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2015 IN REVIEW: My Favorite Films

February 20, 2016 1 comment

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter - Rinko Kikuchi

Alright! Final entry in my 2015 in Review series! Gosh, this was a hard year to review. I broke another record for number of films I saw before finishing this review series: 144 films from 2015, either seen theatrically, streaming, or rental. I don’t think I’ll be breaking that record any time soon, but that’s what I said about 2014, too, so…

Anyway, I’m about ready to start reviewing movies again on an individual basis. I did this series while going through a particularly tough time, personally, which is why it’s taken so long to do. I had the goal of finishing by the end of January, and that simply didn’t pan out, and I was so busy with stuff outside of this site, including doing a bunch of work on the weekends, that I just wore myself out! No worries, though. I’ve finished, and while I know the stuff I wrote was roughly edited, I’m still pretty happy with what’s there.

These movies below are all, in my opinion, good to great, but all of them were pretty much my favorites from throughout the year. As a result, as with last year, I am separating them out, roughly, into genres and then ranking them based on level of their being my favorite from the past year in that genre. (There’s obviously genre overlap, so I have divided based on what I believe is the main draw of the film, such as Jurassic Park being in the Action/Adventure section rather than the sci-fi, ’cause we’re all watching it for the action, right?) As such, you will probably see some admittedly lesser films ranking above objectively better films or films that were generally considered mediocre appearing here because I simply just liked them a lot. Again, they’re my favorites, not necessarily the best – though I did see all the Oscar Best Picture nominees, once again! I have included the Rotten Tomatoes score next to the release date, though, so you can easily compare whether I’m crazy or whether you should see the movie. In general, though, I do believe these are great films, and I hope you enjoy them, too!

But, seriously, I’m glad to move on from 2015 finally…
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2015 IN REVIEW: The Worst Movies of the Year

February 11, 2016 2 comments

Chappie - Jose Pablo Cantillo, Chappie (Sharlto Copley)

Here it is! I know, it’s been a long time coming. But it’s finally here: my list of Worst Movies of 2015.

These are the 2015 movies I hated most, for one reason or another. Most of them lost points for being boring, while others lost points for being just plain stupid. There’s a good chance that you will not be entertained by any of these films, and if you do, then it’s most likely for ironic reasons. I saw a lot of bad movies in 2015, though – almost 40 of them! – and while I could’ve just narrowed it down to a Top 10 list or something, I chose instead to just flat out warn you about all the terrible movies I saw from 2015 until the time of publishing this.

I’ve ranked them in order of approximate awfulness, but, as always with these things, ranks can change probably in the future. There’s one thing I’m certain of, however, and that these are just… just terrible. Don’t see the movie on the list? I guess I didn’t hate it that much. Or I didn’t see it. I’m sure that there were plenty of other films I missed that were much worse than these. Heck, I’m sure that my list of favorite movies of the year will have some that people think belong on this list for one reason or another. That’s the internet for you. That list is coming, though, and you can feel free to complain then. Until that time, though, here are the movies I hated most from 2015…
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2015 IN REVIEW: Everything in Between That I’ve Seen

January 30, 2016 1 comment

Jurassic World - Indominus rex

Finally! We’re on the films that I watched! I know. I’m excited, too! These are the middle of the road films I watched this year. They are neither awful nor great films that I watched in 2015. Some of them are bad, some of them are decent, but none of them are truly great, in my opinion.

Now, keep in mind, there may be some mediocre movies that may not show up here. Don’t freak. They probably won’t show up on my Worst of 2015 list. The way I do things here is have a list of My Favorite Films of 2015, so they might not be the best, but I might have really enjoyed them, too!

So, if you don’t see the movie here by this point, it’s either that I hated it, really liked it, or just flat out didn’t see it. These? These you can pick and choose from and figure out if you like them yourself. You may not, but I don’t think you’ll be clawing your eyes out at them, either.  Read more…

2015 IN REVIEW: The Films I Didn’t See (September – December)

January 24, 2016 1 comment

Steve Jobs - Michael Fassbender

Ah, the final stretch of films I didn’t get to see. This is awards season, where the Oscar-bait films get released in the hopes of staying fresh in people’s minds – particularly the minds of the Academy members. Although, increasingly, a lot of bigger films are also getting releases in this time period, including superhero films and spy films and sci-fi adventures, etc.

This list has an admitted large number of films. If you don’t know, I don’t see movies for free, so I rely upon streaming and Redbox in a lot of cases to see certain movies to keep costs down. This being just the past few months, a lot of these films are either still in theatres or are in that limbo between theatre and home release. Others, I just haven’t yet had the chance of getting around to, even if I wanted to.

If you don’t see a movie on this or the previous two lists (Part 1, Part 2), then there’s a good chance I saw it or just managed to not list it. I can’t be that extensive, you know. Also, as always, I reserve the right to see any of these films and include them on my upcoming lists of films I’ve seen, just so long as I have seen them before publishing the list (obviously).

The films below are listed in order of release and have their current Rotten Tomatoes score posted, as well.  Read more…

2015 IN REVIEW: The Films I Didn’t See (May – August)

January 16, 2016 1 comment

San Andreas - Carla Gugino, Dwayne Johnson

Huh. You know, I think I saw most of the big blockbuster films this summer. So, what else came out? Not a whole lot! I mean, at least not stuff that was promoted fairly well. There look to have been some great indie gems I missed, and then your usual horror film sequels that I skipped. Plenty of international releases that look fantastic, too!

If you didn’t catch it already, be sure to check out the films that came out in January – April 2015 that I missed first!

No big introductions this time. Let’s get going!  Read more…

2015 IN REVIEW: The Films I Didn’t See (January – April)

January 10, 2016 3 comments

 

Strange Magic - Meredith Anne Bull, Evan Rachel Wood

Alright, so if you aren’t already familiar with how I do my Year in Review process, I always go through a list of the films I didn’t see first, divided into three 4 month sections. Why do I do this? Because I like to still review the stuff that was making the rounds that I managed to miss, firstly, and because it’s a great way to find movies that might never have been on my radar in the first place had I not pursued them, and I like to share them with you, too!

Basically, my process involves perusing the list of films on Wikipedia and various other sites that I read regularly, which tend to be able to publish their Best/Worst of the Year lists far more in advance of me because, you know, they’re actual media, not just a crazy movie fan who likes to spend his weekends watching movies all day, like me. These films are ones that I managed to not see for one reason or another, usually because I just didn’t have the time, but often because I just wasn’t interested, but others just because I didn’t know about them in the first place.

This is by no means a judgment of quality, as they’re listed in order of release date (though I included the Rotten Tomatoes score, if any), and this is also by no means a complete list, either. I’ve already explained that I also had to eliminate my coverage of too many foreign films because they usually weren’t even marketed in the U.S. in the first place and likely will never come here, too. That being said, the ones that did make it over here in some capacity (or ones that struck me as notable for their concepts) were included, so this isn’t totally just Hollywood and American indies, either, and I’ve also begun considering VOD and streaming services as valid, notable venues for feature film debuts. As per usual, I reserve the right to take interest in any of these films and see them before I begin to publish my lists of films that I actually did see, so you may see these films reappear in the coming weeks if I managed to get around to those before publication.

The first part of this feature will, of course, cover the traditional dumping ground for expectedly low-performning flicks from January – April, the second part the traditionally summer blockbuster season from May – August, and the final part will cover what is often considered the Oscar-baiting season, from September – December.

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Christmas (and Other Associated Holidays) Movie Month 2015

December 1, 2015 Leave a comment

A Charlie Brown Christmas - Christmas Tree

Good grief, it’s Christmastime again, isn’t it? Geez, the year flew by! Alrighty then…

So… I will keep this introductory post brief, as I have already done this sort of thing four times previously, and I feel like any further explanation will be extraneous, and… yeah, you get the concept of a theme month, right? Right!

If you don’t know, I love the Christmas season, and so every year, I dedicate a majority of the month of December to reviewing Christmas movies. By this point, as I’ve pointed out before, I’ve reviewed most of the ones I love the most, quite honestly, and so there is a slight possibility of me being a bit of a Scrooge — or a Grinch, if you will. Then again, I’ve also discovered some really enjoyable films in the past, too — Joyeux Noël and Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale come to mind — so I’m not ruling anything out. I probably also maybe forgot a few more iconic films I’ve thought about in the past, even, so, yeah… Who knows?

I might also throw in a few other movies (and possibly even some non-movies) that are appropriate for this time of year, such as when I reviewed the only Hanukkah-appropriate movie almost anyone can ever think of, Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights or some New Year’s movies. As with this year’s Halloween Movie Month, I really have no firm plans this year, quite honestly, apart from one exception…

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Millennium Falcon vs. Tie Fighters

Yeah, I’m pretty much guaranteeing that I will be reviewing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, regardless of whether it’s actually a Christmas movie itself. Hey, we can all pretend it’s a gift to the masses if that makes you feel better!

The Star Wars Holiday Special - Lumpy

So… yeah, it’s Christmastime, so get in the holiday spirit and, if you have trouble waiting for the next review, go ahead and peruse the films I’ve reviewed in the past below!

 

Bad SantaArthur Christmas

Bad Santa (Director’s Cut)

Batman Returns

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (Part 1, Part 2)

A Christmas Story

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Die Hard

Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights

Elf

The Family Stone

Home AloneHappy Christmas

Home Alone

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Home Alone 3

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

It’s a Wonderful Life

Jingle All the Way

Joyeux Noël

Love Actually

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

Miracle on 34th StreetMeet Me in St. Louis

Miracle on 34th Street

The Muppet Christmas Carol (Part 1, Part 2)

The Nativity Story

New Year’s Eve

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Polar Express

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Rise of the Guardians

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Kirk Cameron's Saving ChristmasKirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

Scrooged (Part 1, Part 2)

Tokyo Godfathers

White Christmas

 

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