Friday, February 10, 2017

10 Years Of Movie Reviewing

I always wanted to be a movie critic as a kid.
I mean, it seems like the perfect job, doesn't it?  You get to talk about movies, and get paid for it?
And actually, I didn't even care about the "get paid for it" part.  I just wanted to have some sort of platform to give my opinion about all the movies I was super geeked about.  And unfortunately for me, my friends and family had limited patience to listen to me talk about all the movies I liked.

And there's nothing more frustrating than not being able to talk to anyone about a movie you really liked.

Of course, child me had no idea that someday a thing called "blogs" would exist, and that someday I'd be able to publish my opinion on every movie to the whole world.

For the first 3 years I ran this blog, I blogged about movies sometimes, but only if I felt like I could justify the post.  For example, if the movie was current, or controversial, or if I had something in particular I wanted to say about it.
There were a couple of times when I saw an old movie on TV, and wanted to jot down a few notes about it, but didn't know how to justify the post.  "So, um, I know nobody's ever heard of this movie before, but it was on TV last night here in Japan, and I just have a couple thoughts."

So, after I had started a book review project, I decided to do the same thing with the movies I was watching.
Every movie I watched would get some sort of write up on this blog--whether I had something intelligent to say about it or not.

And as of today, I've kept the project going for 10 years now.

Unfortunately the quality of many of the movie reviews I've done over this time hasn't been great.
It's always a humbling experience to read movie reviews written several years ago, and realize how completely devoid of content many of them are.  Most of the time, my commentary on a movie amounts to little more than some version of "Yeah, it was alright.  Entertaining enough, but not great."  Only I take about 500 words to say that.

It's strange, but I never realized how shallow my assessment of movies was until I forced myself to start reviewing them.  Despite the fact that I wanted to be a film critic as a kid, I've discovered that for most movies I genuinely have no deeper analysis then "It was fun" or "It was boring", and often can't even put my finger on exactly why it was fun or boring.

All of which has given me greater appreciation for real critics and the work they do.  Take the for example.    Their critics are able to mine tons of insights out of just about every movie.

Anyways, below are all the movies I've reviewed over the past 10 years.  Alphabetically.

12 Years a Slave ,
21 ,
69/シクスティナイン ,
Aegis /亡国のイージス ,
The Affair of the Necklace ,
The African Queen ,
All the Way ,
Always: Sunset on 3rd Street/ オールウェイズ三丁目の夕日,
Amazon Women on the Moon ,
American Gangster ,
An Anarchist's Story: Ethel MacDonald ,
Animal Farm (1954) ,
Animal Farm (1999) ,
Angels and Demons ,
Ant Man ,
Avatar ,
The Avengers ,
Babel ,
Badlands ,
Barbarella: Queen of the Universe ,
Barry Lyndon ,
Batman: Under the Red Hood,
The Battleship Potemkin ,
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead ,
The Big Sleep ,
Birdman ,
Black Book ,
Black Dahlia ,
Blade Runner,
The Blob (1988) ,
Body of Lies ,
The Bourne Ultimatum ,
Brave Story /ブレイブ・ストーリー,
A Bridge Too Far,
Broken Flowers,
Burn After Reading ,
The Cabin in the Woods ,
The Campaign ,
Capitalism: A Love Story ,
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier ,
Captain America 3: Civil War ,
Casino Royale (2006) ,
Catching Fire ,
Charlie Wilson's War ,
Chicago 10 ,
The Choice of Hercules/ 突入せよ!あさま山荘事件,
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ,
Comic Book Confidential ,
The Constant Gardener ,
Cool Hand Luke ,
The Corporation ,
The Dark Knight ,
The Dark Knight Rises ,
The DaVinci Code ,
Death Note デスノート,
Death Note: The Last Name デスノート後編,
Deception ,
The Departed ,
Die Hard 4 ,
Die Hard 5 ,
Divergent ,
Django Unchained ,
Domino ,
Doubt ,
El Che ,
Elizabeth ,
Elizabeth: The Golden Age ,
The Expendables 2,
Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer ,
Fantastic Mr. Fox ,
A Farewell to Arms (1932) ,
The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift ,
Fast Times at Ridgemont High ,
Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion/女囚701号 さそり ,
The Fighter,
Finding Dory ,
Flags of our Fathers
Floating Weeds /浮草 ,
This Film is Not Yet Rated ,
Freddy Vs. Jason ,
Friday the 13th ,
Frost / Nixon ,
Frozen ,
Futurama: Bender's Big Score ,
Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs, Bender's Game, Into the Wild Green Yonder,
Game Change ,
George Harrison: Living in the Material World ,
Get On Up ,
Get Smart,
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009),
Glengarry Glen Ross ,
Gohatto / 御法度,
Good Night and Good Luck ,
The Grand Budapest Hotel ,
Guardians of the Galaxy ,
The Guns of Navarone,
The Hangover ,
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 ,
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince ,
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ,
The Hateful Eight ,
Heaven Can Wait. Maybe... /天国は待ってくれる,
Hellboy ,
Hellboy 2 ,
High Noon,
A History of Violence ,
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,
The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug ,
The Hobbit 3: The Battle of the Five Armies ,
The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 1 ,
The Hollow Crown: Richard II ,
Hot Fuzz ,
Hot Tub Time Machine ,
The Hunger Games ,
The Ice Harvest,
The Illusionist ,
In My Country ,
An Inconvenient Truth ,
The Incredible Hulk ,
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ,
Indochine ,
The Informant! ,
Inglourious Basterds ,
Inside Llewyn Davis ,
The Invention of Lying ,
The Iron Lady ,
Iron Man ,
Iron Man 2,
Iron Man 3 ,
Is the Man Who is Tall Happy? ,
J. Edgar ,
Jackass Number Two ,
The Jungle Book (2016) ,
Justice League: The New Frontier,
Key Largo ,
Kick-Ass ,
The King’s Speech ,
The Kingdom ,
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,
Labyrinth ,
Land of the Lost ,
The Last King of Scotland ,
Late Autumn/ 秋日和
Latitude Zero /緯度ゼロ大作戦,
The Legend of Tarzan ,
Lethal Weapon 3 ,
Letters from Iwo Jima ,
Life of Crime ,
Lincoln (2012) ,
Little Miss Sunshine ,
Lions for Lambs ,
Lucky Number Slevin ,
Lumumba ,
Ma Dai ,
Mad Max: Fury Road ,
Mai 68 Grands Soirs et Petits Matins ,
The Magnificent Seven,
The Maltese Falcon ,
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934),
The Man Who Knew too Much (1956),
Marie Antionette (2006) ,
Megamind ,
The Men Who Stare at Goats ,
Men of Yamato /男たちの大和,
Milk ,
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation ,
Moonrise Kingdom ,
Monsters University ,
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers ,
The Muppets ,
Mutiny on the Bounty ,
My Neighbor Totoro /となりのトトロ,
My Super Ex-Girlfriend ,
National Lampoon's Vacation ,
Night at the Museum ,
No Country For Old Men ,
Noam Chomsky: Rebel Without a Pause ,
North Country,
Nuremburg ,
Ocean's 13 ,
Of Mice and Men (1992)
Ohayo (Good Morning) /お早よう [1959]
Oz the Great and Powerful ,
Pacchigi! We Shall Overcome Someday! /パッチギ,
Pale Flower/ 乾いた花,
Pan's Labyrinth ,
Paper Moon ,
A Passage to India,
Patton ,
The People Speak ,
Pirates of the Caribbean 2 ,
Pirates of the Caribbean 3: Dead Man's Chest ,
Planet Terror ,
Pompeii ,
Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in our Times ,
The Prestige ,
Prince Caspian ,
The Producers (2006),
Project Nim ,
Prometheus ,
Punishment Island /処刑の島,
The Queen ,
Rango ,
Religulous ,
Returner/ リターナー,
Riddick ,
River World ,
Robocop ,
Royal Flash ,
Rush Hour 3 ,
Ruthless People ,
Sausage Party ,
Say Anything ,
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World ,
Scottsboro: An American Tragedy,
Searching for Sugar Man ,
Selma ,
Serenity ,
Shall We Dance? /シャル ウィ ダンス?,
Sherlock Holmes (2009) ,
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows ,
Shrek ,
Shrek 3 ,
Sing ,
Skyfall ,
The Simpsons Movie ,
Smokin' Aces ,
The Social Network ,
Sophie Scholl: The Final Days ,
Spectre ,
Spider Man 3 ,
Spirited Away / 千と千尋の神隠し,
StarDust ,
Stargate ,
Star Trek (2009) ,
Star Trek Beyond ,
Star Trek Into Darkness ,
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens ,
Star Wars: Rogue One ,
Stranger than Fiction ,
Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss /女番長! 野良猫ロック ,
Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal /野良猫ロック・マシン・アニマル,
Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter /野良猫ロック セックスハンター ,
Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo /野良猫ロック・ワイルド・ジャンボ,
Stray Cat Rock: Wild Measures '71 /野良猫ロック 暴走集団'71 ,
Stripes ,
Sukiyaki Western: Django /スキヤキ・ウエスタン ジャンゴ ,
Sunshine ,
Superbad ,
Tales from Earthsea / ゲド戦記,
The Thing (1982) ,
This Means War,
Thor ,
To Have and Have Not ,
Tootsie  ,
Tora! Tora! Tora!,
Toy Story 3,
Transformers ,
The Treasure of Sierra Madre ,
Treasure Planet ,
Tron: Legacy ,
Tropic Thunder,
True Grit (2010),
True Romance ,
Trumbo ,
The United States of Leland ,
Vampire's Kiss ,
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
W. ,
The Watchmen ,
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit ,
Walk the Line ,
War, Inc ,
Water Boys / ウォーターボーイズ,
Waterloo ,
What Women Want ,
When the Last Sword is Drawn /壬生義士伝,
The Whisperer in Darkness ,
The Wolf of Wall Street ,
The World's End ,
Wreck it Ralph ,
X-Files: The Movie,
X-Men: Apocalypse ,
X-Men: Days of Future Past ,
X-Men: First Class,
Young Guns 2 ,
Young Sherlock Holmes,
Youth to Kill/ 青春の殺人者,
Vertigo ,
Zatoichi /座頭市,
Zombieland ,

Tomorrow I'll try to take a shot at the 10 worst movies from this list, and then try to follow it up with the ten best ones the following day.  Until then...

Link of the Day
Noam Chomsky on Journalism, Media and Terrorism: The War in Central America and the U.S. 


Darrell Reimer said...

Yeah, but does the AV Club touch Stray Cat Rock? I think not.

Looking forward to the next two lists.

Joel Swagman said...

Thank you sir.

Hopefully the next two lists will not disappoint.

I'm not sure you'll agree with all of the picks.

But then I guess the disagreement these lists generate is all part of the fun.