The third dozen movies seen this July (and the month isn't quite over yet!)

187. Alice Adams (1935)
Drew Barrymore recommended this movie on The Essentials on TCM. Credit where it's due, this is a much better movie than most Drew Barrymore movies.

188. Bride Wars (2009)
Everything about this movie is ridiculously contrived. I know that as a guy, I'm not supposed to "get" weddings -- a fact the movie quickly and frequently reinforces -- but I don't even get this movie.

189. The Sweetest Thing (2002)
This movie recycled so many of the same crude jokes in its desperate bid to be Something About Mary II, the producers even cast Cameron Diaz in the lead role.

190. In Time (2011)
Justin Timberlake as social-crusading action hero? Yeah, sure, what the hell.

191. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Let me open by saying that I really enjoy the original Wall Street. It is the only Oliver Stone film I will admit to actually liking, and that statement includes this sequel. All the unnecessarily arty cgi and what feels like a tacked-on feel-good ending dilute the movie's "fuck the system" message. I was left wondering why I had bothered to watch a 2-1/2 hour movie starring Shia LaBouf. Joke's on me, I guess.

192. Slacker (1991)
I distinctly remember being wildly curious about this film when I first saw it on the shelves of my local Blockbuster in 1993. I didn't watch the film then, and that's probably a good thing. There is no way I would have appreciated the message then. I've long been under the delusion that all people get crazy as they get older. This film clearly illustrates that people start out crazy.

193. Peyton Place (1957)
Mom talks about Peyton Place as being quite taboo when she was a youngster growing up in a small town. And no wonder. It's a good, big screen soap opera, with family discord, rape, murder, and an over-bearing orchestrated score.

194. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
I'd seen the original Swedish movie already, and I looked forward to comparing the two. The American version looks good and builds its story well, but I was very disappointed in its spoon-feeding the resolution to the audience. Now I'm going to have to read the book to find out which was more loyal.

195. 200 Cigarettes (1999)
Think Empire Records but with less emotion and worse dialogue. And for a movie named after cigarettes, why doesn't anyone in the film look like they enjoy smoking them? (Only in the finale does Ben Affleck even looks like he knows what to do with one.)

196. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is brilliant, but I don't think I could stomach multiple viewings of any of his films. (One more note: I found Kate Winslet's character completely unlikable. That means I spend this entire movie yelling at Jim Carrey to shut up and get over her. He didn't. I'm not putting myself through that again.)

197. The Big Year (2011)
Reviews of this movie gave me the impression that it would suck, but a cast of fine character actors injected this bittersweet comedy with a lot of life. I liked it.

198. D.O.A. (1950)
I liked this, too. The protagonist solves a typically convoluted film-noir plot by process of elimination. Careening clumsily from one suspect to another like a runaway pinball, he solves his own murder only after all other possibilities are eliminated. Deserves its place among the film-noir classics.

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To be continued...


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