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Added by the giraffe on 1 Jun 2013 06:52
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Movies the giraffe watched: June 2013

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The breakdown: 14 movies watched - 5 via Netflix instant, 6 via DVD, 2 in the theatre, and one on TV; of those 11 were first views, one of which I abandoned, 3 were re-watches, and they came from the following decades: 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 00s, and 2010s.

This month took a big hit as far as productivity goes, thanks largely to my new work schedule which saw me drop down to 3 nights a week I can watch movies now. It's nice that I now have my Saturdays & Sundays free, but I'm wondering if it's really worth the time lost from the rest of the week. Anyway, I did manage to finally get a couple of DVD gifts watched this month as well as make it out to the theatre twice, both of which I'll consider small victories. Thanks to the new change with Netflix they're no longer giving much advance notice on what content is leaving when, so while that did remove some stress as far as keeping up with that goes it also meant that I wasn't able to catch much before it left. I think I had 10 or so titles leave my IQ, and I didn't even manage to get them written down anywhere so I could be sure to catch them down the road. Ah well.

Also as it turns out, I did indeed aim too high with the films I wanted to watch this month. But I guess some if not all of them can carry over into July now, and hopefully I'll do a better job of getting them watched. We'll see....

Best new-to-me film for June: The Baader Meinhof Complex/Before Midnight (tie)
Best hidden gem: Paper Moon
Worst film: Sky High (which I think it's safe to say is an all-around worse film than the one I abandoned, The African Queen)
People who added this item 467 Average listal rating (272 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
First viewing - June 3rd

An excellent film, but one I wasn't as in the mood for as I thought I was...or maybe I just let my expectations get in the way for once. Everything is handled well enough, and there's that one scene that's so Great it's worthy of acclaim (especially for the time), but overall the film fell short of crossing that line of greatness for me. Fortunately I got this on DVD as a gift from Xanadon't, so I'll be able to watch it again to see if it earns a higher rating next time around.
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People who added this item 269 Average listal rating (165 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4
First viewing - June 15th/16th

I was curious about this one after seeing some positive feedback around here for it, then portlander sent me a copy as a gift (much like the film above). Pacino does a great job here, creating a memorable character and delivering some excellent lines. It was very interesting watching this guy go through some situations that are likely common for defense lawyers. Unfortunately the film is very uneven due to subplot overload & tone issues. There's so much going on that it's tough to feel too deeply for any character besides Pacino's, a fact not helped by the ways the film swings between drama & comedy as if it's not sure which it wants to be. Still, it's solidly entertaining throughout & thus worth a look.

Just a thought: Man I love Jeffrey Tambor's character & performance in this. Quite a joy to watch him go off the rails.
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People who added this item 6735 Average listal rating (4450 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8
Re-watch - June 20th

Still my favorite Pixar film. My daughter has been talking about Superman lately for some reason, but I don't have any Superman films...so we gave this one a try & she mostly enjoyed it. And unlike the last time I tried to watch it with her she didn't tell me to turn it off. Heh. She did find a few moments scary though, but fortunately she had me on the couch with her.

I love the various ways it comments on the superhero mythology, as well as modern-day notions of heroism. I also dig the social commentary on insurance companies. But most of all I like that it's action-packed, funny, and full of heart. Can't think of a single thing to NOT like about it.
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People who added this item 935 Average listal rating (599 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 6.2
Sky High (2005)
First viewing - June 22nd

I went out of town this weekend & stayed at one of my best friend's house. When I woke up on this morning, this movie was on the TV...and funny enough the above scene was the one I walked in on. I missed a little of the exposition, but quickly picked it up well enough that it didn't matter & wound up watching the rest of this terrible terrible movie. I mean, I've seen worse, but it was highly cheesy and predictable and the best character in the whole thing is Kurt Russell's. Anyway, not a film I would ever have watched on my own & now I know I wasn't missing anything.
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People who added this item 1818 Average listal rating (1131 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1
Akira (1988)
Re-watch - June 23rd

Watched this at my friend's house too & still love it. The animation still looks Great and I can't think of a single thing I dislike about the movie. I can say that the first time I watched it I had moments of confusion, but the more I've seen it over the years those moments have gone away.

Just a thought: My friends & I came up with a drinking game for Akira: Drink every time someone yells "Tetsuo!" Drink every time something explodes (pretty sure this one alone could cause alcohol poisoning). Drink every time you see Kaneda on his bike. Drink every time you're confused by what's going on (best for first-time viewers or anyone NOT paying attention to the movie). And every time you hear music with chanting, finish your drink. (Someone suggested to drink every time you see the color orange, but I don't think one would be able to stop drinking if that rule was thrown in since that and/or red seem to be in every scene.)
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Big screen attractions

Films caught in a theatre
People who added this item 659 Average listal rating (386 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9
First viewing - June 5th

Those familiar with my anticipated films list already know this wasn't a high priority for me this year. However, my other half wanted to see it & we had a date night so off we went. And we were both glad we did.

Personally this film struck a lot of chords and gave me much to relate to, which earned it high marks in the end. Unlike Before Sunset I have very little to complain about here, and now I'm thinking that my real issue with Before Sunset was that I shouldn't have watched it immediately after Before Sunrise. Certainly this trilogy benefits from leaving some time between each film, at least the first time around. And it's possible that watching them at least a year apart is also beneficial, if not watching them several years apart. And I say that because had I watched all 3 films in my early 20s (which obviously wasn't possible, but you know what I mean) I probably would only have appreciated the first film. But at 35 (ack) it's easier for me to appreciate all 3 films, and this one especially so.

Anyway, if you've watched the others & enjoyed them then I see no reason why you wouldn't enjoy this one, and personally I think we've got a satisfying ending here. Admittedly to some degree it feels similar to the previous films, but this time around we get some secondary characters for our central couple to interact with which works very well to break up the Jesse & Celine interactions and provide a better picture of who they are at this point in their lives. The situations are so realistic I found myself recalling similar ones that I've experienced, and there's plenty of thought-provoking dialogue here (which is standard for this series).

I could go on & on, but instead I'll just shut up & encourage anyone interested to go check it out as soon as you can. And the theatre is probably the best place to do so, if for no other reason than to see the beauty of Greece displayed on the big screen.

Just a thought: Easily the best sequel of 2013. I don't care what else comes out.
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People who added this item 396 Average listal rating (241 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.2
Paper Moon (1973)
Re-watch - June 16th

For Father's Day Alamo Drafthouse had 3 special screenings: Mr. Mom, The Great Escape, and Paper Moon. I let my dad pick which one he most wanted to see & he chose this one (had I picked I probably would've gone with The Great Escape since it's the only one of those I haven't seen yet). Now I just watched Paper Moon a few months ago & loved it, so I didn't exactly want to revisit it so soon, but I didn't see it on the big screen then so this was well worth the trip. Aside from the handful of jerks who apparently decided the No Talking policy didn't apply to them, that is...but fortunately the Drafthouse staff took care of it & the theatre got quieter without anyone having to be thrown out.
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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 350 Average listal rating (233 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
First viewing - June 8th

So what we have here is a solidly entertaining action thriller. The acting is good aside from the couple of dudes who seem to think their characters require oddball facial expressions for no damn reason, there are some scenes with high visual appeal such as our protagonist lying on netting with rain falling on him or, in a different way, watching him tear through a bunch of enemies in hand-to-hand combat. The only problem here, and it's kind of a big one, is that I felt like I'd seen it all before & thus the ending was easy enough to predict early on. The "mystery" of who the protagonist is/was, the hero fighting incredible odds to rescue a (young) damsel in distress, the Asian mafia's evil ways, the insanely evil dude you know our hero has to fight a long battle with...it's all here & the only thing fresh about it is that it's all thrown together in the same pot. And it works well enough (I did say it's solidly entertaining), but odds are when it ends you'll have no need to revisit it again. So while I DO think it's worth watching if you like action-thrillers, I can't say it's essential viewing.

Just a thought: Man this dude loves chasing cars...I wonder if he's part canine?

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 346 Average listal rating (219 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.5
First viewing - June 9th

I can't help but feel that if they'd found anyone other than Ed Helms to play his role in this film, the whole thing would have been better. I really had a difficult time believing his character at times, and so had issues accepting the outcome of his part of this story.

Aside from that, I mostly enjoyed this movie. There were a few times I laughed really hard, and the rest of the cast does an excellent job. Segel's character is pretty interesting, and I liked the arc of his story. I've gotta say though that I felt like they set the bar too high for the film by starting off asserting that Signs is a film that builds to a perfect moment. That's clearly what this film aims for & I'm not sure it fully earns it (though perhaps, as is said of Signs, repeat viewings would eventually prove otherwise). Still I felt like overall it was worth a watch, I just don't think I'd watch it again.

Just a thought: Proof Jeff is right about all things being connected: since last month I've been watching Freaks and Geeks which stars Jason Segel, and the latest season of Arrested Development which features a supporting role by Ed Helms. Also, last month I watched Commando which has a supporting role by Rae Dawn Chong. And here they're all together.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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People who added this item 325 Average listal rating (182 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4
First viewing - June 13th


Review by AgentLexi

In an age where terrorism regularly pops up in our headlines, this film is essential viewing for anyone seeking to truly understand the motivations behind terrorist actions (and it sheds light on the ways a government responds to them too). It's told in a way that's engaging & entertaining without ever getting unbelievable, and the cast is up to the task of making their characters realistic. If there's a single thing to complain about it's that the film drags in a couple places, and the wealth of information provided can be overwhelming at times. But given how much story there is to tell here, I'd say the film did an excellent job of covering as much of it as possible.

Guess I'd better check out the book it came from.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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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 May-June 2013 Movie Journal
jaytoast's Dear Cinema Diary - Vol 4 E4 - Summer 2013
Portlander's Movie Log - June, 2013 (formerly phillydude)
June 2013 Movie Journal - Xanadon't
Mack's Movies 2013: June
People who added this item 2364 Average listal rating (1311 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.2
First viewing - June 17th

Recommended by lotr23



This makes the 4th film from David Lynch that I've watched, and I can easily say it's the most straightforward film I've seen of his. I appreciated that, and really to tell this tale I can't imagine a non-linear narrative style working at all. Anyway, the acting is excellent all around, I really enjoyed the story as well as the message it conveys & questions it asks along the way. There were some creative visuals thrown in here & there that I felt didn't add much to the movie, but that's a minor complaint (and I'm probably in the minority for feeling that way). But still, this is definitely worth a watch & I thank lotr23 for including it among his picks for me.
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People who added this item 803 Average listal rating (522 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
Angel Heart (1987)
First viewing - June 29th/30th

Recommended by jaytoast



Yet another film that proves Mickey Rourke has long been a better actor than he gets credit for. And hey, De Niro is awesome in this too! Remember when he did an excellent job in ALL of his movies? Yeah, I barely do too. Anyway, I dug the story & was solidly entertained, but then it ended. I really didn't care much for the ending (and it's one of those where you realize the movie could have ended in about 15 minutes, heh), and there were a couple times where characters had glowing eyes which were done so badly it broke me out of the experience. So while it was entertaining, I definitely wouldn't watch it a second time. Worth checking out though if you haven't seen it yet.

Just a thought: If I ever see one of those old cage-like elevators somewhere, I think I'll either leave the building or take the stairs.
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Netflix exorcisms

Films I caught before Netflix removed them from my IQ this month
People who added this item 245 Average listal rating (115 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
Tape (2001)
First viewing - June 30th

I'd intended to watch Escape from Alcatraz before it left, but somehow failed to realize I had to watch it this night or it'd be gone. Oops. Instead my other half & I watched Tape to get one step closer to having watched all of Linklater's films.

The dialogue here is excellent & the performances are equally good. It's one of those movies you can't help but keep watching even as it makes you uncomfortable at times. However because of that fact I'll never need to watch it again...I can admire a film being able to make me uncomfortable, but when it does so with as much frequency as this one does I have no urge to experience it again. Oh yeah, and the camera work annoyed the shit out of me for at least half of the run time. Worth a look though.
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I tried, but I gave up

People who added this item 698 Average listal rating (461 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
June 10th
I watched about half an hour of this & turned it off for two reasons. First off, it was putting me to sleep. So I paused it & stepped away for a moment to think about it. I came to the conclusion that I didn't care AT ALL about the plot or the characters or where it was all going. No connection between myself & the film had ever been established, and so I decided to turn it off and go to bed. Didn't leave it in my IQ for another day either.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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This month hasn't gone as smoothly as I'd anticipated. I was supposed to be on vacation the first week of the month, but then work picked up big time so I took advantage & worked instead of spending that time getting ahead on movies. Then my new schedule started, one which I'm already regretting a bit as I'm now down to 3 nights a week where I can watch movies...which doesn't work out so well when my other half wants to watch TV shows with me instead. Sigh.

So I may be overreaching on the films I've planned for this month, but we'll see.

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2013 Movies Diaries I'm Following (51 lists)
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Comments

Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 16 23:10
Quite frankly, in an age filled with twist thrillers it's refreshing to see something as straight as The Man From Nowhere. And unlike something like Taken, I feel this film had more than enough audiovisual flair and grand amounts of intensity to justify it's existence despite being a run-of-the-mill movie otherwise. I mean damn, that movie just looks soooo good. And sounds like it too.

Good to see End of Watch in that Coming Attractions-box. I'll be trying to watch The Baader Meinhof Complex myself, as it has been on my to watch for about two years by now.
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 16 23:37
@VT - Agreed on The Man from Nowhere. Like I said there were times where I loved the visuals of it & that did indeed elevate it above similar films like Taken (the visuals of which were more frequently annoying or just simply average). I definitely didn't want a twist out of it, but after it ended I WAS left wanting just a little more from it.

Baader Meinhof was on my list since I first saw trailers for it before its American theatrical release. Well worth the wait. I'll look forward to your thoughts on it!
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 17 1:32
Glad you like Before Midnight and especially the beauty of Greece!!!Kardamilli,Methoni and Koroni are beautiful places!
Edit: 4 years, 5 months ago
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 17 2:56
I get the impression that this is your first time watching Freaks & Geeks. If so, I hope you've been enjoying it. It's very dear to my heart. :) I went to see This is the End today, and I grinned so much when James Franco and Seth Rogen had a blatant Freaks moment.
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 17 23:31
Awesome to see you saw Paper Moon on the big screen, and that you got a chance to watch Eyes Without a Face. I'm pretty sure I've seen it before, but I remember nothing about it whatsoever, I really need to give it a rewatch sometime.
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 19 16:13
great list, and thanks for all the heads-up about what's streaming on net flix. i disagree about african queen, but, that's fine...
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 19 22:32
Yes!!! You're welcome for the recommendation, and like I've said to others, Mulholland Drive is my favorite weird Lynch movie and The Elephant Man is my favorite straightforward Lynch movie. But straightforward and all, it's still really powerful and heart-breaking... it really got to me the first time I watched it.
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 24 10:30
Apparently you might have to drink during Akira when the color orange is NOT on screen then ;)

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