Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Civilian 2016 Wrap-Up and Year-End Stats!



Aaaaaaaaand we're back!

Having addressed the horror genre in the previous entry (hey, this is HORROR 101 after all), it’s now time to give the civilian flicks a moment in the sun. As always, all titles listed were encountered for the first time from January 1 to December 31, 2016 (i.e. no repeat viewings were eligible), with top picks denoted with an asterisk. (*)

As I mentioned in the horror wrap-up post, I didn't spend a whole lot of effort keeping up with 2016's output - I don't think I indulged in more than two or three cineplex binge-trip theater-hop voyages, so most of the current crop were viewed in the latter half of the year once they'd hit home video. I'm genuinely surprised I saw as much as I did, since this year wasn't really calling to me.

Additionally, as you'll see below, this marks the fewest total films I've seen in probably 15 years, due to work and travel and interneting. But hey, Life takes its turns and shifts, and I'm okay with it, so hopefully you are as well. We'll see what 2017 has in store!

Let the OCD madness begin!!!




TOP CIVILIAN RELEASES OF 2016
Everybody Wants Some!
Green Room
*The Handmaiden
Hell or High Water
Swiss Army Man

Monday, January 9, 2017

Dr. AC's 2016 Horror Wrap-Up Extravaganza!




Howdy troops,

After much deliberation (clearly, since we're already a week into the New Year), here is my assessment of the year that was. All of the films listed below were encountered for the first time from January 1 to December 31, 2016 (i.e. no repeat viewings were eligible). To accommodate and acknowledge as many films as possible, I've broken them down into various categories in alphabetical order, with my top pick denoted with an asterisk. (*)


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Fool's Views (12/1 – 12/31)


Maybe we should open that one later.... 

Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee, everybody!

End of the year, where I happily found myself with a bit more spare time; whilst others were scurrying around doing their last minute shopping, I tried to catch a few more flicks before the clock struck midnight. Even knowing that there was no way I was going to approach my former glory days of 400-500 films, it was nice that December afforded the femalien and I as many opportunities as it did (including a glorious screening of It’s a Wonderful Life at the Music Box Theatre that featured a pre-show caroling session and an appearance from St. Nick himself).

Observant readers will also note that the non-horror fare ruled the month, with a special nod toward to the good ol’ Chicago Public Library, so hopefully you’ll allow it.

Due to the lateness of the hour, we’ll endeavor to keep these brief, in order to get things up and rolling and launch into the Brave New World that will be 2017. As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Fool's Views (11/1 – 11/30)


Things we are thankful for....

Howdy, folks,

Well, after the whirlwind that was October, with its random trips to foreign countries and the glories of SCARE-A-THON 2016 (as well as the premiere of the Doc’s foray into reality television, the Shout! Factory-produced HORROR HUNTERS, available for viewing HERE), November presented itself as a semi-return to normalcy. Or at least what serves as the “new normal” these days – only managed to get in a total of 23 viewings for the month as opposed to the headier days of the past where double that was not uncommon. But, hey, we’ll take it and be happy that it wasn’t less, right?

We’re heading into the final lap of 2016, so we’ll keep these short and sweet in the interest of sneaking a few more flicks onto the plate before the clock tolls midnight. Happy to expand my thoughts further should any be so inclined for the conversation! In other words…

Please feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

SCARE-A-THON 2016 FINAL RESULTS!!!




Nobody goes hungry on my watch....

It is accomplished!!!

For those not in the know, The October Horror Movie Challenge, at least as I have come to know and honor it, was born on the IMDb Horror message boards over a decade ago. The original rules were relatively simple: Watch 31 horror films over the course of the month, 16 of which have to be first-time viewings. Of course, for those with a combination of spare time and an enthusiastic spirit of adventure, it also could be used as an excuse to bury oneself in the genre for 31 days, rediscovering old favorites and delving into the "why have I never watched that?" pile.

This year, due to a variety of distractions (including an unexpected trip to Brazil), I elected to return to the basics. 31 flickers were viddied from Oct 1 through 31, 16 of which had never passed before these wondering, wandering eyes before. As always, there were highs and lows (more of the former than the latter), and all in the service of our ultimate goal, to raise funds and awareness for a charitable organization. This year's recipient is the GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY, for whom we were able to raise a combined total of over $1400!

Thanks to everyone who participated, whether it be reading the reviews, pledging, watching alongside, or just stopping by to chat. Your support makes the long days and nights go by so much easier. I’ll be contacting donors directly via email, but if you are still interested in contributing, contact me at drach101@gmail.com and we’ll get you to the right place.

CHALLENGE STATS:
Total Movies Watched: 31
Total First Time Views: 16

Scare-A-Thon Donations: $1431.63



BONUS STATS:


Monday, October 31, 2016

OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE (10/28-10/31)


Challenge Totals to Date:
Movies Watched: 4
Total Movies Watched: 31
Total First Time Views: 16
Scare-A-Thon Pledges: $1045.63
Scare-A-Thon Donations: $355

Remember, if you would like to make a pledge toward Scare-A-Thon 2016 (benefiting THE GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY) at any time, drop me an email at drach101@gmail.com to say how much you would like to pledge. Your donation is tax deductible and, seriously, even a penny per film helps.


Friday, October 28, 2016

OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE (10/24-10/27)


Challenge Totals to Date:
Movies Watched: 5
Total Movies Watched: 27
Total First Time Views: 13
Scare-A-Thon Pledges: $910.71

Remember, if you would like to make a pledge toward Scare-A-Thon 2016 (benefiting THE GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY) at any time, drop me an email at drach101@gmail.com to say how much you would like to pledge. Your donation is tax deductible and, seriously, even a penny per film helps.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE (10/19-10/23)


Challenge Totals to Date:
Movies Watched: 4
Total Movies Watched: 22
Total First Time Views: 12
Scare-A-Thon Pledges: $698.06

Remember, if you would like to make a pledge toward Scare-A-Thon 2016 (benefiting THE GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY) at any time, drop me an email at drach101@gmail.com to say how much you would like to pledge. Your donation is tax deductible and, seriously, even a penny per film helps.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE (10/11-10/18)


Challenge Totals to Date:
Movies Watched: 8
Total Movies Watched: 18
Total First Time Views: 10
Scare-A-Thon Pledges: $553.14

Remember, if you would like to make a pledge toward Scare-A-Thon 2016 (benefiting THE GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY) at any time, drop me an email at drach101@gmail.com to say how much you would like to pledge. Your donation is tax deductible and, seriously, even a penny per film helps.



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

SHIN GODZILLA (2016) MOVIE REVIEW




Shin Godzilla (2016) d. Hideaki Anno (Japan)

As a longtime G-fan, this was a difficult one to clock. From the outset, there is much to admire, with echoes of the 1954 original reverberating loud and long throughout both in tone and plot. Then, following an electrifying mid-film attack sequence that leaves jaws agape and minds blown, the entire film deflates, descending into a boggy series of human contemplations and conversations. (Similar to the original, only with fewer engaging or empathetic characters.) Certainly, there are potent topics broached within the sci-fi monster-on-the-loose context, topics that deserve our time and attention (nukes, global warming, global politics, and legacies both personal and political). However, I argue, not at the expense of satisfying audience expectations and this audience came to see a Godzilla movie.


Monday, October 10, 2016

OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE (10/7 - 10/10)



Challenge Totals to Date:


Movies Watched: 4
Total Movies Watched: 10
Total First Time Views: 5
Scare-A-Thon Pledges: $304.80

Remember, if you would like to make a pledge toward Scare-A-Thon 2016 (benefiting THE GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY) at any time, drop me an email at drach101@gmail.com to say how much you would like to pledge. Your donation is tax deductible and, seriously, even a penny per film helps.


Friday, October 7, 2016

OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE (10/4 - 10/6)



Challenge Totals to Date:


Movies Watched: 3
Total Movies Watched: 6
Total First Time Views: 3
Scare-A-Thon Pledges: $179.88

Remember, if you would like to make a pledge toward Scare-A-Thon 2016 (benefiting THE GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY) at any time, drop me an email at drach101@gmail.com to say how much you would like to pledge. Your donation is tax deductible and, seriously, even a penny per film helps.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE (10/1 - 10/3)



Challenge Totals to Date:


Movies Watched: 3
Total Movies Watched: 3
Total First Time Views: 2
Scare-A-Thon Pledges: $86.94

Remember, if you would like to make a pledge toward Scare-A-Thon 2016 (benefiting THE GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY) at any time, drop me an email at drach101@gmail.com to say how much you would like to pledge. Your donation is tax deductible and, seriously, even a penny per film helps.




Saturday, October 1, 2016

SCARE-A-THON 2016: FIGHT HUNGER WITH HORROR



Hello, friends and fellow fiends! It’s that time of year again, where nights come quicker, leaves rustle louder, and monsters and maniacs come out to play....

It’s time for SCARE-A-THON 2016.

Darn it, how do you open these things....?

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fool's Views (9/1 – 9/30)



Bam. Just in the nick of time! No time for chit-chat, as The October Challenge draws nigh.....

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.

Enjoy!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fool's Views (8/1 – 8/31)



Wow, where the hell did the time go? I turned around after the whirlwind that was August and suddenly I’m clearing my plate for the upcoming OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE/Scare-A-Thon 2016. Which means that I should probably post the Views from the past couple months, right? Sheesh!

Time being the fleeting mistress that she is, I guess we’re going to keep these short and sweet. If you’d like to chat further about any of the flickers listed below, feel free to leave a comment or two, and we can blather on together until the shadows grow long….

(Translation: Leave your two cents worth and we’ll make sure you get some change back.)

Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Fool's Views (7/1 - 7/31) (Part 2)



As promised, here is the rest of the bunch, comprised of one lovely day at the multiplex where all the schedules lined up like constellations in the sky and my Civilian proclivities for the month. Hope you dig.

TERROR IN THE AISLES: SUMMER 2016


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fool's Views (7/1 - 7/31) (Part 1)



Whew! What a loaded-to-the-gills summer we’re having. Trips from coast to coast for Enlightened Warrior Training Camps, quickie vacations to New England to see the in-laws and the outlaws (aka our friends), and nonstop fitness sessions for the brave and the misguided alike. And yet, somehow we still managed to sneak in a few flickers both on the big screen and in the occasionally sweltering confines of Chez AC.

Since my rambling this month took a turn for the gabtastic, I’ve broken up this month’s Views into two, count ’em TWO installments for your reading pleasure. Hope you can handle the suspense. Hey, is anyone still there? Hello? Hello? Echoooooooo….

As per usual, please feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.

Enjoy!


Saturday, July 23, 2016

PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (1974)



In conjunction with Cinema SuperCollider's upcoming podcast, we take a break from our usual programming to showcase Anna McKibben's essay, which originally appeared in the Rondo Award-winning compendium, HIDDEN HORROR. Hope you enjoy!


“It's all here. Read it carefully then sign at the bottom in blood. Messy, I know, but it's the only way to bind. Tradition.”


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fool's Views (6/1 – 6/30)



Hola, mis amigos!

Well, birthday month came and went, and I found myself spending even less time in front of the tube (or the computer) than before, resulting in one of the lowest June totals I’ve logged in years: A mere dozen flickers, only a handful of which could really be counted as horror. (A week into July, I think I’ve already hit that number, so fear not, true believers.) Additionally, the films themselves were a decidedly mixed lot, with no real breakout first-time Views in the mix. Still, you take the good, you take the bad, you take the so-bad-it’s-good, and there you have the Facts of Life.

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.

Enjoy!