Every Film You've Watched in 2015


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Princess of Mars (2009): The Asylum's contribution to the John Carter oeuvre. If Traci Lords is the best actor in your movie, you have a very, very, very bad movie on your hands.

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Ragnarok: I love Jon Hodgman's stand-up and podcast. His eccentricity and intelligence is wonderful to behold. His mannerisms are fantastic, and NO ONE riffs better to an intelligent crowd. However, I feel like this special, though funny and off the beaten path, was not dense enough for an hour special. Culled to an half an hour, it would be hysterical.

Feature Films: 61

Documentaries: 3
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Adjust Your Tracking: A documentary about VHS collectors. Rewind This is still the gold standard for this subject, but this movie focuses more on horror fans. There's a real "Holy shit, Gladys, look at the freakshow" feel to things here, and some of the people interviewed are legitimately creepy and weird, but the passion and knowledge on display is pretty infectious. It appears to have been shot with a VHS camcorder and there are "tracking issues" throughout, which is clever for about five minutes, but gets old fast. However, on the whole, pretty interesting.

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Dredd: Not sure of why people seem to think this is the best action movie in years. I found it boring. There were some cool elements, but nothing that comes near to overshadowing the similarly premised Raid Redemption. I still chalk this up in the positive (a 3/5) because of Olivia Thrilby and Lena Headey as well as the slo mo stuff, but everything else was pretty mediocre.

Feature Films: 62

Documentaries: 3
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The Drownsman: tomorrow's DM

Mad Max: I decided (kind of late in the game) to try and watch all three Mad Max films before watching the new one next weekend. This is a weird movie. Max is barely in the first 45 minutes of this 90 minute movie. Then, we get a shitload of characterization and a mission for vengeance packed into the last half of the movie. Some of the finest car crash/motorcycle crash stuntwork ever in the history of film. Real dangerous shit. Great flick. I still think i prefer the next one, but I'll have to check after a rewatch.

Feature Films: 64

Documentaries: 3
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ROAD WARRIOR or MAD MAX 2 (as my DVD says) is a very different film from its predecessor. While I love MAD MAX, I think RW is next level good. I would consider this to be up among the very best all-time genre films. The entire third act is a master-class in action, but there are several moments in the film that meet its level of intensity. The violence is truly brutal and the world it presents is unique (at the time) but immediately ripped off by every other post-apocalyptic film that came after it. WATERWORLD, for example, is a direct remake of RW featuring dirt instead of gasoline (ironic, considering the end of ROAD WARRIOR). Despite being a much more straightforward film taking place over a couple days in the same setting, ,there are several tiny nuggets that are hinted at and paid off in the end. The score is intense and the car wrecks just as impressive as the first film. If I gave MAD MAX a 5/5 (which i would) then this would have to be a 6.

Feature Films: 65

Documentaries: 3
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2009's "Cracks", starring Eva Green and her evil eyeballs.

Basically "Mean Girls" in 1930s Britain. With hilarious consequences. Juno Temple plays the alpha girl captain of the school's diving team coached by Eva Green who has a real hard-on for bossing her friends around and hanging out with her coach, who herself is quite unconventional and anti-conformist. When the daughter of a Spanish aristocrat is sent to the school and inadvertently establishes herself as Green's new favorite, jealousy flares up from Temple. With hilarious consequences.

The story's actually a lot darker and lurid, with a inexorable atmosphere that something bad is about to happen, which kept me interested all the way through. Juno Temple is a few months younger than I am, but she and pretty much all of her classmates looked to be really young in this movie, which I liked. It made it feel that much more real. Their ages are never given, but they've got to be around 14 or so. It's that kind of Lewis Carrol kind of voyeuristic age. This also introduced me to Maria Valverde, who plays the predictably doomed foreign girl, who has the absolute worst things happen to her, never without prediction because minorities never fare well in these types of stories. Eva Green is awesome and magnetic as always, with this being a perfect role for her. She's such a presence that you can't wait to see how'll she'll react or what she'll do next.

I don't know if the movie is technically good from a writing standpoint. It meanders a bit here and there, and I don't know if it has an honest point. It's based on a book so mebbe. I didn't love the ending because it felt a bit abrupt and I would've liked a lot more catharsis, but overall I enjoyed watching it. It's a much better Juno Temple movie than Horns, I'll tell you that much.

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MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME: One fucking crazy movie. It's like someone said "hey, you know what the best part of ROAD WARRIOR was? When Max hung out with the little boy. Let's do a movie of that." It doesn't feel like a Mad Max film except for the last 10 minutes. This is not a bad movie, per se, but it feels like WILLOW as directed by Terry Gilliam more than anything else. Stupid and out of control, but fun and weird. What it's missing is a sense of mean-spirited-ness. People are supposed to die willy-nilly in this universe and no one should really care. There are something like three or four deaths onscreen in this movie and at least two of them get a real emotional moment.

Feature Films: 66

Documentaries: 3
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The Room: Watched it as part of this last week's Rifftrax Live event. Hilarious as always. I suddenly believe that Tommy got some money for this movie if he included an anti-drug and drinking slant. This is something I would truly believe if it weren't for how utterly incompetent the rest of the script was. Sometimes, I think this might be nearly close to beating Showgirls as my favorite bad movie of all time.

Pitch Perfect: I remember seeing the trailer for this in the theater and hating every moment of it. It looked so dumb and pointless and like they were trying to be Glee of all things. Then I actually saw it when everyone including some of my straight male friends were raving about it. I fucking love this movie. It's not a classic of cinema but it's still rather admirable and proof that a female centered film can be funny and anyone who says women can't be should get bent. Also, applauds for not going for the obvious plot beat of having Becca sleep with Jesse as why she had the falling out moment.

Feature Films: 45

Direct to DVD: 1

Made-For-TV: 2

Repeats: 2

Riff-Trax Assisted: 1

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Mad Max: I decided (kind of late in the game) to try and watch all three Mad Max films before watching the new one next weekend. This is a weird movie. Max is barely in the first 45 minutes of this 90 minute movie. Then, we get a shitload of characterization and a mission for vengeance packed into the last half of the movie. Some of the finest car crash/motorcycle crash stuntwork ever in the history of film. Real dangerous shit. Great flick. I still think i prefer the next one, but I'll have to check after a rewatch.

First time I've seen it all the way through, and I was bored. It's a poorly paced hodgepodge that relies too much on impossible coincidences, and Max knowing things there's no way he could ever have knowledge of. The editing was straight out of Star Trek, as were some of the directorial choices. For some people day-for-night is a no-no, for me it's artificially speeding up car chases -- which is done in spades here. Toecutter (great name) should be the last kill, but it's saved for some whelp. And, worst of all, Max is barely a character, and the action did little to impress.

Shotgun Granny, though: badass.

EDIT: As it pertains to the action, I will add the opening chase, with the car going through the trailer, was cool.

Edited by The Master
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Mad Max: I decided (kind of late in the game) to try and watch all three Mad Max films before watching the new one next weekend. This is a weird movie. Max is barely in the first 45 minutes of this 90 minute movie. Then, we get a shitload of characterization and a mission for vengeance packed into the last half of the movie. Some of the finest car crash/motorcycle crash stuntwork ever in the history of film. Real dangerous shit. Great flick. I still think i prefer the next one, but I'll have to check after a rewatch.

First time I've seen it all the way through, and I was bored. It's a poorly paced hodgepodge that relies too much on impossible coincidences, and Max knowing things there's no way he could ever have knowledge of. The editing was straight out of Star Trek, as were some of the directorial choices. For some people day-for-night is a no-no, for me it's artificially speeding up car chases -- which is done in spades here. Toecutter (great name) should be the last kill, but it's saved for some whelp. And, worst of all, Max is barely a character, and the action did little to impress.

Shotgun Granny, though: badass.

EDIT: As it pertains to the action, I will add the opening chase, with the car going through the trailer, was cool.

Ouch.

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Darkon: A documentary about the Darkon Wargaming Club, a community of LARPers from the Washington, D.C. area.

Every nerd has his or her areas in which their nerddom is strong, and believe you me: LARPing is not mine. I have no interest in this hobby at all, which has always struck me as taking the worst parts of the SCA and Civil War re-enacting and managing to waste everyone's time. I know a fair number of people who enjoy it and are able to treat it like the game it is, but this film goes out of its way to track down the most bitter, angry people it can find, people who are very, very unhappy with the way their lives have turned out and who remember every slight ever delivered against them since the day they were born, and who live for the weekend where they can LARP because that's where they get the respect and fulfillment that mundane life has thus far seen fit to deny them.

Now, with that said: this documentary is absolutely fascinating. Incredibly well made, it gets under the skin of several of its subjects and allows them to become more than the cartoon characters they appear to be at the start. It spends a little too much time pointing at freaks and encouraging the viewer to gape at them, but when it stops punching down and humanizes the people who form their central narrative, it tells a hell of a story.

However, I can't remember the last time I wanted to give out this many swirlies.

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I fucking adore The People vs. George Lucas, and a big part of that is that I can never wrap my head around how entitled these people are. I don't love the prequels either, and I'll happily sit there and explain to you why that is for hours, but at the end of the day I don't believe Lucas owes me anything. He made the movies he wanted to make, and if they weren't the movies I wanted to see, then no one put a gun to my head and made me go see them. People vs. is another example of a very well made look at people who ultimately make me very sad.

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