The 2016 Movie Challenge: A Preview

Because I can’t leave well enough alone, here’s a brief rundown of (some of) what I’ll be watching in 2016 for this crazy challenge. I currently have 50 people signed up to recommend me movies, and all but a handful have already chosen their picks, so this thing is scheduled and locked in through September, with plenty of time for everyone else to decide what they want me to watch. So I’ll have a few more weeks worth of recommendations coming in, but here’s what I’ve got so far, with some upfront confessions on what I’m looking forward to and what I’m…not. :)

Really Excited to See


Several of these have been on my own to-see lists for quite a while and I’ve never gotten around to them. I’m really glad to get some external motivation to finally see them. Others have only recently come to my attention but sound so much up my alley that I can’t wait to get to them. In either case, these have the weight of expectations riding on them, which can be a double-edged sword.

The Abyss (1989)
Army of Darkness (1992)
Before Midnight (2013)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Fail Safe (1964)
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Harakiri (1962)
Heat (1995)
I Confess (1953)
The Last Five Years (2014)
The Last Waltz (1978)
Mr. Nobody (2009)
My Best Girl (1927)
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Paris, Texas (1984)
The Punk Singer (2013)
Stray Dog (1949)
Tokyo Story (1953)
Whiplash (2014)
Why Don’t You Play In Hell (2013)

Solid but Unexceptional Interest


These are all ones I’m moderately interested in. I’ve heard of them all but never been particularly motivated to seek them out, though the recommendation from friends certainly works in their favor! I’d say I’m looking forward to pretty much all of these, but not with the kind of anticipation of the first group.

April in Paris (1952)
Beginners (2010)
Capricorn One (1978)
Come and Get It (1936)
I’ve Loved You So Long (2008)
The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)
Last Days of Disco (1998)
Mon Oncle Antoine (1971)
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Obvious Child (2014)
Of Gods and Men (2010)
Quiz Show (1994)
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Sneakers (1992)
Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)
13 Conversations About One Thing (2001)
The Visitor (2007)
Viridiana (1961)
Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005)
Woman in the Dunes (1964)

Glad to Check Off


These are ones that I feel more like I OUGHT to see than I necessarily WANT to see. Or I want to HAVE seen them. A lot of times films in this category end up blowing me away and becoming favorites, or they could wind up being vegetables. Won’t know until we get there!

Animal House (1978)
Babette’s Feast (1987)
Being There (1979)
Boyhood (2014)
Fanny and Alexander (1982)
A Man for All Seasons (1966)
Marty (1955)
Rocky (1976)
Stand By Me (1986)

Have Never Heard Of!


The friend who gave me After the Dark expressed incredulity that there was a film I had never heard of. Well, there are a lot of those, and there are several in this very challenge. I have little to no knowledge or expectations of these (basically no more than a glance at the front of IMDb while looking up the year will tell you), and I’m not going to look anything else up before watching them.

After the Dark (2013)
Barcelona (1994)
The Collector (1965)
Dinner at the Ritz (1937)
The Good Fairy (1935)
The Hole (1998)
Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1973)
Lone Star (1996)
The Long Memory (1953)
Something New (2006)
True Stories (1986)

Interested but Wary


I’m interested in checking these out, but for one reason or another I’m going in with some reservations, either because I’m afraid the subject matter won’t be quite my thing, or because I’ve heard the film’s a bit tough to approach for whatever reason. I don’t know a lot about some of these, to be honest, so my reservations could be totally off base!

Europa ’51 (1952)
Mauvais Sang (1986)
Naked (1993)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Team America: World Police (2004)
Videodrome (1983)

Hoping for a Surprise!


I don’t know about these. I’d like to think the people who picked them think I’ll genuinely like them. I hope they’re right! I’d love to be pleasantly surprised by all of these, and there’s a fair chance I will be.

Grumpy Old Men (1993)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
Milk (2008)
Mortal Kombat (1995)
Tommy Boy (1995)

I’m Terrified


These two…I successfully avoided Birdemic when it played constantly at Cinefamily WHILE I was volunteering there. But my friend wants me to experience this as a terrible movie, and I’m cool with that. There are plenty of so-bad-they’re-good movies I love to bits, so I do have some hope on that front. As for The Dance of Reality…I’ve just never seen a Jodorowsky film, and I’ve heard they’re pretty out there. I’m not sure I would’ve picked this one to start with, but I really don’t know much about any of his films, so might as well take the plunge!

Birdemic (2010)
The Dance of Reality (2013)

So that’s at least most of my viewing up through September 2016. Keep your fingers crossed for me to keep up with all of this!


2015: The Year in Movies


Challenge Week 1: Babette’s Feast


  1. David Conrad

    Birdemic is painless MST3K material, without the MST3K commentary.

    I’m surprised you’re not actively excited about Babette’s Feast and A Man for All Seasons, but maybe low expectations will help them. They’re both Best Ever material.

    • I’ve had enough people rave about Babette’s Feast that I’m sure it’s much better than its logline indicates, but I’d be lying if that logline did anything for me on its own.

      As for A Man for All Seasons, my expectations may be suffering by my apathy toward Becket, which seems like a similar story and which I forgot almost instantly after watching it. I’m definitely hoping they’re both better than my ignorant impressions of them!

      • David Conrad

        I think apathy is basically the correct response to Becket, and I love A Man for All Seasons, so hopefully that’ll be the same for you.

  2. Ryan Stuckey

    Whoever nominated Mortal Kombat is my kind of cinema-recommender.

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