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Movie Board: My favorite movies of 2010

Posted in Academy Awards, Harry Potter, movies, reviews with tags , , , , , , on January 11, 2011 by Paxton

Movie Board

Here we are again.  It’s time for my annual encounter with The Movie Board.  We’ve been through a lot, Movie Board, and it’s time to do it again.  Let’s dance.

First off, let’s take a look at this year’s Movie Board.

Movie Board 2010
My Movie Board 2010

According to it’s all-knowing whiteness I saw 52 movies this past year.  Very close to last year in which I saw 53 movies.  I was on a tear throughout the summer, way ahead of my pace for last year, but the pace slowed to a crawl in September with the birth of my son.  However, I rallied and was able to get my movie viewing total back up over 50.  Actually, the number of movies I saw was probably closer to 60 as I also saw movies like True Grit (the original), Death Trap and Harry Brown, but they were all released before 2010.  And this list is for movies released within the calendar 2010 movie season.

Anyway, from this list I’ve culled my favorites.  And here they are in no particular order.

Inception
Inception – Mind bending.  Best way to describe this movie.  Leo is great in this.  I think I prefer this movie to Shutter Island.  I’d definitely watch Inception again before watching Shutter Island.  Sure, some of the dream mechanics are a little…ill defined.  Sure, Ellen Page’s character actually going into the dream made little to no sense.  But I enjoyed it all the same.  Fun and interesting story, action and a cliff hanger ending that usually SERIOUSLY pisses me off but didn’t here.  I love that rotating hallway fight sequence.  So awesome.

Salt
Salt – I was blown away by this movie.  It’s brutally AWESOME.  The action is intense.  I was not expecting the action and suspense in this movie to be as balls out awesome as it is.  Angelina is great and Liev Shreiber is also great (as usual).  So ridiculously good.  It’s like a female Bourne Identity.  I seriously think this is nearly as good as the first Bourne Identity (not the last one, the first one).

Harry Potter 7-1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I – I have seen every one of these movie in the theater.  And dammit if every one of these movies hasn’t gotten better and better.  Prisoner of Azkaban is phenomenal, Goblet of Fire is pretty good, but then Order of Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince are nothing short of spectacular.  And this movie just continues that awesomeness forward.  However, many people I know have been saying they were disappointed with this one.  I think it’s all expectations.  This movie is much darker than any other of the movies.  Plus, it covers the section of the book where Ron leaves and Harry and Hermione are running/searching for horcruxes alone.  Many people thought that storyline was boring in the book but I loved it.  It shows just how difficult a time they had and just how cut off from the rest of the wizarding world they really were.  Makes what happens later mean more.  I love this movie and I can’t wait to watch the next one.  Oh, yeah, since this is a Part I, it sets up a lot of the story for Part II, which may throw people off also.

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The Movie Board: Worst movies of 2009

Posted in Academy Awards, movies, Oscars, reviews with tags , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by Paxton

Movie Board

Okay, on Tuesday, you saw my favorite movies of 2009. These were all the movies I really enjoyed and will probably watch multiple times. Now, it’s time to look at what I think were the worst movies of 2009.

What makes a bad movie for me, for the most part, is disappointment because of expectations. I expect to really enjoy the movie because of a funny trailer or an interesting story and the movie doesn’t live up to those expectations. Those are the movies that go on this list. There are movies like Crank or Fast & Furious that you would expect to be on here, but let’s be honest, those movies are supposed to be bad. They are awful for a reason. Plus they are fun-awful, not awful-awful.

Before we get started, take a look back at previous years’ lists with my worst movies of 2007 and my worst movies of 2008 articles.

So here are the movies I was most disappointed with this year. Honestly, I could only come up with four. I really had a hard time putting together this list. There were a lot of good movies this year.  Here are the movies I really didn’t like.

Men Who Stare At Goats
Men Who Stare At Goats - This was a very disappointing movie for me. The trailer was awesome, however they pretty much showed every single punchline for every single funny scene in the trailer. EVERY SINGLE ONE. The rest of the movie was an awkwardly quirky ride that was neither funny nor interesting.  So by the time I saw the movie, every funny event was spoiled and that made me not care about the rest of the movie.  So many good actors, so much wasted potential.  And, to whomever cut the trailer, thank you for ruining this movie for me, d-bag.

Gamer
Gamer – This movie had so much promise.  Gerard Butler as a prisoner fighting in some type of corporate war games run by Michael C Hall? Oh, and Gerard Butler is being controlled remotely by a video game user played by the kid who’s going to be the lead in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians movie? Yes, please. However this movie BLEW. It was weird, there wasn’t enough action or humor and the mechanics of the video war games Gerard Butler’s character participates in came and went depending on what was needed in the story. Michael C Hall was good but his character was off the charts weird. This was just a bad movie based on a very solid premise.

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The Movie Board: My favorite movies of 2009

Posted in Academy Awards, movies, Oscars, reviews, sequels, Star Trek with tags , , , , , , on January 12, 2010 by Paxton

Movie Board

Okay, everyone. We are finally here. We are at the point where I glance up at my 2009 Movie Board and try to figure out what were my favorite movies of 2009. For those scoring at home, here’s the Movie Board for this year:

Movie Board 2009

As you can see, I saw 53 movies that were released in 2009 (and therefore are eligible for the Oscars).  Some of those movies were in the theater (the majority of them, actually) and some were at home on Blu-Ray.  That’s 4.42 movies per month. Up from last year. Also, I was able to top 50 movies for the first time since 2007. So, I’m excited about that.  Last year my total was 49, so I was a bit irked I didn’t make it.  This year, I’m back, baby!

For those just joining us this year, or for those that like reliving the past, check out my favorite movie picks in my Movie Board articles for 2007 and 2008.  I myself like to look back every year before I write this article, just to get in the movie pickin’ mood.

This was a really good year for movies. I saw a metric TON of good flicks in 2009.  I really had a hard time getting this list down to my favorite movies of the year.  As usual, I’m just picking my favorite five.  My own personal “best” list.  You may agree, you may disagree.  Regardless, I’m right, so pipe down and prepare to be told what 5 movies rocked my world this year.

Okay, 2009 movies, let’s do this.

Star Trek 2009
Star Trek – Blew my ass away. I’d take a picture of my ass to prove it to you, but you wouldn’t see anything but a blank space, because it was BLOWN AWAY.  I saw this movie twice in theaters because I had my ass kicked so incredibly hard the first time, I had to go back to be sure it wasn’t an illusion.  And it wasn’t.  I laughed and cried (yes, I f’n cried) at all the exact same spots on both viewings.  Then, my dad gave me the movie for Xmas and I watched it again on Blu-Ray and was reduced to a blubbering, laughing mess for a THIRD TIME.  THIS MOVIE IS FANTASTIC.  I can’t place this movie high enough on the list to get across how much I love this movie.  JJ Abrams gets it.  Orci and Kurtzman get it.  The actors get it.  This movie was Star Trek, warts and all.  I know some people were bitching about the plot holes and time travel, but I invite those haters to SHUT THEIR CHEETOS HOLES.  If you have watched any of the original series episodes from the ’60s (which I’ve been doing) then this movie fits right in.  I put this movie up there with Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country as my favorite Star Trek movie.  I balled when George Kirk died.  I laughed and pumped my fist when Kirk beats the Kobayashi-Maru.  I marveled at the final battle with Nero.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Star Trek movie.  PERIOD.  Best.  Movie.  This.  Year.  Take that to the bank, haters.

District 9
District 9 – I read a lot of the press for this movie before it opened.  A small sci-fi film from South Africa produced by Peter Jackson and written/directed by a little known but talented guy named Neill Blomkamp.  I knew most of the movie is done in a mock documentary style about aliens that have come to Earth.  That’s about all I knew, but it looked like a really clever idea and I was excited to see it.  I had no idea what I was in for.  Fantastic.  This movie blends CGI, practical effects and live action in an unbelievably seamless way.  The aliens are all CGI, but they are REAL.  This is no Jar Jar Binks, my friends.  Also, even though it’s only used for the first 2/3 of the movie, the mockumentary structure really works.  This is just a wonderful sci-fi movie.  Some of the movie review guys on the Internets that I respect even put this in their best of the year.  Devin over at CHUD put it #4 in his top 15 of the year and both Massawyrm and Harry Knowles over at Aint It Cool News put it #1 on their lists.  I absolutely agree.  This movie deserves to be seen.  It’s awesome.  I can’t recommend it enough.  Hopefully we’ll see a nomination for Special Effects as well as Best Screenplay (fingers crossed).

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The Movie Board: Worst movies of 2008

Posted in Academy Awards, Movie Board, movies, Oscars, reviews with tags , , on January 13, 2009 by Paxton

Movie Board

Okely, dokely.  Last week I gave you my 5 favorite movies of 2008.  Now it’s time to talk about the 5 worst movies I saw last year.  If you would like, you can take a look at my five worst movies from 2007 right here.

Looking over the list this year, I noticed that the worst movies, for me, tend to be ones I was super-psyched to go see, but they, for whatever reason, turn out to suck.  HARD.  Just being bad is one thing, but promising massive coolness and then dumping in my lap nothing but a steaming pile of monkey dung is a major faux pas.  I am still one of the few that really wants to see movies on the big screen.  Yes, the other people that go to movies are neanderthals.  They leave their candy and trash all around their seat because “they have people to pick that up” (how hard is it to carry your cup and popcorn bag to the f’n trash, you are going that way anyway).  They answer cell phones in the middle of the movie (Why pay 10 bucks to talk on your cell phone?!).  They talk to their friends during the movie, or make fun of the movie while it’s playing.  So yes, there are plenty of reasons to avoid the “unwashed masses” and watch all your movies at home.  I, however, enjoy the large screen and fantastic sound.  I want to see movies like Iron Man, Dark Knight, Hulk, Indiana Jones and others on the big screen.  That’s how it’s meant to be done.  Now, I’ll usually avoid the evening shows and Steph and I will hit the Saturday matinees where it’s cheaper and less crowded, but we are getting out there.  Seeing the movie in the theater.  So, naturally, after all this, if a movie is uninteresting or just bad, I’ll be pissed that I wasted my energy.

So, as a public service announcement, here are the five movies I believe to be the five worst movies I saw in 2008.  I recommend not watching any one of these stink bombs.

Here they are in no particular order:


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull- That’s right.  I’m saying it.  This was one of the worst movies of 2008.  More to the point, it was one of the most disappointing movies of 2008.  It was not remotely the same Indy we saw in The Last Crusade.  Despite everyone saying that Ford looked great, he looked older.  A lot older.  They could cast Indiana Jones in the next Mummy movie.  Also, Spielberg seemed to be on cruise control.  How flat and uninteresting did this movie look?  Too much CGI, not enough practical.  And the alien aspect was more X-Files and less Indy.  The whole thing felt odd when I saw it.  I wanted to watch it again in theaters to give it another chance but couldn’t bring myself to pay to watch it again.  Maybe I’ll rent the Blu-Ray and give it one more chance.  But I’m sure it won’t be good enough to move off this list.  If they make more of these, I’ll see them, but it will be in a robotic, soulless way, not with any enthusiasm or excitement (in much the same way they made this movie).

X-Files I Want to Believe
X-Files: I Want To Believe- This is right up there with Indiana Jones.  Actually, I found this more disappointing than Indiana Jones.  I wanted to believe (ha! pun) that this movie was gonna rock.  I was exactly who this movie was made for.  I watched X-Files.  I saw the last movie in the theater.  My wife and I watched the first season of X-Files on DVD a month or so before the movie came out.  I was so pumped.  Then, after seeing the movie, I came out of the theater feeling like this movie raped my wife and punched my mother in face.  WTF was that?!  The nostalgia of seeing Mulder and Scully on the big screen again almost brain washed me into thinking the movie was good.  ALMOST.  Alas, it was not good.  At all.  It was like a bad episode of CSI, much less a bad episode of X-Files.  WTF happened?  It’s like Chris Carter crapped in a bucket and that bucket wrote the script for this movie.  I want to cry thinking about it.  If you have fond memories of X-Files, do not see this movie.  EVER.

Disaster Movie
Disaster Movie- Why do they keep making these spoof movies?  Are they making money at this point?  What started out as a very clever idea with Not Another Teen Movie and Scary Movie has devolved into a carousel of comedy abortions.  I thought Epic Movie last year would have bottomed out the genre but this movie hits the bottom, gets out an industrial-sized drill, and starts digging.  It is AWFUL.  This might be the only movie on this list I didn’t have high hopes for and it STILL managed to come in under those expectations.  I was actually embarrassed for the actors in the movie.  There is a HORRIBLE send-up of a High School Musical song that literally had me cringing and looking for the door.  I can’t recommend watching this under any circumstances.  Seriously.  Even hammered with 12 of your best friends, the movie isn’t funny.  You’ve been warned.

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The Movie Board: My favorite movies of 2008

Posted in Academy Awards, Movie Board, movies, Oscars, reviews with tags , , on January 6, 2009 by Paxton

Movie Board

Well, 2008 is over and the 2009 movie season looms over us like a petulant child, demanding our attention and constantly wanting to be fed and changed. These new movie seasons sure are screaming, poop machines, aren’t they?

Anywho, the Academy is deciding on the 2008 Oscar nominees as we speak (this year’s Oscars are supposed to air on February 22). When the nominees are finally announced (Jan 22), I’ll be sure to let you know what movies made it and also give a little review of how I think the Oscar committee did like I did for last year’s Oscars nominations.

So, on to the movies I saw in 2008. The Movie Board, just to give a small history, was started by me in Dec 2006. I use it to keep track of all the movies I watched that were released on DVD or in theaters during the calendar year. This way I can easily look back at my list at the end of the year and see, at a glance, what my favorite movies were.  Here’s the list for 2007 to refresh your memory.

So, without further ado, here is my 2008 Movie Board with all the movies I saw this year (click the image for a bigger view).

2008 Movie Board

According to its all-knowing dry erase-ness, I saw 49 movies last year.    Just over 4 a month or about a movie a week.  Last year, I was up over 50 movies.  Of course, this doesn’t include older movies not released in 2008 that Steph and I watched from Blockbuster and/or Netflix.  Nor does it take into account multiple viewings because I saw Iron Man, Hulk, Hancock, Jumper, Tropic Thunder and several others at least twice last year (some in the theater and some on DVD).

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The Movie Board: Worst Movies of 2007

Posted in Academy Awards, humor, Movie Board, movies, pop culture, reviews with tags , , on January 15, 2008 by Paxton

Movie Board

Allright, last week I gave you my 5 favorite movies of 2007. Now it’s time to unleash upon your delicate sensibilities the 5 worst movies I saw in 2007. Be warned, these movies are bad. Some of them may be bad enough that I’ll recommend watching them, but only for the bold. Do you have the stones to sit through 2 hours of crap? We’ll see.

Here they are in no particular order:

Kickin it Old Skool
Kicking it Old Skool- You’ll find that most movies on this list are here because they had a ton of potential, but completely squandered it. This movie has a funny premise; Jamie Kennedy is an elementary school break dancing king in the early ’80s. During a particularly dangerous move, he falls and is put in a coma for 20 years. When he wakes up he has to adjust to the fact that all his friends have grown up and break dancing is no longer cool. Classic fish-out-of-water premise using the ’80s and break dancing. I love it. Except the movie is terrible. Almost unwatchable. The best part of the movie is about 5-10 min in. Jamie Kennedy’s doctor is played by Alan Ruck (Cameron Frye in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). Ruck’s character in this movie is named Doctor Frye and he even mentions paying off his father’s Ferrari. Steph and I about died. Great stunt cameo, this movie is gonna rock, right? Wrong. DEAD wrong. STAY AWAY.

Shoot 'em Up
Shoot ‘em Up- This looked so good in the trailer. Clive Owen is a mysterious “nanny” that gets caught up helping a woman and a baby escape hired killers. It looked like a cross between Pulp Fiction and Lucky Number Slevin; lots of action and funny dialogue. Well, this movie is weird. Monica Belucci plays a prostitute who lets grown men breast feed from her. Paul Giamatti plays a hitman with an overbearing wife. The dialogue is ridiculous. I had serious issues staying “in the movie” if you get what I’m saying. Just weird, with a few good action scenes. This is here mostly because it should have been much, MUCH better.

Knocked Up
Knocked Up- Oh Seth Rogan, you magnificent bastard. What happened here? The cast for this movie is pretty much part and parcel from the very funny TV show Underclassmen (if you remember the 1 season it ran back in the early ’90s). Seth Rogan is on a roll lately and the premise seemed amusing. However, Seth and his friends in this movie are lame. Seth’s character is even somewhat of an A-hole. Katherine Heigl’s character is a little witchy (with a ‘b’). I could not laugh at this movie because the whole thing is so tragically sad. Paul Rudd saved the 5 minutes of the movie he appeared in. Other than that, I say go see Superbad instead. I really wanted to like this one, too.

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The Movie Board: My Favorite Movies of 2007

Posted in Academy Awards, Movie Board, movies, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , on January 10, 2008 by Paxton

Movie Board

Well, 2007 is over and the Oscar nominees are being decided as we speak (the 2008 Oscars are supposed to air on February 24). When the nominees are finally announced, I’ll be sure to let you know and I might even give a little review of how the Oscar committee did like I did for last year’s Oscars nominations. Did I get to see everything I wanted to see this year? No. Of course not. My wife and I love movies and there are several movies we missed this year. However, we did see a lot of movies in 2007.

In Dec 2006, I decided to keep track of all the movies released in 2007 that I got to see. Whether it was in the theater or on DVD. I started this because I would read all of these “Best Movies of the Year” articles and wanted to write my own. However, by the end of the year, I’d forgotten all the movies I’d seen except for a select few. So, I decided to keep a running record. I set up a white board in my cubicle and wrote down every movie I saw throughout the year. I called it “The Movie Board”. People would come over and check it out to see if I’d add any new ones over the weekend. It was fairly popular. Well, now that the year is over, let’s take a look at the final tally. Remember, these are only the movies released in the 2007 calendar year. My wife and I saw many more movies, these are just movies released within the current year.

2007 Movie Board

There it is above, The Movie Board (click the picture for a bigger view). According to its all knowing whiteness, I saw 57 movies last year that were released in 2007. Well, the board actually says 58, but I mistakenly put Knocked Up twice. And, well, crap, now that I look at it, the first two movies, Blood Diamond and The Good Sheperd, were released in December 2006, so that reduces the list to 55. That’s about 4.58 movies a month. Just over 1 a week. Not bad. That doesn’t include the older movies Steph and I rented and/or own that we watched.

So now it’s time to peruse this list and see what my top 5 favorite movies are for 2007. Notice I’m not saying these are the 5 best movies of 2007. “Best” is subjective. I’m not telling you one movie is better than another for whatever reason. Sure, I could wax philosophic about my favorite movie saying it’s the most important movie of the year. I could talk about how deep and profound the script is, how it tackles many issues on several different levels. I could discuss how lush and royal the colors and scenery are. I may even delve into the hearty tone, smart characterization and sweeping scope using flowery words that mean little but sound like I know what I’m talking about. The truth, I really have no idea what I’m talking about. You know it and I know it. The following five movies are the ones that entertained me the most. Period. I’m letting you know so that you may enjoy them too. Shall we begin?

Here they are in no particular order:

3:10 to Yuma
3:10 to Yuma- What a really good movie. Russell Crowe is a captured outlaw and Christian Bale is a poor rancher who is somewhat railroaded into helping escort Crowe’s character to the departing prison train of the title. Wonderful performances by Crowe and Bale as well as strong appearances by Peter Fonda and Ben Foster. Check this one out, seriously.

Stardust
Stardust- I wanted to see this in the theater because it looked fun, but I was surprised at how good overall it was. It’s a wild and crazy fantasy movie with many characters and a plot that is really hard to describe. I’ll try: A guy is in love with a girl who doesn’t love him. He promises to fetch her a fallen star if she would love him back. He goes to find the fallen star and his adventures in trying to get the star back to the girl is the main adventure. Such fun adventures with a lot of magic, witches, pirates, sword fights and danger. I highly recommend this. How old is Michelle Pfeiffer, by the way? She is still unbelievably beautiful in this movie (quick trip to IMDB tells me she’s 50 years old…WOW). See it.

Bourne Ultimatum
Bourne Ultimatum- This end to the first trilogy (hopefully there will be more) is a fitting one. Bourne returns to put a stop to the government’s dogged pursuit of him and what he knows. Damon was born (pun intended) to play this role. Exotic locales, unbelievable action sequences and smart dialogue make this one as good as the first Bourne movie.

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