Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2013

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    The rules are simple. I tell you, with an excruciating amount of exactness, what I watched and read this year, and you either read it because you are interested or you don’t because you aren’t. In other words, none of this will be on the midterm.

    MOVIES

    I watched 417 movies this year, down from last year’s personal-record-setting 503. Of the 417:

    – 218 were new releases or festival films that will open in 2014 (or later, or never); the other 199 were from 2012 or earlier.

    – 96 were movies I’d seen before; the other 321 were new to me.

    2013 theatrical releases that I reviewed (132 of ’em!):

    A.C.O.D.
    About Time
    Admission
    After Earth
    Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
    All Is Lost
    All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
    American Hustle
    Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
    An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
    Austenland
    Barbara
    Beautiful Creatures
    The Best Man Holiday
    Black Nativity
    Bless Me, Ultima
    The Bling Ring
    Blue Caprice
    Blue Is the Warmest Color
    The Broken Circle Breakdown
    The Butler
    Byzantium
    C.O.G.
    Carrie
    Charlie Countryman
    The Conjuring
    The Counselor
    The Croods
    Delivery Man
    Despicable Me 2
    Don Jon
    Drinking Buddies
    The East
    Elysium
    Ender’s Game
    Enough Said
    Escape from Tomorrow
    Escape Plan
    Europa Report
    Evil Dead
    Fast & Furious 6
    42
    Frances Ha
    Fruitvale Station
    G.I. Joe: Retaliation
    Gangster Squad
    Getaway
    Gimme the Loot
    Ginger & Rosa
    A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
    Go for Sisters
    A Good Day to Die Hard
    Gravity
    The Great Gatsby
    Grown Ups 2
    Grudge Match
    Hammer of the Gods
    The Hangover Part III
    Haunter
    The Heat
    The History of Future Folk
    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
    Homefront
    Hours
    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
    Identity Thief
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Iron Man 3
    Jack the Giant Slayer
    Kick-Ass 2
    Kill Your Darlings
    The Kings of Summer
    Last Vegas
    The Lone Ranger
    Man of Steel
    Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
    Maniac
    Monsters University
    Much Ado About Nothing
    Mud
    My Brother the Devil
    Now You See Me
    Oblivion
    Olympus Has Fallen
    Only God Forgives
    Pacific Rim
    Pain & Gain
    Parker
    Passion
    Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
    Philomena
    The Place Beyond the Pines
    Prince Avalanche
    Prisoners
    The Purge
    R.I.P.D.
    Reaching for the Moon
    The Reluctant Fundamentalist
    Riddick
    Romeo & Juliet
    Safe Haven
    Saving Mr. Banks
    Scary Movie 5
    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
    Short Term 12
    Side Effects
    Sightseers
    Simon Killer
    A Single Shot
    Snitch
    The Spectacular Now
    Star Trek Into Darkness
    Stoker
    Stories We Tell
    The Stroller Strategy
    This Is the End
    Thor: The Dark World
    The To Do List
    To the Wonder
    12 Years a Slave
    21 & Over
    Upstream Color
    Violet & Daisy Warm Bodies
    The Way Way Back
    We’re the Millers
    White House Down
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    The Wolverine
    The World’s End
    World War Z
    Zero Charisma

    Movies I reviewed at 2013 festivals that have not yet opened theatrically:

    Detektiv Downs
    Goldberg & Eisenberg
    Grand Piano

    2013 films that I saw but did not review:
    (Most links are to Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider podcast episodes where we reviewed the films with our voices instead of our writing. A few links are to things I wrote about the films that aren’t exactly “reviews” but close.)

    At the Sundance Film Festival:
    After Tiller
    Crystal Fairy
    Hell Baby
    In a World…
    The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
    Magic Magic
    Touchy Feely
    Valentine Road
    VHS 2
    We Are What We Are

    At the Oxford (Miss.) Film Festival:
    Congratulations
    Tennessee Queer

    At the South By Southwest Film Festival:
    Bad Milo
    Big Ass Spider
    Cheap Thrills
    I Give It a Year
    Kelly + Victor
    Lords of Salem
    The Retrieval
    Some Girl(s)
    Spring Breakers
    Yellow

    At Fantastic Fest:
    Afflicted
    Almost Human
    Borgman
    Blue Ruin
    Coherence
    The Congress
    The Dirties
    Eega
    Jodorowsky’s Dune
    Kids Police
    Moebius
    Proxy
    Ragnarok
    R100
    Rigor Mortis
    The Sacrament
    We Gotta Get Out of This Place
    Why Don’t You Play in Hell
    Witching and Bitching

    Elsewhere:
    August: Osage County
    Before Midnight
    Blackfish
    Blue Jasmine
    The Book Thief
    Captain Phillips
    Closed Circuit
    Dallas Buyers Club
    A Field in England
    The Fifth Estate
    Free Birds
    From Up on Poppy Hill
    Frozen
    I’m So Excited!
    InAPPropriate Comedy
    Insidious Chapter 2
    Mama
    The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
    Movie 43
    Nebraska
    Oldboy (2013)
    Out of the Furnace
    RED 2
    Runner Runner
    The Saratov Approach
    Some Velvet Morning
    A Talking Cat!?! (2013)
    Texas Chainsaw
    2 Guns
    The Wind Rises

    Pre-2013 releases that I had seen before, and reviewed, that I re-watched this year:

    Anchorman (2004)
    Armageddon (1998)
    Battlefield Earth (2000)
    Before Sunset (2005)
    Children of Men (2004)
    Elf (2003)
    Far from Heaven (2002)
    A History of Violence (2005)
    Hot Rod (2007)
    In Bruges (2008)
    Kick-Ass (2010)
    Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
    Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
    Kill List (2012)
    Looper (2012)
    The Matrix Reloaded (2013)
    The Matrix Revolutions (2013)
    Oldboy (2005)
    Primer (2004)
    The Rundown (2003)
    Shaun of the Dead (2004)
    Superman Returns (2006)
    There Will Be Blood (2007)

    Pre-2013 releases that I had seen before, but did not review, that I re-watched this year:
    (Links are to columns I wrote about the movies in question.)

    Agent from H.A.R.M.* (1966)
    Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
    Army of Darkness (1993)
    Babe (1995)
    Being John Malkovich (1999)
    Big (1988)
    The Big Heat (1953)
    Blood Simple (1984)
    Blue Velvet (1986)
    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
    Cape Fear (1991)
    Carrie (1976)
    Casablanca (1942)
    A Christmas Story (1983)
    Deep Impact (1998)
    E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
    Election (1999)
    A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
    The Flintstones (1994)
    The Fugitive (1993)
    Gattaca (1997)
    Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
    The Goonies (1985)
    Happy Gilmore (1996)
    The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who…* (1963)
    I Was a Teenage Werewolf* (1957)
    Jack Frost* (1966)
    Last Action Hero (1993)
    Lethal Weapon (1987)
    Life Is Beautiful (1998)
    The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
    The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh (1977)
    Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983)
    Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
    The Naked Gun (1988)
    Out of Sight (1998)
    Paths of Glory (1957)
    Pocahontas (1995)
    Psycho (1960)
    Psycho (1998)
    Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic (2013)
    Starship Troopers (1997)
    Sudden Death (1996)
    Suspicion (1941)
    Taxi Driver (1976)
    There’s Something About Mary (1998)
    Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
    Top Secret! (1984)
    True Romance (1993)
    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
    Unforgiven (1992)
    The Untouchables (1987)
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
    Zombie Nightmare* (1987)

    *Mystery Science Theater 3000 version

    Pre-2013 releases that I saw for the first time this year:
    (Links are to columns I wrote about the movies in question.)

    The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
    All-American Co-Ed (1941)
    Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls (2008)
    The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
    The Baby (1973)
    Badlands (1973)
    Barney’s Great Adventure (1998)
    Battleship (2012)
    The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
    Before Sunrise (1995)
    Between Two Worlds (1944)
    Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
    Blackmail! (1929)
    BloodRayne: The Third Reich (2010)
    Branded (2012)
    The Broadway Melody (1929)
    Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)
    Burke and Hare (2010)
    C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979)
    Carnival of Souls (1962)
    Chain Reaction (1996)
    Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke (1978)
    Child of Manhattan (1933)
    Children of the Damned (1963)
    The Court Jester (1956)
    Cul de Sac (1966)
    The Curse (1987)
    Dead in the Water (2002)
    Dead Ringer (1964)
    Dementia 13 (1963)
    A Demon in My View (1991)
    A Dennis the Menace Christmas (2007)
    The Devil Within Her (1975)
    The Devil’s Hand (1961)
    Dick Tracy (1945)
    Dinosaur Island (1994)
    Dracula 3000 (2004)
    Dredd (2012)
    Dune (1984)
    Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011)
    Escape from New York (1981)
    Event Horizon (1997)
    Fly Away Baby (1937)
    42nd Street (1933)
    48 Hrs. (1982)
    The Freedom of Silence (2011)
    Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film (2012)
    Godspell (1973)
    Hair (1979)
    Hamlet (1948)
    He Who Gets Slapped (1924)
    House at the End of the Street (2012)
    Indecent Proposal (1993)
    The In-Laws (1979)
    The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
    The Italian Job (1969)
    It Came from Outer Space (1953)
    Jesse James (1939)
    Jour de Fete (1948)
    The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
    Kidnapped (aka Rabid Dogs) (1974)
    Kill Baby … Kill! (1966)
    Kingpin (1996)
    L’amore (1948)
    The Lady Vanishes (1938)
    Land of Doom (1986)
    The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
    Little Big Man (1970)
    Logan’s Run (1976)
    Lords of the Street (aka Jump out Boys) (2008)
    Lost in America (1985)
    MetalStorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983)
    Miami Connection (1987)
    Midnight Run (1988)
    Misbegotten (1998)
    Mr. Hush (2011)
    The Mummy (1932)
    Munchie (1992)
    My Boyfriend’s Back (1993)
    The Naked City (1948)
    Not Fade Away (2012)
    The Octagon (1980)
    On the Town (1949)
    Pinky (1949)
    The Quest (1996)
    Rebecca (1940)
    The Return of Captain Invincible (1983)
    Rififi (1955)
    A Royal Affair (2012)
    The Sandlot (1993)
    Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
    Sasquatch (2003)
    Scarface (1983)
    Serpico (1973)
    Setup (2011)
    Sh! The Octopus (1937)
    Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
    Shakma (1990)
    She Done Him Wrong (1993)
    Shoot the Piano Player (1960)
    Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)
    A Simple Plan (1998)
    The Skulls III (2003)
    Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
    Snake Eyes (1998)
    Stand Up Guys (2012)
    Suburban Commando (1991)
    The Suitor (1962)
    Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971)
    The Thin Red Line (1998)
    The Thing from Another World (1951)
    Three O’Clock High (1987)
    Valhalla Rising (2010)
    The Visitor (1979)
    The Women (1939)
    The Wraith (1986)
    Yojimbo (1961)

    ________________

    TELEVISION

    It wasn’t a conscious choice, but my TV consumption fell sharply this year. In fact, I canceled my beloved DirecTV in November after realizing that everything I watch is available legally online for a lot less money than DirecTV costs. (It helps that I don’t watch sports.) I do miss randomly catching a few minutes of whatever’s on Turner Classic Movies, or DVR’ing TCM programs to watch later, but I’ll survive.

    These are the current shows that I watched every new episode of in 2013:

    American Horror Story
    Arrested Development
    Bob’s Burgers
    Breaking Bad (R.I.P.)
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    Childrens Hospital
    Downton Abbey
    Fringe (R.I.P.)
    The Heart She Holler
    Mad Men
    Parks & Recreation
    Saturday Night Live
    The Simpsons
    South Park
    Southland (R.I.P.)
    30 Rock (R.I.P.)

    I know there are many other fine programs that I would enjoy if I watched them, and I know where to find them if I need them.

    ________________

    BOOKS
    I wanted to read more books in 2013 than I did in 2012, and I did: 18 versus 17. That number is inexcusably low for a person who enjoys reading. For 2014, my goal is 1,000 books. We can do it!

    Links are to Amazon. I enjoyed all of these books to some extent, because I finished them. (I bail if I’m 100 pages in and not enjoying myself.) Books I especially recommend are marked with asterisks.

    The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker
    Austenland, by Shannon Hale. The movie was bad, but the book is a charming and smart bit of “chick lit.”
    Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
    The Braindead Megaphone, by George Saunders. Collection of essays, some great, some less so.
    The Cove, by Ron Rash
    **Crap Kingdom, by D.C. Pierson. Fun young-adult fantasy about a kid transported to a parallel world where he might be a hero.
    Damned, by Chuck Palahniuk. Love this author, but this one — from the POV of a newly deceased rich girl who finds herself in hell — felt like a disappointing retread.
    Dreams and Shadows, by C. Robert Cargill
    **The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’d read it before but wanted to refresh my memory before the movie. One of my favorite novels.
    **The Lifeboat, by Charlotte Rogan. Absorbing drama about a young woman doing what it takes to survive after a shipwreck.
    Night Film, by Marisha Pessl
    **Red Moon, by Benjamin Percy. Really dug this horror-ish novel set in an alternate reality where werewolves are common among us, and where a militant faction of them wants to rise up against regular humans.
    **The Remarkable Millard Fillmore, by George Pendle. Fictional biography mingled with real history. Quite funny.
    The Returned, by Jason Mott
    The Spoiler, by Annalena McAfee
    The **Sugar Frosted Nutsack, by Mark Leyner. Great title, obviously. Also a really imaginative and surreal mind-bending comic epic about an unemployed butcher who is manipulated by the Gods. Reading it is probably what taking crystal meth is like.
    **Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple. Girl’s slightly crazy mother disappears. Hilarity ensues. (Really. It’s a comedy, with some keen satire of modern liberal parents.)
    Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone, by Stefan Kiesbye. Another great title. Set in a small German village where many terrible things happen. Amazon says it’s “The Twilight Zone” meets Shirley Jackson. That sounds about right.