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 Sci-Fi/Action 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 Sci-Fi/Action Movie

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

WINNER – Interstellar

F’ING SPACE, MAAAAN! These were the words that left my mouth when somebody asked how I felt about the best space movie released in the past decade. Christopher Nolan, deemed all-time taker of my movie dollars put a lot of time, money and, most importantly, vetted research into this epic tale. He took my love for science, which has been all but corporatized at this point, and reverted it back into love of the unknown and reawakened a quest for knowledge I haven’t felt since watching Beakman and Bill Nye as a kid. F’ing space, man. – Sherif

Second Place – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes

There’s a stereotype for science fiction movies.  Flying cars, futuristic weapons, space travel, sexy space aliens, you know all the criteria.  Too often film makers (and fans) force us into thinking that a sci-fi flick needs elements that advance civilization and take us to new galaxies.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes breaks the sci-fi stereotype in most excellent fashion.  Instead of a flick taking place among the stars Dawn shows audiences how society has fared since the events in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and as you might expect there is no space travel, but rather society has regressed to lifestyle closer to that of the stone age.  And while humans suffer and struggle, the apes thrive!  They’ve learned to communicate with one another as well as humans, they’ve structured their civilization, made rules, and have even developed morals.  The chimps, gorillas, orangutans, and all other primates are on a rise synonymous with humanity’s ability to send humans to the moon.  The movie as a whole was very well done and captivating, but it’s most endearing quality is its unique perspective on the genre.  There’s something special about watching apes ride horses, wield firearms, protect human beings and build families.  Dawn was a unique sci-fi experience and it should definitely not be missed! – Taylor

Third Place – Godzilla

godzilla-attacks-golden-gate

Godzilla, the movie and the monster, really had the odds stacked against him (and it) when this reboot was announced. Most people found themselves asking why on Earth the monster was being reanimated yet again and why the hell they would want to see that. Freaking Matthew Broderick and Roland Emerich did their damnedest to destroy Godzilla’s good name in the 90’s, and they almost had him beat, until Gareth Edwards got his hands on the project and single-handedly saved the king of all monsters’ good name. Aaron Johnson (known mostly for the lead role in Kick-Ass) really stepped up as a tough yet sensitive soldier just trying to get home to his wife and son. Above all else, Godzilla once again proved that he was a force to be reckoned with. He looked like the good old monster we all know and love, and he came to the rescue and lived to tell the tale! The best aspect of Godzilla for me is that it was shot with so much suspense that it made monster movies scary again! It’s hard for any property to be remade or rebooted these days since most people instinctively hate them or claim that their mere existence is ruining their childhood, but Godzilla took a giant fire-breathing bite out of all the haters and for that, I love him. – Keriann

RUNNER UP – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 1, from left: Patina Miller, Liam Hemsworth, Mahershala Ali,

Taken out of District Twelve and plopped into the revolution happening in District Thirteen and the rest of Panem, something was missing in my chest after I saw this film. While there were mixed reviews of the third installment of The Hunger Games franchise, I absolutely loved it. Did the third book need to be split into two movies? Probably not. Like Sherif said in his review of the film, splitting the last book of a series into two or more films has only and probably will only ever work for Harry Potter (sorry, Hobbit.) Regardless, I was deeply effected by this film and the social commentary in it. From police brutality to economic inequality, the themes in this movie really hit home for a lot of audience members this year. I can’t wait for the Part II in 2015. – Charlotte

RUNNER UP – Transformers: Age of Extinction

transformers-age-of-extinction-best-of-2014-sci-fi-_-action-film-runner-up

One word: Dinobots. While the plot of these movies has always been a bit on the lazy side, the lack of Shia Lebouf makes this movie worth seeing for that alone. This is a Michael Bay film, so the customary explosions in lieu of plot are to be expected and in this case, it really worked out well. Optimus Prime is an even bigger badass when he is mad at the humans and Mark Wahlberg was pretty decent by himself. John Goodman plays the voice of one of the Autobots and is able to almost single-handedly carry a large portion of the later story with his awesomeness. – Robert

Next Category: Best Family Flick

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Organized Konfusion “Bring It On”

Song: “Bring It On”

Artist: Organized Konfusion

AlbumStress: The Extinction Agenda (1994)

Lyric: “Rippin shit up at prime time, I’m Optimus Prime-time material/Imperial wizard of vocabularic havoc, I eat MC’s like cereal!”

 

Character Reference/Meaning:

DTCers, ROLL OUT! After a bit of a hiatus that I was on for grad school, we’re back at it again, ready to bring you all another ridiculously nerdy lyric that’ll probably make you want to transform into a rapper AND a nerd. Wait, that doesn’t make sense, because in Prince Poetry’s case, they are the same thing, AND I’VE BEEN SAYING IT SINCE DAY ONE!

Organized Konfusion, the dynamic rap duo out of Queens combines the awesome power of Prince Poetry, and DTC hall of famer, Pharoahe Monch. You would think that Pharoahe’s multiple appearances on DTC mean that he’s due for another spotlight, but today the honor goes to his counter part, Prince Poetry! These two individuals have ON (Original Nerd) status, seeing that they’ve been pushing bars since 1987. Need proof? Look no further than their 1994 hit, “Bring It On.”

With Transformers: Age of Extinction currently in theaters, it seems only right that we pay homage to two leaders of their respective packs – Prince Poetry and Optimus Prime. Shall we check the resumés? Prince Poetry a.k.a Prince Po has been rapping since before I was born, and is the founder of Nasty Habits Entertainment. He has four solo albums and EP’s apiece, in addition to the three Organized Konfusion alums. Impressive stats from an underground rapper. Now onto Optimus Prime. Prime is the leader of the Autobots, originates from the planet of Cybertron, sword enemy of the Decepticons, has saved planet Earth several times, while headlining countless cartoon episodes, movies and comic books. If you ask me, they’re pretty much one in the same.

On this DTC track, Prince Po is, without a doubt, letting you know this. Po is at the top of his game, and all the others dragging behind him, either need to figure out how to keep up, or learn how to step off. What he is saying is that if the rap game was planet Earth, and all the other rappers in the world were Autobots, he is pretty much Optimus Prime in comparison. After hearing his verse on this track, it’s kind of hard to refute that statement. Don’t believe me? Check the play on words. “I’m Optimus Prime-time material.” He is Optimus Prime and Prime Time, the nickname of Leon Sandcastle (That joke is funny). This lyrical ability demonstrates a great transformation in itself. Often times, young black men growing up in disadvantaged neighborhoods are seen as useless, and unable to contribute to anything productive in society. Knowing that one in three black men eventually end up in prison, it’s hard to keep the faith. However, Transformers is given the same treatment. To the untrained eye, that hunk of junk truck that’s always sitting in that lot across the street is completely useless. It’s rusted, run down, and it only belongs in a scrapyard somewhere. What if I told you that piece of junk was a Transformer? Does your perspective change? All it takes is one fluid move, and all of the sudden, that uselessness turns into something extraordinary. See, these young black kids growing up trying to be rappers, or even rappers today may seem like pieces of junk to the outside world, but to those who are paying attention, they are greatness. Hip-hop is more than just music to some, it is a way of life, it creates change inside of us that is unstoppable. So, that kid on the corner may seem like a piece of junk now, but who knows when he will transform into something powerful beyond measure.

Basically, Po is nothing short of hall of fame material. When he goes hard on tracks like this one, all the Decepticons suddenly have something to worry about. See, Optimus and hip-hop have many things in common. Probably one of the biggest factors the two share is the their influence on the youth of the 80s and 90s. Growing up in the hood, black community, or any community where hip-hop was a way of life, being an MC’s with dope lyrics was something to strive for. Having a lyrical ability was somethings people admired, it gave you status and an overall sense of purpose despite your upbringing. Growing up in the hood, you are given more opportunities to fail rather than succeed, and it’s much easier to stay up, than to try and climb your way out. Optimus could be viewed in the same light. Despite Optimus being the very last prime, his commitment to his cause and craft never wavered. To the audience, Optimus made it cool to be a good guy. Similar to Captain Planet and G.I. Joe, his courage and willingness to sacrifice everything for what he believed in was admirable. Hip-hop and Optimus are strong, righteous, and dedicated to what matters in life. For Optimus, that meant saving Earth through the way of the sword, maintaining what was honorable and good. Hip-hop does the same thing for planet Earth, only rather than the sword, hip-hop uses the mind and the spirit. Both fight evil, and both create a better way of life, both inspire hope.

Po dropped a transformers reference back in 1994, when hip-hop, nerds, rappers and transformers were all prime indicators of greatness. Knowing that transformers originated as a popular toy line only 10 years earlier, and then expanded into a cartoon television show, and then blew up to what we know it as today, it’s obvious the product hasn’t lost traction. When the toy line dropped, right off the bat, Optimus was the one to have. Little kids on the block were saving up what they have, folding bills in their socks, and begging their parents to go down to the toy store. If you were one of the lucky ones, and actually got that money, or that ride, if you left with anything other than Optimus Prime it just didn’t feel right. If you aren’t Optimus Prime, you might as well be a Decepticon.

FUN FACT: Optimus Prime was created by Denny O’Neil, legendary Batman writer who had a long career alongside artist Neal Adams.