Category Archives: Annual Movies

The Movies of 2017

I started tracking the movies I see in 2004, and I set my record for most films seen in a year in 2006 (41). That record stood for a decade. Until now, baby!


New record!!! Woot!!!

Two things aided my victory. First, throughout 2017, I perpetually felt in need of cheering up. So I was already going to the theater perhaps an excessive amount. And then halfway through the year I discovered MoviePass, and the flood gates really opened. I started seeing anything and everything that looked even moderately interesting. Which is how I came to see Lego Ninjago (which I didn’t especially enjoy, but it did have at least one laugh-out-loud joke).

Amazingly, even though I saw a lot more, my enjoyment levels stayed relatively high. I did not like only four movies all year. And even most of those ones had sufficient merit to where I debated giving them an asterisk. But no matter how much I admire the spirit behind efforts like The Little Hours and The Disaster Artist, I’d be lying if I said I really enjoyed watching them.

Continue reading

The Movies of 2016

So apparently I completely forgot to post my annual viewing list last year. Just never got around to it. Whoops.

Reflecting back on that year with this unusual level of hindsight, I think this might have been when my taste in movies started to change a little. I still primarily enjoy genre fare, but I started paying money to see films like Denial. Ten years ago that never would have happened.

Plus, think about it. 2016 brought us Batman v. Superman, Captain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad, Finding Dory, and just seemingly endless supply of major tent pole releases that disappointed me to no end. Meanwhile, I did find stuff like Denial and The Big Short kind of interesting after all.

Of course, my favorite theatrical releases that year were (in order): Deadpool, The Conjuring 2, and The Accountant. So obviously I didn’t change that much.

But my true favorite 2016 viewing experience didn’t come in a theater at all. My love for Stranger Things eclipsed everything else that year, and that had never happened before.

The System:
* Good enough; worth watching once
** I genuinely liked it
X I hated it
+ Number of repeat viewings at the theater

Theatrical List (30 titles):

The Big Short **
The Hateful Eight X
Oscar Animated Shorts 2016 **
Deadpool ** +1
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot **
Zootopia **
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice *
Captain America: Civil War
The Nice Guys **
X-men: Apocalypse *
Alice: Through the Looking Glass
The Conjuring 2 **
Finding Dory *
The Legend of Tarzan **
Ghostbusters (2016) *
The Secret Life of Pets **
Suicide Squad *
Bad Moms **
Kubo and the Two Strings **
Blair Witch
Storks *
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children *
The Magnificent Seven **
The Accountant **
Denial **
Doctor Strange **
Arrival **
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story **
Assassin’s Creed
Passengers **

Home Viewing List (24 titles):

The Propaganda Game *
Fifty Shades of Grey
MST3K: Swamp Diamonds *
MST3K: Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders **
MST3K: Viking Women Vs. The Sea Serpent
Kingsman: The Secret Service *
MST3K: Tormented **
Our Brand is Crisis *
Dolphin Tale *
MST3K: Red Zone Cuba *
MST3K: The Pumaman **
Stranger Things Sn. 1 **
Bojack Horseman Sn. 3 *
Get Hard *
Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping **
Keanu *
Ali Wong: Baby Cobra *
The Last Witch Hunter **
MST3K: The Undead **
It Follows **
Under the Sun *
Rifftrax: The House on Haunted Hill
Rifftrax: The Guy from Harlem *

Oh, and I was really into It Follows. If you like horror, definitely check that one out. But Bojack Horseman was already starting to get a little too dark for me.

The Movies of 2015

In 2015 I decided to focus on my professional development rather than hobbies. I started a certificate program to build my technical qualifications, and that takes up approximately 120% of the free time I would rather spend blogging about movies and television. The program ends in May, so mark your calendars, kiddies. This blog will be back with a vengeance Memorial Day Weekend 2016. Woot.

In the meantime, here are my 2015 watch lists.

The System (only for theatrical viewings):
* Good enough to justify the ticket price
** I genuinely liked it
X I hated it
+ Number of repeat viewings at the theater

Theatrical List:

Birdman *
Oscar-nominated Animated Shorts **
Jupiter Ascending
Home *
The Avengers: Age of Ultron **
Tomorrowland *
Jurassic World *
Inside Out **
Minions *
Terminator: Genisys **
Ant-Man *
Trainwreck *
American Ultra *
Hitman: Agent 47
Mad Max: Fury Road **
The Martian **
Crimson Peak **
Spotlight **
Krampus *
The Good Dinosaur *
Star Wars: The Force Awakens *

Some thoughts on my theatrical list:

  • I saw 21 movies in theaters this year with no repeats. This is a marked drop over my average from the last several years. See note above re: certificate program. But I enjoyed myself almost every time.
  • If I had to pick a favorite, I’d probably say The Martian. But Terminator: Genisys and Spotlight are a close second and third. Genisys will probably hold up the best for multiple home viewings over time.
  • Marvel’s offerings this year didn’t speak to me as much. They still have my love, but the bloom is probably off the rose at this point. Also, they’re releasing just too damn much product. I can’t keep up anymore. Do you know I’ve still only had time to watch one episode of the Daredevil show? Tragedy. I’ll be drawing social security before I get to Jessica Jones at this rate.
  • My most anticipated movie of the year was Jurassic World, which is a weird thing to admit in the midst of all this Star Wars mania. Yet, still true. I don’t think I loved Jurassic World as much as I’d hoped I would, but I wouldn’t characterize it as disappointing either. Solidly entertaining, but just a little problematic in some places.
  • I liked The Force Awakens well enough, but it really seemed to exist primarily to get pieces in place for future movies. If Disney really plans to churn out a movie a year using this film as a starting point, then I’m hopeful that at least some of them will rock my face off.

Home Viewing List:

Let’s Be Cops
MST3K: Rocket Attack USA
Patton Oswalt: Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time
The Interview
The Awakening
MST3K: Hamlet
MST3K: Girl in Gold Boots
Horrible Bosses 2
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Into the Woods
MST3K: Alien from L.A.
MST3K: Project Moonbase
The Babadook
Best in Show
The Others
Going Clear
Dennis Rodman: Big Bang in Pyongyang
MST3K: The Day the Earth Froze
Justice League: Gods and Monsters
MST3K: Secret Agent Super Dragon
The Skeleton Twins
Lilo & Stitch
James and the Giant Peach
Big Fish
Ex Machina
MST3K: Space Mutiny

The Movies of 2014

Whoops. Totally forgot about this back in January. Also, totally forgot about updating this blog for, like, six months or so.

The System (only for theatrical viewings):
* Good enough to justify the ticket price
** I genuinely liked it
X I hated it
+ Number of repeat viewings at the theater

Theatrical List:

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Midnight Revival Show: Legend **
The LEGO Movie **
About Last Night *
2014 Oscar Shorts: Animated **
Frozen **
Divergent *
Captain America: The Winter Soldier **
Only Lovers Left Alive *
Screening Event: The Room *
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Godzilla *
X-Men: Days of Future Past *
Maleficent * + 1
Edge of Tommorrow **
Mel Brooks Film Festival: Blazing Saddles *
Guardians of the Galaxy **
The Giver *
Chef **
This is Where I Leave You *
The Boxtrolls *
The Book of Life **
John Wick **
Nightcrawler *
Interstellar *
Big Hero 6 **

Home Viewing List:

MST3K: Future War
Prince of Darkness
MST3K: Horrors of Spider Island
MST3K: Warrior of the Lost World
MST3K: The Phantom Planet
MST3K: Night of the Blood Beast
Pacific Rim
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
Europa Report
The Way, Way Back
Justice League: War
Hell Baby
MST3K: Werewolf
MST3K: Beginning of the End
MST3K: The Starfighters
Arthur (2011)
The Conjuring
Scarface (1932)
Let’s Go to Prison
MST3K: Final Justice
Tales of the Night
Batman: Assault on Arkham
MST3K: Hercules and the Captive Women
BoJack Horseman (series)
MST3K: Gamera vs. Guiron
Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics
MST3K: Gamera vs. Barugon
Marvel’s Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United
MST3K: NInja Master 1
22 Jump Street
Jack Reacher
Insidious Chapter 2

The Movies of 2013

The System:
* Good enough to justify the ticket price
** I genuinely liked it
X I hated it
+ Number of repeat viewings at the theater

Theatrical List:

Django Unchained *
Silver Linings Playbook *
This is 40 X
Warm Bodies **
Oz, the Great and Powerful
Jack the Giant Slayer **
Oblivion *
Iron Man 3 ** +1
Olympus Has Fallen
Now You See Me *
Much Ado About Nothing **
Despicable Me 2 **
World War Z *
Monsters University *
Man of Steel *
RED 2 *
RiffTrax: Starship Troopers **
Kick-Ass 2
The World’s End
This is the End *
Don Jon **
Gravity **
RiffTrax: Night of the Living Dead **
RiffTrax: Santa Claus *
Philomena *

Home Viewing List:

John Dies at the End **
Dredd *
Iron Sky X
Frankenweenie *
Batman: Year One
All-Star Superman
Silent Hill: Revelation

So I saw 25 movies in the theater this year, which is exactly one less than 2012. And I maintained my satisfaction rate of approximately 80 percent . Overall, not a lot of duds or poor movie-going decisions on my part. But I did manage to miss out on several titles I was interested in seeing, which is always disappointing because I’m nowhere near as likely to watch something new at home as I am to revisit something I’ve already seen.

Particularly considering the way 2013 trended with my home viewing. Dang. I’m down from 20 to a mere seven. Seven. Granted, I’m watching a lot fewer movies because I’m watching a lot more television episodes, but still.

If I think of it at all in the future, then 2013 will be remembered as a year of modest entertainments. I made friends with a few movies, but didn’t fall head over heels in love ever. I had some surprises and some disappointments, but probably nothing I’m going to remember a couple years down the road. I can’t even decide if I actually have a favorite film this year. Gravity was probably my most powerfully affecting viewer experience, but I also can’t imagine myself ever watching it a second time. And I discovered that I probably like Nicholas Hoult because he had two winners (Warm Bodies, Jack the Giant Slayer), but I’ll need a few more positive experiences to really call myself a fan. And I really like RiffTrax events. And that’s it for 2013.

The Movies of 2012

The System:
* Good enough to justify the ticket price
** I genuinely liked it
X I hated it
+ Number of repeat viewings at the theater

Theatrical List:

The Artist
The Innkeepers*
The Woman in Black
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen*
21 Jump Street*
Hunger Games
Titanic 3D**
The Cabin in the Woods**
The Avengers**  +1
Snow White and the Huntsman
Safety Not Guaranteed**
The Amazing Spider-Man**
The Dark Knight Rises*
Rifftrax Live: Manos, the Hands of Fate**
Celeste and Jesse Forever*
Moonrise Kingdom*
Premium Rush**
The Perks of Being a Wallflower**
Wreck-It Ralph**

Home Viewing List:

Justice League: Doom
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang**
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Attack the Block*
Jeff, Who Lives At Home*
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
The Opposite of Sex
Quantum of Solace*
The Triplets of Belleville
The Campaign*
John Carter
The Money Pit
Mirror Mirror*
Snow White: A Tale of Terror**

The Movies of 2011

The System:
* Good enough to justify the ticket price
** I genuinely liked it
X I hated it
+ Number of repeat viewings at the theater

The List:

Green Hornet*
The King’s Speech*
Oscar Nominated Short Films 2011: Animated**
Sucker Punch X
Source Code**
The Hangover, Part 2
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Super 8*
Kung Fu Panda 2*
Green Lantern*
Captain America: The First Avenger**
Cowboys & Aliens
Crazy, Stupid, Love.**
30 Minutes or Less**
Horrible Bosses**
Fright Night**
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
The Help
X-Men: First Class
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil**
The Ides of March**
In Time*
Tower Heist

The Movies of 2010

The System:
* Good enough to justify the ticket price
** I genuinely liked it
X I hated it
+ Number of repeat viewings at the theater

The List:

Avatar 3-D** (repeat from 2009)
The Princess & the Frog*
Alice in Wonderland 3-D
Hot Tub Time Machine
Date Night**
Kick Ass*
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo*
Iron Man 2*
Just Wright
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Despicable Me**
Dinner for Schmucks*
Knight and Day**
Resident Evil: Afterlife
You Again
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World**
Easy A**
Due Date
Love and Other Drugs**
Tron: Legacy*

The Movies of 2008

The System:
* Good enough to justify the ticket price
** I genuinely liked it
X I hated it
+ Number of repeat viewings at the theater

The List:

Juno** +1
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
Fool’s Gold
Definitely, Maybe*
Be Kind, Rewind
Forgetting Sarah Marshall**
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay*
Iron Man**
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull*
Kung Fu Panda**
The Incredible Hulk**
Get Smart**
Hellboy II: The Golden Army*
The Dark Knight** +1
Stepbrothers X
The X-Files: I Want to Believe
Pineapple Express**
Tropic Thunder*
Babylon A.D. X
Nights in Rodanthe X
Zack and Miri Make a Porno**
Role Models**
The Day the Earth Stood Still