Month In Review (June 2014)

In order of viewing:
1) Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters [2013] – 5/10
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters [2013]

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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?

Month in Review [February 2014]

In order of viewing:
1) First Blood [1982] – 7/10
First Blood [1982]

2) Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky [1991] – 8/10
Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky [1991]

3) Miami Connection [1987]* – 8/10
Miami Connection [1987]

4) On the Road [2012] – 6/10
On the Road [2012]

5) No Country for Old Men [2007]* – 10/10
No Country for Old Men [2007]

6) Good Night, and Good Luck. [2005] – 8/10
Good Night, and Good Luck. [2005]

7) Say Anything… [1989] – 8/10
Say Anything… [1989]

8) Drug War [2013] – 8/10
Drug War [2013]

9) Fast Times at Ridgemont High [1982] – 8/10
Fast Times at Ridgemont High [1982]

10) The King of Comedy [1982] – 9/10
The King of Comedy [1982]

11) Election [2005] – 7/10
Election [2005]

* denotes rewatch

Video Games Completed:
1) DmC: Devil May Cry [PS3] – 8/10
DmC: Devil May Cry [PS3]

2) F.E.A.R. 3 [Xbox 360] – 6/10
F.E.A.R. 3 [Xbox 360]

3) Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken [PS Vita] – 5/10
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken [PS Vita]

TV Shows Finished:
1) The Sopranos [Season 6A] – 10/10
The Sopranos [Season 6A]

2) The Sopranos [Season 6B] – 10/10
The Sopranos [Season 6B]

3) Dexter [Season 7] – 5/10
Dexter [Season 7]

4) Eastbound and Down [Season 2] – 7/10
Eastbound and Down [Season 2]

Books Read:
1) “No Country for Old Men” by Cormac McCarthy – 10/10
"No Country for Old Men" by Cormac McCarthy

Best of the Month: Ignoring rewatches, the best film I watched was easily The King of Comedy. My take on that one will be up later this week. I was also quite impressed with Johnnie To’s Drug War, which would likely make my top 10 of 2013 if I revised my list. For games, DmC was a nice surprise: a hack ‘n slash adventure with a deep combat system. And, of course, the final season-and-a-half of The Sopranos was incredible. The ending was absolutely perfect.

Worst of the Month: On the Road was a mediocre adaptation of one of my favorite novels. Rocketbird was a painfully mediocre side-scroller that I only finished due to its short length. The worst offender last month, however, was clearly Dexter. I’m only finishing the series for the sake of completionism, but I am regretting that decision every second. Amazingly, as bad as season 7 was, the finale is even worse. What a shame.

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?

Month in Review [December 2013]

In order of viewing:
1) Barry Lyndon [1975] – 8/10
Barry Lyndon [1975]

2) Nebraska [2013] – 8/10
Nebraska [2013]

3) Killing Them Softly [2012] – 6/10
Killing Them Softly [2012]

4) The Hunt [2013] – 9/10
The Hunt [2013]

5) Grand Illusion [1937] – 8/10
Grand Illusion [1937]

6) It’s a Disaster! [2012] – 6/10
It's a Disaster! [2012]

7) Undisputed [2002] – 6/10
Undisputed [2002]

8) Solaris [1972] – 6/10
Solaris [1972]

9) The Passion of Joan of Arc – 10/10
The Passion of Joan of Arc [1928]

10) What Maisie Knew [2012] – 7/10
What Maisie Knew [2012]

11) Lovelace [2013] – 5/10
Lovelace [2013]

12) Gimme the Loot [2012] – 8/10
Gimme the Loot [2012]

13) Ikiru [1952] – 9/10
Ikiru [1952]

14) The Bridge on the River Kwai [1957] – 8/10
The Bridge on the River Kwai [1957]

15) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [2013] – 7/10
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [2013]

16) Gone with the Wind [1939] – 8/10
Gone with the Wind [1939]

17) How to Train Your Dragon [2010] – 7/10
How to Train Your Dragon [2010]

18) Passion [2012] – 3/10
Passion [2012]

Video Games Completed:
1) Stick It to The Man! [2013, PS Vita] – 8/10
Stick It to The Man! [2013, PS Vita]

2) Tearaway [2013, PS Vita] – 9/10
Tearaway [2013, PS Vita]

TV Shows Finished:
1) The Sopranos [Season 4]* – 10/10
The Sopranos [Season 4]

* denotes rewatched

Best of the Month: Not only is The Passion of Joan of Arc the best film I watched last month, it is also my favorite from the entire 50 Movies Project. For recent films, both The Hunt and Nebraska impressed me quite a bit.

Worst of the Month: Brian de Palma’s Passion is an awful, awful film. Aside from a few stylish touches, it plays out as a generic, made-for-TV 90’s sleazefest. Rachel McAdams comes across as a weak ripoff of her Mean Girls persona, and Noomi Rapace is completely out of her element. Just think, this is from the same guy who directed the original Carrie.

And that’s a wrap for 2013! For the year, I watched 221 films, finished 43 video games (including DLC content), read 3 books and completed 20 TV show seasons. It was a fun year, but I highly doubt I will be able to sustain those numbers in 2014.

Stay tuned later this week for the grand finale of this year’s project!

Month in Review [November 2013]

In order of viewing:
1) The ABCs of Death [2013] – 6/10
The ABCs of Death [2013]

2) Witness for the Prosecution [1957] – 9/10
Witness for the Prosecution [1957]

3) Rosemary’s Baby [1968] – 8.5/10
Rosemary's Baby [1968]

4) 12 Years a Slave [2013] – 10/10
Twelve Years a Slave [2013]

5) Enough Said [2013] – 8/10
Enough Said [2013]

6) A Band Called Death [2013] – 7/10
A Band Called Death [2013]

7) Life is Beautiful [1997] – 8/10
Life is Beautiful [1997]

8) The Sitter [2011] – 4/10
The Sitter [2011]

9) Computer Chess [2013] – 5/10
Computer Chess [2013]

10) Pacific Rim [2013] – 8/10
Pacific Rim [2013]

11) Iron Man 3 [2013] – 6/10
Iron Man 3 [2013]

12) Frances Ha [2013] – 8/10
Frances Ha [2013]

13) The Secret in Their Eyes [2009] – 9/10
The Secret in Their Eyes [2009]

14) Rebel Without a Cause [1955] – 7/10
Rebel Without a Cause [1955]

15) Withnail & I [1987] – 6/10
Withnail & I

16) A Beautiful Mind [2001] – 8/10
A Beautiful Mind [2001]

17) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire [2013] – 6/10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire [2013]

Video Games Completed:
1) Proteus [PS Vita, 2013] – 8/10
Proteus [PS Vita/PS3]

2) Halo: Reach [Xbox 360, 2010] – 8/10
Halo: Reach [Xbox 360, 2010]

TV Shows Finished:
1) The Sopranos [Season 3]* – 10/10
The Sopranos [Season 3]

* denotes rewatch

Best of the Month: 12 Years a Slave is the best film I have watched all year, modern or otherwise. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, get to the theater ASAP. Other major highlights this month were Billy Wilder’s excellent courtroom drama, Witness for the Prosecution, and the Argentinian thriller, The Secret in Their Eyes, which I will be reviewing shortly.

Worst of the Month: The Sitter was even worse than I expected. What a waste of a decent cast. I also found little of interest in Computer Chess, a film with a brilliant concept but far too scattered execution.

What was the best film you watched in November?

Month in Review [October 2013]

In order of viewing:
1) The War Zone [1999] – 8/10
The War Zone [1999]

2) The Long Goodbye [1973] – 8/10
The Long Goodbye [1973]

3) Amadeus [1984] – 8/10
Amadeus [1984]

4) Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans [1927] – 9/10
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans [1927]

5) Insidious [2010] – 7/10
Insidious [2010]

6) Beverly Hills Cop [1984] – 7/10
Beverly Hills Cop [1984]

7) Hatchet II [2010] – 6/10
Hatchet II [2010]

8) Apollo 18 [2011] – 4/10
Apollo 18 [2011]

9) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre [1974] – 9/10
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre [1974]

10) Gravity [2013] – 8/10
Gravity [2013]

11) Dawn of the Dead [1978] – 8/10
Dawn of the Dead [1978]

12) The East [2013] – 7/10
The East [2013]

13) The Purge [2013] – 5/10
The Purge [2013]

14) Hatchet III [2013] – 6/10
Hatchet III [2013]

15) The Bay [2013] – 5/10
The Bay [2013]

16) The Great Gatsby [2013] – 7/10
The Great Gatsby [2013]

17) [REC]³ Genesis [2012] – 7/10
[REC]³ Genesis [2012]

18) Re-Animator [1985] – 8/10
Re-Animator [1985]

19) A Nightmare on Elm Street [1984]* – 8/10
A Nightmare on Elm Street [1984]

20) The Collector [2009] – 6/10
The Collector [2009]

21) Dracula [1931] – 7/10
Dracula [1931]

22) Moon [2009] – 8/10
Moon [2009]

23) A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge [1985] – 5/10
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge [1985]

Video Games Completed:
1) Defiance [Xbox 360, 2013] – 8/10
Defiance [Xbox 360, 2013]

2) Grand Theft Auto V [Xbox 360, 2013] – 10/10
Grand Theft Auto V [Xbox 360]

TV Shows Finished:
1) Weeds [Season 8] – 6/10
Weeds [Season 8]

2) Dexter [Season 6] – 6/10
Dexter [Season 6]

* denotes rewatch

Best of the Month: I had a lot of fun indulging in more horror than usual this month, but two films stood out above the rest: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (incredibly terrifying) and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (not horror, but a beautiful silent film). I also got sucked into the wacky world of Grand Theft Auto V, one of the better games to come out this year.

Worst of the Month: A handful of these horror films were middling at best, but Apollo 18 was clearly the worst of the bunch. The film’s payoff was a complete and utter joke, and it wasted a great concept.

What’s your favorite film/game/show out of those listed? What was the best movie you watched in October?

Month in Review [September 2013]

In order of viewing:
1) The Conjuring [2013] – 8/10
The Conjuring [2013]

2) The World’s End [2013] – 7/10
The World's End [2013]

3) Following [1998] – 7/10
Following [1998]

4) To Be or Not to Be [1942] – 9/10
To Be or Not to Be [1942]

5) The Wages of Fear [1953] – 8/10
The Wages of Fear [1953]

6) Serenity [2005] – 8/10
Serenity [2005]

7) Frenzy [1972] – 8/10
Frenzy [1972]

8) Sexy Beast [2000] – 8/10
Sexy Beast [2000]

9) Manhattan [1979] – 8/10
Manhattan [1979]

Video Games Completed:
1) Rayman Origins [PS Vita, 2012] – 9/10
Rayman Origins [PS Vita, 2012]

2) 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors [DS, 2010] – 8/10
999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors [DS, 2010]

3) Killzone: Mercenary [PS Vita, 2013] – 9/10
Killzone: Mercenary [PS Vita, 2013]

4) Lone Survivor [PS Vita, 2013] – 8/10
Lone Survivor [PS Vita, 2013]

TV Shows Finished:
1) The Sopranos [Season 2]* – 10/10
The Sopranos [Season 2]

2) Firefly – 9/10
Firefly

3) Breaking Bad [Season 5, Pt. II] – 10/10
Breaking Bad [Season 5, Pt. II]

* denotes rewatch

Best of the Month: For movies, my favorite was To Be or Not to Be, which also happened to be my first Ernst Lubitsch film. I’ll have a full write-up on that in the next couple weeks. For games, both Rayman Origins and Killzone: Mercenary would rank among my all-time favorites for the Playstation Vita. Both are must plays, and the former is currently free via Playstation Plus. For TV, it was great to finally watch all of Firefly, a show that ended far too soon. And, of course, the final season of Breaking Bad was an absolute triumph.

Worst of the Month: Surprisingly enough, I greatly enjoyed every movie/game/show from this month. There were no duds at all.

How about you? What was the best movie you saw last month? What’s your favorite of those listed above?