Monday 5 November 2012
The final 11 movies from October:
251. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
The story in this Sam Raimi thriller is just an excuse to get from one gory scene to another. It's like watching a slasher horror film from the 80s. You know, like the kind directed by Sam Raimi.
252. It's a Dog's Life (1955)
This weird little melodrama tells the story of the life of a surprisingly well-educated dog from the streets of New York City. There's a surprising amount of violence and misogyny early in the movie. The script probably could have used a few more rewrites; it took awhile for me to realize that the movie was simply trying to describe the dog's hardships, not suggest that violence was the way out of poverty.
253. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
Supposedly the oldest surviving animated feature film, this German silent is quite well done. Rather than saying "they don't make them like this anymore," I think the appropriate description would be "they only made them like this once." Impressive.
254. Final Destination 3 (2006)
In late October, it became harder to find movies on television that weren't horrors. This was the first Final Destination movie I had seen, and I hope it will be the last. I have better things to do than sit around and watch stupid people die in impossibly contrived Rube Goldberg devices. Very boring.
255. Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941)
Okay, "they don't make them like this anymore" really is the best way to describe this Fleischer Studios feature-length animated film. The story hasn't aged well -- you can probably tell from the title that it was based on the Frank Capra stock template (yuck) -- and I suspect that even in 1941, the climax was very anticlimactic.
256. 21 Jump Street (2012)
Funnier than it had any right to be. This film attacked the fact that it was a comedy remake of a television show head-on in the first 10 minutes. I think this is the right tactic. The audience is aware of the fact, so go ahead and address it and get it out of the way. A well written surprise with very satisfying cameos from original cast members.
257. On Borrowed Time (1939)
There's something unique and charming about this film, even when an anthropomorphic Death (cutely called "Mr. Brink") tries to trick a little boy into suicide. Seriously, I liked it very much. (Are there bad movies with anthropomorphized Death? Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, Seventh Seal, Color of Magic, all good. I probably need to track down Death Takes a Holiday/Meet Joe Black.)
258. 50/50 (2011)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems to be in everything these days. I've certainly enjoyed his work since 3rd Rock from the Sun. I don't think he ever disappoints. Add Anna Kendrick and this movie sparkles in spite of its deeply uncomfortable subject. Don't get me wrong, this movie knows it's a comedy all the way, but it doesn't flinch from reminding us of the ultimate loneliness of our own mortality. I much enjoyed it.
259. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
I've heard nothing but terrible things about this franchise. So far as "zombie apocalypse" action films go, this isn't the worst I've seen. (You know how I feel about zombie films. As I said, thanks to impending Halloween, this was the only movie on tv when I wanted to watch something. So I watched it. Even given the circumstances, it could have been worse.)
260. Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)
Everyone I know will think that I must be cheating to put this on the list, but I had seriously never seen this movie before. Now I have.
261. The Uninvited (1944)
Another recommendation by Grimmy. It's hard to believe that this suspenseful ghost story/murder mystery, reminiscent of Rebecca, wasn't directed by Hitchcock himself. The cinematography is especially impressive. Best recommendation yet, Grimmy!
That's 31 movies for the month, 1 per day! I need only to see 39 more movies in the next two months to reach 300 on the year. Get ready, eyeballs, we've got some watching to do!