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2014 IN REVIEW: The Films I Didn’t See (September – December)

January 31, 2015 2 comments

The Skeleton Twins - Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader

I’m not going to waste too much time this year on introductions. For this third and final part of my review of films I didn’t see, we’re going through the prestige Oscar-baiting season. You know — hammy acting, controversial subjects, beautiful cinematography, politics… It’s often a mixed bag, and for every stunning masterpiece, there’s often a lot of films that misstep and come off like a cheap cheeseburger dressed up to look like prime rib. … I’m hungry.

This is by far the biggest portion of films I didn’t see, largely due to a lot of them coming out so much more recently and not being available to rent, if I missed them in theatres.

Yes, 2014 may have been a record year for me seeing the most movies from that year, but there were still movies I never got around to or never even had the ability to see due to either foreign or limited release. I still like going over them, however, as this process often leads  to me finding some unexpected gems that I might enjoy. Some of these I might become so interested in that I see them before I even get to the films I did see, so there is actually a possibility you might see these films reappear in this 2014 in Review series if that becomes the case.

Anyway, here are many of the films from September to December 2014 that I didn’t see, for one reason or another. It’s by no means complete, but that’s what you get when you’re using Wikipedia and Best of/Worst of lists from other sites. Read more…

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REVIEW: Thomas and the Magic Railroad

November 9, 2013 2 comments
Thomas and the Magic RailroadDirected by: Britt Allcroft
Produced by: Britt Allcroft, Phil Fehrle
Written by: Britt Allcroft
Edited by: Ron Wiseman
Cinematography by: Paul Ryan
Music by: Hummie Mann, Mike O’Donnell
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Peter Fonda, Mara Wilson, Cody McMains, Michael E. Rodgers, Eddie Glen, Neil Crone, Didi Conn, Russell Means, Kevin Frank, Susan Roman, Colm Feore, Britt Allcroft
Based on the TV series Shining Time Station and the books by Reverend Wilbert Awdry
Year: 2000

 

Pardon me, as I have been absent from writing for over a week. Much of that was because I had had a pretty busy and/or stressful few weeks, and, on Halloween, I celebrated my 27th birthday, which meant that, on top of working, I was churning out a final Halloween 2013 review of Alien and then also getting my apartment in presentable condition for my family to come celebrate, so I took it upon myself to take a week off and enjoy a couple days of no obligations other than work. I did decide to work on this review sooner, but then my birthday present to myself arrived – a shiny new Nexus 7 – and I got a bit carried away with playing around with it. But, I’m back and writing again, and I figured what better way to pick up again than with a completely offbeat, unexpected, and completely unrelated-to-Halloween movie?

Funny enough, though, was that, when I was soliciting some suggestions for Halloween movies, one of my friends – the one who had suggested Oscar – jokingly suggested Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Apparently, while the world had almost immediately forgotten that this movie existed, his little brother would go on Magic Railroad binges on a regular basis, so I can kind of understand why such a suggestion would creep up on him with my request, even in jest. I agreed that, while I wouldn’t actually do it for Halloween, however, I’d be more than happy to review his oddball suggestion afterward. Read more…

2012 IN REVIEW – The Films I Didn’t See: May – August

January 19, 2013 3 comments

Men in Black 3 - Josh Brolin and Will Smith

Ah, summer — the time of tentpole blockbuster films that are meant to pad out the studios’ budgets for the next few months. I believe I saw most of the major films released during this period, at least at some point in the year, if not the theatre: The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-ManMen in Black 3, Battleship… Overall, it was a more than satisfying year for quality summer blockbusters that pleased both audiences and critics. … Well, probably not Battleship. That movie was awful.

Battleship - Alien ship. Yeah, I remember that from the boardgame.

With so many films that release in theatres that are best seen actually on the big screen, though, it was only inevitable that smaller and/or less interesting films fell by the wayside of my attention span. Critically acclaimed features like Beasts of the Southern Wild and Oslo, August 31st would get unfortunately lumped in with similarly ignored-by-me crap like Step Up Revolution and That’s My Boy this past summer, which isn’t a commentary on their quality as much as it is a reflection of my time and budgetary restrictions. (I subscribe to a number of rental services and still buy and go see movies in theatres, but I can only do so much and thus prioritize quality spectacle films usually over the quality comedies and dramas.)

So while I do believe I got the most out of my summertime viewings that I possibly could, let’s go over the films that I somehow managed to not see as of the time of this writing, for better or for worse. Read more…

Theatrical Review: “Rise of the Guardians”

November 30, 2012 12 comments
Rise of the GuardiansDirected by: Peter Ramsey
Produced by: Christina Steinberg, Nancy Bernstein; Guillermo del Toro, William Joyce, Michael Siegel (executive producers); Arin Finger (associate producer)
Written by: David Lindsay-Abaire (screenplay); William Joyce (story)
Art Direction by: Alexandre Desplat
Editing by: Joyce Arrastia
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
Starring: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law, Dakota Goyo
Based on the book series The Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce
Year: 2012

 

Imagine that all the childhood mythological figures were somehow real and were also way more awesome than how they are usually imagined. Imagine, for example, that they were way more like superheroes, and let’s say that, from time to time, they assembled together like some other recent big screen superhero team in order to defend childhood from evil fiends who would like nothing more than to ruin this blissful period of life. That’s essentially the awesome concept behind Rise of the Guardians, an DreamWorks Animation adaptation of the William Joyce books of a similar name. It’s a fairly awesome premise for an action-packed fantasy film, and, for a good while, Rise lives up to its promise, but not without making a few missteps along the way. Read more…

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