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Added by the giraffe on 31 Jul 2013 06:44
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Movies the giraffe watched: August 2013

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The breakdown: 15 movies watched - 9 via Netflix instant, 5 via DVD, and one in the theatre; of those 12 were first views, one of which was a short film and one I abandoned, 3 were re-watches, and they came from the following decades: 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and 2010s.

Well, it's a good thing I didn't make any big plans this month. Especially considering that at the end of the month I still had 5 films I'd hoped to see but didn't get to, not to mention all the other films that left my IQ that I had zero chance of watching in time. Ah well.

And hey, I'm now down to 5 films to watch for the Five by Five project! And one from each person at that. :)

Next month will be even lighter on films, as I intend to take September off from movies & Listal for the most part in favor of attending to "real world" things. I can't say right now whether I'll even make a list for September. But I will be back with my annual Horrorfest list in October. See you then...

Best movie for August: Withnail & I
Best hidden gem: also Withnail
Worst film: Bug (worst I watched all of) or Miami Connection
People who added this item 1059 Average listal rating (754 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.7
Event Horizon (1997)
First viewing - Aug. 4th

I remember back when this movie came out I read a review trashing it, then my best friends showed up at my house to pick me up to go see it with them & I declined. They all dug it & I've heard others enjoyed it over the years so I figured I'd finally watch this one. It's solidly entertaining, but ultimately I was left with a feeling of meh. The visuals range from excellent to cheesy (the latter no doubt due to technological advancements that make them look worse than they did for their time), but the biggest problem here is that there's never a reason given to give a shit about any of the characters. So while it's entertaining to see what happens to them, I never once felt anything about it. And in the end I could just as well have gone on without watching it. So yeah, meh.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 266 Average listal rating (185 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.8
Piranha (1978)
First viewing - Aug. 8th

Been meaning to check this one out for a while now, so when it popped up on Netflix I figured I'd finally sit down with it. Sure it was spawned by the popularity of Jaws, but I don't think that's a bad thing even when it's obviously borrowing ideas from Jaws. It's solidly entertaining & the acting is decent, plus there's a sense of humor to it (nice to see this early in his career that Joe Dante was employing his trademark visual gags for comedic effect). And best of all we get some excellent creature effects courtesy of Phil Tippett & Rob Bottin, though I hoped for a bit more use of some of the creatures who got some brief screen time early on. And that plus some other missed opportunities are my only real complaints here. I can't help but feel that another 15-30 minutes could have better fleshed out the story and made it something more admirable. But for what it is I liked it well enough & might even watch it again some day.

Just a thought: Now this song will be playing in my head for a couple days (at least).

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 4421 Average listal rating (2884 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8
Ratatouille (2007)
Re-watch - Aug. 12th

Rented this so my daughter could see it & managed to be able to sit down & watch it all with her. Funny enough, much like the dreaded critic in the film my opinion of this one has improved somewhat. I still think that the idea of following one's dreams no matter what is nothing new & has been better explored & expressed in other films. And the idea that a human can be controlled by pulling on his hair is pretty silly. But I'd be lying if I said this movie fails to touch my heart & stir my emotions, and for that I can't leave it at a 6/10 anymore. I still don't think it quite manages to be Great in my book, but it's better than I remembered it to be & I'll gladly watch it again.
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People who added this item 162 Average listal rating (106 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.1
First viewing - Aug. 12th

Since this was a bonus feature on the Ratatouille DVD & I hadn't already seen it I figured I should give it a watch. And it was OK. Nice little history lesson, but not many laughs to be had or anything. Definitely nothing I'd go out of my way to watch again.
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People who added this item 1212 Average listal rating (767 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 6.3
First viewing - Aug. 12th/13th

To be honest, I don't get all the hate for this movie. Sure it's not Great like some other films from the Coens, but I didn't think it was bad at all. The performances are mostly strong (especially the leads), the dialogue is excellent, it was funny & didn't take itself too seriously... Really the only complaint is that because it's a rom-com it's obvious where it'll end up, but that's standard for the genre. At least it's solidly entertaining regardless of that fact. Maybe it's because I went into this with my expectations lowered, but I liked it. And yeah, I'd watch it again.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Re-watch - Aug. 20th

The kiddo wanted to watch this one again, and since I didn't have anything around the house I absolutely needed to do I took the opportunity to watch it with her. Still hilarious & entertaining from start to finish.

Just a thought: I'll have to take the kiddo to see the sequel when it comes out.
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Big screen attractions

Films caught in a theatre
People who added this item 1006 Average listal rating (657 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6
Elysium (2013)
First viewing - Aug. 11th


Elysium rarely takes time to pause, the narrative unstoppably moving forward as if it, too, were rigged with a robot suit. It delivers strong action; well-staged, memorable scenes with entertaining characters; and world-building that leaves the audience intrigued while addressing something of substance. It doesn’t do it in an inventive fashion, but it’s effective nonetheless. And while looking to the future helps us define our present, it is also carrying on a great tradition from the past — one that more genre films would benefit from following.
--from a review on TinyMixTapes
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Five by Five


2013 - Five by Five


Last year I did the Movie Exchange Program with fellow Listalites jaytoast, phillydude, and Xanadon't. This year we've modified our project, expanded our group to include lotr23 and Mackenzi, and set out to watch 25 films throughout the year with 5 films recommended by each member to each other member. See the above list for all recommendations, and as soon as I have links to everyone else's lists to share I'll include them here.

See also:
lotr23's July-August 2013 Movie Journal
Portlander's Movie Log - August, 2013
August 2013 Movie Journal - Xanadon't
People who added this item 618 Average listal rating (351 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5
The Ice Storm (1997)
First viewing - Aug. 10th

Recommended by Xanadon't



I went ahead & watched my Five by Five movies back-to-back this month, and while I went into both of them not really knowing what they were about they wound up being complementary. Both films have sex & infidelity at their center, though with very different explorations of those (and other) subjects.

The cast here does a stellar job of creating characters that could easily be real people, to the point that were there not so many recognizable actors I might have thought I was watching someone's home videos. The story goes some unexpected places & handles it all admirably too. I'm reluctant to say I really enjoyed the film due to its dark subject matter, but I definitely appreciated what the film had to say & how it said it.
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People who added this item 629 Average listal rating (361 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
To Die For (1995)
First viewing - Aug. 11th

Recommended by lotr23



Yet another case where I'm highly impressed by Nicole Kidman's acting abilities. Can't say I was too impressed by much else here though. To Die For is entertaining enough thanks to the story, but the narrative style irritated me at times. The film is presented through a series of interview snippets, which was different but for me it kept the film at a distance. The rest of the acting is solid to OK, and the ideas put forth about celebrity were good albeit nothing revolutionary. I was reminded a little of Natural Born Killers at times, though I never fell into the rhythms of this film like I did that one. Still, it's definitely worth watching once just to see Kidman's performance.

Just a thought: Adding this to the long list of films in which Joaquin Phoenix fails to impress me.
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Netflix Instant Project 2013


Netflix Instant Project for 2013


My secondary project for 2013 involves recommendations of lesser-known/lesser-seen films that are currently streaming on Netflix, also from my fellow Listalites. If you use Netflix Instant Watch & want to participate, please check out the list above & the thread in the Movies Forum.
People who added this item 475 Average listal rating (260 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
Withnail & I (1987)
First viewing - Aug. 15th

One of those rare films you can't truly be prepared for, and so I won't even bother to explain my love & admiration for it. Just go watch it & figure out how you feel about it.

Just a thought: I'll never see Mr. Dursley the same again.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Netflix exorcisms

Films I caught before Netflix removed them from my IQ this month
People who added this item 128 Average listal rating (59 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.1
First viewing - Aug. 18th

Hmm...well, it's good to know Joon-ho Bong has improved since this one. It's got its moments, but honestly my interest in & appreciation of it was fleeting as the film went on. There are some truly funny moments if you're into dark humor, and the cast & story are solid, but it was a little overlong & I wasn't that into the characters. So it's worth a look, but nothing exceptional in my book & I doubt I'll watch it again.

Just a thought: I don't know that barking dogs never bite, but they sure can be annoying.
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People who added this item 390 Average listal rating (241 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.1
Bug (2006)
First viewing - Aug. 24th/25th

Aside from a stellar performance by Michael Shannon, I see no reason for anyone to watch this movie. That's not to say the rest of the cast doesn't do a good job (they do), but the story lacks any depth or surprises & ends on a note that had me rolling my eyes & wishing I'd watched something else instead. I'd had an urge around the 30 minute mark to bail on it, but stuck it out just because of the positive feedback I'd seen from some of my fellow Listalites. And doing so only resulted in my being able to watch Shannon take his character off the rails into over-the-top territory, which was entertaining enough but beyond that there's nothing to make this worthy of recommendation in my book.

Just a thought: More like Ugh.

Currently streaming on Netflix; leaves Sept. 1st
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People who added this item 734 Average listal rating (480 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 6
Teen Wolf (1985)
Re-watch - Aug. 25th/26th

After the bad taste left in my mouth by Bug, I decided I needed to watch something FUN to recover. Since this was on Netflix's chopping block, I figured I'd revisit it & see if it was as good as I'd remembered. You see, back in the mid to late 80s I must have watched this 100 times after it came out on video. That's left an impression on me, as every moment of it was still familiar to me even after about 20 years of having not watched it. And it was a good choice, because it's just dumb silly fun from start to finish which was all I wanted out of it. I probably never need to watch it again at this point, but I wouldn't shy away from doing so if I was in the right mood either.

Just a thought: Don't know how I never noticed it before (maybe because I'm not a big fan of The Beach Boys), but I realized watching this that "Surfin' USA" is a ripoff of Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" & now I like "Surfin' USA" a whole lot less than I used to.

Currently streaming on Netflix; leaves Sept. 1st
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People who added this item 66 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.8
Panic (2000)
First viewing - Aug. 30th

Well this was a good little movie. Good story, good characters, solidly entertaining. Not exceptional enough that I'd watch it again, but definitely worth a look.

Just a thought: Totally not buying Neve Campbell playing a 23-year-old here, but no big deal.

Currently streaming on Netflix; leaves Sept. 1st
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I tried, but I gave up

People who added this item 56 Average listal rating (44 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 5.9
Aug. 6th

I care about as much as these guys do.


OK, so I checked this one out because it was distributed by Drafthouse Films, which is of course a part of the Alamo Drafthouse company. The opening was AWESOME, with ninjas attacking drug dealers & lots of cheesy violence that had me laughing heavily. Then the credits roll & we're thrown into the actual movie which chipped away at any appreciation I'd had up to that point. The dialogue & characters were terrible, which I might have been able to forgive since it did seem to fit (this is clearly a low-budget B movie). But what I had the most problems with is that the film has at its center a band, who gets far more screen time devoted to their songs than I could stomach. I think I made it a half hour into this film, by which point they'd had 10 minutes (guessing obviously, and really it felt longer than that) of performing awful AWFUL '80s music, and I couldn't take any more of it. Had it been edited down to about a minute per song, I probably wouldn't have minded...but having to sit through entire songs by a shitty band is just brutal (and makes one wonder if it's not merely filler). When I turned it off the band was fighting with a large group of people, but I just didn't care anymore. I'm just glad I didn't pay money to watch what I did of it.

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August tends to be a busy month as there are 2 important birthdays to celebrate: my daughter's and my wife's. So since I got off to a slow-ish start this month, I'm keeping my plans very minimal rather than overreach. Hopefully I'll get more watched than what I have listed here now, but we'll see. I'm keeping my expectations low. ;)

Added to

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the giraffe's movie lists guide (130 lists)
list by the giraffe
Published 5 years, 9 months ago 1 comment
4 votes
the giraffe's lists for 2013 (17 lists)
list by the giraffe
Published 4 years, 2 months ago
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2013 Movies Diaries I'm Following (51 lists)
list by Michael M
Published 4 years, 11 months ago



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Comments

Posted: 4 years, 4 months ago at Aug 14 7:40
Eh, I've been trying to get around to rewatching Event Horizon for years now. I recall it being a film with great potential that all gets bogged down to a deadly halt for... some reason. It also has Sam Neill in it, and that's always a good sign for a horror movie. But yeah, you pretty much have the same idea I have of it going in, eg. not being all that great.
Posted: 4 years, 4 months ago at Aug 14 8:24
It's nice that you want to see the "The Intouchables". Great movie, I hope you enjoy.
Posted: 4 years, 4 months ago at Aug 14 19:04
@VierasTalo - It definitely had the potential to be a far better film than it wound up being. Most surprising is that my friends have long insisted it's awesome. Yeah, not so much.
Posted: 4 years, 3 months ago at Aug 20 6:46
Nice list! I always enjoy reading your comments about the movies that are on your lists.

I hope your wife and daughter have a great birthday. My wife's birthday is this week so I know what you mean about not watching a lot of movies.
Posted: 4 years, 3 months ago at Aug 20 10:44
I never understood the fuss about Event Horizon which managed to fail at 2 genres scifi and horror - well scifi its ok but as a horror it really sucks
Posted: 4 years, 3 months ago at Aug 25 20:36
Glad to see someone agrees with me on Bug. Shannon is terrific but that movie is such a fucking mess even he can't save it. PS Also, on the long list of movies that make me want to tell you go fuck yourself for being able to see, You're Next nor World's End would appear to be making a theatrical run around here. Which is terrible. You're Next looks like a great companion piece to my recent genre favourite No One Lives.

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