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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Movies I Need to See, Part I

A friend of mine, Thom Carnell,  is doing a "366 movies in 366 days" challenge this year.  It's ambitious.  It means watching great cinema and crappy popcorn flicks, it means watching things that aren't quite in your taste spectrum, and it means flat out watching things you just hate.  He's even reviewing them all. To that I say, good for him.

He and I differ in tastes.  He's a lot more into things that are elevate movies to an artwork.  He's into stylistic choices with shots and scenes, he's into obscure films by obscure film makers (and believe me, he knows his shit.  Check out The Bonus Material Podcast, where he and two co-conspirators talk about film and filmmaking.  Eye-opening stuff), whereas I'm admittedly much more simple than that.   Do I love a great story? Absolutely.  Do I enjoy cool cinematography? Sure.  I don't necessarily require them to have a good time at the movies (however, a bad story will almost 100% of the time result in a bad movie and a terrible time at the movies.  I'm looking at you, A Most Violent Year).

Anyway, I throw up this story as a prologue for the movies I'm most excited about this year.  Keep in mind that I'm going to update this list frequently as more stuff comes out.  And yes, trailers.

Kung Fu Panda 3.  I'm into animated movies. So sue me.  DreamWorks has a wonderful thing going here with KFP and How to Train Your Dragon.  I grew up in the 80s in New York, where you could watch kung-Fu flicks every Saturday afternoon.  I loved that.  The Kung-Fu Panda series is a great homage/spoof of all that nonsensical and fun pseudo-mystical stuff from that era.  And who doesn't love that?

Deadpool.  Another attempt at recreating this character onscreen.  (His first time in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was just... no.). It's amazing what a madcap trailer from a guano-psychotic will do these days.  It seems like this time they managed to capture the essence of the character, a dangerously unstable, fourth-wall breaking, regenerating, cancer-stricken mercenary.  It'll either be really good, or really bad.  I've gotta see it.

Zoolander 2.  If I'm being totally honest, there is no burning desire to see this for me. I thought the first one was funny, but it was also 15 years ago.  My girlfriend wants to see it, so if I want to drag her to see something I want to see, this sacrifice must be made.  You feel me, right guys?

Race. A bit on-the-nose with its title, this follows Jesse Owens and his winning 4 gold medals in the 1936 Olympics... in a very Nazi Berlin with Adolf Hitler watching. Maybe they'll touch on the issues he dealt with at home, being a Black Man from Jim Crow's South.  Worth watching, I think.

London Has Fallen.  Olympus Has Fallen was a fun action movie, no reason to think the next one won't be as well.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.  Tina Fey as a female war correspondent in Iraq.  The trailer's decently funny, and this could be pretty good.  Why not?

10 Cloverfield Lane.  Some years back, JJ Abrams put together a trailer for a found-footage monster movie set in New York City that featured the head of the Statue of Liberty being torn off.  That trailer became Cloverfield, and despite all its promise, it was one of the most disappointing movie experiences of my life.  Since then, JJ has done two Star Trek movies and a Star Wars movie, and I can't help to think he's learned something in the experience.  So I'm going to double down and see this one, which will either be really good or reeeeeallly bad

And that takes me to the end of the winter.  Next time I do this, it will be Summer Blockbuster Season.  Which means, comic book movies.  And there will be reviews.

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