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I've fallen in love with Matthew Gray Gubler since watching "Criminal Minds". It was a no-brainer to watch this obviously quirky paranormal mystery/thriller starring him and the ever-entertaining Kat Dennings. Even though she plays the same character in everything, I like her. At first you don't know if you're watching a ghost story or a these-people-are-crazy story, but about a third of the movie in, you're hooked. Watch it that long-trust me.
The Babadook (2014)
This was a very atmospheric, suspenseful Australian horror movie. The actors create this very intense environment where you don't know what's real-and that's the whole point. Well done, I thought.
What can I say about this? Read my full review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review.
Finally, finally got to watch Fargo. After years and years and years of people telling me to see it, I did! I get why it's such a cult classic. I think it's how different it is from other movies. It wasn't something I'll shove down other people's throats, but it was something I'm glad I got around to seeing.
The Final Girls (2015)
A bunch of teenagers get sucked into an 80s slasher film and have to team up with the movie characters to get out alive! This was a blast and I recommend it to anyone who loves slashers who also has a sense of humor. If you're missing one or the other, don't bother. It'll go right over your head.
American Ultra (2015)
This had to be the stoner comedy of the year. For real, though. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart were great as lovable potheads who got in way too for over their heads (kind of). You'll have to watch it. This was absolutely my kind of movie and one I'll watch again.
Cool, cool, cool. Why did I wait so long to watch this? Not really a fan of the character, I guess. It was a highly entertaining action-comedy-superhero flick that was completely self-aware. A great watch from start to finish.
The Iceman (2013)
Michael Shannon, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans...Wynona Rider. This is a based-on-real-life story of a hitman for the mob who kept his work completely separate from the family he so obviously adored. Watch it for Michael Shannon-that man's a genius.
Odd Thomas (2013)
Odd (Yes, that's his name) can see things other people can't. Some people believe him (his girlfriend and the town Chief played by Willem Dafoe), others can't or won't. I can't tell you how much I wish this had gotten a sequel. It was underrated and there hasn't been anything like it in a while. Oh, well. Back to sad dramas for Hollywood. Gotta make those Academy Award winners.
This is the one where we get a tiny Corey Feldman! I loved his films growing up. It's the age, I think. Anywho, he plays this kid living next door to a house full of teenagers on a vacation. I wonder what happens? Less predicable than the third one.
Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
Now that Jason's decided to don a hockey mask full-time, we see him terrorize a bunch of wayward youths at a camp for hopeless cases. If I remember right, it was still Crystal Lake, they'd just changed the name? Anyway, not as good as the first two.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
We started tackling all the Friday the 13th films I hadn't seen because it was about time. This one follows the same formula (almost to the letter) as the first film...you know except for that one big twist we already know about. If you're in the mood for a classic slasher, this one will satisfy.
The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
On one hand, this wasn't as good as say, Nightbreed or Hellraiser (other Clive Barker-inspired films). There was nothing wrong with it, but it just wasn't as...unpredictable? Again, perfectly enjoyable. Just not the best. Jeez, I'm so convincing. :/
Fun Size (2012)
This was a diamond-in-the-rough Halloween comedy. Anything that can go wrong is going to and it all takes place over the course of one night. A group of teens are out doing normal things-taking brothers trick-or-treating, going to parties, trying to get the girl. In this one-thing-after-another story, I giggled uncontrollably. Maybe you will, too.
May (2002) (2003)
May is....different. She doesn't really have normal social skills, but you pull for her because, man, does she try! She just wants friends and maybe, just maybe someone to hold her. This is one of those build-until-it-explodes films and it was weird as hell and I dug it.
Terminator Genisys (2015)
So, I really like the two lead actors from other projects. They've both been compelling and pulled me in. Not this time. It felt like someone was just determined to make a Terminator movie and blow sh*t up, plotline be damned! Eh. Disappointing.
This was hilarious, especially if you like old-school games or Peter Dinklage. As always, I look forward to whatever he does. You have to completely suspend disbelief (In what world would Kevin James be president?). But the video-game aliens from outer space are neat-it's almost like watching a live-action cartoon.
Jurassic World (2015)
Jurassic sequel number 4 was exactly what I wanted it to be. It drove home how people are stupid and never learn (an excellent lesson from the original films that, unfortunately, does indeed continue). D'Onofrio was a nice surprise. It was fun and exciting and it had so many cool *ahem* dinosaurs! If you're looking for an Academy Award, go elsewhere. A movie that you can just root for the good guys, though? This is it.
This movie has a ridiculous amount of talented character actors on board. Plus a bunch of A-Listers. And it was funny. Genuinely "I can rob this bank better than you" hilarious.
This was really fun to watch. The idea of people getting trapped in a grocery store with a shark seems a bit much, but it gets pulled off. Great production value, a bunch of actors you'll recognize, a cheesy scene here and there. I had a blast, though. This was good fun.
This movie was better than I expected it to be. If you come back to something every few years only to discard it as an option because no one you know's ever heard of it, you expect the worst. It was intense and bloody and rare, I think. A true warrior story.
Les Misérables (2012)
Damn. Emotional is not even the right word to use. Sad, either. While it's both of those things (and over two hours of it) it's also so very much more. I was transported to a different time and cared about damn near everyone. That's wonderful film-making from the top to the bottom, y'all.
The DUFF (2015)
In case you've yet to see this, "D.U.F.F." stands for "designated ugly, fat friend." It was waaaay funnier than I thought it would be. The main actress is reminiscent of Amanda Bynes in her physical comedy. It brought me back to good high school movies like Can't Hardly Wait. I'll definitely be watching this again.
I wanted so much to like this. Banderas in an A.I. film? Yes, please! It was a bit long and quite sad, though. I'm not about that life. I'd say, don't waste your time on it and check out Ex-Machina or re-watch Blade Runner. You'll be more satisfied in the end.
Troll Hunter (2010)
Even though the Trolls (trolls!) were really well-done, it was a shaky-cam found-footage film that didn't keep me as entertained as say-Cloverfield. Maybe it was because they spoke Norwegian and I was very tired. Loved the trolls, though.
This had a really interesting take on the Shakespeare mystery. Maybe the real playwright is a noble who would loose his position if he published, so he gets this silly actor (the real man named Shakespeare) to pretend it's his own work. It was thought-provoking, but less suspenseful than I'd hoped.
Gran Torino (2009)
I am not generally into such dramatic films, but this had me hooked. Even when nothing was going on, you're enthralled. I can definitely say it lived up to what everyone says about it. Plus, you get to watch Clint Eastwood be racist to everyone's face, which is hilarious.
The Palm Beach Story (1942)
Oh, I do love Claudette Colbert. Such a tiny little angel-looking thing. It's movies like this that make me sad for folks who won't watch anything that's made in black and white. What a fun screwball comedy this was! Shenanigans!
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
I both loved and hated this movie. I hated that it had no plot and went nowhere and there wasn't really any progression. At the same time, I'm pretty sure that's the point of the movie-these two are going to live forever (Spoiler! Like you don't know...), so we're really only getting an eye-blink of their lives. I loved their centuries-old easy love, though. Both actors are phenomenal (Tilda Swinton is vastly underrated) and it really did seem natural for them to be constantly lounging all over one another. It was pretty beautiful. I still have no idea if I liked it or not.
The Very Thought of You (1998)
This really is a modern-day Shakespearean comedy of errors. This was recently recommended and the cast is brilliant! It's not what you would call un-predictable, but it's not so overly cliched that you've seen it before. Truly a fun little gem.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
It was really cool in the same way that Sucker Punch was. The actors were great, the cinematography was downright glorious and the story was a little lacking. Pretty to watch, though.
Source Code (2011)
Good sci-fi, people. You'll figure some of it out, some of it will blow your mind. Love movies like this. The closest thing I can think to compare it to is Paycheck. If you liked that, you'll probably like this.
A good middle-sequel should always leave you with more questions than answers, right? If so, job well done. Having not read the book that this is based on, I don't know how that went, but as a movie-viewer it was a good sequel.
The Lazarus Effect (2015)
Although this film takes a while to get going, it was compelling. It's like a Frankenstein/Lucy movie baby. With some scary stuff, too. I liked it. I didn't love it, but I liked it.
Get Hard (2015)
This movie is exactly what you think it will be. If you like either actor, check it out. If not, stay away so the rest of us don't have to hear you bitch about how terrible it was.
Léon: The Professional (1994)
Finally watched this! Hitman takes in f*cked-up girl, semi-trains her to be an assassin, there's a weird Lolita vibe, but he's a good guy, so it's okay...it's about what I expected.
It was fun to watch. Nothing you can't figure out, mind you. But the end made it worth it, for sure.
Magic Mike XXL (2015)
So, (for those who watched) you know how the first one was a total drama about life through the eyes of a male stripper? Well, this one is a road-trip comedy about a bunch of guys who just want to take their clothes off one more time. So much more entertaining. ;)
Broken Arrow (1996)
I pretty much love it when Samantha Mathis and Christian Slater do movies together. I can't believe I hadn't seen this. Don't get me wrong-it's typical action fare, but the actors were fun to watch.
The Outsiders (1983)
I'd had two people this week say "You've never seen the Outsiders? So, it was pretty much what I was expecting.I grew up on movies like Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes, so I expected this to be more sad. While it is the more masculine equivalent of that type of story, it wasn't as dismal as I expected. Rather a well-done story that makes you think about perspective. Like "Rebel Without a Cause."
What a wonderful little dark fantasy film. It's got a creepy Labyrinth/Legend feel to it and it's clever enough to address the thoughts you, as the viewer, have during the film. Wonderful acting and just a neat dark fairy tale.
This one was a slow burn. It took a while to really get going and then became intense and was pretty much exactly what you'd expect. It was okay.
It Follows (2015)
Ambiguous art house shit. I kept reading all of these glowing reviews for this and I thought "Sweet! A sleeper hit!" But, no...it's just one of those movies that takes forever to get somewhere, makes you feel paranoid and then gives you no answers. I've had my share of that, thanks.
Dark, hilarious, inappropriate, eccentric. All the things you look for in a really entertaining flick. The cameos alone make this movie worth seeing, but the story is one of the best action comedies I've seen all year. Bravo, y'all.
The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
This was pretty good for a new house/ghost story. I loved the actors and it had a really great take on why certain people could see the dead and others couldn't. I'll probably watch it again one day. I liked the characters, too.
Arabian Nights (2000)
What a fun fairy tale story! It was so dramatic and then silly. If you can't handle a giant spoonful of silly, you'll hate this. I, for one, loved it!
Project Almanac (2015)
Like most found-footage movies, it takes some time to character-build and get you interested. Once it picks up though, it just takes off. What made me really like it, though, was the end. It's not what I was expecting, even though there wasn't really a twist. Nicely done.
On one hand, I'm disappointed because I figured out a huge chunk of the puzzle pretty early on. On the other, what an original story! Just when you thought they had done everything they could with time travel, this one's like "Wham! Betcha haven't seen this before!" It breaks all the rules, but I think that's the point.
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
So, I've been wanting to see this since Ms. Olsen popped onto the scene and I'm glad I finally did. While no one will call this a "happy" movie, it's a great look at the human psyche. Also, it was more of a thriller than I expected, which was compelling. You felt like you were experiencing what she did and it was nicely done.
Calamity Jane (1953)
Now I'm on a Howard Keel kick. This is also my first Doris Day film and man, is she good! While this is completely inaccurate historically, it's a wonderful musical entertainment-wise.
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I generally pick films to watch based on an actor I like and end up getting surprised by the different types of films people choose to make. I've explored most genres and hopefully will discover more. I'm always on the lookout for the next 'Arsenic & Old Lace' or 'Hard Candy'. These are the films I've watched this year and all the thoughts they made me think. ;)
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