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. :)