Monday, January 30, 2017
Hunting Grounds (aka Valley of the Sasquatch) (2015) d. John Portanova (USA)
If you go down to the woods today
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the woods today
You’d better go in disguise!
-- “Teddy Bear’s Picnic”
The award-winning* creature feature Hunting Grounds opens, predictably enough, with a hunter (Bill Oberst, Jr.) walking in the forest. Writer/director John Portonova highlights these opening scenes with a haunting score, beautiful scenic shots, and sounds of nature that craft the environment as being rich, deep, and honestly creepy. It’s when the hunter hears a roar that sounds like a living avalanche that I go, NOPE! At this point, any other person would leave Nature where it is, get in the car, and head to the nearest comfort of home... but our guy keeps on trekking, implying there is something in those woods that he is after.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
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!
Hell or High Water
Swiss Army Man
Monday, January 9, 2017
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
|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.