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Movies for 2011 - Part 1 [Jan. 15th, 2011|11:33 pm]
[mood |sleepysleepy]

While I'm still coughing, and flat out looking after two children and not doing much of anything else, a lot of things improved in the last days of 2010, including my movie watching. So here's the list of flicks watched to date. Eighteen so far, so rather pleased with that.

1st January
The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)

2nd January
The Island at the Top of the World

3rd January
Aliens Directors Cut

4th January
Edge of Darkness

5th January
Porco Rosso

6th January

7th January
Star Trek - The Motion Picture

8th January
The Triplets of Belleville
The War Wagon

9th January

10th January
Spy Kids

11th January

12th January
El Mariachi

13th January
The Magnificent Seven

14th January
The Three Caballeros
The Scars of Dracula

15th January
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

It was nice to finally see The Island at the Top of the World after all these years. I remember the ads for it in comics when I was a kid, and I've always wanted to see it. Not a great film, but it has some nice touches - notably Vikings who speak a Norse sounding language (with no subtitles), and plenty of helmets, none of which have horns.

Edge of Darkness was good, but not as good as the original, partially because it seemed as if Gibson had completely forgotten how to act. Porco Rosso was even better than I remembered. Vertigo was good, but Jimmy Stewart's character becomes disconcertingly creepy towards the end. Star Trek - The Motion Picture is a better film than its reputation suggests - when it originally came out they wanted the visuals to be real Big Screen lift you out of your seat wonder - unfortunately while the visuals still hold up rather well, I can see that the film's pace hurts it.

The Triplets of Belleville was a delight once again, and I was annoyed that it didn't get the Oscar for Best Song because it obviously lost out to the Academy playing catch-ups and giving it to the boring one in LoTR - Return of the King instead.

The War Wagon was fun, and John Wayne wears a pink shirt for most of the film, so that's going into the Lex Colour Defense Arsenal - "John Wayne wore pink, dammit!"

It was fabulous to watch M again at last. Slow build, but very much worth it for the last 20 minutes. Bugger me but Peter Lorre could act!

Sorcerer was another film I had waited a long, long time to see and knew nothing about. If you can get through the first hour, and get past some of the glaring inconsistencies, it becomes quite a nice tense film based on the book The Wages of Fear. As for why it's called Sorcerer, well, William Friedkin is a pretentious wanker sometimes.

[User Picture]From: mireille21
2011-01-15 01:27 pm (UTC)
When Sorceror was originally released it had about the first 45 minutes cut from the beginning of the film. I went to see the re-release at the Astor which had a Q&A with Friedkin afterwards (and then a write up in THE Age which you may be able to find I guess.) He did explain why it was called Sorceror, but I'm drawing a blank about the answer at the moment.

I'm impressed you managed to watch this many films between looking after two kids. I'm way behind on my movie watching (and book reading). *and* I thought you were moving house! :)
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[User Picture]From: mireille21
2011-01-15 01:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, and he seemed really hung up about not getting Steve McQueen in the lead role - he was supposed to do it but then wouldn't come because they had no role for his then grlfriend and McQueen didn't want to spend all that time away from her. So they ended up with Roy Scheider instead. i for one, am glad they did, I think Roy is just right for the role, but Friedkin was of the opinion that the movie would have done much better at the box office if they'd had McQueen.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2011-01-16 02:14 am (UTC)
One of the trucks is called Sorcerer, but if you blink you'll miss that. Apparently he called the film Sorcerer because of the 'evil wizard of fate.'

I think it would be a better film with that first chunk trimmed. It's very uneven. Some characters get all of a minute, while others get ten. Knowing nothing about the film, it made the first half hour feel really unfocused.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2011-01-16 02:20 am (UTC)
Oh, and I'm getting through films with a mixture of watching some with Lex, and determinedly watching one a night, even with Lex/MaybeZoe based interruptions. One ninety minute movie took me nearlt three hours to watch, thanks to eight post-bedtime interruptions by Lex.

We've moved house, now starts some slow sporadic unpacking and sorting.
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[User Picture]From: angriest
2011-01-15 01:51 pm (UTC)
The Three Caballeros is a fascinating one: the US Dept of State requested Disney make it (as well as Saludos Amigos) to promote US culture in South America and convince them not to side with the Axis powers during World War II.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2011-01-16 02:17 am (UTC)
I knew about that because of Paleocinema podcast :)

You can really see the heavy push in the film. It's not a very subtle little travel log cum love-our-neighbours-to-the-south piece. I liked some of the music, but found it a very hard watch.
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[User Picture]From: angriest
2011-01-16 05:11 am (UTC)
They did a second film as well, Saludos Amigos. Can't remember offhand which one came first.
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[User Picture]From: king_espresso
2011-01-15 07:23 pm (UTC)
If you've seen Sorcerer you should check out the original, Wages Of Fear. It's fantastic and ratchets up the tension incredibly well. I think I'll have to podcast about that one of these days.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2011-01-16 02:22 am (UTC)
Last hour of Sorcerer does a good job with the tension, there was really some nail-biting stuff there. But most of the first hour feels like an unfocussed mess if you don't know what the film's about.

I saw Wages of Fear back when I was a kid, so it's definitely time for a rewatch.
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[User Picture]From: kaths
2011-01-16 02:41 am (UTC)
Hadn't heard from you for a while, was wondering how you were going!

I haven't had a lot of luck with watching 'my' TV with Clara around - she eventually talks me into putting 'her' TV shows on :)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2011-01-16 03:29 am (UTC)
Been meaning to write to you for ages. Let me know some good times and I'll give you a ring at some point, miss hanging with you.

We don't watch much free-to-air TV, some most of what Lex sees is DVDs or pre-recorded stuff. So there's not much of him talking me out of things :)
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[User Picture]From: stephen_dedman
2011-01-17 10:14 am (UTC)
The film Edge of Darkness, or the miniseries? If the film, how was it?
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2011-01-21 08:56 am (UTC)
It was the film. It was okay, and keeps some of the important aspects of the original, and updates some stuff that wouldn't have worked well now. But I found Gibson surprisingly weak in his acting, and the story feels a lot more like your average modern day thriller, which is a shame.

Worth a look, and has some good moments, but the original still stands out to me as being a better story. This is just another Hollywood thriller.
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[User Picture]From: stephen_dedman
2011-01-21 10:03 am (UTC)
Thanks; that's pretty much what I expected. I think I can afford to give it a miss.
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