Movies of the Year 2014

Just in time! I set myself the extremely ambitious target of watching 52 movies released in 2014 during the year, and made it by binge-watching (for me) four movies in four days up to New Year’s Eve. Admittedly my target was to watch 52 movies at the cinema, but I cheated slightly at the end and watched a handful on download or DVD. But my excuse was that these were the movies I’d missed at the cinema which I thought still might make my Top Ten, and I needed to see them. Next year let’s try for 52 at the cinema, but that’s going to rely on Cineworld Cambridge not being sold off to a chain without an Unlimited card. We can but hope.

So here we go then, 51 movies categorised into five ratings. And one I don’t know what to make of.

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HIGHLIGHTS OF 2014

OK, I’ll put this group into some sort of order. But I suspect if you ask me tomorrow, I’ll change it. All of them are terrific movies.

10. The Lego Movie

Hilarious on many levels, like all great kids’ movies.

9. Gone Girl

Gripping thriller, especially as I managed not to hear about the twist before seeing it.

8. Belle

Not a huge fan of period drama usually, but a cut above.

7. The Imitation Game

Just about got away with all the exposition necessary for a wide audience.

6. Paddington

So pleased I saw this – it will become a kids’ classic – but so much for adults too.

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Funny in such a strange way. Really want to see this again some time.

4. Pride

As Mark Kermode said, just makes you want to go out and punch the air. Fabulous.

3. Frank

Strange, funny, brilliant and quite affecting.

2. Edge Of Tomorrow

Simply a great, edge-of-your-seat thriller but with some hilarious moments too.

1. Boyhood

Amazing. Just got better in the days after watching it, as I thought more about it.

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I’D WATCH THESE AGAIN

These were all great too, and to be honest, if and when I watch any of them again, I’ll probably think “that could have been in the Top Ten”.

Begin Again
Chef
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Lucy
Maleficent
The Double
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
The Monuments Men
The Wolf of Wall Street
What We Did On Our Holiday

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A DECENT NIGHT OUT

These were all movies which I enjoyed, and came home saying good things about.

A Long Way Down
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Godzilla
Muppets Most Wanted
Nightcrawler
Pompeii
Soul Boys of the Western World
The Armstrong Lie
The Love Punch
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Walking on Sunshine

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FORGOTTEN THEM ALREADY

What it says. Not necessarily bad movies, but ones which I’m not sure I can remember what happened, and which I won’t be anxious to watch when they come on the telly.

Before I Go To Sleep
Cuban Fury
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Divergent
Her
Hercules
Last Vegas
Noah
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The Maze Runner
The Rewrite
The Two Faces of January
X-Men: Days of Future Past

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WHY DID NOBODY WARN ME?

In the case of the two comedies, just dreadful movies. In the case of the other three, they might have been decent movies to many people, but after reading such good reviews, for me they were just huge letdowns.

22 Jump Street
American Hustle
Inside Llewyn Davis
Mr Turner
Night at the Museum 3

And finally, my “I’VE NO IDEA WHAT TO SAY” award goes to Under The Skin. One of the oddest movies I’ve ever seen. I can understand those charts which made it the movie of the year because it’s certainly remarkable. But I don’t know what to make of it.

What do you think of the chart?

O2 Arena Parking Tips 2019

(Updated regularly)


This post lists what I’ve found out about parking at the Greenwich, London O2 Arena (the old Millennium Dome), and my experience of event parking there. I hope it’s useful, and please use the comments to add anything else which you know! The article was originally written at the end of 2014, but has been continually updated. More importantly, the comments thread at the bottom has taken on a life of its own and now, going into 2019, it’s just as useful as the article itself, so do read everything. If you’re short on time, read the introduction here, then scroll all the way to the bottom and start reading the most recent comments first.

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Songs of the Year 2014

For the last couple of years I’ve managed to come up with a top 100 songs of the year, but (disturbingly), I couldn’t find 100 I really like this year. To be fair, with three weeks of the year to go, I may still discover more good stuff, especially when playing through the various critics’ charts. But with Rolling Stone declaring the best albums of the year to be by Bruce Springsteen and U2, I think we may have to accept it just wasn’t a good year. The redeeming features (and what redeeming features!) were the expected release of an album by Half Man Half Biscuit, and the very unexpected release of an album by Pink Floyd. I could probably have picked out half a dozen songs from each of those albums to fillout this top 20, but as ever, I’ve limited myself to no more than one song from any one act. I’ve allowed some others into the full 70 though.

Anyway, here are my top 20 songs, and for the full list of new songs I really liked, scroll past the number one at the bottom. There are individual Spotify links for the full list, and it’s available as a playlist here. If you find something new, enjoy!

20. Torrent – Ásgeir

19. Market Town – Echo And The Bunnymen

18. Luna – Fear of Men

17. Happy – Pharrell Williams

16. Kqu – Pat Metheny

15. Waking Light – Beck

14. New York Morning – Elbow

13. Amelia – snowbird

12. Black Tambourine – Withered Hand

11. Anonymous – Weezer

10. Perturbator’s Theme – Perturbator

9. Reach Out – Rumer

8. Angela – Allo Darlin’

http://allodarlin.bandcamp.com/track/angela

7. Giorgio’s Theme – Giorgio Moroder

https://soundcloud.com/wmstrecs/giorgios-theme

6. Magnolia – Eric Clapton

5. I Ain’t Waiting – Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band

4. Matthew Arnold’s Field – Ben Watt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KSThSVxBPg

3. Family Tree – Meadowlark

2. The Unfortunate Gwatkin – Half Man Half Biscuit

1. It’s What We Do – Pink Floyd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb4CHveIS50

Here’s the full list of 70 songs with Spotify links: