At the beginning of last year, two of my favorite people suggested I try a new tradition: keeping track of every movie I see for the first time throughout the year. In 2013, I saw 39 films for the first time, from Tootsie to Frozen. Let’s start 2014 right!
1. Caddyshack (1980)
I know, how I have never seen Caddyshack? I wish I saw it years ago. It was funny, sublime, and very, very strange. It felt like several movies at once, all of them good. There was the simple story about some caddies and their ambitions. There was a Chevy Chase love story. There was a Rodney Dangerfield/Ted Knight slapstick comedy of errors. And then of course there was a war film starring Bill Murray.
Two catchphrases from the movie were weird to hear, because my dad says them pretty much every day: “Hey Whitey, where’s your hat?” & “Let’s go! While we’re young!” Now I have a little more context! Anyways, great movie. Oh, and Cindy Morgan, who played the gorgeous love interest of pretty much every character, retweeted me when I tweeted at her about seeing the movie. Solid afternoon. 🙂
2. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Jack Nicholson. Cher. Michelle Pfeiffer. Susan Sarandon. One is the greatest actor alive, one is the only person to have Number One hits in six different decades, one I’ve been in love with since I was a toddler, and one was my fifth grade teacher’s college roommate. Good movie, better cast.
3. Son of God (2014)
The first movie I saw in theaters this year was one of the many biblical epics that have hit the screen recently. I would say that while Son of God isn’t a good film, it is a good movie. Does that make sense? It’s wicked melodramatic, the acting is over the top, and nobody involved with the movie seems to have ever heard the word subtlety. But, it was still incredibly moving and captivating. At one point, when Jesus was teaching his followers The Lord’s Prayer, I could hear people around me saying it with him. Also, the film depicted the people who persecuted Jesus as religious fanatics, scared of change and new ideas… sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
4. Neighbors (2014)
Saw this at the movies in Astoria with my neighbors. Liked it a lot. Zac Efron is a good bro.
5. The Other Woman (2014)
Saw this in theaters with my friend Rachel. I had to see it because Cameron Diaz told me to change the way I drink my coffee, and Kate Upton tweeted at me once. (Quick aside slash plug: Cameron Diaz made me stop using artificial sweeteners in my coffee. For more tips, check out her new book The Body Book. It’s really great!)
Anywho, the film itself was very interesting. Cameron Diaz is her usual awesome. Kate Upton brought a funny and fresh energy to the screen. But the best part about The Other Woman is Leslie Mann, who was an absolute tour de force. She was zany, hilarious, manic, and so real. It’s a shame that so-called chick flicks are dismissed from award contention, because Leslie Mann gives an absolutely stellar performance. I would highly recommend this movie to people who enjoy watching a movie with friends and a glass or three of white wine on a Friday night.
6. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Some movies are better the less you know about them. This is one of them. Go see it. It’s good.
7. The Strangers (2008)
This is another one where I don’t want to say anything about the plot, because it’s best to know as little as you can going in. What I will say here is that The Strangers is a bleak and terrifying movie. While there are a ton of scary moments that make you jump while watching, there are even creepier aspects of the film that will stay with you during quiet nights. For real, don’t watch this alone. Right now I have my door triple-deadlocked, and I’ve never been happier to live in an apartment several floors above ground. I’m not sure how I’ll do when I turn the lights off…
8. Se7en (1995)
Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. Two of this generation’s finest and most versatile actors. Together they star in a terrific, graphic, borderline-dystopic film. Definitely worth a watch. David Fincher’s direction is, as always, superb and unique. He always seems to capture so well that sad, grimy depravity the world has today.
9. The Dark Crystal (1982)
This is my friend Boho’s favorite movie. She’s been talking about it for years, and the other night we finally sat down to watch it. It is a dark and thrilling adventure, starring a cast of Muppets that range from adorable to grotesque. Co-directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, The Dark Crystal is a triumph of filmmaking.