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Added by portlander

on 1 Apr 2012 03:01

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Phillydude's Movie Log - April, 2012

Sort by: Showing 43 items
People who added this item 3651  Average listal rating (2372 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating 8.3 
1. Blade Runner (1982)
Watched April 3rd - Netflix DVD -
1st Viewing

"They don't advertise for killers in the newspaper - That was my profession - ex-cop, ex-blade runner, ex-killer."
- Rick Deckard

A couple areas I want to focus on this month are Harrison Ford movies and my continuing quest to finish the AFI top 100 movies - Blade Runner nicely fit into both categories. Ford stars as a futuristic bounty hunter chasing after rogue killer replicants. I really liked the look of the movie, and although the first half movies pretty slowly, it picks up in the second half - I watched both the original theatrical and director's cut endings - I liked the director's cut ending better because it leaves more to the imagination as to what I just saw, but that version omits Deckard's narration, which I thought added to the film - maybe if they could splice both versions together - as is, I think it's an entertaining sci-fi movie but also a bit overrated.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 801  Average listal rating (494 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 7.8 
2. The French Connection (1971)
Watched March 4th - Netflix DVD - Rewatch

"All right, Popeye's here! - get your hands on your heads, get off the bar, and get on the wall" - Popeye Doyle

It has been a very long time since I have seen The French Connection, and on seeing it again - it really didn't hold up well - I thought it was a sloppily made movie - the directing, writing and especially the editing - but the worst part was Popeye Doyle, Gene Hackman did a good job portraying him - but as a character, Doyle was just plain detestable - he had to be one of the most unlikable and unrootable Protagonists I have ever seen - he had me rooting for the bad guys - the best part of the movie was the famous car chase which was well done, but it was the only scene in the movie that I enjoyed, I thought the rest of the movie was rather pedestrian and uninteresting
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 246  Average listal rating (144 ratings) 6.5  IMDB Rating 6.6 
3. The Mosquito Coast (1986)

Watched April 7 - Netflix DVD - Rewatch

"We eat when we're not hungry, drink when we're not thirsty, we buy what we don't need and throw away everything that's useful - Why sell a man what he wants?, sell him what he doesn't need - Pretend he's got eight legs and two stomachs and money to burn - It's Wrong - wrong, wrong, wrong."
- Allie Fox

I saw The Mosquito Coast in the theater, but hadn't seen it since and I should have because it is an excellent movie. It is about a man who is disenchanted with modern civilization, so he moves his family to a Central American jungle to form a new civilization. Harrison Ford stars and is brilliant in the way he shows Allie Fox's decent from eccentric inventor, to slightly unhinged to complete madness - it is much different than his normal roles, which might be why the movie didn't do well at the box office - but I think it is one of his best performances.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 806  Average listal rating (548 ratings) 6.8  IMDB Rating 7.1 
4. Real Steel (2011)
Watched April 14th - VUDU Streaming -
1st Viewing

"I know I've done all kinds of wrong by this kid - I'd just like to do one thing right." - Charlie Kenton

Real Steel is basically a live action version of rockem sockem robots and takes its story from any number of Sylvester Stallone movies - I expected the robot to yell out 'Yo Adrian!' however there were parts of it I did like - the relationship between the father and son was believable and the fighting robots were cool - I didn't have high expectations for this movie and it does start out slowly, but it gets better as it goes along until the final fight which was exciting, but in the end the movie just didn't pull me in because it was a sports movie which covered ground that has been gone over many times.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 1111  Average listal rating (695 ratings) 6.1  IMDB Rating 6.6 
5. What Lies Beneath (2000)

Watched April 14th - Netflix DVD - Rewatch

"Norman, this isn't about you - Something is happening to me, and it's not to get even, and it's not some warped bid for attention - something is happening in our house, whether you like it or not." - Claire Spencer

Hadn't seen What Lies Beneath in a long time and forgot what a really creepy movie it is - it is a combination thriller, mystery and ghost story that works really well, It is another different kind of role for Harrison Ford and he is very good, but Michelle Phieffer steals the movie in one of her best performances as the haunted housewife. This was a scary and entertaining movie that had me on the edge of my seat while watching it and I think it does for baths what Psycho did for showers.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 860  Average listal rating (512 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating 6.7 
6. Puss in Boots (2011)
Watched April 16th - Redbox DVD -
1st Viewing

"What can I say? - I was a bad kitty - just a fugitive from the law, forever running, searching for a way to clear my name."
- Puss In Boots

Character spin off TV shows don't usually work out very well, so I had my doubts that Puss In Boots would work without Shrek and Donkey, but to my surprise the movie worked very well - good animation, good characters, good action and a lot of humor, my favorite jokes were all the egg puns for Puss' nemesis, Humpty Dumpty - It had everything it takes to be a good animated movie and Antonio Banderas was in top form as the voice of Puss, it is one of my favorite animated films of 2011.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 1528  Average listal rating (909 ratings) 6.9  IMDB Rating 7.3 
7. Rango (2011)

Watched April 16th - Redbox DVD -
1st Viewing - Rewatched April 17th

"No man can walk out on his own story." - Spirit Of The West

Part two of my Redbox animated movie double feature night - and Puss In Boots reign as my favorite animated movie of 2011 was a short one - because Rango was Terrific - it had all the elements of a great animated movie - characters, action, humor - but it was the originality of the movie that impressed me the most - I don't think I have seen an animated western before, certainly not one of this quality and the style of the animation set the movie apart as something I haven't seen before - it was a very entertaining, clever, funny, imaginative movie and well deserving of its Best Animated movie Oscar.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 410  Average listal rating (273 ratings) 6.1  IMDB Rating 6.6 
8. K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)
Watched March 21st - Netflix DVD -
1st Viewing

"These men sacrificed not for a medal, but because when the time came it was their duty, not to the navy, or to the state - but to us, their comrades." - Captain Alexei Vostrikov

K-19 is the true story of a disaster aboard a Russian nuclear submarine in the early 60's and I thought it was excellent. I had my doubts at first about Harrison Ford being able to pull off a Russian sea captain but he plays him very well, as does Liam Neeson as the first officer - the power struggle between the by the book, perfectionist captain and the more affable crew friendly first officer is the best part of the movie and I liked how layered both characters were, the captain was not a complete raving lunatic like Captains Blythe and Queeg - but he came pretty close a couple of times. The struggle for survival once the sub gets into trouble is riveting and there are lessons about bravery, duty and knowing when to swallow your pride and ask for help.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 413  Average listal rating (245 ratings) 6.2  IMDB Rating 6.7 
9. Working Girl (1988)

Watched April 26th - Netflix DVD -
1st Viewing

"Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear - Doesn't make me Madonna." - Cyn

Just when I thought there wasn't a Harrison Ford movie I really didn't like, I went and watched this movie, but it is not Ford's fault being he wasn't actually in the movie much. Working Girl is a romantic comedy that isn't very romantic and isn't very funny. Ford doesn't even show up until 30 minutes into the movie and then looked lost, I thought it was going to be one of those times when an action star bombs out in a comedy, but after a pretty boring first half, there is a twist in the last half hour that almost saves the movie, but then it kind of peters out until an unsatisfying ending. The main problem with the movie for me was Melanie Griffith's character, who was supposed to be the heroine of the film, but I didn't find her sympathetic at all, she was every bit as lying and deceitful as she accused her boss of being, even more so, and the boss - played by Sigourney Weaver was supposed to be the villain, but her character was my favorite and the only one I had any sympathy for. This was one of those movies where I wasn't interested in going where the director wanted to take me.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 188  Average listal rating (104 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating 7.2 
10. Diner (1982)

Watched April 30th - Amazon Streaming - Rewatch

"It's funny, you know, when I was a little kid I always wanted a brother, and I told that to mom once and she said, 'You have a brother' - I said Oh, that's who the asshole in the other bed is." - Timothy Fenwick Jr.

I am planning to focus on the movies of 1982 during the next few months, so I decided to warm up for that and close out the month with Diner. It came out in the spring of '82 and it's a coming of age tale set in 1959 Baltimore about six friends and their various life and love problems all centering around the diner they hang out in. There isn't a real coherent story, but there are some nice moments and some very funny ones, my favorite was one of the guys giving his fiance a football quiz to determine if they were to go through with the wedding. Diner is the movie that launched the careers of Steve Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon and Paul Reiser - I didn't like it at all when I saw it back in 1982, but thirty years later my opinion of it has improved enough to add it to my favorites of '82 list, so I'm glad I finally gave Diner another chance.
portlander's rating:

The section for movies I watch on TCM during the month.
People who added this item 250  Average listal rating (164 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating 7.6 
11. The Natural (1984)
Watched April 1st - TCM - Rewatch

"And then? - And then when I walked down the street people would've looked and they would've said there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in this game." - Roy Hobbs

Since the start of the new Baseball season is upon us I thought I would start off April with one of my all time favorite baseball movies - The Natural. It is about a man, perfectly played by Robert Redford, on his way to being the greatest player who ever lived, who unfortunately meets with tragedy, but then attempts a comeback later in life - The baseball part of the movie is awesome, but I thought the subplots with the devious woman and the underhanded owner weren't as good and slowed the movie down. The movie is a little hokey and Hobb's exploits on the field are outlandish - but they are supposed to be - The Natural is a fabel and I think every boy growing up dreamed of hitting a ball as far as Roy Hobbs.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 1600  Average listal rating (1012 ratings) 8.2  IMDB Rating 8.4 
12. Some Like It Hot (1959)
Watched April 2nd - TCM - Rewatch

"What are you trying to do to that poor girl, putting on a millionaire act and where did you get that phony accent? - Nobody talks like that." - Jerry

Some Like It Hot is one of my favorite comedies, and it was fun to see it again because sometimes I forget how funny it is - Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon are hysterical as musicians who hide out from the mob by joining an all women's band - as cross dressing movies go I think it is right up there with Tootsie and Victor/Victoria - my favorite part of the movie was Tony Curtis' character using a great Cary Grant impression to romance Marilyn Monroe's character - especially funny since I recently saw several Cary Grant movies. Monroe's character is funny but also a little sad at times and I could relate to her lament about always getting the fuzzy end of the lollypop.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 78  Average listal rating (45 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating 7.4 
13. The Nanny (1965)
Watched April 6th - TCM -
1st Viewing

"Being a Nanny is based on trust, it is so important that parents trust us, it's not myself I am thinking about, I've never been one for self - It's all those others like me, all those nannies who have devoted their lives to taking care of other people's children - they're the ones I'm thinking about."
- Nanny

The Nanny is the flip side of Mary Poppins, ironic that both movies came out a year apart, it is a creepy thriller about a seemingly kind hearted Nanny caring for a family that includes a troubled boy, who keeps trying to convince everyone that he is not the one who is crazy. I like the story and the way it slowly builds the tension towards its climax, but I thought the ending was pretty weak and a bit of a cop out - Betty Davis gives an excellent performance though as the Nanny from hell.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 349  Average listal rating (206 ratings) 7.7  IMDB Rating 7.7 
14. The Invisible Man (1933)
Watched April 7th - TCM -
1st Viewing

"An Invisible man can rule the world - nobody will see him come, nobody will see him go - he can hear every secret - he can rob, rape and kill." - Dr. Jack Griffin

I always thought it would be fun to be invisible for a day - being able to go anywhere and see anything I wanted to - The Invisible Man shows the down side of it though - it could also turn a person into a raving megalomaniac - This was a very entertaining movie with some amazing special effects for the time period - I especially liked the humor involved in the police trying to catch someone they couldn't see - and Claude Raines is excellent in the title role, especially since you could never actually see his face - It was also fun seeing a very young Gloria Stewart - I would rank The Invisible Man right along side Frankenstein and Dracula among the great 30's horror movies.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 86  Average listal rating (51 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 7.5 
15. Easter Parade (1948)

Watched April 9th - TCM -
1st Viewing

"Next Easter when we walk down this avenue you're gonna cause more excitement than an earthquake, every
photographer in town is going to be breaking his neck to
take your picture, now remember that - one year from
today nobody is going to notice her when they look at you."
- Don Hewes

Unlike Christmas, there are not a lot of Easter themed movies - Easter Parade is probably the best one. It stars Fred Astaire, who plays a man that loses his dance partner and boasts he can pick any girl in the world and turn her into a star, so he picks a chorus girl played by Judy Garland and trains her to be his new partner. I liked the story and the renditions of Easter Parade at the beginning and end of the movie, but I wasn't familiar with the rest of the songs and thought they were pretty mediocre - however, the chemistry and charisma of Astaire and Garland rise above the material to make this a very entertaining movie and a nice way to wrap up Easter weekend.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 599  Average listal rating (419 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating
16. The Searchers (1956)

Watched April 12 - TCM -
1st Viewing

"Well, Reverend, that tears it, from now on you stay out of this, All of ya, I don't want you with me - I don't need ya for what I got to do." - Ethan Edwards

The Searchers is ranked 12th on the AFI top 100 list, above Star Wars, Psycho and To Kill A Mockingbird to name a few - which after seeing the movie I found to be flabbergasting - John Wayne stars as an ex-confederate soldier who goes on a quest to find his kidnapped niece after his brother's family is slaughtered by Indians. There were parts of the movie I liked - it had a much darker tone than most cowboy and Indian movies and Wayne's character is darker than most of his roles, Ethan's hatred for the Indians borders on the pathological at times - but then there was a goofy love triangle subplot that took away from the movie and I didn't think the ending matched the tone of the rest of the movie and while I thought it was a good solid western - 12th all time? - I don't think so.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 733  Average listal rating (463 ratings) 8.3  IMDB Rating 8.4 
17. The Kid (1921)

Watched April 17th - TCM -
1st Viewing

Watching a Charlie Chaplin double feature today - the first movie is The Kid, about the little tramp finding and raising an abandoned baby - the story is really good - it's funny and poignant and Chaplin and Jackie Coogan, who grew up to be The Addams Family's Uncle Fester, are excellent and are very believable as Father and son - the only part I didn't like was the dream sequence which I didn't think was needed as it didn't add anything to the story - but on the whole The Kid is a heartwarming movie and my favorite Chaplin movie so far.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 1006  Average listal rating (602 ratings) 8.6  IMDB Rating 8.7 
18. City Lights (1931)
Watched April 17th - TCM -
1st Viewing

Part two of my Chaplin double feature is City Lights, it is probably the very first romantic comedy, or comedy romance as Chaplin called it and it is a gem. It amazes me how innovative Chaplin was and how many of the comedy gags he started have become staples in comedies through out the years that followed, In this movie The Tramp falls for a blind flower girl and tries to help her out by pretending to be wealthy. There are plenty of funny moments in the movie, my favorite was the boxing match which was hysterical, but the heart of the movie was the romance between the Tramp and the girl which was sweet and the ending was beautiful. City Lights is number 11 on the AFI list and I think deservedly so.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 236  Average listal rating (150 ratings) 6.3  IMDB Rating 6.6 
19. Rollerball (1975)

Watched April 22nd - TCM - Rewatch

"The game was created to demonstrate the futility of individual effort, let the game do its work - The Energy Corporation has done all it can, and if a champion defeats the meaning for which the game was designed - then he must lose."
- Bartholomew

I am watching a 70's sci-fi double feature tonight and the first part is Rollerball, a movie I watched a long time ago and remembered it being better than it actually is - The movie is set in the future where there are no longer countries and business conglomerates own and control everything - for a diversion for the masses they created Rollerball - a violent hybrid of roller derby, basketball, football and ice hockey - only with spiked gloves and motorcycles where the object is to maim or kill the opponent as much as it is to score a goal -
James Caan plays the superstar of the sport and the conglomerates want him to quit for reasons that are never really adequately explained. The Rollerball matches were the best part of the movie - they were exciting and very brutal - but the rest of the movie wasn't that interesting and there should've been more to the motivations of the conglomerate and more explanations as to why the society was run like it was - there were messages that resonate today though, like corporate control and what is the acceptable level of violence in sports, at least we don't allow motercyles in football - yet.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 368  Average listal rating (234 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating 6.8 
20. Logan's Run (1976)

Watched April 23rd - TCM -
1st Viewing

"No!- Don't go in there! - You don't have to die, no one has to die at 30! - You could live - Live! - Live and grow old"
- Logan

Part two of my 70's sci-fi double feature was Logan's Run,
a movie that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'Don't trust anybody over 30' - it is about a post-apocalyptic society in which nobody is allowed to live past the age of 30. Michael York plays a 'sandman' who is assigned to catch and kill people who try to run when their time is up, however he begins to question the constructs under which their society is run. It is an interesting movie, but as with Rollerball I would have liked more explanation as to why and how the society came into being - the only explanation given was 'it has always been this way'. My favorite part was seeing what a post apocalyptic Washington DC looked like - it was nice to see New York not be the city destroyed for a change - I am sure there was some deeper meaning to the movie that I am missing, but while it's not great, Logan's Run is still a pretty entertaining sci-fi movie.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 924  Average listal rating (559 ratings) 8.3  IMDB Rating 8.4 
21. The Apartment (1960)
Watched April 24th - TCM -
1st Viewing

"Ya know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe, I mean shipwrecked among 8 million people, and then one day I saw a footprint in the sand - and there you were"
- C.C. Baxter

The Apartment won the best picture Oscar for 1960 and is ranked #80 in the AFI top 100, but I put off watching it because it didn't sound very interesting, I mean the most exciting thing that happens in my apartment is when the postman delivers a package of DVDs from Amazon - now that I have seen the movie, it was better than I thought it would be, but not by a lot. The story is about an insurance man, played by Jack Lemmon, who lends out his apartment for his co-workers romantic rendezvous, but things get complicated when he starts falling for the mistress of his boss, played by Fred MacMurray - knowing him mostly as the dotting father from My Three Sons, I am always surprised at how good MacMurray is at playing a heel. It is billed as a romantic comedy, but there are really more sad moments in the movie than funny ones - although I did laugh at Baxter straining spaghetti through a tennis racket, definitely something a bachelor would do - but the romance between Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine's character didn't pull me in - I did like the ending enough though to make The Apartment one of my favorite New Year's Eve movies.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 46  Average listal rating (29 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating 7.9 
22. Young @ Heart (Young at Heart) (2007)

Watched April 7th - the giraffe's DVD collection -
1st Viewing

"When I pass on I shan't go out of your life, I shall be sitting up on a rainbow looking down watching you, so keep doing what we've always done together - because I'll be there"
- Eileen Hall

Young At Heart is a documentary about a senior citizen chorus that specializes in rock and pop tunes, which is just awesome to begin with - It was amazing to me the energy they had being that many members of the chorus are over 80. The story covers several weeks leading up to one of their concerts, and it is told very well - there were moments of laughter as well as moments of sadness and it was interesting getting to know these people. I loved the little music videos the group did that were spliced throughout the movie, they were fun - my favorite was a rendition of Staying Alive, the highlight of the movie for me was the performance they gave at a prison - the chorus singing Forever Young choked me up. My only quibble was with the music director, he got on my nerves at times, I thought he came down to hard on people and he chose songs for the concert that he liked - instead of asking the members what songs they wanted to do - it is their chorus after all - but for the most part this was as heart warming and life affirming a movie as you are ever going to see, and my own aches and pains didn't seem to be as bothersome after watching it.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 663  Average listal rating (476 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating 7.3 
23. Shaolin Soccer (2001)

Watched April 18th - the giraffe's DVD collection -
1st Viewing - Original Chinese Version

"You don't play soccer - phone home like ET, Mui, you don't belong on Earth." - Sing

U.S. Theatrical Version - Watched April 19th

There are not a lot of sports movies I like, the main reasons being they tend to be predictable and full of overused cliches. However, Shaolin Soccer over comes those two obstacles through its warped sense of humor that I really enjoyed and also by the seemingly superhuman abilities of the soccer team - it was like having a team full Roy Hobbs' - as with Hobbs, the players' exploits were outlandish, but that is what made the movie so much fun. I liked the second half better than the first, the first half started slowly and I thought the comedy was uneven, maybe because some of the jokes were lost in translation - but once the team formed and they started playing games, the movie really started rolling, leading to the final confrontation with another super team which was just awesome. As I said, my list of favorite sports movies would not be a long one, but now Shaolin Soccer would be on it.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 725  Average listal rating (443 ratings) 6.5  IMDB Rating 7.1 
24. Black Snake Moan (2006)
Watched April 28th - the giraffe's DVD collection -
1st Viewing

"God seen fit to put you in my path and I aim to cure you of your wickedness." - Lazarus

There have been many movies that have told the story of a gruff older man taking a rebellious young person under their wing and helping them to find their true self worth - but I don't think I have seen the story told quite like Black Snake Moan does - I mean most of the time this kind of story doesn't involve chains - in less capable hands this movie could have become exploitative, however Samuel L Jackson as the hard edged blues musician and Christina Ricci as the drug addicted nymphomaniac are both excellent and the progression of their character's relationship is believable while the humor in the movie smooths over the times it borders on exploitative. I thought Justin Timberlake as the boyfriend was annoying, but I always find Justin Timberlake to be annoying, and I would have liked a bit more out of the ending, but on the whole I thought it was a very good movie. It is ironic that I watched Black Snake Moan right after Revenge Of The Sith - because Lazarus kind of reminded me of a Blues playing Jedi in this movie - maybe Mace Windu should have tried chaining Anakin to a radiator.
portlander's rating:

Foreign Language Film Pick Of The Month

People who added this item 1310  Average listal rating (765 ratings) 8.4  IMDB Rating 8.3 
25. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Watched April 9th - Netflix DVD -
1st Viewing - Rewatched on April 9th

"This is my hand, I can move it, blood pulses through its veins, the sun still stands high in the sky and I, Antonius Block, am playing chess with Death" - Antonius Block

I have been interested in seeing The Seventh Seal ever since I saw the movie featured in Last Action Hero and am glad that I finally got around to seeing it. The movie is about a knight returning home from the Crusades who gets into a chess match with Death to save his own life after Death informs him that his time is up. The chess match scenes are brilliant and all the scenes between Death and the knight, nicely played by Max Von Sydow, are well done and were my favorite parts of the movie. The other characters and subplots weren't as interesting, however I did understand better how they all connected to the story when I watched the film a second time and there is a surprising amount of humor, so even though it wasn't quite as good as I was expecting, I still thought it was a very good movie and I can see why it has been parodied by many other movie makers from Woody Allen to Monty Python.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 192  Average listal rating (119 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating 7.3 
26. Them! (1954)
Watched April 14th - Netflix DVD -
1st Viewing

"No, we haven't seen the end of them - we've only had a close view of the beginning of what may be the end of us."
- Dr. Harold Medford

For this months horror section I will be watching three creature features - the first is Them in which mutant ants finally get their revenge on humans after decades of being stepped on and having their homes flooded out by lawn sprinklers. It is such an awesome idea for a movie, I enjoyed the story and loved the huge mutant ants, I also enjoyed the characters - my favorite was the doctor who reminded me of Richard Attenborough in Jurassic Park - The ants vs. people battles were well done, I just would have liked to have seen more of them and more of the ants running amok and less strategizing and trying to figure out where the ants were - but on the whole I thought Them was very entertaining sci-fi and it will make me more conscience of where I'm stepping from now on.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 921  Average listal rating (608 ratings) 5.5  IMDB Rating 6.3 
27. Arachnophobia (1990)

Watched April 19th - Netflix DVD - Rewatch

"In this first generation, the original male also produced a queen and together they will construct a primary nest, which the queen will guard, but eventually she will create reproductive offspring of her own and when that happens - this town is dead and the next town and the next town and the next one and so on." - Dr. James Atherton

First time I have seen Arachnophobia in a while and my opinion of it went up a little bit - it is about a town that is invaded by hundreds of creepy, crawly venomous spiders. The story of a man with arachnophobia facing his ultimate nightmare is a good one and I liked how there was a slow build in the tension, but while there are some good scares in the movie, I wish there had been a little more action - my main problem with the movie though was the acting - I like Jeff Daniels in supporting roles, but I don't think he is a strong enough actor to carry a whole movie, particularly a horror movie like this one - although I did think he did well with the final battle between his character and the spiders - but my favorite character was John Goodman as the exterminator - he brought some much needed comic relief into the move - so in short this is a good movie that could have been a great one and If you happen to have arachnophobia - this definitely is not the movie for you.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 1304  Average listal rating (877 ratings) 6.2  IMDB Rating 7.2 
28. Tremors (1990)
Watched April 25th - Netflix DVD -
1st Viewing

"Man, we decided to leave this place just one damn day to late." - Valentine McKee

My third creature feature for the month was Tremors, heard a lot about this movie, but hadn't seen it up till now, it is about a small isolated town in Nevada attacked by huge underground creatures. The creatures were the best part of the movie, their ability to borrow under ground so quickly, their infinite patience and their size made them pretty awesome monsters, unfortunately I didn't think the story, characters or the acting were as good - the best actor was Kevin Bacon, but even he got a bit tiresome by the end, my favorite scene was the two survivalists fighting off one of the creatures with their stock pile of guns. On the whole Tremors was an entertaining movie in a fun B horror movie kind of way, but I don't think I will be watching the sequels.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 157  Average listal rating (97 ratings) 5.5  IMDB Rating 5.1 
29. The Three Stooges (2012)
Watched April 13th - 2:45PM - Theater -
1st Viewing

After my comedyfest last month, It seemed only fitting that the first 2012 movie I went to see was The Three Stooges. I loved the stooges growing up but I had trepidations about seeing this movie, especially since they had so much trouble casting the roles, I am still trying to imagine Sean Penn as Larry, but in the end I think they got the casting right - All three actors grasped the spirit of the stooges they played as well as their mannerisms and all the classic physical comedy the stooges were known for. The story, not that it really matters, involves the Stooges trying to save the Orphanage they grew up in from bankruptcy - nothing will ever top the originals of course, but I laughed hysterically at times watching this movie and it brought back a lot of good memories of The Stooges I enjoyed so much. The one off note was the 'don't try this at home' PSA at the end - that was odd, I have watched well over 1,000 movies in my lifetime and this is the first time I can ever remember a PSA at the end of a movie - Seriously, why single out the lovable stooges when it comes to violence in movies?
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 594  Average listal rating (378 ratings) 6.1  IMDB Rating 6.4 
30. This Means War (2012)

Watched April 20th - 2:50PM - Theater -
1st Viewing

The bright side of the Listal outage the last two days was that it motivated me to turn off my computer, get out of the house and go see a movie in the theater - I wasn't even sure what movie I was going to see when I left the house, but I was happy with the movie I chose - This Means War is a romantic action comedy, in the same vein as True Lies, in which two friends who also happen to be CIA field agents - fall for the same girl and decide they will both date her at the same time - it was an enjoyable story, my favorite part was how they used all their CIA gadgets to keep an eye on each other, get intel on the girl to better their chances while trying to sabotage each other at the same time. The object of their affections was played ably by Reese Witherspoon but I think her character should have been a lot more ticked off when she discovered what was going on - I also thought the ending was to quick and easy, for the romantic part and for the action part, but while the movie was nothing great - it was entertaining enough and I'm surprised it wasn't a summer movie, because it is the kind of mindless fun that summer movies are known for.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 503  Average listal rating (276 ratings) 6  IMDB Rating 6.4 
31. The Raven (2012)
Watched April 27th - 2:15PM - Theater -
1st Viewing

The Raven is a murder mystery about a serial killer who patterns his murders after the works of Edgar Allen Poe,
and Poe along with a police detective try to stop him. I knew about the poem The Raven, but I had no idea Poe had written so many other grisly horror stories - he must have been the Stephen King of the 1800's - and I am actually kind of surprised this kind of thing hasn't happened to King - I am not a big John Cusack fan, but I thought he was very good as Poe - the story is well told, pulled me in from the beginning and I loved the ending - some parts of the movie I didn't quite understand, but I will figure them out when I watch it on DVD, which I'm sure that I will because this was an entertaining movie and a must if you are a fan of Poe.
portlander's rating:

Movies I watched from my own DVD collection

Totals For The Month

It was a good movie month, with only two movies that I rated below 5, the rest of the movies I saw this month I got at least some enjoyment out of and most of them I enjoyed a great deal. The focus on Harrison Ford turned out well as I caught up on a number of his movies that I haven't watched in a long time, I had fun watching the first three of the giraffe's movies for the movie exchange program this month and look forward to watching the last two next month and I was very happy to get to the movie theater three times this month - if I can keep up a once a week average through the summer, I will be pleased with that. Now it is on to May and the beginning of the Summer movie season.
People who added this item 1980  Average listal rating (1365 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.5 
43. Total Recall (1990)
Total Movies Watched

42 Movies Watched
23 First Time Viewings
19 Rewatched

How Watched

11 - My Own DVD Collection
11 - TCM
10 - Netflix DVD
3 - the giraffe's DVD Collection
3 - Movie Theater
2 - Redbox DVD
1 - Amazon Streaming
1 - VUDU Streaming


10 Stars - 11

Rango(1st Viewing)
Shaolin Soccer(1st Viewing)
K-19: The Widowmaker(1st Viewing)
City Lights(1st Viewing)
To Kill A Mockingbird(Rewatch)
The Mosquito Coast(Rewatch)
Some Like It Hot(Rewatch)
American Graffiti(Rewatch)
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones(Rewatch)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith(Rewatch)

9 Stars - 5

The Kid(1st Viewing)
The Seventh Seal(1st Viewing)
The Three Stooges(1st Viewing)
Young At Heart(1st Viewing)
What Lies Beneath (Rewatch)

8 Stars - 11

The Raven(1st Viewing)
Them(1st Viewing)
Black Snake Moan(1st Viewing)
Easter Parade(1st Viewing)
The Invisible Man(1st Viewing)
The Nanny(1st Viewing)
Puss In Boots(1st Viewing)
Patriot Games(Rewatch)
Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade(Rewatch)
The Natural(Rewatch)

7 Stars - 6

Blade Runner(1st Viewing)
Tremors(1st Viewing)
Diner (Rewatch)
Clear and Present Danger(Rewatch)
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace(Rewatch)

6 Stars - 4

Logan's Run(1st Viewing)
The Searchers(1st Viewing)
This Means War(1st Viewing)
Indiana Jones and The Crystal Skull(Rewatch)

5 Stars - 3

The Apartment(1st Viewing)
Real Steel(1st Viewing)

4 Stars - 2

Working Girl(1st Viewing)
The French Connection(Rewatch)

Movie of The Month - Best movie I saw for the first time

portlander's rating:

This month will see the addition of a couple new sections - the 31 days of Oscar will evolve into an oldies but goodies section for the TCM movies I watch during the month and Lady Vengeance made me want to see more foreign films so I am starting a foreign language film pick of the month section. I will also continue with the horror section, movies from the Archive and the captain's log will be the hodgepodge for anything else I see, after a couple of months not going to the theater, I hope to turn that around this month - and The Movie Exchange Program will continue with movies from The Giraffe's DVD collection.

Movie Exchange Program

Previous 2012 Logs:




Added to

8 votes
Guide To My Monthly Movie and Yearly TV Logs (31 lists)
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Published 2 years, 2 months ago

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Posted: 2 years ago at Apr 4 21:48
Yep, "The French Connection" is perhaps the most boring 'action film' ever filmed but is also one of the films from the "American New Wave" movement that I find bearable to watch. I have been reluctant to re-watch the film. Ha, but if you really didn't like the film I would avoid "The Long Goodbye" (1973) :P
Posted: 2 years ago at Apr 5 1:50
As much as I dug certain aspects of Blade Runner when I watched it, I wasn't as blown away as most people seem to be by it either. So we're together on it being overrated (in fact I tend to think I've rated it higher than I should have...may have to revisit it to be sure).
Posted: 2 years ago at Apr 8 2:04
First off, glad to see you enjoyed The Invisible Man. I always thought it'd be fun to be invisible too, though until I watched that film I hadn't considered the possibility that the only way to be truly invisible would be to run around naked. I think I'd much prefer it if whatever I was wearing at the time would be invisible too. But yes, Claude Raines is Awesome in that role, and I also love Una O'Connor who's hilarious in her role.

Very glad to see you so enjoyed Young@Heart, which I've been saying needs to be seen by more people since I saw a sneak preview of it back in 2007. It took me a while to come around to liking the director, as I thought he was pretty hard on the choir too. Though I think he's hard on them because he knows what they're capable of & wants to see them nail the songs. Agreed though that he could let them choose some songs too.

I'd like to add that I hope the choir is still around when I'm old enough to join, because I'd love to be a part of it. :)
Posted: 2 years ago at Apr 11 0:34
Yep, The Invisible Man was just altogether a far better movie than I would've guessed. I guess I always expected it to be something of a B-level Universal flick, but it really is legit, and just a fun, sorta magical time.

Totally with you on much of your take on Young at Heart. It really is a moving film and one that inspires us to reevaluate some ideas about our own lives and the ideas of life, death, aging, etc.

But I do want to ask if you (or you, giraffe) at any point felt like the music videos were a bit out of place, or just not as in touch with the tone of the rest of the film? At certain points I even felt as though the seniors were kinda made into the object of a joke. Not really like it felt like they could really give a shit if the joke was on them, but there something about it that just didn't quite sit well with me. I'm probably in the minority, but it seemed to undermine the effect of the rest of the film in some way.

Oh, and congrats on tackling The Seventh Seal. I've been meaning to sit down with that one for a long time now. It's featured in Last Action Hero?! I would've never guessed!
Posted: 2 years ago at Apr 14 16:43
Ha, well I didn't lead you too far down the garden path with "Real Steel". After watching the film I find that I have a strange urge to track down and watch "The Champ" (1979).
Posted: 2 years ago at Apr 16 1:29
Oh good you watched Them!. Lot of fun that one was, and I can see your point about wanting more battles & less strategizing. I suppose they could remake it with a bigger budget to allow for that, but I fear it wouldn't work in many other ways. Course if they DID remake it now it'd likely come out in 3D. :P
Posted: 1 year, 12 months ago at Apr 19 2:33
Glad to hear that you enjoyed Shaolin Soccer as much as I did, even if the reasons we enjoyed it were a bit different :) Yep, one of those movies I wouldn't have watched if I lived to be 100, if not for the Movie Exchange!

Also, happy to read your praise for What Lies Beneath, a movie that I don't think ever really got its due. Maybe because people still couldn't shut up about The 6th Sense. Or maybe not, but either way, it's something of an under-appreciated movie if you ask me. Oh, and looks like it sent you on something of a Harrison Ford kick...
Posted: 1 year, 12 months ago at Apr 21 2:27
Glad to see you enjoyed Shaolin Soccer! And nice to see a favorable response to Arachnophobia, which I haven't seen in years either despite it sitting on my shelf as of last October. One of these days....
Posted: 1 year, 11 months ago at Apr 24 11:57
Logan's Run is definitely a 'cult classic' and I film that I have seen way too many times to count. Supposedly there is a remake in the works starting Nicolas Refn and Ryan Gosling. I won't hold my breath ;)
Posted: 1 year, 11 months ago at Apr 26 17:32
A confirmed impending remake with Gosling starring in another Refn project would be enough to get me to finally sit down with the original.
Posted: 1 year, 11 months ago at Apr 27 0:25
Yeah Tremors is fun, but definitely not great. And you're right to stay away from the sequels. I tried one of them & couldn't sit through it for long.
Posted: 1 year, 11 months ago at Apr 28 0:39
Glad to see some positive feedback on The Raven. Been skeptical about it since I find it hard to picture Cusack making a good Poe. Also your thoughts on it give me an urge to send one of my most recent DVD purchases your way. ;)
Posted: 1 year, 11 months ago at Apr 29 0:01
maybe Mace Windu should have tried chaining Anakin to a radiator.


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