January 03, 2015

GirlReaction Goes to the Movies: Favorites 2014

Turns out I haven't told you about my favorites since 2011. So I thought I'd drop a quick note to ya about 2014 while I'm waiting for my hair to dry. You are welcome! :) HA!

I saw 29 movies in 2014, thanks to Project Life for reminding me of some of the titles as I sorta lost track of keeping up my list OOPS.

1, 2. My favorite two movies in 2014 were Only Lovers Left Alive and Words & Pictures with the former maintaining a slight lead over the latter were I forced to name an absolute favorite. They were both movies about relationships; about both who and what we choose to have in our lives; about the importance of art, words and music; about what maintains us across time; about how we have to live within our own choices and our weakness, and while sometimes that does damage, sometimes that's a place to have strength. They were both filled with lovely performances and I loved them to pieces.

3. My third favorite movie was Guardians of the Galaxy, by far the most fun I had in the theater (both times!) all year. I've already watched it at home, I've listened to the music a million times (after I put the soundtrack into the correct order-it-was-played-in-the-movie order; that IS the music of much of my childhood, I was born in '68 after all); and it only furthered the extreme goodwill I have had toward Chris Pratt since Everwood (where he got to play a *slightly* more layered character than his Parks & Rec tour de force as Andy Dwyer).

4. Calvary. Wicked powerful performance by Brendan Glesson. Very moving.

5. The Imitation Game. Love Cumberbatch, love Knightley, LOVE Matthew Goode (LOVE HIM, WATCH THIS!) Bring a kleenex for the ending--and I don't mean the ending of the war. Lords of kobol, the horrible things we have done to people for so-called morality are just sickening.

6. Begin Again. I just rewatched this after recommending it to a friend for the James Corden performance as she's geeking out into him in Into the Woods. This movie, like my numbers 1 and 2, is really about choosing what's important to you and then being forced to live with that decision, through good and bad. I read an article recently about how this director (who also did Once, which I did NOT like, too sappy por moi) does all these films about unrequited relationships and how weird that is (how he thinks that's what true love is, some unconsummated-esque state of being). I actually thought this movie was NOT about a relationship between Knightly and Ruffalo and that what happens romantically in HIS life in the movie was truly perfect. If you've ever seen Kevin Williamson defend the idea that Dawson was indeed Joey's soul mate even if Pacey is her forever relationship...well I don't think the Knightly/Ruffalo characters needed to be in love. That was my take anyway.

I also REALLY like: A Most Wanted Man (we sure are assholes, us Americans); The Grand Budapest Hotel (fantastic, but not as good as the fabfabfabulous Moonrise Kingdom, the standard against which all his movies shall forever be judged); Wish I Was Here, even if it stretched the reality a bit for Kate Hudson to be Zach Braff's wife (doesn't it seem Judd Apatow-esque to always have the homelier guy have the most gorgeous girl); Rob the Mob, which was fun and had some great performances from lesser known peeps; Wild, which I found oddly affecting; Magic in the Moonlight; and Edge of Tomorrow which was HILARIOUS. I mean the first 35 minutes of that movie are magically funny. Boyhood is definitely worth seeing, although maybe not deserving of its mostly format-based hype.

I liked but ultimately found unsatisfying Snowpiercer and Birdman.

I saw some other movies that were OK or fine but not horrible. You can check the list and ask me if you'd like to know about one or another in particular, I obviously am happy to share opinions/thoughts. HA.

What I did think was HORRIBLE was: Wolf of Wall Street, what an egotisitical piece of utter bullpucky; Under the Skin, monotonous and bizarre but not bizarre interesting more like bizarre this director told, showed and gave us NOTHING HERE; and sadly the new Chris Rock movie Top Five which I really really wanted to like because I think he's a comic genius (and wicked smaht, yes please say that with a Boston accent) but ultimately was a big hot steaming mess.


I saw 30 movies in 2013 and my favorites were: Flight, Zero Dark Thirty; Much Ado About Nothing (LOVE!!), Mud, Fast & Furious 6 (YES I SAID IT), Fruitvale Station, American Hustle, and it's a tough call between Dallas Buyers Club and Philomena. Least favorites were: Byzantium (overwrought), What Maisie Knew (sadly not very compelling), To Rome with Love (lame)....I don't know, looking over that list right now nothing jumps out as me as SUCKING AS MUCH AS WOLF OF WALL STREET. So maybe I just didn't really see many bad movies in 2013.

I saw 34 movies in 2012 and my favorites were: the aforementioned Moonrise Kingdom; Silver Linings Playbook; Skyfall (SO GOOD); Cabin in the Woods (damn smart); A Separation, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Least favorites: Magic Mike (so disappointing), Killer Joe (so disgusting horrifying); and Battleship (so so so so bad). OH WAIT I actually wrote a post about my 2012 faves. I guess my memory has changed things, eh. HA.

Posted by Duff - Say What? - Permalink | filed under 2014, FaveMovies

January 01, 2015

Duff at the Movies 2014

  • Top Five (12/31)
  • Wild (12/30)
  • The Imitation Game (12/27)
  • Mockingjay Part 1 (Hunger Games) (12/21)
  • Birdman (11/11)
  • The Skeleton Twins (9/13)
  • Frank (8/31)
  • Land Ho! (8/24)
  • Calvary (8/9)
  • Lucy (8/6)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (8/4) (& 8/23)
  • Boyhood (7/31)
  • I Origins (7/30)
  • Magic in the Moonlight (7/27)
  • A Most Wanted Man (7/26)
  • Wish I Was Here (7/22) (& 8/2)
  • Begin Again (7/20)
  • Snowpiercer (7/19)
  • Words & Pictures (6/27)
  • The Grand Seduction (6/26)
  • Edge of Tomorrow (6/24)
  • Only Lovers Left Alive (5/17)
  • Under the Skin (5/10)
  • Rob the Mob (3/29)
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (3/22)
  • Monuments Men (3/16)
  • Wolf of Wall Street (2/15)
  • The Past (1/25)
  • Her (1/4)

Posted by Duff - Say What? - Permalink | filed under 2014, Movies

Books Read in 2014.

date refers to date finished; i.e., just b/c I finished two books in a given day doesn't mean I read two entire books that day!

  • Mean Streak, by Iris Johansen (12/25)
  • The Parsifal Mosaic (12/23) (reread)
  • The Moving Toyshop, by Edmund Crispin (11/27)
  • Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel (11/26)
  • Magic Breaks, by Ilona Andrews (11/22)
  • Magic Rises, by Ilona Andrews (11/22)
  • Magic Slays, by Ilona Andrews (11/20)
  • Magic Bleeds, by Ilona Andrews (11/17)
  • Magic Strikes, by Ilona Andrews (11/16)
  • Magic Burns, by Ilona Andrews (11/15)
  • Magic Bites, by Ilona Andrews (11/11)
  • The Young Elites, by Marie Lu (11/2)
  • Sinner, by Maggie Stiefvater (11/1)
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater (11/1)
  • Personal, by Lee Child (10/26)
  • One Kick, by Chelsea Cain (10/19)
  • Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie (10/18)
  • How to Talk so Kids Can Learn, by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish (10/12) (nonfiction) (teaching)
  • Knife of Dreams (WoT 11), by Robert Jordan (10/11)
  • Summer and Bird, by Katherine Catmull (10/5)
  • The Beginning of Everything, by Robyn Schneider (10/4)
  • Broken Monsters, by Lauren Beukes (9/20)
  • The Secret Place, by Tana French (9/13)
  • The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell (9/13)
  • The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, by Julia Quinn (9/1)
  • Crossroads of Twilight (WoT 10), by Robert Jordan (8/31) (reread)
  • Winter's Heart (WoT 9), by Robert Jordan (8/30) (reread)
  • The Queen of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen (8/30)
  • The Path of Daggers (WoT 8), by Robert Jordan (8/29) (reread)
  • Transformation (Rai-Kirah 1), by Carol Berg (8/23)
  • A Crown of Swords (WoT 7), by Robert Jordan (8/18) (reread)
  • Lord of Chaos (WoT 6), by Robert Jordan (8/17) (reread)
  • The Fires of Heaven (WoT 5), by Robert Jordan (8/16) (reread)
  • The Shadow Rising (WoT 4), by Robert Jordan (8/14) (reread)
  • The Dragon Reborn (WoT 3), by Robert Jordan (8/13) (reread)
  • The Great Hunt (WoT 2), by Robert Jordan (8/12) (reread)
  • The Eye of the World (WoT 1), by Robert Jordan (8/11) (reread)
  • Autobiography of Red, by Anne Carson (8/8) (poetry) (reread)
  • Red Doc>, by Anne Carson (8/7) (poetry)
  • It's All Too Much: A Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff, by Peter Walsh (8/7)
  • The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa (8/1)
  • To Desire a Devil, by Elizabeth Hoyt (7/25)
  • Hero on a Bicycle, by Shirley Hughes (7/25)
  • Mass of the Forgotten, by James Tolan (7/25) (poetry)
  • Highland Captive, by Hannah Howell (7/25)
  • Lara's Gift, by Annemarie O'Brien (7/23)
  • Broken Homes, by Ben Aaronovitch (7/21)
  • Whispers Under Ground, by Ben Aaronovitch (7/21)
  • Moon Over Soho , by Ben Aaronovitch (7/20)
  • Midnight Riot, by Ben Aaronovitch (7/18)
  • The Tempest, by William Shakespeare (7/14) (play) (reread)
  • The Tilted World, by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelley
  • Landline, by Rainbow Rowell (7/9)
  • A Summer to Remember, by Mary Balogh (7/5)
  • The Clock Flower, by Adrian Rice (7/2) (poetry)
  • Lexicon, by Max Barry (7/1)
  • Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier (6/29)
  • Hill William, by Scott McClanahan (6/27)
  • We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart (6/26)
  • Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo (6/26)
  • Siege and Storm, by Leigh Bardugo (6/24)
  • Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo (6/23)
  • Where She Went, by Gayle Forman (6/22)
  • The Gathering Storm, by Robin Bridges (6/21)
  • If I Stay, by Gayle Forman (6/21)
  • Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow (6/20)
  • Sea of Shadows, by Kelley Armstrong (6/18)
  • What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, by Kristin Newman (6/14) (memoir)
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, by Leslye Walton (6/14)
  • Faking Normal, by Courtney C. Stevens (5/31)
  • Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8), by Patricia Briggs (5/17)
  • One Foot in Eden, by Ron Rash (5/12)
  • How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, by Kiese Laymon (4/23) (essays)
  • This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett (4/22) (essays)
  • Damn Love, by Jasmine Beach-Ferrara (4/17) (short stories)
  • Dreams of Gods & Monsters, by Laini Taylor (4/16)
  • Someone Else's Love Story, by Joshilyn Jackson (4/16)
  • A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki (4/14)
  • Artifact (Jaya Jones #1), by Gigi Pandian (4/5)
  • The Secret of the Old Clock, by Carolyn Keene (3/19) (reread)
  • Pack Up the Moon, by Rachael Herron (3/9)
  • Days of Blood and Starlight, by Laini Taylor (3/8)
  • Champion, by Marie Lu (2/1)
  • Prodigy, by Marie Lu (1/28)
  • Legend, by Marie Lu (1/27)
  • Wild Born, by Brandon Mull (1/15)
  • No One Else Can Have You, by Kathleen Hale (1/12)
  • Horde, by Ann Aguirre (1/11)
  • Quintana of Cheryn, by Melina Marchetta (1/11)
  • Hild, by Nicola Griffith (1/3)
  • Forbidden, by Jo Beverly (1/2)
  • Christmas Angel, by Jo Beverly (1/1)

Posted by Duff - Say What? - Permalink | filed under 2014, Books

November 10, 2014

Duff Does Live Music 2014

  • Sharon Von Etten (2nd x) (10/10)
  • Spoon (3rd x) (9/16)
  • The National (5th x) (4/17)
  • The National (4th x) (4/15)
  • Band of Horses (3rd x) (2/19)
  • San Fermin (1/18)

Posted by Duff - Say What? - Permalink | filed under 2014, Gigs