Archive for Movie Board

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.

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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.

Movie Board: My Favorite Movies of 2012

Posted in movies with tags , , , , on January 9, 2013 by Paxton

Movie Board

This will be the first year that I don’t actually have a physical “white board” in which I wrote down all of the movies I saw this past year.  My movie list is kept all digital now with Google Spreadsheets (like my book list).  So, it’s sad, but for the most part I think I’m retiring my literal “white board”.  Who knows, maybe I’ll bring it back.  We’ll see.  To see previous years’ picks, click the image above.

Anyway, I combed through my movie log and picked 5 of my favorite movies released in 2012.  Notice I’m not saying “best”.  That is so subjective, I’m just telling you my “favorite” movies of 2012, in no particular order.

Marvel’s The Avengers – Who am I kidding? This is my favorite movie of the year. It’s probably the greatest movie ever filmed.  I can’t add anything more to what’s already been said.  You’ve seen it or you are in a coma.  And I’m sorry for you coma people because you’re missing the best movie ever made.

Django Unchained – Just got a showing of this movie in under the wire and HOLY SHEEEEE-IT, it’s amazing. I think I like this one even better than Inglourious Basterds.  Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio are the reasons to see this movie, but I don’t mean to discount Jamie Foxx or Samuel L Jackson.  This is one well acted, well written movie and…IT’S A WESTERN!  Yes, maybe this will cause Hollywood to try it’s hand at more of them.  However, I am concerned that Disney’s The Lone Ranger may kill that notion, quick.  But I hope not.

Skyfall – Is this the best Bond film of all time? No, it’s not. However, it’s probably the best Craig Bond film. For me, right now, it ranks up there, possibly in the top 5 of all time Bond movies. We’ll see, though, time will tell if that holds up.  Fantastic movie.

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Movie Board: The Worst Movies I Saw in 2011

Posted in movies with tags , , , on February 10, 2012 by Paxton

Movie Board

Okay, here we are for the second installment of this year’s Movie Board. However, unlike my favorites, I’m not exclusively going off my Movie Board. I’ll be selecting from all the movies I watched in 2011, not just those released in 2011. If you want to see a complete list of the movies I watched, check out my movie log on Google Spreadsheet. Just click the 2011 tab.

Now, without further ado, here are the worst movies I watched in 2011.

Twilight Eclipse
Twilight Eclipse – This was released in 2010, but I watched the DVD when it came out in 2011. What can I say that my review back in March didn’t say? This movie is terrible. More disappointing than the terribleness of this movie is the fact that there was definite potential. A war between the vampires and werewolves. A new vampire, Riley, that is gathering a vampire army. Potential. That is wasted. For more melodramatic romantic BS between the most dysfunctional couple ever; Bella and Edward.  Either kill this series or just kill me.  I don’t care which.

Machete – Another movie with truckloads of missed potential. First of all, I’m not in love with Danny Trejo like the rest of the geek world seems to be. Trejo should have proved me wrong with this movie, but he didn’t. He just proved to me that he needs to keep doing his awesome character roles like Navajas the assassin in Desperado or Johnny23 in Con Air.  Stay away from lead roles.  Trejo felt very one note.  I just didn’t believe him to be the bad ass the movie wanted and needed him to be.  Great idea for a movie that was completely wasted.  And Jessica Alba, please stop making movies, please.  That is all.

Black Swan
Black Swan – Oh Darren Aronofsky, you terrible, terrible bastard. It all started in 1999 when I first saw Pi. The basic plot idea was good, but the movie was too convoluted and tough to follow. Next I decided to watch Requiem for a Dream in 2001. Ellen Burstyn was getting a lot of buzz for her role and Jennifer Connelly was supposedly in a big sex scene at the end. Unfortunately, again, the movie was convoluted, very, VERY dark and I felt like I needed a shower after watching it. And Connelly’s sex scene was at a point in the movie where you actually felt bad about watching it. I don’t want to feel shame when watching a Jennifer Connelly sex scene because I’ve been dreaming about it since Career Opportunities and The Rocketeer.  And the less said about The Fountain, the better. Anyway, now we come to Black Swan. Starring two of the hottest young ladies in Hollywood. And Aronofsky strikes again by making a hot lesbian scene featuring drunken, angry sex between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis not hot. You win, Sir Aronofsky. I am beaten.

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Movie Board: My Favorite Movies of 2011

Posted in Academy Awards, movies, Oscars, reviews with tags , on February 9, 2012 by Paxton

Movie Board

Finally, my thrilling year end aggregation of all of my favorite movies from 2011. Every year, I keep a white board at my desk of all the movies I see that are released in 2011. Hence the name, Movie Board. Here is that board.

Movie Board 2011

This year, I’m going to do something different. I’m going to split the list into two groups. Group 1 will be my 5 favorite movies that were released during 2011. Group 2 will be my 5 other favorite movies I saw in 2011 that weren’t released in that year. Then I’ll give my usual honorable mentions.

So let’s get started with my 5 favorite movies from 2011 in no particular order.

X-men: First Class
X-Men: First Class – How great was this movie. It was better than every X-Men movie before it. I really hope this cast continues on with more movies. I don’t even care if they try to stick with the established movie timeline. I just want more of this cast and this type of storytelling.

Capt America
Captain America – We really had a banner year for super hero movies. This movie was amazing and the perfect setup for The Avengers this summer. And Chris Evans. I’ve been a fan of him ever since I saw him in Not Another Teen Movie in 2001 and Cellular in 2004.  Not to mention his nearly perfect turn as Johnny Storm in both Fantastic Four movies.  I can’t wait for The Avengers and Captain America 2.

Moneyball – I’m not the biggest baseball fan, but I love this movie. It’s only peripherally a baseball movie, it’s more about Billy Beane and his attempt to rethink the evaluation of baseball talent. This movie is written by two of my favorite writers, Steve Zaillian (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, American Gangster) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, A Few Good Men).  Just a really good behind the scenes look at baseball.  Brad Pitt is great as Billy Beane and so is Jonah Hill as Peter Brand.  Definitely check this out.

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