Every film you've watched in 2014


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Super Size Me: Watched this today with my History Through Film 12 course. It is a raw and very effective film no matter what people say about Spurlock. It is a true gutpunch i its look at the relationship between fast food and health. The perfect companion to something like Fast Food Nation and/or Food Inc.

Napalm Death: The Scum Story-You kind of have to be a mega extreme metal nerd to like this. It's basically the old drummer walking the camera crew through the neighborhood and scene at the time that Napalm Death was recording its genre defining album. Interesting for me as a historical piece. Not heavily entertaining.

Feature Films: 5

Documentaries: 3

Shorts: 1

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Caliber 9-The first movie from the Fernando Di Leo Italian Crime Collection blu ray box sets that I've got. Holy shit. Beautiful. Restored immaculately. At times, looks like a period piece because of how amazing the print looks. IT's violent, smart, funny, twisty and has plenty of Barbara Bouchet to look at. If there isn't another good film in the rest of both box sets, I feel like this validated my purchase. There's an element to the cops that feels it was plucked from today. One cop uses extreme methods to get arrests. Another cop hates protestors. Another cop thinks they should arrest the bankers who are fucking over their country more than the criminals. Gaston Moschin (Fanucci from Godfather II) plays a criminal getting out of prison being hunted by his former boss because they believe he stole 300 grand. He looks like a portly Jason Statham and the film feels like a Parker novel. What could be better?

Feature Films: 6

Documentaries: 3

Shorts: 1

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Funny you should say that. It's on the docket with Duane.

His performance is on the level with Anthony Perkins' Norman Bates. That will be my controversial statement in tomorrow's review recording.

Yes, that opening is as good as any other masterful horror movie ever made.

Soooooo underrated.

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"Who am I here?" is one of the best movie quotes, ever. Now I'm trying to imagine Alfred Hitchcock directing The Stepfather, and my mind is blown.

Love it!

Demons 2: I'm not about to watch Demons and not follow it up with Demons 2, am I?

Justice League: Doom: I feel like this was really good, but not great on the level of Batman: Under the Red Hood, Crisis on Two Earths or The Flashpoint Paradox. But it's way better than All-Star Superman and New Frontier. Maybe a middling effort.

Feature Films: 10

Documentaries: 3

Shorts: 1

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Decibel's 100th Issue Show: The Movie-It's a concert film, essentially, but I'll count it as a documentary. As a document of an extreme metal show, it isn't the best, but as a celebration of a magazine that has weathered 100+ issues in a time of declining circulation, it's pretty great. Who thought about letting Evoken open the show? 30 minutes into the movie and 25 minutes of it is 2 songs by the doom death band. Boring. ButTombs, Repulsion, and Municipal Waste are all great. The Pig Destroyer set is transcendent as one of the most feral performances I've ever seen documented. Violent without trashing the stage. Brutal. Or...Brvtal. Converge is a band I've never been a huge fan of, though I haven't tried. Their set is brilliant, and now I'm a fan. The great moment is John Baizley performing with them only months after his accident. Inspiring. I will rewatch this soon with the commentary, which is just the editor in chief and the members of Pig Destroyer talking shit about everyone. Sounds good to me. If you like extreme metal, this is a good get. If you read Decibel, it's essential.

Chronicle-I didn't know what to think going in, but this movie might be the best superhero movie I've seen. At least the best origin story. It has moments of power display that rival - not best, but rival - the plane scene in Superman Returns. This has great effects and a great story that is as good or better than the Marvel/DC being released at a fraction of the budget. If they ever make a young Luke Skywalker film, and I hope they never do, Dane Dehaan would be a great choice. Josh Trank has my kudos and anticipation for his FF movie. He gets it.

Feature Films: 12

Documentaries: 4

Shorts: 1

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Chronicle-I didn't know what to think going in, but this movie might be the best superhero movie I've seen. At least the best origin story. It has moments of power display that rival - not best, but rival - the plane scene in Superman Returns. This has great effects and a great story that is as good or better than the Marvel/DC being released at a fraction of the budget. If they ever make a young Luke Skywalker film, and I hope they never do, Dane Dehaan would be a great choice. Josh Trank has my kudos and anticipation for his FF movie. He gets it.

Completely agree. Additional kudos to Michael B. Jordan, he's charismatic as hell.

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Everybody was great. It was also a really great reason for there to be a found-footage style. Narcissistic kids documenting the super-powered shit they get up to. I thought the three of them gelled really well.

Edit: Jordan is supposed to be Johnny Storm too, right? I can totally get behind that.

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The Graduate: The first two-thirds are wonderful, but the final third (once Elaine learns the truth about Ben'a affair) is insane. The movie completely falls apart for me. Ben becomes a crazy, two-time marriage-breaking stalker, and we're supposed to like him?

I don't know, maybe I'm missing something.

Feature films: 5

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The Graduate: The first two-thirds are wonderful, but the final third (once Elaine learns the truth about Ben'a affair) is insane. The movie completely falls apart for me. Ben becomes a crazy, two-time marriage-breaking stalker, and we're supposed to like him?

I don't know, maybe I'm missing something.

I say that you are missing something. It's one of my favorite films of all time and gives it us an incredible picture of the generation gap and conflicting cultures of the adults and the youth at the time. Someday I'd love to write an article or maybe record a review in some format articulating specifically why I think it's so genius. But until then here is a post I wrote a few years ago in response to SuaveStar's scathing review, that might give you some idea of what makes it great. It might not address your criticisms exactly but I hope you'll read it all the same:

I'm the exact opposite, when I first saw the film I also didn't like it. I think it was because I was just taking at face value and didn't really get much out of it. But when I re-watched it and really started to grasp what it was saying about society at the time I really started to realize what an amazing piece it was. It takes a story that seems simple at face value but secretly gives the audience something far more significant.

If you don't understand the social context behind the film (like I didn't at first) then you won't get much out of it and will probably misperceive certain things as flaws rather than what they really are. The "blandness" of the adult characters for example is there to symbolize the generation gap and completely different cultures between the adults and the youth at the time.

Of course Ben is the only interesting character, you're seeing the world through his eyes. You are in his head the entire film and he is so far away from everybody else that they become irrelevant. No one else matters enough to be fleshed out characters in the story, if they were then Ben would lose that distance from the rest of the world.

The film perfectly captures that generation gap of the 1960's and how the youth at the time had such a completely different way of thinking that they almost couldn't communicate with the disapproving adults at the time. I love the final scene where Ben and Elaine as sitting in the back of the bus laughing while all the adults are staring at them disapprovingly. By the way did you notice that was a city bus? It's just going to bring them back to the same place, they're not escaping anybody...

While not perfect, the film is fantastic just in the way that it says so much while actually doing so little. It's a film you really have to think about, and it's one of my favorites.

5 out of 5 stars from me.

And I was more-less just reinforcing that the film is meant to be viewed more as a social commentary rather than just a story about college kid who had an affair.

One thing I found funny was Hoffman using a cross to keep back Elaine's family, just the possible symbolism of him using their own religion as a defence against these crazy people was funny to me.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that. Just another great image that gives the film just another layer of depth and topicality. Just how the adults are muted out, he sees them as almost vampire creatures, pushing back the evil with the holy cross. Genius.

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Rescue Dawn- I mentioned this movie either here, FB or Twitter a couple days ago and wanted to rewatch it. Herzog is probably my favorite filmmaker. This is a great movie to remind you why Bale is one of the best we've got right now. He sleepwalks through Batman, but in Machinist, American Psycho and this he transforms incredibly. I love him. Steve Zahn does a career best here. It's a great warts and all portrayal that truly grabs what it is for men who bond. And fuck can Herzog put his actors through some shit...I love this movie.

Feature Films: 13

Documentaries: 4

Shorts: 1

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Spaceballs: Not Mel Brooks' best film, by a long shot, but there's so much to like. The performances are wonderful, mostly Rick Moranis' Dark Helmet, John Candy's wonderful Barf and the very earnest take on Han Solo from Bill Pullman. There's a pile of great jokes, (Comb the desert/"We ain't found shit.", Mr. Coffee/Mr Radar, Jamming the Radar, John Hurt's Cameo, etc.) But Daphne Zuniga is weak, and the plot lacks the bite I generally expect from Brooks. It's not perfect, but is a personal favorite of mine.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Dom DeLuise's cameo as Pizza the Hutt and Brooks' turn as President Skroob. Both phenomenal. Oh, fuck and George Wyner's Col. Sandurz. What a great take on every Imperial Officer ever.

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I can;t believe I neglected to mention the scene with Moranis and the action figures, made even better by the fact that he ad-libbed the whole thing. Between his early retirement (for reasons that make me love him even more) and the death of John Candy, this movie makes me weep for the comedy that could have been.

Edit: Not that Candy didn't own every role he was ever given.Uncle Buck, The Great Outdoors, Home Alone, Planes Trains and Automobiles, SCTV, the list goes on. For those of you who have seen me in person, you'll understand why Candy was among my holy trinity of influences while I was still acting, beside Chris Farley and John Belushi.

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Spaceballs: Not Mel Brooks' best film, by a long shot, but there's so much to like. The performances are wonderful, mostly Rick Moranis' Dark Helmet, John Candy's wonderful Barf and the very earnest take on Han Solo from Bill Pullman. There's a pile of great jokes, (Comb the desert/"We ain't found shit.", Mr. Coffee/Mr Radar, Jamming the Radar, John Hurt's Cameo, etc.) But Daphne Zuniga is weak, and the plot lacks the bite I generally expect from Brooks. It's not perfect, but is a personal favorite of mine.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Dom DeLuise's cameo as Pizza the Hutt and Brooks' turn as President Skroob. Both phenomenal. Oh, fuck and George Wyner's Col. Sandurz. What a great take on every Imperial Officer ever.

It's the piracy scene that I always loved.

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The Italian Connection: Mario Adorf, the villain from Calibre 9 plays a pimp who's being hunted by two American hitmen (Henry Silva and Woody Strode!) as a ruse to draw out the boss who ripped off their boss's heroin shipment. It's tense, violent and remarkably hilarious. Mario Adorf is a goddamned sight to see. Also...70s Italian chicks, man. Jeez. There's a redhead here who look like Elizabeth Shue. Bonkers...

Feature Films: 14

Documentaries: 4

Shorts: 1

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