Everybody’s Chattin’ + Good/Bad Movie Surprises of 2014


It’s the day after Christmas and I’m taking a bit of a blogging break so I can catch up on reviews. I couldn’t help starting a bunch of year-end lists though, I’ll be posting them towards the end of the year and spill over into January. It’s always fun making lists and I was inspired by Ms Mariah’s comprehensive list of Best/Worst of 2014. So speaking of inspiring posts …

… here are what blogger’s been chattin’ about this past week:

Let’s start with the Christmas-themed posts. Josh shared his Top 10 Christmas Songs, whilst Chris shared some of his to get you in the festive mood. Meanwhile, Dell shared about the movie he grew up with: A Christmas Story.

Now, while some are still thinking about their 2014 lists, Steven‘s already set his mind on movies he’s anticipating from next year. Check out Part 1 of his Most-Anticipated list!

My pal Cindy once again posted a thought-provoking topic that bring back lots of movie memories, this time she focuses on Memorable Opening Scenes.

Margaret’s Rambling Friday is always a lot of fun! In this week’s edition, she posted first footage from Game of Thrones season 5 and offered her quick thoughts on SONY’s The Interview

Lastly, Mark reviewed British indie thriller ’71 starring this year’s young rising star Jack O’Connell; while Melissa and Dan posted their thoughts on two indie movies that I enjoyed from this year: Chef and Begin Again 

Speaking of those year-end lists, I was thinking about some of biggest movie surprises of 2014. I’m just gonna list a few just to keep the discussion started, so let’s start with the positive.


These three movies took me by surprise as I wasn’t even anticipating them, yet I ended up enjoying the heck out of them and would easily see them again.


John Wick


Edge of Tomorrow


Big Hero 6


On the contrary, I had been anticipating these and there’s plenty of hype surrounding them, but they all pretty much let me down. These aren’t the worst films I saw (there’s a separate list for that later), I just expected so much more but found them to be rather meh, boring even. It’s too bad as all of them had such a stellar cast!


The Monuments Men




The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

So, what are your good and bad movie surprises from 2014?

36 thoughts on “Everybody’s Chattin’ + Good/Bad Movie Surprises of 2014

  1. Thanks for the sound out, Ruth 😉 Well, my favorite movie was Grand Budapest Hotel. The script was a treasure trove, the score divine, the production design/costumes out of this world, the ensemble cast sardonic and fun, and Ralph Fiennes, I predict, will finally be awarded a statue for his exceptional performance. My respect for Wes Anderson rises with each production.

    1. My pleasure Cindy! Grand Budapest is definitely a hoot, but it’s not all that surprising as somehow I knew I’d enjoy it. Hope Ralph would do more lighter roles like that. He’s so good at it!

  2. Ruth! Happy Holidays, thank you for the shout out. I agree with you Monuments Men was horrible, I had high hopes for that one. Just saw Edge of Tomorrow, loved it and Emily’s character was just too awesome. A movie I was disappointed by was Winter’s Tale, but really should I have been that surprised considering Colin Farrell was in it? Also, Mockingjay and Divergent. Good surprises would have to be seeing Mark Ruffalo in so many good roles, especially in the Normal Heart and Foxcatcher, he really hit it out of the park for 2014.

    1. Melissa dahling! Ahah yeah, Winter’s Tale wasn’t a surprise that it’s not a good movie, but I guess I was surprised how horrible it was. Oh yeah, this is the year I actually noticed how good Ruffalo was. He’s super good in Begin Again and Foxcatcher, two VERY different roles that he pulled off perfectly.

      1. Glad we are in agreement on that and I am sure Miss Sati is too. I have to say I didn’t really like Begin Again as a movie, but I really enjoyed his performance in it and with Foxcatcher he showed us his true acting capabilities.

  3. I have to say my biggest good surprise was GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Granted, I cry easily, but I’d never have expected to do so while watching that. Re: MONUMENTS MEN, I read the book and I think making it into a movie may well have been an impossible task. I hope somebody will make a mini-series, because it’s a story that should be told. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and all blessings in the New Year to you, doll.

    1. Hey Paula, hope you had a great Christmas. I rewatched GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY about a week ago and yeah it’s really a lot of fun. Oh I agree Monuments Men would’ve been great as a miniseries and make it more character-driven. Blessings in the New Year, too, my friend!

  4. Merry Xmas Ruth. As you’ll have noticed, I’ve not been that active these days either. I’ve already written a few reviews and posts but haven’t posted them as I’m kinda burned out with blogging.

    Have to say, I’m surprised you were left disappointed in The Hobbit. You enjoyed the first two if I remember correctly?

    1. Belated Merry Christmas Mark! Hey that’s totally ok to take a bit of a break. I hope you get a wonderful holiday, and for sure I’ll be checking out your blog whenever you’re back again.

      Yeah I was disappointed by this last one as I had a pretty high hope given my positive experience with the first two. You have an excellent memory! 😀

  5. Thanks Ruth. The Monuments Men was disappointing. To think with a cast like that and a great premise, it had the makings of a brilliant film. Instead, it just falls short…. that was disappointing.

  6. I think the biggest surprise was probably Edge of Tomorrow, which I never expected to love as much as I did. I’d also put Guardians of the Galaxy, as before the first trailer was released, I had no clue how they were going to pull it off, especially not as good as they did. My biggest disappointment would be The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which I thought was an absolute train wreck, but other than that, I normally try pretty hard to avoid ‘bad’ releases.

    1. Hi Billy! Yeah Edge of Tomorrow was definitely a good surprise, wasn’t it? The trailer looked so generic, like yet another Tom Cruise action flick. I like Guardians too, and I too had no idea who they were even after the first trailer. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is awful, but yet I wasn’t surprised that it’d be bad.

  7. Thanks for the link! I’m with you that Interstelllar was not bad, great visuals, just a bit underwhelming in terms of storytelling.
    Good surprises, Begin Again was better than I expected

    1. Glad you agree on those two films Chris! But I wasn’t too surprised Begin Again would be good, but Keira’s performance was surprisingly good I’d have to say.

  8. Ted S.

    I don’t really have surprises this year when it comes to movies, many of them met my expectations. Guess if I have to choose one I’ll go with Exodus, I didn’t have any expectations for it but didn’t think it’s going to be that bad.

    1. Hey Ted! Funny you mentioned Exodus. I ended up seeing it with some friends and I figured hey it might be worth a matinee price. I actually liked it more than I thought, but as I’m familiar w/ the Biblical story, they took way too much liberty with the story, much to its detriment.

  9. Thanks for the link! Good surprise would probably be Nightcrawler and bad one? Huh. I never thought I’d enjoy Interstellar so that was not a surprise, but perhaps Calvary, which everyone recommend and was so boring

    1. My pleasure Sati! Man I still need to see Nightcrawler, seems that the praise has been unanimous. Bummer about Calvary though, I usually like Brendan Gleeson’s films.

    1. Hi Adam, good to see you stop by man. Haven’t seen Blue Ruin and Frank yet, but bummer that you find Imitation Game disappointing. Agree that Godzilla is rather meh though.

  10. Unfortunately Big Hero 6 hasn’t been released here yet (I think February next year!), but agree with the other two. Another big surprise for me was the Argentinian Wild Tales. Biggest disappointment is probably the last Hobbit movie.

    1. Oh my, that’s way too long to wait! Why did it take that long for Big Hero 6 to open there? That’s odd. Oh yeah, the third Hobbit was disappointing for me, too. It felt rather uneventful.

  11. Thanks for the link! Oh, I loved Edge of Tomorrow! I didn’t know what to expect, but it was a very entertaining movie. Haha, I actually liked all of your not-so-good surprises. 🙂

  12. It’s funny, because I think John Wick, Edge of Tomorrow, and Big Hero 6 would all make my top 20 list for the year, possibly some even breaking into the top 10, whereas I didn’t even bother seeing The Monuments Men. I still did enjoy Interstellar, although it wasn’t as good as I was hoping for. I also enjoyed the last Hobbit offering a bit more than you did, but I haven’t decided where it falls on my top list for the year yet.

    1. Glad to hear Fernando! Btw, have you seen John Wick? I was surprised how much I enjoyed that too, and usually I’m not a huge fan of violent thrillers.

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