Saturday, January 02, 2010

What I Watched In December

Along with all the seasonal TV specials I got to see some really good movies of very different vintages in the final moth of 2009. The two biggest and best surprises were the James Cagney pre-code film PICTURE SNATCHER and the wonderfully sleazy Werner Herzog BAD LIEUTENANT film. Both were kind of scummy and well done with a positive but slightly dark ending. Good stuff. Also, 2009's streak of brilliant animated movies continued with FABULOUS MR. FOX ranking very well with CORALINE, UP and 9.

SURROGATES (2009)- 6 (pretty good sci-fi with an easy to figure mystery element)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1938)- 7 (good version if too short for my liking)
ROMULUS AND REMUS (1961)- 8 (a really good peplum recounting the founding of Rome –Gordon Scott and Steve Reeves in the same movie!)
THE GIRL FROM RIO (1969)- 5 (colorful, silly fun that could have used more budget or time spent on a good idea or two)
1941 (1979)- 9 (rewatch) (still a truly fun, completely scattered, over the top comedy gem)
FANTASTIC MR. FOX (2009)- 9 (excellent Dahl adaptation)
TOWER OF THE SCREAMING VIRGINS (1968)- 8 (fantastic Euro-trash period adventure with a big dollop of sleaze)
THE BLACK KNIGHT (1952)- 3 (poorly scripted ‘Knights of the Round Table’ film with Alan Ladd sleepwalking through the title role)
THE BOX (2009)- 3 (I give up on Richard Kelley)
EROTIC NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980)- 3 (Joe D’Amato’s sloppy porn/horror)
PICTURE SNATCHER (1933)- 7 (Cagney at the top of his game in a pre-code gem)
SORCERESS (1982)- 3 (Jack Hill’s last and least film)
PLANET 51 (2009)- 6 (surprisingly good animated sci-fi film)
SCROOGE (1970) - 9 (rewatch) (near perfect musical version of the Christmas perennial)
SCALPS (1987)- 6 (very late spaghetti western)
TORCHY BLANE IN CHINATOWN (1939)- 6 (5th TB movie is a fun entry in the series)
ASTRO BOY (2009)- 6 (fun version of the character)
THE DISEMBODIED (1957)- 5 (OK jungle/voodoo tale with Allison Hayes vamping it up)
SH! THE OCTOPUS (1937) - 3 (lame comedy/mystery)
THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS (2009) - 8 (brilliant black comedy)
LICENCE TO KILL (1989)- 6 (rewatch)
AVATAR (2009)- 7
OPEN SEASON (1974)- 7 (harsh, mean spirited DELIVERANCE style thriller with a great cast)
KING KONG VS. GODZILLA (1962) – 6 (Toho rarely disappoints)
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2009)- 7 (effective little chiller)
FIRE MONSTERS VS. THE SONS OF HERCULES (1962)- 7 (really fun peplum)
NEW YEARS EVIL (1980)- 4 (silly but interesting slasher)


Mr. Ghoul said...

I love 1941! I'll never forget how critics got so pissed at Spielberg for the excess (like the sight gag of the tank rolling through a paint store) that they slammed the film and always mentioned how audiences weren't laughing. Well, I saw it twice in the theater and both times, the audiences were absolutely roaring. I suspect those critics actually watched the movie at private screenings and then embellished a bit.

Rod Barnett said...

1941 is a great over the top comedy. Those that can't enjoy it are trying to not enjoy it.

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch Army Black Knights,i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.