MoviePass Review 2015 (T1)

MoviePass Review 2015

This is my MoviePass Review 2015 (of the first trimester).  It’s a milestone! I’ve seen 25 movies (actually 28) with MoviePass. MoviePass is a card that allows you to see unlimited films for \$30/month — ( I love it. I’ve seen loads of movies this year. I originally started my free two week trial on January 15, 2015. It’s been three months. You can read other reviews of the service, but it’s the best entertainment decision I’ve made since buying a projector six years ago.

[caption id="attachment_100383" align="aligncenter" width="480"]moviepass review 2015 The well-worn card I used for my MoviePass Review 2015[/caption]

The Financial Benefits of MoviePass

I was charged after my first full month of MoviePass on March 3, 2015. Since I live in the large metro area of San Diego, my bill was \$35 not the usual \$30. San Diego has 20 theaters within 30 miles of my house that support MoviePass. This includes all of the AMC, Regal and Edwards theaters, United Artist theaters, all but one of the Readings Cinemas, and three independent theaters. Two of the supported theaters even host many of the films of a few of San Diego’s annual festivals including the San Diego Film Festival, San Diego Latino Film Festival, and San Diego Black Film Festival.

My MoviePass Review 2015 has to include a financial breakdown on my way to #100MoviesIn2015. Three payments of \$35 is \$105. But I enticed two of my friends to become MoviePass members. MoviePass has an incentive, and you receive a \$10 credit for each new member you recommend. I received a \$20 credit. That brings the total paid down to \$85. Twenty-eight movies for \$85 isn’t bad (approx. \$3/movie), but I did better. I joined AMC’s Stubs reward program. They credit you \$10 for every \$100 you spend in tickets or concessions. I saw 21 of the 28 movies in AMC theaters for this very reason. Tickets at the two theaters are \$12.79 each. That’s about \$268 in ticket prices alone. When you include the movies that I saw with one or both of my friends and scanned my reward card with their purchases, I’ve gotten back \$40 in rewards. I’ve used it on additional tickets for people accompanying me. The \$40 rewards return ends it at \$45 for 28 movies or \$1.60 per movie. If you'd like to sign up, do so here:

28 Micro Reviews

This MoviePass Review 2015 wouldn’t be complete without a list of the movies I’ve seen along with micro-reviews and ratings. I planned on getting MoviePass at the end of the previous year, so a few of the films are from 2014.

The Imitation Game – 9

Compelling story. Great acting.  A story that reminds or teaches us, “Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”

Selma – 8

Interesting story. Oleyowo brings new dimension to how MLK Jr. has been portrayed in mainstream media. Ava DuVernay & Paul Webb created a film that complicated a story that I felt like I knew.

Inherent Vice - 7.5

I’m still not completely sure of all that I watched. Funny and unsettling, PTA delivers in this Pynchon adaptation with Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, and Katherine Waterston dazzling.

Big Eyes - 7.5

Who would have thought that if Tim Burton directed a film by the writers of Problem Child (1990) and Man on the Moon (1999) it would be so exciting? It’s visually stunning and interesting.

Furious 7 - 7.5

Fast & Furious 6 (2013) was a sequel-prequel-reboot that elevated the already growing B Movie franchise to art. The art in this film is recklessness, and it has a tender heart. Exciting.

While We’re Young - 7.5

The only other film written by Baumbach that I like is The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), but this film is funny and presents an interesting debate about success and commentary on millennials.

Danny Collins – 7

Dan Fogelman’s directing debut. Pacino’s chemistry with everyone is great, especially Bening. What begins as a story on choice of an artistic path becomes a wonderful Father/Son tale of redemption.

Theory of Everything – 7

Redmayne’s Oscar was well-deserved. I’m not positive I’d ever seek this film out to ever watch it again. It’s an interesting and informational film biography whereas Imitation Game (2014) was a story.

Top Five – 7

Loose, funny, and romantic. Chris Rock has found a way to tell a story well and hits his stride as a writer/director/actor. I wish the title was riffed on for another dimension, but I can’t complain.

Get Hard – 7

It was a hilariously crude social satire filled with dramatic irony that allowed the dynamic comedic chemistry of Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell to exist together. Let’s hope these two work together again.

Focus – 7

It worked the turns well. Will Smith was in top movie star form. This romantic comedy hidden in a heist/con-artist movie was fun and occasionally thrilling.

Kingsman – 7

Samuel L. Jackson’s villain was hilarious. The silliness, including the conclusion to the climax, fit well in this very Matthew Vaughn film. The surrogate father/son story gave it heart.

El Incidente – 7

This frustratingly intriguing sci-fi film is Isaac Ezban’s first feature film. It proves him an exciting director, sharp writer, and has a concept that will fold your brain over.

Ex Machina - 7

This is how you tell a story around a thought experiment. Thrilling soundtrack. Visually intriguing. Contained and bubbling over the edges. Very well-acted and a surprisingly funny, fresh film.

Project Almanac – 6

The premise is wasted a little and the first act is too long, but it’s a fun, youthful movie. Sofia Black D’Elia was the stand out. The whole cast had chemistry. I wrote a longer review of the film here.

American Sniper – 5.5

Not Eastwood’s best. It’s never actually thrilling. Cooper works well as the unapologetically patriotic Kyle. It’s a relief when it’s over, but there are some sequences in the film which work well.

Unfriended - 5.5

The concept and ingenuity put it past many of the teen “horror” films. It’s not scary and the death scenes are silly, but commitment to the concept and anti-bullying stance make it interesting.

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies - 5.5

This trilogy would’ve been much better as a single movie or maybe two movies. Fantasy action was nice. I assume there was character development. It was visually interesting, though.

Home – 5

This was a charming children’s adventure tale. It wasn’t much more than that, but it accomplishes precisely what it wants to and brings a few laughs along the way.

The Lazarus Effect – 5

This seemed more like a two-part beginning of a television series than a film. It was interesting to watch, but ultimately didn’t end up going anywhere. The cast did a good job, though.

Hunger Games: Mockingjay, pt. 1 – 5

There was a lot of whining. Katniss wasn’t the strong symbol she’s been in the past. It wasn’t exciting, but it advanced the story. I imagine it would’ve benefited from not being a two-part finale.

50 Shades of Grey – 5

I was curious. I knew that I’d never read the book. Surprisingly competent film. The ending didn’t exist, but I’ll see the next installment since I have MoviePass.

Into the Woods - 4.5

he first half of this story is really good. The second half is super sloppy. The actors all do such a wonderful job while it’s happening, though, that it only bothered me just a bit.

The Duff – 4

Ultimately forgettable. Robbie Amell and Mae Whitman were charming. It didn’t really argue its message that well and felt like a hundred other high school movies about discovering self.

Run all Night – 4

I barely remember this sloppy story. If it had spent more time developing the characters, this could’ve been a decent movie.

Chappie – 3.5

This Die Antwoord advertisement has a talking robot and a bunch of nitwits in it. It feigns intelligence and attempts to use the soundtrack to push it forward. A bore.

It Follows – 3

This movie is piss drizzle in the pants. You keep watching it, thinking that it’ll end better than it started. It doesn’t. It never does. Boring waste of a good concept. Check out longer review here.

Jupiter Ascending – 2

I don’t know what made this film so bad. The poor story? The unexplained absence of anyone else with rocket boots? The convoluted action? The bad motivations of the characters? Disappointed.

The Boy Next Door – 0

This is the worst movie I’ve seen in a long time. It wasn’t suspenseful. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t even sexy. It was a poor attempt to turn a tired genre on its head with bad writing and acting.


1-3: Horrible. I regret subjecting myself to this

4-5: Just below average, but not a complete waste of time

6: I didn’t waste my time, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it again

7-8: Accomplished what it set out to do and I’d watch it again

9-10: Nearly perfect. Highly recommend it as art

MoviePass Review 2015 Conclusion

I saw a lot of movies that I normally wouldn’t have considered. There were times when I would show up and see what was playing next. I have the goal of seeing #100MoviesIn2015 in theaters. MoviePass will definitely help save money and motivate me. I want to do it to help me understand the art form better. My MoviePass Review 2015 (so far) has been great, and I’m sure it will get even better.

A blog coming soon reviewing the second trimester of films.