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Diary of a Film Freak: January ’16

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Hello, Dave. I watched 100 movies in January. Didn’t set out to, just did. After a couple of busy months packed with awards season screeners and screenings, it was nice to chill out and watch some movies of my choosing. A lot of the films I watched are comfort movies; old favorites I’ve revisited countless times. 62% were re-watches. The others were a mix of older films that I hadn’t previously seen and a few new releases.

You’ll notice a few trends. I started off the year on an NYC kick. I love movies that take place in The Big Apple. They account for at least 25% of my January viewing. There’s also a bunch of Wall St./finance movies (10%) and several that take place on boats (8%). Most-watched directors were Brian De Palma (5%) and Spike Lee (4%). 14% were viewed in theaters.

Enjoyable 1st Time Viewings
5 to 7 (2014)
The Accused (1988)
The Best Offer (2013)
Brewster McCloud (1970)
Bridge of Spies (2015)
Lady Snowblood (1973)
Häxan (1922)
The Last Dragon (1985)
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)
Pawn Sacrifice (2014)
Revolutionary Road (2008)
Theeb (2014)
Turbo Kid (2015)

Worst Movies of the Month
50 Shades of Grey (2015)
Aloha (2015)
Chéri (2009)
Easy Virtue (2008)
The Finest Hours (2016)
Last Vegas (2013)

Memorable Theater Experiences

The Big Short– My fourth viewing of one of 2015’s best was at the newly renovated Cinemark 19 in Katy, with super comfy luxury seating. The movie continues to get better on subsequent viewings.

The Hateful 8 My second viewing of QT’s 8th film was in glorious 70mm, complete with overture and intermission.

Theeb– The Museum of Fine Arts Houston screened this solid adventure film with a timeless feel. First movie from Jordan to be nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards.

Lady Snowblood Double Feature– Alamo Drafthouse screened the 1973 cult classic (and it’s sequel) that heavily influenced Kill Bill. Badass.

Jackie Brown– QT’s underrated, character-driven 3rd film is one of his best. Hadn’t seen it on the big screen since it’s original theatrical release and it didn’t disappoint. Thanks Alamo!

Häxan– Drove up to Austin for this silent Swedish-Danish film from 1922 featuring dark and twisted imagery and presented with a haunting, perfectly suitable score performed live by Wrekmeister Harmonies. Intense.

Here’s a list of all the movies I watched in January, in the order I saw them. Letterboxd is a free, user-friendly site that lets people document the movies they’ve seen, rate/review films, make lists, and socialize with friends and fellow movie fans. I’ve been using it for over 4 years and it’s cool to know what films you’ve seen and when. If you pay the minimal fee and upgrade to a Pro membership, you’ll get a personalized end of year review, complete with movie watching stats based on your viewing. Pretty cool. Follow me if you’re so inclined. Username: RottenAtom

I expect you all to have seen each and every movie on this list by March 1st. No excuses, it is a leap year after all.

February Most-Anticipated

Hail, Caesar!– A new Coen brothers movie is always cause for celebration. Opens 2/5

The Witch– Saw it at Fantastic Fest, can’t wait to see it again. Opens 2/19

Black Magic Double Feature– Leading up to the theatrical release of The Witch, A24 is sponsoring a free screening of Witchfinder General (1968) and Suspiria (1977) at Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park in Houston. Reserve seats now by purchasing food/drink vouchers. Saturday 2/13

Happy movie watching in February!

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Salty Winters once said, "Everything I learned I learned from the movies." He was quoting Audrey Hepburn.