Month In Review [September 2014]

In order of viewing:
1) Master and Commander: Far Side of the World [2003] - 8/10
Master and Commander: Far Side of the World [2003]

2) Dead Silence [2007] - 3/10
Dead Silence [2007]

3) Waking Life [2001] - 8/10
Waking Life [2001]

4) Apollo 13 [1995] - 7/10
Apollo 13 [1995]

5) Philadelphia [1993] - 7/10
Philadelphia [1993]

6) Tape [2001] - 7/10
Tape [2001]

7) The Untouchables [1987] - 8/10
The Untouchables [1987]

8) The Aviator [2004] - 8/10
The Aviator [2004]

Video Games Completed:
1) Batman: Arkham Asylum [Xbox 360]* - 9/10
Batman: Arkham Asylum [Xbox 360]

2) South Park: The Stick of Truth [Xbox 360] - 8/10
South Park: The Stick of Truth [Xbox 360]

3) The Walking Dead: Season Two [Xbox 360] - 9/10
The Walking Dead: Season Two [Xbox 360]

* denotes replay

TV Shows Finished:
1) Veep [Season 2] - 8/10
Veep [Season 2]

2) Archer [Season 2] - 8/10
Archer [Season 2]

Best of the Month: Aside from one misfire which I will get to in the next section, I had a great (albeit slow) month of movie watching. Although I rated most of them similarly, I have to give the edge to Waking Life as my favorite of the group. Richard Linklater’s philosophical animated film raises a lot of intriguing thoughts and questions, though I can’t pretend to understand some of its more weightier segments. Definitely one I would like to revisit at some point. For video games, the second season of The Walking Dead was just as bleak and depressing as the first one, and I loved it pretty much all the way through. It doesn’t have a character on the level of Lee from season one, but it’s still an excellent followup, and I am very curious to see where the next season goes.

Worst of the Month: I have mostly enjoyed director James Wan’s past work (particularly Saw and The Conjuring), but Dead Silence is just an awful, awful film. It has a cliché-ridden plot, laughable performances (Ryan Kwanten and Donnie Wahlberg, ladies and gentlemen) and some seriously cringe-worthy dialogue. Worst of all, there is no sense of dread anywhere. Just very disappointing.

Month In Review [July 2014]

In order of viewing:
1) Boyz n the Hood [1991] - 8/10
Boyz n the Hood [1991]

2) Stand By Me [1986] - 8/10
Stand By Me [1986]

3) 30 for 30: Bad Boys [2014] - 8/10
30 for 30: Bad Boys [2014]

4) The Karate Kid [1984] - 8/10
The Karate Kid [1984]

5) Maniac [2012] - 5/10
Maniac [2012]

6) The Innkeepers [2011] - 6/10
The Innkeepers [2011]

7) Enemy [2013] - 9/10
Enemy [2013]

8) Philomena [2013] - 7/10
Philomena [2013]

9) A Skin, A Night [2008] - 5/10
A Skin, A Night [2008]

10) Mystic River [2003] - 8/10
Mystic River [2003]

11) Snowpiercer [2013] - 9/10
Snowpiercer [2013]

12) Under the Skin [2013] - 8/10
Under the Skin [2013]

13) The Incredibles [2004] - 8/10
The Incredibles [2004]

Video Games Finished:
1) The Wolf Among Us [Xbox 360] - 9/10
The Wolf Among Us

2) MouseCraft [PS Vita] - 8/10
MouseCraft

3) Injustice: Gods Among Us [PS Vita] - 9/10
Injustice: Gods Among Us [PS Vita]

TV Shows Completed:
1) Orange Is the New Black [Season 2] - 8/10
Orange Is the New Black [Season 2]

2) Archer [Season 1] - 8/10
Archer [Season 1]

Best of the Month: Not only is Enemy my favorite movie I watched in July, it’s my early front-runner for this year’s best film. Snowpiercer is a close second right now in my book, with Under the Skin just behind that. Those three films were revitalizing after what I thought had been a fairly disappointing year to that point. I’m even more excited to see what August brings, as I hope to finally catch Boyhood and Life Itself (among others). For video games, I played the last four episodes of The Wolf Among Us back-to-back, and loved every second of it. The final episode, in particular, was riveting and was the perfect way to finish the season. Injustice for the Vita was also a pleasant surprise, and it’s definitely up there as far as my favorite fighting games go.

Worst of the Month: As much as it pains me to say it, A Skin, A Night was a bit of a bore. The National, the subjects of the documentary, are probably my favorite band working today, but this little-seen documentary tried way too hard to be artsy, and it offered little in the way of insight on the band itself. On the other hand, I’m really looking forward to finally seeing Mistaken for Strangers, a more recent documentary about the band that has been getting rave reviews. I suppose Maniac could be considered for the worst of the month as well. Despite having a startlingly effective first-person view, Maniac didn’t work so well for me because I had a hard time buying Elijah Wood as an overpowering serial killer. He was definitely creepy, but there is just no way he could have held a woman of similar size down in the water with just one hand.

Onward to August!

Month In Review [April 2014]

In order of viewing:
1) Out of Sight [1998] - 9/10
Out of Sight [1998]

2) Road House [1989] - 8/10
Road House [1989]

3) The Heat [2013] - 6/10
The Heat [2013]

4) The Hangover Part III - 2/10
The Hangover Part III

5) The Trip [2010] - 7/10
The Trip [2010]

6) This Is Martin Bonner [2013] - 7/10
This Is Martin Bonner [2013]

7) Welcome to Pine Hill [2012] - 5/10
Welcome to Pine Hill [2012]

8) The Iceman [2013] - 7/10
The Iceman [2013]

9) Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa [2013] - 7/10
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa [2013]

10) Death Wish 3 [1985] - 3/10
Death Wish 3 [1985]

11) Noah [2014] - 6/10
Noah [2014]

12) Cheap Thrills [2014] - 8/10
Cheap Thrills [2014]

13) Incendies [2010] - 9/10
Incendies [2010]

14) 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [2007] - 9/10
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [2007]

15) Taxi Driver [1976]* - 9/10
Taxi Driver [1976]

* denotes rewatch

Video Games Completed:
1) Prototype [Xbox 360] - 7/10
Prototype [Xbox 360]

2) Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance [Xbox 360] - 6/10
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance [Xbox 360]

3) Remember Me [PS3] - 7/10
Remember Me [PS3]

TV Shows Finished:
1) Mad Men [Season 6] - 8/10
Mad Men [Season 6]

Books Read:
1) Black Dahlia by James Ellroy - 8/10
Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

Best of the Month: This is a really tough call. Excluding rewatches, my favorite film of the month was a tossup between Incendies and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Both of these films blew me away in completely different ways, and they are going to be hard to top in this year’s project.

Worst of the Month: The Hangover Part III is not just the worst movie I watched last month, it’s the worst movie I have seen all year. I don’t think I laughed even once, and this is coming from someone who didn’t think the first sequel was all that bad. I don’t know why I wasted my time with that drivel. At least Death Wish 3, another bad film, was a complete blast to watch. Glad that one finally made it to Netflix.

How about you? What was the best film you watched last month?

Month in Review [March 2014]

In order of viewing:
1) Captain Phillips [2013] – 8/10
Captain Phillips [2013]

2) Catch Me If You Can [2002] – 7/10
Catch Me If You Can [2002]

3) From Up On Poppy Hill [2012] – 7/10
From Up On Poppy Hill [2012]

4) Blue Jasmine [2013] – 7/10
Blue Jasmine [2013]

5) About Schmidt [2002] – 8/10
About Schmidt [2002]

6) The Insider [1999] – 8/10
The Insider [1999]

7) The Wind Rises [2013] – 7/10
The Wind Rises [2013]

8) The Grand Budapest Hotel [2014] – 8/10
The Grand Budapest Hotel [2014]

9) Falling Down [1993] – 9/10
Falling Down [1993]

10) Harper [1966] – 7/10
Harper [1966]

11) American Hustle [2013] – 8/10
American Hustle [2013]

12) The Counselor [2013] – 5/10
The Counselor [2013]

13) Major League [1989] – 7/10
Major League [1989]

14) Inside Llewyn Davis [2013] – 8/10
Inside Llewyn Davis [2013]

15) Frozen [2013] – 7/10
Frozen [2013]

16) White Reindeer [2013] – 7/10
White Reindeer [2013]

Video Games Completed:
1) SteamWorld Dig [PS Vita] – 9/10
SteamWorld Dig [PS Vita/PS4]

2) Persona 4 Golden [PS Vita] – 9/10
Persona 4 Golden [PS Vita]

TV Shows Finished:
1) Eastbound and Down [Season 3] – 7/10
Eastbound and Down [Season 3]

2) Dexter [Season 8] – 4/10
Dexter [Season 8]

3) Eastbound and Down [Season 4] – 7/10
Eastbound and Down [Season 4]

4) 30 Rock [Season 7] – 7/10
30 Rock [Season 7]

5) True Detective [Season 1] – 9/10
True Detective [Season 1]

6) House of Cards [Season 2] – 7.5/10
House of Cards [Season 2]

7) Girls [Season 3] – 6/10
Girls [Season 3]

Books Read:
1) Fables Vol. 1-3 – 9/10
Fables

Best of the Month: For movies, I was most surprised with Falling Down, which is one of the better films I have seen all year. I’m usually not much of a Michael Douglas fan, but he *killed it* in that movie. Highly recommended. For video games, I finally finished Persona 4 Golden after starting it over a year ago. It was a blast all the way until the end, and it’s one of the better games on the Vita. SteamWorld Dig was also a nice surprise (see my review). In the TV world, True Detective more than lived up to the hype. Can’t wait for season 2.

Worst of the Month: The Counselor was incredibly disappointing. It had a few memorable scenes, but it could have been so much more considering the talent involved. For TV, I watched a lot of mediocre shows, but the final season of Dexter was easily the worst. It pretty much soured me on the entire series thanks to its laughably awful ending. That series should have ended after 4-5 seasons, not eight.

What was the best piece of media you indulged in last month? How about the worst?