Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Watch: January

Travis and I wanted to have a goal together for 2015 and since we love to go to the movies, a movie goal it is! We tried watching the AFI top 100 before, but totally failed. Spoiler alert: a lot of those movies are BORING. Haha. So we're making a pact to see 50 movies in the theater this year, starting on Christmas Day (since that seems like a fun starting point.) We've already made quite a dent. So many good films come out this time of year, it's easy!

1. Into The Woods // This was our Christmas day movie and I was pretty excited about it. I love musicals, and Chris Pine! Seems like an easy win. But I kind of hated it. I felt like it would never end and couldn't wait for it to be over. I think it just didn't translate very well onto screen. It got really confusing by the end and there were weird character choices and that creepy song Johnny Depp as a wolf sings to Little Red Riding Hood. The highlight was Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince, and the song "Agony." It is a song where two princes are trying to out do each other when it comes to the agony of their love. It was pretty delightful and the movie hit it's stride and was really enjoyable for a little bit, then lost it again. So disappointing!
2. The Tale of Princess Kaguya // This is a masterpiece of animation from Studio Ghibli. It is a traditional Japanese folktale (some think it is the oldest Japanese story still known today!) so you know there is lots of weirdness (in the best way!)  The animation is gorgeous the whole way through, and there is a scene where Kaguya flees (you'll know when) that is all sketchy and strange and just breathtaking! We saw the subtitled version which is always a little better than the dubbed. Highly recommend!
3. The Imitation Game // A story from World War 2 that I wasn't familiar with at all. It is about code breakers in England and tells the story of mathematician Alan Turing who should be much more well known than he is. The story telling is great and Benedict Cumberbatch is amazing in it. The styling is so good, which is maybe dorky to say, but I love it. You might think a movie that centers around thinking and problem solving with machines would be boring, but it never is. Highly recommend.
4. The Theory of Everything // We saw this right after The Imitation Game (as in, the showing was 30 minutes after it ended) and I think that might have tainted my opinion. It was fine, the real attraction is Eddie Redmayne's portrayal of Stephen Hawking. It was a story was wasn't familiar with and he really transforms as the movie goes on. I didn't find it as moving as I think I was supposed to, but it is worth a watch.
5. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies // I love the Lord of the Rings movies but was hesitant about seeing this one because the big battle sequences with humans are my least favorite parts (I'm more interested in elves and hobbits!) but this was really fun. My favorite parts where when they battle animals showed up, the dwarf riding that fat pig! and the little battle goats! A fun ending to the trilogy.
6. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness // I'm a nut for Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki so when I saw this was coming to the Belcourt I kept an eye out so I wouldn't miss it. It is described as a documentary about the studio but it doesn't really have a lot about the films, it mostly focuses on Miyazaki-san and the making of his final film The Wind Rises. There is a lot of footage of the every day goings on in the studio and Miyazaki's routine. My favorite sequence was him drawing the story boards for the film. He doesn't work from scripts, he just story boards the whole thing, and doesn't always know what is going to happen when he starts them. Really wonderful, essential if you are into Studio Ghibli. If you aren't familiar, find a way to see Spirited Away immediately.
Big Eyes // I'm not counting this one in the total because I saw it by myself. This is the newest Tim Burton film, which you wouldn't know because it doesn't really have that Burton signature. It is still wonderful though. It is about Margaret Keane who all vintage enthusiasts will know. The story of this movie is that her husband took credit for the "big eyed children" that she was solely artistically responsible for. I'm sure it isn't the whole story, Margaret comes off a little TOO clean in this film, but reading about the controversy is fascinating! I love the styling and the two leads are great in the film. It is fun to see Christoph Waltz as a different kind of villain than he usually plays.


  1. So many of these are on my must-see list...but I'm so terrible about actually going to the theaters. Thanks for the hits and misses; it's helping me narrow down my options (With The Imitation Game was already at the top of the list).

  2. Ah, awesome! The husband and I are also trying to watch more movies in theaters this year... though we aren't as ambitious as 50. That's a proper challenge. We loved Big Eyes. Can't wait to see what you watch next month!


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