Monday, April 30, 2012

Wrapping It Up: April

Let us get right into the business. Here is what I saw over the last month April, 2012.

The Hunger Games(2012): And I open my 2012 account with a bang !! Even though I am still a little late, I am 4 months ahead of 2011. First 2011 movie I watched was Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows part II(2011) in July last year. However, even though I was one of those eagerly anticipating it, let us just say that I was hoping for a something little better than this.

Haywire(2012): I opened my 2012 account last week with The Hunger Games(2012) and followed it with this. I love the fact that Soderbergh keeps on diverging into different genres and more than that does a good job of it. Gina Carano was really good actually and she kicked some real ass in it. 

The Seventh Seal(1957): After procrastinating for like forever, I finally saw it for My Movie Year blogathon. For it's status as an exemplary Art movie and movie which made Bergman Bergman, It is surprisingly accessible. If you haven't read it, see my mini review post here. 

Planet of the Apes(1968): An Idea of apes ruling the planet and treating humans as we treat animals does sound promising. However, I thought creative geniuses who wrote the script stopped thinking after this point because it felt like what I call as Lazy Fiction, just exchanging Humans and Apes. 

Ocean's Eleven(2001)(Re-watch): I saw it with room-mates because they were watching it. If you want, I am sure you can find hundreds of fault in it, but I really didn't care. It is still a great fun movie to watch.

Ocean's Thirteen(2007)(Re-watch): Why not 12, you ask ? because I hate it. 13 isn't great either but at least it is watchable and to tell you the truth, I just wanted to check that despite owning it, have I really seen it or not as I just could not remember it. Turns out I have seen it before. What does that tell you about it? I don't know. 

Throne of Blood(1957): This turned out to be the Weekend my memory kept on failing me. After 13 above, I was almost certain that I have seen Throne as well but wanted to give it another go before writing anything about it as I confuse it a lot with Ran(1985). Well, I have certainly seen it now. You can see my thoughts on it here. 

Buffalo '66(1998): I had next to nothing idea about Vincent Gallo until I watched it. After watching it, whatever I have read or seen, I am becoming more and more convinced that this pretty much is his autobiographical movie of the sorts. My full review here.

Pather Panchali(1955): This film will give 12 Angry Men a run for his money as my favorite Debut movie. In his debut movie, Satyajit Ray touched something deep inside me that brought on the verge of crying many, many times in it. I will definitely write about this in detail once I get around the whole Apu Trilogy. Wait for it !!

Aparajito(1956): If there is one thing that I admire the most about Aparajito, that it does not suffer from the 'middle child syndrome' especially after being the successor of something like Pather Panchali. But, Aparajito stands firm independently as a film and that it itself is a great feet to achieve. 

Shame(2011): If there was one movie in 2011 that I wanted to watch badly, it would be Shame. After the recent release on DVD, I was finally able to see it and I love it. I doubt if I will be able to put a complete review together but I am sure that I will love it even more every time I watch it again, though I doubt how often will that be. 

Black Narcissus(1947): It has been in my Netflix queue for quite sometime now. But, I was unaware of the fact that it was filmed in India and that was the final push I needed. Though it certainly looked dated in lot of aspects, it still is a classical piece of cinema and I especially loved the dark turn it takes in last half hour or so.

Kiki's Delivery System(1989): I am working my way through Miyazaki's filmography, slowly but surely. Only Porco Rosso(1992) and Nausicaa(1984) left now. I might start looking for other Ghibli movies after that and other anime stuff soon after.

I Vitelloni(1953): Traditionally, I have always taken time to warm-up to every Fellini movie I have seen but eventually loved them. Even though my initial reaction to this is pretty much same, I doubt if I will warm-up to it because I pretty much did not care about none of the characters at all. 

Far From Heaven(2002): For some reason, I am struggling to put down any words here, not because film wasn't good, it was. It does have a nice story, good acting from almost everyone involved but because I have very little apathy for characters like Dennis Quaid in this. If your wife can support through everything you are going through, how dare he blame her ??

Kahaani(2012)(Hindi): With my doubts about the condition of Hindi film Industry in last few years, it is a great comfort to see a worthwhile movie once in a while. It is also a welcome change to see female-centric, non-romantic movie and on top of that Vidya Balan making most of it. If at all I am to find a fault, I thought they could have done with a little stronger supporting cast. 

Days of Heaven(1978): If ever there was a beautiful movie made, this must be it. However, that ending felt like a cheating to me. I was expecting something, to go on for some time more and it kinda just ended on me. But that's Malick for you I guess. You never know what will he do.

Month Python's Life of Brian(1979): While watching this movie, I couldn't help myself but keep comparing this with Monty Python and Holy Grail(1975). I guess I wanted an answer to why is this not considered as good as Holy Grail and to tell you the truth, I still don't have much idea. Only thing I could come up with is it probably lacks iconic characters like Knights who say NI!, otherwise this really is just as good as Holy Grail. 

The World of Apu(1959): And with this, probably the best known trilogy in the history of cinema is over and now I don't have to feel bad that I haven't seen the most widely known Indian film in film-world. But, to tell you the truth, it deserves every single word of praise it gets and little more. 

Harold and Maude(1971): I am not sure if this is a common response or not, but this film presented me with quite an interesting dichotomy for me. I loved Maude, character and Ruth Gordon but pretty much hated Harold and Bud Cort. Another fun fact, I doubt if I have seen anything else by anyone in the whole cast and crew of course except Gordon's Oscar turn in Rosemary's Baby(1968).

Withnail and I(1997): I am not exactly sure what went wrong here, but I did not enjoy this movie at all. I probably went with the wrong expectations as well but still it elicited very few laughs from me. I will agree that I wasn't in the best of the moods but still, it felt pretty laborious to me.

Philadelphia(1993)(Re-watch): Just another movie that I thought I haven't watched yet but it all came back to me as I watched it and even though I do not remember watching it, I am almost sure it was just as powerful first time as it was this time.

The Return(2003): My first foray into Russian cinema and I am certainly glad that I broke this ice even if it is way late that I would have wanted. It also helps to have a great movie to start. It will take some time to get it done but I will have a full review soon as well.

Total Count:23. 20 First Time Watches and 3 Re-watches. (All the re-watches are either memory lapses or friend requests.)

11 classics and 12 new. 8 Foreign, 14 English and 1 Hindi. I am counting 3 Apu movies as foreign as even though they are very much Indian movies, I do not know Bengali.

2012 YTD Count 

Total Count:108. 103 First Time Watches and 5 Re-watches.

I am down from my total for last two months but I believe going forward, this is what a typical month will look like. Also, since the return of Game of Thrones for it's second season and Bones returning after long mid-season break, there are like 6 weekly shows to catch up on. And I am finally going through The Wire entirely, currently watching Season 4 for first time and I am loving every minute thus far. There is a reason why this show is called 'The Best Show Made Ever' and then there also was my big move to the west coast to deal with as well.

So, What do you think about my month ? Did you  see anything interesting this month ?? Let me know in the comments.


  1. You're certainly doing better on the first time watches count than I am! I haven't actually added up my total watches for the year yet, but it's probably a little less than yours! Great month, it seems!

    1. Haha, that is all practically I am doing.

      I have had better months quantity-wise but I think this one had great quality films. So yes, Great month indeed !!

  2. I watch GoT and Bones too and I'm also watching The Wire for the first time! Because all of those series I don't have time for actual movies. You saw some great ones last month, glad you liked Shame and Haywire.

    1. Shame was amazing, no doubt !! Haywire was different, small but still good.
      I think April was quality month of the year so far. Really great movies !!

      Thanks Sati!!

  3. You're killing it so far in 2012, in terms of movie watching!

    SO glad you liked Shame, a movie I obviously love. Also glad you caught The Seventh Seal, another favorite of mine.

    1. Even I am glad that I finally saw Seventh Seal - I have no idea why did I keep procrastinating it. And Shame, you were right indeed !!

      How about The Wire? I know you love that too. Do you think season 4 kinda slows down a little ? I mean, I have only seen 3 episodes yet, but still.

    2. Brother man, season 4 of The Wire is the very finest television season ever broadcast on TV. Stick with it. It's going to floor you.

  4. Wow, nice number, you watched a lot of movies I really need to see soon (Harold and Maude, Buffalo 66, Seventh Seal). Good month for you! I hope May will be better! :)

    1. Thanks Diana !! Not a bad month Indeed !! Here is to hoping !!

  5. Impressive batch of films! Quite a few I still need to see, too.

    Glad to hear you are enjoying The Wire, which is probably my favorite show of all-time. Season four is also my personal favorite from the show -- love the emphasis on the broken school system.

    1. Thanks Eric !! Good to hear about Season 4. I have only seen 3 episodes but it seemed kinda slow. Good to know that it will pick up later.

  6. When I read that, I thought The Hunger Names was a spoof movie, and not a typing error ( :
    Movie which made Bergman Bergman, well-put!

    The problem with Far From Heaven(2002) for me was the conflict felt dated, should have been directed in the 50s by Douglas Sirk. Glad you liked The Return (2003), was similar to Tarkowsky, blew me away!

    1. Haha..oops !! I didn't even notice it until you pointed it out. Thanks.

      That is actually a very different observation. Though I did not feel like it, I can certainly understand it and The Return definitely was great. If they are any similar, I will love to see some Tarkowsky as well.

      Thanks again Chris !!

    2. @SDG: I meant Tarkovsky (with a "v") His films are not for everyone, if you are okay with cryptic, atmospheric, and slow-paced, I'd recommend: Solaris (1972), Stalker (1979), The Mirror (1975).


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