Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Another Important Anouncement Everybody!

On Saturday April 30th we’re gonna be doing something with Board Game Club. That something is currently rather vague, but it will most likely involve board games and meeting at Michelle’s house. 2pm sounds like a pretty good time to meet. It’s supposed to be bright and sunny too so maybe we can hang out in the park near her house for a while. If any aspect of these plans (time, place, day, activities)doesn’t work for you, please leave a comment. Also leave a comment if you plan on attending or have ideas for things we should do. Also tell other people in the club about these plans cuz I don’t know how many people will read this on time. Also Kevin will be there, so we can all bombard him with questions about his impending marriage. Also maybe it will be potluck. That is all.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Important Anouncement Everybody!

My good friend Kevin Rey is now engaged. His wedding will be sometime in 2012. My mind has been blown. And now I'm starting to feel old. It's like... I'm supposed to be a responsible adult now. Anyway, congratulations Kevin.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

200/1001 Movies Seen Part 4

Platoon – If you want to see Charlie Sheen when he was a respectable actor, this is about all there is.
Full Metal Jacket
Broadcast News – I didn’t find anything to be particularly memorable about this film.
The Princess Bride
Akira – Or as I like to call it: Attack of the Puberty Monster.
The Naked Gun – After Airplane!, Leslie Nielsen honed his comedic chops with this hilarious cop movie/film noir spoof.
Big – This is a fun movie to watch as both a kid and adult and Tom Hanks gives a winning performance.
Rain Man – Dustin Hoffman: making autism look cool.
When Harry Met Sally
Do the Right Thing
Roger & Me – This is the first and probably best Michael Moore documentary that hits hard but refrains from becoming too annoying like most of his later stuff.
Jacob’s Ladder – I found this movie to be quite funny, which probably isn’t a good thing since this isn’t a comedy at all.
Dances with Wolves – My Avatar review is pretty interchangeable with any review I may make for this movie.
Boyz ‘N the Hood – Not quite as hard hitting or complex as Do the Right Thing, but still a good drama that deals with issues that Spike Lee ignores for the most part such as gender relations in the black community.
La Double Vie de Veronique (The Double Life of Veronique)
Reservoir Dogs
Unforgiven – Eastwood gives the western a violent and grim update in what ranks as one of his best films as director.
Hoop Dreams – An epic documentary on the lives of two black teens who grow up hoping to make it big in basketball as they attempt to make it past financial, physical, and educational hurdles. It ends up saying a lot more than just what it takes to make it big.
Forrest Gump
The Lion King – One of Disney’s finest that marked an end to their renaissance, but I still like Aladdin best.
Pulp Fiction
The Shawshank Redemption
Babe – It’s a movie about a pig.
Toy Story – One of the most influential animated films that was pretty much a classic the day it was released.
Casino – Classic Scorcese with a sweet soundtrack, plenty of swearing, slick gangsters, and copious amounts of blood.
The Usual Suspects
Shine – A decent drama I suppose.
Independence Day – Fantastic…
L.A. Confidential – A cool and twisting story supported by strong performances makes this a fun film to watch.
Boogie Nights – Racy subject matter + awesome performances + Mark Wahlberg’s dong = great movie.
Saving Private Ryan – A solid war film which straddles the line between blatant patriotism and a grim depiction of the horrors and arbitrariness of war.
Pi – Darren Aronfksy sure does like trippy movies.
Fight Club
Being John Malkovich – A combination of a trippy premise, unsympathetic characters, and a dark sense humour all combine to make a film that seems designed to appeal to me.
American Beauty – This movie just missed out on my top 101 and provides insightful social commentary on the American way of life.
The Matrix
The Sixth Sense – One of the few M. Night Shylaman movies worth seeing.
Kippur – This movie features naked sex painting and one of the greatest scenes I’ve ever seen where a group of soldiers attempt to rescue some wounded comrades in a muddy battlefield.
Wo Hu Cang Long (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) – This is a gorgeous film with graceful choreography. I could watch this without the subtitles and still appreciate it just for its artistry.
Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amelie Poulain (Amelie) – Great film. That’s all that really needs to be said.
Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) – Woah! My mind has been blown!
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 – It’s a slick movie that has a bajillion references to other movies in true Tarantino style, but I prefer his earlier works.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Farenheit 9/11 – Michael Moore whining for a couple hours.

Well there you have it. 1/5th of the way to seeing all 1001 Movies. Some were amazing, some were bizarre, and others I can't believe made it onto the list. I look forward to seeing most of the remaining 801. I think I'll save Pink Flamingos for last. Bonus points to whoever's seen the most of the 200 movies on this list.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

200/1001 Movies Seen Part 3

The French Connection – Awesome cop drama, but I still prefer Dirty Harry.
Dirty Harry
The Last Picture Show – This film is now one of my all time favourite films and would easily make my top 101 list if I were to update it. It’s dark, funny, tragic, and has a full cast of interesting, dynamic, and well-developed characters.
Cabaret – An influential and daring musical with plenty of good numbers to keep you entertained.
Deliverance – A rather disturbing trip down into the heart of darkness where there are no heroes.
The Godfather
The Sting
American Graffiti
The Long Goodbye – This is an interesting take on film noir by Robert Altman which features his trademark overlapping dialogue and a pretty twisted story.
Young Frankenstein – Not as hilarious as Blazing Saddles in my opinion, but still really funny.
Blazing Saddles
The Godfather: Part II
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Nashville – This is my favourite Robert Altman film with a vast ensemble cast, some great music, and an intriguing and interlocking plot.
All the President’s Men – A solid dramatization of the Watergate scandal.
Taxi Driver
Star Wars
Close Encounters of the Third Kind – People rave about this Spielberg sci-fi flick, but it didn’t really appeal to me.
Annie Hall
Grease – It may be campy, but it has plenty of catchy tunes to make up for it.
Being There – An excellent swan song to Peter Seller’s career who should have won an Oscar.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian – It’s a far cry from The Holy Grail, but still a decently funny satire with an uproarious ending.
Apocalypse Now
The Muppet Movie – Classic childhood movie.
Mad Max – One of those rare films that isn’t as good as its sequel, but still pretty cool.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Raging Bull – De Niro gives what may very well be his most iconic performance in a career full of iconic performances.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Chariots of Fire – An uplifting film with a memorable soundtrack.
E.T. – I do not like E.T.
Blade Runner
A Christmas Story
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Terms of Endearment – People call this a tearjerker, but I didn’t even come close to crying.
Koyaanisqatsi – A pretentious documentary about traffic and clouds and KOY-AAN-IS-QATSI!!!!!!!!
Scarface – If the quality of movies were measured in violence and the use of the word “fuck” this film would be second only to Goodfellas.
This is Spinal Tap
Ghost Busters – Classic 80’s comedy all thanks to Bill Murray.
A Passage to India – The book was better, but it’s still pretty good.
The Natural – I don’t like baseball.
The Breakfast Club – The definitive Brat Pack movie that we were all forced to watch in high school.
Back to the Future
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – The funniest Brat Pack movie that we all wish we were forced to watch in high school.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

200/1001 Movies Seen Part 2

On the Waterfront – Marlon Brando being awesome as always.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – An incredibly stupid and sexist musical.
Rear Window
Shichinin No Samurai (The Seven Samurai)
Rebel without a Cause
Nuit et Brouillard (Night and Fog) – This documentary really brings the horror of the holocaust home. Definitely something you should see.
The Night of the Hunter – Reverend Harry Powell is a great villain, but the ending left me bemused and almost all of the female characters are annoyingly stupid.
Forbidden Planet – It’s a good sci-fi flick which was clearly influential in it’s time, but appears a bit dated now.
The Searchers – A decent western mostly thanks to John Wayne’s unflinching portrayal of a vengeful and racist gunslinger.
All that Heaven Allows – A very silly melodrama.
The Ten Commandments
12 Angry Men
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Paths of Glory – An excellent condemnation of war and another on Stanley Kubrick’s long list of amazing films.
North by Northwest
Some Like it Hot
A Bout de Souffle (Breathless) – Goddard’s breakthrough film is worth watching if pretentious.
Pickpocket – The plot may be pretty bare bones, but the pickpocket scenes themselves will leave you on the edge of your seat and wanting to rewind so you can watch them again.
Rio Bravo – A very silly western, mostly because of Stumpy played by character actor, Walter Brennan.
Floating Weeds – If you’re only going to watch one film by Yasujiro Ozu, make it this one.
Shoot the Piano Player – Probably my favourite French film to come from Goddard’s generation, this movie has a little bit of everything and looks to me like it inspired Quentin Tarantino.
The Apartment – Some critics say this film hasn’t aged well, but I still enjoy its humour.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – If it wasn’t for Mickey Rooney this film may be Hepburn’s finest. Also I don’t think it made much sense for them to end up together, but that’s just me.
Chronicle of a Summer – I did not much care for this documentary.
West Side Story – Some good songs and an interesting take on a classic story, but still not my favourite musical.
Lawrence of Arabia – Epic with lots of deserts. I don’t know how Peter O’Toole didn’t win an Oscar.
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Manchurian Candidate
The Birds – I found this to be the most chilling of all of Hitchcock’s films that I’ve seen despite the somewhat dated effects.
My Fair Lady – A good musical, but it should have starred Julie Andrews much as I love Hepburn.
Dr. Strangelove
La Battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers)
The Sound of Music
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
In the Heat of the Night
The Graduate
Cool Hand Luke
The Jungle Book – Yet another Disney movie I don’t particularly care for. I think they chose it because it was Walt Disney’s last film before his death. If they were going for milestones, I would have gone with The Little Mermaid which marked the beginning of a new era for Disney, rather than this one which marked an end.
Ostre Sledovane Vlaky (Closely Watched Trains) – I loved the book this is based on, and the movie is a faithful and darkly humorous adaptation.
The Producers
2001: A Space Odyssey
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Midnight Cowboy
Easy Rider – An unconventional, but thoroughly enjoyable movie with iconic characters, a freewheeling storyline, an awesome soundtrack, nice scenery, and excessive drug consumption.
M*A*S*H – This film has had an undeniable influence on popular culture, but I didn’t find it to be as hysterical as I was expecting. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – Gene Wilder absolutely makes this film. Not even Johnny Depp can fill his shoes.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

200/1001 Movies Seen Part 1

A few years ago I received this book called 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and since then I've been trying to see every movie listed before I kick the bucket. I'm very near approaching the 200 mark and I figured I'd share them with you mostly because I can't think of anything better to post. I put in some mini-reviews to go along with each film unless I've already reviewed it previously. I was too lazy to put in links to all those reviews so if you want to find them then you'll have to dig through the archives yourself. Here are the first 50 in order from oldest to most recent. Enjoy.

La Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon) – A rather entertaining early silent film with cool effects.
The Great Train Robbery – Pretty bare bones, but nevertheless highly influential.
The Birth of a Nation – The first half is great and you can clearly see how it changed the way people viewed and made films, but the second half is obscenely racist.
Das Kabinet Des Doktor Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) – Visually intriguing, but kinda boring, though the ending is cool. It may have inspired Shutter Island.
Sherlock Jr. – Buster Keaton being hilarious as always. I’d recommend any of his films.
Bronenosets Potyomkin (The Battleship Potemkin) – It’s alright I guess.
Metropolis – Easily the best silent film I’ve ever seen and also one of the best sci-fi.
The General – More Buster Keaton!
Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog) – Worthwhile to watch just to see an eyeball get cut.
Steamboat Bill, Jr.
Die Buchse Der Pandora (Pandora’s Box) – This film is often cited, but I found it rather dull.
City Lights – One of Chaplin’s finest.
Duck Soup
King Kong – Remains as one of the best and most stunning monster movies.
It Happened One Night
The 39 Steps – This is my favourite early Hitchcock film that is both funny and suspenseful. Watch it!
Modern Times – So far, this is my favourite Chaplin film and also the last time he uses The Tramp character. Very funny and poignant.
Sabotage – Another early Hitchcock which has a few surprises in store.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – An influential film, but not my favourite of the early Disney films.
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Wizard of Oz – I really don’t like this movie at all. It has great costumes, scenery, and one good song, but that’s it. The rest I hate.
Destry Rides Again – I only vaguely remember this movie about a sheriff who refuses to use violence so I can’t really comment on it.
Gone With the Wind
The Grapes of Wrath
Pinocchio – Has the trademark Disney song (When You Wish Upon a Star), but that’s about all it has going for it in my opinion.
Citizen Kane – Orson Welles has a majestic voice, the cinematic techniques he uses are amazing, and it’s a terrific character study, but I can see where people might get bored watching this film.
The Maltese Falcon
Dumbo – Seriously? There are so many better Disney films.
Sullivan’s Travels – This is actually quite a moving analysis of the film industry itself and Preston Sturges’ masterpiece.
Double Indemnity – Classic film noir with plenty of great dialogue and innuendo.
Spellbound – This is a different film for Hitchcock with the dream sequence being the best part.
The Best Years of Our Lives
Brief Encounter – I guess it’s good for a melodrama, but not really my type of film.
Black Narcissus – An interesting take on the colonial project, though there are parts that haven’t aged all that well.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Ladri di Biciclette (The Bicycle Thief)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Rashomon – A terrific and ambiguous film that owes much to its celebrated and influential story structure.
All about Eve
Sunset Blvd.
A Streetcar Named Desire – The movie that made Marlon Brando a star and features one of his most iconic and influential performances.
The African Queen – Its fun to watch two old pros going at it, and if for no other reason this movie is worth your time.
The Quiet Man – A silly movie about Ireland.
Singin’ in the Rain
High Noon
Roman Holiday – I fell in love with Audrey Hepburn after watching this movie and I think it may be my favourite romantic comedy with an unconventional, yet satifying conclusion.
Shane – The best part about this movie is the episode of Recess it inspired (El Diablo).