Pat's Thoughts?

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Movies 1-20

So while I said at the beginning of this I want to use this format for longer reviews, I'm already a bit behind the 8 ball. As it stands today, I've seen 20 movies in the first 26 days, and only tweeted very brief reviews for a couple of those. What follows this brief preamble is a summary of those first 20 films and a quick review of each. Starting with number 21 I'll dedicate a blog post to each movie. These will be longer as I will attempt to jot down some notes while watching (fellow theater goers will love me no doubt.)

  1. The One I Love: (Netflix) A very interesting movie. Don't want to give away the "twist", but I will say there is more going on with this movie than the first half hour leads you to believe. Seeing Mark Duplass in a role outside "The League", and Elisabeth Moss outside of "Mad Men" was jarring, but both are great. Definitely see it.
  2. A Most Violent Year: (Theater) Read someone say this movie is what the Godfather would be like if everyone tried to stay away from organized crime. I wouldn't go as far as comparing it to the Godfather but I thought it was great. Oscar Isaac gives an awesome performance, and I definitely want to see him in more roles. Jessica Chastain was very good, but criminally underused. Great job casting character actors in this. It seems like no one I know who isn't a movie nerd has really heard of this movie, which is a shame. Definitely see it.
  3. Happy Christmas: (Netflix) I had heard about this movie for a long time and when I finally saw it on Netflix I decided to check it out. An alternative Christmas movie that moves slow at points but is overall enjoyable. I'm a huge Anna Kendrick fan, so I think I'd recommend almost anything she's in. See it.
  4. The Burbs: (Netflix) This recommendation comes from "Mark Walhberg" of Doug Loves Movies podcast fame. Classic 80's movie with great performances from Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern and a handful of people you recognize but don't know their names. Corey Feldman was somehow popular when this came out, chalk it up to the 80's. See it.
  5. Under the Skin: (Amazon Prime) Scarlett Johansson gets naked and seduces men to their death because she is some kind of alien. It goes off on weird tangents with no explantation of what the hell is going on, and more often that I'd care for those tangents lead to a shot of some Scottish guy's boner. Besides those scenes, it was a well shot movie. Stay for the Scarlett nudity, leave before the deformed face guy nudity.
  6. Midnight Cowboy: (Amazon Prime) This movie falls into a category that I intend to go back to many times over the course of the year: Oscar winners from before my time. Although I saw a respectable number of classic movies (Thanks, Mom and Dad), there are obviously gaps in my viewing history. A movie about a young Texan who moves to New York after a gang rape and turns both gay and straight tricks was not something I was able to watch as a kid (Ugh Thanks, Mom and Dad). See it.
  7. Man of Tai Chi: (Netflix) This is another category I plan on going back to over the course of the year: Fucking Awesome Action Movies. Directed by and starring Keanu Reeves, this movie does not waste time setting up elaborate plot devices. It is an old school fight movie in the style of Bloodsport and Kickboxer. Keanu is great as an over the top bad guy, and Tiger Chen is a bad ass. Oh and when I said this movie doesn't waste time on plot devices, that includes giving the main character a name that isn't the actor's actual name. This movie is like taking home a 5 or below from the bar. Sure your friends may give you shit when they find out, but screw them, it was fun in the moment. Lower you standards and see it, you snob.
  8. In A World: (Netflix) First confession: I did not care for Lake Bell in "How to Make it in America." At least not in the first season when she was the on again/off again girlfriend of Bryan Greenberg. Hooking up with Kid Cudi and mild nudity second season Lake Bell, I'm all for that version, but I digress. She wrote, directed and starred in this movie and did a wonderful job with all three. I don't ever remember this being in theaters, and I have to assume a majority of the cast (which is bonkers good) did this movie as a favor/because they loved the project, and not for the money. This probably shows up on you Netflix recommendations all the time and you never watch it, well you're being stupid. See it, love it, recommend it. Lake Bell, if your reading this (she totally is), I think I love you?
  9. I Know That Voice: (Netflix) Watched this almost immediately after I saw "In A World" because I was interested in the world of voice acting. It's definitely an interesting documentary, although I will warn you: Seeing the faces of people that make the voices you've grown so accustomed to hearing on TV and in movies, may break your brain. Wouldn't have really watched this if it wasn't for Number 8, this challenge. Go with God on this one, people.
  10. Frank: (Netflix) Yes. One of the grown up Weasley twins joins an "alt-rock?" band with Batman's exploding girlfriend, and young Magneto wearing a mascot head. That may sound weird, and even more so if you don't understand those references, but the movie is even weirder. That being said, it's great. It's well shot, wonderfully acted, and I found myself actually getting some of the songs stuck in my head afterwards. Fassbender is magnetic(pun intended) and makes it believable that someone would wear a mascot hat all the time. By about the 45 minute mark, I practically forgot it wasn't normal. Definitely see it if you like your movies a little on the eccentric side.
  11. The Other Woman: (HBO) Well the first 10 were pretty solid and I thought this year was going to fly by. If you watch 365 movies, you are going to get a few stinkers along the way. I don't want to try and shit all over a movie, but when a character in the movie shits all over themselves, well the movie is asking for it. Leslie Mann is beyond reproach for all the great work she's done. You make as great movies as she has, and you get a free pass to take paycheck here and there. Cameron Diaz's love interest is the main actor from Chicago Fire in this movie. In real life she just married Benji Madden. I love me some Good Charlotte, but even as a straight man those prior two sentences don't jive. Google both people and you tell me. Kate Upton should stick to acting in magazines, and iPhone game commercials, at least they are short. Nicki Minaj is in this movie, guys! Wave hello to her if you click to this movie on TV, then immediately keep going. I've put more effort into this review than the writers put into the script. Avoid it like extra strength laxatives in your scotch.
  12. Women Aren't Funny: (Netflix) Interesting documentary from a couple years ago. I always enjoy hearing from stand-ups when they aren't on stage. It seems a little dated already what with women like Chelsea Peretti(queen), Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer crushing it nowadays. If you're into stand-up comedy check it out, if not feel free to skip, you sexist.
  13. The Graduate: (Netflix) Another classic oscar winner, another great movie experience. The iconic on screen cougar, Mrs. Robinson, seduces Dustin Hoffman and hilarity/despair ensues. Great movie, FANTASTIC soundtrack/score, terrible life choices. Definitely see it. All. Night. Long.
  14. Justice League Doom: (HBO) I'm a nerd. I read comic books more than most of my friends think a grown man should. I'm also a Marvel guy, so I truthfully only watched this because it was on TV and I was bored. That being said, I did enjoy it. I remember watching Batman: The Animated Series growing up, and hearing that iconic voice here was a nice bit a nostalgia. This worked for me because while it is a Justice League Movies, it does lean more towards Batman. Check it out if you still have an inner child/suffer from arrested development.
  15. Inherent Vice: (Theater) I don't know where to start with this one. Well, I'll start by saying that I loved it. It's disjointed, poorly explained, and goes off on wild tangents. If this sounds like "Under the Skin" without Scottish boners, it totally is. Ok that isn't true. This movie is totally about the experience of it all. Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin are mesmerizing. The movie is filled with great actors giving big performances in small parts. I have to admit I missed about 20 minutes in the middle of the movie due to a theater evacuation, which caused a delayed restart, and I got caught in a Macy's quagmire. However, this didn't affect my viewing experience (Actually got 2 free tickets out of it: Hustling). "Inherent Vice" reminded me of "Boogie Nights", and not simply because of the retro-style. "Boogie Nights" is one of my favorite movies and after seeing this I've added some more P.T. Anderson films to my queue. This is definitely a movie you will struggle to describe to a friend who asks: "What's it about?" I don't know about you but those are my favorite types of movies. Go see it barefoot and be a hippie. Sidenote: Decent chance I dress as Doc for Halloween next year.
  16. American Sniper: (Theater) Unless you've been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you know what this movie is about and that it is making more money than almost every other Best Picture nominee combined. You might be able to tell from the tone of this blog, but I'm not a card carrying member of the NRA and I fall on the left side of the political spectrum. That being said, I'm not grabbing a sign and picketing theaters (I don't have the handwriting and spacial organization skills necessary for making protest signs). I have some issues with the lack of nuance in this film, which is contributing factor to it's cultural phenomenon success. I enjoy most of Clint Eastwood's movies, but he seems to have taken some pretty big liberties with this story and glossed over some parts that I think were far more important than how hard S.E.A.L. training is. Anyone who knows anything about the training, or has heard the dropout stats, knows the shit they have to go through is beyond tough. Spending so much screen time depicting soldiers sitting in cold mud, instead of dealing with the bigger issues on the backend of the story, seems lazy. It's a hero story, and that was what it was from the beginning of production and I'm fine with that. I will say I much preferred "The Hurt Locker", which made just about $18M during it's entire theatrical release. You're either going to see this or you aren't and my recommendation won't sway you. Don't pay for IMAX unless it's a legit IMAX screen. The screen at the Boston Commons Loews is not such a screen. Thanks for the free tickets though.
  17. The Interview: (Netflix) Here's another movie that you needed to have buried your head in the sand to avoid hearing about. I thought this was funny, but the fact that it opened up such a shit filled can of diarrhea having worms makes it even funnier in context. Let's be frank(puts on mascot head before typing next phrase), this movie is not good. It is bozo-bananas crazy that a bad movie sparked such a controversy. However, just because a movie is bad, doesn't mean it isn't a lot of fun. Seth Rogen is very Seth Rogen in this, which is to say I liked him. James Franco's parents gave him the dramatic acting gene and his brother Dave (Zac Efron dopplegänger) the comedic acting genes. Franco and Rogen have good chemistry, and he is very charming, but there are scenes where you can see how hard he is trying to be funny. On the other hand, Randall Park, who is great in "Veep," was absolutely hilarious in this and stole every scene. He made it look effortless. Stand up for your right to say whatever stupid shit comes into your head, and watch this movie on Netflix. Everybody poops and pees.
  18. I, Frankenstein: (Netflix) This is another case of needing to watch a lot of movies, be they good or bad, over the course of a year. Aaron Eckhart goes full Harvey Dent in this one and it isn't pretty. Jai Courtney is the worst attempt Hollywood has made to create an action star in awhile, and his performance in this makes me very worried for "Suicide Squad" and "Terminator:Genisys". That can't be how they decided to spell that................(googling)........Damnit. Genisys checks out. Demons, Gargoyles, Frankenstein's monster and bad CGI. OH MY! I thought while I was watching that a story this convoluted had to be based off a graphic novel or comic book and lo and behold I was correct. Save the electricity it takes to watch this movie and attempt to resurrect a guinea pig or something.
  19. The Grand Budapest Hotel: (HBO) This movie is outstanding from the opening credits to the end title card. Set design, tone, score, casting, acting, I could go on and on. I never thought I liked Wes Anderson movies but watching this is going to make me reevaluate that thought. What else could I have seriously misjudged? Kevin Costner movies? Na they are still pretty boring. Country music? Nope I think I"m all set. Ok seems like it was just Wes Anderson movies. Definitely going to check out "Rushmore", "Darjeeling Limited" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" this year. There are so many things to love about this movie. Willem Defoe's silent creepiness, Harvey Keitel's entire performance, the total lack of accent attempts from Ed Norton and Adrien Brody, and Ralph Fiennes sudden outbursts of rage to name a few. Throw on a couple of pumps cologne and see this movie, more than once. - Patrick P.
  20. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit: (Netflix) Formulaic thriller with a archetypal Russian bad guy. Chris Pine is good in Star Trek but he is no Jack Ryan. I'm definitely talking about Harrison Ford's Jack Ryan and not Ben Affleck's, we don't ever talk about Ben Affleck's. There is something about financial controversy, Russian lightbulb eating torture, blah blah blah. Kevin Costner is in this, which means I probably won't like it. Unless you are a Tom Clancy completist, stay out of Clear and Present Danger of being really underwhelmed by this film by skipping it.

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