Category Archives: film

I’ve seen 100 of these 257 movies

An interesting list that I’d guess was put together by a 20-something person who has a particular liking for comedies and horror flicks. I watch a LOT of movies, but you wouldn’t know it from my score on this list; many of my favorites aren’t on here. The list is very short on action/adventure movies and films made before about 2000. Where are the Batman movies? Where is James Bond? And please — two movies about Ewoks, and one made by Mel Brooks?

Of course, if I was making the list, I wouldn’t probably have included any horror movies at all, because I don’t watch them. And I’d have very few recent comedies, because I don’t like most of them either. (No, I don’t think Will Ferrell is God. So shoot me.)

I did add a few movies to the list — sequels, and films closely related to others. Some day I’m going to try to list every movie I’ve seen…

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show — manymany times, mostly at midnight
(x) Grease — about 5 times
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean — about 5 times
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End
() Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club — 3 or 4 times
(x) Starsky and Hutch
() Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles — so many times I can recite pretty much the entire movie by heart
(x) Airplane — ditto
Total: 9

(x) The Princess Bride — 3 or 4 times
(x) Anchorman — actually only about half of it; that’s all I could take
(x) Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth — 5+ times
() Saw
() Saw II
() White Noise
() White Oleander
() Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates — about the last half
(x) The Princess Diaries — 3 times
(x) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement — about the last third
Total so far: 16

() Scream
() Scream 2
() Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
(x) Scary Movie 2
(x) Scary Movie 3
(x) Scary Movie 4
() American Pie
() American Pie 2
() American Wedding
() American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 20

(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
() Harry Potter 4
() Harry Potter 5
(x) Resident Evil 1
() Resident Evil 2
() The Wedding Singer
() Little Black Book
() The Village
() Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 24

() Finding Nemo
() Finding Neverland
() Signs
(x) The Grinch
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
() White Chicks
() Butterfly Effect
() 13 Going on 30
() I, Robot
() Robots
Total so far: 25

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
() Universal Soldier
() Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
() Along Came Polly
() Deep Impact
() KingPin
() Never Been Kissed
() Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
() Eight Crazy Nights
() Joe Dirt
() King Kong
Total so far: 27

() A Cinderella Story
() The Terminal
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie
() Passport to Paris
() Dumb & Dumber
() Dumber & Dumberer
() Final Destination
() Final Destination 2
() Final Destination 3
() Halloween
() The Ring
() The Ring 2
() Surviving X-MAS
(x) Flubber
Total so far: 28

() Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
() Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
() Ghost Ship
() From Hell
(x) Hellboy — so many times I can recite the dialogue
(x) Hellboy 2
() Secret Window
() I Am Sam
() The Whole Nine Yards
() The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 31

() The Day After Tomorrow
() Child’s Play
() Seed of Chucky
() Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
() Just Married
() Gothika
() Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
() Remember the Titans
() Coach Carter
() The Grudge
() The Grudge 2
() The Mask
() Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 33

(x) Bad Boys
() Bad Boys 2
() Joy Ride
(x) Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean’s Eleven — many many times
(x) Ocean’s Twelve
(x) Ocean’s Thirteen — twice so far
(x) Bourne Identity — many many
(x) Bourne Supremacy — many many
(x) Bourne Ultimatum — many many times; my favorite
() Lone Star
() Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
() Predator II
() The Fog
(x) Ice Age
() Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
() Curious George
Total so far: 43

(x) Independence Day — 3 or 4 times
() Cujo
() A Bronx Tale
() Darkness Falls
() Christine
(x) ET
() Children of the Corn
() My Bosses Daughter
() Maid in Manhattan
() War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour — 3 or 4 times
(x) Rush Hour 2 — 2 or 3 times
(x) Rush Hour 3 — once was more than enough
Total so far: 48

() Best Bet
() How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
() She’s All That
(x) Calendar Girls — twice
(x) Sideways — twice
(x) Mars Attacks
() Event Horizon
() Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
() Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
() The Terminator
() The Terminator 2
() The Terminator 3
Total so far: 53

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
(x) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
(x) Spider-Man 3
(x) Sky High
() Jeepers Creepers
() Jeepers Creepers 2
() Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
() Freaky Friday
() Reign of Fire
() The Skulls
() Cruel Intentions
() Cruel Intentions 2
() The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
(x) Shrek 3
Total so far: 64

() Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
() Old School
() The Notebook
() K-Pax
() Krippendorf’s Tribe
() A Walk to Remember
() Ice Castles
() Boogeyman
() The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 65

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark — many times
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom — many times
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade — several times
(x) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — once was enough
Total so far: 72

() Baseketball
() Hostel
(x) This Is Spinal Tap
(x) Waiting for Guffman
(x) Best in Show — just watched this again a couple of days ago
(x) A Mighty Wind
() For Your Consideration
() House of 1000 Corpses
() Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
(x) Highlander — lots of times
() Mothman Prophecies
() American History X
() Three
Total so Far: 78

() The Jacket
() Kung Fu Hustle
() Shaolin Soccer
() Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) The Incredibles — 3 or 4 times
(x) WALL-E — twice so far
(x) Kung-Fu Panda — twice so far
() Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x) Life of Brian
(x) Shaun Of the Dead
(x) Hot Fuzz
() Willard
Total so far: 85

() High Tension
() Club Dread
(x) Hulk
() Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
() Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
() 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
() Phantasm
() Waterworld
Total so far: 87

(x) Pulp Fiction
() Kill Bill vol 1
() Kill Bill vol 2
() Mortal Kombat
() Wolf Creek
() Kingdom of Heaven
() The Hills Have Eyes
() I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
() The Last House on the Left
() Re-Animator
() Army of Darkness
Total so far: 88

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
() Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
() Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
() Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 93

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
() Animatrix
() Evil Dead
() Evil Dead 2
(x) Team America: World Police
(x) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
(x) Hannibal
Total: 100

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movie update: Spiderwick Chronicles

Last night we went to see The Spiderwick Chronicles. Afterward, I mentioned to my son that he was continuing to bat a thousand on movie recommendations and that I was giving him credit on my blog. He suggested that I say the following: that he is my pride and joy, and my reason for getting out of bed in the morning to face each new day. Did I mention that he’s 12? 🙂 And he really is wonderful.

I liked the movie very much (see below). However, I’m sick and tired of films in which kids don’t tell their parents things because they’re sure the parents won’t believe them. Parents and other authority figures are routinely portrayed as blind idiots who refuse to listen to a word their kids have to say, even as some major plot element is destroying the known world all around them. Then, when they’re somehow forced to pay attention and see what’s going on, there’s a touching “Oh, honey, I’m sorry I didn’t believe you” moment.

In Spiderwick, the mom has every reason not to listen to her son Jared: she’s in the middle of a divorce, a move, and a new job, and her son has incredible anger issues and has been acting out physically. So, at least she isn’t made to seem like an idiot — just a stressed, harried woman who needs a week at a spa. But still, she won’t believe him, and she won’t listen to him, even when her other two children confirm his apparently wild stories. I find this immensely frustrating. And at the end, when she knelt down next to him, my son whispered to me, “Now she’s going say ‘I’m so sorry I didn’t listen to you'” — and she did, in fact, say exactly that.

Plots like this are getting kinda old. I’ve assured my kids that if aliens land in the backyard or they find an elf living under their bed, I will listen to them, and even believe them, if they show me the proof, and I’d much prefer them to come to me rather than trying to save the world on their own. Not all parents are blithering idiots, and I wish Hollywood would give us a little credit.

Anyway, here’s what I say on my Movies page:

The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008). Yet another excellent recommendation from my son. He and I were the only ones home last evening, and when I asked if there was anything in particular he’d like to do, he suggested going to see this movie. I knew next to nothing about it, and had no real desire to go (I would have preferred to see Penelope), but I’m very glad we went. This is on its face a children’s fantasy-adventure movie about the magic world all around us that we can’t see, and a troubled family whose children get mixed up with goblins, fairies, and a very large, very unpleasant ogre. But many of the outstanding special effects would be far too intense and scary for small children; and the movie has plenty to keep adults engaged. It’s a visually beautiful film, and I loved the music. Plus the actors are all wonderful — for example, I haven’t seen the boy, Freddie Highmore, in his other movies (and he’s made plenty, including the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), so I didn’t realize that the two boys in this film weren’t twins until the end; Highmore is entirely convincing as two different brothers.

movie update

I’ve updated my Movies page with the following:

Interesting side note. I was reading an article about the low ratings for the Oscars this year and learned that I’ve seen only 4 of the last 11 Best Picture winners. Now, I watch a lot of movies. A lot. But this year I had not the slightest interest in the Oscars, because I hadn’t seen any of the Best Picture nominees — heck, I hadn’t even seen the movies the Best Actor, Actress, etc. nominees were from. I think I had to go to the Best Song category to find a film I’d gone to.

I’m sure the nominated films this year were fine, if you like that sort of thing. But why wasn’t The Bourne Ultimatum nominated for Best Picture and Best Director? What about American Gangster for Best Picture and Best Actor? Where was Christina Ricci’s Best Actress nomination for Black Snake Moan? Why wasn’t Waitress up for Best Picture, Best Actress, and a slew of other awards?

The nominees seem to be deliberately chosen in such a way as to avoid films with any popular support. It’s weird, frustrating, and guaranteed to make a movie buff like me skip watching the Academy Awards.

movie miscellany

I’ve updated my Movies page to include The Ritz, Mystery Men, and Strictly Ballroom — all films that are tremendous fun to watch.

Coming next from Netflix (today, I hope): the new, definitive, director’s Final Cut of Blade Runner. This is the only version over which Ridley Scott has had complete artistic control, and I can’t wait.

And I’ve preordered my copy of the very, very wonderful Enchanted on Amazon. The DVD comes out in March, and I’ll be delighted to see this movie again.

Last week, S left the following comment on my Movies page:

My comment is about ‘I Am Legend’ – I never got around to writing my review for that, but let me say this, you MUST see it.

… I was pleasantly surprised! It’s not your typical horror – in fact, it’s more sci-fi. It wasn’t really effects heavy, as I would have expected. The story is very good – though, from what I understand, not terribly true to the book.

It’s a fantastic character study, and Will Smith acts his ass off in it. It was, however, one of the most depressing movies I’ve seen in a long time – don’t know if that’s a put-off or not, but it’s a fair warning.

I highly recommend it.

S, thanks very much for the recommendation, but I’m afraid I’ll have to decline. I’m sure Will Smith is wonderful — the thing is, I much prefer the Will Smith of Men in Black, rather than the one in Pursuit of Happyness or I Am Legend. You sum up the reason in this sentence: “It was, however, one of the most depressing movies I’ve seen in a long time.” My daughter confirmed this opinion when she came home from seeing the movie — the story was great, the setting was amazing, Will Smith was superb, the ending was an incredible downer.

I will now quote from myself:

… I read books for the same reason I go to movies: for diversion and enjoyment. … I do not read or go to movies to experience wrenching emotional moments or sob at the loss of a beloved character (or their child, or their pet). Some people find sad or otherwise emotionally overwrought books and films cathartic and speak happily about how much they cried after reading or seeing such-and-such (the movie Terms of Endearment comes to mind). All I have to say to that is, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

What the heck, I’ll quote from myself again, regarding action films:

I also expect a happy ending for whoever has braved all this mayhem — as I’ve said many times, I don’t sit through 2 hours of a movie just to be shocked or depressed by the ending. If I’m not sure how things will turn out in a given movie, I’ll wait and hear about it or read it online, to be sure I’ll be satisfied.

Call me silly; call me limited in my approach to film; tell me I’m in denial about the cold, hard realities of life. Maybe so; but I’ll watch The Fifth Element or Moonstruck or Noises Off for the 58th time, and leave the thought-provoking, weepy films to other audience members with tastes very different from mine. 🙂

movies!

https://i0.wp.com/women.ucsd.edu/calendar/images/film.jpgSomehow I got off track on my Movies page, and it’s been languishing, un-updated, for nearly a year. I don’t make new-year resolutions, but I’m going to try my best to keep my list of watched films current this year. Today I’ve updated the page to include all the movies I’ve watched since Jan. 1, 2008.

Yes, I’ve watched 5 films in 7 days (one in a theater, the others on DVD). A friend asked me recently how often I watch movies, and I replied that in our house, we watch movies the way other people watch sports. None of us watch any TV series regularly (although my son does watch Desperate Housewives with his grandmother most Sunday evenings, and last night we all got caught up in the general badness and excitement of American Gladiator), and we almost never watch sports (with the exception of a little college basketball in February/March and a little football this time of year). Insead, we watch movies. We talk movies. My kids and I can quote dialog and plot elements like other people quote baseball stats.

To each their own — and mine is on the silver screen.

on loving peace & pistols

https://i2.wp.com/us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/universal_pictures/the_bourne_identity/matt_damon/bourne.jpgI am an intensely nonviolent person. I dislike interpersonal confrontations. If a wasp or spider finds its way into my house, I do my best to capture it and release it outside rather than kill it. One of the reasons we found a new home for our python was that I could no longer bear to feed the snake live rats. I am extremely anti-war; I can’t imagine killing a person, and I don’t understand why and how people choose killing as a means to solve problems or express disagreement. I have no desire to ever touch a gun, let alone shoot one; even seeing a pistol close up on a police officer makes me nervous.

https://i0.wp.com/www.kpbs.org/blogs/movies/files/2007/04/hot-fuzz-3.jpgAnd yet… action/adventure movies are far and away my favorite genre. Give me Daniel Craig as James Bond or Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, and you’ve made my day. Big, cool-looking, high-caliber weaponry; good guys who can’t miss; car chases zig-zagging through major cities; some excellent hand-to-hand combat thrown in for good measure: these are things my favorite films are made of. If it’s possible to throw in some semblance of plot and a female character who demonstrates intelligence and the ability to take care of herself, so much the better.

https://i0.wp.com/images.salon.com/ent/movies/review/2007/09/07/shoot/story.jpgI started thinking about this strange divergence in my personality yesterday afternoon after seeing Shoot ‘Em Up — an awesome example of everything I love about action movies. It has:

  • Two of my favorite actors: Clive Owen doing handsome, invincible, mysterious good guy; and Paul Giamatti chewing the scenery as the over-the-top bad guy
  • A woman who is sexy but also helpful and able to take care of herself
  • Lots and lots of wonderfully choreographed gun battles that have some but not too much blood
  • An awesome soundtrack
  • A plot that is somewhat convoluted but able to be understood
  • A happy ending

It was wonderful. A copy will find its way to my shelf as soon as it comes out on DVD.

https://i2.wp.com/i.imdb.com/Photos/Ss/0337978/th-DH41697.jpgMy limitations lie in the amount of graphic bloodshed and suffering. I prefer the bad guys to be faceless and nameless and to die immediately. A little blood spatter is OK, as is the occasional humorous use of dismembered body parts (such as Clive Owen using a severed hand to work the fingerprint ID on a pistol). But I do not deal well with torture scenes and intense, in-your-face, realistic carnage; I learned what to watch out for many years ago when I saw Robocop and almost got sick.

https://i0.wp.com/www.filmfortress.com/film/images/casino_royale_review.jpgI also expect a happy ending for whoever has braved all this mayhem — as I’ve said many times, I don’t sit through 2 hours of a movie just to be shocked or depressed by the ending. If I’m not sure how things will turn out in a given movie, I’ll wait and hear about it or read it online, to be sure I’ll be satisfied. Casino Royale is tough for me: I adore the entire film except Vesper’s death, which I consider inexplicable and eminently avoidable. My son and I have agreed that when we watch the movie, we’ll always skip that entire scene. (And consider Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, although it’s of a different sort of genre. We’ve watched Will and Elizabeth’s relationship through three movies, and the best the film-makers can give us at the end is for this gorgeous, finally married couple to see each other once every 10 years? What is that? They lost me at Davy Jones. As with the Matrix films, I’ll only ever watch the original film of the trilogy again, preferring to pretend that the other two highly inferior films were never made.)

https://i1.wp.com/www.monitorduty.com/TF%20Movie%20Starscream%20Attack.jpgMaybe I’m living out my adventurous fantasies by spending time in fictional worlds that I will never (and wouldn’t want to) inhabit. Whatever the reason, I love action movies, with their shooting and running and driving and thumping music, and the occasional rapatious sex. (In Shoot ‘Em Up, coitus interruptus occurs in the form of lots of guys with guns. She’s on top at that moment, so he just scoops her up and carries her as he dispatches one enemy after the other; it appears that her pleasure continues unabated throughout.)

Following is a list of my favorite summer movie fare. If you’re in the mood for something loud, driving, and intense (and sex isn’t an option at the moment…), then give one of these a try:

  • Shoot ‘Em Up — Clive, Paul, Monica, a baby, and lots and lots of bad guys in black leather jackets
  • The Bourne Ultimatum — Matt Damon (I used to think that he could kick anyone’s ass, including James Bond’s. However, I now think that Clive Owen’s Mr. Smith could give Jason a hard time.)
  • Live Free or Die Hard — Bruuuuuuuuce!
  • Transformers — Giant robots with big guns
  • Shooter — Mark Wahlberg doing the loner-vengeance thing
  • Hott Fuzz — British guys with guns, plus satire and black humor