After the Hype #84 – Best of 2014



What do BOYHOOD, BIRDMAN, THE BABADOOK, and DANCE OF REALITY have in common? They’re all vying for top spot in our BEST OF THE YEAR episode! Bryan and Jon are joined by Graham and newcomer Kurtis to go over each of the four films and try to figure out which one reigns supreme in twenty-fourteen.

Let’s get to it, shall we?




While these honorable mentions didn’t make our top spot for the year, we wanted to share them with you.

JON – Next Gen gaming and the promise of new technology/storytelling. Specifically, the Nemesis system and anything that Bioware is doing.
GRAHAM – The HBO and Netflix slate and how that has really upped the television game.



BEST OF 2014

The person who picked their movie was not able to vote for it, and each person was given 12 minutes to present the best argument to the group why their film should win. At the end of the process everyone put forth their vote and explained why they voted the way they did. Pretty simple, really.



Bryan’s choice!

+1 vote from Jon.


Jon’s choice!

+1 vote from Graham, Bryan, and Kurtis.


Graham’s choice!

No votes.


Kurtis’ choice!

No votes.



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Jonathan Hardesty

I’m curious how others would go on this discussion. Babadook and Birdman got a lot of love, but it would be interesting to see if anyone else fall on the side of Boyhood or Dance of Reality. Wasn’t really a fan of Dance, but I appreciated some of the surreal moments. Probably wasn’t a great fist film of his to watch. And I’ve never really been wowed by Linklater, having only seen Dazed and Confused, Scanner Darkly, and Boyhood.

David Brook

I think there are plenty here at Row Three who would vote for Boyhood 🙂

I wasn’t a massive fan of Dance either. There were some great moments, but the low budget and digital filmmaking didn’t always serve his style well in my opinion so some of it just came across as a bit naff. I’ve only seen one other of his films though, so I’m a Jodorowsky novice like you.

Jonathan Hardesty

Yeah, can’t really say I know enough about Jodorowsky to really put much of an opinion forward about him as a filmmaker, but to Kurtis’ credit he gave some interesting defenses of the movie. I’d be curious to go back and watch his older films and see if any of those grab me more so than Dance. And agreed on the digital filmmaking not serving his style well. Everything just looked cheap, which overshadowed some of the more interesting and surreal moments.

I tried to pry it out of Graham in the episode, but I wonder how much of the enjoyment of Boyhood is similar to how people enjoy Tree of Life in that it’s the experiences you are able to bring to the movie.

It was a tough choice for me, personally, in that I really loved both Babadook and Birdman. They did some great things that spoke to me directly and I had to give the edge to Birdman for its ending. Still, much love for The Babadook!

Andrew James

If I were in this group I would be championing Boyhood (of course!), but forced to vote for someone else’s pick I would also have voted Birdman. It’s very accessible art in my opinion. I haven’t met or talked to anyone who didn’t enjoy it on some level.

Jonathan Hardesty

I may be biased some, since it was my choice, but I definitely agree. Birdman was very accessible and all the actors gave A+ performances. I know Bryan wasn’t a huge fan of Emma Stone, but I REALLY liked her in this. Hitting that mopey teen “thing” is a tough job and she pulled it off. And I LOVE that ending. I wish more films ended in bleak, yet hopeful delusions.

BUT – and this is a rather big but – I kinda wish it had been more of a tie with BABADOOK. That film made me so damn uncomfortable and for horror to do that is kind of a rare treat.