There Should Be a "Best of" List for "Best of" Lists

We did our top five films of 2018. You can listen to it now. It’s really fun. A lot of our movies overlap - we have the same kind of taste in films. Not exact (but close!). We’re all watching stuff from the same genre categories on all the streaming services. But if you’re like me, you read a lot of “best of” lists. And they are all over the place. Some movies will be on best of and worst of list at the same time! So, it’s kind of a fruitless task to read through all of them. Yet, that’s what we all do.

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Find us on Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/cinemondopod/

There was a time when I would steadfastly find the top ten movies of the year and watch them. It felt like a duty. If I’m such a big film fan, how can I miss watching these great additions to the canon? But what I realized is my taste is not the same as the film critic of Esquire. Although this year, that’s a bad example because Esquire named Mandy as their number one film of 2018. Completely stunned by that, in a good way. But most of the time, the films are ones I have no inherent desire to watch.

Find us on Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/cinemondopod/

Find us on Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/cinemondopod/

But the last couple of years, I look at those lists and shrug them off. A lot of great films aren’t even honorable mentions. Maybe my tastes have gotten so far off the mainstream that I’m just out there in genre-film limbo land and only desire to see a certain type of film. I know I should watch Roma and The Favourite, but not sure I will watch that over the latest Into the Dark episode on Hulu. Just weird how we change our viewing habits. Hell, Roma, which is on everyone’s best of lists is available right now on Netflix. I still haven’t seen it.

Find us on Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/cinemondopod/

Find us on Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/cinemondopod/

I think if I still had to go to a movie theater, pay $16 for a seat, sit next to someone crinkling a hard candy wrapper while chatting through all the trailers and the first minute of a movie, than I might adhere to the “best of” lists. But I watch most of my stuff at home now and the choices are endless. The latest contained horror thriller or a three hour treatise on some important, but far off human tragedy? I should watch the latter - probably will go with the former.

2019 is here. Let’s watch stuff; whatever we want. Pass the hard candy. - Mark



Mark Made a Short Film, and Other Assorted Insanities

So I wrote and executive produced a short film called Breathe this past spring. It is now making the festival rounds. It’s gotten into two and has been rejected by 12,274. In other words, I’m getting to know a lot about what it goes into making a film of any length, and it is not an easy task. But going from “page to stage” is an immensely gratifying process. I hope to do it again. In fact, I’m going to try and write a feature-length version of it in the next few months. More to come - stay tuned! Can you tell that I’m very uncomfortable writing about myself?? Not my favorite thing - tooting my own horn is something that I hate - but it’s all part of the game. Anyway, on to a film that I didn’t make - one that is really good.

Calibre is a Scottish import that has been streaming on Netflix for a few months. Really interesting to me how all these films pop up on Netflix - we’ve never really heard of them - they get top billing on the home page for a day or two, and then another comes along and that other film gets kinda lost. I’m wondering how many other really good films are out there that I just passed on or flat out missed by not visiting the Netflix page on the right day. Anyway, I love the riches of new films that Netflix plays. Too much to watch is a great thing. But I fear some really good movies don’t get eyes on them because there is a lot to choose from. Regardless, Calibre is a thriller that anyone who likes fast-paced, fish out of water films must check out. Think Scottish Highlands Deliverance. Two city guys go hunting before one of them gets hitched. Truth be told, only one of them wants to go hunting, the other just wants to have a few drinks and contemplate his life change. Anyway, they find a quaint, quiet country village, have a few pints at a local bar, get up the next morning - a touch hungover, and go hunting. And then the fun starts.

Well-acted and extremely well directed, this one is worth searching out. Oh, and Breathe is also well worth finding - a new trailer coming to your internets very soon. Thanks y’all. - Mark