Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bond Watch: License to Kill (1989)

So, this was one of the Bond movies I was absolutely positive I hadn't seen before.  I would have been 14 when it came out, and for the life of me, I have no idea how I missed a Bond movie coming and going over the summer when I was that age, except for family vacations and summer camp colliding to make it difficult.  I even remember reading about how this wasn't a typical Bond movie, and that sounded kind of interesting.

But, you know, it didn't work out.  Never saw it.

Well, we finally arrived at the second and final Timothy Dalton Bond, and while I will go to the mat supporting Dalton, it's hard to know exactly what was going wrong as they put these things together, but it's an oddball of a movie, certainly.   And you can see what they had in mind for this movie, and how the 1980's influenced everything about this movie rather than Bond influencing other action movies as it had once upon a time.

But at least Q actor Desmond Llewelyn got a tropical holiday out of it all.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Godzilla Watch: Tokyo SOS

It's not often I watch a whole Godzilla movie.  I probably watched 3/4ths of about 3 or 4 of them last year, but they never showed up on my movie-list as I don't watch them from beginning to end.  Usually I stumble in 1/4 of the way in, have no idea what's happening, and just keep on watching.

And that's kinda too bad.

I never quite recovered from missing Shin Godzilla in the theater this year (twice I had tickets!  TWICE!), but over Christmas, the El Rey network celebrated the holiday with "Kaiju Christmas", which was something like 36 hours of Godzilla movies.  In fact, I wrapped up Christmas Day night watching the second half of Godzilla vs. Destroyah.

I'd never seen Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003), but heard it was a fun one, and, indeed it was.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bond Watch: The Living Daylights (1987)

This movie doesn't have the best ratings, but there's a lot to like in The Living Daylights (1987).  Maybe not everything is grand, and I feel like the back 40 minutes got away from them, but all in all, I enjoyed this the most of any Bond we've watched since For Your Eyes Only.

Look, I may like Roger Moore as much as the next person who grew up with him as Bond, but he made some very, very silly Bond movies (lest we forget Moonraker) and by View to a Kill, I was firmly believed this was a man who should not be running anywhere without a spotter, let alone that Tanya Roberts would be throwing herself at Grandpa Roger.  That he did not openly wink at the camera seems somehow unbelievable.

I can't say I need my Bond more grounded.  I love The Spy Who Loved Me, and that has a sneaky kidnapping boat and an undersea villain's layer.  But I also want it to feel like maybe my Bond is not treating itself like a parody.  And with The Living Daylights, we get back to what feels like good old fashioned international intrigue, a plot that holds together very well (if not entirely a mirror to our own world), and makes Bond feel like a secret agent rather than a gentleman who gets into ridiculous scrapes.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The 2016 Kryptos - Movies

Welcome to the 2016 Krypto Awards.  This isn't just for movies, but that's where we're gonna start - by looking back at the Good, Bad and Ugly of 2016 movie-watching here at The Signal Watch.  If you haven't seen our post on what all we watched this year, numbers-wise, you can check it out here.

It's tough to say "Best Picture" means a whole lot, but we'll try to narrow it down some.  We're only really talking about the movies we saw for the first time in 2016, which really narrows the field here from 160+ to 88 films.

Of course, we didn't just want to heap congrats on things we adored.  We kind of hated some things this year, so we'd be negligent if we didn't discuss what didn't work for us and take some cheap shots on our way out the door.

So - Let's get to it.

Movies 2016 - Crunching the Numbers

Time to crunch the numbers.

In 2016 I tagged every movie I watched from beginning to end with "Movies 2016".  I did not include movies I only watched in part.  I also did not include any Hallmark Channel holiday movies as I intended to do a post on those movies, but once again did not get my act together.

It is likely this is off by a count here or there, as I am not too worried about this being 100% accurate, but a snapshot of what I watched this year.

To view my numbers and a complete list of movies, you can look at the spreadsheet by clicking on this link.

We'll talk about the actual movies themselves in a follow-up post.

The Numbers

Total times a movie was watched:  165
Movies "new to me":  88

My goal for this year was to watch more movies that would be new to me, and I actually managed to watch a majority of new movies instead of just watching old movies as comfort food.  If I re-watched a movie that was new to me (example:  Rogue One), it only counted once as a "new" movie.  So I think I did okay.

Given how much baseball I wound up watching this year, the number of movies I watched in October while I know I was watching tons of ball - I kind of wonder how much I left the house that month.  But I do think it helps account for why I watched roughly 20 fewer movies this year than last year.

Star Wars Re-Watch: Rogue One - a Star Wars Story (2016)

My last movie of the year I knew about well ahead of time.  Way back in September or so, SimonUK and I made a pledge to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) together, and by November realized that it wasn't going to be us hand-in-hand on opening night as SimonUK actually works at the Alamo Drafthouse, and would be taking orders and whatnot during the first week, more or less non-stop.  So, we made a date for New Year's Eve Day.

I knew I'd see this movie again in the theater unless it dropped to Episode I depths (the only Star Wars I've only seen through once is Revenge of the Sith).

I've already written this movie up, so I'll keep my comments to what I noticed on the second screening.