Cinema Diary - Vol 4 E5 - July 2013
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And so starts the season of county and state fairs, berry festivals and family reunions. Not quite sure what this diary will turn into but trying something a little different this month with keeping films in series of themes.
This diary may include August depending on how summer plans go.
World War Z (2013)
Yay, actually managed to get to the theater again this summer.
I rather enjoyed the film and found myself surprisingly engaged in the story. Thankfully the film wasn't filled with the typical 'cheap shots' because the film is in 3D. Still, on that note I really don't see the point in watching the film in 3D.
Recent Release Shelf
OK, so... it is best if you don't do the math regarding these films. Honestly, I'm not sure which films I watched in June or July but well... here is my "New Release Wall" wrap-up.
Total Recall (2012)
Typical non-stop action film with nothing really left over to think about or ponder. Well, expect that not having the Mars aspsect made the film feel more believable... bah... ha... ha... ya realism is what your looking for in these types of films.
It wasn't all that dreadful but my mind will quite happily forget everything about this film in due time.
Berberian Sound Studio (2012)
Peter Bradshaw The Guardian
Wow, I really have no idea what I just watched or much of what happened during the film. This is a strange gritty film with the sole 'horror' aspect of the film being that of sound design and a surreal sense of never knowing where you are in time and place. Nothing real seems to exist beyond the life inside a sound studio. That being said I totally enjoyed the film even if I can't quite say why.
Knocked Up (2007)
A pretty good film with a few surprises. Not a bad way to spend some time but not one that I would revisit any time soon.
This Is 40 (2012)
The official "This is not a sequel" to "Knocked-Up" was actually much better. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann were so great in the first film that it was great that they were given a whole film for those characters to grow.
Love Tina Fey, starting to really dislike being utterly disappointed with her recent film choices. Well... there is "Megamind" which I would recommend you re-watch if your looking for some light entertainment that isn't as dull as paste.
So, basically this is "Bridesmaids" (2011) but perhaps a little more bitchy. I felt that the characters fell into bad stereotypes and making them more gritty or edgy was just a way to mask the pretense of their appearance on screen.
Cloud Atlas (2012)
While I can't rate this film that high simply because it was an almost impossible book to atempt to put to screen. That doesn't change that I LOVE this film. A bit confusing at parts but not as bad as "Inception". I loved the characters and their development over time and through other lives.
This will soon be part of my dvd library. Ooo and also love all the references to other great Sci-Fi literary classics. What can I say... I'm a dork.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Quite enjoyable. I think the aspect that I liked most was the family dynamics in the boiling pot of crazy. I could have appreciated a little bit more from Jennifer Lawrence's characters family life to round things out.
Beautiful Creatures (2013)
The Brass Teapot (2013)
A fun and slightly dark comedy. It kept a sweet and lovable tone through out the film which is an impressive effort but one that kept the film as a whole in the 'light-hearted' area. Enjoyable but sort of a disappointment.
Identity Thief (2013)
Not that great. I found some aspect amusing but it was overly sweet and once you found the sweet center it all became rather predicable.
Odd Thomas (2013)
I read a few of the Odd Thomas books and well... Anton Yelchin is not the person I envisioned but then again I am getting old and so are the "kid actors" of yesterday so... he wasn't the worst choice for the roll. However, I do not remember the book being so tacky romantic or dull.
So, this is FAR FAR on the light side of horror films and could have almost been as interesting as "The Frighteners" (1996) but it didn't have much to go on.
While, I would love to see the serise continue... I also have better hopes for F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series making it to the screen.
Dead Man Down (2013)
Ah, a 'gritty revenge film' there really is no shortage of these films.
Both actors did a good job of portraying their need for revenge and the self-horror of those feelings. Still, the story-line felt so common place and predictable that I wonder why all the effort. While the characters were interesting, it is rather hard to care about yet another film where part of the 'natural' grieving process seems to be a revenge killing spree.
The Call (2013)
Interesting film and rather thrilling but started to feel like a 'made for LifeTime network' film towards the end but with a better budget.
A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
Not a lot of love out there for this film... perhaps everyone sort of missed how farcically over-the-top the other films in the series have been. It was what I was expecting and not much more.
Escape from Planet Earth (2013)
I should get along with my brother better and appreciate him now... Gah... I don't have a brother! I'm an only child.
This is a pretty dreadful film that I had no business watching if I wasn't drunk, stoned or under ten years of age.
After the flawed science and the flawed history you really just want to beat someone to death with a wrench on this submarine of doom. It could have been a ghost story, it could have been a horror story... there were so many interesting things that were all totally wasted.
Watch Film Now @YouTube
This is far from one of the great silent films of the era but it was still rather fun. I enjoyed the characters in the boarding house for entertainers.
The Informer (1935)
Ah, well this won four Oscars and is on a few 'must see film' lists. I may need to give this film another chance at some point... frankly I got bored and distracted.
The Searchers (1956)
This is a rather brutal western. The characters are dark and some have complained about the on screen bigotry. Still, as far as a harsh treatment of the western genre this has to be one of my favorites... and I confess I'll most likely watch it again before it goes back to the video store.
So, Xanadon't recommending Stagecoach helped jump start me watching a few more westerns this month. Next to musicals it is my weakest genre of films.
Stagecoach is an early John Ford classic western. Films that contain action and also have character building is something I miss in modern film making. John Wayne manages to be on-screen charismatic without being the central focus of the camera.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
First, this is a great book and one I highly recommend.
This is a very dark and depressing film. A bit more depressing for the fact that not much has changed. It is strange to be going through another 'depression' and hearing people repeat the same statements about how poor people just don't know better or are somehow sub-human.
If you don't know about the history of America during the Great Depression, this is sort of good intro.
So, pretty sure that I had seen this film before and dismissed the film. While it is one of the 'greats' there are several aspects I found rather annoying.
Since I have been on a Paul Newman roll this year. It was time to catch up on some of the western themed films of his I haven't seen yet.
This is a little bizarre film. I also couldn't help but keeping thinking of Luis Buñuel's "Death in the Garden" while watching the film... or any of the 'work together to survive' films. Over all it isn't a terrible film and I think Paul Newman is one of the few people to pull of the "Hombre" character without being totally offensive.
I have a number of films from the 1930's set to arrive in my queue so... we will see which ones get here first.
L'Age d'Or (1930) (1970)
Internet Treasure Hunt
The Thirteenth Guest (1932)
Watch Film Now @ YouTube
This is a fun and totally enjoyable little mystery thriller. If your looking for a break from hard hitting dramas this might do the trick.
I found the mystery rather fun and the characters amusing.
The Old Dark House (1932)
Watch Film Now @ YouTube
Interesting and I'm glad I made an effort to watch the film but over-all rather bland. Far too much talking and very little actually happening to ever hold any tension.
The Undying Monster (1942)
Watch Film Now @ YouTube
I really liked this film... just so much more could have been done with the characters. Also, the ending and story-wrap up was a bit cheesy. If your looking for a 'creature feature' I would skip this film. If you looking for a sort of spooky little film then check it out when you have the time.
Watch Film Now @ Internet Archive
An early D.W. Griffith film based on the writings of Edgar Allen Poe. Decent enough considering it is almost a hundred years old. I wouldn't recommend it as an essential part of 1910's films.
The Phantom Carriage (1921)
Watch Film Now @ Internet Archive
Your kidding me... I had this film at the top of my queue for two years and it was on-line... grrr...
For the era this is a rather epic film. I wouldn't recommend it as a film to watch just to kill some time. It has a quite involved story line and is a film you need to be willing to put some effort into watching.
La Strada (1954)
This has a similar feel and the same actress as "Nights of Cabiria". There are tones that are played out in both films. While one is downbeat then with an up note, this is a film with up notes and a downbeat. An odd and sweet film.
If you haven't seen ether film yet. I would start with this film. Out of the two I like it just a tad bit more.
Trying to wrap up iCheck's Thriller list and I couldn't remember if I had seen this film or Snatch... well now I know why I confused the two films. Still, despite that rather boring surprise the the two films are way too similar... I still found I liked this film the best out of the two.
The Fisher King (1991)
The Tracey Fragments (2008)
Safety Last! (1923)
So, I had sort of been putting off Harold Lloyd so that I could catch up on some Chaplin and Buster Keaton... now I think that might have been a mistake...
This wasn't a non-stop zany action film. It was rather sweet and fun. It took time to tell a little story and build to the pivotal scenes.
Body Heat (1981)
Sexy and stylish neo-noir film from the 80's. I went into the film with really low expectations so was pleasantly surprised.
I love the beginning of this film and one that clearly marks the tone of the film. While maybe not Martin Scorsese's most powerful film that doesn't keep it from still being a great film that was enjoyable to spend time with.
The Girl Cut in Two (2007)
Perhaps I was expecting too much from Claude Chabrol. It was interesting enough but the story line is so tired I'm socked that I watched the whole film.
Betty Blue (1986)
MUBI played the uncut not released in the USA version of this film. So, figured it was time to check it out. Now, normally any film that is heralded as 'erotic and sensual' leaves me thinking two of my most hated films "The Dreamers" and "Last Tango In Paris".
Betty Blue, however isn't that kind of film. Instead is a film with an actual story and characters that felt real. Their love and anguish played out on screen. I like the search for meaning and sanity in the world.
The one thing I didn't like was that Betty's insanity felt like another poor stereotype. Still, it wasn't the most offensive cinematic case I have seen.
Cinema Diary for 2013
The Year of The Snake
This is a scrapbook of ideas, impressions and information about the movies I watch. It is basic, rough and raw in an effort to expand my personal viewing experiences. This is a creative exercise not a critical one. I hope you enjoy.
Diary Entries for 2013
July | May & June | March & April | Feb | Jan |
Diary Entries for 2012
Oct, Nov & Dec | September | August | July | June | May | April | March | February |
Diary Entries for 2011
October thru December | September | August | July | January
Diary Entries for 2010
December | November | October | September | August | July
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