Thursday, June 13, 2013

REVIEW: Man of Steel

This is a fantasy. A careless product of wild imagination. And my good friends, Man of Steel is all the better for it.

For months, I actively worried about this movie. The last one, Superman Returns, was better than most people say it is, but those who complained it was too meditative and ponderous had a point.  When I realized that Zack Snyder was directing the new movie, I swallowed hard. I had greatly enjoyed his debut film, the Dawn of the Dead remake, but each successive film got worse, culminating in the juvenile rampage called Sucker Punch. And yet, I held out hope because Christopher Nolan was producing and co-writing the story. Maybe he would keep Snyder's excesses in check.

As it turns out, he hasn't. Man of Steel bears all the hallmarks of Snyder's hyperactive approach, and if anything, his direction is wilder than ever. But what's different this time is that the material actually supports and merits the over-the-top style. This is a film about what would happen to Earth if a platoon of Kryptonian soldiers decided to invade, and Superman put up a fight. The planet gets shellacking of absolutely immense proportions

But that's what woud happen in a Superman story with ultra-high stakes. No other movie has captured the adrenaline rush of a superhero story with such unbridled abandon. Drew McWeeny of Hitfix raised my eyebrows when he said the action made The Avengers look quaint. He wasn't kidding. Man of Steel left me breathless and exhilarated in a way I haven't felt in a very long time. THIS is the kind of gargantuan action that Michael Bay has been trying, and mostly failing to mount for decades. Snyder choreographs his action with just enough control that I was always dizzy, but never lost.

Even more importantly, the action, powerful though it is, does not snuff out the drama. As they did in Batman Begins, Nolan and co-writer David S. Goyer move forwards and backwards in time to show how the past influences the present. Superman Returns had the noble intent of exploring the loneliness of a god-like alien, but became lugubrious along the way. In Man of Steel, we more directly see the cause and effect as young Clark wants to use his powers but can't, giving Superman's conflict the emotional import it needs. At the same time, Nolan and Goyer add novel tweak the Superman mythology, such as making Kal-El the rare natural birth on Krypton - and making his parents criminals in the process.

The actors, by and large, are terrific. It's no surprise that Michael Shannon (General Zod) plays menace well, and Amy Adams (Lois Lane) elevates every project she does with her intelligent sunniness. Diane Lane is somewhat underused as Martha Kent, but Kevin Costner has his best role in years, as does Russell Crowe, playing Superman's father.

Then there's Henry Cavill in the title role. Ever since Christopher Reeve left his indelible mark, other actors have been unable to escape his shadow.That's because none played Clark Kent as well as Reeve. Playing Superman isn't so hard, but making the Kent disguise believable is.  So Cavill, for the most part, doesn't try. This story doesn't require it. He brings the appropriate physicality to the role without overdosing on moodiness.  How well he plays Clark will be best explored in future movies, but I'm confident he'll pull it off.

That said, when the credits rolled, I could only wonder how the sequel could possibly match the sheer scale of this movie. I'm very anxious to find out, when the first movie is the best one I've seen so far in 2013.


Thursday, May 09, 2013

REVIEW: The Great Gatsby

In my younger and more vulnerable years, I might have felt more generous toward Baz Luhrmann's wild take on F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. But as it stands, it's more like The Good Gatsby.

It's certainly more praiseworthy than most critics have said, but when the best praise I can give it is in comparison to the 1974 film, that's not saying enough. Back then, The Great Gatsby wasn't so much filmed as it was embalmed. With the lead roles miscast and a leaden pace, the whole thing felt as stiff as a starched collar. It had no pulse.

Baz Luhrmann's Gatsby certainly has a pulse, but it's an erratic one. At first, it's mesmerizing. The director's florid visuals explode off the screen with quite literal fireworks, while Gershwin and Beyonce (together at last) blare forth on the soundtrack. His 1920s roar with blinding colors and dizzying camera tricks. The use of 3D is enveloping as our point of view careens from New York's skyscrapers and zooms through the city streets. Moulin Gatsby, anyone?

So the problem isn't so much that it's over the top. With Luhrmmann at the controls, that's a given. The eye candy certainly fits the themes of putting on false fronts. But eventually, the stylistics become wearying.

In Luhrmann's past movies, the wild visuals seemed to flow from the material. The heated emotions of Romeo + Juliet made a wild style fitting. Moulin Rouge was such a unique world, it couldn't help but be delirious. This time, Lurhmann's hyperactivity feels grafted on to the material, and it doesn't always reflect Fitzgerald's graceful prose.

Case in point: in one shot we see a billboard with the familiar book cover art of the eyes looming over the city. That might have been clever if used once or twice, but Luhrmann beats us over the head with it like a desperate Cliffs Notes writer. His style makes Gatsby seem more like Charles Foster Kane, an error the 1974 movie also committed.

And yet, I still recommend Luhrmann's Gatsby, largely because of the actors, who sell the material. Leonardo DiCaprio's Gatsby looms larger than life but is touchingly vulnerable. No longer is he merely a romantic cypher. Joel Edgerton makes for a genuinely menacing Tom, and with Carey Mulligan, I finally understood why Gatsby made such a fuss over her. Only Tobey Maguire disappoints as the rather dull narrator.

I am thankful that we finally have a cinematic Great Gatsby that is worth seeing. I only wish that it was as good as it could have been.




Thursday, April 25, 2013

Memo to Michael Bay: All Pain, No Gain (red band trailer)

Memo to: Michael Bay
From: Eric Robinette, your number one fan (LOLZ)
RE: Pain & Gain - red band trailer
My dear Mr. Bombast (née Bay),

I'm done, Mike. I just can't take it anymore. When even one of your trailers turns my stomach, I'm turning my back.

I've been putting up with your cinematic cacophonies for nearly 20 years. Ive been watching you since you turned a Wilson Phillips video ("You Won't See Me Cry") into a Victoria's Secret ad. I've seen all your movies except the original Bad Boys. (Oxymoron ahoy!) Heck, I stuck with you after Bad Boys II, even though I felt like I ate bowls full of raw sewage for a year by the time the credits rolled. You managed to bamboozle me into kinda-sorta liking the third Transformers movie, thanks to pretty decent 3D.

But no more, Mike. I now know how to quit you. And I didn't even need to see Pain & Gain to reach this epiphany. All it took was the red-band trailer. I'm going to review that instead of sitting through your movie. Life's just too short, ya know?

:17 - Saracastic thumbs up to the fat chick! Nice!
:32 - "I had a wife, two beautiful daughters - thank God I left her. Now I'm with seven honeys!" Misoogony is funny!!
:55 - Haha! People with little dicks are pussies, right? You manage to make Rebel Wilson unfunny, Mike. That's a feat.
1:25: Taser joke. Seems you're trying to make a comedy, Mike. You really shouldn't. You can't. I don't mean you can't as in you suck. I mean you just can't. You can't direct comedy any more than I can breast feed a baby.
1:53: Slo-mo spit shot! When you made Pearl Harbor, the best shot was from the point of view of the bomb. Now the most interesting thing you shoot is saliva at 48 frames per second. Progress?
2:05: Multiple shots of strippers. Last year was the day in the sun for strippers, Mr. Bay. Magic Mike you ain't.
2:23: Gay sex joke implied. Cos we all know that's a riot.
2:30: Midget humor! That only works if you're a foul-mouthed teddy bear, Mike. Again, it's so last year.
2:39: Stuff blowing up, blah, blah, yada.
2:54: Dog carrying severed human toe in mouth. I think that one speaks for itself.
3:05: Bullying is funny! I'm a disabled man, Mike. That shit touches a nerve.

I see a few critics, including some I like, have given you a pass this time, Mike. What the hey, it's a free country. But some of your defenders are liable to say that your movie is satire and is poking fun at the lunkheads. I've heard similar arguments made when assholes pushed people around and their defenders lamely said, "He was just KIDDING!"

Despite all the warning signs, despite all the bad reviews, I've always gone to see your movies, partly because writing these reviews was fun. But the fun has drained away when you make a movie called Pain & Gain, and it's obvious that only the first word in the title applies.

Toodles, Mike. It's been real.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Farewell, my friend and hero

I saw Roger Ebert on two occasions. The first time was a lengthy interview he conducted with Martin Scorsese at the Wexner Center in Columbus. I remember vividly the ecstatic overload of movie love that poured from both those men. Marty chattered in his unmistakeable mile-a-minute fashion, while Roger probed the director to explore the nooks and crannies of his great career.

The second time was about a year ago at my very first film festival, when I attended Ebertfest in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. He seemed frail then and rather slow of step. But that glint in his eye was unmistakeable - he loved the movies shown there, and he loved that hundreds upon hundreds of people had come to experience those movies with him in that huge auditorium of the Virginia Theater. That remains one of my fondest memories.

The journey to the Virginia took root 28 years before I was born. Outside of Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, Roger Ebert was the pop culture figure who had the greatest influence on me. All of them were born in June of 1942 - Paul and Roger on the same day, Brian two days later. The stars aligned spectacularly back then, but Roger's influence was maybe the most profound.

He and Gene Siskel didn't get me into movies per se. I always gave my dad the most credit for that, when one day he brought home a stack of tapes that included 2001, Taxi Driver, After Hours and A Clockwork Orange. I took those movies and ran far and fast with them. Once I did, it was Roger leading the charge.

Roger was the one who convinced me that it would be cool to write about movies for a living. And for a while, I got to do that. Not for as long as I would have liked, but I still got to do it, making me luckier than most. And when I wrote - back then and right now, as I type these words - I always thought of Roger.

His was a conversational style that drew the reader toward him - but not beneath him. Roger talked to his readers, not at them. His reviews were always him saying, "Hey, let's chat about movies for a bit." Best of all, he threw himself Into his reviews so much, I felt like I knew him. I felt like he was right there in the room with me. When he wrote, I could hear him. And I wanted people to hear me too. Many of my readers have told me that my reviews are very me, which I take as the greatest compliment. I got that from Roger.

The most important gift Roger gave was his empathy. He played fair, and he was reasonable. He could be vicious if he wanted to be, but he wielded not so much a cutting tongue as a keen wit. One of my favorite slams of his came from his review of Exit to Eden.

"On the first page of my notes, I wrote, 'Starts slow.' On the second page, I wrote 'Boring.' On the third page, I wrote, 'Endless!' On the fourth page, I wrote, 'Bite-size Shredded Wheat, skim milk, cantaloupe, frozen peas, toilet paper, salad stuff, pick up laundry.'"

But Roger was at his best when he wrote about how good a movie was, or about how movies should be seen. Today, too many people treat movies like chewing gum. Even if they like it, they tend to forget about it after they're done with it. People don't treat movies with enough respect. How else to account for all the impolite talkers and cell phone users (of all ages) in theaters?

Even the people who make the big blockbusters tend to be cavalier about them. No one sets out to make a bad movie, but I wish Hollywood had more ambitious goals than making licenses to print money. Roger once wrote:

There is nothing wrong with a large audience, nothing wrong with making money (some of the best films have been the most profitable), but there is something wrong with the calculation. If the magical elements in a movie - story, director, actors - are assembled for magical reasons - to delight, to move, to astound - then something good often results. But when they are assembled simply as a package, as a formula to suck in the customers, they are only good if a miracle happens ...

We have, after all, only so many hours in a lifetime to see movies. When we see one, it enters into our imagination and occupies space there. When we see movies that enlarge and challenge us, our imaginations are enriched. When we see dumb movies, we have left a little of our better selves behind in the theater."

Roger Ebert left our world on Thursday, but he left his best self behind in his words about movies. If we can see the movies through eyes like his, we - and the movies - will be all the better for it.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oscar Predix: Best Picture

Here's how I rank the Oscar nominees, from most likely to least likely to win:

  1. Argo
  2. Silver Linings Playbook
  3. Lincoln
  4. Life of Pi
  5. Les Miserables
  6. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  7. Zero Dark Thirty
  8. Amour
  9. Django Unchained

And here's how I personally rank the Oscar nominees, from best to least:

  1. Argo
  2. Silver Linings Playbook
  3. Lincoln
  4. Life of Pi
  5. Zero Dark Thirty
  6. Django Unchained
  7. Les Miserables
  8. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  9. Amour 
 Keep an eye on this page for another important ranking: My ten best films of 2012

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oscar Predix: Sight and Sound

Time to close up the Oscar predictions with the technical categories. Many people think these are boring, but think of it this way - without these, there wouldn't be anything to hear or see.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: I really want Thomas Newman to win for Skyfall. It's criminal he hasn't got an Oscar. He could get it if voters are of that same mindset. But I have a sneaking suspicion the "prettiest" score will get it. That's Life of Pi. So here's what I'll do. I'll predict Pi. If it wins, I'm right.
If Skyfall wins, I'm wrong, but I get my wish. (If someone else wins, I'm screwed.)

BEST SONG: Absolutely no debate here. Adele's Skyfall wins this in a walk.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Anna Karenina was the showiest and was actually integral to its storytelling, though I think Lincoln could spoil. But I'll stick with Anna.

Should win: Didn't care for the film as a whole, but Anna's production design was truly inventive.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Same logic that applied to Score applies here. Roger Deakins (Skyfall)  should have an Oscar already. He should have several, in fact. But again, I have a feeling voters will default to "pretty" and go for Life of Pi - which also has an edge because of its impressive 3D.  Worked for Avatar and Hugo.

BEST EDITING: Argo is so well constructed that even though the conclusion is a matter of historical record, the suspense remains intense.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: I'll go for Anna Karenina here too. Ballot synergy.

Should win: Mirror Mirror wasn't much of a movie, but it had very imaginative costumes.

BEST MAKEUP/HAIR: The Hobbit would seem the logical choice, but the overall feeling around is one of ennui:  "been there, done that." So I'll go for Les Mis.

Should win: Lincoln, but it's not nominated for some reason. Les Mis was well done.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Best digital recreation of an animal this side of Jurassic Park means an easy win for Life of Pi.

BEST SOUND MIXING: Almost certainly Les Mis, for its mixing of the live singing.

Should win: Skyfall

BEST SOUND EDITING: This often goes to a well-made action film. Skyfall fits that to a T.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

OSCAR PREDIX: Films and screenplays

Having gone over the actors, we now dive into the best film races that aren't Best Picture, and some of the other major categories this year. If you need a reminder of the nominees, click here.

BEST DIRECTOR: A bit of a tough call this year. A month ago or so, I said Spielberg, but Daniel Day-Lewis aside, Lincoln has lost momentum. I'm going to go for Ang Lee, who took what people said was an until able book and filmed it.
Should win: David O. Russel, for deftly juggling the shifting tone of Silver Linings Playbook.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Another tough call. Zero Dark Thirty has lost momentum too, and I can't see any of the non-Best Picture nominees winning, so I'll go for the other Best Picture nominee: Django Unchained.
Should win: The delicately quirky Moonrise Kingdom.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: The tough calls keep coming. Tony Kushner (Lincion) could win just for his reputation alone, but my suspicion is, voters will gravitate toward the feel-good movie of the lot: Silver Linings.
Should Win: Lincoln, for juggling so many threads of history with impressive forward momentum.
BEST ANIMATED FILM: My initial feeling had been Wreck-It-Ralph, but Brave has picked up a lot of precursors, so I'll swing that way. Wreck-It SHOULD win, however.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: When a nominee in this category is also up for Best Picture, that's the logical choice. Amour wins.
BEST DOCUMENTARY: The feel-good Searching for Sugarman has won most if not all precursors.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Oscar Predix: The Girls

As was the case with the actors, the actresses have one race that is very easy to predict, and one race that is not so easy to predict. With the ladies, though, the shoo-in is on the other foot, in the the supporting category that's a shoo-in.


Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Watts aside, you can cook up a scenario in which any of these nominees could win. I hate to say that about Watts, because I loved her film, and she's long overdue for an Oscar. But she's the only one I don't see having any chance.

Chastain is still riding a wave of praise after her tremendous coming out party last year, and for a long time, her steely but deeply felt work made her a favorite to win. Unfortunately, the torture controversy of ZD30 has tainted her chances. She's already a repeat nominee, though - she will return here.

Riva is a well-respected actress. She's in her 80s, so the Academy will not have many more chances to award her. She's heartbreakingly good in her film. As it happens, Oscar Sunday is her 86th birthday. What a present - and what a story - that would be. On the other hand, a couple of stumbling blocks remain. Her film is very hard to endure, and it's also very small. Have enough people seen it to carry her to the winners circle?

Wallis was sensational in Beasts of the Southern Wild, and she filmed it when she was 6. Only time will tell if she's here to stay, but given that her movie is also up for Picture, Director and Screenplay, she has a lot of support. Still - will rewarding her seem like a novelty more than anything else.

That leaves Lawrence. Some say she's too young for her role, and I can understand that argument, but I think that's part of why her performance works so well - her wise (or wise-ass) beyond her years quality gives the performance gravity. She runs the gamut of emotions, and having accomplished so much at only 22 years old, there's no question she's here to stay. She won the SAG award too, and her movie is extremely well liked, since all her co-stars are nominated.

SHOULD WIN: Lawrence, although every one of the nominees is deserving. The actresses had a great year.

WILL WIN: Lawrence.


Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

SHOULD WIN: I have to go with my beloved Amy, but I won't complain about who
WILL WIN: Hathaway. She's had this locked up since before her movie came out.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Oscar Predix 13: The Guys

In an Oscar race filled with tough calls this year, I'm going to start off easy and call the biggest shoo-in of the night.


Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

I mean, come on. If Daniel Day-Lewis doesn't win Best Actor for Lincoln, the Academy might as well rename itself The John Wilkes Booth Fan Club. Many people agree it's the best cinematic portrayal of the president, and some, such as myself, call it one of the very best performances of all time. I knew he was going to be great, and I STILL came away astonished. The only competitor who could possibly play spoiler, is, I think, Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, where she howed heretofore unseen range. But Daniel Day-Lewis will rightly become the first man to win three Best Actor statues.



Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

This one is tougher to call. Jones has won a lot of the precursors, and his role in Lincoln is very flamboyant - but there's not much of a story behind it. Good as he was, Jones didn't surprise anyone.  The Academy likes a story to go with its awards. So that's why, in a close race, I'm tipping my hand to De Niro. He hasn't been nominated at all since Cape Fear in 1992, and this role is seen as a welcome return to form after too many years of lazy paycheck performances.

And he's who I would vote for too - he moved me the most.

WILL/SHOULD WIN: Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oscar: Early predix in the big races

Well, I'm kind of glad I didn't write a predictions list this year, since I would have gotten my butt kicked, just like Ben Afleck and Kathryn Bigelow. Emerging unscathed for now, I will tread into the waters of early predictions.


Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

No real big surprises here. I was a little sad Moonrise Kingdom missed the cut, but it was never a sure thing.  With 12 nominations, Lincoln shapes up as the early favorite, though Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook are positioned to steal. 


Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

The president is the prohibitive favorite. So much so that I can't even call second place.

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Watts is the only one I don't see winning. They won't have many more chances to award Riva, and Wallis could be a one-hit wonder like Keisha Castle-Hughes of Whale Rider. Still, I think this is a tight race between Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence. I give the edge to Chastain, who still has momentum left over from her amazing run last year.


Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

One of the tougher races to call.  All all prior winners. But Jones almost steals the film from Day-Lewis, and that's no small feat.

Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Anne. Not even up for debate. Forgive me, Amy.

Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Had Affleck been nominated, I would have said he could win. Alas ... I think Mr. Spielberg will win his third Oscar for making a film that's really a chamber piece. And had I written that sentence 20 years ago, I'd have said I was crazy.

More to come ...

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The 2013 Films I Most Want to See

Some media outlets have put together stories forecasting what people are most looking forward to seeing, like this one. Most of them lists titles like the next Hunger Games and Hobbit movies.

In the word of Homer Simpson, BOR-ING!

Granted, I'm looking forward to some blockbusters, but my taste for upcoming movies doesn't tend to run towards big, giant franchises with advertisements that bludgeon us into seeing them. So here are the 10 movies Sir Critic most wants to see in 2013, partly because they haven't all been previewed to death. In no particular order, except for the first title.


The Wolf of Wall Street: The four words "directed by Martin Scorsese automatically value any film to the top of the list. I'm only pained that there is no definite release date; but I'm betting sometime in October or later. (TBA)

Oz: The Great and Powerful: The Wizard of Oz is one of my very favorite films, and I would normally resist any attempt to follow in its footsteps. But the trailers for this one are truly impressive. (March 8)

The Great Gatsby: Baz Luhrmann's take on F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of my most anticipated movies of last year. Now it's one of my most anticipated films of this year. I'm especially eager to see how the visaully ostentatious Luhrmann plays with 3D. (May 10)

Man of Steel: I feel sort of funny looking forward to any film directed by Zack Snyder, especially after something as awful as Sucker Punch. But the newest trailer has my attention, and I'm certainly not going to argue about Amy Adams playing Lois Lane. (June 14)

Oldboy: Spike Lee remakes Chan-wook Park's movie. Gee, guess I better get around to seeing the original. (October 11)

Star Trek: Into Darkness: This is one blockbuster I simply can't resist. It's predecessor, um ... Energized me.

Gravity: Alfonso Cuaron directs. I don't really care what it is, since it's been seven years since his last movie, Children of Men. But as it happens, he's venturing into sci-fi again with a story of a fateful space shuttle mission. (October 18)

Captain Phillips: Paul Greengrass (the middle two Bourne films), directing the true story of a ship hijacked by Somali pirates. Tom Hanks stars. (October 11)

Saving Mister Banks: Hanks again, playing none other than Walt Disney as he buys the film rights to something called Mary Poppins. It does fairly well. (Dec. 20)

Inside Llewelyn Davis: The Coens direct Carey Mulligan. Le sigh.

Grown-Ups 2: Only kidding. But I will concede it's the 2013 movie with the most ironic title.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The 2012 Film Tally

On the BIG screen

This includes everything I saw in the theater. The X, if present, refers to the repeat viewings in the calendar year.

  1. My Week with Marilyn A
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo A
  3. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy C-
  4. Carnage B
  5. The Artist X2  A+
  6. Le Havre B+
  7. A Dangerous Method B+
  8. Shame A
  9. Haywire B
  10. The Iron Lady C+
  11. Chronicle B+
  12. War Horse B+
  13. Moneyball A
  14. The Tree of Life B+
  15. The Descendants A+
  16. Hugo A+
  17. The Help A-
  18. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close D-
  19. Midnight in Paris A+
  20. Pina B
  21. Red Tails B+
  22. John Carter C
  23. The Hunger Games B
  24. Silent House C+
  25. Bully B
  26. The Cabin in the Woods B
  27. Mirror Mirror B
  28. Titanic A+
  29. Joe vs. the Volcano A-
  30. The Truth about Beauty and Blogs B
  31. Phunny Business: A Black Comedy A-
  32. Big Fan A-
  33. Kinyarwnda C+
  34. Terri A
  35. On Borrowed Time B
  36. Wild and Weird A
  37. A Seperation A+
  38. Higher Ground A-
  39. Patang C+
  40. Take Shelter A
  41. Citizen Kane A+
  42. Jiro Dreams of Sushi B+
  43. Damsels in Distress B-
  44. The Avengers A
  45. Dark Shadows C
  46. Attack the Block B+
  47. Brainstorm B
  48. The Captains B-
  49. Electroma F
  50. The Green Slime Z
  51. Battle Royals B+
  52. Manborg D
  53. Source Code B+
  54. Reptilicus Z
  55. They Live B
  56. Men in Black 3 A-
  57. Bernie A-
  58. Snow White and the Huntsman D
  59. God Bless America B
  60. The Sound of My Voice B
  61. Rock of Ages C
  62. Brave A-
  63. Magic Mike B+
  64. The Birdman of Alcatraz B
  65. Ted A-
  66. The Amazing Spider-Man C
  67. Moonrise Kingdom X2 A+
  68. To Rome with Love B+
  69. Savages A-
  70. The Dark Knight Rises X2 A
  71. The Great Escape A
  72. Girl Crazy A-
  73. Beasts of the Southern Wild  B
  74. Hope Springs A-
  75. Mary Poppins A
  76. Murder on the Orient Express B
  77. The Bourne Legacy B-
  78. The Godfather A+
  79. The Godfather Part II A+
  80. The Godfather Part III B+
  81. Cosmompolis D-
  82. Killer Joe B+
  83. Lawless B
  84. Paranorman B+
  85. Trouble with the Curve B+
  86. Total Recall C-
  87. Premium Rush B+
  88. Looper X2 A
  89. The Master X2 A-
  90. The Perks of Being a Wallflower A+
  91. Frankenweenie B
  92. Pitch Perfect B
  93. Argo X2 A+
  94. End of Watch B
  95. Arbitage A-
  96. The House at the End of the Street C+
  97. Lincoln A
  98. Cloud Atlas A
  99. Seven Psycopaths C+
  100. Wreck-It Ralph A
  101. Flight A-
  102. Samsara B+
  103. The Sessions A-
  104. Skyfall A+
  105. Hello I Must Be Going B+
  106. The Silver Linings Playbook A
  107. Meet Me in St. Louis A+
  108. The Life of Pi A
  109. Anna Karenina C+
  110. Rise of the Guardians B
  111. Hitchcock C
  112. Killing Them Softly D
  113. The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey B+
  114. Jack Reacher B+
  115. Django Unchained A

On the small screen

And this list encompasses everything I saw on TV, be it through cable, streaming or disc. Titles are for the most part unseen, although I did include some titles I had not seen in a long time. 

  1. Margie B
  2. It’s Kind of a Funny Story B
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (TV cut) A-
  4. Captains Courageous A-
  5. The Killing A
  6. Boys Town B
  7. Reel Injun B
  8. People Will Talk B+
  9. Interview with the Assassin B
  10. The Debt B+
  11. Keeper of the Flame B
  12. Sweet Dreams C+
  13. Warrior B+
  14. 21 Hours at Munich B
  15. Another Woman B
  16. Shark Night C
  17. Being Elmo A-
  18. MIldred Pierce A
  19. Make It Happen C
  20. Megamind B+
  21. Corman’s World A-
  22. Tabloid A-
  23. Texas Killing Fields C+
  24. The Swell Season A-
  25. Silkwood B+
  26. Witness to Jonestown A-
  27. Second Jonestown doc A
  28. Dolores Claiborne B
  29. 21 Jump Street B+
  30. Side By Side A
  31. The Executioners Song A-
  32. Catching Hell A
  33. Little Shop of Horrors A-
  34. We Need to Talk About Kevin A-
  35. The Girl C+
  36. The Life Before Her Eyes C+
  37. The Five-Year Engagement B
  38. Safety Not Guarenteed B+
  39. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World B
  40. Strange Fruit B+
  41. The Boy in the Plastic Bubble B+
  42. Ruby Sparks A-
  43. Cleanflix B+
  44. Key Largo A-
  45. Bananas A-
  46. The Circus A-