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Added by the giraffe on 3 Dec 2011 09:24
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DVDecember 2011

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People who added this item 2773 Average listal rating (1889 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
Tangled (2010)
First viewing

My daughter received this one as a birthday gift, otherwise I might never have watched it. The trailers didn't impress me much, so I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. The plot is completely predictable due to its being more or less laid out in the opening sequence as well as formulaic to a fault, but I dug the characters (especially the horse Maximus) & there are some solidly entertaining action sequences & comedic moments.

So watch it for the entertainment factor, but don't expect originality or greatness.

See also: Generic, but charming and amusing, a review by PvtCaboose91
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People who added this item 2021 Average listal rating (1334 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 7
Elf (2003)

One of my favorite Xmas movies. Last year was the first Xmas I spent with my future wife & our daughter, & when we decorated the house it was agreed upon that we'd watch Elf every year while doing so. Today was the day.

Related list: For my Xmas viewing pleasure
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1710 Average listal rating (1100 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2

The wizard duel remains the best part of the film. The music is really good, & overall it's an entertaining film, but I had issues with it...for all that goes on in the movie by the end it almost all seems pointless. Much is made of the value of brains over brawn, as well as Arthur's future status as a great leader, yet Arthur hasn't displayed either of those things by the end of it. Also, the part where he pulls the sword out of the stone seems like not so much of a big deal, & for it's titular status you'd think there'd be more build up to it. Instead what you really get is Arthur as a boy learning a few things from Merlin...which as I said is entertaining, but there's much room here for improvement.

Related list: Few things I love about cinema by johanlefourbe
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People who added this item 7749 Average listal rating (5521 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.3

Did not at all intend to watch this one this month, but I was curious to see if it'd be another film my daughter would enjoy since she dug Tangled so much. She hardly cared it was on. On the plus side I got to enjoy it for yet another time.

Related list: The 12 Worst Movie Neighbours by jay-jay
the giraffe's rating:

Still love it. Still by far my favorite batch of Xmas songs. I'll likely be listening to the soundtrack a lot for the next couple of weeks.

Related list: Christmastime Viewings: 2009 by PvtCaboose91
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 5308 Average listal rating (3613 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.9
Toy Story 2 (1999)

In the search to find another film besides Tangled that my daughter would watch, we finally found one in Toy Story 2 (we've attempted several over the past week, most of which were shut off when it became apparent she didn't care about them at all...in the meantime, Tangled has been re-watched almost every day this month at her request). I believe this was my 3rd viewing of this film, which I suppose means I now owe a viewing to the 3rd film (which I've only seen twice so far). This month I've noticed more things this film has in common with the films it falls between, but I still think this one is equal to the 1st while the 3rd remains the best of the trilogy.

Related list: Pixar (Best to Wor...Still Pretty Damn Good) by I.T.log
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1588 Average listal rating (968 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3

Felt like a first viewing in a lot of ways as I quickly realized I haven't seen this since it was in theatres back in 1981. I used to have an LP of the film that I listened to often throughout my childhood, which contained most of the movie & those parts had stuck with me even though the visuals hadn't entirely. Most interestingly, it turns out this was my introduction to Kurt Russell and Corey Feldman, neither of whom I realized did voice work here (may have been my introduction to Mickey Rooney too, but as many films as he's been in it's impossible to say for sure).

Overall it follows the typical Disney formulas and the animation is outdated now, but the intelligent take on societal pressures/prejudice elevates it a bit in my estimation.

Related list: Movies that everyone should see before 13 by SwornShadow
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 192 Average listal rating (123 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.9
The Ref (1994)

Thanks to all the times I watched this one in the 90s, much of it was still as familiar & entertaining as I remembered. Totally forgot/didn't realize JK Simmons had a bit part in it. My appreciation has only grown for the performances of Judy Davis & Kevin Spacey captured here, & as Christmas movies go this still ranks highly among my personal favorites.

See also: A tremendously funny black comedy, a review by PvtCaboose91 (and the only substantive online review you'll find for the film)
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 991 Average listal rating (673 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7
Scrooged (1988)

Even better than I'd remembered it, and I was left wondering where the Bill Murray I watched most of my life disappeared to (pretty sure actually that Wes Anderson kidnapped him & stole his soul throughout filming on Rushmore...lord knows he's been a shell of himself ever since). I especially love that between the events surrounding Murray's character & the scenes brought in from "Scrooge" you've got the entire Dickens story. Easily my favorite version of A Christmas Carol.

Related list: Phillydude's Movie Log - December, 2011
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 3138 Average listal rating (2078 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
Gremlins (1984)

Every bit as good as I remembered it being, though not without its flaws. It still manages to keep me spellbound by the story, make me laugh at all the chaos the "gremlins" cause (Mrs. Deagle's ride remains the funniest moment), and instill a sense of gratitude that I never had a surprise left in my chimney on Xmas. ;)

Related list: Top 50 of the 80s by drugs
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Series focus: Pink Panther

People who added this item 792 Average listal rating (529 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.1

My dad was always in love with the Pink Panther series, so it was inevitable that I'd watch them as I was growing up. I haven't watched most of them since the early to mid 1990s, but when I came across them all on sale one day I picked them up. I'd tried to watch this one about 3 years ago, but I started it late at night & fell asleep. So I went into this viewing with somewhat lowered expectations for it.

And as it turns out it's as good as I'd originally remembered. Better perhaps, as I now catch a lot more jokes & entendre than I did in my teens. It's by no means a fast-paced film, but I was never bored at any point, and more than a few moments had me laughing hard. I love the way the story plays out, several scenes I found had stuck with me over the years, and the ending is brilliant. We'll see how I feel about it compared to the rest of the series soon enough.

Related list: Swingin' films of the '60s
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People who added this item 293 Average listal rating (195 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4

Far funnier than its predecessor, and the story is equally good here. The comic set pieces all work so well that I recalled the majority of them the moment they started to unfold, and all around this is a solid film. A bit slow occasionally perhaps, but thoroughly entertaining.

Related list: The Evolution of Peter Sellers by Maary
the giraffe's rating:

Apparently I'm missing the 2 films that fall between A Shot in the Dark and this one, though I also see that one of said films doesn't have Peter Sellers in it. So I guess I'm really only missing one & I'm inclined to get my hands on it as soon as I can.

I continue to be impressed by how well this series is put together. This time around the plot is well laid out, the comic set pieces are hilarious to the point I almost fell out of my seat a few times, and the acting remains top notch. The opening scenes had remained with me, but after the Quasimodo scene I barely remembered the rest of it. That proved to be a good thing though, as it meant I got more enjoyment out of the entire thing. Herbert Lom is especially great this time around as Dreyfus, and I got a kick out of the animated segments that worked the Pink Panther into other films.

Anyway, really glad I'm continuing on with my project at the moment, and especially glad I'm finally revisiting these.

Related list: Top Comedies by diabolical dr voodoo
the giraffe's rating:

Aside from one or two scenes that were left in my head this may as well be a first view. Definitely my least favorite of the ones I've watched this month as the story wasn't firing on all cylinders for me. Most of the comedic moments are hilarious, a couple fall flat, but they're too spread apart I felt especially in the first 3rd of the movie.

And so I ended my 2011 viewings with a good but not great film, which seems appropriately reflective of the year in general.
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Lady's choice

I asked my girlfriancee to pick out a movie from the ones I haven't seen but she has. Here's what she chose...
People who added this item 1729 Average listal rating (1055 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
First viewing

First off, I have to point out that this was watched the night after Xanadon't & lotr23 commented below about this film. Seems to me like one of those times when the whole world is in harmony or what-have-you, & so I forgot about whatever expectations I had for the film & rolled with it.

Simply summed up: I got it, but I didn't really want it. I understand what went on in this movie, I even laughed at times, and while it looked pretty too in the end I simply don't care about what I watched. Ah well.

Related list: Quirky! by โ™ฅ CHANi
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Never seens

Most of these belonged to my girlfriancee & were merged into my collection. Infernal Affairs I bought on recommendation so I could watch it before watching The Departed & have yet to sit down with it for whatever reason.
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Overdue for a revisit

Most of these I bought on DVD because I knew I wanted to watch them again at some point. Now it's time to finally do so. (A couple of these I've added due to their fitting the Xmas holiday season.)

It's been bugging me lately that I have some DVDs on my shelves that I haven't watched at all...some I acquired through merging my collection with my girlfriancee's, some I bought with the intention of watching & haven't got around to, & others I bought knowing I like them but haven't seen in many years. So I've decided to primarily focus on films in my collection for the month of December, & if it goes well maybe I'll make it an annual thing.

Since I already have an ongoing Watched in 2011 list, anything I see this month that's not from my collection will be added to it rather than lumped in here.

Special thanks to Xanadon't for the idea.

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