Wednesday, January 09, 2008

2007 Askewed: PT.1

I spent 2007 watching movies, a lot of movies. Mainly from the IMDB May 2004 top 100, the AFI's 100 Greatest Movies list, and some sort of crazy list of horror movies that randomly built up in my head. Some were great, some were...not quite so great, but for the most part it was a wise decision on my part.

The strange thing is as I look over the list of movies, I realize that by subjecting myself to so many quality films that my taste has matured somewhat..or at least evolved. Looking back just a few years at how I felt about some of the movies I have written about I nearly shudder. While I still do (and always will) enjoy a nice explosion laden, catch phrase slinging, bad guy stomping, I'm too old for this shit, action flick. I find that I have less time for them now that I know there is better stuff out there.....unless of course I just feel like seeing something get blowed up.

So I thought I'd play a little game with myself here. Small groups at a time I'm going to go down the two main lists, starting with IMDB and every movie that I've seen as a direct result of the list will get something between a short blurb or an insane rant.

Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)
I was very surprised when I watched this one, I had seen so many small bits and pieces over the years that I didn't think I would like it as a whole but, as it turns out, it was fantastic! I'm not sure why I'm that surprised, Morgan Freeman has always been someone that I just enjoy watching. The real standout of the film though, and I think I've mentioned this before, is the whole sidestory of Brooks Hatlen's release and subsequent suicide. So emotionally charged and well done. Much respect to James Whitmore!

Schindler's List (1993)
This was NOT an easy movie to get through, and I think I've proven that I'm not that squeamish in the past. But this was a completely new style of intensity. In the end I'm glad I watched it, I can understand how some people can't bring themselves to watch it, but I'm glad I could. I doubt I'll be watching it again anytime soon, but I will recommend to people who haven't seen it to give it a shot if they think they can. The worth mentioning here isn't a person but a scene, the very last scene, talk about a powerful image. If you've seen it you know the one I mean!

Shichinin no samurai (1954)
Whats not to love? Action, humor, freakin' samurai's! Clearly I'm not the only one who enjoyed the movie it's been copied and borrowed from countless times. That includes two movies which are just re tellings of the full story, one set in the west and a lesser known one set in space. For my money the original here is the best (Sorry “Magnificent Seven” but it's true). Way to go Kurosawa!

On a side note, remind me never to start a quarrel with a samurai.

Casablanca (1942)
This could be one of those occasions where I buck the trend a little bit and disagree(slightly) with the crowd. I'm going to have to give this one another shot. I just couldn't get into the bulk of it. Yeah there were the classic moments that I was familiar with and those were good but I just really had a tough time latching onto the story. I'm not ready to say that I don't care for Casablanca yet, I'm always willing to give second chances, so hopefully I can do an update to this soon where I kick myself for my previous thoughts.


The McGuffin said...

"Casablanca" has seemed to suffer the "Stairway to Heaven" syndrome...overexposure! There are so many lines and classic moments in "Casablanca" that have been parodied and used in other forms of context that I can see why you are at odds with it. But, stripped down to its bare soul, it is a damn good film about doing the right thing and not being selfish in order for someone you dig to be happy.

FatalPierce said...

See yeah, its like I said.I'm really going to have to give "Casablanca" another go, I know that there is a great movie under there. I'm convinced the problem was just that I wasn't in the right mood/frame of mind at the time and so my attention was unfairly elsewhere.

I truly felt disappointed with myself when I didn't immediately dig the film.

On the subject of this list, yikes, I just looked at my to-do list and I had planned a look at the next ten to be done by now.

The delay is totally Netflix's fault. They tricked me. First they announce unlimited streaming and next thing I know I'm distracted by hours and hours (and hours) of classic "Doctor Who." Coincidence?

The McGuffin said...

Damn you Netflix! I have a small problem with Netflix right now, as well. When I go to watch a movie instantly, a glaring notification blazes onto my monitor that..."We have detected that the computer you're using is outside the 50 United States"...or some such BS. What be that all about? Come 'Flix...I don't reside in Haiti...

FatalPierce said...

That is strange, I just looked at my site meter and it knows exactly where your computer resides, so if I had streaming movies here you'd be golden. Sadly my budget (of $0) only allows me to occasionally speak about movies, not show them.

Have you contacted Netflix support? It seems like this should be fixable as even I can tell that you are within the states. Just don't open the message with a greeting like "Ni Hao."

If that doesn't work it may not be a bad idea to contact your ISP and see if they know what is going on, odds are you aren't alone in this problem.

The McGuffin said...

Good advise, m'friend. First I get an e-mail proclaiming that now I have unlimited minutes to watch movies on Netflix...then they can't play said movies because they think my computer has taken safe haven in Bora Bora. It's all a scam!

Also, you might digeth this site... sci-fi all the time.

FatalPierce said...

I've really been digging the watch it now stuff, I say it is worth fighting for if you must. I queued up some "Dexter" earlier tonight. It was good, though my connection is so crap that I get stuck with one of the lowest qualities. I'm about as far out as you can be and still get what could be considered "high speed."

Excellent site, thanks for the link! Any site that meets me immediately with a picture of Summer Glau definitely gets bonus points.