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2014 Year in Review: Movie Round-Up! Guardians, Babadook, Jump St. and More...

It's that time of year!  What's the album of the year?  Television show?  Film?  Rated Wrong is ready to tell you what to think about everything that assaulted your senses in 2014.  But first, we look at the also rans.  Everything else that we endured in the epic search to find the biggest, bestest, sweetest pieces of entertainment of this year that was.

Up first:  Every movie I saw this year that wasn't my pick for Movie of the Year:

The Rundown

Grand Budapest Hotel - A- = Charming, exciting, and surprisingly vulgar.  Not quite the masterpiece that Moonrise Kingdom was but still among Wes Anderson's very best.

Enough famous faces to fill a clown car.

Lone Survivor - B- = Fantastic action and performances in the lead roles.  The storytelling is emotional puppetry at its finest.  Loses points for its cheesy final act.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier - B- = Not a bad affair as far Marvel movies go, but runs too long (as usual)  and fails to cash in on any big emotional pay off.

Enemy - B =  This twisted indie flick starring Jake Gyllenhaal is a little hard to firmly grasp, but very engaging and will leave you thinking long after it ends.

The Obvious Child – C+ = A little too self aware and nearly devolves into a fantasy, but the unapologetic spirit of the film keeps it afloat.

Godzilla – C-  = Some good moments of action and emotion but ultimately there are too many faces we don’t care about and too much going on we don’t understand.

Not even Heisenberg could save it.

The Raid 2 – B+  = Top notch, martial arts blood fest.  Amazing fights, simple plot, only thing keeping it from perfection is its two hour and forty minute run time.

Neighbors – C+ = I really wanted to like this movie more than I did.  Good chemistry between actors but it doesn’t translate into many laughs.

Edge of Tomorrow – A-  = Fun and expertly crafted sci-fi action stock.  Cruise doing what he does best: getting the job done.

Tom Cruise in a role you can actually believe him as the underdog in.

X-Men: Days of Future Past – B = Fun popcorn movie full of entertaining supporting characters, if only the story was just as entertaining.  Loses luster with repeated viewings

Palo Alto – B+  = If you had told me I was about to watch a movie written by James Franco, starring Val Kilmer's son and directed by a Coppola child about a bunch of spoiled highschoolers I'd probably really want to hate it. Palo Alto has nearly everything going against it, but this loosely told tale of aimless teenagers in California has a lot of heart and rings very true.

No seriously, it is actually really good.

They Came Together – C = Paul Rudd and Amy Pohler keep this nudge-nudge wink-wink comedy afloat best they can.

The Babadook – B- = This movie came with a lot of hype.  Well acted, but highly unscary and the ending got a little silly.

Screaming a lot in a poorly lit house does not = scary.

22 Jump Street – B+ = A riotously clever (almost too clever) sequel to the raunchy 21 Jump Street.  Hard to see where they will go from here, but it can almost be guaranteed they’ll try.  Funniest movie of the year.

Interstellar - B+ = Stunning visuals and incredible sound (an Academy Award in the bank) more than make up for a patchwork plot and predictable story.  McConaughey is fantastic but damn if Anne Hatheway doesn't have the ultimate resting bitch face.

Guardians of the Galaxy – A- = Well paced action movie with a lot of heart and just the right amount of humor.  A comic book movie that you don't need to be a comic book nerd to love.  The second best movie of the year.

Lets see your second place victory dance Guardians!

undefined on Disney Video

Wondering what the movie of the year is?  Return Friday afternoon to find out!


Gentlemen's DisAgreement - July 31st - 2014


Look out!  It's another episode of the Gentlemen's DisAgreement podcast!


In this episode Ryan Keough joins me to discuss the merits of A.V. Club Undercover's covers as well as what really are the greatest Saturday morning cartoons of our collective childhood.

0:00 - A.V. Club talk

13:50 - Cartoons

53:30 - Your Opinions!

Gentlemen's DisAgreement 7/31/2014 CLICK HERE!




Top Five Saturday Morning Cartoons!

Saturday Morning Cartoons were an integral part of any American kid's youth.  They dictated what games you played with your friends, what sort of lunch box you brought to school, and what you asked for on your birthday.

As adults most of these cartoons are distant memories that we hope can remain a beautiful piece of nostalgia connected to a simpler time for us, and not some crappy Michael Bay movie.  Here at Rated Wrong we are not satisfied to let sleeping dogs lie and a list has been constructed assigning value to each of our precious childhood memories.

Now, to the rankings!

But first...

Before we get down to it, there are some ground rules.

#1.  The Cartoon must have originally aired between 1986-1995 (Age 0-10 for your's truly).  So, Sorry He-Man, but the only real memories I have of you are my siblings and cousins talking about you.

#2.  It must have actually been a SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON.  This means Batman The Animated Series, Ren and Stimpy, Animaniacs and all Nickelodeon and Disney cartoons (who only aired old Looney Tunes and cartoons for babies in the AM) are out!

#3.  Toys matter.  Let's not kid ourselves, 99% of Saturday morning cartoon episodes were interchangeable, disposable, crap.  It was the look of the show that made it great.  Looks count.  Toys count.

Now, to the rankings!

But first...

Honorable Mention

G.I. Joe (1985)

You know, if there was some sort of technological apocalypse and suddenly no one could access a television or computer, I'm not certain I could even be convinced there was ever a G.I. Joe television cartoon.  By far the most memorable thing to spawn from them was the PSA's.  I challenge anyone to tell me about the plot of any episode of G.I. Joe the animated series.  I don't think it can be done.

What can be done, is a massive plastic war between all the great action figures.  I probably had twice as many G.I. Joe toys than anything else growing up.  I even remember that I somehow ended up with three of the same guy at one point.  My favorite were probably the little helicopter dudes.

Also, the movies aren't totally awful.

Surprise Ommission

ThunderCats (1985)

I'm just gonna kill the suspense right now, ThunderCats doesn't make the list.

I could make up some nonsense reason about animation or characters, but the truth is, I simply don't remember ever watching it.  Maybe I'm a weirdo, maybe it only aired when I was at baseball practice, I don't know.  But aside from the theme song, the names of a few characters, and "ThunderCats Ho!" - all of which I didn't discover until years later - I couldn't tell you a thing about this show.  So ThunderCats, I'm sorry, but if it's any consolation you had to make room for this next forgotten classic...


Dino Riders (1988)

"Harness the Power of Dinosaurs".  Dino Riders had, bar none, the coolest toys of any Saturday morning cartoon ever.  Just Look at it, LOOK AT IT!

My connection to Dino Riders pretty much solely extends to visiting my cousin Brian's house as a child and watching his VHS tapes of the show.  I loved it, but to this day have never met another soul who remembers it.

Dino Riders was the pinnacle of cynicism in children's entertainment.  A mere 14 episodes were rolled out to help promote the toy line (but oh, what a toy line!).  In spite of this, the show did have a few memorable characters and a plot that was brilliant in its simplicity (even if it was kind of a Transformers rip off).

Also, the main bad guy sounded exactly like Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget.


Transformers (1984)

"More than Meets the Eye."  Tranformers is another one that I can't remember much about it in the way of characters or engrossing story line.  I knew there was Optimus, Megatron, Starscream, Bumblebee, the cop car one, the one shaped like a cassette, and Hot Rod (that little bitch) from the movie.

What I do remember, is my 7th birthday, when I got Starscream the action figure.  I instantly knew, I KNEW, it was the coolest toy I had.  It had guns, missiles, was surprisingly big, and could turn into a fighter jet.  I mean, I also had Optimus Prime but c'mon, Starscream turns into a freakin' fighter jet.


ExoSquad (1993)

The surprise pick on this list and also - by far - the best show.

ExoSquad, according to Wikipedia, was made in response the rising tide of Japanese anime.  The end result was a fun and surprisingly intelligent sci-fi war cartoon.  Drawing inspiration from a slew of Sci-fi sources including, Star Trek, Mechwarrior, and Starship Troopers (the novel).  Interestingly, the plot is quite similar to the remake of Battlestar Galactica, although it predates it.

If you can track down the two seasons for viewing, I highly recommend.

Also, the toys are awesome, of course.


X-Men (1992)

X-Men, an unabashed classic of childhood for anyone between the ages of 25 and 35 had a lot going for it.  The show itself had strong, fun characters thanks to the source material.  It also had actual plots and memorable episodes.

The opening is great.  Introducing the cast of heroes (with Cyclops first, because he is the best).  And it will be forever immortalized in the party arcade game (dibs Nightcrawler!).

It was one of the most talk about shows at Center Road Elementary.  But, for me, it was difficult to catch it on Saturday mornings, because it ran in direct competition with the next show on the list...


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)

Was there ever any doubt?  You might have played X-men with your friends growing up.  You may have even watched an episode of G.I. Joe.  But everyone played TMNT.  

Everyone had a favorite (Mine was Michelangelo, for his love of pizza, fun personality, and wearing of the greatest color of all time: orange).  Everyone saw the movie when it came out.

There was an endless supply of action figures, and you and all your friends had 'em.  Even the side characters were memorable.  Casey Jones and Mono Gecko will always hold a special place in my childhood memories.

People still wear TMNT t-shirts and dress up like the characters on Halloween.  I could probably sing most of the theme song from memory (Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines "That's a fact, jack").  And in the UK, they had to change their name to Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles because Margaret Thatcher thought they were destroying the youth of the world!  How cool is that?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been a lifelong celebration for children of the 80s, and it will never stop, at least until Michael Bay ruins it.