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Added by SwornShadow on 5 Jul 2016 10:53
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2016: Films I've Watched in July

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Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 262 Average listal rating (195 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.3
Lights Out (2016)
First watched in the theater 7/31/2016

An effective horror movie with a lot of great scares. I love the look, I love the idea, the backstory of our baddie is a little nonsensical and silly but I really liked this film it used jump scares effectively and had me on the edge of my seat and had characters that usually fall flat in modern horror films the boyfriend and the girlfriend; they actually were likable and believable so that's a plus :)
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 821 Average listal rating (539 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
Finding Dory (2016)
First watched in the theater 7/31/2016

Colorful in both the animation and the cast Finding Dory certainly has some really solid "feels" however, I think my issue with this sequel isn't so much the ideas but really the pace.

I mean everything moves SO FAST in this movie from scene to scene. It just felt jarring when compared to Finding Nemo that certainly had fast scenes but really took it's time to slow down and breathe. Here that isn't the case and I think that it causes some harm to the overall product.

But, it is not bad per say it is just weak by Pixar standards a little rocky but still worth your time. Also, Hank is the best new character and little Dory is so f**king adorable X3
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 1106 Average listal rating (710 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5
Dead Alive (1992)
First watched 7/30/2016

Wacky, nonsensical, over the top, bloody, man oh man this film has it goin' on :D I loved it!

Peter Jackson use your influence and make more films like this one now!
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 230 Average listal rating (188 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.4
First watched in the theater 7/25/2016

As a big fan of the DC animated universe and their direct to DVD films the idea of seeing The Killing Joke adapted has always been on my mind and really anticipated.

So when I heard we were getting Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, and especially Mark Hamill to reprise their roles from Batman the Animated Series was like a dream come true.

I might be biased in this sense but I have always thought that Conroy, Strong, and Hamill were the antithesis of Batman, Batgirl, and The Joker respectfully. While I have enjoyed the various live action portrayals of these characters I still feel as though they pale in comparison because these voice actors understand what goes on in these character's heads and breathe life into them like no one else could. So to see them come together for this landmark in comic book history was just amazing.

That's another thing I can't stress enough if you haven't read it yet go out and read The Killing Joke it is short but it is so so sweet in every aspect. Because I can't lie the graphic novel is better then this adaptation but that's almost par for course with every adaptation (almost).

So you might think this was a disappointing experience for me right? No actually I loved this movie.

I don't know if it was because I got to see it on the big screen at my local theater or that there was this behind the scenes look into it and a Mark Hamill interview about his history as The Joker but I loved seeing this story come to life with the characters I grew up with.

Now a lot of fans are divided about this film. Primarily the criticism seems to come from the Batgirl prologue they added in order to make sure the run time met a suitable length; especially with the fact that Barbara ending up (SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON SKIP TO THE BOTTOM IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE THIS)


sleeping with Bruce. Now a lot of people have said this is creepy because he is like her father or that she and Dick Grayson always had a thing on the animated series and this is just Bruce Timm living out his creepy fantasy. I respectfully disagree. First off Batman has always kept himself at a distance with people no matter who he brings into the Bat family he keeps them at arms length he isn't so much a father (except maybe towards the various Robins who he has adopted at some point) but Batgirl is an independent force in all this she is old enough to make her own decisions and like any person she can make mistakes and so can Batman.

Secondly, Barbara already has a father figure in her life . . . HER FATHER!!! She doesn't view Bruce as a father figure but as a mentor and an equal. Also, hints at possible feelings for each other have been dropped numerous times in the animated series before and please Dick Grayson in the animated series was a tool. Barbara doesn't want that. So yeah in my personal opinion I don't see anything wrong with this in fact I almost wish we could have an entire film where Batman and Batgirl work together and kick ass. So on its own I don't think it is a bad story I actually quite liked the humor and the struggles both internally and externally.

However, I would be lying if I said this was a good fit for The Killing Joke. But, to be fair The Killing Joke Graphic Novel is so perfect and powerful that no matter what you add to it that new material wouldn't be as good. But, I still enjoyed the prologue and thought it did its job for what is was trying to do. But, as other fans have said maybe adding more scenes from The Joker's past and present would have been more effective.

Also, I should address the elephant in the room about the issue of Barbara on whether or not she was raped by The Joker. Initially I never saw that connection from the graphic novel; because I always felt like The Joker was more asexual and whatever things he did with Harley (you wanna rev up your Harley) I always felt like that was to keep her appeased and after all they always have had a destructive relationship. However, certain lines of dialogue and the shooting of scenes in this film almost seemed to imply that The Joker really did do that to Barbara.

However, after doing some research I discovered that the word of God have both said this isn't the case. Straight from Alan Moore the author of The Killing Joke he stated that never happened because The Joker isn't interested in sex anymore and Bruce Timm has also stated that he didn't see it that way and it wasn't his intention at all to imply that in this film. So take both of those creators statements into consideration.

But, as for the source material it is spot on. The voice acting and inflections perfect. The musical number by The Joker perfect. The laughs and scares in this perfect. The psychology aspects perfect. Mark Hamill's voicing of The Joker before he became The Joker perfect. And above all Hamill's delivery of the titular killing joke at the end was perfect I have heard fan renditions of it online and I thought they were pretty good but Hamill's rendition was truly perfect it made the whole auidence myself included laugh out loud in the theater along with Joker and Batman.

I am sorry if it seems like nostalgia googles or fanboying are fueling my opinion but I really thought hard before writing this (hell it has been about a month as of today 8/27/2016) I let the initial reaction and my emotions cool down and I re-read my copy of The Killing Joke and thought long and hard about my true feelings toward it. But, after all that I couldn't find any things that make me personally hate or ruin my experience and thoughts on this movie.

So in short I love it's one of DC's best :)
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 4670 Average listal rating (3248 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.7
Armageddon (1998)
First watched 7/24/2016

This is a pretty dumb movie that was part of that disaster movie trend in the 90's but once you accept the ridiculous premise then this star studded; America F**K YEAH film becomes quite a fun ride.
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 44 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Midnight Lace (1960)
First watched 7/22/2016

A straight forward and sometimes exciting thriller. Wish there were more mist and night scenes feel as though it would have added atmosphere. But, I adore Doris Day :3 she is just a delight to watch even when some of her "scared" scenes are a little wacky :P
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 290 Average listal rating (217 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.3
The Shallows (2016)
First watched in the theater 7/21/2016

THEY DID IT!!!!

They really did everyone!

They finally made a solid shark film that doesn't just piggy back off of JAWS we have more then just one really good shark movie I took them a little over 40 years but they did it :D!!!!

But, honestly I had a lot of fun with this film it delivered exactly what I wanted a shark movie with tension and fear. Our lead Blake Lively does a great job as our likable and frankly bad-ass survivor heroine and I look forward to seeing her in future works!

The underwater shots are great and the music knows when to cue and when to drop silent but knows how to mix it up so we don't know when the shark will strike and keep that tension going.

If I had a few gripes with the film it's in some of the wacky antics from the Shark. Don't get me wrong it is still a force of nature to be feared. But, sometimes the way it attacks or stalks our heroine seem a bit silly. However, I don't think this takes away from the film because while I thought some of those moments were a bit over the top I am able to suspend my disbelief because this is a movie shark not a real life authentic one. Also, sometimes when Blake Lively screams it seems eh but the number of actors and actresses that can scream properly are really slim XD

Plus, JAWS as I recall had some wacky moments but that didn't take away from it. Is the shallows like JAWS in the same vein as it's character development and rising above the label as a simple blockbuster summer flick?

No it's not but that wasn't it's intention this is about an isolated single event and an individual who is trying to survive and it doesn't over stay its welcome. Check it out as soon as you can! :)
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 441 Average listal rating (316 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
First watched in the theater 7/19/2016

James Wan returns with this sequel to his great film The Conjuring and proves that there is hope for horror sequels in this day and age. What really works are the fantastic group of child actors they cast for this film; usually child actors range from okay and bland to annoying and painful. But, this is a rare occasion where they certainly shine and sell me on the fear.

However, if I did have to point out one gripe it's that this film as opposed to the original has a few more wacky and goofy moments. But, I found that most of the time it added some flavored personality to the whole experience so it didn't just retread the plot of the first.

So at least for me those moments didn't lessen my experience save for a couple moments that made me laugh. But, that's just me personally if you are a fan or the original give it a watch and discover it for yourself :)
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 77 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
First watched 7/14/2016

A simple heart warming film about an old man and his cat as they journey across the country. What really works is Art Carney's fantastic performance as Harry. When I watched his trek I didn't see an actor I saw Harry Coombes.
SwornShadow's rating:
First watched 7/14/2016

Not quite as heart warming as the first Mickey's once upon a Christmas as many conflicts seem to created mainly by our protagonists when they could have been avoided. Also, although the 3D animation is a bit jarring when compared to the first film it flows fairly nicely. Max and Roxanne shippers will probably be mad.

But, to hear Alan Young voicing Scrooge McDuck :') brought back so many warm memories so I can't be mad at this film. It's a fine distraction. But, probably don't put this one at the top of your Christmas film watch list :D
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 2625 Average listal rating (1685 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.5
Antz (1998)
Re-watched 7/12/2016

Thoughts: A film I appreciate more as an adult then I did as a kid. A familiar premise to be sure; a look into a society run by smaller creatures in this case well ants, awkward (but funny)neurotic protagonist, and a celebrity voice cast. So many people have seen this set up before and I'm usually not the biggest fan of celebrity voice actors dominating an animated feature because it takes work away from veteran and new comer voice actors.

However, I'm not completely against the idea if it fits the characters and here I think each voice fits well to the role they play Woody Allen as our neurotic hero Z, Sharon Stone as Princess Bala who usually has more drive and nerve then our protagonist, Gene Hackman as our villain General Mandible channeling his inner Lex Luthor, Christopher Walken as Colonel Cutter who I could listen to for hours, Sylvester Stallone as Z's best friend who brings quite a bit of personality to his performance, and Jennifer Lopez as Azteca as another friend of Z's and also fits well into the role with her personality.

Even characters who don't get much screen time their voice actors do a fantastic job for their limited appearances such as Anne Bancroft as the Queen Ant who brings a right amount of sophistication, Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin of SNL fame together voice upper crust wasps (get it XD) who get both laughs and sympathy from me, and especially Danny Glover as Barbatus a solider ant who befriends Z he might have the least amount of screen time but man does he sell that role with all the right emotions; spot on.

Another thing I liked about this film was the world that was built around them. I know it's your typical ant hill and park essentially but man do they make the most of it. I like how they show how they live, function, the threats that surround them, and another great aspect is that they do have other bugs in this film like termites, praying mantises, wasps, etc. but they are actually designed for scale when compared to the ants they aren't all around the same size the wasps are how big a wasp would actually be compared to an ant all the other insects are and I think that is a great detail.

Also, I really like the humor in this film does some of it not make sense like why ants have a psychiatrist or know what a lawsuit is? No not entirely but it gave me several laughs and it doesn't take me out of the story at least from my point of view. Basically, a lot of the humor comes from Woody Allen's character Z so if you aren't a fan of Woody Allen's style of neurotic humor then this might not be the film for you.

Also, to any parents out there or those with nieces of nephews this film has a surprisingly good amount of light swear words in it. I mean they don't drop F bombs and they aren't swearing every other sentence and as a kid I didn't even notice this or maybe I just didn't understand them at the time. But, just thought I would put that out there if that is a concern of your's when selecting films to watch with family :)

But, to wrap up Antz is a fun and funny family film that I have come to appreciate more with age and even if some of the animation is a bit dated for the time it is still pretty impressive. Give a watch and see for yourself!
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 3833 Average listal rating (2579 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
Mean Girls (2004)
Re-watched 7/10/2016

Thoughts: A film with some pretty funny moments and lines which seems to have gained even more popularity and achieved a somewhat cult status in it's own right. Quite a few characters are still memorable and likable in their own unique ways. However, everything is resolved a bit too nicely after the scorched earth damage that was done among the student body but still has a nice message behind its intentions. And while the film relies on stereotypes often they usually help rather then hinder the film. Usually :D
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 1184 Average listal rating (732 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.6
First watched 7/8/2016

Thoughts: A pretty funny film with really outstanding performances from both Carrey and McGregor. What really works are the ridiculous lengths Carrey's character Steven Russell goes in being a con man and excels at being over the top and yet grounded in the right moments; even at times when the story seems to be jumping all over the place.
SwornShadow's rating:
First watched 7/7/2016

Thoughts: A harmless and fine distraction with some bright animation but a bit confused at what it wants to be.
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 148 Average listal rating (103 ratings) 5.1 IMDB Rating 5.7
The Nut Job (2014)
First watched 7/6/2016

Thoughts: A rather weak animated film as it tries to "play it safe" by relying on tired juvenile humor and inserting the latest pop song hit without any rhyme or reason. Even the animation is just safe and doesn't really leave much of an impression. However, some of the voice cast does a pretty solid job and strangely enough I feel with a re-write or two and a shift away from "what the kids these days like" attitude towards the humor I honestly think there could have been a better film underneath its problems.
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 5.8
Whitewash (2013)
First watched 7/6/2016

Thoughts: Solid performance by Thomas Haden Church and interesting storytelling structure but unfortunately it is encased in a rather bland story without much weight.
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 2718 Average listal rating (1919 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.4
Re-watched 7/5/2016

Thoughts: A film filled with flavor and personality it's color and environment just jumps off the screen. Coupled with brilliant fast paced editing and creative cinematography. With Foxx, Waltz, and DiCaprio giving fantastic performances and as always Tarantino manages to make even his side and minor characters shine. I'll definitely be seeing more of this film in the future.
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 1041 Average listal rating (685 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Primal Fear (1996)
First watched 7/5/2016

Thoughts: An entertaining courtroom thriller with a fantastic debut performance from Edward Norton that steals the show.
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 2637 Average listal rating (1764 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7
First watched 7/5/2016

Thoughts: Fun and funny heist film with a great cast :)
SwornShadow's rating:
People who added this item 209 Average listal rating (163 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.3
First watched 7/4/2016

Thoughts: Creative claymation, charming, funny, and though a bit juvenile in its humor at times it has heart at its center that will resonate with people; and it has me looking forward to future Aardman productions.
SwornShadow's rating:

Alright! Let's do this! Time to watch those films and jot them down for the month of July! It's Christmas in the summer time baby :D

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