Films in 2015: January

This year I won’t have as much time to devote to movie-watching (or at least for the first half of the year as I finish up my last semester of college!), but I still managed to get a good number of movies in this month. Most of it was catch-up on this year’s Oscar nominees, and February will be a little of the same as well, along with watching as much TCM as possible. Anyway, onto January’s movie stats.

New-to-Me: 19

Re-Watched: 1

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 0
  • 1940s – 1
  • 1950s – 0
  • 1960s – 5
  • 1970s – 3
  • 1980s – 1
  • 1990s – 1
  • 2000s – 2
  • 2010s – 6

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. All That Jazz (1979)
  2. Heaven Can Wait (1978)
  3. The Turning Point (1977)
  4. Bugsy (1991)
  5. Birdman (2014)
  6. Whiplash (2014)
  7. Girl Happy (1965)
  8. Sunday in New York (1963)
  9. The Imitation Game (2014)
  10. The Time Machine (1960)
  11. The Theory of Everything (2014)
  12. Selma (2014)
  13. War Hunt (1962)
  14. Wild (2014)
  15. On Our Merry Way (1948)
  16. The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)
  17. Children of Men (2006)
  18. The Color of Money (1986)
  19. Chocolat (2000)

Monthly Tallies

  • Best Picture Nominees Watched: 10
  • Movies Watched from The Criterion Collection: 1
  • Movies Watched via the Watch TCM app: 6
  • Movies Watched on TCM: 0
  • Movies Watched on Hulu: 0
  • Movies Watched in theaters: 0

Trends and Notes

  • Watched 6 new releases, 5 of which are nominated for Best Picture. So now I’ve seen 7 of the 8 films nominated (I could have easily seen American Sniper this month but I’ve been putting off seeing it…but I’ll definitely watch it before the big show).

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Heaven Can Wait (1978)

Heaven Can Wait (1978), directed by Warren Beatty and Buck Henry

Last year I included Here Comes Mr. Jordan as a favorite film discovery (and the year before that I included the 1943 film Heaven Can Wait, which only shares the same title as this 1978 film), so obviously I really love this story. The remake of the 1941 film is just as enjoyable, and I love how Warren Beatty put his own spin on the story, such as changing Joe Pendleton from being a boxer to a football player. Beatty is very charismatic in this role; I’ve liked him in all the movies I’ve seen him in, but I’d say he’s at his most likable here. This movie has a lot of things going for it that I think it would be hard for anyone not to enjoy it, as it features elements of fantasy, sports, comedy, drama, and romance.

Birdman (2014)

Birdman (2014), directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

A few years ago I read Raymond Carver’s Short Cuts for a film literature class (and we then went on to watch the film adaptation of it), and since then I’ve enjoyed reading his work, so I loved that this film was somewhat centered on a play based on one of his stories. On top of that, the movie itself also has some aspects that are reminiscent of a Carver story. Anyway, this movie of course boasts some great performances all-around, most notably from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton. And that camerawork! Emmanuel Lubezki is quickly becoming my favorite living cinematographer after Roger Deakins.

Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash (2014), directed by Damien Chazelle

As many reviews and comments have said, this is a very intense movie, especially considering it’s not a thriller or an action movie. It’s much more intimate in scope, as it looks closely at a music student’s drive and passion to be the best drummer there is, and how he faces his biggest obstacle embodied in a ruthless instructor. This movie wouldn’t be nearly as effective if it wasn’t for the incredible performances by both J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller, the latter of who I wish was getting some awards recognition (I’ll go more into Oscar thoughts later this month before the ceremony). There were just a lot of scenes in this movie that left me utterly speechless; what a debut from director Damien Chazelle!

Children of Men (2006)

Children of Men (2006), directed by Alfonso Cuarón

I posted my first entry for my 2015 Blind Spots series a few days ago, which was on Children of Men. It was definitely one of my top favorite discoveries for January, and my thoughts on it can be found here.

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