Unlike with my book list, I didn’t make a New Year’s Resolution about watching fifty movies, or a hundred movies. I didn’t have to, because I watch a lot of movies. I have no money, so most of them I watched on Netflix or elsewhere in the bazaar that is the internet. So, now, in order of viewing as I remember it.
I watched this for my Contemporary American Cinema class that I wasn’t actually in I just sat in the classroom because the prof let me because he’s cool. It’s actually pretty great. The pacing is a little slow, but… it’s nice, it has a nice character focus, I finally get all those “we’ll always have Paris” references (if you’ve seen those references and you don’t know what they mean, watch Casablanca).
- La Populaire(2012)
This is some weird French movie about people who type really quickly. It’s fantastic.
- The Breakfast Club (1985)
I was trying to make a Shakespearean-style adaptation of this for a radio play (my life is weird, okay?) and I had to watch it again. It honestly stands the test of time pretty well, and I say that as someone who hadn’t been born yet.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
I honestly didn’t like this one all that much. I mean it was good, I just… I guess I built it up in my head before watching it.
- Star Wars : A New Hope (1977)
I watched this because I didn’t actually grow up with Star Wars, I grew up with the prequels, which I think makes my general acceptance but also slight disdain for the franchise understandable. Honestly, watching it now, without having grown up with it… the first Star Wars movie feels like a parody of itself. It feels like what some really good archaeologists would have figured out Star Wars looked like if all they saw was internet GIFs and fanfics and the odd screenshot with a funny caption. I watched the best possible version I could apparently find (Star Wars Revisited) and… it was okay? I mean, in the historical context it makes sense why it blew people’s minds. It just mostly feels quaint now. Also what’s with the fake British accents? Carrie Fisher has a weird fake British accent on and off throughout this movie why does no one comment on that? And there are a lot of old people in the background, when did Hollywood start to scale down on the old people extras? Did they just keep dying and not getting replaced?
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Rey was the best. She’s awesome, she’s really not-annoying, which is a huge bonus in Star Wars protagonists I have to say. Finn was also not-annoying. Also the effects were better. All in all, the best possible remake of A New Hope I could really ask for, though it didn’t have some of the neat little things the first one had (like how they scan the shuttle and find no life forms because they were droids, which is pretty clever).
- The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
This movie is so great.
- Dark Shadows (2012)
I don’t even know what this movie was. I have no opinion. I apparently watched it(???) but I have forgotten the great majority of the plot. I think it had Johnny Depp?
- Deadpool (2016)
FUCKING FANTASTIC. I’ve been a deadpool fan since like 2008 or so, and boy oh boy when I heard this was finally coming out well [CENSORED] my [CENSORED] [CENSORED], you know? I honestly thought it was weirdly feminist and brought it up with my prof¹ I would argue that yes, the film does kind of function as an Honest Trailer for other movies, but… don’t you guys like Honest Trailers? I like Honest Trailers. And it has Deadpool in it!
- Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Eh. This movie is like a Fitzgerald book. It’s much more fun to TALK about it than it is to actually consume it for me. It has a lot of room for analysis, a lot of room for interesting conversations, and a lot of room for grumbling.²
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
This movie is so great. Had to rewatch it for a class. Pretty dang great.
- Batman v Superman (2016)
Okay so, I know everyone loves shitting on Batman v Superman but… I think this was a great movie. Best comedy of the year (and this year had Deadpool in it. Though then again I haven’t watched anything else on theatres beyond The Secret Lives of Pets, and I was with a child at the time). I think I found a way to fix Batman v Superman for everyone. First, imagine it’s satire. Second, imagine that part of the satire is that they’re taking the Batman from The Lego Movie seriously as a character. Doesn’t the whole movie make SO MUCH MORE SENSE NOW? Isn’t it SUDDENLY COMEDIC GENIUS? Also why does everyone like Wonder Woman here she basically has a handful of cameos. She was only better than everyone else by virtue of not sucking a lot.
- Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
Pretty interesting, honestly.
- Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015)
I have seen this movie like eight times. It’s better every time. AWESOME. SO AWESOME.
- Son of Batman (2014)
I watched it, I can say that. And it was a movie.
- Superman vs The Elite (2012)
I think this movie gets a lot of Superman things right that no live action movie from this century has gotten right yet. And that’s a little sad, because live action movies can look at animated movies and see how they went before doing anything and they already have a template, they just chose not to.
- The Martian(2015)
SO GREAT. SO GREAT. I finally watched it on a plane. And then I watched it at home. And then I watched it at home again. SO GREAT.
- Safety Not Guaranteed(2012)
I finally got around to seeing this! This is actually pretty great, guys check it out.
- Strange Magic(2015)
…I don’t know how to have an opinion about this movie. I mean, I want to dislike it because it has weird character designs and the bad guy looks like Hopper from Toy Story and Voldemort had a kid and then the kid had a nose stuck on him. That said, I also want to like it because it’s a weirdly endearing story that goes somewhere most stories would not go with that premise and I like that it does that. But also, um… what? The whole thing is just… weird…
- Film Noir (2007)
Okay, so there is this 3D CGI animated movie called “Film Noir”, somehow I found it and watched it and… it’s pretty mediocre. Kind of sad, honestly, it looks like it lacked budget…
- Galaxy Quest (1999)
Pretty great. The beginning runs on a little long though, you kinda forget that after you watch it and then you watch it again for some reason and you realize boy the beginning runs a little long.
- Song of the Sea(2014)
FANTASTIC. A+. FIVE STARS. A BILLION KISSES. I DON’T HAVE AN ESTABLISHED METRIC FOR THIS BUT THIS MOVIE HITS IT OUT OF THE PARK ON THE EVERYTHING LEVEL.
- The LEGO Movie(2014)
I watched this again. It actually gains a bit on the second viewing, even if the 1984-holy-shit stuff at the start was obvious on first viewing.
- Ice Princess(2005)
Why aren’t there more movies like this? There should be more movies like this. Cheesy heartfelt girl-becomes-athlete things.
- Zootopia (2016)
SO GREAT. SO GREAT. SO GREAT.
- Home (2015)
Also pretty great.
Weirdly nice and friendly. Like some Star Trek episodes where you realize the writers truly believe in the innate kindness of mankind.
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
This movie is so good.
- The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)
And it keeps being so good!
- Cinderella (2015)
…Why is this a thing that exists?
- Justice League: War (2014)
…why is this a thing that exists? This is a really weird movie. It’s some sort of Justice League Origin Story. But Cyborg is a member now?
- Banksy Does New York (2014)
I like this movie about Banksy. It introduced me to Banksy after a lot of people had apparently begun forgetting about Banksy.
- Batman: Under The Red Hood (2010)
This is a really good movie.
- Batman VS Robin (2015)
This is a surprisingly good movie. I really like the court of owls. And I like that they deal with a lot of the WTFkery to be expected from the entirety of the character of Damian Wayne existing. His existence is just weirdness waiting to happen and they tackle that.
- Bridge of Spies (2015)
I have never wanted to be like a character more than when I was watching Bridge of Spies. And I’ve watched all of the Marvel movies. Bridge of spies is about integrity and law and what law means and war and patriotism and cruelty and… it’s just great, man.
- Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
I finally got around to watching this! It was fantastic! Watch it guys, watch it!
- Ex Machina (2015)
The pacing reminded me a lot of Gattaca(a movie responsible for helping me remember what letters Guanine, Cytosine, Adenine and Thymine start with!) in that it’s kind of slow in this way that makes you uneasy and then it begins to pick up and then it gets slow again and then it really picks up and then it has a couple of quiet moments so you think it’s slowing down again but it’s really not. Only that movie has a happy ending and this one has a morally-ambiguous-says-more-about-you-than-the-movie-what-you-think kind of ending.
- Superman Unbound (2013)
I watched a lot of DC animated movies, okay? Yeah this one was… fine.
- Captain America: Civil War (2016)
I liked it. It was okay. I don’t remember as much of it as I thought I would.
- Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
This one was… less fine.
- All Star Superman (2011)
This was the first Superman movie where I could totally buy that people didn’t think Superman and Batman were the exact same person. It has some weird plotting choices, but over all good effort, A-, maybe an A?
- Batman The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 (2013)
I accidentally watched this first. I think that might have been a good thing. The second part is better than the first. Also: Best Robin.
- Batman The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (2012)
Not as good as part 2, but pretty good? I think this gets a lot of flack for the unnecessary extremity of the situation, but I also think it does have something important to say about the value of sticking to your principles even if that makes you a social pariah. It glorifies violence against criminals that has been shown not to work, but it also makes interesting arguments about the fact that if there were superheroes, and if the government then decided to work with them, that would be kind of fucked up. Also it has the second best Robin, maaaybe the best Robin.
- Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
Was this the template for the Suicide Squad movie? I mean, I haven’t watched that but the premises seem to be conjoined twins.
- Wonder Woman (2009)
So the animated movies have not disappointed with the Wonder Woman movie. It’s pretty great. It’s a little crazy but hey that is totally in the spirit of the original comics.
- Justice League vs Teen Titans (2016)
…this was a weird movie that messed with my internal chronology. Why is Raven so young? Shouldn’t she be roughly Starfire’s age? And why is Jaime so old? Shouldn’t he be younger? And why isn’t Batman way older if Robin and Starfire are both like, fully fledged competent adults in what is apparently their mid-20s? I mean Damian is more than 10 years old by now, so Batman has to be at least in his mid-thirties but then he was in his 20s when he got Robin, so… What?
- Justice League: New Frontier (2008)
…I think the writers of this movie were high, and then the EDITORS of this movie were REALLY REALLY GOOD at working with what they had.
- Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths (2010)
I was lonely and the DC animated movies were there for me, okay? This seems really excessive now that I list them all… Anyway, it’s kind of a fun “what about the reality where Hitler cures cancer, Morty?” situation, and Batman gets to be very Badass at the end. And the character designs are pretty nice too.
- Dragon Hunters (2008)
This little-known French movie and the TV show that preceded it are both lovely and deserve more.
- The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
This was the FOURTH movie I’ve seen in theatres this year (boy am I pushing it!) and it was really good. I mean, not really good in a “Zootopia owns my soul”, all-caps chanting kind of way. Really good in an “I didn’t think this would work, but it works really well and the characters are pretty compelling” kind of way.
- The Little Prince (2015)
This is a weird movie. It makes a lot of very weird adaptation choices. I reread the book shortly afterwards. This is a very weird movie.
- Persepolis (2007)
This has been a very re-watching-movies year for me. Persepolis is pretty great. I don’t think anyone really thinks otherwise. It’s one of those movies that is just… really good. Some parts are cheesy, some parts paint the protagonist in an awful light, but mostly… it’s very interesting, and touching.
- Goodbye Lenin (2003)
Wow. Wow. Wooooow. I… wow.
- Tinker Bell (2008)
I am planning on reviewing this later, but, honestly… it’s surprisingly good.
- Tinker Bell and The Pirate Fairy (2014)
Very very good.
- Tinker Bell and The Legend of The Neverbeast (2015)
Very very very VERY good.
- Dogma (1999)
Hey, this Kevin Smith guy’s movie was pretty cool, wonder what he’s done recently…
- The Big Short(2015)
I feel like this is Bernie Sanders’ best campaign ad. And he didn’t even make it.
- White House Down (2013)
It’s Die Hard! It’s Die Hard now that the Die Hard movies went weird! Woo! Go Die Hard!
- Clueless (1995)
This is a modern classic I had very low expectations for. I was very impressed.
- Austenland (2013)
So I thought about watching this movie on and off for like three months. And then I said “fuck it, I’m in a Jane Austen mood, I’ll watch it and see what the fuss is about”. I give it a B+? It was pretty fun, the romance was better than a some, not as good as others (I get why she likes him, but… why does he like her? Why does he like her so much?) and it had an interesting commentary to provide on the commodification of “experiences” and how people are sold on the idea of being manipulated.
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016).
So good! So good! It’s like someone took Jane Austen, and then amped up the awesome. It’s great. It’s fantastic. Lady Catherine de Burg is fucking Cersei Lannister with an eyepatch. It’s fantastic. A lot of the reviews I read were either “it has too much action and not enough Asuten” or “it has too much Austen and not enough action” and it looks like my tastes are exactly in the right spot for this movie’s.
- Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo (2007)
This movie surprised me with its sadness.
- Walt Before Mickey (2015)
This movie kind of sucks. I’m not just saying this because the History of Animation course I took involved me writing a huge paper on the life of Disney, or because they erase the role of multiple real-life women or minimize it in the story, or because they don’t pay any lip service to the problems that would arise with Ub Iwerks later, but… it just kind of sucks.
- Green Lantern: First Flight (2009)
Why are there more movies with boring-pilot Green Lantern instead of with this-guy-seriously-worked-teaching-disabled-kids Green Lantern, or with really-their-first-black-hero-was-in-the-70s-also-he’s-a-freaking-architect Green Lantern? Also this movie has a freaking magical girl changing scene. Also of note: there’s a lot of surprisingly graphic death and torture scenes in this movie. It’s less PG than the live action version!
- The Maltese Falcon (1941)
This movie lives up to its reputation, I must say.
- Out of the Past (1947)
This movie is actually two movies they smashed together and hoped we wouldn’t notice.
- Rear Window (1954)
Hey, remember when Shia LaBeuf did that movie in like 2007 about Suburbia or Disturbia or some shit? That movie is this movie, only the old one is SO MUCH BETTER.
- The Big Sleep (1946)
This movie’s title makes no sense. Also they forgot to patch up one of the plot threads. That said: IT IS AMAZING HOW DOES BOGART DO IT HOW???
- Detour (1945)
My professor described this movie as “bananas”. I wouldn’t go that far, but hey the movie does have death-by-telephone-chord in it.
- Victor Frankenstein (2015)
YES! More more more more! I want more mad science deuteragonists! I mean, as a movie it’s a little weird, and it could have used some more… sense-making, but still! More!
- Shall We Dance? (1996)
This movie is actually really cute and fun. Watch the Japanese version! It’s super weird and the shots are very strange in a couple of the scenes. Tons of fun.
- Double Indemnity (1944)
This movie begins with some of the most noir narration… ever. It is almost comically noir. It’s amazing.
- Vivir Es Fácil (2013)
It was okay. I mean, it was the second movie in two weeks that involved people in not-America/England liking/being obsessed with some aspect of America/England’s culture in a kind of annoying “thanks for reminding me about western cultural imperialism” way, but… it was nice. It was a nice movie, I liked it.
- Gun Crazy (1950)
This movie isn’t actually noir. I don’t know why the prof put it there. Maybe because he was trying to make a point about the artificiality of our categorization of film, or maybe because he was trying to illustrate how certain things may have the trappings and the suits of noir whilst not sticking to the up-to-now explored subject matter. Maybe because he disagreed with me. Either way, it was a weirdly great movie, with a really fun femme fatale.
- The Killing (1956)
Now THIS movie is bananas. You need a diagram to really get the whole thing and when you make one you realize that the narrator got a bunch of things slightly wrong. Also Kubrick, so obviously great.
- The Lady From Shanghai (1948)
WTF Orson Welles? WTF. WTF is this movie. Why. What? What? But–that doesn’t–why? That’s not… she could have just been Chinese, why do you have to… I… What?
- The Naked City (1948)
I… actually really really liked this movie. It was pretty great.
- Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992)
I had to watch this for neuroscience class. It was… interesting. I have mixed feelings about Noam Chomsky, so I’m not very sure what to take of it.
- Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
HOLY DENZEL WASHINGTON GUYS. THIS MOVIE IS GREAT YOU SHOULD WATCH IT EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH IT. IT DOES SO MANY THINGS.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016)
I really like this movie. Moviebob described it as “Dr. Who catches Pokemon in Harry Potter” and… I want to say yes, but in a good way.
- Chinatown (1974)
…Wait, Jack Nicholson wasn’t always super creepy? Also… that ending, man…
- Mr. Right (2015)
This movie is amazing. It’s about two psychopaths falling in love.
- Lost Highway (1997)
WHAT THE FUCK. NO. NOOOOO. WHAT? WHAT? NO. BAD. BAD. THAT DOESN’T EVEN–WHUH???
- The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)
…At this point I just figured he was screwing with the class.
- Children Full of Life (2003)
Very illustrative of the fact that the point of education is to make better, more informed citizens.
- Best of Enemies (2015)
My reaction to this is best illustrated in emoticon format: (o_o)!
Also this film has “now listen, you queer, stop calling me a cryptonazi” as a phrase that is actually said by a real person at one point.
- Sin City (2005)
SO GREAT. SO AWFUL. SO GREAT.
- Blade Runner (1982)
Okay, so putting aside that the final speech felt a little overhyped… yeah. It’s a classic for a reason. It’s pretty dang great.
- Basic Instinct (1992)
…This movie has super animalistic sex in it. I swear I felt like an alien watching these curious humans mating after a while.
- Central Intelligence (2016)
Surprisingly not-awful, actually.
- My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree (2016)
Okay, so a friend of mine asked me to figure out a hypothesis re: how come people go insane with magic in the Equestria Girls movies so often and I realized what it was with this one: Solitude. Think about it! The only people who use magic and don’t go insane are those protected by FRIENDSHIP! It makes so much sense!
- Sully (2016)
It was okay. Tom Hanks can really act, guys.
- Edgar Allan Poe’ EXTRAORDINARY TALES (2015)
An interesting anthology. Wouldn’t really recommend it that much.
- Passengers (2016)
I was forced to see this movie. It’s decent, but… kind of just that.
- Cinema Paradiso. (1988)
This movie opens with a fuckton of awards it won. FOR A REASON. My eyes teared up with the last scene, guys. Look at ALL OF THE MOVIES I HAVE LISTED HERE and literally only one other one made me tear up and that was because I was in the middle of a mental breakdown.
- Floyd Norman: An Animated Life. (2016)
I actually used the article he is seen writing in this documentary as a source for one of my papers in my History of Animation class. He’s a cool guy.
- Contact (1997)
…They should have sent a poet.
- Explorers (1985)
It’s adorable! And it has a tiny Ethan Hawke in it! Seriously, this is a really cute 80s kids-adventure film. Highly recommended.
- La Grande Belleza (2013)
This is a really good movie guys. I need to watch more Italian films.
# of movies watched in theatres: 7.
In my defence, of those one I had to watch with my little sister (The Secret Life of Pets), one I watched with family (Passengers), one was required viewing for a film class (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), one was recommended viewing for the same film class (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice), and one was free and during the summer (Captain America: Civil War) and I had to sit there having a thing sold at me for an hour before watching it. So for fun just alone or with a friend I really watched 3 movies at the cinema: Zootopia, Deadpool, and Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
# of movies from outside of America: 10
Which is more than I expected but geez. I need to do better. Goal for next year is now having a majority of the movies I watch not be Anglo-Saxon. Variety is the spice of life after all.
Yes, I have no life, I know. I also attended two film studies courses last year, one in the spring semester and one in the fall. As well as a history-of-animation course. There’s also free movie screenings at my university pretty frequently, and I watched lot of the movies in the summer, or during a break (I am not that irresponsible).