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2016 IN REVIEW – The Films I Didn’t See (November – December)

January 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Doctor Strange - steps

Alright, the last of the films I didn’t see this year! From here on out, it’s nothing but films I’ve seen. These are the last two months, when studios try to cram in every Oscar contender and pretender, even up until the final days of the year. There aren’t many of these that I actually feel compelled to see, now that I think about it. Perhaps 2016 seemed like such a crappy year because it was a lot more spread out? Or perhaps it was just the fact that it ended with Collateral Beauty? Regardless, there are some films here that look alright, but I think I saw at least most of the good ones, with some room for obvious outliers.  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…

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

 

The Fourth Annual Christmas Movie Month!

November 30, 2014 Leave a comment

MST3K Christmas with Joel

It’s that time of year again: Christmastime! And, for the fourth time, we here at The Viewer’s Commentary will celebrate in traditional fashion by reviewing nothing but season-appropriate films until 12/25. (And by “we,” I of course mean “me,” since I’m the only one who writes for the site….)

I might get in a theatrical release, if the urge strikes me so (I’ve been meaning to write a review of the fantastic Interstellar, so that might pop up), but, for the most part, I’ll be expending what energy I might have into writing about Christmas movies — though I do also keep putting off a review of a Hanukkah film, too, but can you really blame me when the only major one anyone seems to have made is Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights? Seriously, someone make a respectable Hanukkah film! Or at least point one out to me if there has been one and everyone just chooses to ignore it or something!

Then again, I’m probably going to be reviewing a lot of stinkers this month. I’ve burned through my favorites already and found a few new ones I love, but, really, of the films I’ve seen so far in preparation for this, most of them have been pretty awful. I’m talking equal to or even worse than A Madea Christmas awful. One of them, currently out in theatres and featuring a certain Growing Pains star, shouldn’t even qualify as a film since anyone who sits through it should be entitled to some kind of justice and compensation.

Ah well. Since this is the fourth time I’ve done this, that means that there’s been three previous months dedicated to the Christmas season. Luckily, for you, I’ve got them all listed below, with a bonus New Year’s appropriate film for you to ignore because, like Eight Crazy Nights, it’s just… horrible. Trust me.

MST3K Christmas with Mike

REVIEW: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

December 4, 2013 4 comments
Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerDirected by: Larry Roemer
Produced by: Arthur Rankin, Jr. (producer), Jules Bass (co-producer)
Written by: Romeo Muller, Robert L. May
Animation supervised by: Tadahito Mochinaga
Music by: Johnny Marks
Starring: Burl Ives, Billie Mae Richards, Paul Soles, Larry D. Mann, Stan Francis, Paul Kligman, Janis Orenstein, Alfie Scopp, Carl Banas, Corinne Conley, Peg Dixon
Based on the story and song written by Robert L. May
Year: 1964

 

I’m going to allow for my first 2013 Christmas movie review to make me out to be a Scrooge.

A 1964 TV special done in the medium of stop motion capture, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has become one of the most beloved and influential examples of the medium – if someone doesn’t know what the term “stop motion” means, you could undoubtedly point to Rudolph or one of its other Rankin/Bass Christmastime siblings as an example that nearly everyone will then immediately understand. It’s arguable that even the likes of The Nightmare Before Christmas owes its aesthetic style to these holiday productions, albeit with the obligatory Tim Burton-esque macabre twist, not to mention the countless spoofs, knockoffs, and affectionate references that followed across TV and film. Beyond the aesthetics and styling, however, this short TV movie also stands as one of the longest running TV traditions, airing annually each Christmas season since it was first shown. Read more…

Christmas Movie Month 2013 Is Here!

December 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Christmas Eve dinner

So, I kinda skipped last week, since it was both Thanksgiving (speaking of which, you should’ve really watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles), as well as my mom’s birthday, and I figured that was a good time to take a break (and stock up on lots of cheap movies from Black Friday, etc). November updates were pretty sparse, for sure, but that’s soon about to end, now that it’s December, ’cause Christmastime is here!

As always, I’ll be reviewing strictly Christmas movies up until December 25th (with exception to maybe a couple theatrical releases and maybe a Hanukkah movie, too, though that’s all doubtful, beyond one promise I made earlier this year that I fully intend on keeping, despite how much it’ll pain me to keep).

To recap, here’s a list of previous Christmas and Christmas-appropriate movies I’ve reviewed in the past:

And, for good measure, just ’cause it’s one day of the year rather than a whole season, let’s not forget about New Year’s, as well, as I reviewed the dreadful New Year’s Eve, too.

It’s my favorite time of the year, and the cold weather, of course, provides the perfect excuse to stay inside and watch a few movies, even here in Arizona (as if I needed one), so I hope you enjoy the movies just as much as the holidays!

For now, as always, I leave you with a Christmas-appropriate video. I haven’t watched this myself, and it’s likely to get removed from YouTube at some point, but until then, enjoy Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas. (It’s currently available for streaming on Netflix, too, so consider that a viable option if you have it!)

Review: Groundhog Day

February 1, 2012 8 comments
Director: Harold Ramis
Produced by: Trevor Albert, Harold Ramis
Written by: Danny Rubin (also story), Harold Ramis
Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Music by: George Fenton
Year: 1993

 

Terrible romantic comedies are a dime a few dozen, and it’s a shame that some rather wonderful love stories get thrown out with the rest of the trash just because they happen to be humorous movies that also are about love. But there is one standout that I have to say transcends even some of the best romantic comedies out there – one particular movie that just so happens to take place on a particular February holiday that people across the nation pay way more attention to than it really, quite honestly, deserves… I am, of course, talking about Groundhog Day. Read more…

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