If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!

2016 Rising: Actus Primus

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Current mood. (Source)

Current mood. (Source)

Happy New Year!

Another apology for not having gotten some of these promised posts out; first I was too busy with work or too tired to write, but then over the weekend I added being sick to my list of impediments (nothing severe, but…), and aside from seeing The Hateful Eight (which is, shock of shocks, ****), I haven’t caught up on any of the new releases yet. Hopefully I can change that this coming week, but I won’t make any promises.

Let’s take stock of 2015 and what it meant for the blog. In terms of viewership, it was a success–over 15,800 views from almost 10,700 visits, nearly double last year’s 8,500 views (from 5,500 visits). I actually posted less this year, only 113 posts, which comprise about a third of the total posts to date. But the interactive element of my 2014 Film Awards proved a bigger success than I could have ever imagined (thanks again to Brontis Jodorowsky and Arnaud Trouvé (CineCharlie) for their part in making it so), and I hope this year’s awards are similarly exciting.

On the other hand, I fell badly behind this year in terms of my film reviews. I found myself having less to say about the films I saw, and not knowing whether I or the films were to blame. Even now, I haven’t reviewed four of the seven (so far) **** films of the year. I tried to alleviate that with my Movie Journal, but I found it not much easier to keep up with (and the posts themselves were not so popular–only two of them got more than 20 views). I mean to catch up with a series of single and multi-reviews ere I publish my Top 20/Bottom 10 list at the end of January, but I am truly sorry I did not share my thoughts earlier. I will try to be better about this in 2016.

I’m also hoping to get more comment action going on my future posts. Obviously, I’ll need your help, but I know that if you want the gravy…you’ve got to get the biscuits.

And now, for some stats.

First, the original posts of 2015 with at least 100 views:

And now, the carryovers from 2014 which had at least 100 views this year:

Next, the film reviews I published this year with 20 views or less:

So, going forward, I’m going to be fairly busy this weekend, meaning I probably won’t get as much done as I’d like. I’m tempted to hold off on publishing my Hateful Eight review until I can see it again (and I’d really like to do a piece comparing the roadshow and theatrical versions). I need to see a ton of new releases–God knows when that’ll happen. I’ll probably just toss Carol into a multi-review. Great film, beautifully made…just not sure what to say about it beyond praising its qualities (and criticizing one element which most have praised, but…we’ll get to that when we get to that).

I do need to put together a Most Anticipated List for 2016. Actually–here’s an idea: let’s go through the list I put out a little over a year ago, and see how it panned out:

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road: I apologize to those I annoyed by raving about it since May.
  2. Knight of Cups: Hasn’t come out yet. Set for 2016 (spring, I want to say). So we’ll deal with that soon enough.
  3. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence: I still haven’t seen it. But I just added it to my Netflix queue. So I might double-feature that and Hard to Be a God.
  4. The Hateful Eight: Currently my #4 film of the year. In short, a very good, very powerful film…but possibly Tarantino’s most disturbing and least “fun” film to date.
  5. Love: Never got to see this in a theater. Not sure if I’ll get to see this before the end of the month. Given the mixed reviews, though, I’m not sure I’m really missing that much.
  6. The Postman’s White Nights: I don’t know what really happened here. It was uploaded to YouTube sans subtitles and I took a look at it, but didn’t watch the whole thing. And then I didn’t hear anything more about it and kind of forgot it existed. It certainly doesn’t seem to be readily available.
  7. The Look of Silence: I think this is now outside of my top 10, but it’s easily the best documentary I’ve seen all year. It and its predecessor are simply essential viewing.
  8. The Revenant: Seeing this as soon as possible. Reviews were more mixed than I expected, but I’m just going to see for myself.
  9. Gangs of Wasseypur: Another one I added to my Netflix queue, though as an 8-episode series rather than two films, which is rather annoying.
  10. In the Heart of the Sea: A massive disappointment, this one; after hoping that the shift from March to December meant it was an Oscar-caliber drama, it’s now my theory the delay was so that the intrusive and unnecessary framing device could be added or expanded. The result has its moments, but is a low *** instead of the **** that Rush earned. A real letdown, this one, possibly my personal biggest letdown of the year.
  11. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter: Some really gorgeous filmmaking on display here. I don’t think it amounted to much more than a fable and I don’t think Rinko Kikuchi had much to do but be enigmatic, but I still liked it (and my dad enjoyed it as well). A solid ***½.
  12. Inside Out: Beautiful. My #3 of the year to date.
  13. Crimson Peak: Gorgeous sets and costumes, utterly predictable story. A low ***.
  14. Spectre: Craig’s weakest film, but a good capping-off of his tenure and a solid Bond film in its own right. I’ll be happy to return to it.
  15. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: My full thoughts one of these days. But I really enjoyed it. Glad this worked out as well as it did.
  16. The Good Dinosaur: Beautiful animation, not much in terms of story. Also, may go down as Pixar’s first (and hopefully only) flop. A low ***.
  17. Chappie: Oh, good God.
  18. Tomorrowland: A likable film that isn’t really about anything. A premise with action scenes more than a real narrative.
  19. Z for Zachariah: Well made in pretty much every respect, and points for an ambiguous ending, but I just wasn’t that stirred by it. It hasn’t really stuck with me.
  20. The Martian: Just a hair short of true greatness, but what a blast. A very rewatchable film, and thank God for it. So happy Ridley Scott had this in him.
  21. The Peanuts Movie: My dad saw this and said it was nothing to get excited about. I subsequently never bothered. It’ll get an Oscar nomination, and I may end up seeing it eventually, but my expectations are fairly low.
  22. St. James Place (Bridge of Spies): One of the pleasantest surprises of the year for me. I loved this. A **** film that I didn’t see coming. Well done, Steven Spielberg.
  23. Trainwreck: For whatever reason, I never actually saw this. I know I probably should, I just don’t really give a shit. Maybe someday.
  24. Child 44: This got mediocre reviews and left theaters super-quick. (I think it was playing at my local cineplex, but not for too long.) I probably will never bother.
  25. The Lobster: U.S. release 2016. I can’t wait.

That wraps it up for now. But there’s more to come. Sooner or later.

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2 thoughts on “2016 Rising: Actus Primus

  1. You’re welcome, Sir. A pleasure to read you in 2016! Happy New Year.

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