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2014 - 2018 in Review (four year catch up)

Posted by thethousandmarch on January 7, 2019 at 1:30 AM

2014 - 2018 in Review (four year catch up)

In 2015 I started an intensive screenwriting course, and in 2016 I started producing and directing a feature film; which curtailed my blogging. I’m nearly done with the film, so I’m finally back. I don’t think I’ll do much regular blogging in the future, but I will try to keep up my best of lists; mainly for my own recollection, and maybe someday my kids will find it interesting.


(All lists are for the years which I watched the movie, or TV show; heard the music, etc., not necessarily the year it was released.)

Best Movies

2014 - Calvary

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (absolutely my favorite Studio Ghibli film)

The Lego Movie

The Horseman (2008)

Money Movers

Grand Budapest Hotel

Edge of Tomorrow



Starred Up


Inherent Vice

Song of the Sea (I also recommend Ondine, we almost named Cillian, Ronan, which comes from this myth)

Ida (best cinematography)

The Babadook

Broken Circle Breakdown (best soundtrack)

Noise (Australian film, 2007)

Red Hill


Force Majeure

What We Do in the Shadows


Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

The Great Beauty

2015 - Mad Max: Fury Road


The Revenant

Ex Machina



Inside Out


Rashomon (finally got around to watching this thanks to a Cracked sketch - I miss those)

(I’m sure I saw more films I liked this year - this is why I need to keep up my list)

2016 - La La Land

The Nice Guys

Hell or HIgh Water


Jungle Book


Hail Caesar

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Breaking the Waves

The Tree of Life

The Chaser

Memories of Murder (my favorite Korean movie)

Joint Security Area

House (1977)

Harakiri (1962)

The Sword of Doom

Kill! (Japanese film, 1968)

Fist Full of Dollars

For a Few Dollars More

The Good The Bad and The Ugly


Favorite Director I Woke Up to This Year

Akira Kurosawa

My favorite movies of his:



Seven Samurai

The Bad Sleep Well

2017 - Dunkirk (I drove to San Francisco to watch it in Imax 70 MM on a curved screen; then stopped on my way home in Sacramento to watch it again in Imax 70 MM on a flat screen - well worth it.)

The Florida Project

Lady Bird

Baby Driver

Wonder Woman

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (second favorite Star Wars film, second IV)


The Big Sick

The Breadwinner

Where is My Friends House

Wind River

Once Upon a Time in America

Duck You Sucker

We Are X


Thor: Ragnarok

Come and See (the most amazing use of a subjective perspective in film making, creating a near overwhelming sense of immersion)

KiKi’s Delivery Service


2018 - You Were Never Really Here

First Reformed

Paddington 2 ( then we caught up with Paddington, which was also great)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (such amazing animation, ground breaking)

They Shall Not Grow Old

Leave No Trace


The Stunt Man

Train to Busan

Big Deal on Madonna Street

The Human Condition (parts I - III)

Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo

Double Indemnity

A Serious Man

Death of Stalin

The Trip to Spain


Best - First 20 minutes are great, slowly descending into, I don’t think that was the best directorial choice, and ending in, I see way this is such an infamous disaster - 

Heaven’s Gate


Honorable Mentions (Maybe not the best, or not my favorite of the year, but I liked it and it’s worth a mention)


Isle of Dogs

Ballad of Buster Scruggs


Blow Out

It Follows

Don’t Breathe

Get Out

LIghts Out

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

The Lobster

Hannie Caulder

Deep Red




Disappointments (Don’t hate them, just didn’t live up to my expectations)



The Rover

Birdman (an uneven film, some really great parts, some not so good)

Unbroken (a very disappointing screenplay from the Coen Brothers)


The Wild Bunch


Critically Acclaimed Films I Really Dislike


Under The Skin

Holy Motors



Still Need/Want to See

Winter Sleep

Heaven Knows What

8th Grade

Bad Times at the El Royale

The Rider



Sorry to Bother You


Won't You Be My Neighbor?




The Favourite

First Man

The Sisters Brothers

The Gift


Bridge of Spies


Train Wreck

Beasts of No Nation

Son of Saul

The Witch

Hacksaw Ridge


Nocturnal Animals



Sing Street

Toni Erdmann

Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri

Blade Runner 2049



King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

The Beguiled

Phantom Thread


Crimson Peak



Best TV (Usually just listed the first year I started watching it, and assumed to still be on the list unless otherwise mentioned)


True Detective

Dirk Gently (the British version)

Wallander (British version, though Norwegian version is good, just not as)

Silicon Valley

The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff

Peaky Blinders

Marry Me (unfortunately not picked up for another season)

Orphan Black



Key and Peele

Sopranos (finally watched the whole series)


We had stopped watching Homeland, having lost interest after it seemed the story had run its course, but started again and really like the direction it’s going.


Really getting tired of House of Cards - kept watching it because my wife wanted to, it keeps reeling me in now and again and then I get tired of it. If they hadn’t gotten rid of Frank in the penultimate season, I would have been done for sure; and that was before what came to light with Spacey in 2017; but now will watch the last season.

Stopped watching Orange is the New Black after the second season.


Gave up on Downton Abbey.




Documentary Now

The Story of Film (Doc. series on Netflix)


Master of None

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Better Call Saul

Last Man on Earth (it was weakening at the end, but I still wish they had wrapped it up instead of leaving it on a cliffhanger)

Peep Show (the last season apparently, sad to see it done)

Blunt Talk


Finally couldn’t take anymore and stopped watching The Walking Dead after Season 6 Episode 8. The show is not good enough to put up with these mid-season breaks, etc. I will wait till it’s all done, and if the general consensus is that it ended well, all finish it. Not suffering another Lost.



Son of Zorn (the show I’m most disappointed was cancelled)

The Grand Tour

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Lady Dynamite

West World


Stranger Things

Adventure Time



A Very Secret Service


One Mississippi (it is incredibly ironic and stupid that this show was most likely cancelled because Louis C.K. was a producer. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know why)


Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, and First Day of Camp (The Netflix Series)

Making History (another sadly not picked up for another season)

Powerless (ditto)





Babylon Berlin




Black Sails


Money Heist

Castle Rock

A Series of Unfortunate Events

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (always one of my favorites, but this last season deserves a special mention)

The World Cup, and British Premier League (Go Wolves!)

Schitt's Creek

Great News




Star vs. the Forces of Evil

Gravity Falls

Haters Back Off

The Good Place


The Men in Blazers Show


Best Music




The Collection - Ars Moriendi

Broken Circle Breakdown soundtrack


Not sure why I can’t really think of much new music from the last four years, I know that during this period I started getting back into 60’s and 70’s orchestral pop and soundtrack music like:


Ennio Morricone

Hugo Montenegro

Riz Ortolani

Lee Hazlewood

Matt Monro

Richard Harris

and the pre-disco Bee Gees

But again this is why I need/want to keep my lists more current





Rhiannon Giddens - Tomorrow Is My Turn; favorite song - Round About the Mountain

Baby Metal


Tom Brosseau; favorite song - Cradle Your Device

Father John Misty

Postmodern Jukebox

Andre Rieu (super cheesy I know, but I love the youtube videos of his concerts)




David Benjamin Blower - The Book of Jonah

The Avett Brothers

X Japan



Ruen Brothers; favorite song - All My Shades of Blue

David Benjamin Blower (all the rest of the albums); favorite song - Be Still

Pod Casts (not according to any particular year)

The Bible Project

Nomad Podcast

Men In Blazers

American Fiasco

Exploring My Strange Bible

Start Up

EconTalk (still one of my absolute favorites)

Best Books

I need to read more - this is getting redundant - but I know I read more than this, and there’s a lot of books I started but got distracted and didn’t finish, but this is ridiculous.


I Partridge - by Steve Coogan

Steam - by Terry Pratchett

Unbroken - by Laura Hillenbrand

Road to Serfdom - by F.A. Hayek

Every Good Endeavor - by Tim Keller

Grow Where You’re Planted - by Daniel Steigerwald and Kelly Crull

Dad is Fat - by Jim Gaffigan


Rebel without a Crew - Robert Rodriguez

Independent Ed - Edward Burns and Todd Gold

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918 - by Joseph Loconte

The Shepherd’s Crown - Terry Pratchett




The High House: The Evenmere Chronicles (Vol 1) - by James Stoddard


Apparently I didn’t read a single memorable book in 2017. I know I read a lot of kids books. This might have been the year I started reading through the Bible with the kids. I know I briefly tried to start reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe to them, that lasted about two nights; they were not ready.

Well this is what happens when you start watching youtube videos on your iPad while putting the kids to bed instead of reading.


Jewish Pirates in the Caribbean - by Edward Kritzler

Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica: A Suboptimal Guide to Soccer, America's "Sport of the Future" Since 1972 - by Roger Bennett and Michael Davies


Categories: pop-culture