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Added by Xanadon't on 1 Jun 2011 08:05
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Monthly Movie Journal: June 2011

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The vast majority of this list, including most sub-categories.
People who added this item 1368 Average listal rating (692 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
Dead Man (1995)
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People who added this item 38 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 7

O Deus Que Não Estava Lá - Legendado

Definately leans too far at times in the direction of "pop" but still exceptionally interesting at its best. This deserves an audience. Watch in it's entirety above if you're looking for something that blasts significant wholes through Christian tradition.
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People who added this item 139 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.2
Helvetica (2007)


An entire documentary all about a type-face. What made me watch this I'm not sure, but I'm happy I did. The eccentric and charming personalities captured in the interviews do a lot to raise this doc to a higher level, while anyone interested in advertising/conceptual design might want to give this a look.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 3041 Average listal rating (1894 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8
Blood Diamond (2006)


Two of my very favorite actors working today. Why hadn't I seen this yet??

Review by AgentLexi
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People who added this item 348 Average listal rating (185 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2


above:Audrey Tautou trapped in a really stupid movie.

That this flatly directed, overly obvious, mish-mash bore of a "romantic-thriller" received a 7.2 IMdb rating is absurd.
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Foreign Language Film of the Month

Most months I have more to choose from, but at least I made up in quality what I've lacked in quantity.


Review by PvtCaboose91


For further reading on this remarkable film and the man and book that inspired it:

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/feature/2008/02/23/diving_bell
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Documentary of the Month

Because sometimes a good doc is just the thing
People who added this item 299 Average listal rating (167 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.9
Microcosmos (1996)


This French produced nature documentary focuses on the insect world and all kinds of creepy-crawly things. The video-photography is phenomenal and to say the music compliments the material would be a severe understatement. Nothing short of an absolute marvel!
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At the Movies

Caught these on the big screen!
People who added this item 520 Average listal rating (304 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6
13 Assassins (2010)


Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins may well be the most wholly accomplished and satisfying film to come our way all year (and bear in mind, the year is creeping up on the halfway mark). In some ways, it’s essentially a standard samurai film, but in other ways, it completely subverts that claim. Setting the film in an end-of-an-era time when the samurai and their code are about to become extinct, it would have been an easy task to trade on the inherent emotional kick that comes with watching an era pass, and to sentimentalize the samurai. 13 Assassins, however, has very little use for senimentality of any kind, and instead makes the case that there are very good reasons for this era to end—even suggesting that the samurai code of unswerving allegiance is itself at fault and flawed, and needs to die to make way for modern man.

--Ken Hanke read complete review here
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People who added this item 2120 Average listal rating (1394 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
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People who added this item 2963 Average listal rating (1979 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8


Kind of like a poor Harry Potter film crossed with a decent X-Men movie. Or for a more intelligent and thorough analysis please see here:

Review by lotr23
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People who added this item 1443 Average listal rating (937 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.8
Bridesmaids (2011)


Review by lotr23


Ha, it's occurred to me that lotr23's reviews are all over this list. But what can I say? The guy's just dead-on right so much of the time! So do check out his review and if you're interested a few of my thoughts are attached.
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Back on the shelf

Movies I gave up on before completing for various reasons, but most often because they sucked.
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Good Intentions

Films I plan to watch this month, shaped by theatrical/dvd release, recommendations from fellow listal members, and my own sense of desire or duty.
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Revisits

Often old favorites, but sometimes an effort to revisit a film from a different perspective.
People who added this item 650 Average listal rating (401 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.6


It's been about 15 years since I've seen this movie, and the re-watch wasn't as kind as I'd hoped. Much of what I originally loved was still there (interesting sub-stories revolving around key characters, nice blend of humor and action, amusing Star Trek in-jokes, decent performances) but the overall effect was lacking. The final act of the film comes up short in terms of excitement and plausibility (even within the film's own logic and within a SciFi world). Not at all sorry I watched it though, as a 6/10-star Next Generation film is just about my favorite kind of 6/10-star film.
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People who added this item 821 Average listal rating (520 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6


I had not seen this movie since catching it during its theatrical run and I can confidently say it held up to and possibly even surpassed my original opinion. From here on out the rest of the Next Generation films (Insurrection and Nemesis)will be new too me, and I've gotta say First Contact set the bar high! This feels more like an extended episode of the series rather than a big, overdone theatrical effort which I think works in the film's favor. Oh, there's plenty of big-scale effects and excitement to be had, but there's also plenty of organic drama and brilliant script work here that are too often missing from attempts at big-screen blockbuster success.
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People who added this item 860 Average listal rating (521 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1
Martyrs (2008)


I watched this film for the first time a little over a year ago and I was utterly and completely terrified, revolted, shocked, and finally blown away by it. A re-watch so soon was not the plan. But here's what happened...



A bar regular at my work who I've gotten to know pretty well is a huge horror fan. On slower nights we'll spend all kinds of time talking horror titles, and between us we've seen quite a number of horror movies out there, both good and bad. Some time ago it came to my attention that he hadn't yet seen this one, and months later he still hadn't tracked it down. Reluctant to buy a movie he's never seen off Amazon, (especially one as notorious as this) I instead suggested I just order it from Netflix, turn around and hand it to him, and then he could mail it back. I received it, gave it to him, he watched it, and loved it. But rather than mail it back he brought the damn thing back to the bar and gave it to me.



So after a bit of internal debate I stuck the disc in the machined and sat down to Martyrs once again. Verdict: A nearly unparalleled intense, terrible, dark, ferocious, sick, and horrifying nightmare. If it's horror you want, this is it. BUT... it doesn't stop there. If you're feeling brave, see it for yourself and see what I mean. After two viewings I'm satisfied now with what I think about the director's intentions and messages, and also what to make of the infamous ending. For what this film sets out to do, my 10/10 rating stands, and what's more is I never have to watch it again!
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The Month in Review

People who added this item 466 Average listal rating (277 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
My Quick Pick Three:

Good: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Bad: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Weird: Microcosmos (But in a REALLY good way)
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.3
The biggest and most pleasant surprise of the month goes to Bridesmaids. I never would have guessed at the level of comedic talent showcased here. Probably the funniest movie to hit theaters so far this year.

The Surprised-at-how-good-it-wasn't award goes to Midnight in Paris. Here was a movie I was truly excited to see. But unfortunately it's potential gets largely wasted, both in terms of the talent involved as well as the ideas at play.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 6.2
Looking Back (1969)
As anyone who has followed my monthly journals at all up to this point knows, I watched very few movies this month by my normal standards. In fact, at only 14 movies seen in June, that's less than half of my average number of movies watched per month. Lots of things keeping me busy as summer got underway! Also notable is the complete absence of any classic titles, whereas until now the "Classics Corner" has been a regular feature all year. Oh well, I suppose. Here's how it shakes out:

Total films watched: 14

Watched for the first time: 11

Among 11 first watches:

1990s: 2
2000s: 5
2010/11: 4

Total foreign language films: 4
Total documentaries: 3

My Ratings:

1/10: 0
2/10: 0
3/10: 1
4/10: 0
5/10: 1
6/10: 1
7/10: 2
-------
8/10: 2
9/10: 2
10/10: 2


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People who added this item 460 Average listal rating (279 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.7
Half Baked (1998)
Well, I've successfully kept up with my movie journal for six months now, so at the half-way point of the year, I thought I'd take a look at how things break down so far, by the numbers.

Midway Report: By the Numbers

Total Films Watched: 182-- That's a movie per day!

Total films watched for the first time: 157

Which puts re-watches at: 25

Of 157 first-time watches:

1930s: 2 (1%)
1940s: 2 (1%)
1950s: 5 (3%)
1960s: 8 (5%)
1970s: 4 (3%)
1980s: 10 (6%)
1990s: 26 (17%)
2000s: 53 (34%)
2010/11: 47 (30%)

That's a lot of newer movies... seems a bit lopsided!

Total foreign language films: 35 (22%) --Better than a month's worth of foreign films... Not too shabby.
Total documentaries: 14 (9%) --One in every 10 movies seems reasonable to me.

My Ratings:

1/10: 0
2/10: 2 (1%)
3/10: 6 (4%)
4/10: 8 (5%)
5/10: 16 (10%)
6/10: 21 (13%)
7/10: 25 (16%)
---------------
8/10: 35 (22%)
9/10: 34 (21%)
10/10: 10 (6%)

A full HALF of the movies I've watched are deemed by myself to be "very good" or better! Before you conclude that I rate movies too generously, remember that a professional critic has to watch everything. I have the luxury of deciding what to watch (or turn off) based on what I think I'm likely to enjoy.




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Continuing my neurotic efforts to document my responses to the films I see, as well as perhaps lend shape, rhyme, reason to what I watch, why and how.

As always, feedback, suggestions, and polite criticism are encouraged!

See Also:

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Film Journal Archive, 2011 - Xanadon't (13 lists)
list by Xanadon't
Published 5 years, 4 months ago



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Comments

Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 27 20:18
LOL at the comment on He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not. I look forward to your thoughts on Rubber.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 27 21:49
I'll definitely have to check out 13 Assassins then, and look even more forward to catching Dead Man. The only one here we've both seen (so far) is Blood Diamond, which was indeed a solid film (though not a personal favorite).
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 28 6:31
-I'm glad you loved Dead man and Microcosmos, two movies among my favorite.
-Exactly the same thoughts as the giraffe on Blood diamond, a solid movie but not a favorite. I love the start when Dicaprio is a cynical bastard but later on he becomes a hero and bla bla bla....
- I keep hearing about this "Rubber" thing. I guess I would have to check it out now!
- Star Trek... I still have to watch those. I hope they will all come on TV otherwise I will have to buy a box but it is definitely not top priority.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 28 9:14
@lotr23-- Thanks man. My girlfriend and I were both pretty frustrated with that movie, rolling our eyes quite a bit in between groans of disapproval. I'll be sure to let you know about Rubber when I catch up with it!

@the giraffe-- 13 Assassins definitely deserves a big screen watch for all it's well executed spectacle. And while Dead Man is slow-paced (like most of Jarmusch's stuff) it's certainly a satisfying watch.

@johan-- Great that you've seen Microcosmos! I hope more people check it out. You and the giraffe share my opinion about Blood Diamond exactly. Lots of things I admired about it, but in no way one of my favorites. I plan to finish up the Star Trek series... I'll let you know if there's any justification at all for a box-set purchase.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 28 13:02
I've wanted to watch "Dead Man" for quite some time. I vow to see it this evening!!
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 29 23:29
Hehehe, pity that you gave up on The Karate Kid.:P I actually liked it a lot, it charmed me. :)

Happy to see that you liked Blood Diamond, though. DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly is an unbeatable duo. ;)
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 30 7:38
@kohl stoker- Hope you enjoy!

@Bml93- Funny you say that because my brother--who is far more difficult than me to please when it comes to movies- really enjoyed The Karate Kid (and I believe even used the word "charmed" at one point) and recommended that I watch it. So here I was, going from zero interest in seeing it, to having vague, but somewhat high expectations. He presented a pretty solid argument for the film, so I thought I would like it and was disappointed that I didn't. Oh well...

And yes, DiCaprio/Connely is a dynamite duo!!
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jul 1 17:14
Dig the way you did your recap, my friend. I'm curious to see if you watch as many movies from now to the end of the year.

Btw, I've moved Martyrs up in my queue a bit in hopes of getting it in before the year ends. I really want to see it after what you've said this month.

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