Saturday, December 31, 2016

Final Thoughts On 2016

No, this will not be some memoriam to every celebrity who died this past year. While I too was saddened by the losses, it’s our individual lives and how those loves affect others that means the most. I won’t even discuss my personal woes, because the reality is, they’re mine and I own them. It’s called accountability and while this is in no way a pat on the back, it’s a lost art.

 This year has been a stressful one for me, but how can I complain when I have friends who have lost their parents, their siblings, their husbands and wives, even their children? I can’t in good faith ask for their pity or even their sympathy, or is it empathy, when I know the pain of losing the person who matters most to them. I can understand and show empathy and from where I am now, I can only do so by quietly dealing with life. Not the lemons we equate to bad tidings, but life.

People are enamored by clichés and their use of them says a lot about how we misunderstand our existence. Life isn’t meant to be viewed as “in comparison” to time. Life is time. And life is not short, it’s long. Very long. Some are cut short, but the average person will live to see parts of eight, maybe nine decades. My grandmother lived for 100 years and she died leaving me with the realization that we’re slaves to our routines and the very nature of routine is monotony. We do so, because it brings us a comfort and we, as humans, tend to be afraid of the unknown. We claim to be adventurous, but then we stay in the same home for 10, 20, 30 years. Some of us live within the same city or town for our entire lives. There is no adventure in that and it only makes life seem longer.

In 2016, I lost friends who were trapped in their own existence. Some confined physically and some mentally to a routine which made every day seem like an eternity. Hardships make time stand still and there is some truth to that adage that “time flies when you’re having fun.” I look back on my life and those I’ve lost, especially in 2016, and my time with them seems like a blur, because it was. I wish I could have a little more time with my friend’s father to play cards and laugh. To down drinks and laugh about the past with my friend Linda. To sit and gaze in awe at the strength of my friend Matthew and appreciate how much love he brought out of everyone.

This past year will be remembered for the loss of pop culture icons and yes, they had a huge impact on my life. An Impact I don’t mean to minimize in any way. But, we must remember, that they were also someone’s son or daughter and maybe even someone’s mother or father. They were someone’s best friend and someone’s lover. They were those everyday things for someone, who saw them as part of their routine, in a very long life, that suddenly felt much shorter when thinking back on the time with them and how that will never be again come to be.

This year was no longer or shorter than any other year, but in many ways, it made of our lives slow down, to experience the pain and speed up just fast enough for those moments of glory to seem fleeting. The new year will bring promise and within a week, maybe two, we’ll talk about the past year with some sort of nostalgia, remembering it as if it was ages ago, holding on to this falsehood that life is short. Life is long, but our ability to experience its joys are short. Especially in this age, where today’s revelation is yesterday’s standard, faster than we can remember enjoying the novelty. Sadly, we treat lives and friendships that way, because we don’t realize that we have time and loads of it. We just need to stop looking for the next moment, while we’re enjoying the present. For those who love clichés, it’s called the present, because we’re supposed to unwrap it slowly, enjoy it and be thankful for those who gave it to us.

 Goodbye 2016….you were, a year.

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Quick Story About Stuff

Living in a studio apartment for over a decade, then moving into a home that wasn't mine, followed by my current locale, a motel room, has lead me on a search for a new home. But, what do I "need?" What we want is at the forefront of our everyday lives and an entire capitalistic industry has fed of our desires, but it ignores what we need.

I won't bore you with the mathematics, but have you ever thought about hotels? I'm not talking about the Waldorf Astoria or the ones you see in Dubai. I'm talking your standard hotel room. Maybe even your standard motel room. You're paying somewhere in the vicinity of $100 for what you need. In actuality, you're getting more than what you need and you're paying much more than you should, but most of the money is going towards convenience. As I look at "my" room, I have everything, but a stove. I have two beds, I need one. I have three chairs, I need two, should I decide to entertain a guest. I have a nightstand, a dresser, a TV, a desk, a lamp a coffee pit, a microwave, a mini fridge, closet space, a phone, a laptop, two windows, a bathroom and a lock on my door.

Why did I list the last item? Security, despite being taken for granted, is one of our most important needs. Despite this "home" not being my own, it's my space and it's protected. As for the items. I have everything I need to survive and more. I have a place to sleep, to eat, to bathe. I have a place to store the things I truly need. I can keep my food  fresh and I can cook. I was offered a hotplate by a housekeeper, but I declined, because of my cat. Oh did I mention that my cat is with me. Don't underestimate the importance of a pet. Especially for those of you who are single.

So each morning, I wake up, have my coffee and breakfast. Each afternoon, I plug away on my laptop, searching for a permanent home and each evening, I either watch TV or, more likely, watch a movie online. The real splurge items come in the form of Netflix, Hulu and social media apps, most of which are free. My phone bill is my essential connection to the outside, but if I went by the number of people I actually speak with, I could probably get rid of that too.

In the next year, I'll be living in a new home. A place to call my own. A place where I'll sleep, eat, bathe and entertain, myself, my cat and hopefully someone else who shares in my thought process. What I need to live out the last days of my life is stuff you can't buy, can't see. It's stuff that is essential to your existence. Stuff that allows you to be part of the materialistic world, without entering it. The real stuff I crave, can't be seen or felt, at least not with one's hands.

Last night, despite all my woes, I sat and chatted with a friend about silly things. I laughed. I drank coffee. I stroked my cat's neck and he purred to let me know he was content. I purred back, because I was too..

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Alone

This blog used to be much more personal. A way for me to get off my chest and mind the things I couldn't always talk about. Nobody read it, which made it somewhat like screaming at the mirror, but for whatever, it helped. I gave it up a while back, when I started talking to real people, but I started to realize their ideas, thoughts, opinions and often their criticisms, were entirely based on their lives and not mine. I lost my outlet and I started to internalize. I'm not saying this will be my go to source for therapy, but maybe I need it. Maybe I don't. Maybe internalizing isn't such a bad thing after all. I mean, nobody really wants to hear other people's problems anyway, unless of course, they can make a buck off of them.

So an incident happened back in November and it put me in a bind. Without getting into a long-winded, detailed account, I threatened someone. Apparently, I threatened them in the worst way I could. I threatened to treat them as they had treated me. In a nutshell, I threatened to embarrass them. Nothing extreme. Nothing slanderous or even life shattering. I simply threatened to tell people what they said about them, behind closed doors. The irony is, the person I threatened had done this to me for the better part of three years and when I really delved into it, they'd done it to me for the better part of 46 years. Never happy with my achievements, my businesses, my hopes, my dreams, my desires, because they weren't "scholarly" enough. Not to overuse irony, but this person is a complete failure at life. Having the same job for five decades and never once getting the respect from his employer that I've enjoyed from every one of mine. Never doing a single thing of merit, other than existing. A lifelong functioning alcoholic, who is a narcissist, despite having nothing to show for that would warrant such narcissism. Some people call him by his given name, I used to call him Dad.

Now I sit in a hotel room, paid for by the kindness of my remaining family members I respect and love.  My brother, my sister-in-law and my beautiful niece. I await my next step. A move to a new home. It's taken away every ounce of pride I've ever had, but it beats being homeless. That was the alternative. An alternative, caused by an old man not wanting others to know he gets drunk and moans his friend Nick's name. How he feels entitled to women's charms, simply because of past indiscretions or because of a hot meal he paid for or cooked. How his friend's son is the local drug dealer, but he's supporting a wife and kid, so it's allowed. His defense of accusing me of "trying to kill him (with words?)" was that these people are scholars. Scholars? This warrants my life to be turned upside down, because I don't admire amateurish writing by people he wants to fuck or be respected by? Many have told me he's old and probably senile and while I don't doubt he has selective bouts of it, I think he's simply trying to feel important.

Back to Christmas. I should note that Thanksgiving was spent alone too. The one holiday that matters to me, was spent watching football on an old TV in a motel room, petting my cat and eating some vegan substitute for meat, while wondering why I had spent a decade of my life taking care of my mother, as she died, while he swallowed glass after glass of wine, laughing with friends he had "business" with and never seeming to realize a driver's license might assist us all. Something he quickly got once she passed, because of the inconvenience he was causing friends when asking to go shopping. That simple act of getting a license, could have saved ,me from dropping out of college, giving up one of my favorite jobs and moving on with my life, while everyone around me moved on with theirs. But that wasn't to be. Selfish, cowardly people, tend to suck the life out of others, then move on.

Enough about that situation and on to mine. Christmas was depressing. News of a friend passing away combined with the solitude and quiet of an empty motel, didn't feel festive. There was very little eating, no drinking and the idea of feeling merry wasn't in the cards. Woe is me, I know. It could be worse. I know. There are people getting bombed in Aleppo. I know. I am thankful. I am thankful that earlier that week, I got to hug my brother, my sister-in-law and my beautiful niece. I got to hold her tight and kiss her forehead, the same way my mother did to me. I got to reflect on my life and realize that as bad as the man I got stuck with as a father has treated me over the years, I have the love and compassion my mother instilled in me. And you know what? As bad as I felt and as alone as I was, she was there. Not looking down or in spirit or any other paranormal way, but simply in my heart. My father may read this and this blog alone could put me in jail (no, really), but it doesn't matter, because he knows I know my mother's true feelings. About me, about my brother and especially about him. If I believed a soul could spin, toss and turn in their grave, I'd feel sorry for my mother, because she'd be a tornado. If I believed in Karma, well you know. But maybe that's how life is, Maybe when that last breath is taken and he's all alone, he'll then realize, he doesn't even have her. I always will. No matter how alone I feel.

Monday, December 5, 2016

November 2016 Movies

  1. I Was Born, But - Ozu's 1932 silent film plays like a Japanese Our Gang and it's wonderful.
  2. The Victim - Thai horror film has as good a first hour as any I've seen, then the puzzle begins.
  3. The Sea Of Trees - Van Sant fails, by making the most predictable movie ever made.
  4. Cold Fish - Starts off strong, but devolves into splatter film with very little to admire.
  5. Sausage Party - A 90 minutes dick joke that lost me in the first 90 seconds.
  6. Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword Of Vengeance - Part one of six is everything you could want.
  7. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart At The River Styx: Wonderful second part delivers loads
  8. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades: A tad slower than the first two, but quite good.
  9. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart In Peril - A little better than third, but still fun.
  10. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart In The Land Of Demons: Gets back on superb starting track.
  11. Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven In Hell - Superb finale. Absolutely brilliant set.
  12. I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House - Good acting can't save it from itself.
  13. What We Become - Decent Zombie film, but lack of character development is a problem.
  14. Manhole - Korean serial killer could have been so much better, but worth a look.
  15. We Are What We Are (2013) - Dreadful remake, with Bill Sage's brooding all to blame.
  16. How I Live Now - A willingness to forget certain things adds to this well acted drama.
  17. Global Waste: The Scandal of Food Waste - well intentioned doc, fails in its delivery.
  18. Scherzo Diabolico - Horror is there, if Bogliano could get away from sex and nudity overkill.
  19. Brave - Re-watched - Like this Disney film more the second time.
  20. The Keeping Room - Exceptional acting makes this dud watchable. Marling shines.
  21. Stitches - Clown horror that is neither funny or horror. It's silly. 
  22. The Naked Prey - The lack of any true message hurts, but it's an intense ride.
  23. Colin Quinn: The New York Story - Easily the best standup in the past few years.
  24. Chronicles Of Evil - Korean crime thriller that delivers. First film in a while to shock me.
  25. The Duke Of Burgundy - It's beautiful and erotic, but it's so repetitive, it's hard to finish.
  26. High Lane - Beautiful people go hiking. All hell breaks loose. Tense and lovely scenery.
  27. The House Of Small Cubes - 12 minute Oscar winning short film. Absolutely perfect!
  28. Meridian - Short film that might be the worst thing I've watched in 2016
  29. Walt Disney Animated Short Collection - Wonderful with Paperman and The Little Match Girl!
  30. Goodbye To Language - Sorry Godard, but this is freshman philosophy and film. Why?
  31. Kathleen Madigan: Bothering Jesus - Hilarious at times, with a calm delivery. Refreshing.
I won't put shorts in the top or bottom three, but The House of Small Cubes was by far the best thing I watched this month and Meridian was by far the worst thing I watched. I also will stick to films and leave off any standup

Top Three: I Was Born, But..., Lone Wolf & Cub (all six films), Chronicles of Evil
Bottom Three: Stitches, We Are What We Are (remake), Sausage Party
Biggest Surprise: Chronicles of Evil
Biggest Letdown: Sea of Trees

November was filled with a lot of just good or just bad films. Only one great full length film, but some real duds. My lack of DVD availability this month really hurt my choices. It made me realize how much I rely on film for my sanity and to free my mind. This month, reality won.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October 2016- Movies

  1. Bound To Vengeance - Well above average rape revenge film. Two leads are amazing.
  2. Sweet Bean - Touching, simple tale about three lives that find meaning from each other.
  3. Moebius -Ki-duk Kim delivers the oddest film ever about castration, fetishes and incest. 
  4. The Shallows - If not for the lovely Blake Lively, this would be a worst movie ever candidate.
  5. The Darkness - Despite a nice cast, this fails on every level. As horror, it's a sleeper.
  6. Swiss Army Man - Dano is amazing in this hilarious and touching film, but truly awful ending.
  7. X Cross - Japanese horror that works initially, but then gets silly. Not awful, but not good.
  8. Cat People - Classic thriller/horror, uses light and sound to create wonderful tension.
  9. Devil - People stuck in elevator. Decent acting gets buried beneath silly non-twist.
  10. The Witness - Doc about Kitty Genovese detailing her brother's search for answers. Odd!
  11. The Wailing - Popular Korean thriller/horror did nothing for me. Two and a half hours of zzz!
  12. The Nice Guys - Hilarious! Crowe and Gosling have great chemistry, but Rice dazzles.
  13. Splinter - Fun horror and sometimes funny. Original, beautiful lead and good chemistry. 
  14. Summer Interlude - Early Bergman, simple, slow, but beautifully shot and great leads.
  15. Hellraiser (yes again) - Gets sillier each time, with horrid ending, but still fun.
  16. Suspiria - What it lacks in substance, it more than makes up for in style....and that music!!!
  17. The Conjuring 2 - Much better than the original, but still far from great. Solid acting though.
  18. I Saw The Devil - Rewatched and liked it even more this time. Violence that means something.
  19. It's Such A Beautiful Day - Don Hertzfeldt's stick figure movie says a lot. Almost too much.
  20. The Silenced - Well done, but lacks something. Repetitive feel makes it feel much longer.
  21. Tony - Subtle, almost sympathetic view of loner turned serial killer. Music adds to it.
  22. Them - Short horror film, that connects you to couple, then tensions builds....and builds.
  23. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) - Awful remake, despite lovely to look at Biel. 
  24. Free State Of Jones - True story is timely social commentary. Brilliant in every way. 
  25. Nosferatu (1979) - Herzog directs Kinski. Fails to match original, but Kinski brings it 100%.
  26. The Midnight Meat Train - Clive Barker wrote it. All-Star cast. Absolutely dreadful. 
  27. Vertigo - The greatest movie ever? I'm not sure it's in Hitchcock's top ten.
  28. Lovely Molly - Swings for the fences and comes up well short, due to convoluted story.
  29. Southbound - Horror anthology held together by the thinnest of strings. Fails to deliver.
  30. Trick 'R Treat - Rewatched this classic and it was better than the first. Sam is bae!
  31. La Horde - Action packed zombie flick with tons of cliches. Americans will hate it, I didn't.
I will preface that I am not putting anything I've seen before into my top 3

Top Three: Free State of Jones, Sweet Bean, It's Such A Beautiful Day
Bottom Three: The Darkness, Southbound, The Midnight Meat Train
Biggest Surprise: Bound to Vengeance
Biggest Letdown: The Wailing

Rewatched some classics and probably rewatched more films this month than I have in the past nine months combined. There were some really beautifully touching and thought provoking films this month, but no film made me think more than It's Such a Beautiful Day. An animated film, I will son return to and it may creep into my top 20 of the year. That being said, don't listen to reviews or McConnaughey haters, Free State of Jones is one of the best movies of 2016. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

September 2016 Movies

  1. '71 - Solid beginning, but then just becomes a painfully predictable chase movie. Unoriginal!
  2. Stranger Things - Far from perfect, but one of the more fun series' I've watched in a while.
  3. Detour - 40's B-movie noir. Just over an hour and I loved it. Needs a big time remake.
  4. The Adventures of Prince Achmed - First animated film f0m 1926. Pretty, a little too rapey.
  5. I Killed My Mother - Xavier Dolan writing this at 16, is almost as amazing as the film itself.
  6. The Road - Cormac McCarthy adaptation has me wondering why I bother. Why Viggo, Why?
  7. The Square - Tense documentary. Limited in its focus, but powerful message.
  8. Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon - Brilliant idea, unravels after 30 minutes.
  9. Money Monster - Much better than I anticipated. McConnell was the standout in exciting film.
  10. Broken - Roth is great, but newcomer Eloise Laurence is the star. One of the 10 best of last 5!
  11. Exit To Hell - Kane Hodder Grindhouse film. Easily one of the worst movies ever made. 
  12. 4 Months 3 Weeks And 2 Days - Haunting, tense and remarkable. Simply, yet powerful.
  13. Bait - Shark in a grocery store. Pretty ladies, tough men and sharks. A "so bad" it's good film.
  14. Waltz With Bashir - Powerful adult animation. Beautiful score pushes it into a special category.
  15. Spider Forest - Complex story with one too many twists and way too many lulls. 
  16. A Man Escaped - Bresson's film feels drawn out, but makes Shawshank feel like Prison Break.
  17. Captain America; Civil War - Nothing new. Action action action! No real plot. 
  18. Tabu - Critically acclaimed film that put me to sleep twice. Good or bad? I can't tell you.
  19. Tim's Vermeer - Some minor flaws, but fascinating documentary about the science of painting.
  20. Everybody Street - Street photographers pictures are far more interesting than their words.
  21. 12 - Nikita Mikhalkov's adaptation of 12 Angry Men. Despite a short lull, it is magnificent.
  22. This Is Not A Film - Iranian documentary-style film about censorship. Works in an odd way.
  23. Mouchette - Cinephile card revoked. Completely unaffected by Bresson's highly revered film.
  24. Vagabond - Agnes Varda's masterpiece about the loneliness of freedom and much much more.
  25. The Neon Demon - Is it horror or an 80's video in 2016? It's greatest power is it stays with you.
  26. Les Innocents - Like a stroll through a museum, but can only be described as beautifully sad.
  27. Here Comes the Devil - Spanish Horror film that tries to encompass every genre. Odd? Good?
Top Three: I Killed My Mother, Broken, Vagabond
Bottom Three: The Road, Tabu, Exit to Hell
Biggest Surprise: Money Monster
Biggest Letdown: Mouchette 

A pretty solid month, despite two films I am shocked I hated. Bresson's Mouchette and Tabu. Choosing the top three was very difficult this month, with the three I chose barely edging out 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Waltz with Bashir, A Man Escaped, 12 and Les Innocents. This may change as I have not been able to shake Anne Fontaine's Les Innocents. It's so beautifully shot and their are scenes that remind me of painting from the Renaissance and others resemble Edward Hopper's classics. My top 3 and actually, my top eight films this month are truly difficult to endure. All deal with serious conflicts, even death and moral decisions you feel you must make as a viewer. Powerful stuff this month. 

P.S. If you're an 80's kid and haven't checked out Stranger Things yet, it's a must!

Friday, September 9, 2016

2016 NFL Predictions

I skipped this last year, but will fully admit, I'd never have guessed my Broncos would be in the Super Bowl. This year, I had two clear cut favorites (Colts and Cardinals) a month ago, but things might have changed. As usual, I go through each game....yes, I predict all 256 games to come up with this. I know, pathetic, but I enjoy it and I've had some success in the past. So here it is. The seed of the playoff teams is in parenthesis

AFC EAST
New England Patriots* (2) 12-4
New York Jets 7-7
Buffalo Bills 7-7
Miami Dolphins 4-12

AFC NORTH
Pittsburgh Steelers* (3) 11-5
Cincinnati Bengals* (5) 11-5
Baltimore Ravens 9-7
Cleveland Browns 3-13

AFC SOUTH
Indianapolis Colts* (1) 15-1
Houston Texans 9-7
Tennessee Titans 6-10
Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12

AFC WEST
Kansas City Chiefs* (4) 10-6
Denver Broncos* (6) 10-6
Oakland Raiders 8-8
San Diego Chargers 7-9

NFC EAST
New York Giants* (4) 9-7
Dallas Cowboys 8-8
Washington 6-10
Philadelphia Eagles 5-11

NFC NORTH
Green Bay Packers* (1) 13-3
Chicago Bears 7-9
Detroit Lions 5-11
Minnesota Vikings 4-12

NFC SOUTH
Carolina Panthers* (3) 11-5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers* (6) 9-7
Atlanta Falcons 8-8
New Orleans Saints 7-9

NFC WEST
Arizona Cardinals* (2) 13-3
Seattle Seahawks* (5) 12-14
San Francisco 49ers 3 -13
St. Louis Rams 3-13

Wild Card Playoffs
Pittsburgh over Denver
Kansas City over Cincinnati
Carolina over Tampa Bay
New York over Seattle

Divisional Playoffs
Indianapolis over Kansas City
Pittsburgh over New England
Green Bay over New York
Arizona over Carolina

Conference Championships
Indianapolis over Pittsburgh
Green Bay over Arizona

Super Bowl 
Indianapolis over Green Bay



Thursday, September 1, 2016

August 2016 Movies

  1. The Lobster - Typical Lanthimos...is it good or bad? Does it matter? You can't stop thinking.
  2. The Wave - Norwegian disaster film goes the way of 70's TV movie of the week.
  3. Amer - Modern day giallo. Sensual, visually stimulating, but a bit of a snooze. Worth a look.
  4. The Hunger - 1983 Vampire flick with beautiful people, being beautiful. So wonderfully 80's.
  5. Songs My Brother Taught Me - Scenic, well-intentioned, but needed more feeling.
  6. The Terminator - Still holds up, but so many flaws, especially that synthesized score.
  7. Purple Noon - The original Mr. Ripley shines with Delon in the lead. Great fun.
  8. High-Rise - The most literal allegory ever made. Absolute rubbish, especially Evans and Irons.
  9. The Prowler - Good movie? Not really! Amazing Tom Savini SFX kills? Absolutely!
  10. A Monster With A Thousand Heads - Tense crime drama that makes it point in 70 minutes.
  11. Baskin - From Turkey, the scariest and complex horror film I've seen in quite some time.
  12. Viridiana - Bunuel's tale of a conflicted nun. The film is as subtle as a stampeding elephant.
  13. R-Point - Highly acclaimed Korean ghost story has great concept, but fails on every level.
  14. A Matter Of Life And Death - Amazing in every way. Another...how'd I never hear of this?
  15. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice - Arguably the worst superhero movie ever made.
  16. 9 - Shane Acker turned his Oscar nominated adult animation short into a great feature
  17. 9 (Short) - Packs a little less power than the feature, but the ending gives a different feel.
  18. Sightseers - British black comedy has peaks and valleys, but early Wheatley film is good fun.
  19. Nothing Personal - A nearly perfect "love" story, with stellar Rea and Verbeek. Visuals too!
  20. Chernobyl Diaries - Fun, but vastly overrated. One scare, beautiful cast, but lacked depth.
  21. The Lost Boys - Re-watched a favorite from my youth. Still holds up for what it is. Fun 80's.
  22. The Color of Pomegranates - Visual feast, that is indescribable. Does it work as a film though?
  23. Counter Investigation - Dejardin stars in French crime thriller. Predictable, but well done.
  24. Anarchy Parlor - Decent premise lost on bad acting and silliness, but one brutal scene. 
  25. Don't Look Now - Not nearly as effective second time around, but Julie Christie was gorgeous.
  26. The Finest Hours - Makes The Perfect Storm look like Citizen Kane. Truly dreadful.
  27. Ali: Fear Eats The Soul - Filmed nicely, but not my cup of tea. Bad acting and painfully boring.
  28. Sunset Song - Best movie of 2016 so far. Agyness Deyn is mesmerizing as are her co-stars.
  29. John Dies At The End - Easily one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Dreadful!
  30. Keanu - Key and Peele's very funny, shockingly good feature length film. 
  31. Bob Ross: Beauty Is Everywhere - The Netflix version of a sedative....ahhh
  32. Yi Yi - Not as a pleasant visually, but a better than A Brighter Summer Day. The kid is tops.
  33. The Happening - Easily Shyamalan's worst. Disjointed from the opening scene and gets worse.
Top Three:  A Matter of Life and Death, Nothing Personal, Sunset Song 
Bottom Three: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Happening, John Dies at the End
Biggest Surprise: Baskin
Biggest Letdown: High-Rise

Some really good, maybe even great films, didn't crack the top three, with Edward Yang's Yi Yi topping the list, but followed the adult animation film 9 and Purple Noon surprising me, only in that it's probably a better film than The Talented Mr. Ripley. There were tons of duds, many in the horror genre, with R-Point and The Wave (more thriller) really falling flat. The one movie that somewhat hovered towards the top, but I just can't see watching it again any time soon was Lanthimos' The Lobster. It may very well end up being a great movie, but it lacked the tension that Alps and Dogtooth had. A better movie, but so purposely quirky with well known actors, it felt forced. Next up '71

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Been Forever

I've been meaning to write a blog for a while now, but didn't want one filled with emotion. Been a rough month for me personally and going it alone has been tough. The usual suspects have been absent from my life, but most of all people have just been busy. Sure, I could quote some internet meme about how if people care they'd make time for me, but that's not always true. I've been there. I've had work, little league, personal relationships, my family commitments and I was young. I woke up at 6:30 and went to bed at 1:30 and not once did I have a minute to step back and say "this isn't living." Did I have fun? Of course, but for four years, I essentially became a slave to routine. I didn't go out with friends, didn't drink, didn't even really know what I was doing when I relaxed. I stared at screens, playing games or watching the same movies I'd seen before or ones that looked just like it.

But wait, this isn't a cry for help. The tough spot is over and with it, new leaves are being turned. Those who were busy have found a little time for me and I have to remember, they owe me nothing. Facebook makes us forget that. Someone or some thing dies and we post. We are inundated with compassion and sympathy and then it stops, unless we feed it. Are we still grieving or have we turned it into something else? I was grieving two weeks ago and I did it alone, as I always do. Even in the midst of the turmoil, I turned loved ones away, even shunning the very thought that they were; loved ones. It's over now and while this year, memories hit harder, I combated it with the things I've now embraced. Moments with my cat, sharing glances with a deer or simply listening to the leaves, amidst the daily pollution of car alarms, power tools and people talking to themselves or are they tiny people in an earpiece?

I used to use this blog to combat my inner battles, but realized too many people heard about, not even read, my blog, and felt they knew me. I'm approaching an anniversary of sorts. A friend from the past read one of them and reached out. That person and I shared one silly connection and from it grew a friendship like none I've had before. We're both in different places, but in some ways, we've seen the abyss and decided to hightail it out of there...but we don't forget it. Sometimes, when we know we shouldn't, we stare into it and guess what, it never really stares back, it just invites us in. Many days we wonder, should I have turned and run from it or embraced it. The unknown of every decision is something many of us struggle with every day. At times, without a sole understanding, we do what is best for the moment and we shield others from unnecessary pain, by choosing the wrong path and then we spend the rest of our lives wondering if it really wasn't the right one.

It's been 12 years, since my mother passed and while her illness took her life, her wisdom and her compassion, it's slowly crept into me. I'm not the person I was when she passed, for better and for worse, but I think she'd be proud of the way I stand up for myself and even more so, of how I stand up for others, sometimes simply by saying "Good Morning."

Monday, August 1, 2016

July 2016 Movies

  1. Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse - Very funny, but lacks horror feel. Good acting.
  2. Francofonia - On paper, a brilliant docudrama about art preservation during war. On paper!
  3. A Brighter Summer Day - A very simple story, enhanced by it's beauty. Four quick hours.
  4. The Girl In The Photographs - As bad as a horror movie can get. An all-time dud.
  5. I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK - Surreal look at mental illness, is scattered, but works.
  6. Bill Cunningham New York - Funny, touching and possibly even deep. He was NYC fashion!
  7. Hail, Caesar! - Coen Bros. offer an homage to post-war Hollywood and nail it. Casting is A+
  8. Event Horizon - Cult Classic did nothing for me. No twists or turns and silly script. Boo!
  9. Green Room - Run-of-the-mill claustrophobic thriller. Silly script, but solid cast makes it work.
  10. Rams - Icelandic drama about two brothers, their farm and the loss of their rams. That's it. 
  11. Wrestling - Short by director of Rams. Odd homosexual tale that just feels weird.
  12. 3-Iron - A Korean film that says so much without a single word uttered by its lead.
  13. The Chaser - Haunting, depressing Korean crime thriller. Pulls zero punches. 
  14. The Last Picture Show - Either the best bad movie or the worst good movie ever made. Sam!
  15. Midnight Special - Sound and sights add to this epic effort by Nichols. Almost too much!
  16. Elvis and Nixon - Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey do what they do, strong support.
  17. The Enforcer - Re-watched. Eastwood isn't as great as I remember. Almost funny it's so bad.
  18. Sauna - Finnish horror alleged to be deep. Atmospheric, but pretty standard symbolism.
  19. Vivre Sa Vie - The segments vary in their appeal, but the ending came off campy, ruining it.
  20. Kes - Critically acclaimed, but my personal feelings about animals and kids made me hate it.
  21. A Serious Man - Coen Brothers flop! Absolutely horrible, stereotypical crap.
  22. Darling - Repulsion meets The Haunting, without the direction. Lead is excellent though.
  23. True Grit - Coen Bros almost miss with ridiculous finale, but solid acting makes it worthwhile.
  24. Fright Night - Remake doesn't work, but Poots and Collette are sure nice to look at.
  25. Good Bye Lenin! - Painfully slowly and poorly acted, but then magical fine fifteen minutes.
Top Three: Midnight Special, A Brighter Summer Day, 3-Iron
Bottom Three: Francofonia, Event Horizon, The Girl in the Photographs
Biggest Surprise: Bill Cunningham New York
Biggest Letdown: A Serious Man

Pretty weak month of movies. Some "classics" didn't live up to their billing and I might just have to accept that I am not much of a Godard fan. The real trend this month seems to be movies that either fall apart or somehow work at the end. I also wan't to add that Midnight Special is a movie I will return to and will either find it lacked something important or is one of the better films ever made. It left me speechless, but was it a case of overthinking every single scene? 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

June 2016 Movies

  1. Felt - Billed as horror, this sad drama about dealing with rape is odd, but effective.
  2. Beau Travail - This simple story feels like a complex dream in Claire Denis' hands. Brilliant!
  3. Krampus - Silly, funny at times, but definitely a failure as a horror film. 
  4. The Danish Girl - Vikander stands out in a miss-the-mark fictional twist on interesting story.
  5. Extraordinary Tales - Animated Poe Anthology is so good on paper, but never translates.
  6. Deadpool - Overhyped, silly, with some very funny moments, but the film is rather boring.
  7. Emelie - It's not perfect, but it's what horror should be. Tense, uncomfortable and exciting.
  8. Anomalisa - Charlie Kaufman strikes again. The film resonates, but lacks something in the end.
  9. Joy - Arguably the worst script ever written. The movie manages to fail in every way possible. 
  10. The Battle Of Algiers - Content could be debated, but the look and sound is impeccable.
  11. 10 Cloverfield Lane - Obvious, silly and boring, but surprisingly well acted. A waste of time.
  12. 45 Years - Courtnay and Rampling are stellar. A film that you really need to allow to set in.
  13. Welcome to Leith - Disturbing tale of domestic terror in small town USA. 
  14. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Much better than the title would suggest, with stellar James.
  15. World Of Tomorrow - re-watched. One of the best, most thought provoking short film ever.
  16. Drag Me To Hell - Horribly predictable yarn, with decent lead let down by everything about it.
  17. A War - Strong start turns into boring courtroom drama and loses focus trying to be powerful.
  18. Naked - Brilliant acting enhances dire tale, which goes from typical to brilliant to typical.
  19. Santa Sangre - All style, little substance. Beautifully odd, but so wooden and overly long.
  20. Knight Of Cups - Malick channels Fellini and maybe enhances 8 1/2. Bale and Co shine!
  21. Intolerance - D.W. Griffith's film is 100 years old and it resonates as much now as ever.
  22. Shark Lake - Makes Avalanche Sharks look like Jaws, but hey Dolph Lundgren and Sara Lane.
  23. The Boy - Solid 80 minutes, followed by complete unraveling. Great lead, but little else.
  24. Fastball - Recycled stories leave real fans wanting more. Newcomers and kids will love it.
  25. Death By Hanging - Oshima's use of comedy allows his social commentary to zing, not sting.
Top Three: Beau Travail, The Battle of Algiers, Intolerance
Bottom Three: Drag Me To Hell, Shark Lake, Joy
Biggest Surprise: Felt and Emelie
Biggest Letdown: Deadpool

While the top three for this month are all members of Sight and Sound's top 100 decided by critics, I should note that Knight of Cups and 45 Years are extraordinary. While Algiers and Intolerance are truly epic, Beau Travail mesmerized me. That finale will stick with anyone who sees it, for a long time. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

May 2016 Movies

By far, the least number of movies I've watched in a month in almost two years (since I've been keeping track).

  1. Tiny Homes House Hunters - Silly, but some cool houses. 
  2. Son Of Saul - Auschwitz from almost a found footage style. Cinematic Masterpiece.
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Truly horrible in every way, but script and acting is atrocious.
  4. Philomena - Dench and Coogan's chemistry shines in this hilariously poignant film. 
  5. The Club - Poorly shot and directed film about repenting priests (or not). Didn't work for me.
  6. The Girl In The Car With The Glasses And A Gun - Stylish. Hard to like; impossible to hate.
  7. Close-up - Abbas Kiarostami's masterpiece is what docufiction should be. Left me speechless.
  8. The Traveler - Kiarostami's first. A boy experiences life. Surpasses 400 Blows in my opinion.
  9. The Lady In The Van - Despite Maggie Smith's presence, you never feel it. Awful last half.
  10. L'Eclisse - Antonioni's third part of "Trilogy," doesn't work at all, yet is revered as a top film.
  11. A Day In The Country - Renoir's 40 minute short is almost perfect, but feels like a feature.
  12. Ugetsu - Mizoguchi's feels as if the ending was made for the West at end, despite beauty.
  13. Taste of Cherry - Kiarostami's Cannes success is wonderfully simple, until that ending.
  14. They Look Like People - Microbudget horror, offensive in its depiction of mental illness.
  15. Zoombies - Zombie zoo, but these are endangered species. It's as bad as it sounds.
  16. The Revenant - Absolutely awful. Iranittu's ego is all we feel. The visuals, we've seen before.
  17. The Witch - Borders on greatness and rubbish. The final two scenes are unnecessary. 
  18. Mustang - Turkish coming-of-age story about five sisters. Painful at times, but beautiful.
  19. Samsara - Easily one of the greatest documentaries. Beautiful, no dialogue, but says so much.
  20. Beyond The Black Rainbow - Tries so hard to be special, but feels like an 80's gimmick.
  21. Alleluia - French horror love story, delivers with great acting and vicious violence. Very good.
  22. Pickpocket -Bresson's tale of a petty thief is revered for things I don't believe were intended.
  23. Frozen - Disney failure. Feels at times like an anti-feminist film, then bails at the end.
  24. Playtime - Tati's visual feast, left me hungry. Silly monotony, felt like a bad Monty Python skit.
Top Three: Son of Saul, Mustang, Close-Up, Samsara (all perfect 10's)
Bottom Three: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, They Look Like People, Beyond the Black Rainbow
Biggest Surprise: The Witch
Biggest Letdown: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I would also like to add this....if I ever go back to school for film study, my thesis will be on how Frozen is the most anti-feminist, anti-disabilities and most misogynistic movie I've ever seen. I'm still angry about this, but have been told by many to.....Let It Go! 

Monday, May 2, 2016

April 2016 Movies

  1. Bridge Of Spies - Hanks' best role since Big, but movie loses steam trying to appeal to masses.
  2. Vegucated - Funny, thoughtful look at the importance of convincing people to go vegan.
  3. The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie - Style over substance is influential, but club scenes drag.
  4. The Exterminating Angel - Bunuel's look at upper class fragility and the results. Fascinating!
  5. The End Of Summer - Ozu's penultimate film, is funny, charming and ends beautifully.
  6. The Hallow - Truly horrible, but distracted by beautiful co-star.
  7. Chi-Raq - Spike Lee combines Do The Right Thing with School Daze and Greek tragedy.
  8. Steve Jobs - Fassbender, co-stars, direction and cinematography are A-plus. Best of 2015.
  9. Almost Mercy - Need some humor and misses the mark consistently, but solid lead.
  10. The Conspiracy - Great idea, solid start and then becomes a cheap ambiguous mess.
  11. A Woman Under The Influence - Cassavetes' masterpiece. Rowlands and Falk are superb.
  12. The Forest - Great premise and decent acting can't save this disaster. Awful. 
  13. Brooklyn - Saoirse Ronan shines, but movie lacks drama. Cute story, but expected more.
  14. Hush - So many plot holes and errors, but charismatic lead makes it worthwhile. 
  15. Gertrud - Dreyer's last didn't work for me at all. Sight and Sound has it in their top 50.
  16. The Brood - Early Cronenberg is dated and silly, missing all marks in big spots.
  17. Pather Panchali - One of the most aesthetically pleasing black and white films ever. Emotional!
  18. Asian Schoolgirls - Was told it was a gory action film, rivaling horror. It's pure exploitation.
  19. Sunshine - Boyle's sci-fi film publicly hailed for accuracy, but accuracy doesn't mean it's good.
  20. No Regrets For Our Youth - Kurosawa directs. Hara stars and gives the an epic performance.
  21. The Secret Rules Of Modern Living: Algorithms - Fun. Starts of great, but fizzles out. 
  22. God's Pocket - Looks good on paper, but it's bad from start to finish. PSH's last. A shame.
  23. Dream Home - Chinese slasher that makes up for silly plot with amazing violence and gore.
  24. Shoah - The most important documentary of all-time. Long, painful, but heart wrenching. 
  25. In The Heart Of The Sea - Horrible in every way. When was the last time Howard shined?
Special Note: Shoah is the most important documentary of all-time. Is it enjoyable? Not a single second of it is. It's heartbreaking and it's nearly 10 hours long. It is a film that will change how you look at the human condition; both good and bad.

Top Three: Steve Jobs, Pather Panchali, No Regrets for our Youth
Bottom Three: The Hallow, Sunshine, In the Heart of the Sea
Biggest Surprise: Shoah
Biggest Letdown: God's Pocket

Sunday, April 10, 2016

It Would Have Been Her Happiest Day

This Friday, my niece was born. I received the message via text, with a picture attached. I cried. I was so overcome with happiness, I couldn't contain it. Later that day, I finally spoke to my brother and he told me all was well. He is not close enough for me to see this wonderful addition and with the way we've all become robots to technology, I've not even spoken to my sister-in-law yet. Everything has been through our phones, but very few voices have been heard and I am anxious to hear her coos and giggles, cries and sighs. It will, I imagine, melt my heart.

Yesterday, I had a different feeling and it shook me; physically. I knew it was coming, but I wasn't ready for how it came upon me. Someone mentioned their parents "not being ready to be grandparents" yet and I laughed, told them they have time and went down to make myself some lunch. As I sat in the kitchen, I thought about my brother and his wife, staring in wonder at the life they created and the sadness came over me. That very moment, would have been the greatest day of her my mother's life. Better than her wedding, the birth of my brother and I (both adopted, so she couldn't give us that guilt trip) and anything else. My brother's graduation from college is what kept her alive as long as she was. I'm still convinced of this. The thought of her picking this little girl up and never ever wanting to put her down, made me quite sad. I felt dizzy, couldn't eat and decided to lay down.

I think about how my grandmothers, for all their faults, loved my brother and I so completely and unconditionally. No matter how much we took their presence, or presents, for granted, they loved us more the next time they saw us. My mother wouldn't have been able to hide this. Anything this child needed, my mother would have given her and without ever thinking of the sacrifices. Much like she gave to my brother and I, despite pain, both physical and emotional, she'd have done anything for this child. I'm not one who believes she is looking down or has a hand in the future, but I just hope, that one day, I am in a position, to give this child a fraction of the love she would have received from my mother. I wish I could do everything with even a hint of the love my mother did things with. It won't ever be the same, but for her, for both of them, I'll try.

Friday, April 1, 2016

March 2016 Movies

  1. Room - Cliche driven, poorly written script can't be saved by wonderful acting. 
  2. Bedevilled - Korean drama/horror works in many ways, but that ending really bothered me.
  3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier - shockingly bad, after solid first film. 
  4. The Trial - Welles' adaptation of Kafka novel as metaphor for Nazi Germany. Perkins shines.
  5. Last Shift - Underrated horror flick, with very solid performance by star and unnerving tension.
  6. Indigenous - Panama Jungle meets The Descent. Yep! Aside from good looking women, a dud.
  7. Criminal Minds: Season 9 - Repetitive, but character development and chemistry is its charm.
  8. Macbeth - Poorly adapted script and too much scenery, makes play lose all play quality.
  9. Crimson Peak - First complete letdown from Del Toro. One of the worst movies I've ever seen.
  10. Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado - Very slow start, but the last 20 minutes is hilarious. 
  11. The Tribe - Sign language...no subtitles. One of the most bizarre films ever. Troubling.
  12. Up - Emotionally charged for Pixar film, but the guts of it were lacking. 
  13. Memories of the Sword - Typical plot in genre, but stunningly beautiful final 30 minutes.
  14. Black Mass - Depp's best role since Fear and Loathing, adds to strong cast delivering.
  15. The Big Short - One of the finest adapted screenplays ever. Funny, brilliant and true - scary.
  16. Dead Friend (The Ghost) - Korean horror lacks rhythm. The frenetic ending doesn't work.
  17. Carol - Todd Haynes directs Blanchett and Mara to near perfection. Subtle power!
  18. Trumbo - Couldn't finish. Arguably one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Cranston is awful.
  19. Avalanche Sharks - Absolutely idiotic, but some truly funny lines, especially towards the end. 
  20. Floating Weeds - Ozu remakes his own and excels in using color to bring it to life.
  21. He Never Died - Henry Rollins as Cain. Sounds interesting and it is, for about 15 minutes.
  22. Twenty-Four Eyes - Japanese tale of teacher's effect on children and theirs on her. Powerful.
  23. Spotlight - Oscar winner delivers, but few too many soft touches, where I wanted more. 
  24. Black House - Korean horror takes over an hour to deliver any chills. Waste of time.
  25. Captive - Mara and Oyelowo do their best, but they are working with a thin plan. Fails!
  26. Stranger By The Lake - French erotic thriller, with lots of gay sex and very little plot. Dud!
  27. Suffragette - Starts solidly, but falls apart. No passion from female director and writer.
  28. Circle - Clever horror/thriller takes serious look at prejudice, with possibly bigger implications.
  29. The Hateful Eight - Tarantino's worst movie to date and a complete clunker. Zero good to say.
  30. Legend - Tom Hardy plays dual role as the Kray Brothers. Needed more Browning and mum.
  31. Cowspiracy - Solid, frustrating documentary that looks at the food industries scary power.
Top Three: Twenty-Four Eyes, The Big Short, Carol
Bottom Three: Crimson Peak, The Hateful Eight, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Biggest Surprise: Black Mass
Biggest Letdown: TIE - Crimson Peak and The Hateful Eight

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

February 2016 Movies

  1. Nurse (3-D) - Aside from scantily clad beauties, this is a sad attempt at sexploitation.
  2. Flu - Korean thriller about avian flu. Forty minutes of editing could have made this a gem. 
  3. Last Year At Marienbad - Artsy puzzler with no payoff. Thankfully, it's much richer than that.
  4. Rome, Open City - Rossellini's war film has highs and lows, but the end to both parts. Wow!
  5. Wake In Fright - Cult classic that doesn't live up to the rep. Pleasance is brilliant, but that's it. 
  6. Hard To Be A God - Epic, but is it great. Hardest movie you'll ever judge. Gruesome and bold. 
  7. Days of Heaven - Malick's stunning look at life and love on the run. Style trumps substance.
  8. The Visit - Shamalyan's dud, never works on any level other than humorous rapping, 
  9. Persepolis - Animated coming of age story works well, despite some serious lags.
  10. Tokyo Chorus - 1931 silent Ozu, works common tale into something special. Poignant 10x.
  11. Ip Man - Wonderful action and solid acting, lift this above most of it's kind. 
  12. The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya - Frustrating dialogue and overly long. Don't see the allure.
  13. The Coed And The Zombie Stoner - Yes, the film lives up to it's name. Watched in FF.
  14. The Walk - Possibly the worst acting I've ever seen in a major film. Gordon-Levitt is awful.
  15. Come Drink With Me - Classic Shaw Brothers, starts strong, but fades. Solid leads.
  16. Gummo - Harmony Korine's odd tale of small town America. Odd isn't the word, but it works.
  17. Tsotsi - South African gang member inadvertently steals baby. Moving and powerful. 
  18. The Krays (re-watched) - Still holds up, but much more style than substance. Whitelaw is A+.
  19. Lawless - Superb cast plays it low key. Incredible first hour gives way to lackluster second.
  20. Hiroshima Mon Amour - Complex beyond description, yet so simple in its beauty. Masterpiece
  21. 99 Homes - Despite a great director, cast and plot, the film fails on every level. Awful.
  22. Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A. biopic is much better than expected, with stellar Cube. 
  23. Hellicon - Nice looking B-horror, makes you want to like it, but last 30 minutes it falls apart.
  24. A Touch Of Sin - I don't understand the accolades. Aside from one vignette, very boring.
  25. About Elly - My third Farhadi film. Absolutely wonderful, as simple story unfolds into chaos.
  26. Tokyo Gore Police - Dreadful, but I can see the allure. Surprisingly tame, despite title.
  27. The Martian - Pleasant surprise. Hollywood, but without the silly subplots. Simple and funny.
  28. Entertainment - Epically bad. Comedy's version of Frank fails every which way.
  29. Beasts of No Nation - Despite some potholes, incredible leads, with Abraham Attah shining.
  30. Backcountry - Cocky urban campers meet black bear. Hooray bear!
  31. Somers Town - Shane Meadows look at two kids liking same girl. Cute, but no depth.
  32. Black Coal, Thin Ice - Korean crime thriller starts off strong and completely loses its way. 
  33. The Nightmare - Documentary? A complete nightmare and not in a good way.
  34. Cries and Whispers - Bergman's colors are mesmerizing, but this one is so dark. So complex.
Top Three: Hiroshima Mon Amour, Tsotsi, Rome, Open City. 
Bottom Three: The Coed and the Zombie Stoner, Entertainment, Nurse 3-D.
Biggest Surprise: The Martian
Biggest Letdown: 99 Homes

Monday, February 1, 2016

January 2016 Movies

I'm adding a little change, with my top three movies, bottom three, biggest surprise, biggest letdown.
  1. Joyeux Noel - A beautiful true story, hurt by over-dramatization. Still works on some levels.
  2. A Pigeon Sat On a Branch Reflecting About Its Existence - Dreadful in every way.
  3. Cracks - Aside from a lovely to look at cast, the movie fails to deliver, Eva Green though.
  4. Monster - Korean crime thriller fails, due to too many undeveloped characters.
  5. Making a Murderer - Poorly done, but makes its point. About 8 hours too long.
  6. Sicario - Del Toro is the real gem, but Blunt takes nothing and makes magic. Great film!
  7. Silenced - Korean film about real life horror at school for the deaf. Well done, but horrifying.
  8. Experimenter - Silly biopic about Milgram's obedience testing. Stumbles from start to finish.
  9. Pay The Ghost - Nic Cage horror flick. Works, for about an hour, but then unravels horribly.
  10. Unfriended - Might actually be worse than The Gallows and Willow Creek. Awful!
  11. Slow West - Good, not great, but fine acting make this "foreign" western a fun ride.
  12. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl - Napoleon Dynamite meets Terms of Endearment. Solid!
  13. Sheitan - Sexy women, creepy atmosphere and Vincent Cassel can't make up for lack of story.
  14. When Animals Dream - Shockingly good, beautifully shot Danish horror film. Overly subtle.
  15. Early Spring - Ozu's look at infidelity. My least favorite so far, but Ikebe shines as wife.
  16. The Kids Are Alright - Wonderful, up until the final twenty minutes and then unravels.
  17. Far From The Madding Crowd - Wonderful cast can't save a poorly constructed adaptation.
  18. Learning to Drive - Good not great. Simple. Clarkson is great as always, but script is lacking.
  19. World of Tomorrow - Oscar nominated short. Take time to let this one sink in, it's fabulous. 
  20. Cub - Belgian horror borrows from many classics, but has an air of originality. Well done.
  21. Sharknado 3 - Awful in every way. This series has finally jumped the, no, just no.
  22. The Blind Swordsman; Zatoichi - First Takeshi Kitano movie I've ever hated. So dull. 
  23. Le Samourai - Stylish noir, limits acting and is all about aesthetics. Inspired, but dull...Classic?
  24. The Assassin - Pretty to look at, but a complete bore. Could have easily been 30 minutes long.
  25. True Detective Season 2 - The writing is so bad, you forget the decent performances.
  26. Far From Heaven - Haynes' visual feast is hurt by Quaid's sleepwalking, despite stellar Moore.

Top Three: Sicario, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, World of Tomorrow
Bottom Three: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting About Its Existence, Unfriended, Sharknado 3
Biggest Surprise: When Animals Dream
Biggest Letdown: True Detective Season 2

Friday, January 8, 2016

Free Writing - Take 100

Very rarely, do I write from my phone. Then again, today, or should I say yesterday, wasn't your typical day. I've been certain things for certain people, but not on this day. I was not the person one turned to, the one who shared a mutual admiration with. I was not the older brother, the funny one, the first to know. I was nothing, to anyone and as I stood at the base of a semi-frozen waterfall, I realized my insignificance. I realize that this one would move on and that one would simply find someone else to share with. I realized I'm not the pillar of strength, the guide or the one with sage advice. I left the crashing sounds of the water, emerged onto the street and as I hobbled home, even the thoughts of home wore me down. I stepped slowly, wishing to dash, but physically hindered. I cake across across a schoolyard, laughter bellowing, then turned and walked. The only thoughts, about how all that I want is slowly becoming as realistic as stopping that water from rushing down. As I made the final turn, key in the door, I was greeted by a familiar face, never once feeling any more alone. The day barely half over and I had nobody to share it with. Not a single moment.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Movies of 2015


  1. I, Frankenstein - Better than anticipated and Yvonne Strahovski
  2. Room 237 - Silly, aside from the obvious observations - war, genocide, labyrinth
  3. The Outlaw (Korean) - Garbled mess with some worth ideas, but fails on each.
  4. Deliver Us From Evil - Great lead up to a disappointing final 20 minutes
  5. Ida - The best movie of the year, if not the last few
  6. Venom - Awful horror with a good cast
  7. Barricade - Will from Will & Grace sucks in this supernatural nightmare.
  8. Calvary - Incredible film by the people who made The Guard
  9. Samurai Rebellion - Mifune. Slow start, but wow what a finish.
  10. H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer - Documentary - Crap!
  11. Neverlake - Extraordinary take on Frankenstein.
  12. Blood Valley: Seed's Revenge - One of the worst movies ever made.
  13. Knuckle - Documentary about Pikey clans and their ongoing feud. Good, but sad.
  14. Only Lovers Left Alive - Jarmusch delivers the 3rd greatest vampire movie ever made.
  15. Fright Night (1985) - Re-watched. Sans Chris Sarandon, a truly horrible film.
  16. Lust of the Dead - Japanese social commentary that uses tons of rape and zombies. UGH!
  17. Donner Pass - Silly teens go to a ski house. Myth attacks them, or something. ZZZ
  18. Knights of Badassdom - Dopey title, but funny horror film about LARPs and spirits.
  19. Zombies: When the Dead Walk - Awful 45 minute documentary. Truly awful. 
  20. As Above, So Below - No reason it's found footage and plagues it throughout. Meh!
  21. Contracted - Sleaze. No socially redeeming qualities at all. Truly despicable. 
  22. A Company Man - Decent Korean crime thriller, but lacks anything special. 
  23. Frank - Quirky film that barely works. Is it about Twitter or a guy with a big head?
  24. Dredd - No Stallone, but equally as silly, with the exception of lovely Olivia Thirlby.
  25. Lady Ninja Kaede 2 - Technicolor dildo, sex spells and a ninja nun who's horny. WTF?
  26. Timecrimes - Carefully done time travel movie with huge holes nobody seems to care about.
  27. The Den - Solid internet based horror with jumps, blood, violence and cute lead. 
  28. OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies - Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo. James Bond meets Naked Gun.
  29. We Are The Best - Teen girls keep punk rock alive in 1982 Sweden. Amazingly beautiful!
  30. Solomon Kane - Silly CGI filled crusade. Potential, but fades quickly and continues on. 
  31. Tromeo & Juliet - Troma films are a guilty pleasure and specific taste, this one was A+
  32. The Zero Theorem - Gilliams delivers with stunning performances by all.
  33. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - Re-watched. Still hold's up, but pales in comparison to Nosferatu.
  34. The Town That Hated Sundown - Remake or Sequel? Solid start, but completely fizzles.
  35. Boyhood - Long-winded tale of growing up with a very misogynistic angle.  
  36. Filth - Scottish film with James McAvoy as bad cop. Heavy, but not the Bad Lieutenant.
  37. Trance - Great cast flounders in another Danny Boyle debacle, but Rosario...no words.
  38. Odd Thomas - Yelchin and my new bae Addison Timlin shine in Koontz adaptation. 
  39. Detention - Cross between Easy A, Scream & Hot Tub Time Machine. Good fun!
  40. Fighting Express Trilogy - I'm counting this as one, because I watched it in FF. Awful.
  41. Under the Skin - eerily though provoking with Oscar worthy performance by Johannson. 
  42. Killer Mermaid - aside from a tiny bikini and shorts, this one is as bad as it gets.
  43. Gone Girl - Wonderful acting can't help poor script and silly premise. Ending is a mess. 
  44. Virunga - Documentary on the preservation of Congo's Mountain Gorilla's and so much more.
  45. Thale - Noregian fairytale with slow beginning and cheesy ending, but solid guts. 
  46. Enemy - Simplistic tale of infidelity, made out to be much more complex than it is. 
  47. Friday the 13th: Final Chapter - Re-Watched. Silly fun. Forgot how lame 80's horror is.
  48. Wicked Little Things - Surprisingly strong cast carries this above par. Simple, yet effective.
  49. ABC's of Death 2 - Pretty awful sans four scenes. J, S, T, X. 
  50. The Man From Nowhere - Korean action masterpiece. It's what taken wished it had been. 
  51. White Bird in a Blizzard - Great cast in one of the worst movies ever made. Ridiculous ending.
  52. Hellraiser - Re-watched. Wonderfully creepy, but hilarious at times, especially Higgins.
  53. Dazed and Confused - Re-watched. Still probably the best Linklater film. Timely and timeless.
  54. Starry Eyes - Could have been a modern day Repulsion, but goes the demonic route. Meh!
  55. White Zombie - Poor Bela. First Zombie film ever is true to mystique, but lacks decent story. 
  56. Only God Forgives - Winding Refn and Gosling miss, but Scott Thomas is Razzie material. 
  57. Crazy Eights - Cast of up and comers (if it was 1990) can't help this horrid film.
  58. Omnivores - Wonderful Spanish horror, with a fatal flaw keeping it from brilliance.
  59. Solaris - Tarkovsky crawls us through this simple look at human's ruining humanity. 
  60. Open Grave - Silly plot that never takes hold due to horrible acting and script.
  61. The Hours (parts, reason behind it) - Incredible performances with standouts Moore and Harris
  62. Whiplash - I'm in a minuscule minority, but one of the worst movies I've ever seen. 
  63. Annabelle - Ten times better than The Conjuring. Thrilling and even has a few legit scares.
  64. Cronos - Del Toro's first is a beautiful take on a classic. Aurora is the standout.
  65. Honeymoon - Atrocious acting, silly plot and not a single boo!
  66. Finding Vivian Maier - Uneven, but wonderful doc on the secret life of brilliant photographer.
  67. Foxcatcher - 90% fictional tale, ruins a fascinating true story. Awful acting or negligible?
  68. Ravenous - Silly horror flick, but elevated by the incredible Robert Carlyle.
  69. The Judge - Predictable and filled with Hollywood cliche, but stellar cast make it enjoyable.
  70. The House of the Devil - homage to 70's/80's is typical Ti West yawn fest. Nothing happens!
  71. The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wonderfully quirky Wes Anderson does it again. Stellar Fiennes.
  72. Nightcrawler - Brilliant idea falls flat with unlikable characters and implausible second half.
  73. Dracula Untold - Solid, fun start, derails into CGI mess with awful ending. Gadon - yowza!
  74. Confession of Murder - Scattered mess of a film ends up destroying great start and concept.
  75. The Station Agent - Dinklage, Cannavale, Clarkson and Williams deliver an A+ story.
  76. Clerks 2 - Re-watched. So much of it is better than the first, but in the end, nowhere near.
  77. Rosewater - Stewart's let down and he gives in to his own detractor's stereotypes and snubs.
  78. Kumare - Powerful documentary about fake guru, who helps, despite his deceitful premise. 
  79. The Scribbler - Typical graphic novel come to life. Starts great, unravels into a true mess.
  80. Session 9 - Incredible for 85 minutes. Unfortunately it has a 95 minute running time. 
  81. Sushi Girl - Awful B-Movie studded Reservoir Dogs knock off. Cortney Palm though, wow!
  82. Fury - Solid cast, especially LaBoeuf, make up for poor script. Much better than expected.
  83. Fading Gigolo - Turturro stars and directs Allen and Paradis brilliantly in NYC. Paradis(e)!
  84. Berberian Sound Studio - I'm still not sure if this is just one big in-joke. Brilliant or Mess?
  85. Birdman - Near nauseating visuals and sound, add nothing to boring take of hurt egos.
  86. Her - Brilliant! 10/10 Spike Jonze just puts perfect scene after perfect scene. Johannson's voice!
  87. The Equalizer - Fuqua proves again he's not a very talented director and worse story teller.
  88. The Theory of Everything - Marsh's inability to gravitate towards TV movie a good cast.
  89. V/H/S Viral - My new selection for worst film ever made. Four shaky vignettes - not a movie.
  90. The Imitation Game - A near perfect film. Script, acting and music are amazing. Cumberbatch!
  91. The Drop - Littered with mistakes and red herrings, the film tries for depth the story lacks.
  92. Next Door - Awful Norwegian film with overused premise and awful giveaways.
  93. Killers - Every action plot cliche and gimmick ever, all in one movie. Absolutely ridiculous.
  94. Tiny: A Story about Small Living - Psychobabble aside, great insight into the movement.
  95. Zapped! - Re-watched - Early 80's teen hijinks flick with the Charles in Charge crew.
  96. WolfCop - Shockingly, one of the best B-movies I've seen in a long long time.
  97. Kill The Messenger - Superbly cast and Renner shines, but the last 20 minutes is dreadful.
  98. Godfather II - Re-watched. Top 25 all-time, but those final 45 minutes are magic.
  99. Mama - Re-watched. One of the best horror films of the last decade. Chastain controls it.
  100. The Lunchbox - Amazingly beautiful story, never overstepping its boundaries.
  101. Maniac (1980) - For the budget, still one of the best slasher films ever made. Creepy!
  102. Sherlock (Season 1) - Each episode starts so well, but becomes tedious and silly.
  103. Interstellar - Typical Chris Nolan hype machine. Not 1/100th as complex as advertised.
  104. The Babadook - Nothing new and over-hyped, but it works if you can tolerate the child. 
  105. Sherlock (Season 2) - Better than the first and escalates, but Ep. 1 has Lara Pulver, sigh!
  106. Dogtooth - A bizarre look at obedience, paternal dominance on the danger of naivety.
  107. The Man with the Iron Fists 2 - Not as good as #1, but the music, scenery and action is fun.
  108. Black Sunday - Bava's "classic" is downright awful and boring. Nicely shot, but that is all.
  109. Wing Chun - Martial Arts/Rom-Com (yes really) with Michelle Yeoh. Incredible!
  110. Housebound - New Zealand Horror-Comedy that deliver on every level. 
  111. Bring Me the Head of Machine Gun Girl - Sexy El Mariachi style movie with GTA theme.
  112. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night - Awful attempt at artsy vampire tales, forgets story.
  113. Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - Cute animated tail with global message. Kids will love it.
  114. Lucy - Besson Sci-Fi with Scarjo carrying the whole thing. Fun, but downright silly.
  115. Particle Fever - Higgs particle exploration. For true physicists and science geeks only.
  116. Boy - New Zealand coming of age story, reminiscent of Napolean Dynamite, but much better.
  117. A Most Wanted Man - Miscast spy thriller. Uneven, but Rachel McAdams shines.
  118. My Bloody Valentine (1981) - Cult classic is terrible and not horror in any way.
  119. Patton Oswalt: Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time - Inconsistent, but some is hilarious.
  120. Sherlock (Season 3) - Very few shows get better every episode. Oh and Yasmine Akram!
  121. Big Hero 6 - Wonderful Disney Animation, Touching story, great characters and music!
  122. Nightmares in Red, White & Blue - Politically motivated horror history. Dreadful!
  123. Moonrise Kingdom - Wes Anderson at his best. Honesty meets youth. Possibly his best. 
  124. Goodfellas - Must admit, while still decent, it hasn't stood the test of time. Seems very choppy.
  125. High and Low - Kurosawa! Underrated and one of the best movies I've ever seen. 
  126. Force Majeure - Truly awful. Basic premise beaten to death, cliche resolution and then...ugh!
  127. No Tears for the Dead - Korean action that I turned off. Awful from start to finish. 
  128. Life Itself - Documentary of Roger Ebert misses the mark on almost every level imaginable. 
  129. The Hunter - Dafoe is unbelievable, as in not able to believe in this muddled mess.
  130. Alps - Oh lord! The writer/director of Dogtooth examines communication in an odd way.
  131. Predator - Still holds up. Don't watch too carefully, but still an all-time great creature feature.
  132. Selma - Impeccable direction, with one of the strongest starts I've ever seen. Oscar Snubbed!
  133. A Most Violent Year - How not to make a movie. It simply lacked everything.
  134. End Day - Silly, but very short Doomsday scenario film. Completely fails!
  135. Preservation - Standard, lost in woods tale, which teaches us to always turn our backs.
  136. Park Ave: Money, Power and the American Dream - Terrifying doc on wealth in politics
  137. Top Five - Chris Rock writes, directs and stars in a deliciously funny story about fame.
  138. Found - Wonderful horror concept is crushed by limited vision and budget.
  139. Cropsey - Pretty good take on how urban legends can resemble real life crimes or not.
  140. Wild - Reese Witherspoon is brilliant. A gritty, dark film about self exploration.
  141. Doin' It In The Park - Street basketball and its subculture. Fun if you lived in it.
  142. These Last Hours - Australian end of the world flick, works on almost every level. 
  143. Cube - Overrated cult classic, which suffers from wooden acting and absolutely no tension.
  144. [REC] 4 - Worlds better than #3 and solid finish to a very well done series. 
  145. La Haine - Visually striking and eerily current 1995 French drama. Us vs Them in B&W.
  146. Scum - Brutal drama examining youth penal system in UK. Ray Winstone's first role is solid.
  147. Still Alice - Is the title ironic? Wooden characters, even Moore, sinks this Oscar winner.
  148. Banshee Chapter - Irritating camerawork, but good acting and scares. That end though, ugh!
  149. The Mirror - Tarkovsky's visual and mental masterpiece. Indescribable in every way. 
  150. Zombeavers - Absolutely hilarious. One of the best horror/comedies I've seen in a while.
  151. The Killer - I realize it kills my cinephile cred, but this is my favorite movie of all-time.
  152. Andrei Rublev - Tarkovsky's take on Russian religion and leadership. Epic, but boring.
  153. Locke - Hardy in a car is about as exciting as it sounds, but he tries mightily to save it. 
  154. Primer - Not nearly as complex as claimed. Low budget, filled with errors, but almost works.
  155. Fruitvale Station - Story of Oscar Grant's death, carefully told and absolutely gut-wrenching.
  156. Assault on Precinct 13 - Re-watched - So underrated. One of my favorite low budget films.
  157. The Blue Room - French crime drama about affair turned bad. Starts strong, then fades.
  158. Europa Report - Almost astonishing how little happens in this space exploration story. Dud!
  159. The Rover - Beautifully styled, competently acted drama, can't save it from awful plot.
  160. Inherent Vice - PTA let me down again, second time in a row. Brolin and Belladona lone stars.
  161. Ivan's Childhood - Tarkovsky's first is a visual masterpiece with brilliant lead performance.
  162. Grabbers - Horror-Com about creatures who attack Irish Island, but their weakness is alcohol!
  163. Warrior - Hardy and Edgerton are sensational as brothers fighting for very different reasons.
  164. Oldboy (Original) - Re-watched. Still one of the greatest films ever made.
  165. John Wick - One of those movies which may be so bad that it's good. Hint: It's not.
  166. Afflicted - Found footage road trip turned vampire tale. If you don't mind the fatal flaw it's fun.
  167. Borgman - Danish psychological "horror" looks at class systems with a devilish twist.
  168. Tokyo Story- Ozu. Family. Simplicity. Brilliance in every facet of film making imaginable.
  169. Hot Girls Wanted - Disgusting, exploitative doc about amateur porn. Praised by Sundance???
  170. Army of Darkness - Campbell is great in over-the-top third part of silly horror trilogy
  171. Wadjda - First female directed Saudi film is beautiful, with incredible acting by young lead.
  172. Willow Creek - Easily one of the 2 or 3 worst movies I've ever watched.
  173. Man with a Movie Camera - Considered one of the greatest of all-time, but the music???
  174. American Sniper - If FOX was in charge of military recruitment videos, this would be it.
  175. The Past - Flawed, but superbly made drama of three lives, hindered from moving on.
  176. Leviathan - Brutally slow Russian tale,  ruined by its simplistic, monotone nature.
  177. Kill, Baby...Kill - Bava's masterpiece is atmospheric, but the acting takes away so much.
  178. The Sunset Limited - Cormac McCarthy's disheveled play, misses on every mark.
  179. Timbuktu - Weak subplots, subtitle alignment and flow, kills beautiful moments. 
  180. The Guest - Awful script, plot and acting equal an all-time worst nominee.
  181. Late Phases - Pulls no punches. Goes from start to finish with just a fun, well acted story.
  182. Deep Blue Sea - Re-watched - One of my ultimate guilty pleasures.
  183. Mother - Korean award winner didn't do it for me. All been done before and better. 
  184. A Separation - Iranian masterpiece. One of the most perfect films ever made. 
  185. The Rules of the Game - Renoir's acclaimed masterpiece inspired the craft, but not this viewer.
  186. The Machine - Much better than anticipated look at AI v Humans, from multiple angles.
  187. Trouble Every Day - Poor attempt at artsy look at cannibalism. Gallo is painful to watch.
  188. Mr. Turner - For once, the word pretentious fits. Art film about artist made for artists.
  189. A Trip to the Moon - 1902 short, which plays almost like a cartoon. 
  190. Into The Woods - Blunt, Kendrick, Streep and Huttlestone are brilliant. A gem musical.
  191. The Search for General Tso - Witty, great music and sincere homage to Chinese Americans.
  192. True Detective (Season 1) - The finest acted cable series I've ever watched. Top Notch.
  193. Ju-on 2 - Awful sequel to now classic Japanese horror film. Solid start, but then repetitive.
  194. Sunrise - Murnau's 1927 silent was the end of an era, but might be the greatest of them all.
  195. Mad Ron's Prevues from Hell - A collection of 47 horror trailers, some classics. Dud!
  196. Maggie - Arnold in dull Zombie flick with Little Miss Sunshine, fails on every level.
  197. Ex Machina - Simple minded, refurbished AI movie model. save your time, see The Machine.
  198. The Salt of the Earth - Should have been titled, famous for trivializing other's plight.
  199. The Damned - No surprised, but solid little horror flick, with very attractive everything.
  200. It Follows - Overly hyped horror, that fails when the main plot point becomes irrelevant.
  201. Summer with Monika - Early Bergman is beautifully simple, sad, predictable. Not his best.
  202. Penguins of Madagscar - Great kids movie, but lacks deep meaning and enough adult humor.
  203. Lost River - Gosling's writing/directorial debut misses bar it set and plummets to the depths.
  204. Spirit of the Beehive - I'm withholding judgement. Beautiful, but I'm too distracted.
  205. The Passion of Joan of Arc - Brilliant, bold and powerful. Falconetti is mesmerizing. 
  206. Aguirre, Hand of God - Overly long, but lush tale. Kinski is over-the-top, but effective.
  207. Freaks - Browning circus tale is exploitative, but a wonderful tale with unforgettable finale.
  208. Au Hasard Balthazar - Didn't click for me, as the parable of Marie seems misguided.
  209. Evidence - Horrible found footage, "hi-tech" thriller/horror with 1/2 a twist ending.
  210. Night of the Living Dead - Rewatched the original. One of the best ever. Says so much!
  211. Jinn - Interesting idea ruined by pretty much every aspect of bad film making. 
  212. White God - A simple powerful message about life, nature and an answer staring us in the face.
  213. The Wicker Man (1973) - Hilarious and campy, then I found out it wasn't supposed to be. 
  214. The Calling - Wonderful cast can't save it from it's own predictability. It ain't Fargo!
  215. Wet Hot American Summer - Great cast, spot on camp camp exaggeration and Molly Shannon!
  216. Cannibal Holocaust - Went in with extremely low expectations and they weren't met.
  217. Wyrmwood - Wonderful twist for the genre, but wasted by too much humor and lack of plot.
  218. The Lion In Winter - Re-watched this epic. Brilliant writing, acting and still a top 10 film.
  219. Ghostquake - Yes, it's as bad as it sounds, but it's so bad it's almost funny.
  220. 500 (Days of Summer) - Dreadful! Should have been titled Girls Are C***s!
  221. Kingsman: The Secret Service - Silly good fun, great action, ultra-violent and great cast.
  222. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp - Funny, great finish, but movie tops it. 
  223. Blade Runner - Re-watched - Horrible in every sense, but aesthetics. Allure is built on myth.
  224. Bigfoot Reflections - 45 minute doc, which starts off silly, but ends with a real message. 
  225. What We Do In Shadows - Comedy Mockumentary about Vampires - Absolutely fantastic!
  226. Late Spring - A perfect film in every sense, but the punch is softer than Tokyo Story. Ozu!!!
  227. The Gunman - As bad and cliche filled as an action thriller can get. Awful in every way. 
  228. Dark Water (2002) - Great tension, but the payoff is so subtle and predictable, it felt flat. 
  229. Blue Ruin - Incredible, low-budget revenge film. Scant dialogue adds importance to action.
  230. Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional - Hilarious take on founding fathers and our favorite document.
  231. In The Mood For Love - Visually dazzling, but I dare you not to fall in love with the leads.
  232. How I Ended This Summer - Old v New Russia. Simple metaphor; more simple film. A bore.
  233. Creep - Found footage mess, straddles being good, but completely loses it at the end. 
  234. Kwaidan - Beautifully told ghost stories, hurt only by snail's pace and weak last chapter.
  235. Eugene Mirman: Vegan On His Way To The Complain Store - Uneven, but often hilarious.
  236. CitizenFour - Snowden doc is intense and powerful. Important as it is well done. 
  237. Early Summer - Osu's middle film from his Noriko trilogy. At times, whimsical, but solid.
  238. Children of Men - Typical, flawed dystopian tale, held together by constant movement.
  239. L'Avventura - Fellini v Antonioni, the battle for who can say less continues.
  240. A Nightmare on Elm Street - Re-watched - Thank You, Wes Craven. R.I.P. 
  241. Metropolitan - Whit Stillman's lead choice, dooms a wonderful, quirky script.
  242. Child 44 - Terrific acting and attention to detail trump predictable plot. Hardy excels.
  243. Bonnie and Clyde - Arthur Penn's direction is top ten level. A masterpiece.
  244. Clouds of Sils Maria - Truth and fiction blur, but secondary characters tear down solid plot. 
  245. Obvious Child - Hilarious at times look at unwanted pregnancy, relationships and career.
  246. The Innocents - Atmospheric ghost story, hurt by too much bump in the night.
  247. The Monitor - A chilling thriller, with a bit of a ghost story to boot. Rapace is outstanding!
  248. Pulse - Acclaimed Japanese horror film, doesn't stand the test of time at all. Horribly boring.
  249. Barry Lyndon - Finally! Beautiful. Epic. Long. But a feast like no other. I need a moment.
  250. Strangerland - Abysmal is the only word to describe. Joseph Fiennes is simply the worst!
  251. The Sacrament - Ti West has no feel for tension and this Jonestown take lacks any of it.
  252. Babette's Feast - Beautifully layered story, with about as good a final half as you'll find.
  253. Contempt - Godard's big budget mess. The epitome of convoluted. Awful in every way.
  254. Mad Max Fury Road - Easily one of the 25 worst movies and misogynistic films ever made.
  255. The Turin Horse - I'm speechless. I still haven't grasped the enormity of this film.
  256. While We're Young - After Frances Ha, I expect enormous things from Noah, this wasn't it.
  257. Life After Beth - Great Cast simply can't muster enough to make up for absolutely no script.
  258. Dark Was The Night - Acting, tension and likable characters make this a fun one.
  259. Cop Car - Possibly Bacon's worst role ever. The movie fails miserably. Thankfully short.
  260. 2046 - Kar Wai's follow up to In the Mood for Love. Doesn't work as well, but visual feast.
  261. The Only Son - Osu's story is devastating in its simplicity. 
  262. Going Clear - Scientology documentary seems to avoid all the real questions.
  263. Safe - Julianne Moore is great, the movie shows power, but DVD commentary is destructive.
  264. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn's novel comes to life and dies a slow, uneventful death. 
  265. A Propos De Nice - Vigo's silent impressive look at the good and bad of the beach community. 
  266. Tartis - Vigo's ten minute biopic on the swimmer. Genius and ground breaking.
  267. Zero for Conduct - Vigo's 40 minute kids behaving badly film. Good, not great.
  268. L'Atalante - Vigo's only feature is the classic tale of life and love. Perfect then and now.
  269. The Boy In The Striped Pajamas - Youthful innocence meets Holocaust. Very effective.
  270. Brave - Delightful Disney fluff, with an emotional finale.
  271. Insidious Chapter 3 - Awful and it may actually be the best of the trilogy.
  272. Tangerines - Estonian masterpiece. Simple, but amazing. One of 2015's Top 3 films.
  273. The Match Factory Girl - Strange, low key Finnish film with almost no dialogue. Well done. 
  274. Eyes Without A Face - Didn't do it for me, but I see how influential it was. Acting is awful.
  275. Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayers - Easily one of the worst stand-up acts ever filmed.
  276. Pusher - Solid acting and frenetic pace make up for ho hum story. Plus, young Mads!
  277. White Dog - Cliche-filled, terribly acted 80's yarn about racism. Cute McNichol can't save it.
  278. Jug Face - Good story, solid lead and nice pace make up for lack of backstory and budget.
  279. Marjoe - Best doc Oscar is dated, but well done about child evangelist who comes clean.
  280. Pusher 2 - Solid Mads, but there is no real story until the final 20 minutes. 
  281. The Vatican Tapes - Awful, despite cute, convincing lead, but surprisingly strong ending.
  282. The Bicycle Thief - After all these years, I finally see it and I'm left baffled by its praise.
  283. Mommy - Xavier Dolan's unflinching look at so much more than just a mom and her son. 
  284. We Are Still Here - Silly horror film, with goofy ghost, ruins solid atmosphere.
  285. The Gift - A complete train wreck from start to finish, which is surprising with the stellar cast.
  286. Point Blank - Exciting, frenetic-paced French thriller that is rich as it is fun. 
  287. Le Havre - Kaurismaki's simple, nearly perfect tale of a lovable loser's altruism. 
  288. Ordet - Awe! The only word to describe my feeling. Emotions will run. Dreyer masterpiece.
  289. The Gallows - Possibly THE worst horror movie ever made. Possibly the worst movie, period.
  290. The House at the End of Time - Dull beginning, but then it turns into a truly magical film.
  291. Dead Man's Shoes - Considine is in this dark revenge tale, but I wanted a stronger message.
  292. A Story of Floating Weeds - Ozu's silent film didn't work for me, but preview of his brilliance.
  293. Day of Wrath - Dreyer's film looks wonderful and Movin is enchanting, but lacks fire.
  294. Fitzarraldo - Herzog's epic might strive to be too big, but it's impossible to ignore.
  295. Forks over Knives - Well done documentary on plant based diet, which sticks to it's claim only.
  296. The Stanford Prison Experiment - Gripping and intense, with not a single bad performance.
  297. Criminal Minds - Season 8 - The show has definitely jumped the shark, but like old characters.
  298. Ariel - Aki Kurismaki film about down and out drifter who dreams of a better life.
  299. Dead Within - What appears to be a metaphor for domestic abuse, turns out to be just silly.
  300. Shadows in Paradise - Kaurismaki's first of the proletariat trilogy is effective in its bareness.
  301. Chop Shop - Little indie, doesn't try to be anything more than it is. Queens locale is perfect.
  302. The Wolfpack - Disturbing exploitation film of kids who need real help and horribly done.
  303. Goodnight Mommy - Enormous letdown. Painfully predictable and cliche. So boring.
  304. Amy - If not for her incredible voice, this would have been a run-of-the-mill exploitation piece.
  305. The Cranes Are Flying - Russian masterpiece, with gorgeous star and cinematography.
  306. Jeanne Dielman - A look into the mundane existence of all of us, through one sad tale.
  307. Some Kind of Hate - Low budget horror, with a great idea, cute people, but fails miserably.
  308. Jurassic World - Cliche lines, product placement galore and every stereotype imaginable.
  309. Partisan - More powerful message than movie, but classic performance by Cassel.
  310. A Hard Day - Korean crime thriller is comical in it's use of cliche. Awful!
  311. Best of Enemies - Wonderful documentary on the 1968 Buckley Jr. - Vidal debates.
  312. Hannibal Season 3 - Absolute destruction of a great show. Awful, aside from some visuals.
  313. Inside Out - Pixar film about emotions, lulls you to sleep and then gut punches you with feels.
  314. There Was A Father - Ozu's somber look at father-son relationship. Feels like propaganda.
  315. Poltergeist (2015) - Very good acting and some key humor, can't salvage it.
  316. Let Us Prey - Absolutely brilliant beginning, but then relies on shoddy gore and imagery.
  317. The Skin I Live In - Good, but lesser Almodovar film. Gets too caught up in it's own trickery. 
  318. Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World - Easily one of the worst documentaries I've ever watched.
  319. Spring - Starts off brilliantly, then settles for predictable, cliche ending.
  320. The Mist - Typical King/Darabont collaboration...draw you in, then ending ruins entire film.
  321. Tangerine - Incredibly moving, hilariously funny day in the life of transgender prostitutes.
  322. New World - Highly overrated Korean mob film. Every cliche in the book and overly long.
  323. The Admiral: Roaring Currents - Epic! The last hours is as good as any war movie. 
  324. A Walk In The Woods - The book is so amazing, the movie never stood a chance. 
  325. Bone Tomahawk - Not only bad, but poorly made. Every technical aspect was horrid.