Friday, September 13, 2013
1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die: Completely Revised and Updated Edition (2013)
So we've already done this once before, but once again the great people at Barron's Educational Series have been awesome enough to chuck me out a review copy of the latest edition of THE BOOK. The new book hits stores next month, I believe, and because a twenty-five year old had a whim and started a blog, watching all of the 1001 movies contained in the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" text, he got a free copy and you reap the benefits, because now I get to tell you all about it! First and foremost a HUGE "thank you" to the people at Barron's for sending me this, especially Eric who never got tired of me nagging him via e-mail about the whereabouts of the latest edition. They're a great bunch of people over there, take my word for it!
I also want to reiterate that I AM NOT switching editions. Yours truly is still working out of the Indiana Jones edition and will continue to work out of the Indiana Jones edition until it's done. There is some talk about me going back and watching movies that have appeared in any incarnation of THE BOOK, but I'll get into that more in-depth in the Fourth Year Anniversary post, coming this weekend (hopefully).
So lets start with the INS & OUTS and then I'll get into some of the cosmetic features of the new book, which are just as exciting as the inclusions and exclusions. I also want to point out that the following list of INS & OUTS are NOT a comparison between this book and the Black Swan edition (the last edition I reviewed on the blog). Apparently there was an edition in between those editions, that featured "Tinker Tailor Solider Spy" on the cover and I believe was exclusive to the U.K. That edition included some films from 2011, such as The Descendants, Hugo, War Horse, The Artist and Bridesmaids.
I also want to say that I was SHOCKED at some of these changes, especially the exclusions. I'll get into whether I think they were good or bad ideas, but know that THE BOOK didn't just change the films that have come out in the last few years, but actually went back and revised the ENTIRE THING! Here we go....
1) The Great White Silence (1924 - Herbert G. Ponting) - Like many of the new films, I've never heard of this. I'll probably just be listing the majority of these and throwing in words when I've actually seen the film.
2) The Eagle (1925 - Clarence Brown)
3) The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926 - Lotte Reiniger)
4) A Throw of Dice (1929 - Franz Osten)
5) Limite (1931 - Mario Peixoto)
6) The Goddess (1934 - Yonggang Wu)
7) Peter Ibbetson (1935 - Henry Hathaway)
8) The Lady Vanishes (1938 - Alfred Hitchcock) - I've seen this one. They also removed a couple Hitchcock films and I can't say I agree with the inclusion of this one, over the exclusion of the ones they took out.
9) Mrs. Miniver (1942 - William Wyler)
10) Summer with Monika (1953 - Ingmar Bergman) - Beware Begman fans, you have to pay for this...
11) The Man with the Golden Arm (1955 - Otto Preminger)
12) Oklahoma! (1955 - Fred Zinnemann)
13) Some Came Running (1958 - Vincente Minnelli)
14) The Exiles (1961 - Kent MacKenzie)
15) The Exterminating Angel (1962 - Luis Bunuel) - A fascinating film about a group of bourgeoisie who can't seem to leave a particular room, even though nothing stops them from doing so. I don't know how good it is, but it will have you talking and thinking. I'm okay with this one...
16) Mary Poppins (1964 - Robert Stevenson) - Kind of surprised this one wasn't in there already. Not because I like it, but just because.
17) Wake in Fright (1971 - Ted Kotcheff) - This looks REALLY good...
18) The Devils (1971 - Ken Russell)
19) The Hired Hand (1971 - Peter Fonda)
20) F for Fake (1973 - Orson Welles)
21) The Towering Inferno (1974 - John Guillermin)
22) Sleeping Dogs (1977 - Roger Donaldson)
23) Christ Stopped at Eboli (1979 - Francesco Rosi)
24) Diva (1981 - Jean-Jacques Beineix)
25) The Draughtsman's Contract (1982 - Peter Greenaway)
26) Local Hero (1983 - Bill Forsyth)
27) Wall Street (1987 - Oliver Stone)
28) Dead Ringers (1988 - David Cronenberg) - Always wanted to see this, never did. It looks really good. Beware Cronenberg fans, you have to pay as well...
29) Robocop (1988 - Paul Verhoeven)
30) Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988 - Terence Davies)
31) Field of Dreams (1989 - Phil Alden Robinson) - Umm kind of an odd choice. I don't hate the movie or anything, but certainly wouldn't call it a must see.
32) Hana-Bi (1997 - Takeshi Kitano) - Again, this LOOKS really good...
33) Boogie Nights (1997 - Paul Thomas Anderson) - So they bit the bullet and put this back in. Can't say I agree with them, but it's well liked by everyone but me, so whatever.
34) Gangs of New York (2002 - Martin Scorsese) - Only saw it one time, years ago, but remember hating it.
35) Russian Ark (2002 - Aleksandr Sokurov)
36) Bowling for Columbine (2002 - Michael Moore) - Big thumbs up to them for this one. In my opinion, the best Moore documentary of them all.
37) Elephant (2003 - Gus Van Sant) - Another thumbs up here. I actually reviewed "Elephant" just a few months ago in a recap and gave it good points.
38) Aileen Wuornos: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003 - Nick Broomfield)
39) Osama (2003 - Siddiq Barmak)
40) Moolaade (2004 - Ousmane Sembene)
41) The Consequences of Love (2004 - Paolo Sorrentino) - I've got to hand it to them, they've included a bunch of stuff that, at least, looks good.
42) Toy Story Trilogy (1995, 1999, 2010 - John Lasseter) - Yep, they're all included as one now. I'm all for them all being in THE BOOK, but am not sure they're so closely connected (like "The Lord of the Rings") that they warrant a combined inclusion...Oh well...
43) Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010 - Wener Herzog)
44) The Cabin in the Woods (2012 - Drew Goddard) - Unreal that they actually put this in THE BOOK! My wife and I saw this flick earlier this year and while I'll admit the idea was there, the execution was not. This was garbage, in my view.
45) Lincoln (2012 - Steven Spielberg) - I couldn't make it through this one, but I get why it's in.
46) Les Miserables (2012 - Tom Hooper)
47) Django Unchained (2012 - Quentin Tarantino) - Glad it's in, I just hope it can hang on after next year's cuts.
48) Skyfall (2012 - Sam Mendes)
49) Life of Pi (2012 - Ang Lee)
50) Argo (2012 - Ben Affleck)
51) Amour (2012 - Michael Haneke)
Now I'll have a lot more to say...
1) Way Down East (1920 - D.W. Griffith) - I liked it, but I'm fine with it being gone. Five Griffith films was a bit much anyway. Only wish they'd axed "The Birth of a Nation" or "Intolerance" instead, but get why they didn't.
2) Seven Chances (1925 - Buster Keaton) - WHAT?!! WHAT?!! NO!!! Okay, I'm done. This WAS my favorite of all the Keaton films. Can't believe they axed it. Big mistake, in my view.
3) Le Million (1931 - Rene Clair) - Again, I'm not happy about this one either. I actually purchased this on DVD not long after watching it for THE BOOK, as I really took to this one.
4) La chienne (1931 - Jean Renoir) - Okay, so far they've eliminated four movies I liked, three of which have made some sort of impact on past TOP 20 lists. COME ON!!
5) Me and My Gal (1932 - Raoul Walsh) - Okay, this is becoming a personal attack, as I gave THIS movie a positive review too!
6) Judge Priest (1934 - John Ford) - Another one that made my the Ten Worth Mentioning section of the first TOP 20. HOWEVER, I kind of get why it's gone and actually, with some thought, it may not even make my TOP 20 list in hindsight.
7) Sabotage (1936 - Alfred Hitchcock) - One of the few Hitch films I'm okay with losing.
8) Babes In Arms (1939 - Busby Berkeley) - Now we're cookin'! This was totally expendable.
9) Dance Girl Dance (1940 - Dorothy Arzner) - Probably one of the most forgettable films from THE BOOK. Good choice for the boot.
10) I Walked with a Zombie (1943 - Jacques Tourneur) - I know someone who's going to be PISSED about this one. I, however, am glad to see it go...very glad!
11) Spellbound (1945 - Alfred Hitchcock) - Another Hitch film I'm okay seeing go and PERHAPS the worst one in the entire BOOK. They've made some bad choices thus far, but just as many good ones, by my count.
12) The Stranger (1946 - Orson Welles) - I've never seen "F for Fake" but I HIGHLY doubt it's nearly as good as this masterpiece. A travesty that this is gone!
13) The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947 - Joesph L. Mankiewicz) - Just watched this and gave it low marks. Very glad to see it get the axe!
14) Angel Face (1952 - Otto Preminger) - Love me some Robert Mitchum, but this wasn't a good movie. Good choice...
15) The Big Sky (1952 - Howard Hawks) - AWFUL movie and so freaking glad they cut it. I only wished they'd cut it sooner...a lot sooner.
16) Beat the Devil (1953 - John Huston) - Haven't seen this one yet, but one less Bogart movie has gotta' be a good thing.
17) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954 - Stanley Donen) - Haven't seen it yet...
18) Animal Farm (1954 - Batchelor, Halas) - Had a hunch this was only included because it was the first U.K. produced animated movie. It's okay, but it's definitely NOT must see.
19) The Man from Laramie (1955 - Anthony Mann) - Haven't see it yet...
20) The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956 - Alfred Hitchcock) - So yeah, "The Lady Vanishes", IN; "The Man Who Knew Too Much", OUT doesn't sit well with me. I cannot believe they axed this one.
21) The Young One (1960 - Luis Bunuel) - Haven't seen it yet....But Bunuel fans, this is how you paid for "The Exterminating Angel". Was it worth it?
22) One Eyed Jacks (1961 - Marlon Brando) - Totally fine with this being gone. Good but not good enough.
23) Winter Light (1963 - Ingmar Bergman) - The best Bergman film from the old edition of THE BOOK, GONE! Wow! I REALLY liked this one. Haven't seen "Summer with Monika"...Was it worth it Bergman fans? I, myself doubt it.
24) Hombre (1967 - Martin Ritt) - Really sad to see this one go too, as I'd have never seen it without THE BOOK and I really liked it.
25) 1900 (1976 - Bernardo Bertolucci) - Kind of a ballsy move on their part to axe this one. I'm totally fine with it and am glad new BOOK watchers will be rid of it.
26) Five Deadly Venoms (1978 - Cheh Chang) - Haven't seen it yet...
27) Three Brothers (1981 - Francesco Rosi) - Are there any Francesco Rosi fans out there? I'm totally cool with the choice to axe this one, but was it worth it in exchange for "Christ Stopped at Eboli"?
28) The Last Battle (1983 - Luc Besson) - *sigh* This is kind of a travesty too. I considered this one to be a big find for me and now future BOOK watchers won't have it to look forward to. Bad decision...
29) Utu (1983 - Geoff Murphy) - Ray might get a chuckle out of this one, considering all the trouble we both went to for me to see this and for it now to be gone. But yeah, it deserved to go.
30) The Official Story (1985 - Luis Puenzo) - Nothing worthwhile here. Good choice for the boot.
31) Housekeeping (1987 - Bill Forsyth) - Haven't seen it yet....But Forsyth fans, was it worth it for "Local Hero"?
32) Landscape in the Mist (1988 - Theo Angelopoulos) - Well, I'd have rather seen "The Travelling Players" go, but I can handle this exclusion too. This wasn't bad though and looked SPECTACULAR!
33) Story of Women (1988 - Claude Chabrol) - Haven't seen it yet...
34) Drowning by Numbers (1988 - Peter Greenaway) - Haven't seen it yet...Greenaway fans was it worth it in exchange for "The Draughtsman's Contract"?
35) Say Anything (1989 - Cameron Crowe) - Mistake in my eyes and actually can't believe they did it. I can handle it though.
36) Reversal of Fortune (1990 - Barbet Schroeder) - Good film, but it WAS expendable. This is fine.
37) Jacob's Ladder (1990 - Adrian Lyne) - Haven't seen it yet...
38) Naked Lunch (1991 - David Cronenberg) - SO SO SO GLAD this is gone!! However, I'm sure a lot of people are going to be pissed. Cronenberg fans, this is how you paid for "Dead Ringers"; worth it?
39) Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (1992 - Nick Broomfield) - Have doubts that "Aileen Wuornos: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer" is any better, but this was a good cut.
40) Toy Story (1995 - John Lasseter) - But we got the entire trilogy, so this really isn't a cut.
41) Casino (1995 - Martin Scorsese) - Haven't reviewed it for the blog yet, but I have seen it and remember liking it pretty well. I'll give official details in a few days when I watch it for Scorsese Week, but this was a ballsy move in my opinion and from what I remember, a dumb one.
42) Pi (1998 - Darren Aronofsky) - Didn't make the TOP 20 that season or anything, but it was close and I really liked and pondered this one. Mistake to boot it, in my view.
43) Dancer in the Dark (2000 - Lars von Trier) - Honestly, didn't care for it THAT much. Would like to give it another go someday, but I'm okay with this one being gone.
44) Kandahar (2001 - Mohsen Makhmalbaf) - Good cut, totally forgettable.
45) La Vie en rose (2007 - Olivier Dahan) - Didn't really do much for yours truly. Cotillard was great, but the film itself was lacking.
46) Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2008 - Sacha Gervasi) - Not in my edition and haven't seen it...
47) True Grit (2010 - Coen, Coen) - Not in my edition, but have seen it and really didn't like it AT ALL. Glad to see it gone from the new edition.
48) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 - David Fincher) - Not in my edition and haven't seen it...
49) War Horse (2011 - Steven Spielberg) - Ditto
50) The Descendants (2011 - Alexander Payne) - See "True Grit"
51) Hugo (2011 - Martin Scorsese) - Not in my edition, haven't see it and who did Martin Scorsese piss off?
So there you have it, all of the inclusions and exclusions from the newest edition of the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" book. For newcomers to THE BOOK, you have a fresh list to work off of. Unless you heed my advice and go back and watch some of the ones they cut though, you're going to be missing out on some really good films (The Stranger, Seven Chances, Say Anything, Le Million, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Winter Light, to name a few). If you're not looking to watch all of the films and just want to pick up THE BOOK as a coffee table, conversation starter, that's totally fine as well and would be a great Christmas gift for any movie fan. I can tell you honestly that I spent a good hour and a half perusing the new book the other day when I got it and when I first got THE BOOK, four years ago, I found myself leafing through it constantly, reading synopsis', checking to see if this was in there or that was in there. It's a GREAT book if you're a movie fan, bottom line and no one told me to say that or anything, that's just my opinion.
For the people that already own a version of THE BOOK, it may be time for an update and this is the one to pick up. Not only have they altered 51 films in THE BOOK, but they've also totally redesigned the layout, added TONS of new pictures, added pictures of film posters to a lot of the entries (above the cast & crew information), added memorable quotes (either from critics or from the film) to a lot of the entries and added some fun facts to a lot of the entries. You still get the same introduction, the same checklist and the same index in the back of the book, but it's an all new experience, even if you've already leafed through your copy until the spine has been rendered useless. I may not agree with all of the changes, but I commend the book writers (notably Steven Jay Schneider) for going back and giving the book a full makeover.
If there's one thing I could REALLY criticize it's that I didn't like how they seemed to replace films with like films. For example, a Bergman movie gets cut and a new one goes in. Same for Bunuel, Cronenberg, Forsyth, Rosi and Hitchcock. As if, they said "Well if we cut one of their films, we MUST include another one from them". I just don't like that idea and it doesn't seem to lend itself to an honset 1001 must see films, but rather like they're working from a specific model. Honestly, none of the inclusions BLEW ME AWAY and we're still missing some essential films like "Dial M for Murder", "Life is Beautiful", "Knife in the Water", "Scenes from a Marriage", among others.
Once again, I'd like to thank the GREAT people at Barron's Educational for hooking me up, yet again, with a review copy of the latest book. I haven't been told to say anything and when I say that all film fans are going to WANT this book, I'm not kidding. Even if you don't agree with all the selections, film fans are usually gaga for lists and this is the mother of all lists.
September 13, 2013 11:54am
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