Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

31 December 2008

Gamera: Guardian of the Universe

Director: Shusuke Kaneko
Writer: Kazunori Itô
Released: 1995
Cast: Tsuyoshi Ihara, Akira Onodera, Shinobu Nakayama, Ayako Fujitani, Yukijirô Hotaru

30 December 2008

The Dead Hate the Living

Director: Dave Parker
Writer: Dave Parker
Released: 2000
Cast: Eric Clawson, Jamie Donahue, Brett Beardslee, Wendy Speake, Benjamin P. Morris, Matt Stephens

Mamma Mia!

Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Writer: Catherine Johnson
Released: 2008
Cast: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Christine Baranski, Amanda Seyfried

Highlander: Director's Cut

Director: Russel Mulcahy
Writers: Gregory Widen, Peter Bellwood, Larry Ferguson
Released: 1986
Cast: Christopher Lambert, Clancy Brown, Roxanne Hart, Sean Connery, Beatie Edney

29 December 2008

Seven Pounds

Director: Gabriele Muccino
Writer: Grant Nieporte
Released: 2008
Cast: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper

28 December 2008

The Godfather

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writers: Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola
Released: 1972
Cast: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Abe Vigoda, Talia Shire, John Cazale

27 December 2008

The Blues Brothers

Director: John Landis
Writers: Dan Aykroyd, John Landis
Released: 1980
Cast: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Carrie Fisher, John Candy, The Blues Brothers Band

26 December 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Director: Scott Derrickson
Writer: David Scarpa
Released: 2008
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith, Kathy Bates, John Cleese, Jon Hamm

25 December 2008

Christmas Vacation

Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Writer: John Hughes
Released: 1989
Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Johnny Galecki, Juliette Lewis, Randy Quaid

24 December 2008

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Director: Henry Selick
Writer: Caroline Thompson
Released: 1993
Cast: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, Edward Ivory

23 December 2008

Trust the Man

Director: Bart Freundlich
Writer: Bart Freundlich
Released: 2005
Cast: David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Billy Crudup

22 December 2008

Stripes: Extended Cut

Director: Ivan Reitman
Writers: Len Blum, Dan Goldberg, Harold Ramis
Released: 1981
Cast: Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, P.J. Soles, Sean Young, John Candy, John Larroquette

21 December 2008

Kicking and Screaming

Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Noah Baumbach
Released: 1995
Cast: Josh Hamilton, Chris Eigeman, Carlos Jacott, Jason Wiles, Olivia d'Abo, Parker Posey, Carla Buono

Teen Wolf

Director: Rod Daniel
Writers: Jeph Loeb, Matthew Weisman
Released: 1985
Cast: Michael J. Fox, James Hampton, Susan Ursitti, Jerry Levine,

20 December 2008

The Gold Bug

Director: Robert Fuest
Writer: Edward Pomerantz
Released: 1980
Cast: Anthony Michael Hall, Roberts Blossom, Geoffrey Holder

A Christmas Story

Director: Bob Clark
Writers: Jean Shepard, Leigh Brown, Bob Clark
Released: 1983
Cast: Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, Ian Petrella, Scott Schwartz, R.D. Robb, Tedde Moore, Zack Ward, Yano Anaya

19 December 2008


Director: Ivan Reitman
Writers: Len Blum, Daniel Goldberg, Janis Allen, Harold Ramis
Released: 1979
Cast: Bill Murray, Harvey Atkin, Kate Lynch, Russ Banham, Kristine DeBell, Chris Makepeace, Sarah Torgov, Jack Blum, Keith Knight, Matt Craven

18 December 2008


Director: Ivan Reitman
Writers: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Released: 1984
Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, William Atherton

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Director: Dave Filoni
Writers: Henry Gilroy, Steven Melching, Scott Murphy
Released: 2008
Cast: Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, James Arnold Taylor, Dee Bradley Baker, Tom Kane, Ian Abercrombie, Kevin Michael Richardson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Daniels, Christopher Lee

17 December 2008

The Conversation

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writer: Francis Ford Coppola
Released: 1974
Cast: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest, Cindy Williams, Robert Duvall

St. Elmo's Fire

Director: Joel Schumacher
Writers: Joel Schumacher, Carl Kurlander
Released: 1985
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Mare Winningham

16 December 2008


Director: Amy Heckerling
Writer: Amy Heckerling
Released: 2000
Cast: Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari, Greg Kinnear, Tom Sadoski, Zak Orth, Jimmi Simpson

15 December 2008

Vacancy 2: The First Cut

Director: Eric Bross
Writer: Mark L. Smith
Released: 2009
Cast: Agnes Bruckner, David Moscow, Scott G. Anderson, Arjay Smith, Trevor Wright, Beau Billingslea

STEVE says: Yeah, that's not a typo or anything. The IMDb has this movie listed with a January 2009 release date. We watched a screener. Which is cool because now I can honestly say I've seen the future of horror.

And it's bo-ring!

Within the first 20 minutes we're introduced to the two yahoos who run the Meadow View Motel, and learn that they're selling videotaped exploits of the young couples who've stayed at their fair establishment. No great shock there, as we already know the place is wired - having seen the first film. But when a decidedly suspicious looking "Mr. Smith" checks in with a young woman, and these yahoos watch as he first spreads a sheet of plastic over the bed, then proceeds to mount said young woman from behind and stab her in the back 20, 30 times... yeah, no real surprise there, either - having seen the first film!

The rest is no better. It's murder-by-numbers with the odd chase scene thrown in for good measure. Or, you know, to pad it out to its scant 86 minute running time.

And look, I'm just throwing this out, okay? For any direct-to-video prequels that may be in production at the moment: Don't use a number in the title. Don't use a number in the title especially if you're using a sub-title that refers to your movie being a prequel. It constitutes a supreme incongruity. That's the same sort of paradox thing that almost got Marty McFly killed.


14 December 2008

Ghost Town

Director: David Koepp
Writer: David Koepp, John Kamps
Released: 2008
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, Tea Leoni

NIKKI says:
Every now and again, I just need a hit of Ricky Gervais. I've listened to his radio shows and watched The Office so many times, that anything new is a bit like crack -- gimme, gimme. I know he's arrogant, I know sometimes his humour borders on the cruel, but I love him anyway. And I know he has a good heart -- he has cats, you know. And he has more non-whorish self-respect than so many other UK-comics-made-good (*cough*I'll-be-in-anything-and-suck-up-to-Kevin-Smith*Simon*Pegg*).

Well, I wanted to watch it for Ricky and ended up enjoying it on its own very simple terms. It's a sweet story about a cranky old bugger who dies for seven minutes and ends up able to see ghosts who all want something from him. It's a bit like Heart and Souls -- asshole-ish Robert Downey Jnr has to help his ghost friends so they can pass on in peace. The twist here is that Ricky finds himself falling for the widow of one of his new ghost friends. Complications ensue.

Standard and formulaic, for sure, but just too sweet to dislike. And the actors make it all extra-watchable. I used to totally hate Greg Kinnear for reasons I can't even remember now, but I've come to love him. (Probably due to his involvement in Loser -- my secret favourite movie of all time.) He and Ricky play off each other really well here, ad it's so nice to see a movie about people that, while predicable, doesn't go the most convenient routes. Kinnear remains a bit of a prick, which is to say he doesn't get any easy redemption. The movie just accepts that not everyone is perfect, that love and fidelity are complicated issues, and that people can forgive.

I really liked it. I know Ricky doesn't just do every script thrown at him, but I hope to see him in more.


13 December 2008


Director: Jennifer Lynch
Writer: Jennifer Lynch, Kent Harper
Released: 2008
Cast: Bill Pullman, Julia Ormond, Pell James, Ryan Simpkins, Kent Harper, French Stewart, Michael Ironside

NIKKI says:
Compelling from beginning to end. I could barely look away from it. Every beat, every motion, every shot, every word is deliberate and calculated to build a mystery while solving another one.

Here, a scenario is presented, as seen through the eyes of three people (and three of the most unreliable narrators you can get) -- a crackhead, a bent cop, and an eight-year-old. The story goes that the cop and his partner stopped the girl's family on a routine speeding check, with the crackhead and her boyfriend literally caught in the middle when they stop to help the family, unaware of the cops behind them. In minutes, all but those three witnesses will be dead. But who saw what? Who did what? How does it all fit together with the spree killers on the loose as well? Two FBI agents are brought in to interview the witnesses and find out the truth.

It's all about seeing -- what we see, what we notice about people, how we react to each other. It's about looking for the details within the bigger picture; within bigger, skewed pictures. What does it mean to witness something? And what is it that we really see when we watch other people?

There are layers to this film. It's so intricately put together. It's been so long since I've thought to myself half way through a movie, "This is brilliant." The writing, the direction, the imagery -- I'm amazed that Jennifer Lynch has only directed a handful of films. Her attention to detail blew me away. She visually represents her themes in these effortless ways -- the three cars on the road matching the three surveillance camera in the police station, for instance, and the red, white and blue of those cars. She adds significance and purpose to every single shot -- nothing is wasted. (Her dad could learn a few things from her. Haha.)

It's all just amazing. Can't recommend it highly enough.