Monthly Movie Journal: June 2011
First time views
The vast majority of this list, including most sub-categories.
30 6.3 6.92. The God Who Wasn't There (2005)
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.
120 7.5 7.13. 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
2550 7.4 84. Blood Diamond (2006)
Two of my very favorite actors working today. Why hadn't I seen this yet??
313 6.9 7.15. He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not (2002)
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.
961 7.8 86. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
For further reading on this remarkable film and the man and book that inspired it:
Documentary of the Month
Because sometimes a good doc is just the thing
218 7.7 7.87. Microcosmos (1996)
At the Movies
Caught these on the big screen!
380 7.6 7.68. 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.
1948 7.5 7.810. X-Men: First Class (2011)
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:
1029 6.5 6.811. Bridesmaids (2011)
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.
Back on the shelf
Movies I gave up on before completing for various reasons, but most often because they sucked.
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.
Often old favorites, but sometimes an effort to revisit a film from a different perspective.
541 6.3 6.516. Star Trek: Generations (1994)
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.
695 7 7.517. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
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.
616 7 718. 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!
The Month in Review
356 7.3 7.319. The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008)
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)
14 6.7 6.520. Surprise Cinema (2000)
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.
3 8 6.121. 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
402 6.3 6.522. 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
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