Sunday, November 1, 2015

In Movie Lines (plus Links): October 11 - October 31


Movies I've Watched

October 11th - October 31, 2015

So, here's something crazy: I have watched sixteen movies in the last three weeks. Only one is a re-watch. I like that. What I haven't been doing is blog posts. So, here we go...

Re-Watched

Risky Business
Dir. Paul Brickman, 1983


Found this on DVD at Wal-Mart for $3.88. Said "What the fuck." And made my move. In all seriousness, Risky Business is still one of the most provocative, ballsy "teen movies" ever released by a major studio. Nobody would allow this sort of thing in mainstream movies today. That, my readers, is why this is a classic. My wife had never seen it, which is part of the reason I threw it right in my shopping cart. She loved it. 

First-Timers

Stagecoach
Dir. John Ford, 1939


I watched it. I don't remember anything about it, except for a couple of choice shots. This one and the one that introduced the world to John Wayne. That zoom-in to close up of his face as he spins that rifle around. Good God! That is glorious. Apart from that, I didn't get into it. A totally forgettable experience for me. 

Fish Tank
Dir. Andrea Arnold, 2009


What a brutally sad piece of work this one is. Andrea Arnold is a director I know very little about, but she is a force to be reckoned with if this film is any indication. Fish Tank is a tragedy of real life emotion, centered around a 15-year-old outcast played to perfection by non-actor, Katie Jarvis. She plays Mia, who lives in a London housing project with her "mother" and younger sister. When Mom brings home Connor (Michael Fassbender), things go happy, then way fucking dark. It plays way too long and got a bit redundant in its bleak world view. But a solid character study nonetheless. 

The Walk
Dir. Robert Zemeckis, 2015


Saw The Walk in 3D. Partially amazing, mostly inconsequential. Full review here

Casino Royale
Dir. Martin Campbell, 2006


I've been juiced up for Spectre, Sam Mendes' second entry into the Bond series, all year. Problem though. I never saw the previous three starring Daniel Craig. Well, actually, I saw this one, but I think I was under the influence of something at the time. I didn't remember it at all. So, I went back for it. Casino Royale is decent. That's about it. It doesn't have the sort of excitement or humor one expects from a Bond film, especially me, who was obsessed with all things Bond as a teen. A pretty much boring (and way too long for its own good) installment, if you ask me. 

Aloha
Dir. Cameron Crowe, 2015


Ugh! Spare me. I don't know why I thought everybody in America was wrong on this one. Full review here

Rumble Fish
Dir, Francis Ford Coppola, 1983


In all my years of worshipping Coppola's film version of S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, I never took my mother's insistence that I see Rumble Fish seriously. Made immediately after The Outsiders with the same crew and some of the same cast and released the same year, Rumble Fish is an anomaly of a film. Made as a throwback to...well...I don't know what, and decidedly avant garde in many respects (some even walked out of the theater upon its release), it's a tough watch. Bleak and violent. It's a "teen movie" that really has something to say about teenage behavior. I didn't love it though. I do though love that it exists. And that Stewart Copland soundtrack is, at once, anachronistic and other-worldly. 

Quantum of Solace
Dir. Marc Forster, 2008


Quantum of Solace isn't even a James Bond movie. In fact, I'm not sure what it is, other than a rip-off of a Bourne movie without the amnesia. I literally remember none of it, only than a few fun action sequences. 

Red River
Dir. Howard Hawks, 1948


I'm beginning to think that the classic Westerns just aren't my thing. I couldn't get into this movie for the life of me. Recently released on Criterion Collection Blu-Ray, it looks about as good as it possibly can, but I just never latched onto it and was falling asleep by the end. I didn't even finish it. I will say, though, that Montgomery Clift is worth a man crush. Goodness! That dude is good-looking. And the "Yee-Haw" scene is iconic enough. I don't know...

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Dir. George Lucas, 1999


Now, here comes the bit where I watched the damn trailer for J.J. Abram's forthcoming Episode VII and got all nostalgic about a series of movies I really only briefly gave two shits about. So, I just had to go and start the whole saga from the beginning. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the special effects are pretty good, but ultimately too cartoonish for my particular taste. Some good, mostly just ugh!. 

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Dir. George Lucas, 2002


Same thing, except Anakin's a teenaged Jedi now. George Lucas and his casting people should be smacked for hiring Hayden Christensen for this role. That dude can't act to save his life. And this movie offers nothing to anything. 

Bridge of Spies
Dir. Steven Spielberg, 2015


Impromptu date night with my wife found us at a pretty bad new restaurant for dinner, then to a screening of Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, which, I'm happy to report, is now my horse for Best Picture. Just a loving dose of humanity and wit and bravado. Full review here

Gattaca
Dir. Andrew Niccol, 1997


I have had this movie on my radar as long as its been around, almost twenty years now, and I finally got around to it. Great science fiction. Leisurely paced, character focused, I love a good "idea" sci-fi film. Niccol is one of the best at that. 

Steve Jobs
Dir. Danny Boyle, 2015


Oh, Sorkin. I love you, man. But somebody should've said no to this three part structure. It didn't work at all. But your dialogue. Fucking ACE! Fassbender... likewise. Full review here

Skyfall
Dir. Sam Mendes, 2012


Now, Skyfall is a James Bond movie! Thanks, Sam Mendes. I'm so glad he took this job. He is just the right guy to breathe new life into the franchise. This movie is just filled with theatrical, stagey set pieces, brilliant action sequences, and throwbacks for the Bond purist in me that had me pumping my fists in the air and screaming "Hell Yes!" Can't wait for Spectre

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Dir. George Lucas, 2005


I seriously can't believe Natalie Portman didn't just walk off the set and laugh on her way out. To put her in the same room as Hayden C...can't act for shit...could've been a detriment to her career. Glad she made her way out of this alive because, except for the last 15 minutes or so, this is one of the most poorly written films I've eve seen. I can't wait to watch the original trilogy now. 

The Numbers

I have seen 188 movies this year so far. 

Re-Watched - 65

First-Timers - 123

Links

Alex at And So It Begins... with a breakdown of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.

Wendell at Dell on Movies with some personal scary movie list like none other.

Renee, my fellow contributor at Pop Depravity, with a look back at American Pscyho.

Jeffery at jdbrecords with some pretty Fall pictures and a link to a strikingly beautiful poem.

Drew at A Fistful of Films with a final post before a hiatus...his 100 favorite films. 

20 comments:

  1. You know me, I just watch a movie to watch a movie. I don't analyze it as much as you. I just try to enjoy it. I totally agree with Quatum of Solace though. Before you ever said anything, I was thinking this is like Borne. The Star Wars movie I like, but don't love. I am excited about the new one. Funny how your one rewatch was new for me, and most of the new ones, I had seen. Now on to the original Star Wars, and we are ready for the rest of the movie releases!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you. Those prequels just bored me to tears for the most part. The originals though are something else entirely.

      Delete
  2. It´s nice to see you have a list of your October films. So do I ! I just posted it in my blog (wich I encourage you to visit):

    www.artbyarion.blogspot.com

    I hope you enjoy my review, and please feel free to leave me a comment over there or add yourself as a follower (or both), and I promise I'll reciprocate.

    Cheers,

    Arion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! Love meeting a new blogger. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  3. Going to revisit the SW franchise myself. Debating if I should start with the original trilogy or with the prequels. Either way I'm dreading my rewatch of Attack of the Clones. I'm pretty sure there's some place in the galaxy, whether this one or one far far away, where casting Hayden Cantactfuhshit is punishable by death.

    Love Risky Business and Skyfall. I like Casino Royale, but yeah, it's too long. And QoS is flat out terrible. And I need to see Rumblefish.

    Thanks for the link!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you MUST watch the prequels, watch the whole series in Machete Order - in case you haven't heard, that's Episodes IV, V, II, III, VI, in which the prequels basically serve as flashbacks. I agree that Clones is the worst of the bunch, but it's important plot-wise, unfortunately. I did this once and it's actually pretty satisfying (although I snuck in the pod race from Ep. I because I love it and I don't care what anyone says).

      I would say that Christensen can't act, but have you seen Shattered Glass? He's REALLY good in it.

      Delete
    2. Episode I is in all honesty my favorite of the prequels, despite Jar Jar. The pod race scene is great. Yeah, Dell, try something a bit different because slogging through those prequels in order was near torture. And, maybe Christensen can act, but I haven't seen it. Just wooden. And Lucas' piss poor dialogue didn't help at all.

      And, yes, see Rumble Fish.

      Delete
  4. Hey Kevin, this so much for the link! SO happy you appreciate much of Fish Tank. I agree, an extremely bleak portrait of human life, but I absolutely adore it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem, man. It's a solid movie, just went on a bit long for my taste. Not that there was anything unnecessary. I just had a tough time staying in such dark place for so long. Thanks for stopping by, buddy.

      Delete
  5. God, episode 1-3. I remember when rumors about Leonardo DiCaprio being cast as Anikan were around, and my dad was like "OMG NO!!" Then we got fucking Hayden and Leo turned out to be a tremendous actor. I'm so excited for The Force Awakens, just because it feels like the Star Wars movie we should've gotten with episode 1-3. I hope it doesn't let me down, but I don't think it will. Nothing can be as bad as 1-3.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leo would've been the better choice. Damn! Lucas' dialogue probably would've been shitty even from him though. I think The Force Awakens is gonna be great!

      Delete
  6. My movie watching this month started off good and then all my plans went to hell. Granted, the new plans ended up being great and I wouldn't have traded them for anything, but then I look at this post and I get all sad.

    I actually hadn't seen a single Bond movie until Skyfall, which had some stellar sequences but overall didn't do much for me. I remember being SO hyped for the Star Wars prequels and then I saw Ep. I and I mostly liked it, but as subsequent viewings have proven, that was nearly all nostalgia and feeling cool about seeing a NEW Star Wars movie on the big screen. Ep. II is a boring piece of trash, and Ep. III is saved by a great ending sequence and great scoring. Agree that Christensen is a complete black hole of charisma here, but he's so good in Shattered Glass that I can't really say he's a bad actor. Poor Natalie having to try to act opposite that, though. I felt for her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. I've been on a roll this month. Just trying to get some Bond and Star Wars out of the way, so I can go in knowing. Seeing Spectre tomorrow night.

      Like I said before, I liked Episode I best of all the prequels. You are so right on the rest. I always heard Shattered Glass is a really good movie. He must be an actor that requires decent writing. And, yeah, Natalie Portman can act circles around that dude.

      Delete
  7. Quite a varied lot. The only Star Wars films I've seen are the original three and that was quite enough. The first two were okay but I didn't like the third and the idea of watching others without even the allure of Harrison Ford or Carrie Fisher is completely unappealing.

    I'm not a big Bond follower. I've caught most through the years but mostly by stumbling upon them rather than by design. I liked both of these two as entertainments, Casino Royale is closer to a Bond film but Craig is more brutish than how I usually think of 007 though I like him in the part. Again I enjoyed Quantum as an adventure film but it truly was far more akin to a Bourne film than Bond.

    Gattaca is loaded with actors that range from indifference, Jude Law, to outright dislike, Ethan Hawke, for me but I still liked it when I saw it in the theatre. It had an interesting story and great production design...I haven't watched it since though.

    Rumble Fish is one odd, freaky film and as with The Outsiders distinctly Coppola. Strange to watch both this and Risky Business now with both Mickey Rourke and Tom Cruise so fresh before their descents into the respective weirdness.

    I love many classic westerns but neither of these are ones I harbor a great deal of affection for. Aside from Wayne's emergence from the grind of the cheapie bottom of the bill flicks he'd been churning out and the presence of the always worth watching Claire Trevor I never got what all the praise for Stagecoach was about. Red River is better, love the scene where Clift and John Ireland compare their guns!! so loaded with innuendo and apparently it was written as an in joke since Ireland was famously well endowed, but it goes on too long and except for Wayne and Monty Clift, who I agree was a stunner until his face was destroyed in that accident, none of the other actors are very memorable. I haven't seen either in years. Now Dodge City or The Searchers are a totally different story I could watch either at the drop of a hat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Star Wars isn't for everyone. It's just barely for me. The new trailer looks so good, I couldn't help myself. Ford and Fisher are everything, man.

      I like Ethan Hawke. And Jude Law. Really cool movie but not one I'm all crazy about.

      So true about Rourke and Cruise and those movies.

      Yeah. I should've mentioned that scene with Clift and Ireland. Great stuff! I have The Searchers right now and will watch this week. I'll let you know my thoughts.

      Delete
  8. Last week, I watched The Descendants, The Ice Storm, & Shallow Grave. All 3 films were amazing, especially The Descendants & The Ice Storm.

    I saw Steve Jobs last week. Amazing. That's all I can say about it.

    I also watched The Dark Knight trilogy last week. Wow. Just... wow. The Dark Knight was definitely the best one in the trilogy.

    I am also seeing the film Room tonight. I'm really hoping Brie Larson wins Best Actress at the Oscars for this.

    And also, since I have mentioned a film involving Aaron Sorkin, I have started watching The Newsroom on demand. Definitely one of the greatest shows I've ever watched, & it proves once again that Aaron Sorkin is a genius.

    I also plan to watch Ex Machina soon, & I plan to see Bridge of Spies next week in theaters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good stuff. I can't wait to see Room. It hasn't shown up around here yet. Hope you love Bridge of Spies as much as I did.

      Delete
  9. First...thanks for the link, man.

    Second...Star Wars. UGH, started watching them the other night with the kids to get everyone ready for the new one...and Phantom Menace is a mess. Sad. I remember being so pumped for the casting of Hayden in the role because I was a HUGE fan of Higher Ground and loved him on it...and thought he was Oscar worthy in Life as a House and thought he was on his way to being this great actor and then...WHAT? But I blame Lucas a lot for the failure of episodes 1-3...like...that dialog...was...gross.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem, buddy. I miss you.

      You know, I forgot about Life as a House. That's a really touching movie, and Christensen really wasn't bad at all there. He needs writing. And Lucas sucked ass on this trilogy. Just disgustingly cheesy and "gross."

      Delete