el katz

TGoF’s Top 10 Movies of 2014

whiplash_jksimmonsIt should go without saying each year, but I still feel like I need to state loudly and clearly that I do not make it out to see every movie that most will be talking about at the end of the year. This year in particular saw a decrease in the amount of highly praised movies that (1) saw release in my neck of the woods and (2) I actually had time to make it out to see. Second, I am far more geek than I am snob, so my choices do not always fall in line with your typical paid film writer- I like what I like and I’m not even slightly sorry for it. That being said, I still tend to enjoy a lot of the same movies that tend to get Academy recognition, but I do enjoy to throw a wrench in the mix by making some picks you may not see on other top 10’s out there.

It’s been a great year for movies to be sure. And I tried make diversify my list a little by limiting my choices in the following ways: I like superhero movies, but I only wanted one represented on the top 10 and I like dorky R rated comedies, but again I wanted to only have one represented in the list. Now, with that being said here are a handful of honorable mentions: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Enemy, Locke, 22 Jump Street and Neighbors. Lastly before I get to the list just to beat anyone to the punch, here are some movies I really wanted to see, but either haven’t had the time or opportunity to see before the clock ticks out on 2014: Birdman, Foxcatcher, Boyhood, and The Imitation Game. Looking forward to 2015 there are obviously a handful of movies I’m looking forward to, but the granddaddy of them all is none other than Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. It’s going to be a long countdown to that release, so let’s just move on to a much shorter countdown shall we? (more…)


Movie Review: The ABCs of Death 2

abcsofdeath2_posterThe rebirth of the horror anthology over the last few years has me more than a little excited. I suppose one could argue they haven’t really gone away, but we can agree that the quality has gone up recently. Perhaps until a greenlight is lit for a new Tales from the Crypt HBO series I won’t be truly happy, but I’ll take wins where I can get them. I generally prefer my anthologies with three or four shorts that ideally tie in together, but I was pretty intrigued by THE ABCS OF DEATH. 26 ultra short segments featuring a different way to die based on a letter of the alphabet. It’s a morbid premise, but as a horror fan it raises a curious eyebrow.

As history would have it I thought the first ABCS OF DEATH was a commendable experiment, but the balance of good and bad tilted heavily towards bad. The fart and poop jokes combined with some really pointless and bizarre segments made the first film a chore to watch. Luckily it seems the folks putting this installment together wanted segments of more substance rather than fart and poop jokes every three minutes. THE ABCS OF DEATH 2 brings on 26 new directors for 26 new shorts that land on the opposite spectrum of the first film. The good outweigh the bad this time around, though I still can’t say I’m excited for a third entry.


TGoF’s Top 5 Films of 2014 So Far

cheapthrills_posterSometimes around the months of June and July I think it’s fun to take a look back at the movies I’ve been able to see so far in the year. For one, it’s fun to take a look back and see if there’s anything that’s gotten better over time since I watched it and stuff that’s soured on me since. Then as you are about to see I like to take the five that I feel best represent what I’ve enjoyed at that point in the year and see how my taste leans- basically if I’m picking up what Hollywood is throwing down or are the indie filmmakers still pumping out under appreciated gems. Lastly at the end of the year I think it’s fun to revisit this list to see if my picks held up for the whole year or if the year is simply front loaded with movies that make you appreciate the end of the year flicks that much more.

Every year I predict that the list will end up being a mixture of Hollywood dazzle and indie resourcefulness- but it usually depends on just how active I’ve been in keeping up with heading out to the theater or being lazy and resorting to On Demand viewing. I tend to spend equal amounts of time renting movies On Demand and trying not to be a cave dweller by leaving my humble abode to spend time amongst other people to enjoy movies which is why my mid year list tends to show some love to both big budget and ultra low budget films. I’m a sucker for super hero movies, raunchy comedies, heady thrillers and mixture of quirky indies/bizarre black comedies so my lists tend to drift from your typical film snob- but that’s a good thing right? (more…)