Thursday, April 10, 2014

March 2014 Recap

I know I said two days ago that I'd have this up in the next twenty-four hours, but what I clearly meant was forty-eight hours. Anyway, let's not dilly-dally.

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die - As seen in March 2014
1) Eraserhead (1977 - David Lynch) 5/10 - I decided to up this one just a hair because the images from this one managed to stick with me throughout the month and I still have that chipmunk cheeked lady and that cow fetus looking baby etched into my brain.
2) Fat City (1972 - John Huston) 7.5/10
3) Das Boot (1981 - Wolfgang Petersen) 3/10 - This was just a rough watch, no matter how you slice it. I stand by my thoughts.
4) Earth Entranced (1967 - Glauber Rocha) 3.5/10
5) Shaft (1971 - Gordon Parks) 6.5/10 - I stand by liking this one. Despite being cheaply made, it was harmless fun!
6) Don't Look Now (1973 - Nicholas Roeg) 7.5/10
7) India Song (1975 - Marguerite Duras) 3/10 - Hypnotic with great imagery, yet boring as hell!
8) Little Big Man (1970 - Arthur Penn) 6.5/10
9) Breaking Away (1979 - Peter Yates) 6/10 - In the long run, I couldn't get over the overly cliched majority of this one. My initial '7' was way too high.
10) The American Friend (1977 - Wim Wenders) 7.5/10
11) Pickup on South Street (1953 - Samuel Fuller) 5.5/10 - Wanted to love it, but went away barely liking it. Great characters and atmosphere, it was the story that fell flat and the fact that Fuller's voice was too prevalent.
12) Shock Corridor (1963 - Samuel Fuller) 8/10 - Here I was able to drown out Fuller's opinions and focus on the core, which was a fantastic idea for a movie.
13) The Big Red One (1980 - Samuel Fuller) 4/10 - Went a little lower, as a '5' was just too much. I wouldn't be against seeing more of Fuller's work though, mainly on the merits of "Shock Corridor".

The goal is still to get to 901 watched by the time I'm 30 (July 12) and with 78 still to go, that's going to take some heavy lifting on my end. I plan to start up again tonight and be back tomorrow with a review though, to get the ball rolling again.

NON-1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die - As seen in March 2014
1) Gravity (2013 - Alfonso Cuaron) 2.5/10 - For those of you reading this on Letterboxd, you won't know about my current project to watch all 1001 films in the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" book. As I write this, I have about 180 movies left to watch from that list, meaning I've tackled about 820. Perhaps when you see that many movies - just like when you meet a lot of people - you develop a talent to see through the bullshit. You don't swallow everything you're spoon fed and you develop solid opinions, not "kinda liked it"/"kinda didn't like it" ideas.
Maybe the reason I disliked "Gravity" so much is because I was really looking forward to it and it completely failed to live up to any of my expectations, except maybe in it's visual presentation. Then again, I may have hated it because of the shoddy writing, the very Hollywood aspects and the mere presence of Bullock.

If you want to see a good survival story from last year, don't go to space, go to the ocean and rent "All Is Lost", because that's the minimalist survival tale that people should've be carrying on their shoulders to all the big awards shows. With "Gravity" we get too much CGI and not enough realistic impressions. And I realize that when you're filming a space movie, CGI is a must have, but couldn't they have given us real ism elsewhere - in the acting, in the script. Clooney and Bullock made me want to gag with the way that they didn't really alter their normal performances at all. For all I could tell, the man in the space suit, who liked to tell stories was Danny Ocean and the girl was any other run of the mill California actress that you can find anytime/anywhere when you drive the Hollywood hills.

God forbid a character die or we aren't given some sappy line of dialogue, something to make the casual fans recommend this to a friend and rake in a few more dollars. Give me the realism, the grit, the grime and keep this crap to yourself. Maybe the reason I didn't give a hoot about this movie, is because I didn't give a hoot about the characters. This wasn't really a story that was told, but rather something the camera just happened upon and therefore, we were really never tied emotionally to these characters. When George Clooney drifted off into death, did anyone care but the women in the audience who realized that they just paid $8 bucks for only thirty minutes of Cloontang? I know I didn't.

Anyway - rant over. I didn't like it and here's hoping "12 Years a Slave" is better and actually earned it's big award.

ME vs. TV

So I figured I'd add this feature in this month, since I've skipped it for the past few recaps.

I must say, I've given up on most of the shows that started this past fall. I had started out watching most of the ones that looked even halfway decent, but now all I'm still watching regularly is THE MILLERS, ABOUT A BOY, GROWING UP FISHER, CUTTHROAT KITCHEN, BILLY ON THE STREET, RAKE, FAMILY GUY, AMERICAN DAD and HELL'S KITCHEN. And even with most of those, I have a bundle sitting on my DVR, just waiting to be watched. My wife and I have kind of adopted this new policy of letting entire runs of shows just record onto the DVR and watching them once we have the whole series. We're just not reliable enough to have to watch something week after week. HELL'S KITCHEN and BILLY ON THE STREET are just about the only two we actually watch as soon as we get a new episode.

However, as far as DVD TV watching, we've been keeping pretty busy. We decided about a month or so ago to start up BREAKING BAD and are currently on Season Four. Like most of the population that's seen it, we're loving it. My brother promised one of the most intense television watching experiences he'd ever witnessed and he wasn't lying. I have to say though. while I LOVE every season, I liked seasons three and four less than seasons one and two. I feel like by having Skyler find out about Walt's meth making, they lost a lot of the suspense of the show. Still though, don't get me wrong - I'm still heavily addicted and can't wait to see how it all wraps up.

When the wife isn't home or sleeping, I've been doing BOB'S BURGERS in my free time and also picked up the first four seasons of THE SIMPSONS - a show that I've been wanting to watch from the beginning for a while now. I was a big SIMPSONS fan growing up and I want to try and get back into it. Of course, with over 500 episodes, catching up is going to be a task.

Other than The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (which wife and I watch daily - haven't missed an episode yet) and a hearty helping of WWE Network (which I recently subscribed to and spent the first week totally owning my life), that's about all I've been into.


Like I said, I plan to get back into THE BOOK watching tonight (still not sure what I'll watch. It will depend on when wife goes to bed) and get the ball rolling again. In the meantime, check out the 1001 Albums page (located above), which I plan to update every Friday. This Friday (tomorrow) I SHOULD have thoughts on Eric Clapton's 461 OCEAN BOULEVARD posted - the only album I managed to get listened to this week.

Until next time.

April 10, 2014  6:14pm


  1. Thank you ..
    Someone to agree that Gravity was a load of superficial, light weight, paint by numbers, cliche ridden, junk.

    1. You're welcome Ray. At least I'm not alone on this one...


SINS OF OMISSION - Entry #66: La piscine/The Swimming Pool (1969)

Running Time: 120 minutes Directed By: Jacques Deray Written By: Jean-Claude Carriere, Jacques Deray, Alain Page Main Cast: Alain Del...