What I watched in… November 2017

justice-league-poster-fandango

Favorite of the Month: Justice League (2017)

In the interest of full disclosure (and to generate a little content here) I thought I’d present a regular tally of what movies I managed to see in the previous month. Some of them I’ve written or talked about, most of them I haven’t. This list includes movies I saw for the first time, movies I’ve seen a thousand times, movies I saw in the theater, movies I watched at home, direct-to-DVD, made-for-TV and anything else that qualifies as a movie. I also choose my favorite of the month among those movies I saw for the first time, marked in red. Feel free to discuss or ask about any of them!

  1. The Deadly Mantis (1957), D-
  2. The Brides of Dracula (1960), B-
  3. Spielberg (2017), B
  4. Barracuda (1978), F
  5. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), D+
  6. Blacula (1972), D
  7. Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson (2017), B+
  8. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), A+
  9. The Wizard of Oz (1939), A+
  10. Hidden Figures (2016), A-
  11. Jack Frost (1979), B-
  12. Justice League (2017), B+
  13. Matilda (1996), B+
  14. Fun in Balloon Land (1965), F; RiffTrax Riff, B+
  15. Home For the Holidays (1995), C
  16. The Great Santa Claus Switch (1970), B+
  17. A Christmas Story Documentary: Road Trip For Ralphie (2008), D
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What I Watched in… October 2017

itttttt

Favorite of the Month: It (2017)

In the interest of full disclosure (and to generate a little content here) I thought I’d present a regular tally of what movies I managed to see in the previous month. Some of them I’ve written or talked about, most of them I haven’t. This list includes movies I saw for the first time, movies I’ve seen a thousand times, movies I saw in the theater, movies I watched at home, direct-to-DVD, made-for-TV and anything else that qualifies as a movie. I also choose my favorite of the month among those movies I saw for the first time, marked in red. Feel free to discuss or ask about any of them!

  1. Saboteur (1942), B
  2. Little Evil (2017), B+
  3. The Black Cat (1934), B
  4. WNUF Halloween Special (2013), B+
  5. Basket Case (1982), D+
  6. Child’s Play (1988), B+
  7. Child’s Play 2 (1990), B+
  8. Child’s Play 3 (1991), C+
  9. Bride of Chucky (1998), B+
  10. Seed of Chucky (2004), B-
  11. Curse of Chucky (2013), B+
  12. Cult of Chucky (2017), B
  13. Found Footage 3D (2016), B
  14. If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast (2017), B+
  15. Train to Busan (2016), A-
  16. Grabbers (2012), B
  17. Dude Bro Party Massacre III (2015), D+
  18. Friday the 13th (1980), B
  19. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), B
  20. Tarantula (1955), C
  21. A Disney Halloween (1983), A
  22. Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), C+
  23. C.H.U.D. (1984), C
  24. The Sandlot (1993), A
  25. Mad Monster Party? (1967), B
  26. It (2017), A
  27. Michael Jackson’s Halloween (2017), D

What I Watched in… September 2017

Colossal

Favorite of the Month: Colossal (2017)

In the interest of full disclosure (and to generate a little content here) I thought I’d present a regular tally of what movies I managed to see in the previous month. Some of them I’ve written or talked about, most of them I haven’t. This list includes movies I saw for the first time, movies I’ve seen a thousand times, movies I saw in the theater, movies I watched at home, direct-to-DVD, made-for-TV and anything else that qualifies as a movie. I also choose my favorite of the month among those movies I saw for the first time, marked in red. Feel free to discuss or ask about any of them!

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), B+
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), B
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), B+
  4. Tom Felton Meets the Superfans (2015), B
  5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), B+
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), A-
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), A
  8. Monster on the Campus (1958), C-
  9. Father’s Little Dividend (1951), B+
  10. Village of the Damned (1960), B-
  11. Shaun of the Dead (2004), A
  12. Medusa Against the Son of Hercules (1963), D
  13. Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), D
  14. Colossal (2017), A-
  15. It Came From Outer Space (1953), B+
  16. Year of the Scab (2017), B+
  17. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), B+
  18. The Muppets (2011), A
  19. DuckTales: Woo-oo! (2017), A
  20. Dial M For Murder (1954), B+
  21. The Mummy (2017), C
  22. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), A
  23. Frankenstein (1931), A
  24. The Princess Bride (1987), A
  25. Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984), B+
  26. UHF (1989) A-
  27. Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow (2008), B-
  28. The Wolf Man (1941), B+
  29. Count Dracula (1970), B-

What I Watched In… August 2017

ducktalesrebootposter-1-600x900

Favorite of the Month: DuckTales: Woo-oo! (2017)

In the interest of full disclosure (and to generate a little content here) I thought I’d present a regular tally of what movies I managed to see in the previous month. Some of them I’ve written or talked about, most of them I haven’t. This list includes movies I saw for the first time, movies I’ve seen a thousand times, movies I saw in the theater, movies I watched at home, direct-to-DVD, made-for-TV and anything else that qualifies as a movie. I also choose my favorite of the month among those movies I saw for the first time, marked in red. Feel free to discuss or ask about any of them!

  1. The Land Unknown (1957), C-
  2. The Dark Tower (2017), B
  3. Calling Dr. Death (1943), C
  4. Curse of the Undead (1959), C+
  5. Shin Godzilla (2016), B+
  6. The Thin Man (1934), B
  7. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), B+
  8. Spider-Man: The Dragon’s Challenge (1979), D
  9. The Big Sleep (1946), A-
  10. Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam (1986), D+
  11. It Ain’t Hay (1943), C+
  12. DuckTales: Woo-oo! (2017), A
  13. Zootopia (2016), A
  14. Brave (2012), B
  15. Finding Dory (2016), A-
  16. Frozen (2013), A+
  17. The Monster Squad (1987), B+Initiation (2016), B-
  18. Megaforce (1982), D; RiffTrax Riff, B+
  19. Commando (1985), C+
  20. Meet the Robinsons (2007), B
  21. The Punisher (1989), D
  22. The Silence of the Lambs (1991), A
  23. RiffTrax Live: Doctor Who-The Five Doctors (2017), A-
  24. Death Note (2017), C
  25. Crawlspace (2012), B-
  26. Murder in the Rue Morgue (1932), C+
  27. Adaptation. (2002), B+
  28. Power Rangers (2017), B-
  29. Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977), D
  30. Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the Second Dimension (2011), A

What I Watched In… July 2017

In the interest of full disclosure (and to generate a little content here) I thought I’d present a regular tally of what movies I managed to see in the previous month. Some of them I’ve written or talked about, most of them I haven’t. This list includes movies I saw for the first time, movies I’ve seen a thousand times, movies I saw in the theater, movies I watched at home, direct-to-DVD, made-for-TV and anything else that qualifies as a movie. I also choose my favorite of the month among those movies I saw for the first time, marked in red. Feel free to discuss or ask about any of them!

July’s favorite of the month is a rare tie. Dunkirk was an excellent war movie. The Big Sick was a romantic comedy that struck me on a remarkably personal level. The two films are so different from one another that I simply couldn’t rank one above the other.

  1. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), C
  2. Invasion of Astro-Monster aka Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero (1965), B+
  3. Mothra Vs. Godzilla aka Godzilla Vs. the Thing (1964), B+
  4. Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975), B-
  5. Godzilla’s Revenge aka All Monsters Attack (1969), F
  6. Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah (1995), B-
  7. Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003), B
  8. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), B+
  9. Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), B+
  10. Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), B
  11. Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth aka Godzilla Vs. Mothra (1992), B+
  12. Despicable Me 2 (2013), B
  13. Minions (2015), B
  14. The Secret Life of Pets (2016), B+
  15. Rodan (1956), B+
  16. Airplane! (1980), A
  17. The Lego Batman Movie (2017), A
  18. Dr. No (1962), B
  19. Harvey (1950), B+
  20. From Russia With Love (1963), B
  21. Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s the Fantastic Four (2015), B+
  22. The Time of Their Lives (1946), B+
  23. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), A-
  24. Goldfinger (1964), B+
  25. The Amazing Spider-Man (1977), C
  26. Sing (2016), B+
  27. The Car (1977), D
  28. Thunderball (1965), C
  29. Return of the Fly (1959), C
  30. Godzilla 2000 (1999), C
  31. Father of the Bride (1950), A
  32. Jaws (1975), A+
  33. Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), C-
  34. Bratz (2007), D
  35. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), A-
  36. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), A
  37. Spider-Man Strikes Back (1978), C-
  38. You Only Live Twice (1967), B
  39. T.J. Miller: Meticulously Ridiculous (2017), C-
  40. Gymkata (1985), F
  41. War For the Planet of the Apes (2017), B+
  42. The Big Sick (2017), A+
  43. Galaxy Quest (1999), A
  44. Summer Magic (1963), B+
  45. Spaceballs (1987), B+
  46. Lifeboat (1944), A-
  47. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), A
  48. Kong: Skull Island (2017), B
  49. Dunkirk (2017), A
  50. Ducktales: Treasure of the Golden Suns (1987), B+
  51. Ducktales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990), B+
  52. Daffy Duck’s Movie: Fantastic Island (1983), B-
  53. The Man Called Flintstone (1966), B
  54. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), B-
  55. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), A-

Remakes, reboots, resolve

Spider-Man HomecomingTom Holland was great, right? We can all agree on that. He was perfect as young Peter Parker, and we can’t wait to see what else he’s going to do for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that’s a good thing. He is the Peter Parker for our time.

With his amazing turn in Spider-Man: Homecoming, though, have come the inevitable thinkpieces, blogs and professional sites alike trying to rank not only the different Spider-Man movies, but the different Spider-Men themselves. How does Holland stack up against Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield? If you want to get ultra-nerdy, how does he stack up against Nicholas Hammond?

And I get it. I’m a nerd too. There’s something about being a lover of movies or comics or TV that makes you want to rate and debate and rank and “prove” to everybody that your personal favorite version of something was the best, and that debate is one of the driving forces of fandom. I’ve done it myself.

I’m here to tell you today, though, friends… I don’t think it needs to be.

War For the Planet of the ApesThis kind of goes hand-in-hand with my attempts to mentally reconcile the world of remakes. They’re not stopping, they’re not going anywhere, and it’s true that a lot of them suck. But it’s also true that not all of them do. The second Maltese Falcon is the one everybody remembers. Hitchcock himself remade his own The Man Who Knew Too Much into a tighter, more engaging adventure. And re”boots”? Well, that’s what gave us The Dark Knight. And the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies. And if there’s only one tentpole movie left this summer I absolutely HAVE to see, it’s War For the Planet of the Apes.

Here’s another analogy I like to use: they didn’t stop producing Hamlet after Shakespeare died, did they? And not just theatrically, but cinematically. There have been dozens — no, hundreds of films produced over the years based on his works, and a lot of them have been really good. Were it not for people reimagining older stories, we wouldn’t have Bela Lugosi as Dracula or Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster, either. And when you ask somebody who their favorite Ebenezer Scrooge is, you can quite literally spend hours debating the merits of Alastair Sim versus George C. Scott versus Michael Caine versus Patrick Stewart versus Albert Finney versus Scrooge McDuck.

Day of the DoctorI’ve started to put superhero movies in the same category as these works. The same as James Bond. The same as Doctor Who. These are stories and characters, that, every so often, will go through a facelift and become something different. And I’m okay with that. We all should be. The real question — the important question — is therefore NOT “is the new guy better than the last guy,” but rather simply, “is the new guy good?”

This isn’t to say that every character should be recast. I’ve yet to see any evidence that someone other than Robert Englund should be allowed to play Freddy Krueger, for instance. And while I’m open to having new characters join the Ghostbusters (I’m not debating the merits of the 2016 movie, I just mean in general), I don’t ever want to see somebody besides Harold Ramis play Egon Spengler.

But times change and iconic characters can and should be refreshed for new generations.

That said, this means we also have to accept the fact that someday, people other than Hugh Jackman and Robert Downey Jr. will play Wolverine and Iron Man. I know, that’s hard to hear. But it’s true. And when it happens, just remember what I’m saying here, and try to judge the new guy for who they are rather than who they aren’t.

What I Watched in… June 2017

Wonder Woman Movie Poster

Favorite of the Month: Wonder Woman (2017)

In the interest of full disclosure (and to generate a little content here) I thought I’d present a regular tally of what movies I managed to see in the previous month. Some of them I’ve written or talked about, most of them I haven’t. This list includes movies I saw for the first time, movies I’ve seen a thousand times, movies I saw in the theater, movies I watched at home, direct-to-DVD, made-for-TV and anything else that qualifies as a movie. I also choose my favorite of the month among those movies I saw for the first time, marked in red. Feel free to discuss or ask about any of them!

  1. Batman & Bill (2017), A
  2. Them! (1954), B-
  3. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (Extended Edition, 2016), B
  4. Wonder Woman (2017), A
  5. Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1985), D-; MST3K Riff, B
  6. Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II (1989), D+; MST3K Riff, B+
  7. The Wasp Woman (1959), C+
  8. The Mummy (1932), B
  9. The Mummy’s Hand (1940), B+
  10. The Mummy’s Tomb (1942), C+
  11. The Mummy’s Ghost (1944), C
  12. The Mummy’s Curse (1944), C+
  13. Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955), B-
  14. The Mummy (1999), B+
  15. The Mummy Returns (2001), B
  16. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), C-
  17. The Giant Behemoth (aka Behemoth, the Sea Monster, 1959), B-
  18. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), A
  19. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2016), B
  20. Carnival Magic (1981), F; MST3K Riff, B
  21. The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t (1966), C-; MST3K Riff, B
  22. At the Earth’s Core (1976), C; MST3K Riff, B+
  23. Cell (2016), C-
  24. Chillerama (2011), C+
  25. Night of the Creeps (1986), B+
  26. Escape From New York (1981), A-
  27. Critters (1986), C
  28. Christine (1983), B
  29. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), B-
  30. Central Intelligence (2016), B+
  31. Contagion (2011), B
  32. The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973), D
  33. RiffTrax Live: Summer Shorts Beach Party (2017), B+
  34. Resident Evil (2002), D
  35. Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed (2014), B+
  36. Superman Vs. the Elite (2012), A
  37. Superargo and the Faceless Giants (1968), F; RiffTrax Riff, B+
  38. This Island Earth (1955), B
  39. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), A-
  40. Get Out (2017), A-
  41. Predator (1987), B+
  42. Predator 2 (1990), B+
  43. This is America, Charlie Brown (1988), B
  44. Pollyanna (1960), A-
  45. The Most Dangerous Game (1932), B
  46. Predators (2010), B

What I Watched In… May 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Favorite of the Month: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

In the interest of full disclosure (and to generate a little content here) I thought I’d present a regular tally of what movies I managed to see in the previous month. Some of them I’ve written or talked about, most of them I haven’t. This list includes movies I saw for the first time, movies I’ve seen a thousand times, movies I saw in the theater, movies I watched at home, direct-to-DVD, made-for-TV and anything else that qualifies as a movie. I also choose my favorite of the month among those movies I saw for the first time, marked in red. Feel free to discuss or ask about any of them!

  1. The Time Travelers (1964), D+, MST3K Riff, B+
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), A
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), A-
  4. Fast Five (2011), B
  5. Inglorious Basterds (2009), A+
  6. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), A
  7. It Follows (2014), B
  8. Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) B
  9. Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics (2013), B
  10. Avalanche (1978), C-; MST3K Riff, A-
  11. Lord of the Flies (1963), A
  12. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), B
  13. The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956), F; MST3K Riff, B+
  14. Prometheus (2012), B-
  15. Tombstone (1993), A-
  16. Aziz Ansari Live in Madison Square Garden (2015), B
  17. Phantasm (1979)
  18. Invasion of Astro-Monster aka Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero (1965), B+
  19. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995), C+
  20. Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017), B+
  21. Aliens (1986), A
  22. The Painted Hills (1951), D; MST3K Riff, A-
  23. Alien: Covenant (2017), C+
  24. The Mars Generation (2017), B
  25. The Prestige (2006), A-
  26. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), A
  27. The Unknown Marx Brothers (1993), B-
  28. Knights of Badassdom (2013), B-
  29. Super (2010), B
  30. John Carter (2012), B+
  31. The Noose Hangs High (1948), B+
  32. Gargoyles (1972), C
  33. Starcrash (1978), D+; MST3K Riff, A
  34. The Land that Time Forgot (1975), D; MST3K Riff, B
  35. The Loves of Hercules (1960), D-; MST3K Riff, B
  36. Yongary, Monster From the Deep (1967), D+; MST3K Riff, B
  37. The Legend of Tarzan (2016), B
  38. The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1955), D

What I Watched in… April 2017

Beauty and the Beast 2017

Favorite of the Month: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

In the interest of full disclosure (and to generate a little content here) I thought I’d present a regular tally of what movies I managed to see in the previous month. Some of them I’ve written or talked about, most of them I haven’t. This list includes movies I saw for the first time, movies I’ve seen a thousand times, movies I saw in the theater, movies I watched at home, direct-to-DVD, made-for-TV and anything else that qualifies as a movie. I also choose my favorite of the month among those movies I saw for the first time, marked in red. Feel free to discuss or ask about any of them!

  1. The Great Muppet Caper (1981), B+
  2. The Discovery (2017), B+
  3. Sky High (2005), B+
  4. The Giant Spider Invasion (1975), D; MST3K Riff, A
  5. Soultaker (1990), D; MST3K Riff, A-
  6. The Pumaman (19800, D-; MST3K Riff, A+
  7. Godzilla Vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994), B
  8. Reptilicus (1961), C; MST3K Riff, B+
  9. Jaws (1975), A+
  10. Speed Racer (2008), B
  11. Cool Runnings (1993), B+
  12. Beauty and the Beast (2017), A-
  13. Interview With the Vampire (1994), B
  14. Spiral (2007), B
  15. Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy: We’ve Been Thinking (2016), B
  16. The Blues Brothers (1980), A
  17. Cry of the Bewitched (1957, as Yambao), D; RiffTrax Riff, B+
  18. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), B
  19. Cry Wilderness (1987), D-, MST3K Riff, B

What I Watched in… March 2017

logannewposter

Favorite of the Month: Logan (2017)

In the interest of full disclosure (and to generate a little content here) I thought I’d present a regular tally of what movies I managed to see in the previous month. Some of them I’ve written or talked about, most of them I haven’t. This list includes movies I saw for the first time, movies I’ve seen a thousand times, movies I saw in the theater, movies I watched at home, direct-to-DVD, made-for-TV and anything else that qualifies as a movie. I also choose my favorite of the month among those movies I saw for the first time, marked in red. Feel free to discuss or ask about any of them!

  1. John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), A-
  2. Logan (2017), A
  3. Into the Woods (Broadway Cast, 1991), A
  4. Anomalisa (2015), B
  5. My Sucky Teen Romance (2011), B
  6. Volunteers (1985), B
  7. Werewolf of London (1935), C
  8. Quiz Show (1994), A-
  9. Lifeforce (1985), C-
  10. Honor and Glory (1993), D-; RiffTrax Riff, B
  11. The Magic Sword (1962), C+; MST3K Riff, B+
  12. Gamera (1965), B-; MST3K Riff, A
  13. Phantom of the Opera (1943), C+
  14. Newsies (1992), B+
  15. Up (2009), A+
  16. Moana (2016), A-
  17. Hobgoblins (1988), F; MST3K Riff, A-
  18. Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013), B+
  19. The Uninvited (1944), B
  20. Into the Woods (2014), B+
  21. Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), A-
  22. Nintendo Quest (2015), B-
  23. Dune (1984), D+
  24. Dracula (1931), B+
  25. Retro Puppet Master (1999), D-; RiffTrax Riff, B
  26. Zombie Nightmare (19870, D; MST3K Riff, A
  27. 50 Years of Star Trek (2016), B-
  28. Innerspace (1987), B
  29. Marooned (aka Space Travelers, 1969), D; MST3K Riff, B-