Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wrapping It Up: February

I really wanted to start this with New Year actually. But, my education came in my way at the end of last month. So, from this month, I am going to start making this monthly wrap up post as well. I have seen many fellow bloggers do this and I think keeping this track of movies might be a good idea, now that I am getting much more serious about this blog.

Even though I didn’t document last month, I calculated the movies I saw last month(I have a habit of going on IMDb and rating it right after I see a movie. So, it helped) and I am going to mention that here so that I can keep track for year 2012. So, 

JANUARY: Total Count: 22. All First Time Watches.

And as for this month,
Brokeback Mountain(2005): I finally saw it after procrastinating it for many years. Heath Ledger was so much better than Jack Gyllenhaal.

Dr.Strangelove(1964): Highest ranked movie in IMDb 250 I haven’t seen. Now that honor goes to City Lights(1931). I am not a traditional Kubrick Fan but this one just had a perfect mixture of sincerity and satire for my taste. Brilliant Movie !!

We need to talk about Kevin(2011): CS@Big Thoughts from a Small Mind said ‘Somewhere Mia Farrow's Rosemary is saying 'damn that kid is evil!'’ on twitter. That might be the perfect way to describe this and Tilda Swinton was amazing.

Any Given Sunday(1999)(Rewatch): Because it was Super Bowl Sunday and everyone on Twitter made me watch it. It still rocked though.

Alphaville(1965): My first experiment of going blind into the movie. I had no idea what this movie was, I just saw Name: Jean-Luc Godard and gave it a watch. For first 40 minutes or so, I had no idea what was going on? I didn’t know if it is a futuristic world or we are in a parallel universe? I didn’t understand where are all the characters coming from and where are they going? It was just strange and weird. But, I kept watching and my patience paid off. Not that it is not strange, but at least now I understand it much better.

The Thomas Crown Affair(1968): How amazing was Faye Dunaway? Anyone knows a worthy movie she did after Network(1976) though? Whatever happened to her? And yes, my first Stevee McQueen as well.

The Game(1997): Probably Fincher’s most underrated movie. It is no lesser of a gem though. And except Vertigo(1958), I haven't seen a movie which uses San Fransisco architecture better.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead(1990): Story of Hamlet from point of view of two minor characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with Gary Oldman and Tim Roth and it is hilarious. My review here. 

Agneepath(1990)(Hindi)(Rewatch): It has aged quite a lot and is ridiculously loud. But, it never was about anything other than Amitabh Bachchan and it still isn’t.

No Man’s Land(2001): Up until today, I knew it as the movie that beat Lagaan(2001), last Indian movie to be nominated in the Oscars. At least it lost to the worthy adversary. 

Jackie Brown(1997): 40-45 minutes into the movie and I stopped counting how many times she crossed the sides. Double-cross, triple-cross it just kept coming. Though it does not look like a typical Tarantino movie, it did have many trademarks of QT.

The Host(2006): I know many people who are crazy about this but in my opinion this is an absolutely shoddy, completely over the top piece of work. However,  whoever made that monster did a stunning job of making it disgustingly real and that little girl does a good job. 

Trollhunter(2011): Best found footage movie I have seen though it was a little too well directed and edited. But it didn't matter because I was practically jumping in my seat when they show trolls on screen.

The Escapist(2008): I heard few mentions of it on FrontRoomCinema and it was on Netflix. So, I decided to give it a watch. It is nowhere near The Shawshank Redemption(1994) but still a decent prison break movie especially for the ending.

Moulin Rouge!(2000): By the end of 'Diamonds are Girl's Best Friend', I was absolutely convinced that Baz Luhrmann has a bright future in Indian Industry if he decides to. It is over the top, giddy, love-it-or-leave-it spectacle and I happen to love it.

The Hustler(1961): Paul Newman is at his best here but more than that I will recommend this for George C. Scott and his Burt Gordon. He did Anatomy of A Murder(1958), The Hustler(1961) and Dr. Strangelove(1964) within first 5 movies of his career. Quite a Start !!

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner(1967): Spencer Tracy's monologue in the end is one of the best monologues I have seen. He pretty much sums up the whole movie in 5 minutes. So, next time you are in a hurry to finish it, go to the end and see his monologue. You will know all you need to know from the movie. And it was also nice to see Katharine Hepburn in the caring, motherly role. 

Paranormal Activities(2007): I hadn't seen any of them yet. So, it was almost time for it. Even though not the best of found footage flicks, I actually think this one was quite OK but the again I am almost sure that 2, 3, 4 and many more they might be planning will not work for the obvious reasons. 

The Passion of Anna(1969): Having failed so many times before, feeling of finally understanding a Bergman film on the first watch, almost makes me feel accomplished. With So many similarities in plot, characters, actors and locations, it almost feels like a twin-movie of Hour of the Wolf(1968). What made this work for me was with the use of ingenious method to introduce the characters, frequent use of long takes and close-ups and handheld like camerawork, it gives you a feel that you are experiencing all this in first person, being there physically.

Delhi Belly(2011)(Hindi): It is rather controversial for an Indian movie in many ways but you have a combination of comedy, romance, action and even though it does get a little over the top in some places but I was having too much fun to care even though I did not get why they were talking so much in English.

Take Shelter(2011): Another apocalyptic tale in 2011 but it is extremely well acted by Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain and well directed too. See my complete review here.

Anastasia(1956): I honestly don't remember why this movie was in my watch list - hopefully because of Ingrid Bergman because I really don't think I knew anyone else in whole cast. Bergman won Oscar for this - her second and its hard to argue with it. She is simply Brilliant as a titular charactor. But that is pretty much it. Perfect for my Average Movies with Great Female Leads Post.
Coffee and Cigarettes(2003): It is quite strange concept to present series of small, comic vignettes to present as a movie. Moreover, this segments don't have to much with each other except they happen at the table over Coffee and Cigarettes. Some segments are great(Cousins?, No Problem?, Renee) while some are plain weird(Those things will kill ya, Stranger to meet ya). Overall, it did not impress me much. 

Manhattan Murder Mystery(1993): I am not a big fan of Woody when it comes to acting. He is a great director but I have my reservations against his acting. But Manhattan Murder Mystery still worked pretty well for me probably because you would expect someone to behave like he usually does in situation like this and off course mystery of murder was quite interesting.

About Schmidt(2002): My only second Alexander Payne movie after The Descendants(2011) last year and yet again it has Mr. Payne all over it. This man can do no wrong. It was also nice to see Jack Nicholson not being usual Jack Nicholson and if you haven't seen his acceptance speech in Globes for this performance, go and see it.

The Pixar Story(2007): I am not a big fan of animation but Pixar has come up with some of my favorite animations - Monsters Inc.(2001), Wall-E(2009) and Toy Story Franchise. If you have any interest in behind the camera works of an animated movie, this is a worthy doc on Life Story of Pixar. 

War and Peace(1956): Ahhh, the things I would do for Audrey Hepburn !! Like suffer through this never ending, monotonous piece of melodrama. It took me almost whole day to get through 208 minutes of this movie. Its all your fault Tolstoy !!

Elizabeth(1998): Directed by an Indian director Shekhar Kapur, story of Queen Elizabeh's early years of reign is a movie which told me that The Queen has nothing else to do but to decide whom to marry. It is very well shot movie though.

The Italian Job(1969): First of all, except for the fact that it is a heist movie, it has nothing in common with a new one and I was expecting an action movie and I got comedy. If you can get on that wagon, you might enjoy it. They lost me at the end.

Let Me In(2010): I saw Let the Right one In(2007) around a year ago and till today it is an only vampire movie I can withstand. This adaptation is not bad at all, but my problem is this is pretty much same as original one. And if I have to pick one of the two I will pick original, especially for her killing scenes. 

Topsy-Turvy(1999): I have no idea how did it end in my queue but somehow it did and I saw it. I don't know if it was my cold and fever which kept my attention span at minimum but It was too long, too monotonous and too unfunny. First time I laughed in it was around 70 minutes in it

Mansfield Park(1999): Problem with most of Jane Austen's work is if you are watching it for the first time, you will probably end up loving any of her piece. But when you go on to her other works, then they start to get repetitive. After reading most of her work(all except this and Northanger Abbey) and watching some of its adaptations, though perfectly pleasant and amiable, I did not find anything new in here. 

Following(1998): Christopher Nolan's first and his only movie I had not seen before I wrote about him in Profile of a Director series. Even though he does not have his now usual regulars, his personal traits are intact here - jumbled narrative, culminating ending and near perfect feeling his movie leaves you with. Christopher Nolan at his best.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lassmore(2011): Castor@Anamolous Material and Andina@Inspired Ground recently put this Oscar winning Animated Short Silent movie on their website. I haven't seen many shorts, definitely none animated. So, this was a nice experience. It is really short and sweet and full of symbolism. 

To Sir, with Love(1967): Sidney Poitier trying to teach a group of rowdy students how to be responsible adults. There are many movies I am sure on the similar storyline, but this one had strong affinity to one of the Indian Regional movies in my mother tongue Marathi called 10th F which I love a lot. This one is almost as good.

Total Count:34. 32 First Time Watches and 2 Re-watches.

In 2012
Total Count:56. 54 First Time Watches and 2 Re-watches.

I know that as compared to many other fellow bloggers, the number is not too big but I think I am doing well. My only aim this time was to watch more than a movie/day and I have achieved that. Not only that I have achieved it but I am actually kind of happy with them. I managed to have a good mixture of Old and New - 10 Old and 24 New, Foreign and English - 5 Foreign, 27 English(I am not counting 2 Hindi movies as they are not foreign to me, nor they are English), for crying out loud I even re-watched a couple of them - which has become quite a rarity for me these days(just look at the count). How about you?


  1. NIce work matey!! I am super chuffed you enjoyed Trollhunter... I loved that film SOOO much!

    Believe it or not I have lost count on how many I saw in Feb. I cut back quite a bit. I think it was around 30ish. Not sure though. I must update my journal

    1. That was pure fun. I am not sure if that is a right reaction but when that Troll Hunter comes out and screams TROOOOOOL on their face for the first time, I was laughing my eyes out and those trolls were nice especially the three headed one.

      and just 30 Scott ? After your epic 10 movie weekend I was expecting more like 50, like last month. Hope to see your wrap up post soon :)

  2. I love We Need to Talk About Kevin and To Sir, With Love. Poitier is so brilliant :)
    I love Jane Austen - I haven't seen that version of Mansfield Park, but a tv movie with Billie Piper, but the story itself is probably the weakest of all of Austen's novels (I've kinda read all of them, haha)

    1. The thing is I first read Persuasion and fell in love instantly. The I saw/ read both Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and I was fine with it though not as excited as Persuasion. But then came Emma and I started feeling it is getting repetitive. As you said It can easily because the source material is weakest.

      Have you seen Guess who is Coming to Dinner ? Try it for Sidney Poitier he is so ever Righteous.

  3. Wow, That's a lot of movies! I like that you've got a good mix of different genres in there.

    1. Yup. Probably most I have seen in a month. I am making all the use of free time I have right now. And I always mix the genres - I get bored of watching similar stuff. Thanks for commenting, David.

  4. That's a nice batch of movies! I also watched Coffee and Cigarettes and Take Shelter last month, the latter of which was absolutely fantastic. One of last year's most underrated films, in my opinion.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Eric !! Take Shelter definitely was amazing especially for performances of Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. What did you think of Coffee and Cigarettes ?

    2. I liked Coffee and Cigarettes quite a bit as well. The Iggy Pop/Tom Waits and RZA/GZA/Bill Murray pairings were especially hilarious.


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