January 2014 + 5 Tom Cruise SF/F Films

Pinch, punch, first of the month, and no returns.

Except to January — let’s return to January…

OblivionJanuary’s films

#1 G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
#2 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)
#3 Fast Five (2011), aka Fast & Furious 5
#4 The Big Lebowski (1998)
#5 Premium Rush (2012)
#6 Tower Block (2012)
#7 Oblivion (2013)


Oh dear.

Simple maths tells us that to watch 100 films in a year you need to watch about eight per month. Seven is less than eight. It’s also my lowest January total in five years, which makes it disappointing in multiple ways.

On the bright side, as we have seen many a time, no individual month provides an accurate approximation of where my year will end up, and certainly not January. If I apply myself in February and March I can catch up easily; and as I usually do apply myself in February and March, I shall expect to.

What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…?

One thing did go right in January, however, and that was the start of WDYMYHS 2014. Those of you with a surprisingly good memory may have spotted that The Big Lebowski is this month’s viewing from that list.

I nearly watched one or two more, but I’m trying to pace myself. Considering January’s total, maybe I shouldn’t be.


Also this month, I reached the 800th film to be covered on 100 Films in a Year. That’s not #800, mind: thanks to alternate cuts and random reviewing of films I’ve seen before, I’ve covered 800 films but not counted 800 films. And because I’m behind on reviews, I haven’t even posted that 800th review yet… but I’ll be sure to mention it when I do.

(Incidentally, the official #800 will be this year’s #48.)

5 Tom Cruise SF/F Films

Tom Cruise is the kinda guy who does sci-fi movies, right? I mean, we can all name at least a few he’s been in, including one that was out last summer and one that will be out this summer — that’s one per year! Right?

Wrong. So wrong, in fact, I couldn’t even fill a top five with Tom Cruise sci-fi films. So here are five — the five — sci-fi and fantasy films that (have already been released and) star Mr Mapother IV.

  1. OblivionOblivion
    This one was pretty obvious — it inspired the list, after all. Set in 2077, it sees Cruise working on a desolated Earth to repair drones that guard the planet from aliens. I won’t say too much more lest I spoil it, but you could also count… no, I’ll leave it here. Just watch it, it’s pretty good.
  2. War of the Worlds
    War of the Worlds“Cruise. Spielberg.” So read the poster and/or trailer for this ’00s-set reimagining of H.G. Wells’ classic novel of alien invasion and domination. Despite the updating, and the sickeningly twee ending, it’s actually a damn good film. Post-9/11, US films were more positive than ever about how all Americans would band together in a crisis. Not so here.
  3. Minority ReportMinority Report
    Cruise is a copper who arrests people before they commit crimes, but what happens when it’s predicted he’ll commit one next? In the 12 years since Minority Report’s release I think it may’ve turned into a classic. Well, some people think so. I expect I’d be one of them if I’d watched it this decade. Which I haven’t. But I really should.
  4. Interview with the VampireInterview with the Vampire
    Ooh, another good one I’ve not watched for ages (maybe I should’ve picked something where I’d watched the films more recently…) Here, Cruise is a centuries-spanning vampire; so some would say that’s Horror, but it’s not really about the scares, it’s about the psychology. And Cruise and Brad Pitt looking Pretty.
  5. LegendLegend
    Unlike the other films on this list (which I’ve seen, just not recently), I have never seen Legend. But it’s definitely a fantasy movie.

And then there’s…

    Vanilla SkyVanilla Sky
    I’ve seen Vanilla Sky — again, ages ago. I remember quite liking it. I remember it being all kinda weird and mysterious and stuff. But I can’t for the life of me remember what the explanation was. Was it science-fictional? Fantastical? Religiousical? Maybe no one knows. That wouldn’t surprise me.

Have I managed to miss any Cruise films that are actually SF or F? Should we be including the Mission: Impossibles thanks to some of their more OTT leanings? Lemme know below.

Next month on 100 Films in a Year…

I should watch nine films to make up for January’s shortfall. It’s good to have goals, right?

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