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Sunday, January 31, 2016

#DLMChallenge: January Update

At the top of 2016, I think I may have mentioned that I wasn't going to share any of my 'new year resolutions' on the blog, because if I did, I probably wouldn't 'do' any of them.  That remains mostly true, but I thought I would share with you my most arbitrary resolution, a project/challenge I've decided to take on that will neither benefit myself in any tangible, meaningful way or society at large.  That's right, I've decided to watch movies.  Lots of them.  366 of them, to be exact.  And all of them before the stroke of 12:01 AM, January 1, 2017.

It's called the DLM (as in Doug Loves Movies, as in the podcast in which stand-up comedian Doug Benson discusses films and plays movie-related games with his funny friends) Challenge, and it is a commitment--like staying sober or Christianity--to watching 366 movies in 2016.  I thought I'd track my progress on GEP.  You'll notice I'm way behind, and that's because I started late.  But I'll make up the time.  It's not like it's one of those Movie-A-Day commitments.  Those people are crazy!  A movie a day?!?  Who has the time?!?  I'd rather just use the weekend to lock myself in a room, ignoring both my family and the gnawing hunger for food, and watch a buttload of movies back-to-back, sanity be damned.

Of course, I'm not doing it that way (I'm not a liberty to tell you here, in a public forum, how I intend to pull this off, so don't even ask!!!), but I will be trying my hardest to make Doug Benson--who will most likely never know I'm doing this--proud.

Anyway, here's what I've watched so far.  OH!  Almost forgot.  Please recommend movies to me, either by writing to the e-mail above or sending me a note on Facebook (not on Twitter anymore--don't want to talk about it).  A lot of the movies on the list right now we're recommended by a friend, and he's been killing it, so try to keep up.  Also, I'm mostly trying to watch movies I've never seen, however, that won't always be the case (for example, I've seen #4 on this list A LOT, and even more since my daughter was born).  And if you can think of a way I can help a charity or something with this, let me know.  I can't stress how pointless this endeavor truly is.

1. Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens
That's right, nerds, I waited until MLK Day to see it for the first time, and I've only seen it once!  Whoa.  I just felt a great disturbance in the Force.  Like millions of dorks gripping their chests in shocked disgust.  (In all seriousness, I loved it, and plan to see it again.  And again even)

2. Slow Learners
An indie trifle, but I enjoyed it from beginning to end.  Very funny.  Sarah Burns and Adam Pally are hilarious.  I don't know if it's required viewing, but if you like funny people saying hilarious things and/or indie rom-coms that are both witty and entertaining, you might want to check it out.  I guess you could call it "required viewing."

3. The Overnight
Considering the subject matter, The Overnight is an extremely charming movie.  Another indie trifle, but another amazingly funny cast.  And, yes, those are paintings of buttholes.  

4. Alice in Wonderland (1951) 
No matter how sophisticated Disney animated features become, Alice in Wonderland will always be my favorite.  After we got back from our family trip to Walt Disney World earlier this month, I wanted to binge on Disney flicks.  So far, Alice in Wonderland is all we've had time for.  This was Quinn and I's third time watching it together.  We kept alerting each other when our favorite parts happened or when they were about to happen.  Sometimes Q would look at me and say, "You love this part, Dad," and I'd do the same with her.  Watching Alice in Wonderland will definitely go down as one of the defining moments in my relationship with my daughter.  Excuse me for a moment.  I seem to have gotten something in my eye.

5. The Weather Man
1 hour and 41 minutes of rich white people problems.  Ugh.  Plus, who would want Nicolas Cage as their local weatherman?  He's such a sad sack creep, and it is only amplified by his fakey weatherman banter.  He does call someone a "pork fuck" though.  That was a first for me.

6. Spanish Lake
I think the poster says it all.  A pretty good doc.  I've never seen people so proud to be from a specific neighborhood.  That was a little weird.

7. We Need To Talk About Kevin
I feel like this movie appears on a lot of 10 Movies You Only Need to See Once In Your Life lists that pop up on pop culture blogs every once in awhile.  I hate those lists.  Requiem for a Dream is always on those lists, and I love that movie.  Sure, it's a brutal watch, but there's beauty in its brutality.  It makes you feel, forces you to feel.  Same with We Need To Talk About Kevin.  This is some brutal stuff, man.  But I can't imagine going my whole life never immersing myself in Tilda Swinton's performance again.  She's amazing in this thing.  (Full disclosure: I've been sitting here trying to come up with a better word than amazing.  Transcendent?  That works.)  I think the titular Kevin is played a little overly quippy, and while it's fun to see John C Riley as Kevin's dad, he's more of a distraction than anything else.  The film belong to Tilda Swinton though, and and she kills it.

8. Meet the Patels
An endlessly charming documentary!  I adored it.

9. The Brothers Solomon
So, OK, Richard Roeper famously walked out of a screening of The Brothers Solomon, presumably because it is so awful.  I read that before my viewing of the film, and although I like everybody involved in the film, I kept my eyes peeled for the moment, be it a scene or a performance or a single joke, that pushed Roeper over the edge.  I couldn't see it.  The Brothers Solomon is way dumb, but I don't think it is striving for anything more.  I laughed a lot.  It kind of reminds me of films like Hot Rod or MacGruber--largely ignored little comedies that have a culty fan base of weirdos that love it.  I'm one of those weirdos for Hot Rod.  I'm not going to be the one who spearheads this Brothers Solomon cult, because, frankly, I like those other two films I mentioned better, but I'm in support of it.

10. The Monster Squad
It is my understanding that people love The Monster Squad.  I thought it sucked.

11. Kids for Cash
Another great doc I watched this month.  This one is about a corrupt judge who ruined a bunch of teenagers' lives in Pennsylvania.  I think that lady's face says it all. (In all seriousness, her story is one of the saddest that appears in the film.)

12. The Revenant 

With The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio has finally grunted and crawled his way to Oscar gold.  I liked The Revenant a lot, and I actually have a bunch to say about it, but I'll save that for a future post.  For now I'll say it is beautifully shot, features some stunning one-take scenes (there are some multiple-take scenes that are pretty stunning as well), and feels every bit it's 2 hour and 36 minute running time (i.e. it's looooooooooong).

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