Friday 01.01.2016 (year in cinema)


The Hateful 8- Print #16 on 70mm

I saw a lot of movies in 2015. A butt numbing amount. While I didn’t log movies watched at home or at the Overground Cinema, I kept a complete list of films I saw theatrically.

From 1st January 2015 (The Woman in Black 2) to 31s December 2015 (Daddy’s Home) I saw 184 unique movies with an additional 22 second, third or fourth screenings.

I saw Star Wars ep VII: The Force Awakens four times theatrically, which topped the list as my #1 movie of 2015. Ridley Scott’s The Martian came in at second place and Christopher Nolan’s 35mm QUAYS short as a close third.

I made a quick trip to NYC to see the Quays at the Film Forum, presenting their work on 35mm, films curated by Christopher Nolan to accompany his short; as always they were enigmatic and fully deserving of their reputation as eccentrics.

Full Top Ten:

1. Star Wars ep VII: the Force Awakens.
2. The Martian.
3. Quays.
4. The Hateful 8.
5. Dark Star: HR Giger’s World.
6. Inherent Vice.
7. It Follows.
8. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
9. Inside Out.
10. Ex Machina.

Complete List:

  1. The Woman in Black 2
  2. Unbroken
  3. Selma
  4. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  5. Inherent Vice
  6. Taken 3 (aka TAK3N)
  7. American Sniper
  8. Paddington
  9. The Wedding Ringer
  10. Spare Parts
  11. Blackhat
    & Wedding Ringer(2)
  12. Strange Magic
  13. Mortdecai
  14. Black or White
  15. The Boy Next Door
  16. Project Almanac
  17. Black Sea
  18. The Loft (2014)
  19. Jupiter Ascending
  20. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water
  21. Seventh Son
  22. 50 Shades of Grey
  23. The Duke of Burgundy
  24. Kingsman: The Secret Service
  25. 50 Shades of Grey (2)
  26. The Duff
  27. Still Alice
  28. McFarland USA
  29. Focus
  30. Hot Tub Time Machine 2
  31. The Lazarus Effect
  32. CHAPPiE
  33. Unfinished Business
  34. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  35. Cinderella
  36. Cymbeline
  37. Run all night
  38. Cinderella (2)
  39. Insurgent
  40. The Gunman
  41. Rear Window
  42. It Follows
  43. A Girl Like Her
  44. Home
  45. Get Hard
  46. Furious 7
  47. The Woman in Gold
  48. Effie Gray
  49. Torture Dungeon (1970)
  50. Bloodthirsty Butchers (1970)
  51. The man with two heads (1972)
  52. Disney Nature presents: Monkey Kingdom
  53. Unfriended
  54. Paul Blart Mall Cop 2
  55. Cinderella (3)
  56. Insurgent (2)
  57. Ex Machina
  58. The Age of Adeline
  59. Furious 7 (2)
  60. The Avengers: Age of Ultron
  61. Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
  62. Ninja Busters (1984)
  63. Born to Kill (aka Cockfighter) (1974)
  64. Flesh Gordon (1974)
  65. Hot Pursuit (2015)
  66. While we’re young
  67. The D Train
  68. Mad Max: Fury Road
  69. Pitch Perfect 2
  70. Where Hope Grows
  71. Pitch Perfect 2 (2)
  72. Mad Max Fury Road (2)
  73. Tomorrowland
  74. Tomorrowland (2)
  75. Poltergeist (2015)
  76. Aloha
  77. Dark Star- HR Giger’s World
  78. Dark Star- HR Giger’s World (2)
  79. San Andreas
  80. Insidious Chapter 3
  81. SPY
  82. Jurassic World
  83. Inside Out (2015)
  84. JAWS (1975)
  85. Dope
  86. Max (2015)
  87. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  88. Ted 2
  89. Terminator: Genisys
  90. The Wolfpack
  91. Magic Mike XXL
  92. Self/Less
  93. The Gallows
  94. Amy
  95. Minions
  96. Ant-man
  97. Robocop (1987)
  98. The Vindicator (1986)
  99. Chopping Mall (1986)
  100. Trainwreck
  101. Pixels
  102. The Vatican Tapes
  103. Paper Towns
  104. Vacation (2015)
  105. Southpaw
  106. Mission Impossible Rogue Nation
  107. Mr. Holmes
  108. Ricki and the Flash
  109. Fantastic Four (2015)
  110. The Gift (2015)
  111. The Fantastic Four (2015)
  112. Shaun the Sheep
  113. The man from U.N.C.L.E.
  114. The end of the tour
  115. Straight Outta Compton
  116. The man from U.N.C.L.E. (2)
  117. An Irrational Man
  118. In Absentia
  119. The Comb
  120. Quay
  121. Street of Crocodiles
  122. Hitman Agent 47
  123. Sinister 2
  124. Diary of a teenage girl
  125. Silence of the Lambs
  126. American Ultra
  127. A Walk in the Woods
  128. No Escape (2015)
  129. Bloodsucking Bastards
  130. The Transporter Refueled
  131. The Visit (2015)
  132. Black Mass
  133. The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner part 2)
  134. Captive (2015)
  135. The Best of Enemies
  136. The perfect guy
  137. Green Inferno
  138. Hotel Transylvania 2
  139. Everest
  140. The Intern
  141. Sicario
  142. The Martian
  143. Goodnight Mommy
  144. Hell & Back
  145. The Martian (2)
  146. Pan
  147. Big Stone Gap
  148. The Intern (2)
  149. Crimson Peak
  150. The Walk
  151. Crimson Peak (2)
  152. Goosebumps
  153. Goosebumps (2)
  154. Back to the Future
  155. Back to the Future II
  156. Back to the Future III
  157. Rock the Kasbah
  158. The Last Witch Hunter
  159. We are going to eat you (1980)
  160. Silent Rage (1982)
  161. Godzilla 1985 (1985)
  162. Altered States (1980)
  163. Terrorvision (1986)
  164. Superstition (aka the Witch) 1982
  165. The horror of party beach (1964)
  166. Saint Frankenstein.
  167. Near Dark (1987)
  168. Piranha 2 (1981)
  169. Army of Darkness (1992)
  170. Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension
  171. Jem and the Holograms
  172. Halloween (1978)
  173. Burnt
  174. Freaks of Nature
  175. Our brand is crisis
  176. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
  177. Spectre
  178. Home Alone (1990)
  179. Love
  180. Love the Coopers
  181. The 33
  182. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1
  183. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 2
  184. The Night Before
  185. The secrets in their eyes
  186. The Good Dinosaur
  187. Victor Frankenstein
  188. Creed
  189. The Good Dinosaur (2)
  190. Krampus
  191. Spotlight
  192. Krampus (2)
  193. In the heart of the sea
  194. Spectre (2)
  195. The Night Before (2)
  196. Star Wars ep VII: The Force Awakens. (IMAX 3D)
  197. Star Wars ep VII: The Force Awakens. (2) (IMAX 3D)
  198. Star Wars ep VII: The Force Awakens. (3)
  199. Macbeth (2015)
  200. Sisters (2015)
  201. Hateful 8 (70mm Roadshow)
  202. Hateful 8 (70mm Roadshow) (2)
  203. Star Wars ep VII: The Force Awakens. (4) (RPX)
  204. The Big Short
  205. Joy
  206. Daddy’s Home.

I tried to keep a Letterboxd diary with mini-reviews of the films I saw theatrically in 2015; I’m fairly sure I missed a few here and there but this is as complete a list as I have:

My favorite review was for one of my least favorite films of the year:

Imagine for a second that you’re getting a handjob. The giver is attractive, but more than that it’s someone you’ve wanted to give you a handjob for a really long time and now they’re doing it. Not too fast, not too slow, just enough tension and they’re hitting all the right notes. You think it couldn’t get much better but then they start talking dirty to you and it’s everything you’ve always wanted.

Now imagine that two thirds of the way through the handjob your dreamboat is replaced with your old boss. The one that smelled like mothballs and taco meat. Then imagine that your old boss, who’s now rubbing one out for you, has arthritis and calluses on their gross, liverspotty hand. They take you the rest of the way there and with a unsatisfied moan you’re done.

You still finished and the first 2/3 of the HJ were great- so do you really want to complain?That’s kind of how Fantastic Four was.

You still get yours, but ultimately you feel kind of let down and a little traumatized.

It was a really fun year for movies, and I look forward to another year of spending more time in a theater than out of one!


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!