no binging, just purging…

I have just realized that today is the one year anniversary of my arrival in Vermont! While that has certainly been a big change in many ways that I won’t get into here, one change that is quite relevant to this blog is the effect that it has had on this blog! While obviously it has not been abandoned, I have been much more selective in which movies I mention. No, I haven’t changed the direction of the blog (every movie that I watch is still destined for its moment here), but I have been quite untimely and brief with some of them. Of course, that has been evidenced by the multiple posts that just briefly cover a number of movies. Now, in the brief break between semesters at school, I need to play a little catch-up!

There are some movies out there that I watched as much as a year ago that still have not surfaced here and before my memories of them fade completely, here is a list of some of the unblogged of the last year, just to clean my plate:

Barry LyndonBarry Lyndon is another of those Kubrick films that I had somehow never managed to see. It was quite actually good and I was quite impressed with the production, especially the apparent lack of any lighting aside from sunlight and whatever people would have had in their homes in those days. An epic of sorts, in that it deals with 18th century royalty, wars and is three hours long. But also, not really… The main character, Redmond Barry, is a young man of little means who sets off on his own after fleeing a love sparked duel with a man of property. Of course, he is beset upon by rouges and becomes truly a man of nothing, yet a man who is intent on becoming a man with something. So he follows a determined quest to become a gentleman of means (as his lack of means is what led to his early failure in love). The character himself is an interesting one. or isn’t as the case may be. Redmond Barry is dry and cardboard, he in an uninteresting, uninspiring, shallow and selfish man. His few moments of true feeling are quite rare amidst his years of mean behavior.He is a very unlikable anti-hero, but one who is surrounded by a great tale, and a great film.

LifeforceLifeforce. Sigh, I so want to like this movie! I mean, how can you go wrong with a Sci-Fi “bring the alien vampires back to Earth” story, especially when the lead alien vampire is a hottie who spends nearly her entire time on camera walking around stark naked?! It is somewhat worthwhile to watch her trot around in her birthday suit devouring all who stand in her way, but in essence it is a bunch of crappy actors in about the dumbest looking space ship that you’ve ever seen followed by some bad special effects in an office park. The beginning has some of the worst done (and most blatant) “Alien wanna-be” scenes ever filmed, so it starts off looking like a college project remake of Alien, but then we come back to earth and the movie starts to feel like a bad Italian film from the 70’s. Not a winner, not at all. And I know that isn’t much of a surprise coming from the hallowed halls of Golan Globus… But with both Tobe Hooper and the mighty Dan O’bannon, on board, I would hope for some light in this dank tunnel.

Oh yeah and, we also watched:

Once Upon a Time in the Midlands: A pretty funny and dramatic English family story where Robert Carlyle again plays a character that you had best avoid.

Good Night and Good Luck: A smart and serious film about the Edward R Murrow, Joseph McCarthy, the Red Scare and the possible failings of the media.

Deliverance: Fantastic. What else can I say? One of the best films ever.

Jackie Brown: Easily the best film Tarantino ever made. And not only because it stars Pam Grier! It also has a great story, a great script, tremendous performances by Robert Forster, and Samuel L Jackson and what is (so far as I know) De Niro’s last great performance.

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song: A great music documentary! I have never been a big fan of Pete’s, mainly only familiar with him from being a big fan of Woody and Cisco, but this made me give him some serious thought. This is a really good documentary. Not only the story of Seeger and his tremendous role in music and freedom of expression, but also of the folk music revival in general. Pete is a swell, caring and intelligent old feller and one whose role in music and politics should be known by all.

The Jerk: Indescribable! The greatest comedy of all time and the first of two grand parings that Steve Martin had with (be still now…) Bernadette Peters! Includes a story of rags to riches to rags to riches, philosophical musings on what items people truly need, the origin of the thermos song, and, of course, Bernadette Peters!

Danny the Dog: okay, so the third time through it has the same problems as before… Mixing an action film with a sappy love/family story is never a winning combination. And then to have it be hand to hand action rather then gun play? Well, I’m sure you are thinking, “Why even bother?”. True, true… But it’s true title (Danny the Dog, not that dull Americanized “Unleashed”) is great and, well, it stars Bob Hoskins! That should be enough. He is, as one would expect, arrogant, fantastic and cruel… The crime boss that we would all want to be.

Doctor Dolittle: One of my favorites from when I was a kid (it was released the year I was born, in fact, and I doubt I’d seen it for 30 years) and Elinor really liked it! Rex Harrison stars in this musical story of a crazy British chap who can talk to the animals and who sets off across the sea in search of the Giant Pink Sea Snail. It also features an unexpected appearance from the great Geoffrey Holder!

A Hard Day’s Night: A bunch of Beatles antics. This always serves to remind me why, if I had to pick a favorite Beatle, that would be Ringo.

Mars Attacks!: Ha! Still great! While Jack Nicholson’s two roles are great, and the cameo from Tom Jones is untouchable, those f’n aliens and their insane voices are still the coolest and funniest things ever created by mankind. Sadly, it is still marred by the lamest twist ending I have ever seen in any film. Aside from that? Flawless!

Star Wars: Empire of Dreams: The official documentary on the making of the first (aka, the real) Star Wars trilogy. It is fascinating, really good, really took me back to being 9-10 again and inspired me to just want to watch the movies over again!

Event Horizon: Still great and one of my favorite newer Sci-Fi movies… And scary! I got a new disc of this (the old one was fake widescreen) and so I had to watch it. Watch it I did, and enjoy it I did.

Grosse Pointe Blank: yet another entertaining John Cusack movie that we like. The story of a hit man who has gone back to his home town during his high school reunion when work comes calling.. In a number of different directions.

Lost in Translation: A great movie, same thoughts as previous viewings

Amelie: See above.

Love Actually: Yes, well… While I dislike chick-flicks as much as the next person, I must admit that the British ones are actually pretty charming. Case in point, Love Actually. A terribly intertwined story of drama, love, betrayal and comedy… Starring some great ones, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson and Martin Freeman, which almost offsets the constant casting of the unbearable Hugh (blech) Grant. Luckily, Hugh Grant is offset by the horrifyingly fantastic appearances of Bill Nighy as the washed-up rocker Billy Mack!

School of Rock: Still pretty entertaining.

Alien: Yes.

Death at a Funeral: A funny and tense movie about, well, a death at a funeral. Pretty damn entertaining and stars the great Matthew Macfadyen in his first of three film appearances for us this year.

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life: Sigh. From the brilliance of the Crimson Permanent Assurance to the brilliance of Death Comes to Dinner… And all wonderful points in between. Nice.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army: The entertaining second installment in the Hellboy canon. Again, I could do without the relationship/love story parts, but the action is pretty fun and the creatures are a delight, sort of a blending of the creatures from Pan’s Labyrinth with some rather Lovecraftian notions.

Happy Birthday to Me: A crappy 80’s horror movie.

Motel Hell: A crappy 80’s horror movie

Grease. Always entertaining.

One Response to “no binging, just purging…”

  1. Gloria on February 4, 2010 20:29

    aaah, how I miss talking about movies with you. I do agree with most of your assesments of the above movies (especially Jackie Brown).

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