Film = As per usual I've dug through my reviews for 5/5 films. No need to cheat this year, as I watched a small handful of genuine made-in-2014 contenders, such as Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and Predestination. But the clear favourite for me is Automata. It didn't get great critical reviews, nor is it a huge Hollywood blockbuster, but I really enjoyed the film from start to finish. It had a great atmosphere, and felt like a bit of an underdog. And I like an underdog.
TV = Some reasonable TV out there this year, mostly in the shape of ongoing favourites such as Whose Line Is It Anyway, Mythbusters, Big Bang Theory, Saturday Night Live, and the final season of True Blood. There was also an excellent Black Mirror Christmas special, and a couple of new things in the shape of the so-so The Strain, and the excellent True Detective. But again the choice is clear for me, in terms of ongoing TV, with the The Walking Dead. This season seemed to have more ups than downs (in script quality terms), and was mostly gripping. I look forward to more in February, and I hope they can sustain it.
Album = Music is where I begin to struggle for choice, because of the time and focus it requires to get through a lot of it and find the gems. There were some OK overall efforts for me, such as Thievery Corporation's Saudade, Sia's 1000 Forms of Fear, and Royksopp's The Inevitable End. Coldplay's Ghost Stories was surprisingly good I thought. A very strong honourable mention for Nutty Noah's Third Adventure, which has kept Amélie and I thoroughly entertained. Like last year though I cannot choose between my two favourite albums of the year, Penguin Café's The Red Book, and Anathema's Distant Satellites. And both unusually and coincidentally I got to see both bands perform their albums and other tracks live (yay for affordable live music, and yay for friends Rob and Richard!). The Red Book feels like a natural and positive evolution of the Penguin Cafe sound, with Arthur Jeffes having taken over for two albums now from his sadly deceased father, Simon Jeffes. Distant Satellites might on first listen sound like somewhat anaemic white man's rock, but there's a lot more to it than that, and some haunting, beautiful, and downright stonking tracks abound.
Game = I honestly can't remember what I played at the start of the year, when last in Brazil (Far Cry 3 possibly?). But the only games I can remember having played this year are Shadowrun: Dragonfall, Alien: Isolation, and Elite: Dangerous, all bought within the last few days. After a brief case of love/hate, I'm now enjoying Elite: Dangerous more than any of the others, even though I'll never have the time to play it properly.
Book = Sorry books, you're always at the bottom of the list, as this is where my time runs out. This year I only read the one book, so not a lot to choose from. But it was a very good book, in the shape of Lee Evans' autobiography The Life of Lee. Twas a fascinating tale of how the very funny comedian came from very humble beginnings.
(Past faves from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.)
What were your favourites?