Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Overlooked Movie Marathon 3: Week 4

I’m a bit late getting this up.  About a week late, actually.  I’m not entirely sure why.  Maybe it’s my addiction to time wasting games on the internet.  It’s definitely not because I’m working.  I’ve had three days off since the month ended.  Perhaps it’s the other writing that I have been doing for other projects.  That could definitely be a factor in why I did not get this post written until now.  But I’m writing it now, so at least that’s something, right? Better a week late than never.

This is the final post of the third annual Overlooked Movie Marathon.  This final week didn’t go as well as I had hoped.  I meant to watch three or four movies over the course of the week that would be included in the marathon; however, I managed to only see two of the movies I meant to.  The two movies were two great movies, don’t get me wrong.  They were only two movies, though, and I’m disappointed in myself for not sneaking another one in there.  Oh well.  What’s done is done.  Que sera, sera.

Before I get into the two movies I watched, I’m quickly going to go over what this marathon was, why I did it, how I decided on which movies I would watch… All that fun stuff that I covered in the other three posts too.  I’m doing this because there may be some weirdos out there who decided to read the fourth post without a single glance at the other three.  Why would they do that?  Maybe they like one of the movies I watched in the last week of the month more than any of the other movies I watched.  Maybe they are those people who read the last page of a book first because they don’t care about order.  Who knows?  Well, they know.  That’s not the point though.  The point is that I’m going to give details about the marathon.

I have been running my Overlooked Movie Marathon for three years.  The basic idea behind the marathon is that there are a lot of great movies that I have yet to see.  I wanted to spend a month focusing all of my free movie time on knocking a few of them off of my blind spot list.  September 2012 was the first time I did that, and it was a success.  I saw a bunch of movies that I had neglected to watch prior to that time, and I felt better as an avid movie watcher for having seen them.  I could discuss the Godfather trilogy with people.  I understood what the ending of The Usual Suspects signified.  I saw the racism in The Birth of a Nation and was appalled by it.  It was an unforgettable month of movies and one that I wanted to try again.

In September 2013, I put together a list of movies that I would change from unseen to seen.  Much like the first time I had done this, I felt it was a success.  The big difference was in how I chose the movies for the list.  In 2012, I had taken one movie from every decade of movies, starting at 1900 up until the 2000s.  I changed it up in the second year.  In the follow-up to my first Overlooked Movie Marathon, I put the question out to Twitter about what some of the greatest movies ever were.  Through the titles that were thrown out there by my followers, I chose a bunch of movies that I thought I should see.  And with that, I had another month of great movies that I had never seen before.  I was definitely going to continue with my September theme the next year.

Then came September 2014 when I needed movies to watch for the month of catching up on great movies that I had not yet seen.  The month before, I had decided to use the TalkFilmSociety’s top 100 films as a basis for the new marathon.  I would take the movies I hadn’t seen that were in that list and watch as many of them as possible.  I ended up only watching ten of them in total.  That doesn’t matter, though.  They were a god ten movies in September.  It got me to watch ten more classics that I had yet to see.  I am grateful for that.

And now for the movies that I watched in the final week of September 2014.  There are only two movies to cover.  They are two big holes that I had in my film watching life and two that I patched up.  What were they?

This is only my third Michael Mann movie, I think.  I saw Last of the Mohicans in high school, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Manhunter.  As for everything else in his filmography, nope.  Heat was a pretty good outing from the Mann.  He managed to make the good guys and the bad guys equal both in skill and in morality.  He got two of the greatest actors to play the lead good guy and lead bad guy.  He managed to get a great cast to round out the rest of the characters.  And he made some gripping action in the final third of the film.  The more I describe it, the more I like it.  But while I was watching it, I never fell in love.

The Graduate
I never thought I would relate so much to a movie that doesn’t speak about my life in any way whatsoever.  Something in the great performances, the interesting story of lust and love, and the music really connected with me and made me fall in love with the movie almost instantly.  And when I got to the ending, I had flashbacks to Wayne’s World 2 because that movie used the ending of The Graduate for its climax.  It was a great movie to close out the month with.

And with that, September came to a close.  The third annual Overlooked Movie Marathon came to an end.  Ten movies in total meant the least amount of movies in any of the three marathons, but it was still a successful month in that I filled in some of the blind spots I had.  That’s what the month is about.  Seeing classics that I had yet to see

I’ll be doing this again next year.  I don’t know what the movies will be.  It will take a year to figure that out.  Until that time, I’ll be writing the other stuff I write.  I might throw a marathon or two in there as well.  Can anybody say Mustache Marathon?  November’s coming up, you know.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Overlooked Movie Marathon 3: Week 3

Two weeks ago, I embarked on my annual journey of catching up on a bunch of movies that I had yet to see.  Before this week began, I had seen five movies that I hadn’t yet watched that are viewed by my Twitter peers as classics.  I continued that journey this week by adding three more movies to my month long marathon of filling in blindspots.  But before I get into the movies I watched this past week, I must once again give an overview of what this marathon encompasses.  There may be people who have yet to read the other two posts.

There are a lot of movies that people deem as classic, must-watch films that I have missed over the twenty-four years of my life.  Two years ago, I decided that I would dedicate my month of September to seeking out some of these movies that I had missed.  I would use the month to fill in the blind spots that I have when it comes to film.  Or, at least, I would attempt to fill in some of them.

The first year was a collection of movies chosen by me.  I went through each decade of film, starting at 1900, and chose one movie that I had not seen from that decade.  The second year, I asked people on Twitter what some of the best movies ever were and chose from the movies that they said.  This year, I decided to do things differently again, but have come up with another list of great movies to watch during the month.

Late in 2013, Marcelo J. Pico founded the Tweet Film Society (now the Talk Film Society), a coalition of Twitter users that liked film.  He wanted to share people’s opinions and bring everyone together as a Twitter sub-culture.  As 2014 began, he decided to poll everyone and see what the top 100 films of all time were, as voted by the people in the Talk Film Society.  He released that list in July.  When I saw that list, I noticed that there were about eighteen films on it that I had yet to see.  This includes movies such as The Prestige, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Chinatown.  I decided that the movies I hadn’t watched yet that made the TFS Top 100 would be the basis for what I caught up on in September 2014.

And thus my journey began once again.  I began checking movies off of my unseen list by using the TFS Top 100.  I’ve had some highs and some lows through the movies I’ve been watching.  Some that I agree are some of the greatest ever, and some that I disagree with.  That’s my opinion though.  And if you’re reading this, you want to know my opinion.  So here are the three movies I caught up with this week.

Annie Hall
There are parts of this movie that I loved.  The character of Annie Hall.  Oh man, I fell for her hard.  I adore that character and want to do anything for her.  I liked the fourth wall breaking stuff.  The scene in the line for the movie theater.  That was some great stuff.  But a lot of the movie fell flat for me and I’m not entirely sure why.  Maybe it was the overly Jewish nature of the comedy coming from Woody Allen.  Since I’m not Jewish, it didn’t connect with me as much as it would other people.  That’s the only thing I can think of.  It sounds mean but isn’t meant to be.

Before Sunrise
A movie that is purely dialogue is not something that I imagined myself enjoying too much.  If you know me, I like action scenes in my movies.  I don’t mean action movie action.  Just things happening.  Movement and stuff.  I like things to happen.  But… When the dialogue is as good as it is in Before Sunrise, I can forgive the fact that they do a lot while not really doing anything.  They spend the entire movie talking to each other and I was enthralled the whole time.  It was fantastic work by the writers, director, and actors to make the movie as good as it was.  This one is definitely a highlight of the month.

I’m still not entirely clear about how I feel when it comes to this movie.  It’s hard to put into words my thoughts when it comes to it.  I had a big paragraph but it didn’t make sense so I scrapped it and wrote this in its place instead.  I’m not sure I loved the movie.  I’m not sure I didn’t.  It was an experience like almost no other, though.

So, there’s one week left in September and I have nine more movies in the TFS Top 100 that I have yet to see.  I won’t be watching all nine of them this week, but I’m sure I could get a good three, four, or maybe even five of them watched.  It’s just a matter of which ones I will choose and which ones I will not.

Next week, you will find out what the final batch of movies in my third annual Overlooked Movie Marathon will be.  I’ll find out what they are sometime during this week.  I’ll see you next week when we’ll both discover what the movies are.  See you then.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Overlooked Movie Marathon 3: Week 2

Once a year I devote a month to watching the great movies that I have missed over my many years of watching movies.  That would be the month of September.  I use September as a means to catch up on many of the movies I have overlooked while watching the movies that I typically watch.  If you know me, you know that is a big deal.  I spend a lot of time watching things like Battledogs and Baby Geniuses, while movies such as Drive and The Prestige go unwatched.  September is all about rectifying that.  Yes, I still watch some of the stuff I usually watch (out of necessity this year), but I also shift my focus to watching some of the greats that I haven’t seen yet.

This year, I began the month by flying out of the gate and watching a lot of movies in the first week or so.  Then I slowed down a little bit.  My schedule at work made it so.  The good thing is that I still managed to sneak in two of the movies from the Talk Film Society Top 100 that I hadn’t yet seen.  That means that I caught up on two of the movies I was going to spend September trying to catch up on.  I’ve already listed them in this post so I’m not going to go over them again until I get to my actual feelings about each of the movies.  Next week, I will hopefully be back up to three of them.  Who knows?  I could end up seeing more than that.

For those of you who didn’t see the first post for this year’s Overlooked Movie Marathon, I have been using the Talk Film Society Top 100 as a basis for the movies that I watch this month.  This top 100 list was a list created through the contribution of many Twitter users to the Talk Film Society account.  People sent in lists of the 25 best movies, in their opinion.  Marcelo J. Pico took all of these lists and calculated which movies were voted on the most times.  He then compiled the movies into a list ranking them based on how many votes they got.  The 100 movies with the most votes were the top 100 movies.

When I saw the list, I noticed that there were about eighteen or so movies that I had missed seeing.  Thus, I decided that I would use the list to catch up with the great movies I had overlooked.  It became the foundation of my September marathon schedule.  And I have been slowly but surely working my way through some of the movies this month.  The first week included Pan’s Labyrinth, Chinatown, and The Big Lebowski.  This week included two more movies that I hadn’t yet seen.  Let’s get to them, shall we?

The Prestige
This one was not completely unseen by me.  A few years ago, I had seen about half of the movie late into the morning of the new year with a few friends.  That was only half of the movie.  You can’t count half of a movie as a watch.  Now I have finally seen the rest of the movie and I can say this.  The twists and turns of the movie are interesting, but the movie as a whole left me cold.  I did not love this movie like so many people seem to.  It was good and I would watch it again.  But I won’t be going out of my way to watch it again.  Bale and Jackman are great, but it didn’t connect with me.  That’s a shame, really.  I thought I would love it.

Stylistically, this is a great film.  The driving scenes are reminiscent of Bullitt in the look, sound, and overall feel.  The physical violence is visually stunning.  The whole movie is visually stunning, really.  It is easy to get into the movie and easy to feel as though you are a part of everything going on.  That is thanks to Refn’s direction, and the writing of the characters.  So little is known about the driver that it is easy to fantasize that you are in the driver’s shoes throughout the movie.  Not that I want to fantasize about what goes on in the movie.  But you get what I’m saying right?  I hope so because I’m not going to elaborate on that point.  The movie was a feast for both the eyes and the brain.

That’s all that I watched for the Overlooked Movie Marathon 2014 this week.  It was a pretty lackluster week in terms of the number of movies I was able to see.  If you were expecting more of me, I’m sorry.  I couldn’t live up to your expectations.  I’m a failure.  Don’t disown me, daddy.  Nah.  I was a little busier this week than I expected and it took up some of the time that I would have devoted to these movies.  This week will probably be a little better.

You can look forward to another installment of this movie marathon next week as I continue my journey to catch up on some of the great movies that I have missed through my life of watching movies.  What will the movies be?  I don’t know yet, though I know where my selection of movies will come from.  I have thirteen or so movies left to choose from.  I want to see some of them more than others and will likely focus on those ones first.  Such as Annie Hall.  You are pretty much assured that I will watch that movie this week.

So that’s it for this post.  I’ll see you next week with another recap of the seemingly great movies that I catch up on in order to fill in my movie blindspots.  In case I don’t see you before then, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.
Here are the Twitter accounts of Marcelo J. Pico and the Talk Film Society.
The first week of the third annual Overlooked Movie Marathon can be found here.