July was another stellar month for me in terms of the amount of movies watched. My 29 viewings beat my previous record of 25 in 2010. It was a big improvement over last year’s all time low of 12 viewings. So let’s get to it…
Total Viewings: 29
First Viewings: 15
Theater Viewings: 4
Best First Viewing: Fruitvale Station (2013)
You can read my review of Fruitvale Station here. Suffice it to say, this was a strongly written and well-paced view of a life cut short.
Honorable Mention: Smashed (2012)
I had high hopes for this movie. For the most part, my expectations were met. Winstead and Paul had pretty strong onscreen chemistry and the supporting cast was really good. Nick Offerman plays a coworker of Winstead who is a recovering alcoholic himself. He plays the role very well and has a strong presence.
Overall the movie was very good. Being the center of the movie, Winstead gave a strong performance. The really impressive thing about the movie is that its two central characters spend a considerable amount of time drunk. And even though in some of the bigger, more emotional scenes, it looked like Winstead struggled slightly, both were very impressive.
Worst First Viewing: Carrie (1976)
I read the book and watched the movie in preparation for an Adaptations & Remakes post I’m writing for October. I don’t want to spoil that post here, so I’ll just say I really didn’t like this movie. The book was pretty good (not King’s strongest) but the movie went for a straight adaptation. In doing so, the movie was missing a lot of character development and tons of atmosphere.
Dishonorable Mention: The Good Doctor (2011)
The movie didn’t do anything for me. There’s no real catalyst for Bloom’s character to fall for the patient. It doesn’t give him any real reason for him to keep her in the hospital. As a result, he has no redeemable characteristics. That may be the point, but it just didn’t make for a very enjoyable viewing experience.
Biggest Surprise: Movie 43 (2013)
You’ll notice a couple things when you view my Movies Watched: July page. One is that I watched Movie 43 twice. Two is that in the last week of the month, there was a surge in first viewings for me. These are not mistakes or coincidences. I had a blast watching Movie 43. So much so that I watched it twice and sought out a bunch of other first viewings to prevent it from being my “Best First Viewing.”
Movie 43 is an anthology movie featuring some very high profile actors doing ridiculous things for the sake of comedy. I truly should not have liked this movie as much as I did. But around the time I saw Justin Long as Robin at Speed Dating being cock-blocked by Jason Sudeikis’ version of Batman, I knew I’d be seeing this movie again.
For the first time this year, I went with a tie for this category. You can read my review of Man of Steel here and hear my thoughts on Pacific Rim on episode 6 of the podcast. Neither movie lived up to their respective hype. If I had to pick one, I would have to say I disliked Pacific Rim more.
Returning Favorite: The Godfather (1972)