Thomas Balkcom’s Movies

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#235

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Hello all.

I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend! I love weeks that start on Tuesday so I am looking forward to this week. The ninth entry into the Year 2000 in Film project is complete and up, check it out and let me know what you think. I am off tonight without anything to do so I am considering going and seeing either A Single Man or Crazy Heart, or maybe both depending on when I get off. I haven’t done a double feature in a long time and I think it’s about time I did it. I unfortunately don’t have much time to write a substantial update due to the fact that I have to get ready for work soon. Here’s this week’s last.fm chart…

This week’s playlist features Spoon’s new album “Transference,” both of Los Campesinos!’ previous releases, and I stuck Vampire Weekend’s “Contra” on this week’s too because I have been enjoying it that much. I have done an excellent job keeping up with my Resolutions thus far. I am aware we are not even twenty days in the New Year but I am still impressed with my ability to keep up with a couple. I guess without school I have no excuse but still! Tomorrow, I will write something a bit longer and hopefully a bit better.

Thank you for reading!

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January 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm

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#233

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Hello all.

Friday is here already. It’s been a quick but long (see: me being sick for the first half) week, I am looking forward to this weekend. I work the next three days but have been so bored this week that I am anxious and content with having something to do. It’s sad to think that I officially do not care about NFL until the draft. I think how poorly I did with my picks this last weekend has a lot to do with it. I am a huge Kurt Warner supporter so I will be, sort of, cheering for him come tomorrow night. For the most part, I am all about hockey and basketball right now (with baseball right around the corner!).

A thread topic of a forum I frequent last night was “Favorite Episodes.” And I thought this was interesting given last year’s confession of how many television shows I have seen in their entirety (not considering the fact that I am working through the last season of Dexter and about to start Deadwood). I sat down for a minute, went over Wiki’s list of episodes for some of my favorite shows, Futurama, The Simpsons, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and LOST, and could not answer the question. The closest I could come was two of my very favorite episodes of The Simpsons are “Cape Feare” and “Hurricane Neddy.” Then, I move further down the list and I start thinking of equally good or even better (“Marge v. the Monorail” came to mind) episodes, and the question for me is damn near impossible.

Enough rambling. Everyone have a great Friday and an even better weekend. Thank you for reading!

p.s. don’t forget to check out my picks for the Best Films of 2009 and let me know what you think!

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January 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm

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Top Ten of 2009

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From Cherished Cinema…

Hello all.

I am a bit late for this as I was holding out to see a handful of films that I just never got around to/never came to Atlanta. I will set up this list by saying that I have yet to see the following films: A Prophet, Crazy Heart, A Single Man,Police, Adjective, Breathless, Bright Star, and Broken Embraces. Here goes…

  1. The Hurt Locker
  2. The White Ribbon
  3. Inglourious Basterds
  4. A Serious Man
  5. 35 Shots of Rum
  6. Up in the Air
  7. The Limits of Control
  8. An Education
  9. Up
  10. Moon

There are tons of honorable mentions, so I will just post a list of films I hated to leave off of this list: District 9, Observe and Report, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Adam, Star Trek, and Zombieland.

If you all have any thoughts/problems with this list, let me know in the comments or email me. I would love to get some feedback. As I stated in my personal blog, this is the first year that I had a definite number one. I loved every film on this list (and a good deal more that came out last year) but nothing came close to the quality and experience that isThe Hurt Locker.

Thank you for reading!

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January 14, 2010 at 3:16 pm

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#232

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Hello all.

I am finally back to 100% after a rough stretch of being sick. Due to that, it has been a rather uneventful week. My sleep schedule is finally back on track, I have been asleep before 10:30 the last two nights and awake before 7:00. I will hopefully continue this trend and get back to where I used to be. I am sitting here enjoying Observe and Report for the time being, I have a few errands to run today before going to work tonight.

I have a rough Top Ten done, and after seeing a handful films that I need to see, I will post it here. The films I still need to see are A Single Man, Breathless, Bright Star, Police, Adjective, Broken Embraces, and Crazy Heart. I can tell you all that this is the first year in which I have a clear number one, which is The Hurt Locker. The last few years I have really struggled between the number one and two picks, and in hindsight, I would most likely switch them. This is especially true with last year (switching Synecdoche, New York and Slumdog Millionaire).

Hawks improved to 25-13 last night, and with the Magic losing, we are just half a game behind them in our division. Glad to see us consistently winning games, save last Saturday night, with no mid-season slump. Fans, in true Atlanta fashion, are getting behind a winning team and hopefully this level of support this early will lead to being successful in the post-season. I am going to wrap this movie up, and head out for the day.

Thank you for reading!

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January 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm

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#231

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Hello all.

Another weekend passes by, so here I am again at Monday morning with the previous week’s wrap-up. I went two for four on my Wildcard Weekend picks, taking Cincinnati and the Cowboys yesterday and the Ravens and Green Bay today. Hopefully I will be a bit better next week. Finally got a chance to see A Serious Man, and man, what a film. I watched it earlier today, after the first game got a bit boring, and was engrossed the entire time. There is so much going on, even at times when it may need to seem to be the case. The film may warrant its own full-page review (depending on how I do with the project this week), it was simply phenomenal. It is definitely a film, such as Synecdoche, New York, that needs multiple viewings but God did I love it the first time around. Can’t wait to see it again. Not only will I be displaying my weekly last.fm statistics and this week’s playlist but I will also be putting forth my Best of 2009 list for music. Movie list will come sometime within the next week after I see A Single Man and Crazy Heart.

This week’s playlist is extremely simple, The Good Life’s “Help Wanted Nights,” Spoon’s “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga,” and again, Vampire Weekend’s S/T (will be adding “Contra” to the playlist on Tuesday). Spoon is on there as to the fact that I am getting ready for their new release and this was my last week during my revisit of The Good Life’s discography.  I am not entirely sure what band I will do next, and I also need to pick back up on The Who. So, a bit late, but I actually took this serious (at least when compared to the last couple of year’s lists) so I hope enjoy/agree and if you do not, then please feel free to let me know.

1. St. Vincent – Actor
2. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
3. Manchester Orchestra – Mean Everything to Nothing
4. Real Estate – Real Estate
5. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
6. The Mercury Program – Chez Viking
7. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
8. fun. – Aim and Ignite
9. If These Trees Could Talk – Above the Earth, Below the Sky
10. Brand New – Daisy
11. Cursive – Mama, I’m Swollen
12. Say Anything – Say Anything
13. William Elliot Whitmore – Animals in the Dark
14. Thrice – Beggars
15.  As Cities Burn – Hell or High Water
16. mewithoutYou – It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All a Dream! It’s alright

I added on a sixteenth spot because mewithoutYou’s latest was good, certainly wasn’t as great as their previous two releases but still deserves some attention that I most likely have not given it. I tried to look at this as objectively as possible, a bit difficult to do with something in the realm of ranking music but last.fm was a big help. For example, where St. Vincent’s “Actor” was my favorite release of the year, it was also, just behind “Mean Everything to Nothing” in total listens. I have never had an artist creep so quickly my top fifteen overall in listens. I enjoyed all sixteen of these albums and there were a few I hated to leave off (…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead’s “The Century of Self” and Freelance Whales’ extremely impressive first album are the first that come to mind); This was an absolutely fantastic year for music, and here’s to 2010 attempting to be just as good or maybe even better, new Vampire Weekend and Spoon in January is hopefully a good indicator of this possibility.

Thank you for reading!

Written by thomasbalkcom

January 11, 2010 at 9:40 am

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#230

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Hello all.

Enjoying today off after a stretch at work (and right before a rather long stretch at work). I slept in a bit and plan on watching a few movies today, and hopefully getting some writing done. I usually love the winter but this year, for whatever reason, I am over it and ready for spring. Thrashers are seriously on a nine game losing streak and the Hawks have lost four straight. The Hawks should, or I guess I should say better, break that streak this evening against the Nets. Flyers have dropped a couple in a row, but are looking good and have started to turn around from that terrible first half of the season.

Went out and made a few DVD purchases with Christmas money yesterday. I picked up Close Encounters of the Third Kind on Blu-Ray from Costco at $14.99. Then, I ventured out to Best Buy and picked up both I Love You, Man and Observe and Report for $10 a piece and scored a $5 giftcard with which I purchased Fight Club on Blu-Ray. They are all sitting on my TV stand to keep in line with my New Year’s Resolution. The next  resolution is that of one that I already spelled out over at Cherished Cinema, to cut down on my movie watching in order to take more time with those that I watch. Too bad I am already sort of going back on this, seeing as how I have already watched eleven films this year. It’s hard to say going back due to the fact that I am not limiting myself to a certain number of films, I just don’t want to have some sort of number I want to get to (like last year with 365, which I did with both full-time work and school so who knows how many I will watch this year).

That’s it for now, thank you for reading!

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January 6, 2010 at 10:04 pm

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#229

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Hello all.

I’m up! I can’t believe it myself but I am awake at seven o’clock in the morning starting my day off with Snatch and a giant cup of coffee. Hopefully today is the start of a new lifestyle in which I don’t sleep through every morning. The dog refuses to get up though; I fed him and he ran right back to bed and got right back under the covers. Suppose it’s too cold and too early for him. Today is not a particularly big day for me, have a few errands to run and then I plan on watching the Orange Bowl this evening. I need to keep busy this week.

To continue on with setting out my New Year’s Resolutions: the next one is reading more books. I make this Resolution every year, and every year I consistently read more. In 2009, I read a ton of nonfiction books- most of which were film-related -and I intend to read forty or so books this year. I will keep track of it in the same way I keep track of what movies I watch. I will periodically post random thoughts on books I am reading in here, a lot like I did last year.

That’s it for now. Thank you for reading!

Written by thomasbalkcom

January 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm

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