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Movies for 2011 - Part 3 [Feb. 1st, 2011|05:34 pm]
dalekboy
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[mood |happyhappy]

Movies 'til the end of January, plus some thoughts and charts under the cut. 37 watched for the month, rather pleased with that!


22nd January
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

23rd January
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

25th January
Final Destination

26th January
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Tron

27th January
The Black Hole

28th January
The Invention of Lying

29th January
Danger: Diabolik

30th January
The Little Mermaid
Escape from Alcatraz


31st January
Scooby Doo
Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of the Four




The Hunchback of Notre Dame was good. Better than I expected, and they spent a fortune on a couple of huge sets that looked great. Charles Laughton was brilliant. There are times when you can follow his characters train of thought purely from his facial expression, which given he was under a tonne of make-up and in a really heavy costume, is all the more impressive.

I love the South Park movie on so many levels.

It was fun to watch Final Destination again. I rather like the Rube Goldbergian nature of some of the kills, and the base concept is clever and well-handled.

Alice in Wonderland, the classic Disney version. I found a good chunk of the first half of it disjointed and unengaging. It picked up a lot, but still didn't really grab me. But the animation was gorgeous. Oh and the Queen at the end? If someone ever wants to do an animated version of Brian Blessed, she's the template on every level.

I hadn't seen Tron in a very long time. Seeing it again confirmed what I felt while watching Tron: Legacy - that the original actually has a much more interesting looking and varied universe. I like both, but I find the first one more visually appealing. That said, there are plot elements to the sequel which can be used to explain the lack of variety.

The Black Hole is an odd one. There are some nice attempts at real science early on, the production design is pretty nice, the model work is exceptional, the effects are gorgeous, and the story isn't too bad. I enjoyed watching it, even with the cute robots, but at the same time I'm aware that it wasn't that good, so I don't know whether I want to own a copy or not...

The Invention of Lying was better than I expected. Fairly well written, reasonably funny, some nice character and emotional moments.

Danger: Diabolik is a wonderfully weird, low budget/lavish looking Eurospy flick, and it's a pleasure to revisit it from time to time.

I've loved The Little Mermaid since the first time I saw it. Like the songs, the story, the animation. It was the start of a new era for Disney.

Escape from Alcatraz was a good dramatisation of the infamous escape. Everyone does a fine job, I only wish Patrick McGoohan had more to do.

Scooby Doo is a fabulous live action adaptation of the old cartoon series. I have a real appreciation of James Gunn's writing. He usually manages to give us real characters that one can care for, no matter how outlandish the universe they inhabit.

Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of the Four was my first Arthur Wontner Sherlock Holmes. It's an uneven production, and takes a good twenty minutes of setting up the backstory before we first see Holmes. That said, that first twenty minutes is fairly good. I wasn't too thrilled with Wontner's portrayal at first, but he grew on me a little, especially during his scenes with Det. Insp. Atherly Jones. All up an okay watch, but rather slow.




One one hand was a little surprised to see that nearly a fifth of my watching was animated films, on the other, I have shown a few to Lex this month.



Fairly pleased with the spread of years I've covered - 80 years split almost evenly. Not really a conscious choice, but interesting to keep in the back of my mind. With over 100 years of cinema out there, I like seeing how film-making shifted and changed over the years.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: Terry Frost
2011-02-01 07:22 am (UTC)
Danger Diabolik also has that groovy soundtrack, and Marissa Mell. Yum!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2011-02-01 08:13 am (UTC)
I love the soundtrack. I also love watching the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version of the film, for the singing to the soundtrack.

This was the original version, of course :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bunny_m
2011-02-01 10:51 am (UTC)
I was wondering how you thought The Black Hole had aged. I remember it fondly, but then I don't think I've seen it since it came out.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2011-02-01 12:06 pm (UTC)
I think visually it's aged very well. They pioneered new techniques for that film that, for a time, placed Disney ahead of ILM in terms of tech. I think the story suffers a little by being 70's and Disney, but is still okay. Actually, I think one of the scripting issues was that it was never clear what the deal was between mad scientist and robotic Max.

But it's a weird one. I still want to own it, but was feeling a little dissatisfied at the same time. May all be down to my mood on the day too. I may watch it again next week or next year and love it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)