Monthly Viewing Roundup & Favorite Film of January 2014


Good riddance January!! Boy it’s truly THE coldest month I’ve had in my 20+ years living in MN, though December 2013 is not any warmer at all either! On Groundhog day yesterday, Groundhog Phil saw his shadow in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pa. so I guess we have six more weeks to contend with of this dreadful Winter. Heh, I don’t mind so much if we could do away with the crazy subzero temps.

In any case, time for the recap.

I’ve had 23 posts so far this month, some of which are guest posts from my awesome collaborators. Thanks Ted, Jack aka Kevin, Conor, Sarah and Dave W!

Here are some posts you might’ve missed:

Film Reviews: Nebraska | 12 Years a Slave | Her | August: Osage County
TV Review/Commentary: The Returned | Early 2014 TV Season

The list of all list … my picks of

TOP 10 FILMS of 2013 and The Worst/Most Disappointing Films of the Year


Award Season Coverage:

Blogathons: The Alphabet Movie MemeLCR’s Recast-Athon

New Films Watched:


  • BBC Sense & Sensibility (2008)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

I’ve been um, preoccupied by Richard Armitage [yes I know, that’s putting it mildly] so I’ve been catching up on some BBC Robin Hood solely for Sir Guy of Gisborne 😉

Yes I realize it’s a pretty s-l-o-w start in 2014 in terms of movie-watching. I only went to one advanced screening which was the new Jack Ryan movie, but hey, looking ahead to February, it’s already a pretty darn good start as I saw The Lego Movie and also saw Cate Blanchett’s phenomenal performance in Blue Jasmine this weekend.


I’ve got three screenings scheduled for the next two weeks: The Monuments Men on Wednesday and Winter’s Tale next Monday. As the Robocop remake is scheduled the same day as Winter’s Tale, Ted will be seeing that one in my place.

Favorite Movie Seen in January 2014:


Glad I finally saw this classic Capra rom-com (view my full review). It’s easily my favorite viewing of January, so that’s definitely a fabulous choice for my BlindSpot list! Not sure which one I’ll watch next, perhaps a Jimmy Stewart film as I’ve been wanting to see more of his films for ages.

So, what movies did you get to see in January and which one is your favorite?

82 thoughts on “Monthly Viewing Roundup & Favorite Film of January 2014

  1. Good post along with others! I saw quite a few too last month, Lone Survivor, 12 Years A Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis, American Hustle! All were very impressive Inside Llewyn Davis my pick off the bunch 🙂 Got Monuments Men and Her lined up for February too!

      1. Yeah, new releases over here too shame I have to wait for Her! Can’t believe the UK release date is as late as 14th Feb 😦 All good films, and thanks a lot I’m sure you will and good choice! I’m sure it’ll make my 2014 list.

  2. Great recap. Glad you liked It Happened One Night so much. I hope you take on a Jimmy Stewart film next.

    What did you think of Cate in Blue Jasmine?

    I saw a few more films in January, and I think my favorite is a tie between About Time and August: Osage County.

    1. Yeah I just might watch a Jimmy Stewart film next, he’s my fave classic actor after Greg Peck 😀

      Oh Cate is simply SUBLIME in Blue Jasmine, I love her even more. I’d bow to her if I ever meet her!

      Glad you like August: Osage County, Fernando, I know some people didn’t like it. I still need to see About Time.

        1. There are only four actresses I’d bow to, the three British Dames: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith & Helen Mirren… and Blanchett! 😀

          Yeah I will, I usually like Richard Curtis’ movies.

  3. Ted S.

    Amen to good ridden to January, it’s been brutal and hopefully February and March won’t be too bad. I can’t wait for the warm weather, this winter’s been one of the worse I’ve experienced living in MN too.

    Yeah the only new movie I saw in theater was Jack Ryan too and it’s my favorite, unfortunately we won’t be seeing anymore of him on the big screen for a while since the film only earned a poultry $40mil at the box office so far, ouch! I’m pretty disappointed because now we won’t get to see Without Remorse, another origin story in the the Tom Clancy’s universe. Paramount hoped Jack Ryan would be a hit so they can make Without Remorse, it’s been in development hell for 20 years now! It’s also one of my favorite Clancy’s novels.

    Since I don’t have my projector and my BD player had died, I watched a couple of more movies on Netflix. The Grey surprised me, it’s quite good, then I watched a movie I haven’t seen in years, Farewell to the King, a late 80s WW2 film with Nick Nolte. I remember liking it back when I was younger but after seeing it again, I thought it’s kind of weak. And this weekend, I watched maybe one of the worst movies from 2013, Aron Eckhart’s Erased, it’s a cheap knockoff of the Bourne movies. Seriously whatever happened to Eckhart’s career anyway? I thought for sure after he appeared in The Dark Knight, he would be a bigger star.

    1. Hi Ted! Well unfortunately, it looks like February is going to be pretty cold as well, though I’m hoping the double-digit subzero temp is over!!

      That is a bummer about Jack Ryan. I’d love to see a follow-up to that as well.

      “Seriously whatever happened to Eckhart’s career anyway?” Yep, wish I knew. It’s too bad as he’s a good actor. Seems like what’s happening w/ Gerry Butler’s career is rubbing off on him since they did Olympus Has Fallen and the sequel, London Has Fallen [face palm]

      1. Ted S.

        I know, I’m just wishing that somehow we’ll get a bump in the temps up to the 20s or 30s by mid February, it’s not fun when the heating bills are pretty high the last couple of months.

        Oh wow, I totally forgot they greenlit the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen and I totally forgot Eckhart was the president in the movie, ha ha. I thought for sure he would have a career like Harrison Ford’s, Ford didn’t become a big star until his late 30s and I though Eckhart would have the same path to stardom but he kept starring in bad flicks. It’s really too bad because he’s very good actor.

  4. January for me was mostly concerned with catching up with Oscar noms. I’m glad that’s over because even though they were good for the most part, I generally don’t like having to check off a list of films like that. But I’m done now so it’s all good! 🙂
    How’d you like Contact?

    1. I still have a couple of Oscar noms to check out, hopefully I’ll get to ’em before March. Contact is pretty good but a bit too long. I like the spirituality aspect in it, I think a lot of sci-fi films is a great opportunity for spiritual discussion.

  5. Definitely been a frigidly annoying month, this. 🙂

    To answer your question: January was a good month for me. I saw several of the Oscar nominees this month, in addition to The Act of Killing, The Square, Fruitvale Station and Short Term 12. Was the best movie viewing month I can remember in some time.

    1. Hi Josh, frigidly-annoying is a GREAT way to describe it.

      Good for you man, so did you see The Act of Killing director’s cut yet? No rush though.

      1. Not yet. I’m going to watch Hunt Vs. Lauda tonight (since I haven’t seen any of it yet). And The Act of Killing’s director’s cut sometime later this week.

                1. Ahah no worries Josh 🙂 I’ll lend you this weird adventure film that Gerry Butler did a while back. It’s an indie flick called Beowulf & Grendel with Stelan Saarsgard. Shot in Iceland so the cinematography is gorgeous!

                  Btw, stop by today for a topic I’m sure you have an opinion on 🙂

                    1. Awww, very sweet of you Josh! Likewise man. Btw, I shared your Hunt vs Lauda article via Twitter, one day you should get on Twitter man 😀

              1. Actually. Have you seen many of Film Movement’s flicks? I cancelled my membership years and years ago, so the ones I have are not new, but there are some pretty good ones mixed in the collection. If you haven’t seen many of them, I’d be happy to share those.

  6. Some reeeally good movies on that list. As I mentioned to you before, I’m a big fan of “It Happened One Night” too. SO glad you had the chance to check out. Now what will BlindSpot film #2 be? Hmmm…..

            1. Ahahahaha!! Yes it does indeed! WOW, I’m so looking forward to reading it Keith, is it one of your Valhalla induction? I hope it is, somehow I get the feeling it’s going to be one of my favorites. Stewart is my 2nd fave classic actor of all time after Gregory Peck and his role there reminds me of Atticus Finch 😉

              1. Ok that’s just cool! It’s not a Valhalla induction post (yet). It’s a Classic Movie Spotlight review. It’s one I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I finally decided to sit down, rewatch it, and write it up. Can’t wait to compare thoughts.

  7. I didn’t see any new films this year, just mostly movies that came out late in December and some older releases. The best pictures I’ve seen all month is Wild Strawberries and her.

    1. I wish I had seen more films, but yeah I have lots of catching up to do as well. Glad to see you love Her too, ckckred. Which one is Wild Strawberries? Is that a foreign film??

  8. I watched 14 films in January, and the best was The Right Stuff. That was a re-watch, so I’ll pick a few others as the best new viewings. It’s close, but Captain Phillips was probably the top choice, with Dredd and Drinking Buddies coming in behind it.

    1. Hi Dan, is that the film about space program? I really should give that a watch, I like the ensemble cast in that film. Oh I almost watched Drinking Buddies, wish I had seen it instead of Man of the House which is pretty bad despite Tommy Lee Jones in it.

    1. Cate’s performance is simply phenomenal, and so is Sally Hawkins. The two male supporting actors, Andrew Dice Clay and Bobby Cannavale, are very good as well. Oh, I’m so glad you love Her too, I can’t wait to see that one again.

    1. Hi Tim, welcome to FC! (Found out your name from your About page) 🙂 Yeah, I’m glad I finally saw It Happened One Night, in fact, most of my Blind Spot list consist of classic films I can’t wait to see.

  9. asrap virtuoso

    You’re lucky Groundhogs Day didn’t happen like in the movie…. being in a loop with cold weather like that isn’t fun! Looking forward to your reviews of Lego Movie, Monuments Men, and Winter’s Tale. All three looks interesting!

    1. Ahah well, there IS a loop of cold (read: frigid) weather the past few months. It’s way more than most Winters. I should have the review of Monuments Men first before the LEGO movie, but hopefully this weekend or Monday.

  10. Ahh! The LEGO movie! Really looking forward to seeing that as soon as it’s out here. Looks so very funny!

    My January was a bit dull, in terms of films seen. Rush, Prisoners and The Way Way Back were my faves of the month. Finally got around to seeing Desolation of Smaug and it disappointed me so much! 😦

    1. Hi Jaina! The LEGO movie is a lot of fun. I think Variety calls it geekstravaganza or I’d call it geek-alicious, ahah.

      I still haven’t seen Prisoners yet but not too enthused about it. Oh no, you didn’t like The Hobbit 2? 😦

  11. Oh man I don’t think I saw a single movie that didn’t have McConaughey (Contact has such a disappointing twist btw but he was cute in it) in it, in some capacity, for a month. I literally must have seen like 6 films with him. I saw Wolf of course which is my definite favorite of those I saw in January.

    1. Ahah, you’re crushing on McConaughey aren’t you? Can’t say I blame you, he’s quite a hunk though I’m not fond of his voice at all (unlike w/ Armitage, Cumberbatch and Hiddles). He’s super cute in Contact, I agree. I like the spiritual aspect of that film but it’s a bit tedious and overlong, and yeah I don’t know what to make of that twist, it leaves me scratching my head.

        1. Oh really? Well can’t say I blame ’em.

          Ahah, well somehow I have an aversion to US Southern accent, but I have to admit I don’t mind it so much now about Matthew’s accent. So are you going to blog about your McConaughey Movie Marathon? 😉 I actually love his rom-com w/ Jennifer Lopez, The Wedding Planner, more of a guilty pleasure, he..he..

  12. Sounds like you had a good month. Looking forward to your reviews of The Monuments Men and RoboCop. I have zero expectations for the latter, but The Monuments Men should at least be decent. Although its February release date has me concerned..

    1. Ha..ha.. it’s actually pretty weak in terms of movie viewing. Ted is going to RoboCop screening w/ my hubby so he’ll review that one. I’m going to Monuments Men tomorrow, hopefully it’s better than some dismal early reviews.

  13. Great to hear you’ve seen Contact. It’s one of my favorites from Robert Zemeckis. Surprised you haven’t seen it before though Ruth! What did you think of it?

    I love the sequence when Jodie Foster discovers the signal for the first time and races back to the main office. Its crazy how exhilarating that scene is given that it is only based on a recurring noise! 🙂

    1. Hi Dan! Yeah took me a while to finally see it, thanks to my pal Ted for lending me his Blu-ray. Well, I appreciate it and love the spiritual aspect of the story, but I’m not sure about the twist/ending of it, not sure what to make of it, to be honest. Oh but I remember that scene, that’s definitely memorable. Foster’s performance is fantastic, and McConaughey is quite good as well.

      1. I think the ending is possibly the weakest part of the movie. I’m guessing, although can’t confirm, that it was something taken from the book that worked better in the novel than in film. The part when Jodie Foster actually meets the aliens has always felt a little lackluster to me because of the incredible build up.

        That said, I do like the “twist” in regards to the static that is recorded but does the fact it leaves it rather open-ended work for the movie – maybe not. It doesn’t seem fair that Jodie Foster’s reputation ends up somewhat tarnished.

  14. Wow, sounds like you are still freezing!

    To be honest, haven’t had much time to watch anything in January I have been so busy ;( It’s starting to work on my nerves. Apparently quiet from now until whenever, hope with me that it stays that way so that I can actually watch a few things again!

    You know how much I loved The Way Way Back 😛

    1. Hi there Zoë! I was just planning on catching up on your posts today girl! Yeah, still freezing. It’s only -2˚ F this morning 😦

      That’s a bummer that you’ve been too busy to watch films. But hey, that’s how life is. How’s study and work going, hope you’re at least enjoying yourself.

      I like The Way Way Back despite some quibbles, Sam Rockwell well, rocks his role, as always 🙂

      1. 😦 That is COLD!

        Yeah, it got busy, seems to be slipping back to normality and time again! Work is good, studies are full steam ahead, so very happy about that!

        Excuse that pun but yeah! 😛

        1. Ha..ha.. yes I know! It’s been brutal I tell you.

          It’s amazing how you juggle work, studies AND blogging Zoe. That’s why I always appreciate you stopping by my post and commenting, as time is precious to you!

          1. I could do with some cooler weather though… Maybe we should swap for a while! 😛

            Thanks so much Ruth, I try really hard to still stop by, glad you appreciate it 😀

            1. Oh I’d be happy to live in South Africa for a while. One of my former coworkers went there 2 yrs ago and she couldn’t stop raving about it!

              Yeah, everyone’s busy but I try to make time for my blog pals. Glad you are doing the same 😀

              1. Gotta say I do love my country! 😀 You should really come see it.

                Exactly! Plus it’s really nice socialising with people with similar interests and varying opinions!

  15. 23 posts in January, wow. Even with guest posts, that’s still impressive!

    I quite liked The Way, Way Back, especially for Sam Rockell, I’m curious how it would hold up on rewatch.

    1. Ha..ha.. well seems that I blog more than I have time to watch movies, kind of ironic isn’t it? Yes, Rockwell is my fave part about The Way Way Back, he’s always great even in the smallest roles. He even stole scenes in Iron Man 2 against RDJ!

  16. Looks like a pretty slow month in terms of new releases, but that’s January I guess! That’s the upside of our delayed release schedule over here as a lot of the big Oscar films don’t come out until after Christmas. So in January I saw American Hustle, Inside Llewyn Davies and 12 Years a Slave, the latter of which I think is my favourite of the month.

    1. Hi Chris! Yeah January is usually a good time to catch up on Oscar noms we’ve missed, or those released around Christmas. 12 Years A Slave is on my Top 10 list though come to think of it, Amazing Grace is an equally stellar film about slavery that most people overlooked. You should give it a shot, it’s a British production directed by Michael Apted.

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