Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Flicker Count: October Movies

Last month, I noticed that a few of my fellow LAMBs listed all of the movies they had watched the previous month.  (Evidence can be found here.)  I liked the idea, so this October I decided to keep a detailed account of every film I watched.

My final count was 48, which, to be honest, seems about average for me.  I usually see 3-4 movies in the theater a week (on top of what I watch at home), but I wasn’t impressed with what Hollywood was putting out (am I ever?), so I stayed home and watched some piss-poor Eastwood, some remarkable Hanake and a whole lotta horror.    

The following list is spilt into three categories: theatrical films, new movies I hadn’t seen and old movies I rewatched.  I’ve picked the best and worst of each bunch with brief comments for each film. Thanks to Andy and Sam for the inspiration. Enjoy!

Dream House – A god-awful waste of time.  Unintentionally laughable in all the worst ways.

50/50 – I doubted myself for not liking this movie at first, but now that some time has passed, I’m confident in calling 50/50 as average as I initially thought.

What’s Your Number – Can I get an Eternal Sunshine memory wipe of this one?

The Ides of March – A great, quick political thriller that will undoubtedly be forgotten come awards time.

Melancholia – A fucking brilliant epic from the mind of a madman.  Cannot recommend it highly enough.

Footloose – I’ll take the original any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Drive – Third time seeing it, third time loving it.

Paranormal Activity 3 – I saw this the best way you could: at midnight, in a sold out theater, drunk… and it still wasn’t that scary.

BEST: Drive
WORST: What’s Your Number

New Flicks
The Eiger Sanction (1975) – Slugging your way through Clint Eastwood’s directing filmography can be rather trying.

The Triplets of Belleville (2003) – This had two things going against it: it’s a musical, and it’s animated.  A rare example of how uninformed perceptions can result in a film that is simply miraculous. Watch it.  Now.

Heavenly Creatures (1994) – Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet killed it in this flick.  A genuine surprise.

The Gauntlet (1977) – Eastwood. Again. Boring.

The Seventh Continent (1989) – Michael Haneke’s goddamn devastating first film is arguably his best.  Literally jaw dropping.

Heartbreak Ridge (1986) – I’m almost done with Eastwood, I hope.

Trust (2011) – David Schwimmer’s sexual predator film floored me.  A must see.

Benny’s Video (1992) – Not quite as good as The Seventh Continent, but Haneke’s second film rocked me all the same.

Dogtooth (2010) – I took a break from Haneke and Lars von Trier to watch this brilliant mindfuck of a film.  Justly deserved its Oscar nomination last year.

71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994) – Haneke does it again.  Calm and deliberate before it rips your guts out.

Eight Men Out (1988) – Not a terribly good film, but David Strathairn, mind you, is terribly good in it.

Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys (2000) – The second-best Haneke film I watched this month.

All Good Things (2010) – Pretty much how I’d thought it be: decent movie, great Gosling.

Ma Vie En Rose (1997) – Hidden French flick about a young boy suffering through a sexual identity crisis.  Tender and, at times, brutal. 

At Close Range (1986) – Sean Penn and Christopher Walken can’t save this muddled mess of a film.

The Thing (1982) – Great make-up, ridiculous movie.

The Long Goodbye (1973) – Robert Altman’s neo-noir, private detective thriller started off great, but steadily fell to laughable obscurity.

Red State (2011) – If you asked me two days ago whether or not I’d like Kevin Smith’s most recent film, I would’ve laughed in your face. How wrong could I be?  Very, it seems.

BEST: The Seventh Continent
WORST: Heartbreak Ridge

Old Picks
Decalogue: Parts XIII-X (1989) – Simply divine.

Half Nelson (2006) – It's difficult to fully appreciate Ryan Gosling until you’ve seen this flick.  One of the best acting performances of the last 10 years.

Bronson (2008) – Apparently, I thought I liked this movie more than I did.

Chopper (2000) – The film Bronson wants to be.

Footloose (1984) – It simply never gets old.

Hunger (2009) – A gut-wrenching, no-holds-barred masterpiece.  If you haven’t seen it, then do.  If you’ve seen it, then see it again.  Can’t wait for Shame.

Anger Management (2003) – I was hungover.  I’m not proud of it.  (The watching of the movie, I mean. Not the drinking of the booze.)

Gangs of New York (2002) – If you have Encore, then you know they basically play this movie on repeat.

Sexy Beast (2001) – “Yes yes yes yes yes yes!”

And as part of my Halloween Horror Movie Marathon I rewatched the following, which I have discussed more in-depth here, here and here.

Halloween (1978)
The Shining (1980)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Audition (2001)
High Tension (2003)
Signs (2002)
Misery (1990)
Halloween H20 (1998)
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Saw (2004)
Deliverance (1972)

BEST: Deliverance
WORST: Anger Management

So there it is, 48 films in total.  For November, I’m doing something I’ve wanted to do for a long time: putting a dent in my Netflix Instant queue.  Any movie I watch this month (not in theaters) will be from my queue.  Should make for a very eclectic mix of flicks.


  1. Well, you had a busy October!I am trying to catch up and watch as many movies I can this November!

  2. Yeah you should try to keep track this month. I'd be curious to know all the movies you watch.

  3. I did it for October and it was bad, very bad comparing to you or Andy, but i'm getting there!Shooting for a higher number this month!

  4. That's quite an impressive lineup. Best film I watched in October was Jim Jarmusch's STRANGER THAN PARADISE, a fucking masterpiece which has jumped straight onto my top 50 favourite films of all time. I just reviewed it on my site and I will be talking about it for a long while yet. My favourite film that YOU watched in October would probably have to be CODE UNKNOWN.

  5. Damn you beat me! Haha. 48 is a very solid effort. I didn't get through that many horror films, but I think I went to the cinema a bit more than you.

    I need to see some of Haneke's early stuff. I actually haven't seen The Seventh Continent, Benny's Video or Code Unknown, but have everything else covered- Funny Games and Cache are my favourites.

    As you know I didn't share your love for Melancholia (or Red State - really?) But I am attending a screening of the former next week, so I'll see what I think then. Great work, Alex. I enjoyed this post a lot!

  6. @Tyler, CODE UNKNOWN over THE SEVENTH CONTINENT huh? That’s a close call for me. I was fucking TERRIFIED during the subway scene in CODE UNKNOWN. It’s that rare, specific fear that only Haneke seems to be able to evoke.

    @Andy, dude I cannot recommend Haneke’s early films highly enough. Turn the cell phone off, put the computer away, and simply watch in awe.

    Perhaps I’m misrepresenting my like for RED STATE. It did blow my expectations away, but it wasn’t a great movie or anything. Very entertaining at best. I’ll be curious to see if you like MELANCHOLIA any more after your next viewing.

  7. God damned you and your 48 films.


  8. Impressive number of films you got through!

    You’ve made me want to look into The Seventh Continent (1989) , and maybe Code unknown (2000) that Tyler mentions.

    I liked Deliverance too, I label it as action. Agree about The Shining, you can check my other favourite horror films in my most recent blogging!

  9. I think any moderate fan of cinema should see as much Haneke as they can. Great stuff.