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Friday Summary: Favorite Films of 2014 (Redux)

By Rich

Rich here. Something went wonky so most of the Summary didn’t load properly on Friday. So I am reposting with the lost content…

The Securosis blog has been around since 2006, with pretty much constant posts over that entire time (multiple posts a week, with a few exceptions). That is a lot of words, a large percentage of which came through my keyboard.

We have always used the Summary (and when Mike joined, the Incite) to add some color to our security coverage, and give glimpses into our personal lives, or random thoughts that don’t really fit in a security-oriented blog post. I will expand on that in some posts this year, starting today with a post on my favorite films of 2014. Yep, you heard me, and you can skip to the Summary itself below if you just want the top links and news of the week.

Favorite Films of 2014

These aren’t necessarily the best movies of the year – not even close – but the ones I most enjoyed. My wife and I are huge film buffs, but since having (3 young) kids we dropped from seeing movies near weekly, to monthly if we are lucky. This changed our tastes because due to constant exhaustion we are more likely to pick something light and fun than arty and independent (we still watch those, usually over 2 nights, at home).

Top Films I Saw in a Theater

Guardians of the Galaxy: Flat out, the most fun I had in a theater all year. I saw it twice, then bought the Blu-Ray (3D with digital copy) for home. Some consider comic book films the death of ‘serious’ movies, but as we transition deeper into the digital age spectacles like this will sustain movie theaters and allow more serious films to still show in the smaller rooms at the back of the megaplex.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Almost my #1 pick because this one elevated the ‘classic’ comic-book genre film. Its comments on society were heavy-handed but the timing was perfect – especially if you know what’s coming in the Civil War storyline. But what really hooked me were the effects and character of Cap himself. His movements, style, and pure kinesis made even the Avengers action scenes look pedestrian.

Gravity: I love space. I went to Space Camp three times as a kid (and considering our limited household income, that was more than a big deal). The science may have been way off in parts, but the immersive 3D IMAX experience was incredible. And the tension? Oh, the tension! It makes me almost want to cry that I missed seeing Interstellar on an IMAX screen.

Favorite Film Most of You Skipped

Edge of Tomorrow: This did poorly in the theaters, and we only watched it on an iPad at 35,000 feet ourselves, but I immediately bought the book on my Kindle when we landed. If you have ever ground out a level in a video game this is the movie for you. If you want to see Tom Cruise die, a lot, this is the movie for you. If you want to see the best time-travel film since Looper… you know the rest. And definitely read the book.

The One We Loved Until Our iTunes Rental Expired

The Grand Budapest Hotel: I have the Blu-Ray from Netflix sitting here so we can watch the last 20 minutes. But unless they completely suck this was Wes Anderson at his best. Amazing style, characters with panache, and his usual visual splendor.

The One I Enjoyed, but Really Didn’t Get As Much As Anyone Else

Snowpiercer: I get it, Bong Joon-Ho is awesome and Tilda Swinton just nailed it, but I still don’t understand why this made so many Top 10 lists. It was good, but not that good.

My Favorites with the Kids

Our girls are finally old enough to sit through and enjoy a movie with, and this was an awesome year to bond in a theater (or with a rental).

The Lego Movie: I really really really wish we had seb this in the theater, instead of on video, but we all loved it. Our dining room table has been covered in Legos for months, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. The message hit the perfect tone of “be creative, but sometimes you still need to listen to your damn parents so you don’t die a tragic death!” Maybe I’m projecting, a little.

How to Train Your Dragon 2: Oh, wow. Even on a smaller 3D TV at home this is still amazing (we did see it in a theater first). It goes where few kids films have the balls for any more, putting you on an emotional roller coaster with plenty of spectacle. I really love this series, and will be sad when it ends with the next one.

Big Hero 6: Another one full of emotion, evoking classic Disney themes in a fully modern, comic-book tale. It could have gone horribly wrong and is far from perfect, but the kids loved it, we enjoyed it, and the visual design is truly special. I wouldn’t place this up there with The Incredibles, but it really shines is creating bonds between the audience and the main characters.

Favorite Comedy

Neighbors: I enjoyed 22 Jump Street, but Neighbors had a few scenes that floored me. Let’s be honest – I am at a stage of life where I can appreciate a hangover + full boobs joke more than when I was 20 or 30.

The One I Will Only See in Private

Boyhood: I have kids. I’m going to cry. Screw you if you think I’m doing that in a theater.

The Best Movie to See While Hopped up on Painkillers after… Guy Surgery

G.I. Joe: Retaliation: Not much else to say. I dare you to refute.

There are a lot of other films I enjoyed, especially Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but these were my overall favorites. There were also a lot of films I missed, most of which I keep on a list for later rental. I’m also sure I’m forgetting some, but there you have it. I may cover television in a later post, which will be interesting because I timeshift everything I watch, and some shows haven’t even been on the air for a year or more.

On to the Summary:

Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences

Favorite Securosis Posts

Skipping this week since we are just back to the office, and don’t have enough posts to pick from.

Other Securosis Posts

Favorite Outside Posts

  • David Mortman: Tech Super Women.
  • Mort (again): It’s Usability All the Way Down
  • Mike Rothman: Hack Yourself First. Great post by Jeremiah Grossman about the need to test your stuff. Before the adversary (nation state or not) does it for you…
  • Mike Rothman: Scaling CloudFlare’s WAF. We joke about “Internet scale,” but some organizations actually need to think about scalability different. Interesting post here about how CloudFlare does some filtering of the inbound traffic on the websites they protect.
  • Adrian Lane: Sony Breach Linked to …. This is awesome. Don’t like the answer? Click refresh and get the one you want, complete with details to back up your assumption.
  • Rich: How Lego Became the Apple of Toys. I admit I have a bit of a Lego problem, but I love stories on creating quality.

Research Reports and Presentations

Top News and Posts

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