Saturday 14 April 2012
March movies concluded.
59. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
I generally don't like werewolf films, but since I was planning to watch New Moon, I figured I owed this horror classic the old college try. To my surprise, I hadn't missed anything. To sum up: a boy is bitten by a werewolf but survives, told by his dead friend that he will become a werewolf, turns into a werewolf, and is killed. The SFX are good, but someone really should have tried to squeeze a little plot under all that makeup.
60. The H-Man (1958)
This movie has a significantly better user rating on imdb.com than New Moon, proving the adage that you shouldn't believe everything you read. Even if you hated New Moon, there's nothing here that's remotely better. The special effects of melting people -- every bit as creepy if slightly more mysterious than the melting Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark -- are the highlight of this pedestrian Japanese morality tale of the dangers of the radiation tests. That's two movies in a row where special effects are used to cover weak stories. It's a trend!
63. Die, Monster, Die! (1965)
After H-Man, this horrible movie looks like an award winner. Dialogue is long and pointless, characters are wooden, and sets are cluttered. There is a scene in this film where the protagonists discover a hothouse filled with truly horrific creatures that could be demons or mutants, and they act as though they were seeing something as ordinary as chickens. (The female lead inexplicably saves her screams for far more mundane thunderstorms and locked doors.) At least the film does have a significantly creepy and mysterious atmosphere, which was enough to keep me watching.
64. 30 Minutes or Less (2011)
I am so sick of Jesse Eisenberg and Danny McBride. Fortunately Fred Ward and Aziz Ansari appeared just often enough to keep the timer going on this "comedy."
65. Suddenly (1954)
I told my friend Chris that he was probably the only person I knew who would be even slightly interested in the fact that I had just watched a b-movie in which hired assassin Frank Sinatra kills a television repairman. Without hesitation Chris replied, "hey, I own Suddenly!"
66. Priest (2011)
In a past life, my brother worked in Hollywood where he developed a mancrush on actor Paul Bettany. Since then, Trey insists that I watch all things Bettany does. Trey was quite pissed to learn that I had watched Twilight despite my aversion to vampire-themed fiction and demanded that I finally watch Bettany's vampire-themed Priest. Don't tell Trey, but this movie co-stars Cam Gigandet, the villain from Twilight. (And he's delightful!)
68. Superheroes (2011)
A documentary about the people who dress up like superheroes and fight "crime," by which they typically mean homelessness.
69. Zero Hour! (1957)
I watched this knowing that it is the film that Airplane! is based on. What I did not know was that the two movies share the same script: Zero Hour! is Airplane! without the punchlines. Save yourself the trouble and just watch Airplane!.
70. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
A fantastic movie. Sometimes, casting does make all the difference, but it really helps when they have a great script to work with.
71. The Big Sleep (1946)
This bit of film noir provided several scenes for Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, but fails to be anything more than a vehicle for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. For die-hard film noir (or Bogart) fans only.
72. Friends with Benefits (2011)
Why try so hard to convince the audience that you aren't just another romantic comedy while being just another romantic comedy? I liked it despite this flaw, mostly because Justin Timberlake is so willing to make a fool of himself for my entertainment.
73. Dirigible (1931)
Frank Capra directed this film, but I watched it because it of its subject matter (the dirigibles, not the cliche polar expedition disaster). I marvel that Ralph Graves had a career as a romantic leading man: his kisses look like assaults. After he "assaulted" Fay Wray early in the movie, I kept cheering for him to die. However, Frank Capra provides the expected saccharin ending, more disappointing than ever when the wrong boy gets the girl in the end.
74. Game Change (2012)
Again, I almost didn't watch this because it was a biopic, but the allure of Woody Harrelson proved too great. Yes, the film is a hit job on Sarah Palin (the woman simply can't be that demented in real life), but it has the side effect of making John McCain look like a modern Teddy Roosevelt. I'm voting for Ed Harris in 2012!
75. The Mechanic (2011)
The sex scenes in this remake seem to define "gratuitous nudity" and left me wondering if the original film showed Charlie Bronson having vigorous sex with topless girls half his age. I guess I need to see the 1972 original and find out.
After watching 75 new-to-me movies by the end of March, I'm already halfway to my goal of 150 on the year. I think I'll take it easy in April. It sure can be hard work trying to watch a movie every day. I'm sacrificing considerable video game time.