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2018: Films I've Watched in January

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People who added this item 664 Average listal rating (301 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
First Watched 1/1/2018

A very beautifully shot and extremely well acted war film that manages to be encapsulating in its surrealism and emotions without coming off as pretentious or distracting from the story. My only criticism comes towards the last third where that act has really powerful and disturbing imagery but at times the invading army acts downright cartoony and over the top that it was a bit jarring.

However, it was not during the whole third act just sprinkled parts of it and I see it as more as my personal preference. But, that ending sequence with the rifle and the flashbacks is just . . . . brilliant! Fantastic symbolism without being too obvious or too pretentious (a very hard feat to achieve!).

While emotionally draining it is definitely worth the watch in my opinion.
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People who added this item 1524 Average listal rating (927 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
First Watched 1/1/2018

I really loved this film because it wasn't just a story about a man's last day of freedom before he goes to jail but also it encapsulates raw emotions and turmoil the people of New York felt in post 9/11. That is a excellent combo having a solid engaging story while having more layers to it about the human condition and fear that strikes at all of our hearts towards others and towards inner demons and self.

Now I am not a New Yorker so I not writing this as an end all authority it is just what I took away from the film if you liked the film or did not like the film that is perfectly fine and if you don't think that the message got across or was strong that is perfectly fine as well. So I hope I am not disrespectful in my opinion towards this film even though I think it is rather silly to get upset at someone for whether they liked or disliked a film I just wanted to get this out in the open and let everyone know I mean no disrespect :)

Anyway Edward Norton delivers one of the best performances of his career along with one of the best monologues in cinema in a rage and fear filled speech that is actually a microscope into his inner turmoil and regrets.

I love films like that where more is going on then just what is on screen but what isn't explicitly stated the things and little touches you have to look for to see an even bigger and better picture.
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People who added this item 335 Average listal rating (161 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.1
First Watched 1/2/2018

LOL XD I wanted to check out this film because I have enjoyed Linklater's work and I heard that this is the film that inspired Kevin Smith to make Clerks. Although, I heard it was more like he was surprised this qualified as a film and thus after seeing figured he could make something like it XD now I do not know if that is fully true but I thought that would make for an interesting watch.

The best parts of this film are the beginning with the directer himself delivering the lines! And the end with some cool camera work for an independent film. And while there are some good things in the middle particularly with this guy who goes on and on about conspiracies. To be honest.

I couldn't help but laugh at a lot of these scenes and not for the reasons I was suppose too more like in the, "dude I am glad I am not this freaking people and have some semblance of a life," XD

I mean I do not look down on other people who have different life experiences then me or outlooks I may criticize and critique but I never think of myself as better then anyone else. Plus, these people are all fictional so I don't think I am hurting anyone by laughing at them.

Because I mean Jesus "Kung Fu" Christ these freakin' people like what are they even doing XD they are just BSing around and act like they are some tragic Shakespearean characters when really they seem to be the cause of their own problems but that is just the way I felt when watching it personally.

I did enjoy the framing device of following one character in one scene to another character from the same scene to a new scenario and location I thought that was pretty interesting but I would have liked it better if all these character's stories eventually converged but they might not have had the budget for that so I can't judge it too harshly all in all not too bad I would give it at least one watch.
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People who added this item 2198 Average listal rating (1394 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6
First Watched 1/3/2018

I really loved this movie the dialogue is popping, the scenes are memorable, and best of all it presents the satire it tackles in more of a morally gray area.

Choosing to let the audience see both the promise land and underbelly of both avenues without making up their minds for them. I really like films that don't talk down to their audience and instead think independently to decided which is the better right or the lesser of two evils.

Seriously the performances are stellar even the kid and side actors everyone seems to be giving their all and that energy translates well to the audience at least for me :D
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First Watched 1/4/2018

........

This film is pretty great but it is also kinda weird XD but the weirdness did not really diminish the experience for me but I suspect that will vary from person to person.

All I can say is stick with this film till the end because it tells its story out of order so if you pause and resume it later you might get a bit lost.

It is a new way to present time travel and the performances are solid all around I would say worth a watch :)
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People who added this item 716 Average listal rating (462 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
First Watched 1/6/2018

This film is also pretty great with some real solid performances from all of our cast members however, a major problem with the film I would say is tone.

The comedic and more thriller-ism aspects seem to clash more then blend and I would be lying if I said that several jokes didn't land for me but the strange thing was that a bunch of the thriller scenes (save for a select few) landed for me especially certain death scenes and really one involving a plastic bag O.O that was genuinely disturbing and jarring evenly the finale is fantastic and really got me on the edge of my seat! Maybe they should have gone for broke and just made this a straight up thriller but that is just me. Worth a watch :)
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People who added this item 159 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
Julius Caesar (1953)
First Watched 1/7/2018

Now this is the Caesar film based off of Shakespeare's play so it is dialogue heavy thus, it is more grounded then other Gladiator/Roman Empire films made during this period.

Sadly it is also filmed in a pretty standard way too but Marlon Brando delivers a fantastic performance. You can feel it in his voice and see it on his face he has bore witness to the death of a tyrant/leader/ friend and it connects so very well as I was drawn in and truly believed I was right there in Ancient Rome!

So I am a bit torn on this film maybe fictionalizing or romanticizing certain aspects of the Roman Empire might have helped this film pop more but that is once again just my opinion XD worth a watch!
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First Watched 1/8/2018

This film was pretty funny and Caine and Martin really do play off each other well! Now there were a few gags that made me cringe more then laugh but I think that just comes down to personal comedic preference.

Also, not only was the comedy good but the characters felt like actual characters throughout the film (for the most part) and I think that sucked me into the film even more and made simple hilarious moments even funnier for me personally. Plus, I was actually surprised by the end (twice even) although I almost figured it out before the end of the film.

That one character that I won't name here really drew me in and genuinely had me caring maybe I need more street smarts XD but yeah genuinely hilarious with more then a few surprises!
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People who added this item 91 Average listal rating (43 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Sayonara (1957)
First Watched 1/9/2018

Films like these are always fascinating to me because usually these are the films my generation likes to endless criticize as not being "forward thinking enough" without ever viewing it from the time and place it was set in 1957.

So of course it won't be as forward thinking compared to 60 years later but for the time it was more ground breaking due to it and in hindsight if people want to criticize that aspect of a film they should take several other factors into account but that is just my opinion.

However, I did enjoy this film for what it was plus it was set in JAPAN :D and you guys know the list of things that I am a sucker for XD sure some scenes are more dramatic then others but several of them are really effective. Worth a watch.
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People who added this item 257 Average listal rating (143 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.9
First Watched 1/9/2018

Akira Kurosawa brings us a detective story with fantastic performances all around! Plus, it has one of my favorite leads Toshiro Mifune showing that he can play a multitude of roles this one being a green police officer who gets his handgun stolen in post WWII Japan.

Speaking of which I love the setting it is great getting a look into the hustle and bustle of life in post war Japan. Also, Takashi Shimura delivers a fantastic performance as well as a senior officer. Harumi Namiki also delivers a great performance as a emotionally broken woman. All the performances contains a great blend of raw emotions be it with sadness and regret, anger and revenge, humor and tenderness.

Plus, the story is pretty great too since our hero has a personal stake in all this and you can just see how it is tearing him apart that a criminal is using his gun to commit crimes and hurt innocent people.

Also, I won't spoil the mystery but there is a dualism between our hero and villain because without giving anything away they both started to integrate back into society from rotten luck situations so if conditions were different one might have easily become the other if a single thought or even moral choice had been different.

The camera work by Kurosawa is dynamic and interesting without taking anything away from the film it enhances the story telling and flows with the mood and tone of each scene. Plus, like with most of his works there are more things going on in terms of symbolism and inner turmoil. Plus, the final scene and confrontation is just so raw and exciting I loved it!

Kurosawa is called a perfectionist for a reason and man I love that he can handle other genres just as masterfully. I highly recommend this film :)
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First Watched 1/12/2018

Scooby Doo is one of those pieces of entertainment that has survived for a long time in many different variations (some certainly working better then others) and while this isn't as good as Zombie Island (man oh man that movie was so METAL I wish they would make them like that again) or Mystery Incorporated the TV series it is a pretty enjoyable crossover :)

I love the voice talent behind these characters I think they personify the characters perfectly while still adding their own unique spin on them. This whole crossover reminds me of those episodes of past Scooby Doo episodes wjere they would meet a very special guest(s) XD and it takes that premise and has fun with it here and I think the Batman Brave and the Bold version of Batman is perfect for the mystery gang so I guess I am a sucker for nostalgic shows as well so take of that what you will :)
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People who added this item 473 Average listal rating (251 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
First Watched 1/13/2018

This film actually surprised me in how much I liked it more then I thought I would! Now I watched the English dub of this film and it starts out a little rocky and I was a bit worried when I heard our protagonist's accent XD however, it does improve and actually the voice actors really start to convey the emotions of their characters in their performances and emotions.

This is a pretty straight forward action adventure film but it was fun and that is what I love in a film fun. Great animation, awesome sequences, and great performances! Even characters I started out not liking that much genuinely grew on me. Also, I felt that this film presented interesting outlooks on human society and how different clashing ideas and philosophies can really shake the world when brought to a head!

Plus it had great technology showcased in that whole world of tomorrow future of today kind of feel :D Steampunk baby!
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First Watched 1/17/2018

A pretty interesting film with an equally interesting take on time travel with some funny moments and tear jerking moments. Add that with some sprinkled in references to the original novel and you have a great film and experience on your hands!
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People who added this item 332 Average listal rating (179 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
First Watched 1/19/2018

An easy going and laid back film that I can really get behind. Sometimes it is just nice to kick back and enjoy a film and relax. However, there is this one creepy concept in this film involving an older man and a much younger girl I mean nothing happens and they are fictional characters but still it was just kinda creepy XD I mean it wasn't one sided and both parties were on board but still . . . creepy XD but heck I can enjoy the rest of the film for what it is without that one aspect derailing the whole thing for me.
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People who added this item 1869 Average listal rating (1088 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
First Watched 1/21/2018

A pretty great civil war film that is not too much about the actual war fighting but the journey home, the raiding parties from the enemy and your own side, and the harsh conditions that come from a war in your own backyard.

Which does make it different and stand out from other films set during the American Civil War. I mean I love plenty of the War films that are about the North and the South fighting and the harsh history of slavery but it is kind of refreshing when a War film changes the perspective to focus on other aspects of the War and its ripple effects.

This allows for the characters to really shine and man everyone gives some great performances all around and really shows characters going through growth and development naturally and showing both strengths and weaknesses in different ways. Sure the film might be a little too long but I can work with it!

Plus, it doesn't play it safe and opts to mix things up and throws curve balls at the audience worth a watch or two :)
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People who added this item 382 Average listal rating (256 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5
First Watched 1/22/2018

A pretty great and solid Western with some great performances and some great action. Plus, all the actors felt really natural around each other like they really all have known each other for a long time. I love it when I am able to find Westerns that were made in the 21st century that are well done they are a treat :)
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First Watched 1/23/2018

This is a great film with some fantastic performance but man oh man it will crush your heart and destroy your soul. At least that's how it was for me. I mean that is good in the sense that I am not completely desensitized to suffering and pain of others in films but man does it just really made me fall to my knees.

F**k man what else is there to say. . . .
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First Watched 1/26/2018

I know this film has problems and the animation could be better but I am a sucker for Elseworld or What If stories and placing Batman and a whole cast of Gotham characters into a old time setting is just up my alley. As Batman along with a dance hall/suffragette Catwoman (heart) try to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper in Gotham :D

I love the setting and the creative choices made to fit the various characters into this era. It was fun, creative, exciting, funny, disturbing, *cough* sexy *cough*, and full of several Easter eggs.

I have heard rumor if it does well other Elseworld stories will potentially be adapted :D including Superman: Red Son freaking awesome!
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People who added this item 246 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.7
First Watched 1/27/2018

Now this film has been described as more of an animated art piece as opposed to a straight forward narrative. I believe that is a really important mindset to have before viewing this film because I could completed understand how many people would have to be in the right kind of mood to watch a film like this (similar to how you have to be in the mood before watching 2001: A Space Odyssey in my opinion).

This film is brimming with symbolism, metaphors, and an alternative outlook on a famous Biblical story. I really did enjoy it for the atmosphere and enjoyed it even more as I began to piece together what was happening in this setting and hypothesizing what it could all mean.

So I would recommend it to animation fans but again know it is a different film experience and I would recommend being in the mood to pay attention to the little details and increase you fortitude of patience :)
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People who added this item 231 Average listal rating (142 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.6
First Watched 1/27/2018

*Oh boy watching three films that begin with the word Midnight back to back this is a fun fact that will not really mean much of anything in the grand scheme of things :D*

Anyway this film was pretty interesting it has a fairly good mystery that gradually unfolds as the film progresses. It was interesting seeing what exactly would happen next and how this conflict was going to come to a head. I have to say that the creative routes they took were certainly different from any other film I had seen. However, I did feel as though it was a bit all over the place with weaving its story. It is a strange but pretty good film that I cannot really good into without spoiling big aspects of the narrative but I will say I am glad I watched it!
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First Watched 1/28/2018

This was a good film but I think it did not work for me quite as well because I was able to tell where the story was heading earlier on once I realized what kind of tale they were going to tell.

That is the tricky thing when making films based on true stories they run the risk of not having enough substance in the story, feel the need to exaggerate certain elements to where the original events and people it was based on get lost in the shuffle, or they feel the need to hit a certain list of plot points since it is that type of film.

I believe the case is just that it felt the need to put in a checklist of guy goes to prison plot points just because it was that kind of story. So in that sense I knew what was going to happen and what scenes were going to come around eventually so I feel as though that dampened my experience a bit.
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People who added this item 469 Average listal rating (313 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6
Midnight Run (1988)
First Watched 1/29/2018

This is a pretty great film :) it has a lot of personality to carry it and some great acting by our leads you really feel the ups and downs their relationship experiences.

At the same time it is pretty funny and exciting as well it was a ride of a film that really kept me awaiting with excitement at what was going to happen next!

It is a bit hard for me to go into it without spoiling too much but I have to say it is definitely worth a watch!
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People who added this item 748 Average listal rating (498 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Rush (2013)
First Watched 1/30/2018

This is one film that is just as smooth as polished silver, slick as a hit song from the 70s, and as sexy as putting your life on the line for the one you love :D

Seriously, though a film about race car driving in the 70s and it makes the most of it. This is a film that has personality and flavor. A classic rivalry that is unfolded over the years in a meaningful and engaging way. Both,Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl bring their A game to this film both have their strengths and weaknesses in their professional and personal capacities making them engaging characters.

That is the best part of their rivalry/relationship you are able to both love and hate these characters for their talents and personalities (which are two sides of the same coin) which make so some dynamic chemistry without being melodramatic. Plus, director Ron Howard steps up his game here with some really great camera work to capture all the exciting kinetic energy of race car driving!

Plus, everyone including the side characters just seem to be having a real fun time while they were filming and that energy really resonates with the audience at least it did with me XD
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First Watched 1/31/2018

Often times in the genres of film history there emerge names that become front lines for each of their respective genres for example: Goodfellas for the gangster genre, Once Upon a Time in the West for the Western genre, Die Hard for the Action genre, When Harry met Sally for the romantic genre, etc.

Double Indemnity is what people should think of when thinking of the best of the noir genre. Right alongside The Killers from 1946 and Sunset Blvd. from 1950. Because this is just dripping of classic film noir and naturally being directed by the great Billy Wilder he proves that he is the master of capturing the human condition and the underbelly of society.

As with the majority of Wilder productions his writing is superb it never feels like clunky exposition but instead flows with the narrative and keeps the story on point. The casting is perfect Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck just disappear into their roles in this slice of film straight out of a pulp magazine. The directing is engaging and framed perfectly as this noir yarn unravels for the audience. All I can say is I am so glad I decided to finally check this one out and I know I will be viewing it many more times in the future :D
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Thus, the film Saga of 2018 begins!

Man this is exciting so many different films so many changing genres and tones to experience!

New films and old films a like I am ready! When someone says it is time to take on this film and watch it like nobody has watched it before I say: Right On!

A little good a little bad and just maybe some of those films in between all in all I think it will be fun and I want to thank you all for taking the journey with me and browsing through my opinions on the films I manage to catch :) thank you and I hope you find some entertainment in it hopefully ^-^

P.S. I am also thinking that this time around I will write a few thoughts on each film before I make my lists public hopefully I hold myself to follow through on that plan XD

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All "Watched in 2018" lists on Listal (244 lists)
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