Friday 12.19.2014

"The Dance of Reality"

The year isn’t quite over, but I’m starting to work on my “Best films of 2014” list.

The following are first run movies that I saw theatrically this year; I’m trying to find a list of the Exhumed Films I saw this year and of course Netflix, Hulu+, HBOGo, downloads, screenings at the Overground and movies watched on DVD aren’t included.

It was a really good year for movies, with new films by some of my favorite directors; Jodorowsky, Darren Aronofsky, Wes Anderson, David Fincher and Ridley Scott all had releases this year and for the first time in years it looks like my #1 pick may end up not being a documentary- though as I sort everything out, Life Itself is in pretty high standing, so who knows.  Two more weeks of films then I’ll try to get my completed list out; films in bold are in the running.

1.Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
2. Ride Along
3. The Devil’s Due
4. That Awkward Moment
5. The Lego Movie
6. Vampire Academy
7. The Monuments Men
8. Robocop
9. Non-Stop
10. Anchorman 2
11. 300: Rise of an Empire
12. Sherman and Peabody
13. Jodorowsky’s Dune
14. Grand Budapest Hotel
15. Bad Words
16. Nymphomaniac
17. Nymphomaniac 2
18. Divergent
19. Noah
20. Sabotage
21. Under the Skin
22. Captain America the Winter Soldier
23. Oculus
24. Only Lovers Left Alive
25. The Quiet Ones
26. The Other Woman
27. Spiderman 2
28. Neighbors
29. Godzilla
30. X-men: Days of Future Past
31. The Dance of Reality
32. Maleficent
33. We are the best
34. The Fault in our Stars
35. Edge of Tomorrow
36. 22 Jumpstreet
37. How to train your dragon 2
38. Venus in Furs
39. Transformers: Age of Extinction
40. Snowpiercer
41. Deliver us From Evil
42. Life Itself
43, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
44. Boyhood
45. The Purge: Anarchy
46. Planes: Fire and Rescue
47. Sex Tape
48. Mood Indigo
49. Letters to Momo
50. Hercules
51. Lucy
52. Guardians of the Galaxy
53. Calvary
54. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
55. The 100 Foot Journey
56. What if?
57. Let’s Be Cops
58. The Expendables 3
59.  The Giver
60. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
61. Frank
62. As Above, So Below
63. Starred up
64. The November Man
65. God Help the Girl
65. No Good Deed
66. The Maze Runner
67. A Walk Among the Tombstones
68. Hector and the Search for Happiness
69. Pride
70. Tusk
71. The Box Trolls
72. The Equalizer
73. Gone Girl
74. Annabelle
75. Left Behind
76. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
77. Dracula Untold
78. St. Vincent
79. The Judge
80. Fury
81. Book of Life
82. Birdman
83. Oiuja
84. John Wick
85. Nightcrawler
86. Interstellar
87. Big Hero 6
88. Jessabelle
89. The Theory of Everything
90. Dumb and Dumber To
91. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
92. Penguins of Madagascar
93. Horrible Bosses 2
94. Pyramid
95. The Babadook
96. Top Five
97. The Hobbit: Battle of the five Armies
98. Exodus: Gods and Kings
99. Wild
100. Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb
101. Wetlands (September)
102. Into the Woods
103. Big Eyes
104. Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut 1 & 2
105. Annie (2014)
106. The Gambler
107. The Imitation Game


Sunday 04.14.13

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 12.24.32 PM

I should be asleep.
I’m dog tired and sore from a few days of really heavy (but ultimately satisfying) working out and still kind of janky from the bike fall the other night but despite it all I’m still awake, sipping mint tea, tuggin’ at Bailey’s ears and trying to juggle a handful of mental lists that need updated while pretending that not getting to sleep isn’t that big of a deal.

I’m getting up early tomorrow to go see Jurassic Park 3d with Erin and Natalie at the Riverview. Natalie came by the bar the other day to visit; it was the first time we’ve seen each other since we ended our romantic relationship back in February and more importantly the first time I’ve ever socialized with an ‘ex’ post breakup. That’s very strange for me. I’ve always (and I mean 100% of the time) totally cut people out of my life when the relationship ends so this is all very new to me. But nice. Reconciling that she can be my ex-girlfriend while still being my friend came easier than I thought. When I opened the door for her and hugged her it was just… comfortable. Like seeing an old friend. Which she is, so I guess it’s appropriate. I found myself really glad she was there; really interested to catch up with her life (and she has so many awesome changes coming up that I’m glad I’ll be around to be part of) and to fill her in on what’s been going on in mine.

Her laugh still lights up a room.

So yeah. Big steps for me and I’m really glad that this can work out. I was really sad when things ended with Natalie because I didn’t want her not to be in my life. This is great.

Carmela and I have been busting our butts on the Stay Calm memorial. It’s morphed into something so much bigger than we ever expected. Part memorial, part party, part fundraiser and all fun if we do it right. The sponsors have been unbelievably generous to us; if you head over to Stay Calm and check out the raffles section you’ll see just how generous. We intend to be equally generous to Shannon and Rachel’s daughter Ari by donating 100% of net profits to her bank account. We’re working hard with sponsors to make sure that the gross and the net are as close as possible. I think it’s going to be a really fitting event to honor Shannon and I’m humbled by all of the help and support we’ve received.

So. Hanging out with an ex girlfriend. Organizing an event that benefits someone who needs support.

Who the hell am I again?

With everything that’s going on I’m really looking forward to APP and SDCC. Just get the hell out of dodge for a bit and decompress. I know once Bethany gets here on the 26th all of the stress will wash away. I’m so excited about her being here that sometimes I forget that the memorial is happening too. I always mean to write more about her; to talk about how we met and how she was this beacon of love for me when things were terrible. About how much she means to me. I always mean to do that, then I realize that I’m not even capable of articulating how I feel about her; what she means to me. She’s.. Bethany.

Beyond excited.

Anyway. Thoughts are getting jumbled. Bailey seems annoyed that I’m typing and not petting him, so until next time…

Photo: Stay Calm print by Johnny Thief.

Friday 11.30.12

IMG_9827It’s not even December and I’m already starting to collate a list of my favorite films of 2012.
With only a month left in the year, and with Decembers releases looking promising it may change a little, but since I’m sitting around the house watching one of my top five from 2011 (Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and bored…  here’s the list so far.

  1. Beauty is Embarrassing. 
  2. Argo.
  3. Safety Not Guaranteed.
  4. Looper.
  5. Moonrise Kingdom.

Tarantino has a new film coming out on Christmas day, and as much potential as it has.. Jamie Foxx. I’d use the words “infamously loathe” when it comes to him. When I see him on screen I get angry. So regardless of how good the screenplay is, how good the other actors are, the total package- I just don’t see myself being able to get over my distaste for him. The Hobbit will be FUN, for sure, but top five? I can’t see it.

Beauty is Embarrassing:
Start to finish a compelling documentary. It does it’s job- to tell you who Wayne White is and why you should care. But it also inspires; the power of a positive mental attitude (Wayne and his family are amazing) and the power of art and why we need it in our lives. It’s rare that a film comes along in the last part of the year and makes it into the top spot on my list, but.. this one did. I’m looking forward to the DVD; Wayne mentioned during the SKYPE chat the other night that it has ‘tons of extras’.

Affleck. Seriously. How this guy became such a good director is beyond me, but damn do his movies stand on their own two feet. ‘From the Academy Award winning star of Reindeer Games‘ is not something you’d ever imagine saying about the director of my #2 film of the year, but with Argo he nails it. Great cast, great style and despite knowing how the true story ended you’re still white knuckling your seat in the last ten minutes. This can be added to The Town and Gone Baby, Gone as great films by the star of Phantoms.

Safety Not Guaranteed:
Aubrey Plaza skews everything she’s in for me. I would have enjoyed TED (which may be the worst film I saw in 2012) had she been in it. So it’s hard to say if I loved the movie on it’s own merits (I did) or if it’s just because Miss Plaza was in it. It’s such an odd little film and the payoff at the end is great. Good acting all around and you never get the sense that it’s odd for odds sakes.

Intelligent Sci-Fi used to be the rule, not the exception.
Alien, Blade Runner, Buckaroo Banzai, Brazil… you had really talented director shooting really talented actors with really kickass screenplays. Then things just went squirrelly. People started making scifi films for general audiences and not nerds and there was a natural dumbing down of the scripts. They started getting bigger stars who felt the need to change things that worked in favor of things that made them look more ‘action starry’. Rian Johnson came along and brought back the IQ back to the genre. Joseph Gordon Levitt became Bruce Willis- not the prosthetics; he got his personality down and just really owned being a prick. Lot of open interpretations with this screenplay- it’s one of those movies you can discuss afterwards and still not know 100% what to make of certain things.

Moonrise Kingdom:
I saw this film when I was having a really hard time post breakup and it sort of become ‘that’ film that really resonated with me- a ‘time and a place’ movie that summed up a lot of what I was feeling about love and life. Kid actor movies can go either way, and the two protagonists in Moonrise are just perfect. It might be the only film in 2012 I saw three times theatrically- and I’ve watched it at the Overground Cinema to raise the total to four.

Honorable Mention: Para Norman.
Paranorman was in my top five before seeing Beauty is Embarrassing, so I figured it gets an honorable mention at the end, above the ‘best of the rest’. The quality of animation was top notch, the characters each had their own quirks and charm and the ‘reveal’ at the end really takes it to the next level. As a ‘monster kid’ myself, Norman really brought back memories of being totally obsessed with monsters and horror films when I was young- not that much has changed really- and the anti bullying message of the film was relevant without beating you over the head. I’m going to double feature this with Coraline at the Overground soon.

Best of the Rest:

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
21 Jumpstreet
The cabin in the woods
The Sound of my voice
Best exotic Marigold Hotel
The Avengers
Beyond the black rainbow
The Master
The Perks of being a Wallflower

Kind of a weird assortment of films- different genres, some indie and some blockbuster. It was a fairly good year for movies all things considered, and I’m sure that I’m missing some, but if you haven’t had a chance to see any of the top five- check them out. Let me know what you think.

Also- Use the COMMENT section to tell me your top films of the year!

Photo: DC Sticker- Apparently Jesus is in hell, but is still saving us. Thanks, Champ!