2012: The Year in Reviews (Part V: September & October)

Today, we recap all the films of September and October.

To run down the intro quickly — every January I go over all the movies that are scheduled to come out that year (as they are scheduled — or not — at the time). I try to get as much in as I can. I preview the films and try to guess what I’m going to think of them when I do see them. (I don’t look at what I write after I write it. Until I do these articles, of course.) Then, over the course of the year, in April, in August, and in December (which will go up later today), I post reviews of all the films I saw by that point in the year.

Then, what I do is, at the end of the year, to recap, I take every film that came out that year, post what I wrote about them in January (if anything), post what I did think about them when I saw them (if I saw them), and then post what I think about them now, having had some time to think about them (either a few days or a few months, depending). And I also post all the films that didn’t come out that year (pretty much all of which I’ll have previewed), so that way no film goes unaccounted for. (No Film Left Behind.)

I’m doing this two months at a time, and in the final article, I’ll go over how I did throughout the year — which films I guessed correctly, which films surprised me for the better and which films surprised me for the worse. All of this leading into my two favorite articles of the year, the Unforgivables list and the Top Ten list.

Here’s September and October:

September

The Cold Light of Day

What I said about it back in January:

“Interesting. Bruce isn’t the lead. Bruce has taken a couple of jobs like this lately, which feature him in a supporting role. Or maybe I’m wrong. I’m probably wrong.”

“Honestly, this doesn’t look like it’s of much quality, and instead is their way of getting Henry Cavill some press, so that way when Man of Steel comes out, they can be like, “Oh man, he’s the next big thing! Look at the year he’s having!” They love doing shit like that. Proclaiming people the “next big thing” only for them to disappear within a year. Remember when Zoe Saldana was “the next big thing” twice?”

“Yeah, I’m not excited for this. Bruce hasn’t really done anything good (aside from Red) in almost five years. So, let’s call this 2.5 stars. I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt that it’s not 2 stars, but I can see that happening. It’s really not gonna go higher than 3, I can pretty much guarantee that.”

What I actually thought about it:

“It feels like a Labor Day weekend release. It just — is. It’s like Columbiana last year — it’s just sort of there.”

“Not good, not bad, you can watch it, you get nothing out of it, and you forget it an hour later. That’s practically the definition of a 2.5′er.”

2.5 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Yeah — complete indifference, and also not that good.

2.5 stars.

How close was I?: Exact

The Words

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

“Solid cast. Let’s hope it’s decent.”

3 stars.

What I actually thought about it:

“Jesus.”

“Not good.”

“It’s so pretentious in its central conceit. Everything about this movie on a conceptual level is pretentious. And the actors do their best to make it not so, but they can’t.”

“This is not a good movie, and actually is one of the year’s worst. Because it’s so generic that everything you expect to happen actually does happen. It’s staggering in its ability to not do anything beyond the beaten path.”

“Really didn’t like this one at all.”

2 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Bottom 50 for the year, definitely.

2 stars.

How close was I?: Off by a star, but I don’t know if I can really count that as a full rating.

Liberal Arts

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

“I’m not sure if I’ll see it, but it’s nice to know to look out for it.”

3 stars.

What I actually thought about it:

Meh, it was watchable. Kind of pretentious. But watchable.

3 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Flat, watch-it-just-once 3 stars.

How close was I?: Exact.

Resident Evil: Retribution

What I said about it back in January:

“I’ve got these down to a science by now. The first one was good, and they’ve gone slightly downhill since then. The last one was straddling the fence between 2 and 2.5 stars.”

“Which means this one, which is about Alice fighting “alongside a resistance movement in the continuing battle against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead,” should be a solid 2 stars.”

“Somehow Michelle Rodriguez is back. Interesting, seeing as how they killed her in the first one. That’s two franchises now that she’s been magically resurrected in.”

“Either way, I don’t expect much here. 2 or 2.5, it’s really pretty much guaranteed to be one of those.”

What I actually thought about it:

“I — I can’t believe this was actually good.”

“No joke, this is the most fun entry into this series since the first one.”

“It’s kind of like Fast Five – they just sort of brought out the greatest hits.”

“I don’t know what’s going on with this story (does anybody?), but all I know is — I had fun.”

“Whatever was going on here, I was able to follow it, the action scenes had a lot of fun to them (being simulated or whatever it was) — honestly, if you made it this far with this series, I feel like this has to be considered the best since the first one.”

3 stars.

Final Thoughts:

No joke, I actually enjoyed this. Moderately, of course, in the grand scheme of things. But as far as this franchise goes, enjoying a movie is a rare thing. So I’m grateful for that.

3 stars.

How close was I?: Off by a full star. Definitely wrong. Enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Arbitrage

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. I knew nothing about this, strangely. It really only got on my radar after it came out and Gere’s performance started getting buzz.

What I actually thought about it:

“Oh, I liked this one.”

“This is a good movie. It’s kind of fucked up, since we’re basically watching a rich white person get away with murder, but man — it’s engaging as hell.”

“This is gonna be a real nice sleeper for 2012 when all is said and done. Check this one out. It’s better than most stuff that’ll come out this year.”

4 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Really liked this a lot.

4 stars.

How close was I?: N/A

The Master

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

5 stars. Anderson is brilliant. Everything he does is amazing.”

What I actually thought about it:

“This is a movie that’s clearly a very good movie, but isn’t one I can rank as one just yet.”

“This is a fascinating movie led by a bizarrely captivating performance by Joaquin Phoenix. That motherfucker — I don’t know what he was doing, or what his character was supposed to be, but that performance was solid.”

“This is a film I can’t really put forth a full opinion on so soon.”

“This is a film that takes five years and three viewings to truly decide your opinion about it.”

“I know there’s a good film in here, because I saw it, but I still don’t know my actual opinion about it just yet, and I won’t do it the disservice of pretending like I do after only one watch.”

4.5 stars.

Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed this, and I know enough time hasn’t past for me to truly decide what I think about this one.

4.5 stars.

How close was I?: I was right there with it. I wasn’t wrong.

Stolen

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

“Wait for it — wait for it — starring Nicolas Cage.”

3 stars, lots of room for advancement. Go Cage!”

What I actually thought about it:

“The writing is terrible, everything about it is utterly predictable and generically executed (and almost not really executed at all, since the logical conclusion you’d figure would happen is barely even shown and happens from like, minute 60 to minute 70), and yet — it’s Cage.”

“These are almost always watchable. Generic, good enough for the once, you can get through it, that’s all.”

3 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Yup.

3 stars.

How close was I?: Exact.

Dredd

What I said about it back in January:

“He is the law.”

“Again with the 80s action remakes. Clash of the Titans, Conan the Barbarian, Total Recall – not one of these has been good yet. Total Recall doesn’t look particularly strong because of that August spot, and this — well, the September spot is a bit intriguing, but I don’t have much faith in this, especially since the director was fired and forced out of the editing room due to creative differences with the studio.”

“Honestly, I’m gonna have to say 2.5 stars. I think it can be 3 stars, and it could also (to a slightly lesser extent, but still a decent one) be 2 stars. I’ll say 2.5 and let it swing either way depending on how badly the studio fucked it up.”

What I actually thought about it:

“Simple, effective, watch it once enjoy yourself well enough, no need to ever see it again. You know the drill.”

3 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Yeah. Decent enough the once.

3 stars.

How close was I?: Off by a half-star. I was there, and it happened to swing in the upward direction, which is nice.

House at the End of the Street

What I said about it back in January:

“Aww…another horror movie. One less thing to watch.”

“The only thing that makes me think I could see it is Jennifer Lawrence. But honestly, it’s a horror movie. I hate these. It needs to seem really interesting (like Silent House) for me to want to see it.”

“I’ll assume 2 stars, if I see it. Let it be 2.5. I don’t care. I know it ain’t gonna go higher than that.”

What I actually thought about it:

“What a fucking surprise… it was a shitty horror movie.”

“Honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that Jennifer Lawrence was in this, I’d have never seen it.”

“I still shouldn’t have seen it. I’ve gained nothing from seeing it. But oh well.”

“She does bounce around in a white t-shirt for the third act, so I guess that’s something.”

2 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Standard shitty horror movie I didn’t care about. No surprise there.

2 stars.

How close was I?: Exact.

End of Watch

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

“Written and directed by David Ayer, who wrote Training Day and also directed Harsh Times. He also directed Street Kings, which is a pretty solid resume.”

“I’m interested. 3.5 stars? Sure, why not?”

What I actually thought about it:

“Really solid movie. Really enjoyed this.”

“I thought the documentary style was gonna annoy the shit out of me, but it didn’t. I liked it.”

“I like how there wasn’t a plot to the film, and we were just following these two guys.”

“I’ll admit, the third act wasn’t entirely my favorite, but the film overall was pretty solid.”

“Before I put it on, I thought I was just getting something that was just gonna be okay-good. Not like, solid good. So that was nice.”

4 stars.

Final Thoughts:

It’s straddling the line between 3.5 and 4 stars. But because I enjoyed it more than I was expecting to and despite the third act, I’ll give it 4 stars.

How close was I?: Surprisingly very, very close. I’m gonna take it. 3 stars would have been wrong, but I guessed I’d enjoy it. So I’ll take that.

Trouble with the Curve

What I said about it back in January:

For some reason, I thought this wouldn’t make 2012. They hadn’t even started shooting when I did the articles. But I forgot how quickly Clint and his guys can shoot and cut a movie. So that’s my bad.

What I actually thought about it:

“Yeah, it was okay. Not particularly outstanding. Mostly kind of flat, though watchable.”

“It’s basically a completely generic story that everyone wanted to see because Eastwood decided to star in it, and then Amy Adams decided to star in it, and then Timberlake joined on, John Goodman… it’s bearable because of them, but otherwise, this is a generic movie all the way through.”

“See it, get through it, forget it. That’s it.”

3 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Decent once, otherwise, meh. Only of value for the stars.

3 stars.

How close was I?: N/A

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

“I know the book is pretty popular, right? And the guy who wrote it is also directing it.”

“The cast is pretty good, too… should be interesting.”

3 stars

What I actually thought about it:

“Meh. It was. I didn’t particularly care. Nothing was particularly engaging.”

“I never understand these high school movies. How everyone seems to fit into stereotypes. Apparently the deal is that people are either jocks and popular or have no friends.”

“Everything about this movie felt very cliched, and nothing really stood out as being particularly enlightening or even interesting. Yet I got through it okay.”

3 stars.

Final Thoughts:

3 stars is being lenient, but all right.

How close was I?: Exact.

Hotel Transylvania

What I said about it back in January:

“Well it definitely sounds interesting. It seems like animation is where the boldest things are tried.”

“I think this can be good. Except… Dracula is being voiced by Adam Sandler. And Kevin James is in it. I have such doubts.”

“I’m now convinced this will be too kiddie for me to really love this.”

“I’ll say 3 stars. I’m sure it’ll be entertaining enough, but it’s gonna have to be mature for me to give it anything higher.”

What I actually thought about it:

“I actually enjoyed this.”

“My real problem with this is the problem I have with almost all animated films made nowadays — they’re all made for the short term. They have references to stuff that no one’s gonna remember in twenty years, and even feature songs that are on the pop charts now. I hate when films do that, because it’s clearly meant to capitalize on shit now and make money, yet in ten years, no one’s gonna even remember these movies exist. So what’s the point? … The money is there anyway. Why not try to tell a good story?”

“But otherwise, this was decent enough to where I can say — it was okay. I liked it enough to give it 3 stars. That’s more than I was expecting. So, good for them.”

Final Thoughts:

Yeah, 3 stars.

How close was I?: Exact.

Looper

What I said about it back in January:

“Rian Johnson has made two films thus far. The first was Brick, a really solid neo-noir set in high school. It’s a brilliant first film, and a really solid movie. His second film was The Brothers Bloom, which I really, really loved. So, for me, this dude is running a real hot streak, and anything he does — I’m interested in. And when they just announced this — I was excited.”

“Honestly, this shouldn’t be anything less than 4 stars. It looks amazing, and Johnson has a great track record. I’m very, very excited for this.”

What I actually thought about it:

“I’ve watched this twice now, and I loved it more the second time. What a perfect movie this is.”

“This has a really good chance at making the top ten for me.”

5 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Oh yeah. Loved this.

5 stars.

How close was I?: Expected nothing less than 4, got 5. Can’t expect perfect.

Won’t Back Down

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article. Back when it was called “Learning to Fly.” I guess they swapped one Tom Petty song for another.)

“Starring Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ving Rhames and Holly Hunter. I’ll bite. 3 stars. What is this? Is it getting a release?”

What I actually thought about it:

“Jesus. This was not interesting at all.”

“But I didn’t hate it. It’s just — boring. Boring and cliched and just not engaging for a second.”

“How come this wasn’t made for Lifetime?”

“The real joke is that I saw this movie as an Oscar screener. It’s one of those movies whose heart is in the right place and goes about things in the complete wrong way.”

“It reminds me of one of those 30s movies, where they needed a villain, so everything was made black and white. Most of the teachers are lazy and don’t give a shit and the students are suffering. And the entire teacher’s union is corrupt and complacent. So here come a sassy mother and a dedicated teacher to make shit work! But oh no! Bureaucracy has all sorts of red tape, and they may not succeed! Seriously?”

“A complete misfire, through and through.”

2 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Not a fan.

2 stars.

How close was I?: Off by a star. Went generic, didn’t like it.

– – – – –

– – – – –

September recap:

Films I liked: Resident Evil: Retribution, Arbitrage, The Master, End of Watch, Hotel Transylvania, Looper, 

Films I didn’t like: The Cold Light of Day, The Words, House at the End of the Street, Won’t Back Down

Films I’m indifferent toward: Liberal Arts, Stolen, Dredd, Trouble with the Curve, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Films I didn’t see: None. I win September.

Box office stuff…

“First week of September, I don’t know, because nothing is scheduled! There are no films scheduled for September 7th. Jesus.” The Possession won again, but it wasn’t pretty. $9 million. Told you.

“Second week – Finding Nemo is being rereleased in 3D. That should definitely win. Or… Resident Evil is also being released that weekend. That could win too. Interesting showdown.” Resident Evil won, $21 million to $16 million.

“Third week — Hotel Transylvania vs. Dredd. Not sure which wins there. I guess I go kids film. Actually, I definitely go kids film. Those always win.” They actually pushed Transylvania a week and End of Watch won.

“Fourth week — ooh, interesting. The only films scheduled are Looper and Savages. Which means, Oliver Stone vs. Rian Johnson. Interesting showdown to have for the Box Office. Hotel Transylvania will win again, if that’s the case.” Transylvania won, but it was its first weekend.

I guessed that the potentially good September movies were — Looper (check), Argo (October, but check), Savages (August, but check) and “Hotel Transylvania will probably be entertaining in that non-Pixar animated movie way.” Right all around.

Said no for Unforgivables. And I don’t think there will be any from September. Stuff in the bottom 50 or so, but definitely not Unforgivables. So good for me. Got this month correct all the way through, pretty much.

– – – – –

– – – – –

October

Frankenweenie

What I said about it back in January:

“While I’m sure this will be good enough, I’m just not that excited for it.” 

3 stars.

“It’s stop-motion, though, so that might actually bump it up to 3.5. But as I always say, a half star for aesthetic doesn’t affect the rating.”

What I actually thought about it:

“Yeah, it’s all right. Enjoyable, stop motion, Burton touch and all that.”

“Otherwise — standard animated kids movie. You get through it, it’s nothing special, you move on.”

“Most animated movies are this, only there was clearly care put into this one, which makes me think of it more fondly than the other stuff.”

3 stars.

Final Thoughts:

You can tell care was put into it, but it’s still 3 stars.

How close was I?: Exact.

Nature Calls

What I said about it back in January:

Knew nothing about this one until like, a day before I saw it. The cast and trailer got me interested.

What I actually thought about it:

“This was one of those movies that I had no idea about, then I heard about it, went, “Maybe I should keep that in mind and maybe see it by the end of the year,” then forgot about it, then two days later, I had the opportunity to see it. And it was just, ‘Well all right.'”

“The trailer made it seem like there would be lots of cursing in front of children. And I saw that Patrice O’Neal was in it. So because of that perfect storm, I saw it.”

“But — as I should have expected, it was pretty generic. I was mostly indifferent to all of it.”

“Though seeing Patrice was nice. It made me wish he was in more movies as himself. So the movie was worth seeing for that.”

2.5 stars.

Final Thoughts:

It’s a 2 star movie I’ll leave at 2.5 stars because no one will see it anyway. It’s not very good, but fans of Patrice will enjoy seeing him.

How close was I?: N/A

Pitch Perfect

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

“I’m curious. Starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, and people I don’t know. Still — curious.

3 stars

What I actually thought about it:

“This movie annoyed the shit out of me. But it was watchable, so…”

2.5 stars.

Final Thoughts:

What I said up there.

2.5 stars.

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

Taken 2

What I said about it back in January:

“You know the first one — it was decent, everyone made it overrated by making it seem like it was some great movie. It was a 3.5 star movie for about a week, and then it was 3 stars, and I had no desire to ever see it again.”

“This one — based on the standard depreciation of sequels — will be a 2.5 star movie. Maybe it’ll squeak by and get a 3, but I guarantee you it won’t be a strong 3 at all. Guaranteed.”

What I actually thought about it:

“The first act of this movie is a complete mess. I understand that it doesn’t matter, but they could have at least tried. The dialogue is so bad.”

“Up until the actual “taking” sequence, I had this movie at a solid 2.5 stars. But honestly, just give me thirty minutes of Liam Neeson explaining shit to his daughter on the phone — that’s all I need. Him having her set off the grenades (which — does no one in that country notice or care that some white chick is tossing grenades every thirty feet? Where is this, Vice City?) and making circles on the map — riveting shit. Truly riveting. And then he gets to beat the shit out of people for the third act — it works.”

“Despite my wanting not to, I had to give it 3 stars. Just — can’t they try a little harder to make the non fun parts not suck? That first act was really bad.”

Final Thoughts:

What I said up there works. I’m mostly indifferent, but I’ll stick with 3 stars.

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

Butter

What I said about it back in January:

(I went on a long tangent explaining that I went on a Black List kick a few years back (and a bunch of other stuff).)

Butter was a script that was on the Black List, for one of those years, and because of that, the title stuck in my mind.”

“This is about a small-town butter carving competition. Interesting, no? The fact that this was bumped for almost a year isn’t, but the log line is.”

“Jennifer Garner stars in this — which gives me pause. She’s not very interesting as an actress. She seems to only have one speed.”

“Hugh Jackman is also in this. And he’s awesome. Olivia Wilde is also in it. And a bunch of other people. But basically it’s about butter carving. And that interests me.”

“Honestly, this looks like a 3 star movie. Maybe 3.5, but the presence of Garner makes me not want to guess 3.5. I’ll let it be a 3.5, but I won’t predict that. I think it’ll be nice, but not special. Light and enjoyable, but of no substance.”

What I actually thought about it:

“What an enjoyable movie.”

“It’s just one of those weird, offbeat movies that I enjoy because it doesn’t bother with all the usual stuff. And I like that it’s kind of a dark comedy in the sense that — people do some fucked up things here.”

“It’s really enjoyable. Big fan of this movie.”

3.5 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Really enjoyed this, and you should see it, because I know you haven’t and probably won’t.

3.5 stars.

How close was I?: Guessed 3, saying it might be a 3.5, but wouldn’t go the full length of predicting it. So, I knew the possibility was there, and figured it might be, but didn’t guess it.

The Oranges

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

“I was watching this one from 2010, since it was on the Black List that year. All those scripts were ones I’ve been tracking. I thought this would come out last year, and it is finished — they just never released it.”

“I think that equates to 3.5 stars. I’m interested in seeing it.”

What I actually thought about it:

I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve been trying to see this for like, two years now.

Final Thoughts:

I want to see it already.

How close was I?: N/A

The Paperboy

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

“The reason this interests me is because Lee Daniels is directing it. He just did Precious. (Did you know that was based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire?)”

“Zac Efron is starring in it. Not sure why. Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey and Scott Glenn are also starring in it. I’ll give it a shot.”

3 stars. (?)”

What I actually thought about it:

Can’t find it yet. Really want to see it. Especially since Nicole Kidman might get nominated for it. Might being the key word. But I bet this is one of those I see like two days after the article goes up. It feels like one of those.

Final Thoughts:

“3 stars (?)” was the perfect rating for this.

My rating for this is still 3 stars (?). I have no idea what the fuck this movie was or why he made it. But it was decent enough the one time. Kind of. So I was beyond exact on this.

How close was I?: Exact.

Argo

What I said about it back in January:

“This is Affleck’s third film as a director. Gone  Baby Gone was pretty good (albeit a bit light on the narrative, which wasn’t his fault at all. It was well-directed), and The Town, which was really good.”

“I like that Affleck is now venturing past Boston and trying something bigger this time. And it sounds really interesting, too.”

“Interesting, no? It sounds like a film that’s definitely a thriller, but can have humorous elements to it. Which will probably make it entertaining, but not liable to get a shitload of Oscar nominations. Not that it matters.”

“I’m expecting this to be a solid 4 stars. Ben hasn’t directed anything less than a 3.5 so far. No reason to suspect this will be any different, especially since this is the strongest material he’s had to work with. (As in, the film that sounded the most interesting going in.) Really excited for this.”

What I actually thought about it:

“I liked it.”

“The premise is one of the best I’ve ever heard, the execution is strong and everything about the movie works. The only thing is — and I’ve felt this about all of Affleck’s movies so far — it’s good, but it’s not great. And I was hoping this would be great.”

“The way this got a bunch of early Oscar buzz, and from the strength of the premise, I was hoping this would be a great movie. But it’s just really good. The writing is great and everything works, it’s just — it’s not fully there for me.”

“I’m gonna give it another watch before the end of the year, but it just doesn’t reach that “great” level I was hoping it hit. And I really wanted it to hit that level.”

4 stars.

Final Thoughts:

I gave it that extra watch. I liked it much better the second time.

4.5 stars.

How close was I?: Exact. I know I went up to 4.5, but I still am calling that good.

Here Comes the Boom

What I said about it back in January:

(Just gonna post everything as I wrote it, in its entirety.)

“Ha ha. Ready for this, everybody?”

“A high school biology teacher moonlights as a mixed-martial arts fighter in an effort to raise money to save the school’s music program.”

“First off, why is a biology teacher trying to save the school’s music program? And why is he an MMA fighter? Just throwing out the logic flaws inherent in just that. Also, remember Warrior? There was a similar character in that movie. He was a science teacher. Thing is, that was like, 15% of the entire plot. He was doing it to make a living. His wife was working three jobs. He needed to feed his family. And then there was the whole story with his brother, and his father. It was a minor part of the story. Here? They’re stretching it into an entire plot.”

“Keep in mind — this is before I tell you who is in it. But I bet you could guess, based on how I’ve been treating it, couldn’t you?”

“Starring Kevin James.”

1 star. Unforgivable, guaranteed.”

“If only they all were this easy.”

What I actually thought about it:

“It’s not Unforgivable, it’s just regular bad.”

“Maybe a little worse than regular bad. Its heart is in the right place — it’s just bad. Every time it starts to do something right, it goes back to doing something dumb.”

“I’m not even gonna waste my time here — not Unforgivable, still not good, as expected. That’s it.”

2 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Guess what? It’s not Unforgivable. Which tells me that Kevin James does have a heart in there and Adam Sandler doesn’t.

2 stars.

How close was I?: Wrong. I thought Unforgivable, it wasn’t. And I was off by a full star.

Seven Psychopaths

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

“This was written, and is being directed, by Martin McDonaugh, who did In Bruges, which remains one of my favorite films from the past decade. It’s brilliant.”

“All I know about this (and I don’t really care to know more. I just want to see the film) is that it’s about ‘A screenwriter (who) gets caught up in his pal’s dog-kidnapping plot.'”

“Sure. Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Olga Kurylenko, Gabourey Sidibe, Tom Waits, Kevin Corrigan — stop me when we get to someone that doesn’t intrigue you.”

“All I needed was Martin McDonaugh.”

4 stars. Can’t wait for this.”

What I actually thought about it:

“Goddamn, this movie was hilarious. Not as good as In Bruges, but up there.”

“I love how much humor he gets out of violence. The opening scene of this movie is hilarious. And it just gets more bizarre from there.”

“Huge fan of this one. And I know a lot of people won’t have seen this, which is a damn shame.”

4.5 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Loved this.

4.5 stars.

How close was I?: Off by a half star, but totally right.

Sinister

What I said about it back in January:

“I’d actually be really interested if this were a super villain movie.”

(Then I went on this rant, which — why not?)

“Seriously Hollywood, why not give villains their own movies? This can work. You do super hero movies, and then you do the super villain movies, and after a few, where they sort of interact, have a big showdown. There is money to be had here! And it will be awesome from a fan’s perspective because you can show both sides, which will make people more invested in the showdown.”

“I have vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals…”

(Absolutely goddamn right.)

2 stars.”

What I actually thought about it:

Of course I didn’t see this.

How close was I?: N/A

3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. I didn’t become interested in this until I saw a trailer for it.

What I actually thought about it:

“One of the more underrated films of the year. Really solid little indie screwball comedy of sorts. You probably don’t know what this is, but you should check it out. Very funny movie.”

3.5 stars.

Final Thoughts:

One of the more underrated and underseen movies of the year. Really enjoyed this.

3.5 stars.

How close was I?: N/A

Nobody Walks

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. I still don’t even really know what this is. I have to look it up.

What I actually thought about it:

Didn’t see it.

How close was I?: N/A

Smashed

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

“Wait, what? Is this what this is about? Days of Wine and Roses?”

“I’m sure this isn’t a redoing of that, so I won’t hold the similarity against it, but still, really? Now I’m interested.”

3 stars.

What I actually thought about it:

“I liked it. It was no Days of Wine and Roses, but what can be?”

“It was solid enough. The performances were good and it was never boring. And I liked how, even when they sort of went into the typical “movie” scenes, they quickly went away from them. So that was nice.”

“My enjoyment of this was somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars, but I’ll stick with 4 stars just because there wasn’t really a downside to it. I’m a fan of this one.”

“(And if you like this, watch Days of Wine and Roses. Trust me on that.)”

Final Thoughts:

Really like this, and trust me on the Days of Wine and Roses thing.

4 stars.

How close was I?: Off by a star, but I’m glad I was.

Alex Cross

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article. Back when it was called “I, Alex Cross.”)

“Technically, Tyler Perry has three films this year. He hasn’t written this and isn’t directing this, so I won’t place any bias on it whatsoever. Personally, I think casting him here is genius. Because you know he’ll do more movies (all you need to do is pay him), and he brings an audience. I think it’s perfect casting.”

“This feels like a 90s type movie. As such, I’ll say — well, I’ll still say 3 stars. But you know what? It can be 3.5. And this is the kind of movie I’d rather see plugged into the year, rather than that exorcism shit. I like when these films come out.”

What I actually thought about it:

3 stars.

“Almost 3.5, too.”

“This was pretty good. I enjoyed this. It’s solid entertainment.”

“You could do worse for 100 minutes.”

Final Thoughts:

Not quite 3.5 stars, but still pretty decent, all things considered.

3 stars.

How close was I?: Exact.

Paranormal Activity 4

What I said about it back in January:

“It’s not scheduled, but you know this shit is coming out. They make it for $20 and shoot it over a weekend. They’ll make this in March and have it ready for October.”

“And it’ll still suck.”

2 stars.

What I actually thought about it:

Please.

How close was I?: N/A

Chasing Mavericks

What I said about it back in January:

“So it’s a surfing movie? Costarring Gerard Butler and Elisabeth Shue.”

“Uhh… 3 stars? Maybe? I don’t do surfing movies. I’m sure it’ll be generic and throwaway.”

What I actually thought about it:

Haven’t seen it yet. I will, but I haven’t been able to find it. This movie fell off the face of the earth as soon as it came out.

Final Thoughts:

I’ll see it, but I don’t know when that is.

How close was I?: N/A

Cloud Atlas

What I said about it back in January:

“I like that it’s based on a bunch of different stories. That said, I have no idea what those stories are.”

“All I know is that it’s being directed by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis. And the cast includes Tom Hanks, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Keith David and Jim Broadbent.”

“Okay. We’ll go with it. 3.5 stars, I guess. It’s hard because I know nothing about it. This can change multiple times based on a trailer and stuff.”

What I actually thought about it:

“This is one of the most misunderstood movies of the year.”

“I was engaged, I was able to follow along once I got settled in, and it never bored me.”

“I thought it was big, epic, and constantly had my attention.”

“I loved it, and I think it was one of the best movies of the year.”

4.5 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Really loved this.

4.5 stars.

How close was I?: Off by a full star, but… I did think I was gonna like this, which is something positive.

Fun Size

What I said about it back in January:

“Interesting, but I still don’t know how much I trust it to be decent.”

2.5 stars. Why the fuck not?

What I actually thought about it:

“I was all set to make this Unforgivable until I saw that it was a Nickelodeon film. Once I saw they made it for kids, I felt I couldn’t really call it Unforgivable. It’s marketed to children. You can’t fault it that much. It’s just a dumb kids movie.”

“Honestly, this was better made than most of the recent Adam Sandler stuff. It did a good job of following standard three act structure, and it had a heart.”

“I’m giving it 3 stars, and I’m proud to do so.”

“This movie won me over. It was totally acceptable. (Though it’s totally kiddie. You really don’t need to actually ever see it. But just know, it’s totally passable.)”

Final Thoughts:

No joke, this actually was more enjoyable to me than a good deal of the shit that came out this year.

3 stars.

How close was I?: Off by a half star, but right, since I guessed it wouldn’t suck.

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

What I said about it back in January:

(It was in my “Films Without Release Dates” article.)

“The first Silent Hill was pretty good. I actually quite enjoyed it. I almost like that they waited so long to make a sequel, since that means it can be pretty decent. Maybe.”

“Radha Mitchell and Sean Bean are returning. Carrie-Anne Moss and Macolm McDowell are new. Deborah Kara Unger is back. (Didn’t they kill her last time?) Oh fuck it, I don’t care. Let’s just hope they do it the way they did the last one.”

3 stars.

What I actually thought about it:

“Meh. It’s okay. Not bad, but I was indifferent for most of it. So we’ll mark this as indifference. I did get through it okay, though. And for that, I’m grateful.”

2.5 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Indifference, bordering on dislike.

2.5 stars.

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

The Sessions

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Had no idea about this until the buzz started building up for it. (They pushed huge for this one.)

What I actually thought about it:

“I liked it.”

“The movie is very funny. I really liked that aspect of it. And it was really engaging throughout.”

“Really solid stuff.”

4 stars.

Final Thoughts:

Enjoyed this quite a bit.

4 stars.

How close was I?: N/A

– – – – –

– – – – –

October recap:

Films I liked: Frankenweenie, Butter, Argo, Seven Psychopaths, 3 2 1… Frankie Go Boom, Smashed, Alex Cross, Cloud Atlas, The Sessions

Films I didn’t like: None. Wow. I guess that’s because I knew which ones not to see.

Films I’m indifferent toward: Nature Calls, Pitch Perfect, Taken 2, Here Comes the Boom, Fun Size (bordering on actual like), Silent Hill: Revelation (bordering on dislike), The Paperboy (?)

Films I didn’t see: The Oranges, The Paperboy, Sinister, Nobody Walks, Paranormal Activity 4, Chasing Mavericks

Box office…

“Week 1… interesting. Frankenweenie, Texas Chanisaw 3D, and Taken 2. Well obviously it’s Taken 2. Has to be, right?” Oh fucking yeah, it does.

“Week 2, I don’t really see anything coming out, which means either something’s getting bumped, or they’re gonna put out Paranormal 4. Either way, Paranormal will win at least one weekend in October.” It won the third weekend. Taken 2 won here again.

“Week 3, this is usually the Paranormal spot. Gangster Squad is the only big film opening here. I guess one of those two.” Paranormal won. Gangster Squad got pushed because of the theater shootings.

“Week 4, Halloween is opening, but I doubt that’ll do business (if it even opens at all). Damn. Nothing is scheduled at all. I really want to see how this turns out. Very rarely do they have this barren a schedule. They must really be expecting smaller films to come in. (Which, actually seems like a good thing.)” It didn’t open. Argo won in its second weekend. Actually make that third weekend.

“Oh, wait, Cloud Atlas. That’s a Tom Hanks film. That should make money. Right?” No. No it did not.

“Potential good movies in October?: Uhh…Gangster Squad, probably. Maybe Cloud Atlas. Also have my eye on Parker and The Big Wedding to be decent.” Only one of those opened, and it was good. I had Argo in September. Almost everything else I liked wasn’t actually scheduled for October, which is why it’s pretty bare.

Unforgivables… “Here Comes the Boom. Maybe Fun Size, but I highly doubt it. Kevin James is the really big one here.” None. Didn’t actively dislike any October films.

– – – – –

And tomorrow we conclude our months (but not our articles) with November and December.

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