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Added by portlander

on 1 Aug 2013 07:00

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Portlander's Movie Log - August, 2013

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Sort by: Showing 32 items
People who added this item 398  Average listal rating (247 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating 7.2 
1. The Trouble with Harry (1955)

Watched August 4th - Amazon Streaming
1st Viewing

"Well, Sam, if anybody's through it's Harry - he's been buried three times." - Jennifer Rogers

The Trouble with Harry is a light hearted change of pace movie from Alfred Hitchcock about a small New England town where a dead body turns up, and the towns people try to figure out how he got there and what to do with the body - It wasn't exactly what I expected, I though the humor was going to be a little more broad and outlandish, instead it was more subtle and tongue in cheek - there are some very funny moments, but most of the time it was just merely amusing - I did like the characters, and all the actors gave nice performances, particularly Shirley MacLaine and John Forsythe - so while I wouldn't call this essential Hitchcock by any means - it's a fun and entertaining movie to watch.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 769  Average listal rating (470 ratings) 7.5  IMDB Rating 7.5 
2. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Watched August 5th - Library DVD - Rewatch

"I know this is mysterious Morocco, but were not going to loose our head, our we?" - Benjamin McKenna

I concluded my focus on the films of Alfred Hitchcock by watching one of my favorites - The Man Who Knew To Much, in which Hitchcock remade one of his own movies, it is about a family from Indiana vacationing in Morocco when they get caught up in an international mystery involving an assassination plot. The story is good and moves quickly, reaching a crescendo at The Royal Albert music hall - which was thrilling and I think matched the best final sequences of any Hitchcock film - I particularly liked the use of music rather than words to build the tension - Jimmy Stewart and Dorris Day are also very good as the couple who get caught up in the plot, I also liked the song Day sung - Que Sera, Sera - and how it was used in the climax, I think this is one of Hitchcock's more overlooked and under rated movies, but it's a very good film - a nice way to end my Hitchcock focus.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 3535  Average listal rating (2315 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating 7.4 
3. The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Watched August 11th - My brother's DVD collection - Rewatch

I can't believe we're paying to see something we get on TV for free - if you ask me, everybody in this theater is a giant sucker." - Homer Simpson

The Simpsons Movie still plays like an extra long episode of the TV show, but it doesn't matter because the film is still just as funny and fun to watch as the show was in its heyday - I wish they would hurry up and make another one.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 72  Average listal rating (43 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating 6.2 
4. The Lonely Guy (1984)

Watched August 29th - My DVD collection - Rewatch

"I don't like to take naps, I don't like to wake up more than once a day - 'Cause when I first wake up I get that shock of who I am and everything, I really don't like to do that more than once a day." - Warren Evans

The Lonely Guy has always been one of my favorite Steve Martin films, partly because I have certainly gone through my periods of being a lonely guy, so some of the bits like looking for an apartment and eating alone at a restaurant were relatable as well as being hysterical, The chemistry between Martin and Charles Grodin was terrific - Larry and Warren's friendship was endearing, sad and humorous all at the same time - they made for one of my all time favorite screen friendships - I also liked the romance between Larry and Iris - which was sweet and funny - The Lonely Guy isn't on the AFI top comedy list, but it sure would be on mine.
portlander's rating:

Continuing my look back at the movies of 1983
People who added this item 756  Average listal rating (467 ratings) 6.1  IMDB Rating 6.8 
5. Risky Business (1983)
Release Date - August 5th, 1983
Box Office Gross - $63,541,777

Watched August 1st - My DVD collection - Rewatch

"Joel, you wanna know something? - every now and then say what the fuck - what the fuck gives you freedom, freedom brings opportunity, opportunity makes your future."
- Miles

Started off the month by watching one of the true classics of 1983 - Risky Business - about a High School senior who is left at home when his parents go away for a couple of weeks on a trip and decides to try walking on the wild side - it is in the same vein as Ferris Bueller's Day Off only it has a darker, grittier tone to it - it is just as funny though and the film is probably responsible for many a teenaged, the parents are away, parties during the 80's - I loved the movie when it first came out, but it had been a long time since I had seen it, so my memory of it faded a bit - but on seeing it again I loved it just as much as I did the first time - Good story, colorful characters, memorable quotes and of course Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear to Old Time Rock and Roll - one of my all time favorite movie moments.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 62  Average listal rating (41 ratings) 5.9  IMDB Rating 6.1 
6. Yellowbeard (1983)
Release Date - June 24th, 1983
Box Office Gross - $4,300,000

Watched August 7th - Library DVD - Rewatch

"Dieing, you know I've been in here fifteen years, you won't catch me dieing - they'll have to kill me before I die."
- Captain Yellowbeard

I watched Yellowbeard when it first came out, mainly because three of the pythons were in it, but even though I do love the pythons, I have not watched it again in the 30 years since, and now I remember why - it was a surprisingly awful movie - the cast is top shelf - John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, James Mason, Marty Feldman, Pete Boyle, Madeline Kahn - even David Bowie shows up - on the down side Cheech and Chong were also in it, who I have never been a fan of - Despite all the talent though the film is just a disorganized, rambling, unfunny mess - it is a parody of pirate movies, specifically Treasure Island and Mutiny on the Bounty - and the pirate genre was ripe for a parody, so why not get a director like Mel Brooks, who lives to make parodies, especially when several of his troupe were in the cast - an unknown director was just not going to be able to reign in that many stars and make a coherent movie out of it - I read John Cleese called Yellowbeard one of the six worst films in the history of the world, while I wouldn't go That far - it was one of the worst films of 1983.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 180  Average listal rating (119 ratings) 4.5  IMDB Rating 4.4 
7. Staying Alive (1983)
Release Date - July 15th, 1983
Box Office Gross - $64,892,670

Watched August 20th - Netflix Streaming - Rewatch

"An accent doesn't make someone intelligent - if it did, you'd be Einstein." - Jackie

After watching On Her Majesty's Secret Service, I watched another movie that gets a bad rap - Staying Alive, it is the sequel to Saturday Night Fever and it regularly gets listed among the worst sequels ever made. I don't remember if I have watched Saturday Night Fever or not, in any case I don't have a deep emotional connection to it, so I enjoyed Staying Alive as its own movie the first time I saw it and seeing it again thirty years later I still liked it, I did forget the movie was directed by Sylvester Stallone, and the film has the same glossy MTV video look to it that Rocky III had - the story is lighter than air, and the good girl vs the bad girl triangle is a familiar one, but it is acted well and the stormy chemistry between John Travolta and Finola Hughes was palpable. There is plenty of good music and dancing in the movie, and no disco which is a plus, and it looks pretty much like you would expect a musical that is directed by Sylvester Stallone to look like - Rocky takes Broadway - but while it may not be the iconic film Saturday Night Fever is, Staying Alive is a fun, fast paced and very entertaining film.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 652  Average listal rating (450 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.3 
8. The Dead Zone (1983)
Release Date - October 21st, 1983
Box Office Gross - $20,766,616

Watched August 24th - Library DVD - Rewatch

"I had this figured out all wrong, I always thought my power was a curse, but now I can see it's a gift." - Johnny Smith

I watched The Dead Zone for the first time last year and had mixed feelings about it, and maybe it was just because I was so bored by the last movie I watched, but I liked it much better this time around - the things that annoyed me about it the first time are what I liked about it this time - I liked the slow build and how you didn't really know where it was going until the ending - Christopher Walken is excellent as a man with clairvoyant visions of the future that he doesn't want and can't control, his character is fascinating to watch as he deals with visions and the moral questions they pose to him - it is more of a supernatural thriller than a horror movie, but it's a well done Stephen King adaption.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 112  Average listal rating (58 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating 6.5 
9. Brainstorm (1983)
Release Date - September 30th, 1983
Box Office Gross - $10,219,460

Watched August 28th - Library DVD - Rewatch

"I want these personal experiments stopped, you abused your responsibility, you endangered your life - I want a mind I can use, I don't want some kind of vegetable - the idea of playing that tape is sick, it makes my skin crawl."
- Alex Terson

Brainstorm is another 1983 Christopher Walken movie that I watched for the first time last year - I liked the film the first time and enjoyed it just as much this time around, so I thought I'd repeat my comments from my June, 2012 log:
1983 was one of my all time favorite movie years, I set a personal record, that I've never come close to since, by going to the movie theater 100 times that year - so I am sure I saw Brainstorm back then, but it's one of those movies that fell through the cracks over the years and I forgot about it - the movie is a sci-fi story about a brain boosting machine through which you can experience other people's senses, memories, feelings and emotions - of course the Government has to get involved and try to take over and use the machine for their own purposes - the government did a lot of that in 80's movies. Christopher Walken stars as a scientist who wants to use the machine to boldly go where no man has gone before, while at the same time trying to defeat the plans of the unscrupulous government scientists - it instantly becomes one of my favorite performances by Walken and although the list of my favorite '83 movies is a long one, Brainstorm now has a place among them - it was an entertaining movie and I am thankful to jaytoast for bringing the film to my attention.

portlander's rating:

My quest to watch all of the James Bond films in order.
People who added this item 1096  Average listal rating (744 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.3 
10. Dr. No (1962)

Watched August 2nd - Netflix Streaming -
1st Viewing

"Bond - James Bond." - James Bond

Netflix has all the James Bond Movies on streaming again, so I am going to make them my focus the next couple months and run through them all in order or until Netflix yanks them again - Starting with the very first Bond movie, Dr. No - about a mad scientist with no hands bent on destroying the US space program. - it was interesting watching the first Bond movie knowing that if it had not gone well there wouldn't have been a Bond Franchise with 20 odd movies - but Sean Connery was excellent and captured the essence of Bond instantly, it was fun seeing all the firsts in the movie - first time the theme music was used, first Bond- James Bond introduction, meeting Moneypenny for the first time - first martini, shaken not stirred - the first Bond car - a Sunbeam Alpine - the first Bond Girl and the first Bond Villain - the story flowed well but it took a long time to meet Dr. No - and by the time he showed up he wasn't nearly as impressive as the build up made him seem, although the fish tank was pretty cool - he was also not nearly a smart as he seemed to think he was, or he might've put Bond in a cell without an escape hatch and while I liked the first mention of SPECTRE, I wasn't completely clear on what he was trying to accomplish, but despite a few flaws it was a very entertaining first outing for James Bond and I could see why he became so iconic.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 931  Average listal rating (618 ratings) 7.1  IMDB Rating 7.5 
11. From Russia with Love (1963)

Watched August 4th - Netflix Streaming -
1st Viewing

"Red wine with fish - well, that should have told me something." - James Bond

From Russia With Love was the second Bond film and though I hadn't seen it before, it had one of my favorite titles in the series - it is about SPECTRE's attempt to exact revenge on Bond for the death of Dr. No in the first film, while trying to get their hands on a Russian cryptograph - the first half of the movie is convoluted and moves slowly, but it picks up quickly though in the second half once Bond meets his Russian contact - I enjoyed the scenes on the Orient Express and the action scenes with the Boats and the helicopter were well done - I especially liked the nod to North By Northwest, ironic since Cary Grant was considered for the role of Bond - I didn't think the villains or the Bond girl were very strong in this one and the story was not that compelling, so I didn't like this film as much as Dr. No, but it does have some good moments and Sean Connery was again excellent as 007, as he perfected the winning formula that would be used in all the Bond films to follow this one.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 1282  Average listal rating (828 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating 7.8 
12. Goldfinger (1964)

Watched August 6th - Netflix Streaming - Rewatch

"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die - there is nothing you could talk to me about that I don't already know."
- Auric Goldfinger

Goldfinger was the third James Bond film and it might be the best in the series, at least of the ones I have seen so far - it is when the Bond movies really hit their stride - it was the first movie with a before the credits opening scene, which was exciting as well as amusing, it was the first movie with a song over the opening credits - Goldfinger, which is one of the best songs in the series and it was also the debut of Bond's specially equipped Auston Martin, complete with ejection seat - one of the coolest cars ever seen in the movies, who hasn't dreamed of owning a car like that one? - Pussy Galore was one of my favorite Bond girls, and not just because she had the funniest name in the series, but because she had moxie which made her a match for Bond, instead of just fawning all over him the entire movie like in the previous film - the villains were also among the best in the series - Auric Goldfinger and his unceasing quest for Gold along with his henchman Oddjob and his lethal flying hat - this is an all around terrific film - if you don't like Goldfinger, you probably wont like the Bond movies, because they simply don't get any better than this.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 633  Average listal rating (432 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating
13. Thunderball (1965)

Watched August 14th - Netflix Streaming -
1st Viewing

"My dear girl, don't flatter yourself, what I did this evening was for Queen and country - you don't think it gave me any pleasure, do you?" - James Bond

Thunderball was the fourth entry in the Bond series and I thought it was the weakest of the Connery Bond films I have seen so far - the story involves SPECTRE obtaining two nuclear bombs and threatening to detonate them if they are not paid a ransom - much of the movie was filmed under water, which rarely works very well - it was dark and murky and in the final big under sea battle I couldn't even tell who Bond was, another problem was the sound - the effects and music were much louder than the dialog, which was more netflix's problem I think than the films, but still, it ranged from distracting to obnoxious - I also didn't think the Bond girl and villain were that great in this one - although I did like the pool of sharks, it reminded me of Austin Powers and Dr. Evil wanting sharks with laser beams on their heads - Sean Connery was excellent again, but I liked this movie better when it was later remade as Never Say Never Again.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 667  Average listal rating (438 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating 6.9 
14. You Only Live Twice (1967)

Watched August 18th - Netflix Streaming - Rewatch

"You only live twice, Mr. Bond." - Ernst Blofeld.

I first watched You Only Live Twice a couple years ago because I needed a Y for my A-Z list, I thought it was OK, but had already forgotten a lot of it - seeing it again I did like it better - the beginning and ending are particularly good and Donald Pleasence was just great as Blofeld, an added plus that with his cat and very cool volcano hideout - he was obviously the inspiration for Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies - he ranks as my favorite Bond villain now after Goldfinger - I just wish there had been more of him as the middle part of the movie drags at times and there isn't as much action as is expected in a Bond film - I'd also have to question the premise, as I hope the USA or USSR would not of started WWIII without knowing all of the facts first.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 518  Average listal rating (345 ratings) 6.5  IMDB Rating 6.8 
15. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

Watched August 20th - Netflix Streaming -
1st Viewing

"This never happened to the other fellow." - James Bond

Sean Connery stepped away from the role of James Bond briefly in 1969 and George Lazenby got the thankless task of replacing him for one movie - On Her Majesty's Secret Service - and as much as I was expecting to hate this movie, it really wasn't as awful as its reputation suggested - Lazenby was a new comer to films and had none of the charisma and screen presence of Connery, but he was passable as Bond - the worst casting decision was actually casting Telly Savalas as Blofeld, instead of bringing back Donald Pleasence, it in essence made Blofeld a completely different character - the story was good, I liked the romance - a real romance was a first for Bond and it was nicely done, I felt like I was watching Out of Africa at times - the film also boasts one of the best and longest chase scenes in the Bond movies, lasting nearly 15 minutes and the ending was unlike any other Bond film I've seen to date - so despite Lazenby's short comings as 007, it really isn't all that bad.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 722  Average listal rating (469 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 6.7 
16. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Watched August 30th - Netflix Streaming -
1st Viewing

"Now don't tell me - you're St. Peter?" - James Bond

I closed out the month by watching the last of the official Sean Connery Bond movies - Diamonds are Forever, it was to bad he didn't stay for Her Majesty's Secret Service and make that his final Bond film, because despite all the flak it gets, that movie actually had the better story - I liked the beginning segment, which continued the Blofeld storyline and I liked the opening song, but then the movie wastes an hour with Bond involved in a diamond smuggling case, and while it did provide some humorous moments, it was rather pedestrian work for 007 - the movie finally picks up with a good twist and I liked the final battle on the oil rig, but it seemed like Connery was running out of gas as Bond, so it probably was the right time for him to step away from the series, my estimation of him as James Bond went up considerably though after watching the six films he did, I will be moving on to the Roger Moore films next month and it will be interesting to see if he remains my favorite Bond.
portlander's rating:

Movies I watched on the AFI top 100 comedies list.
People who added this item 1229  Average listal rating (770 ratings) 8.4  IMDB Rating 8.5 
17. The Great Dictator (1940)

Watched August 2nd - Library DVD -
1st Viewing

"To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair - the misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress, the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people will return to the people - and so long as men die, liberty will never perish." - A Jewish Barber

The Great Dictator was Charlie Chaplin's first talking picture and he proved to be just as brilliant in talkies as he was in silent films - the movie is a biting and very funny satire of Nazi Germany, made all the more amazing in that it was released when Hitler was at the height of his power, the film also shines the light on the Antisemitism that was occurring in Nazi Germany at the time, made all the more perceptive and poignant in that Chaplin did not even realize the full extent of the horrors that were occurring in the concentration camps at the time - it is a funny, emotional, brave film and the highlight was Chaplin's speech at the end of it, which was really a rallying cry to a shaken world.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 526  Average listal rating (333 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating 7.7 
18. The Producers (1967)

Watched August 7th - Library DVD -
1st Viewing

"How could this happen? - I was so careful - I picked the wrong play, the wrong director, the wrong cast - where did I go right?" - Max Bialystock

I had heard a lot about The Producers before seeing it - it was remade, then became a hit broadway play and was even parodied on Curb Your Enthusiasm, still it was a movie I avoided because it didn't sound like a movie I would like, even with the great Mel Brooks directing - it turned out to be a little better than I expected, but not by much - it is about two broadway producers who set out to become rich by producing a sure fire flop, Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder were funny as the producers but I didn't think the rest of the cast was that great or very funny and the play they produced, Springtime for Hitler, really was truly awful, so it didn't make a lot of sense to me that their plan backfired - it's another film on the AFI list that I found to be overrated.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 271  Average listal rating (157 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating 8.2 
19. The Thin Man (1934)

Watched August 14th - Library DVD -
1st Viewing

"Waiter, will you serve the nuts? - I mean, will you serve the guests the nuts?" - Nora Charles

The Thin Man is one of those movies on the AFI list that I really don't understand its inclusion, even though there are a few amusing scenes and lines, it is basically a whodunnit murder mystery, not a comedy, and again maybe if it hadn't been on the list I would have liked it better - the story was uninvolving and hard to follow and I couldn't keep track of the characters and how they related to each other - I did like Nick and Nora Charles as the detectives trying to solve the case, and I liked the final scene, but on the whole this seemed like a movie that worked much better in the 1930's.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 206  Average listal rating (118 ratings) 7.5  IMDB Rating
20. The Awful Truth (1937)

Watched August 24th - Library DVD -
1st Viewing

"Oh, how can I believe you? - the car broke down - people stopped believing that one before cars started breaking down." - Jerry Warriner

The Awful Truth was an uninvolving comedy about a divorcing couple who try to sabotage each other's attempts at new relationships - I normally love Cary Grant, but he had no comedic chemistry with Irene Dunn here, there were hardly any laughs, I smiled a few times but that's about it, and the story was tepid at best - it was fun seeing Ralph Bellamy in an early role, but other than that it was a quickly forgettable film and another strike for the AFI comedy list.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 314  Average listal rating (182 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating 7.7 
21. Vera Drake (2004)
Recommended by lotr23

Watched August 21st - Library DVD -
1st Viewing

"Whatever she done, she done it out of the goodness of her heart." - Stanley Drake

Vera Drake is the story of a good hearted woman in 1950's England who is a dotting wife and mother, but who also secretly preforms illegal abortions - it is a very well acted character study, and shows the pain Vera and her family went through, however it is mostly a slow moving, just the facts story, so we never learn that much about Vera and her motivations for doing what she was doing and her constant crying and mumbling after she was caught began to get tedious, I would rather have seen her stand up for herself, also, even though the set up was there, the film does not really add much to the abortion debate when it could have, so even though it had potential, I came away disappointed.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 543  Average listal rating (375 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating 6.6 
22. Attack the Block (2011)
Recommended by Mackenzi

Watched August 26th - Library DVD -
1st Viewing - Rewatched August 26th

"Dogs? dogs with glow in the dark jaws? dogs with no eyes? dogs the size of gorillas? - you think them things are dogs? - go out there and try feeding them some pedigree chum - they're aliens, luv." - Pest

Attack the Block puts a nice twist on the alien invasion story - its about a gang of inner city street kids in London who battle a alien force of monsters - the monsters look like Langoliers with legs - it is a really good story with well drawn characters - my problem with it was the slang plus the cockney accents made it hard to understand what the characters were saying at times - so I watched it again with the subtitles on, which I am glad I did as I got more of the humor in the movie the second time - it reminded me of Super 8, but unlike that movie Attack the Block sticks with its premise and stays true to its story instead of having a mushy, muddled ending like Super 8 did - in the long list of alien movies, it has instantly becomes one of my favorites.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 390  Average listal rating (267 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating 6.5 
23. Batman: The Movie (1966)
Recommended by Ricky49er

Watched August 15th - Netflix Streaming - Rewatch

"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb." - Batman

I loved the TV show Batman when I was growing up, so I really enjoyed Batman: The Movie when I first watched it, but it had been a long time since I had seen it, so I am thankful to Ricky49er for giving me the impetus to watch it again. The TV show was known for its campiness and cheesiness and this movie is every bit of that, in fact it revels in it and was in on the joke most of the time, at least I think it was, some of the scenes, such as Batman fighting off a shark with Bat shark repellent and Batman trying to dispose of a bomb, are just hysterical - nice of Robin to suggest that Batman should have just dumped the bomb in the bar by the way - I also liked that they brought together the four main villains from the TV series to battle the Dynamic Duo - my one complaint is the movie went to long by dragging scenes out and could've been cut back 15 minutes, otherwise it's just as much fun as I remembered.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 194  Average listal rating (125 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 6.5 
24. Killing Zoe (1993)
Recommended by the giraffe

Watched August 19th - Netflix Streaming -
1st Viewing

"Never let a girl come between two men." - Eric

Killing Zoe is a movie in the vein of the Al Pacino classic Dog Day Afternoon, about a bank robbery gone very very wrong - it's never a good idea to go on an all night drug binge the night before you plan to rob a bank - the story is very good, fast paced and exciting - I liked the characters and thought Eric Stoltz and Jean-Hugues Anglade as the two friends who plan the robbery were excellent - from the opening of the movie I thought the story might be a little more light hearted, but although there are some laughs, the robbery is brutal and violent - a combination I should have expected seeing Quentin Tarantino's name in the credits - there were a couple parts that could have been stronger, and I don't know if I fully bought Zoe and Zed having such a deep connection after spending only one night together - it would have been great though if they had turned out to be the couple in the beginning of Pulp Fiction - but despite a couple of quibbles, on the whole it's a terrific heist film.
portlander's rating:

Movies I watched that are leaving Netflix streaming this month.
People who added this item 169  Average listal rating (99 ratings) 5.9  IMDB Rating 5.9 
25. Canadian Bacon (1995)

Watched August 25th - Netflix Streaming -
1st Viewing

"There's a time to think and a time to act - and this, gentlemen, is no time to think." - Bud Boomer

I have wanted to watch Canadian Bacon for a long time,
but something would always distract me and it wouldn't happen, but since it is scheduled to leave Netflix Streaming this month, I figured now was the time - it was about an American President who decides to create a phony crises with Canada in order to boost his popularity ratings, I had heard a lot about the movie but had no idea it was directed by Michael Moore, which I found to be wonderfully ironic considering he would go on to make Fahrenheit 9/11 - sadly showing it really was that easy to scare people into a war - It is a funny movie that has a lot of fun with the differences between the American and Canadian cultures, and how they ginned up hatred for Canada reminded me of the Southpark song Blame Canada, and there are very funny performances by Alan Alda, Rhea Perlman and John Candy, in his last film - I didn't think the ending worked all that well as it didn't make much sense, but otherwise I thought this was a very good, perceptive satire and an entertaining movie to watch.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 237  Average listal rating (145 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating 7.1 
26. No Way Out (1987)

Watched August 25th - Netflix Streaming - Rewatch

"Thank God its not a bullshit detector or none of us would get in." - Susan Atwell

I really enjoyed No Way Out the first time I watched it, it is a very good political thriller about a murder investigation within the pentagon - but it had been a while since I'd seen it and I didn't to remember much about it except that killer ending - mostly on account of that ending though, I didn't think it held up quite as well on a second viewing, as some things that happened didn't seem to make sense, but it is still an exciting story and one of Kevin Costner's best roles.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 66  Average listal rating (49 ratings) 5.8  IMDB Rating 5.7 
27. Delirious (1991)

Watched August 26th - Netflix Streaming -
1st Viewing

"This can't be - I must be dead - I am dead, I'm in Hell - and my punishment is spending eternity on my own show!" - Jack Gable

Delirious is another John Candy movie I never had gotten around to seeing - it is about a soap opera writer who finds himself a character on his own show after a car accident - and gets to write it as he goes along - I like Soaps, so I enjoyed the satire of the genre in this movie - although it was not as sharp as in Tootsie, it was still pretty funny, my favorite part being when he writes a scene while drunk - not everything works, and it is by no means a great movie, but even more than Canadian Bacon, it really hit me watching it how much I miss John Candy - I would have liked to of seen more films from him, it is a shame he didn't get the chance.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 939  Average listal rating (591 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.6 
28. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Watched August 28th - Netflix Streaming-
1st Viewing

"You haven't seen the worst of it - these last few days have been very controlled - I knock things over and throw up all the time - right now I feel really good, you're like some kind of antidote that mixes with the liquor and keeps me in balance, but that won't last forever." - Ben Sanderson

For some reason I always thought that Leaving Las Vegas was comedy - that it was certainly not - it is more like a modern day Lost Weekend or Days of Wine and Roses - and just like those two great films, it is unflinching in showing the shattering affects of alcoholism - it is about a down and out alcoholic who travels to Las Vegas with the intention of drinking himself to death, and meets a kindred spirit in a lonely prostitute - the first five minutes of the movie were so disturbing that I almost turned the movie off, but I stuck with it and as much as I wanted to turn away from these two self destructive people, they were riveting to watch - I'm not always a Nicholas Cage fan, but I think he gives his very best performance here and Elizabeth Shue is excellent as well - It is one of the most depressing films I have ever seen and I may not ever watch it again, but I am glad that I watched it once, as it's an excellent portrait of alcoholism.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 578  Average listal rating (335 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating 7.7 
29. The Muppet Movie (1979)

Watched August 29th - Netflix Streaming - Rewatch

"Miss Tracy, prepare the standard rich and famous contract for Kermit the Frog and company." - Lew Lord

I couldn't let The Muppet Movie go off streaming without watching it again - I have always enjoyed the muppets from their beginnings on Sesame Street, right through to their latest movie - but this first movie of theirs, about how the muppets got their start, might have been their finest moment - good humored, warm hearted and full of great cameos - from Steve Martin to Bob Hope to Mel Brooks - even, amazingly, Orson Wells, it is a lot of fun to watch.
portlander's rating:

Movies I watched in the theater
People who added this item 909  Average listal rating (607 ratings) 6.9  IMDB Rating 7.1 
30. Pacific Rim (2013)

Watched August 5th - 12:30PM - Movie Theater -
1st Viewing

"Today at the edge of our hope, at the end of our time, we have chosen to believe in each other, today we face the monsters that are at our door - today we are cancelling the apocalypse." - Stacker Pentecost

Pacific Rim wasn't really on my radar when the Summer began, I had heard of it but hadn't planned on going to see it until I started hearing good buzz about it on Listal - and now having seen it for myself I do have to agree with those who said it is a movie that has to be experienced in the theater to be fully appreciated - the visuals and special effects were spectacular, the best I have seen in any movie this year to date - the movie is about a race of Godzilla size monsters that are invading the earth from a portal and wrecking havok on the world's coastlines - the humans are fighting back by using specially built huge robots - it is Godzilla meets The Transformers meets Independence Day, that in itself makes this a very cool movie, but unlike the Transfomers movies, you can actually tell who is fighting whom during the battles - the characters are not as strong, colorful or memorable as they were in Independence Day, but they are secondary anyway to the sight of super sized robots fighting giant monsters from another dimension, so while it may not be a great movie, it is an awful lot of fun.
portlander's rating:

People who added this item 796  Average listal rating (466 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating 7.4 
31. Monsters University (2013)

Watched August 21st - 1:00PM - Pub Theater -
1st Viewing

"I'm here to make good scarers great, not make mediocre scarers less mediocre." - Dean Hardscrabble

Monsters Inc. was one of my top three favorite animated movies of all time, so I was looking forward to seeing the prequel - my expectations for it were not high though, as it would be almost impossible to top the original, but while Monsters Unversity doesn't have the heart or the laugh out loud humor of the first film, it was still a pretty good movie - the story was good and I liked how it showed things like how Sulley and Mike met and how the rivalry between Sulley and Randall started - not to mention how the abominable snowman ended up being banished - it also taught some good lessons on the merits of working together - although it also shows that a college education might not be all that it's cracked up to be, so while it won't make anybody forget Montsers Inc. - it was a decent movie as far as prequels go.
portlander's rating:

Totals For The Month

I'm cutting my movie month a little short as I am going out of town for the Labor Day weekend. I watched 31 movies in August, down a couple movies from last month, I had family visiting from out of town which cut into my movie watching - it was a good movie month, with five first time viewings ranked 9 or 10 stars, including my movie of the month - The Great Dictator - My focus on James Bond was a success, as I got to all the Sean Connery films I hadn't seen, which was my main goal - but as I feared, Netflix continues to play yo-yo with the Bond films and is removing them from streaming, so I will shift to library DVDs to watch the Roger Moore Bond films next month, I only got out to the theater twice this month, a combination of there being so many other movies I wanted to get to and August being a down time for movies, but I hope to pick up the pace and get out to the theater more often in September.
People who added this item 2040  Average listal rating (1407 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.5 
32. Total Recall (1990)
Total Movies Watched

31 Movies Watched
18 First Time Viewings
13 Rewatched

How Watched

15 - Netflix Streaming
10 - Library DVD
2 - My DVD collection
2 - Movie Theater
1 - Amazon Streaming
1 - My brother's DVD collection


10 Stars - 6

The Great Dictator (1st Viewing)
The Simpsons Movie (Rewatch)
The Muppet Movie (Rewatch)
Goldfinger (Rewatch)
Risky Business (Rewatch)
The Lonely Guy (Rewatch)

9 Stars - 4

Leaving Las Vegas (1st Viewing)
Canadian Bacon (1st Viewing)
Killing Zoe (1st Viewing)
Attack The Block (1st Viewing)

8 Stars - 8

Pacific Rim (1st Viewing)
Dr. No (1st Viewing)
The Man Who Knew To Much (Rewatch)
Staying Alive (Rewatch)
No Way Out (Rewatch)
Batman: The Movie (Rewatch)
Brainstorm (Rewatch)
The Dead Zone (Rewatch)

7 Stars - 4

From Russia with Love (1st Viewing)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1st Viewing)
Delirious (1st Viewing)
You Only Live Twice (Rewatch)

6 Stars - 5

Monsters University (1st Viewing)
The Trouble with Harry (1st Viewing)
The Producers (1st Viewing)
Thunderball (1st Viewing)
Diamonds Are Forever (1st Viewing)

5 Stars - 2

Vera Drake (1st Viewing)
The Thin Man (1st Viewing)

3 Stars - 2

The Awful Truth (1st Viewing)
Yellowbeard (Rewatch)

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

portlander's rating:


On we go into August and the last month of Summer - it goes by quicker every year - I like the way I have started the month - you can't really go wrong with Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin and James Bond leading things off - Netflix was nice enough to put the Bond movies back on streaming this month, so I am making them my focus for the next couple of months in an attempt to watch all of the Bond films in order, excluding Octopussy and Never Say Never Again, which I just watched as part of my '83 flashback - hopefully Netflix will co-operate and keep them on streaming until I finish them all, but even if they don't, I will be able to continue on by using Library DVDs.

Previous 2013 Logs:






Added to

10 votes
Guide To My Monthly Movie and Yearly TV Logs (33 lists)
list by portlander
Published 2 years, 7 months ago
10 votes
2013 Movies Diaries I'm Following (51 lists)
list by Michael M
Published 1 year, 8 months ago

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Posted: 1 year, 1 month ago at Aug 9 3:44
I've tried a few times to find my appreciation for The Producers and it just never clicks with me. Were it not for Dracula, Dead & Loving It it'd be my least favorite of Mel's films. There are aspects of it I like, but overall the comedy in it falls flat for me. Definitely not as great as AFI & various critics would have you believe.
Posted: 1 year, 1 month ago at Aug 15 4:00
The Simpsons Movie still plays like an extra long episode of the TV show, but it doesn't matter because the film is still just as funny and fun to watch as the show was in its heyday

Exactly why I loved it, though the fact that I'd long since given up watching the show on a regular (or even irregular) basis probably helped my opinion of it too.
Posted: 1 year ago at Sep 2 0:30
One movie per day isn't bad. And good call on re-watching The Muppet Movie before it left. Steve Martin's cameo is probably my favorite in the whole movie. And speaking of him, very cool you re-watched The Lonely Guy, a movie I need to add to my collection so I can watch again as I please.

Hope you enjoy your Labor Day weekend away!

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