Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2013


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.


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!):

About Time
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
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
Charlie Countryman
The Conjuring
The Counselor
The Croods
Delivery Man
Despicable Me 2
Don Jon
Drinking Buddies
The East
Ender’s Game
Enough Said
Escape from Tomorrow
Escape Plan
Europa Report
Evil Dead
Fast & Furious 6
Frances Ha
Fruitvale Station
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Gangster Squad
Gimme the Loot
Ginger & Rosa
A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
Go for Sisters
A Good Day to Die Hard
The Great Gatsby
Grown Ups 2
Grudge Match
Hammer of the Gods
The Hangover Part III
The Heat
The History of Future Folk
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
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
Monsters University
Much Ado About Nothing
My Brother the Devil
Now You See Me
Olympus Has Fallen
Only God Forgives
Pacific Rim
Pain & Gain
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
The Place Beyond the Pines
Prince Avalanche
The Purge
Reaching for the Moon
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Romeo & Juliet
Safe Haven
Saving Mr. Banks
Scary Movie 5
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Short Term 12
Side Effects
Simon Killer
A Single Shot
The Spectacular Now
Star Trek Into Darkness
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
We Are What We Are

At the Oxford (Miss.) Film Festival:
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

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

August: Osage County
Before Midnight
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
I’m So Excited!
InAPPropriate Comedy
Insidious Chapter 2
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Movie 43
Oldboy (2013)
Out of the Furnace
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)



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.


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.