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Added by the giraffe on 1 Jun 2015 01:07
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Movies the giraffe watched in 2015: June

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The breakdown: 31 movies watched and one abandoned, of those 17 were via Netflix, 7 on DVD, 2 via streaming download, and 6 in the theatre. Of those 23 were first views, 9 were re-watches, and they came from the following decades: 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s & 2010s.

Well, this was a productive month movie-wise to say the least. And with a few exceptions the quality of films I watched was good too. I didn't get everything watched that I wanted to this month, but that doesn't matter too much. Fortunately my free-wheeling non-planning approach worked well again so I won't gripe.

The most exciting thing for me was getting to the theatre 6 times in one month. Drafthouse is rocking their summer programming, and if they keep it up I may wind up making more trips there in a few months than I have in entire years in the recent past. And I'm totally fine with that. Thanks to them I got to take the kiddo with me for half of those films, which is great considering once she starts school in late August our Tuesday hangouts will come to an end & so will the trips to Drafthouse for a while.

Keeping up with Netflix content that exited wound up being a mixed bag as about half what I sat through of those was not worth my time. On the other end of things my ongoing projects for the year are going pretty well overall now that we're at the halfway mark for the year. If I could just figure out how to get more people to participate in the Netflix project I'd be even happier. Ah well, I guess I can't win them all.

Best new-to-me film for June: Inside Out / The Great Escape (tie)
Best hidden gem: Not Fade Away
Worst film: Excluding Stupid Troopers that award goes to The War of the Worlds
People who added this item 4996 Average listal rating (3326 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8
Re-watch - June 2nd

Kicked off the month with the kiddo's pick as I've had other things needing my attention lately. I didn't realize it's been 3 years now since I last watched this one with her...no wonder she thought she'd never seen it. Anyway, I still mostly love this movie & it was a joy to experience it with her now that she gets more of the humor in it. She loved the Genie (who she kept saying was a ghost hehe), found a couple parts scary, didn't care for Jasmine & Aladdin kissing (she said it was gross), and overall enjoyed it enough that she said she wanted to watch it again when it ended (I didn't let her though). Since it's one of my favorites I'll gladly keep watching it with her periodically.
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People who added this item 1293 Average listal rating (825 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
First viewing - June 5th

Guy Ritchie returns to what he does best here & turns out a highly entertaining and worthwhile film. The cast is great, the characters are all interesting, the script is smart, and it moves so well I wasn't able to easily anticipate where it was headed. I thought it fell just a touch short of greatness, but I'd gladly revisit it again & again. And if the promised sequel in the credits ever materializes I'm down for it.

Just a thought: It's disappointing Ritchie went from this into major studio rehashed crap.
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People who added this item 153 Average listal rating (103 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 5.8
The Pact (2012)
First viewing - June 7th

This was on the same underrated horror list that last month's The Den was, so I figured I'd give it a shot. And the film definitely has its moments, but I found it far too predictable to give it high praise when it ended. And the ending was pretty lame too as it hints at a sequel that nobody needs. The effects were really well done, the cast is solid, and there are some effective moments of suspense along the way. So while I did enjoy it overall I wouldn't need to watch it again & wouldn't go out of my way to encourage others to seek it out.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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First viewing - June 8th

This wound up being better than I'd anticipated given its brief stay in theatres, but still fell short of living up to its predecessor. Much like said film it looks great all around, with interesting uses of color and all. The soundtrack is good too, and the cast definitely gives their all across the board. I especially liked the storyline for Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, which was easily the most fun & entertaining of the bunch. The rest of it felt like a retread of the previous film, which meant it was entertaining enough but I couldn't help feeling like I've seen it all before. So in the end it was worth watching once & only once.
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People who added this item 162 Average listal rating (116 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.6
Maggie (2015)
First viewing - June 8th

I feel like there's a great movie hidden in here thanks to the story idea, but the execution didn't work for me. Oh, the cast does a great job, even Arnie who plays outside of what we normally expect from him. And like I said I really dug the idea behind it. But the trouble was that none of the characters have much depth, so it was impossible for me to get truly invested in what's going on. I was left with only vague impressions of who each character is because there's no attempt to establish any deep connection to any of them. Which is sad, because had they taken the time to really bring out who Maggie & her father are this could have really hit home in a big way. It left me wondering if about a half hour of backstory was dispatched to a cutting room floor, which is pretty disappointing.
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First viewing - June 10th

One look at the cast here tells you this is totally worth watching...McQueen, Coburn, Bronson, Attenborough, Pleasance, etc. And it's a hell of a story that's so well told I didn't want to leave my chair during the almost 3 hours it runs (I had to take one break though, but I made it as quick as possible). It's absolutely worthy of its classic status, and I'd gladly watch it all again. Thanks, Netflix, for adding it so I could finally watch it.

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People who added this item 571 Average listal rating (360 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.9
First viewing - June 10th

So I'm thinking that had I watched this back in the '90s or even the early '00s I would have loved it. Watching it now though, it's definitely got some good things going before it turns tedious in the end. I really liked the characters and some of the banter, especially that between the titular character and the cop that's trying to bring him down. It's got some great visuals & an energy that keeps things moving along nicely. The only trouble is with the ending which drags on far longer than necessary & wound up making this a film that was only worth watching once for me.

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First viewing - June 11th

I spotted this one on Netflix a while back & added it to my queue since it's one of the few John Candy films I haven't seen. On this particular night I figured I'd give it a shot, and it was pretty decent. It's nothing great, but it's a slightly better than average rom-com albeit not as heavy on the com as you'd expect. The romance side plays out very well, to the point where I genuinely doubted for a bit whether the leads would end up together. My only complaint really is that Ally Sheedy could have been given more time on screen & thus better defined than she is. She makes the most of the time she does get on screen, but I couldn't help but want a little more. Candy does an excellent job all around & carries the film sufficiently though, and Maureen O'Hara is perfect as the mom. I wouldn't go out of my way to revisit it, but if I stumbled across it again somewhere I might sit through it again.

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People who added this item 959 Average listal rating (730 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
First viewing - June 15th

Gyllenhall is perfect in this tale of the depths journalism sinks to in the name of ratings, and I wish he'd make more movies like this...though then again the fact he hasn't makes it more special. He disappears into his character, and while his character is never likable he's always compelling to watch. The rest of the cast is excellent too, and all the technical elements work well to push this right up to the line of greatness. I felt like it didn't quite cross it for me on this first viewing, but I'd definitely watch it again to determine whether my feelings about the film remain the same.

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People who added this item 444 Average listal rating (243 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4
First viewing - June 17th

I figured I've got enough modern films on this list that I should pick up something older from my local video store, so I chose this which I've wanted to check out for a while now. And it was definitely good, though not quite the great film I'd been led to expect. Simone Simon is adorable and the entire cast does a decent job. I wanted a little more depth from it though, and as a horror movie it was pretty tame on the suspense side. But it's definitely worth a look and I might even watch it again.

The disc I rented has a sequel attached to it, but given the way this film ends I see no point in attempting it.
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First viewing - June 17th

First off, I've seen Payback a few times & love the hell out of it, I just hadn't seen this version before. And it's at least AS good as the theatrical version in my book, just in different ways. I'm undecided as to whether it's better, but I dig the simpler storyline & the darker feel to it. It's far less humorous, and Porter's narration is absent which took a while for me to get used to. But it works just as well this way as it does as a dark comedy, and I can't think of anything to improve on. I do think, however, that I'll need to watch it a couple more times so I can figure out exactly how I feel about it without the bigger shadow of the theatrical version I've known for longer.
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People who added this item 266 Average listal rating (166 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 5.7
First viewing - June 20th

Somehow I completely forgot to add this to my list back in June, probably because the film is fairly forgettable. If you wanted a more modern but less entertaining version of The Gate, this is the film for you. It's not bad, just mediocre given some of the films Joe Dante has made throughout his career. I was entertained enough to hang with it, but ultimately I only mildly enjoyed it. Definitely nothing I'd recommend.

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Re-watch - June 21st

My Father's Day plans got canceled the night before when the kiddo fell prey to a 24-hour stomach bug. So instead of going out & doing fun things, I spent the day taking care of her. She asked if we could watch a movie, so I pulled up Netflix & we agreed on this one which I haven't seen in ages. It's held up well enough & is as worthy of an adaptation of the source material as one could hope for. Perhaps I'm a bit generous in my rating here, but since I've always loved these characters I can't help mostly loving the film as well.

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Re-watch - June 25th

I felt like watching something that invokes summer, and even though I'm not a big fan I can't think of many things that are more strongly associated with summer than baseball. It's been a long long time since I last watched Major League, but I still remembered the best parts of it well enough. And while it's nothing more than your typical sports underdog movie, the characters are so fun to watch I don't even care. In fact the whole film is just a good time from start to finish, with the sole exception of it pausing for an Amex commercial.

Now if only baseball were as much fun to watch. Ah well.
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People who added this item 924 Average listal rating (591 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
Re-watch - June 26th

In honor of the gay marriage ruling by the US Supreme Court, Drafthouse announced free late night showings of The Birdcage. I wanted to go, but I had to be up early for work the next day so instead I pulled the film up on Netflix after I got home. Now, the last time I watched this movie it was still in theatres, which of course doesn't count all the times I've caught moments of it on TV over the years. I enjoyed it every bit as much, maybe even a little more this time around. I don't think it's as hilarious as some people seem to, but it's a great story with a perfect cast which is good enough for me. And it was definitely the perfect film to watch on this particular night, so I thank my favorite theatre for inspiring me to revisit it.

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Big screen attractions

Films I caught in a theatre
Re-watch - June 3rd

When I found out Drafthouse was screening The Wicker Man I immediately bought my ticket. I mean, how often does the opportunity come up to watch this Great cult horror classic on the big screen? Not often enough anyway. And this film benefits from the big-screen treatment as I caught more details this time around than I did the first time I watched it. Everything else is stellar of course, and once again the only thing missing is that magical feeling that a perfect 10 film delivers. I look forward to revisiting it again in several more years.
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People who added this item 2526 Average listal rating (1573 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
Re-watch - June 16th

Drafthouse has some fun films planned for kids this summer, and the best part is you can choose what you pay from $1-$3 per ticket as all ticket sales go to local charities. So naturally I'm taking advantage of the opportunities to spend time with the kiddo at the theatre this summer. I haven't seen Mary Poppins in so long that most of it was lost from memory, so this almost felt like a first viewing. We both really enjoyed the movie, and the kiddo kept singing the songs from it into the next morning before I dropped her off at preschool. It's a lot of fun from start to finish & I dug the characters. So rest assured it won't be as long before I watch it again.
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People who added this item 100 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 7.2
First viewing - June 23rd

So lame I forgot to include it on my list back in June. This was the short that ran ahead of Inside Out, and it's probably my least favorite Pixar short that's not about Mater. I got it, I just didn't want it.
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People who added this item 1229 Average listal rating (967 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
First viewing - June 23rd

Easily the best Pixar film since Toy Story 3, thanks largely to the fact it has all the best aspects of their best films. The kiddo & I had a great time watching it & will definitely watch it again & again over the years ahead.
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People who added this item 461 Average listal rating (304 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.5
Tomorrowland (2015)
First viewing - June 24th

I woke up on this particular Wednesday with the vague intention of catching a couple of summer movies I haven't got around to yet back-to-back at Drafthouse. Unfortunately I didn't get as early of a start as I'd intended, so I settled for just one. And I'm glad I finally took a shot on Tomorrowland, because it was totally worth the time. It's smart, relevant, and has several moments that filled me with awe & wonder. It's heartfelt too, and the cast does a stellar job all around. It didn't quite cross the line of greatness for me, but it's definitely a film I'll watch again & look forward to sharing with the kiddo.
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People who added this item 211 Average listal rating (141 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 6.9
Coffy (1973)
First viewing - June 24th

Ok, so if you're going to give me the chance to see a Jack Hill/Pam Grier film on the big screen, I'm going to show up. Especially for the low low price of $3 a ticket. And this is easily among Hill's best films. Pam acts her ass off, the whole thing comes together very well, and it's hard to believe it was shot over the course of a couple of weeks. My only gripe is that Drafthouse's print had a staticky soundtrack for almost the entire film, which was horribly distracting & irritating (also the first time I've ever had that complaint). On the other hand, that does give me an excuse to watch it again in the near future so at least there's that.
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Re-watch - June 30th

This was another entry in the summer kids club at Drafthouse, and since I can't remember the last time I'd seen it (possibly in the theatre when it originally ran) I figured I'd take her to see it. She's seen it before at home actually, but I don't think she's watched it recently based on the way she acted during the film. She enjoyed it of course, her favorite character was Ducky followed by Petri, both of whom she kept talking about after the film ended. I didn't enjoy it as much as I did as a child, but it's held up well enough & is OK given the short run-time it has to work with. How it spawned a legion of sequels is still beyond me, but fortunately I don't have to waste my time slogging through them all. I wouldn't go out of my way to watch this again either, though if the kiddo wants to watch it with me again I won't turn her down.
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Year-long focus: James Bond series


When I was growing up I watched most of the James Bond series with my dad. He'd find one of the movies on TV & call me in to join him, and at the time I liked them all. I haven't seen any of the Sean Connery or Roger Moore films since the '90s began though, so I figured I'm long overdue to revisit them as well as check out the rest of the lot. So I'm spending 2015 with about 2 Bond films per month, watched in the order they were released. At this point I'm not planning on going through the Daniel Craig films again, but I reserve the right to change my mind on those down the road. The only Craig Bond film I definitely intend to see this year is Spectre & by that point I should be about done with the series.
First viewing - June 17th

Another solidly entertaining yet stuck in routine Bond film, which loses a point out of the gate with a pointless, ridiculous, and unnecessary opening scene. Seriously, if you drop that opening scene the rest of the film works just fine & they could have had a stronger start as well. The only thing it accomplishes is to remind modern viewers of the Austin Powers series, which wouldn't have meant a thing at the time it was shot. Fortunately it recovers after that, though the film doesn't deliver many truly memorable or impressive moments. As I said, it's stuck in the series routines & has the unfortunate distinction of being dated thanks to some of the '80s styles & music. I was going to give this a seven, but the more I think about the opening I can't justify it.
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First viewing - June 19th

After a string of Roger Moore's Bond films, this one feels like a breath of fresh air. Thank you Sean Connery for taking one last bow as Bond when you did, because it renewed my strength for moving forward through the films. Now, it's not great by any means thanks largely to a clumsy opening half hour that struggles to gain traction. That first part has some moments as it plays with the fact that Bond is past his prime here, but the film doesn't really get going until he's actually given his assignment. From there it manages to move along very nicely which helped me forgive the way it started somewhat. It's also elevated by the small role Rowan Atkinson plays, which was a pleasant surprise all around, and while the replacements here for the roles of M & Ms. Moneypenny aren't as good as the usual actors they do all right. I did think the actor who played Q here did a solid job as well. So yeah, this wound up being better than I'd anticipated.

Just a thought: This was perfectly timed with the fact I was reading Ready Player One.
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Netflix Instant Project for 2015


Netflix Instant Project for 2015


The ongoing Netflix Instant Project involves recommendations from my fellow Listalites of lesser-known/lesser-seen films that are currently streaming on Netflix. If you use Netflix Instant Watch & want to participate, please check out the list above & the thread in the Movies Forum.
Re-watch - June 14th

Recommended by moviewatcher122


It's been way too long since I last watched this one, so I'm glad it was a recommendation this month. Granted my choice to revisit it means I'm not watching something truly new to me, but on this particular night I didn't care. The film is still hilarious most of the time as it sends up growing up in the hood movies while also successfully telling a story (unlike some other spoof films I can think of). It never crosses the line of greatness, but it's not trying to either. It succeeds admirably at what it sets out to do though, which is why I'm always happy to watch it again.

Just a thought: I remember seeing this in the theatre with my best friend & at times we were the only ones laughing. One great thing about watching it at home alone is that that element doesn't even factor in.
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First viewing - June 16th

Recommended by VierasTalo


I thought the original film was decent enough, so I'm pleasantly surprised to find that this isn't really a remake. Instead it's more of a sequel/modern retelling & as such it works pretty well. I'd partly figured out how it'd end, but because the film is well-constructed I wasn't able to fully figure it out. Aside from that it's a fairly average slasher film, but it's definitely entertaining & worth checking out once.

Interesting how things are connected: As I searched for pictures for this & the film directly above, each had 12 photos to choose from.
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Netflix exorcisms

Films I watched before Netflix removed them from my queue
People who added this item 52 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6
Not Fade Away (2012)
First viewing - June 9th

One of my best friends recommended this one to me due to our mutual love of music, and he was right that I'd enjoy it. I've been a fan of many bands that fell apart without ever enjoying any real success, so it was really easy for me to connect with the film & enjoy it all around. It helps too that the cast is excellent, the music is really damn good, and the story is only predictable in that you're told up front the band at its center never made it. This is one hidden gem I'm glad I was led to. I just wish I hadn't caught it so close to its exit from Netflix.
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First viewing - June 21st/22nd

Man this film really bored me. The dates above should probably include the other couple of nights where I'd started this & fell asleep without finishing it, which also happened on the 20th. But on the 22nd I was determined to finally watch the whole damned thing once I figured out where it had lost me the night before, and I still struggled to hang with it. The characters are generic, the dialogue is forgettable, and there's nothing exceptional about the story. The effects are good for their time, but I couldn't help chuckling whenever I saw strings attached to a spaceship or noticed the vehicle being blown up is a toy. I tried making fun of it from time to time, which helped a little, but ultimately this was a bore & I felt like it was a waste of time. For once I feel like the remake vastly improved on the original, so thanks Spielberg.
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First viewing - June 23rd

I was interested in this one after they'd discussed it in Not Quite Hollywood, though I've been warned a couple times about it since then whenever I've expressed said interest. And it's definitely not a good movie by any means, but I thought it had some interesting ideas. The cast clearly knows they're in a bad movie but they're all committed to doing their best which is admirable enough. The creature effects are a mixed bag, as some are very well executed while others look so fake they're laughable. Still, the idea that there are marsupial werewolves is unique & I found myself entertained just enough to not feel like I needed to turn it off before it was done. But had I not been warned it'd be bad I might not have made it through. At least it wasn't boring like the film above.
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People who added this item 105 Average listal rating (76 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.2
D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)
First viewing - June 28th

This was actually pretty good. The ending could be better, but I liked the story for the most part & the cast did a solid job. Between this, The NeverEnding Story and Frankenweenie Barret Oliver totally proves his worth as an actor. It's just too bad he didn't carry on with it past his childhood. Then again I suppose that has allowed him to maintain a successful record by not falling prey to the aging child actor loses his talent over the years thing that tends to happen. I don't know that I'd need to watch this again, but if I came across it I'd be willing to do so. Maybe the kiddo will dig it a few years from now.
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People who added this item 4539 Average listal rating (2825 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.3
Re-watch - June 29th

After abandoning Stupid Troopers (see below) I decided I'd revisit this before it left Netflix. And it's still a good movie, albeit a bit overrated in my book. I appreciate the social commentary here, but it's such a joyless film that it gets to be a drag after a while. Plus there's not a single character I can deeply connect with or even like very much, which doesn't leave much encouragement to revisit it again. On technical levels it's certainly a hell of a thing, and it's entertaining throughout, but it's just not a film I can find any deep love for no matter how much love is heaped upon it by others. And now that I've seen it twice & walked away with the same impressions, I don't think I'll watch it a third time.
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 6.4
Entropy (1999)
First viewing - June 30th

I'm unsure at this point whether it was fellow Listalite Joseph Grey who put this on my radar or I simply noticed it late one night on Netflix & thought it'd be good. Either way, it was really good & similar thematically at least to Chasing Amy which is one of my favorite films. It's really interesting visually, breaks the fourth wall which I tend to dig, and the music is really damn good too. On the downside I was frequently distracted by the alarming number of times a microphone dropped into the frame, which means someone wasn't doing their job well. It's a minor thing though. The film didn't quite cross that ever elusive line of greatness, but I'd gladly watch it again down the road.

Just a thought: I forget sometimes that I used to like Stephen Dorff.
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I tried, but I gave up

People who added this item 543 Average listal rating (384 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 7.1
First genuine attempt - June 29th
I'm not even wasting time finding a picture for this crap.

I've stumbled across this a few times over the years, usually somewhere in the middle & it annoyed me every time. That hasn't happened in about 10 years now though, so when a good friend of mine kept talking about how much he likes this film I figured I'd give it a shot from the start. And while I got more out of it starting at the beginning than I had on previous occasions it still sucks. I almost laughed once in the 30-40 minutes I sat through before I decided to shut it off & watch something better, which in comedic terms means it's a failure in my book. Maybe I need to be high to enjoy this film, but if that's the case then it's even more of a failure as it should work without mind-altering substances. There's not a character worth thinking about, and the cast is dreadful. You're better off watching Reno 911! if you want to laugh at cops. Or at least I know I am.
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Since it worked so well last month, I'm keeping my plans minimal again for June. It's probably for the best anyway, because as summer rolls along other things tend to creep in & chip away at my time. Plus, just looking at the new June releases I'm mostly inclined to only head to the theatre to re-watch Mad Max: Fury Road. All the usual suspects will continue to pop up here though, updated whenever I find the time to stop & do so.

Updated: So it turns out that between computer problems & my horribly infrequent efforts to update this list it wound up going unseen for the majority of June. Sorry about that. Ah, but these monthly lists ARE about the movies I watched as the title indicates, not what I'm watching. So maybe it makes more sense this way.

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Comments

Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Jun 26 23:55
So glad you enjoyed Coffy as it's such a fun movie. Also glad that you liked Nightcrawler and yeah Jake Gyllenhaal is great in that movie. I'm also pleasently surprised that you at least liked Sin City: A Dame to Kill For as I feel like it gets too much hate. Inside Out is definitely something I want to see as I've been hearing nothing, but praise for me and it makes me want to watch a few of the Pixar films that I missed.

Also this is unrelated, but since I'm here I'm going to be seeing Aerosmith live in a few weeks. I know you stopped caring about them a long time ago, but I'm really excited to see them and I heard that they're amazing live even after all these years.
Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Jun 27 22:45
@moviewatcher122 - Right on, man. Let me know how the show is!

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