Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

 

 

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Tonight at 9:30pm at the Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn, the monthly Kevin Geeks Out show returns with KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT DEADLY WOMEN!

 

Kevin Maher, a writer and comedian who just plain always puts on a good show (and who has recently become a Daily Grindhouse contributor!), will host the event, which involves a screening of various film clips related to the “Deadly Women” theme, with color commentary from a variety of speakers. I myself will be there to talk about — what else? — Pam Grier movies.

 

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Here’s the trailer for the show:

 

trailer – KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT DEADLY WOMEN at Nitehawk Cinema from Kevin Maher on Vimeo.

 

 

There are still a couple tickets left, but literally only a couple. Hope to see some of our New York people there!

 

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For some idea of what goes on at these things, here are a couple expanded editions of my talks at a couple past KGO events:

 

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AT LONG LAST, MY TOP MOVIES OF 2015.

Posted: February 28, 2016 in Lists, Movies

 

 

It’s Oscar night, which is surely the last possible instant for anybody to potentially care about my favored titles, as far as last year’s movies go. This list would have gone up on Daily Grindhouse, but due to a transitional phase, Daily Grindhouse has been down for most of the past two weeks, so here we are.

No need for a long prologue. Does anybody read those? If you care about this list in the slightest, you’ve probably scrolled down past this paragraph already. I always joke that the introduction before a top-ten list is the best place to unburden yourself if you’ve ever committed a serious crime. You can alleviate the guilt that’s been burning you up, and still get away scott-free. Far as I know, the only crime I’m guilty of committing without being prosecuted is an egregious sense of timing.

The only thing I wanted to say is that I saw two movies this year that I didn’t feel I could cram inside a top-ten structure. Those are THE LOOK OF SILENCE and CALL ME LUCKY. Both are perfectly-crafted documentaries that provoked a real visceral response from me. Not that I don’t have the same level of respect for every movie I listed below, but as wrong as it feels to me generally  to rank movies (it’s like ranking emotions) it felt borderline offensive in those two cases. That aside, this list IS in order.

 

 

Assassin (2015)

10. THE ASSASSIN

Writing about movies alters your experience as an audience member. As you watch a movie, you can’t help but begin to compose whatever you’re going to write about later on in your mind, while it’s still being projected. For “normal” people it’s probably easier to sit back and let a movie happen in front of you. Writing about movies means you can’t be a spectator. You’re not exactly a participant, but you’re imposing your will and your unique thought process on the experience all the same. All of that is to say that THE ASSASSIN has a determined stillness and an insistent patience that forced me to settle down and just watch. There isn’t much story to it, but that’s part of why I keyed into its frequency — I didn’t have to track over-heated plot developments, or opine to myself about my feelings about each character. I could just watch. Especially in this attention-flicker of a day and age, there’s a boldness to a film that holds on a shot long enough to let a slight gust of wind blow through the frame. And there’s a secret liberation in knowing I can submit to that boldness rather than making myself part of the experience.

 

Chi-Raq (2015)

 

Hateful Eight (2015)

 

9. CHI-RAQ / THE HATEFUL EIGHT

Grouping these two together because they’re two sides of a coin in my mind, and because it delights me to do it. It’s ironic that Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino are often at odds in the press, because they occupy neighboring terrain in the landscape of my thinking. Hard to think of two other filmmakers who are simultaneously so talented and so frustrating, so right up my alley and yet so prone to adding a single scene or a character or musical cue or plot device that threatens to derail my appreciation. As hard as it is for me to choose sides when Quentin and Spike fight, it’s got to be that much harder for Sam Jackson. He’s a signature actor for them both, and he plays pivotal roles in both CHI-RAQ and THE HATEFUL EIGHT. In one he’s the Greek chorus and in the other he’s the de-facto protagonist, but in both movies his war trumpet of a voice is a defining element of the orchestra being conducted by a bold, confrontational, cinematically-hyperliterate director. CHI-RAQ is a modern-day retelling of a classical play told in verse, and THE HATEFUL EIGHT is a “spaghetti” Western with provocation on the brain, so they’re very different movies, but they’re also unified in operatic nature and in thematic concern. These are two movies about race, about violence, about America. Another similarity is that both movies, while definitely engineered to inflame conversation, drew criticisms that were misplaced. I saw many essayists question Spike Lee for making CHI-RAQ about women withholding sex from their men in order to quell violence — despite that plot coming directly from Lysistrata and being a couple millenia old — and I saw others go after Quentin Tarantino for misogyny in THE HATEFUL EIGHT when nothing good happens to anybody in that movie, and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Daisy Domergue is by far the most compelling character in the whole thing. (As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I also think Quentin is working in a disreputable genre and honoring its conventions, as troubling as they may be.) I’m sure neither of these movies are particularly easy to like, and they may even be imperfect, but it’s uncommon to have one movie so defiant and lively and formally unruly in a calendar year, let alone two of them.

Oh, and Teyonah Parris is a goddamned movie star. There’s no way to look at CHI-RAQ and think any different.

 

 

Duke of Burgundy (2015)

8. THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY

By any objective measure, this is one of the most technically impressive films released in the past twelve months. Like THE ASSASSIN, it’s fascinating to look at and to listen to. For somebody like me, who looks at movies as moving pictures more than filmed plays, that’s not something to ignore. It’s arguable that THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY is an emotionally chilly movie, beautiful but impenetrable, but I wouldn’t be the one to argue it. I liked how this movie challenged me; I liked how it made me watch it again almost immediately to reconsider how I felt about it. Doesn’t hurt that I spent a large part of 2015 gaining a newfound affection for the giallo genre, so that by the time I got to THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY, I was waiting right in the middle of its wheelhouse. But I think any grown-up would find this movie equally as mystifying and intoxicating (it’s probably not one for the kids).

 

 

Creed (2015)

7. CREED

If there’s no way to stop the mounting flood of reboots and remakes and sequels and re-imaginings, then at least there’s a movie like CREED to come along and knock a franchise on its ass. I don’t have the same affection for the ROCKY movies so many fans of CREED seem to — to me, Rocky Balboa is less the draw than the friendship he forged with Apollo Creed over the course of the series. In that first ROCKY, Apollo is basically the villain, and the way he subsequently becomes Rocky’s brother-in-arms is what interests me most about the movies. It doesn’t always happen in life that a heated rival becomes a trusted friend, and to my eyes that’s as much the appeal as the victorious-underdog aspects of the franchise. We don’t get an appearance in CREED from Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed, but what he brought to the movies is still present in Michael B. Jordan’s fierce likability (he even looks like the young Apollo Creed at times) and Sylvester Stallone’s familiar but adjusted-for-weight-of-age performance. This is a sequel that comes at the idea from a dynamic angle — the son of Rocky’s most legendary rival comes to him for training in the same sport that killed his father. Rocky sees he can’t stop Donnie and feels he owes it to Apollo to protect his kid. CREED is about a reluctant mentor and an angry, hurt, haunted hero. If we’ve seen that relationship on film before, it’s not often, and never this fresh. On top of that, Tessa Thompson’s “love interest” character Bianca provides such a real, warm, unpredictable, lovable, tangible presence — it’s rare for a male-dominated movie, rare for a franchise movie, rare for an American movie. I suspect the pleasure of revisiting CREED will be less to thrill in the mechanics of the boxing sequences — which are tremendous — but more to spend time with these characters again.

 

Tangerine (2015)

6. TANGERINE

When I first moved to L.A., I got a job in an office building just off Santa Monica Boulevard, which I had to cross to get to work after parking my car in the lot across the street. Since it was a TV industry job, I came and went at all hours of the day and night, which means I got a crash-course in the environment of the neighborhood. This was two blocks from the Donut Time where so much of the action of TANGERINE takes place. So when I join the many voices praising TANGERINE for its sense of authenticity, it’s coming from some direct observation from the field. But I didn’t usually stop too long to talk to the many characters I encountered on Santa Monica Boulevard, and that’s the difference. TANGERINE brings the viewer into that world, by function of form (the film was famously shot on smartphones and favors dynamic close-ups and tracking shots) and by its vivid performances, most notably from Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez. Like its two lead characters, the movie explodes with energy. TANGERINE is exciting because it has real social value, making a marginalized culture spring beautifully to life and doing it not with melodrama but with recognizable relationships and a friendship that would win anybody over. All you have to do is look and listen.

 

 

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

5. BONE TOMAHAWK

I wrote more extensively about this movie when it hit Blu-Ray. The point I’d reiterate is that this isn’t a horror-Western. It really is a straight-ahead Western-Western. Westerns are a uniquely American genre whose usage tends to reflect the tenor of the times in which they were made. The stereotypical white-hat hero was never exactly a reality; pick up a history book or take a look at Deadwood. Westerns tell America what we’re thinking about ourselves — the more idealized Westerns of yesteryear are telling, as were the revisionist Westerns of the late 1960s and the early 1970s, as was the fact that the Western basically went away for a while, and so now is a movie like BONE TOMAHAWK, which is scary as all hell. Because that’s where we are today.

 

 

 

Blackhat (2015)

4. BLACKHAT

I saw this twice in theaters and wrote effusively about it elsewhere. If I’m being completely honest, it’s probably true that Michael Mann has made stronger movies than this one. But there’s still no filmmaker working today whose movies I’d rather watch — over and over.

 

 

Spring (2015)

3. SPRING

Another one I wrote about before now. But I will keep writing about it in case it helps anybody new discover it. SPRING is a jewel. It’s not a monster movie that sort of has a love story in it. It’s a love story that sort of has a monster in it. Huge difference. Astonishingly rare thing. If this is the first you’re hearing about this one, please give it a look.

 

 

Bitch_Better_Have_My_Money_cover

2. “BITCH BETTER HAVE MY MONEY

This is only seven minutes long, but it was more on my cinematic frequency than almost anything else this year, so I don’t know what all these prestige movies are doing running over the two-hour mark. This video has just about everything I need in a feature film — pretty ladies, freaky character actors, action, motion, color, scope, scary sexuality, dodgy morality, something to think about, something to tap my foot to while I’m doing it.

 

 

Fury Road (2015)

1. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Because I saw it three times during its theatrical run and because I bought it on Blu-Ray months ago and still haven’t dared to watch it on a smaller screen. That’s how resolutely big-screen it is.

Because there’s no reason it should have been this terrific. It wasn’t an easy movie to get made, or an easy one to make, and it definitely wasn’t a sure thing box-office-wise.

But mostly because “Let them up!” is the final line of the movie for a reason that’s even bigger than movies.

 

 

 

 

— JON ABRAMS.

 

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A lot of my film-fanatic friends are on a great site called Letterboxd, which allows you to catalogue all of the movies you’ve seen to date in order of when you’ve seen them.  It’s like a daily calendar for movies.  When you see as many movies as we do, it’s a valuable service.

In the past couple years, as I’ve been writing about movies more and more (over at Daily Grindhouse like crazy — not so much here, unfortunately), I also like to put up a gallery here on Demon’s Resume to chart everything I saw that year.

Here’s the 2011 edition.

Here’s the 2012 edition.

Here’s the 2013 edition.

Here’s the 2014 edition.

I took to doing this for a couple reasons:

For one thing it’s fun to look at all the poster art, both the beautiful and the bad.

For another, it seems like the right thing to do, since I as much as anyone can lapse into an authoritative tone in my writing and in my stated opinions at times and it’s only fair to reveal what I’ve seen and what I haven’t.  I can’t rightly tell you what “the best movies of 2015″ are if I haven’t seen every movie released in 2015, right?  I can only tell you which movies I appreciated the most, out of the ones I did get to see.

And lastly — while it may not feel like it to the average person, who watches sports and politics and CBS procedurals and anything else — it feels to me at least as if I’ve seen far fewer movies this year, particularly theatrically, than usual. So I’m trying to kick myself in the ass a little with this post. The count so far is 38. Everything else I’ve seen has come from before this year, and isn’t listed. But there are only 38 movies from the calendar year of 2015. That ain’t enough!

Since the year’s not over yet, I will be updating this post periodically, all the way through December 31st, so if you want, you can keep tracking what movies I’ve been watching.  I’ll also try to link to my reviews (where I’ve done them) as I go along.  And if I have any stray thoughts, I’ll add them along the way.

Enough engine-revving. Let’s get going!

_________________

 

88 (2015)

[I reviewed it!]

 

Ant-Man (2015)

 

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Age of Ultron (2015)

 

Backcountry (2015)

 

Bad Asses On the Bayou

 

A Ballerina's Tale (2015)

 

Beasts of No Nation (2015)

 

Big Game (2015)

 

Blackhat (2015)

 

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

[I reviewed it!]

The Boy Next Door (2015)

 

Call Me Lucky (2015)

 

Chain of Command (2015)

 

Chi-Raq (2015)

 

The Connection (2014)

 

Cop Car (2015)

 

Creed (2015)

 

Creep (2015)

 

Crimson Peak (2015)

 

CRIMSON PEAK is still in theaters, at the moment of this typing. Go see it, if you haven’t. See it on the biggest screen you can. Let it enfold you. It’s a film to be absorbed. CRIMSON PEAK cost a lot of money and it looks like it. Hate to say I understand why it’s underperforming in America — with whispers of incest and baby murders, less sophisticated audiences can easily miss the point. Not that those elements are meant to be a draw — quite the contrary, but it’s admirable that a film engaging with the notion of fear betrays little itself. This movie is brave and bold. And subject matter aside, it’s a legitimate marvel of production design and costuming. Director Guillermo Del Toro and his cinematographer Dan Laustsen maximize the frame, infusing every millimeter with rich color and deep shadow. The movie blooms. Of the performers in the film, Jessica Chastain dominates — her role is recessive by design for the first two-thirds of the story, but when she takes center stage, it’s with redoubtable ferocity. Del Toro has said the film isn’t intended as a horror movie — if that’s the case, put Chastain down for all the awards, since horror never gets its due. But if it is a horror movie, then she’s its most fearsome monster, and good God is that a beautiful thing.

 

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A Deadly Adoption (tv)

 

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Dope (2015)

 

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Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead The Story Of The National Lampoon (2015)

 

The Duke of Burgundy (2015)

 

Escobar Paradise Lost (2014)

 

Everly (2015)

 

Ex Machina (2015)

 

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Five Star (2015)

 

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Gemma Bovery (2014)

 

The Gift (2015)

 

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Going Clear Scientology and the Prison of Belief (tv)

 

harvest

 

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[I sort of reviewed it!]

 

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Hot Pursuit (2015)

 

Though I never got around to reviewing it, I saw this movie the weekend it came out. It’s what it looks like, which is a MIDNIGHT RUN riff with Reese Witherspoon in the Robert De Niro role and Sofía Vergara as the Charles Grodin. The director is Anne Fletcher, originally a choreographer, who transitioned into directing the kind of broad-appeal hits that everybody sees except people I know. To be honest, I would not have expected a movie from the director of STEP UP, 27 DRESSES, THE PROPOSAL, and THE GUILT TRIP to be so poorly received by audiences. You know it never had a shot with critics, but audiences tend to eat up these middle-of-the-road big-star comedies like Chicken McNuggets. Uselessness is a difficult thing to quantify, so I can’t explain see why people go to some bad movies but not others. This one isn’t much worse than most, though it certainly could have been better. Can it really be that hard to make a watchable movie with two lead actors as well-liked as these? The problem with HOT PURSUIT is that again, it’s exactly what you think it’s going to be. A good comedy is surprising. A good action movie produces excitement. By those standards, this action-comedy fails twice. There are a couple of promisingly odd bits I almost chuckled over, such as when Witherspoon and Vergara disguise themselves a cow (I think) to escape a police roadblock, but most of the humor bizarrely fixates around Witherspoon’s stature and theoretical boyishness and Vergara’s supposedly advanced age, which are not observations I would have considered about either woman. Next time around, drop the insult comedy and focus on telling a compelling story.

 

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Into the Grizzly Maze (2015)

 

It Follows (2015)

 

Jupiter Ascending (2015)

 

If nothing else, this film was shot by cinematographer John Toll (who also shot THE THIN RED LINE). You can make your little Twitter jokes about whatever you want, but if you’re serious about movies, you do not get to discount a movie shot by John Toll. People who talk about movies without ever mentioning how they look are like people who buy comic books for the writing. It’s not that writing isn’t important — quite the contrary! — but at the same time, these are visual media. How a movie looks is more than half the battle.

And the comic-book analogy fits another way: With so much of multiplex real estate being rented out to super-hero movies based on super-hero comics, Lana and Andy Wachowski have been making comic-book movies too, for quite a while now. It’s just that comic books don’t begin and end with super-heroes. There’s manga, there’s Moebius, there’s Jodorowsky, there’s Jack Kirby’s cosmic comics. That’s what JUPITER ASCENDING is. It’s comic-book space opera with seven thousand international flavors blended together. Sure. It’s silly and it’s absurd. But the Mighty Thor isn’t? Is this movie really too crazy? Or is it the kind of crazy some of us could use more of?

What I liked about JUPITER ASCENDING is what I liked about STAR WARS. If the plot sends your mind wandering, there’s always some random weirdo walking through the background to focus your attention on. I went into JUPITER ASCENDING excited to see the lizard people; I came out of it obsessing over the person with the elephant head. There’s a person with an elephant head in this movie! If there were a person with an elephant head in THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, I would have seen THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. This is the kind of movie Eddie Redmayne needs to be making.

 

Krampus (2015)

 

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Lake Placid vs. Anaconda (2015)

 

Last Knights (2015)

 

 

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lost_river

 

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Maggie (2015)

 

The Man with the Iron Fists 2

 

Manglehorn (2015)

 

Nasty Baby (2015)

 

The Night Before (2015)

 

The Nightmare (2015)

 

People, Places, Things (2015)

 

POD (2015)

 

 

Robot Overlords (2015)

 

Run All Night (2015)

 

Seven Five (2015)

 

SHARK LAKE

 

Sinister 2 (2015)

 

Spotlight (2015)

 

Spring (2015)

 

Earlier this year, I saw IT FOLLOWS the same weekend I saw SPRING. There’s no major similarity between the two films besides the fact they are both low-fi indie efforts of very high quality, but in my mind they are connected due to that simple twist of scheduling. But while IT FOLLOWS was quickly adopted as an instant classic by many horror fans and debated fiercely by the fewer dissenters, I don’t get the sense nearly as many people are thinking about SPRING. Maybe it makes sense.

SPRING is a quiet movie, in comparison to just about anything else out there. Beautiful things don’t usually shout.

Also, it’s sort of hard to talk about this story without spoiling at least some of its surprises.

And the jury is still out over whether or not it can be called a horror film. Aside from a few expertly-paced scenes of suspense, this is not a movie intended to frighten or disturb.

I guess I’d call it a love story for horror fans, a heart-render for weirdos. It’s more like an alternate-universe hopelessly-romantic version ofPOSSESSION, or DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE if its heart had been on its sleeve a lot more than its tongue was in its cheek.

In the way of plot details, all you need know is that a troubled young American (Lou Taylor Pucci) who recently lost a family member to a cruel disease decides to skip the country for a while after kicking the shit out of somebody who sort of deserved it. After some aimless wandering through Europe, he gets a job and a room at a vineyard in Italy. When he goes out on the town, he meets a smart, sexy, worldly, thoroughly confusing woman (Nadia Hilker) with whom he is immediately smitten. Obviously, she’s hiding something. Obviously, that’s why I’m dancing around calling SPRING a horror movie. It matters, but it doesn’t. What you’ll care about most are these two characters, Evan and Louise.

From the thoughtful writing of co-director Justin Benson, to the warm cinematography by co-director Aaron Moorhead, from the bruised, spiky, but hopeful performance of Lou Taylor Pucci to the even-more-bruised, intoxicating, and daring performance of Nadia Hilker, to the lovely score by Jimmy LaValle and straight down the line, SPRING is a class act, a treat, a cause, a movie I found very easy to relate to, and even easier to love. It may be ironic to recommend a movie called SPRING in October, but it’s a movie to be visited and revisited any day of the year.

 

 

Spy (2015)

 

SPY is a movie which arrived preceded by a gale force of critical acclaim. I was underwhelmed, and I’ve been trying to figure out why.

As the current mass-media story goes, writer-director-producer Paul Feig and his star Melissa McCarthy have been doing more than anybody to change the conventional notions of what women can do onscreen. Why can’t a woman who looks like she should be cast as a pre-school teacher or a romance novelist (I’m not being rude — these are her character’s occupations on Mike & Molly) also play a spy in a James Bond style action thriller, or soon enough, a Ghostbuster? I hope I’m being crystal clear when I proclaim I am all for it, with every last erg of my strength. Women can do everything men can do, and often better and with greater style. And any system that doesn’t presently allow for that must absolutely be changed.

I guess it’s just hard for me to get thrilled about Melissa McCarthy falling over or farting just because the comedy guys get to do it, or more importantly, to learn over the course of a movie that she’s too good for jerky guys like Jude Law in SPY, because those are comparatively tame victories, considering how the kinds of movies I watch for Daily Grindhouse and the women who star in them come with a tidal wave of fierceness. That’s why I was so charged-up about Charlize Theron in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. It may not be fair to compare a light goofy comedy to a ferocious locomotive of action, but to me that’s the energy we need right now, in comedy as much as in action movies. When the system is so sorely fucked, it’s okay to get angry. Honestly, it seems necessary. All my heroes, male and female alike, are willing to get angry when things are wrong.

SPY is cute, and stuffed with jokes, but there’s no anger in it, and that’s why for me it’s not that energizing. At the same time, I recognize that maybe my place as a be-penised person is to stand aside and let women handle it their way. I don’t presume to tell anyone how to lead their own revolution.

 

star-wars-force-awakens-official-poster.jpg

 

Steve Jobs (2015)

 

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

 

Tangerine (2015)

 

Trainwreck (2015)

 

The Visit (2015)

 

The Voices (2015)

 

war pigs (2015)

 

We Are Still Here (2015)

 

Welcome to Me (2015)

 

Welcome to New York (2014)

 

What Happened Miss Simone

 

Wild Card (2015)

 

kawaki_ver2

 

The Wolfpack (2015)

 

 

Wolf-Warriors-2015-9

 

 

Z for Zachariah (2015)

 

____________________

 

Stay tuned to this page. It’s gonna swell and expand before the year is out.

And follow me on Twitter for near-constant updates:  @jonnyabomb

 

 

A lot of my film-fanatic friends are on a great site called Letterboxd, which allows you to catalogue all of the movies you’ve seen to date in order of when you’ve seen them.  It’s like a daily calendar for movies.  When you see as many movies as we do, it’s a valuable service.

In the past couple years, as I’ve been writing about movies more and more (over at Daily Grindhouse like crazy — not so much here, unfortunately), I also like to put up a gallery here on Demon’s Resume to chart everything I saw that year.

Here’s the 2011 edition.

Here’s the 2012 edition.

Here’s the 2013 edition.

I took to doing this for a couple reasons:  For one thing it’s fun to look at all the poster art, both the beautiful and the bad.  For another, it seems like the right thing to do, since I as much as anyone can lapse into an authoritative tone at times and it’s only fair to reveal what I’ve seen and what I haven’t.  I can’t rightly tell you what “the best movies of 2014″ are if I haven’t seen every movie released in 2014, right?  I can only tell you which movies I appreciated the most, out of the ones I did get to see.

Since the year’s not over yet, I will be updating this post periodically, all the way through December 31st, so if you want, you can keep tracking what movies I’ve been watching.  I’ll also try to link to my reviews (where I’ve done them) as I go along.

Let’s get going!

_________________

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for 13 Sins

20ft-below

22 Jump Street Movie Poster

300: Rise of an Empire Movie Poster

American Sniper (2014)..

Android-Cop-Poster

At the Devil's Door (2014)

Bad Words Movie Poster

belle_xlg

Beyond the Lights (2014)

 

Birdman Movie Poster

Blue Ruin Movie Poster

Brick Mansions Movie Poster

Calvary Movie Poster

chef_ver3_xlg

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Deliver Us from Evil

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Edge of Tomorrow

 ENEMY

equalizer

found.

Godzilla Movie Poster

Gone Girl Movie Poster

The Grand Budapest Hotel Movie Poster

Grand Piano Movie Poster

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Poster

 THE GUESTHoneymoon (2014)

Housebound (2014)

ida_ver2_xlg

immigrant_ver2_xlg

Inherent Vice (2014)

 

The Interview (2014)

Ironclad: Battle for Blood Movie Poster

Jersey Boys (2014)

JOE (2014)

John Wick Movie Poster

 Kill the Messenger (2014)

 

 

Kite (2014)

Late Phases Movie Poster

Left Behind (2014)

Hercules: The Legend Begins Movie Poster

The Lego Movie Movie Poster

Leprechaun: Origins Movie Poster

Let's Be Cops Movie Poster

Life After Beth Movie Poster

Life of Crime Movie Poster

Lucy Movie Poster

Mercenaries

A Most Wanted Man Movie Poster

NEIGHBORS

Nightcrawler Movie Poster

Noah Movie Poster

Non-Stop Movie Poster

Oculus Movie Poster

 Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

pompeii

The Prince Movie Poster

The Purge: Anarchy Movie Poster

quiet_ones_ver6_xlg

Rage Movie Poster

Raze Movie Poster

RoboCop Movie Poster

The Rover Movie Poster

Sabotage Movie Poster

The Sacrament Movie Poster

The Scribbler Movie Poster

Selma (2014)

The Signal Movie Poster

sin_city_a_dame_to_kill_for_ver6_xlg

Snowpiercer Movie Poster

St. Vincent (2014)

Stage Fright Movie Poster

 top_five_xlg

trip_to_italy

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Under the Skin

A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES

 Whiplash (2014)

Willow Creek Movie Poster

The Zero Theorem (2013)

____________________

Dang. Busy year.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go celebrate this heroic accomplishment by watching some movies.

Follow me on Twitter for near-constant updates:  @jonnyabomb

 
Bert & Janelle Monae

I started out 2013 with lofty proclamations about all the writing and drawing I was going to do all year. I did more of the former than the latter, with highlights being taking a more central role on Daily Grindhouse and getting a piece published in Paracinema — but still, I feel like I underachieved.

My resolution for 2014 was simply this: Follow through. Do all the things I said I was going to do last year. Finish up some ongoing ideas I’m excited about and continue with all the things that are already working for me. Be realistically ambitious — and then surprise myself.

Meanwhile, I want to post here more often, and one way I resolved to do that is to more frequently mention the things I enjoy. There’s plenty enough negativity and bad vibes elsewhere on the internet. When people come to my page, I want them to encounter positivity, enthusiasm, or at the very least, trustworthy, educated opinions when those first two elements are less possible.  If you see a post with the heading ALL GOOD THINGS periodically, that will be my eager recommendation of art, music, movies, Blu-Rays, books, comics, podcasts, or whatever. Things I enjoy. Things you might enjoy too. If you do, please let me know!

 

MOVIES

Heat (1995)

HEAT.

One of my favorite movies of all time, I got to see HEAT on the big screen in 35mm again for only the second occasion in my life. The first time was when I saw it during its initial theatrical release in the mid-1990s. Back then, it was such a memorable moviegoing experience that I wondered if I’d ever need to see it again. Could it ever be as complete an experience as it was at first? A couple dozen viewings later, I’m still entranced. To me, this is one of the truest movies.

Her (2013)

Everyone else has long since released their Best Of 2013 lists, but I didn’t feel I could honestly put one out until I saw this movie. Now I can. Stay tuned!

anchorman2

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES.

Loved the original; had a healthy fear of going back to the well. But I love what McKay and Ferrell do, Trojan-horsing some pretty emphatic politics into their broadly absurd epic comedies. ANCHORMAN 2 has a reason for being, a very definitive target that I think it hits. Plus, there’s great white shark humor and minotaur humor. That’s irresistible to me.

BOOKS

AVA GARDNER

I put this unusually-structured autobiography on my list of twelve great books from 2013 at Daily Grindhouse, but quite honestly I hadn’t finished it at the time. It’s great. Surprising, reverent, funny, and irreverent, it’s the record of the outspoken Ava Gardner, then in her mid-sixties, dictating her memoirs to the very British Peter Evans. She works hard to shock him and sometimes it works. Sometimes she only shocks the reader (and any of the family of her ex-husbands, most likely). When it was done, Ava didn’t want it published. She died in 1990. Peter Evans wrapped up the book, right before his own death, in 2012. Then, finally, this book appeared.

TAMPA

 

I’m reading TAMPA for my book club. It was my turn to choose, so I picked this pretty shocking (and topical) novel about a hot young teacher in Florida who pursues an adolescent boy. The writing is pretty unassailably terrific, I think; it’s the subject matter I expect to be a point of controversy. We’re recording our talk about it this weekend. Hopefully I can collect myself by then.

COMICS

Maximum Minimum Wage

 

Last week I picked up Maximum MINIMUM WAGE, the collection of the 1990s underground comic by Bob Fingerman. I haven’t dug into it yet but I can’t wait. Surely I’ll be mentioning it again here.

PODCASTS

WTF

The great WTF podcast doesn’t need any press from me, but the recent interview with Artie Lange was terrific. I’m a longtime fan of Artie and got to see him perform at the Comedy Cellar with Dave Attell in 2013. He’s promoting his latest book here, so a lot of this episode is painful personal stuff. That’s intense and brave, but I also like Artie when he’s speaking universal truths. One of my favorite insights he makes here, and I’m paraphrasing, is how you can’t count anyone out entirely. Everyone you meet in life, even if they’re an asshole, you can learn from. If they’re an asshole, discount their asshole side and look at what they do that’s successful. You can learn from everyone. He’s right about that, in my opinion. He just says it funnier.

 

Ice-T Final Level Podcast

Ice-T has a new podcast and it’s everything you’d want it to be. He talks about his love for Brad Pitt and the differences between men and women, and gives some behind-the-scenes description of Law & Order: SVU. I think his co-host Mick Benzo does a good job: He bounces off Ice-T well, giving him ammunition for rants, then steps out of the way when they come. Since I just started taking part in podcasts, I appreciate ones that are well done. I need to learn! So far there’s only been one episode of FINAL LEVEL but I’ll be subscribing.

 

DG LOGO

So this is a new development: I am currently the co-host, along with the much more eloquent Joe and Freeman, of the Daily Grindhouse podcast, for the time being at least. In our first episode as a team we talked about STREET WARS, which is hilarious and strange. Check out that conversation. They had me choose the next movie we discuss, so our next episode, which comes out tomorrow night, will be about VIGILANTE FORCE, which stars Kris Kristofferson, Bernadette Peters, and a bunch of explosions.

 

I’m planning to have a lot of fun in 2014, so please follow me here and on Twitter for updates!

 

 

@jonnyabomb

WTF HOLIDAY

Halloween 2013 is gone (RIP) and Thanksgiving is right up at the door. Guess it’s true what they say:  Time flies, but turkeys can’t (RIP).

I haven’t posted here at Demon’s Resume in quite a while, but that’s not for lack of doing things.  Quite the contrary:  I’ve had no lack at all of doing very many things.  Allow me to recap the most interesting of them, if you will, and then I’ll get back to being a more regular presence here on my own site.  [All of the pictures below will take you to the links I mention, so feel free to click away.]

  • First off, a reminder that my Paracinema cover story on action heroes and aging is still available:

Paracinema #20

For seven bucks plus shipping costs, it can be yours.  And it should be!  It’s some of my best work ever.

Hal Needham

  • For those who love the sound of my voice…:  I was on the Daily Grindhouse podcast for the first time!  I was there to talk about Hal Needham, the all-time great stuntman and director, who passed away last month.  I had occasion to briefly meet Hal Needham the year before he died, so this was sadder than it would have been, but we had a fun time talking about his movies.

Also:  This is my written tribute to Hal Needham.

  • And I also wrote a tribute to Ed Lauter, another great Hollywood tough guy we lost in October.  This has been a rough year in a lot of ways.ED LAUTER
  • In happier news, in October I completed my month-long horror-movie celebration, which I did this year for Daily Grindhouse.  I did more than 31 posts this time.  Here they all are (click on the posters to head to the reviews):

THIS IS THE END (2013) EQUINOX (1970) NEAR DARK (1987) TREMORS (1990) THE MANITOU (1978) MULHOLLAND DR. (2001) BEST WORST MOVIE (2010) THE WICKER MAN (1973) Suspiria (1977) LADY TERMINATOR (1989) JUAN OF THE DEAD (2011) EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1960). Pacific Rim (2013) NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1986)Carrie (1976)  Basket Case (1982) Cheap Thrills (2013) Re-release poster for HOUSE (HAUSU), designed by Sam Smith. Nosferatu_poster_by_PandoraDisenos Squirm (1976) SHOCK WAVES (1977) HALLOWEEN (1978) THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974) THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (1976) AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981) CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) TRICK ‘R TREAT (2007) CHOPPING MALL (1986) STREET TRASH (1987) DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE aka CEMETERY MAN-POSTER The Visitor (1979) The Colony (2013) 

 

Hey, did I ever mention I was on Huffington Post Live a couple times?

Jurassic Park (1993)  Evil Dead (2013)

Here I am talking about re-releases and reboots, for JURASSIC PARK 3D and EVIL DEAD 2013:  {CLICK HERE}

 

Oblivion (2013)  The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

Here I am talking about OBLIVION and THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES and really awkwardly hitting on the host: {CLICK HERE}

 

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

  • My book club has been recording our monthly talks as a podcast, so you can listen to any of the episodes by visiting the Books For Crooks page.  For fans of me and of what I do, you’ll probably want to listen to the episode where I recap LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER, one of the most baffling movies of the year.

The Butler (2013)

  • I did a list of Underrated Horror Movies for my pal over at Rupert Pupkin Speaks.  In case you didn’t have enough of me and horror-movie talk already, here’s a bunch more.

Rupert Pupkin Speaks

And there’s even more of my writing out there in the world!

Daily Grindhouse

In addition to horror-movie writing, I also wrote about a variety of movie-related subjects for Daily Grindhouse in the past several weeks.

CHILL

Here’s a list of the Top Ten Greatest Nazi-Killers In Film History.

TODAYS-LESSON

Here’s a piece on Japanese cult epic BATTLE ROYALE.

RROARR

Here are some words about legendary artist Jack Kirby and a new museum dedicated to his artwork.

somethingtodowithdeath

The Daily Grindhouse crew (including me) made a list of the Top 50 Essential Books About Cult Movies. Here are Parts One, Two, Three, Four, and Five.

VANITY-PAULA-PATTON

Here’s where I cast the upcoming Mötley Crüe movie (this one’s really fun).

Warren Oates shooting the shit with Lee Marvin.

On top of all that, I’ve been much more active on the Demon’s Resume Facebook page, where I’ve been posting fun pictures, links, and various inanities which wouldn’t warrant entire posts here at the site.  It’s me and my unique tastes in bite-sized amounts, in case all my other escapades are too time-consuming.

And as always, you can find me at all kinds of odd hours on Twitter:  @jonnyabomb

So how’s all that for a start?

Charles Bronson!

Well, that’s not me, obviously.  That’s good old Charles Bronson.  But I wrote the cover story.  “The Later Years Of The American Action Hero.” That’s me.

Paracinema is a brilliant movie magazine which covers a lot of the cool stuff you won’t often see in, say, Entertainment Weekly.  You can tell from some of the other stories mentioned on that cover there (Bruce Lee, Sam Raimi, etc.).

My article is about the kind of movies that action stars make when they get old.  Charles Bronson.  Lee Marvin.  Obviously Clint’s in there.  But I get into the next generation after that too — Arnold, Stallone, those guys.  And then I ponder what’s going to happen when the current crop starts getting some gray whiskers.

I think it’s one of the better things I’ve ever written.  And I’m truly honored to be featured in this great magazine, in the midst of some truly special writers.

Paracinema is carried by many book stores and magazine stands, particularly in the cities.  CLICK HERE for a list of the venues that have it in stock.  If you don’t want to go looking for it, you can order the issue from the Paracinema website:  CLICK HERE.  The magazine costs a very reasonable $7, I think shipping is two dollars extra.  I know in this day and age every dollar counts, so I don’t make the suggestion lightly, but even still, your support would mean a whole lot to me.  If you know me personally, you know I’d do it for you.

Did I mention it’s super-fun?  Satisfaction guaranteed.
As always, you can find me here, in your hearts, wherever truth and justice prevail, or at least on Twitter:  @jonnyabomb

Thanks. Love you all. — JA.

Charles Bronson!