Film Quest of 2016

At the beginning of the year, you always hear about how people want to expand their intact of entertainment. I've thought about doing that, I found some interesting lists for books I should read. I do love reading books, but they take a while to finish, or I end up locking myself away for a few days becoming anti-social. With the nudge and influence from my older sister, I decided to copy her resolution (typical little sister) and watch 100 films in 2016.

These films are films that I have not seen. They can range from old classics that I'm embarrassed I have not experienced, to modern films I never got around to, or new theater released films. Before, I tried to do a movie a month, but ended up cheating when festivals came around. I'm determined to do this.

Below are the films that I watched, in order, and will be continuously added to when a new film has been added.

JANUARY

1. Do Not Disturb (1965)
I love Doris Day, Pillow Talk is such a great movie. The 60s know how to make a rom-com, much better than they are today, in my opinion. But, Do Not Disturb,  is anything but a cute rom-com from the 60s. It was mostly about infidelity and how it's okay if it's being conducted by man.  Doris Day's character was treated with such disrespect and misogyny it was uncomfortable. I don't remember how it ended up on our Q, probably just because it was Doris Day, but I don't ever have to see this film again. It makes me a bad film fan to think that way, I should take into consideration when the film was made and the societal climate of the times. What it ultimately boils down to in the end is that this film is not what I was hoping it would be.

2. The Hateful Eight (2015)
Oh, goodness. I've always been a QT fan. I think that he is a good writer, even if they are lengthy at times, and portrays compelling stories on screen. His characters are well rounded and unique, keeping you engaged throughout. I don't even mind the violence, I never have been squeamish when it comes to that element in film. If it's done in a tasteful manner, it adds something to the core of the film. However, if it's done badly, it makes me laugh. But, I digress. The Hateful Eight is a film with so many layers it's hard to focus on one thing to talk about, so I'll pick one; Tim Roth. He's been in several QT films, and every time he adds an air of sophistication with the charismatic smile of an intense drifter. Roth is one of those actors that I get excited when I see him in the cast list, and know this film or television show will be that much more intense, but it was great to see him back with QT. Oh, and seeing it in 70mm was well worth it. It was gorgeous and added a depth to the set that is unmatched in modern cinema. And there is the film school answer.

3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)
Was a lot better than I expected. I love P&P, so I was very particular. Glad to say it was exactly what you'd expect it to be without ruining the original. Well played.

4. This is Happening (2015)
A cute indie comedy about how complicated family can be. You can't live with them, and you certainly can't live without them. I am fascinated with with family dynamics, and love my own, and when it's done with honesty and fearlessness I can't turn away.

5. People Places Things (2015)
This movie was just beautiful. Jemaine Clement is adorable and confused and captures exactly what it feels like to be stuck in the middle of two chapters of your life. What's brilliant is that this film is about a father of twins trying to move on with his life after an unexpected divorce. The trait of him being an artist, a graphic artist and teacher, adds a way for the audience to see inside his soul without forcing us to hear a monologue or diary entry. It's almost as if we're not suppose to see these elements, but we are. There is an intimacy between us and Will that allows us to connect with the character even if we've never been in the same place as him.

6. Kung Fury (2015)
Thank you Netflix. A random short I came across while finding something to watch on a Saturday morning. It was ridiculous and made no sense, mixing old school 80s culture with time travel and Hitler. Oh yes, Hitler. There is a character called Triceracop, who is a triceratops and a cop. It was funny and made no sense. It's one of those things that you come across and are better of a person because you watched it. This is the beautiful of the indie film industry, if you have a story to tell, no matter how wild, you can make it. The essence of entertainment is having the opportunity to tell the world the story you have inside, be it film or music, or art.

7. Step Up: All In (2014)
Simple. I have a secret love of dance movies.

8. Mame (1974)
I love the movie Auntie Mame. I wanted to be Auntie Mame (and I think I kind of am, actually.) This movie is fun and beautiful, so when I found out (thank you TCM) that Lucille Ball did a version 20 years after the original, I was intrigued. Ball looks fantastic, she was such a beautiful woman, and she embodied what Mame was, but it wasn't the original. It could be like most reboots, the first version you saw will always have top spot in your heart. There were also subtle changes between the two versions, like Patrick's love interest switch, that seemed interesting. It may be because there was meant to be some separation between the two, but for me it didn't work, I liked the original. Ball is the only replacement for Russell, however, and with Bea Arthur as her best friends (who is beyond fantastic) this is definitely a version worth seeing.

8 1/2. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949)
TCM has been my friend lately, just put it on Saturday morning and wait for the beautiful films of our history play throughout the day. This is why I'm labeling this a 1/2 film. I watched it, but didn't pay that close attention to it. It's not that it was bad, Bing Crosby has a beautiful voice (of course there was singing) and it was an interesting concept for the late 40s (it dealt with time travel), but it wasn't all that intriguing to keep me engaged. I also think that the time jump at the beginning happened so quickly that I missed it, and because of that I wasn't roped in. Same when he was transported back. It just happened. Maybe that was the point, maybe I need to watch it again. I'm counting it cause I didn't know it existed and can now talk a bit about it, but not enough to be tested on it.

FEBRUARY

9. Robocop (1987)
I know, I know, I can't believe I waited this long to see this movie. I mean, I've even saw the remake before the original. A fail for this child of the 80s. I don't know if I really knew what to expect from this movie. I knew the storyline going into it, but since it's different than the remake I was pleasantly surprised during multiple moment. For being a film made during the beginning of the common use of special effects in film, it looked pretty darn amazing. They worked it in well with the storyline, a perfect blend of real and fantasy, that it wasn't out of the left field or there because it could be. Setting it in the future but not a definite time played nicely. One of the other good things, or fun things, about watching a movie after the fact is seeing actors in roles you aren't familiar with them for. For example, Peter Weller has a great career now of being one hell of a bad guy, but he's such a great Robocop. And Kurtwood Smith, he was this movies rad bad guy, but he will always be Red Forman. I enjoyed this movie, glad I finally saw it.

10. Robocop 2 (1989)
I had no idea there was a sequel. It wasn't bad, it seemed to be an okay follow up. The kid villain, played by Gabriel Damon, was a little awkward. It's the first time I really remember a kid being so violent. It made the movie unique. It wasn't bad, but there was no way I was going to watch the third one.

11. Furious 7 (2015)
I've seen all the films. I like all the films. I love the films with The Rock in it. 
I heard a lot of great things about this movie, how they handled Paul Walker's death, and honestly how emotional it was. I have to say, this is one of those times where all the hype was well deserved and well played. Don't forget though, that this is a Fast and the Furious film, and the action is ridiculous. Ridiculous, outrageous, unreal, and completely badass. These films figured out exactly what it was a few years ago, and it's rocked that genre ever since. I don't know if I'd say this is the best one, Fast Five was pretty badass, but it stands out on it's own.  

12. One (2016)
A beautiful short film, a mythological tale narrated by Ian McShane and written-directed-starring Emmaunel Solotareff and DPed by Alexandre Ayer. A fable for the new generation, one to be interpreted to what the viewer needs to most at that moment.

13. San Andres (2015)
All I can say about this film is that it is a one hell of a disaster flick. It had all the perfect elements for a classic disaster film, nice homage. Besides, it has Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Any movie with him in it is 10 better than what it could have been. (see Furious 7)

March

14. Magic Mike XXL (2015)
Looks like the crew of the first film took notes, there was way more stripping in this second film. And the cameos! Was not expecting Elizabeth Banks or Donald Glover, but hot damn I loved them in this! MM is not a film school movie, but at the same time it is. I guess I should say it's not your typical stripper movie. What I liked most about this movie, besides the fact that it actually made me smile and a bit gitty, was that those involved knew what type of movie they were making had fun with it. It looks like they had a blast making this film, a set I would have loved to be on. No matter what the storyline or the visuals or any of that pretentious stuff, if it's has an amusing vibe, it's the best movie.

15. Hyena Road (2015)
One of the best war movies I have ever seen. I was incredibly impressed by Paul Gross, who I have loved for some time now. He's a great filmmaker and actor, and blew me away with this story. Everything about it was impressive. 

16. Spaceship (2016)
It's SXSW Film Festival time! Stay tuned to my review later in the week.

17. Bandit (2016)
A SXSW about the making of Smokey and the Bandit and the friendship between Hal Needham and Burt Reynolds.

18.  Focus (2015)
You know, it wasn't as bad as I expected. Margot Robbie was great, can't wait for her as Harley Quinn (probably the only good thing about that movie). It was good, and makes you think twice about being in a crowd, but as far as story, it lacked. It was so good as showing cons that as an audience member, you were always on the look out for the switch up. The plot twist was expected, and not in a good way.

19. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
I know, I'm a bad film student, leave me alone. At lease I'm trying to catch up on all the classics I've missed.

20. Deadpool (2016)
Yep, everything they have said about the movie is correct. It's violent, bloody, crass, explicit, and a damn good time. It's everything that I know of the comic. It makes fun of the universe and of itself. I loved it.

21. Pathfinder (2007)
Have you ever seen those movies that you feel tried too hard? You watch the film and you sense there was something extraordinary but it got covered in good intensions and lack of focus? That's what I feel happened to this movie. It could of been an interesting story, but got bogged down in formulaic structure. Actually, there were even times when scenes didn't make sense, except for the outcome they caused on the story--pure plot device, a mcguffin. Karl Urban was great, as he is in everything he does. Man, I wish they wouldn't of canceled Almost Human.

22. Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)
I love this movie so much. It might be because the first holds a sentimental value to me, but I love this movie. Keegan Michael Key, I mean, come on! The Greenbay Packers makes me want to root for the team and I'm not a pro-football girl. David Cross can ride on that scooter everyday and make me smile. Sure, it may not have captured the same lightening in a bottle that the first one did, but it's still awesome. I still will watch it Every Time it's on HBO.

April

23. Creed (2015)
A dear friend of mine harassed me for months about seeing this movie. He's from Philly, and loved how it captured the city, and how it was a good story for the Rocky filmography. I never doubted his love, or opinion, for a moment, he's got a good film head about him. And besides, I love me some Michael B Jordan (he will forever be Wallace, poor sweet Wallace). I was so impressed with this film, and it lived up to every bit of acclaim it received. It's a shame that MBJ or was not recognized with more nominations. This film captured the heart of what Rocky was and elaborated on it brilliantly. 

24. Ant-Man (2015)
Yes, I'm a Marvel girl, and I'm annoyed at myself that it took me this long to watch this film. (and I so had to before Civil War. OMG, Civil War.) Anyways, this film carried the brightly light film torch of the other Marvel films. It tied perfectly into the other films, keeping with the overall story (which blows my mind how well they have kept that connective tissue strong) yet hold it's own energy as a standalone.  I don't know anything about this particular superhero, and that didn't matter. It gave me enough to instantly fall in love with the story and characters. Also, characters, Marvel knows how to cast parts extremely well. My only major critique, I would of LOVED to have seen this story in the hands of Edgar Wright. That departure still stings a bit. 

25. Frank and Cindy (2015)
Renee Russo and Oliver Platt are brilliant, always have been, and definitely always will be. This film turned the head on the mocumentary in an interesting way. I just wish it wasn't so cliche that a film student turned the camera on his family. It may be based on a real life situation, which I respect, and appreciate the snarky character comments about that fact, but there were still times it wasn't fresh enough for me. Ugh, now I sound like the critics I hate.

26. Havana Motor Club (2015)
They say you learn something new every day, and this film was an education. I had no idea racing was so big in Cuba, and the struggles that it's connected to. Having a film center in a country that we have grown up feeling a certain way about, they filmmakers never once played with those strings. They presented a story that was about one fascinating subject, told it well, and connected the audience to a culture.

27. Lonely Planet (2014)
A short film that wastes no time connecting the audience to the characters. A story about falling in love and living, told beautifully. Simply, it's a beautiful film.

28. Call of the Void (2016)
This is a mixed bag for me. There are good things, and there are things that bother. It does capture the suspense of that a Noir is and keeps you guessing. 

29. Tear Me Apart (2015)
This was a great movie, very interesting. The tension and suspense build in a world of seclusion was impressive. How would you survive on a deserted island in a post-apocalyptic world? That is the question explored in Alex Lightman's new film. It's also been a great personal journey for me to see this movie expand across the states. A UK film, I first met Alex at the Austin Film Festival; and now I'm reviewing the film as it plays in the Newport Beach festival. I really enjoyed this movie, and can't wait to see what happens next for the film and Alex.

30. Since: The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 (2015)
I originally became aware of this film at the Austin Film Festival back in October/November. To be honest, I didn't want to watch it because I thought it would be too emotionally draining to watch. I'm glad that I decided to watch it this time around. It was a beautiful film, one truly dedicated to the victims. It's upsetting at times with all the politics and the continued attacks, but the film swiftly moves focus back to the continued heartache caused by this event.

31. Trainwreck (2015)
I hadn't meant to watch the whole movie, it started as a filler before I went to bed. However, within 10 minutes of watching the movie, I was fascinated. I like Amy Schumer, i believe she's an innovative comedian, another female who is changing the game of stand-up. We have them every couple of years, and it's once again a great person to take the torch. The story was compelling, sprinkling in reality into a world of merriment of adulthood. It didn't feel forced or written in for emotion, but instead made the film relatable. It was also cute, endearing, and sweet. It wasn't what I was expecting, and somehow the beauty of this film was kept secret. There is more to this movie than being a true portrayal of relationships in your 30s, and I have a feeling it'll be one that lasts the test of time.

32. Charade (1963)
In my side quest to watch as many classic era Hollywood films as I can, this Cary Grant/Audrey Hepburn one was at bat for quite a while. These two alone are worth watching it for, but the film also includes Walter Matthau, James Coburn, and George Kennedy. It's a classic film, everything about it is wonderful....well, almost everything. Being a modern independent woman, the quickness that Hepburn falls for Grants character is a little unnerving. I know it's a particular element for the time period, but still. He was a liar and a cheat and a crook....even if it was Cary Grant. Where have all the cowboys gone....shooooot, where have the classic male film stars gone? (Except Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo, still creeps me out.)

33. The Boss (2016)
Can we please all agree that Melissa McCarthy is a national treasure? Holy spaceballs this lady is hilarious. She has wonderful comic timing and cadence that makes even the simplest (or grossest) things hilarious. This film is also well thought out and the plot is enjoyable to navigate through. The supporting cast pulled their weight and were just as funny as McCarthy. (Can we also agree that Peter Dinklage is a national treasure, too?) With all of that said, she's really hilarious when she is vulgar.

34. The Jungle Book (2016)
I love when friend dates are movie dates. I've wanted to see this movie for a while, the voice cast is brilliant, and traversed outside on a school night to experience the magic. The Jungle Book, Disney version, was one that I grew up on and had always loved. But, like most films you've seen to death as a child, I don't remember particular elements of the film. For example, I don't remember King Louie being such a dick. I know it was probably toned down in the cartoon, but the impression is made solid in this film. We all know that Elba can play a gangsta like nobody else, but as the jungle villain he excels, intimidating like you wouldn't believe. The visuals, the motion capture, the casting, all of these make it a great movie. I don't know if I would say that it's the best ever, but it brings the original into the new age and reaffirms the love the older generation has for this film.

May

35. Captain America Civil War (2016)
As I've mentioned before, I'm a Marvel (movie/character) girl. Just when you think you've seen "the best Marvel movie ever" they go and release another one. CA: CW is awesome, with two of the best superhero introductions I have ever seen. I knew nothing about Black Panther, but he's now my favorite character. There is a lot that happens in the film, and definitely requires multiple viewing to help wrap your head around it all, but like that's a bad thing. I can't wait till I see this movie again.

36. Mothers and Daughters (2016)
I had intense feelings about this film, and I think that's because I had such high hopes for it. It started out so well, the first act was brilliant and I loved it, finally feeling like I could relate to someone in these kind of stories. That ended pretty quickly as we moved into the second act. It's not that the film was bad, because it's not, I just had some problems with the cliche elements of the story and characters. I'm still waiting for my friends/family to watch it so we can discuss. I guess that's a huge bonus though, it brings up conversations between people.

37. Rio, I Love You (2016)
I love the City of Love movies, and this one fits nicely in with the others. I love how love, how different kinds of love are always represented in these films. I also love how each one can stand on it's own, has it's own style thanks to the different directors. It's a great idea and I hope they continue to make more of them. But, what's with always having a vampire story? Not that I'm complaining, I love vampires, but it's interesting.

38. Divine Access (2015)
It's no everyday that I'm shocked that a movie is filmed in Austin. Normally, it's very easy to tell because of the backgrounds, but with DA I had no idea until I looked it up. That's huge to me, it proves that Austin still had hidden gems up for grabs within the film world. Besides, it always makes me happy when actors I love shoot here. Which, speaking of, the actors were great in this film. I could watch anything that Patrick Warburton and Gary Cole are in. I did have a problem with the ending, like the last 2 minutes, but at least I was engrossed until then.

39. The Nice Guys (2016)
One of my favorite parts of the Austin Film Festival is the script reading. They put together a cast of actors to read the part in an un-produced script. A few years ago, I was able to see the reading of "The Nice Guys" by Shane Black. It was awesome, and while I don't remember much of it, the film captured the same feeling. Maybe it was because I have an interesting background with this story, but I really enjoyed this movie. In fact, I think it's the best Gosling film I've seen. It was great to see him a little unorthodox and inept, but he still had the heart and determination of a leading man/father. And Russell Crowe, awesome as always. Black is one hell of a writer/director, and I think detective mysterious are his best things of films. It's worth checking out, for sure.

40. Reflecting Adrianne (2014)
This short film is a beautiful talking point on a complicated subject, transgender. It's an introspective unique look at an issue that most stereotype into being something worse than it is. This film doesn't solve any of the misconceptions, but it opens the door to communication about the depth these human beings go through.

June

41. Pan (2015)
I'm a huge fan of Joe Wright, Hanna and Pride and Prejudice are two of my favorite films. When I heard about this version of the Peter Pan tale, I was excited; I wanted to see Wrights vision. The story itself is an interesting retelling, definitely wants to make you know what happened between this tale and the regular one between Peter and Hook, but I was disappointed. I think the reason is because Wright is already such a beautiful storyteller, his visuals are poetic, that when you add CGI and SFX to his work it becomes too much. I wish it would have been a non CGI story.

42. Margarita with a Straw (2014)
This movie is inspirational, heartwarming, and plan amazing. To try to describe it would take away the perfection. Just watch the film and become speechless at it's beauty.

43. Approaching the Unknown (2016)
I love Mark Strong, and this movie has completely solidified that thought. I really enjoyed this movie. It's simple, yet complex. You are completely engrossed in the story and the single man (the amazing Strong) on screen. Finally a space movie not bogged down with the tech aspect of space.

44. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
As a dear friend said, "Doesn't this movie make every other X-Men movie that much more awesome?" He was completely right. It was so well done, handling multiple characters and storylines, especially connecting ones from other films (and rewriting the bad ones). It was a big scale movie, but it had the heart of a smaller film. I don't know if I would say that it was better than Civil War, but it was a damn good film. I was even okay with the younger generation of my beloved new X-Men (I loved Nightcrawler in X-Men 2), they did a wonderful job in the casting. It was a great movie, and a brilliant addition to the series.

45. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
You know, as much as I was against seeing this when it originally came out, I didn't hate it as much as I thought I was going to. Granted, I think it's a bit too much in regards to style (I don't mind Snyder, but wish he would just stay in the Superman films and not cross over). It wasn't the best movie, and could have been a lot better, but I don't see how someone could walk out of this film....it wasn't that bad. It had great parts, but it had a hard time finding a believable connective tissue. The story that connected everything and everyone felt forced. It had some cool parts though. Still don't know how I feel about SuperWoman though.

46, Buddymoon (2016)
This movie was really fun. It was a great journey through life and friendship. The connection between the filmmakers was felt throughout and came across between the characters on film. I'm exploring this theme more for an upcoming interview with the cast and crew, so we'll see what happens. Either way, it was enjoyable and I loved it.

july

47. Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
I like these movies. They are fun interpretations of the monsters we've grown up fearing. Sure, it's the voices that help, and I love this crew in these movies, so this film is entertaining. Not to mention the curly haired son is totes adorable. I don't know if it's better than the first, but it doesn't matter. This is a fun movie to watch, and watch again. A sequel worth watching.

48. Dracula Untold (2014)
Speaking of monster movies, I'm glad I finally watched this one. I know the trivia about this being the first in the restarting of the monster series from Universal, and they did a good job. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but vampires have been the monster I have loved the longest. I used to check out books in middle school about this legend, so I can tend to be a bit picky on the stories. I was a little hesitant when it was released, that's why I never saw it. Now, I wish I had. It was well done, a fun and interesting story; a fresh take on one we know from memory. Besides Gary Oldman, Luke Evans is the next best Vlad. I do hope they continue the monster remakes, just as long as they stay on this well paved path. 

49. Much Ado About Nothing (2012)
Shakespeare. Joss. Actors in the Whedonverse.
Amazing.

50. That Touch of Mink (1962)
The thing about classic movies that we, as modern women, have to keep in mind is that times were very different than they are now. Just as it was with Charade, the ability for a strong independent woman over a guy is frustrating.  What might be more frustrating, though, is that the story line has really changed in all of these yeas, they are just in fancier dress. I'm not saying it was bad, because any movie with Cary Grant and Doris Day will be a great movie. 

51. Barbarella (1968)
Wow. This movie was as bad as i always heard it was. Except, it wasn't as risky as I thought it would be. I remember thinking that the orgasm tank would be way worse than what it was. It was still risky and skimpy clothing and sexy, but not what we are used to at this point. Then again, this was in the time before this all was something we were used to. This was made during the time of the "revolution" of modern film, so I can see how it would be a film that was cemented into risky history.

52. West Side Story (1961)
 It's amazing how many things become part of your cultural upbringing and you never truly know where it originates. There were several songs that I knew, but didn't know were from this movie. it was a great movie, and i can see why so many people consider this their favorite musical (mine is Singin' in the Rain). Sure, Natalie Wood's accent was a little bothersome, but she was a huge star at that moment, of course she was going to be in it. But Rita Moreno. Oh lord Rita Moreno. She was fantastic. I love her more than I did before and believe she deserves more recognition.

53. Star Trek Beyond (2016)
I love these movies. It started because it made me feel closer to my Dad because he loved the reboot. He wasn't alive for Into Darkness but I still feel him when I watch that film. With this film, the franchise has finally become my own. I do still believe my Dad would love this film, because this film is wonderful. Everything about it, so many things to put into words. Again, I may be a bit biased cause Simon Pegg was a writer and I love him, but it was fantastic nonetheless. It was a great homage to Nimoy, and if it's the last film of the series, it will be a wonderful film to always remember Anton Yelch. Beautiful, moving, entertaining, wonderful.

54. Chronicle (2012)
I love Michael B Jordan, and he will forever be Wallace from The Wire but all I had ever heard from the ones who didn't see The Wire (come on now, get to watching) is that he was fantastic in this. The funny thing about watching the break out film of his is that I already knew he was great. This wasn't a shock to me. What was a shock to me was how much i enjoyed this film. As most film snobs, I was tired of the "found footage" style. The best film, ever, in my opinion had been done (Trollhunters) and nothing needed to be done again. However, the cleverness of this style, the interesting aspect of the story, all made the style drop aside and the story live. I hope these actors do more things, because I love each one of them. I'm also very disappointed in the newest Fantastic Four. With this director an MBJ, FF should have been amazing. When will studios learn that interfering will always be a bad decision.

55. The 5th Musketeer (1979)
Thank you TCM for the following. It was completely unexpected, but a fun movie. Beau Bridges was so young, I guess I never realized he was an actor...except he's not really that good. But the best part about this movie was a young Ian McShane. Oh goodness, he's great, and I want to go back and watch all of his older films. This was based on the Dumas book "Man in the Iron Mask," and an interesting take. It did make me want to rewatch the movie with Leo.

56. The Swarm (1978)
Disaster film! Killer Bees in Houston with a ridiculously famous cast. I've seen a few of the disaster films of the 70s, I should try to finish the rest. It was pretty ridiculous, but really fun. Disaster movies are fun.

57. The Crew (2000)
Not that great of a film, and the actors seemed to try too hard to be Italian mobsters. It's amazing what you'll watch when you're busy crocheting.

58. The Great Escape (1963)
I finally got around to watching this film, and it's just as good as you would expect. Just like with West Side Story, there are so many elements of this film, mainly the score, that I didn't realize were from this movie. It's those moments you've grown up with because of pop culture, but never know where it's from. Same with several of the elements that parody this film. I think it's Top Secret, but I can't remember. It was really great, thought. The actors were amazing, and so many famous ones, and they were very good looking. I did see an article posing the questions about whether this movie was suppose to be a comedy. That is an interesting point, and I can see why it was asked. I don't know if it's suppose to be a comedy, per se, that's a bit much, but there are definitely moments of the film that are suppose to be humorous. It was a nice blend of comedy and drama and the trauma of being a POW.

59. Super (2010)
If this is the movie that James Gunn got Guardians from, I love the Marvel guys so much more. I knew it was a dark comedy, and out of the ordinary in the terms of 'hero' films, but I wasn't not expecting that. It was dark and clever and shocking. My favorite part about this film was Ellen Page. She was such an interesting character. I loved her turn in this. It was nice to not see her as the typical spunky teen, she had edge and layers. I love her. The film was also a nice surprise in the direction and story, I'm interested in doing more research on Gunn, really watch his other projects. This film is worth the hype.

August

60. The Hurt Business (2016)
Having found myself integrated, rather unexpectedly, into the world of MMA, this documentary was very appealing to me. What I love most about this is that director Vlad Yudin was not afraid to go to uncomfortable depths to show the truth within this industry/lifestyle. It's a well paced documentary, similar to the HBO Sports ones you can't tear your eyes away from. Where this differs is that nothing is off the table, from focusing on the gender issue to the medical injuries that are almost guaranteed to the end result. It's an interesting examination of a complicated sport.

61. Point Break (2015)
Somethings should not be remade. Even if it stars Ray Winstone.

62. Detroit Rock City (1999)
While I enjoyed this movie, I think I missed being obsessed. This was definitely a 1999 movie, one that would have, and has, gripped the hearts of the audience. That doesn't mean it doesn't hold up or is not still enjoyable, because it definitely still is. Maybe I just wish I loved it more than I do.

September

63. Cabaret (1972)
How come nobody told me before that Michael York was in this movie! I love him in Shakespeare, but will take him in any movie I possible can. He needs to make more movies, I miss his intense ease. I was able to watch the play before the movie (I know, crazy right) and I have to say that there were a lot of things that I was not expecting. Then again, I guess that's what happens when you translate a play on one stage to a movie of infinite locations. Jean Gray was fantastic, maybe over Liza. Liza was, well, Liza. I guess this is also one of those incidents where the impact was deafening at the time more than now.

64. Foreign Affair (1948)
Holy crap guys, Marlene Dietrich is one hell of a film presence. I was surprised that I wasn't upset with the women in this movie, considering the time. Sure, Jean Arthur did fall rather quickly head over heels for John Lund, but he also did kiss her with intent (even if it was false). As always, I study the trivia, and the fact that they actually filmed in the ruins of Germany after the war was breathtaking. That was a very interesting, yet troubled, time for the film industry around the world, but thankfully there are movies like these to carry on the fight that was.

65. Zoom (2015)
I really liked this movie (and you can read all about it in the review section). I'm a fan of Pop Art, and this film combined filmatic elements and Pop Artistry. I have always been attracted to multiple plot-lined stories that focus on characters, but i have never seen is play out in such a gorgeous way than in this film. It's refreshing and fun, enjoyable to watch. I know that this movie is not one for the masses, but the best ones never are.

66. Finding Altamira (2016)
This movie was very beautiful. The way it was shot, the gorgeous landscapes of Spain, the hypnotic voice of Banderas; there was a calm and serenity to the story. In a way, it gave us hope that there are still opportunities to discover life altering facts. That we as people can progress beyond what we've been strong armed to live by. That's all we can ask for in this day in age, hope.

67. The French Connection  (1971)
This quest/resolution has been the best "excuse" to watch classic movies. Most of these movies are ones that any good film student should have seen years ago, and it's my point to finally see them. At least now I can get more involved in film conversations (cause I never participate in them now). (That was sarcasm, huge sarcasm.)
Within the first 5 minutes of the film I had to check IMDb to see if Hackman won an Oscar for this performance, and he did indeed. Both him and Scheider were fantastic, unlike I've seen them before. The gritty visuals and storytelling (including the cinematography) were fascinating, being such common place for the 21st century it was experimental in the 70s. The character of Doyle, as well, was something that was new to the time period. He was morally ambiguous, a hot head who put other in danger. Considering the characters we have now a day, Doyle was vanilla.
69 to 81, the decade that changed Hollywood.

68. Brooklyn (2015)
Oh my goodness, I'm in love with this movie. I didn't know what I was expecting, other than Saoirse Ronan was going to be amazing. I'm not typically a romantic movie person, but I fall head over heels for love stories. (Yes, there is a very big difference between the two.) Eilis was such an amazing character, so strong during a time when it was acceptable for a woman to be weak and beautiful. She wasn't blasting her way through gender norms and protesting her treatment, but she knew how she was and she wasn't going to conform. It was subtle, but impactful. Like Finding Altamira, it's meaningful when we find a movie that sparks hope within. For Brooklyn it was Tony, a man who fell deeply in love with a girl, who wasn't pushy or overly male. Screw the cowboys, where have these men gone? There are so many other things about this movie that I love, my heart became full after watching this film.

October

69. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)
I loved the first film, it was beautiful and a soul touching story. This movie was just as beautiful, but it was missing something. The fight scenes and choreography were amazing to watch. This is large in part because the film was directed by the one and only Woo-Ping Yuen, the famous coordinator. I can't give a direct reason why I didn't connect to this film as much as I did the first, expect that maybe this was just a sequel. It seemed to be repeating the same story we saw before. It does take place 20 years, so the love triangle between Yu Shu Lien, Silent Wolf and Li Mu Bai isn't awkward, but it feels forced. Maybe that's it. It feels forced, like they tried to force the beauty that was in the original. I don't hate it, if anything makes me love CR, HD even more.

70. London Has Fallen (2016)
Gerard Butler action movies are fun. They are fun to watch, action is good, he's good to look at, and this character has charm and ruggedness that's sexy. It's not a good movie, it's an action movie, and somethings that is exactly what you need.

71. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
I do like these movies. I guess I have a soft spot for spy films. The secret movements and the high tech attributes are fun to disappear in. The dynamic that they build in each MI works for what's given as each "mission" of each film. I do like how we know the agents, for the most part, of this film, and I still think Pegg and Rhames are the best IMF agents of the entire series. I think I have figured out a problem, though. The films in which Ethan Hunt becomes emotionally invested romantically with a woman, that film is not that great. (See also MI 2.)

72. The Expendables 3 (2014)
(I feel like live reviewing this film, so I'm typing as i'm watching.) Okay, so it's guys with guns again. Sure, why not. I love me some Wesley Snipes. Mel Gibson shoots Terry Crews. I don't like it. What, you can't have two black guys on the team? You done gone and pissed off Rocky. It's all the old guys we love that we forget are old. Is this movie sad because we are faced with mortality or a joy because we see old guys still kicking ass/immortality? I have never noticed how much Statham and Couture look alike. So far I don't like Gibson as a bad guy, I just see it as him redeeming himself....oh, that's an interesting look. Plot twist afoot? Fraiser? WTF? Wait, this is a do or die mission, and you don't want your team involved but you're willing to bring along "kids"? Sure, seems about right.  Bad CGI, bad. Why are you going to focus on her face when she's kicking ass? Ugh, guys. Damn, cancer....fuck that's not okay. Damn, Antonio is still sexy as hell.
Okay, I may have to stop. It's going to get a bit ridiculous, like the movie. But it's Friday night, LOLO.

73. The Man Who Was Thursday (2016)
A interesting, mulit-verse film noir that not only has you questioning what is going on in the story but in your own faith. Francois Arnaud is really good in this, and makes for a unique priest. This is why I love film festivals (part of AFF programing).

74. Brave New Jersey (2016)
So funny! One of my favorite comedies this year. With a wonderful cast and the comedy that breathed and was natural, such a joy to watch. If you don't love this cast, we can't be friends.

75. Blood Trap (2016)
Yeah....so it was exactly what I thought it was going to be. It was still fun to watch though. But, damn I was bamboozled with Vinnie Jones in the main credits. If only he was in it longer.

76. The Girl on the Train (2016)
I was not familiar with the book, other than my sister-in-law's-sister-in-law loved it. We went to see it together and really enjoyed it. Emily Blunt is a treasure on screen, and did a fantastic job in this film. And Luke Evans, he is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I can't speak to the book comparisons, but it was a good suspenseful story in which I did not see the ending coming. That's always refreshing and challenging to do nowadays. I loved it.

77. Tower (2016)
Growing up in Austin, and having attended UT, the Tower shooting was something that we respected. We understood the gravity of the situation and it effected the campus in the years after 1966. This film shows that experience in a whole new light, it makes it more real than it was before, even though I've seen the bullet holes on campus. It's a powerful film. It makes you think, it sets the fear in reality, and it reminds you of a time that is not actually that much different than our own.

November

78. Dr. Strange (2016)
One of my favorite Marvel films, and probably my favorite superhero now. The mysticism within the film was so beautiful crafter it transcended anything we've seen before with Marvel. To be able to create a whole new world within a whole new world of heroes and making it seem natural was clever. Just as in other Marvel films, the casting, the directing, the script, all worked together in a seamless wonder. I can't wait to see it again.

79. The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
I loved it...I loved it...I loved it....

80. Loving (2016)
Based on a true story, this film focuses on the loving couple behind the Virginia vs Loving case that did away with the legality behind interracial marriages. Jeff Nichols is a particular director, and you either love or hate him, and I definitely love him. The tension bubbling at the surface was centered in truth, the true horrors of the later 50s in the south, there was no need to heighten anything. Nichols understood this, and instead his film is a delicate look at the love that pushes the story and our history forward. It's simple beautiful. It's slow, which is Nichols, but I couldn't imagine it any other way. Life is beautiful, and when portrayed right, it sings on screen.

81. Hercules (2014)
Well, I think it's safe to say that no one else should ever play Hercules again on screen. How did it take this long in his career for have Dwayne Johnston play him? He was perfect, exactly how he's suppose to be. The thing is, however, that even with the perfect lead, and a damn good supporting cast (minus the off casting of Joseph Fiennes), this film just wasn't there. I had high hope for it, but in typical (in my opinion) Brett Ratner fashion, it was more about the action sequences then the story that motivates them. It could have been so much better.

82. The Take (2016)
Idris Elba for Bond! Idris Elba for Bond!
I enjoyed this film a lot, and the cast was able to stand their ground against the complexity of Elba's fantastic acting skills. Very nicely done.

83. Street Cat Named Bob (2016)
Oh my goodness. The sweetest movie ever! This takes the connection between human and pet to the most magical degree.

84. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
Magical. I love this world so much and they did such a great job placing us back in this world, but changing it because it was in the US. It didn't mess with what we already knew, but instead expanded our knowledge and love.

85. The Space Between Us (2017)
This was a press screening and it look really good beforehand. It had an interesting cast, especially Gary Oldman. Needless to say, it was not what I expected. It was pushed back until February from an original Dec release date, so I can only assume others saw the problems I did in it.

December

86. Domain (2016)
Such a great film. There are so many layers to this film that if you aren't open to looking beyond what's just presented to you, you're going to miss out on some amazing stuff. It's an unique take on the sci-fi genre and presents a future that doesn't seem far fetched, and quite frightening actually. The acting was so well done that I was even nervous in interviewing one of the actors for fear he would be the same intensity in real life that he was on screen. Not only was I completely wrong, this one of the interviews is one of my favorites

87. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)
The problem with sequels is that most of them try too hard to recapture the magic of the first film. It was entertaining going back to this family (so much like my own), but at times it felt forced. The reason for the other wedding wasn't that strong, too forced. There was so much going on that the focuses was pulled in too many different directions to be enjoyable. I mean, it was fun to watch, but didn't intrigue me like the first film.

88. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Man, this is another world that I love. The realize that was set in motion from the original was breathtaking. Thank goodness these new ones went back to that instead of digitizing it. Future worlds don't always need future filmmaking. The diversity of the cast (and with Force Awakens) is not only appreciated but necessary in making this film a future we can believe in. (yeah, I know "a long time ago,in a galaxy far far away...") While this film was very complicated, with lots of things happening and the rush to accomplish something was intense, the film should be viewed multiple times. However, when you consider what it's leading up to, you understand the urgency. This is another great addition to a film series without overtaking the original storyline. I hope all the companion movies are as good as this one.

89. The Martian (2015)
This movie was really good. I didn't realize who the writer (Drew Goddard) and director (Ridley Scott) were for so long, how did I not know! The acting chops on Damon to be able to hold interest in a complicated movie when it's just him on screen "sciencing the shit out of" things is impressive. This is also a brilliant example of a supporting cast that does their job (their amazing acting job) and hold interest as well without being too much or taking focus away from the story.. They all blended together to form a believable team and crew. Can't believe it took me this long to watch it.

90. Keanu (2016)
Key and Peele and a cat. Yes, the answer is always yes! 
A ridiculously fun ride.

91. Cop Car (2015)
I didn't know what to except from this film, all I knew was that it got really good reviews and word of mouth. Kevin Bacon has become a huge acting force as he's gotten older. I mean, he's always been a good actor, but age sits well with him. The two kids, Hay Wellford and James Freedsom-Jackson, were good as well. They have to be good to hold the screen to themselves for so long. It was slow at times, but was still a film I enjoyed. 

92. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)
Christmas Movie! Who doesn't like Tom Cruise in an action film. He's still kicking ass and taking names. I just really hate it when they add a child to heighten the stakes. It's too easy, and I feel like it's a copout. I did love Cobie Smulders, she kicks ass and it's awesome. I bought her as a Major, a young Major but still a Major.

93. The Help (2011)
I can't believe it took me this long to watch this movie. It deserves all the acclaim that it has received. The women were amazing, and despicable at the same time. Watching films like this is a hard truth. It feels like so long ago that this country fought for equality of the races, but it really wasn't that long ago. This movie takes place when my mother was in middle school. I never want to go back to that time period and I will do what I can to stop it.

94. 42 (2013)
Along the same lines as The Help, but this times it's aboutJackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers. A friend called me out for saying I was a sports movie fan and have never seen this movie. It is a beautiful movie about an extraordinary life. Not only should be be looked up to for his baseball skills, but for the man he was. Strength is not an easy thing to come by, especially when it's in the face of hatred.

95. Midnight Special (2016)
Holy shit this movie. It just started, no long explanation as to what was going on or why, and it didn't matter. The movie was so enthralling that you knew what was going on, you didn't need anyone to explain it to you. The plot holes that others would want to try to find didn't effect the story, if anything it would have ruined it with too much clarity. Sometimes the joy in in the in-between. Jeff Nichols is a storyteller who focuses on the characters and lets the world develop around them. I will be watching his other films soon, that is for sure.

96. Hail, Cesar! (2016)
Oh, the Coen Bros. They have a unstoppable ability to find the wit in any situation and bring it out in force. The way they get their actors, some are old favorites, to disappear in the characters is a ride in itself. The film takes place during the golden age of Hollywood, and the Bros were able to get the tone and the look of that era. It wasn't forced, and was all around them. Thank goodness we have filmmakers like the Coen Bros (and Wes Anderson), in a dark world in which we live it, we need all the fun movies we can get.

97. Self/less (2015)
The concept of 'shedding' is fascinating. It leaves a huge opportunity for a philosophical discussion on life and immortality, love movies like that. This is another film that does a good job of giving information without ruining it with over explanation. You understand enough to know that story, but you aren't bogged down with details. it gives a little bit more than say, Midnight Special. It's a great blend of action and character, with Ryan Reynolds being great at the helm. I have yet to watch a film I didn't like him in (and Green Lantern doesn't really count, he was still good).

98. The Cell (2000)
Tarsem Singh has to be obsessed with psychology. This was one hell of a mind f**k. Holy shit, Vincent D'Onofrio was brilliant. He's really good at playing psychopaths, but damn he's a great actor. Jennifer Lopez. meh. She was good if she didn't talk. When she was in his mind, his slave, she was awesome. And the visuals. I heard so much about the visuals, and they lived up to it. If you have the chance to develop a serial killer's mind, where do you go? You go here, and it was crazy. Great movie, but I don't know if I can watch this over and over again.

99. Some Like It Hot (1959)
This has been on the list for so, so long. The three leads are always worth watching. It does stand up to the test of time, thats for sure. The only thing about these 60s (or almost 60s) movies is that the woman is always after a man. I have to admit, they did a good job on have men in dresses, no sly comments on the gays or disrespect. Not bad Billy Wilder. But damn, some of Marilyn's dresses were way too revealing. But, she was a sex-pot, and a beautiful one at that.

100. Nocturnal Animals (2016)
That was an intense movie. Geez, I mean so much to say. The way the three timelines were divided through visuals, the representation of life to novel was fascinating (the writer in me was super excited). The acting was unbelievable, and even if it wasn't meant to be that way, the nod to the Amy Adams--Isla Fisher connection was played brilliantly. Tom Ford is a really good filmmaker, and he's proved that with two really great movies. Unexpectedly good.