Month in Review [April 2013]

April was a busy month for me, but it was also a good one. I’m happy that I finally sat down to read another book, even if it was the weakest I have read from Bukowski (one of my favorite authors). I also played through a few video games, watched some great films, and even started a new TV show. Here’s the rundown:

In order of viewing: (including my ratings)
1) The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2 [2013] – 8/10
The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2

2) He Got Game [1998] – 6/10
He Got Game [1998]

3) Winnebago Man [2010] – 9/10
Winnebago Man [2010]

4) Spring Breakers [2013] – 7/10
Spring Breakers [2013]

5) Evil Dead [2013] – 8/10
Evil Dead [2013]

6) Trance [2013] – 7/10
Trance [2013]

7) I’m Not There [2007] – 5/10
I'm Not There [2007]

8) 28 Weeks Later [2007] – 5/10
28 Weeks Later [2007]

9) The Elephant in the Living Room [2011] – 8/10
The Elephant in the Living Room [2011]

10) Y tu mamá también [2002] – 9/10
Y tu mamá también [2002]

11) Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father [2008] – 9/10
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father [2008]

12) Blood Simple. [1984] – 8/10
Blood Simple. [1984]

13) Killer’s Kiss [1955] – 7/10
Killer's Kiss [1955]

14) Kansas City Confidential [1952] – 7/10
Kansas City Confidential [1952]

15) 42 [2013] – 7/10
42 [2013]

16) Mud [2013] – 8/10
Mud [2013]

17) Shotgun Stories [2007] – 8/10
Shotgun Stories [2007]

Video Games Completed:
1) Tomb Raider [Xbox 360, 2013] – 8.5/10
Tomb Raider [Xbox 360]

2) Guacamelee! [PS Vita, 2013] – 8.5/10
Guacamelee! [PS Vita/PS3]

3) Gears of War: Judgment [Xbox 360, 2013] – 7.5/10
Gears of War: Judgment [Xbox 360, 2013]

TV Shows Watched:
1) Girls [Season 1] – 7.5/10
Girls [Season 1]

Books Read:
1) “Pulp” by Charles Bukowski – 6/10
"Pulp" by Charles Bukowski

Movie of the Month: I’m starting to notice a trend here — my 50 Movies Project has been incredibly prosperous this year, with most of my “movies of the month” being from it. This month is no exception: Y tu mamá también blew me away, and it is easily one of the highlights from this month. Other contenders were two emotional documentaries: Winnebago Man and Dear Zachary. The former was surprisingly heartwarming, while the latter was absolutely devastating. Both are stellar films.

Dud of the Month: I’m a huge Bob Dylan fan, but I had a really difficult time getting into I’m Not There. The cast was phenomenal, but the scattershot narrative was just too much. I also found 28 Weeks Later to be a very underwhelming sequel.

Got a favorite from this list? What’s the best movie you watched last month?

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26 thoughts on “Month in Review [April 2013]

  1. ruth says:

    Bummer you didn’t like I’m Not There, I was just thinking about that film when I heard Dylan on MPR the other day. Ah well, I suppose it’s still worth a watch for the performances? Looks like you’ve been playing tons of games this month Eric 😀

    • Eric @ The Warning Sign says:

      I’m not sure I can recommend I’m Not There at all, Ruth. It seems to have been made for the most hardcore of Dylan fans, and I still found it tedious. Cate Blanchett was pretty great, so maybe you could seek out a scene or two with her, but I wouldn’t advise sitting through the 2+ hours needed for the whole film.

  2. tenaciousbitch says:

    I never made it through “I’m not there”…so I agree with you on that one. However, I beg to differ re – “28 Weeks Later”, which I liked. Yeah, it was a little formulaic, but it’s a zombie movie, how much variation can there be? I can’t wait to read your review of EVIL DEAD. I’m a huge fan of Bruce Campbell, and the original EVIL DEAD is such a classic, I’m thinking the remake is probably going to SUCK…as far as the best movies I’ve seen in the past month: 1) This is 40, which was surprisingly hilarious 2) Argo, which was definitely Oscar-worthy, and its competitor – 3) Django Unchained, which was excellent – but really long. But in my mind, it’s like Pulp Fiction. It could’ve been 3 hours long, and I was so riveted for the first 2 hours, I didn’t even realize it was way over the usual 120-minute standard until the 3rd Act…which could easily have been truncated.

    Thanks for sharing your movie reviews! 🙂
    TenaciousBitch

    • Eric @ The Warning Sign says:

      Good news! The new Evil Dead is actually really good. I went into it with low expectations, but it was non-stop horror the entire time. It doesn’t have anyone with even half the screen presence of Bruce Campbell, but it delivers in the blood and gore. Not for the weak of heart. 🙂 I wrote about it a couple weeks ago:

      http://twscritic.com/2013/04/18/movie-review-evil-dead-2013/

      Glad to hear you enjoyed Argo and Django Unchained! I completely agree with you on Django’s ending — while I loved it, it could have easily ended a bit earlier. Still one of my favorites from last year though.

      And thanks for the comment! Always appreciate it when you stop by.

  3. Chris says:

    For once I’ve hardly seen any on your list. I’m Not There is a bit confusing on first watch, but it actually grew on me a lot on rewatches, I guess not for everyone. I was pretty shocked by Dear Zachary, if my memory serves me.

    I’ve never read Charles Bukowski, I have his Ham on Rye on my shelf to read.
    I’m afraid to start those tv-shows, they take so many hours to watch 🙂

    • Eric @ The Warning Sign says:

      Haha, I know what you mean about the TV shows. Thankfully, Girls was only 10 episodes at a half hour each. Not too bad.

      As for Bukowski, I would recommend starting with “Run With the Hunted”. It’s basically an anthology that also serves as an autobiography of him. An excellent mix of his poetry, short stories and book excerpts.

  4. jackdeth72 says:

    Hi, Eric:

    You’ve been busy! Nice ratings on a diverse menu of films.

    ‘The Return of The Dark Knight’ rocks on several levels. Most interesting enough, the voice actors. Who excel!

    ‘I’m Not There’ was kind of a let down. More of a varied pastiche than a bio flick. Superb cast not used to their full potential. And I’m a huge Dylan fan. Still think ‘Blood on the Tracks’ is his best collection of work. From a marvelously clever writer of songs. The forerunner of Paul Simon and Neil Diamond.

    Kudos for ‘Blood Simple’. M. Emmett Walsh has rarely been slimier. And featuring Dan Hedaya as the slowest dying man in Texas. Or cinema.

    ‘Killer’s Kiss’ and KC Confidential’ are nicely polished standards. Though I’m interested in seeing how Matthew McConaughey does in ‘Mud’.

    • Eric @ The Warning Sign says:

      Hi Jack, you know, when I was watching Blood Simple I kept thinking of your list of “the sweatiest men in cinema.” M. Emmett Walsh would have been an excellent fit for that project! I don’t think he was dry for a second of that film.

      I’m with you on Dylan. While I love his 60s work, Blood on the Tracks is a rare perfect album. It doesn’t get any better than that.

      As for Mud, I think you’ll enjoy it. More fantastic work from McConaughey, who has been on a hell of a roll lately.

  5. The Blog of Big Ideas says:

    Interesting group of films you watched Eric. It also seems that you had plenty of good luck judging from the high scores. Some of these I really want to see like Blood Simple, while others I haven’t heard of like Dear Zachary. I wouldn’t mind reading a little more on it.

    Ive actually seen Y Tu Mama Tambien twice. The first time I think I was too young to appreciate or even understand what was happening. The second time was an entirely different experience. Certainly one of the most unique Mexican films of recent times with truly awesome acting performances.

    • Eric @ The Warning Sign says:

      Blood Simple is a great, great film. I fell in love with it from the opening scene. I would rank it as one of my favorites from the Coens now.

      Dear Zachary is a gutwrenching documentary that started as a video scrapbook from the filmmaker to his deceased best friend’s newborn son, but it turned into a completely different true crime story. A must watch, but I’ll warn you that it’s not an easy one.

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