Friday, March 1, 2013

February 2013 Recap

Let's go...

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die - As seen in February 2013
1) The Big Carnival (1951 - Billy Wilder) 4/10 - The definite worst of the "Wilder Week" festivities. Can't fathom this one even having a chance at the TOP 20, unless my opinion of it radically changes.
2) Sunset Blvd. (1950 - Billy Wilder) 6/10 - Man, this one had a TON of potential, but I think I really missed the appeal of it. I honestly think it could use a third look (I'd seen it once before). There are some amazing shots, amazing acting and the story is pretty great, but something's missing.
3) The Defiant Ones (1958 - Stanley Kramer) 7/10 - Went '8/10' originally, but a solid '7' seems more suitable.
4) Grease (1978 - Randal Kleiser) 8.5/10 - Kind of on a different level than other '8.5' rated movies. This one is more on the fun side/guilty pleasure side.
5) Some Like It Hot (1959 - Billy Wilder) 7.5/10 - WHOA a '10' on first viewing? Nah, can't go QUITE THAT high, but still really good and a serious TOP 20 contender.
6) Le Trou (1959 - Jacques Becker) 10/10 - Still THE best movie of the season and honestly, the best movie I've seen in a LONG time. If this doesn't get the #1 spot of my next TOP 20, I can't wait to see the one that does.
7) The Cranes Are Flying (1957 - Mikheil Kalatozishvili) 6.5/10
8) Wages of Fear (1953 - Henri-Georges Clouzot) 8.5/10 - Slow start, but dammit what a middle and end. Big thumbs up!
9) Les Diaboliques (1954 - Henri-Georges Clouzot) 7/10 - I have a feeling this one WILL find a home on my TOP 20 list, somehow, somewhere.
10) The Housemaid (1960 - Kim Ki-young) 7/10 - Grew on me a little bit. Hard to deny such a unique, original piece.
11) Animal Farm (1955 - Batchelor, Halas) 5.5/10
12) Forbidden Games (1952 - Rene Clement) 6/10 - Barely a '6' though and actually quite a forgettable film.
13) Angel Face (1952 - Otto Preminger) 5/10 - Still upset that this one didn't pan out better. I love me some Mitchum, so giving his movie a '5' is hard. *sigh*
14) Tokyo Story (1953 - Yasujiro Ozu) 6/10 - Liked "An Autumn Afternoon" a LOT better (review forthcoming), which may be the reason this one went down. Still decent.
15) Floating Weeds (1959 - Yasujiro Ozu) 5/10 - I was a little hard on this one the other day. Not quite as bad as I made it out to be and honestly, overall, I liked the Ozu films and am intrigued enough to check out more...someday.
16) Carmen Jones (1954 - Otto Preminger) 6/10
17) Silver Lode (1954 - Allan Dwan) 7.5/10

NON-1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die - As seen in February 2013
1) To Rome with Love (2012 - Woody Allen) 6.5/10 - It's really hard for me to rip on a Woody Allen movie, but I'd understand anyone who'd call his 2012 offering a failure. When I look at the career of Woody Allen, I see it in three parts. Part 1 - The early, pure comedies (What's Up Tiger Lily? through Annie Hall), Part 2 - Everything in-between (Interiors through Melinda and Melinda) and Part 3 - The Present (Match Point - present). If you look at that third part, "To Rome with Love" certainly isn't the worst of those (I'd probably give that "honor" to "Scoop"), but it certainly isn't the best either. It tells several different stories, all taking place in Italy. My personal favorite was probably the one starring Woody Allen, where he discovers the newest opera singing sensation, but also discovers that his talents are only revealed when he's in the shower. The other good one is the one with Penelope Cruz and the newly married couple. Then there's the other two, which are too far fetched and I've always hated it when Woody went the far fetched route (see "Alice"). There's a LOT of jumping back and forth, since we're following four (or five, at times) stories and naturally, the audience is going to like certain stories better than others, which will make it frustrating when the film isn't concentrating on your story of choice.

2) The Cabin in the Woods (2011 - Drew Goddard) 4.5/10 - So somebody said to someone else "Hey, let's make a teens/twentysomethings in peril movie!" and the other guy says back, "Nah, they've been done to death (no pun intended)!". So some wizard thought up "The Cabin in the Woods", which is just a teens in peril movie disguised with a pretty good idea. I'm not even going to delve into the plot, but if you're a fan of movies like "Friday the 13th" and "The Evil Dead", you'll probably go crazy for this, especially when all the twists are revealed. I'm so over twist endings, it's not even funny. I'm sick of filmmaker's who still think they're cool and I wish people would just write smart, proper endings to their films and quit trying to screw with the audience. And actually, as I type that, I realize that this movie really doesn't have a twist ending, actually, but really, the whole movie is a twist and I just couldn't get into it. Horrible acting too.

3) The Campaign (2012 - Jay Roach) 2.5/10 - *Sigh* Why do I still think, nearly ten years after "Anchorman", that I'm going to like Will Ferrell movies? Listen, judge me if you will, but I loved me some "Anchorman". I honestly think that fifty years from now, when people think of the greatest comedies of the 21st century, they'll still remember "Anchorman" and speak well of it. But, Will Ferrell needs to just go away. I don't even want to see "Anchorman 2". Will I see it? Yes. But would I be upset if they didn't make it? Not at all. It took this train wreck (I'm talking about "The Campaign" now) to make me realize that "Anchorman" was the peak of Will Ferrell's career and everything since has been his slow and certainly steady decline. He's just not funny anymore. All of his jokes are ten years old and his facial expressions and "funny" demeanor has been done to death. He either needs to go away or TRY to take on some more serious roles. However, let me tell you, if he DOES try to take on more serious roles, it's going to take a serious piece of work to erase his funnyman image from people's heads. I'm talking like an Adam Sandler/Punch Drunk Love, Jim Carrey/Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind kind of role. But lets face it folks, Will Ferrell isn't going anywhere. Why? Because of people like me who still remember him as a genuine funnyman and still have some sort of unexplainable desire to see his new movies. But please folks, trust me on this one, skip "The Campaign".

Well that about does 'er for another month. My goal for March is to reach the halfway mark for the season, which is going to mean hauling ass and doing some serious movie watching. I'm up to the writing, if you're up to the reading. Let's make it happen. See ya next month.

March 1, 2013  10:14pm

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