I love movies.  That’s my thing.  Everyone kinda has a thing right?  If that’s true, then movies and LA Kings hockey would be my 2 things.  I love and have very strong opinions about both.  I’m not good at arguing with people, I could never be a lawyer, but if you want to get down and dirty and discuss and critique both subjects I’m always locked and loaded.

I wanted to start something new this year.  Something that Steven Soderbergh does every year.  I’m creating a list of every movie and TV series I watch during 2017.  If you click on the Soderbergh link you’ll see he actually does if for every piece of entertainment he consumes.  I’m only doing feature films and complete television series.  With that in mind, I have created some guidelines.

The first and pretty much only “rule” I’ve given myself, is that I have to watch the film from beginning to end.  Makes sense right?  I tend to have HBO and Starz playing on a loop in my house.  I have background movies playing whenever I’m home, so I’m not counting films I watch only the first hour of, have on while I’m working or turn on then fall asleep.  In order to make the list, I have to watch from opening credits to final credits.

Something else I feel like I should mention just to be clear.  I’m not just counting “1st time movies” or movies that I’m watching for the first time.  I’m counting every movie viewed.  Even if I’ve seen it a hundred times before.  If I watch from beginning to end it makes the list.

As far as television goes, I’m only including TV series that I watch every episode of.  With that being said, it’s only scripted television.  I’m not counting reality shows like Bong Appetit or game shows like Survivor.  The scripted series will only be included when I finish the entire series.  The date given to the series will be the date completed.

I don’t plan on going into lengthy reviews of the films, but I will tell you what I think and if I recommend it.  Soderbergh just lists his media.  I plan telling you what the film or series is about and what my thoughts are regarding it.

That’s about it….so let’s get into it.  Oh, I might break the month up into a first half and second half depending on how much I watch.  I’ll be sure to clarify if that’s the case.

Let’s go.

 

1-1-17
Mr. Magoo (1997)

Based on a popular cartoon from the 1950s, legendary slapstick comedian Leslie Nelson stars as the eccentric millionaire with terrible eyesight who defeats jewel smugglers in his usual bumbling manner.

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I watched Mr. Magoo while in Big Bear, CA for New Years.  It was dumping snow and really cold out so we turned on Netflix, sat down and watched this.  There were kids with us so we had to turn on something appropriate for everyone.  To my surprise Mr. Magoo was pretty good!  It was funny, fun and Leslie Nelson shined once again with his trademark comedic talents.  If you have kids, I highly recommend this as a Sunday night movie with the family.

Nutshell:  It’s dumb but fun.  You’ll laugh.
Should I WatchIf you’re in the mood to watch something kid friendly and silly then yes.  If not, don’t waste your time.
Where to Watch:  Netflix Streaming

Mr. Magoo – Trailer

 

1-2-17
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

A listless and alienated teenager decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he must deal with his bizarre family life back home.

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I feel like Napoleon Dyanmite is a love it or hate it type film.  I myself, love it.  I think it is great!  It’s a uniquely crafted, one of a kind comedy centered around a family of bizarrely familiar characters.  I feel like I went to school with a couple different Napoleon Dynamite’s.   From the moon boots to the Trapper Keepers to the family kitchen, I’ve lived these visuals in my childhood and to revisit them with such great comedic performances and scenarios I couldn’t help but love this movie.  PS.  I’ve probably seen it now 6 times.

Nutshell:  This will go down as one of my Top 10 favorite comedies of all time.  Love it.
Should I Watch:  Yes, I highly recommend watching not once but at least twice.  The first time it may be kinda weird and you might miss a lot of great moments.
Where to Watch:  Netflix Streaming, DVD

Napoleon Dynamite – Trailer

 

1-2-17
I Am Not A Serial Killer (2016)

In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay.

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I watched this dramatic, horror, thriller on a whim while Netflix browsing after getting home from the mountains.  To my surprise this turned out to be a really cool movie.  It’s about a troubled teen who lives in a town where a serial killer is picking off people one by one.  Max, the teen, begins to investigate the murders and what he discovers is something that is both shocking and beyond anything he could imagine.

The movie is textured with grain which gives it an indie feel.  Like is was shot on Super 16mm with a film school budget. It’s that look that instantly launches it into that nostalgic Duffer Brothers genre that was brought to life by Stranger Things.  In fact, this movie is very much in the realm of Stranger Things.  I would say if you were a fan of the Netflix series than definitely check out this movie.

Nutshell:  Are you a fan of horror, sci-fi, thrillers?  If yes then you should watch this movie.  If you are a cinephile, film-aficionado and or movie buff you will likely like this movie or at the least appreciate it.  If you an not any of these or dislike the genres aforementioned than this is not the movie for you.
Should I Watch:  See above.
Where to Watch:  Netflix Streaming, DVD
Serial Killer – Trailer

 

1-2-17
Killzone 2 (2015)
Foreign film – Hong Kong-Chinese
English subtitles

When his cover gets blown, a Hong Kong cop lands in a Thai prison where the warden works with a criminal mastermind to harvest organs.

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This is not to be confused with the video game Killzone 2.  They have nothing to do with one another.  In fact in Hong Kong, where the film was released, it is titled A Time For Consequences.  Such a cooler title than Killzone 2.  Anyway, this movie has subtitles, so if that bothers you than this may not be a good choice for you.  I thought the movie was good, not great.  It had really cool fight sequences and lots of action.  The overall story was pretty good.  My biggest critique though, it’s very unrealistic and that takes me out of the drama a bit.  I feel in all films of every subject matter, no matter what time frame or world a movie takes place in, there are rules.  Whether the director establishes the rules or not, they are there.  They have to be, because if not, then what’s the point.  If those rules are disregarded for whatever reason my engagement in the film dramatically drops off.  This is my problem with most comic book movies.  How can Thor get tossed through the forest, splintering every tree his body smashes into along the way, then slam into a rock face at a speed that would no doubt turn you into ketchup, then manage to jump back to his feet and continue the fight.  But when the movie is ready to wrap up the enemy will drop him with a 3 inch knife hit to the side.  It makes no sense and I can’t invest myself into it.

Nutshell:  Coincidental but cool.  Over the top but fun.  If you love violence, action and martial arts you should watch.
Should I Watch:  Casual movie goers I would say pass.  Filmmakers, film lovers, writers and action-movie enthusiasts should definitely watch.
Where to Watch:  Netflix Streaming
Killzone 2 – Trailer

 

1-4-17
Into the Abyss (2011)

Conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people – and the state – kill.

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I’ve been a fan of True Crime stories since I was a little kid watching Dateline NBC secretly when I wasn’t allowed too.  Into the Abyss is a documentary by legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog.  The film examines the murders committed by inmate Michael Perry in his days leading up to his execution.  I thought the movie was pretty good.  I can tell you that nothing ground breaking happens in this story.  It basically recounts what happened during the night of the murders, how it affected the families involved and Michael Perry’s last days before he is executed.  I will mention that Michael Perry looks remarkably like Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber, which may buy you a little sympathy for him, but his googly eyes have stone cold killer written all over them.

Nutshell:  It’s okay, not great, not bad.
Should I Watch:  If you’re a true crime fan then yeah, I would recommend it.  If that’s not your thing, pass.
Where to Watch:  Netflix Streaming

Into the Abyss – Trailer

 

 

1-4-17
The Good Neighbor (2016)

A pair of mischievous high school kids create the illusion of a haunting on an unsuspecting neighbor. While keeping his every reaction under surveillance, they see much more than they bargained for.

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This is kind of one of those movies that centers around social media and uses situations that ill-behaved teens of our current generation could find themselves in.  I really liked this movie because it felt very real.  The two kids played by relatively unknown actors Logan Miller and Keir Gilchrist were excellent.  Their characters were relatable, the situations were palpable and consequences were undeniable.  This movie had a great story, a great combination of “home video footage” mixed with “regular” principal footage and the payoff was worth it.   I highly recommend giving this movie a watch.

Nutshell:  Suspensfull, thrilling, great performances and great story.
Should I Watch:  If you like suspense, thrillers and movies with good stories you should.  Recommended for casual movie lovers and film buffs alike. A filmmaker must watch.
Where to Watch:  Netflix Streaming, DVD
The Good Neighbor – Trailer

 

1-8-17
Don’t Breathe (2016)

Hoping to walk away with a massive fortune, a trio of thieves break into the house of a blind man who isn’t as helpless as he seems.

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Don’t Breathe is a crime, horror, thriller.  I personally really liked it.  To me it seemed in the realm of Anton Yelchin’s punk rock thriller The Green Room, which was a great movie as well.  I liked how Don’t Breathe didn’t over-complicate itself.  It had a few twists and turns that kept you in suspense and shocked you at times but the film held true to it’s core.  The casting was great and the plot was completely believable.  I thought this movie was exactly what it was advertised to be.  A creepy thriller about some kids breaking into a house and getting more than they bargained for.

Nutshell:  R-rated, meaning hold off on showing your 10-12 year old unless you’re ready to explain some things.  Not over the top gore.  Some blood.  Twists, violence, thrilling and to the point.
Should I Watch:  In short yes.  Great for a movie date night.  It’s worth your time.
Where to Watch:   Netflix DVD, DVD.

Don’t Breathe – Trailer

 

The next half of January 2017 will be posted in the next few weeks.  Be sure to let me know if there is a movie out there that I need to see.  I love good recommendations!

January pt 2 here