50 Movies in 60 Days (or something like that)

I feel like I'm WAY behind. I've been so busy the last few months of 2014 that I haven't had the time to watch as many movies as I would like. As a big fan of MOVIES in general, I'm definitely been missing out. As a Director/Writer/Actor, every film offers a unique experience and an opportunity to embrace and absorb another artists vision and the outcome of his or her efforts. Directors, writers and actors can learn something from every film... even the bad ones. The more movies you watch the better... and many of them should be seen multiple times.

I haven't had time to do that... and that makes me sad. Can't seem to find time to follow my own advice.

So over the holidays I started reading all the 2014 Best-Of lists and came across this....

PASTE MAGAZINE - The 50 Best Movies of 2014


I liked this list more than others because it contains a fair and decent representation of all sorts of films, from all genres and budgets. Ive read about many of those film before... and I want to see them all. So there you have it. I'm going to see them all. Not necessarily in the that order, but in the next 60 days, I'm aiming to see all 50 movies on this list.

Friday night Kristen and I went to the Arclight Hollywood to see A MOST VIOLENT YEAR (#19 on the list). The film got a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 86 on Metacritic...

"In 1981 New York, a fuel supplier (Oscar Isaac) tries to adhere to his own moral compass amid the rampant violence, corruption and decay that threaten his family and his business."

It was good. Not great. I think my expectation was for it to be more in line with a Scorcese film. I was anticipating shades of "GOODFELLAS," "THE DEPARTED," "MEAN STREETS" and "AMERICAN GANGSTER" (Not a Scorcese film). This movie was good because it's different.  Seems like Director J.C. Chandor made a concerted effort to defy or separate from those films. The filmmaker and the characters were committed to an entirely different story. Believe it or not, there was not ONE gangster in the film.

I (Kind of) wish there was. The acting was great. The story was solid, entertaining and engaging. The hero of the film "Abel Morales" was determined to do whatever it takes to build his business... to create his own kingdom... but he wanted t do it the right way.... no corruption.... no short cuts. This guys was honest, honorable and super intense... the problem I had with that is that he was kind of a one note guy. The film was filled with example after example of how he managed to take the high road, over and over again, and successfully compete with corrupt competitors in the shady and crooked economic and political environment of 1981 New York City.

But I would have liked to see more layers in his character. His wife (Jessica Chastain, who is fantastic) was the daughter of a well known mobster.... and while I'm sure it was a choice to not introduce the audience to ONE mobster... I would have like to learn more about her and her background.... i wanted to meet her Dad.

And how about some MUSIC? There was barely any score or soundtrack. For the most part, it was a testament to the acting, that the performances were so good and so alluring that we didn't NEED any music... but its 1981 New York City.... I would have enjoyed some throwback tracks. The movie DID start out with an oldie but goodie... but that track was NOT from 1981 (I don't think) and that was pretty much all we got. 

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, I would give it a 7 out of 10. I liked it, but I was expecting to be blown away. No pun intended. 

Ok pun intended.


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