My 2014 Best & Worst Movies and Viewing Stats

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January 1st is my favorite day of the year. It’s the day where I take all the “movie watching data” I’ve collected over the last 365 days and put it all into one file. Having started Obsessive Viewer in February 2013, last year was the first year I got to share my stats online. You can read my year in review post from 2013 here.

Since I started tracking my viewing in 2007, I’ve gotten more and more elaborate with my tracking and stat management. This year is no different. For the first third of the year, I tried to add my movie and TV related expenses into the mix. Unfortunately, that proved to be too much of a hassle and then I started losing receipts. It was just an overall mess and I ended up abandoning it.

What I did implement this year was a breakdown of the theaters I went to, notable theater experiences I had and, given that this was the first full calendar year of Obsessive Viewer, I have some blog and podcast related stats to round out the post.

If you’re interested in finding out what my podcast co-hosts Mike and Tiny were up to in 2014, their posts will go live in a day or two. For now, here’s a breakdown of my 2014 in movies.

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this is where i leave you

2014 Movie Stats

Total Viewings – 263

My total number of viewings is a decrease of 19% from last year’s record breaking 325 viewings. Nevertheless, it squeaked past 2011’s 261 viewings to be my second best year for total viewings. This year’s total viewings were 6.69% above my average of 246.5 total viewings per year.

Movies Watched – 234

The amount of movies I watched (without accounting for multiple viewings) was a decrease of 20.9% from last year’s 296, which was my best year on record. 2014 is now my second best year for movies watched, beating out 2011’s 222 movies. This year’s total viewings were 10% above my average of 212.6 movies watched per year.

First Viewings – 124

My total number of first viewings is a decrease of 18.9% from last year’s current record holder of 153 first viewings. It’s #2 in my stats, ahead of 2010’s 105 first viewings in the #3 slot. This year’s first viewings were 24.6% above my average of 99.5 total first viewings per year. First viewings made up 47.1% of my total viewings in 2014.

2014 Movies Watched – 47

The amount of movies watched in their year of release (2014) increased by 17.5% from last year’s 40 movies watched in their year of release (2013). This is a new stat I started tracking last year. Movies watched in their year of release made up 17.8% of my total viewings in 2014.

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Breakdown of Theater Viewings

I am really proud of my theater viewing stats for 2014. It was my best year for theater viewings since I started tracking in 2007. Below is a breakdown of my theater viewings for 2014.

Total Theater Viewings – 50

My theater viewings accounted for 19% of my total viewings in 2014. It was a 51.5% increase from last year’s 33 theater viewings.

New Theaters

These are theaters I went to for the first time over the course of 2014.

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Notable Movies of 2014

Before I get to my Best and Worst lists, here are some of the noteworthy movies I saw in 2014.

Best First Viewing 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy

I watched Guardians twice in theaters and once at home while working on this blog post. While it falls just short of hitting the #1 spot on my top 10, it is still the most fun I had with any of the 47 movies I saw from 2014. In terms of re-watchability in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy is right up there with The Avengers.

Worst First Viewing 2014: God’s Not Dead

I’m writing this about 24 hours before we record our 2014 in Review episode of The Obsessive Viewer and I’ve seen Tiny’s stats for last year. I’m really looking forward to finding out why he didn’t put God’s Not Dead at the absolute bottom of his list. Thinking back on this movie, I can’t find anything redeemable about it. It was god-awful.

Returning Favorite 2014: Jurassic Park (1993)

This was a really tough category to pin down thanks to Keystone Art’s Midnight Madness screenings. But Jurassic Park won because it was the first time I watched the movie in a theater (in 2D) since I first saw it as a kid in 1993. Seeing it at a theater I’d never been to before (Studio Movie Grill) to celebrate a fellow podcaster’s birthday just sealed the deal for me.

Biggest Letdown 2014: Interstellar

Good science fiction is contemplative. It should present a statement about culture, technology or humanity through the lens of a world that’s different from our own. The extent of my contemplation on Interstellar since seeing it in November has been that A) Hans Zimmer’s score is terrific and B) how could I be so underwhelmed by this?

The characters were flat. The plot was sloppy and overloaded with way too much expository dialogue (even by Nolan’s standards). The emotional hook of the story was lost in an unfocused narrative filled with beats that stylistically mirror Nolan’s past movies and apes better movies in the sci-fi genre.

Interstellar is a blockbuster that tries to be profound while appealing to a mass audience. The result is strong visuals and an ending that felt more like Shyamalan than Nolan.

Biggest Surprise 2014: This is Where I Leave You

I liked this movie a lot when I saw it in the theater. It surprised me in that it really wasn’t on my radar. I thought the interplay between the siblings felt genuine, despite Adam Driver’s tendency to go a little overboard at times. The scenes where two characters shared heartfelt moments were where This is Where I Leave You really shined.

Rewatching it while writing this blog post, however, the movie kind of loses some luster. The chemistry between the actors isn’t quite as strong when you notice how the storyline dips into some clichés. Parts of the movie are derivative and ham-handed but the chemistry is still there.

My 10 Best and Worst Movies of 2014

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10 Best Movies of 2014

10. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Bryan Singer’s return to X-Men puts the dispirited continuity from a troubled franchise back on track and leaves with the promise that this is a new era for the franchise. Stylish, funny, action-packed and emotionally driven, Days of Future Past is just excellent.

9. Gone Girl

Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel deconstructs a really disturbing relationship in a compelling and intense movie. Accompanied by another phenomenal score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Gone Girl takes us on a journey through twisted people’s twisted lives.

8. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Matt Reeves knocked it out of the park with Dawn. Even though the human characters weren’t so well developed, I was still amazed at how strong the movie was. It’s the apes’ movie and Caesar and Koba are amazing to watch.

7. Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal’s intensity in Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut is mesmerizing. Nightcrawler is a story about a sociopath driven with ambition. Sharp, biting dialogue and a commentary on our culture’s morbid relationship with violence creates a world for Gyllenhaal to give one of his strongest performances yet.

6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The Winter Soldier felt like more than a summer blockbuster. The balls on Marvel to change so much of their universe in a movie that isn’t Avengers makes the action and intrigue of this Captain America movie hit all of its marks.

5. Men, Women & Children

I’m honestly shocked at the negative critical response to Men, Women & Children. Despite some on-the-nose themes, crowded cast and brief dips into melodrama, I thought this was a really strong movie. It doesn’t deal with technology anywhere near as well as Jonze did with Her, but I feel like Reitman’s movie still felt really sincere and its themes still resonated with me.

4. The Skeleton Twins

This movie hit me in just the right spot. Two estranged siblings in dire points in their lives reconnect and rediscover the importance of being in each other’s lives. It’s paced very well and casting two comedic actors in the lead roles worked in the movie’s favor when it came time for them to bond.

3. The Theory of Everything

Too often biopics rely on their star and play up the drama for the film version of their lives. The Theory of Everything features an awe-inspiring performance by Eddie Redmayne but it’s also informed by Felicity Jones’ subtle and emotional performance. The script skillfully sidesteps cliché in favor of a depiction that feels genuine and full of heart.

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

I said earlier in this post that Guardians was the most fun I had in the theater last year. I would have put it at #1 but the villain was under-developed and parts of the movie fell into Marvel Studio formula territory. But the overall experience was so much fun that I didn’t mind that too much.

1. Whiplash

My number one spot was a tough one to fill this year. There wasn’t any clear frontrunner in 2014. Nothing really blew me away. Whiplash came close, though.

To call J.K. Simmons’s performance intense is a huge understatement. It’s in the moments where his character switches from sadistic to calm that elevate his performance to the height of being simply terrifying. Miles Teller is incredible as a kid consumed by ambition. His character’s commitment to his art is disturbing and the dark emptiness of the character is conveyed wonderfully by Teller.

The movie builds toward a powerful climax that pays off the story and characters in a way that’s satisfying and leaves you with a lot to think about.

Honorable Mentions

  • The Fault in Our Stars Honors the spirit of Hazel and Augustus’ relationship with two perfectly cast young actors in one of the strongest book-to-film adaptations I’ve seen in recent memory.
  • This is Where I Leave You – Great chemistry between the actors playing the siblings; dips into some tropes but is heartfelt where it counts.
  • The One I Love – Gives an honest examination of relationships with a sci-fi element that doesn’t overtake the movie.
  • They Came Together – Hysterical parody of romcoms from David Wain that I’m still laughing at.
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – Carries Wes Anderson’s signature style, wit and whimsy but packages it in a beautifully shot nesting doll style story that is his most accessible film yet.

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10 Worst Movies of 2014

10. Transcendence

Wally Pfister took an intriguing premise dealing with the technological singularity and made a really bland, uninspired movie that I’ve all but forgotten at this point.

9. What If?

I thought Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan were strong enough but the movie suffers from a really unoriginal and clichéd script. There are moments where it flirts with being passable, but it ends up going down every narrative path you expect it to.

8. Let’s Be Cops

I really like the pairing of Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. and I appreciate the script’s attempt to be more than a silly buddy comedy by hinging on their dissatisfaction with their careers and lives. But, at the end of the day, Lets Be Cops is formulaic and forgettable.

7. Non-Stop

This was probably better than I’m giving it credit for here. Liam Neeson as an air marshal tracking a killer on a transatlantic flight is a fine enough premise. But the movie didn’t do much of anything to leave an impression and the forced social commentary pinned to the killer’s motive made the movie completely fall apart for me.

6. Blended

Ugh. We dedicated the summer to reviewing every Adam Sandler movie for the podcast. By the end I grew to detest the man’s work. We started off with Blended and, given that I watched it out of the context of his filmography, I found it passable. But it was still empty and more annoying than funny.

5. Annabelle

This loose prequel to The Conjuring is bland but has a couple decent scares. The movie sets up an interesting plot point involving Satanic cults and then abandons it for cheap jump scares and a boring climax.

4. Tusk

Kevin Smith’s body horror movie doesn’t work nearly as well as the podcast episode it was based on. Tusk is a mess in pacing, tone, dialogue and acting. Justin Long’s Wallace is immediately and aggressively unlikeable and the rest of cast lacks any empathy. The scenes and characters meant to set up the rest of the True North trilogy are flat and distracting.

3. A Million Ways to Die in the West

The best scene in the movie is in the trailer and only works because it plays on the nostalgia of the audience. The rest of the movie is Seth MacFarlane explaining why living in the old west sucks using humor that plays like it came from abandoned drafts of some of Family Guy‘s lower grade scripts.

2. As Above/So Below

I rarely call movies a waste of time, but I was so immediately put off and bored by this movie’s tired use of found footage and weak characters, that I felt like I wasted my time watching it.

1. God’s Not Dead

Regardless of your religious beliefs, this movie is riddled with atrocious writing and really horrible performances. The characters are so archetypically bland, predictable and poorly portrayed across the board. Even if you agree with its message, God’s Not Dead is so off-putting in its execution that I don’t see how anyone’s attention can remain focused long enough to hear it.

Dishonorable Mentions

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Notable Theater Experiences in 2014

Here are some of my most notable theater experiences from 2014.

Traders Point – Indianapolis, Indiana

This was one of the most painful theater experiences I’ve ever sat through. Not because I didn’t like the movie (I loved it!). This experience was painful because I was in agonizing physical pain. At the time, I had really bad gallstones that would cause horrendous back and abdominal pain at random intervals.

What made this so much worse for me was the feeling of being trapped. I saw the movie with Tiny and some of our friends. Tiny drove us there and I didn’t want to disrupt his theater experience. So I toughed it out and watched the entire movie in debilitating pain.

Six days later, I had surgery to remove my gallbladder.

Traders Point – Indianapolis, Indiana

On a boring Sunday in February, I stumbled into what will likely become a yearly tradition for me. I saw a movie on Super Bowl Sunday.

Besides me, there was only an older couple in the theater. So I really enjoyed the peacefulness and complete lack of crowd or traffic. I’m definitely planning on an afternoon trip to the theater on February 1st.

Brownsburg 8 – Brownsburg, Indiana

So this movie made the #6 spot on my Worst of 2014 list and I think I liked it a little more than my podcasting counterparts did. All three of us disliked the movie. But the theater experience was great because it was the first time (ever) that I went to a movie with Mike and Tiny (excluding Mike’s Star Wars Bachelor Party). So that was pretty great.

Keystone Art – Indianapolis, Indiana

I would not have been able to get so many theater viewings in 2014 if it wasn’t for Keystone Art. This place is my favorite theater in Indy because they screen limited release movies, have a bar with a great and friendly staff and they have some very comfortable seats.

I saw 12 movies at Keystone Art in 2014 and 10 of them were part of their “Midnight Madness” screenings. Here’s a list of what I saw. I’m looking forward to seeing more movies there in 2015.

Back to the Future, The Big Lebowski, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Room, Jaws, The Silence of the Lambs, Clue, The Princess Bride, The Shining & Alien.

Indianapolis Museum of Art – Indy Film Fest

Tiny and I saw I Origins at the IMA’s Toby Theater. It was the opening film of the Indy Film Fest and was a really great experience. I’m hoping to check out more of the Indy Film Fest in 2015.

Studio Movie Grill – Indianapolis, Indiana

Matt Quiett from Nerd’s Domain invited Tiny and me to a local screening of Jurassic Park for his birthday. The experience was such a blast for a multitude of reasons. Chief among them, we got to hang out and podcast (check out Tiny and I on Nerd’s Domain here) with like-minded and very friendly people.

Shiloh Crossing – Avon, Indiana

This is kind of a strange one, I guess. The only really unique thing about the experience of seeing Gone Girl was that I went to an 8pm Thursday night screening of it. These screenings have become an industry norm over the years, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to go to one because of my job.

For 8 years, I had worked third shift (midnight-8am). In September 2014, I switched to first shift (8am-4pm). Thereby freeing my weekday evenings for trips to the movie theater.

The Irving – Indianapolis, Indiana

This was my favorite theater experience of 2014! We at The Obsessive Viewer hosted our own event at the Irving theater in the historic Irvington district of Indianapolis. This was one of the highlights of my entire year. We raised money for the Irvington Historical Society, screened short films, interviewed filmmakers and we capped it off with a screening of Night of the Living Dead!

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Blog and Podcast Stats in 2014

Finally, here are some general Obsessive Viewer stats!

Obsessive Viewer Blog in 2014

Total Blog Posts in 2014 – 101 – (8.4 per month average)

  • Movie Reviews – 49 | (48.5% of blog posts)
  • TV Reviews – 36 | (35.6% of blog posts)
  • Movie Editorials – 12 | (11.8% of blog posts)
  • TV Editorials – 1 | (0.9% of blog posts)
  • DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews – 1 | (0.9% of blog posts)
  • Feature Posts – 1 | (0.9% of blog posts)
  • Announcements – 1 | (0.9% of blog posts)

Contributor Posts 7 | (6.9% of blog posts)

  • Mike6 | (5.9% of total blog posts)
  • Tiny1 | (0.9% of total blog posts)

Most Active Month (for Blogging) – April(14.8% of blog posts published)

Least Active Month (for Blogging) – August(1.9% of blog posts published)

Blog Posts By Month

  • 1-Jan – 7
  • 2-Feb – 6
  • 3-Mar – 11
  • 4-Apr – 15
  • 5-May – 11
  • 6-Jun – 3
  • 7-July – 9
  • 8-Aug – 2
  • 9-Sept – 8
  • 10-Oct – 13
  • 11-Nov – 8
  • 12-Dec – 8

OV Podcast in 2014

Total Podcast Episodes in 2014 – 55(4.5 per month average)

  • Full Episodes – 50 | (90.9% of total podcast eps)
  • Bonus Episodes – 4 | (7.27% of total podcast eps)
  • Special Episodes – 1 | (1.81% of total podcast eps)
  • Movie Episodes – 35 | (63.63% of total podcast eps)
  • TV Episodes – 14 | (25.45% of total podcast eps)
  • Live Episodes – 6 | (10.9% of total podcast eps)
  • Extended Potpourri – 7 | (12.72% of total podcast eps)
  • Guest Episodes – 12 | (21.81% of total podcast eps)

Total 2014 Podcast Time: 83:35’48

In other words, we released enough audio to last 3.47 Days or 0.9% of the Year.

Most Active Month (for Podcasting) – April7 eps | (12.7% of episodes released)

Least Active Month (for Podcasting) – January/September3 eps | (5.4% of episodes release)

Podcast Episode Releases By Month

  • 1-Jan – 3
  • 2-Feb – 4
  • 3-Mar – 4
  • 4-Apr – 7
  • 5-May – 5
  • 6-Jun – 5
  • 7-July – 5
  • 8-Aug – 4
  • 9-Sept – 3
  • 10-Oct – 5
  • 11-Nov – 6
  • 12-Dec – 4

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(Some of) My Favorite OV Podcast Eps of 2014

One last thing before you go, check out six of my favorite episodes of The Obsessive Viewer from 2014.

Thank you for reading and supporting my friends and me. It truly means the world to me and I’m looking forward to another great year of blogging and podcasting about my love of movies and television.

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8 responses to “My 2014 Best & Worst Movies and Viewing Stats

  1. Great job to all of your guys throughout the year 🙂 I totally agree with God’s Not Dead as THE WORST movie of the year, but would have moved Gone Girl farther up on your list of the best movies. 🙂 Here’s to 2015!

    Like

    • Thanks Chelsea!

      I didn’t expect God’s Not Dead to be anything other than garbage. I hated it on multiple levels.

      I really liked Gone Girl. I went through a lot of revising with my top ten. I’m planning on rewatching Gone Girl here in a couple weeks. I’m curious how I’ll feel about its placement on my list after rewatching it.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Tiny’s 2014 Cinematic Year in Review (365 Days, 366 Movies) | The Obsessive Viewer

  3. Pingback: Mike’s Best & Worst Movies of 2014 | The Obsessive Viewer

  4. Pingback: The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 89 – 2014 in Review Part I – Viewing Stats and Worst Movies | The Obsessive Viewer

  5. Pingback: The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 90 – 2014 in Review Part II – Best Movies of 2014 | The Obsessive Viewer

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