Watched November 1st - HDNet Movies - Rewatch
"I'll only say this once, I've never said it before -
This kind of certainty comes but just once in a lifetime."
- Robert Kincaid
After a month of horror movies, I decided to open up November with a change of pace and watch one of my favorite romantic movies. Hadn't seen Bridges Of Madison County in a while but it was even more wonderful than
I remembered it - Clint and Meryl are magical together.
Watched November 2nd - TCM - Rewatch
"Well, it's time to get out. We have to touch Indians,
we have to see the mountains and the prairies and
the whole rest of that song." - David Howard
I forgot about this movie when I made my under rated list (an over sight I have corrected) - it's about a married couple who decide to drop out of society and see America like the characters in Easy Rider, but make the mistake of stopping in Las Vegas first - Albert Brooks at his best.
Watched November 3rd - Amazon Streaming -
"I'm just upholding my oath as an attorney and doing my job. That's what you asked, that's what you told me to do." - Frederic Aiken
Robert Redford makes interesting movies and this one is no exception. It is a courtroom drama about a union soldier turned lawyer defending a woman accused of being involved in the conspiracy to assassinate President Lincoln.
The questions about the legitimacy of military tribunals and the ethics of the politics of fear are just as pertinent today as they were in the 1800's.
Watched November 3rd - Netflix DVD -
"Why can't you be happy for me and then go home and talk about me behind my back like a normal person?" - Lillian
I had heard that Bridesmaids was this year's The Hangover - so I had high expectations for it - Although the movie reminded me more of Bride Wars and Sex In The City than The Hangover, there were some funny moments and a couple laugh out loud hysterical moments. The ending was a bit predictable and cliched, but on the whole I like it.
Watched November 5th - VUDU Streaming -
"I had come this close to making an impact on the world, and now the only thing I was going to make an impact on was the sidewalk." - Eddie Morra
Interesting movie about a writer who starts taking a drug that allows him to access 100% of his brain, which allows him to learn things and solve problems instantly - I liked the premise of the movie and Bradley Cooper is very good, but I thought they could have done so much more with the idea besides having him do things like playing the stock market and the ending could have been more imaginative - maybe the makers of the movie should have taken this pill.
Watched November 5th - HDNet Movies - Rewatch
"I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter." -
Well, Baseball finally did away with Astroturf, now we just have to work on getting rid of the Designated hitter -
First time I have seen Bull Durham in a while and although I don't think it is Kevin Costner's best Baseball movie -
I liked Field of Dreams better - Bull Durham is still a good baseball movie and it is funnier than I remembered it - the highlight was Tim Robbins as 'Nuke' with his wild pitches - hitting the mascot was hysterical and something I am sure a lot of big league pitchers have wanted to do.
Watched November 5th - Netflix DVD -
"You know I can call anybody, they'd put it on the phone? The Pope, an astronaut, the wisest of the wise - Who do I have to call?" - Sonny Wortzik
I've noticed that I have not watched nearly enough Al Pacino movies, this is only the 8th I've seen, so I want to correct that this month by watching some of his classics that I haven't gotten around to yet - The bar is set pretty high for Pacino's best - The Godfather and Scarface - I don't think Dog Day Afternoon reached those heights but it's still a very good movie and Pacino is excellent in it - the look of exacerbation on his face after he tried to say goodbye to his wife was Priceless - my favorite moment in the movie.
Watched November 6th - HDNet Movies - Rewatch
"Oh, my dear little librarian - You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but
a lot of empty yesterdays - I don't know about you,
but I'd like to make today worth remembering." - Harold Hill
The Music Man has always been one of my top three favorite musicals, along with Oliver! and The Sound Of Music, but upon seeing it again, I think it has the #1 spot now. Robert Preston is perfection as Harold Hill, Shirley Jones' singing gave me chills and the ending is rousing - It's a fun, immensely entertaining and Beautiful movie - Makes me wish I could add an extra star.
Watched November 9th - Netflix DVD -
"You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order!" - Arthur Kirkland
Another Al Pacino classic that I finally got around to seeing - an excellent court room drama with Pacino, in another tour de force performance, as a lawyer forced to defend a judge that he despises - the movie does a good job of combining humor and drama and I love all the subplots that led up to the ending - an ending that rocked the house - And Justice For All is now one of my top 3 favorite Al Pacino movies
Watched - November 10th - Netflix DVD -
"That's the most important question to which I hope to find an answer - can man control his destiny, can he change the shape of things to come." - George Wells
I love Time Travel movies, but I never even knew this one existed until I saw it featured on the episode of The Big Bang Theory when Leonard buys the time machine used in the movie and puts it in his living room. It is one of my favorite episodes of the show, so naturally I had to see the movie the episode was based on - The special effects were a little cheesy compared to today's standards - but the movie has a lot of fun with the idea of time travel and the machine is very cool - I can see why Leonard wanted buy it.
Watched November 11th - Amazon Streaming -
1st Viewing - Rewatched on November 12th
"In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evil's might, beware my power - Green Lantern's light." - Hal Jordan/Green Lantern
I had heard bad things about this movie so I was fully prepared not to like it - however, the longer I watched it the more I liked it - The story was good, the characters were likable,the special effects were spectacular and the villain was awesome (picture The Nothing with Teeth]
Green Lantern has moved into the number one position as my favorite movie of 2011 up til now - and it has instantly become one of my favorite comic book movies
Watched November 15th - Netflix DVD -
"What's this for? For being an honest cop or for being stupid enough to get shot in the face?" - Frank Serpico
Continuing my Al Pacino film festival this month with Serpico - the story of an honest cop struggling to keep his honor and his sanity amid a sea of police corruption.
I liked the irony of Pacino playing the one honest man in
his next movie following playing Michael Corleone in The Godfather. The story is interesting, particularly because it is based on a true story, but it does drag at times and there is not a lot of action - I kind of wonder if this movie would have been made if he hadn't had such a cool last name - Pacino makes the movie with another excellent performance, but then in the 10 movies I've seen of his now I don't think I have seen Pacino give a bad performance.
Watched November 16th - Amazon Streaming - Rewatch
"And so it was the animals set out for home, they couldn't know it was 200 miles away, they only knew it somewhere off to the west, so they would follow the sun - The incredible journey had begun." - The Narrator
Ran across this movie on Amazon and just had to watch it again. 3 loyal pets make their way 200 miles across the wilds of Canada to get home to their owners. The Incredible Journey was one of my favorite stories growing up - I read the book over and over and loved the movie just as much.
Watched November 17th - Netflix DVD -
"You know, we are sitting here, you and I, like a couple of regular fellas. You do what you do, and I do what I gotta do. And now that we've been face to face, if I'm there and I gotta put you away, I won't like it - But I tell you, if it's between you and some poor bastard whose wife you're gonna turn into a widow, brother, you are going down." - Vincent Hanna
Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro in a scene together = Heaven. The scene in the restaurant was Outstanding and after watching it a few times I could swear they both smiled at each other during it - I think they enjoyed the scene too. The problem was the the rest of the movie, which was way to long and drawn out with to many extraneous characters and subplots - When you've got Pacino and DeNiro in the same movie - you don't need anything else - I also thought DeNiro's character was one of his least interesting villains, but that might have been the fault of the director, who
also somehow managed to make Muhammad Ali boring, but
Pacino and DeNiro rise above the material and make Heat an entertaining showdown between two masters of the art.
Watched November 21st - TCM - Rewatch
"Aye, It was Moby Dick that tore my soul and body until they bled into each other, aye, I'll follow him around the Horn, and around the Norway maelstrom, and around perdition's flames before I give him up." - Captain Ahab
It has been many years since I've watched Moby Dick-
the epic tale of Captain Ahab and his obsession with killing his great white whale - I had forgotten that some of the best lines Khan used when battling Captain Kirk in Star Trek II were from Moby Dick - which made watching this movie again all the more fun - and I had forgotten how terrific the ending was - that was one Seriously ticked off whale.
Watched November 22nd - Netflix DVD -
"I'll tell you something, car rental guys don't get killed that much." - Carlito Brigante
Honestly, I really do have to write a letter to Al Pacino and apologize for taking so long to watch so many of his movies - Carlito's Way is another great one - this time Pacino is an ex-con who wants to do nothing more than stay clean and buy into a car rental business in the Caribbean -
it is kind of the flip side of Scarface - where as Tony Montana was trying to break into the drug business, Carlito was trying to break out of it, but as Michael Corleone would say - just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in - and speaking of the Corleones - I am looking forward to watching The Godfather trilogy on Thanksgiving.
Watched November 24th - Amazon Streaming - Rewatch
"Bad things happen, but you can still live" - Joe Lamb
I first watched Super 8 in the theaters last Summer and liked it a lot, upon seeing it a second time my opinion of the movie has gone down a bit. It starts off like The Goonies, with a bunch of loud, obnoxious kids making a home movie about zombies, then after a big train crash, it becomes more like Alien - with a nasty rarely seen creature killing everything in sight - and the ending reminded me of E.T. - with a lonely boy missing a parent helping a lost Alien find his way home. Separately any one of these elements would have made a good movie - but together they make Super 8 a bit of a mess. There is still enough action and entertainment to make the movie enjoyable, but it doesn't rise to the level of a sci-fi classic, which is shame - because it could have been one.
Watched November 26th - VUDU Streaming - Rewatch
"There are many things my father taught me here in this room, he taught me - keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." - Michael Corleone
It took me a little longer to watch The Godfather Part 2 again than I anticipated because of a glitch on VUDU, but it was well worth the wait. It is the 2nd time I've viewed the movie in its entirety and, as happened after my second full viewing of the The Godfather, I now have a deeper and greater appreciation for it - I still wonder if maybe it would have been even better as two separate movies, but also realize that it is an amazing movie just the way it is -
my only quibble with Part II, and the reason it gets a nine instead of a ten is the fate of poor Fredo - that was mean, and I thought it was even meaner the 2nd time around - yes Fredo was spineless, gullible and not very bright -
but he didn't deserve a bullet to the back of the head
like he was Lenny in 'Of Mice and Men', especially after he apologized and begged forgiveness - Michael was Heartless
Watched November 26th - Netflix DVD -
"Just when I thought I was out - they pull me back in." - Michael Corleone
In retrospect, probably not a good idea to have my first viewing of The Godfather Part 3 immediately after Part 2 - because Part 3 suffers greatly in comparison - for openers if I didn't no better I wouldn't think the Michael Corleones in parts 2 and 3 were even related let alone the same person - when did Michael become so Zen? Then there was the plot, which had something to do with Michael trying to give money to the Vatican and that resulting in people getting killed for some reason - it also involved the death of
Pope John Paul I - which I thought bordered on bad taste. Unlike the first two movies, not a whole lot happens in this one, I kept waiting for something to happen that would set Michael off and turn him back to the dark side - which finally does happen, and it's a very good scene, but then the movie just ends. The parts I did like - The flashbacks to the first two movies, Michael confessing to a Priest that he killed Fredo and crying about it(glad he at least felt bad) and the very last scene with Michael couldn't compensate for the rather mundane rest of the movie - which makes it all the more regrettable Part 2 wasn't divided into two movies so The Godfather could've been a proper trilogy and this movie never would have been needed, which it wasn't
Watched November 30th - Netflix DVD -
"I just wanna say that you are the craziest person I've seen today since the guy blocking the bank door, he was wearing a Superman cape and pantyhose, crazier than you are - maybe not." - Ivan Travalian
Finishing my Pacino film festival and wrapping up the month with a double feature of Al Pacino's change of pace movies. The first is Author! Author! - it is a comedy about a depressed playwright whose wife leaves him, forcing him to deal with her four kids which she left behind, at the same time he is trying to launch a play that could make his career - the movie is uneven, but there are some funny moments and even though it is a comedy there is still a Pacino slant to it - especially with the way he deals with his wife who has a habit of marrying men and then leaving them. It is the kind of movie I am more used to seeing Dustin Hoffman in than Al Pacino (and Pacino even resembles Hoffman in this movie) but he does a good job with it as always.
Watched November 30th - Netflix DVD -
"You have a right to know, it is not really a plan Charlie - it's more like a tour, a little tour of pleasures - stay in a first class hotel, eat an agreeable meal, drink a nice glass of wine, see my big brother - nothing like family you know - and then make love to a terrific woman - after that I'm going to lay down on my big beautiful bed at the Waldorf and blow my brains out." - Frank Slade
Ending my Al Pacino film fest with his Oscar winning role in Scent Of A Woman - about a prep school student who agrees to look after a blind ex-military man while his family is away for Thanksgiving weekend, and gets a lot more than he bargained for. Pacino is terrific as the blind man who wants to complete a bucket list before ending it all and enlists Charlie's help in doing it - he justifiably won an Oscar for the role - my problem was with Chris O'Donnell, who I don't think was a strong enough actor to go toe to toe with Pacino. I know Charlie was supposed to be honorable and courageous, but for the most part I found him kind of annoying and I thought the ending was anti-climatic and a little hokey, I actually could have done without the whole prep school prank subplot - the relationship between Frank and Charlie was far more interesting to me. My favorite scene was Pacino doing the Tango - which was beautiful and passes Arnold's in 'True Lies' as my favorite movie tango. My Al Pacino film festival was successful in increasing the number of his movies that I've seen to 15 - I don't think I left out any of his classics, now I have to work on adding them to my DVD collection.
At The Movies
Movies I watch in the theater - hopefully this section will
motivate me to get out to see movies in the theater more often.
Watched November 4th - 2:35PM -
"I will blow your face clean off your face!" - Slide
I wasn't a fan of the Ocean's movies and Tower Heist is clearly a rip off of them - However, I liked this movie better than the Ocean's movies I think because Heist is played mostly for laughs. It has a great cast with Ben Stiller, Alan Alda, Mathew Broderick and Judd Hirsch - but I don't think any of them were used as well as they could have been -
to me Tower Heist belongs to Eddie Murphy, who has his best role outside of a talking donkey in a very long time.
Watched November 14th - 12:30PM -
"Well, sometimes you need to bend the rules a little
in order to keep your country safe." - J. Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover was one of the most interesting and controversial people of the 20th century - he was the most powerful law enforcement figure in the United States for over 40 years - so I was looking forward to seeing this movie - however, I left disappointed -
First the movie focuses on the beginning of Hoover's career and the end - saying nothing at all about the years between the Lindbergh kidnapping and the Kennedy Assassination - which left out a lot of potentially interesting material, instead the movie spent way to much time focusing on Hoover's personal life. -
The second problem was the cast - Leonardo Dicaprio was adequate as Hoover - but his performance lacked depth, and I never thought he truly lost himself in the role as George C. Scott did with Patton and Ben Kingsley did with Gandhi - the rest of the cast ranged from average to horrid - the actors playing RFK and Charles Lindbergh were particularly bad - worse, no actor at all played key historical figures such as FDR, JFK and MLK - which was just plain laziness on the part of the film makers.
Thirdly I thought the movie was very slanted and biased toward pointing out the negatives of Hoover's career while refusing to give him any credit for the positives - for sure
J. Edgar Hoover did a lot of underhanded and even criminal things - especially the wire tapping in the 60's - however, to make it seem like he never did anything good for the country at all is I don't think entirely accurate - I would have preferred the even handed approach Ron Howard brought to Frost/Nixon, instead J. Edgar was the kind of Bio Pic I would have expected from Oliver Stone - I expected better from Clint Eastwood and felt cheated out of what could have been and should have been a great movie.
From The Archives
Movies watched from my own collection.
Totals For The Month
Saw 31 movies this month which is a nice number, averages out to about 1 movie a day - which is what I would like to stick to. Saw two movies in the theater which will probably be about average for the winter months, especially after the sticker shock of the ticket prices ($9.50 for a matinee?) I want to watch more movies from my own collection, I saw 8 but want to average about 10 a month - even at that rate it would take me 3 years to watch every movie in my collection.
10 - Netflix DVD
8 - My Own DVD Collection
4 - Amazon Streaming
3 - HDNet Movies
2 - Movie Theater
2 - TCM
2 - VUDU Streaming
10 Stars - 12
And Justice For All (First Viewing)
Green Lantern (First Viewing)
The Bridges Of Madison County (ReWatch)
Lost In America (ReWatch)
The Music Man (ReWatch)
The Incredible Journey (ReWatch)
An Officer and A Gentleman (ReWatch)
Same Time Next Year (ReWatch)
Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory (ReWatch)
The Godfather (ReWatch)
9 Stars - 1
The Godfather: Part II (ReWatch)
8 Stars - 6
The Conspirator (First Viewing)
Dog Day Afternoon (First Viewing)
The Time Machine (First Viewing)
Carlito's Way (First Viewing)
Moby Dick (ReWatch)
Prizzi's Honor (ReWatch)
7 Stars - 7
Bridesmaids (First Viewing)
Serpico (First Viewing
Heat (First Viewing)
Scent Of A Woman (First Viewing)
Super 8 (ReWatch)
Bull Durham (ReWatch)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (ReWatch)
The Godfather: Part III (First Viewing)
J. Edgar (First Viewing)
Movie Of The Month - Best Movie seen for the first time
AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
I enjoyed recording my month long horror fest in October, so I am evolving it into a monthly movie log. I used to keep a movie log back before the internet and it will be fun to start one up again - The log will be very much a work in progress, but for now I think it will have three sections - Movies I watch in the theater, Movies I watch from my own collection and my Captain's Log for everything else - I don't think I will make it to 70 movies like I did last month, those kind of marathons are just for special occasions, but we'll see how it develops.