Every film you've watched in 2014


Koete
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We have a thread for comics, why not cinema?

Side Effects (2013) - A decent Hitchcockian thriller; personally, I found the initial course focusing on psychiatric responsibility and the pharmaceutical industry more interesting than the twisting and turning piece it becomes. Great cinematography by Soderbergh, the opening shot (a direct homage to Hitchcock) and a shot in the subway being stand outs. Most of the screen time is filled by Rooney Mara and Jude Law, who become more and more interesting to watch play their parts as the film goes on. The biggest problems I have with it are that things are wrapped up too neatly and one of the twists taps into a cliche that should be left in the past by now.

Drinking Buddies (2013) - One of the better relationship films in recent years, thanks to the stripped down style and largely improvised dialogue. While it touches on traditional topics like break-ups, cheating, and the line between friendship and romantic attraction, it really serves as a showcase for the acting talents of Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, and Anna Kendrick. Wilde and Johnson have amazing chemistry and you completely buy the deep friendship between their characters.

Computer Chess (2013) - Easily the most bizarre and "indie" film from last year that I've seen. What starts as a period piece about a tournament between chess computer programs in 1980 becomes an exploration of the relationship between people and technology, along with how people relate to each other. The cameras they use (from the 60s I believe) give it a unique look and the editing becomes more stylized as delves deeper into its real focus. The actors are nonprofessional and mostly good, though there's one who is either awful or brilliant in his role. Unless I missed something earlier, the ending is one that will catch you completely by surprise. I don't think it'll be my favorite film released last year, but it'll probably be my pick for the most fascinating.

Feature films: 3

Short films:

Documentaries:

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Silver Linings Playbook: An interesting pictured that proved two things I already knew: Bradley Cooper can Act (note the capital A), and Jennifer Lawrence is destined for super-fame. That said, I'm not sure the latter deserved an Oscar for her performance. Also, was the whole movie in his head? 'Cause that's what I took away from it.

Feature films: 1

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Twilight: Watched with the aid of mimosas. At the very least, it's pretty, even if you want to bash the leads' heads in.

Twilight: New Moon: Same as above. Honestly wished that Bella had ended up offing herself right about the time she tried cliff diving. Also, yes Bella, you were leading Jacob on. Just let him go run with the gay werewolf underwear models, he'll get over it.

Twilight: Eclipse: We ran out of mimosas here. Here's the problem: the fucking side characters are way more interesting than our main trio. The Edward/Bella/Jacob bs? Who gives a shit, I want to see Jasper southern vamping it up and Rosalie's roaring rampage of revenge! Oh, and the overt creepiness was at least mildly toned down in the last two movies, but here it just oozes over everything, especially with the blatant vampire/virginity connotations, and Jacob being a possessive asshole. Edward's creepy controllingness could at least be ignored the last two films, but now he's blatantly crossing the line into controlling possessive emotionally abusive dickhead.

We've got two more of these movies to go. There will be hard alcohol involved. God help us all.

Movies: 3

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Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods-I got this from the Kickstarter for The Image Revolution and never watched it until tonight. I was kind of jazzed for it after their excellent Image doc, but I have to say I'm ultimately disappointed. Grant Morrison is surely an intriguing and worthy figure of a documentary but the film is a total failure. The movie might be interesting if you've never heard of him before, but, then again, it presupposes an encyclopedic knowledge of his comics work to follow it. The movie might be interesting for a Grant Morrison fan, but it fails to be an interesting film in almost every way. It's just boring. Bummer.

Feature Films: 2

Documentaries: 1

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Good Will Hunting: Couldn't remember if I'd seen this one before when it came on TV over the weekend so I recorded and watched it. And didn't stop until it was finished. Can't remember the last time a film grabbed me and kept me in my seat like that.

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Justice League: New Frontier-Picked this up at Best Buy for four bucks on vacation and had a boys' night with Cade tonight to watch it. I was very disappointed. Beside the "dark grim gritty" that they injected, the film bears little resemblance to the comic of the same name that it is "adapted" from. Other than the visual style of course. It looks beautiful. I just don't understand how that script got made. Awful. The first act doesn't end until minute 40, which would be okay in a long movie, but in a 75 minute movie it's unacceptable. There are too many characters and far too much story to be contained in that runtime. A true gutting of a comic book classic.

Feature Films: 4

Documentaries: 1

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Bears little resemblance? Sure they left quite a bit out but every scene in the film was taken directly from the comic (save the brief scene with Clark and Lois on the roof of the Daily Planet). But I do agree that it wasn't a great adaptation of the comic book story, Bruce Timm himself has said that he regrets trying the cram the story into a 70 minute cartoon.

The Haunting (1963) directed by Robert Wise

While the story itself isn't nearly as fascinating as it is in the novel, Robert Wise still does a great job directing this film. In truth I probably found the film a bit scarier than the book with its inventive angles and a great performance by Julie Harris. While if feel the screenplay could have been a bit better, it served its purpose. My biggest problem is probably Humphrey Searle's score. While I do think he's a talented musician this unfortunately, and some of the music was suitably strange, at other times it was very poor and I feel that a more talented composer could have really elevated this movie quite a bit. Still Robert Wise's direction in undisputably admirable, and I do consider this to be a fine adaptation of the novel.

The Wall (2012) directed by Julian Pölsler

While this is a German film and all the dialogue is subtitled, oddly enough the main character's inner monologue is in English. Despite the slightly distracting inner monologue, everything else in this film is fantastic. Very slow and atmospheric, I was so engaged the entire time, I honestly couldn't look away. It's on Netflix, so I strongly suggest you go watch it.

Feature Films: 2

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And God Created Woman (1956) - A French drama where Brigitte Bardot plays an orphaned young woman who doesn't conform to the time's repression of sexuality, marries a man to avoid getting sent to a convent, and gets in a love triangle with the man and his brother. There are some hilarious sequences in here, particularly when Bardot comes down to get food after having sex with her new husband and the rest of the family are having a post wedding dinner. The film also has a striking use of red, where its meaning shifts between referring to Bardot and to how various characters feel about her. A scene where a song shifts from being non-diegetic to diegetic and a reference made to an action "only working in movies" hint towards the playfulness of the French New Wave a few years later. It's also the film that made Bardot an international star, and as such, is sexist as hell. You hope that the sexual liberation of Bardot's character eventually leads to at least a somewhat progressive stance for the time, but it's just an excuse for ogling before she's put in her "rightful" place at the end.

M (1931) - I've seen this film four times in under six months. There are still moments that make me jump in my seat and I am still amazed by the performances, cinematography, and, above all, the impossible to overstate mastery of using sound when the sound film had only been standardized for a few years. It's as great an achievement in cinema as Citizen Kane and 8 1/2.

The Jazz Singer (1927) - Overall, it's nothing special, but because it has the first scenes of synchronized dialogue in cinema history, It will remain a talking point. Al Jolson does have a certain charisma that I can't explain that comes through his restricted movements due to the sound technology. He also shines in the more dramatic moments, one of which loses something because he performs it in blackface. It also has the Greatest Supporting Actor of All Time, Roscoe Karns, in a small role.

Feature Films: 6

Short Films:

Documentaries:

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The Beverly Hillbillies: This is a fun, dumb movie and I love every minute of it. Jim Varney nails Jed Clampett. The plot is straight out of the 80s, yet works perfectly well in the early 90s. Rob Schneider is not awful, and I would actually say he's tolerable. And best of all, Lea Thompson. Of dear lord above, that woman is so damn hot! I only wish Jane Fonda could have had a cameo, 'cause then we would have had a Nine to Five reunion.

Addams Family Values: This might have been the first time I've seen the movie all the way through. That said, I have seen it all in parts, it would seem. Anyway, it's a wonderful continuation of the first movie and is incredibly funny, but I think I prefer the first movie to this one.

Feature films: 3

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Addams Family Values: This might have been the first time I've seen the movie all the way through. That said, I have seen it all in parts, it would seem. Anyway, it's a wonderful continuation of the first movie and is incredibly funny, but I think I prefer the first movie to this one.

Feature films: 3

I always preferred this one because it appealed to me more as a child. The dance scene rules and every Camp Chippewa scene made me at least chuckle - especially the kids' 'conversion' treatment

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M (1931) - I've seen this film four times in under six months. There are still moments that make me jump in my seat and I am still amazed by the performances, cinematography, and, above all, the impossible to overstate mastery of using sound when the sound film had only been standardized for a few years. It's as great an achievement in cinema as Citizen Kane and 8 1/2.

We need to talk about this on the show. It's one of my favorites.

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I watched that movie with my dad when it first came out on video, which I feel was only weeks before Batman came out (far too young to watch it, but that's been a theme throughout my life). I haven't watched it since, but I distinctly recall him turning around and having a bare ass sticking out of a hospital gown and my dad saying "That guy is Batman."

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