Movies You Watched in December 2016
Ben Lott
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This is a geeklist to discuss the movies you watch throughout the month of December. Please feel free to post them as you see them, or if you prefer post a summary of all films at the end of the month. Also you can comment and discuss freely as others talk about films they've seen.

Enjoy...

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Ben Lott
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Long Time No See


When I first saw Spider-Man in the theater 14 years ago I hated it with a fiery passion, because he was easily my favorite comic book character and I felt this movie betrayed me completely. I now recognize that overly dramatic reaction was an exaggeration based on the fact that I felt so disappointed. I went in wanting perfection and it didn't deliver, so I hated it. Seeing it again now, knowing what to expect, I didn't despise it at all. However, I don't love the movie, it was kind of a mixed bag for me of positives and negatives. So I thought I'd break this review down into my core opinions:

Positive = While they eliminated the whole Gwen Stacy thing, otherwise they did a pretty solid job of sticking to the comic book's origin for Spider-Man. From "with great power comes great responsibility" to his first wrestling match, they made a solid attempt to appeal to the fans.

Negative = The film felt a tad rushed because they had so much to get through in order to reach the final confrontation with the Green Goblin. So many things didn't make sense in the plot because they wouldn't take their time to explain it properly or let the characters develop in a logical way.

Positive = They made some really brilliant casting decisions in a few roles that I could not imagine going a different way. J.K. Simmons is the perfect fast-talking J. Jonah Jameson, Willem Dafoe is delightfully menacing as Norman Osborn, and Kirsten Dunst is a charming love interest who manages to sell some not-so-great lines of dialogue.

Negative = The CGI and green-screen work is not good and has not aged well. You can always tell when they make the transition to effects and it stands out like a sore thumb.

Positive = They did some action sequences using practical effects, and those were really well done. The costume for Spider-Man looked pretty great, and therefore any still shots or practical stunts were excellent.

Negative = The Green Goblin's armored suit is horrendous. He looks like a character plucked right out of a Power Rangers episode, and doesn't belong in the same film with that good Spider-Man suit. Also it takes away the joy of seeing Willem Dafoe's villainous snarl, which might be the best one you'll see from any actor in Hollywood.

Positive = I like how they touched on the fact that Peter Parker has a tendency to over-extend himself trying to do too much at the same time, but they didn't belabor the point and make it the focus of the whole film. The simple passing references to getting fired from Dr. Connor's lab for always being late was enough for us to know what's going on without having to see him constantly annoying everyone with his tardiness.

Negative = Remember how I said they made some great casting decisions? Well the most important one is where they really dropped the ball. I cannot stand Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. It's hard for me to explain, but his dweeby personality just doesn't fit. (Peter Parker was more of a Nerd or Geek, not a Dweeb, and there is a difference.) I don't like his child-like voice coming out of Spider-Man, and I cringe whenever you actually see his face and are supposed to believe he's in a fight scene with full-grown adults. He also feels like a complete mismatch with Kirsten Dunst, and they have no chemistry, despite her best efforts to sell it. James Franco isn't much better, but I won't get into that.

When I tally it all up I think I still lean a little towards the side of disliking Spider-Man, but at least now I can understand that there are good qualities that make other people like the film.

Ranking on my Flickchart
Wins against The Edge
Loses to Frozen
Loses to Zodiac
Wins against The Accountant
Loses to Birdman
Loses to Rush Hour
Loses to Saving Mr. Banks
Wins against The Dead Zone
Loses to Miracle on 34th Street
Loses to The Revenge of the Pink Panther
Ranked 471 out of 1092
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2. Board Game: The Game of Marriage [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: The Game of Marriage
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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Consolation Marriage(1931)


Pat O'Brien heads off to London to reconnect with his childhood sweetheart, played by a young blonde Myrna Loy, only to find that she has gotten married to someone else. Meanwhile, Irene Dunne's longtime pianist boyfriend is marrying a rich lady who can be his patron. O'Brien and Dunne meet in a restaurant and exchange their gloomy tales. He offers her a ride home, but mistakenly grabs the wrong car and they spend the night in jail as car thieves.

After an indeterminate time, O'Brien suggests they get married until something better comes along. More time passes and now they have a baby girl and both former lovers have disposed of their spouses and show up to rekindle their romances.

This is precode, but the only things that feel like they might be disallowed later are the couple's willingness to consider abandoning their marriage for their former loves, and the kisses exchanged with their exes while married.

All in all, it was nothing special. Interesting to see an early Myrna Loy (star of the month on TCM, there will be more opportunities).

Flickchart
Loses to Murder at the Gallop
Loses to A Simple Plan
Beats Bride Wars
Loses to The Adventures of Tintin
Beats The World According to Garp
Beats The Jerk
Beats Death Becomes Her
Loses to Oliver!
Beats The Babe
1517 out of 1791
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3. Board Game: The Touch [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:16327]
Board Game: The Touch
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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The Touch(2002)


Michelle Yeoh plays a Chinese acrobat whose family has protected an artifact through the ages. It is a Hong Kong film done almost entirely in English, mixing martial arts, a heist, and Indiana Jones-style adventure. Produced and partially written by Yeoh.

The fights are well choreographed but some of the CG effects at the end are kind of weak. Overall it was enjoyable enough, but nothing really special.

Flickchart
Loses to Murder Most Foul
Beats A Simple Plan
Loses to Deceived
Beats Kelly's Heroes
Beats Johnny Dangerously
Loses to Bullitt
Beats The Ugly Dachshund
Beats Cinderfella
1155 out of 1792
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4. Board Game: Creature Quest [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


With my expectations lowered by J.L. Robert and Blott, I was quite pleasantly surprised. That said it is possible that a rewatch will lower my rating. The effects are all quite well done, though some of them are a little hard to follow. I would say that there are at least three stories through most of the movie, connecting in various ways.

It comes in seventh of the nine films in the combined franchise on my Flickchart, and that feels about right to me, though they may all be rated too high compared to the other movies I have seen.

Flickchart
Beats Murder at the Gallop
Beats Message in a Bottle
Loses to Edge of TOmorrow
Beats Iron Man 2
Loses to Ratatouille
Beats View to a Kill
Beats Santa Clause 2
Loses to Crocodile Dundee 2
Beats Millenium
Beats The King and I
Beats Seems Like Old Times
288 out of 1793
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5. Board Game: The Roaring Twenties Rub-Out! [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: The Roaring Twenties Rub-Out!
Stephen Roney
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The Roaring Twenties(1939)


This movie follows James Cagney from the trenches in World War I through the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash. Humphrey Bogart serves with him in WWI and later varies between teaming with Cagney and plotting against him. But this is Cagney's movie. Unable to get his old auto mechanic job after returning from Europe, he soon settles into delivering bootleg alcohol and escalates from there. Priscilla Lane is a young singer that Cagney sets up in a speakeasy, with an eye on romance (but Lane has her eye on someone else).

The progression seem natural, and this is a fine farewell to gangster films for Cagney, who made only one more, ten years later.

Flickchart
Beats Murder at the Gallop
Beats Sitting Pretty
Loses to Bridge of Spies
Beats Charlie's Angels
Loses to Ratatouille
Beats Dodge City
Loses to Crocodile Dundee
Beats Chicken Run
Beats Unstoppable
Loses to Lethal Weapon 3
298 out of 1795
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6. Board Game: X-Men Skirmish [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: X-Men Skirmish
Stephen Roney
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X2: X-Men United


In the second movie, the humans continue to be worried about the mutants and Magneto and Professor Xavier do not agree on the best course of action. The two teams do spend some time working together, but the alliances come and go. The story moves along quickly and there are lots of opportunities to use their powers.

I think I still liked the first one better, though it dropped significantly on my chart, while this one gained almost as much.

Flickchart
Beats The Lincoln Lawyer
Beats Without a Clue
Loses to Larceny, Inc
Loses to Pride of the Yankees
Beats The Secret Life of Walter Mitty(1947)
Loses to You've Got Mail
Loses to Star Trek: Into Darkness
Loses to Kate and Leopold
Beats Tarzan Triumphs
Beats That Darn Cat(1965)
Loses to The Firm
388 out of 1802
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7. Board Game: Box of Spiders [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Box of Spiders
Stephen Roney
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Ladera Ranch
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THe Spider Woman


This is another Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movie set in then-contemporary times, meaning there are cars, telephones, etc. There is a series of deaths originally ruled as suicides, but Holmes sees no motive for suicides in the parties involved. So he fakes his death in order to go undercover as a potential victim, and soon discovers that the victims are being driven mad by spider venom.

This borrows lots of plot points from various Doyle stories, but the final product is less satisfying than the other ones I have watched recently. I probably had seen this one before, but I didn't really remember it.

Flickchart
Beats The Lincoln Lawyer
Loses to Unknown
Loses to Ghost
Loses to Angels and Demons
Loses to Underworld
Beats Karate Kid, Part III
Loses to Jerry Maquire
Loses to Pride of St. Louis
Beats An Unfinished Life
886 out of 1803
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8. Board Game: Burning Suns [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:5759]
Board Game: Burning Suns
Ben Lott
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Michigan
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Long Time No See


Spider-Man 2 has a lot of the same positives and negatives that the first movie had, so I'll just quickly summarize them. The actor playing the villain is great again, JK Simmons is amazing, and Kirsten Dunst is solid as well. On the flip side Tobey Maguire and James Franco are almost unwatchable for me. The Spider-Man costume looks great, at least as long as they kept it on him. The CGI is dated and extremely noticeable.

The big difference, and why I liked this movie less than the first movie, is the plot/script. It's such a mess. Character motivations are virtually nonexistent, things happen with literally no explanation, and characters behave in utterly illogical ways. I could list several moments where the story frustrated me with pointless subplots and ridiculous story conveniences, but I'll save you the ranting. The dialogue is also horrible in certain places. There were so many moments while watching this movie (both the first time and now) that I stared at the screen with a look of total befuddlement, wondering how they could screw up such an awesome character this much.

I can't be 100% critical of Spider-Man 2, because it had a few moments that worked. The train sequence was almost great, if he would have just kept the mask on. Aunt May's heart-to-heart conversations with Peter were awesome. Basically every scene in the Daily Bugle was nearly perfect. It's frustrating because I want to love this film and I'm dying to love this superhero again, but every time I see or hear Tobey Maguire behind the mask I get annoyed.

Ranking on my Flickchart
Wins against The Edge
Loses to Frozen
Loses to The Road Warrior
Loses to The Accountant
Loses to The Train
Wins against The 33
Loses to Renaissance Man
Loses to TRON
Loses to Best in Show
Loses to Dead Poets Society
Wins against Collateral
Ranked 527 out of 1093
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9. Board Game: The Game of Authors [Average Rating:4.49 Overall Rank:19328]
Board Game: The Game of Authors
Stephen Roney
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Ladera Ranch
California
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Little Women(1994)


My wife was ready for a Christmas movie. I countered with a "Christmas" movie, offering a choice of Die Hard, Serendipity, Little Women, or something similar. She chose Little Women, having not watched in a while, and I selected the newest version (we have four to choose from, though one is over three hours long).

I think this is the best of the versions of this classic story, though I have not watched the others in a while. Some differences:

Winona Ryder as Jo does not use the "Christopher Columbus" expletive that June Allyson and Katharine Hepburn used in the earlier cinematic versions.

Gabriel Byrne feels like more of an age mismatch for Jo than earlier incarnations. Byrne actually is close to the same age as most of the earlier professors, but Ryder is the youngest in these four adaptations to play Jo, and perhaps does not age well enough. The only professor appreciably younger than Byrne was in the 1949 version, which also had the oldest Jo.

And Spider-man's girlfriend transforms into another actress and then marries Batman.

Flickchart
Beats The Lincoln Lawyer
Loses to Unknown
Beats The Money Pit
Beats Swiss Family Robinson
Loses to Moneyball
Beats Kung Fu Panda
Loses to Bride of Frankenstein
Beats Libeled Lady
Beats Curse of the Jade Scorpion
Beats Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Beats Contact
522 out of 1803
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10. Board Game: Chicken of the Sea [Average Rating:4.50 Overall Rank:18260]
Board Game: Chicken of the Sea
Atnier Rodriguez
United States
Monroe
Connecticut
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MOANA

8 out of 10.

Fun, beautiful and cute. Simple story, but engaging main characters and funny supporting cast.

MAIN CHARACTER - Moana is likeable, fearless and a caring natural leader. I think that compared to the other Disney female figures, her outstanding difference is that she's more mature and understands the burdens she must carry for the better of others. She's not rebellious for rebellion's sake. If she breaks expectations, is because of a larger purpose. Other than that, she is your typical Disney heroine.

SUPPORTING CAST - Maui. The fun character. He's a trickster demigod, with a very cool, magical, giant fishhook. Alternates between being a hero to being a selfish larger-than-life character. I guess that goes along with the usual alignment neutrality of demigods and gods. He's more meta than other Disney characters, with some dialogue question Disney tropes.

SUPPORTING CAST - Heihei, the chicken. Hilarious crazy chicken. Always oblivious to what goes around him. Very memorable animal sidekick, more than the cute pig, which was just a cute pig.

SUPPORTING CAST - Gramma Tala. The guiding elder that sets Moana straight when she needs it. Endearing character.

VILLAINS - Some are cutely mischievous, others are quite menacing with an Ursula-vibe of fun to them, and one is just powerfully "meh".

STORY - Nothing remarkable. Just an adventurous quest involving a shifty demigod and a brave young woman...and a crazy chicken. What's unique is that there's no love interest for Moana, not even a hint of one. The movie is all about her quest and nothing else.

SONGS - Not to the level of Frozen. The best to me were Maui's "You're Welcome" and "Shiny" from an evil monster crab. Moana's songs were Disney-okay, but not catchy.

VISUALS - Pretty, but a lot happens out on the ocean, so there's not as much visual diversity than other movies. However, that water is very, very well done, and near-drowning scenes do elicit the proper anxious response from the audience. Watching Polynesian landscapes in top-budget animation is always pleasing to the eyes too.

OVERALL - Glad that I saw it. Another fun Disney movie with more cuteness than humor and action, but I don't see anyone disliking it.

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11. Board Game: Elysium [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:410]
Board Game: Elysium
Atnier Rodriguez
United States
Monroe
Connecticut
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THE 3%

Netflix-funded Brazilian tv series that is a mix of "The Hunger Games" and "Elysium" but more thought-provoking than both.

It is currently available in Netflix in its entire 8-episodes first season, with subtitles as it is in its original Portuguese language.

The premise of the story is that in the future, all 20-year olds get to go through a yearly "process", where they must prove their merit of becoming the chosen 3% to make it to the Offshore, an idyllic place where there's peace and your every want and need is taken care of. In contrast, the 97% of the population live in abject poverty, and even if they manage to have money and food, they would still inhabit a world where most people struggle to survive and there's no luxurious amenities of any sort, or even reliable medicine.

In order to become the 3%, the candidates must pass rigorous trials that test their intelligence, adaptability, resourcefulness and most of all, mental fortitude.

The trials are very interesting and we were constantly thinking how we would fare ourselves and guessing which characters would ace them or have difficulties with.

Notice that this is a low-budget series with an ambitious concept that far exceeds the tools at hand, but they do manage to make a solid work of sci-fi, that's memorable, intriguing and thought-provoking, exactly where the sci-fi genre requires to truly shine.

Please, do give it a try, if it sounds like anything that you would like to know more about.


OUTLANDER


Watched the two available seasons for it via Amazon Prime - Starz trial subscription. Each season is split in two halves, so it is a bit confusing to refer to.

The story is about a post-World War II nurse that accidentally travels back in time to Scotland during the Highlander era, and soon finds out that an outspoken, foreign ("sassenach") independent woman is not very welcome around that time.

It has romantic and erotic moments interspersed with dramatic turn of events. It is an interesting show that unfortunately cannot shake off certain soap opera tropes, since at times the writing gets quite forced and lazy.

Right now, it is a big-budget guilty pleasure that stays afloat because of its unique setting and premise. I would recommend it to couples, as I enjoy watching it with my girlfriend far more that I would enjoy it by myself.

IMPORTANT: This show involves many situations where rape is attempted or happens. For both sexes and all ages. There's actually a couple of episodes where they get really intense and graphic so we fast-forwarded it. They do take into account the repercussions of the tragic events, so it's not gratuitous but holy crap, it happens a lot.

I would give it a 7 out of 10. If they tightened the script and kept the main characters as smart as their smartest moments, then the show would be an 8 out of 10. Unfortunately, they do make should-have-known-better mistakes here and there just to make certain encounters happen.

The main character of Jamie is a hell of a male specimen, and he loses clothes quite a lot to give the fans what they want. Claire is okay in comparison.


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12. Board Game: The Game of Life [Average Rating:4.29 Overall Rank:19523]
Board Game: The Game of Life
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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Life With Father


William Powell got an Oscar nomination for his role as the over-bearing father of a family of four boys, including a young Martin Milner as the second son. Set in 1883 and released in 1947, this movie also stars Irene Dunne as the mother. Zasu Pitts comes to visit for a week with 15-year old Elizabeth Taylor (who has third billing) in tow, further stirring up the activity in the home.

Father, who works on Wall Street, wants to run the family like a business and keep track of every penny. Mother does her best to bend the rules to make things work more smoothly.

Father never seems to figure out why they seem to have a new maid almost every day.

An amusing enough diversion, though nothing really compelling to me. Mostly a slice of life comedy, with a romantic subplot between Taylor and the older son. It apparently was the box office leader for 1947, however.

Flickchart
Loses to The Next Karate Kid
Beats Shenandoah
Beats Hail the Conquering Hero
Beats Only Angels Have Wings
Loses to Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Beats Hello Again
Beats Far From Heaven
Beats An Affair to Remember
Loses to The Getaway(1972)
Loses to Freaky Friday (2003)
970 out of 1813
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13. Board Game: Border Patrol [Average Rating:5.12 Unranked]
Board Game: Border Patrol
Patar Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
TX
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Sicario


Basic concept:
After witnessing the aftermath of Cartel activity near the border an FBI Agent is recruited to assist in a somewhat mysterious task force that appears to exist to attack the Cartel using unknown methods.

This was quite good. Its vibe reminded me of a mix between Silence of the Lambs (Female agent in a traditionally male role) and No Country for Old Men (due to a certain bleakness and the story taking place near the southern border)

It is very well made and intense. It asks interesting questions about morality of war on drugs and where the limits of government should be set. I never felt like the movie was trying to push specific conclusions to those questions which was a huge plus. The bad guys were awful and needed to be dealt with. The means of dealing with them was really harsh (possibly immoral) but very understandable. That gave the whole thing a depth of intrigue that is lacking in preachier stories.

It was a mostly humorous humorless affair that lacked the style or fun that other humorless movies have needed to earn multiple repeat viewings (Crimson Tide, Spy Game, The Godfather as examples). Normally I need humor to want to watch something again. Although I don't imagine watching this frequently I do look forward to seeing it at least once more eventually.

Movies around it on Flick Chart:
Willow
Deadpool
As Good As It ...
Doctor Strange
Batman Begins
Sicario
The Social Net...
Housebound
The Ring
Don't Breathe
X-Men: Days of...
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14. Board Game: Double Trouble [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Double Trouble
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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THe Whole Town's Talking


A comedy starring Edward G. Robinson and Jean Arthur, directed by John Ford. In the TCM intro, it was said that this movie launched Arthur's career after some earlier attempts had been less successful. Robinson was not anxious to play the gangster again, but when he found out it was a double-role, he took it.

Arthur Ferguson Jones is a meek, mild-mannered clerk who always gets his job done and nothing ever happens to him. Then, one day, his new alarm clock breaks and he oversleeps, arriving late to work, just after the boss has instructed his supervisor to fire the next person to come in late and also to give Jones a raise for never being late and a good worker. News breaks that Mallion has escaped from prison, and he is a dead ringer for Jones.

At lunch with Arthur, another patron recognizes the resemblance and calls the cops, who come and arrest Jones and Arthur. They finally sort it out and the cops give Jones a pass to give the police so that he won't get arrested again. Mallion hears about it and comes to Jones' apartment and forces him to share the pass.

Robinson is actually pretty good at comedy. I prefer Brother Orchid, Larceny Inc, and A Slight Case of Murder to this one, but it is still quite watchable.

Flickchart
Loses to Her
Beats Madagascar
Beats Murder By Numbers
Beats Tequila Sunrise
Loses to Frighteners
Beats Hello Again
Beats Far From Heaven
Beats An Affair to Remember
Beats Freaky Friday(2003)
Beats Superman and the Mole Men
Beats Basic Instinct
964 out of 1816
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Board Game: Battle of the Atlantic: The Epic Struggle of the Wolf Pack vs Convoy
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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Action in the North Atlantic (1943)


Another Bogart rewatch. This time Bogart is second in command to Raymond Massey in a U.S. Merchant Marines. Their oil tanker is sunk by German U-Boat, but they make it to a lifeboat, which is then rammed by the sub. The men get to a raft and are rescued after eleven days adrift.

Most of the same crew ends up on a new ship in a convoy carrying vital war supplies to Russia. The convoy is attacked by a wolf pack and much of the movie involves the battle and follows this ship after the convoy disbands.

The film is a little propaganda-heavy, but not over-bearing. Germans and Russians speak their appropriate languages. Due to war restrictions, the movie was shot entirely on the back lot and sound stages. It shows some times, but is not that out of line with other movies of the same vintage.

Bogart is good and that may have caused me to upgrade the movie a little when charting, and I am not a connoisseur of war movies, but the action is good, and there is quite a bit of it.

With Ruth Gordon as Massey's wife and Alan Hale, Sr, and Dane Clark as crew members.

Flickchart
Beats The Next Karate Kid
Beats Trouble With the Curve
Loses to Bridge of Spies
Loses to Iron Man 2
Loses to Valentine's Day
Loses to Absent Minded Professor
Loses to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Beats Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day
Loses to A Shot In The Dark
Loses to Cutthroat Island
Loses to 61*
449 out of 1830
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16. Board Game: Mansions of Madness: House of Fears [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked]
Board Game: Mansions of Madness: House of Fears
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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The House of Fear(1945)


Basil Rathbone is Holmes again, set in contemporary time, but the only mention of that is that the scene of the crime does not have a telephone. There are a series of mysterious and gruesome deaths at a gathering of group of men who have just changed their insurance policies to make each other the beneficiaries. The insurance company hires Holmes to show that these are murders and not accidents.

Holmes and Watson go to the scene of the crime and take up residence, since there are now vacancies. This does not stop the deaths, but of course everything is figured out.

The story is one of the less compelling of the Rathbone Holmes movies, in my opinion, making this an average movie.

Flickchart
Loses to The Next Karate Kid
Beats Shenandoah
Loses to The Big Clock
Loses to Jason and the Argonauts
Beats Dragnet(1987)
Beats How Sweet It Is
Loses to Pete's Dragon(2016)
Beats Pretty Maids All in a Row
Beats Funny Face
Beats Robin and Marion
1324 out of 1832
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17. Board Game: Animal Crackers Game [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Animal Crackers Game
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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Animal Crackers(1930)


Hooray for Captain Spaulding. A huge improvement over Coconuts. The story is as nonsensical as ever, but the musical numbers are better integrated and not so extravagant. Captain Spaulding has returned from Africa and a big party is being thrown in his honor. During the party, a valuable painting is stolen and much mayhem follows.

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know."

Flickchart
Beats Her
Beats Trouble With the Curve
Beats Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Loses to Eraser
Loses to The Long Kiss Goodnight
Beats The Gods Must Be Crazy
Loses to Field of Dreams
Beats The Illusionist
Loses to The Producers(1968)
Loses to The Terminator
Loses to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny
192 out of 1835
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18. Board Game: Bureaucracy [Average Rating:4.03 Overall Rank:19142]
Board Game: Bureaucracy
Patar Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
TX
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The Adjustment Bureau


Plot: Young politician meets a woman and falls in love at first sight but a supernatural group that controls each persons destiny stands in the way of their romance.


This movie is very very meh.
It has good actors and they did a fare job. The concept is based on a Philip K. Dick story and I like his settings.
The main problem is that nothing that happens in the movie matters to anyone on earth but the main character and his love interest and neither of them are particularly interesting. The scale of what the protagonist faces is huge and the consequences of his goals are tiny and unimportant. The chemistry between the main characters was all but absent which made it even harder to care about them.
The girl presents herself as a wild mystery when she is first introduced but she never behaves that way again the rest of the movie and the wild mystery lady is a boring old annoying trope anyway.



Flick Chart location:
6179 Hush 2016 Mike Flanagan R 68
1037 Ant-Man 2015 Peyton Reed PG13 69
9573 Green Lantern 2011 Martin Campbell PG13 70
4793 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016 Zack Snyder PG13 71
15133 Daddy's Home 2015 Sean Anders PG13 72
2499 The Adjustment Bureau 2011 George Nolfi PG13 73
1938 Ocean's Twelve 2004 Steven Soderbergh PG13 74
5309 Spider-Man 3 2007 Sam Raimi PG13 75
19972 Ghost Rider 2007 Mark Steven Johnson PG13 76
1854 Iron Man 2 2010 Jon Favreau PG13 77
9809 Daredevil 2003 Mark Steven Johnson PG13 78

Read more at http://www.flickchart.com/Charts.aspx?user=redward&perpage=1...

DIRECTED BY
George Nolfi
STARRING
Matt Damon • Emily Blunt • Anthony Mackie • Michael Kelly • John Slattery
GENRES
Fantasy • Psychological Sci-Fi • Psychological Thriller • Romance • Romantic Fantasy • Science Fiction • Thriller
STUDIOS &
FRANCHISES
StudioCanal • Philip K. Dick • Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film Nominated
RELEASE INFO
February 26, 2011
Color • 106 minutes

Read more at http://www.flickchart.com/movie/E0C16D7BDC#MQpADz6y8q3uXcEm....
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19. Board Game: Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:7383]
Board Game: Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon
Patar Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
TX
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Oh, Brother Where Art Thou



Plot: in 1930's Mississippi 3 prisoners on a chain gang have escaped prison to find the buried treasure left behind by the main characters bank job score. The money is buried in a valley that is scheduled to be flooded as the result of a new dam and they have to get to it before then.

The story is filled with really fun "Old Timey" bluegrass and gospel music which I wouldn't have expected to like. The accents are cool and some of the gags are fun. It is made up primarily of vignettes and brief adventures along the road toward the treasure and some of those are fun while others are more lackluster.
Overall the experience is fine. Since it is a Coen Brothers movie I would have hoped for more. They tend to make movies that I actively dislike or really adore. This oddly fits right in the middle of meh land. When it is over I leave with fond memories of Dapper Dan Hair Jelly, a shop that is two weeks from everywhere, a happy song about constant sorry, a racist jerk getting whats coming, and an emptiness that can only be filled by a better Coen brothers movie...



Flick Chart:
223 Iron Man 2008 Jon Favreau PG13 57
369 The Dark Knight Rises 2012 Christopher Nolan PG13 58
499 X-Men 2000 Bryan Singer PG13 59
758 X2 2003 Bryan Singer PG13 60
2919 Man of Steel 2013 Zack Snyder PG13 61
269 O Brother, Where Art Thou? 2000 Joel & Ethan Coen PG13 62
1176 10 Things I Hate About You 1999 Gil Junger PG13 63
1631 The Babadook 2014 Jennifer Kent NR 64
814 Mission: Impossible 1996 Brian De Palma PG13 65
524 Spider-Man 2002 Sam Raimi PG13 66
788 Spider-Man 2 2004 Sam Raimi PG13 67

DIRECTED BY
Joel & Ethan Coen
STARRING
George Clooney • John Turturro • Tim Blake Nelson • Michael Badalucco • Stephen Root
GENRES
Americana • Buddy Film • Comedy • Crime Comedy • Crime • Period Film • Road Movie
STUDIOS &
FRANCHISES
Academy Award Nominated • StudioCanal • Working Title Films • Touchstone Pictures • Academy Award Best Cinematography Nominated • Satellite Award for Best Film Nominated
RELEASE INFO
December 22, 2000
Color • 107 minutes

Read more at http://www.flickchart.com/movie/F89270C104#gm9l8Ic83ZSWhzxI....
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20. Video Game: Red Dead Redemption [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:28]
Video Game: Red Dead Redemption
Atnier Rodriguez
United States
Monroe
Connecticut
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WESTWORLD

I was in a rush to watching this HBO series because I knew due to its nature that it was going to harbor many a plot twist and I did not want to be spoiled by any Internet's passerby.

I took advantage of Amazon Prime's trial period for HBO to knock this one out right quick. Don't worry, I'll be a proud payer once "Game of Thrones" comes back, but I digress.

9 out of 10!

Great budget utilized smartly for wild west cinematography.

Fantastic acting, especially by Anthony Hopkins, who I always thought had a lot of potential wasted on mediocre movies. Excellent cast all around, even in the deep benches of the supporting cast.

Multi-layered story, with plot twists swirling around and around until the satisfying ending that effectively closes the story for the season with no major cliffhangers. Always refreshing to see a good series that foregoes the cheap trick of keeping you waiting for the next season that may or may not arrive.

The first episode was enough for the horrifying, tense beauty of Westworld's world to sink its fangs in me, leaving me at a constant need of watching the very next episode and just see how deep the rabbit hole went.

Please, watch it as soon as possible so the Nolan storytelling does its work as intended and does not get trampled by the accident of a spoiler.

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21. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: The Fantasy Adventure Board Game [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:2523]
Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: The Fantasy Adventure Board Game
Alex H.
Germany
Berlin
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Stranger Things

Yeah, I'm talking about the Netflix series from earlier this year. A series that featured on a lot of "best series on TV in 2016" lists, if I'm not mistaken.
I had no concept of what to expect going in. I knew it was about a group of kids and that it had Winona Ryder in it. Not much else. Two friends of mine spoke very highly of it so after finishing Jessica Jones, I decided to take a break from Marvel for a moment and delayed Luke Cage in favor of stranger things.

Initially, I was not terribly impressed. Two episodes in, I felt like I had all seen it before and that the series was selling me old ideas in new clothes. Luckily, I stayed with it and boy did it pick up tempo during the second half of the show. The casting is superb and the writing is pretty clever. The show toys with our expectations and manages to actually surprise us while quoting old favorites from the last three decades.
I felt like in the final episodes it would have been smarter to
Spoiler (click to reveal)
not show us the monster as clearly as they did. By doing so, they took away from the creeping paranoia and the lingering threat that was created pretty convincingly during the early episodes.

There are some pretty cool discussions out there on several forums regarding some of the unresolved plot elements from the last episode that make me suspect, a second viewing would be more than justified. Oh well, not in 2016 for me; Luke Cage is waiting!
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22. Board Game: X-Men: Mutant Revolution [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:7737]
Board Game: X-Men: Mutant Revolution
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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X-MenL The Last Stand


This was better than I remembered, though I don't think quite as good as my Flickchart ranking would indicate, as it landed above the other two, which doesn't feel right. The humans have found a "cure" for the mutants. They offer it for any mutant that wants it, but the fear among mutants is that they will eventually use it more forcibly. They do, in fact, weaponize it in the sense that they have guns that will shoot hypodermics of the cure.

This strengthens the resolve for Magneto and his followers, and helps recruit new followers as well. The resulting battles between the two sets of mutants are all well done, though some of the powers get a little over the top.

Flickchart
Beats Her
Beats Trouble With The Curve
Loses to Bridge of Spies
Beats The Petrified Forest
Loses to Sword in the Stone
Loses to Mercury Rising
Beats Dragonheart
Beats Transporter 2
Beats Private Benjamin
Loses to Quantum of Solace
318 out of 1835
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23. Board Game: Marvel Universe Miniature Game: X-Men Starter Set [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Board Game: Marvel Universe Miniature Game: X-Men Starter Set
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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X-Men: Apocalypse


I watched this out of order because I wanted to send the disk back. Watching it right after Last Stand was probably not the greatest idea, because now they are a little mixed in my head, affecting my Last Stand review more than anything.

This was better than I had expected, though well below the other X-Men movies. The big bad is an ancient Egyptian mutant who is brought back to life by exposing his tomb to sunlight. He recruits and strengthens some mutants and plans to cleanse the earth of humans to create a better planet for the mutants.

The excesses of power from Last Stand are amplified here, and there is even less heart and soul. But the action is pretty good, so it is still watchable. Maybe even enough to make me keep my set complete.

Flickchart
Beats The Next Karate Kid
Loses to Logan's Run
Loses to The Time Machine(1960)
Loses to High Sierra
Beats The King's Speech
Beats The American President
Beats Outbreak
Beats Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Beats Anastasia
Beats My Week With Marilyn
Beats Julie & Julia
804 out of 1836
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24. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game – Civil War [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked]
Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game – Civil War
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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Captain America: Civil War

Having enjoyed the movie twice at the cinema, I bought the bluray as soon as it came out... but we ended up taking a long time to get round to watching it.

I really like this movie.. it's at least on a par with Winter Soldier, but I feel it packs a bit more of an emotional punch.

It has flaws though... Marvel are still unable to kill off anyone meaningful... Zemo's plan is just too convoluted to have even worked... but I can forgive all that for some amazing action sequences... some great comedy moments... and one of the best portrayals of Spider-Man in cinematic history.
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25. Board Game: Monkey Business [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
Board Game: Monkey Business
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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Monkey Business

The Marx Brothers are back. This time they are stowed away in barrels on a ship. While avoiding the crew as much as possible, they wander the ship, getting into their usual mischief and get involved with some unsavory characters, which carries on after they smuggle themselves off the ship.

I think there is some stuff here that might have run afoul of censors a few years later, but in these pre-code days, they have no problem (nor would they today).

Flickchart
Beats The Next Karate Kid
Beats Logan's Run
Loses to Bridge of Spies
Beats Rush Hour 3
Loses to Sword in the Stone
Beats Mercury Rising
Beats You Can't Take It With You
Loses to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Beats Millenium
Beats The King and I
Beats Seems Like Old Times
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