I Was hoping to make it to 12 movies in February, but I managed only 11. Drats. Anyway, here's the second (and final) batch of films watched in February.

18. (956.) The Wind and the Lion (1975)
I don't know that I've ever had the patience for this kind of film, a long-winded desert adventure story that plays fast and loose with history. I don't mean to suggest that it's bad. It just wasn't my thing.

19. (957.) Possession (1981)
One of the big jokes in Tropic Thunder is that an actor should never go "full retard," which is a shorthand way of saying that the emotions and behavior we expect from actors onscreen should represent real life only in a stylized way without putting real, messy human behavior on the screen. (Take that, method actors!) Although it feels weird to say this about Possession, a horror movie in which an unfaithful wife gives birth to a tentacle creature in the days before the Cold War apocalypse, lead actress Isabelle Adjani really does go "full retard." Her emotional anguish on camera is frightening in its honesty and intensity. That sort of emotional rawness made me far more uncomfortable than the monster did.

20. (958.) Thor: The Dark World (2013)
This movie's story is thin enough to wipe your nose with, but I don't think I've ever seen a better job of a comic book hero brought to the live screen. Thor is every bit the muscled pea-brain he was when I read his comics in the 1980s, and Tom Hiddleston's Loki is everything I want in a movie villain. Bravo.

21. (959.) Deadpool (2016)
The hype got me. I went to see the film for Colossus, my favorite of all the X-Men, and I wasn't disappointed. I describe it to friends as the Marx Brothers meet Beverly Hills Cop: if you don't like this dick joke, don't worry; there will be another in a second. More, please.

22. (960.) The Verdict (1982)
I'm on record as not liking Paul Newman movies. I think I need to amend that to say that I don't like young Paul Newman movies. The Verdict is a great courtroom drama, and Newman is great in it. I suspect I'm going to have to start dividing Newman's career into pre- and post-Butch Cassidy and only watch the latter.

23. (961.) Zoolander 2 (2016)
This movie became instantly famous as the only movie Leonard Maltin has ever walked out of. That's a shame. He missed one of the best boner sight gags ever. It's not that I blame Leonard. Comedy is the most subjective genre, and even the funniest people have days they just don't want to laugh. But I thought this sequel was a well worthy successor to the original, which I still laugh at 15 years later.

More to come.

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To be continued...


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