At the beginning of this year, a couple of friends suggested that I write down every movie I see for the first time in 2013. I haven’t been that prudent about it, but here is my list so far:
1. Smiley Face (2007)
An indie movie starring Anna Faris and John Krasinski. Pretty funny.
2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
The seminal classic. Finally saw it. Although I may have seen parts of it on a bus nine years ago.
3. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Another classic I haven’t seen until now. Amazing, of course.
4. Daydream Nation (2010)
Very strange indie movie with Kat Dennings. Maybe a horror movie? Not really sure.
5. The Artist (2011)
Won five Oscars. Was very good, but didn’t love it as much as I hoped I would.
6. Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D (2012)
Yeah this was kinda crap. Might have been better had I actually seen it in 3D.
7. Marius (1931)
Very interesting old French film. Watched it for research for a movie I’m working on. Cool to see.
8. The Last Mountain (2011)
Doc my company made. Really good.
9. The Price of Sugar (2007)
Another doc from my company. Narrated by Paul Newman!
10. Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013) (In Theaters)
Visually spectacular, but somewhat forgettable. Zach Braff was in this.
11. The Great Gatsby (2013) (In Theaters)
People either loved it or hated it. I absolutely loved it. I think it’s the perfect adaption of the book.
12. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) (In Theaters)
Really good, although not as good as the first (or eleventh, technically) one.
13. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Watched this the day after the new one. Really good. Interesting parallels between the two Star Trek Twos.
14. Horrible Bosses (2011)
Really funny. Great cast.
15. Office Space (1999)
Another classic I’ve only ever seen parts of. Watched all together, I really liked it. Had a few moments of amazing.
16. This Is the End (2013)
Saw this last Friday night. Spectacular. One of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. There was a huge smile on my face from start to finish.
17. The Bling Ring (2013)
Saw this in theaters with my movie-going partner, Joan. I thought it was really good. Sofia Coppola has a very interesting style of filmmaking. Almost cinéma vérité. Totally oeuvre. Emma Watson was fab, of course. Right now I’m in California working on a documentary, and I got to discuss this movie with a friend of the Coppolas. Wicked cool.
18. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
On my plane ride to San Francisco, I was planning on watching Netflix the whole flight. But freaking Virgin Air charges ten bucks an hour for WiFi! I decided I’d rather pay the 8 bucks for a two hour movie, and I’ve been meaning to see this one forever. I liked it a lot, but honestly I didn’t love it as much as I expected too. Like, it was wicked good, but I don’t think it was nominated-and-won-a-ton-of-Oscars good. Maybe it’s just me.
19. Identity Thief (2013)
After a brief nap, I decided to watch another movie, so I chose this one. I love Melissa McCarthy. She makes me laugh really hard. Everything she does I find hilarious. And this movie did not disappoint. It was laugh out loud hilarious and had a lot of heart. Is it bad that I kinda liked this better than Silver Linings? Yeah, that’s probably bad.
20. John Dies at the End (2012-ish)
I forgot about this one until I saw it on another friend’s list! We read the book, by David Wong, for our book club last year and it is just fantastic. One of the best books I’ve ever read. The movie? Well, it’s a good effort. It was pretty low budget, and they had to condense a HUGE book into 90 minutes, so I guess it was destined to be just “okay.” Nonetheless, it was cool to see, as I was a total labor of love for the filmmakers.
21. The Terminator
Just remembered this one as well. I think I watched it in very early January. I liked it a lot. I was expecting the whole “I’ll be back” corny action stuff, but it was actually a very deep, somewhat dark film. There are points when I got totally lost in the story. I’m looking forward to seeing T2, which everybody says is even better. Also, Linda Hamilton was really good looking.
22. The Heat (2013)
Just saw this is theaters. Wicked funny. Melissa McCarthy is so hilarious. And Academy Award winner Sandra bullock is fantastic as well. The plot was pretty predictable, but very very funny. Did I say that already?
23. American Psycho (2000)
Well this was weird. I had a free week of HBO a while back, so I DVRed a bunch of movies and tonight we watched this one. A very strange film. Still sorta processing!
24. Duck Soup (1933)
Just watched this classic from 80 years ago. It was hilarious. I’ve never actually seen an entire Marx Brothers comedy, and now I want to watch them all. Great, great film.
25. Elysium (2013)
Saw this last weekend in theaters. It was very interesting. The story was told in a way that wasn’t necessarily non-linear, but also not in order. If that makes any sense. Matt Damon was very good, and two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster was terrific. As always. Some might call this movie “preachy,” but even if it is, it is a good message. Definitely worth a watch. And the special effects (especially in IMAX) are dazzling.
26. 9 to 5 (1981)
A few months ago, as I think I mentioned earlier here, I got a free Netflix account for my flight out to California. I forgot about it until now (whoops), so I cancelled it, but have a few days left! So I’ve been trying to use it as much as I can. Today, I watched the classic comedy 9 to 5, starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dolly Parton. It was fantastic. Not at all what I expected, but very funny and with a whole lotta heart. Horrible Bosses, another film on this list, owes quite a bit to this film. It was beautifully shot, and is SO 1981. And I mean that in a good way!
27. Puss in Boots (2011)
I loved Shrek. I loved Shrek 2 even more. The other sequels: good but nothing memorable. (I didn’t even pay to see the fourth one– my friends and I bought tickets to see MacGruber and then snuck into S4.) Anyways, I missed the Puss spin-off when it was in theaters a couple years back, but I DVR’d it when I had a free HBO trial and tonight I watched it. Boy, that is an excessive introduction! Anywho, I really enjoyed Puss! It had the twisted adult-ness of the earlier Shreks plus the CGI-enhanced cuteness overload that is the main character himself. Zach Galifinakis was great as the voice of Humpty Dumpty who, by the way, told a prison rape joke. Yup. (There was also a prison masturbatory joke later in the film!) Absolutely worth a watch for anybody who likes cats, Spanish, and Lady Gaga. Her song “Americano” played a pretty prominent role towards the end.
28. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
This one goes into the category of “never seen the whole thing before.” Although there have been attempts! The first was circa 1999. I rented it (!) at a Blockbuster (!) on videotape (!) and watched it with a friend, but I was so scared that I watched most of it from behind a blanket. So I didn’t really see it. My second attempt was during my freshman year of high school– so around 2004/5. After an early release one day, a bunch of us chipped in a few quarters each and we rented it, although this time through Comcast On Demand. But, being a bunch of 14-year old, we were talking and goofing around, and didn’t really watch it. Finally, in 2013, TWO DECADES (technically) LATER, I watched the film.
And it was great. It was completely terrifying. The techniques that the filmmakers used were so revolutionary and brilliant, it’s hard to envision the horror genre without them. Blair Witch did it first, and perhaps with the exception of Paranormal Activity, did it best. Anybody who is a fan of horror movies or just film in general needs to watch The Blair Witch Project. (I just realized that I rented it again again for this viewing! Only this time I did it on iTunes and hooked my laptop to the TV. So I rented this movie three times in three different decades on three different platforms! Spooky? Maybe!
29. After Porn Ends (2010)
Watched this very interesting documentary on Netflix the other day. It looks at the lives of about ten former porn stars and their varying paths after porn. Some of the stories are cool; others tragic. A very interesting doc.
30. Jaws (1975)
Last Friday night, a bunch of us went to the drive-in movie theater in Mendon, Massachusetts. It’s one of the last drive-ins still standing, and it attracts a huge crowd every night during the summer months. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, they have double features of current blockbusters. But as Fall starts to take over, the Mendon Twin has special throwback nights, and we went to see two American classics. First up was Jaws, which I had somehow never seen. As somebody who wants to work in film and television, Spielberg is (of course) a massive influence for me. I’ve seen most of his films, and they are all so inspirational. Jaws has a great plot and great acting, but I was mostly focused on the cinematography and editing techniques. (Nerd alert– I know.) The film was shot so brilliantly, and it’s clear that Jaws, which literally invented the blockbuster, was revolutionary in every way. Amazing film. And it’s so cool that my first time seeing it was at a drive-in. Just perfect.
31. Back to the Future (1985)
The second movie on the classics bill was Back to the Future, another legendary film that I had never seen. Of course, I’ve seen parts of it and knew the general idea, but this was my first time really watching it. Director Robert Zemeckis and producer Steven Spielberg craft an entertaining and hilarious story. It’s a fun journey with memorable characters and enough heart and drama to pack an emotional punch. Plus it’s so “eighties” that it’s practically a double nostalgia trip– add to that the fact that we saw it at a drive-in! I felt like I did some time-traveling myself! Michael J. Fox is splendid. He has a new show coming to NBC this fall that I’m looking forward to. Anybody know what Biff is doing today?
32. Barbarella (1968)
It was a Netflix kind of Saturday today. First up was this sci-fi gem from 45 years ago. Jane Fonda looked real good. She still looks real good. This movie was strange and wonderful, but I was mostly focused on Jane Fonda’s spectacular… diction. Seriously, that woman knows how to speak well.
Jane Fonda also has an exquisite pair of… Oscars. Okay, I’m done.
33. Capote (2005)
My partner in crime Joan said that she’d only watch Barbarella if we watched Capote afterwards. I think that’s a fair exchange. Capote was brilliant. Philip Seymour Hoffman, who by the way looks exactly like the drummer in Keith Urban’s band, was a tour de force. He deserved every ounce of gold in his Oscar. The cinematography was beautiful. The direction was stellar. All over an amazing movie.
34. Chronicle (2012)
Wow. Chronicle is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I feel like I’ve been waiting my entire life for this film. The less I say about the plot the better, but it’s just amazing. GO WATCH IT NOW!
35. Tootsie (1982)
Jessica Lange won an Oscar for this. Wicked funny. Well shot. A little bit dated.
36. Django Unchained (2012)
When it’s good, its one of the best movies ever.
37. Frozen (2013) (in theaters)
People are saying that this is the best Disney movie since The Lion King. They may be right. I’m jammin’ to Idina Menzel’s terrific “Let It Go” right now. Go download it.
38. Spring Breakers (2013)
Fantastic, in every sense of the word.
39. Wayne’s World (1992)
Had I been older than a baby when this came out, I probably would have seen it a million times and memorized every line. Unfortunately, some of the pop culture references lost some of their punch in the ensuing decades, but it was still a wicked funny movie. Party on.