Monday, March 17, 2014

Valentines 2014

I just realized that I never made a post of all the Valentines I made this year! Ugh, I'm a terrible blogger. But better late than never, right?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Movie List 2013: Roundup

The continuing list of all the movies I watched this year.

* = rewatch

Be Warned: I might have let an occasional curse word slip through, because I just love movies so freakin' much!



I think it was about secret agent Ethan Hunt trying to prevent a deadly virus from being unleashed on the world by terrorists.

Genre: Mask-heavy Action

I've been meaning to see Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol for awhile, mostly just because Brad Bird directed it, but I've never gotten around to it. This is in large part because the only Mission Impossible movie I've seen is the first one and it seems wrong to just skip 3 movies. So when I noticed that all the MI movies were on Netflix I figured this was my chance!

Long story short: I did not like this movie and Tom Cruise needs to get a haircut.

“If you look at Hunt's operational history, and I have, you'll notice that he invariably favors misdirection over confrontation.”


Pod People

A poacher murdering alien! A dorky child who should really stop bringing wildlife home with him! A terrible musical group on a vacation in the woods with a hippie no one likes! All this AND MORE!

Genre: MST3K

This is by far my all-time favorite episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

I shouldn't have to say anything more than that.

And I won't!

“Look, mom! Trumpy does stupid things!”


Mission: Impossible III

Secret agent Ethan Hunt comes out of retirement to take down an elusive crime lord, but the mission goes awry and the crime lord kidnaps Hunt's wife to get revenge.

Genre: Secret agent Action

The thing you really walk away from this movie with is Philip Seymour Hoffman's (R.I.P.) performance. He really knocked this one out of the park. Holy crap. He is such a great villain.

I had a good time watching this one. My roommate said that he was disappointed that the stakes were much lower than in the previous movies, but I don't agree. I don't really like the Bond-style action series where the same secret agent keeps getting called in to prevent some global threat. I mean, really, it starts to get ridiculous after awhile. I liked that this time the stakes weren't high for the world, but they were high for the character.

This time: it's personal.
^ Much to its discredit they don't actually say this in the movie.

“Who are you? What's your name? Do you have a wife? A girlfriend? Because if you do, I'm gonna find her. I'm gonna hurt her. I'm gonna make her bleed, and cry, and call out your name. And then I'm gonna find you, and kill you right in front of her.”


Mission: Impossible
Ghost Protocol

When the Impossible Mission Force gets shut down secret agent Ethan Hunt and his team must go rogue in order to prevent a madman from starting WWIII.

Genre: Secret Agent Action

This movie is a lot of fun. I'd say it is definitely the best of the bunch...well, maybe it's a tie, I do have a lot of nostalgic love for the first one after all. But still!

Brad Bird, for those of you who don't know, is the writer/director of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, & Ratatouille. As well as a key player with The Simpsons back in its glory days. In short: Brad Bird is wicked sexy.

This movie's got just the right mix of humor, action, gadgets, explosions, and fun. You really don't have to have watched all the movies to enjoy this one (even though I insisted on doing just that). And I highly recommend you give it a try. I mean, it's a movie directed by Brad Bird and wherein Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg act together! What more do you want!?

Next time, I get to seduce the rich guy.”

*   164.   *

Star Wars Episode IV:
A New Hope


*   165.   *

Star Wars Episode V:
The Empire Strikes Back


*   166.   *

Star Wars Episode VI:
Return of the Jedi


*   167.   *

So I Married an Axe Murderer

A commitment-phobic beat poet falls in love with a beautiful butcher. However, he starts thinking that she might be the infamous ax murdering black widow he's read about in the papers! Is he once again trying to find an excuse to cut and run from a serious relationship or is he really on to something?

Genre: Mike Meyers Romantic Comedy

I went to my friend Lonnie's and had him pick a movie to watch at random and this is what I got.

I've actually seen this one before and wasn't a big fan, but I've gotta admit that seeing it with someone who loves it makes it much more enjoyable than watching it alone in your room (which is how I saw it the first time). Mike Meyers gets a little too Mike Meyersy at times and they never explain how he makes any money considering all we see him do is read beat poetry at a cafe's open mic night...and especially since he only seems to have one poem.

Here's a weird tidbit for you, Michael Richards has a cameo in this movie wherein he actually yells “I'm insensitive! I'm a very insensitive man! Stop your job, look at the insensitive man! That's what they're paying for!” Which is really a weird thing to see considering his later transgressions.

Also Phil Hartman has a wonderful cameo in this movie!

“You know, Scotland has its own martial arts. Yeah, it's called Fuk-Yu. It's mostly just head butting and then kicking people when they're on the ground.”

*   168.   *

Lilo & Stitch

On the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i, a young woman becomes the guardian of her little sister Lilo after their parents die in a car crash. The sisters struggle in the face of their tragedy to prove to child protective services that they can create a home environment suitable for Lilo so she won't be taken away. And if things weren't already hard enough, it turns out their new dog is actually an escaped alien biological experiment.

Genre: Heart-warming Animated Comedy

Lilo & Stitch is my favorite Disney movie. Heck, it ranks right up there with my favorite movies of all time.

It's adorable, it's funny, it's weird, it gives you the feels in all the right places, the characters are all wonderful, the designs and the style are amazing, it's just a wonderful movie in every aspect.

“This is your badness level. It's unusually high for someone your size. We have to fix that.”

*   169.   *

A Goofy Movie

Goofy's teenage son Max is embarrassed by his dad (for good reason) and wants to get out from under his shadow. Yet this causes Goofy to feel that he and Max are drifting apart and thus decides to take him on a road trip to go fishing. Max, however, has other plans.

Genre: Animated comedy about fathers and sons.

My friend made me a copy of this movie and gave it to me as a birthday present. Unfortunately something didn't quite go right, because the film routinely lagged and it got so bad at the end that the Powerline concert is unwatchable.

But I got to see most of it (and I've seen it before), so it was still fun. If Brave is the animated movie all about Mother/Daughter bonds, A Goofy Movie is the equivalent for Father/Sons.

Ever since my roommate Nick pointed out that pretty much all the problems in comedies are caused by a lack of communication, I can't help but noticing that he makes a good point. Pretty much every single problem in this movie would be solved if Max and Goofy would just talk to one another.

“Dad, I know you really want to go fishing this weekend, but I've had a crush on this girl in my class for the longest time and I finally got up the courage to ask her if she'd go to the big party this weekend and she said Yes! Please, can we put off the camping trip? This is really important to me.”

“Well, gawrsh, son. I understand. I was young once too, hyuck [awkard wink & nudge]. We can just go next weekend.”

Bam! Roll credits.

But instead no one listens to anyone / says what's on their mind and subsequently many shenanigans ensue.

Anyways, it's a pretty great movie in spite of that.

“You look just like I did at your age.”

“Please don't say that, Dad.”

*   170.   *

Spirited Away

A young girl and her parents investigate a strange abandoned theme park, but end up getting trapped in a world of spirits. Now it's up to her to save her parents from being eaten and escape back to the human world.

Genre: Imaginative Animated Adventure

I watched this one on Thanksgiving and I don't care what anyone else says, this is definitely an appropriate movie for Thanksgiving. It's got family, it's got people gorging themselves on food, it's got themes of being thankful for what you have, it's got it all.

People often tell me this is their favorite Miyazaki movie and I can't blame them. It's visually beautiful, incredibly imaginative, the music is brilliant. Personally I like a number of Ghibli movies more, but it's still a fantasy tour de force full of truly imaginative visuals.

“Oh, my baby! Are you all right? Are you emotionally traumatized?”

*   171.   *

Robin Hood

A fox and a bear get loot from a lion, pester a python, and bother a badger in order to help oppressed townsfolk.

Genre: Disney Animation

This was one of those Disney movies I'd watch again and again as a kid and I can see why. As much as I love Disney classics, I'd get burned out pretty quick if I watched most of them too frequently. However, there's just something about this one. The jokes are more laid back and the songs are more subtle and less grandiose. It might not have the huge sweeping moments that something like Beauty & The Beast has, but that means you don't have to invest as much in it.

This isn't sounding very much like praise, is it? I mean all this in a complimentary way! It's just a wonderfully laid-back Disney movie that you can just sit back and enjoy.

“Robin  Hood and Little John/
Running through the forest/
Jumping fences, dodging trees/
trying to get away.

Contemplating nothing but escaping/
finally making it./
Oo-da-lally, Oo-da-lally/
Golly what a day.”

172. 174.

The Legend is Born: Ip Man
Ip Man
Ip Man 2

Tales of the legendary martial arts master Ip Man.

Genre: Martial Arts

My roommate stumbled across these Ip Man movies on Netflix and said I should watch them and so I did!

The first one I watched (The Legend is Born) is the story of Ip Man before he had become a master. It wasn't very interesting.

Ip Man is a ton of fun. There's some really amazing fight scenes. Which is kind of the key to a great martial arts movie.

Lastly, Ip Man 2 is a lot of fun and has some great fights too, but overall had a much goofier feel than the others.


Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

After being left unchecked the FLDSMDFR has turned Swallow Falls into an island of food inhabited by sentient food creatures. Now Flynn and his friends are asked to help eccentric scientist turn off the machine.

Genre: Animated Adventure

When I first heard they were making a Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs movie I was aghast. It seemed like Hollywood once again was trying to cash in on a famous book, despite the fact that it's a book without any real plot to speak of. However, they proved me wrong and it was great. So I was pretty excited to see how they did in the sequel.

You know what? I might go as far as to say that I like this one more than I did the first one. The lost world of food they make is impossibly fun and the puns...oh the puns! So much fun.

“There's a leek in the boat!”



Two sisters struggle to reconnect after ice powers and dead parents get in the way of their relationship.

Genre: Disney Animation

Remember when people could just not like a movie instead of creating a shield of social judgment to hide behind? I swear, I keep running into people on the internet who love ripping into this movie and none of them have legitimate reasons. I have yet to hear one person who just didn't like it because it wasn't really their thing (which would be a perfectly acceptable reason). It's maddening!

Is Frozen a perfect movie? No. Are there some valid criticisms about it? Yes, of course. But that can be said of every movie out there. If you're waiting for a perfect movie then you're going to be waiting for a long time. The important thing is that Frozen represents a solid step in the right direction. I love that this is a Disney movie about princesses, but the story is about the relationship between sisters and not about romance. In fact it openly mocks many of the tropes we've come to associate with the princess genre. It's a breath of fresh air.

Not to mention that the whole thing is a very clever take on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. I love how they made it about sisters instead of a couple and their take on the Mirror of the story was extremely clever.

This is the first Disney movie in quite some time that's captured that wonderful feel of the Disney movies of the old days. The song's are all great (well, I'm not a big fan of the troll song, but whatever), the characters are fantastic, the comic relief character was actually a lot of fun for once, and the whole thing just makes you feel like a kid again.

“Do you wanna build a snowman?”

*   177.   *

Street Fighter

A random assortment of weird people try to stop an evil dictator from being so evil.

Genre: Video game turned movie

It was my roommate Nick's birthday and his birthday wish was to watch Street Fighter and Mystery Men with his roommates. So who are we to deny such a simple request?

In other news this movie incredibly dumb. No movie makes you want to watch Mortal Kombat more. Because sure Mortal Kombat is ridiculous, but it's got the game at in its heart. Street Fighter tries to turn a fighting game into a more realistic secret-agent style movie and it's just dumb.

“For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life.

But for me, it was Tuesday.”

*   178.   *

Mystery Men

After the city's top superhero goes missing it's up to a group of wannabe superheros to save the city from a nefarious super villain.

Genre: Superhero comedy

There's a lot of parts of this movie that I like, but when it comes right down to it I just don't care for it. There's just something about the style of everything that puts me off.

“Lucille, God gave me a gift. I shovel well. I shovel very well.”


The Selling

A real estate agent looking to make some easy money buys a cheap house and hopes to be able to flip it for a tidy profit, however, it turns out the reason it was so cheap is because it's haunted. Now he's stuck trying to sell a haunted house and the ghosts of the house are not making things easy on him.

Genre: Horror parody

Is there a term for when a movie feels like “a movie” and not an immersive story? Like when the lines feel like a script and the events feel like plot beats? If there isn't there really should be, because this movie's got a case of that. But it is a low-budget indie movie, so I really can't hold that against them.

In any case it's a fun movie and I enjoyed it so who cares! There's a number of clever ideas and great jokes here. Plus special shout out to actress Etta Devine who is hilarious and makes this movie.

“What do we need a goat for anyways?”

“...I don't know.”

*   180.   *

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter fights a nasty man!

Genre: Wizards Wizards Wizards!

Oddly, it's been quite a long while since I've seen this one without the Wizard People, Dear Reader audio on. Frankly I kind of missed it. It's just not nearly as good without it. I don't really like the Chris Columbus HP movies very much. It's like they capture the look of the books, but not the feel? I don't know. Something like that.

“You're a wizard, Harry!”

*   181.   *

The Princess Bride

Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles, & MORE!

Genre: Brilliant

This has got to be one of the most quotable movies of all time if not The Most quotable. I mean, holy crap, every line is gold.

I feel like a fool telling you about The Princess Bride. If you haven't watched it then you have serious issues and you should get out there and start enjoying the good things in life.

“You're wonderful.”

“Thank you. I've worked hard to become so.”

*   182.   *

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter fights a big ol' snake!

Genre: Wizard Fantasy for kids

Really, I have to say these movies only get better as they go on. These first two are super dorky and awkward. They try to squeeze everything from the books into the movie and the result is rather jumbled and not very streamlined.

“Not to be rude or anything, but this isn't a great time for me to have a house elf in my bedroom.”

*   183.   *

National Lampoon's
Christmas Vacation

Clark Griswald tries to throw a fun old-fashioned family Christmas, but unfortunately for him, nothing goes according to plan when family is involved.

Genre: Christmas Classic

One of the greatest Christmas movies ever made. Also, in my opinion, one of the most accurate depictions of family interaction.

ALSO I got to see this on the big screen this year when a local library put on a special showing of it as a fund-raiser. So double score!

“Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny-fucking-Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.”

*   184.   *

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter fights a creepy rat!

Genre: Magical Murder Mystery

This is where the HP movies start to get a lot better. Actually, this one is one of my favorites in the series. I mean, it's got Gary Oldman in it! You gotta love it for that. Plus there's dementors and all sorts of other dark shit. HP is always at its best when shit gets dark.

“Oh yeah...well, Harry's got a sort of wonky cross...that's trials and suffering. And, uh, that there could be the sun, and that's happiness,'re gonna suffer...but you're gonna be happy about it.”

*   185.   *

The Lost Empire

A nerdy archaeologist is asked to join an expedition to find the lost city of Atlantis, but it turns out this mission is trying to find the city for all the wrong reasons.

Genre: Animated flop

Can someone please explain to me how a Disney animated movie starring Michael J. Fox, Jim Varney, Leonard Nimoy, John Mahoney, et al. could be this bad?

“We done a lot of things we're not proud of: Robbing graves, plundering tombs, double parking. But, nobody got hurt. Well, maybe somebody got hurt, but nobody we knew.”

*   186.   *

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter fights a handsome classmate!

Genre: Magical kids in the world's most deadly school

Ah yeah, the movies are starting to get good now! Well, if I'm being honest, they really rushed the story in this one so it doesn't really work the level it does in the book, but at least now they're getting the feel and the visuals closer to the mark.

Plus, I know this is so minor, but I thought their mermaid designs were really interesting. I loved how the fins were orientated like a fish's and not like a dolphin's.

Also, does any one else find it hilarious that Edward Cullen, aka Robert Pattinson, is in this? And as Harry's opponent no less?

Oh, did I mention that Ralph Fiennes finally shows up in this movie? Because he does! Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort is so enjoyable to watch. He plays Voldemort as very detached and other-worldly, which strikes me as slightly odd, but it's really fun to see him in this role regardless.

“Do you think we'll ever just have a quiet year at Hogwarts?”


The Hobbit:
The Desolation of Smaug

A group of vertically challenged men go on an adventure and learn the power of friendship...oh, and something about killing a dragon.

Genre: Adventure

I just went back to see what I had to say about the first movie last year and I discovered that it wasn't there! I saw that movie 3 times last year! (it was a the theater so it was free for me and people kept asking me if I wanted to go see it with them). Ugh. I am a failure at lists. Not even the first time that's happened.

In other news, I don't actually care for Tolkien very much. You need to know this because it relates to the fact that I don't actually care how true to the books the movies are. From what little I've heard from the hardcore Tolkien fans they did not like this movie at all. And if you are one of those people you can feel free to write off my opinions as the ravings of an obvious lunatic. I'm okay with that.

I like these movies and I liked this one a lot more than I did the first one. They seem like they're aimed more at kids than the LoTR movies were and it works better because of that. Plus the structure of this one was a lot more streamlined than An Unexpected Journey was; there's much less pointless filler bits.

Plus I thought they did a great job with Smaug, I like that they actually have some women in this one, I continue to enjoy seeing Martin Freeman as Bilbo, and the whole Necromancer storyline works a lot better in this movie than in the previous one. And it just comes down to the fact that it's just a fun adventure movie. They've got sweeping landscapes and crazy escapes and daring do and a Dragon! THERE'S A DRAGON IN THIS MOVIE!

I mean, if that's not enough then I just don't understand what you're looking for in a movie.

“There is something about you. Something you carry, something made of gold...but far more PRECIOUS.”

*   188.   *

Grumpy Old Men

Two old men are both neighbors and rivals (and deep down best friends). But things are brought to a head when a beautiful woman moves in across the street from them.

Genre: Old Man Buddy Comedy

Oh, Walter Matthau, you are adorable. I hope I can be half the crotchety old man that you are.

I love this movie for many reasons. It stars Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, and Daryl Hannah. Christopher McDonald plays a bad guy and his bad guys are always so much fun (see Happy Gilmore and The Iron Giant for further proof). It's about grumpy old men. It takes place in Minnesota. Did I mention it's about two grumpy old Minnesota guys?!

There is nothing not to love about this movie.

“You mean the low-life, ass-wipe, egg-sucker John Gustafson?”

“Have you seen him?”

“The man's crazy. Loco. Always hanging out around those kinky strip bars. You know, the ones where the men take their clothes off. That's of course if he's taken his medication.”


“Yes, without it he could be anywhere. Wandering around talking to the trees. I'm telling you the man's a menace, he's always drinking, starting fights.”



A girl gets shrunken down because of reasons and is tasked to make sure a flower bud doesn't fall into the wrong hands so that it can blossom into a new queen of the forest.

Genre: Animated Adventure

I don't even know what to say about this. It's basically a modern take on Fern Gully.

I love the idea of this movie, but I don't really care for the execution. I also didn't really like any of the characters. I didn't hate them, but I really wouldn't have cared if anyone had died. Let's put it that way.

So yeah, interesting ideas, fun visuals, & lackluster characters/plot. But there was no “wacky” Robin Williams bat, so it definitely has that going for it.

“Many leaves, one tree. We're all individuals, but we're still connected. No one's alone.”

*   190.   *

Grumpier Old Men

A new woman in town and a wedding in the works reignites the old rivalry between two grumpy old men.

Genre: Comedy starring adorable seniors

This one not only has all the great things about the first one, but it also has Sophia Loren!

Overall, I'd say the first movie has a stronger story arc, but this one is still tons of fun.

“I am the gangster of love.”

“Gangster, huh? So tell me, was it more of a hold up than a stick up?”

“Even your infantile penis jokes seem funny and witty this morning.”


Mystery Science Theater 3000:
I Accuse My Parents

An old movie that was made in an attempt to scare people into paying more attention to their kids.

Genre: MST3K

God, this is a weird movie to end my year on, but there you have it.

There's a bunch of MST3K movie's on Netflix so I figured I'd watch one I had never seen before. I always prefer the ones where the movie would be entertainingly bad in it's own right (as opposed to the unwatchably bad) and this definitely falls into that category.

I guess it was supposed to be some moralistic teaching video about how parents should be invested in their kids' lives? But oddly it kind of works against that theory, because this kids' parents weren't that bad (all things considered) and this kid CLEARLY had a good moral compass, he was just unbelievably DUMB. He 100% should have known better, doofy alcoholic parents or not.

A shady man wants you to deliver packages for him and not ask what you're delivering? And he'll pay you a lot to do it? Why, that doesn't sound the least bit suspicious/illegal, right!

And in the courtroom this kid's defense is honest-to-God that it's his parents fault. Hey, kid, let me tell you something. If that was a legitimate defense you'd better believe EVERYONE would be using it.

“Li-ar! Li-ar! Li-ar!”

2013 Totals

Total # of movies: 190
(I know the list says 191, but I accidentally listed both times I watched Hot Fuzz and am too lazy to correct everything.)

# of new movies watched: 91

# of animated movies:  27

Movies watched more than once in 2013:
  • Hot Fuzz
  • Paranorman
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Brave
  • Brick
  • Stranger Than Fiction
  • John Dies at the End
  • Tekkonkinkreet
  • Sunshine 
  • The Emperor's New Groove
  • A Muppet Christmas Carol
  • The Heat
  • The Great Muppet Caper

Favorite new movies seen (according to genre):

Romance: Silver Linings Playbook

Action: Django Unchained

Comedy: The Heat

Drama: Winter's Bone

Documentary: Sign Painters

Horror: You're Next

Animation: Frozen

Worst movie of the year: RESIDENT EVIL!