Month in Review [January 2014]

In order of viewing:
1) Sightseers [2012] – 7/10
Sightseers [2012]

2) Disconnect [2012]– 8/10
Disconnect [2012]

3) Don Jon [2013] – 7/10
Don Jon [2013]

4) The Last Stand [2013] – 7/10
The Last Stand [2013]

5) Oblivion [2013] – 6/10
Oblivion [2013]

6) Resolution [2013] – 6/10
Resolution [2013]

7) Her [2013] – 8/10
Her [2013]

8) Dallas Buyers Club [2013] – 8/10
Dallas Buyers Club [2013]

9) We’re the Millers [2013] – 6/10
We're the Millers [2013]

10) The Wolf of Wall Street [2013] – 9/10
The Wolf of Wall Street [2013]

11) Upstream Color [2013] – mindfuck/10
Upstream Color [2013]

12) Ain’t Them Bodies Saints [2013] – 7/10
Ain't Them Bodies Saints [2013]

13) Short Term 12 [2013] – 7/10
Short Term 12 [2013]

14) The Act of Killing [2013] – 8/10
The Act of Killing [2013]

15) Fruitvale Station [2013] – 8/10
Fruitvale Station [2013]

16) The Spectacular Now [2013] – 7/10
The Spectacular Now [2013]

17) Prisoners [2013] – 8/10
Prisoners [2013]

Video Games Completed:
1) Assassin’s Creed II [Xbox 360] – 8/10
Assassin's Creed II [Xbox 360]

2) Gone Home [PC] – 9/10
Gone Home [PC]

3) Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons [Xbox 360] – 8/10
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons [Xbox 360]

4) Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate [PS Vita] – 6/10
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate [PS Vita]

5) Outlast [PC] – 8/10
Outlast [PC]

6) Resistance: Burning Skies [PS Vita] – 5/10
Resistance: Burning Skies [PS Vita]

TV Shows Finished:
1) The Sopranos [Season 5] – 10/10
The Sopranos [Season 5]

2) 30 Rock [Season 6] – 8/10
30 Rock [Season 6]

Books Finished:
1) “Life Itself” by Roger Ebert – 9/10
"Life Itself" by Roger Ebert

Best of the Month: For movies, The Wolf of Wall Street was every bit as crazy as I hoped. It came in at #4 in my top 10 films of 2013 list. I spent a fair amount of January catching up on last year’s films via Redbox and Netflix, of which Disconnect, The Act of Killing, Fruitvale Station and Prisoners impressed me the most. For video games, I absolutely loved Gone Home. It’s a short playthrough — about the length of a movie — but it provided an unforgettable experience.

Worst of the Month: I hesitate to call it the *worst*, but Upstream Color completely baffled me. I may have to give it another go someday, especially after reading Alex Withrow’s great interview with the actor, Andrew Sensenig. Nothing I watched last month was inherently bad, but Oblivion and We’re the Millers were run-of-the-mill sci-fi and comedy films, respectively. For video games, Resistance: Burning Skies was an uninspired FPS that I only completed due to its very short length. When compared to Killzone: Mercenary, its weaknesses are especially glaring.

How about you? What was your favorite film/game from last month?

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32 thoughts on “Month in Review [January 2014]

  1. The Vern says:

    Great list. I really want to see The Act of Killing, but Im afraid at how angry and disturbed I will be after I watch it I like your rating for Upstream Color. I did not like the movie, but can understand why a lot of people do. It’s one I will have to revisit in the future

  2. ruth says:

    Quite a variety here Eric! Glad you saw Disconnect, ha..ha.. your rating for Upstream Color is too funny! I still need to see Dallas Buyers Club, I’ll probably rent it.

    I quite enjoyed The Last Stand too, it’s more hilarious than I thought!

  3. jjames36 says:

    I agree with many of your scores. And also agree Fruitvale and Wolf are great movies.

    I did like Upstream Color more than you, though. It is quite exceptional, but I do think it is very, very good.

  4. Chris says:

    Good to see you enjoyed reading “Life Itself” by Roger Ebert(I’ll watch the documentary later).
    I once read “Scorsese by Ebert”-it was interesting how much the two guys have in common. I actually used several quotes from that in my Scorsese reviews.
    Agree Upstream was difficult to decipher. For me, it wants to be thought-provoking, but really didn’t trigger any thought. Nice ambient soundtrack, though. Maybe other people will get more from it than I did! The director has said the film is about control in the first part, and later on about how child birth is affected by things in the earth.

    • Eric @ The Warning Sign says:

      I hope to read “Scorsese by Ebert” someday as well. I bet it’s fascinating.

      Yeah, I dug Upstream Color’s soundtrack, too, but really struggled to get anything out of the film itself. That’s an interesting description from the director.. I’ll have to keep it in mind when I get around to watching it again.

  5. Jules says:

    Hell of a January you had… just random broken up thoughts you had.

    Sopranos Season 5: This is one of my favorite overlooked seasons of the show. Steve Buscemi is a great addition and this was before the show became too nihilistic to be likable IMO… although of course there was always an element of that.

    Life Itself – great memoir by one of legit writing heroes. Glad to see you finally got around to reading that.

    Prisoners – Loved that movie. It is in fact the next review I plan to write on Vortex.

    Wolf of Wall Street – didn’t like this one as much as you but still thought it was a very good movie… I know it ties in with the needless excess of the story, but damn that movie was just way too long for me. Had to break up my watching it into two different sittings. I much preferred American Hustle, had all of the style, half the run-time, and wasn’t so filled with obscenities as to give grandma a heart attack.

    Good stuff as always. I’ll try to not be such a stalker and comment more in the future.

    Catch ya around.

    • Eric @ The Warning Sign says:

      Thanks for the great comment, Jules. I finally finished The Sopranos a few days ago, and wow, there wasn’t a bad season at all in that series. The last one felt a bit rushed, but it was satisfying overall. And I freaking loved that ending.

      Life Itself was a fantastic read. Can’t wait to see the documentary as well.

      I didn’t find The Wolf of Wall Street to be too long at all, but I know plenty of others feel the opposite way there. I still need to see American Hustle — that’s one of the few I really want to catch up with from last year still.

  6. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop says:

    Wow, that’s quite the month Eric and some fantastic stuff here! Loved your rating for Upstream Color, not seen that one yet but have heard it’s pretty mental! Games-wise I’m currently working my way through Outlast (which scares me shitless) and I’ve got Brothers waiting to be played.

  7. jackdeth72 says:

    Hi, Eric:

    Llewelyn Davis rises high in my estimation for his early Bob Dylan coffeehouse vibe. And for his Oscar talented cat.

    Glad to see Arnold return to his larger than life, shoot ’em up, ‘Predator’ roots with ‘The Last Stand’

    Think “The Big Chill meets Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe” regarding ‘August: Osage County’.

    Am I the only one approaching the point of a little bit of Scorsese and DiCaprio going a very, very long way?… Not either’s best work.

    And I have a list of TV and Movie cliches over at Ruth’s FlixChatter that you should look at.

    • Eric @ The Warning Sign says:

      Hi Jack, you’ve got me really curious about Inside Llewyn Davis. I regret missing out on that one.

      Agreed on The Last Stand. That one was surprisingly solid, though it could have used better one-liners from Arnold.

      Not a fan of The Wolf of Wall Street? I had a lot of fun with it, but I can see how it wouldn’t work for everyone.

      Will head over to read your article today. Thanks for the tip!

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