First, I'll say that I'm in the movie spirit today because it's the premiere of the Dark Knight on HBO today and, even though I already own it on DVD, I've still been excited all day. I hope it brings joy to thousands on this fine evening. I've been watching movies all day in anticipation, including the 1966 Batman with Adam West and Robin vs. the Joker, Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman - ridiculous and without any bit of seriousness, but fairly funny. I also watched Beneath the..., Escape from..., Conquest of..., and Battle for the Planet of the Apes. Escape was the best of the bunch, but I wouldn't recommend any of them. Just watch the original and at all costs pretend the Tim Burton version never existed.
Good movies I've seen for the first time in the last few weeks...
The Sound of Music - I usually have the notion that old musicals are only going to contain nothing but sweet honeyed love with unrealistic characters surrounded by rainbows and dancing cherubs, and so I put off seeing them as long as I can as in this case. Of course the movie is full of excessive cuteness, but it's bearable even too a cynic like me. The ole romantic in me even reared its pretty head at times. The characters are all lovable, and the war and the bad old Nazis weren't portrayed just as "the bad guys" because of poor Rolfe. It was easy to grow to care about the characters and their fortunes. Then of course all the songs were fun, beautiful, and memorable too the point of me having the words to the do re me song and how do you solve a problem like maria? stuck in my head for more than a week.
Casino - I watched this directly after The Sound of Music for whatever reason so now the two will be forever combined in my mind - they're kind of polar opposites I must say. There's a bit more death and betrayal and drugs and blood in this one. I'm a sucker for gangster movies like teen females are for Nicholas Sparks books, boyish good looks and sexily shimmering vampires. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but they offer a completely different world with its own ethics and totally endearing anti-heroes and lovable monstrous evildoers. I fall in love with the movies and start imagining myself longingly as a part of their worlds though I know a gangster I shall never be. This movie made me lose more than a bit of the optimistic humanity I'd gained from The Sound of Music pretty immediately, but what a great tragic movie it was. I've never been so aware of every character in a movie slowly and painfully moving towards death. It's interesting because you don't really (or at least I didn't) sit there rooting or praying for any of the characters to succeed or survive, but the characters are just so real and so cunning, although oblivious to their own overly ambitious failures.
Night of the Living Dead (1968) - I'd seen the newer one and didn't like it and I've never actually liked a zombie movie before (aside from Shaun of the Dead), but I found a first.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead - This is the best Hamlet I've seen (I've only seen Hamlet 2) but I think it would be a lot better to see as a play. I really wasn't too big a fan of the movie, but I love the concept of it - that two of the insignificant characters are wandering around the Hamlet play attempting to make sense of it all and of the world and of their place in it.
Rosemary's Baby - This movie had me creeped the crap out (partly due to a lot of naked old people chanting like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named). Usually I'm not daunted by eerie fear in movies, but the utter helplessness of little Miss Rosemary got to me. You feel so sorry for the girl and fear for her. Mia Farrow is pretty good at suffering on film I guess. The dream sequence devil was just plain ridiculous and some of the ritualistic stuff seemed a bit silly, but the rest of the movie genuinely disturbed me.
Take the Money and Run - It's probably my least favorite Woody Allen movie I've seen so far, but it's still a lot funnier than all the other comedies I've seen recently. I like failed felons almost as much as I like accomplished gangsters and there are some great moments. Favorite line: "After spending 15 minutes with her I knew I wanted to marry her...After 30 minutes I knew I had totally given up the idea of stealing her purse."
Also, in a few hours of absolute boredom last night I decided to attempt to make a list of every movie I've ever seen. I figured out that, to the best of my memory, I'm currently at 918. My only revelation after the list is that I have seen hundreds upon hundreds of really awful movies and need to start filtering a little better.
5 Movies I Want to See Soon:
The Godfather Part II
Raiders of the Lost Ark (I've seen it, but when I was around 7)
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Finally...Movies on my DVR to be watched in the coming month or months:
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
Bringing up Baby
Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
Driving Miss Daisy
blah blah blah...too many episodes of House recorded
Into the Wild
Men of Honor
Out of the Past
Sense and Sensibility
Some Like it Hot
The Spirit of St. Louis
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
Woody Allen: A Life in Film
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