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BradWesley123's Movie Journal- January 2016

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January 1st

People who added this item 852 Average listal rating (607 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
Ex Machina (2014)

DVD- 1hr. 48min.
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January 2nd

People who added this item 5157 Average listal rating (3388 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.3

Netflix- 2hrs. 32min.
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January 3rd

People who added this item 229 Average listal rating (147 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.5

HBO Now- 1hr. 54min.
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People who added this item 2494 Average listal rating (1697 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.4

Netflix- 2hrs. 45min.
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January 4th

People who added this item 1235 Average listal rating (683 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6
A Single Man (2009)

DVD- 1hr. 40min.
First Viewing
At times a bit too slow and obtuse, but ultimately a rewarding portrait of a restrained man attempting to overcome a personal loss. While the film is visually sublime and the story inherently intriguing, the film lives and dies by Firth's performance, and he turns in one of his finest.

Monthly Wesley Award
Best Cinematography- Eduardo Serra
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January 5th

People who added this item 764 Average listal rating (515 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7
Out of Sight (1998)

Showtime- 2hrs. 2min.
First Viewing
Out of Sight is just smooth; Smooth in development, smooth in execution. Everything about it moves like a well oiled machine, intent on delivering the maximum amount of viewing pleasure, and it mostly does so. The last act lets things down a bit; the plot feels a bit too clunky compared to the first two. The first two are so good though that it's forgivable. The writing, directing, acting, and editing are all top notch, and it's one of the quickest two hours you'll likely ever spend.

Monthly Wesley Award
Best Editing- Anne V. Coates
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January 6th

People who added this item 124 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6
The Paper (1994)

Showtime- 1hr. 51min.
First Viewing
The Paper is often odds with itself tonally, wanting to be both a personal, authentic look at journalists doing their jobs, and a lighthearted, silly relationship dramedy. When it focuses on professionalism, it soars, but falters otherwise. The cast is exceptional though, and carries the movie even in it's weaker stretches. A solid movie (though if you have the choice between this and Michael Keaton's other journalism movie, take Spotlight).
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January 7th

People who added this item 768 Average listal rating (425 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.2
Half Nelson (2006)

DVD- 1hr. 47min.
First Viewing
While it occasionally has a hard time shaking it's familiar set up (addiction, mentor, etc.), Half Nelson eventually blooms into an authentic, piercing work that features superb work from Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps, and humane and sincere writing.

Monthly Wesley Award
Best Original Screenplay- Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
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January 8th

People who added this item 404 Average listal rating (272 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.1
Margin Call (2011)

DVD- 1hr. 47min.
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January 9th

People who added this item 1713 Average listal rating (1082 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.2

DVD- 2hrs. 59min.
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People who added this item 1174 Average listal rating (779 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3

DVD- 2hrs. 18min.
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January 10th

People who added this item 334 Average listal rating (176 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5

DVD- 1hr. 45min.
First Viewing
Gods and Monsters is an infinitely entertaining movie about old Hollywood, and repression. It's a credit to Condon's direction and writing that the movie isn't a narrative and tonal mess, employing an assuredly delicate touch. The film often soars thanks to it's cast; Fraser gets the least to do, but is solid; Redgrave is commanding as the dedicated servant; McKellen gives the movie it's soul in what should've been an Oscar winning performance.
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People who added this item 545 Average listal rating (400 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
Sicario (2015)

DVD- 2hrs. 1min.
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People who added this item 539 Average listal rating (290 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.4

Showtime- 1hr. 36min.
First Viewing
While there are a few strong moments, mostly thanks to an excellent cast, I would venture to say that Dirty Pretty Things has not aged particularly well. What was presumably "shocking" once now feels exploitative and unnecessary. It's okay, but the movie could've used a good deal more subtlety to really hit.

Monthly Wesley Award
Best Supporting Actress- Sophie Okonedo
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January 12th

People who added this item 440 Average listal rating (278 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4
Suspicion (1941)

VUDU- 1hr. 40min.
First Viewing
Suspicion is classically alluring Hitchcock for much of it's run, but it's let down by a complete anticlimax that takes every wonderful thing about the movie, sans Fontaine's great performance, and kicks it down a couple of notches. It's not that I disliked the conclusion in and of itself, but how it was presented, in such a blasé way.
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January 14th


VHS- 1hr. 47min.
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January 16th

People who added this item 2520 Average listal rating (1463 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
21 Grams (2003)

DVD- 2hrs. 3min.
First Viewing
The biggest problem in 21 Grams is the one that plagues most Iñárritu projects; the "life is suffering" theme. At times the movie becomes so depressingly dour that one can't help but chuckle a bit. Luckily it doesn't derail the film; in fact, it eventually morphs into something more human as it goes along. It's a difficult movie to follow, the editing is deliberately out of order, but 21 Grams features numerous moments of genuine beauty, along with a trio of powerhouse turns from Del Toro, Penn, and Watts. Not for the faint of heart.

Monthly Wesley Award
Best Supporting Actor- Benicio Del Toro
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People who added this item 927 Average listal rating (661 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8
The Martian (2015)

DVD- 2hrs. 21min.
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January 17th

People who added this item 2927 Average listal rating (1692 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8


Netflix- 2hrs. 8min.
First Viewing
I wouldn't say that Pride & Prejudice reinvents the wheel, or transcends it's source material, but it is certainly a lavish, sweeping romance that succeeds thanks to a wonderful cast, led by an exceptional Keira Knightley, and beautiful period designs that do a lot of the heavy lifting. It doesn't hurt that the story is inherently intriguing.
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People who added this item 986 Average listal rating (495 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7

Netflix- 1hr. 59min.
First Viewing
Velvet Goldmine is often a mess, but it's never dull or boring. Even at it's most bizarre, there is a strange magic on display here that won't let you look away. And, despite the craziness, it's often a rather piercing and lovely coming-of-age story about the power that music can have on us. A beautiful oddity.

Monthly Wesley Awards
Best Costume Design- Sandy Powell
Best Sound
Best Makeup
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January 18th

People who added this item 314 Average listal rating (177 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5
Selma (2014)

Hulu- 2hrs. 8min.
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January 19th

People who added this item 1122 Average listal rating (710 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.1

DVD- 1hr. 54min.
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January 22nd

People who added this item 1305 Average listal rating (759 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
Frida (2002)

Netflix- 2hrs. 4min.
First Viewing
Frida is a fun, visually dazzling portrait of the life of Frida Kahlo featuring superb acting, especially Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina. Unfortunately, the story gets more and more drawn out as the movie goes on, leading to a rather muted ending. It's often style over substance, but with style this lovely, why not spend a couple of hours with it?

Monthly Wesley Award
Best Score- Elliot Goldenthal
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January 23rd


DVD- 2hrs. 3min.
First Viewing
Parnassus deserves credit for managing to overcome the death of Heath Ledger and deliver an occasionally okay film, but the movie is really a clusterfuck of a plot merge with beautiful production/costume design. It's beautiful to look, and the cast is solid, but the film's plot simply ring too hollow to make it worthy.

Monthly Wesley Awards
Best Production Design- David Warren, Anastasia Masaro, and Caroline Smith
Worst Picture
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People who added this item 3091 Average listal rating (1852 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
Babel (2006)

DVD- 2hrs. 23min.
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January 24th

People who added this item 313 Average listal rating (185 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
The Thin Man (1934)

VHS- 1hr. 29min.
First Viewing
The Thin Man is a joyous experience from beginning to end. It's top-notch in every department, especially the witty script and Powell's performance. The kind of movie you watch to cheer you up after a bad day; spoiler, it likely will.

Monthly Wesley Awards
Best Picture
Best Adapted Screenplay- Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
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People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3

Netflix- 1hr. 34min.
First Viewing
Well-acted and well-made, Night Train to Munich is just too often dull and lifeless to really keep anything interesting.

Note: Admittedly, I did fall asleep several times while watching this film. I should probably give it another look.
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January 26th

People who added this item 272 Average listal rating (153 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.2
Klute (1971)

VUDU- 1hr. 53min.
First Viewing
A moody, unsettling psycho-sexual thriller that excels in almost every department, Klute is one of the most evocative films of the 1970s, and even now. Sutherland is solid, but this is Fonda's movie and she owns it from the second she pops onscreen. Another element that needs to be mentioned is the perfect cinematography by Gordon Willis, whose use of natural light gives the film an often dark, at times unseeable, quality that merges with the story beautifully.

Monthly Wesley Award
Best Actress- Jane Fonda
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January 28th

People who added this item 1302 Average listal rating (783 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8

VUDU- 2hrs. 24min.
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January 29th

People who added this item 1307 Average listal rating (927 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1

DVD- 2hrs.
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January 30th

People who added this item 2236 Average listal rating (1289 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3

DVD- 2hrs. 19min.
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January 31st

People who added this item 2191 Average listal rating (1444 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.8
Gattaca (1997)

DVD- 1hr. 46min.
First Viewing
While too contrived at times, Gattaca is a surprisingly smart and well-plotted film with excellent production design and solid performances. One of the better sci-fi films of the past two decades.

Monthly Wesley Award
Best Visual Effects
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People who added this item 836 Average listal rating (442 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7
Malcolm X (1992)

DVD- 3hrs. 22min.
First Viewing
It's overlong by probably 20 or 30 minutes, but Malcolm X is a stirring and necessary motion picture that features dozen of all-time great moments (the scene set to Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" is as powerful as anything I've ever seen in film) and one of the best performances ever from Denzel Washington (I know Pacino needed one, but is there anyone who really believe's his work in Scent of a Woman tops this?). Essential viewing.

Monthly Wesley Awards
Best Director- Spike Lee
Best Actor- Denzel Washington
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Numbers


Number of Movies Watched: 33
Newly Watched:17
DVD: 17
VHS: 2
Blu-Ray: 0
Streaming: 14
Time Spent: 68hrs. 4min.

Critcal


Best New View: The Thin Man
Worst New View: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassuus

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