I try to keep track of all the movies I see in a year that are new to me. This year's list is extremely lacking in new releases--I haven't seen a new film in a full price movie theater for months. I might get around to it later this week. But anyway, I watched a ton of older movies, catching myself up with pop culture. Here are standouts that I haven't written about: some of them lived up to the hype, others were disappointing.
Let's start with the disappointing:
Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)--A film about three single women in Italy and their search for husbands. My soul died a little when I realized how pre-feminist movement the whole film was. Everything from the old maid given a basket of cats to changing all your interests to match the ones of the man you want to catch. There was a lot of yelling involved on my part.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)--Lead-lined fridge in an atom bomb.
Annie Hall (1977)--I thought I liked neurotic, but this got tedious. I feel terrible for not liking this film.
American Beauty (1999)--Why was this such a huge deal? I didn't connect to it. It seems to be a bunch of ill-formed thoughts and story lines slapped on-screen.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)--Beyond mediocre filmmaking. I honestly stopped caring about the characters a half hour in. To be fair, I already knew the suprise twist, but still, mediocre.
Once (2006)--Much like You Got Served's dancers, these musicians shouldn't have tried to act. Good music though.
Casino (1995)--I know I've already expressed my rage. But seriously, top 250 on IMDb?
Let's talk about the good:
Seven Samurai (1954)/The Magnificent Seven (1960)--I saw these two on consecutive days which was probably one of the best ideas ever. While the original gets a little slow in parts, it's gives time to develop all the characters for such a simple story. Definitely lives up to its hype. And how fun/manly is The Magnificent Seven? Such a work of love of the original and is just about the most awesome thing ever.
Mostly Martha (2001)--I've never seen No Reservations, but I love this film. I have a thing for frigid/emotionally cut off female characters. I also have a thing for adorable quirky men (in this case Italian). It manages to both be dark and delightful and to incorporate a child without making me sick. Loved it.
Fearless (1993)--I didn't think I would like this film as much as I did, but put tragedy to slow motion and crescendoing strings and I'm yours. Also, I just love Isabella Rossellini.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)--Crime fighting chicks are awesome. And Anthony Hopkins is perfectly creepy/alluring/genius.
Days of Heaven (1978)--This film is lovely. The cinematography in conjunction to the magic Ennio Morricone's use of Camille Saint-Saëns' "Le Carnaval des Animaux: Aquarium" is magical. While it's more of a series of vignettes than an actual narrative, it's transfixing and the one film I really like Richard Gere in.
All That Jazz (1979)--I love dance a lot, and I love to peak into the dancing world like this musical does. And despite the ridiculously long ending song, SeaQuest guy is great.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)--A movie that I kept thinking about afterward. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet's relationship is so real and honest within such a gimmicky plot. Well done.
Persepolis (2007)--Animation that reminded me of Daria, but with an edge. I learned a lot about the Iranian revolution in the 70s and got to see an entertaining/heartbreaking female coming-of-age movie.