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Movies the giraffe watched in 2016: July

Movie list created by the giraffe Avatar

Sort by: Showing 38 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
The breakdown: 38 movies watched, 19 via Netflix, 13 on DVD, and 6 in the theatre. Of those 29 were first views, 9 were re-watches, and they came from the following decades: 1930s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s & 2010s.

Holy crap this was a productive month for watching movies. It helped that I haven't had much going on lately I guess, plus being able to make two trips this month to the video store kept me going. Seeing two films in a row two of the three times I went to Drafthouse helped too. And hey, for the first time all year my favorite new-to-me film of the month is NOT a new release.

Best new-to-me film for July: Rebel Without a Cause
Best hidden gem: Deathgasm, no wait The Driver, or maybe Bad Words...Night Owls? Cheap Thrills? Definitely one of those.
Worst film: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter / The Invisible Dr. Mabuse (tie)
People who added this item 395 Average listal rating (283 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
Spies Like Us (1985)
First viewing - July 1st

Well, Netflix actually added some films to streaming that I wanted to see for a change. I decided to kick off the month with this, which I've been mildly curious about. And it was OK. I laughed a handful of times & was at least mildly entertained throughout its run-time. When the best moments in the film are spotting people with bit parts though (Joel Coen & Sam Raimi! BB King! Ray Harryhausen! Bob Hope!) it's a problem. I don't know...it was all right I guess, but definitely not a hidden gem as I'd hoped for.

Just a thought: Amusing touch having posters for Dr. Zhivago and Reds in the Russians' cabin.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 491 Average listal rating (352 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.5
Re-watch - July 1st

After Spies Like Us I wanted something that I'd be guaranteed to enjoy, and this was just too enticing. The last time I watched this movie was back in the '80s when it was on TV, so I'd forgotten a lot of it. Ah, but you can't forget the Bat Shark Repellent, can you? I remember watching the TV show as a kid back in the '80s also, and from the impressions that have stuck with me this captures the spirit of the series well. The whole film is aiming to be fun, not great cinema, and I'd say it succeeds for the most part in doing so. It's silly with some riotously funny moments, and I enjoyed it enough I'd willingly watch it again when I'm in the mood for it. I'll have to watch it with the kiddo too in the near future...seems like it'd be safer to start her off with this version of Batman than any of the other film adaptations.

Now if Netflix will just add the TV series, I'll be content.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1147 Average listal rating (781 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7
Chronicle (2012)
First viewing - July 2nd

I wanted to see this in theatres, but wound up missing it entirely. So when I came across a copy for $5 I figured it was time to finally give it a look. And it turned out to be a worthwhile purchase, as I'll definitely watch this again.

The chemistry between the central trio is believable, and I love the way the film explores their experiences (plus, character development...yay!). It's especially impressive the way Andrew is portrayed throughout the film, and I thought the approach to his character was gutsy. The effects throughout were really well done too, and made me regret that I didn't get to see them on the big screen. And I'd also like to note that the way the film incorporated cameras into it was pretty different, albeit a little unbelievable & occasionally in ways that broke the spell. Still, that's a minor complaint for as much as I enjoyed the film overall.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1120 Average listal rating (716 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.2
Re-watch - July 2nd

When I was younger I used to love this film. I can't count how many times I watched it on cable back in the '90s, as I watched it pretty much any time it was on. It's safe to say I haven't seen it since the '90s ended, however, so when I saw it had been added to Netflix I figured I'd give it another go. And it's still a fun movie, kinda predictable & nothing great. The film doesn't have as much impact on me now as it used to, but it's always good to see Tom Hanks in a fun role since he rarely takes them on anymore. And the relationship between him & Hooch makes the film worthwhile.

At this point I don't really need to watch it again, but I'll likely wind up watching it with the kiddo in a few years just to see if she likes it.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 231 Average listal rating (140 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
First viewing - July 4th

I feel like I've seen this all before in other films, so I spent much of the run-time bored with it. Sure, the acting is really damn good, but I failed to deeply connect with the protagonist, which meant everything he went through lacked the emotional punch it's supposed to have. This film should be devastating to the audience for all the hell it puts Agu through, and perhaps for some it is. Maybe I've seen too many movies or I'm jaded or whatever...but if you can't take a story like this & make it fresh & heartfelt so it has the desired impact on everyone in the audience then you can't succeed.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 901 Average listal rating (614 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6
Re-watch - July 5th

For whatever reason one of the scenes from this started playing in my head around dinner time, so as soon as dinner was over I pulled it off my shelf. Ever since I first saw this on the big screen I've loved it for the grindhouse horror love letter it is. Of all Rob Zombie's films it's easily the most fun to watch, as it actually has a healthy sense of humor. Course that's largely thanks to Sid Haig's Captain Spaulding, who gets the best comedic moments, but at least they're not limited to him. Plus the soundtrack kicks ass. This time around I found some of the random interludes annoying, as they do derail the momentum slightly, though it's also part of the style of the film so maybe I just wasn't as in the mood for them this time around. I don't recall them ever bothering me before, anyway. I'm beginning to suspect I've rated this film a little higher than it deserves, but overall I still love it so I'm leaving my rating as is for now.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 812 Average listal rating (402 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.3
First viewing - July 6th

I've seen a lot of praise among my fellow horror aficionados over the years for Possession, so I've been wanting to check it out. Fortunately the local video store actually had a copy in (the DVD also has Shock on the flip side, which I may watch again if time allows), so I was finally able to get it viewed.

And it was...super hard to hang with to say the least. A lot of the character actions & dialogue make no damn sense to the point you start to wonder if any of the unusual behavior is actually necessary. The central couple spends so much of the film screaming at each other it gets tiresome, regardless of whether it makes sense to the moment which it doesn't always. And yet the film is set up in a way that makes you want to stick with it just to see what batshit thing will happen next. Whether it's worth doing so will depend on the viewer I suppose, and in my case I'd say...kinda? It's all pretty memorable, for sure, and there are very admirable aspects to the film (I was truly in awe of Sam Neill's acting, for one, and I'm struggling to think of another film he impressed me as much in), but I can't say I loved the film & to say I enjoyed it is a bit of a stretch. I'm glad(ish) that I finally got a chance to see what it's all about, but I'm not sure that it was really necessary in the end.

Just a thought: And the award for worst parents ever goes to....
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 498 Average listal rating (244 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
First viewing - July 8th

Ever since I found out this was Malcolm McDowall's first film & the reason he was cast as Alex in A Clockwork Orange I've been wanting to see it. Now that I have I can see why Kubrick was so impressed by him, as his performance is the main reason to watch If.... In fact, whenever he's not on screen the film isn't quite as engaging. The rest of the cast does a solid enough job, but he clearly steals the film. One complaint I had is that the Criterion DVD lacked any subtitles, so I kept having to mess with the volume to make sure I understood what was being said or else just hope for the best. Kinda annoying.

The story is decent, more like a string of snapshots of the school year which to me made it a bit uneven at times. And the ending didn't really work for me especially watching it the day after the police shootings in Dallas, which I couldn't help thinking of as they gunned down the people at the school. It was worth seeing, but I wouldn't sit through it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 89 Average listal rating (62 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.3
Deathgasm (2015)
First viewing - July 8th

I wanted to see this in theatres last year, but it only ran for a week at Drafthouse and the times never worked out. Much love to Netflix then for delivering it to my home.

So here we have a teenage metalhead story, which I can totally relate to, blended in with horror in the vein of early Peter Jackson. If that doesn't sell you, then I don't know what else to say. I had a blast with it and will definitely watch it again.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 146 Average listal rating (76 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.9
First viewing - July 9th

I've been following a series on A.V. Club this year called A History of Violence, which explores the most important action movie of each year starting with Bullitt. And I had seen everything the series covered until Rolling Thunder came up, so I picked it up along with their 1978 pick The Driver (which I also hadn't seen) to watch back-to-back.

Certainly you can tell the influence this had on action movies. It was the first to really deal with post-Vietnam America directly, and captures the mentality well while also having something to say about it. Watching Linda Haynes & William Devane's interactions make for the best parts of the film, giving us an entry point to the proceedings. Devane plays the role calm and cool, and is fairly impressive throughout the film. I was rather disappointed in the ending, which plays out exactly as you'd expect and then immediately dives into the credits with no pause to reflect on the aftermath. So overall it was worth watching, I just wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 279 Average listal rating (166 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.1
First viewing - July 9th

Out of the four films I rented, this is the only one I'd gladly sit through again. Those of you who fell in love with Drive should check this out as it's a direct influence on that film. Evidently it's also a direct influence on Edgar Wright's next film, Baby Driver, as well.

Nobody in this movie has an actual name, which is interesting. Ryan O'Neal plays The Driver in a way that lets you know how he's feeling despite his limited use of words. The detective played by Bruce Dern talks too much by comparison, and he's crafty and at times menacing too. The driving stunts are excellent throughout, and best of all the film is rarely predictable. I'm not sure it crosses the line of greatness for me, but it's totally worth watching a couple times.

Just a thought: Very amusing that Isabelle Adjani is in this also...didn't realize that when I picked this up with Possession.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 88 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.3
First viewing - July 15th-16th

I've been reading some praise here & there lately for this film, and while it's not at all a companion to The Big Short I watched it after that film anyway. And now I understand why it's respected...it's solidly entertaining with plenty of memorable moments. I'm not sure it crossed my personal line of greatness, but it's fun enough I'd watch it again at some point.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 418 Average listal rating (236 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4
First viewing - July 16th

There's nothing out this weekend I'm itching to see, so I'll be watching films at home. This seemed like a worthy choice for a Saturday afternoon, and turns out it was a good pick. The first hour or so of this movie fires on all cylinders and I was really digging the romance between the leads. Too bad the last hour drags along more than necessary, overindulging in musical numbers that derail the momentum. I'm not ashamed to admit that when one of said numbers started up I took it as a chance to hit the restroom without pausing it. Fortunately the ending winds up pulling the whole film back together & redeems the film considerably for its previous tediousness. In the end it was definitely worth seeing, but it could have been great.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Re-watch - July 16th

I've been meaning to revisit this for a while now...pretty sure the last time I watched it was either late 90s or very early 00s. I thought I owned it already, but when I went to pull it off my shelves I realized I was mistaken. Fortunately it's easy to find for about $5, so I bought a copy knowing I'll be watching this again down the road.

I'd kinda forgotten how great this film is. Geena Davis gives an outstanding performance and her interactions with Samuel L Jackson's character are a joy to behold. Course the script for this was penned by Shane Black, which means the writing is excellent anyway...but it takes a talented cast to match the high quality of the script and this film certainly does the trick. Unsure why The Long Kiss Goodnight isn't better loved & appreciated.

Just a thought: I didn't set out on this day to watch two films that involved Christmas, but we can pretend I did if you want to.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 500 Average listal rating (291 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8
First viewing - July 17th

Since I had nothing going on on this Sunday afternoon it seemed like a good time to finally watch Kagemusha given its almost three hour run-time. Surprisingly it hooked me in from the start, and got me invested in the characters. Engaging the audience with these personalities is crucial given how much of the film is dialogue-driven. If you thought you were getting yourself into an action-packed war film, you've got another think coming. I thought the story was well-done overall, and the messages come through loud and clear despite also being nothing original at this point. Kagemusha is totally worth seeing if you've got the patience for it though.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Re-watch - July 18th

Since it was Hunter's birthday, I figured I'd finally revisit this documentary which I last watched when it was in theatres. Over the course of two hours it does a solid job of detailing his major moments throughout his life, culled from old videos and recordings and combined with stories from those who knew him well, plus peppered with scenes from the two films spawned from his work up to that point. It's not as in-depth as the Gonzo book was, but if it were it'd be a much longer film. But as an exploration of the man's significance to literature and his impact on those he came into contact with it does the trick well enough, and the uninitiated can always seek out the writings on their own.

My only disappointment is that I didn't have time to pore through the extras on the DVD after it ended, but I'll likely pick them up soon.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 182 Average listal rating (137 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.6
Bad Words (2013)
First viewing - July 21st

Guess who made another trip to the video store? I've been wanting to see this for a while now & I'm glad to say it was worth the wait. The cast is wonderful, there are some hilarious moments, and the story is well-told and memorable. While I can't think of anything I didn't like about the film, I'm also not sure that it quite crossed the line of greatness for me. Regardless I'll be adding this to my collection at some point so I can watch it a few more times.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 335 Average listal rating (244 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.9
First viewing - July 21st

I didn't go into this with the highest expectations given how few of Mel's projects I've been interested in over the past decade or so. So I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The film reminds me a little of Payback, and while overall it's not especially original it IS very entertaining and I was never quite sure how it would end up. I'm not saying it's a great film, but it's one I wouldn't mind revisiting later on.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 110 Average listal rating (71 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.7
First viewing - July 22nd

I wanted to see this back in 2014, but never got around to it for a variety of reasons. And after watching it I'm kinda kicking myself for not seeing it in the theatre because I have a feeling it plays even better with a proper audience. The cast is perfect, the story is both deeply engrossing and really thought-provoking, and it's not afraid to go all the way with its ideas. Knowing that the film was shot over 14 days on a minimal budget makes it even more impressive. It's a film I'm still thinking about the day after and one I'd gladly watch again at some point.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - July 23rd

Tomorrow I'll hardly be home as I've got some social engagements planned, so today I'm chilling at home and watching some movies. I figured I'd kick the day off with this one, which I was curious about after seeing World of Tomorrow earlier this year. Much like that short film, this has some brilliant observations about life and mixes some heavy ideas with occasional comedy. Unlike that short film, there are some moments here which felt unnecessary or dragged along. Overall it's worth seeing, but not something I'd revisit.

Just a thought: Wondering if I would have enjoyed this more had I seen the 3 shorts it's composed of separately instead of all at once here.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 878 Average listal rating (542 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.9
First viewing - July 23rd

So most of the time when I hit the video store to rent movies, I go on the days they do 2-for-1 rentals. If you asked me this time around which two films I'd say were free it'd be the horror offerings since I had mixed feelings about both of them going in to my viewings.

A lot of reviews for this film lamented the serious tone, which just tells me they didn't read the novel first. The novel is rarely humorous, as it comes at the story from the angle of Lincoln's so-called secret diaries that detailed his hunting of vampires after discovering that one killed his mother. His crusade is improved after Henry saves him in a fight & teaches him how to best fight vampires, and the whole tale is told alongside the real events of his life. Despite the fact that the author of the book wrote the screenplay, for some idiotic reason all the best parts of the novel are thrown out the window or mishandled which left me disappointed. Even its messages are ignored, which is a huge misstep. The cast does a solid job in their respective roles, but if the script doesn't work then it hardly matters.

Bekmambetov has made some entertaining & fun films, and the only thing that succeeds here is that it's entertaining more often than not. It's not really fun, but there's enough action throughout to keep the film moving along. On the other hand some of the CGI-heavy scenes look obviously fake and left me shaking my head at their stupidity. If those had occurred in an over-the-top campy movie they'd be easier to swallow, so maybe that's why the tone of the film was lamented. However, if the story had been properly handled & given to another director I can well imagine how the novel would have come alive & retained its spirit without being too faithful to the source material. If the Benson & Moorehead team (who have proven within their small body of work they can blend genres well) or Robert Eggers (whose The Witch did wonders with period storytelling) got a hold of this adaptation, we'd all be speaking highly of it. As it stands though, this is just a failed experiment & I could have gone on ignoring its existence.

Read the book instead.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 803 Average listal rating (556 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.5
Evil Dead (2013)
First viewing - July 23rd

In the wake of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter there wasn't much chance this could be any worse, and based on what I heard about it I knew I'd be better off watching it after the above film instead of before. Then again, I held off watching this for as long as I did due to my love & respect for Raimi's trilogy, so I was kinda looking for this film to fail. Color me surprised then that it never does.

While Evil Dead clearly takes place in the same world & mythology Raimi created, it's not making any attempts to remake the films that came before it. Oh, there are nods to the previous films throughout, but the narrative is very much its own animal trapped in this supernatural experience. Jane Levy gives an Oscar-worthy performance, if those bastards ever bothered to acknowledge horror. I can't imagine how difficult the role of Mia was for her to bring to life given how much her character goes through.

The film goes for the jugular with its straight-horror approach, and delivers some excellent scares along the way. The use of primarily practical effects is much appreciated, and blood flies everywhere the way it should. The only complaints I have are with minor details, but they don't affect the overall storytelling enough to dock the film too many points. I could lament the fleshing out of the characters, but Raimi's original film didn't go much in depth with the characters either so why bother? I'm shocked at how much I enjoyed the film, and even more so that I'm considering buying a copy to add to my collection.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 955 Average listal rating (622 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
First viewing - July 29th

Well now I understand why this film is well-respected. The cast is excellent, the story is well-handled (grey characters! explorations of character choices that are logical!), and it's pretty intense for most of the run-time. The last quarter of the film kinda drags along through its conclusion though, which does keep up the realistic approach but I found it underwhelming. And while I can easily add my name to those who respect the film, I wouldn't say I fell in love with it. I doubt I'd watch it again, but it was definitely worth checking out.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 90 Average listal rating (62 ratings) 4.9 IMDB Rating 5.1
Holidays (2016)
First viewing - July 29th

Holidays consists of 8 short tales focused on, well, that should be obvious. Speaking of obvious, the first two tales are easily predictable and didn't set this off on a strong note in my opinion. Fortunately Easter comes along and ups the game, delivering the first satisfying segment. The Mother's Day & Father's Day stories each have their moments, but it's not until Halloween that we get the best story of the bunch...delivered by Kevin Smith, no less. The Christmas entry has some interesting ideas, but much like Mother's Day it ends just as it's getting really good. And then it wraps up with New Year's Eve which plays out wonderfully despite being another tale where it's obvious where it's heading.

So yeah, I can't say I'd recommend this one as far as anthologies go. I've seen worse fare, and granted none of these annoyed me, but aside from Easter & Halloween it's pretty mediocre. If you're inclined to sit through it I'd recommend skipping to those parts.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 288 Average listal rating (181 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1
Win Win (2011)
First viewing - July 30th

Picked this up for $3 since I've been wanting to see it & couldn't pass up the price. I've enjoyed Tom McCarthy's other films that I've seen & Paul Giamatti is always worth watching, so I knew it'd be worthwhile. And so it is. The entire cast does a good job, there are some wonderful human & humorous moments throughout, and it's solidly entertaining. It didn't quite cross the line of greatness for me, but I dug it well enough I'll be keeping my copy & watching it again down the road.
the giraffe's rating:
Re-watch - July 30th

1987 re-watch double feature

It's been a while now since I've watched anything I've already seen, so I figured I'd revisit this little movie. Pretty sure it's been over 20 years since I last saw it, so I was surprised by how much I still remembered of the plot details. Also pleasantly surprised to discover it's still as much fun as I remembered. The little aliens inspire wonder and awe at times, and the ensemble cast plays their parts very well. It's not surprising Spielberg produced this movie as it's the kind of story he might have written & directed. Sure the story is a bit ridiculous, that these aliens would show up to help these people out when they need it most, but as one of the characters says when you question "miracles" they cease to be.

Looking forward to watching this one again with the kiddo down the road, and I definitely won't wait another 20 years to do so.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 389 Average listal rating (261 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.1
Re-watch - July 30th

1987 re-watch double feature

It seems like I might have watched this on TV a few times back in the 80s, but I definitely remember this and the above film being ones my dad took my sister & I to see on the big screen. So it's probably safe to say it's been even longer since I last watched this one.

If *batteries not included is ridiculous, this film makes it seem plausible by comparison. I'll concede that Harry & the Hendersons is entertaining and has a decent message about families & how getting to know someone can prove your assumptions about them wrong, but it's far too silly at times to hang with. And some of the comedic elements fall flat...or maybe they're just meant to work for kids. And speaking of kids, the two in this film are pretty annoying. Thankfully John Lithgow is his usual excellent self & helps sell the tale, and the effects for Harry have held up really well (probably not so surprising given Rick Baker was behind them) but ultimately it's safe to say this is the last time I'll be watching it by choice.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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First viewing - July 31st

This film kept catching my eye while browsing through Netflix offerings, and since they were convinced I'd love it I figured I'd see if they were right. Well, they were at least correct about me enjoying it. I thought the leads had excellent chemistry, and there are some excellent moments throughout the film. If you dig dialogue-driven films then you might find this worth checking out. I'm not sure it crossed my line of greatness, but I'd watch it again.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Big screen attractions

Films I caught in a theatre
People who added this item 290 Average listal rating (196 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.4
The BFG (2016)
First viewing - July 5th

Admittedly I have yet to read Dahl's novel, but as a long time fan of some other creations of his I had no hesitations in supporting this film. Plus, the trailers instilled a sense of wonder every time I caught one. Fortunately that sense of wonder popped up more times throughout the film than I'd expected, and Spielberg clearly has fun building the BFG's world. Overall the film is humorous & heartfelt & just what I wanted out of it. Evidently it didn't drum up much box office over its opening weekend, but don't let that scare you off if the trailers made you want to see it. I enjoyed it & will definitely be watching it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 321 Average listal rating (238 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.3
The Shallows (2016)
First viewing - July 10th

The Shallows is basically a single location film, and we all know how much I dig those. Blake Lively rocks her role, displaying a range of emotions and bringing a strong female character to life successfully. The film does a mostly solid job of building up tension & keeping you on the edge of your seat, all of which is helped by the 85 minute run-time. And it's got some moments that will make the misfits in the audience laugh (lord knows I was alone in laughing a few times). It never quite crosses the line into greatness, but it's consistently entertaining and I'd watch it again.
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People who added this item 378 Average listal rating (249 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.9
Re-watch - July 10th

Yep. Definitely my favorite film of 2016.
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Re-watch - July 25th

Super Krime Mabuse double feature

This month Drafthouse kicked off a 30 film series focusing on "pulp super villains" called Super Krime, and when I saw that The Testament of Dr. Mabuse was among the offerings I immediately bought my ticket. It's been five years since I last watched this movie, but I never imagined I'd be able to see it on the big screen. Fun side note, thanks to Barnes & Noble's annual 50% off Criterion sale I also picked up a copy of the film for my collection this month.

Anyway, the film is still impressive & thought-provoking, filled with a stellar cast & wonderful visual images. Unlike last time around I had no issues with the sound during the film, and was impressed at the quality of the print we had. So yeah, if you've never seen this movie I still highly recommend tracking it down to do so.
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First viewing - July 25th

Super Krime Mabuse double feature

According to the gentleman who introduced both films in this double feature, he opted for this film due to it being available in a 35mm print over Lang's sequel to the above film, The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, which was only available in digital form. Given how average & dull this film was I'm kinda disappointed he made that choice. The cast is okay & the film has some decent moments, but it's more of a B picture in overall quality. The invisible aspect is taken literally as the plot involves a device which can render its user invisible, so there's some playing around with ideas of what invisible men would do. None of it is groundbreaking, but it works most of the time. Had I known how bored I'd be with it, I would have skipped it altogether...but not knowing much about it I gave it a shot & by the time I gave up on my hopes it'd improve it was far enough along I figured I'd find out how it ends. Not sure it was worth the trouble though.
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People who added this item 1454 Average listal rating (876 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.7
First viewing - July 31st

The chance to see this for the first time on the big screen was too enticing to pass up (and in 35mm, no less). And it was totally worth the admission. The print was in excellent condition given its age, and the film remains an essential experience. I've been meaning to watch James Dean's films, but hadn't got around to any of them before now. He does a hell of a job here as Jim Stark, though credit is also due to the rest of the cast, especially Natalie Wood & Sal Mineo. It's a classic that I feel holds up well at least insofar as the themes remain relatable and the technical aspects are excellent too. It didn't pull off a perfect 10 for me, but it's as great as I've heard.
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Netflix Instant Project for 2016

Netflix Instant Project for 2016

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 & submit your recommendations.
People who added this item 683 Average listal rating (480 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.8
First viewing - July 15th

Recommended by Director Black

I wanted to see this mainly for the cast, but the trailers never won me over enough to justify paying to see it in the theatre. Thanks to Netflix, however, I didn't have to.

Overall I'd say this was worth seeing once. McKay goes all out to make such a dry subject entertaining & interesting, and more often than not it works. The cast is predictably solid, and I was pleasantly surprised by the music choices throughout the film. And for those of us who didn't closely follow the events depicted in the film, the story works to clearly deliver better insight into what happened which is pretty much the whole point. There's nothing especially exceptional going on here, and it won't change your life, but it's still worth setting aside time for.
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People who added this item 294 Average listal rating (211 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.3
Goosebumps (2015)
First viewing - July 28th

Recommended by moviewatcher122

The Goosebumps series of books started up when I was in high school but I never bothered checking them out, so I really can't compare the film to them. That should also explain why I wasn't inspired to check this out sooner, along with the fact that the kiddo isn't ready for scarier fare yet so she couldn't give me an excuse for watching it either. Ah, but the Netflix project gave me a worthy excuse to finally give it a look, so here we are.

And I've got to say I was pleasantly surprised. The film is solidly entertaining and fun, with a believable enough cast and decent effects. It's certainly not great, but for family fare it works well and I'm sure that when the kiddo is ready for it I'll be willing to revisit it with her.

For a more in-depth review that shares my thoughts on it, please see PvtCaboose91's.
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Netflix exorcisms

Films I caught before Netflix removed them from my queue
People who added this item 183 Average listal rating (106 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 5.8
Rampart (2012)
First viewing - July 11th

This was among the recommendations from last year's Netflix project, and has been sitting in my queue since then. I didn't think I'd be able to enjoy it given current events in America involving police officers, but thankfully Woody Harrelson is charismatic enough to keep me from hating the film. Plus the film doesn't go to the depths it might have, which meant hanging with it wasn't too hard, yet this approach yields mixed results. On the one hand it keeps things from being too depressing and hard to take (especially compared to, say, Bad Lieutenant), but on the other hand the film might have benefited from pushing the envelope a bit more than it does. The entire cast ranges from good to great performance-wise, and it was kinda fun spotting the various actors as they made their appearances since I only knew Woody & Ben Foster were in it. The story winds up being less of a message film than a character study, and it moves at a pace that kept me engaged. It's just not anything mind-blowing. So yeah, surprisingly this wound up being worth seeing once overall.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 477 Average listal rating (333 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.4
The Money Pit (1986)
First viewing - July 24th

Hey, another silly Tom Hanks movie. This film is pretty ridiculous, but it's got moments & is mainly held together by the central relationship between the leads. I laughed at some parts, shook my head at others, and I'm sure parts of the story will stick with me over time. It's not great or essential, but if you want something kinda fun to watch you could do worse.
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