It Follows (2015)

itfollows1

For those looking for a mainstream horror film where the story and characters are sacrificed to provide a gamut of cliché and conventional scares, you’ll probably be disappointed in what It Follows has to offer. Writer/director David Robert Mitchell has created what some critics are calling “the best horror film in years.” That’s a little too much of a superlative statement for me, but I can agree that it is smart, unique, stylish, and a breath of fresh air to the horror genre, much like The Babadook was last year. If you liked that film, you’ll probably enjoy this one. It’s a slow burn horror in that it takes its time building up tension and suspense in a very effective way through the use of setting, a wide-angle lens camera, and an awesome synth score. You may go home afterwards and have no trouble sleeping, but you might be looking over your shoulder on your way back to the car.

The movie opens with a young girl running out of her house in high heels (serious props to her, I couldn’t run in those things), looking past the camera in fear of something we can’t see. She runs in a half circle, back into the house, grabs her purse and keys, and then we see her on the beach, talking to her father on the phone and apologizing for ever being a pain in the ass. Later we see her with her body mangled in an awkward position, thus setting the tone for the horror that will ensue. Focus shifts to Jay (Maika Monroe), a 19-year-old college student living in suburban Detroit, who contracts what can only be described as a sexually transmitted monster after a night of consensual sex with a guy named Hugh (Jake Weary). Hugh does the gentlemanly thing by tying Jay to a wheelchair and forcing her to feast her eyes upon the monster that will now be relentlessly following her until she decides to pass the curse to someone else. It’s slow, but not dumb. It can take the form of a stranger or someone you know, but don’t let it reach you, because if it does, it will kill you and then it will make its way back down the line of people who contracted it. That’s pretty much the gist of “It.”

itfollows2

Mitchell does a great job of bringing us into this almost dreamlike world. The time period is irrelevant, although it’ll be sure to confuse and maybe even frustrate some. The characters watch black and white movies on old television sets that look like they’re from the ’70s or possibly even earlier. On the other hand, you have the girl in the beginning scene using a modern day cell phone, and another character reads books on what looks like a kindle in the shape of a clamshell. The ambiguity of the setting is supposed to make us feel like this isn’t our world, this is like some alternate universe where sexually transmitted monsters might exist, a world I wouldn’t want to live in. Most of the film takes place in suburban areas of Detroit, where poverty hasn’t yet spread to their turf. But you would never know it was Detroit unless one of the girls didn’t mention how her mother warned her never to go past 8 Mile (I can thank Eminem for even knowing what that is).

The cinematography plays a big part in the suspense of the film. The 360 degree panning shots are wonderfully effective, as well the wide-angle lens that always leaves more than enough background in view just in case “It” decides to creep into the frame at any point. No matter what’s going on in the foreground, you’re sure to always be looking behind the characters, because you know it’s coming, but you don’t know when. Along with this, the music is a complete mood setter. It’s composed of a John Carpenter-esque synth soundtrack that works so well in helping create and maintain the tension throughout the film.

itfollows3

The most obvious connections you can make with the plot is that “It” is an allegory for an STD, and Jay is a symbol for “innocence lost.” Yeah, that works on some level. There’s a lot more than that you can take from it, though. For example, if you look past the surface you can find themes of morality, mortality, trust, love, and fear of entering adulthood. After Jay sleeps with Hugh, she lets him in on a little fantasy she used to have about being an adult and having the freedom to go on dates, but when she reaches adulthood and obtains this freedom, it’s not what she expected. Freedom isn’t really freedom at all when there’s responsibility and consequences that come with any action. Ultimately, she and the other characters, like Paul (Keir Gilchrist)–the childhood friend who clearly has a thing for her–end up reminiscing of the days when they were young kids without a care in the world.

When you reach adulthood, that’s usually the time when you become most aware of your own mortality as you shed the naïve image of yourself as being almost invincible. For Jay, this mortality is as real and fearful as ever, because, well…there’s a horrifying monster following her now. One of Jay’s friends, Yara (Olivia Luccardi) spends a lot of the time in the film reading Dostoyevsky’s novel The Idiot, of which she quotes at one point, speaking about the inevitability of death. Death is an obvious symbol in a lot of horror films, but It Follows has a distinct way of showing how our main character figures out how cope with it.

itfollows4

There are a few ways you can watch this movie. You can try and pick out whatever deeper meaning or symbolism you can possibly find in the plot, and I’m sure any one person can find quite a few if they tried, or, you can just sit back and enjoy it for what it is. It’s a stylish Halloween meets Final Destination meets whatever throwback to ’80s horror you can think of. Or you can choose to dismiss it as a “not scary at all” arthouse piece of crap. I’ve seen plenty of mixed audience reviews regardless of the mostly positive critics’ opinions, and when it comes down to it, this type of movie isn’t going to work for everyone. If you want a lot of gore and a lot of jump scares (and it’s okay if you do), you aren’t going to find that here.

For me, personally, I loved it. It’s visually stunning, I loved the soundtrack, I thought the acting was definitely above average, and the story is a refreshing and unique take on horror. I like how Mitchell created this very unsettling, creepy atmosphere without having to rely solely on gore and jump scares. Is it the most terrifying movie in recent years? I don’t think so. Does it get a little weird towards the end? Yes. But I’ll stand by my initial response to it, I liked it, it stuck with me when I left the theater, and I think that it’s a very well-made film in general. And admit it, being followed is scary, if you were being followed by even a non-paranormal being–especially if you’re a girl or maybe a drug dealer who screwed over your boss recently–you’d be scared, am I right?

4.5/5

Versatile Blogger Award

versatile-blogger

Thank you very much, Emma for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! For anyone who isn’t already following Emma at emmakwall (explainsitall), you should get on that immediately. She’s a very witty and humorous writer and her posts are always a fun read. She’s also my personal go-to if ever I need recommendations of obscure British films, she seems to be an expert on those!


As the rules go, here’s my nominations for 15 other bloggers. Don’t feel obligated to have to participate, just know that I think you’re awesome.

Lukas + Film
Keith & the Movies
Basilmarinerchase
NrdGZM!
Ten Stars or Less
Views from the Sofa
The Girl that Loved to Review
Movierob
Ben Lane’s Reviews
Life of this City Girl
The Movie Talk Blog
Abstracticality
RobbinsRealm
The Stub Collector
Drew’s Movie Reviews

Now for 10 wonderful facts about me:

1. I have 15 dogs, so I’m basically a certified dog lady (is that less pitiful than a cat lady?)
2. Aside from classic rock and really old school rap, movie scores are my favorite genre of music.
3. I’m a hypochondriac who is always convinced I have cancer or some other incurable disease.
4. I once got drunk at a wrap party with Meryl Streep, but I was still too shy to speak to her.
5. I’m very picky about the shape of my pasta. Screw you, penne. I love you, ravioli.
6. I want to move to Scotland, or anywhere outside the U.S. with a countryside and people whose language/accent I can’t understand.
7. I’m still convinced that “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” was the best video game of all time.
8. I’m not a real redhead.
9. When it comes to beer, Guinness is my one true love.
10. I don’t have a definitive favorite color, song, or movie, but I do have a favorite dinosaur…you ready for it? STEGOSAURUS!

Netflix: Expiring Soon (March 2015)

Image

Below you will find lists of titles expiring on Netflix during this month (March) in the US, Canada, and the UK. For anyone wanting to know what has been added this month, you can find that list here. I try to keep it as updated as possible.

As usual, if anyone comes across any expiration dates that are not on this list, leave the title in the comments and I will add it. Enjoy!

Note: Unless any of these titles are renewed, the dates below represent the date of the last day these titles will be available for you to watch.

Netflix US

3/19
House Hunting (2013)
Miss Dial (2013)
Sarah Palin: You Betcha! (2011)
3/20
The Silence (2010)
3/21
Entre Nos (2009)
My Way (2011)
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
3/23
Edgar – 1 Season (2007) (TV)
Family Affair (2010)
Love Free or Die (2012)
Upside Down (2012)
3/24
Gerard Richter Painting (2011)
Girl on a Bicycle (2013)
High School Record (2005)
Hostel: Part III (2011)
L.I.E. (2001)
The Pool (2007)
Towheads (2013)
Walter Latham’s Comedy After Dark (2013)
3/25
All Together (2011)
Citadel (2012)
My Engine’s Fragile Sound (2012)
The Silent Army (2008)
3/26
Janie Jones (2010)
3/27
Faster (2003)
In Our Nature (2012)
The Nine Muses (2010)
Tales of the Night (2011)
Vampire Prosecutor – 12 episodes (2011) (TV)
When Strangers Click (2010)
Where the Yellowstone Goes (2012)
3/29
Adventure Time – 2 Seasons (2010-’11) (TV)
Childrens Hospital – 2 Seasons (2010) (TV)
Delocated – 1 Season (2009) (TV)
Metalocalypse – 1 Season (2006) (TV)
Regular Show – 2 Seasons (2010) (TV)
Young Justice – 1 Season (2010) (TV)
3/30
2-Headed Shark Attack (2012)
Bamako (2006)
The Brothers (2001)
ETXR (2014)
The Inner Life of Martin Frost (2007)
Legends of the Fall (1994)
The Libertines: There Are No Innocent Bystanders (2011)
Nightmare City (1980)
3/31
48 Hours (1982)
All.I.Can. (2011)
Amanda (2009)
America Declassified – 1 Season (2013) (TV)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Amityville II: The Possession (1982)
Amityville 3 (1983)
Annie (1982)
Annie: A Royal Adventure (1995)
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations – 1 Season (2006) (TV)
Astonishing X-Men – 3 Seasons (2009) (TV)
Baby Boy (2001)
Blue Mountain State – 3 Seasons (2010) (TV)
The Brian Boitano Project – 4 episodes (2014) (TV)
Bruce Almighty (2003)
The Cable Guy (1996)
Caught Up (1998)
Chalet Girl (2011)
Clue (1985)
Color Splash Collection – 1 Season (2010) (TV)
Company of Heroes (2013)
Coneheads (1993)
Cousins on Call – 1 Season (2013) (TV)
The Craft (1996)
Cutthroat Kitchen – 1 Season (2013) (TV)
Daddy Long Legs (1955)
Days of Thunder (1990)
Diggstown (1992)
The Evening Star (1996)
Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 (2012)
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
Face 2 Face (2012)
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)
Friday the 13th – Parts 1-8 (1980-’89)
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Get Shorty (1995)
Good Boy! (2003)
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
Grassroots (2012)
Guess Who (2005)
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
Heleno (2011)
Holmes Inspection Collection – 1 Season (2011) (TV)
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (2011)
In & Out (1997)
Income Property Collection – 1 Season (2011) (TV)
The Inexplicable Universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson (2013)
The Innkeepers (2011)
Insomnia (2002)
Inventing the Abbotts (1997)
Jane Eyre (1944)
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)
Kangaroo Jack (2003)
The Karate Kid (1984)
The Karate Kid Part II (1986)
The Karate Kid Part III (1989)
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Les Miserables (1935)
Madeline (1998)
A Man Called Peter (1955)
Miral (2011)
Mumfie’s Quest: The Movie (2014)
Murder at the Presidio (2005)
Murder by Numbers (2002)
My Bodyguard (1980)
Mystic Pizza (1988)
Mystic River (2003)
Notting Hill (1999)
Now Is Good (2012)
The Other End of the Line (2008)
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Philadelphia (1993)
Pi (1998)
The Pioneer Woman Collection – 20 episodes (2012) (TV)
The Player: Secrets of a Vegas Whale (2014)
Poetic Justice (1993)
The Princess Twins of Legendale (2013)
Puzzled Love (2010)
The Quick and the Dead (1995)
Raaz 3: The Third Dimension (2012)
Rehab Addict Collection – 1 Season (2010) (TV)
Reincarnation (2006)
Reindeer Games (2000)
Restaurant: Impossible Collection – 25 episodes (2011) (TV)
Retornos (2010)
The River’s Edge (1957)
The Robe (1953)
Sabrina’s Secret Life – 1 Season (2003) (TV)
Saint Nick (2010)
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
Sidewalls (2011)
A Slipping Down Life (1999)
Stuart Little 2 (2002)
Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild (2005)
Submarine (2011)
Taking Lives (2004)
The Turning Point (1977)
Walking Tall: Part II (1975)
The Whole Nine Yards (2000)

 

Netflix Canada

3/21
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
3/27
American Masters: LENNONYC
3/29
Gandhi (1982)
Joe Dirt (2001)
National Security (2003)
Pineapple Express (2008)
RV (2006)
Snatch (2000)
S.W.A.T. (2003)
Taxi Driver (1976)
We Own the Night (2007)
The Wedding Planner (2001)
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2007)
3/31
The French Connection (1971)
The Inexplicable Universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson – 6 episodes (2013) (TV)
The Iron Giant (1999)
Slacker (1991)
That Thing You Do! (1996)
Wayne’s World (1992)
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Yes Man (2008)

 

Netflix UK

3/19
The Haunted Mansion (2003)
3/20
Act of Valor (2012)
3/21
9 (2009)
3/22
Rambo (2008)
3/23
Movie 43 (2013)
Won’t Back Down (2012)
3/25
The Adventures of Sharkboy & Lavagirl (2005)
3/30
Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero – 2 episodes (2013) (TV)
Brazil with Michael Palin – 4 episodes (2012) (TV)
The Iceman (2013)
Last Tango in Halifax – 6 episodes (2012) (TV)
Les Miserables – 2 episodes (2000) (TV)
Outcasts – 8 episodes (2011) (TV)
The Paperboy (2012)
Redemption (2013)
Rev. – 2 Seasons (2010-’11) (TV)
Stolen (2012)
3/31
3 Ninjas: Kick Back (1994)
Beauty & the Briefcase (2010)
Broken Arrow (1996)
Coyote Ugly (2000)
The Crew (2008)
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior – 1 Season (2011) (TV)
Crimson Tide (1995)
The Dark (2009)
The Deep End of the Ocean (1999)
Down Periscope (1996)
Greek – 4 Seasons (2007-’09) (TV)
Homecoming (2009)
The Inexplicable Universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson – 6 episodes (2013) (TV)
Insomnia (2002)
Melancholia (2011)
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
The Messengers (2007)
The Messengers 2: The Scarecrow (2009)
Pandorum (2009)
Patriot Games (1992)
Raising Arizona (1987)
Reaper – 2 Seasons (2007-’09) (TV)
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Seabiscuit (2003)
Slacker (1991)
Soul Food (1997)
Stripes (1981)
Trapped (2002)
Trust (2010)
Two Can Play That Game (2001)
Ugly Betty – 2 Seasons (2006-’07) (TV)
Walled In (2009)
White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

Chappie (2015)

chappie1

Neill Blomkamp’s latest sci-fi is a bit more intelligent than people are giving it credit for. It’s a flawed film, for sure, but it hits a lot of the right notes. Chappie touches upon the surface of themes like morality, humanity, consciousness and religion, but sometimes fails to really peel back the layers to expose something deeper and more meaningful inside. Where it does really succeed is in humanizing the titular character and allowing us to see him like we would a child, a pure soul that is molded by his environment. Chappie might not present a whole lot of new ideas, but it has a lot of heart, and it isn’t afraid to be silly, and that’s what I liked most about it.

Among one of the many resemblances to District 9, Chappie starts with talking heads giving exposition about what’s going on in the world. Thanks to people like Anderson Cooper, we find out that the police force has been replaced by robots called Scouts, and Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) is the creator. Thanks to Deon’s Scouts, crime in Johannesburg has decreased dramatically.

One robot, Scout 22, suffers a big blow in the field, causing his battery to become fused inside him, so he’s due to be crushed. Deon, who has recently figured out a formula to give the robots a mind of their own, steals 22 to test it. Before he can, he is kidnapped by Yolandi and Ninja (of “Die Antwoord” fame), and their partner Amerika (Jose Pablo Cantillo). They want Deon to turn off the robots so they can carry out a successful heist. When he assures them this isn’t possible, they force him to reprogram 22 so that they can train it to work for them. When he wakes up, Yolandi gives him the name “Chappie” and he eventually becomes a part of their gangster family.

Chappie is essentially a child. When Deon gives him a mind of his own, it’s like a baby being born, not knowing how to speak or being able to recognize the world around him. Deon, as the creator, is a God-like figure if you’re looking at this in terms of religion. Chappie actually learns morality from him. Before Deon leaves him with Yolandi and Ninja, he makes Chappie promise that he won’t hurt other people. It’s like God giving Moses the Commandments, you know…”Thou shalt not kill,” that sort of thing. The funny thing is that it sticks with him. Throughout the film, he remains adamant about not using guns on people, despite Ninja successfully molding him into the gangster lifestyle in other ways.

chappie3

Yolandi is the compassionate mother figure who comes to really love and care about Chappie. She teaches him about mortality and “the beyond.” Ninja, aside from being a selfish jerk who tries to manipulate him, is the father who tries to teach Chappie that the world isn’t a nice place, and that he has to be tough if he wants to survive in it.

Chappie’s consciousness is brought into existence by humans and shaped by humans, and so he logically becomes a human in a robot body. He feels fear, sadness, love, and like all humans, becomes fearful of his own mortality. As his irreplaceable battery begins to run out, he questions why a creator would bring him into the world just so that he could die, a question I’m sure plenty of us have asked before: what is the purpose of life if we are only meant to die? Now this is what I mean when I say this film touches upon the surface of interesting themes. Unfortunately, it eventually does get bogged down by action, violence, and a couple insignificant and ridiculous characters.

I haven’t yet mentioned the role Hugh Jackman plays in this, and that’s mainly because I hated his character. No, not because he was evil (yes, he’s evil), but because he was mainly dull and annoying, and I got tired of him really fast with his stupid mullet and cargo shorts. Hating Hugh Jackman? Yeah, that’s a first for me. He plays Vincent, who is a bastard former soldier and an engineer obsessed with wrecking Deon’s robots and promoting his own human-controlled, giant robots who are decked out with all the weapons you’d need for destroying an entire city, let alone fighting urban street crime. For most of the movie, he seemed like nothing more than an insignificant side story, and his character was like an annoying fly buzzing about that you couldn’t swat down. I’d like to just pretend he didn’t exist. Sigourney Weaver can join him in the void of wishful nonexistence because she was equally as stupid and even more insignificant.

Let’s talk about the purpose of having “Die Antwoord” as main characters in this film. I mean, why? I have to assume it’s for the same reason Blomkamp wanted Eminem to play Matt Damon’s role in Elysium. What that reason is, I’m not sure, weird fascination with rappers I guess? I went into this fully expecting to be annoyed by them, but truth be told, the scenes with them teaching Chappie how to live the gangster lifestyle was hilarious and very entertaining. Yes, it’s a little annoying that they wore their own merch and that the soundtrack was basically all Die Antwoord, making this film kind of seem like a 2 hour music video at times, but I still enjoyed most of their scenes, and I thought they had an interesting and dynamic relationship with the main character.

The CGI and mo-cap in this film is excellent. Along with these things, Sharlto Copley, who plays Chappie, does a great job with making him feel human. For example, in scenes like when Chappie was getting abused by thugs I felt like I was watching an innocent child being abused, I was actually upset and disgusted by it. He’s a piece of metal, but you care about him like you would any other human in any other story. It’s the same way I felt watching the aliens being oppressed in District 9. Blomkamp may miss the mark sometimes, but he knows how to present those human elements and make them feel real, and of course, having the right actor to portray them is a plus.

The only other issues I had with this film is the ending. I can’t get into it without giving too much away, but I felt like it was rushed. I wanted the film to spend more time with the idea, and for those who have seen this already, you know what I’m talking about. Instead, what we got was a long scene involving a shoot-out and Ninja making ridiculous facial expressions. I didn’t like how some of the truly interesting sci-fi elements took the backseat to the ultra violent action. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an action fanatic, but I know when it is and isn’t appropriate. Blomkamp does know how to handle action scenes well, I’ll admit, but I just wanted…more, more than just that.

chappie5

In the end, I feel like most critics were overly harsh on Chappie. It wasn’t perfect, but I think it’s far from the derivative piece of crap some are making it out to be. Chappie is an extremely likable character who is easy to sympathize with and care about. The film does touch on interesting themes, focusing more on an A.I. discovering consciousness and mortality, as opposed to focusing on clichèd plot devices like the A.I. threatening humanity. Unfortunately, the action does drag the plot down a bit, and there are a couple of characters who I wish were never written into the script, but Blomkamp does a mostly good job presenting plenty of silly and humorous elements to remind you this is a sci-fi film involving a child-like robot being raised by rappers. Let yourself have fun with it, and you may come out with a more positive view.

3/5

’71 (2015)

71

’71 places Jack O’Connell in yet another impressive role as a British soldier who is left behind by his unit in a hostile territory in Belfast during “the Troubles” in–you guessed it–1971. This is director Yann Demange’s feature film debut, and it safely borders the line between action movie and political thriller.

What was the Troubles, you ask? As someone born and raised in the U.S. and never taught a single thing about Irish history in my 19 years of schooling aside from maybe where St. Patty’s Day comes from, I asked myself the same question. As the movie quickly describes it, there was a conflict going on between the Protestants and the Catholics. From a British point of view, the Protestants were the “friendlies” and the Catholics were the “hostiles.” To be more specific, it was a political conflict between Protestant loyalists and Catholic nationalists or republicans. There were quite a few issues going on between the two groups, one of them involving whether or not Northern Ireland should stay within the UK. Without giving a history lesson or sounding stupid to those who were better educated than I was, let’s just say militant groups on both sides, like the IRA for example, were rioting and killing each other. The British army was involved, the government and police force was corrupt, and so on and so forth.

71 (3)

So how does O’Connell fit into all of this? He plays a British soldier named Gary Hook, who, upon being caught in the middle of a riot, is accidentally left behind by his unit and has to try to survive on the deadly streets on his own. He is hunted and helped by people from both sides, and he is never really sure about who is a friend or a foe.

Last year was a break out year for O’Connell, after having starred in the critically acclaimed drama Starred Up and the not-so-acclaimed Unbroken, as well as the really terrible 300: Rise of an Empire. Regardless of how good or bad the movie was, his performances never failed to impress. It’s the same deal here, although thankfully, this movie does not suck.

’71 is seemingly a simple story about a young man who has to try and survive the night in a foreign land, but there’s actually a lot more going on in the plot than just that. You’re dealing with corruption, double agents on both sides, civilians who are coerced into acting out violently due to blind loyalty, children suffering the consequences, and many people living in fear. Hook is at the center of all of it, never knowing where to turn, having people shoot at him and bombs going off around him, you can sense his confusion and desperation to get to safety.

O’Connell is mostly silent throughout this film, but still affecting. You don’t get to know much about his character aside from the fact that he has a younger brother who is in some kind of state care facility, yet you still care about what happens to him. I will admit that the most thrilling scenes in this movie are the ones that are focused on him. His attempts at survival are, if nothing else, suspenseful. There’s an intensity I felt while watching him running down alleys and ducking into the shadows. It’s mostly well balanced, though, with O’Connell’s scenes being something closer to an action movie, and the secondary characters setting up for what would seem like more of a political thriller. Captain Browning (Sean Harris), for example, is playing both sides of the field throughout the film, but his true intentions are clear to the viewer, he is not a good guy. The suspense in these scenes come from whether or not the other characters will figure this out before it’s too late, and if there will even be consequences when they do.

Demange depicts a world where corruption goes far up the ranks, where young people get caught up fighting for causes they probably don’t fully understand, struggling between what they know is right and what they’re being told is right, and where innocent people are shot at and blown to bits. I’m not sure how true this depiction is, there are some people out there who have actually lived through these conflicts and witnessed them first hand and maybe think this plot is too simplified or not political enough, whereas others will think the opposite. I like the balance, but then again, what do I know?

'71 film still

Aside from the sometimes excessive shaky cam, the cinematography successfully captures the essence of a war torn city, there’s fires in the streets, people running about and shouting, and a general dark and grittiness to the film. Jack O’Connell, as usual, excels in the lead role and so do a lot of the supporting characters, especially Sean Harris, as well as a young, foul-mouthed boy O’Connell meets at one point in the film. Good people die, bad people live, and justice isn’t always served, ’71 is an emotional and thrilling film that illustrates these sad but true elements that often accompany violent, political conflicts. I really enjoyed it and I believe it’s one of the better movies released in the U.S. this year.

4/5

Trailer Analysis – Avengers: Age of Ultron (Trailer 3)


Avengers Assemble! A battle cry surely shouted across the globe, as tens of millions flocked to social media to feast their eyes on the latest look at Avengers: Age of Ultron. On a normal Wednesday morning, an unexpected tweet put forth an invitation to Marvelites everywhere to stand together and show their loyalty. With only 140 characters at their disposal, Marvel Studios single-handedly broke the internet promising the new trailer a full 24 hours ahead of schedule, if enough people commonly used the famous tagline in hashtag form. With, possibly, the most fun and socially interactive plan in recent memory spreading like wildfire, the goods were offered up in a matter of hours. Which brings us to the breakdown:

Bring on the expected, gorgeous flyover shots of ominously desolate countryside to urban locales, all brilliantly voiced over by our increasingly lovable, titular villain. “I was designed to save the world,” explains Ultron, as we immediately realize we’ll need to look no further for our story speculations. Any suspicions we may have had of the twin’s initial allegiance are put to rest, when we find Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch worshipping Ultron atop his throne. As the team’s Quinjet flies overhead, people gaze upward in awe, as they’re greeted with the idea of “hope.” It’s such hope, that appears to evoke the maniacal, race-eradicating thoughts of our antagonist.

FcETx6G - Imgur

With our first official exterior look at the new and improved Avengers Tower, comes an enlightening exchange between Stark and Banner about the development of artificial intelligence. “I tried to create a suit of armor around the world,” Tony explains. The overarching theme of hero morality shifts into focus, causing our characters to question if the Earth would need protection at all, if it weren’t for their mistakes. With the odds of winning the imminent war stacked heavily against them, the once-fragile team begins to unravel. Familiar face and former Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury, offers words of encouragement, urging the team to stand and fight. Accompanying action sequences show the team sprawling across the frame in classic comic book panel fashion, inducing chills to fanboys worldwide. Additional, quick-succession shots display the likes of Stark holding Loki’s scepter, Scarlet Witch manipulating Widow’s mind, and Hulk pummeling Iron Man up the side of a skyscraper. Comic relief remains in-tact amidst the destruction, thankfully, with several Whedon-esque quips peppered throughout.

rXWIMJX - Imgur

With just under two months to go before the film dominates the box office, numerous questions still carry on unanswered. Just how will the (potentially Inhuman) Maximoff twins join Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? What in God’s name is going on between Banner and Widow? What other awesome Marvel Cinematic Universe cameos may we see from the Scarlet Witch hallucinations? Where the heck is Spider-Man during all of this? Expect to see this, a team-wide pano shot that puts the Battle of New York’s to shame, and oh-so-much more when Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters May 1st, 2015!

2nnBbXv - Imgur

P.S. You didn’t really think we’d wrap that up without at least mentioning the breakout character of 2015, did you? Behold, the Android Avenger: Vision! Get yourselves very familiar. This Avenger is going to own the screen!

What We Do in the Shadows (2015)

shadows1

Who knew that a mockumentary about four vampires living together in a flat in New Zealand could be so genuinely entertaining? Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi co-wrote, directed and starred in this gem of a comedy that has sadly seen very limited release in the U.S. despite positive response. What We Do in the Shadows is a fresh twist on the vampire genre and it delivers consistent laughs while never straying far from old vampire clichés, and that’s not a bad thing.

So many vampire movies are either focused on horror elements or romantic elements. This movie throws both of those out the window, and what we’re left with is a lot of deadpan humor involving legitimate problems you could imagine would arise in a household of centuries-old vampires. Tension over someone not doing their chores, accidentally hitting main arteries while feeding on humans and spraying blood all over the place, not being able to enjoy a night on the town without being invited into nightclubs, and the difficulties getting dressed while not having a reflection to judge yourself in. The mundane issues that follow a group of immortal creatures who are out of touch with the modern world actually provide a lot more laughs than you would think.

shadows2

Viago (Taika Waititi) is a 379-year-old vampire who is a bit of compulsive character. He calls flatmate meetings so that he can discuss who is and who isn’t doing their chores, and why it’s necessary to put down newspaper when one of them decides to sink their teeth into their victims while sitting on the living room sofa. He still dresses like a 18th century European aristocrat with the puffy-sleeved shirts, and he tries to maintain a semblance of civility, but in the end, he’s still a vampire who needs to feed on people. The difference is he tries to give his victims a good time in the last moments of their lives, like a true vampire gentleman.

Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) is an 862-year-old vampire whose appearance is reminiscent of the Gary Oldman type in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. When we first see him, he’s in a red silk sheeted bed with three women, hissing at the camera. We learn later that he has his own torture room, although he rarely uses it anymore. He also used to have a skill for mind control, but has never been the same since an encounter with a creature only referred to as “The Beast.”

shadows3

Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) is the “cool, young vampire” at a ripe 183-years-old, looking like he stepped right out of a slightly older version of The Lost Boys, with his leather pants and stereotypical “vampires are sexy” attitude. He gets scolded for letting the dishes pile up for five years, and he has a “familiar” named Jackie (Jackie van Beek), who he orders to do daytime errands for him with the false promise that one day he might turn her. One of these errands involves finding two virgins to bring to the house for dinner. The fact that virgins are hard to come by is just one of the many problems these vampires face on a daily basis. While there’s no real need to have virgin blood, Vladislav explains the preference, saying, “I think of it like this. If you are going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if you knew no one had fucked it.” Fair enough.

One of the humans she brings to dinner is Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer). When he figures out he’s just been lured into a pit of vampires, he tries to escape, leading to a hilarious chase down dark hallways, with some funny wire work and use of CGI. Fortunately, he’s caught by Petyr (Ben Fransham), the fourth flatmate who has a habit of turning people instead of killing them. He doesn’t speak and he lives in the basement and sleeps in a cement tomb. He’s the Nosferatu of the four vampires, and he’s relieved of household duties and flatmate meetings due to the fact that he’s 8,000-years-old.

shadows4

With the addition of Nick, the vampires lives become a little less mundane. Now they are dealing with a very young vampire who can’t keep his mouth shut about who and what he is. His struggle to adapt is hilarious. He has trouble flying in through windows, but has an incessant need to do so just because he can. He doesn’t know that eating chips leads to projectile vomiting of blood. He also comes out to his best friend, Stu (Stuart Rutherford), who accepts him as a vampire. Stu is quickly accepted as a friend by them all for being a genuinely likable guy who works at an IT company. He helps the old vampires get reconnected with the modern world through technology. It’s funny how they take to him like a new pet.

Oh, and if the vampires weren’t enough, there are werewolves, too. The vampires run into a pack led by Anton (Rhys Darby), who insists that his pack maintain their tempers, reminding them, “We’re werewolves, not swearwolves.” Yes, there’s a lot that this film offers in terms of fantastical details, and they’re all presented humorously.

Is this one of those corny, cheap parody type films? No. It’s so much better. It’s witty and the actors have a great sense of comedic timing. I laughed the whole way through. The mockumentary style of filming is so fitting, it’s never distracting, and it contributes to the bizarreness of what goes on in the movie. What We Do in the Shadows is more on the level of films like This is Spinal Tap than anything else. There isn’t too much beneath the surface here, it’s a simple plot, but it’s a worthwhile comedy and at a brisk 84 minutes, it’s a very easy watch. It didn’t get the wide release it deserved, but if it happens to come to a theater near you, you should drop what you’re doing and go see this.

4/5

Meathead March – Stand By Me (1986) – Justine’s Movie Blog

Thanks again, Rob, for letting me participate in another of your wonderful blogathons! My choice for a Rob Reiner directed flick is Stand by Me. I bet you couldn’t guess that I love coming-of-age films.

meathead march blogathonFor today’s first review of Stand By Me (1986) for the Meathead March Blogathon, here’s a review by Justine of Justine’s Movie Blog.

Thanks Justine!

sbm6

Rob Reiner’s Stand by Me is probably one of the most successful classic examples of a coming-of-age film that has touched many people’s hearts. There’s plenty of things in this film that just work, there’s no other way to put it really. The cast, the music, the story, and the overall themes of childhood friendship and loss of innocence are elements that work towards this creation of the first successful adaptation from a Stephen King short story, “The Body.”

The story begins with an older Gordie (Richard Dreyfuss), who, upon looking at an article in the newspaper about one of his friends, reminisces of the days when he was a young boy. Flashback to Gordie (Wil Wheaton), Chris (River Phoenix), Teddy (Corey Feldman), and…

View original post 830 more words

Netflix: What’s New on Streaming (March 2015)

netflix-logo

Here are the US, Canada and UK lists for new movie and TV titles that have been added to Netflix streaming this month of March. I will try to keep this list updated as I find more titles are being added later on in the month. In the meantime, you can see what new was added last month and what expired recently. Enjoy!

Netflix US

3/1
30 for 30: Of Miracles and Men (2015)
Across the Great Divide (1976)
Aleksandr’s Price (2013)
And God Created Woman (1988)
And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird (1991)
Best Seller (1987)
Better Than Chocolate (1999)
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Billy Madison (1995)
Bitter Moon (1992)
Black Sheep (1996)
Bleach The Movie: Fade to Black (2008)
Bratz: The Movie (2007)
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
The Brothers Grimm (2005)
Bullett Raja (2013)
City of Ghosts (2003)
The Culture High (2014)
Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey! (2009)
The Days to Come (2010)
DeRay Davis: Power Play (2010)
Donnie Brasco (1997)
Dream Lover (1994)
Ella the Elephant – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Evelyn (2002)
Event Horizon (1997)
Finding Neverland (2004)
Frankie and Johnny (1991)
Furry Vengeance (2010)
Grease 2 (1982)
Groundhog Day (1993)
Half of a Yellow Sun (2013)
Harmontown (2014)
Hot Boyz (1997)
House Arrest (1996)
Humshakals (2014)
Jail Caesar (2012)
Jealousy (2013)
Johnny Dangerously (1984)
K-Pax (2001)
Knock ‘Em Dead (2014)
Lalaloopsy Babies: First Steps (2014)
Last Summer (2013)
Levitated Mass: The Story of Michael Heizer’s Monolithic Sculpture (2013)
Lewis Black: In God We Trust (2011)
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
The Madness of King George (1994)
Masterpiece Classic: The Diary of Anne Frank (2009)
Mean Machine (2001)
Mercy Rule (2014)
Monster High 13 Wishes (2013)
Monster Hugh: Ghouls Rule (2012)
Mule-Tide Christmas (2014)
Naked After Midnight (2014)
Naruto Shippûden The Movie: Bonds (2006)
Number One With a Bullet (1987)
One Rogue Reporter (2014)
Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton: This is Stones Throw Records (2013)
P2 (2007)
Parallels (2014)
Patch Adams (1998)
Paycheck (2003)
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)
Platoon Leader (1998)
The Prince & Me (2004)
The Red Road – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
Rules of Engagement (2000)
Rumpelstiltskin (1987)
The Secret of NIMH (1982)
Shirley Valentine (1989)
Singham (2011)
The Sixth Man (2013)
Ski Patrol (1990)
Soul Survivors (2001)
The Story of Ruth (1960)
Switchback (1997)
Tank Girl (1995)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Teen Witch (1989)
TEDTalks: Life Hack 2: The Next Level – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
Top Gun (1986)
Two Hundred Thousand Dirty (2012)
Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)
Wings (1927)
You Will Be Mine (2009)
3/2
Bratz: Rock Angelz (2005)
Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-Lot – Season 2 (2008) (TV)
Houdini (2 Parts) (2014)
3/3
Drop Dead Diva – Season 6 (2014) (TV)
Happy End (2014)
Misfire (2014)
Out in the Line-Up (2014)
Out to Kill (2014)
Twilight (2008)
Web Junkie (2013)
Zinda Bhaag (2013)
3/4
The Discoverers (2012)
The Gospel of John: Reina-Valera 1960 (2014)
Missionary (2013)
Nono, the ZigZag Kid (2012)
Rich Hill (2014)
3/5
The Alps from Above: A Symphony of Summits (2015)
Blame It on the Streets (2014)
By the Gun (2014)
Cat Run 2 (2014)
Food Chains (2014)
The ABCs of Death 2 (2014)
3/6
Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden (2015)
My Own Man – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
One Child – 4 Episodes (2014) (TV)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
3/7
Archer – Season 5 (2014) (TV)
Glee – Season 5 (2013) (TV)
Hansel vs. Gretel (2015)
Mr. Pip (2012)
3/8
Back Issues: The Hustler Magazine Story (2014)
3/9
After the Fall (2014)
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014)
Cesar Chavez (2014)
Tyler Perry’s the Single Mom’s Club (2014)
3/10
Faith Connections (2014)
Life of Riley (2014)
Monster High: Haunted (2015)
3/11
Believe (2013)
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
3/12
Force Majeure (2014)
Standby (2014)
3/13
The Comedians of Comedy: The Movie (2005)
Joe Rogan: Live (2006)
Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story (2014)
3/14
May in the Summer (2013)
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (2014)
3/15
3rd Rock from the Sun – Seasons 1-6 (1996-2000) (TV)
Aguila Roja – Season 1 (2009) (TV)
Bratz: The Video: Starrin’ & Stylin’ (2004)
A Different World – Seasons 1-6 (1987-’92) (TV)
Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
Empresses in the Palace – Season 1 (2011) (TV)
K2: Siren of the Himalayas (2012)
Lamhe (1991)
Lola & Virginia – Season 1 (2007) (TV)
Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
Marvel & ESPN Films Present: 1 of 1: Genesis (2014)
Miss Granny (2014)
Passover at Bubbe’s (1998)
Pokemon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (2013)
Saw (2004)
Saw II (2005)
Saw III (2006)
Saw IV (2007)
Tricked (2013)
W. (2008)
3/16
Full Circle (2013)
My Favorite Five (2015)
Resistance (2013)
Texas Rangers (2001)
3/17
Dummy (2002)
Hollidaysburg (2014)
Mall (2014)
Not Cool (2014)
Three Night Stand (2013)
The Way He Looks (2014)
You’re Not You (2014)
3/18
And So It Goes (2014)
3/19
Animal (2014)
Beyond (2014)
Life Itself (2014)
V/H/S: Viral (2014)
3/20
Above All Else (2014)
Amadeus (1984)
American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (2013)
Before You Know It (2013)
Bloodline – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her (2013)
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him (2013)
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (2014)
Evolution of a Criminal (2014)
The Foxy Merkins (2013)
God’s Not Dead (2014)
The Phantom of the Opera: Special Edition (2004)
Something, Anything (2014)
Syriana (2005)
TEDTalks: Inexplicable Connections – 13 Episodes (2011) (TV)
Valley of Saints (2012)
Water & Power (2013)
3/21
Charlie Victor Romeo (2013)
The Green Prince (2014)
The Pirates (2014)
3/22
Collateral Damage (2002)
Mad Men – Season 7 (2014) (TV)
3/23
Love Me (2013)
Traitors (2013)
3/25
Garfunkel and Oats – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
November Man (2014)
Take Care (2014)
Turn – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
3/26
The Almighty Johnsons – Seasons 2-3 (2012-’13) (TV)
3/27
Eva (2011)
Frankie & Alice (2010)
Inspector Gadget – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
Trailer Park Boys – Season 9 (2015) (TV)
3/28
Yume to kyoki no ohkoku (2013)
3/30
Bratz: Desert Jewelz (2011)
Hollywood’s Best Film Directors – 20 Episodes (2008) (TV)
3/31
Allies (2014)
Ask Me Anything (2014)
Atari: Game Over (2014)
The Aviators (2008)
Common (2014)
The Crazy Ones – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Death Squad (2014)
Devil’s Backbone Texas (2014)
The Devil’s Violinist (2013)
Dr. Dolittle 3 (2006)
Flight 93 (2006)
Garfield’s Pet Force (2009)
The Houses October Built (2014)
Jasper: Journey to the End of the World (2008)
Love the One You’re With (2014)
The Man with the Iron Fists (2012)
Monica (Lap Dance) (2014)
Peacock (2010)
Pet Pals in Windland (2014)
Red vs. Blue – Season 2 (2008) (TV)
Residue – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
Salvation Army (2013)
The Sandlot 2 (2005)
Swearnet: The Movie (2014)
Twelve Mile Road (2003)
The Universal Force: The Seer Squad (2013)
Veronika Decides to Die (2009)
Wolfcop (2014)

Netflix Canada

3/1
Bleach: Fade to Black (2008)
The Boys from Brazil (1978)
Broken Arrow (1950)
Broken Arrow (1996)
The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie (1979)
Digimon Adventure – Seasons 1-3 (1999) (TV)
Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar (2014)
Drumline: A New Beat (2014)
End of Watch (2012)
Face/Off (1997)
The Factory (2012)
Friday the 13th (2009)
Generation Um… (2012)
Gran Torino (2008)
Haani (2013)
Harmontown (2014)
I Declare War (2012)
Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
Jail Caesar (2012)
Jatt James Bond (2014)
Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
Kangaroo Jack (2003)
Kelly & Cal (2014)
Last Weekend (2014)
Lilting (2014)
The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (1981)
Mean Girls (2004)
Monster High 13 Wishes (2013)
Monster High: Ghouls a Rule (2012)
Naruto Shippûden the Movie: Bonds (2008)
One Rogue Reporter (2014)
Pac-man and the Ghostly Adventures – Season 2 (2013) (TV)
Parallels (2014)
The Queen of the Damned (2002)
The Red Road – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
Red Tails (2012)
Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise (1987)
Robin Hood (1991)
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo (2010)
Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King (2008)
Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico (2003)
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare (2010)
She’s the Man (2006)
Superman Doomsday (2007)
Switched at Birth – Seasons 1-2 (2011) (TV)
TEDTalks: Life Hack 2: The Next Level – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
This is 40 (2012)
This Means War (2012)
Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes (2010)
Wildest Africa – Season 1 (2010) (TV)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Yours, Mine and Ours (2005)
3/2
The Hero of Color City (2014)
Wildest India – Season 1 (2011) (TV)
Wildest Islands – Season 1 (2012) (TV)
Wildest Latin America – Season 1 (2012) (TV)
3/3
Happy End (2014)
Out in the Line-Up (2014)
Out to Kill (2014)
3/4
Les Misérables (2012)
3/5
Blame It on the Streets (2014)
3/6
Great Crimes and Trials – Season 1 (2011) (TV)
Mafia’s Greatest Hits – Season 1 (2012) (TV)
My Own Man – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
World War II in Colour – Season 1 (2009) (TV)
3/8
Digimon Fusion – Season 1 (2010) (TV)
3/9
1 Way Up: The Story of Peckham BMX (2014)
Frank (2014)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Sabrina (1995)
Salamander – Season 1 (2012) (TV)
Sekirei – Season 1 (2008) (TV)
3/11
Chronicle (2012)
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
3/12
Danger 5 – Season 2 (2012) (TV)
Qué pena tu boda (2011)
Rita – Season 2 (2012) (TV)
Standby (2014)
3/13
American Reunion (2012)
The Comedians of Comedy: The Movie (2005)
Danny and the Dinosaur (1990)
Days and Nights (2014)
Emily’s First 100 Days of School (2006)
Joe Rogan: Live (2006)
Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story (2014)
Locked Up in America – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
The Mouse and the Motorcycle (1986)
Nova: Decoding Neanderthals (2013)
Secrets of the Dead: World’s Biggest Bomb (2011) (TV)
Weekender (2011)
3/14
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
The Hunt (2012)
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (2014)
Ralph S. Mouse (1987)
Rolling (2013)
Secrets of the Dead: Death on the Railroad (2013) (TV)
Secrets of the Dead: Ultimate Tut (2013) (TV)
Secrets of the Tower of London (2013) (TV)
Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012)
Unstoppable (2013)
3/15
3rd Rock from the Sun – Seasons 1-6 (1996-2000) (TV)
A Different World – Seasons 1-6 (1987-’92)
Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
Empresses in the Palace – Season 1 (2011) (TV)
Happy Go Lucky (2014)
K2: Siren of the Himalayas (2012)
Lamhe (1991)
Lola & Virginia – Season 1 (2007) (TV)
The Love Punch (2013)
Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
Marvel & ESPN Films Present: 1 of 1: Genesis (2014)
Miss Granny (2014)
Naughty Jatts (2013)
Pokemon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (2013)
Resistance (2013)
Space Racers – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
3/16
Age of Ice (2014)
The Rover (2013)
3/17
The Immigrant (2013)
The Notebook (2013)
Pokémon: Black & White – Season Pokémon: BW Adventures in Unova and Beyond (2010) (TV)
3/18
Appropriate Adult – Season 1 (2011) (TV)
3/19
Animal (2014)
Tricked (2013)
3/20
Bloodline – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
TEDTalks: Robotic Machinations – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
3/21
The Pirates (2014)
Side Effects (2013)
3/22
Tears of Steel – Season 1 (2012) (TV)
3/24
Austin Powers: Int’l Man of Mystery (1997)
Monster High: Haunted (2015)
3/25
Turn – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
3/26
Dark Skies (2013)
The Kick (2011)
The Mindy Project – Season 3 (2012) (TV)
Swearnet: The Movie (2014)
3/27
Trailer Park Boys – Season 9 (2015) (TV)
3/28
Jiminy Glick: Independent Spirit Awards (2008)
Yume to kyôki no ohkoku (2013)
3/30
Hollywood’s Best Film Directors – Season 1 (2008) (TV)
Julius Jr. – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Killing Them Softly (2012)
Mundeyan Ton Bachke Rahin (2014)
These Final Hours (2014)
3/31
Atari: Game Over (2014)
The Aviators (2008)
Devil’s Backbone Texas (2014)
Happy Tree Friends – Season 1 (2006) (TV)
Jack Taylor – Season 1 (2010) (TV)
Jasper: Journey to the End of the World (2008)
Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)
Wish I Was Here (2014)

Netflix UK

3/1
Bates Motel – Season 2 (2014) (TV)
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
Cropsey (2009)
The Culture High (2014)
Dear Dumb Diary (2013)
Harmontown (2014)
Hercules (2014)
Lilting (2014)
Limitless (2011)
Mad Money (2008)
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
One Rogue Reporter (2014)
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures – Season 1 (2013)
Parallels (2014)
Rules of Engagement (2000)
TEDTalks: Life Hack 2: The Next Level (2015)
3/2
Dear Dumb Diary (2013)
3/5
Blame It on the Streets (2014)
Life Itself (2014)
3/6
Aziz Ansari Live at Madison Square Garden (2015)
My Own Man (2015)
The Santa Clause (1994)
Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist (2014)
The Three Caballeros (1944)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (2013)
3/7
Call the Midwife – 2 Series (2012) (TV)
Houdini – 2 episodes (2014) (TV)
Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale (2014)
3/8
Digimon Fusion – Season 1 (2010) (TV)
3/9
1 Way Up: The Story of Peckham BMX (2014)
3/10
Qué pena tu boda (2011)
The Returned – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
3/13
The Comedians of Comedy: The Movie (2005)
Identity Thief (2013)
Joe Rogan: Live (2006)
The Three Musketeers (1993)
3/14
Once Upon a Time – Seasons 1-4 (2011-’14) (TV)
3/15
3rd Rock from the Sun – Seasons 1-6 (1996-2000) (TV)
A Different World – Season 1-6 (1987-’92) (TV)
Akmal: Life of Akmal (2014)
Arj Barker: Joy Harvest (2013)
Carl Barron: A One Ended Stick (2013)
David Strassman: Careful What You Wish For (2012)
Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
Hello Kitty Flanagan (2014)
Jimeoin: Something Smells Funny (2012)
Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
Pokémon: Black & White – Seasons 1-2 (2010-’13) (TV)
Resistance (2013)
Space Racers – Season 1 (2014) (TV)
The Umbilical Brothers: The Rehearsal (2014)
3/16
Lamhe (1991)
Mars Needs Moms! (2011)
3/17
22 Jump Street (2014)
Pokémon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (2013)
3/18
Closer (2004)
Dead Cert (2010)
District 13: Ultimatum (2009)
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 (2014)
Final Run (1999)
Jury Duty (1995)
Last Chance Harvey (2008)
Richard Pryor: Here and Now (1983)
The September Issue (2008)
Sin (2003)
Used Cars (1980)
3/19
Life Itself (2014)
3/20
3 Days to Kill (2014)
Bloodline – Season 1 (2015)
Invincible (2006)
3/21
Tears of Steel – Season 1 (2012) (TV)
Two Days, One Night (2014)
3/22
Ivory Tower (2014)
3/23
The King’s Speech (2010)
3/25
Iron Man 3 (2013)
3/27
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
Trailer Park Boys – Season 9 (2015) (TV)
We Are the Giant (2014)
3/29
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2012)
Jimmy’s Hall (2014)
3/30
Glick Doesn’t Do Red Carpet: Jiminy Glick at the Independent Spirit Awards (2008)
Julius Jr. – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Splatter (2009)
3/31
Atari: Game Over (2014)
Begin Again (2014)
Bob Servant Independent – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Call the Midwife – 3 Series (20120-’13) (TV)
Chef (2014)
Death in Paradise – Seasons 1-2 (2011-’13) (TV)
Devil’s Backbone Texas (2014)
Earth to Echo (2014)
Father Brown – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Hidden Kingdoms – 3 episodes (2014) (TV)
Louis Theroux: LA Stories – 3 episodes (2014) (TV)
Orphan Black – Season 2 (2014) (TV)
Outnumbered – Season 5 (2014) (TV)
The Paradise – Season 2 (2013) (TV)
QI – Season 6 (2013) (TV)
Residue – Season 1 (2015) (TV)
Spooks – 10 Volumes (2002-’11) (TV)
Top Gear – Season 20 (2014) (TV)
Top Gear: The Perfect Road Trip – 2 episodes (2013) (TV)
The Trip – Seasons 1-2 (2010-’14) (TV)
The Wrong Mans – Season 1 (2013) (TV)
Zen – Season 1 (2011) (TV)

The Movies We Loved in 2014 — By Friends of the Blog

Me and some other writers share our thoughts on what we believe were really the best movies of 2014.

Thanks, Gabe, for asking me to participate!

I chose Whiplash of course because, why not? Whiplash is an amazing film.

Gabriel Diego Valdez

We don’t tune into awards shows to be told what the best movie is. That’s not why they’re so popular. We tune in to disagree, to do it with friends and family around us, because the real show that night is what’s happening in front of the TV – it’s your arguments for and against the choices being made. It’s your chance to stand up for the movie you feel closest to and defend it.

My own views on movies are shaped by the people I’ve gotten to make and discuss movies with over the years, the critics I read or the actors I pay attention to. So I asked them – What was your choice for best film of 2014? What movie most connected with you? Which one will you take forward with you into the rest of your life? I’m excited to see both some expected choices and…

View original post 4,835 more words