Saturday, January 16, 2016

Entertainment Roundup for 2015


As I do every year, I'm kicking off my 2016 blog with a rundown of the films, books, TV, live shows, and other entertainment and culture activities I took in this past year—with the usual caveat of noting that though I try my best to record everything I've seen, I'm sure there may be a few things I've missed.

Keep in mind that while I consider myself a film buff, I don't get a chance to see a lot of current movies in theaters, even when they interest me. And though I catch up on a few when they become available for rental or streaming, sometimes it's not until well after their release. As a result, some of the films on this list may have first been released prior to 2015.

Among my favorite films this past year were Cinderella, The Interview, Ant-Man, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Bridge of Spies, and the Imitation Game (which, with the exception of the Interview, I all saw in a theater). But I guess I would have to stay that standing head and shoulders above all of them was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. To date, I've seen the film in a theater three times! As many have observed, the film successfully unlocked the code of the original series and brought back for me the same sense of wonder and enthrallment the original trilogy had on me when I was 15. And it did so while trading on the nostalgia of the original trilogy while introducing new characters and storylines that will carry the series into the future. I hope to write about the film in more length in the near future, but for now I have to admit how much this film has stayed with me.

This past year I also re-discovered television. A lot of network shows remain off my radar, but among the great series I watched regularly this past year were the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Supergirl, You’re the Worst, The Goldbergs, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the Newsroom, Wet Hot American Summer, and Red Oaks. As this list suggests, what qualifies as "television" has evolved somewhat since many of these "series"namely Kimmy Schmidt, Wet Hot American Summer, and Red Oaks—were exclusive to Netflix or Amazon. Regardless, I enjoyed them immensely and hope to write about these too. 

And so, without any further ado...

Films:

Blue Jasmine - DVD (2/10/15)
That Guy...Who Was in that Thing - Netflix (1/31/15)
I Know that Voice! - Netflix (1/31/15)
Wolf of Wall Street - Netflix (1/20/15)
Chef - Netflix
Girl Most Likely - Netflix (3/9/2015)
Jim Gaffigan Standup Concert
Cinderella (3/14/15)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (4/10/2015
Stripped - Netflix (5/11/2015)
Lolita (5/17/15) - TCM
San Francisco - TCM (5/22/2015)
Pitch Perfect 2 (5/24/2015)
Dirty Dozen - TCM (5/25/2015)
L.A. Plays Itself - Netflix (5/24/2015)
Tomorrowland (5/31/2015)
Driving Miss Daisy- Netflix (5/31/2105)
My Week with Marilyn - Netflix (6/3/2015)
Inbetweeners 2 - Netflix (6/5/2015)
Battled Bastards of Baseball - Netflix ll (6/6/2015)
Beyond the Lights - Netflix (6/25/2015)
The Winning Season - Netflix (6/27/2015)
Les Daniels’ The Butler - Netflix (6/27/2015)
Louie, Season 4 - Netflix (6/27/2015)
Hector and the Search for Happiness - Netflix (6/28/2015)
Tiny Furniture - Netflix (7/1/2015)
The Interview - Netflix (7/6/2015)
Ant-Man (7/18/2015)
Wet Hot American Summer - Netflix (7/26/2015)
Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot American Summer - Netflix (8/4/2015)
Staten Island Summer - Neflix (8/4/2015)
The Skeleton Twins - Netflix (8/6/2015)
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (8/8/2015)
The Search for General Tso - Netflix (9/12/2015)
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - Netflix (9/12/2015)
Moonrise Kingdom - Netflix (9/27/2015)|
The Martian (10/4/2015)
Captain Phillips - DVD (10/4/2015)
Man on a Wire - Neflix streaming
Bridge of Spies (10/17/2015)
Last Days in Vietnam (PBS Documentary) - Netflix (11/7/2015)
Back in Time - Netflix
The Players - Netflix (11/10/2015)
W/Bob & David: Season 1 - Netflix (11/18/2015)
Master of None: Season 1 - Netflix (11/7/2015)
Kingsman: The Secret Service - DVD (11/21/2015)
Pixels - PayPerView (11/22/2015)
Top Gun - Netflix (11/28/2015)
Ken Burns: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History - Netflix (12/2/2015)
A Very Murray Christmas - Netflix (12/5/2015)
The Imitation Game - DVD (12/9/2015)
The Odd Couple - Netflix (12/12/2015)
People, Places, Things - Netflix (12/18/2015)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12/20/15; 12/26/15; 12/30/2015)

Books:

L.A. Son by Roy Choi
The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk
Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow
Suck It, Wonder Woman! The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek by Olivia Munn and Mac Montandon

Television:

Downton Abbey Season 5
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Netflix (3/9/15)
Grantchester
Hallstrom
Schitts Creek
Forever
Supergirl
You’re the Worst
The Goldbergs
Brooklyn Nine-nine
Newsroom - Amazon Prime (8/2015)
Wet Hot American Summer: the series (8/1/15)
Red Oaks - Amazon Streaming (10/13/2015)
Raising Hope - Netflix streaming (12/2015)

Live Performance:

La Reve (Cirque du Soleil) - Wynn Theater, Las Vegas (3/23/15)
Ice Cream Social

Museums:

LACMA/Gehry exhibition (11/7/2015)
Walt Disney Family Museum (11/27/2015)

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