Friday, June 04, 2010

What I Watched In May

May was a pretty crappy month here in Nashville. The first day of the month is my birthday and rarely have I had such a bad one as it was the day the Great Flood hit town devastating the place and turning a chunk of the city into an Atlantis test site. It’ll be next year before Nashville fully recovers but we move forward.

As far as movie watching is concerned the first day of May was bad as well. I chose to see THE LOSERS and it sucked big time. Other than a couple of fun performances it was a complete waste of time. IRON MAN 2 was a lot of fun even if it wasn’t as surprisingly great as the first film and ROBIN HOOD was a muddle but I still enjoyed most of it. It has an ending that is simply stupid on several levels but the first hour is grim and intense. Ridley Scott’s never been good with humor and when the story shifts its tone with Robin trying to be wry and amusing the movie takes a nose dive. The best film I saw all month was the classic BRIEF ENCOUNTER which does not fit my usual profile but a good film is a good film. It’s not like I haven’t loved David Lean movies before!

On the television front I enjoyed the end of Lost and was disheartened to see Flash Forward get canceled. ABC made a mistake there and compounded it by renewing the vacuous mess of V so that viewers will be subjected to more endless little alien plots that add up to nothing stretched out over weeks and weeks. But on the positive side I finally caught the first season of Breaking Bad (all seven episodes) and loved it. This show really is deserving of all the awards and praise it’s gotten with so many standout moments it’s hard to pick just one or two. I can’t wait to see more.

THE LOSERS (2010)- 3 (terrible and a waste of a game cast)
CITY BENEATH THE SEA (1953)- 7 (good diving/adventure tale from Budd Boetticher)
UPPERWORLD (1934) – 6 (interesting snooty class drama of the period with a great cast)
DEAD SNOW (2009)- 7 (rewatch)
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009)- 9 (rewatch)
TAKEN (2008) – 7 (fun action thrill ride)
IRON MAN 2 (2010)- 8 (not as fun as the first, but)
BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1946)- 9 (excellent, emotional tale of a doomed affair)
DEATH WISH (1974)- 7 (vigilantism as cathartic- and maybe crazy)
THE WALKING DEAD (1935)- 5 (mild Warner Bros. Karloff film)
BATTLE CREEK BRAWL (1980) – 4 (not too good attempt to make Jackie Chan a star in America)
FROM THE ORIENT WITH FURY (1965)- 5 (middling Euro-Spy effort that picks up near the end)
CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981)- 7 (rewatch)
WAR, INC. (2008)- 4 (muddled & poorly mounted black comedy)
OSS 117: MISSION FOR A KILLER (1965)- 8 (excellent serious Euro-Spy tale)
CRIMSON (1976)- 3 (not too good crime/mad doctor Naschy film – with very little Naschy)
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3 (1987)- 6 (rewatch)
JCVD (2008)- 8 (wow- in French van Damme can act!)
CACHE (2005)- 5 (the slowest of slow burns)
THE SIGN OF THE RAM (1948)- 7 (fascinating British drama)
ROBIN HOOD (2010)- 6 (interesting and occasionally exciting but muddled attempt - silly ending)
THE SWEET SOUND OF DEATH (1965) - 6 (interesting, melancholy Spanish ghost tale)
WELCOME TO ARROW BEACH (1974)- 6 (odd thriller directed by Laurence Harvey)
TRAITOR (2008) - 7 (good thriller with an excellent cast)
SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST (1960)- 5 (OK Hammer version of Robin Hood) (rewatch)
VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS (1965)- 5 (terrible but fun Bert I. Gordon film) (rewatch)
THUNDER ROAD (1958)- 8 (Mitchum’s moonshiner runner drive-in classic) (rewatch)
2000 MANIACS (1964)- 6 (H. G. Lewis’ only good film?) (rewatch)
GAMERA (1965) – 6 (the first flying turtle epic) (rewatch)
ASK THE DUST (2006)- 8 (Robert Towne’s excellent adaptation)
HIGH CRIME (1973)- 8 (Castellari and Franco Nero team for some Euro-Crime awesome)
WHEN A STRANGER CALLS (1979)- 7 (surprisingly good film)


Anonymous said...

Undertake no more than you can perform. ............................................................

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I had been waiting for a hole to open up so that I could start watching 'Breaking Bad' and it is a great series. One of those ones, like 'The Wire' that really benefits from watching a whole season at one stretch. It's real and non-sentimental if that makes any sense. The outrageous moments seem to fit the situation which can get surreal in it's realism. Bryan Cranston should be emmy bait every year this show is on. Great writing meets great acting.