The Month in Movies: March 2014

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I am the worst. I waited until the last day of April to post my breakdown of March’s movie viewing habits. April was a busy month, though. We are far past the procrastination stages of getting our table prepared for Indy PopCon. So much of my month has been devoted to planning for that.

If you are in the Indianapolis area on the weekend of May 30th – June 1st, come see us. We’ll have a bunch of free stuff to give away and we’ll have multiple opportunities for you to chat with us on the podcast!

For now, though, let’s get down to business.

  • Total Viewings: 20
  • First Viewings: 16
  • Theater Viewings: 3
  • Money Spent on Movies/TV: $145.95

Click here for a chronological list of the movies I watched in March.

I’m back with another breakdown of my month in movies. March was a pretty good. I would almost call it a return to form for me after February’s lackluster viewing stats. In reality, though, it was only a marginal improvement for me. I also spent a lot of money last month. I need to budget my money better. In the mean time, check out my stats.

Money Spent on Movies/TV

  • 3/01 01:40pm – Movie Ticket: Non-Stop at Goodrich Theater: Brownsburg – $7.00
  • 3/03 unknown – Blu-ray: 12 Years a Slave via Amazon.com – $19.99
  • 3/13 12:00am – Rental Service: Netflix Streaming Service: Auto Renewal - $7.99
  • 3/22 06:30pm – DVD: You’re Next at Best Buy: Avon – $12.99
  • 3/22 06:52pm – Blu-ray: The Boondock Saints at Target: Avon – $7.50
  • 3/22 06:52pm – Blu-ray: The Walking Dead: Season 3 at Target: Avon - $27.99
  • 3/28 07:26pm – Movie Ticket: Noah at Regal Theater: Shiloh – $10.00
  • 3/29 unknown – DVD: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil via Amazon.com – $7.50
  • 3/29 01:48pm – Blu-ray: BBC’s Life at Best Buy: Avon – $24.99
  • 3/29 09:32pm – Movie Ticket: God’s Not Dead at AMC Theater: Traders Point – $10.25
  • 3/29 09:33pm – Concession: Medium Soft Drink at AMC Theater: Traders Point – $5.50 (Stubs savings of $0.50)
  • 3/29 09:33pm – Concession: Plain M&Ms at AMC Theater: Traders Point – $4.25

Money Spent on Movies/TV in March: $145.95

Running Total for 2014: $330.79

The Month in Movies

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Best First Viewing: The Karate Kid(1984)

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I watched The Karate Kid for the Gap Movies episode of the podcast and I did not regret it. I’m ashamed I hadn’t seen it before now, but the wait was really worth it.

From the opening shots of Daniel and his mom driving cross-country to their new home while a hopeful, 80s score played over ADR’ed dialogue, I knew I was in for a treat.

I went in expecting a fun, if dated, coming of age story. But what I got was a great story about a charming outcast and his relationship with a newfound father figure. I’m glad I finally watched it.

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Honorable Mention: Rush (2013)

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I had high expectations for Rush. Even though I’m not crazy about auto racing (despite living in the racing capital of the world), I still loved the true rivalry story told in Rush. The two men were so diametrically different but still shaped each other’s lives in profound ways.

The acting was great and matched well by the stunning cinematography. The camera choices during the racing sequences perfectly captured the intensity and danger that these men faced. Without spoiling anything, the aftermath of some sequences were almost hard to watch in the best way possible.

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Worst First Viewing: God’s Not Dead (2014)

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Yikes. God’s Not Dead was one of the most pandering, offensively dishonest movies I’ve ever seen. Seemingly written by people without the slightest idea of basic storytelling principles, this propaganda piece exists solely as a tool for Christians to reaffirm their faith and gain the “courage” to force their beliefs on people in the form of a group text message.

You can read my full review/rant of this farce of a movie here. As a bonus, check out the comment section as well. There are some…interesting responses there. You can also listen to me and Tiny discuss the movie on The Secular Perspective Podcast.

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Dishonorable Mention: Failure to Launch (2006)

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I have a confession to make. I have a weird fascination with romcoms. Who am I kidding? I like them a lot. They can be fun while lacking the full attention that other movies demand and they’re almost always around the 90 minute mark.

So occasionally I’ll watch a romcom while I write a blog post or edit the podcast. Sue me.

In honor of Matthew McConaughey‘s Oscar win, I decided to watch Failure to Launch. Sure, it wasn’t the worst romcom I’ve ever seen (I’m looking at you, Leap Year), it was the most formulaic one.

Every trope of the genre is haphazardly thrown into this movie and all the actors deliver their lines while mentally depositing their paychecks. Just about the only enjoyment I got from the movie was in seeing Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha and Zooey Deschanel on screen in roles so clichéd it felt like I was watching a movie within a movie that parodied the romcom genre.

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Biggest Surprise: The Raid: Redemption (2011)

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I hesitate to list The Raid as my Biggest Surprise for March because it was exactly what I wanted it to be going into it. I think therein lies the surprise for me. I try not to get swept up in the hype surrounding a movie I plan to watch. Oftentimes when I let my expectations dictate my viewing experience, I come away from the movie disappointed; forever marring the title for me, at least until I rewatch it.

The Raid is the rare movie where I went into it expecting, and then being delivered, exactly what the hype promised me.

The Raid Redemption is a movie whose plot is secondary to the stylish violence onscreen. This would ordinarily be a complaint, but The Raid delivers on the promise of slick action so well that its (at times formulaic) plot isn’t a detriment to the viewing experience in the slightest.

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Biggest Letdown: Killer Joe (2011)

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This month’s “biggest letdown” is another movie with an asterisk. It’s also another movie with a wealth of hype surrounding it.

I enjoyed Killer Joe quite a bit as a whole. Matthew McConaughey was great, if a little underutilized. Emile Hirsch was a bit out of his element, though. His more dramatic moments were played with far too much energy. It made me feel like he didn’t have a firm grasp on his character. Juno Temple, however, was terrific in the movie.

Killer Joe became a letdown for me in the final scene. The end of the movie plays out like a storyteller scrambling to find an ending before giving up and writing “The End” out of frustration. To be more kind, I understand Killer Joe was adapted from a play. So I can assume the same ending was used in both iterations. However, that ending simply doesn’t translate to film. So I was unsatisfied.

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Returning Favorite: Looper (2012)

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In Looper, Joseph Gordon-Levitt teamed up with writer/director Rian Johnson for the first time since 2005’s snappy neo-noir flick Brick. Brick was a movie I was lukewarm about when I first saw it. It wasn’t until fairly recently that I revisited it and found myself liking it a lot more.

This wasn’t a problem with Looper, though. From the first time I saw it in the theater, I was a fan. As a lover of time travel movies, I was happy to see the plot device used in such a unique way. Time travel can be such a crutch and the convolution it causes can really hamper storytelling. Looper, however, uses it to its advantage without depending on it for cheap thrills or the illusion of cleverness.

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That does it for my breakdown of my movie watching in March. Have a comment on my viewing? Leave a comment and follow me around the internet.

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2 responses to “The Month in Movies: March 2014

  1. Hey, so I just started to follow your site, read your month in movies post, and got to say I love the idea. I wish I would have come up with this idea. The only thing I keep track of is my movie theatre tickets and how much I spend at the theatre. I watch so many movies at home or Netflix that I should keep track. Great site man!

  2. Thanks so much! It’s a bit of an obsession I have and something I kind of dragged my friends into. lol.

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