Out now on Checkers Records Collective, the new LP by JCM, "The Fall of Bryan Metro".

Listen To This Now!!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ugh to the Ugh

We have always had a kiss kiss bang bang relationship with t-shirt guy from Amino Acids, but was just informed about a very sad situation regarding someone close to him.  I will refrain from details on this post but will include the link to help them with medical costs.  My job was eliminated last month and I Hulk Hogan legdropped cancer earlier this year and I fully intend to contribute to this worthwhile cause.  Click the link. #nevergiveup

Fucking Contribute

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bryan Metro Death Concert Blues

So after a paltry 1.5 after getting a clean bill of health from cancer, Metro finds out his liver is failing. Google says the typical 6 months which just bores me. So we at the JCM are probably going to set up a belated Wrestlemania season show with the goal of raising a liver. Right now, we're hoping for an outright donation from a terrible local act nobody would miss. Details for the show imminent. Until then, Big smiles! Big Smiles! This sucks man....


From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Coyote in New York City

"I don't have any idea who they really are, but somebody better find out very fucking quick!"


   I hear this shouted, no bellowed, behind me as Trent, Amy, Scott, Matt, Zip (out of the SUV), and myself, your humble narrator, race out of "Carlos Party Store" in the East Village into the streets of Alphabet City and soon after I hear (and feel) the hail of gunfire, probably from Olivier (he was wary of us from the start), and a car window shatters, no BLASTS!, next to us on 9th St. and the spray of glass hits Amy and Scott, who tries to shield her, and its only superficial wounds, and Trent is on the phone trying to arrange an Uber driver back to LaGuardia and I come to the harsh realization that we left the coyote, and by proxy, the package, back at the convenience store.

But let's start six hours earlier....

   Matt was voted to retrieve the coyote from the airport animal claim and the sight of him dragging the carrier through LaGuardia was too much and we all started laughing and I saw through the airport window that Zip, our New York contact had arrived to take us bar hopping before the meet-up at Carlos'.

Okay, now let's go back 24 hours...

   "Okay daaaaaaad," Trent whines into his Samsung G8 cell phone.  He hangs up and tells us, Amy, Scott, Matt, and me that his dad asked us to do him a favor and deliver a package to somebody named Carlos in New York City.  The details were traditionally vague and we really couldn't decline since Trent's dad pays the rent.  Trent's dad was in Iraq (again) at the time, however he did arrange for our flight to LaGuardia, so I guess that evens everything out.

The doorbell rings at the House By The Beach which chills all of us because it is past midnight and the gates are locked.  We all huddle next to the fireplace (it is 97 degrees in LA right now) and discuss what actions need to be taken, what plans are to be made, who is first on lookout.  Then Amy realizes that the package Trent's dad needs to be delivered to Carlos in New York was to be delivered to the house in LA tonight.  We then have a five minute conversation about how nobody knows the name of Trent's dad, including Trent.  We end up voting Matt to answer the door and it is indeed the package and Matt says it was dropped off by a "shady dude" named Carlos.

   "But man, we're supposed to be delivering this thing to a Carlos,"  Scott says, crying.

   "Uhhhhh, I have no idea what is in this thing but if it's bad news how are we going to get it on an airplane?"  I ask innocently and Trent silently gets up and leaves the house by the beach.  We hear the communal car fire up and take off and decide to pass the time playing the latest XBox1 hit "Bobbing... For Apples" and after 15 minutes Trent returns with a dead coyote that he found cruising down Mulholland Drive.  We all stare as he drops the carcass in the living room.  Amy is reading the latest issue of "Stars Who Realized They're Not Famous Anymore!".

Flash forward seven hours...

   We check into LAX (miraculously) and are dragging the dead coyote, which has now been fitted with the package, in a pet carrier.  Trent was successful in convincing the airport staff that the coyote was actually a dog (named "Coyote" because we kept calling it a coyote) and was asleep because he hates planes and was on "Puppy Xanax".  We spend 30 minutes in the food court before a family complains about the smell.

Flash forward/Post-flight...

   Matt has just been voted to retrieve the dog/coyote from the airport animal claim and the sight of him dragging the carrier through the LaGuardia terminal was too much and we all started laughing and I saw through the window that Zip, our New York contact, had arrived to take us bar hopping before the meet-up.  The cocktails on the plane did little to ease our unease so we agreed to head to St. Mark's Place to bar hop and make friends; get drunk.  However, Trent insisted on going to a baby store which sapped 45 minutes from our schedule because finding a baby store in the heart of the East Village is next to impossible.

   After acquiring the baby car seat from Piccolini NYC and positioning "Coyote" in it, we head back to St. Mark's Place and start at Grassroots Tavern with drafts, and then head to Proletariat (I know, spare me), then Bau (minor spare me, decent looking wait staff), jump cut to St. Mark's Ale House for more drafts, then to Vbar for wine (I was napping in the SUV by this point), and finished up at Ten Degrees Bar where nothing really happened.

   "Guys....," Scott says ominously, "We actually don't have anywhere to stay out here."
I have a tense flashback to what would be Vicki's decaying loft on the Upper West Side and snap back with the idea.
   "Trent, call your dad!"  I shout
After Trent's dad in Iraq arranges a same day return flight, Zip drives us to our destination, "Carlos Party Store" (no punctuation) on 9th St. and Avenue A.  Tension is high as we pile out of Zip's SUV (along with the coyote/package).  Zip remains in the SUV in case we need to make a quick getaway.

   Upon entering Carlos Party Store Trent immediately asks, "We are here to see Carlos!"
The room gets silent and we are introduced to Frank, Francis, Olivier, Yannick, and somebody named Poultry.  For a minute there are no words spoken, just paranoid glances.  Finally, Olivier breaks the silence.
   "Who is Carlos?  We don't know anybody named Carlos."
   "We were asked to deliver this coyote, I mean package, to Carlos' Party Store," I try to assist.
   "There ain't no Carlos here," Olivier responds, seething.
   "But man, the fucking sign says Carlos Party Store.  There has to be Carlos," Scott is in tears again.
   "We don't know anyone by the name of Carlos," Frank explains eloquently.
   "But we do know that you have a package for us from Carlos," Oliver interjects.
   "What the fuck man, another Carlos?  Same Carlos?  Is Carlos delivering this package to himself?" Scott again, crumbling.
   "Is Trent's dad's name Carlos?  Is that it?"  I whisper to Amy, who is nodding off leaning against the wall.
Total silence.

   Then Zip blasts the horn outside which shakes everybody out of the stalemate and Trent nudges the coyote in the car seat towards the crew at Carlos Party Store.
   "Package is in the animal.  You dig it out.  We're out of here," Trent says, taking command.
   "Pleasure doing business with you, gringo," Olivier replies (he's French I think).
There is another moment of silence and then we all decide to leave.  As we are leaving, I witness Trent steal a Spongebob ice cream treat from the cooler and then realize that Olivier also observed the act.

   "I don't have any idea who they really are but somebody better find out very fucking quick!"  Olivier shouts as we all break for Zip and the SUV getaway.
   "We forgot the fucking dog, man," Scott shouts.
   "It's a coyote dude," Matt offers.
As we get to the SUV Zip inexplicably decides to hop out and start running with us, completely negating the idea of even having a getaway car.  We are on the streets of Alphabet City and I hear (and feel) the hail of gunfire, probably from Olivier (he was wary of us from the start), and a car window shatters, no BLASTS!, next to us on 9th St. and the spray of glass hits Amy and Scott, who tries to shield her, and its only superficial wounds and Trent is on the phone trying to arrange an Uber driver back to LaGuardia and I come to the harsh realization that we left the dog, and by proxy, the package, back at the party store.  I stumble on the curb and fall on my back only to see a bullet shatter Zip's head and the gore rains all over me and I get back up and shake it off and catch up with the group and I hear Zip's body "thump" on the ground and I don't really have any opinion on it.  I then hear the angry voices getting closer and I lunge to.....

Flash forward 2 hours...

Amy, Trent, Scott, Matt, and I are in First Class on a plane taking us back to the West Coast (after a detour in Colorado, shhhhhhh) and we are laughing and playing Mad Libs and having a drink (or three) and not really worried because Olivier will be disappearing within the hour and as I look out the window at the looming Rocky Mountains, I think to myself, "Aren't we all......."


From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Thom yorke's boring wonky eyeball

Anybody that knows anything knows that Radiohead has committed the cardinal sin: being boring.  Other than there 2 new singles, they have had some pretty good records.  Believe it or not, they are one of the bands that made me want to create music.  Also, "Kid A" is probably my most favorite album of all time.  Without further ado, this is my list ranking their studio LP output from best to worst.  
Kid A
In Rainbows
OK Computer
Amnesiac
Hail To The Thief
The Bends
Pablo Honey
The King of Limbs

Thank you and JCM will never eeeeevvvveerrr be boring.


"I'm the eater of worlds!"
-jr

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Great News!!!

All of your favorite JCM albums/singles/etc. are available on the majority of streaming services: Tidal, Spotify, ITunes, Amazon, and more.  So far I have listened to JCM Radio on Spotify and it alternates between our masterpieces and Ty Stone's songs about calzones.  Anyways, Metro saw some skin flick he won't stop raving about so keep your eyes peeled for a review on that!

I'm the eater of worlds.
-jr

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Trump 2016 and a Look at Who To Swipe on Tinder

"Hope everything is alright.  Hope everything is allllllriiiigghhhht."

     Trent wakes up to Frank Black singing "hope everything is alright" over and over and he looks to see that his recently purchased V-M Tri-O-Matic 1275 vintage record player has malfunctioned and has been skipping endlessly since he passed out last night and he rolls over, already knowing that everything is indeed not right.

     I'm sitting on the sofa pull-out next to the bed and have been listening to the record player drone on and on since the sun came up, looking out the window, probably crying, but really, who knows?
   "Bryan," Trent moans, "Unplug the V-M Tri-O-Matic Model 1275.  It is malfunctioning."  He insists on calling it by its full name, probably to justify its cost, and I comply and the room goes silent.

   "Gotta see if I got any swipes," Trent continues.  The entire house by the beach has become addicted to Tinder for the past week.  I hand him his phone and casually check mine for the same purpose (off camera of course), and then head downstairs.  Why was I even in Trent's room to begin with?

     I pass by Matt in the bathroom furiously trying to scrub a "Trump 2016" written in permanent marker off of his forehead, an obvious Trent prank, to little success.  I walk past the pull-out sofa where Scott is playing X-Box, a "Trump 2016" mantra on his forehead also, but with zero effort to wash it off and its like a parallel world ash wednesday at the house by the beach and I wander into the kitchen to try to convince myself that I need to eat something and check my forehead in my reflection on the fridge (nothing) (I never sleep) and notice in the personal gym adjacent to the kitchen that Trent is already working out (did he teleport?) and he is emphasizing biceps today and his brand new "Trump 2016" tattoo is the focus as he is only working out his right arm.

     I watch Trent work out for about 15 minutes, halfheartedly maintaining a semi-hard-on, then get bored and head to the bathroom because I really should shave because I have nothing better to do.
   "Why are you still here? Didn't you understand the warnings?" Vikki asks me.
   "Well, I'm kind of a complacent guy, babe.  And maybe a little bitter that you left so soon," my reply, and then, "I really do kind of miss you."
   "I know," her reply, "Hope everything is alright."

Trent stumbles into the bathroom, already drunk.
   "Hey bud, talking to yourself? Nevermind.  Gotta piss."  He draws "Trump/Trent 2016" onto the bathroom mirror in permanent marker and I leave the bathroom without accomplishing anything and head to the living room where I find Matt, Scott, and Amy (no Trump sharpies) already at work checking their phones for any Tinder swipes.  Nobody has had any luck so far because we set our radius at 0.5 miles because we are all agoraphobic and no longer leave the house by the beach.  Actually, Amy has had some luck because, being a female, combined with the amount of desperate guys online who swipe every female they see, well she has attention.  Scott actually informed us that there are websites where you can pay for the opportunity to do exactly the same.  We all had a laugh at that (as I noticed Trent casually searching for said sites).
   "I got zero swipes today.  We need a house with a better fucking location near the beach," Trent whines.
   "I'm not moving shit," Scott mumbles.
We are all resigned to another lonely night when Matt, of all people, miraculously gets a "like".  His name is Chad.  The living room becomes silent, which is broken after 30 seconds by Trent who already has a plan.

     30 minutes later, Matt is walking/sulking to the 24 hour diner a mile away from the house (house car is in the shop) to meet with Chad.

     30 minutes later Chad is back at the house by the beach strapped to a dentist's chair and systematically being broken down via torture methods that we are searching online as we go.  At one point, Trent cuts off one of Chad's nipple and makes it into a crude eye patch and then Amy realizes that Chad is starting to bleed out so we spend the next twenty minutes searching the internet for ways to stop the bleeding.

     Once the bleeding has stopped, we drag Chad to the house by the beach's pool, which is now possessed by the spirit that inhabited the pool that we house-sat at a few years ago.  During the exorcism Matt was successfully able to transfer the poltergeist  from the old pool to our pool (per Trent's demands).  As part of the agreement for the spirit transfer we had to sacrifice Amy's unborn baby but since she was going to abort it anyways it really wasn't much of a loss.

     Scott begins the ritual, which basically consists of reading old Spy Vs. Spy comics from Mad Magazine as Trent carves "Trent 2016" into Chad's head and then dumps him into the pool which immediately becomes alive and the water starts boiling, searing off Chad's skin.  Chad is screaming in terror and Trent tosses a life raft into the pool which immediately dissolves (It had "Natalie Wood 1981" written on it in black sharpie) and he is singing "hope everything is alright".

     I'm already crying at this point as Sprygus the Spirit consumes the essence of Chad from his charred body so I go to the outdoor mini-bar and start making drinks for everyone.  I hide my sobs behind a false smile (they're not looking anyway) but ultimately don't care because I realize that this must be the place.



From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hamtramck Music Fest-Day 2 Revue

Hey-o, I know its only noon but let me get the JCM revue of the HamFest Day 2 posted early for your enjoyment.




























From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Friday, March 4, 2016

2016 JCM Hamtramck Music Fest Coverage-Day 1

Metro here,
Since nobody other than the acts shamelessly plugging their own sets is covering the Hamtramck Music Festival this year the JCM will swoop in and provide our certified gold coverage for your enjoyment for those who will not be able to make it (ie:anyone not playing).  Sorry that we are a day late and missed the Kickoff (So glad to see Cosmic Light Shapes make the cut.  How'd that happen??).  Anyways, here is Metro's Day 1 coverage at the Hamtramck Music Fest:

































From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Metro's Oscar Predictions

Hey Crumbs,
It's been a while eh?.....
Unfortunately, I've been away, tied up, blocking everybody on my Facebook feed posting about the Hamtramck Music Fest.  Busy work.  After the 70th block I chuckled at the fact that the only people posting about the Hamtramck Music Fest are the people playing at the Hamtramck Music Fest.  There's not a single random doffable babe that says, "Can't wait for the Hamtramck Music Fest!!"  Although I am glad Cosmic Light Shapes was able to make the cut this year. Whew.  Otherwise they'd be playing less shows than....well, us.

Anywho, I digress. Here are my predictions for this year's Oscars.  We usually do a JCM party/live tweet of the event at Wang's because we're a bunch of faaaaaags but this year Wang is sick with the Bug so here we go!


Short Film Animated-  Bear Story-  Just because the title reminds me of my days at City Club.

Production Design-  The Revenant-  Tough call between this and Mad Max.

Music Original Song-  Writing's on the Wall/Spectre-  Sam Smith, gay, Oscars, math.

Music Original Score-  Morricone/Hateful Eight-  One of the few locks of the night.  And deserved (though Sicario was a close second).

Makeup and Hairstyling-  Mad Max-  I love the irony in this.

Foreign Language Film-  Son of Saul-  Saul, vaguely Jewish name, Oscars, math.

Film Editing-  Mad Max-  This one is also a lock.  Probably Max's biggest award of the evening.

Short Film/Live Action-  Ave Maria-  Picked it out of a hat.

Sound Editing-  Mad Max-  Duhhhhh

Sound Mixing-  Mad Max-  And the "Terminator 2 Technical Awards" champion of the year goes to.........

Visual Effects-  Mad Max-  Fuck The Martian.  Terrible movie

Writing/Adapted Screenplay-  The Big Short-  Boring nominees this year.

Writing/Original Screenplay-  Spotlight-  Boring, safe, Oscar bet, though it really should go to Ex Machina.

Documentary/Short-  Body Team 12-  I picked this one because it was my nickname in college.

Documentary/Feature-  Cartel Land-  Topical I guess.  I was leaning towards "Amy" which was also my nickname in college.

Animated Film-  Inside Out-  Barring an upset from another Charlie Kauffman film that appeals to no one, this is a lock.

Costume Design-  The Danish Girl-  I'd crack up if Mad Max wins both costume design and Makeup/Hair, but this will probably go to the movie about transgender cuz it's so IN.

Cinematography-  The Revenant-  THIS is the category to beat here.  Let's pretend "Carol" isn't in it.  We have The Revenant, Hateful Eight, Sicario, and Mad Max.  All of them deserve to win.  4 way tie?  I'm leaning towards the Best Picture frontrunner although I can see Hateful Eight swooping in for the upset with the retro 70mm filming.  Poor Roger Lucci, I mean Deakens.

Supporting Actress- Alicia Vikander-  My next ex-wife.  Also, amazing in Ex Machina.

Supporting Actor-  Sylvester Fucking Stallone-  Possibly the moment of the night.  This guy was in Stop or my Mom Will Shoot.

Director-  Alejahndkjhf Jdkdhhh/The Revenant-  We may have a back to back Director winner this year, although I personally would go with George Miller.

Best Actress-  Brie Larson-  Probably a lock.  Also, seen her naked.

Best Actor- Leo-  The lock of the night, although like his director best pal, Scorsese, probably for the wrong movie.  He should have won for Wolf of Wall Street.  Anywho, just deserved.

Best Picture-  Spotlight-  I'm leaning towards a split between Director and Picture this year.  It can go either way between Spotlight and The Revenant, but I will side with the movie hardly anybody has seen because, well it's the Oscars.


So that's that chumps.  Enjoy the show, and take a shot every time Chris Rock mentions Black Lives Matter.  A shot of alcohol, I mean.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Metro's Top Movies of 2015

Well, it's my favorite writing time of the year (aside from when I work on my soon to be debut novel, The Invisible People), my top movie list of the past year.  Each year it seems to get bigger and bigger; the list too!  Match them moles!

This year I will touch base on the "Need to See's" from last years list, the Need to Sees from this year, those that missed the cut, the yearly Disappointment, the Honorable Mentions of 2015, and finally the Top Ten.  As always, I in no way attempt to write what I feel are the best, but what are my favorites.  I'm no film critic, just a film fan.  Let's roll....

2014 Need to See Updates

The Lego Movie-  Still haven't seen.  Lost interest

Zero Theorem-  Still haven't seen.  Still want to due to Gilliam and Waltz

Grand Piano-  Still haven't seen

Green Inferno-  Moved to 2015 release period

Foxcatcher-  Still haven't seen.  Time has passed

Grand Budapest Hotel-  Still haven't seen.  Pro's- Impressive Oscar run.  Con's- Wes Anderson

Theory of Everything-  Still haven't seen.  Probably won't

Only Lovers Left Alive-  Still haven't seen.  Will see.

Selma-  Still haven't seen.  Also, time has past.

The Interview-  Still haven't seen.  Not too worried because these guys make the same movie every time.

American Sniper-  Still haven't seen. Probably will.

Filth-  Still haven't seen.  Maybe will.



So, there ya go.... all of the "Need to See's" from 2014 and I saw absolutely zero which doesn't bode well for this year's Need to See list, but I am still including them.  Here we go.....

2015 Need To See

The Loft-  It kind of came and went and didn't get the best of reviews, but I'm always drawn to stories about worthless people and "very bad things".  See what I did there!

Project Almanac-  Tried to be this year's Chronicle, but from what I hear, fell short.  Still, I love a good time travel yarn.

Tomorrowland-  I tried to see this numerous times during a theater hop but always failed.  I was also put off by the luke-warm word of mouth.  Brad Bird-s first mis-fire.

Inside Out-  I don't really sweat animated films, but this one will probably win the Oscar so it has my attention.  My dad hated it *Upon correction, he did not like some of the characters.

Mission Impossible:Rogue Nation-  The Mission Impossible series is like a fuck buddy.  I never saw Part 1, tolerated Part 2, missed Part 3, saw Part 4 in true IMAX at the Henry Ford and loved it, and missed this one.  I'm cheating on you Mission Impossible series..

Bridge of Spies-  This Spielberg film kind of came and went.  Good word of mouth, but it just didn't sell me.  What worries me is that it was a Spielberg movie, written by the Coen brothers, starring Tom Hanks....and it didn't sell me.

Crimson Peak-  I really wanted to see this on the big screen, but once again, lukewarm word of mouth cooled me off.  Plus it was only at the dollar show for a week!  Tom Hiddleston, I have abandoned you two years in a row.

Carol and Spotlight-  Oscar bait is Oscar bait.

With that out of the way, we move on to the main course, the movies that I have actually seen this year.  We will start with our missed cuts, then Disappointment of the Year, followed by the Honorable Mentions, and then the Top Ten.  Once again, I emphasize this is my own opinion, so it may be a tad unconventional.

Missed the Cut

Green Inferno-  This was on the "Need to See" list for 2014 but was bumped to 2015 based on its release date.  I do enjoy movies with unlikable characters, but I can't put my finger on it, and this just fell flat.  I liked the idea of "social justice warriors" getting their comeuppance, but I was expecting so much more.  I will give credit for a cannibal movie being released in 2015, however,

Avengers:Age of Ultron-  The "Marvel Model" has finally hit the ceiling.  It was a fun movie with a great vocal turn by James Spader, but it just felt like a set-up for future Marvel movies where the heroes have to obtain something/MacGuffin.

San Andreas-  There is no reason this movie should be anywhere on my list, much less the missed cuts, but The Rock versus an earthquake and Alexandra Daddario in, cough, 3d.  Ok sold.

Jurassic World-  I've never been a fan of the Jurassic movies so I didn't have a connection with this.  However, Chris Pratt is a babe, but I don't have any need to see this again.

The Gallows-  As a theater geek in high school, along with a fan of found footage movies, I was really looking forward to this one about a ghost haunting a high school drama production.  The execution (pun not intended) sucked.  So much potential....


And here we come to this year's "Disappointment".  2 years ago it was Gravity and this year is another Sci Fi Fav.  Disappointment.

Disappointment of 2015
The Martian-  I love Ridley Scott.  I love Ridley Scott Sci-Fi.  This movie was a face palm.  It was filmed well and had decent performances, but I did not connect with it in any way, nor felt any emotion during it.  All I could think is the author and production team saying, "Look how smart we are," and then shitting out a boring movie.  My least favorite movie experience of the year.

Now it is the time for the List Proper.  When I first started it years ago, it only included the Top 10 and Honorable Mentions, and now it has become quite bloated with all these other categories, and I hope that everybody enjoys it and the time I have put into it.  Now, on to the 2015 Honorable Mentions......

2015 Honorable Mentions

In no particular order....

Knock Knock---This is a remake of 1977's Death Game versus Funny Games starring Keanu Reeves as a flawed husband who makes the mistake of letting two doffable babes into his home on a rainy night.  I personally am loving older-period Keanu Reeves as he is taking more chances.  His performance in this rivals Nic Cage's "Bees" performance in The Wicker Man.

Jupiter Ascending-  What a clusterfuck of a movie... Channing Tatum as a dog boy.  Mila Kunis not looking hot.  Eddie Redmayne confirming he is the worst actor to ever win an Academy Award,  Should have been called The Wachowski's Descending.  Trainwreck on film.  Still an Honorable Mention.

It Follows-  Almost made the cut....but didn't.  This is a very original, locally made horror movie that just didn't stick the landing.  It included a very unique premise about a "something" that stalks you via sex but the film really does not maximize the potential of the concept.  Has some very creepy sequences, and some very dull sequences.

Furious 7-  Popcorn cinema.  You know what you're going to get.  Stupid fun.  Made the Honorable Mention list only because of the editor re:Paul Walker, plus the nice send off.

Unfriended-  A throwaway found footage movie that really embraced the challenge of making it a unique experience utilizing only computer chat screens.  It's not the best movie but kudos for at least trying something different.  If you like found footage horror; recommended.

Insidious 3-  Cookie cutter horror film.  If you liked the ghost hunter characters from the first two films then you will have fun with this origin story.  2015 was a soft year for horror.  This isn't the greatest but it is serviceable.

Terminator:Genisys-  Yes, yes, I know.  This was universally badmouthed, but goddamitt, I found it entertaining and had fun with it.  Call it nostalgia, or whatever, but seeing Arnold as The Terminator once again was very cool, and the scene with him entering a police station carrying a giant teddy bear was hilarious.  I know it sounds terrible but it works.

Spectre-  I've read a lot of comments on how a lot of people didn't like this Bond entry as much as Skyfall, but aside from the weak Sam Smith opening song, I thought it was on par.  Finally, the producers of the Daniel Craig Bond's realized the importance of a memorable villain with Javier Bardiem in Skyfall and Christoph Waltz in Spectre.  Also, they remembered the importance of the signature hentchman and Batista delivered and the train fight rivaled the Connery/Robert Shaw one from From Russia With Love.


Finally, we reach the end.  The Top 10.5 of 2015 for me.  Nothing much left to be said aside from the 2015 10.5 "caveat" spot.  Which rolls out.....now.

2015 Metro's Top 10.5 Movies of the Year

10.5  Creed & Bone Tomahawk-  10.5 is reserved for two movies I have not seen but anticipate them so much I left them off the "Need to See" list.  Make sense??  No??  Whatever.  I do feel based on work of mouth, that they may have the power to unseat the #10 on this list.  Thus 10.5.  Bone Tomahawk is a horror/western starring Kurt Russell against cannibals.  Nuff said.  Creed I will probably see by myself because I hate people seeing me cry.  Rumors of a Sly Stallone Oscar nom may come to fruition.

10.  American Ultra-  I never thought I'd see a film starring Kristen Stewart make one of my Top 10.5 lists but after this movie and her totally coked-out, goth space cadet appearance on this week's Jimmy Fallon Show, I finally fell for her.  Jessie Eisenberg plays Jessie Eisenberg who plays a sleeper cell secret agent who doesn't know he is actually a secret agent and thinks he's just Jessie Eisenberg.  The true highlight is Topher Grace as the hilarious villain who does nothing but act exasperated and complain for the entire running time.  This flew under the radar (as write Max Landis pointed out via a bizarro Twitter rant), but is definitely worth a viewing.

9.  The Gift-  A wickedly mean, original, adult drama with great performances from Jason Bateman, playing against type, and Joel Edgerton, who also wrote and directed the movie.  It is one of those movies that I like to call a Rorschach Test movie, as your mileage may vary. There is a definite sadness to it.  Extremely well-written with an open ended ending.  Seek this one out jerks.

8.  The Visit-  Of course it is easy to hate on M. Night Shyamalan these days after such clunkers like The Happening and the Doff Top in the Water but he really did return to form with this low budget found footage-esque movie about a brother and sister who visit their grandparents and, well, things turn weird.  My one critique is that M. Night (can I call you M. Night?) overwrites the kid's dialogue making them smarter than 99% of kids their age.  There really isn't a "twist", well I guess there is, but this time it feels like a plot development rather than a twist.  Pushes the boundries of PG13.  Okay, now I'm gonna twist one off, yo.

7.  Star Wars:The Force Awakens-  Yeah yeah yeah, I know it's not "cool" to have this on a year end list based on some of the year end lists I've seen so far, but it really did deliver.  I even cried.  Multiple times.  No matter what anybody says, including "Oh, it's just a remake of A New Hope", this was a Star Wars movie inside and out.  It was so nice to see Harrison Ford energetic and engaged again in a role.  The new cast didn't drop the ball and it got me excited for future episodes.  Mission accomplished.

6.  Mad Max:Fury Road-  This is the movie that has fluctuated the most for me throughout the year.  Three minutes ago it was #5.  Maybe I just saw it too many times.  I would not be surprised if I saw it nominated for Best Picture.  Though it does have its flaws, George Miller returns successfully to his Wasteland world like he never left.  Tom Hardy is a decent Max surrogate and the action scenes live up to the hype.  I love how it didn't dumb itself down for the viewer and just plunged them into this world.  One caveat-  I know how everyone is talking about Charlize Theron's performance as Furiousa, but I found it very wooden.  However, this will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the last movie that I watched with my father in the theater.

5.  Sicario-  Months from now we may find this higher on my list (this is the game that moves as you play).  The performances are top-notch across the board.  Emily Blunt balances fragile and strong as the FBI agent dragged into the Mexican cartel drug war.  Benicio Del Toro is equally amazing as....well, you'll have to see the movie to know.  I would assume he would receive a Supporting Actor nomination but the film may have been released a bit too early and may be overshadowed, which would be a crime.  Josh Brolin is acting like he is in a different movie, giving a gonzo performance as the guy in charge; the teflon man.  The cinematography is great courtesy of Roger Deakins and the score is equally amazing.  This is what a movie would look like if Stanley Kubrick directed a Mexican drug cartel movie.

4.  Krampus-  One of, if not my most, favorite movie theater experiences of the year.  This was a hybrid of Gremlins, Christmas Vacation, and You're Next.  David Koechner is comic gold playing the same character that he always does.  I love me a holiday movie that pulls no punches.  The ending was a direct homage to Time Bandits, one of my Top Three movies of all time, in that a boy goes on adventures, wakes up, nope not a dream, but only a dream away.  Cynicism does have its place in entertainment.

3.  The Hateful Eight-  Just starting typing this, I can already hear Ennio Morricone's ominous score in my head.  Tarantino's eighth film delivers.  Is it too long?  Yes.  Is it too talky?  Yes. That being said, it is a Tarantino western (and I would even say horror) movie with an original score by Morricone.  Every performance it at an A-Game level, as expected in a Tarantino ensemble piece, with due emphasis on Walton Goggins and Jennifer Jason Leigh, whose facial expressions; a smile here, a sneer there, show the power of nonverbal communication.  I had a lot of fun with this one, and while it did not reach the emotional peaks of Django Unchained or Inglourious Basterds, I'm still glad movies like this are being made these days.  I wouldn't complain if I got a Tarantino movie under my tree every Xmas day.

2.  Kingsmen:The Secret Service-  Prrrrrrrobably the most fun I had at the movies this year.  I took my parents to see it and my dad bought the DVD the week it came out (never got to watch it).  This is what movies need to be.  Make the movie, fuck the rating.  This is a hard Rated R romp that is the best James Bond movie not featuring James Bond.  Colin Firth plays against type as a total badass secret agent.  Like John Wick last year, this creates a very original world to play around in.  Sam Jackson is hilarious as the Super Villain with a lisp and a fear of blood.  His hentchwoman (there's that concept again) is a total babe with legs made out of blades, and the ending includes anal sex.  How is this not #1??

1.  Ex Machina-  My favorite movie of the year.  My initial review:  Just see it.
A little exposition:  Office dude wins a competition to visit and stay with the evil, but not totally evil, genius and test his A.I. creation.  Off course, everything goes off the rails from there.  Stanley Kubrick is my favorite director, and I miss his vision to this day, but this film, Alex Garland's first, has his cold, yet intelligent sensibility.  Oscar Isaac is brilliant in this as the always drunk "mad scientist" and Alicia Vikander is amazing, sad, hopeful, loving, hateful, scared, smart, and sexy as Ava, the A.I.  I can't recommend this one enough.

Well, now that 2015's list has been completed, I'm about to tear up this fucking dance floor, dude.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

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