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Added by the giraffe on 28 Jun 2013 05:06
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Movies the giraffe watched: July 2013

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The breakdown: 21 movies watched - 10 via Netflix instant, 6 via DVD, and 5(!) in the theatre; of those 18 were first views, one of which was a short film, 3 were re-watches, and they came from the following decades: 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 90s, 00s, and 2010s.

OK, so first off I made it to the theatre 4 times which is a record for me I think, at least it is since I moved to Austin. It helped that some movies came out I wanted to see, and that the month was mostly free of big plans that could prevent my making it to a theatre. It also helped that I wanted to drop in my former favorite theatre close to home as well as check out the new theatre that opened. And the new one is so nice I'll be happy to make it my theatrical home for the foreseeable future.

I'm also pleased that I managed to bump up my productivity overall. Having my family leave town without me at the beginning of the month definitely helped that. I also managed to watch more films than usual from the Netflix Instant Project, which I've felt like I'm slacking on lately. And as for the films that left Netflix, I managed to watch 3 out of 5 which is pretty good. Oh yeah, and my secret goal of watching more older movies was also reached this month (9 of them released prior to my birth). Yay! If my work schedule didn't currently involve so many late nights I might have watched more, but c'est la vie I suppose. Still, I'm very pleased to have managed to pull off a more productive month all around.

Best new-to-me films for June: Double Indemnity/The Conjuring/Run Lola Run (three-way tie!)
Best hidden gem: The Lady Eve
Worst film: Sherlock, Jr. (though with a 5/10 rating it's clearly not THAT bad)
Re-watch - July 6th/7th

Pretty sure I hadn't seen this one since the '90s, so I was long overdue to revisit it. Funny enough, my rating hasn't changed at all. It's still a good movie, very entertaining and memorable. But I don't enjoy it quite as much as its predecessor, due largely to the fact that Edward Furlong tends to ruin it for me with his awful acting. Plus there are some really cheesy moments along the way that provoke me to make fun of them. Still, it's worth watching once every decade or so.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Re-watch - July 7th

Still makes me laugh so hard at times I cry. Love it.

Just a thought: The timing on my watching this could not have been more perfect, as there's a bit here where he talks about taking his kids to Disney World. The next day my "wife" & kiddo went to Disney World, and afterward she felt pretty much the same as Gaffigan does as expressed here.

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People who added this item 418 Average listal rating (231 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9
First viewing - July 7th

Old-school Horror double-feature


Been wanting to watch this for a long time now, so I rented it along with the movie below it here. I knew I was in trouble though the moment the credits told me it's adapted from Henry James's story "The Turn of the Screw" which I read in college & didn't care for. But I tried not to hold that against it and was doing OK enjoying it for the first half or so. Then the movie just seemed to drag on & on well beyond my patience for it. And as some of you know, I'm pretty patient most of the time. It didn't help that I didn't care much for any of the characters either, nor was I ever scared. I will say that it's a remarkable film visually though, and the acting is pretty good.

But really you're better off watching The Others.

Just a thought: I was very amused watching the candles in the film as they went from long to short to long again, or in some cases stayed the same length no matter how long they burned. Makes one wonder how many candles they went through during filming.
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People who added this item 133 Average listal rating (68 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
First viewing - July 8th

Old-school Horror double-feature


THIS is the movie I've wanted so badly to see all these years? What a disappointment. Now don't get me wrong, the dialogue here is mostly a treat, especially when it involves playful banter. The sets are excellent & I liked some of the characters, plus Karloff is menacingly creepy. But the film fails to strike the right balance between its comedic and horror sides, and thus at times just doesn't work effectively. It also doesn't help that the film quality is terrible at times, but that's obviously because it came from an old print that could have been better preserved.

Anyway, I enjoyed it more than The Innocents, but compared to James Whale's other films I'm pretty disappointed by it.
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First viewing - July 8th

40s/Barbara Stanwyck double-feature


Another film to add to the list of reasons why I love Billy Wilder. It fell just short of crossing over into perfection for me, but there's nothing here I didn't enjoy. If you've seen it then I don't have to explain myself, and if you haven't then go watch it & you'll understand.

Just a thought: I didn't realize it until afterward, but this and The Lady Eve also have in common cast members from My Three Sons.

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People who added this item 1298 Average listal rating (850 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.8
Insidious (2010)
Re-watch - July 21st/22nd

Last time I watched this I did so alone. After we saw The Conjuring, however, my other half decided she wanted to watch Insidious and who am I to argue with her? It's maintained the rating I'd given it before due largely to a finale that leaves my skin riddled with goosebumps & hairs standing on end, not to mention the fact that in the wake of it I find it nigh impossible to fall asleep any time soon. If I wanted to I could point out a couple of flaws along the way, but the end result renders them mere trifles.

The sequel is set to drop before the year ends, and you can bet I'll show up to the theatre to catch it. Guess I should also work on watching the rest of James Wan's films to see how I feel about them compared to his two latest (well, at this point anyway).
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Big screen attractions

Films caught in a theatre
First viewing - July 2nd

This is the short film that precedes Monsters University. I dug the animation, but the plot was nothing new or exceptional. Definitely not something I'd go out of my way to experience again.
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People who added this item 1393 Average listal rating (888 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
First viewing - July 2nd

Caught this one with my family at a Drafthouse Baby Day screening, and it was well worth the trip. It never quite lives up to the film it precedes, but overall it's solidly entertaining despite the fact that the plot has been done before in other films. I especially liked the way the film avoided ending with the obvious conclusion by pushing past it to offer a little more (and thus also avoided the possibility of another prequel down the road...yay!). The whole family enjoyed it, and I have little doubt that my daughter will be asking to watch it again down the road...and when she does I would even be willing to watch it with her at some point.
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People who added this item 1226 Average listal rating (749 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.4
First viewing - July 6th

No, it's not as good as the first film. Sure there's a different tone to the film, but that's because our main character CHANGED at the end of the previous film. I don't see this as an issue. The only issue here is that the whole thing is obvious from the start, and thus there are no real surprises along the way. Fortunately there are plenty of visual treats that are memorable and occasionally surprising, and the whole film is solidly entertaining. It could be a whole lot better, but I had enough fun with it that I only minded after it ended.
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People who added this item 1199 Average listal rating (818 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5
The Conjuring (2013)
First viewing - July 20th


Review by PvtCaboose91

Not a thing in the review above I disagree with. Go watch this.

My trip to see The Conjuring was a bittersweet one, as it marked the last time I'll attend a movie at the Drafthouse location nearest to my house. On Monday a new Drafthouse opens about 2 miles north of the one I've frequented over the past few years, rendering the old theatre irrelevant. Farewell, Lake Creek Alamo Drafthouse & thanks for all the great experiences.

Just a thought: Watching children go through hell in haunted house movies makes me want to keep mine curled up in bed with me at night.
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People who added this item 1356 Average listal rating (917 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.9
Pacific Rim (2013)
First viewing - July 27th

If for whatever reason you're planning on waiting for DVD to watch Pacific Rim, drop that plan and go watch it on the big screen. Failure to do so will deny you the full enjoyment of all the spectacle on display here. I'd definitely watch it again, but only in a theatre because no TV is going to be able to replicate the big-screen experience. So odds are I won't ever own it on DVD (unless I get my own home theatre set-up at some point, complete with projector & big screen to watch everything on). Now, sure, the plot & characters have all more or less been seen before. But I don't care. Why? Because watching giant robots fight giant monsters is pure cinematic bliss, especially for my inner child. This isn't a Great film by any means, but then if you've watched many Kaiju films you know that that's standard for the genre. Among its genre peers you could consider it great though, as the human side of the story is handled well enough to not bitch about too much & the fight scenes are jaw-dropping, well-shot, and even humorous at times. All of which adds up to GO SEE IT ALREADY. It won't change your life, but it'll provide 2 solid hours of escapism entertainment that's well worth your money.

On a personal note, this was also our first experience at the newest Austin location of the Alamo Drafthouse. The whole place smells new (kind of like that new car smell), is wonderfully designed, and has a full bar which we'll look forward to check out soon (though we did peruse their menu). Much more comfortable than the old Lake Creek location too. In a perfect world I would have gone today for their special event screening of the Blood & Ice Cream trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End) with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, & Nick Frost in attendance for Q&A. Sadly it sold out in less than an hour after being announced. Ah well, I'm sure I'll see The World's End as soon as possible after it opens next month.

Just a thought: Stick around for an additional scene during the credits.
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Netflix Instant Project 2013


Netflix Instant Project for 2013


My secondary project for 2013 involves recommendations of lesser-known/lesser-seen films that are currently streaming on Netflix, also from my fellow Listalites. 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 631 Average listal rating (389 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.8
First viewing - July 1st/2nd

Kicked off July with this uneven little film which I spent about two-thirds of its run-time enjoying, and the other third wondering where the movie I was enjoying went. There are some truly hilarious moments sprinkled throughout the film as well as some thought-provoking questions brought up as it explores what might happen if an average person became a superhero. Unfortunately the film keeps getting darker without it feeling organic, and then it leaves you with as happy an ending it can squeeze out after all the smoke clears. The oddest thing for me is that for a film that tries so hard to remain grounded in reality, our protagonist manages to make it through all the events without ever being caught by the police despite there being ample opportunity for him to do so. In fact, were it not for the lone cop in the film the cops would be completely left out of it. It struck me as very unbelievable.

Rainn Wilson does an excellent job with what he's given here though, but I can't say I was ever as impressed with the rest of the cast which ranged from solid to barely passable. And this is the first time where Ellen Page has annoyed me in a role, though as I look around I seem to be in the minority on that. Anyway, overall it was OK I guess but I sure wouldn't watch it again.

Just a thought: The Holy Avenger's TV show is probably my favorite thing out of the entire film, and not because of its titular character. Also I'd like to add that I watched this BEFORE it was recommended for the project, and had to move it to this section after.

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People who added this item 317 Average listal rating (178 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
First viewing - July 9th

40s/Barbara Stanwyck double-feature


Stayed up well past my bedtime to watch this film, recommended by Mr. Saturn, and didn't regret the delay of sleep at all. The chemistry between Fonda and Stanwyck makes the film a delight to watch & thus easy to recommend. The rest of the cast does a good job as well, and I liked the story for the most part. Something about the way it wrapped up didn't quite work for me on a first viewing & thus just held it back from crossing my personal threshold into Great territory, so I'll have to revisit it down the road & see if that changes. And I'll be happy to do so.

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People who added this item 545 Average listal rating (323 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.3
First viewing - June ??/July 16th

At some point last month I attempted to watch this one night & fell asleep about 15 minutes into it. I wasn't too crazy about it, so I put off finishing it until last night when I was too awake to go to sleep yet. Supposedly this is a comedy, but I never laughed once. So if I rated it accordingly by laughs, it fails. Fortunately there are some creative ideas that are impressive enough to make it worth watching. But while I admired the craft I can't say I was impressed by much else. Chalk it up to taste.

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People who added this item 163 Average listal rating (87 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8
SciusciĆ  (1946)
First viewing - July 25th

Meh. For some reason I never fully connected with the characters & as a result the film seemed to drag along. The acting is good, the story is decent, but I never got very excited about it. In fact, I started falling asleep toward the end (though that may have just been because I was tired rather than the film's fault). So while it was neat to check out this little film I otherwise wouldn't have heard of, I can't say it's my taste or that I'd watch it again. I can say though that you might enjoy it more than I did, especially if you dig movies that are "true to life".

Currently streaming on Netflix; leaves Aug. 2nd
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Five by Five


2013 - Five by Five


Last year I did the Movie Exchange Program with fellow Listalites jaytoast, phillydude, and Xanadon't. This year we've modified our project, expanded our group to include lotr23 and Mackenzi, and set out to watch 25 films throughout the year with 5 films recommended by each member to each other member. See the above list for all recommendations, and as soon as I have links to everyone else's lists to share I'll include them here.

See also:
lotr23's July-August 2013 Movie Journal
Mack's Movies 2013: July
Portlander's Movie Log - July, 2013
jaytoast's Cinema Diary - Vol 4 E5 - July 2013
People who added this item 1602 Average listal rating (940 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.2
First viewing - July 7th

Recommended by portlander



I'm sure there's nothing I can say about this film that hasn't already been said. I can see why many consider it a masterpiece, even if it wasn't a new personal favorite. Still, I dug the characters and the ideas in the film, especially the well-rounded exploration of death without letting it get too serious. Perhaps it was merely my mood at the time that prevented me from giving it a higher rating, but I'm sure I'll watch it again at some point to find out.
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People who added this item 2226 Average listal rating (1373 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
First viewing - July 7th

Recommended by jaytoast



Now THIS is my kind of movie. I dug the characters, loved the visual style of it, and especially the way the story is presented. The acting is excellent and the whole film is very thought-provoking. And I thought the opening narration provided a perfect segue from The Seventh Seal. The only thing missing was that magic feeling that a 10/10 film leaves me with, but it came damn close to hitting that mark.

Just a thought: This is the 3rd film I've seen with Moritz Bleibtreu in a major role and the 3rd I've loved, which makes me think I need to watch more of his movies.
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First viewing - July 27th/28th (Director's Cut)

Recommended by Mackenzi



So several years ago I got a pass for a free sneak preview of this film in the mail, but for reasons I can no longer recall I wound up not going. However I always kept it in mind, and so I was glad when Mackenzi included it in this project as it's clearly been a long time now I've wanted to watch it. Finding it in the local video store required assistance, as for some odd reason (even odder to me now) they'd filed it in "Euro Horror". To me this is more of an action/thriller, and a damn good one at that. I guess the opening fell squarely in the horror genre, but that's the closest it ever came really. Anyway, excellent acting, an interesting plot, some fun action sequences, and mostly good effects make this one well worth watching. Plus as the story unfolded I quit caring that it wasn't shaping up to be a true horror movie. Some elements were predictable, a few effects were pretty cheesy, and it was perhaps a bit longer than necessary (this last one no doubt a fault of this being the Director's Cut I watched), but those are fairly minor complaints here. I dug it & I'd gladly watch it again some day.
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Netflix exorcisms

Films I caught before Netflix removed them from my IQ this month
People who added this item 56 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing - July 14th

I spent last year watching all of the Marx Brothers' films I have collected in two sets on DVD. This one wasn't a part of either set, but does indeed have Groucho, Chico, and Harpo in it and the story idea came from Harpo. Thus it's the 13th & final Marx Brothers' film, though they made one more movie where each of them were in it but none of them in the same scene (The Story of Mankind, and all were cameos at that). And so I've come as close as possible to having seen all of their films (which doesn't count anything lost, films where only one of them was in it, or short performances in films where they weren't the center of the entire work).

And now that I've seen it I can understand why it's not included in the aforementioned sets. Groucho spends the majority of the film relegated to a narrator role & thus hardly shows up on screen. Harpo & Chico are at the film's center, and here they're surrounded by some solid actors including Raymond Burr and Marilyn Monroe in her film debut (hers is a minor role that definitely leaves a strong impression). The whole thing is entertaining enough & the story stays mostly on course (a rarity among their films). It never quite crossed the line for me to being worth revisiting much (especially since the laughs here are more of the chuckling quietly variety than the laugh-out-loud type), but I thought it was well worth watching.
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People who added this item 177 Average listal rating (109 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.1
First viewing - July 23rd

Not entirely sure why I'd added this film to my IQ, unless it was simply the fact that it's a '90s movie with Kevin Spacey in it that I hadn't seen. Whatever the case, it was OK I guess. It's entertaining enough & the performances are solid (I wouldn't call any of them exceptional), but not something I'd ever watch again. I wasn't thrilled by the ending, and the heavy amount of yelling got old pretty quick. I'm sure that people in the real world are like the characters depicted here, and if so I'm thankful to not be surrounded by them. Anyway, it's worth a look I guess but not necessary.

Just a thought: If this is what it's like to work in Hollywood, I'm glad I never pursued a career there.
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People who added this item 1019 Average listal rating (614 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
First viewing - July 29th/30th

I honestly had no interest in this before, but when I noticed Billy Wilder directed it I finally added it to my IQ to watch. And I'm pretty glad I did. It's predictable from the beginning, but fortunately everything else is handled so well I hardly minded. Or maybe I was just trapped in Audrey Hepburn's spell & that was good enough for me. No wait, I did like some of the other characters too & thought the acting was pretty solid all around. And I found it very funny, which also added to my enjoyment. So yeah, it's well worth watching if you haven't seen it yet, so long as you can get over the fact it's predictable (which is standard for rom-coms).

Just a thought: My rating for this is very borderline...could be a 7 or an 8 honestly. But because I don't need to watch it again I went with my default rating of 7.

Currently streaming on Netflix; leaves August 1st
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Last month a variety of things derailed my movie-watching plans, but this month kicks off with me being left behind while my other half & kiddo take off on vacation for about a week. So I'm kicking off the month with more movies watched than usual, so that when other obstacles arise I won't feel as bad about dropping off.

Added to

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