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Added by the giraffe on 1 Feb 2015 07:28
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Movies the giraffe watched in 2015: February

Sort by: Showing 26 items
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The breakdown: 26 movies watched, of those 17 via Netflix, 7 were on DVD, 1 via streaming download, and 1 in the theatre. Of those 19 were first views, 7 were re-watches, and they came from the following decades: 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s & 2010s.

And thus I met my goal of watching a broader range of films time-wise this month. I've got to say I'm surprised I watched as many films as I did...it was more than I'd anticipated, though having a sick kiddo to keep home helped boost my numbers a bit as did the cold spells we had. I also watched more short (hour & 1/2-ish) movies which definitely helped keep me going. And I managed to get all but one of the films that left my Netflix queue watched while keeping on goal with my year-long project.

The best part of the month though was the Netflix Instant Project which offered some excellent films for February. I'm trying to stick to one film per person recommending them each month, but I've got more than that added to my queue for viewing at some point in the near future. It's got me excited to see what comes up for March too.

Ah, but my main area of weakness is making it to the theatre. There wasn't a whole lot out I wanted to see though, and what little I did want to see I couldn't work the timing out due to the fact I worked overtime every Wednesday. Overtime has finally come to an end for a while though, so hopefully I can make up for that lack in March.

Best new-to-me film for February: The Brothers Bloom
Best hidden gem: Marty (and I feel it necessary to point out this was a Great month for hidden gems, so don't just latch onto that one)
Worst movie: Africa Screams / Dredd (though at 6/10 neither is especially dire; clearly this was a good month quality-wise)
People who added this item 8726 Average listal rating (6412 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
Shrek (2001)
Re-watch - Feb. 1st

The kiddo watched this at preschool last week, which is interesting given this film's main audience is not preschoolers. Anyway, she must have loved it because when we woke up on this particular Sunday morning she insisted we watch it together. And so we did. And I still love it...it makes me laugh, I dig the story & characters & the ways it pokes fun at fairy tales all around. It's just too bad they had to make a bunch of inferior sequels which tarnished its reputation.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 254 Average listal rating (153 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7
Marty (1955)
First viewing - Feb. 1st

I'm not sure exactly what prompted me to add this to my queue, but I'm glad I did. For a film that's now 60 years old it still feels fresh, and when it comes to romantic films that's really saying something. I thought the cast was excellent, all aspects of the story were really well-handled, and it's a film I'd gladly spend time with again.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
Re-watch - Feb. 3rd

The kiddo pulled Shrek off the shelf and asked to watch it again, so I suggested we watch something she hasn't seen yet instead. I saw this film in the theatre when it came out & have watched it a couple times since. I like the characters & the humor, so I'm always happy to revisit it. The kiddo dug it too, and we're both agreed on wanting a robot dog (preferably one that can self-destruct & then put itself back together). It's by no means a great film, and for one that's centered around a scientific genius some of the science is lacking (most notably the fact that all the kids can fly through space without any protection at all), but it's entertaining.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 569 Average listal rating (336 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.8
First viewing - Feb. 3rd

I remember seeing the poster for this film & possibly even a trailer at some point back when it came out, but at the time it meant nothing to me. Now that I've seen Brick and Looper and am more familiar with Rian Johnson I quickly jumped to watch it after it hit Netflix. And much like those films I dug everything about it. The story & characters are engaging every step of the way, the soundtrack is excellent, and the only thing it's missing is that magical feeling I get from a 10/10 film.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 231 Average listal rating (141 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.8
First viewing - Feb. 7th

I picked this one from my queue because I realize that last month I didn't watch any films made prior to 1960. It's far from Fritz Lang's best work, but this was solidly entertaining & fairly thought-provoking. I liked it a little better than The Woman in the Window, and the films definitely have some common elements. Much like that film I don't think I'd go out of my way to watch it again, but it's definitely worth watching.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2994 Average listal rating (1966 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
Hercules (1997)
Re-watch - Feb. 9th

I finally talked the kiddo into watching Hercules with me & to her surprise she enjoyed it. She laughed almost as often as I did, and a couple times asked me to back it up so she could see something again. And evidently she hasn't revisited The Lion King in a while because she didn't even register that Scar is in this (briefly of course, but long enough to be noticed), so that's probably good. Also not surprising her favorite character was Pegasus, though she voiced appreciation for Meg, Phil, Pain & Panic.

Hercules was the film that brought me back to Disney after several years of ignoring their films in my adolescence. And honestly if it wasn't for my long-time love for Greek mythology I probably would have skipped it too, which would have made Lilo & Stitch the movie that would've brought me back to Disney (Pixar movies don't count in my book). Anyway, it's still a fun movie I enjoy, mostly because of the villains. Hades, Pain & Panic crack me up throughout the entire film. And I'm glad to have finally shared it with my daughter...now I just need to start reading some Greek mythology to her. When she's ready for it, of course, which will probably be a couple more years.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 28 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.5
First viewing - Feb. 11th

This was amusing enough to be worthwhile, but not good enough to watch again or highly recommend. I suspect one's enjoyment of this film will depend largely on whether you're a fan of Abbott & Costello, and since I like them I was entertained. If you don't appreciate their humor then it's unlikely you'll have the same experience as there's nothing especially impressive here. You could do far worse though.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - Feb. 12th

Thank you Quentin Tarantino for putting this on my radar. This film was a lot of fun from start to finish, and the ending was awesome. I was worried at first because usually Peter Fonda annoys me, but he was perfect here & didn't bug me at all. More people should check this out.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 565 Average listal rating (394 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.7
First viewing - Feb. 13th

I figured I'd watch this since it was Friday the 13th, and wound up being fairly well entertained. Sure it's pretty predictable, but the kills are cool & the 3D effects work well enough without needing glasses. Only thing is I'm not 100% sure whether this was a first viewing or a re-watch because the Friday the 13th films I've seen between 2 and 8 all run together in my mind. But since I didn't remember any of it as it was going on I'm counting it as a first.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 342 Average listal rating (250 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
First viewing - Feb. 17th

The kiddo is sick again, and this just got added to Netflix so I figured we'd give it a shot. It's definitely entertaining, with enough humor for little kids & grown-ups. I wouldn't say it was especially impressive, and I can't honestly comment on how well it captures the spirit of the TV show that spawned it. I only have vague impressions of having watched it when I was a kid at some point, as the show wasn't one I latched onto for whatever reason. But for what it is I thought it worked well enough, and I'd be willing to watch it with the kiddo again. I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it on my own though.

Her favorite part was when Sherman holds the mummy's hand by mistake, and she laughed hysterically any time characters passed through some inanimate object's butt (yes, more than once).

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 586 Average listal rating (356 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
First viewing - Feb. 17th

I wasn't sure what I wanted to watch, so I went for something older to continue my efforts to make up for all the newer movies I watched last month (and this one too). The Lady Vanishes starts off a little slow, but eventually picked up steam & got better as it went. My only complaint was that I knew exactly where it was going, and was therefore ahead of the characters in knowing what was going on. Still, it was amusing seeing them piece it all together & all other aspects were pretty solid. I might even watch it again to see if the opening works better for me the second time around.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 3523 Average listal rating (2255 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
Re-watch - Feb. 18th

The kiddo was still sick, so I briefly took her to my local rental store to pick up some movies. This was her choice, so when we got back home we curled up together and watched it first. She loved it, and was even familiar with the songs & the story even though this was her first time ever to watch the entire thing.

Now I haven't seen Snow White since I was little, and I can still barely recall the fact that my parents took me to see it on the big screen back then. What most impressed me is the amount of detail that went into the animation, a fact I doubt I ever realized before. Disney really set the bar high here, animating reflections and shadows with precision and style. There's a lot of excellent humor here too, and all of the characters (except perhaps the prince) are imbued with enough life & personality to be memorable after the film ends. And so my rating on it has gone up from where it was before, and I can safely say that I'd gladly watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1046 Average listal rating (696 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.2
First viewing - Feb. 18th

Yep, this was every bit as good as I'd been led to believe. It's smart, it's funny, it's violent, and it's wonderfully meta...and yet not overdone in any of those ways. The cast is wonderful, especially Sam Rockwell who is long overdue for some love from the Academy. I fear that one day he'll either get a win for some movie that's less worthwhile than his best work up to that point, or he'll end up getting thrown a lifetime achievement award instead. Stupid Oscars. Anyway, this was well worth checking out & I regret even more now that I failed to see it on the big screen when it was out. Guess I'll just have to make up for that by watching it as much as possible at home in the future.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 587 Average listal rating (397 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
The Equalizer (2014)
First viewing - Feb. 23rd

This was better than anticipated. I'm not a big fan of Denzel in general, but my co-worker friend hooked me up with this film so I finally got around to giving it a chance. There's nothing new here, but at least they take time to establish the main characters you need to know rather than barely engaging them before rushing into action as quickly as possible. It's a bit overlong as a result, but I'd rather a film run long due to taking time in good ways than take forever with nothing rewarding happening. The ending is overdone though & thus fairly ridiculous. But overall I thought it was worth watching once.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2027 Average listal rating (1345 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.2
First viewing - Feb. 25th

This was solidly entertaining, but not a film I really loved in any way. Honestly it's just Wall Street mixed with Goodfellas and a dash of Glengarry Glen Ross, so I'm not sure what all the hype is about it. I mean it's well put together & interesting, but nothing I'd ever watch more than once. Then again I'm sure most of you are aware I find Scorsese overrated in general, and this film is just another reason why. At least it didn't annoy me like Casino did.

Interesting how things are connected: There's a scene in here where one of the characters is watching the TV show The Equalizer.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 119 Average listal rating (85 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.9
First viewing - Feb. 27th

On this particular Friday night I wanted a fun horror movie, so I gave this a shot. And it totally delivered. The violence is gleefully absurd, the story moves at a decent pace, the cast is solid, and the soundtrack mostly suits it all well. Watching the Nazi zombies dispatch unsuspecting humans with German efficiency was a treat, as was Martin Starr going for broke in his role. It lost some points with some unevenness here & there, plus the ridiculous post-credits scene, all of which kept it from crossing the line into horror greatness for me. But I'd totally watch this again, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it just as much.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 577 Average listal rating (393 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.1
District 13 (2004)
First viewing - Feb. 28th

I wound up ending the month with this solid action flick. The pacing is a little too quick for its own good, but if efficiency was the goal then it works well. I felt a little like it was an advert for learning parkour, but I guess that's OK. The cast does a decent job & I was entertained enough I'd be willing to check out its sequel. I wouldn't go out of my way to watch this again, but if someone wanted to watch it with me down the road I'd be ok with it. On the plus side I definitely ended the month on a positive note.

Interesting how things are connected: Amusing to me that there was a James Bond mention here.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Big screen attractions

Films I caught in a theatre
People who added this item 4590 Average listal rating (3093 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1
Blade Runner (1982)
Re-watch - Feb. 2nd - Final Cut

As much time as I spend at Alamo Drafthouse, you know I've got to also be a member of their rewards program. There are all sorts of perks, which is great, including getting invites to free screenings & such. Unfortunately most of the free screenings are impossible for me to attend due to my work schedule & all. So when they announced a free screening of Blade Runner: The Final Cut I figured I wouldn't make that either. Fortunately they were intent on getting everyone in to see it that was interested, so soon one screening turned into an entire week of multiple daily screenings & I signed up to go.

Now here's the deal with me & Blade Runner...it puts me to sleep. The pacing is too slow for its own good, so by the time we get to the final 30 minutes or so my patience gives way to my eyelids closing up & I'm barely able to keep up with what's going on. This seems to happen just about every time I've watched the film, and this occasion was no exception. The film does have its moments though, and I dig how the replicants are more lively than the humans as well as some of the visuals. But overall it's just too slow to endear itself to me.
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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.
People who added this item 779 Average listal rating (544 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
Thunderball (1965)
Re-watch - Feb. 19th/20th

The main thing I recalled from watching this one growing up was that Bond spends a lot of time underwater with flippers on his feet. And so he does. Thunderball carries on with the pre-established traditions of the series, and all to mostly good effect. My main complaint here is that the editing of the opening third and the final battle on the boat is obnoxiously bad. There are continuity and logic errors all over the place, and some of the cuts between scenes are just sloppy (especially in the beginning). It's a marked step down from the trio of films that preceded it. Fortunately the rest of the film works well & Connery's charm helps elevate things at every turn. I'd probably watch it again some time, but it's very borderline between a 7 and an 8 in my opinion. Leaving it at 7, but you can consider it a 7.5.

Just a thought: I should seek out more of Claudine Auger's films. Wow.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 818 Average listal rating (543 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.9
Re-watch - Feb. 22nd

I'd forgotten most of this one too, but Bond going Japanese had stuck with me as well as the villain (though the latter may be as much due to Austin Powers as anything else). It was solidly entertaining, definitely better than Thunderball but not as amazing as the films that preceded this pair. The helicopter pictured above now counts among my favorite Bond gadgets, and the fact that there were ninjas definitely helped improve things. And I'd be lying if I knew exactly how it would end up, so that worked in its favor too. Eh, maybe it is a solid 8 after all. But just barely.
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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.
People who added this item 380 Average listal rating (224 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.5
Horns (2013)
First viewing - Feb. 4th

Recommended by VierasTalo

I wasn't sure what to expect from Horns since I never saw a trailer for it & only heard about it mentioned here & there online. I've got to say it was mostly good. I loved the story & the way it played out, and the cast was pretty solid. I'm not convinced that Daniel Radcliffe is meant for a career in horror movies, but he does a decent enough job here. I wasn't as thrilled with the CGI though, but it didn't ruin the film for me. It was just obvious at times that what I was seeing was totally fake. Still, this is definitely worth watching.

Just a thought: I couldn't help but chuckle to myself when Radcliffe's character has snakes approaching him & thinking that since he's Harry Potter he can totally talk to them.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 135 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.3
Broken (2012)
First viewing - Feb. 5th

Recommended by Starweevil

This was pretty brutal to get through. Broken is one of those films that's exceptionally well-made, but full of subject matter you wouldn't be too eager to revisit often. Or I wouldn't anyway. The cast is stellar, the story is captivating, and I like the way it's told by slowly revealing some aspects through revisiting scenes from different characters' perspectives. The best thing about that approach though is that it's not overdone as some directors might be tempted to. So yeah, I'm happy to endorse this film so others will check it out. Just don't ask me to watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 205 Average listal rating (136 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.9
First viewing - Feb. 8th

Recommended by moviewatcher122

Always nice to see Nic Cage actually acting & not in action hero mode. This was pretty good, albeit somewhat predictable. The cast is what makes it worth watching, as everyone does a great job. Between this and Mud it looks like Tye Sheridan will be an actor to watch. Here's hoping he keeps making worthwhile films.
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Netflix exorcisms

Films I watched before Netflix removed them from my queue
People who added this item 1019 Average listal rating (708 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.1
First viewing - Feb. 14th

If all you're looking for is an action movie with an indestructible hero, this will do the trick. If you want said hero to have more than one dimension, or villains that actually pose a threat instead of being easily dispensed, look elsewhere. The action sequences throughout are decent, but not especially noteworthy or impressive. They helped me stick with this, as did the lovely Olivia Thirlby, but honestly I could have gone on ignoring it as it never had much to offer. Possibly I'd be better off revisiting Judge Dredd instead, but I feel like that film was only worth watching once & probably not as worthwhile as I think it was.

Just a thought: At least this Dredd keeps his helmet on.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 317 Average listal rating (199 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.4
Thief (1981)
First viewing - Feb. 15th

I had added this to my queue early this year after Drafthouse announced they were screening it among a few other Michael Mann films, I think on the same night I added The Gambler. As it turns out it's pretty damn good. A little slow at first, but before long I was hooked & it got a lot better. This was Mann's first theatrical release, closer in quality to Manhunter than The Keep & thank goodness for that. So now I kinda wish I had shelled out for a Drafthouse screening, but I enjoyed it all the same & maybe there will be another opportunity down the road. If so, I'll be there.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 81 Average listal rating (49 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.1
First viewing - Feb. 24th

Too bad this one isn't sticking around or I'd add it to the Netflix project next month. I didn't really know what to expect from this one, I just knew that Robert Redford was in it & Netflix was recommending it to me. Turns out they were right, as I thoroughly enjoyed it. Redford & Natalie Wood have excellent chemistry on screen, and the story was engaging throughout. It's a fairly simple, small movie but one well worth watching & I'd gladly sit down with it again.
the giraffe's rating:

February is always a light month, what with the shorter number of days in it & the fact that most of the new movies released are crap the studios are finally willing to unload on everyone. Ah, and I'm still working extra hours at work, so that won't help. Fortunately I've got my projects to keep me busy.

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