Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!" I wrote this last Decemeber, I guess I was planning on being less of a loser and posting a year ago, but it appears I abandoned this, much like many other things in my life.  But, I don't want to be an abandoner especially when I've actually been dedicated and good at something for a change.  So I'll finish up this post and then maybe, possibly post again today or tomorrow or at least before another year goes by. Yes, I know...been awhile.  Yes, I know...I suck.  I'm posting mostly because I'm procrastinating (yet again).  The semester is actually finished, I got As in two of my classes, but there's this one stupid assignment for this Pass/Fail course that I just cannot seem to finish, it's haunting me, plaguing me, not getting done, I was going to finish it this weekend, but I ended up getting sick and not able to do much of anything, except watch movies.  So in honor of that I'm going to update and continue to not get this assignment done (yes, I know I'm an idiot).  So here are the next few movies from the list:

  1. Queen Christina (1933) starring Greta Garbo, I recorded this movie from TCM (woo TCM!) in 2003.  Wow 2003 was a long time ago.  I enjoyed the movie, I always intend to watch more Greta Garbo movies and then never get around to it, but I love her understated-ness and her ability to do so much by doing so little.  And of course it's always interesting to see movies that star real-life couples.  I think that's one of my favorite things, sometimes awesome and sometimes slightly bizarre Hollywood couples.
  2. Las Hurdes (1933) aka Land Without Bread.  Directed by Luis Bunuel aka director of the super creepy eyeball cutting movie Un Chien Andalou.  I believe I couldn't find this movie on DVD and I ended up finding at my local library on VHS, I can't recall the year and I didn't write it down.  I'll have to check my other notes, but yeah it was an interesting 30 minute short about a struggling community, that seemed to be representative of perhaps impoverished areas of Spain...perhaps.
  3. King Kong (1933) was brought to me by TCM, thanks TCM.  I watched this movie in 2003 (I can't believe I've been working on this list for over 7 years...pathetic? or awesome?  you decide).  Anyway, great to see the original King Kong.  I had seen the 1976 Jeff Bridges/Jessica Lange version of King Kong and the Peter Jackson 2005 edition as well, both of which I enjoyed.  But, I always feel like I've done myself a disservice by seeing the remakes before getting to experience the originals, just because the original always seems a little slower, or a little less impressive.  Even though it should be revered as the trailblazer.
  4. The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933), I couldn't find this movie ANYWHERE! I searched high and low and couldn't believe that a Frank Capra film should be so hard to find.  I luckily found it at my local library on VHS in 2007, as of today it's still listed as unreleased at Netflix, but it looks like it's part of a Barbara Stanwyck box set!  This movie didn't feel like your typical Frank Capra cinematic adventure, but I still enjoyed it and it was interesting to see a lesser known possibly forgotten classic.
  5. Sons of the Desert (1933) was my first Laurel and Hardy movie and I loved it.  They're so funny and endearing, some of their little gags are a tad violent, but it's all in good fun.  I found this movie in 2003 at Rocket Video on VHS, it still doesn't seem to be available on DVD at this point in time.  I enjoyed this movie, it was just frustrating to watch at times, it's hard to believe so much could go so wrong for 2 people, but most of the time it happens in a humorous way.  While I did enjoy this movie, I think my favorite Laurel and Hardy movie is, The Music Box (1932), which I happened to catch on TCM on Essentials Jr.  I watched it with my dad and we couldn't stop laughing.
Below are some handy-dandy links to most of the movies mentioned in this post; If you're a crazy movie collector, like me, they might come in handy.  And I must say I'm surprised that Queen Christina is so reasonably priced!  I love having the ability to link to specific movies at Amazon, sometimes it's so hard to track down these movies. 

Anyway, that's enough from me for today.  I'm going to try to post again soon, because I have some excited 1001 must see movie news!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Why don't you come up some time and see me?

In honor of reaching 600 movies watched from the 1001 movies you must see before you die list, I regale you all with a post!! How fun for you and me! I think the real reason I'm posting is cause I'm procrastinating. I have an assignment to finish up that's due tomorrow and I just can't get it finished. So I'd rather update the blog I haven't updated in many, many moons than just finish my homework, I'm a genius aren't I?

So the movie that ended up being my 600th movie is a very uncharacteristic movie for me. It was Rosemary's Baby. It isn't exactly the kind of movie I would seek out and watch; but I'll admit it was pretty good. It was weird seeing Ruth Gordon as a creepster, especially since she was so adorable in Harold and Maude. But she did a good job with the role, all the acting was great. Mia Farrow conveyed all the fear that one would be feeling if they were being lied to by everyone (including her husband) and carrying the spawn of satan. The ending was a little anti-climactic, but all in all a good movie. Anyway, back to the update:
  1. First up is 42nd Street. I got this movie from Netflix in 2007. I was familiar with the story because in Middle School the theater group put on this play, and a boy I had a crush on had the lead roll. The movie was good, very entertaining.
  2. I was very intrigued by Footlight Parade, I couldn't imagine what it would be like to see James Cagney in a musical of all things. I was pleasantly surprised. I also really enjoyed Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell. I got the movie from Netflix a few years ago.
  3. I got Gold Diggers of 1933, from Netflix in 2007. I don't remember this movie that well. But I remember enjoying it. I'm a big fan of Musicals, especially Busby Berkley musicals. I can't help but wonder how those girls don't topple right over, I can barely walk in heels, yet they prance around and teeter atop stairs and platforms. Very impressive.
  4. I saw, She Done Him Wrong (1933), during my Cary Grant phase. I actually bought the Mae West boxset for a friend of mine and she insisted that I watch a Mae West movie. I, of course, suggested this one. I really enjoyed the movie. It was fun to see Cary Grant before he was the Cary Grant. He was slightly doofy looking, but you could tell he would go on to do some exciting things. And it was so great to have a strong female lead, she was the one calling the shots and of course it was wonderful to hear the famous (and often misquoted line): "Why don't you come up some time and see me?"
  5. Duck Soup was my first exposure to the Marx Brothers. I caught it on TCM in 2007. I love the silly wordplay and the insanity of it all. They're just so silly and ridiculous.

Well I should get back to my homework.

Next installment should include: Queen Christina (1933), Las Hurdes (1933), King Kong (1933), The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933), Sons of the Desert (1933), It's a Gift (1934)
Stay Tuned!

Sunday, May 31, 2009


So I guess I just suck the most at updating, but tonight I feel like posting. I haven't watched a movie from the 1001 list in quiet awhile. I blame that on school and cause I'm simultaneously in love with Liev Schreiber and Jeff Bridges. I know, I'm strange, but I get into these actor phases and I just can't help myself. I've been through a Jeff Bridges phase before (in college) but after watching The Mirror Has Two Faces with my roommate's boyfriend, I fell back in love with 'The Dude.' He's just the cutest. And Liev Schreiber just blew me away in Wolverine (I know I sound like a teen-fangirl). Anyway here's a 1001 list update:
  1. Scarface came to me in September of 2007 from Netflix. Some more Paul Muni, some more high octane drama. I was very glad that I hadn't already seen the Al Pacino version of Scarface. I think this is one of the first times I had the luxury of seeing the original before seeing the remake....very fun. I shall compare and contrast once I do get to see the Al Pacino edition of Scarface.
  2. I had to track down Shanghai Express at Rocket Video. I ended up loving this movie. It had a nice love story, and fun times on a train. How can you go wrong with that?! And Marlene Dietrich was fantabulous. I wish this movie were available on DVD, I really do.
  3. Lucky for me, Freaks was on TCM one fine day. This movie gave me the heebie-jeebies. It focused on some less than savory characters in a circus 'freak show.' What was most interesting was that the most vile and unsavory characters where the ones that would be classified as "normal." They were the most despicable and most inhumane. Worth checking out.
  4. I got pretty desperate when it came to tracking down Me and My Gal. It's listed as not available on VHS or DVD, so I didn't know what to do. But then one day someone mentioned the site: ioffer, and I was lucky enough to track down this movie. To be honest though, I have yet to watch it, I think just tracking it down was the thrilling part for me, but I promise I will watch it eventually.
  5. Rocket Video pulled through for me once again with Zero for Conduct I don't remember much about this feature film, just some school boy drama, but I liked it.
I think that's enough for this edition of: Very Late Updates to my Blog, tune in next time when I blather on about more movies that I've seen almost 2 years ago! :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I know, I know

So, yes I haven't updated in, shall we say, awhile. For some reason I feel like updating today.

Today I watched The Burmese Harp. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, cause to be honest I haven't really been enjoying the Chinese or Japanese films that were on the list. I found them to be kind of slow and uninteresting (i.e. nothing happens) and full of characters that I couldn't relate to . The Burmese Harp was quite different, at least to me. There was an interesting story, and characters to engage with, I cared about what happened to them and what they were up to. I rented the movie from Netflix. This was after I took a LONG break from working through the list chronologically.

Here's a little sidebar: I moved to NYC recently. After living in Los Angeles for about 8 years, I decided it was time to move back to the east coast. It was quite an ordeal setting up an apartment, finding work, and getting just all together settled. Apparently when I'm not settled I don't like working on the 1001 list. For the last few months I've been biding my time watching mostly non-1001 list movies, at least when it came to movie rentals from Netflix. If a 1001 list movie was on TCM or IFC, I'd record it and watch it, or if it was a watch now title, but other than that I was pretty lazy about the 1001 list. But, I think I'm now back in the swing of things.

Anyway, watching the Burmese Harp got me thinking about the 1001 list again and made me want to get back to the task at hand: I don't think anyone has the time or patience for me to go through all the movies I've watched since my last update, at least not in one entry, so I'll try to space 'em out. Here we go:

  1. Up next was my first experience with James Cagney and Jean Harlow. The movie was The Public Enemy. Let me start off with a weird observation, and something I'm not proud of, firstly you have to know of Eddie Izzard before I make this observation. Well he's a stand-up comedian who liked to dress up like a woman. In college me and my friends watched his HBO special titled Dress to Kill. The picture to the right is what Mr. Izzard looked like in that special. So now you have that image, well when I watched Pubic Enemy I could not get over how much Jean Harlow looked like Eddie Izzard in drag. I know she was around first, so maybe Eddie is paying tribute to her?! Who knows, but it weirded me out....a lot. Here's a picture of Jean Harlow in Pubic Enemy for comparison. Anyway, I enjoyed the movie, I like both James Cagney and Jean Harlow, since watching The Public Enemy I've seen MANY films with both of them. I got the movie from Netflix approx. 2 years ago.
  2. The next movie on the list is M, which was a very dark, very interesting movie. It stars Peter Lorre and was directed by Fritz Lang (from Metropolis fame). I rented the movie from Netflix and was very impressed by the film.
  3. Moving right up is La Chienne, this was not one of those fun, whimsical French films I was talking about in my earlier post. The film was not available on DVD, I was able to find it on VHS at RocketVideo. I watched this movie in 2007, and just remember not liking it that much.
  4. The next three movies on the list,Vampyr, Love Me Tonight, and Boudo Saved From Drowning didn't do much for me. I rented them all from Netflix in 2007 and don't remember anything remarkable about these movies. Although I remember being INFURIATED by Boudo Saved From Drowning, I tried to figure out why the character of Boudo bothered me SO much, but I didn't come up with much. I read that he was considered the french Charlie Chaplin, but that just made me madder, cause I LOVE Charlie Chaplin and found no similarities between the two men. This shall remain a mystery, and to be honest I wish Boudo had NOT been saved from drowning.
  5. I thoroughly enjoyed the next film on the list, I Am A Fugitive from a Chain Gang. I was impressed by Paul Muni and the story, though it was a wee bit long it was still enjoyable to watch. It looks like this movie is now available on DVD, when I was looking for it in 2007 it was not, so I rented it at RocketVideo.
  6. Trouble in Paradise is a great film. It's a very unconventional love story, complete with love triangles, robbery and hidden identities. It's stars are also wonderful, Kay Francis, Miriam Hopkins and Herbert Marshall and is directed by Ernst Lubitch, who can do no wrong. Great film! I rented it from Netflix in 2007, and thinking about it now makes me want to watch it again. :)
I think that's enough for now, I'll try to update again soon...but you know me, I probably won't

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Slowly but surely...

Still working on viewing the movies on the list, just today I watched two VERY hard to find films, I'm still working on getting better about the blog (although I'm 99.99% sure that I'm the only person who reads this blog, but I don't mind). So here we go.

  1. I don't really remember the next two films L'Age D'Or and Earth. I do know that I got them both through netflix...but seriously nothing is coming to mind for these films, hmmmm...
  2. Little Caesar was on TCM. I kind of wish that this was the first film I watched with Edward G. Robinson. I happened to have watched Double Indemnity a while before viewing this film and it kind of ruined the bad-assness of Edward G. for me. In Double Indemnity he was the only person with any morals, and then to see him kick ass and take names in Little Caesar was a tad jarring. But still, a very good movie and furthered the thinking that Mr. Robinson is a phenomenal actor.
  3. All Quiet on The Western Front was on TCM many moons ago...war movies are always tough for me to go on and on about, well war movies and movies with grim or depressing subject matters. Cause on the one hand you want to say it's a stellar film and that you loved it, but on the other hand how can you really LOVE watching people suffer and struggle? On a cinematic level I found this film to be very moving and well done, personally it's hard for me to be thrilled over a film about destruction and suffering.
  4. Let me take this moment to say that I've discovered that I'm now a huge fan of French Films. I won't go ahead and say I love them all, cause I don't, but for the most part I find them to be entertaining and whimsical, there's just a certain, oh i don't know what, that these French films have. The next two movies on the list, A Nous la Liberte and Le Million are on the list of French films that I love and now want to own. I was intrigued by A Nous la Liberte after Robert Osbourne (from TCM) told the viewing public that this film influenced Charlie Chaplin's film Modern Times, I thought that anything that could inspired Charlie Chaplin would have to be good, and it definitely delivered. Le Million is one of those films with whimsy that I mentioned earlier. The story is so cute and fun (two down on their luck friends discover that their missing lottery ticket is a winner and hilarity ensues), just all and all very enjoyable. Two enthusiastic thumbs up for these two.
  5. Tabu is another film I don't entirely remember, I'm perusing the IMDB page now, and I vaguely remember the story, but I definitely don't remember what I thought about it as a film....sorry I guess sometimes I suck at this. :)
  6. The next two films were two that I was hesitant to watch. I guess you can call me a wuss or a baby, but I really don't enjoy scary movies all that much. They do too good of a job of scaring me. You'd think at the age of 25 I'd be able to face scary movies, yeah not so much. But I convinced myself that two scary movies from 1931 couldn't be that bad. I mean maybe their definition of scary was different than it is today, and it didn't hurt that I was able to watch one of them at home with my parents. :) Dracula was kind of exactly how I had imagined it after seeing the parody Dracula: Dead and Loving It and Francis Ford Coppola's remake of it. So I guess I had an unfair advantage, but the film was still great and impressive and definitely not as scary as I had feared it would be. Bela Lugosi was fabulous as Dracula, he had the perfect mixture of charm and creepiness, you knew he was up to no good, but you couldn't have cared less. I had the privilege of watching Frankenstein back home in NY with my parents, which was meaningful cause it turned out that when my father was younger he watched Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein whenever it was on TV with his dad. We actually watched Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein AND Young Frankenstein that weekend that I was home, you could say it was a FrankenFest and I would. The FrankenFest was HIGHLY enjoyable. The original Frankenstein had so much more of a story to it than I had originally thought there was and Boris Karloff was as impressive as all the hype made him out to be. I think Bride of Frankenstein was a more flushed out movie and where the franchise really found it's stride, but you gotta appreciate the original. And more on Young Frankenstein once we enter the 70's. :)
  7. City Lights is definitely one of my favorite films from this list, actually probably one of my favorite movies of all time (hey, maybe I should make a list of favorites...perhaps that'll be another entry), anywho yeah I loved City Lights, the boxing scene is one of the funniest things I've seen, and when Charlie's undershirt gets unraveled, oh so great. And the love story is just beyond cute. Definitely one of Chaplin's best.
Alright I think that's enough for now....the end for today.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I'm on a roll

After my last update I felt the urge to continue being good about updating. It'll probably still take me quite awhile to be all the way caught up and be current with my movie watching. But this is good...I'm motivated.

  1. The Crowd was not an easy film to get a hold of, it hasn't been released on DVD yet and Rocket Video was fresh out of VHS copies of it. It was finally on TCM (woo TCM). I don't know what I would do without my Time Warner equivalent to TiVo and TCM. I really enjoy King Vidor as a director and was very interested in the plot. Very sad, but also very interesting.
  2. The LA Public Library (downtown branch) came through for me for The Docks of New York. This was a gritty film, I found the story interesting, but none of the lead characters were likable. The man guy was a bit of a bastard and the main woman was a little bit of a snot.
  3. An Andalusian Dog was a tough one for me to watch. Here's some backstory,I have a very strong, passionate dislike for all things eye-ball related. So when I saw the cover art I knew I would have issues. I respect the artistic integrity of a film like this, but I think it just wasn't for me. It felt like I was caught in someone else's bad dream. Maybe that's what they were going for, if so kudos to Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali!
  4. The Passion of Joan of Arc was another one of those films that I felt while it did have merit was a bit boring. Don't get me wrong I did appreciate the simplicity and the story telling, and the lead actress was phenomenal. I did like the use of close-ups and lack of make-up.
  5. More Buster Keaton YAY!!! Steamboat Bill Jr. Such a great film, it contains the famous front of a house falling down on Buster but he remains unscathed gag. Very funny, and a cute love story to boot.
  6. Maybe I'm not fit to talk about films, cause I don't love all these old films with technical merit, I mean I do see why they're influential, but I just find them horribly boring and not that interesting....that was the case with Storm Over Asia. I didn't enjoy it and don't really have much else to say about it.
  7. I really enjoyed this Hitchcock film, although it might not be fair, I kind of like all Hitchcock films, but still Blackmail is really excellent for a number of reasons. It shows the potential that was to come from Mr. Hitchcock, while still standing on it's own as a film. There is a great amount of suspense, like all good Hitchcock films and you want the 'bad guy' to get away with it. Great film.
  8. Another weird film here, with elements that are influential and interesting. The Man with the Movie Camera felt like a montage of weird events, strange documentary.
  9. I enjoyed Pandora's Box, I liked that the story took twists and turns, had ups and downs. And while the lead female character was fundamentally unlikable you were still able to care a bit about what happened to her. At this point I've seen some of these movies about 9 months ago or more so.... I kind of can't comment on too many specifics. I wish I had been better about this, but this is why I'm trying to catch up now and get up to date so I can blog about movies I've watched recently instead of trying to remember.
  10. The Blue Angel was an interesting film and I can see how Marlene Dietrich's career took off after a movie like that. The subject matter was a bit raunchy for the time, a college professor pining after a lady of the controversial for 1930.

Alright I think that's enough for this post, I hope I get up to date soon....I'll be working on it.

I'm kind of the suckiest

So, it's been quite awhile since my last post. I guess I'm not really cut out for blogging. But I also have a feeling no one is reading the blog anyway, so the only person I'm letting down is myself, oh well.

So the last movie I've watched from the list is Pandora and the Flying Dutchman for some reason I did not enjoy this film. I don't think I'm a James Mason fan, I also didn't like Odd Man Out (which I had to record from TCM cause it isn't out on DVD yet, it seems like a number of James Mason Movies aren't on DVD, I wonder why that is). Anyway, since I've sucked at updating I'll just try to do a quick update of some of movies I've watched over the last few months. My current total of movies watched from the list is now 438 so I have a feeling it'll take a few entries for me to catch up.

  1. Thanks to Netflix I got to view Battleship Potemkin. This movie had a lot of stunning visuals and depicted a period of social unrest very well. I wouldn't say I puffy hearted this movie, but I am glad I saw it. And I appreciate the influential film making techniques that are now so prominent.
  2. Now I can say that I did indeed puffy heart the next film on the list, The Gold Rush!! So great. I love Charlie Chaplin. Since I wasn't specific when I asked Netflix for this movie I ended up with the version that wouldn't be considered the original version. The version I viewed included narration by Charlie Chaplin, which I guess you can't complain about, but I am curious to see the film without the narration, which was probably the way the movie was intended to be seen.
  3. Next up was The Big Parade, this movie I had a hard time getting a hold of. It was not on Netflix it was not at the Library so I ended up renting it from Rocket Video. I felt like this film illustrated an interesting perception of the first world war, and also presented a sweet love story. I enjoyed it and for the most part I'm surprised by how much I've enjoyed watching silent films, I've really developed a respect for the style.
  4. Metropolis was brought to me by Netflix, I was very impressed with this film and really like Fritz Lang's movies. There was a lot of sub-plot that was so interesting.
  5. I was able to see Sunrise after it was on TCM. Gonna take a moment to say that I love TCM. Now back to Sunrise, I was surprised by the subversive nature of the plot of this film. Maybe this is cause it's hard to imagine that there were infidelities or murder plots in 1927. But I'm glad it all ended well for the most part.
  6. Another Buster Keaton film...The General. This was one of the first silent films that I got from Netflix. I watched this movie about a year ago and LOVED it.
  7. The Unknown is a fabulous movie. Lon Chaney plays an armless (or so we think) carnival performer who you can't help but care about. I was so moved by this film and became immediately endeared to Lon Chaney, it was also very interesting to see a very young Joan Crawford.
  8. So, I think I'm alone with my feelings about The Jazz Singer....I think it may have been because for it was built up so much. In all my music classes I was instructed that the first film to utilize sound was the Jazz Singer, it was the answer to questions on some of my tests, I may have had unrealistic expectations. And I always have problems when I see films with "black face," I know and understand that it was something from the time frame and shouldn't be perceived as offensive, but when I see it I'm just instantly uncomfortable and put off by it. But, I guess with all of that aside and the fact that the use of sound was revolutionary and was the trailblazer for all future films with sound, I can't dislike the film that much, there were just elements of it that I didn't enjoy.
  9. I was lucky enough to track down Abel Gance's epic Napoleon at the library in my hometown in NY. Shockingly this film is not available on DVD. While I was home for this past Winter Break I decided to check for some of the films I hadn't been able to find anywhere else, I was pleasantly surprised that they had it. I was just plain surprised that it was almost 4 hours long. Even with that running time I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were some many fascinating editing techniques and it was an interesting story. Definitely worth it.
  10. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to find The Kid Brother, but through research discovered that this film was on a Harold Lloyd compilation DVD which was available through Netflix. I'm not a big fan of Harold Lloyd...I mean some of the situations he got himself into were funny, but I just didn't vibe with him, but I'm still willing to check out more of his films.
Alright, I think 10 is enough for now, I'll be back to bore you with more updates soon. :)