Saturday, August 31, 2013

Monthly Round-Up: August Viewing

In August I watched a total 38 films.

New to me (In Order of Preference)

Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999) - Perhaps my favourite 'new' film this year. I had watched it previously - in the vicinity of 10 years earlier - so treated it as a fresh view. Amazing big screen experience. Intriguing, beautiful and unnerving, it has been haunting my dreams ever since.

Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993) - Raw, disturbing and exhilarating character-driven portrait of social alienation and erratic non-conformity. Thewlis won Best Actor and Leigh Best Director at Cannes - as if they were ever in doubt - and the score is amazing.

Drugstore Cowboy (Gus Van Sant, 1989) - My new favourite from Van Sant. Stylish, honest and inspiring redemption tale from routine crime/drug addiction. Matt Dillon great.

Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen, 1986) - Fantastic. I wasn't sure for a while whether the Woody segments were necessary, but it all came together beautifully.

The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen, 1985) - Fun. The circumstantial leap of a screen character to manifested romantic reality created thorough investment. Farrow adorable.

Broadway Danny Rose (Woody Allen, 1984) - Loved it! One of my favourite of Woody's personal creations so far, and great to see Mia Farrow in a very different role.

Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg, 2013) - Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson (perfect) are friends who could be more. Their own complex personal lives complicate matters. Brilliant and relatable.

The Best Offer (Guiseppe Tornatore, 2013)

Zelig (Woody Allen, 1983) - An amusingly authentic, technically brilliant mockumentary - a fascinating study of bizarre psychological malady, social conformity and celebrity. Some parts weren't as engaging as others, but Woody continues to surprise.

Beyond the Hills (Christian Mungiu, 2012)

La Playa D.C (Juan Andres Arango Garcia, 2012)

--------- Essential Viewing ---------

The Conjuring (James Wan, 2013)

Sleeper (Woody Allen, 1973) - Woody brings his crazy neuroses and hilarious physical slapstick humour to outrageous, inventively satirical futuristic adventure.

Father's Chair (Luciano Moura, 2013)

Red Obsession (Warwick Ross and David Roach, 2013)

Love and Death (Woody Allen, 1975)

Radio Days (Woody Allen, 1987) - Sprawling Woody-narrated, vignette-style comedy reminisces on glory days of radio, 40's American life. Top production/ensemble.

Seeking A Friend For The End of the World (Lorene Scafaria, 2012) - I quite enjoyed this. It really divided my friends, but I didn't find anything that warranted dislike. It is as sweet as an Apocalypse tale gets. There are some decent laughs and features one of my favourite Knightley performances.

 V/H/S 2 (Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Gareth Evans and others, 2013)

Now You See Me (Louis Letterier, 2013)

We're the Millers (Rawson Marshall Thurber, 2013)

Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen, 1992) - Tough, frustrating. Unlikable characters - especially Pollack's - marred this dramatic (hardly comic!) look at two couples as they evaluate their marriages.

The Bling Ring (Sofia Coppola, 2013)

Elysium (Neill Blomkamp, 2013)

Expiration Date (Kenya Marquez, 2012) - Moderately intriguing missing-person mystery. Though the three intersecting perspectives repeat events, there are some surprises.

Red 2 (Dean Parisot, 2013)

Melaza (Carlos Lechuga, 2012)

Pain and Gain (Michael Bay, 2013)

Machete Kills (Robert Rodriguez, 2013) - Way too long. And not very fun. Some amusing cameos, but yeah long, unfocused and pointless.

Kick-Ass 2 (Jeff Wadlow, 2013)

Paranoia (Robert Luketic, 2013)

Re-watches (In Order of Preference)

The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)

The World's End (Edgar Wright, 2013)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Alfonso Cuaron, 2004)

The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)

The Way Way Back (Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, 2013)

Whatever Works (Woody Allen, 2009)

Ruby Sparks (Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, 2012)

1 comment:

  1. Really need to re-watch Drugstore Cowboy again. Was absolutely in awe of it when I first saw it a few years ago, still love it to this day now (one of my favourites). And the style! Why does everyone in Gus van Sant films look so god damn stylish? It is a crime!

    Glad to hear you enjoyed it, though. It's was really hard to get a copy of it (cost about £14 alone for a DVD) so it's great to see that it is still accessible for other people to watch it!