Archive for Movie Board

The Best Movies I saw in 2016

Posted in movies with tags , , on January 25, 2017 by Paxton

Movie Report

MORE YEAR END ROUND UP ARTICLES!!

Today, I’m not only judging movies that I watched that opened last year, but ALL movies I watched for the first time in 2016.

I’ll start off with a list of my favorite movies that were released in 2016 and I’ll finish up with movies that were released in other years but I only saw for the first time last year.  I may even throw in some honorable mentions as I love to do.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite movies I saw in 2016.  In no particular order.


Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War – This is probably not a surprise.  It was awesome and everything I wanted it to be.  Chris Evans’ Captain America has become my favorite Marvel hero, even over Downey’s Iron Man.  I love all three Cap movies but only love one and a half Iron Man movies.  These just keep getting better.  And the inclusion of all these newer heroes; Ant-Man, Falcon, Winter Soldier, the new Spider-Man.  All, just perfect.  I now want a Falcon-Winter Soldier buddy movie.  Make THAT happen, Marvel.


Deadpool – Exactly what this movie should have been.  I honestly didn’t think Fox could pull it off.  I knew they nailed the lead with Ryan Reynolds, but I honestly didn’t think they’d stick to their guns for the bloody, irreverent tone this movie needed.  I was wrong.  Fun, vulgar and entertaining.


Somm: Into the Bottle – This is a sequel to a documentary that I talked about back in 2014.  Last time they were following several Master Sommelier hopefuls as they prepared to take the Master test.  This time, it’s more of an in-depth look at old world wineries and how they craft wine differently.  It’s fascinating stuff.  You do see the original four guys from the first documentary, but not in an update to how they are doing four years later.  The guys are now a part of the panel of talking wine heads.


Marvel’s Doctor Strange – In a way, this somewhat took me by surprise.  I’m a fan of Doctor Strange.  I read him a little in the late 80s-early 90s and I’ve revisited his Steve Ditko origins.  I love sorcerers, so I always kept my eye on him.  But I was cautiously optimistic that Marvel could pull this off without watering the character down.  And they did it.  Straight up magic and everything.  And lots of humor.  I didn’t expect the humor.  This was a pretty great movie and I look forward to him showing up more often in the Marvel Movie Universe.  One caveat, the wonderful Rachel McAdams is mostly wasted. Hopefully they find more to do with her in future movies.


The Magnificent Seven – You can hear my full thoughts of this movie on the appropriate episode of the Hellbent for Letterbox podcast, but in short, I loved this movie. Lots of good characters, lots of good action. Definitely a fun ride for western fans. And even those maybe not traditionally a western fan.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Best Movies I saw in 2015

Posted in movies with tags , , on January 21, 2016 by Paxton

Movie Board

Time to continue my year end round ups with my favorite movies list.  Today, I’m not only judging movies that I watched that opened last year, but ALL movies I watched for the first time in 2015.

I’ll start off with a list of my favorite movies that were released in 2015 and I’ll finish up with movies that were released in other years but I only saw for the first time last year.  I may even throw in some honorable mentions as I love to do.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite movies I saw in 2015.  In no particular order.


Kingsman: The Secret Service – Wow, what a great movie.  I love Colin Firth and Michael Caine.  I’m ambivalent about Sam Jackson because I’m somewhat tired of him being “Sam Jackson” in every movie.  But the concept of this movie intrigued me so I saw it and I love it.  Firth is amazing and Sam Jackson actually mixes it up a little and becomes a very interesting villain.  I really enjoyed this movie.


Mad Max: Fury Road – So, Nerd Lunch and Cult Film Club did our Mad Max drilldown last year.  I finally watched all the original Mel Gibson Mad Max movies for the first time for that podcast.  I enjoyed them more than I was expecting.  Then, I went to see this in the theater and it BLEW MY DAMN MIND HOW AWESOME A MOVIE COULD BE.  I’d be hard pressed to pick my favorite movie this year, but this would definitely be in the running.  Balls out action, insanely detailed characters and world building.  Just amazing.


The Hateful Eight – I like pretty much everything Quentin does. There are some lows for me, but it’s mostly up.  I loved Django Unchained and I was excited to see Quentin return to westerns for his next movie.  This is a much more mean spirited film than Django, but it’s every bit as good.  Sam Jackson, my boy Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern.  All of them are awesome in this.  So, so good.  I want to see it again right now.


Creed (Blu-ray + DVD + UV) – I’m a fan of most of the Rocky movies.  My personal favorite is probably Rocky 3, but I generally like all of them.  So I was a little excited to see how this turned out and holy crap it’s f**king amazing.  This is a phenomenal movie.  It sort of blends the first movie with the third movie.  Michael B Jordan is awesome and Sly has never been better.  I was sobbing like a baby at the end.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Yep, here it is. In my favorites of the year. While not a perfect movie I really did enjoy it.  Yes, there are haters. And yes, I do have some story issues, but this felt like a Star Wars movie.  I was excited by the action.  I was laughing at the humor.  I actually liked the dialogue and the characters that said the dialogue.  So much fun and I can’t wait to take my 5 year old son to see this movie.

Continue reading

Worst Movies I saw in 2014

Posted in movies with tags , , on January 21, 2015 by Paxton

Movie Board

On Monday I gave you my favorite movies of 2014. Here are the worst movies I saw in 2014.


I Frankenstein (2014) – I watched this hoping for a “so bad it’s awesome” schlock-fest.  What I got is a non-sensical mish-mash genre picture that isn’t sure if it wants to be taken seriously or be completely tongue-in-cheek.  And that inability to commit ruins the final product.  And I love Aaron Eckhart, but he’s not a very good Frankenstein’s Monster.


Pain & Gain (2013) – I watched this based on the word of mouth and the cast.  I thought it was going to be funnier.  I didn’t realize it was going to be as dark as it turned out to be.  It just lost me, I guess.  Ed Harris, as usual, is GREAT, but the rest of the cast, just lost me.  I came out the end not really liking the movie or any of the characters in the movie.


A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) – I watched this against my better judgement.  I felt the last Die Hard movie was a good movie on its own, but was a sh*tty Die Hard movie.  And that’s where this falls.  Except, this is even a less interesting story than the last one.  I think Willis has forgotten how to be John McClane.  These last two movies are really just Willis being Willis.  He’s too stoic.  Loosen up, dude.  McClane is an everyman policeman.  Not super bionic cop.  This character discrepancy is especially evident if you watch the first two Die Hard movies in a row and then watch this movie the next night.  Which I did.


Non-Stop (2014) – This is more of a mild “not recommend” as opposed to the other movies in this list.  I was more disappointed here.  I thought it would be so much better plus it had a pretty good cast with Neeson, Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery who plays Mary on Downton Abbey.  This movie sort of reminded me of Neeson in Unknown, another B-level thriller that was more miss than hit.  Neeson has been racking up roles since he took off in Taken and he’s mostly awesome, but the law of averages is a vicious bitch and this will tend to happen.  Want a different, better Neeson movie from last year starring an actor from Downton Abbey?  Check out A Walk Among the Tombstones.

The Best Movies I saw in 2014

Posted in movies with tags , , on January 19, 2015 by Paxton

Movie Board

Here I am again to list out my favorite movies of the last year.  This time it’s for 2014. *Insert jokes/comments about how quickly time has passed.*

Today, I’m not only judging movies that I watched that opened last year, but ALL movies I watched for the first time in 2014.

I think I’m going to split this list into two categories. I’ll start off with a list of my favorite movies that were released in 2014 and I’ll finish up with movies that were released in other years but I only saw for the first time last year.

It’s amazing how good 2014 was for movies.  I had a hard time picking, so I think I’m going to extend my usual five picks to eight.  Here they are:


John Wick – Wow. Just…WOW. This movie is balls out intense and action packed. Keanu crushes it. I can’t recommend this movie enough.  Wall to wall action and gunfights. Brutal.  GREAT.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier – I loved the first Cap movie, but this one blew that one out of the water. In this movie, you see why Cap is a BAD ASS. Great, great movie with lots of amazing action and a great cast.  I also love that it turns out to be a conspiracy plot that changes up the makeup of the Marvel Movie-verse a bit and not just Cap defeating some super baddie.  We also get a pretty great scene of Nick Fury being bad ass Nick Fury.  Something we don’t get to see enough of.  And now I want to see a Captain America and Falcon movie.  Right now.


Draft Day – I love the sh*t out of this movie. And it’s a testament to how good it is that it’s the only movie in this list that I’ve seen THREE times. And I love it every time I watch it. Kevin Costner is awesome and I’ll watch him in most anything.  Plus, there’s some gratuitous Jacksonville love at the end.


The Equalizer – OMFG this movie is balls out awesome. Denzel is a MAN in this. I really hope this turns into a series of movies where we see Denzel helping out people in need. So. Fu**king. Good.  Intense. Smart. Great action scenes.  In many ways this is as brutal as John Wick, but it also has a lot more to think about.


X-Men: Days of Future Past – I’m a big fan of the original X-Men movies (as you heard on the Nerd Lunch Podcast) plus I’m a huge fan of X-Men: First Class. Combine those franchises and I was ALL IN. And it turned out pretty great. I was very happy with this movie and watching Jackman, Fassbender, McAvoy and Lawrence tear it up was just awesome.


Guardians of the Galaxy – Against all odds this movie turned out pretty great. The eclectic cast and sly humor completely won me over. Not to mention the awesome sci-fi set pieces and I am 100% in love.  And I’m glad it caught on with everyone else because now we’ll get more of their adventures sooner rather than later.


Maleficent – Here we are again with Disney.  I love these reimagining/retelling from a different point of view type stories.  I thought this movie was going to be good but it was SO GOOD.  Angelina is great as Maleficent and you really get a sense of her character in the movie.  It’s a great companion piece to Sleeping Beauty.  And the movie looks just unbelievable.  Such great visuals.


Into the Woods – Jeez, Disney again.  Obviously I’d seen the trailer for this but knew nothing else about it going in. Not even that it was originally a Broadway show.  And it blew me away.  I’m a big fan of Broadway shows anyway, so having this be an actual interpretation of a Broadway show didn’t bother me at all.  And I hadn’t seen the original show so I didn’t really know what I was missing.  I’d love to see the show now.  This movie is awesome and fun with great songs and a fun way to intertwine several different fairy tales into one long form story.  And Meryl Streep kills the witch.  She is so good.  As is Emily Blunt as the Baker’s wife and Chris Pine as one of the princes even has a few great moments.  So good, especially if you’re a fan of musicals to begin with.

Now those are the best movies I saw that were released last year. Now, let’s look at the best of all the other movies I watched for the first time in 2014 that weren’t released that year.


Frozen (2013) – As you can probably guess, since I’ve mentioned it once or twice, I’m a big Disney musical fan. Plus I have kids. Both my son and daughter LOVE this movie and all of the songs. I’ve probably watched this movie upwards of 50 times but I still like it. And all the songs (except the troll song).  Both the movie’s story and the songs are written so well and all of the voice cast is amazing.  Is it overexposed?  Yes, but deservedly so.  It’s still a great movie.


Blackfish (2013) – I had read about this documentary online so I gave it a shot on Netflix streaming. WOW. Horrific. Sad. Scary. It’s a tough one to watch but it’s totally worth it.


Saving Mr. Banks (2013) – Wow, 2013 must have been a great year for movies as well.  Look how many showed up in my list this year that I didn’t even watch.  Like I said, I love Disney, the movies and the whole atmosphere of the man and the company.  And Mary Poppins is one of my favorite Disney movies.  So combine all of that and give us the “behind the scenes” story of how that movie was created?  YES.  Hanks and Thompson knock it out of the park.  This is such a great movie.


Somm (2012) – This was another documentary I loved this year. Recommended to me by my good friend Stephen Dupuy. My wife and I love all things wine.  So this was right up our alley.  It follows several people who are studying and preparing to take the Master Sommelier test.  A test that is so all encompassing and so difficult that in the last 40 years of its history less than 200 people have passed.  A look into the mind of why someone would want to do that.


Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) – The sequel came out in 2014 and I saw it in the theater.  But I hadn’t watched the first one at the time so I watched it the day before I went to see the sequel.  I had very little expectations.  I don’t love Planet of the Apes and have no particular nostalgia for the franchise so I wasn’t really looking forward to watching it.  But I was wrong.  The movie is pretty great.  It’s amazing the performance you get out of Ceasar.  Kudos to Andy Serkis for that.  This is truly a great movie.  The sequel is good too.  Not as good as the first one, but it’s definitely a worthy sequel to this movie (It just missed making the list above).  I look forward to more Caesar movies.

Movie Board: The Worst Movies I Saw in 2013

Posted in movies, pop culture with tags , , , on January 15, 2014 by Paxton

Movie Board

I gave you the best movies I saw in 2013, now it’s time for the worst movies.


Battleship (2012) – I thought this movie was going to be awesome. And some of the alien tech is pretty awesome.  But Taylor Kitsch can’t carry a movie.  Plus his character in this is terrible.  How did a f**k up go from being almost arrested for breaking and entering to being forced into joining the Navy instead of going to jail (what? they do that?)  to becoming a COMMANDING OFFICER on a nuclear battleship only 2 years later?  Does the career path of the Navy work that way? Retarded. This movie is BAD. And not in a good way.  Liam Neeson is WASTED and Brooklyn Decker is HOT.  This movie would have been so much better if they had let Kitch’s character’s brother be the lead.  Well, it would have been slightly better.


Rock of Ages (2012) – On paper, this movie was tailor-made for me. A movie based on a hit Broadway show? Check, I’m in.  An awesome soundtrack with 80s era rock and metal? Touche. Tom Cruise? Alec Baldwin? Julianne Hough? Paul Giamatti? Malin Ackerman? BRYAN CRANSTON?! Well played, Rock of Ages.  Well played.  You’ve pretty much hit most of my buttons.  Too bad you squandered all that good will with a terrible goddam movie.  And I LIKE musicals.  Performances were bad on both sides (acting/singing). Story was dumb and weird. I really had a tough time making it through this movie. Check out the horribly awkward Alec Baldwin/Russell Brand number that completely redefines REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling”.  I really wanted to like this.  I thought I was going to LOVE it.  I was wrong.  Sooooooo wrong.


Alex Cross (2012) – I’m not what one would call “a fan” of Mr Perry. However, the idea of Matthew Fox as the bad guy is excellent and I thought the trailer looked REALLY good. Again, I was wrong (becoming a pattern). Holy sh*t this movie is a f**king mess.  First of all, Perry doesn’t convincingly play “tough” or “bad ass”, which he needs to do by the end of the movie.  Matthew Fox’s villain is shown in the movie to be this bad ass, ruthless MMA fighter.  He enjoys inflicting pain and he seems to be very good at it.  I’m supposed to believe that puffy Tyler Perry is going to go toe-to-toe with Matthew Fox in a fistfight…AND WIN?!  No, no I don’t think so.  And F**K YOU movie for thinking that is a even remotely plausible.


Escape Plan (2013) – I went back and forth with this one. Honestly, this is a bad movie. The dialogue is terrible and the acting is as well. Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) is embarrassingly bad in his 2 or 3 scenes. However, this movie, for me, is in the “so bad it’s good” category for 1 reason; Arnie and Sly. The fact these two guys are in it, together, make it worth the price of admission. Even though the movie is garbage. Just watch the scene where Sly and Arnie’s characters first meet in the prison. The dialogue is incomprehensible. It’s like they just started filming and told them to “say stuff”.  This movie would be great to get all your buddies together with some pizza, beer and cocktails and just do nothing but make fun of the action onscreen.  It’s terrible, yes, but fun.  Something I can’t say about the other three movies on this list.

Movie Board: Favorite Movies I Watched in 2013

Posted in movies with tags , , on January 13, 2014 by Paxton

Movie Board

Here are my favorite movies I watched in 2013. There are a few older movies in here, but everything in this list I watched for the first time in 2013.


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) – Yes, the first one, which I didn’t see until January 2013.  Just to set the stage, I didn’t just love the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I enjoyed it, but didn’t LOVE it.  But the same can be said for me about the books.  The Hobbit, on the other hand, I first read in high school and I LOVED it and have been drooling to see Jackson put the kind of love and detail he did for the Rings movies into this prequel.  And judging from the first movie, he’s done it.  I loved everything about this movie.  The story, the sets, the music, the characters.  LOVED it.  And, as of writing this article, I also watched the second movie, The Desolation of Smaug.  But since it was January, I couldn’t include it here.  But, I LOVE this first movie and that’s why it’s on the list.


Fast & Furious 6 (2013) – I am in love with this series of movies. Especially everything since Part 4.  As a matter of fact, I think I’ve seen every one of these movies in the theater EXCEPT Fast 5.  Huh.  Anyway, this particular entry has become my favorite of the whole franchise.  Great cast, fun story, awesome action.  Excellent teaser scene at the end for Part 7.  Paul Walker’s death was tragic, yes, and it makes me curious how they are going to work around that.


Thor: The Dark World (2013) – The first Thor movie really surprised me in how much I liked it. So I was ready and waiting for this to not live up to it. But it did. I think I may have liked it even more than the first one.  Loki and Thor are great.  I like the return of Kat Dennings and Rene Russo as Frigga gets a chance to shine as well.  This is just a fun movie.  Are there a few problems?  Yes, but it’s fun enough that they didn’t bother me.


Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) – I love this movie. Was it as good as the first one?  No, not really, but there is SO MUCH funny stuff in this sequel.  The 70s setting, James Marsden as Jack Lime, Ron going blind, Doby the shark and the insane newsperson battle at the end.  This was as good a sequel as you could get from Anchorman.  Hopefully Dumb and Dumber To will be as good as this.

Continue reading

Movie Board: The worst movies I saw in 2012

Posted in movies with tags , , , on January 10, 2013 by Paxton

Movie Board

So, I’ve shown you my favorite movies of 2012. Let’s now take a look at the worst movies I saw in 2012.  The movies in this list are culled from my online Google Spreadsheet, just like my best of list, but I don’t just look at movies released in 2012.  I look at any movie I watched for the first time in 2012.

So here are the worst movies I watched last year.


Conan The Barbarian (2011) – Holy s**t, W-T-F, dude?! Want to know how to f**k up a Conan movie?  THIS is how.  You cast someone devoid of charisma.  And make the movie boring as balls.  And completely waste a nude scene with Rachel Nichols.  AND RON PEARLMAN WAS CONAN’S FATHER!!!  Considering all of that, it’s amazing just how AWFUL this movie is.  So much wasted potential.  This movie should make the “long walk” into the woods and kill itself.


Abduction – Here is where they tried to turn Lautner into an action hero. And it fails. Partly because the movie is just that f**king stupid, but also partly because Lautner is terrible in it.


Moonraker – Watched this in preparation for the Nerd Lunch James Bond episode.  And it’s every bit as terrible as everyone said it was.  Actually worse, because I was shocked how incredibly bad it is.  It’s called Moonraker, there’s a shot of Bond in space on the cover and it isn’t until 15 minutes are left in the movie until you actually get into…you know…SPACE.  F**K THIS MOVIE.


Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy – Disappointing. This isn’t a bad movie, per say, like the movies above.  This is just long and boring and really confusing.  Not what I expected, nor what I wanted.  Excellent cast, though.

Those are essentially the movies I liked the least this year. Most of them are just bad movies.  Usually the list is just filled with disappointments.