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Added by the giraffe on 30 May 2012 12:19
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Movies the giraffe watched: June 2012

Sort by: Showing 27 items
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The breakdown: 27 movies watched total - 20 first views and 7 re-watches...of those 6 watched on DVD (3 from my collection, 3 from Xanadon't's), 3 in the theatre, and 18 watched on Netflix instant. And I watched at least one film from every decade from the 1930s to the current one.

And so it appears that having weekends off does indeed enable me to watch more movies than usual. Either that or I just managed to squeeze more in elsewhere somehow. Regardless, 27 movies is the new record for this year & I'm very surprised I hit that number. Also this is the first time I've seen 3 movies at the theatre in one month in a long time, helped by the fact that all of them were special screenings. On the other hand I didn't make it out to see any of the current movies I'd like to watch, so I'll have to do better with that next month.

Focusing on last year's films definitely helped too as I got 10 of them watched. I've still got a handful left which I plan to watch next month in hopes of finally having a Best movies of 2011 list worth publishing (almost there). It also helped that Netflix waited until the end of the month to remove (a ton of) content, of which I watched about half of what left my IQ. Not too bad.

And I watched 3 of Xanadon't's films, 2 of which weren't on my radar at all while Notorious was only on my radar because he has sang its praises so often. Unfortunately we disagreed on that one, but I really enjoyed Who's Knocking At My Door? and Roman Holiday. Next month I finish his set of films.

So I'd say all around this was a really good month despite whatever minor complaints I may have about it. We'll see how July compares....

Best film for June: Insidious
Best hidden gem(s): Ace in the Hole or Everything Must Go
Worst film for June: Bad Lieutenant (which I couldn't finish)
Worst film I managed to finish: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Re-watch - June 13th

Review by PvtCaboose91

Finally shelled out for a DVD copy of this as much for my daughter to enjoy as so I could finally revisit it after all these years. The Muppet Movie isn't as perfect as I'd remembered (and as the above review points out), but I'm willing to mostly overlook its few flaws in favor of the staying power it has. Prior to bringing it home I hadn't seen it since the '80s & yet many of the film's best moments still stick with me. Admittedly I now get more enjoyment out of some of the jokes & most of the cameos than I would have as a child, which is to be expected. And re-watching it I now appreciate last year's The Muppets even more for all the references to this film, a few of which I hadn't caught on to because I'd forgotten about the connections.

Anyway, I still love it & get a kick out of watching my daughter get excited while watching it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 247 Average listal rating (158 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7
UHF (1989)
Re-watch - June 16th

This week The A.V. Club added UHF to its New Cult Canon. Reading the article & all the comments attached to it (most of which celebrated its quotability) had me itching to revisit it for the umpteenth time. Still hilarious.
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Monthly focus: Films from 2011

People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.8
Dragonslayer (2011)
First viewing - June 2nd

Decided to kick off June with a documentary that I recently saw an article for. I thought maybe it'd be a good palate-cleanser for the start of a new month, but I'm not so sure it worked out that way.

Since I'm apparently the first person on here to watch it, I should probably state that the doc centers on a 22-year-old skater dude & follows him around for several months. He's an interesting subject, but one I wasn't especially impressed with personally. Interesting in that he's surviving more or less outside of the system & thus is about as close as one can get to being truly free. But at the same time he shirks responsibilities & doesn't seem to be conscious of why he's living the way he does. It seemed to me he had always lived this way, rather than that he chose it for some personal reason (which would have been more interesting). It provided me with some food for thought, and thus wasn't an entire waste of my time, but then there's one major stylistic choice I struggled to endure...

Probably 50% of the film is shot out of focus. I'm sure it was done on purpose, but it makes the doc look like it was shot by an unprofessional idiot. It makes the entire thing frustrating to watch & were it not for the fact the story caught & held my interest I would have turned it off quickly (in fact I almost did anyway). In the end I was glad I didn't, but I can't easily recommend this film to others for this reason. So watch at your own risk.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 6th

Were it not for the overabundance of CGI used here that while making for some interesting visuals also is so obvious that you're consciously aware you're watching a movie, this might have been a Great film. Everything else about it is very well done (strong performances, excellent story, good soundtrack), though there are also aspects that will require a sense of humor to appreciate. I think perhaps my expectations were too high after seeing the trailer, but still this is a solidly entertaining movie & well worth a look.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 4.8 IMDB Rating 5.2
First viewing - June 8th

Ah the joys of zero expectations... Admittedly this film is very Horror 101, but I found myself caught up in it nonetheless. I especially enjoyed the performance by Patrick Breen, who commands the screen every moment he's visible. It's not perfect, but I loved it despite its flaws. So thanks to Netflix for the recommendation, since it seems that otherwise I might not have watched it at all.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2593 Average listal rating (1834 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
Drive (2011)
First viewing - June 8th-9th

I think all the hype around here dulled my appreciation for this one a bit, but it's definitely a very good film. I was thoroughly entertained thanks to a well-told story, solid acting performances, and its overall homage to an older style of filmmaking that's mostly gone but definitely not forgotten. I didn't care much for the soundtrack, however, and on this occasion I can't say I fell head over heels in love with it as many of you have despite several touches that I highly enjoyed. Perhaps a re-watch will bump it up, so I'll leave it in my IQ to revisit down the road.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 350 Average listal rating (203 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.6
Tyrannosaur (2011)
First viewing - June 13th

Not an easy film to swallow, as the opening scene lets you know up front. I like dark films sometimes, but this one is almost too dark for me. Fortunately the lead performances are stellar, and the relationship at the film's center is both thought-provoking & compelling. Nothing here is predictable & there are some very memorable visuals. The dialogue rings true as well. So all told this directorial debut from Paddy Considine is well made & worth a look...it just won't be to everyone's taste.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 310 Average listal rating (205 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
First viewing - June 18th

My 2011 Favorites - by Xanadon't (#15)

I know it says 2010 up there, but it didn't hit theatres here until 2011...2010 was all movie fests & such. Anyway, this is one of those simple little movies that hit me in just the right way. All the performances are excellent & believable, with each actor/actress successfully disappearing into his/her respective role. Will Ferrell has always shown signs of his ability to act beyond his usual silly roles (well, always so far as I've watched him anyway...by the time he joined SNL I'd long since quit watching so I can't speak to those days), and he does a tremendous job here playing a character that's hit the bottom but still has some sense of humor left. I loved the story, dug the soundtrack, and the ending was very satisfying to me. The only thing holding it back from a perfect score is there was nothing here that's really "new" or otherwise would carry it to a masterpiece status, but for me this is a Great film I enjoy & love.

Had to link to one of Xanadon't's lists since he's the one who originally put it on my radar...thanks buddy!

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 466 Average listal rating (262 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 5.3
First viewing - June 19th

Sleeping Beauty has a lot to say. Most of it relates to the dominant/submissive roles in sexual relationships and the connection between sex and commerce. The problem is that a lot of what Leigh wants to convey gets muddled in the telling. It's possible that in trying to explore too many themes, she leaves even the choicest morsels half-eaten. Lucy's relationship with Birdmann is a case in point. Their interaction is fascinating but it never accomplishes anything more substantive than to say: Lucy is capable of human feeling; she's not completely dead inside. I had the feeling Leigh is trying to make a more profound point, but I was never sure what that point is supposed to be. It's not merely one instance; the production as a whole is rife with such moments.

One you start Sleeping Beauty, however, watching it to the conclusion falls into the compulsory "train wreck viewing" category. You can't turn away. There are too many fertile ideas floating around that, even though few of them germinate with vigor, their existence gives the movie a degree of propulsion. So, although sticking with Sleeping Beauty can be frustrating, it's never boring or uninteresting. I just wish Leigh's concern with being a storyteller had matched that of being an artist with a message.
--off-site review by James Berardinelli of reelviews.net

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 416 Average listal rating (257 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.6
First viewing - June 20th

Xanadon't, jaytoast, and Bml93 already called this one for what it was (check those links for their thoughts), and yet I still decided to give it a look. Sigh. Clearly when those 3 walk away from a horror movie with the same response I should listen to them.

Dumb, predictable, & cliched, the only thing to recommend this one is the technical side of things (well, visuals and sound anyway). It's not often I call out characters for their stupidity in horror films, but this crew made me do it repeatedly especially in the final moments. And here's a thought for the people behind this film & horror films in general: if you can't be bothered to make your audience care about the "good guys"/victims, at least give us a villain so interesting & engaging that we'll happily watch as they dispatch everyone in their way. Otherwise you've failed completely.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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First viewing - June 24th

My daughter was sick today, so we spent time on the couch watching movies. Since she loves Elmo & Sesame Street (and what kid doesn't at some point?), we watched this documentary about the man behind the muppet. She hardly paid attention, but her mom & I both highly enjoyed every moment as they followed Kevin Clash's rise to superstardom despite the fact that most people wouldn't recognize him if they passed him on the street. Elmo came along after I quit watching Sesame Street, so I've never been a fan of his. Yet by the end of this I found an appreciation for the character as well as Clash's abilities as a puppeteer. Touching, informative, and well worth watching.

Currently streaming on Netflix
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1371 Average listal rating (932 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.8
Insidious (2011)
First viewing - June 25th

A PG-13 horror movie just took my top spot for 2011. Solid performances, perfect atmosphere, a wonderfully creepy soundtrack, and an ending I definitely did NOT see coming. It's obviously inspired by films like Poltergeist, Amityville Horror, and The Exorcist, but it takes the subject matter & puts a fresh spin on it which I found refreshing. Also, I'm pretty sure I won't be going to sleep any time soon tonight.

Currently streaming on Netflix
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Big screen attractions

Films caught in a theatre
People who added this item 2011 Average listal rating (1287 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Poltergeist (1982)

Re-watch - June 3rd

As you can probably tell from the first image here, my favorite theatre chain Alamo Drafthouse is spending this summer celebrating the films of the summer of 1982. This month I finally get to make it out to see some of the films they're screening (all in 35mm), starting with Poltergeist.

I still love this movie. The performances are stellar (especially JoBeth Williams), the atmosphere is perfect, the characters are believably realistic, and the effects have held up really well for their time (a fact made even clearer seeing it on the big screen). There are a few minor inconsistencies due to editing, but aside from them I can't find a single thing to fault the movie on. So thrilled I finally got a chance to see this in a proper theatre, and preceded by trailers for Creepshow, Amityville II: The Possession, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, and Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan no less.
the giraffe's rating:

Re-watch - June 12th

Best movies of 1982

Still pure cinematic bliss. 30 years ago my dad took me to see it in the theatre, so when I found out Alamo Drafthouse was screening it this month I decided my Father's Day gift to him would be to take him to see it. We both walked out afterwards very very happy.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 2594 Average listal rating (1795 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1

Re-watch - June 22nd

My favorite of Carpenter's films, and one that has aged really well. The effects are outstanding...they look real & thus are more believable than CGI ever seems. Great acting, great atmosphere, great soundtrack...damn I love this movie & I'm glad I finally got a chance to see it on the big screen.
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Listal Group Project

Movie Exchange Program

See also this month's lists from: phillydude, jaytoast, and Xanadon't
People who added this item 193 Average listal rating (112 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
First viewing - June 10th

A thoughtful exploration of sex and love, Scorsese's first film worked better for me than some of his later ones. That's due largely to the simplicity of it and the strong performances of Keitel & Bethune. Their chemistry is perfect, and I thoroughly enjoyed their conversations about movies through which Scorsese displays his love of cinema (a discussion of Lee Marvin made me wonder if this character grew up to be Mr. White in Reservoir Dogs). Once sex enters into the picture though things get complicated & we're given food for thought regarding past social beliefs & the factors that influence them (religion, upbringing, tradition, personal experiences). A fitting subject, given the year the film was made & the sexual revolution that was getting going.

On the other hand it's never entirely clear what's going on with the young men in the film (do they work? are they gangsters?), and there are some technical aspects that don't work so well. The ending is a little weak too. But as we know over time Scorsese's technique would improve, and there are many signs here of what would come. As a debut though, I thought it was very good.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1327 Average listal rating (809 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8
First viewing - June 24th

I'm not a big fan of romantic comedies in general, but Roman Holiday is among the better ones I've seen. My only complaint is that it was obvious where the film was headed, but fortunately it's not so obvious how it will get there. I felt it ran a little long too, but that may have had more to do with the late hour I watched it. Still, it's entertaining thanks largely to the performances of the couple at its center whose chemistry works so well throughout, as well as a mostly believable story.

Once again I have to thank Xanadon't, as I would likely have skipped this one too.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1074 Average listal rating (656 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
Notorious (1946)
First viewing - June 24th

Also watched while hanging out with our daughter, since we knew there wouldn't be anything here objectionable for young viewers. Personally I wasn't at all impressed by it. Didn't connect with it, found the story to be rather dull, didn't believe in the romantic aspects of the plot, and was only mildly entertained as a result. Which is sad, as I usually dig Hitchcock's work. Also I was a little annoyed that so many scenes have obvious starts & ends to them rather than flowing naturally together...it looked like each scene had been shot separately & pieced back together afterwards. Aside from the clunky transitions though the film looks great, and most of the performances are solid. But the suspense I've come to expect from a Hitchcock film doesn't show up until a pair of scenes toward the end, by which time it was too little too late. Bummer.

Looking at the ratings for Notorious it appears the film works better for others than it did for me, so your results may well vary greatly from mine.
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Year-long series focus: The Marx Bros.

I've decided this year I want to re-watch all of the Marx Bros. movies in order. Since there's 12 of them total, that gives me one per month.
People who added this item 448 Average listal rating (286 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.8
Re-watch - June 8th

Perhaps a far better movie overall as far as the Marx Brothers' films go up to this point, as for once the plot is held to tightly & every scene serves a purpose. A Night at the Opera boasts some of the brothers' most memorable bits, including one of the Greatest scenes ever, the stateroom scene. And so in these respects it's definitely worthy of its distinction as a great classic movie. Yet the anarchy of their earlier films seems to have gone out with Zeppo, which is a little sad. Instead it's traded for the musical performances, which are well done but lacking in the humor department. Ah but the fact they make an opera worth sitting through for me (instead of sleep-inducing) is worthy of my excusing the decision to finally adhere to a proper movie format instead of letting the brothers run amok.
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Netflix exorcisms

Films I watched before Netflix removed them from my IQ this month
People who added this item 1420 Average listal rating (882 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.2
First viewing - June 21st

A re-watch down the road may yield a higher rating, as when I watched this fatigue set in & I was falling asleep during the last half hour. I don't think my eyes were ever closed long enough to miss anything important, but my enthusiasm dropped a bit as a result.

Still, this is a thought-provoking film full of unforgettable images. While certain aspects are certainly dated, it seems Cronenberg's ideas were still far enough ahead of time to still be relevant today which is pretty awesome. The cast is solid, the soundtrack's good, & sleepiness aside I was quite entertained.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 849 Average listal rating (569 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.9
First viewing - June 22nd

As much of a disappointment as I'd always heard it was. I watched this just because it's the only movie directed by Mel Brooks I had never seen, and the negative feedback was my main reason for putting it off. Turns out I could have continued to avoid it. There are a handful of funny/entertaining moments, but the majority of it falls flat. It's a shame Mel quit after this one. He would've been better off quitting before making it.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 580 Average listal rating (358 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8
The Hustler (1961)
Re-watch - June 26th/27th

Been years since I last watched this & it was far better than I remembered. I can't think of a thing I didn't love about it, so it's been bumped up from an 8.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 469 Average listal rating (279 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1
First viewing - June 28th/29th

Review by madstalk

Pretty much agree with the above review. Kirk Douglas is Amazing and almost everything is Great. The ending seems a little off & is the only weak point IMO. Absolutely worth a look, and I have to thank Kris for putting it on my radar. So glad I watched it before it left instant.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1012 Average listal rating (648 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
First viewing - June 29th

Since I had 2 Sidney Lumet films leaving my IQ, I decided to make a double feature out of them starting with Serpico. I was very caught up in the story, and Pacino gives a Great performance from start to finish. Really everything works well here & I can easily see why it's considered a classic film. The only problem I had was it ran a bit longer than perhaps necessary, but it's possible that has mostly to do with how much ground there is to cover.

Excellent film & I'm glad I finally sat down with it.
the giraffe's rating:
First viewing - June 30th

Part 2 of the Lumet double feature also had an excellent story, with solid performances all around. None of them were especially exceptional, but still definitely good. The story also wasn't very original, but it's told well enough that that can be forgiven. My biggest issue was with the transitions whenever the film jumped around from one time to another. All of them were silly & detracted from my enjoyment of the film. I guess it was done to be different, but in my opinion it fails to be a good kind of different.

Anyway, it's worth a look but I don't think it's essential viewing.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1279 Average listal rating (725 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5
First viewing - June 30th

Visually amazing & in that sense at least this is one of the most original films I've ever seen. The scene where bedsprings lead other noises into a musical interlude is now among my favorite scenes of all time, and all the music throughout is very well done. Really everything here fires on all cylinders, though the story is rather convoluted. I think I got it, but I'd need at least one re-watch to be sure. Definitely going to have to add this one to my collection.
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I tried, but I gave up

People who added this item 697 Average listal rating (417 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.1
Attempted on June 23rd

Not even bothering to find an image for this one. Why this film is liked at all is beyond me, and around the 30-minute mark I decided I wasn't going to continue to watch to figure it out. From what I saw it was good on technical levels, but much like the more recent sequel the story & subject matter is in such poor taste I can't get any enjoyment out of it.

Continuing my efforts to keep track of my thoughts on the movies I watch, one month at a time. This month my work schedule changes to open up Friday & Saturday nights, so we'll see how that affects the amount of movies I get watched. Also there are some theatrical events going on in addition to the release of some films I'm anxious to see, which should result in more trips to the theatre than usual. Summer's looking pretty good right now.
See also:
the giraffe's lists for 2012

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