Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Movie List 2014: 1-50

Oh, movies. Who doesn’t love movies? My first love will always be books, but there’s just something universally attractive about movies, isn’t there? You can share them with friends, talk about them with strangers, or even just experience them by yourself. They can cheer you up when you're sad, provide an excellent excuse to curl up with someone you love, and even inspire you towards change.

I dont know about you, but I just don’t trust people who claim they don’t like movies.

 * = Rewatched
[a] = Animated

1SR = A one sentence review of the movie by yours truly.

*   1   *

Batman Begins

Genre: Superhero

The first of Christopher Nolan’s modern Batman trilogy. Covering Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman and his subsequent battle against Ra’s al Ghul and The Scarecrow.

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Cain, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe

This thing just straight up puts the previous Batman movies to shame.

“But it’s not who you are underneath, its what you do that defines you.”

*   2   *

The Dark Knight

Genre: Superhero

A new district attorney named Harvey Dent may be Gotham’s best hope for a better tomorrow, but Batman is forced to go to extreme lengths to stop an anarchist called Joker from causing Gotham to rip itself apart.

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman

The greatest superhero movie ever made.

“Don’t talk like one of them. You’re not! Even if you’d like to be. To them you’re just a freak. Like me! They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out. Like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these...these civilized people, they’ll eat each other.”

*   [a]   3   [a]   *

Tokyo Godfathers

Genre: Homeless fairy tale adventure

Its Christmas Eve on the streets of Tokyo and a trio of homeless people have just discovered a baby girl abandoned in a pile of garbage. Now they're determined to take care of her and uncover the mystery of her past.

If “Japanese fairy tale hobo adventure” doesn’t make you want to see this movie, then I just don’t understand you.

“What is your desire? My magic? Or an ambulance?”
“A- Ambulance...”
“Well! Aren’t you rude!”

*   4   *

Home Alone

Genre: Heartwarming slapstick comedy

A large family decides to take a Christmas vacation overseas, but accidentally leaves their youngest son home alone. Now he’s the only one left to defend his home against two would-be burglars.

Starring: Macauly Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catharine O’Hara, John Heard

Arguably the greatest slapstick comedy ever made.

“You guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?”

*   5   *

The Matrix

Genre: Sci-fi action

A hacker named Neo discovers that the world around us is a lie: an advanced computer simulation fed into our brains to keep us enslaved. Now he’s free and it’s up to him and a group of freedom-fighters to hack themselves into the system and it from within.

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving

The first time I saw this was when my sister told me I needed to see it, popped it into the VCR, and blew my little teenage brain.

“What is real? How do you define ‘real’? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”


Jack Reacher

Genre: Action mystery

A sniper goes on a shooting spree and when caught all he says is, “Get Jack Reacher.” Reacher, an itinerant hobo and former military police officer, gets involved in the investigation and discovers that there is a lot more to this case than it seems.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Werner Herzog

I went in thinking this movie would be terrible, but it’s actually a pretty darn good adaptation of the book.

“You think I’m a hero? I am not a hero. I’m a drifter with nothing to lose. Now you killed that girl to put me in a frame. I mean to beat you to death and drink your blood from a boot! Now this is how it’s gonna work. You’re gonna give me the address and I’ll be along when I’m damn good and ready. If she doesn’t answer the phone when I call this number, if I even think you’ve hurt her, I disappear. And if you’re smart, that scares you. Because I’m in your blind spot. And I have nothing better to do.”


Hansel and Gretel:
Witch Hunters

Genre: Brainless fairy-tale action

After Hansel and Gretel defeated the witch in the fairy tale they continued to ply their trade. Now this brother-sister witch-hunting duo is after the queen witch, hoping they can stop her before she can perform an ancient rite.

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arteron, Famke Janssen

Haha, I kind of wish I had never seen this.

“Most people will say witches aren’t real, it’s stuff of fairy tales. Then, one day, they show up at your door and eat your kids. That’s where we come in!”



Genre: Drama

An elderly woman attempts to track down the baby that was taken from her and sold by a nunnery after she had birth out of wedlock as a teenager.

Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan

Judi Dench is brilliant & the Church has done some really messed up stuff over the years.

“But I don’t wanna hate people. I don’t wanna be like you.”

*   9   *

Miss Congeniality

Genre: Comedy

When a terrorist threatens the Miss America pageant it’s up to FBI agent Gracie Hart to enter the contest undercover and save the day. She has the looks, but the grace? Not so much.

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, Candice Bergen, William Shatner

This flick was a lot more fun than I remembered it being.

“Miss Rhode Island, please describe your idea of a perfect date.”
“That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.”



Genre: Drunken Irish Horror

Strange blood-sucking creatures are crawling out of the ocean to threaten a small isolated town in Ireland. However, it turns out that they’re allergic to alcohol and thus a person with a high blood-alcohol content is poisonous to them. Now it’s up to the town to get trashed and kick ass.

Starring: Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russel Tovey

I will happily watch any movie that has Ruth Bradley & Richard Coyle getting drunk and fighting monsters.

“As flattering as it is to hear a beautiful drunk slurrin’ her feelings for me...now’s not the time.”


Dead Heat

Genre: So bad it’s good

Two LAPD officers are on a strange case to track down whoever is reanimating corpses to commit crimes. But when one of them dies and gets brought back, he’s only got 12 hours to solve the case and bring his murderer to justice before he falls to pieces.

Starring: Treat Williams, Joe Piscopo, Lindsay Frost, Darren McGavin, Robert Picardo, Vincent Price

The 80’s were a very strange time.

“Hey, you’re hurt.”
“Lady, I’m fucking dead.”



Genre: Surprisingly dark comedy

Two best friends used to be a successful magician duo, but after a tragic accident they go their separate ways. Years later they’re both strapped for cash and are forced to team back up in order to go after a magic contest’s large cash prize.

Starring: Robert Webb, David Mitchell, Sarah Hadland, Jessica Hynes

Not as good as a one would expect from a movie starring Robert Webb and David Mitchell.

“So, I’ll take you out and show you my prop van in a bit, but first, coffee. How do you like it?”
“Weak and white, like my men.”

*   [a]   13   [a]   *

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Genre: Goofy comedy

An oddball inventor creates a machine that can convert water into food. But when the machine goes out of control it threatens to destroy the town.

Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Mr. T

I know this movie kind of sounds dorky, but trust me when I tell you that it is outstanding.

“Not every sardine was meant to swim, son.

I don't understand fishing metaphors!”

*   [a]   14   [a]   *


Genre: Disney musical

When the Huns threaten China, an eligible male from every household is required to join the army to defend the country. Fa Mulan disguises herself as a man in order to spare her aging father from going.

Starring: Ming-na Wen, Eddie Murphy, James Hong, Pat Morita, BD Wong

One of my favorite Disney movies.

“Ha! I see you have a sword. I have one too. They’re very manly and...tough. [drops sword]”

*   15  *

Get Smart

Genre: Secret agent comedy

An analyst for a secret-service group dreams of one day becoming a field agent and gets the chance when the identities of all the other agents are compromised.

Starring: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, James Caan

Its kind of a stupid movie, but Ive got to admit I have a lot of fun watching it.

“I’ll tell you what we’re not! We’re not people who jam staples into other people’s heads! That’s CIA crap!”

*   16   *

Cool Runnings

Genre: 90’s Comedy

A group of Jamaican sprinters who failed to make it into the Olympics convince a washed-out coach to teach them how to Bobsled and thus become Jamaica’s first bobsled team.

Starring: John Candy, Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba

My friend Hannah sent me a copy of this movie for no real reason other than her being the sweetest person around.

“Derice, a gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.”


Captain Phillips

Genre: Thriller

An ocean liner is attacked by pirates, leaving the captain to desperately try and protect his crew.

Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi

It's well done, but I don't really like movies that make you tense the whole time.

“I’m the captain now.”


Steamboat Bill, Jr.

Genre: 20’s silent comedy

A college student comes home to see his father and help him run his paddle-steamer operation, but he instead falls in love with the competition’s daughter.

Starring: Buster Keaton

This is now my favorite silent movie; it's like a 20's Jackie Chan movie!

*   19   *

West Side Story

Genre: Romantic gang war musical

It’s 1960s Manhattan and a white gang (the Jets) are having a turf war with the Peurto Rican gang (The Sharks), in this modern and musical take on Romeo and Juliet.

Starring: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer

West Side Story is quite possibly my favorite musical.

“All of you! You all killed him! ... Not with bullets or guns. With hate. Well, now I can kill too, because now I have hate!”

*   20   *

Space Jam

Genre: Animated

Space aliens challenge the Loony Tunes to a basketball game, but then cheat by stealing the talent out of the NBA’s best players for themselves. Luckily for the Tunes, Michael Jordan had retired and thus is the only one who can help them save the day.

Starring: The Loony Tunes, Michael Jordan, Dwane Knight, Bill Murray

There’s a lot of nostalgic love out there for this one, but none of it is mine.

“I tought I taw -- I did! I did! I did tee Michael Jordan!”

*   21   *

Galaxy Quest

Genre: Satiric Star Trek comedy

A group of aliens see the broadcasts from a defunct sci-fi show called Galaxy Quest and mistake it for historical documents. They recruit the show’s out-of-work actors to help them save their planet from an evil warlord.

Starring: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shaloub, Daryl Mitchell, Sam Rockwell, Justin Long, Enrico Colantoni

This movie is so friggin’ fun that I rented out a theater to show it.

“HEY! Don’t open that! It’s an alien planet! Is there air? You don’t know!”


Sweeney Todd:
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Genre: Dark musical

A murderous barber kills those who wronged him in the past and turns them into meat pies.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Jayne Wisener, Laura Michelle Kelly

There’s something about the rhyming structure of the songs that really bugs me.

“There’s a hole in the world like a big black pit,
And the vermin of the world inhabit it,
And its morals aren’t worth what a pig could spit,
And it goes by the name of London.”

*   23   *

Down Periscope

Genre: 90s (Naval) comedy

A scheming Naval commander wants to sway an upcoming war game in his favor so he assigns a nearly washed-out and highly unconventional naval captain to the command of an old junker WWII submarine loaded with the worst the Navy has to offer.

Starring: Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Holly, Rob Schneider, Harry Dean Stanton, William H. Macy

This movie is too 90s for its own good.

“Now call me a prude if you want, but I don’t think its good policy for the Navy to hand over a billion-dollar piece of equipment to a man who has ‘Welcome Aboard’ tattooed on his penis.”


Burke & Hare

Genre: Corpse thief comedy

In the 19th century, two ne’er-do-wells get into the corpse selling business in order to make some quick money, but end up getting in over their heads.

Starring: Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Tim Curry, Tom Wilkinson, Isla Fischer

Despite a great cast, this movie somehow still manged to be really dull.

“I played Agnes in Moliere’s ‘School for Wives’ at the Garrick Theatre in London. Then times got tough and I branched out to...physical theater.”
“Ah, like acrobatics?”

*   25   *

The Cutting Edge

Genre: Ice-skating romance

A modern figure-skating take on The Taming of the Shrew, in which an oafish ex hockey star is recruited to be the doubles partner to a talented but termagant figure skater.

Starring: D.B. Sweeney, Moira Kelly, Roy Dotrice, Terry O’Quinn

It's rather silly, but I love it anyway.

“As a matter of fact, I do have a boyfriend.”

“Well there’s a rough gig. What do you do, keep him chained up in the basement?”

*   26   *

Hot Rod

Genre: Absurd Comedy

Despite a significant lack of talent, Rod dreams of being a stunt man. And when his step-father becomes ill Rod’s stunts are the only hope to save the day.

Starring: Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Isla Fisher, Will Arnett, Sissy Spacek

When it comes to absurd comedies, this one is my favorite.

“Life is pain. We’ve got to scrape the joy from it every chance we get.”



Genre: Modern Fairytale romance

A young girl is cursed with a pig nose until such a time as a royal learns to love her.

Starring: Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, Catherine O’Hare, Peter Dinklage

A cute little story with a nice message.

“With such a large nose, do you smell better than the rest of us?”

“Haha, you tell me.”


This was a German movie I saw at a local theater that shows random movies. I thought it was called “Risen,” but for the life of me I can't find anything about it even exists. So I'll just have to go back and fill this part in once I figure out what the heck this movie was.


The Monuments Men

Genre: Historical comedy

An allied group during WWII who were tasked with finding and preserving art from being destroyed.

Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman

Both humorous and historically interesting.

“You can wipe out an entire generation, you can burn their homes to the ground and somehow they’ll still find their way back. But if you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements and it’s like they never existed. That’s what Hitler wants and that’s exactly what what we are fighting for.”


The Usual Suspects

Genre: Who-dun-it?

While in police interrogation, the only survivor of a mob massacre tells what led to the event and how a motley crew of criminals got together to work for a mysterious mob boss named Keyser Soze.

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Benicio Del Toro, Stephen Baldwin, Pete Postlethwaite, Kevin Pollak, Gabriel Byrne

Not as good as the hype, but still interesting.

“Do you believe in him, Verbal?”

“Keaton always said, ‘I don’t believe in God, but I'm afraid of him.’ Well, I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze.”

*   31   *

The Kings Speech

Genre: Amusing Drama

The story of the King George VI’s rise to throne and battle with a speech impediment.

Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter

I'm a sucker for historical dramas that have a comedic slant.

“My husband is, um...well he's required to speak publicly.”

“Perhaps he should change jobs.”

“He can’t.”

“Indentured servitude?”

“Something of that nature, yes.”

[a]   32   [a]

Batman Beyond:
Return of the Joker

Genre: 3-seasons-and-a-movie Movie

Following the events of the TV show, Terry McGinnis, the new Batman, gets involved in a torrid mystery when the infamous (and supposedly deceased) criminal the Joker resurfaces to wage war on Batman once again.

Starring: Will Friedle, Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Angie Harmon, Melissa Joan Hart, Dean Stockwell

I love the cartoon and I quite enjoyed this, but really didn’t like their explanation for why the Joker was back.

“The real Batman never talked to you much, did he? That’s probably why you were so fixated on him.”

“Don’t play psychoanalyst with me, boy!”

“Oh, I don’t need a degree to figure you out. The real reason you kept coming back was you never got a laugh out of the old man.”

*   33   *

10 Things I Hate About You

Genre: 90s Shakespeare

A 90s retelling of The Taming of the Shrew, in which a younger sister can’t date until her older sister (who has no interest in doing so) does. So a would-be suitor hires a ne'er-do-well to try and woo the elder sister.

Starring: Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordan-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, Andrew Keegan, Daryl Mitchell

I realized that I didn’t own this movie and have subsequently rectified that situation.

“I guess in this society being male and an asshole makes you worthy of our time.”


Veronica Mars

Genre: 3-seasons-and-a-movie Movie

A sequel to the classic television series, wherein Veronica (now a college graduate looking for a job with a law firm) is called back to to help Logan who’s been accused of murder.

Starring: Kristen Bell, Enrico Colantoni, Jason Dohring, Tina Majorino, Percy Daggs III, Krysten Ritter, Francis Capra, Jerry O’Connell

Everything a marshmallow could have hoped for.

“You were issued a private investigator’s license for your 18th birthday? Is that something California kids do?”

“My dad is a P.I. I worked for him. It was more  answering phones and handling his travel than anything else.”

“Really? Before you were 20, your name popped up on LexisNexis in 14...”


“Fifteen separate articles or briefs in cases ranging from multiple homicides to dognapping. You have a degree is psychology, Miss Mars. What do you think that says about a person?”

“Compulsive, clearly. Addictive personality. Possible adrenaline junkie.”

*   35   *

Star Wars Episode I:
The Phantom Menace

Genre: George Lucas is the worst

Darth Vader as a kid, lots of talk about trade embargoes, Jar Jar Binks.

Starring: Jake Lloyd, Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid

One of the friggin’ worst movies of all time and a blight on precious childhood memories all over the world.

“But, master, what are midi-chlorians?”

*   36   *

Star Wars Episode III:
Revenge of the Sith

Genre: Poorly directed sequel

Anakin Skywalker loses his freakin’ mind and all common sense when goes over to the dark side. “WTF, man!?” says Obi-wan.

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Frank Oz

Still below Star Wars par, but Ewan McGregor friggin’ straps this thing to his back and single-handily carries it above mediocrity.

“You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you!”


Seven Chances

Genre: 1920s silent comedy

A lawyer finally succeeds in tracking down a benefactor of a will. The man is informed that his deceased grandfather’s will states that he will inherit seven million dollars if he gets married before 7pm on his 27th birthday. The only problem: Today is his 27th birthday!

Starring: Buster Keaton

I have yet to see a Buster Keaton movie that wasn't entertaining.

*   38   *


Genre: Meta-horror

A mask-wearing psycho-killer is going after young high-school women.

Starring: Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan

I have a soft spot for horror movies that make fun of horror tropes.

“Do you like scary movies?”

“What’s the point? They’re all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can’t act, who is always running up the stairs instead of going out the front door. It’s insulting.”


Muppets Most Wanted

Genre: Modern muppet comedy

A notorious criminal discovers that Kermit is his doppelganger, so he arranges to trade places with him and then use the Muppets as a cover to commit crimes.

Starring: The Muppets, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, (original songs by) Bret McKenzie

Much better than The Muppets, but not nearly as amazing as the old Muppet movies.

“You mean all this time I’ve been trapped in a Russian Gulag, no one, not one single person from the Muppets, except Animal, noticed I’d been replaced by an evil criminal mastermind?”

“It sounds worse than it was...”

*   [a]   40   [a]   *


Genre: Weirdly fucked up kids movie

A little elephant with abnormally large ears is shunned and bullied until he becomes rich and famous.

This movie is really fucked up when you think about it.

“You all oughta be ashamed of yourselves. A bunch of big guys like you, pickin’ on a poor little orphan like him.”

*   41   *

The Return of the Living Dead

Genre: Comedic Horror

A couple of medical supply warehouse workers accidentally unleash a strange chemical that brings the dead back to life.

Starring: Thom Matthews, James Karen, Clu Gulager, Beverley Randolph, Linnea Quigley

I don’t know if it’s good or not, but it’s definitely entertaining.

“Send more cops!”

*   [a]   42   [a]   *


Genre: Disney fairy tale musical

A princess is cut off from the world when her magical powers prove too dangerous to control and her sister tries desperately to save her.

Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk

I hope they one day release a version of this that edits out that dumbass Troll song.

“Some people are worth melting for.”



Genre: Documentary

A documentary about comic strips.

The guys who made this movie are greedy pricks who took advantage of all their Kickstarter backers. So they can go shove it.


Night of the Comet

Genre: Ridiculous 80s fun

The Bad News:
Anyone who looked at that strange comet last night have been turned to dust or transformed into a horrible mutant, leaving two teenage sisters alone in a strange new world.

The Good News:
100% off sale at the mall!

Starring: Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Robert Beltran

This movie is ridiculous, but it’s ridiculous in the best way possible.

“You were born with an asshole, Doris, you don’t need Chuck.”



Genre: Elevator horror

A group of people are trapped in an elevator and one of them is the DEVIL!

Starring: Some people and brief moments of Caroline Dharvernas

I watched this entirely because Caroline Dhavernas was in it, but it is a TERRIBLE movie.

“‘Don’t worry,’ she’d say. ‘If the Devil is real, then God must be real, too.’”


The Dark World


Genre: Superhero sequel

I have no idea. I even went and looked it up and I'm still not entirely sure what it was really about.

Starring: Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Kat Dennings, Anthony Hopkins

Can we please get a Thor spin-off that is just about Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings cracking jokes, doing science, and having fun?

“Look at you. Still all muscley and everything!”


The Haunting

Genre: Godawful adaptation of a classic book

While pretending to invite subjects to stay in a house to document paranormal sightings, a scientist is conducting an experiment on the nature of fear. But things start to go wrong when the house turns out to really be haunted.

Starring: Lili Taylor, Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson

An awful movie with an amazing Owen Wilson death.

“What’s the deal with the Addams Family mansion?”

*   48   *

The Avengers

Genre: Superhero

When the god Loki attempts to break open a hole to another world, the Marvel heroes must team up to stop him.

Starring: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner

I didn't like any of the Action, but loved all the Comedy.

“That man is playing Galaga! Thought we wouldn’t notice. But we did.”


The Grand Budapest Hotel

Genre: Wes Anderson

A promiscuous hotel manager and his lobby boy are forced to go on the run after an issue regarding a missing painting of great worth.

Starring: Ralph Finnes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Adrian Brody, William Defoe, Saoirse Ronan

There’s some fun performances in this movie, but it was putting me to sleep.

“Rudeness is merely an expression of fear. People fear they won’t get what they want. The most dreadful and unattractive person only needs to be loved, and they will open up like a flower.”


The Peacekeeper Wars

Genre: 4-seasons-and-a-movie Movie

The movie that wraps up the TV show Farscape.

Starring: Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Gigi Edgley, Wayne Pygram, The Jim Henson Creature Shop

Thank goodness they made a movie to wrap things up, because the series ended on a friggin’ crazy note.

“Goodbye, John. Thanks for your memories.”

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