Summer activities

Games:

  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

Films: 

  • Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 (rematch)
  • Harry Potter saga (rewatch)

TV Shows:

  • Banana
  • Cucumber
  • The Sopranos
  • Deutschland 83
  • Halt and Catch Fire
  • The Wire

Best Films of 2014

2014 FILMS

2013 was a great year for film. We had ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ and ‘Before Midnight’.

The same goes to 2014. It was the year Marvel started making better films. It was the year Wes Anderson created another masterpiece. It was the year where we had a beautiful film about Legos. And much more.
I tried really hard to list my top fifteen (even twenty) films of 2014, but there were too many great films to list.
You’ll find my favorite films in this list, in alphabetical order, alongside my favorite actors, director, score, and the honorable mentions.

Note: I made this last two weeks before the Oscars nominations. I’m glad Marion Cotillard has been nominated, but I’m also sad for Nightcrawler and The Lego Movie getting snubbed.


 

Breakthrough Performance: 

  • Jack O’Connell (Starred Up)

Favorite Actor:

  • Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)

Favorite Actress:

  • Marian Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)

Favorite Supporting Actor:

  • J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Favorite Supporting Actress:

  • Rene Russo (Nightcrawler)

Favorite Director:

  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Favorite Score:

  • Mica Levi (Under the Skin)

Favorite Films:

  • Boyhood
  • Citizenfour
  • Force Majeure
  • Gone Girl
  • Inherent Vice
  • Listen Up Philip
  • Mommy
  • Nightcrawler
  • Nymphomaniac
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • Snowpiercer
  • Started Up
  • Stranger By the Lake
  • The Babadook
  • The Double
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Lego Movie
  • Two Days, One Night
  • Under the Skin
  • Whiplash

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Ida
  • The Immigrant
  • Interstellar
  • A Most Violent Year

Best Music of 2014

2014 MUSIC

A grand year for music of all genres. Filled with great comebacks and amazing debuts. I honestly didn’t think that anything could top off or at least match 2013. Apparently I was wrong, 2014 was definitely an unforgettable year for music.

Best Comebacks:

  • Azealia Banks
  • Beck
  • Interpol
  • Sharon Van Etten
  • St. Vincent

New Acts:

  • Alvvays
  • Frankie Cosmos
  • Shamir
  • Sylvan Esso
  • Tobias Jesso Jr.

Best Theme Song:

  • Container – Fiona Apple

Favorite Albums: 

  • Alvvays – Alvvays
  • Are We There – Sharon Van Etten
  • Burn Your Fire for No Witness – Angel Olsen
  • Everyday Robots – Damon Albarn
  • LP1 – FKA twigs
  • Our Love – Caribou
  • Run the Jewels 2 – Run the Jewels
  • St. Vincent – St. Vincent
  • Tough Love – Jessie Ware
  • Zentropy – Frankie Cosmos

Favorite Songs: 

And if you’re interested in listening to every song that I liked this year, feel free to check out my four mixtapes for this year, each mixtape has 25 songs (100 in total).

Here are the mixtapes: Mixtape 1, Mixtape 2, Mixtape 3, Mixtape 4

Best TV shows of 2014

2014 TV SHOWS

I watched a lot of TV shows in 2014, and a many of these shows were great, so don’t expect me to be able to list only 10 of my favorites from this year. So, here are my favorite shows, alongside my favorite episode from each one:

  • Adventure Time
    The show that never gets boring. Jake and Finn are always there to entertain me with their ten-minute adventures. Best Episode: Food Chain
  • Archer: Vice
    Archer is back! This season, ISIS turns into an international drug cartel, Pam becomes skinny, Lana is pregnant and Cheryl is a famous country singer. If you’ve never heard of this show, go watch it now! Best Episode: White Elephant
  • Boardwalk Empire
    The legacy of Nucky Thompson finally came to an end. Although the final season was short, it was extremely satisfying and it tied all the loose ends. As usual, the season had its fair share of plot twists, and it shines through its wonderful and talented cast. Can’t wait to see what’s next from Steve Buscemi. Best Episode(s): Devil You Know/Eldorado
  • Bob’s Burgers
    My favorite since its first season, Bob’s Burgers continues showing us new original and funny stories with each episode. Definitely one of my all time favorite animated shows. Best Episode: The Equestranauts
  • Broad City
    A new comedy based on the web series of the same name. Starring Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. Broad City is one of the funniest shows in years! Best Episode: Apartment Hunters
  • Fargo
    Based on the Coen brothers’ film of the same name. Fargo is a great dark miniseries featuring a stellar cast and a great story. Not to mention the references to the movie. Best Episode: The Crocodile’s Dilemma
  • Game of Thrones
    The most satisfying season yet! The Purple Wedding was on of my most anticipated events for this show and it didn’t disappoint. Next season will introduce many of Oberyn’s family members, although we won’t be seeing Hodor for a while. Best Episode: The Children
  • Hannibal
    To be honest, I wasn’t a that much of a huge fan of the first season, but season two proved me wrong. The show was intense all season and the performances were all outstanding. And talk about the season’s cliffhanger! I can’t wait for season three. Best Episode: Mizumono
  • High Maintenance
    A great web-series starring Bob Sinclair as a weed dealer. Each episode is about one of his many clients. The show just started its fifth season with support and endorsement from Vimeo. The show is beautiful, well-written, and best of all, short. Best Episode: Qasim
  • Homeland
    After a lackluster season last year, Homeland came back and fixed all of its previous mistakes with a thrilling excellent season. Best Episode: From A to B and Back Again
  • House of Cards
    A season that starts the action from the very first episode. Last year’s critically acclaimed show continued to deliver with tremendous performances by the whole cast and much improved scenes. I was pleased and surprised by the events in the finale. I can’t wait to see what happens when the show returns early next year. Best Episode: Chapter 14
  • Jane the Virgin
    I have never thought I’d watch and love a CW show, especially one about a pregnant virgin, but there’s always a first time for everything. Jane the Virgin is beautiful and silly at the same time, it might look like a typical telenovela from the outside, but the performances are fantastic and the story is authentic, although a bit ridiculous, in a good way. Definitely one of the best surprises of this year. Best Episode: Chapter One
  • Key and Peele
    The great sketch comedy is back and kicking with this new season. This season introduces a new theme (inspired by True Detective) and a new segment where Key and Peele are driving on a country road and talking. The sketches are hilarious and nothing feels repetitive, plus we still get to see President Obama and his anger translator, not to mention Wendell and Meegan. Best Episode: Season Four, Episode Nine
  • Louie
    After a two-year hiatus, Louie is finally back. This season was full of story arcs, Louie with the non-English speaker Amia, Louie’s life as a thirteen-year-old, and Louie with Pamela again, not to mention the controversial “fat lady” episode. Louie proves that there’s still room for creativity in comedy television. The show is coming back in the spring of 2015. Best Episode: In the Woods
  • Mad Men
    The beginning of the end. Mad Men is one of the few shows out there that are still getting better with each season. Although this season was short (it was cut into two parts, just like Breaking Bad), it was still as good as the previous ones and even better. The finale was the cherry on top for this magnificent half-season. Best Episode: Waterloo
  • Masters of Sex
    My favorite show from last year is back with an even better season! This season, the show started to focus on other things other than the study, Bill’s relationship with wife Libby, Barton’s struggle with his homosexuality and his wife Margaret, and Virgina’s strained friendship with Dr. Lillian. This show is a great example of how period dramas should be. And the season’s best episode (Brave New World) was so good in speeding things up and taking the story to the next level. Best Episode: Brave New World
  • Nathan for You
    A hilarious docu-reality comedy starring Nathan Fielder as himself. In the show, he uses his business experience to help several people and businesses improve by giving them some of his crazy advices. The show is funny and you just can’t help but laugh at Nathan and his deadpan style. Best Episode: Dumb Starbucks
  • Review with Forrest MacNeil
    A painfully funny comedy starring Andy Daly as Forrest MacNeil, a TV host who reviews things suggested by his viewers, no matter how stupid or crazy they are! Best Episode: Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes
  • Orange Is the New Black
    I never knew what I was expecting after the end of the first season last year. I was extremely satisfied with the second season. The show kept exploring the pasts of various characters, new characters were introduced, and best of all, the show is still as funny as it was before, and even funnier. Overall, I think I like this season more than the first one. Best Episode: A Whole Other Hole
  • Over the Garden Wall
    A new great miniseries by Cartoon Network based on the short film “Tome of the Unknown” and starring Elijah Wood, Collin Dean, and Melanie Lynskey. The show is about two brothers, Wirt and Greg, who are lost in a creepy forest and are trying to find their way home. I’m sure this show will have its own cultural impact just like Adventure Time. Best Episode: Into the Unknown
  • Rick and Morty
    I’ve never had this much fun watching an animated series since Adventure Time. A great show from Community’s mastermind Dan Harmon. Best Episode: Rixty Minutes
  • Shameless
    Shameless had its best season this year since its debut. The story was great. The whole cast was perfect (hat tip to Emmy Rossum). The scenes of Fiona at the prison were moving. The worst thing is that Emmy’s performance was snubbed at the Emmy’s. Best Episode: Iron City
  • Silicon Valley
    As a tech geek, I was so happy when I heard that HBO was developing a show about a tech startup set in Silicon Valley. The story follows how six men found a startup, and their struggle in finding a name, and protecting their products from being copied by Hooli (which is just like Google). In my opinion, Silicon Valley is the best geeky comedy out there (sorry Big Bang Theory). Best Episode: Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency
  • The Affair
    Another great show from Showtime. The Affair tells the story of an affair between a teacher/author who is spending summer vacation with his family at his father-in-law’s house and how he meets and falls in love with a waitress. Each episode is split into two parts, each part represents the view of point of one of the main characters (Noah and Allison). The show is great and the performances are stellar, not to mention the a great theme song by Fiona Apple. Best Episode: Pilot
  • The Americans
    Last year’s fantastic espionage drama is back! The show keeps getting better (not that it was bad in the first season) with each episode. In this season, new characters were introduced and some side plots were finally concluded. The season ends with a twist that I didn’t see coming. Best Episode: Echo
  • The Comeback
    This year, The Comeback came back from the dead! This amazing sitcom show first aired in 2005 was revived for a second season this year and I couldn’t be happier. Simply put, if you didn’t watch the first season, go watch it now! Lisa Kurdow is just amazing. Best Episode: Valerie Is Brought To Her Knees
  • The Good Wife
    The Good Wife was on fire in both seasons 5 and 6. **SPOILER** With many events, Alicia and Cary leaving Lockhart and Gardner to start their own firm, the death of Will Gardner, the introduction of Finn Polmar, the trial of Cary, and most importantly, Alicia running for state’s attorney **END OF SPOILER**. This show proves that network shows can still be good. I honestly can’t wait for the show’s return in January. Best Episode: Hitting the Fan
  • The Honourable Woman
    A new spy-thriller miniseries starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. The show is about Nessa Stein, who, eight years ago, took over her brother as the head of her family’s company. Nessa is committed to the peace in the Middle East, specifically in Palestine. Throughout the show, we see events from the past explaining what is happening now. A great show with a powerful performance by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Best Episode: The Hollow Wall
  • The Knick
    A new medical drama directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen. The show follows Dr. John W. Thackery and the staff at the Knick hospital. As the cast deals with many issues, new pandemics, racism, and cocaine addiction. The show is great and wonderfully shot. Best Episode: Get the Rope/Crutchfield
  • The Leftovers
    When I first heard that Damon Lindelof (co-creator of Lost) was making a new show, I was super excited. The show’s premise is very interesting: the lives of the people in a small town dealing with their lives after the sudden disappearance of about 2% of the world’s population. The show is exhilarating and moving. It reminds me of Lost the way it shows us glimpses of each character’s history. I am glad the show was renewed for a second season. Best Episode(s): Guest/The Garveys At Their Best
  • Transparent
    Looks like Amazon finally found its niche in the TV shows biz. Transparent is a hilarious dramedy with a talented cast. This is Amazon’s ‘House of Cards’. The story is beautiful, not to mention the magnificent theme. I think that this show is my favorite from this year. Best Episode: Moppa
  • True Detective
    It certainly isn’t the best show of the year, but it was definitely good. The show shines through the performances of its cast. I just hope that the next season’s characters and stories are as good or better than this season. Best Episode: Who Goes There
  • Utopia
    Last year, I fell in love with this wonderful conspiracy thriller, and my love continued to grow with the second (and sadly the last) season this year. The story continued this season with the group trying to stop the launch of Janus, and succeeding, for a brief moment in doing so. Although I’m sad that it was cancelled, the last episode was the best closure I could ask for as a fan. It’s worth mentioning that HBO is working on an American adaptation of the show directed by the great David Fincher and written by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do with it. Best Episode: Episode 1
  • Veep
    Vice President Selina Meyer is back again! This time she is running for president (and unexpectedly becomes one while running). The third season is by far the best in the series by a huge margin. Julia Louis-Dreyfus definitely nailed her performance and she deserved every award and nomination for it. Can’t wait for its comeback in early 2015. Best Episode: Debate
  • You’re the Worst
    A new comedy from FX. The show is about two awful people: Jimmy, a selfish writer, and Gretchen, a self-destructive PR executive and how they both try to make their toxic relationship succeed. The show shines with its story and the cast, not to mention the amazing supporting characters, Edgar (Jimmy’s best friend who is also a war veteran suffering from PTSD) and Lindsay (Gretchen’s best friend who is unhappy with her marriage). Best Episode: Fists and Feet and Stuff

Honorable Mentions:

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (The Pontiac Bandit Returns)
  • Community (Cooperative Polygraphy)
  • Girls (Beach House)
  • Happy Valley (Episode 4)
  • Inside No. 9 (A Quiet Night In)
  • Looking (Looking For The Future)
  • Orphan Black (Governed As It Were By Chance)
  • Outlander (Both Sides Now)
  • Parks and Recreation (Moving Up)
  • Please Like Me (Sausage Sizzle)

Best Video Games of 2014

2014 VIDEO GAMES

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition 
    I never that I would love an action RPG the same way I loved Skyrim. Inquisition is an amazing game that provides days of fun. The game has it all. You can play with up to four characters. You can level up and upgrade your party. And you have all the time in the world to explore the vast open-world maps. Dragon Age: Inquisition is worthy of becoming a match to Skyrim.
  • Far Cry 4 
    When I first saw the gameplay trailer for Far Cry 4, I was jumping on my seat. I couldn’t believe that the follow up to one of my favorite games of 2012 was finally coming. Far Cry 4, feels new and similar at the same time. It has all what made Far Cry 3 special, the outposts, hunting animals, the variety of missions, and the assortment of weapons. What’s new in Far Cry 4 is that the setting is now in Kyrat. The game introduces many great and funny characters. Not to mention to great new tools, the Buzzer and the grappling hook. Far Cry 4 will definitely keep you entertained for days, even after you finish the story, you’ll still have a lot of places to discover and go to.
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor 
    One of the best games I’ve played in a while. ‘Shadow of Mordor’ is the game J.R. Tolkein’s franchise deserves. The Nemesis system and the combat stand out in the game.
  • Super Smash Bros.
    I actually bought the Wii U just to play this game! Another game that shows how entertaining couch-coop can be. The game is so good and it features a fantastic ensemble of characters to choose from. This game will definitely keep you entertained, whether you’re playing it on your Wii U or your 3DS.
  • Monument Valley
    Beautiful, simple, and enchanting. I fell in love with the adventure of Ida and Totem.
  • Rayman Legends
    Fun fun fun. Rayman is back again and it’s better than ever. Rayman Legends is one of best platformers I’ve played in years! Playing this game with friends is fun and rewarding.
  • Shovel Knight
    The most amazing NES-like game ever. Insanely addictive and ridiculously fun.
  • TowerFall: Ascension 
    Pure awesomeness. One of the most entertaining games for co-op play. Unlocking every character in this game is really challenging.
  • Transistor
    Another gem from the studio that created ‘Bastion’. The game’s soundtrack is mesmerizing and the graphics are just beautiful.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order 
    Wolfenstein is back! Kill all the Nazis! The New Order is just amazing and satisfying. The story is captivating and I love the twist on World War II. Not to mention the awesome stealth techniques (I’m a huge stealth fan). I’m glad I played this wonderful game.
  • 80 Days
    A beautiful adventure. 80 Days is not a game as much as it it’s an experience. You can make your own choices in this game, travel to the cities you choose. And depending on your choices, you will travel around the world in 80 days, more or less.
  • Alien: Isolation
    An amazing scary, horror survival game. It’s like reliving the movie all over again. AI is a beautiful work of art that tests the limits of your fear and courage.
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft 
    The best digital card game experience. Hearthstone is wonderful, with its vast collection of cards and the diverse selection of opponents. It will definitely entertain you.
  • Mario Kart 8
    Another wonderful gem by Nintendo. Proving that the Wii U is still a major player in gaming. Mario Kart 8 is super fun. Providing hours of entertainment. Not to mention Luigi’s famous death stare.

Honorable Mentions:

  • InFamous: Second Son 
    My first PS4 title. I actually liked this game more than InFamous 2. Second Son’s graphics are insanely good and the fact that it has more than one power (four to be specific) is great.
  • Velocity 2X
    Intense. Fast paced. Endless fun. Velocity 2X is a great platformer that provides endless levels of fun.
  • Threes!
    An addictive puzzler that inspired a myriad of clones.
  • Wayward Souls
    The latest gem from the makers of ‘Hook Champ’, ‘Mage Gauntlet’, and ‘Punch Quest’.
  • The Sailor’s Dream
    The last entry in Simogo’s experience games suite. Can’t wait for their next one!

Disappointments:

  • Watch Dogs
    It wasn’t that bad, the idea was original, but it didn’t meet my expectations.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Unity 
    Although it introduced new features and mechanics (parkour, co-op, etc.), the story was weak and short, plus the game was full of bugs.
  • Destiny 
    Hyped up and heavily promoted, Bungie’s new game after the Halo series was really disappointing and it didn’t live up to the hype. Repetitive and boring. Not to mention the weak story.

Game I want to play:

  • Mario Kart 8
  • Bayonetta 2
  • Sunset Overdrive
  • Super Time Force Ultra
  • Dark Souls II

Best TV Shows of 2014, So Far

New:

  • Broad City
  • Fargo
  • Review with Forrest MacNeil
  • Rick and Morty
  • True Detective

Returning:

  • The Americans
  • Archer: Vice
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Good Wife
  • Hannibal
  • House of Cards
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • Louie
  • Mad Men
  • Shameless

Now that I’ve posted the list, I’ll start watching the new season of Orange Is the New Black, adios!

Top Ten films of 2013

I already did post about my favorite movies of 2013, but in this post, I thought it would be great to list my top 10 movies. So, the movies are:

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • Before Midnight
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Frances Ha
  • Her
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • It’s a Disaster
  • The Act of Killing
  • The Wolf of Wall Street