Lists / Movies

What I Watched… (Vol. 15)

So after looking at the October What I Watched post, I realized that it was just way too long. For November’s list, I’ve tweaked it a bit and divided it up into the good, the bad and everything else. I’ve also tried to keep the comments as brief as possible so as not to make this post scroll on forever.

The Best:

12 Years a Slave – The performances are stirring. While Chiwetel Ejiofor is his usual brilliance, Michael Fassbender really struck a nerve with me. Weird to say, but really enjoyed his performance.


One Piece Film: Z – An excellent stand-alone One Piece film! The action is fantastic, the humor is perfect and mini-Chopper is so cute!


Sword of the Stranger – One of my favorite anime features in the past six years. A solid storyline, great action set pieces and an excellent ending. Plus, it’s just so cool to look at.


Frozen – I was a little leery in the beginning with the constant singing but then Olaf shows up and things just get silly. Love that little guy!


The Wind Rises – Sniff. Miyazaki’s final film is a somber historical drama that takes a swift departure from his previous fantastical works. It’s well made, but don’t expect a lot of laughs. Building planes during wartime is serious stuff. The subplot is also heartbreaking.


The Worst:

The Thieves – This Korean heist thriller had a lot of buzz earlier this year. Perhaps my expectations were too high but boy what a snoozer. It’s just too long and too boring.


Wara no Te – With Osawa Takao and Tatsuya Fujiwara starring in this film, I thought I was going to love it. Instead, I fell asleep about thirty minutes in. I’m really not sure why either. The premise is intriguing enough. A team of cops must protect an accused killer with a billion dollar bounty on his head while they transport him to a more secure location. I know Takashi Miike is hit or miss with his films and in this case, it was a miss.


The Croods –  I was never into this movie, from the look, the predictable humor, that annoying catch phrase spitting monkey/orangutan thing. Just wasn’t my cup of tea, I guess.


Also watched:

Saving Mr. Banks – Was not expecting so many flashback scenes. . I think Tom Hanks’ Walt Disney is on screen for about twenty minutes at best. The rest of the film is centered on Emma Thompson and her childhood. Thompson is perfect for the role, which is saying something since I’m not really a big fan of hers.


Pom Poko – It had been a long, long time since I’d seen this mid-90s Studio Ghibli drama conceived by Hayao Miyazaki and written and directed by Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies). While I didn’t like it as much as Fireflies, it’s still a great (and long) movie. I found myself quoting the narrator for several weeks after watching this film.


Dallas Buyers Club – McConaughey is excellent in this role and Jared Leto deserves every award he wins this year. He simply nails that supporting role. It was also nice to see Jennifer Garner taking on more serious, meatier roles.


Wolverine Unleashed – While I don’t think The Wolverine needed an extended edition, the added sequences do bring the film more into the tone of the darker Wolverine comics.


Tokyo Godfathers – A classic that I needed to watch. It never gets old. The humor, the story. It’s a holiday classic.


The Invisible Woman –  The film just feels too long and falls into the familiar formulaic traps and contrivances of period dramas. Disappointing. I really wanted to like this movie.


Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – I make it a point to watch these most excellent dudes every three of four years. Why? Because it is a most triumphant movie and, for me at least, the humor still stands.


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Yes, I saw this movie. I liked it. I’m sure you saw it too. J-Law is hot. Let’s move on.


A Hijacking – This is like Captain Phillips before they made Captain Phillips. It’s less glitzy than Phillips and we see a lot more “control room” footage. I hated the shipping company as this movie continued to unfold.


That’s all for November. December is going to be jam-packed, with blockbusters, awards season movies and the usual slate of DVDs and Blus. If you haven’t checked out this month’s Cinemania Spotlight (it’s Evangleine Lilly) click here.

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