Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fall Film Challenge 2015 Finale

Remember this post when I told you that I was participating in the fall film challenge?  I have participated in this challenge both years it has been held.  I didn't expect to finish it.  I just don't watch that many movies.  Some other participants watched an insane amount of movies.  I'm most impressed!  So, how did I do?

My selections:

 one. any set in new york city.  – Taxi Driver - (watched September 14th) - Apart from a few brilliant scenes, it was slow, very slow. Sorry.
two. any incorporating hot air balloons in the story. – Casanova (2005) - (watched September 20th) - I wondered how this movie had such a great cast, but I didn't even know it had been released.  Because it's terrible, that's how.  It was really not a good movie.

three. any that features a child as the main character. – Empire of the Sun changed to Jurassic World (watched October 24th when the stepson chose this) -  I expected far-fetched, but this was just ridiculous.  Don't include me in the Jurassic World fan club. 

four. any disney film. – Big Hero 6 - (watched September 12th) - Thoroughly enjoyable; maybe the most entertaining animated movie that I've seen in a while.

five. any set in egypt OR have an egyptian character OR star an egyptian actor/actress. – American Sniper - (watched October 17th) - the main bad guy sniper is Egyptian born - I was surprised and impressed by Bradley Cooper's performance.  He got the small town Texas accent.  Props to the speech coach.  He also portrayed the soldier that couldn't reconnect to "real life" pretty well.
six. a close friend or family member's favorite film. – Dedication - (watched October 13th) - Quirky and cute. Mandy Moore's character reminded me of Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club (her hair, make-up, coat, posture). I wonder if that was intentional.
seven. any with the word great in the title. – The Great Raid - (watched November 30th) - "The raid on Cabanatuan remains the most successful rescue mission in U.S. military history." - a story about U.S. men in a Japanese P.O.W. camp based in the Philippines during WWII.  The end credits rolling real footage was particularly moving.

eight. any starring harrison ford. – Paranoia - (watched November 9th) - Maybe I missed something, but I was bored through most of this. If it weren't for the challenge, I would've changed the channel.
nine. any that features an idiot as the main character. – Talladega Nights - This Is Where I Leave You - (watched November 30th) - I enjoyed the book quite a bit. I found the movie mildly entertaining. The Penny storyline annoyed me in the movie, and I think that took things down a notch. I quite enjoyed the "idiot" brother in both book and movie.

ten. any mentioned in levis strauss' list: denim in the oscars: a look at jeans in cinema. – No Country for Old Men - (watched October 21st) - I'd read the book and knew what to expect; intense, dark, great performances, and I enjoyed it...but probably not for everyone.
eleven. a film about a knight. – Kingdom of Heaven - changed to Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (even though I loathe Ben Stiller in movies); (watched October 3rd) Since Lancelot is the bad guy of the movie, I think it can count as a movie about a knight. It was awful. But my stepson laughed and giggled throughout, and that's why we watched it.

twelve. a love story. – 500 Days of Summer - (watched November 2nd) - Cute with a little bit of quirkiness and a little bit of sadness.  Matthew Gray Gubler was a pleasant surprise!  The Hall & Oates scene was the best, and I'm pretty sure I'd dig the soundtrack.
thirteen. a movie about something miraculous. – The Martian - (watched November 17th) - I talk about it in this post.

fourteen. a film starring an actor/actress with the same first name as yours. – We Need to Talk about Kevin - (watched September 7th) - I'd read the book; the book was better. Knowing the thoughts in these messed up characters' heads adds a lot more dimension to the story.
fifteen. a film about the Olympics - Foxcatcher- (watched October 18th) - Looking back, this one may have been the most disappointing of the challenge.  I expected so much more and was bored most of it.  The personalities weren't nearly as intriguing or dynamic as I expected.
sixteen. a film on time magazine's list: the top ten newspaper movies. – State of Play

seventeen. a movie with a question in the title. – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

eighteen. any film with a score of ninety percent or greater on rotten tomatoes. – The Sapphires - (watched October 21st) - Adorable, fun, filled with great music, poignant at times. Loved it and highly recommend.  Stories of dreams, racism, war, Aboriginals, family bonds, love, loss, community, and more. Really. Watch this movie.  Oh, and there's Chris O'Dowd.
nineteen. a film about a superhero. – X-Men: Days of Future Past - (watched September 4th) - I have a confession to make. I've seen none of the previous X-men, so I was a little confused at times. But, it was a good one. James McAvoy is dreamy.
twenty. any film with subtitles. – The Girl Who Played with Fire

twenty-one. any incorporating unicorns in the story. – Stardust
twenty-two. a film about a personal victory. – The Judge- (watched November 17th) - Fantastic cast and acting performances...did I expect anything less from RDJ or Robert Duvall.  No, I didn't..but the supporting cast was fabulous too.  And, the final credits start with a version of Coldplay's The Scientist performed by Willie Nelson, and I'm biased, I know, but I have a thing for Willie Nelson's unconventional voice.

twenty-three. a film with black or white in the title. – Snow White and the Huntsman

twenty-four. any set in a country you would most like to visit. - Unbroken- (watched October 26th) - Based on a true story and a book that I have not read...and another movie set in a Japanese P.O.W. camp.  Inspirational. Some people have a strength and a spirit that goes beyond superhuman.  

twenty-five. a film set in a zoo. – The Wild

Overall, I watched 19 movies (for the challenge).  That's good for me.  Others watched all 25 PLUS 25 more in a bonus round.  I am not ashamed by my nineteen films.  Over half of them, I enjoyed and would recommend.
 Have you seen any of these?  Thoughts? 


  1. Yeah Casanova was a pretty terrible movie. I was so obsessed with Heath Ledger in high school that I swore I would watch all of his movies which included that terrible one. You made it through quite a few movies, so good job on almost completing the challenge. I also loved that you got to watch a lot of them with your step son because it seemed like he enjoyed them.

  2. James McAvoy?! What about Michael Fassbender???? SWOON! I think you did well with this challenge! Better than mine! I can't wait to try and get a book read for your challenge ;)

  3. You did great!! I've never heard of Dedication, but I'm a sucker for Mandy Moore, so I should check it out. The 500 Days soundtrack is pretty great! I'm adding The Sapphires to my list!

  4. WHAT??? No X-Men? We're at opening night for all the X-men movies - pretty much anything Marvel
    I just saw Big Hero 6 myself & LOVED it! I want a Baymax shirt for when I run that says, "I am slow" :) haha

  5. I'm so impressed by this! There are so many movies I want to see, I should probably look into a "list" to motivate me...

  6. I am impressed with how many you watched I would much rather read most times.

  7. Hey, 19 is good! Especially considering you don't watch that many movies!

    I really didn't enjoy Taxi Driver at all. I don't know why that movie gets so much praise. And oh my gosh. I watched Foxcatcher at a film festival last year and I hated it so much.

  8. You did an awesome job! Seriously ... I watched 9 (I think). I still need to write my reviews for the last 2 movies (I squeezed one last movie in on November 30th so at least I have a couple to write about and not just one). I think I'll try it again next year, but I may spend more time searching for movies I actually REALLY want to watch. I think that will help with my motivation.

    I agree that Paranoia wasn't that great. I didn't hate it, but it was definitely not my kind of movie and I wouldn't have watched it if it wasn't part of this challenge.

    I also agree about Taxi Driver. I wanted it to be so much better than it actually was. It just kind of dragged on for me a lot of the time.

    I'm now even more excited to read We Need to Talk About Kevin! I still haven't read it for the SCWBC15, but it's on the list (and I own it, so I can pick it up once I get through some more of my library books). I really liked the movie when I watched it a couple of years ago.

  9. You did great... I failed miserably at joining this challenge (and doing much outside of work and chilling with the boy) haha but yay you!

  10. Girl, you rocked this. I finished the original list and watched all but 6 of my bonus list. I was just spent by then that I just stopped. This is a major challenge, and I love watching movies! Big Hero 6 is an absolute favorite of mine. I watch it all the time.

  11. You did great! I think I only found the time to watch 2 or 3 movies. I feel ashamed. I did like 500 Days of Summer quite a lot! Have you seen 50/50? It it with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as well. I liked that one even more.


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