Crystal’s Best of 2015: The Movies

2016-02-22

I actually completed this year’s Top 25 by mid-January but then I was so hyped about movies that I couldn’t stop watching them long enough to actually write this post. (The struggle is real.) As usual, I didn’t make my goal of publishing this before Oscar season ended and this is all woefully irrelevant now but I’m continuing on. You can call me tardy but never a quitter.

According to my adorably painstaking Letterboxd score-keeping, I went to the theatre 45 times to see 39 different films. Of those 39 films, 29 were new releases; other trips included 5 holdovers from 2014 (Into the Woods, Top Five, Inherent Vice, Selma and American Sniper), special anniversary screenings of Home Alone and the three Back To The Future films and a test screening of the 2016 unintentional comedy masterpiece The 5th Wave. The rest of my trips were encores of Avengers: Age of Ultron (my first IMAX 3D splurge!), Mad Max: Fury Road (two encores, technically), Magic Mike XXL, The Night Before (I saw a test screening and went again when it was released) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Through the magic of modern viewing habits, I obviously saw way more than 29 films from 2015 (a Top 25 would be ridiculous in that case); listed below are my favorites of the year along with a few other categories, just for fun. Spoiler-free unless otherwise marked, because what am I, a monster?

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Crystal’s Best of 2014: The Movies

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Oh the films of 2014, it’s safe to say that we got along quite well. I made 56 trips to 10 different movie theatres to see 47 different films: 41 new releases, 5 hold-outs from 2013 (Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Her, the R-rated super-cut re-release of Anchorman 2 and Frozen) and a 10th anniversary screening of Saw. The rest of my 56 trips were comprised of one encore each of The Fault In Our Stars and 22 Jump Street, 2 return visits to Captain America: The Winter Soldier and an admittedly ridiculous 5 repeat viewings of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Thanks to the modern marvels of VOD, the ever-shrinking theatrical window and the fact that it’s March (ha), I ended up seeing 70 total releases from 2014. I was feeling extra opinionated this year, so alongside my Top 25 is some new categories. (Presented with jump links because we fancy now that we moved to WordPress!) (And all spoiler-free because I’m nice like that!)

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Live From My Heart, It’s My SNL Tribute!

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I felt like I should pay tribute to Saturday Night Live as the 40th anniversary was the talk of the town this weekend. But this is one of the few instances where I actually have no idea what to say. SNL has always been in my life and more importantly, been a part of my life. I’ve never known a world without SNL and frankly, I don’t care to. It feels a bit weird to make such adamantly sentimental and loving statements about a show that is so often looked down on – accused of either being past its prime or never having been funny at all – but I can’t help how I feel. “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” takes me to my happy place. I honestly don’t know who I would be if I didn’t hear those magical seven words every Saturday night growing up.

I have vividly clear memories of watching SNL for the first time. It was the spring of 1996, I was 10 years old and up with the flu and a fever. My younger brother was tucked away in bed and I was being tended to by my parents in the living room. My mom spread a sheet out on the floor for me (she would sleep on the couch in case I needed anything during the night) and I can still remember how cool and refreshing the sheet felt against my fever-warm skin. 11:30 rolled around (though it seemed much later to a delirious 10-year-old) and my father turned the muted TV to Saturday Night Live, as (I’d later find out) he often did. I was familiar with the show only by name and reputation – I was a fan of Nickelodeon’s kid-oriented sketch shows, Roundhouse and All Thatand knew that those shows were based on that model. And I knew it was something I was not allowed to watch, a fact I had learned 2 years previous when Nancy Kerrigan (I was obsessed with figure skating for a few years in my childhood) hosted and my parents tuned in and told me about it after the fact.

But for some reason, this night was different. As fate would have it, Jim Carrey was hosting and my parents were tickled by The Mask. By monologue’s end, Dad had unmuted the TV. Mom was still attending to my illness, pressing a cold washcloth to my forehead, but her attention slowly began to shift from me to the television. The first sketch was Carrey joining in on Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri’s Spartan Cheerleaders routine. It was weird, it was manic, it was… amazing? The next sketch was the soon-to-be-iconic sight of Carrey with Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan’s Roxbury Guys. Incredible. The third sketch featured Carrey as an overzealous lifeguard supervising Will Ferrell sitting in a Jacuzzi. The three of us were in hysterics.

Even in my feverish haze, I remember feeling like I was getting away with something. Did my parents forget I was in the room? Is this a treat because I’m sick? Do they figure I’m not retaining any of this because I’m fuzzy from the cold medicine? Anytime any joke or event happened that I knew (or extrapolated) was “inappropriate,” I would squint my eyes (squint, not close. I obviously wasn’t going to stop watching!) and pretend to have fallen asleep, not for fear of embarrassment but for fear that my Dad would feel pressured to change the channel. There was no way he could change the channel.

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Quips, Quibbles and Witticisms Courtesy of the 2013 Emmy Nominations

Early Thursday morning, I upheld my tradition of staying up all night (because why go to bed early? The delirium of exhaustion makes my commentary even funnier!) and overreacting to the Emmy award nominations. Apparently I haven’t given a proper analysis to the nominees for a couple years but I studied for this year’s nominations harder than I studied for most of my college exams so read on for one of my patented long-winded, overly emotional and mostly biased analyses.
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Crystal’s Top 25 Films of 2010

I really have no excuse for not posting this sooner. It’s stayed mostly untouched in my blog’s queue for over a year now, even though I finished the actual list itself before 2010 was even over. But as much as I enjoy procrastinating, I also quite enjoy finishing things I’ve started so I am still going ahead with this list even though it is wildly irrelevant now. What follows is my Best of 2010 list, minus the commentary. Because let’s be real, you’ve probably seen all these movies by now anyways and if I had to sit here and write about 25 different movies that are 2 years old, this would NEVER get done. The intro remains intact because it was already finished and I like to have my movie totals every year. Apologies for my laziness and many thanks if you care enough to click.
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Abridged 2010 Emmy Thoughts in Pictures (and a few words)

What a show! For the first time in years, the Primetime Emmy Awards were an exciting, entertaining, interesting show to watch. Shows that deserved to win won (Modern Family, Mad Men), actors who’ve been due for a while finally got their shot (Aaron Paul, Jim Parsons) and there were actually some surprise winners (I’m still trying to figure out who or what an Archie Panjabi is). Perhaps it’s because I am still a 14-year-old fangirl at heart, but I thought Jimmy Fallon did an excellent job hosting, with the right mixture of his bizarre Late Night humor (his intro for – and subsequent hugging of – Tom Selleck) and his obvious overall enthusiasm for television (the opening, his musical farewells to 24, Law & Order and Lost). (And seriously, that opening? Kind of made my life tonight. Hurry and go YouTube it before they take it down, folks, it was ah-mazing.) The only real bummer of the night (besides COCO losing!) was the Miniseries/Movie segment which went on for about 1300 years (or like, 45 minutes).

If (for some reason) you’d like to read my real-time reactions to the Emmy events, you can see what I posted on Twitter (beware there’s probably a lot of ALL CAPS. I was excited.); otherwise, continuing the tradition of my old Xanga blog, I now present:

Crystal’s Abridged 2010 Emmy Thoughts in Pictures

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Quips, Quibbles and Witticisms Courtesy of the 2010 Emmy Nominations

If there’s anything that can break me out of a blogging funk, it’s the Emmys (or as I like to call it: the Superbowl for TV nerds). While I certainly don’t expect the 2010 ceremony to even come close to topping last year’s awards (Mad Men & 30 Rock continued their winning streaks, LORD WHEDON won his first trophy, and oh yeah the show was hosted by God, uh, Neil Patrick Harris), they definitely have a good start. In an attempt to A) appeal to younger viewers and B) make you forget that had he not been fired from his Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien probably would’ve hosted this year’s ceremony, NBC has tapped Jimmy Fallon to host. While this decision does seem a bit premature, Fallon’s take on Late Night has often proved to be innovative, creative and most importantly, entertaining so I am excited to see what he brings to the show.
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