Justice League: War

Everybody loves a good origin story, am I right? Well, you’re in luck, because Justice League: War is the first movie based in the New 52 continuity. Originally named after the first volume story arc, Origin, in the Justice League comics, War follows the core Leaguers in their first encounter with one another. This was a very interesting story to read the first time, as the characters that have decades of lineage are now relatively complete strangers. So, while you’re getting a brand new story, you’re also getting the first story in the New 52 canon. There are enough variations to the book to keep new and old fans satisfied, and it gives relatively equal play time to each character, an alluring selling point for those who may feel Batmanned out for the year (I call those people “not my friends”). – Sherif

Second Place – Son of Batman

son of batman straight to dvd best of 2014

There’s nothing more Batman than a swordfight with Ra’s al Ghul, word to Neal Adams. Grant Morrison has done a great service for the Batman lore by introducing (and then maliciously murdering last February) Damian Wayne, the genetically-bred superbaby of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. Half master detective, half socio-pathic assassin, all cuddles, Damian bridges Batman to the bad guys and makes for the worst one-night stand in comic book history. This iteration of Morrison’s Batman and Son works well for an animated adaptation, and Deathstroke was a fine addition to this hard-hitting film. What really makes the film memorable is the slobber-knocker between an onery Damian and Nightwing. – Sherif 

Third Place – Batman: Assault on Arkham

batman assault on arkham straight to dvd best of 2014

If you need any more evidence that Batmania has taken over this year, look no further than Batman: Assault on Arkham, the story ripped straight from the pages of the New52 Suicide Squad, now with Batman for added marketing! I must say, adding Batman to the story widened the scope and made it more interesting. The whole story plays out like an episode of 24, giving off a sense of urgency and suspense that I didn’t really experience with the other DC Animated films this year. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Mudbloods

mudbloods straight to dvd best of 2014

As a Quidditch player, I absolutely love this film. Watching the games that UCLA played during the Fifth Annual Quidditch World Cup had my heart racing the entire time. Not only is Mudbloods genuinely a great narrative about the little guy, it’s really informative and explains the game extremely well. I used to play for the Denver Dementors and I’m about to start coaching my own team, so having something to show new team members that really understands Quidditch and the culture behind it is extremely valuable to me. One moment of the film that really stuck with me, and was a major theme in the film, was when the coordinator of the World Cup talked about a time that he was sitting on the grass with a friend and two upperclassmen sneered at them. “I can’t wait for those freaks to play Quidditch again so we can laugh at them,” he remembers them saying. “Now, I used to hate that guy, but now I love him because whenever someone tells me that this is not possible, that we can’t play real life Quidditch… I just remember that douchebag’s face and I know that I’m never going to stop!” he said and then asked that people who had ever been made fun of for playing Quidditch to put their fist up in the air and scream the name of the game. Let’s just say my voice was hoarse after the movie. – Charlotte

RUNNER UP – Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher

avengers confidential straight to dvd best of 2014

Marvel doesn’t really dabble in the animated movies like DC does. Sure, there are the occasional Marvel Knights motion comic adaptations and various anime, but Avengers: Confidential was really the only true animated feature that left an impression on me. Here, Black Widow and Punisher team up to break a bunch of faces. At least, that is my synopsis. The animation is an American attempt at anime, falling somewhere between Afro Samurai and Rise of the Technovore. While the movies are confined to age-appropriate material, it’s nice to see two of Marvel’s deadliest cut loose in the animated world. – Sherif

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