Favorites of the Year 2014: Movies, TV Series & Books

Every year I make a list of favorite things. It’s fun to review what I watched, listened to, and read all year long… 2014 was a great year of movies and TV series, but not so much with books (although I still managed to come up with a Top 10 list of favorites!)

Here they are, my Favorites of the Year list!

Movies

foty-2014-film-only-lovers-left-alive foty-2014-film-guardians-of-the-galaxy foty-2014-film-the-hobbit-the-battle-of-the-five-armies foty-2014-film-captain-america-the-winter-soldier foty-2014-film-the-grand-budapest-hotel foty-2014-film-book-of-life foty-2014-film-locke foty-2014-film-httyd2 foty-2014-film-the-raid-2 foty-2014-film-into-the-storm foty-2014-film-mr-turner foty-2014-film-chef foty-2014-film-x-men-dofp foty-2014-film-a-most-wanted-man foty-2014-film-paddington foty-2014-film-big-hero-6 foty-2014-film-dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes foty-2014-film-mockingjay-part-1 foty-2014-film-22-jump-street foty-2014-film-edge-of-tomorrow

 

Scene from a Movie

best-scene-2014-gotg-baby-groot

I want you back, Baby Groot!

Also: Tom Hiddleston’s Adam licking blood on a stick; the Society of Crossed Keys helping out M. Gustive; the White Council storming Dol-Guldur in the most BAMF way; and all the way Tom Cruise lives, dies and repeats.

TV Series

martin-freeman-fargo

Fargo was the best because watching this limited series of 10 episodes in which the people in it – with the exception of very few – do some incredibly stupid things, every single time, has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my TV watching activity this year. The cast is absolutely stellar (Allison Tolman pretty much wins 2014), not just in reputation but also in performance, and I can barely think of a murder mystery that is so finely done as this one.

foty-2014-tv-ripper-street

Ripper Street‘s return after its ‘cancellation’ is also exciting. Sorry, Mr. Holmes, but this year I think I like my detectives broody, in awesome hats, and named Bennet Drake, Edmund Reid and Homer Jackson. Plus, this show has Long Susan. That wins the contest from every angle.

AlsoThe Musketeers for all the men and Peter Capaldi in costumes; Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. for Director Coulson; The Strain because it’s from one of my favorite book trilogies; The Fall S2 because Stella Gibson and Paul Spector bring on the creepy all the time; 24: Live Another Day because of the stellar ensemble cast and the addictive feeling it brings; Jane The Virgin for all the hilarity (and the narrator); How To Get Away With Murder because Viola Davis is a goddess; and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey for all the SCIENCE!

Books

foty-2014-books-silkworm foty-2014-books-foxglove-summer foty-2014-books-a-grimm-warning foty-2014-books-blood-of-olympus foty-2014-books-graveyard-book-gc-vol1 foty-2014-books-graveyard-book-gc-vol2 foty-2014-books-guardians-of-the-galaxy-angela foty-2014-books-mm-flight-of-magpies foty-2014-books-mm-bloodline foty-2014-books-the-truth-is-a-cave-in-the-black-mountains foty-2014-books-art-of-film-magic

(Bonus point for anyone who can spot the two M/M novels in this list!)

Talent Interview

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Interviewing Viola Davis, Hugh Jackman and James Gunn made my year. Three incredibly talented people who inspired me so much this year. They deserve all of our respect and admiration… I am so proud to call myself their fan.

Richard Armitage Interview Transcript from The Battle Of The Five Armies Media Junket

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

Richard Armitage Interview
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Media Junket
September 2014
Transcribed and edited by Amanda Aayusya
Published in: All Film #60

(This is an unabridged transcript of the talent interview that appeared in All Film #60, used for the main article and individual actor’s interview pages in the magazine. Please mention All Film if you’re going to post this transcript, and credit Amanda Aayusya for the transcription work.)

Hello!

RICHARD ARMITAGE: Let’s see if I can get tickets to go and see Kate Bush! Ian McKellen’s going.

Are you a particular Kate Bush fan?

Yeah, kind of, I mean, it’s one of those… I had a sort of flash of, “God, I wonder if she’ll sing the theme song to the third movie…” It’s one of those things…

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Martin Freeman Interview Transcript from The Battle Of The Five Armies Media Junket

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

Martin Freeman Interview
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Media Junket
September 2014
Transcribed by Lauren Jones; Edited by Amanda Aayusya
Published in: All Film #60

(This is an unabridged transcript of the talent interview that appeared in All Film #60, used for the main article and individual actor’s interview pages in the magazine. Please mention All Film if you’re going to post this transcript, and credit Lauren Jones & Amanda Aayusya for the transcription work. Linking here would also be appreciated.)

You’re almost done with the whole Hobbit… do you feel free?

MARTIN FREEMAN: Not yet, not yet… It’s kind of strange, because I haven’t seen the film yet, but I’ve done the last bits of ADR – the last bits of looping – last week. So I’ve only seen snippets of it, and you’re reminded of things you did 2 and a half, 3 years ago, or whatever, you know? When I finished, I thought I’m never going to any more voicing on that, and in a little while the film will open and that will be it. So, I mean… to be honest, I always like things ending. I think things are supposed to end. You know, life is supposed to end, jobs are supposed to end, it’s all supposed to end, so I never particularly get too sad about that, you know? I’m happy, you know, hopefully I’ll like the film and hopefully I’ll be happy with the job we’ve done. And then I’ll find out of Peter is making The Silmarillion or not!

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The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies – Reaction Post

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

SPOILER WARNING. If you have not watched The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, please proceed with caution as this entry contains spoilers, or do not proceed to read at all until you’ve watched it.

I watched The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies today (at a press screening at 9 in the morning. In a cinema out of town. Because they made us. Trust me, I only wake up at 6 o’clock for Peter Jackson.) And here is my ‘reaction post’, which is a fancy phrase to say ‘notes about the movie that are not turned into a review yet.’

Again, the spoiler warning applies. I do not want to be responsible anyone getting spoiled.

If you have no watched the film, the next line is the start of Too Much Information for you.

(And if you scroll all the way down to listen to the sound bites, Richard Armitage’s sound bite may contain spoilers. Martin Freeman’s should be spoiler-free.)

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The Method: Richard Armitage Talk About Disagreeing with Thorin and Never Getting Sick of Him

The last two sound bites I have (for now) come from Richard Armitage, who managed – with his wonderful demeanor and professionalism – to make a fan out of All Film’s interviewer, Lauren. (And, really, none of the actors have his eloquence and diction. He’s orally, vocally perfect. I love transcribing him.) Listen for yourself.

The questions were: “Everyone reading the book probably identifies most with Bilbo. Were you the same? Did it surprise you that you ended up as Thorin instead?” and after he confessed to disagreeing with Thorin, the follow-up was “How do you play something that you disagree with?”

This sound bite was chosen purely for my own pleasure: to hear him sound exasperatedly amused at the question “Did you ever get fed up with it, playing the same character in the same universe?” Was he ever going to say yes? I doubt it. But I was amused by the tone of his voice when he answered it.

That is all for now. Don’t forget to listen to the previous sound bites:
+ Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage talk about Thorin and Bilbo’s relationship
+ Martin Freeman talks about his theater audience
+ Orlando Bloom talks about Elves, Dwarves and that ‘love triangle’

They are available on Soundcloud. Please visit/listen/like/add to playlist. That would be lovely – thank you!

These interviews are all included in All Film #60: All Hobbit Edition. (Available for order, even internationally.)

Transcripts to Richard Armitage’s interview will be posted in this blog next week.

This is not ‘the last goodbye’ to these sound bites. Now that I have a Soundcloud account, might as well upload others in the future. The only thing I need to find time for is to edit them… but I hope these sound bites have been enjoyable and illuminating and able to provide some excitement at this final chapter of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth saga.

Theater-going: Martin Freeman on His New Theater Audience

Ahead of his performance in Saturday Night Live, which will surely be full-on comedy, I bring you Martin Freeman’s more serious side through this sound bite from All Film‘s interview with the man who played Bilbo Baggins on the big screens.

We asked him this question:

We saw your Richard III, which was extraordinary, and wondered if you’d noticed a change in your theatre audiences, having gone from National Treasure to International Treasure?

His answer:

 

There was quite a lot of interest in this play and role that he this past summer – at least two other people asked him about Richard III. The other questions were “Did you ask Ian McKellen for tips on playing Richard III?” (because apparently Sir Ian had also played the same character) and “Did you have to avoid putting any Richard III into Bilbo? (which is kind of an odd question, because he played Bilbo before he did Richard III…) All of his answers were diplomatic but our interviewer Lauren’s question got the longest answer ever – which made it hard to transcribe and then include in the magazine, because it was just really, really long – and he sounded really passionate here.

Also, Martin was drinking green tea when he was interviewed.

And now we go back to counting down the hours until SNL.

A Unique Position: Orlando Bloom on Legolas’ Ongoing Journey in Middle-earth

Legolas & Tauriel

Legolas & Tauriel

When All Film met up with Orlando Bloom and the other cast members of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies in London a few months ago, we couldn’t help but sneak in one important question to the actor we’ve affectionately referred to as ‘Orly’: tell us more about the Elves and Dwarves.

The question is not without basis. We are quite delighted when we saw that scene The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug where Bloom’s Legolas called his future companion Gimli “a goblin mutant” to Gimli’s father’s face. Not only was it an amusing homage to their amazing friendship in Lord Of The Rings trilogy, but it was also apparently a setup for another blossoming Elf-Dwarf friendship between Legolas’ friend Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and the dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner). We wouldn’t go so far as to call it a love triangle but we know there are a few out there who call it exactly that.

So rather than speculate, why not ask Bloom directly what he thought about the relationship? And the actor responded spectacularly.

“It’s a good question, isn’t it? You tell me,” he responded to All Film and admitted,  “I think that calling it a love triangle is a little extreme.”

Fair enough, but Bloom also explained that Tauriel was Legolas’ kin and so he was protective of her. “You can probably read all sorts of things into all of that,” he acquiesced.

More importantly, Bloom continued, the relationship between Legolas and Tauriel, as well as Tauriel and Kili, was “an interesting and clever element to bring to that story, because I think you’ll see it as it comes to its end in this movie, you kind of get to see through Legolas’s eyes: the history of the Elves, and the Dwarves and Men, and in a way you understand why he is the elf that goes into The Lord of The Rings. Through what he has experienced in the Hobbit, he becomes that character. In this instance, he is still experiencing all that stuff, so it’s quite fun to play with that.”

While Bloom didn’t report any sort of off screen shenanigans between Elf actors and Dwarf actors on the set of The Hobbit, we’re pretty sure there was still a bit of mischief that happened during the course of filming. Of course we’d prefer it if all the bitter rivalries and fighting between these two races happened solely on screen on Peter Jackson’s last The Hobbit film.

This interview can be read in full in All Film #60. For more info, read here.