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Added by the giraffe on 1 Mar 2015 07:17
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Movies the giraffe watched in 2015: March

Sort by: Showing 1-50 of 51
Decade: Rating: List Type:
The breakdown: 31 movies & 20 short films watched for a grand total of 51 films, of those 38 were via Netflix, 7 on DVD, 1 via streaming download, and 5 in the theatre. Of those 42 were first views, 9 were re-watches, and they came from the following decades: 1910s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s & 2010s.

Holy crap, that's a lot of stuff watched. Course 20 of those were Chaplin shorts I tried to run through as quickly as possible before they left Netflix, which wound up burning me out on him before I was done. And if you count those 20 by the way Netflix had them put together instead of individually, that reduces the 20 to 8 & thus my monthly total to 39 which seems more reasonable to me. Still above and beyond my norm though. I will say that I did enjoy several of those Chaplin shorts, I just wish I'd taken time last year to run through them all instead of trying to plow through them in 15 days.

This month I made it to the theatre on 5 occasions which is pretty awesome, as is the fact that all of those trips were worthwhile. And one of those films currently sits atop the 2015 releases for me, with the added bonus of being a tough film to top in my book. Despite the fact that a lot of the films coming out this year don't impress me much, it looks like the ones I am interested in seeing are certainly rewarding. Hopefully that continues to hold true.

Everything else continued to roll along as it should, and I wound up watching mostly good films including a few with the kiddo. The weakest links were a couple of the Chaplin shorts, and aside from them the lowest rating anything else got was a 6/10. Either I'm getting better at avoiding crap or I just lucked out. Most noteworthy is that this month brought me some excellent horror movies, especially ones made this decade. If this keeps up, the 2010s will go on to be among my favorite decades of horror...and thus I'll be more eager to jump on catching a new horror movie in the near future.

Best new-to-me film for March: Spring / Resolution (tie)
Best hidden gem: Aside from the above, Housebound though honorable mention goes to The Immigrant & One A.M.
Worst film: A Film Johnny / The Kid Auto Race
Re-watch - March 1st

On a cold Sunday morning, the kiddo and I sat down together to watch this because I knew she'd dig it. And I was totally right. This isn't cinematic gold, but it's fun and entertaining enough that it's worth sitting through in my book. The kiddo laughed a lot throughout the film, and after it ended wouldn't stop saying, "Go ninja, go ninja, go." I enjoyed it more than I thought I would after all this time, though it's still a far cry from the excellence of the first film. Still, it's so ridiculous I couldn't help but get caught up with it despite my better judgement.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1396 Average listal rating (826 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
Mr. Nobody (2009)
First viewing - March 5th

After kicking the day off with some Chaplin shorts & being bummed out by them, I carried on my marathon at home with something far more modern with a run time I typically don't have the time to deal with late at night. Now that I've finally seen this I think it's safe to say I easily would have held on no matter what the hour.

Now as some of you are aware I'm not big on Jared Leto in general. But he tends to make worthwhile films (at least so far as the ones I've bothered to watch him in) & Mr. Nobody is no exception. The whole film is a visual marvel, the sort of film that reminds me repeatedly of why I love movies. It's smart, thought-provoking, consistently entertaining & has memorable scenes I'm still thinking about a couple days later. The cast is stellar, the technical aspects fire on all cylinders, and the soundtrack is excellent. The only thing missing here is that magical 10/10 feeling, but it came damn close to hitting that too.

So I have to say THANK YOU to all the Listal users who put & kept this on my radar. Were it not for you I wouldn't have checked it out in the first place.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1563 Average listal rating (1104 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.4
First viewing - March 5th

After Mr. Nobody I ran an errand, and decided to watch something that's just fun. This totally fit the bill. I've seen parts of Last Action Hero on TV over the years, but mostly avoided it just because it got so much negative coverage I figured I wasn't missing anything. Now that I've watched it though I can't help but feel like it was ahead of its time & nobody was ready for it.

I love the ways it pokes fun at Arnold & action movies in general, plus how it mixes the "real" world and the cinematic world together. Now that meta is more prevalent, I feel like this film will find its audience. It's silly fun, not high art, and as such it's a joy to experience. Plus, the soundtrack rocks.

The only kinda weak spot is the kid at its center, as he's not that great of an actor. Then again, he doesn't need to be because he's supposed to be a kid who loves Arnold's movies & in that sense he nails the part. He's mildly annoying after a while, but that also seems like a key part of his character.

Honestly, the only thing I find disappointing about this is the fact it's underappreciated. Maybe that can change though.

P.S.--I've had AC/DC's "Big Gun" playing in my head ever since I watched this. I'm undecided though whether this is a bad thing.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 379 Average listal rating (237 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.5
The Prophecy (1995)
Re-watch - March 5th

I ended my ice day marathon by revisiting The Prophecy, which I haven't seen since the '90s ended. The first time I saw it was in the theatre, and I mostly remember the drive to see it because we were cutting it close to the start time getting there & my friend who drove us kept screaming "PREVIEWS!" the whole way.

Anyway, I still dig this movie. I like the concept & the characters, and the cast is mostly solid. Seeing Casey Jones play a priest/cop is still kinda odd to me, but it works out all right. Virginia Madsen is even hotter than I remembered which also works out nicely. Viggo delivers one of my favorite performances as Satan, and Walken is uber creepy in ways that are totally effective. Plus you've got Adam Goldberg for comic relief. Seriously, I don't know what there is to dislike about this movie. Even the kids turn in solid performances. It's probably more of an 8 than a 9, but given the way '90s horror was I feel like a 9 is accurate enough. So I'll leave it.

Just a thought: I hope I never look up or over & find Christopher Walken perched like a bird looking at me.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 181 Average listal rating (121 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
First viewing - March 6th

Pretty sure I've caught part of this on TV at some point, but I'd definitely never sat down with it from start to finish. Sports movies aren't really my thing, sports even less so, but I figured since this is kind of a classic I'd give it a look.

And it's decent. A lot of the "humor" failed to work for me, but fortunately it makes a decent if typical underdog story with a believable enough outcome. Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal are the film's brightest spots, especially when they engage each other in dialogue. There's nothing here that hasn't been done before, better or worse, but at least it doesn't get too ridiculous. It was worth watching once.

Oh yeah, and the "punk" kid in here is played by Jackie Earle Haley, so that was interesting.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 148 Average listal rating (97 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
First viewing - March 9th

Came across this one while browsing on Netflix & noticed it said I'd rate it 5/5. Well, it was pretty close. This little New Zealand horror flick does a stellar job at playing around with genre conventions, with a solid cast & some actual surprises along the way. It's best to go into this one knowing as little as possible, that way it's sure to have its full effect on you.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 3183 Average listal rating (2031 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Cinderella (1950)
Re-watch - March 10th

Rented this one for the kiddo & we watched it together. She was very entertained with it all around. I also found it entertaining, especially when I was poking fun at the ridiculousness of it & my daughter would laugh with me. Seriously, if mice & birds can sew clothes together I'd welcome them into my house at any time. I can't remember the last time I watched Cinderella but I'd bet I was younger than 10 years old, so it was far from familiar to me aside from a couple moments. The animation is all right, not as impressive as Snow White in my book. The prince is almost a non-entity for no more detail than is given to him, so I was left wondering why Cinderella fell for him besides his looks & the fact he's a ticket out of her situation. Course if she's making clothes to fit vermin she may not be in a proper mental state.

See also: this.

Anyway, it was neat to revisit & had its moments, but I wouldn't be quick to watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 312 Average listal rating (189 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.4
Point Blank (1967)
First viewing - March 12th

I've heard much ado about Point Blank so I figured I'd pick it up to round out my 4 titles on rent one get one free day. And yeah, it's decent. The cast is solid enough, and I was entertained for at least half of it. There was about 1/4 of the film that I spent bored & wishing it'd move along to something more worthwhile though. So I don't feel like it lived up to the hype, but maybe that's a matter of taste. I guess it was worth watching once to check it out.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - March 14th

I'd intended to watch this on Friday, but wound up pushing it back a night in favor of watching Diamonds Are Forever. Once again it's possible I watched this before on USA at some point, but since I didn't recognize any of it I'm guessing I didn't & thus counting it as a first. The law of diminishing returns seems to apply with this series, as I liked this one the least of the first 4 films. The highlight here was seeing Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover, who make the most of their roles for whatever it's worth...I was more entertained by the fact they're in this than anything else. It's your average slasher, nothing exceptional, but serviceable enough.

Just a thought: Amusing to me that Crispin Glover plays a teenager here & went on to play a father of 3 the following year in Back to the Future.
the giraffe's rating:
Re-watch - March 15th

I took the kiddo with me to return our movie rentals & she wanted to get Pinocchio next. Well, it was checked out, so I suggested we try this one next & she was down for it. It was amusing to me to see her react to the events in this one, as she would often get worried about the puppies escaping to safety & cheer for them to get away from Cruella & her henchmen. In the end she really liked it.

Now I haven't seen this since it was rereleased to theatres back in the '80s, and that was with my sister & our parents. Anyway, I still enjoyed it despite its predictability and overly simplified story. It's got some nice touches along the way, and I especially like the song about Cruella (which I'd somehow managed to forget). I might watch it again some time with my daughter, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again for my own entertainment.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 70 Average listal rating (44 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.4
Resolution (2013)
First viewing - March 17th

So Netflix was recommending this one to me already, claiming I'd at least really like it if not love it. Then I found out it's from the same creative team behind Spring which jumped up my list of anticipated releases for this year the first time I saw a trailer for it. So as the release date for Spring rapidly approached I figured I'd check this one out to see what was in store for me.

And holy hell was I unprepared. I refuse to comment extensively here because for me the minimal info I had before checking it out paid off hugely. All I knew was what Netflix has as a synopsis, and while it was accurate it fell far short of telling the entire tale. Which is a damn good thing. I have a feeling Resolution will slowly amass a cult following, and I certainly hope so because Benson & Moorhead have created a hell of a film here that's well worth checking out. It blew me away, so much so that when it ended I hopped online real quick to secure my ticket for an opening night screening of Spring. Plus it now sits atop my picks for 2012, as its rating should sufficiently indicate.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 432 Average listal rating (260 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
First viewing - March 18th

Since the kiddo wanted to rent 101 Dalmatians I figured I'd pick up a couple films for my own enjoyment. This one has been on my list for a while now, and it was solidly entertaining. Alec Guinness mostly disappears into his role, with only his voice left to recognize him by. I loved the way it played out, especially the ending despite its over the top ridiculousness. It never quite crossed the line into greatness for me, but it's totally worthwhile & I'd watch it again some time. Best of all now I can finally watch the Coens' remake.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 346 Average listal rating (179 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 7.9
First viewing - March 18th

In Cold Blood has also been on my radar for a long time now, initially thanks to a strong recommendation from my mom and supported by my reading the book which is phenomenal. The film adaptation does a really good job of bringing the book to life, thanks in large part to the stellar cast who shines throughout the dark story they dwell in. Between this and Capote you can get a fairly well-rounded portrayal of the entire story, and I found it interesting that Capote is absent from this adaptation given how omnipresent Capote made him seem.

If I had any complaint it's that it's so faithful to the book that there weren't any real surprises to be found. Which is fine I guess, but I felt like that held it back from earning top marks from me. I'd definitely watch it again but it fell slightly short of greatness upon my first viewing. Maybe the next time I watch it it'll earn the next star up.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 50 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 4.6 IMDB Rating 5
First viewing - March 19th

My co-worker friend hooked me up with more movies to watch, and raved about this one so much I figured I'd start with it. I can't say I share his enthusiasm about it, but it has its moments. Honestly, compared to Resolution it's crap, but at least it manages to be consistently entertaining despite its flaws. The dialogue is often idiotic, with characters voicing the fucking obvious so often you want something to kill them off already. The ending makes it mostly worthwhile though, even though I'd anticipated the way it plays out in general...only downside there is the interplay of romantic elements which ruin the effect somewhat.

So umm...yeah...I like the way the human-alien relationship is portrayed as it seems fairly plausible. I can buy into that part. Oh, and Michael Ironside has a lot of fun with his supporting role. So it's got moments, but I wouldn't insist anyone needs to check it out.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 150 Average listal rating (93 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.7
Honeymoon (2014)
First viewing - March 29th

I recently came across an article on how to make good horror movies and this was among the films listed there. So I added it to my Netflix queue & took it for a spin...and I was quite impressed. Honeymoon takes a simple premise and plays it for thrills, slowly unraveling the truth so that you're never entirely sure exactly what's going on until the end. It helps that the central couple sells their relationship through excellent chemistry, and despite the film's obviously modest budget the filmmakers make the most of what they've got. I'm rather surprised by the low ratings I'm seeing here & on IMDb, but perhaps this is one that will slowly find its audience & improve its reputation over time. I know I've already encouraged some friends to check it out.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Big screen attractions

Films I caught in a theatre
People who added this item 1229 Average listal rating (878 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
First viewing - March 4th

This month I've got Wednesdays back to myself again, so as soon as I dropped the kiddo off to preschool this morning I headed to Drafthouse to watch Kingsman. And it was solidly entertaining. The cast is well-chosen and all members deliver good performances, the soundtrack is decent, and there are actually a couple surprises to be found along the way. It's a bit too over-the-top ridiculous for its own good though, and while that can be a good thing here it didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. That's largely due to the fact that the tone is never clearly set & sustained...is this supposed to be fun or serious? It's uncertain, and I feel like the fact that I was the only person in the audience laughing at a couple of moments reinforces this. It's as if the humor that's present doesn't work right, or there's too much seriousness that the comic relief isn't as much relief as it should be.

So yeah, it was worth watching. But it could've been better.

Interesting how things are connected: All the Bond references here made this fit in nicely with my year-long focus.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 643 Average listal rating (441 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.8
Chappie (2015)
First viewing - March 11th

Review on TinyMixTapes.com

Chappie is a film that very much exists in its own little world, and for that I totally enjoyed it. The robots are excellently created & utilized, and one fight in particular will recall the RoboCop series for most of us. There's also some food for thought regarding identity as it's defined, but mostly the film sets out to entertain & does so wonderfully. Also noteworthy is the fact that most of the main characters are fleshed out to the point they're not clearly good or evil but simply realistic, and that's refreshing. It didn't quite cross the line into greatness for me, but I'll definitely watch it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 137 Average listal rating (80 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
Spring (2015)
First viewing - March 20th

Yep, on the first day of spring I went to see Spring, and I wound up falling in love with its genre-bending spectacle. I can't think of a single problem I had with any aspect of the film...it's beautifully shot, the effects are spectacular, the tone is wonderful, I love how it mixes humor and romance and horror without any of those aspects messing up their counterparts. The film has been compared to Before Sunrise meets H.P. Lovecraft, which seems fairly apt. I dug it so much I may catch it again on the big screen before Drafthouse lets it move on. I'll give it a couple of weeks before I do that though.

Highly recommended.

Just a thought: Spring did nothing to deter me from my desire to go to Italy.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1963 Average listal rating (1319 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
Wayne's World (1992)
Re-watch - March 25th


Finally managed to catch a Quote-Along screening of Wayne's World and I'd totally do it again. Holy Grail is still the best QA I've been to, but this is easily second. They gave us a paper condiment cup ("If you're going to spew, spew into this."), red vines licorice (not a fan, but neat), and Wayne's World baseball hats just like Wayne's. Excellent!
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 725 Average listal rating (524 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.8
First viewing - March 26th

I'm not sure that It Follows fully delivered on the hype for me, but I can say it's well worth watching. It's well acted, super creepy, and the soundtrack is beyond amazing. Seriously, you could throw away the film & just play the music and everyone's nerves would be frayed. I also dug how it has nods throughout to other horror films without being overly obvious about them. I don't know why now all of a sudden this genre is turning out very worthwhile films, but I'm thankful for it.

Just a thought: Between this & Spring there's a good case for never having sex with anyone ever.
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Year-long focus: James Bond series

When I was growing up I watched most of the James Bond series with my dad. He'd find one of the movies on TV & call me in to join him, and at the time I liked them all. I haven't seen any of the Sean Connery or Roger Moore films since the '90s began though, so I figured I'm long overdue to revisit them as well as check out the rest of the lot. So I'm spending 2015 with about 2 Bond films per month, watched in the order they were released. At this point I'm not planning on going through the Daniel Craig films again, but I reserve the right to change my mind on those down the road. The only Craig Bond film I definitely intend to see this year is Spectre & by that point I should be about done with the series.
First viewing - March 11th

I never bothered to watch this one because I'd listened to the wrong people who insisted it's not worth watching. Turns out Lazenby did a solid job here, and I believe could have carried the franchise as well as any other Bond if he'd been given another chance. This time around we get a more believable Bond outing, with less focus on gadgets & more focus on story & characters. It pays off big time, and any complaints I have are minor. One such complaint was my initial disappointment that Donald Pleasance doesn't reprise his role as Blofeld, but Telly Savalas does a solid job of replacing him. I can't help feeling though that Pleasance would have elevated the film a bit. Ah, but then he might have had to stick around for at least one more film so maybe he was trying to avoid that.

Anyway, this came really close to getting a 9. Call it 8.5.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 868 Average listal rating (575 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.5
Re-watch - March 13th

So I wasn't sure for a while if I'd seen this film before, but then Bambi & Thumper showed up & I recalled it. That scene is pretty tough to forget. I love the hell out of the car chase scene with the Vegas cops, and the villains above make the whole thing very worthwhile. Unfortunately Connery gives off an air at times like he doesn't want to be there, and the film is often uneven. It's all entertaining, don't get me wrong, but it fell short of the previous entry in the series for me. The ending was too clean in my book too, which didn't help matters. Still, it's worth watching & despite my rating I'd watch it again. It could be better though.

Interesting how things are connected: Sid Haig has a minor role in this & Point Blank which I watched the night before.
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Netflix Instant Project for 2015

Netflix Instant Project for 2015

The ongoing Netflix Instant Project involves recommendations from my fellow Listalites of lesser-known/lesser-seen films that are currently streaming on Netflix. If you use Netflix Instant Watch & want to participate, please check out the list above & the thread in the Movies Forum.
People who added this item 335 Average listal rating (212 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
First viewing - March 3rd

Recommended by moviewatcher122

This one has caught my eye several times while browsing Netflix options, so moviewatcher122's recommendation gave me an excuse to check it out. And it was pretty worthwhile. Cusack, Huston, and Bening perform as well as you'd expect, the story is interesting, and I didn't see the ending coming. A cameo from Jeremy Piven and small role by the late, great J.T. Walsh also helped keep me entertained. I never felt carried away by this movie, but it was different and well put together.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 109 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.9
First viewing - March 5th

Recommended by VierasTalo

Eh, this was OK. For a comedy I hardly laughed, which isn't so good. But there was something about this film that kept me hanging on to see what would happen next even though I was never deeply engaged by it. The cast plays their respective roles well, it's just that most of the characters were annoying/lame. They're supposed to be though, so it's hard to count that as too much of a fault. Evidently there's a TV show that spawned this, but I've never seen it so possibly I'm missing a lot here. But yeah, as it stands I could've skipped this. Ah well.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 181 Average listal rating (120 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.7
First viewing - March 30th

Recommended by Starweevil

I needed a break from my horror run, so I figured I'd check out another recommendation from our project. Had I realized before how many comedians I like were in this, I would've watched it sooner. Oddly enough I didn't find this that funny though...it's definitely entertaining thanks largely to the characters & their relationships to each other which feel genuine. I just didn't find it especially funny. It's more mildly amusing, but I thought it was worth watching once. Plus voice actors are not often the subjects of a film, so it was different in that respect.
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Netflix exorcisms

Films I watched before Netflix removed them from my queue
People who added this item 93 Average listal rating (66 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.1
The Rink (1916)
First viewing - March 1st

So I've had this Charlie Chaplin collection sitting in my queue for ages now, fully intending to plow through it but perpetually putting it off for no good reason. Well, now Netflix intends to jettison it on March 15th so I'm going to see how much of it I get watched.

This was freaking hilarious. Who needs dialogue when you've got Chaplin going through all these antics, an abundance of good slapstick (yes, there's a difference), and a fun romp all around? Not me, that's for sure. I hope this hasn't set the bar too high for the rest to come, but I thoroughly enjoyed this & would definitely watch it again some time. I may even see if I can talk the kiddo into checking it out before it's gone.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.6
First viewing - March 1st

This was amusing, but didn't make me laugh as hard & frequently as The Rink did. It has some memorable moments, like the above scene, but overall I was mildly amused with it. Course it doesn't help that as it went along I started falling asleep on it, which serves as a personal reminder to not watch these Chaplin shorts too late at night (unless I want to bail out on them early, which I really don't). So yeah, it was worth watching once but I wouldn't revisit it any time soon.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 76 Average listal rating (57 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.1
One A.M. (1916)
First viewing - March 4th

There's not much to this short, but it's so damn funny it doesn't matter. Pure comedy gold.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 78 Average listal rating (54 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.1
The Pawnshop (1916)
First viewing - March 4th

This was similar to The Floorwalker but had more going for it thanks to Chaplin's antics as he tries to hang onto his pawn-shop job & has possibly his best and worst day at work simultaneously. Watching him go round and round with his co-worker is a treat, but I can't imagine any employer putting up with that for long.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6
First viewing - March 4th

If you like crazy martial arts movies, this one delivers. It's fun, violent, peppered with dialogue that's silly, and swiftly-moving. Plus it's got Michelle Yeoh, Tony Leung, & Donnie Yen, so you know it's worthwhile. My only real complaint is that a few action sequences are shot in a way that it's unclear who you're watching fight. Fortunately that doesn't take much away from the film, and I'd gladly watch this again some day.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 35 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 5.9
A Night Out (1915)
First viewing - March 5th

On March 5th I wound up at home due to icy road conditions, so I decided I'd have an absurdly productive day of watching Netflix content. I started off with a group of Chaplin shorts, the next in the series I have that's leaving Netflix. Had I consulted their ratings here beforehand I would've stopped after this one & skipped to another.

This was OK, similar in some respects to One A.M. but nowhere near as hilarious. Chaplin spends a night out with his friend & they're drunker than Jesus & keep getting into trouble. It starts out fun enough but winds up running longer than it can sustain itself. The last 10 or so minutes I kept wondering how much longer it was going to go on, which definitely isn't a good thing. Still, it was far more entertaining than the Chaplin shorts that chased it...
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - March 5th

Chaplin shows up at an auto race & keeps getting in the way of the cameramen. There's really nothing more to this & it's only mildly amusing before you realize it's just repeating itself. Yawn.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 5.1 IMDB Rating 5.3
First viewing - March 5th

This one had something approaching a plot, but never really connected with me. In fact I had to go back and remind myself what it was about, and as I'm typing this it's only been 2 days since I watched it. Films like this make me wonder why nobody figured out subtitles sooner, as a better use of dialogue could really help flesh the tale out better. They do all right with what they've got, but it ends up being forgettable.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 5.7
First viewing - March 5th

By the time I got to this one I'd sat through so much mediocrity I didn't even care what was going on anymore. It doesn't help that the film is in such poor condition that it's difficult at times to decipher what you're watching. Chaplin shows up while the Keystone players perform & there's a fire during the filming & that's about all there is to it. Again, had I consulted the ratings for this trio of shorts I would have skipped them & clearly been better off.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.2
First viewing - March 8th

This was decent enough. Not exceptionally funny, but amusing all the same. It's yet another short where Charlie is drunk & hits on someone else's woman & fights ensue. Actually for this trio that's more or less the theme - Chaplin chasing someone else's girlfriend. So they all complemented each other well anyway, and they also had in common that I didn't feel any of them dragged on too long. The main way this distinguished itself is that Charlie has no mustache.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.5
A Woman (1915)
First viewing - March 8th

The ratings on these for Listal/IMDb are accurate at least on the fact that of the 3 shorts I watched together this was the best one. I liked the way it all played out, and actually laughed a few times. Again it's nothing especially exceptional but solidly worthwhile.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 28 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.4
First viewing - March 8th

In this one our hero has no luck whatsoever in love. He gets turned down by the first woman (above) then meets a couple more who hook up with other guys initially until he steals them away. Then said guys catch up to him & the women take off. Which makes one wonder if he's really the hero here. Beyond that, well, I think I've covered it above.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 40 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.3
First viewing - March 10th

So as this rolls along I'm starting to get burned out on these. I'm really regretting not taking the time to watch them throughout last year instead of plowing through them as quickly as possible. I'm also finding that as time goes on I have to really stop & think to recall exactly what happens in each, as they all start to blur together after a while. Chaplin likes a girl, gets into fights with other guys for various reasons, proves he's a decent guy deep down, and either he manages to get the girl or thwart a rival or both.

This time out he shows up working with another guy & they're supposed to put up wallpaper in a house. Naturally the job doesn't go smoothly at all. It's entertaining & I laughed a few times, but as time passes I'm starting to forget about it. So clearly it's nothing exceptional.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - March 10th

In the park there's fighting, pickpockets, and fair damsels. That's all ye need to know.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.9
First viewing - March 10th

I liked this one about as well as the one above. The only thing that will likely keep it in my head a little longer is the fact that there are characters in wheelchairs.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 154 Average listal rating (91 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7
The Tramp (1915)
First viewing - March 11th

So after the trio above I consulted IMDb ratings for the shorts on offer & stuck to the better rated ones. This was a step back in the right direction, and I'm not likely going to soon forget the antics on the farm that occur here. Admittedly it too is more of the same, but I really liked the ending.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 34 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.6
Police (1916)
First viewing - March 11th

Chaplin's tramp leaves prison & gets swindled right out of the gate (literally), then struggles in vain to stay out of trouble & go straight. Amusing enough.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 198 Average listal rating (136 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
The Immigrant (1917)
First viewing - March 13th

This was easily among the best of the lot. I loved the way they use the camera to convey the feeling of being on the boat, and the way it captures the experience of coming to America & how that might play out. For the time I think it's safe to consider this great even if it barely crossed that line for me.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 126 Average listal rating (85 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.5
Easy Street (1917)
First viewing - March 13th

Chaplin becomes a policeman & cleans up Easy Street, which as it turns out ain't so easy. This was solidly entertaining, and I'd almost consider watching it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 76 Average listal rating (49 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 6.7
The Champion (1915)
First viewing - March 14th

The tramp tries his hand at boxing, and finds some brief success with a little help. Nice to see that fixed fights go back as far as boxing matches.

Just a thought: Edna Purviance was adorable.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 96 Average listal rating (61 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.9
The Vagabond (1916)
First viewing - March 14th

I ended my run with this one, which was a decent way of ending it. There's a nice little comment here about how relying on art alone is a shallow way of forging a lasting relationship, and imitation reaps no real benefits. I dug it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2199 Average listal rating (1449 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 6.1
The Cable Guy (1996)
Re-watch - March 24th

Since this was leaving Netflix I figured I'd give it one more look to see if it was better than I remembered it being. I'm not sure that it is, but I did enjoy it slightly more this time around. While it's entertaining it's also irritating at times, and in the end it's also forgettable. In fact I only recalled parts of it from when I saw it in theatres back when it came out. Like most films I revisit after many years, I was mainly amused by the actors who show up in the film that at the time I either ignored or didn't know yet. For example, this film has the dynamic duos that went on to do Mr. Show and Tenacious D. So yeah, it wasn't a complete waste of my time, but I also wouldn't sit through it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1278 Average listal rating (814 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 6.1
Re-watch - March 26th

I'm betting I haven't seen this since it was in theatres, so no wonder I barely remembered it. It's a good sequel that manages to carry on the character investment of the first film in satisfying ways. At the heart of it all is the friendship of Daniel & Miyagi, which helped endear the film to me along the way. The antagonists are a bit cheesy, but they work well enough overall. In fact as the film wound down I was beginning to think it was going to cross the line of greatness for me, thanks to an endpoint that would have been in keeping with Japanese tradition & could have impressed me deeply. But then it goes on for another scene so Daniel can fight his rival, which was too cliche & obvious. Ah well. I don't regret revisiting it at all, and if I stumble across it again I might even watch it once more.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2139 Average listal rating (1343 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Re-watch - March 27th

Yep, still a good movie but not great. Nice to see Pacino & Williams giving good performances, but honestly this idea has been done so many times it doesn't do a lot for me beyond entertain.

Just a thought: Alaska is definitely not a place I could live, between the long stretches of no sunlight and no darkness.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - March 28th

Peter Cushing! David Prowse! No, this isn't Star Wars, but the music at times calls it to mind too so possibly John Williams watched this prior to working on that film. Anyway, this was just okay. It's as solid overall as most Hammer Horror flicks, but the story didn't do much for me thanks to it basically rehashing the same damn idea just in a different setting. Meh.
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