200 Posts, 50 Movies

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Well, guys, this is my 200th post. That probably equates to something like 195 review or something, but 200 is certainly an intersting benchmark to reach. I’ve had this blog for a few years now. I just want to thank everyone who’s supported me in my passion and everyone who reads it. I’d also like to thank my best friend and movie buddy, Joe Brady. Also, Cory June Vigants, Aasya Koliya, Julia Sisson, Seneca Rasey, Mrs. Kent, Ian Pettigrew, Green Miller, Justin Mills et al.

Anyways, there was a snow storm recently. Nearly everyone was out of power….except me. So what did I do with my time? I watched movies, of course. In the course of about 3 weeks (people got power after 8 days) I watched 50 films. I decided against writing a review for all of them and instead I wrote a few sentences for ones I thought needed it.

  1. The Shining (A)
  2. Scream 2 (B+)
  3. Scream 3 (B-)
  4. Scream 4 (A-, see review)
  5. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (A)
  6. The Silence of the Lambs (A)
  7. The Sixth Sense (A-)
  8. Sleepy Hollow (B+)
  9. The Nightmare Before Christmas (A-)
  10. Repulsion (A)
  11. Carrie (A-, A stunning, sympathetic tragedy. Sissy Spacek is triumphant.)
  12. Planet Terror (B+)
  13. Death Proof (B+)
  14. Frankenstein (B+, Your traditional Gothic horror tale, but filled with an integrity and heart that even other Universal Horror films can’t match.)
  15. Bride of Frankenstein (A+, Better than the original, as it shows an incredible amount of depth into the Monster’s character. The yearning of the heart is obvious and painful.)
  16. Creature form the Black Lagoon (B, fun and campy)
  17. Antichrist (A-, Lars von Trier’s onslaught of visual abuse is stunning and horrific. An interesting and at times hard to watch examination into guilt and depression. Visually breathtaking. The most heart wrenching performance I’ve ever seen from an actress in Gainsbourg.)
  18. Cronos (B+)
  19. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (B+, I had to rewatch this one after years of resentment against the film. But it’s a visually sumptuous adaptation that, while maybe not doing justice to the original nove [no film ever has in my opinion], at least sufficiently explores the sexuality of vampirism.)
  20. Island of Lost Souls (B+, An interestingly scary and campy movie that does a good job of exploring human-animal abuse.)
  21. The Exorcist (A+)
  22. Hocus Pocus (A-)
  23. Pan’s Labyrinth (A)
  24. Vivre sa vie (A, The most heartvreaking character study you will ever watch. Visually captivating, with a classic performance by Anna Karina. Godard does an excellent job directing.)
  25. Freaks (A, One of the most horrifying films ever. Despite the hour running time [over 30 minutes were cut from the original edit], it is not only coherent but powerful, scary, and repellent.)
  26. White Material (B+, The film is made by Isabelle Huppert’s role as a woman driven mad by her own stubbornness and unwillingness to change. Nonlinear narrative is clever. Though, not as powerful as I had hoped.)
  27. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (A-, Hadn’t seen this one in years, so I thought it deserved a rewatch. Fun John Hughes film, making playing hookey seem all the more fun.)
  28. Breathless (B+, The hallmark of the French New Wave, the film works in a historical and technical context. Jump cuts, voice over, etc. are all perfect, or not perfect, but the storyline is dated. Its refusal to actually have a moving story is frustrating. The static plot set in a bedroom reminds me of Bertolucci’s The Dreamers.)
  29. To Be or Not to Be (A, Jack Benny is perfect. The comedy is flawless. But the subject matter is incredibly disconcerting for someone who lives in a very PC world. Nevertheless, despite the jarring Nazi jokes, excellent film.)
  30. Big Fish (B, Imaginative fodder for Burton, but very slow and McGregor’s accent is kind of annoying. It’s one thing intermittently in Down with Love, but for the whole film? No thanks.)
  31. Kuroneko (A, Seriously one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. The lighting and cinematography are gorgeous. The chiaroscuro is mind boggling. An expressionist masterpiece.)
  32. Galaxy Quest (B+)
  33. Blood Diamond (B+, The storyline is kind of weak, burdened by its non-fiction subject matter. But purely on the subject matter, it’s stunning and frightening. Filmed with realism that is, in its nature, saddening.)
  34. Taxi Driver (A, One of the most shocking and brilliant films I’ve ever seen. A noir, a character study, whatever it is, it is a piece of artistic genius. Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster are exceptional.)
  35. The Pink Panther (C+, Didn’t think it was that funny, lost interest.)
  36. Atonement (A, Perhaps a film made in the most classical of ways, a romance like Gone with the Wind. A wonderful film with exquisite cinematography, a great score, and fantastic performances.)
  37. Midnight in Paris (A+++, review to come…)
  38. Finding Neverland (A, Marc Forster directs a delightfully theatrical film about imagination. Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet are perfection.)
  39. 8 ½ (A, Fantastical and beautiful. Fellini’s vision of…director’s block is a classic in cinema for a reason. Only complaint: White subtitles against white backdrop. Really, Criterion?)
  40. Fanny and Alexander – The Theatrical Version (A-, Already watched the television version, but wanted to see the theatrical version for a taste. Television version is more fulfilling and a lot is cut out, but it’s a gorgeous film nevertheless. Bergman really touches the heart.)
  41. The Third Man (A, The story is interesting, a guy dies and there’s a third guy involved, but it’s the cinematography and score that make the film. Awesome juxtaposition of light and dark.)
  42. Le Cercle Rouge (A-, If Ocean’s Eleven were more philosophical, longer, slower, and more…French, it would be this Jean Pierre-Melville masterpiece.)
  43. The Maltese Falcon (A, The perfect noir.)
  44. Sweet Smell of Success (A-, Fiery dialogue and sinfully excellent performances from Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. Curtis just spits out the dialogue like it’s his bitch.)
  45. The Pianist (B-, Slow, languid, and depressing. Made with technical integrity, but depressed me. Depressed me, not moved me.)
  46. Manhattan Murder Mystery (B+, If Annie Hall and Alvy Singer had gotten together and we went back twenty years later and watched them solve a muder-mystery, it would be this. Which is to say, it’s good, not great.)
  47. MASH (A, Black as night comedy with the omnipresence of an allegory on the Vietnam War. Sutherland and Gould are great. Funny, but moving as well.)
  48. Rabbit Hole (A-, Even if the plot is weak at some points, the performances from Kidman, Eckhart and Wiest more than make up for it.)
  49. The Virgin Suicides (A-, Impressive debut from Sofia Coppola. Interesting examination of adolescent male obsession and female insecurity. Though, I wonder if its subversive message on teen suicide is intentional.)
  50. Chinatown (A, Jack Nicholson is a fantastic private detective. A prime example of neo-noir, with its layered storyline. Also, interesting exploration of corruption.)

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