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What I Watched In… December 2017

Star Wars-The Last Jedi

Favorite of the Month: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (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 Santa Claus Brothers (2002), D
  2. Elf-Man (2012), D
  3. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972), F; RiffTrax Riff, A-
  4. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010), B+
  5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), A
  6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), A
  7. Elf (2003), B
  8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), C-
  9. Home: For the Holidays (2017), B-
  10. A Carol For Another Christmas (1964), D-
  11. The Magic Snowflake (2013), B+
  12. Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006), B
  13. A Christmas Story 2 (2012), D
  14. To All a Goodnight (1980), D-
  15. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), C+
  16. The Empire Strikes Back (1980), A
  17. Better Watch Out (2016), B+
  18. Santa’s Slay (2005), C
  19. A Muppet Family Christmas (1987), A
  20. Inside LEGO At Christmas (2015), B
  21. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988), B+
  22. The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), B
  23. The Frozen Ghost (1945), C
  24. Casper’s Haunted Christmas (2000), D+
  25. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), A
  26. Secrets of the Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey (2016), B+
  27. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), A
  28. Christmas is Here Again (2007), B
  29. Christmas Inheritance (2017), C+
  30. Pottersville (2017), D
  31. It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947), B+
  32. Scrooged (1988), A-
  33. A Christmas Story Live! (2017), B+
  34. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged] (2000), A-
  35. Pygmalion (1938), B
  36. Twelve Hundred Ghosts – A Christmas Carol in Supercut (2016), B+
  37. Magic Christmas Tree (1964), F; RiffTrax Riff, B
  38. Home Alone (1990), B+
  39. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), A
  40. The Santa Clause (1994), B+
  41. The Santa Clause 2 (2002), B
  42. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (19920, B-
  43. Miracle on 34th Street (1947), A+
  44. White Christmas (1954), A
  45. Miracle on 34th Street (1994), C
  46. Deck the Halls (2006), D+
  47. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), C
  48. Love Actually (2003), A
  49. A Christmas Story (1983), A
  50. Die Hard (1988), A
  51. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), A+
  52. Holiday Inn, the New Irving Berlin Musical: Live (2017), B+
  53. The Circle (2017), D
  54. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017), B
  55. Vixen: The Movie (2017), B
  56. DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games (2017), B-
  57. LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain (2017), B
  58. LEGO Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash (2017), B-
  59. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017), B+
  60. Mayhem (2017), A-
  61. Big Hero 6: Baymax Returns (2017), B+
  62. What Happened to Monday (2017), B+
  63. The Babysitter (2017), B+
  64. Too Funny to Fail: The Life and Death of the Dana Carvey Show (2017), A-
  65. The Mummy’s Curse (1944), C+
  66. The Invisible Woman (1940), C+

 

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2014: The Year in Film

Favorite of the Year: Captain America-The Winter Soldier

Favorite of the Year: Captain America-The Winter Soldier

It’s been quite a year. I got married. My wife and I put together a little home together. I directed one play, I’m currently in rehearsals for another. I wrote a new book that — God willing — will be available relatively early in 2015. And in the meantime, I managed to see a few movies.

Not all the movies, mind you. There are still several 2014 releases I haven’t seen yet, often because the aforementioned activities got in the way of my movie time. I still haven’t seen Boyhood, for instance, and I’m dying to. I’m delinquent in keeping up with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and despite all my efforts to the contrary, I’ve yet to get around to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

So consider this list highly incomplete. These are all the films from 2014 that I have seen, in order of my favorite to my least favorite. This includes direct-to-video and made-for-TV movies. I’ll leave comments for the ones where I have comments to leave.

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Marvel has had a good year — a good couple of years, actually — but this to me was the movie that really elevated their universe beyond simple superhero action into something with greater depth and meaning.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Similar to Captain America, this film took what Rise of the Planet of the Apes began and ran with it, creating a larger world and a highly intelligent, powerful science fiction film.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy. This was just pure fun.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past. Easily the best X-Men film to date, and so good that it actually erases some of the sins of the previous films.
  • The LEGO Movie. Again, pure fun, but with a surprising amount of heart to it.
  • Gone Girl. Incredibly tense and engaging.
  • Interstellar. One of the most engaging, entertaining pure sci-fi films in years
  • Godzilla. Fantastic reboot of the franchise.
  • Edge of Tomorrow. Great movie hurt by atrocious marketing.
  • Big Hero 6.
  • Stripped. Fine documentary about the comic strip form.
  • I Am Santa Claus.
  • St. Vincent.
  • Doc of the Dead. Interesting documentary about zombie fiction.
  • Stage Fright. Little seen but actually entertaining musical horror comedy about a slasher killer attacking a theater camp. It’s on Netflix streaming right now. Meatloaf is in it.
  • A Merry Friggin’ Christmas. One of Robin Williams’s final performances, alongside Community‘s Joel McHale.
  • Son of Batman.
  • Justice League: War.
  • Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
  • Big Driver.
  • Chilling Visions: 5 States of Fear. Okay anthology, but the premise holding the segments together is paper-thin.
  • JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time.
  • Maleficent. Could have been a great remake from the villain’s perspective, but a horribly invasive voice over and some poor performances really hurt.
  • Print the Legend.
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. The original remains one of my favorites. This film seems like further proof that Frank Miller has lost his mind.
  • Robocop. Unnecessary, lifeless remake.
  • Lucky Duck. Treacle-filled animated kiddie film I watched with my niece. Just because a movie is targeted for children is no excuse for making it bad.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2. After a first movie that I thought was just as good as — maybe better than — the Toby Maguire films, I couldn’t believe how utterly this one fell apart.
  • I, Frankenstein.
  • Happy Christmas. “Hey, you know all those dull, unscripted movies about obnoxious people who can’t get their lives together? Let’s make one at Christmas. And put Lena Dunham in it.”
  • Sharknado 2: The Second One. In fairness, they weren’t trying to make a good movie. They succeeded.
  • Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. All I can say is that the title was accurate.

What I Watched in… November 2014

Favorite of the Month: Big Hero 6

Favorite of the Month: Big Hero 6

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. Trick ‘r’ Treat (2007), A
  2. Big Driver (2014), B-
  3. V/H/S 2 (2013), B-
  4. Snowpiercer (2013), B
  5. In a World… (2013) B+
  6. Print the Legend (2014), B-
  7. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014), C
  8. Edge of Tomorrow (2014), B+
  9. Liberal Arts (2012), B-
  10. The Antics Roadshow (2011), D
  11. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), B+
  12. Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie (2013), F
  13. Interstellar (2014), A
  14. Big Hero 6 (2014), A
  15. Bettie Page Reveals All (2012), B-
  16. Barbarella (1968), D
  17. The Initiation (1984), D
  18. The Wall (2012), B-
  19. Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), B
  20. The Last Slumber Party (1987), F; RiffTrax Riff, B+
  21. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987), B+
  22. Free Birds (2013), C
  23. Fun in Balloon Land (1965), F; RiffTrax Riff, B
  24. ThanksKilling (2009), F
  25. Pumaman (1980), D-; MST3K Riff, A
  26. Happy Christmas (2014), D
  27. Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered (2014), B+
  28. Bridgend (2013), B
  29. Christmas With the Kranks (2004), C+
  30. The Holiday (2006), C