Monday, August 1, 2011

July 2011 Recap

In case you're unfamiliar with this feature, each and every month, I take a look back to the previous month and re-think my filmic choices and ratings. Some ratings stay the same, some change and I also take the opportunity to talk about NON-1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die films that I saw. Here we go...

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die - As seen in July 2011
1) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971 - Met Stuart) 7.5/10 - I went way gaga over this one upon first viewing. Yes, it's very good and probably one of the best children's flicks I've seen, but it's far from a full blown '10'.
2) Naked Lunch (1991 - David Cronenberg) 2/10 - Not the worst thing I've ever seen, but it just flat out wasn't for me.
3) The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975 - Jim Sharman) 6.5/10
4) This Is Spinal Tap (1984 - Rob Reiner) 7/10 - I short changed it earlier this month. I'm still not convinced it's one of the greatest comedies ever made, but it's funny for sure.
5) Stand by Me (1986 - Rob Reiner) 7/10
6) The Story of a Cheat (1936 - Sacha Guitry) 8.5/10
7) The Princess Bride (1987 - Rob Reiner) 8/10
8) Audition (1999 - Takashi Miike) 8/10 - This came extremely close to making the "Ten Worth Mentioning" section of the recent TOP 20. I just felt that my inability to fully understand it upon first viewing and forcing myself to go look up an explanation, kept it from being included on a list of my favorite films of the 100.
9) Detour (1945 - Edgar G. Ulmer) 7.5/10 - Another one that came oh so close to making the "Ten Worth Mentioning" section of the recent TOP 20. I thought it was great, but it's short running time made it more easily forgettable when scouring through the candidates for the list.
10) When Harry Met Sally (1989 - Rob Reiner) 6/10
11) Hoop Dreams (1994 - Steve James) 8/10 - Again, I went a little overboard during my initial review of this one. Maybe a '10' as far as documentaries go, but I'd drop it down a peg or two on an overall scale.
12) An American Werewolf in London (1981 - John Landis) 5.5/10
13) Caravaggio (1986 - Derek Jarman) 5/10
14) Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975 - Peter Weir) 3/10
15) Zero Kelvin (1995 - Hans Petter Moland) 8/10 - See the TOP 20: #202 - #301 for updated thoughts.
16) The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989 - Peter Greenaway) 8/10 - Another one that came extremely close to making the "Ten Worth Mentioning" section. Great film!
17) Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002 - Phillip Noyce) 6/10
18) The Big Heat (1953 - Fritz Lang) 8.5/10 - See the TOP 20: #202 - #301 for updated thoughts.
19) The Naked Gun (1988 - David Zucker) 4.5/10
20) Secret Beyond the Door (1948 - Fritz Lang) 6/10 - Probably the most forgettable film of the last month and I say that in the nicest of ways. Bad movies aren't forgettable because they're so bad, and good ones are to good to be forgotten, so this one just kind of lingered somewhere in the middle.
21) Heavenly Creatures (1994 - Peter Jackson) 6.5/10
22) Moonstruck (1987 - Norman Jewison) 9/10 - See the TOP 20: #202 - #301 for updated thoughts.
23) The Gleaners and I (2000 - Agnes Varda) 6/10
24) Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993 - Francois Girard) 4.5/10
25) Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985 - Hector Babenco) 8/10 - See the TOP 20: #202 - #301 for updated thoughts.
26) Body Heat (1981 - Lawrence Kasdan) 8.5/10 - See the TOP 20: #202 - #301 for updated thoughts.
27) Children of a Lesser God (1986 - Randa Haines) 5.5/10
28) Jaws (1975 - Steven Spielberg) 10/10 - We're currently sitting at 10 films watched toward our next TOP 20 and this still sits atop the mountain, only possibly rivaled by "Schindler's List".
29) Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977 - Steven Spielberg) 4.5/10 - This is just too dull to get about an average rating.
30) Big (1988 - Penny Marshall) 7/10
31) Kes (1969 - Ken Loach) 4.5/10 - It became more and more forgettable after I watched it and a '6' was too high.
32) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 - Steven Spielberg) 4/10
33) E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982 - Steven Spielberg) 6.5/10
34) The Color Purple (1985 - Steven Spielberg) 7/10
35) Trust (1990 - Hal Hartley) 5.5/10 - I wanted very badly to give this one a nod of approval and despite the great performance from Martin Donovan, I just couldn't make heads or tails of this one and any message that was trying to be conveyed was lost on me.

NON-1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die - As seen in July 2011
1) Rabbit Hole (2010 - John Cameron Mitchell) 4/10 - I’m just so tired of these cliché films. “Our child has died and now we’re going to be sad for the length of this movie” – How many times has this been done? Also, when did all these film makers get together and decide that endings for movies were no longer necessary? There are so many films that come out, and I notice it more in the modern era than I used to, that DON’T have ending. They’re just left wide open, and sometimes that’s fine, but I didn’t care enough about these characters to make speculations about how everything turned out, after the film ends. If you ask me, there’s no resolution to this family’s situation either. I mean, at the end they’re just left there sitting in their yard with blank expressions on their faces and discussing how they’ll try their best to act normal around others. Why did I just sit here for ninety minutes and watch these characters mope around about their dead child, if in the end we’re not going to finally come to a happy medium for these characters? Eckhart was amazing, but that’s where the amazing things in “Rabbit Hole” stop. Kidman was just there and in my opinion, the two really didn’t have any chemistry. That may be a good thing though, because you’d want a little bit of distance between the actors, when their characters are supposed to be distanced as well. I didn’t like it and I think after watching 300 films from the “1001” book, I’m starting to get really picky.

...and that's the only non-1001 movie I watched this month. I'll be back on or around the 1st of September to take a look at the films I beheld in August.

August 1, 2011 8:41pm

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